Creating adventures is tough. It takes a long time to put it all together. You have to craft a solid story idea to hang your plot on and hope it survives contact with the PCs. And you have so many moving parts to wrangle, like NPCs, locations, encounters, pacing, treasure, story logic and plot holes.
Also, do you go sandbox, linear, hourglass? Does it even matter?
Most important though, how do you make your adventure exciting to your players? They're tired of kicking down the door and fighting the same old monsters. Players want variety! And you want to roleplay more! But I know how hard it is mustering up the time and energy to plan and create a bunch of interesting stuff for your group before every session. It's a hamster wheel of GM burnout.
If we haven't met, my name is Johnn Four and I've been publishing professional game master advice for 16 years. I've written several GM books, had a column in Dragon Magazine for years, co-wrote the DMG II, launched two hugely successful game master courses online, and write a weekly newsletter with my tips for GMs. It's nice to meet you, fellow game master. :)
I know how tough it is making awesome adventures. So I'd like to invite you to my summer online workshop where I'll go through an awesome system for creating open-ended adventures. You can follow me every step of the way and look over my shoulder as I build a complete adventure using this system (which I haven't shared with anyone before).
And you can choose to build your own adventure alongside me, or just watch and learn as I go through all the steps of my recipe while I create mine.
Let's make an adventure together this summer!
The workshop starts in June and continues until I'm done with the adventure. I estimate that'll be end of August, because I'll be explaining a lot and going slow.
You'll get a login and can check out the workshop videos and materials anytime. You get lifetime access. So if you go on holidays this summer, it'll be easy to catch up. And you can login to check parts out in the future anytime you need to reference the materials.
You'll also get access to the private forums and Adventure Workshop Community. I'll be bouncing ideas off you and getting your help as I build the adventure. That's critical to learning - participating in a safe environment where we can experiment, brainstorm, and chat together on our adventures.
I'll be starting from scratch. I won't even have an idea yet. Then I'll progress through creating an adventure outline, fleshing out the details, creating encounters, and smoothing everything out. However, that doesn't cover all the nuances and smaller but critical steps in good adventure design, like what structure to choose (sandbox, linear, etc.), how to integrate the PCs and get them invested in the story, how to make interesting new monsters, how to get players to roleplay more via adventure design, and other things like that.
You'll hear me thinking out loud. I'll be launching my webcam and talking about the adventure as I create it, thinking out loud about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it that way. There will be at least 10 design videos like this, probably more. This part is important to me, because I can find adventure tips sprinkled everywhere online like copper pieces in a dungeon. But there are no pros out there revealing their whole process and sharing all those important little details that are stuck in their head but they fail to share for various reasons.
I'll be designing a fantasy adventure using OSR rules. OSR is based on original D&D whose rules are compatible and easily translatable to many other systems like D&D 5E, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, FATE, and a myriad of others. To me, OSR is the Rosetta Stone for crunch, which means you can port the adventure to your campaign easily, and translate my design process and advice to your game.
Q&A with me. I'll be hopping on Google Hangouts so you can ask me questions. You can also ask me questions in the forums. Hey, it's only fair because I'll be asking you questions, too. :)
I'll be sharing my adventure building recipe, templates, stat blocks, and checklists. I want you to walk away with a whole bunch of useful GM aids to complement your new adventure building skills and experience.
I'll be using Evernote a lot. So in a way, the Adventure Building Workshop is also a course in how to GM using Evernote. Two courses in one!
And of course, you'll get the finished adventure I create as a PDF, plus any GM aids and add-ons that go along with the module. I plan on putting the adventure into print via DriveThruRPG and Lulu (maybe Amazon too through CreateSpace, we'll see), and you'll get a discount code to get a killer deal on the print version for your bookshelf.
At this point I think I'm supposed to bring out a bunch of sales tricks to strong-arm you into joining the Adventure Building Workshop.
