My Worst Adventure Yet

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #1121


My Worst Adventure Yet

Allo dfdfd,

The last time I ran an official D&D adventure it was a disaster.

Princes of the Apocalypse cost me $65 in Canadian maple syrup dollars.

And the wheels fell off in the very first chapter.

I love, love, love having gorgeous books on my shelf brimming with cool art.

Published stuff is great to read and steal ideas from.

But having to slog through a 255 page script like I was studying for an exam, though?

Not my dice bag.

It goes sideways. Every. Time.

I end up missing a detail.

The players do something that throws the static adventure off the rails.

Or, the adventure itself corners you with plot holes, like Descent into Avernus famously does.

The Refactoring Just Never Ends

For months we gamed through Princes anyways.

I always felt two steps behind trying to get the party back on-track.

I was paranoid about missing an encounter or screwing up the plot.

It felt like constant studying for the next stressful test that I never felt confident about or prepared for.

In the end, despite my hard work and hours (and hours!) of prep, it was only a meh experience.

I finished the campaign, but through brute force, and I burned out for almost a year afterwards.

Why Publishers Ruin Adventures For Me

The adventure experience was poor because it wasn’t tailored to my players.

It wasn’t geared to their specific characters either.

Published stuff must appeal to the widest audience possible so it sells the most copies.

Which makes it pretty generic.

So I had to shoehorn everything into a generic product and try to make the most of it.

I should’ve just homebrewed my own.

Lesson learned.

I’m Robbing Myself

Building cool adventures is half the fun of being the GM anyway!

We’ve got stories bursting inside of us, dying to be told.

Why would we want to skip that?

Why would I spend all those maple syrup dollars just for a meh experience and a ton of extra work?

Instead of robbing myself — and my players — of awesome homebrewed adventures, we should be crafting them and making them special for our friends and their characters.

In a future email, I’ll show you exactly how I approach the job of building wondrous adventures.

It’s something I discovered after a ton of research and trial & error.

Learn this secret, and making your own adventures becomes a huge pleasure.

Stay tuned….