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Original Adventure Ideas?
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Thread: Original Adventure Ideas?

  1. #1
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    Original Adventure Ideas?

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    (First post. I've searched threads for similar topics, but if there is one I think it is probably dead by now.)

    I'm a DM warming up to 3.5, and I've got a decent grip on the rules, but I am very interested in providing adventures that are more than just kick-in-the-door dungeon crawls. My favorite aspect about RPGs is the sense of curiosity and sense of adventure that's involved. I want my players to experience that, and to experience realistic NPCs. Of course that is the goal of any DM, but I have a slightly greater challenge because I've created a world from the ground up. I've got a planet with 2 main continents and gov'ts, etc.... The main problem is, I don't have a lot of ideas for original handwritten adventures. I'm getting better at it, but does anyone have any ideas or know where I can find a bigger source for the so-called "Adventure seeds" in the 3.x books? I feel like the "seeds" were a little too thin and short, and generic as well... Then again, maybe I'm setting myself up for a much to linear experience??? If anyone knows what I'm talking about please reply.

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    DMG II, I think is what you want. That said I find that Sci-Fi novels inspire me most for fantasy games and Fantasy novels for Sci-Fi games. Picture Dune as D&D or LOTRs as Traveller. You just have to do some modifications. Instead of spice have gold the dwarves mine. He who controls the gold controls the world. Instead of worms you have dragons. The differnt houses are differnet kings of potentualy differnt races. Instead of Arakas you have a dwarven city. If you do enough minor changes and take out the heros of the story you'll end up with an adventure thats far enough removed keep the players from say "oh its Dune".

    I also recommend picking up a copy of the storytellers handbook for vampire the masquerade (1st or 2nd edition) for all new DM/GMs. You can get it in pdf form on Drive Through RPG if you can't find it in a used rpg store.
    Last edited by MortonStromgal; 07-23-2008 at 02:40 PM.
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


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    I guess once the Characters motivation is defined (Gold, Power, Romance, Ego, Higher Destiny, Revenge, etc.) you can accomodate several of the adventures detailed in this site (from Campaigns that are currently running) by just changing the rewards (gold, rescue the girl, knighthood, fame, powerful magic item, kill the bad guy, etc.)

    Also take a look at the thread Favorite Villains.

    Today even with TV, there are thousands of people who never leave their hometown, and don't know anything about the outside world. I saw snow for the first time when I was 26. So assuming your world is currently limited to the PCs village, try to instill some sense of wonder when they see the sea for the first time, or go underground for the first time. Major cities also should be presented as places where everyone moves fast, something like visiting New York, or their architecture would seem colossal, with big castles and palaces.

    Then just start working on the Social Classes, if they thought Lord Juanito was the great thing, wait until they meet Barons, Counts, Dukes and Powerful Priests with an array of escort at their dispossal.

    For some people is just easier to let the Players tell you what they want to do, technically Players are expected to be polite and "bite the hook", but it is always good to listen to their desires. I mean if they want to visit the Famous Isle of the Mermaids, why not ...
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimthar View Post
    ...but it is always good to listen to their desires. I mean if they want to visit the Famous Isle of the Mermaids, why not ...
    indeed! and along the way they could meet pirates. oooh, not just pirates, but ninja pirates! oooh, oooh, ninja monkey shadowdancer pirates! who attack in the dead of night using the shadows to jump from ship to ship! ;D and use exotic weapons of bananas with the improved trip feat.

    or you could throw a kraken at them. or maybe the mermaids have a taste for humans... in the cookpot.

    and that's just silliness off the top of my head. we could go on. ^^
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    Thanks to both of you. I just need to dive in I'm afraid. It's not even a big problem of developing an entire world. For me it's more about making single specific details stand out in the players minds. I remember when I first played I was just ... AWED by the curiosity that it inspired. What about tips for becoming more flexible? I really want to just be able to have a premise, a general list of possibilities, and just wing it from there. Can you two refer me to any DMs that are running RP heavy campaigns and keep combat for only the most exciting parts? I like to use things that challenge the PC's personality as well as physical ability.

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    Well, our very first campaign ( I was not the DM) started very simple... we were all learning what Role-playing was about (including the DM).

    All the encounters were simple, and at the beginning there wasn't a Grand Plot. But after 10 levels, we destroyed 2 evil societies, my Bard was Knighted and married, we helped the Princess remove of Power her Evil-Rightful Heir to the Throne brother, we were friends of a Good Dragon.

    So, there was not a master plan, but everything ended very well. By the next campaign, our PCs started with a more defiened background story and motivations, there were more complex plots and sub-plots, etc.

    Let escape 1 or 2 villains from their first encounters, and make them reappear from time to time and voila! now they have an archenemy.

    .
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    I'm working on this one that I plan to pull out when I get a shot at GM'ing.