But my sales charisma is 8. It's my dump stat, to my detriment I guess.
All I know is I'm super excited about this and about building an adventure together this summer. I'm going to layout my recipe for building power-combo sandbox + plot adventures that my campaigns have been based on for over a decade.
Building adventures this way is awesome because, with a bit of up-front work, you get an adventure that's easy to run, simple to maintain, and goes practically on auto-pilot after the Inciting Encounter. I'd even call these adventures mini-campaigns, because your group will get so much mileage out of them.
Build adventures this way, and you get a lot more roleplaying out of your players too. You'll see what I mean when I lay it all out during the workshop.
So how much is the Adventure Building Workshop?
Is it $500? No, wait, that's one of those stupid sales tricks slimy marketers try to pull, lol.
The Adventure Building Workshop is just $50. That's for at least two months of adventure building tutorials and discussion - plus lifetime access to the materials. And just for Roleplaying Tips readers I'm offering the workshop for the next two weeks at 50% off as a thank you for being a loyal RPT subscriber.
As always, I stand fully behind my work. So if I roll a 1 for you, and you don't get any value out of the workshop, email me anytime and request a refund.
I won't put you in a hard spot and ask why you want your money back, that's always uncomfortable and weird. So I'll just refund you and we'll stay friends. Cool?
Also, I don't know how long the workshop is going to last. I'm not stopping until the adventure is done. So there's no time limit on my guarantee.
There's no risk to you now. Register for the workshop knowing if you aren't satisfied you always have the option of a full refund.
Here's the thing. I'm only taking registrations for a limited time. I want everyone to get in at the very start so we're in synch and learning and sharing together.
I've learned from the other courses I've taught that you got a ton more out of a course when everyone is at the same place.
The questions others ask mean more to you, we're all at the same place and no one is falling behind, and we're having more fun because we're a cohesive group.
So registration is only open for a limited time and then I'm closing it off and getting on with the workshop.
You've got three options:
I'll send you a draft of the module when the adventure is done and it's been edited once. This lets you dig into it faster, provide feedback, and run it sooner than later without delays from the polishing stage.
Then I'll send you the final PDF with art and maps when it's ready. I'll also send you a discount code for the print version when that's ready.
You get everything in the Just the Adventure level (draft and final version, add-ons, print discount code). Plus you get the summer workshop, private community access, and Q&A sessions with me.
I'm also including an Evernote mini-course as it's my tool of choice for the Workshop.
Whether you are creating an adventure for your personal campaign or for professional publication, you can chat with me privately over Google Hangouts.
You can ask me anything. We can talk about your adventure idea and pitch, we can review an encounter you're having difficulty with, we can review your Critical Path Walkthrough. We'll go over whatever you are stuck on, need a sounding board for, or want guidance about.
You'll get two 30 minute Google Hangouts we'll schedule when you are ready, but to be scheduled before the end of 2015.
And you'll get a recording of the consultation sessions for your files to review anytime.
Choose the option you like most below and click the Add To Cart button. You'll be taken to the GumRoad page to complete your purchase.
Pre-Order the Complete Adventure PDF
Emailed copies of the Draft version and Final version
All GM aids, add-ons, and handouts I create for the adventure
Print version discount code
Critical Fumble Guarantee
Credit Cards and PayPal welcome
Two months of Adventure Building tutorials, videos, and materials starting June
Private community access
Over-my-shoulder and thinking-out-loud style of workshop so you get all the secrets and details dislodged from my brain into yours
At least two live Q&A sessions on Google Hangouts
Adventure templates, stat blocks, checklists
Credit Cards and PayPal welcome
For your personal campaign or for your professional publication.
Chat with me privately over Google Hangout.
Ask me anything: review your adventure idea, troublesome encounters, plotting, etc.
Two x 30 minute Google Hangouts scheduled when you are ready before the end of 2015.
Recordings of the consultation sessions.
Credit Cards and PayPal welcome