2011-04-14 What I Want From Adventures

Greg Christopher asks What do you wish that modules could do, but which you haven't seen done before?

I’ve mentioned before what I don’t like: I want less detail, less pages, less words. I also don’t like riddles too much.

But what is it that I want instead? In a way I could just copy and paste the list of things I like in a One Page Dungeon. I’m not going to repeat them here. If the adventure has more than one page, here’s how I’d like to see them used:

  1. choices and multiple avenues – Vault of Larin Karr provided a little mini-campaign where the various problems could be tackled in a different order
  2. cool scenery and atmosphere and matching evocative artwork – things outside the vanilla medieval, fantastic landscapes, rooms, artwork, buildings, people; I know my players always pay attention if I show them a picture – and that means I don’t need fancy maps and art that I cannot show to my players
  3. a useful map that reduces the time I have to spend leafing through the book itself – if there is space on the map, use it
  4. credible one-sentence motivations for the various factions – these should be very simple and they should enable me to improvise people’s reactions and their plans
  5. in order to make things easy to find, you don’t need a table of contents and an index; if you think you’d benefit, consider shortening the text instead
  6. add bold keywords and headings to make the text easy to skim; write the adventure as if you were writing for the attention span challenged audience on the web: Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines (advice from 1998)

One of these days I should eat my own dog food and actually write an adventure that follows my own suggestions. :)



Thanks for the cool answers Alex.

This project I am working on will be a sandbox campaign, so it should satisfy most of these demands. :)

Greg Christopher 2011-04-15 21:42 UTC

As for using a map, I can point to my own Water Temple. The adventure itself and the dungeon aren’t too cool, but the way text and map are interwoven are an example of what I like.

AlexSchroeder 2011-04-16 16:32 UTC

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