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  1. #1

    Arrrgghh!!! I give up!

    I can't create a decent adventure for ****! I think I'm going to resign myself to maybe playing in one game a week and that be as far as I go with this hobby. So frustrated....

  2. #2
    ddavison's Avatar
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    Hey goodmanje,

    I'm sorry to hear that. Perhaps if you share some of the parts that trouble you, other GMs might have some suggestions on some other things you might consider trying. There is an art and skill to it, for sure, but there are also a lot of tricks that I find myself using over the decades. I'm sure other GMs will have some great tips too.

  3. #3
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Have you checked out any of the links in my advice post? https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forum...6014-GM-Advice

    Then as Doug says, let us know what trouble you are having and we will see how we can help.

  4. #4
    Yea, I just have no imagination. Been trying to come up with things for 2 years now. I just deleted about 7 adventures I started but never could figure out what to do with them. I've got lots of pretty maps I made but no story ideas..

  5. #5
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    There are a couple of approaches I can think of to create an adventure, it really depends on what you want to create;

    First, I wouldn't try to write a story with a plot. Rather, create a setting that includes interesting power groups and events. Then throw your players into it and see what happens! See these series of blog posts for more info on this approach; https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress...ont-prep-plots and http://www.ibiblio.org/mscorbit/sand...box_111005.pdf

    Second is to write something like a mystery; http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/...hree-clue-rule

    Third is a location based encounter, similar to the mystery, but location based, see; http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/...otted-approach

    Fourth, if you are still unsure, start simple, do a five room dungeon. Make it the location of an orc war chief, or an ogre, or a hermit necromancer; https://thatshowiroleblog.wordpress....-area-dungeon/

    Whatever you do, don't try to write an entire campaign. Write a one-shot, or something that might be a handful of encounters that play out over a couple of sessions. No more than that. Start small, then grow.

    So, take one of those 7 ideas you have thrown out and give us a summary and why you think it died.

  6. #6

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    It takes time and practice. I always recommend new GMs to start with something small. A 4-5 room dungeon with a consistent enemy and simple premise. Say kobolds holding some local villagers captive and the mayor would like them back. Then perhaps you can build on that with orders coming from a goblin chief further in the mountains to give the party a next destination. Each small step builds on the story and before your know it you've started a campaign.

  7. #7
    Or - you can use 'Squareware', available from the Fantasy Grounds webstore. I created it to generate every solution to a DM's need to create meaningful or detailed data and story narrative. check it out before you quit.

    https://www.fantasygrounds.com/store/?search=squareware

    In the main - It is very rare that enthusaists within the realm of D&D can nail both the imaginative, creative, abstract, artistic side (such as an innovative story-plot, poetic or flowing prose, and create their own maps, artwork, tokens to visually represent their story) - and- also complete and navigate the data-heavy, analytical, numeric, functional, system-oriented, rules, sub-clauses etc that form the backbone of the simulation of a fantasy world and inhabitants and events itself.

    Then - it is even rarer - that someone also knows how to code, make extensions, put together modules and correctly organize data and information using a new jargon particular to Fantasy Grounds to implement both of these attributes into a coherent, cohesive, properly functioning, module. But if you have already grasped the underlying mechanics of FG and D&D5e - you will find squareware an unparalleled addition to creating the type of creative content you need - like wrapping flesh over the bones of a skeleton to bring it to life - and you, the creative spark at the helm.

    So give squareware a go - it is extremely powerful and there is virtually nothing it will not provide to a DM by way of detail, creative explaination, or the need to generate billions of random and directed objects, npcs, phrases, locations, names, and even allow you to pilot a non-player character without DM bias.

    Take a squiz. And be kind to yourself - maybe creation is not your forte, yet. So lean on some tools until you understand the principles - then you should be good to go.
    Last edited by gtw2017; December 6th, 2019 at 07:42. Reason: clarity.
    KrisfromGTW / aka 'Maphatter'. gametilewarehouse2020.com

  8. #8
    Zacchaeus's Avatar
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    Create a village; just a small village and populate it with stores and off course a tavern. Then populate those shops and the tavern with people; give them names, families and concerns. Create one or two quests. Keep them simple - goblins raiding farmers fields, bandits on the roads, rats in the old lady's basement. Lean on RPGs that you have played like Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout, The Outer Worlds for your ideas for quests. Then create rumours, dark dealings at the nearby castle; the burgomaster is rumoured to be a vampire; the people in the next village are all wererats.

    Then get the players in; get them to meet and greet all the townsfolk; let them do the first couple of quests. Then let the players decide where they go next. Use one of your maps and populate it with monster. Let the players make up or tell the story. Feed of them for ideas for the next session.

    Don't try and create Storm Kings Thunder or Tomb of Annihilation. Aim at something like Lost Mines or Dragon of Icespire Peak. Have an idea of a story arch, but make little episodic adventures along the way.
    If there is something that you would like to see in Fantasy Grounds that isn't currently part of the software or if there is something you think would improve a ruleset then add your idea to the wish list http://fg2app.idea.informer.com/

  9. #9

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    As others have said this is fairly easy.....

    The way I decide is to create a world map.

    You do not need to be an expert cartographer to do this. Use graph or hex paper (or software - free version of https://www.hexographer.com/ ).

    Create a village as Zacc say above and place it in a square or hex. Decide (or randomize) each square/hex around it. If the players explore a hex, then determine what terrain is in each square or hex around it.

    In essence a hex crawl.....

    Second ask your players to come up with a background for their characters, then look to incorporate one of the stories. Maybe the character is on the run or being pursued.,,etc. Using this approach you make the story line personal for that character and so they become involved.

    Second - NPC's should have the opportunity to flee/escape. When they flee/escape they are a perfect re-occuring NPC to come back and antagonize the players......

    Also if the players come with ideas whilst playing - look to incorporate their ideas - they are a great source. They then can turn around and say "I was right - I told you..." and one again they are drawn into the story line again.

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmanje View Post
    Yea, I just have no imagination. Been trying to come up with things for 2 years now. I just deleted about 7 adventures I started but never could figure out what to do with them. I've got lots of pretty maps I made but no story ideas..
    This is perfect! You have a bunch of ideas that you can plug-n-play into various situations. That's all you need.

    Follow this mantra: Prep Situations, Not Story!

    If you come up with a cool little action scene, awesome, jot that down and leave it open-ended enough that it can be easily tweaked. Political motivations between the various factions? Sweet! Jot those down, and make them happen in the background. Let the players' choices determine whether they interact with any of these things or not. If they end up not, then you're gradually building up a collection of situations you can drag-n-drop when you need them. If they do interact with something you've constructed, then go for it, and once again, the players' decisions will determine how things proceed.

    The 'Story' is what gets told after each session and after the campaign. The entire table creates the story together, based on the GM reacting to the players' decisions for the party and for their individual characters. The characters are the stars of the story, after all. So don't try to sit down and write out a full storyline for everything. That's called writing a novel.

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