Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Writing For The Choir

I am writing an adventure based in Middle Earth, for anyone who hasn't read previous posts. I'm having some fun as I put it all together.  I'm writing it all down using Google Docs.

Now, if I share the adventure and I don't mind sharing,  I just worry that no one else will find it any good though they usually run well for me.  No, the question for me is how much do I hold the next DM's hand as I write it?

For the most part, I figure that most "published" adventures are written with the idea of minimizing how much the DM will have to reference the core books, especially the DM guide.  Personally,  I don't see there being any way of not having the books at hand while running a game, especially if there's any degree of random activity going on.

No,  I have decided to write with the expectation that the DM is going to have his or her books cracked open at the ready.  I like to leave lots of room for random activity.   I am also a facilitator at heart.  I don't want to do it for them, but I do want to give them as many of the resources and information they will need to do it themselves.

I also want to give plenty of room for improvisation.  What books is the DM using?  The core AD&D 1E books?  OSRIC?  I'll let them decide what rules to follow.

So no, I'm not going to spell it all out for them.   I am going to make them use their Random Encounter tables in the book while en route from one town to the next.  That's what they are there for aren't they?

I will give them cues as to type of location, weather, geography and so on.   I will give them basic information about the main NPC's they will encounter as well.

So, don't expect the typical "everything done for you" type of adventure when  I do share it.  It will probably look more like an outline.  Who knows though, maybe other folks will have fun with it too.


  1. I think this is a sound attitude when writing adventures for public consumption in the "OSR age". A skeleton is a skeleton, look it up in your book for the stats. However, consider that a Middle Earth "troll" is a very different beastie compared to a D&D "troll". What to do about that, I'm not sure.

    1. Perhaps in the timeline of the active stories the trolls are different. However, as DM, I have decided that by placing my activity after the 4th age when everything is changing, suddenly, AD&D trolls are the new "normal".