Let Begin a Easy Homebrew Marketing campaign: Your First Journey


Sit down and shut up. Class is again in session. Time for the second actual lesson on this entire easy, homebrew marketing campaign factor. Or possibly the third. Or the fourth. I’ve misplaced monitor. I most likely shouldn’t depend the bulls$&% introduction whereby it took me 5000 phrases simply to outline the phrase marketing campaignand I didn’t even get it proper — so that is the second actual lesson. Chronologically. However technically, it’s the third lesson. Or, extra technically, it’s the primary of two second classes. Effectively, the second of two second classes.

What the hell am I babbling about? Effectively, it’s like this. I spelled out this step-by-step marketing campaign startup guidelines factor, proper? This:

  1. Write a Premise
  2. Make Some Characters
  3. Write Your First Journey
  4. Construct a Starter City
  5. Construct a Area Across the City
  6. Write Your Second Journey
  7. Run the Marketing campaign Till You’re Finished

However, as I mentioned, this ain’t actually a procedural, step-by-step factor. For example, whilst you’re operating the primary journey, you’re additionally making the starter city and the area and planning the second. And likewise, as an example, you normally find yourself doing the character creation s$&% and the first-adventure-building s$&% on the identical time.

It relies upon, actually. Some GMs wish to construct their first journey earlier than they sit by means of the character technology s$%&. Different GMs wish to have the character roster settled earlier than they attempt to crap out an journey. And actual GMs with grownup lives outdoors the gaming world normally can’t be picky. They should schedule the character technology session — or appointments — every time they will. And in the meantime, they’ve received to construct the primary journey an hour at a time, every time they will discover an hour to work.

I’m going to imagine you’re an actual, grownup GM. In case you’re not, good for you. Have a f$&%ing cookie and go sit within the nook whereas the grownups discuss. The remainder of us should do steps two and three every time the f%$& we are able to handle them. Ideally as rapidly as doable so we are able to simply begin operating the f$&%ing sport already.

That’s why that is actually certainly one of two totally different lesson twos. As to why I’m confused about whether or not it’s the primary or the second…

Look, I ain’t excellent. I placed on my skateboard pads one knee at a time like all my fellow children. And I f$&%ed up. However, actually, it’s your fault I f$&%ed up. You all the time need me to show this chaotic, haphazard gaming s$&% into easy procedures and checklists. After I wrote that guidelines, I knew steps two and three had been unbiased, simultaneous issues. However I needed to put them in some arbitrary order. That’s how checklists work. I simply forgot the order once I began engaged on this lesson. And I used to be three pages of notes and descriptions into this s$&% earlier than I seen I used to be alleged to be speaking about character technology.

So… lesson three: writing the primary journey.

Right this moment’s article’s a continuation of the Let’s Construct a Easy Homebrew Marketing campaign sequence I began a few weeks or months or no matter in the past. And for causes I defined within the Lengthy, Rambling Introduction™ above, I’m going off the f$&%ing rails. Right this moment’s Step 3: Methods to Write Your First Journey. And we’ll circle again round to Step 2 subsequent time.

Not that it issues. I instructed you already you are able to do these two issues in both order. Or bounce forwards and backwards between them as your time permits. And when you’ve completed each steps, you’re prepared to assemble your occasion and enterprise forth. To run your first session. After which to maneuver on to town-building, region-building, and second-adventure-making.

We’re On an Journey!

I don’t need to get slowed down in definitional bulls$&% once more. However I do need to remind you that an journey is a brief, self-contained chunk of gaming. Adventures begin with targets, finish with resolutions, and have an entire bunch of traps and monsters and obstacles in between.

And if you string a bunch of adventures collectively, they make a marketing campaign.

I additionally need to level out — simply to dispel any potential confusion over this s$&% — that there’s a distinction between a session and an journey. A sport session’s a single gaming group assembly. It begins when your gamers arrive at your own home to play D&D — or no matter you’re enjoying — and it ends a couple of hours later if you’re cleansing up the mess your gamers left behind. And attempting to determine who spilled mayonnaise on the ceiling. And the way.

