For the last few days, something has been gnawing at me. “What is a short adventure?” So, in this post I’m going to explore what a short adventure is to me, and give an example from the home archives.
Seriously? What is a short adventure? After a lot of thought, I came to a very basic conclusion. A short adventure, to me, is any adventure that can be completed in about 3 to 6 hours of play. That’s it. Barring player distraction, a short adventure should take one or two sessions to complete. That’s assuming a 3hr session as norm. Past that, a short adventure can be used as a way to move the plot forwards, add new perspectives to your current campaign, as filler between story arcs, to introduce new places and peoples, for lore expansion… The list goes on.
Anyways. People have been wondering what I meant by this: “I do not use premade adventures, and I am not familiar with building “conventional” D&D adventures.” Well, for one thing, it doesn’t mean that I’m not familiar with building adventures, I just don’t do it the way D&D does. I do however, write adventures. On paper. With a pencil. I even have formatted sheets for it so I can print them out and keep it together as a GM. So, what I’ve done over the last week or so is collect up the notes and info for an adventure I was going to run for my friends before the global pandemic hit.
The Tagoh Sun Temple
Without spoiling too much, Tagoh Sun Temple is a simple, low-level, linear adventure designed to be completed in one session. Minus the OGL, it clocks in at over 4600 words. It hasn’t been professionally edited or laid out, and there’s no art, but it does by and large look like what I make for myself in my home games. Forgive the battlemap, that’s not a forte of mine. As a bonus, the maps are both in the pdf and stand alone files.
Now, there’s a few things to note here. This is for my home game, based on the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game. Everything is metric, and the larger world details are in private World Anvil and Obsidian Portal sites. The game never launched, so I never opened them up. Anyways. This is the way I build adventures, and specifically short ones. In this instance, it introduces a new location, opens it up for future use, adds a bit of world lore, and brings in the Rwana beastfolk as a people and player species into the mix. I did add a few Basic Fantasy RPG-isms into it for anyone who wants to use them, like class restrictions. However, my game doesn’t include those so it has a big (Optional) beside it.
So, please enjoy the Tagoh Sun Temple adventure! To me, it’s representative of what a short adventure can be. If you like it, consider supporting me on ko-fi!