Welcome to a series of adventure design articles that I’m going to publish over the course of the next many months. The idea for this series hit me hard while I was at the bus stop waiting to pick up my man-child. I’d gotten there about twenty minutes early, and the ideas just starting flowing. Like any good writer, I have a notepad and pen in the center console of my car. Within a few minutes, I had the small notepad page filled with ideas. Before I was done, I had most of the following ideas brainstormed and titled.

I also reached out to social media to see if anyone had concepts to add to the list, and an additional idea came in. If more good ideas come in, I might expand upon this series.

The core conceit of this series is to give you bite-sized chunks to chew on and think about as you design adventures for your home game. This might help you in creating adventures for publication as well, but my main target audience is for the home brew GM that is making adventures for their personal group. If there is interest, I might include a wrap-up article from my perspective on how to organize an adventure for publication.

I’ve tried to order the articles in such a way as to allow you to build upon the knowledge step-by-step without getting overwhelmed. As I move through the series, if you think of ideas that I can add to the list or concepts you want me to cover, feel free to comment on the articles. I’ll see what I can do to provide details in those areas for future articles.

For now, I’ll leave you with a teaser list of titles that I’m going to cover with this series of articles. I hope you find them useful and thoughtful.

  1. Mood, Tone, and Theme
  2. Detailing Back to Front
  3. Backgrounds and Factions
  4. Story Hooks
  5. Thematic Environments
  6. Thematic Bosses
  7. Thematic Mooks
  8. Combo Encounters
  9. Maps and PC Handouts
  10. Supporting and Opposing NPCs
  11. Clues, Rumors, and Connective Tissue
  12. Node-Based Design