Most adventures play out over a number of sport classes. Ideally two or three. 4’s okay as soon as in a uncommon whereas. One’s tremendous from time to time as a diversion. However two to 3’s the perfect. That mentioned, in case you’re simply studying the homebrewing ropes, all of your adventures are going to run lengthy. Ultimately, you’ll determine how a lot your group can get carried out in a single session and also you’ll get higher at pacing your classes and maintaining your peanut gallery targeted and also you’ll be capable of plan this s$&% higher. You’ll begin hitting that two-to-three session bullseye reliably.

Until you’re me.

Otherwise you run on-line.

Otherwise you’re me operating on-line.

Level is your first journey ought to require two or three classes to play by means of. However it’s most likely going to take three or 4 in case you’re new to homebrewing.

An Journey for the Everyman

You is likely to be questioning how one can presumably do the adventure-building and character-generating in both order. And even concurrently. Shouldn’t you understand one thing concerning the characters you’re writing an journey for? And shouldn’t the gamers know what the journey’s about earlier than they make characters for it?

Sure. And sure. That will be fantastic. Excellent even. However it’s additionally type of f$&%ing unimaginable. Due to how time works. How the hell can each issues occur earlier than the opposite factor? I imply, that’s not Stephen Hawking degree arrow-of-time s$&%. It’s simply primary cause-and-effect.

Right here’s the deal: there’s benefits to doing one — both one — earlier than doing the opposite — both different. However it ain’t essential to do both first. And that’s as a result of — because of my sensible instruction — you wrote a premise. Keep in mind the premise:

The Adventuring Adventurers Who Have Adventures

In a fantasy world suffering from the ruins of historical empires and fallen kingdoms, in a darkish age of historical past, a gaggle of humble people leaves the easy work-a-day lives of their kin to make their approach as touring adventurers. Although they begin as strangers to one another, they quickly be taught to work collectively and finally belief one another as every seeks their very own destiny and fortune on the planet.

After an opportunity occasion provides the would-be heroes their first style of journey, the occasion discovers additional alternatives for journey on the planet’s scattered villages, cities, and cities. After selecting to pursue a specific alternative, the occasion usually prepares on the town for his or her journey. They purchase provides, collect sources, and hunt down helpful data. Then, they have to normally depart city and journey to the journey’s web site, coping with the challenges of crossing the untamed wilds. As soon as on the journey web site, they have to overcome quite a few obstacles and challenges earlier than resolving the journey’s main battle. Victorious or not, the occasion normally returns to city to say their rewards, to get better from their tribulations, to promote their treasure, to restock their provides, to improve their tools, and to review and prepare and thereby improve their talents. Whereas on the town, the adventurers usually work together with the individuals of the world. They construct relationships and achieve a status. These interactions inevitably result in new journey alternatives. Ultimately, the adventurers will really feel they’ve outgrown the actual city they’re in. Or wanderlust will take maintain. They’ll transfer on to some new locale to begin the cycle yet again.

Because the marketing campaign opens…

The magic’s in that third paragraph. Word the way it deftly spells out the sport’s place to begin so the gamers could make characters and you may construct an journey that each one slot… neatly… into… uh…

F&$% me. I by no means completed that premise.

Which jogs my memory of an essential matter which I’m going to cowl subsequent.

See? That is what occurs when I attempt to be intelligent. And depart you with a enjoyable between-class little bit of homework. However it’s factor I did. As a result of a few of you helpfully posted — or e-mailed — your accomplished premises. And thus, I used to be in a position to see simply how badly I f$&%ed up explaining this s$&%.

Eh. I’m kidding. You all did tremendous. You had some good concepts. However I used to be a bit of unclear about simply what that third paragraph needed to do. Not that I could possibly be a lot clearer prior to now. As a result of it ties immediately into making characters and constructing adventures.

It’s like this: you and your folks are going to sit down down on the first session and begin enjoying, proper? And one thing’s going to occur the minute you sit all the way down to ship your gamers’ characters off on some journey. You’ll current a objective or snag them on a hook or incite an incident at them. No matter. After which, they’ll pursue the objective or resolve the incident. And once they’re carried out, that’ll lead their characters into the marketing campaign. Which is what the second paragraph of the premise is all about, proper?

