Basic Adventure Structure

After a campaign has started, there are usually enough loose threads available for me to hang an adventure from, and have some idea of the focus of the adventure.

In this case I have none, it’s the start of a new adventure. If I had a campaign going I might find something there to base it on, but I haven’t run one in a while. Time to whip out some imagination provokers to get things going.

First, even for a tutorial I dislike linear adventures. Out comes the script GreyKnight wrote for me, and… yes, this will do nicely.

Each bubble is a node representing a location, scene, or event. Each line is an edge joining two nodes. I probably won’t have any that are directed (i.e. can only be traveled one way). The numbers in some nodes indicate a secret or trick; I will likely ignore them this time.

I imagine one of nodes B, E, I, or J would be good starting points. Each of these has links to at least three other nodes. Nodes A and D are ‘leaf nodes’, each having only a single link… these are better saved for ‘extras’ that are not critical to the adventure. Normally I would use one of B, E, I, or J as hooks that other adventures could connect to, but since this is a tutorial I’m going to simply pick node J as the starting point. This is the rough equivalent of “you find yourself just inside the entrance of the dungeon”, but that’s okay this time.

My group does a bunch of dungeon crawls, but I’d like something a bit more expansive, with more diversity than ‘explore and loot rooms’. I think I’ll make this an adventure set in a constrained wilderness area (a valley, say). There will still be some dungeon crawling available, whether it’s exploring caves or small ruins, but I want to keep those small.

I think I have just the tools for that.


  1. Red

    I haven’t gamed in a long time.
    Ages. Don’t ask my age.
    As a teen, we did D&D and… I think it was called “Alpha-world”. That might be wrong though. In college, I got into a D&D campaign for a short while, but studying takes over all your time, you know? So I got out of it.

    I’ve never led a campaign though. I think I’ll back up and see what your “A” is.

    • You are probably thinking of Gamma World (post-apocalyptic adventures, also released by TSR). You might be thinking of Paranoia, a less serious RPG also in a ‘Post-Whoops!’ world and set in Alpha Complex (the Computer is your friend, citizen!)

      Welcome to my blog.

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