View Full Version : Making an adventure and making it good

2008-01-16, 09:51 PM
Greetings, fellow forumites and various oddities of the playground. I have been a dungeon master for quite some time, and I find that naturally the same old adventures eventually get boring. I've recently been trying to find new and interesting ways to spice up adventures and campaigns by trying to figure out what really goes into creating them. I found the Giant's articles on "Play Theory" quite helpful, as were the "Adventure Builder" articles found here, on the Wotc site http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ab/20060728a. So, my question to you is how do you, personally, go about creating exciting and origonal adventures and campaigns for your players? I mean, how much preparation do you really need and how much is desirable? There's a fine line between good preparation and a railroad plot. Do you have any interesting stories about things that made the game better, worse, or just weirder? Please, share!

As for me, I've generally always just gotten a vague idea about the type of game I want to run and the winged it from there. Eventually, though, even the handy tricks start to become cliche (I mean, the first bits of NPC betrayal and deceit were interesting, but now the players have grown to expect them around every corner). Lately, I've been preparing games modeled after published adventures that I've enjoyed, but have yet to find any conclusive results. What works best? What are your thoughts?

2008-01-16, 11:00 PM
I'm not the best GM ever, but when Playing dungeons and dragons, and you want it to be "Unique"? I know of things to make it unique.

first off, NEVER place your players in a "Regular" dungeon crawl.
second, I wouldn't try to make monsters, magic or otherwise around every corner, it wears thin after the 87th beholder.

2008-01-16, 11:14 PM
If it gets too dull, I'm sure there are still a few planes you could force them into.

Admittedly, it's still a fetch quest, but now it's a fetch quest in the Elemental Plane of Fire.

Or you could give them hints of someone betraying them, only to find out that he wasn't. Of course, you could have used that up by now, as well.

Inflict them with a disease, or give them some other form of time limit.

Sometimes you need that sense of urgency to get suspense flowing.

2008-01-16, 11:24 PM
I have a campaign that I've been trying to get off the ground for some time now and it looks almost nothing like it did when it started. It's basically a patchwork quilt of a bunch of stuff I've always wanted to do. Namely pit the PC's against cool and unusual assasins, form an interplanetary mercenary league and run Into the Wormcrawl Fissure(from dungeon) just to name a few.
A good starting point is just to take every Idea rattling around in you head that you haven't used yet plus a few pre-mades and find some zany way to string it all together. If origionality still alludes you play some video games, read some fantasy, or manga, or heck even sci-fi to get those juices flowing. There is no shame in taking a cool idea and using it in your campaign.
And as Keith says if you can move it to another plane do so. Chasing a villain across the rooftops of Sharn is much less exciting than chasing him across the rooftops of Sigil or the city of Brass. Which in turn is less exciting than chasing him through Pazunia.
P.S. you still need to be a good DM to pull this off which unfortunately I cannot say about myself.