“You want WHAT sort of Adventure?!”

When I write an adventure for D&D or any game system, I like to chat with my players before hand, and sorta gauge what they are in the mood for. I tend to use a very simple system in fact.

I ask them to order the following from 1 to 5, 1 being the most important, and 5 being the least.

Character Development

This allows me to figure out how much of each thing I should try to include. For example, with my most recent game, I had one of my players order things as follows:

Combat, Roleply, Story, Puzzles, Character Development

What amused me was he was playing a Spellthief, but thats a whole nother topic. Anyway, using this setup I can tailor the adventure.

In this case, both my players like combat the most, and RP/Story second and third. Neither is a big puzzle nut, but one does like Character Development.

So my tip for today is for use with adventures. Try to tailor it so everyone can enjoy it and play to their characters strengths. If you have a bard who is built so he can sway and charm his way around, add some of that in. If you have a wizard who is designed to deal with undead add some.

Try to give each player a chance to shine when you make an adventure.

Another tip is NOT To railroad the players. What do I mean by this? Making it impossible for them to deviate. For example: You want them to go to this tomb. They have no interest and want to explore a forest. Making them by saying “You cant go into the forest cause uh it has a magic barrier! But that tomb ya know it has stuff in it.”

Thats a mild way of doing it. Another way is simply doing “Your character decides to go to the tomb”

My suggestion to avoid railroading is build the world in such a way that there are always options for the players. If they go to say a town, and around the town there is a forest, lake, and maybe abandoned temple, and the temple is where the next plot point is, dont neglect the lake and forest. Flesh it out a bit and let em go where they please. Maybe your adventure wont go the way you hoped, but you could always modify things if you are really good and keep your base plot the same and just change the locations.

Another way is to do “Mission Based” adventures. IE you found item A, go take it to guy B. He sends ya on a mission to find something about said Item A. You find it and bring it back. He then sends you off to another dude with both item and info. Ect.

Allow them the freedom to deviate at any time, but by doing this, the characters at least know where their over-riding mission goal would take em. But give em the option to go explore.

Half the fun of tabletop DMing is when the players do something you never expected em to. Like going somewhere they shouldn’t be ;)

Sorta like the time me and my friends went a temple that was home to things we should never have messed with. That was fun. I sorta blew it up….hehehehehe.

The look on my GM’s face when I mentioned that Methane was flammable, and that the stinking cloud spell seemed to be made of said methane, was priceless.

Here is something fun I found on another Blog Site, called Eternal-Flux. This is a funny thing, and while she states the list is for Rules to Live By on Halloween, I would like to point out its a good list of things to avoid during Horror Games.

Here is an excerpt from his List:
1. When it appears that you have killed the monster or murderer, NEVER check to see if it’s really dead.

2. Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke.

3. Do not search the basement, especially if the power has gone out.

4. If your children speak to you in Latin or any other language which they should not know, shoot them immediately. It will save you a lot of grief in the long run. However, it will probably take several rounds to kill them, so be prepared. This also applies to kids who speak with somebody else’s voice.

5. When you have the benefit of numbers, NEVER pair off and go alone.

6. As a general rule, don’t solve puzzles that open portals to Hell.

7. Never stand in, on, or above a grave, tomb, or crypt. This would apply to any other house of the dead as well.

8. If you’re searching for something which caused a loud noise and find out that it’s just the cat, GET THE HELL OUT!

For more, visit the original post: Rules to Live By on Halloween


4 thoughts on ““You want WHAT sort of Adventure?!”

  1. Liza S.

    Thanks for the link :) I don’t play D&D, but I know exactly what you mean when you say that railroading isn’t advisable. Perhaps the only thing I don’t like about Guild Wars is that the path, while it isn’t completely laid out for the player, has too many limitations. There’s too many hills the player -can’t- climb, too many places she can’t go even though they look oh so interesting from afar. It doesn’t really bother me much anymore, they seem to have gotten better with it with each new campaign.


  2. Jerry Graffam

    Clayton, I’m way behind on the games, but I can play a mean tetris! You’ve got lots of good info on here. I may just need to catch up to the 21st century. My DUNE 2000 just seems pretty out-of date, but I love it! ~Jerry


  3. Leigh

    Thanks for the linkage (and, um, he is a she, just thought I mention it). I play MMOs, currently LoTRO. I also played EVE for over two years. I never got into D&D, but my brother did and my kids like it.Oh, and I gave you a treat on my blog today just for commenting!


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