Effectively, that third paragraph — the one I didn’t end — describes what’s taking place within the sport world — and on the sport desk — the second earlier than the PCs get snagged on some inciting incidental hook. What are the characters doing when the gamers sit all the way down to play? And why are they doing it?

A few of you wrote some fairly grandiose s$&% to your third paragraphs. S$&% value of a CRPG’s introductory cutscene. The type that begins, “on the daybreak of time, the Lords of Order and the Lords of Chaos had been having a debate.” And that’s nice in case you’re writing a CRPG or a giant-a$& hardback journey module. However this easy, homebrew marketing campaign s$&% is all about, you understand, simplicity.

When the sport begins, the place are the heroes? And why? What’s taking place simply earlier than the adventuring s$&% hits them proper within the junk?

Because the marketing campaign opens, the would-be adventurers meet for the primary time at a roadside inn on their option to the city of Acrea’s Maintain. Till lately, Acrea’s Maintain was an deserted wreck past the attain of civilization, having been ravaged by orcs in the course of the Age of Empires. However the city’s been reclaimed and it’s at the moment being rebuilt. Its individuals face quite a few challenges on the frontier fringe of civilization. And the lands past its partitions — the Lands of the Forgotten Kings — are dotted with the ruins of a civilization that predates the Zethinian Empire by centuries. Acrea’s Maintain is rife with alternatives for do-gooders, fortune seekers, sellswords, sellspells, and explorers. However the adventures don’t watch for the heroes to succeed in Acrea’s Maintain. For at that roadside inn, nonetheless days away from the city, the heroes are referred to as upon to resolve some hassle on the street.

With that, you understand precisely the place the primary journey’s received to begin. At an inn a couple of days from the starter city. And there’s hassle on the street. The heroes should workforce as much as untrouble it. All you’ve received to do is design an inn, a street, and a few type of hassle.

Now, look, I can’t train you easy methods to construct a whole journey. Not as we speak. That’s approach past the scope of this sequence. I’d want two or three articles no less than. In all probability extra. Factor is, although, that in case you’re beginning a homebrew marketing campaign, you’ve run no less than one journey already. If not, go run one. I’ll wait.

All good?

Nice. Now that you just’ve run an journey, you understand what an journey appears like. Go write certainly one of your personal that matches the premise you got here up with. Easy, proper?

Okay, possibly it’s not that easy. However I by no means promised it will be. Effectively, okay, possibly I did. However, you understand what, it’s truly not that arduous to construct an journey. Most individuals battle as a result of they overthink this s$&%. Chapter 3 of the Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Grasp’s Information has completely serviceable directions. And the Monster Guide is chock stuffed with ghosties and ghoulies and long-leggedy beasties to inventory your journey with. And if none of that s$&% works for you, simply construct a Fast and Soiled Dungeon to begin your sport.

Journey constructing is simply one other a type of issues that require time, endurance, and apply to do effectively. And that you just’ve simply received to type of muddle by means of till you are able to do it effectively. As soon as upon a time, ten-year-old children made their dungeon adventures on a regular basis. I do know. I used to be certainly one of them. And again then, I didn’t have any horny gaming genius web consultants to point out me the ropes. Hell, I didn’t even have an web. Al Gore hadn’t invented it but. Level is, you may make an journey. Simply make one.

However I’m not going to depart you completely excessive and dry. In spite of everything, you pay me to let you know how to do that s$&%. Not less than, a few of you pay me. So I’m not simply going to cease right here with a “now get out of right here you little scamp and write an journey.” As an alternative, I’m going to run by means of a couple of bits of recommendation particular to designing first adventures for easy homebrew campaigns. After which, in case you’re actually good and I’ve a bit of further time on the finish of sophistication, I’ll tack on an appendix or two that can assist you get began in case you’re nonetheless caught observing a clean piece of graph paper and questioning easy methods to truly fill it with journey.

Principally, the primary journey to your easy homebrew marketing campaign is simply an journey. And also you write it like another. However some adventures are higher for launching easy homebrew campaigns than others. Right here’s a couple of issues you must do if you construct your first journey to provide your self the very best probability of attending to a second journey.