    The party find a body on the road on their way into town, a person of high social standing who has very recently had his throat slit. They get a message, presumably from the killer, that they need to keep their mouths shut to stay alive, and also fulfill some demands of his.

    If for some reason they decide to bend over and fulfill the dude's demands, they'll set themselves up to be subjected to more demands, and they'll get knifed eventually anyway. This is not a nice or honest assassin, and he doesn't like witnesses. To avoid biting it they'll have to catch the killer, elude him, or find some other way to deal with him.

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    Dentarthur: That's a really cool idea! I will probably use that. I was also think that maybe the party could run into a murder taking place.
    From there... They would either keep quiet and let it happen, wait until he's gone and then get the same treatment you mentioned... Or, they could try and stop it right then, and get more than they bargained for. Thanks very much for the help!

    Dimthar: Thanks for the help. I will definitely use the recurring enemy theme.

    Everyone please reply!
    Also, I don't use a battlemat or grid. I don't think it suit my campaign. I often have small groups too. Sometimes it's even one player- one DM. Anyone else do that?

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    Once when I was having writer's block for plots, I wrote the numbers 2 through 12 in a column on one side of a piece of paper, then created columns for things like Hook, Objective, Adversary, Complication/Twist, Ally/Patron, Sidequest, Reward, etc. I filled in all 11 rows for each column, with standard tropes in the middle of the column. I then rolled up a set of words, and used that as the skeleton of that week's adventure. It worked pretty well.

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    Ah. Like a quest generator. That's pretty clever. I'll try to use that advice. I need to make a bunch of brainstorm webs that lead to different possibilities...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahollowplace View Post
    ... does anyone have any ideas or know where I can find a bigger source for the so-called "Adventure seeds" in the 3.x books?
    There's a series of adventure seeds put out by Expeditious Retreat Press, and another by "Grim" Desborough, both available as not-free PDFs.

    Having said that, "originality" is overrated. No, seriously. Take your two favorite movies, mash them up, and throw in a third random twist. With a little skill, most of your players will never guess what you're doing.

    If you don't believe me, check out The Big List of RPG Plots (which is free).
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Yeah! I've seen the Big List of RPG Plots before. I will make use of that too. One part of it was that I didn't want to pay for PDFs. I guess I won't pirate it. I think I can get by on The Big List if I can finally get a successful storyline rolling. Twisting it from there isn't too hard.


    Anyone have any witty ideas for bringing PC's together in-game for the first time? I've done some cool things before...

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    Well, I used to reward with XP those players who came up with a "Shared Background". The easiest one is "The Brothers/ Twins". I used to play a "Majordomo/Bodyguard" (Fighter) of a friend (Cleric).

    Last campaign they played in Cormyr Forgotten Realms, the only true requirement was that they must be from Cormyr/Dalelands/Sembia (Same Geographical Region). At that time, 2 PCs decided to be friends/Veterans from the last war against the Red Dragon.

    Also the first "Plot" was of interest at least to half of them, they were escorting the "Rogue's" Caravan to Sembia (Family Business), at the same time the Cleric was going to Battledale to pick up a "Relic" from the Abbey of the Sword (North of Sembia).

    .
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahollowplace View Post
    (First post. I've searched threads for similar topics, but if there is one I think it is probably dead by now.)

    The main problem is, I don't have a lot of ideas for original handwritten adventures. I'm getting better at it, but does anyone have any ideas or know where I can find a bigger source for the so-called "Adventure seeds" in the 3.x books?
    Don't look in the 3.X books. Problem solved.

    The 3.X books are missing a priceless book from the past: the Villains Handbook. It's a 2ed that you should get your hands on. It's mostly about badguys (who usually need killing), but there are lots of other antagonistic ideas.

    Or try this: pick out something that almost ruined your day, or something bad you read in the news. Make it medieval, and then make it EXTREME! Next, imagine three different things that could have caused it. Pick your favorite. Then image three different things that could have caused that. Repeat as necessary, and you have a plot hook.

    Example: I missed the bus the other day.
    Medieval: I missed the rickshaw.
    EXTREME: as I was sneaking away from the ultimate burglary, I was chased by a group of emblem-wearing thugs (who would easily have pummeled me) and didn't arrive at the scheduled time to meet my cohort who was disguised as a rickshaw driver, who had to sneak away to avoid trouble.
    Cause: I was being chased because I was spotted kissing the noble's daughter (who also spotted me) on my way out of his rowhouse in the embassy district, while trying to escape with his ancient, mysterious locathah artifact.
    Cause: The artifact needed stealing because the noble had been prancing around town gloating that his personal guardsmen were the best in the land, and happened to be taking work opportunities from my own mercenary guard organization.

    So from here, you have lots of plot elements: characters, events, locations, and motives. You also have lots of loose ends that need tying up. The nice part is that the PCs can be part of any loose end.
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    All interesting ideas...
    The Villains Handbook? I think I've seen it before somewhere. I used to play 2e. I'll look into that.

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