Designing Adventures

One of the more important aspects of any role playing game is the ability to create your own adventures.  When designing your adventure ask yourself this question:

What is the end goal of the adventure?

This is the most important question in any design of a dungeon. It will determine all of the details to get you started. From the goal, or adventure seed, you can figure out monster types, possible layout ideas and other dastardly ideas within. I would encourage everyone to build encounters than have a purpose with an intro, story and end goal. A reoccurring villain is another great aspect of an adventure. Having the players chance them across the world can add great enjoyment to the DM’s job.

For example:

The end goal of my dungeon is to rid the town of a werewolf. Right away we know that the dungeon will be laid out in the shape of a town, with roads and buildings that can be explored. Also we know that many encounters would happen in the town so things like rats, snakes or nighttime monsters could be encountered at any time. Also there could be shops and people to talk to. Already there is lots to discover in our encounter!

Location Seeds

  • A network of natural caves beneath an ancient hollowed-out tree
  • A long-forgotten cellar beneath an inn
  • A field of ruin in the corpse of a massive dragon
  • A mad wizards trapped dungeon
  • Festering sewers beneath the city
  • A fortress carved from a stone mountain
  • A haunted catacombs in a mound carved like a giant skull
  • A forgotten crypt of a mad king
  • A temple of an evil cult hidden in the chambers of a church
  • The remains of a city buried under volcanic rock

Adventure Seeds

  • Dwarven explorers uncover a mad wizards vault.
  • Undead attack an old monastery protecting an evil artifact.
  • An isolated village seeks heroes to defend it from monstrous attackers.
  • Orc raiders enslaved dwarves to dig into an ancient dark elf ruin.
  • A fledgling apprentice releases a demon who begins building a fiendish army.
  • A corrupt warlord harries a poor village with a hired band of rogues.
  • A supernatural plague from a forgotten elven ruin turns local villagers into ghouls.
  • A floating keep from an alternate world crashes into a nearby wild forest.
  • Forbidden knowledge revealed in an old book brings powerful monsters who plan to wipe out everyone in the town.
  • The corpse of an old god infested with devils appears embedded within a nearby mountain.

For more GREAT ideas as well as a “well worth the money” e-book the Lazy Dungeon Master visit:

NEXT UP: Building a Dungeon

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