Hold it Brief and Easy

Most adventures play out over two or three sport classes. You may generally get away with longer or shorter adventures. However preserve the primary one quick. Purpose for 2 classes. Particularly since you’ll most likely want three.

To maintain it quick, preserve it easy. Your journey wants only one, single goal and no facet targets. Plan one climactic encounter or scene to resolve the journey’s main battle. And embody 5 to seven encounters and scenes of various problem. Determine most of them will likely be combats however embody one or two non-combat challenges or obstacles. Embrace a couple of non-encounter empty areas with non-stressful interactions or unimportant selections and also you’re golden.

Hold Eyes on the Prize

Each journey’s received a objective. However there’s targets after which there’s targets, am I proper? Some adventures have complicated targets with plenty of steps. Some have evolving targets and revelations that change every thing. And a few adventures are simply so f$&%ing mysterious that nobody’s even positive what the objective actually is.

And people are all nice issues to do along with your second, third, and fortieth adventures. Not your first. To your first journey, decide a easy objective, reveal it proper initially, and make the entire journey about reaching it.

Present Off What the Marketing campaign’s About

Your premise describes what you need your marketing campaign to be about. Typically about. In spite of everything, campaigns are lengthy issues. In case you do them proper. And selection’s essential. Each infrequently, there’ll be adventures that don’t actually match the marketing campaign. Perhaps the expedition-based plunder the dungeon then return to city and promote the loot marketing campaign consists of an journey about defending the city from a bunch of vengeful dungeon monsters who received uninterested in being plundered. That’s cool. Occasional changeups preserve campaigns contemporary and thrilling. Occasional.

However brand-spanking-new campaigns are already contemporary and thrilling. As a result of they’re brand-spanking new. So the primary journey ought to match — completely f$&%ing match — the marketing campaign’s premise. In case your campaigns about dungeon expeditions and returns to city, guess what sort of first journey you must plan.

Trace: it rhymes with sponge in exposition.

Begin with Motion

Numerous GMs begin their campaigns with roleplaying interplay scenes the place the gamers get to introduce their characters and speak about their hopes and goals and wander across the city experiencing a day-in-the-life of medieval fantasy heroes earlier than they journey over something to really f$&%ing do. And in case you’ve ever began a marketing campaign like that — as a participant or as a GM — you understand that’s a f$&%ing mistake. Gamers can’t simply begin residing in a world from the phrase go. Some assume they will — these are those posting feedback proper now — however they’re flawed.

Jumpstart the sport by beginning with an issue. One thing the gamers should deal with. An emergency that calls for motion. One of the simplest ways to begin your first journey — assuming the gamers know the system’s guidelines — is to say
“roll initiative.” But when that doesn’t fit your marketing campaign — since you need the journey to be about what the marketing campaign’s about — if a battle doesn’t fit your marketing campaign, determine what sort of determined emergency does fit your marketing campaign and begin with that.

Give the Gamers Some House

The primary scene of the primary session of the primary journey of your easy homebrew marketing campaign’s an motion scene. One the place the gamers simply should roll cube and take mechanical actions. Not one the place the gamers should be their characters.

That’s what the second scene’s for. The being of characters.

As soon as the gamers take care of no matter problem you fling at them, settle down and again off and let the gamers — and their characters — chat. And allow them to chat so long as they need. Inside cause. If the gamers ain’t massive roleplayers — in the event that they’re pleased saying s$&% like “I’m Derf the Dwarf and I’ve plate armor and a battleax and a beard” — don’t drive them to do any greater than that. But when they need to share their hopes and goals and motives and backstories, give them the time and house to do it.

Suppose campfire scene after the battle on the street. Suppose standing across the city sq. after they’ve pushed off the goblins. That type of s$&%. Go away house for that.

