TT reader Tsuyoshikentsu emailed me about this article on Wizards of the Coast’s official D&D site: Adventure Builder: Writing Your First Adventure (Part 1 of 6), by Wolfgang Baur. (Thanks, Tsuyoshikentsu!)
Since it’s geared towards writing your first adventure, Wolfgang spells things out in detail. For example, he recommends including two skill-based encounters, two magical encounters, one mook encounter and so forth — essentially, he provides a script to follow.
While this won’t produce the most original adventure, there’s some solid advice in there — like giving every PC a chance to shine, not including too many red herrings and using a simple backstory. (Nor is it all aimed at D&D, either.)
The detail is very handy. I’ll point new GMs to it– the step by step is very useful– and since it explains why you set it up that way, you can even “rebel against the system” and know what differences you can expect.
Thanks for the pointer.
I also read the article a few days ago and think its great that an “unwritten” guideline for game professionals gets written down for the rest of us.
As you say, giving a chance for everyone to shine is important, and often hard to do when you are only thinking of the next cool monster to throw at your party.
I also like Wolfgang’s list of common design mistakes:
1. too much useless backstory
2. slow starts
3. random encounters
4. too many encounters
I think in the past year I’ve been guilty of two out of four – spending too much time on backstory that will never get revealed and using too many encouters.
You’re welcome, Scott — but thank Tsuyo! 😉
Bento: I’ve been on both sides of too much backstory, and I know what you mean. I’ve got a post cued up for next week with some organizational tips for backstory-heavy games — a little bit of sorting goes a long way!
Its a good article, not only for newbies, also for veterans, IÂ´m the kind of DM that sits at the table and throws the adventure all out of the blue, only some anotations and thats all, of the four common mistakes that Mr Baur mentions I fall in all soo many times, its good to remember how to do things correctly (ok, maybe the Baur way its not the “correct” but its a very inclusive and planed one)
Aw, thanks, guys. Glad I could help 🙂