Content of the article: "New DM: How do you create adventures?"
TL:DR: I need advice on formulating adventures that allow my party to have freedom while driving the story forward. I am super new to DMing and, as much as I love the behind-the scenes work, I am struggling to create something that I feel will take up the entire 4 hour block we have to play.
I know that sounds like a simple and possibly redundant question, but I am struggling to come up with material for my next session. It'll be session 2; my first session went ok, but there were quite a few things I wish I had done differently.
I am running a Ravnica campaign, and I have the idea of using Emrakul ( an extradimensional being of great power) as the campaign villain. I decided that the first 5 levels of the campaign were going to set up "the coming of Emrakul" by having some defunct cultists from the Cult of Rakdos partner with a certain clan from the Gruul in order to summon Illharg, the bringer of the End Raze (an apocalyptic event). The Gruul/cultists believe they are communicating with Ilharg, but if fact are creating a scenario which will allow Emrakul to begin influencing the world in full.
The first session had the party of strangers react to a raid by clan members from the same Gruul clan. They stopped the raiders and were asked to appear before the Guild Council, which tasked them with seeing Teagon, an investigator that the Council frequents for private matters.
Teagon informed the party that his intel states the Gruul were aided in the raid by members of the Rakdos (the defuncts I mentioned) and after a night's rest the Party will set out into the city to discover clues and track down these cultists to find out what's really going on.
…and that's about as far as I am. I know I want to give the party the freedom to go where they want, but it's hard to plan for what comes next. I know I want them to eventually investigate a Rakdos nightclub, so that could be the location for the adventure, but how do I flesh things out? My biggest fear is that my PCs are going to blast through the stuff I have prepared and I wont have enough to keep the game going.
I have the overarching idea of what I'd like the players to experience, but how do I go about building the small, detailed bits that will eventually get them there?
Also, I guess I could throw this in as well: How do you adjust for the PCs not choosing to go toward the plot hook you've presented? Do you just have the same thing happen wherever they decide to go? or do you just have a ton of optional things on the side that you can use if case things get "off topic" so to speak.
I'm sure this post feels rambly, but that is just how I am! Sorry. I just want to make a game my players can enjoy.
Edit: Just to say, I do have the core books and the Ravnica campaign setting, so if your advice is just to read the books, I have been doing that and will continue to do so.
- Overcoming the Reverse-Matt Mercer effect
- 5e Lost Mines of Phandelver Venomfang ideas
- Writers block? Give your players control of the plot.
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