And as soon as the gamers are carried out interacting with one another — with out you bothering them — be prepared to leap in and work together with them a bit. Because the world. As NPCs or no matter. Partly to provide them an opportunity to work together with the world as an alternative of one another and partly so you’ll be able to drive a transition to the subsequent scene. After the PCs have made their introductions, the NPC villagers emerge from their properties and the mayor thanks the PCs and tells them about how the goblins have been raiding an increasing number of incessantly and the way they’re holed up within the waterfall cave. That type of s$&%.

Lay Some Groundwork

Lastly, your first journey ought to set some s$&% up for the long run. Now, which may appear difficult. In spite of everything, you haven’t written your entire marketing campaign but. And at no level will you ever have written your entire marketing campaign. You haven’t even designed a city or a area or a second journey. So what the f$&% are you alleged to arrange? No matter you need. Something. Doesn’t matter. Simply throw some s$&% in that could possibly be s$&% later.

Make an NPC a member of a company. A guild or a church or one thing. I imply, you didn’t construct a city but, however you understand the city’s going to have guilds and church buildings. Is there a wizard within the group? He’s going to wish to purchase wizardy s$&% from somebody. So point out a mysterious spellcaster in a tower. Orcs and goblins and barbarians don’t simply spawn in camps and caves and dungeon rooms. They’ve received tribes. Are there goblins in your first journey? Give them a tribal image. A bloody claw. Three knives. Paint one thing on their shields. Now they’re not simply random goblins, they’re Bloodclaw goblins. Or the goblins from Three-Knife Hills. What does that imply? F$&% if I do know. However I’ll guess you are able to do one thing cool with it later.

Level is, make up some random s$&% — names, symbols, organizations, NPCs, places, rumors, no matter — and throw it within the sport now so you are able to do cool s$&% with it later.

In case you do the crap I described above, you’re effectively in your option to beginning your easy homebrew marketing campaign with first journey. However even in case you do all that s$&% proper, you’ll be able to nonetheless f$&% up your first journey. And the simplest option to f$&% up your first journey is to attempt too damned onerous to not f$&% up your first journey. Significantly.

See, GMs overthink issues. It’s of their natures. And a few GMs are auteur snobs with tremendously excessive requirements caught of their heads. That are caught up their a$&es. Level is GMs attempt approach too onerous to create excessive artwork. And so there’s just a few s$&% they gained’t do. S$&% they assume ruins their artwork. Sadly, that s$&% they keep away from? Not solely does that s$&% not wreck adventures, it truly makes it simpler to put in writing adventures. Particularly first adventures. So, don’t be afraid of these items. They gained’t wreck your sport, they’ll simply make it simpler to run.

Simplicity

Numerous GMs are simply too good for easy, simple adventures about rescuing princesses, killing orcs, or plundering dungeons. These GMs make every thing difficult and nuanced and their world is filled with grey areas and ethical ambiguity and complexity that make it actually onerous for gamers to sit down down and begin enjoying. Hold it easy. Not less than at first. And possibly even without end. Complexity and depth and engagement emerge from good gameplay. Not overly difficult journey plots and backstories.

Cliches and Coincidences

The premise for my easy homebrew marketing campaign entails a bunch of adventurers who meet purely accidentally at an inn after which have an journey fall of their laps. And I assure you that I prompted quite a lot of aneurysms with that crap. Not that I’m sorry to rid the pastime of some auteur snobs.

The overwhelming majority of my campaigns begin accidentally in inns. And that’s by design. I made a decision way back that that was simply how I used to be going to do issues. And never one participant has ever given a single, solitary f$&% about it. Hell, I’d run 4 campaigns over six years for one group they usually didn’t even discover each marketing campaign began at an inn accidentally till I pointed it out. Individuals barely keep in mind how campaigns begin. And so they don’t care anyway.

Being a GM is difficult sufficient. Go for the low-hanging fruit infrequently.

Printed Crap

Talking of snobby auteurs who do every thing the onerous approach, there’s some GMs who refuse to make use of monster stats and traps and treasures and plot concepts that come from their sport’s revealed rulebooks. The rulebooks they paid tons of of {dollars} for. The s$&% within the guide’s completely good. Use it.

And now I keep in mind why I needed to do the character technology lesson first. Motivation. I used to be planning to make a giant deal about it. In truth, motivation’s the one fluffy bulls$&% backgroundy persona factor I used to be going to make any type of a deal about in any respect. Each character in your easy homebrew marketing campaign’s received to have a motivation.

