Rules Index


Chapter 10: Game Mastering / Game Mastering / Preparing an Adventure

Creating Adventures

Source Core Rulebook pg. 487
Building your own adventure is much more challenging than using a published one, but it lets you express yourself, be even more creative, and tailor the game directly to the players and their characters. Later sections in this chapter include guidelines for building and running encounters, placing treasure, and setting appropriately difficult challenges, all to help you construct your own adventures.

Adventure plotting can start at many different points. You might begin with a particular antagonist, then construct an adventure that fits that villain’s theme and leads the group to them. Alternatively, you could start with an interesting location for exploration, then populate it with adversaries and challenges appropriate to the setting.

Locations

Source Core Rulebook pg. 487
Memorable settings that include mysterious and fantastical locations for players to visit can elicit the players’ curiosity. Exploring each location should be a treat in itself, not just a chore the players must complete to get from one fight to the next. As you create a locale, picture it in your mind’s eye and write down minor details you can include as you narrate the game. Describing decorations, natural landmarks, wildlife, peculiar smells, and even temperature changes make a place feel more real.

Beyond monsters and loot, your locations can include environment-based challenges, from environmental conditions like blizzards to puzzles, traps, or other hazards. These challenges should suit your adventure’s location: walls of brambles in a castle ruin overrun with vegetation, pools of acid in a cursed swamp, or magical traps in the tomb of a paranoid wizard. Rules for environments appear on page 512, and those for hazards start on page 520.

Encounters

Source Core Rulebook pg. 487
A robust set of encounters forms the backbone of your adventure. Encounters often feature combat with other creatures, but they can also include hazards, or you might create social encounters in which characters duel only with words. The rules for building encounters appropriate to your group’s level begin below.

Some adventures have a clear and direct progression, with encounters occurring at specific times or in a specific order. Others, such as a dungeon filled with interconnected rooms the group can investigate in any order, are nonlinear, and the group can face encounters in any order—or even avoid them entirely. Most adventures are somewhere in between, with some keystone encounters you know the characters will need to contend with, but others that are optional.

Treasure

Source Core Rulebook pg. 488
Your adventure should give out an amount of treasure that’s appropriate to the characters’ level. The guidelines for assigning treasure are on page 508. You can dole out treasure in all kinds of ways. Treasure could be items carried by an adversary, rewards from a patron for completing a mission, or a classic pile of coins and items inside a wooden chest guarded by a monster. It’s best to spread treasure throughout an adventure rather than stockpiled in a single hoard. This gives the players incremental rewards, letting their characters advance in frequent small steps rather than giant leaps separated by many hours of play.