Not a objective. A motivation.

I mentioned it ain’t essential so that you can know something concerning the characters earlier than you construct the primary journey. And I stand by that. You don’t should know what the characters’ motivations are. However you’ve received to know that motivation’s a factor. A personality’s motivation is the rationale why they do the s$&% they do. Particularly the adventuring s$&%. Characters motivated by their want for wealth go on adventures to earn money. Or discover treasure. Characters motivated by their want to the be the very best go on adventures to face challenges and check themselves. Characters motivated by their want to serve the higher good go on adventures that contain serving to individuals or slaying evil. See how this works?

Your first journey begins with a objective, proper? I imply, all adventures begin with a objective. And people targets are value pursuing as a result of they align with the characters’ particular person motivations. Thus, to get the characters transferring, you’ve received to hit them within the motivations. Drawback is, you’ve received no concept what’s going to encourage characters who haven’t been created but. So how will you pull this off?

First, you truly do have an concept what’ll encourage the non-existent characters. A reasonably good concept. As a result of, throughout character technology, you’re going to make completely f$&%ing positive each participant picks a personality motivation that fits the premise you wrote. Furthermore, you’re going to make completely f$&%ing positive that each character’s a workforce participant and is, subsequently, prepared to sometimes associate with one thing simply to maintain their place on the workforce. Sensible rogues understand it’s value taking up a low-paying job from time to time simply to maintain their allies pleased. As a result of rogues could make much more cash as a part of a workforce than they will on their very own. Lone wolf rogues don’t slay total dragons and stroll house with total dragon hoards.

Second, in case you’re doing this easy homebrew marketing campaign s$&% proper, you’re constructing your self a fairly conventional D&D sport with a fairly conventional D&D occasion. Which implies any objective that appeals to a couple of the 4 Gs of journey motivation will most likely work tremendous. These are Gold, Glory, the Gods, and the Larger Good. Okay, that’s 5 Gs because of alliteration.

Level is, if the journey pays effectively or presents any probability to get some treasure, if it gives any probability to check oneself or problem oneself, if it presents an opportunity to protect the pure order of the world, and if it gives an opportunity to slay evil or shield innocents, just about each PC will go alongside for the journey. In case you’ve received a good-aligned priest providing to pay the PCs to slay an evil-but-rich peasant-killing abomination that nobody else has been in a position to defeat, just about any non-evil character a participant could make will likely be up for it.

And if that fails, simply remind the gamers that that is the primary f%$&ing journey and possibly they may simply associate with this one within the curiosity of getting the sport rolling. For f$&%’s sake.

That by no means fails to get a primary journey began.

I can’t train you easy methods to write a whole journey in a single appendix. And I’m not going to attempt. But when all of the instruments you’ve already received aren’t serving to you set phrase one in your clean web page, right here’s an method that’ll get the ball rolling. You continue to have to provide the nice concepts and do the mathematics and construct the precise mechanical s$&%. However this could assist.

Step 1: Come Up with a Premise

Give you a objective. Doesn’t should be an incredible objective. Only a objective. Any objective will do. Then, give you a factor that’s in the way in which of the objective. Doesn’t matter what it’s. That’s your journey’s premise.

Keep in mind: don’t be a snob. Hold it easy.

Useful medication has been stolen by orc raiders. The heroes are tasked with going to the orcs’ lair in some close by ruins to get the medication again.

Step 2: Summarize the Journey

Reread your premise. Isn’t it nice? Doesn’t it simply promise grand journey and pleasure? Positive it does. So think about what that grand journey and pleasure appears like. Significantly. Describe how the journey goes in your head. Write it down.

Keep in mind to begin the place your premise says the journey has to begin. And attempt to embody all that s$&% I mentioned makes a primary journey good. In case you can’t work all of it within the first time by means of, reread after which rewrite the abstract. Hold doing that till you’ve received one thing that works.

The heroes arrive at a roadside inn simply after it’s been pillaged by orc raiders. A lot of the orcs have retreated, however a couple of stragglers and their wardogs are looting what’s left. The inn’s landlord and the opposite visitors are hiding within the inn’s locked and barricaded cellar, unbeknownst to the orcs. The heroes kill the orcs and their doggies.

After the heroes introduce themselves to one another, the owner and the inn’s visitors emerge from their hiding place and thank the heroes profusely. A touring service provider discovers his pack mule was slaughtered and his saddlebags had been stolen. Sadly, it contained uncommon medication wanted in Acrea’s Maintain. The service provider begs the occasion to assist. He presents to pay them and likewise to place in phrase with the Commerce Guilds in Acrea’s Maintain if they assist. The owner says the orcs have been a menace to vacationers and suggests they’re most likely holed up in a close-by wreck. A touring scholar with an curiosity within the ruins asks to tag alongside.

The occasion treks throughout the wilderness and confronts the orcs within the wreck. They battle orc savages, wardogs, and the berserker chief of the raiding occasion and get better the service provider’s luggage. They uncover the orcs are members of the Black Fist tribe, no matter meaning. The occasion discovers some small treasures within the wreck and likewise a pill coated with historical, indecipherable writing. The scholar — if he tagged alongside and if the occasion saved him alive — claims the pill.

When the occasion returns to the inn, the owner and the service provider hail them as heroes. The service provider and the scholar be a part of the occasion for the journey to Acrea’s Maintain.

Step 3: Break Your Journey into Acts

Take your abstract and discover the acts. Break it down into two or three broad components throughout which the occasion’s attempting to do some type of particular one thing in pursuit of the journey’s objective.

In Act I, the heroes battle the orc raiders on the inn and are then tasked with recovering the medication from the orc’s camp within the ruins.

In Act II, the heroes journey throughout the wilderness to the ruins the place the orcs are holed up.

In Act III, the heroes discover the ruins, kill the orcs, get better the medication, and loot the ruins.

Step 4: Distribute Scenes and Encounters

With the journey damaged into acts, determine the place the gamey encounter and non-encounter scenes go. Determine you’ve received 5 to seven precise challenges to unfold round. And some non-encounter, non-challenge scenes. Unfold them amongst the acts the place you assume you’ll want them.

Act I’s received one encounter — the battle with the orcs — and a non-fight interplay and exposition and quest-giving factor.

Act II’s a journey act. One small encounter is nice sufficient. And possibly an interplay with the scholar if they create him alongside.

That leaves me three or 4 encounters for the orc camp within the ruins in Act III. Excellent for a small dungeon.

Step 4: Come Up with the Encounters

Now that you understand how many encounters you’ve set to work with and what’s taking place in every act, determine what the encounters truly are. Not mechanically. Not but. Simply brainstorm some concepts for the totally different encounters. Give you a listing you want. And make notice of how simple or onerous you assume the encounters ought to be.

Attempt to follow simple and reasonable encounters, however finish on a tough encounter as a climax. And attempt to embody one or two non-combat challenges or obstacles. And keep in mind, non-encounter interactions and selections don’t depend as encounters.

Act I’s simple. The occasion fights some orc savages and wardogs. Then there’s the non-encounter interplay first with one another after which with the owner and the service provider and the opposite visitors.

Act II can embody a street impediment of some sort. Perhaps a washed-out bridge forces the PCs to discover a option to cross a river swollen with snowmelt and spring rain. Or I can simply throw some type of wild animal at them. The scholar provides some problem to no matter encounter occurs as a result of he’s a non-combatant non-adventurer.

Act III’s received to incorporate a battle with orc savages after which a climax with an orc berserker. I can sprinkle some canines in to steadiness these encounters. Down a facet passage within the ruins, I can embody an historical entice or puzzle lock defending a treasure. And in one other elective room, I can throw in a battle with a creepy-crawly ruins monster. A large spider or an ooze. One thing like that.

Step 5: End Drawing the Horse

Consider it or not, you’ve received an journey. You’ve received a objective, a abstract, a construction, and a bunch of encounters. All you’ve received to do now could be sport it up. Seize stat blocks. Do the numerical encounter steadiness s$&%. Draw a map. Scatter some treasure round. After which give you no matter else you’ll be able to’t pull out of your a$& on the desk. Taste textual content, NPC descriptions, random world particulars, no matter. Something you don’t assume you’ll be able to create on the fly, write it down so it’s prepared for you.

And that’s it. You’ve constructed a easy journey to begin your easy marketing campaign. Good job.

Man, I’m actually feeling beneficiant as we speak. You’re a fortunate bunch of f$&%ers. Let me offer you a bit of further bonus recommendation concerning the primary 5 minutes of the primary session of the primary journey of your easy homebrew marketing campaign. And that recommendation is: determine precisely what you’re going to do within the first 5 minutes of the primary session of the primary journey of your easy homebrew marketing campaign.

Factor is, it’s actually onerous to begin operating a sport. Even skilled GMs battle to begin gameplay classes. Even when the marketing campaign’s happening for some time. It’s simply actually powerful generally to open your mouth and have a sport begin spilling out. However the first 5 minutes of the primary session of the primary journey of your brand-new marketing campaign? These are even tougher. You need to speak about beginning the mind engine on a chilly morning? The primary session of the primary journey of a brand new marketing campaign’s the coldest GMing morning there may be.

Worse, these first 5 minutes set the tone for the session. And also you need to set tone. You need to begin the session, the journey, and the marketing campaign robust. So even in case you’re used to winging it, it’s value truly planning intimately the way you’re going to begin your sport. Sure. I’m truly suggesting that on this one occasion, you truly write down some taste textual content you’ll be able to simply learn out loud. That s$&%’s like jumper cables to your GMing mind.

Past that, although, it’s additionally value taking a while to construct a powerful opening. Regardless of all I mentioned about cliches and coincidences and ease and the way nobody remembers how a marketing campaign begins, a powerful opening makes it lots simpler to run that first session. It settles your nerves and will get the gamers invested.

So, think about these first 5 minutes. What are you going to say to get the sport began? And what’s going to occur after that? How are you going to introduce the characters? Introduce the primary problem? Invite the gamers to behave? Write it down. And overwrite. I by no means, ever let you know to put in writing s$&% down. Not less than not notes to your sport. And I actually by no means let you know to put in writing lots. However I’m telling you. Write this down. And get detailed.

Now, learn what you wrote. Is it enjoyable? Thrilling? Energizing? Are you able to make it extra enjoyable? Brisker? Extra thrilling? Achieve this.

I ain’t going to provide you a bunch of taste textual content, however right here’s how I’d truly play the preliminary encounter in that orc journey I wrote in Appendix A.

I’d begin by secretly rolling initiative for all of the PCs behind the display. Then, I’d put the canines after the primary PC. And the orcs after the second PC. Yep. I’d pre-roll the initiative and stack the order. As a result of I’m a grimy stinking cheater. And I’d most likely do this s$&% earlier than I even got here to the desk.

Whoever goes first? They get to be the primary on-screen character. I communicate on to them. I describe their travels throughout the barren frontier, their hope of reaching Acrea’s Maintain in a day or two, and their arrival on the roadside inn. I’d inform them how they understand one thing’s flawed. It’s quiet. And there’s a stench of blood on the wind. As they method the gate to the yard, they will see vicious wolf-like wardogs worrying the corpse of a donkey. The canines bark and lunge ahead, on the point of cost! They’re going to assault! What do you do?

I resolve the fight spherical after which the canines get their flip. After which it’s the subsequent PC’s flip. They, too, have been touring. Perhaps up a unique street or throughout nation or possibly simply behind the primary character however, as a result of rugged land, they by no means noticed them. Doesn’t matter. They hear the snarling and barking as they method the inn, run as much as the gate, and see the battle in progress. I drop their mini within the yard. What do you do?

After the second PC takes a flip, the door to the inn slams open. An orc savage emerges. Perhaps two. An orc comes out of the steady. The orcs used their strikes to get to the door and see what the noise was. Perhaps one throws a spear. However now their turns are over. Time for the subsequent PC to reach. And so forth.

And that’s how I’d begin my easy homebrew marketing campaign.



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