Masterplan Adventure Creation – A Primer (part 1)
Writing an adventure shouldn’t be hard, right? You have an idea for a quest, or a scene you want to recreate from a movie or book, or a great villain to pit your players against. So you pull out the pencil and paper, sit down, and… draw a blank on how to start.
Do you start with the villain’s lair? Do you start with the quest hook? What about the monsters; what’s too hard and what’s too easy? Do they have a common theme? Masterplan makes it easy to start with any or none of these. The inherent flexibility of the plot point system makes it easy to sketch out an entire adventure (or even campaign) first, or detail one particular plot point and build out from there. The more you work with it, the more populated your libraries become. Every monster, trap, hazard, and magic item you import or build becomes another tool in your toolkit to design and build outstanding adventures for your players.
Below is an image of a standard linear adventure. Looks like a simple 5-encounter adventure, with a pre-set path. A simple dungeon delve, perhaps.
The next image is an adventure with simple branching. It provides two different paths to the final encounter, but with neither intersecting.
Finally is an adventure from on the old classic, Keep on the Borderlands (as revised by Kelly D. Tolman at dndcorner.com). Looks pretty complex, right? But if you follow the paths, there are actually only 2 ways to get to final encounter (Area 30 – King’s Chambers). The other encounter points add to the ‘flavor’ of the goblin & hobgoblin tunnels. A simple branching adventure, but dressed up to become a full-fledged adventure with flavor.
Each of these were created with simple mouse clicks and drag-and-drop. Right-click to add a point, give it a name, perhaps a few details, and click ‘Ok’. Create another point, drag-and-drop onto the first encounter, and you’ve created a set of linked encounters. In the simple branching example above, by dragging and dropping Encounter 5 onto Encounter 2, you get:
That’s all for now, but in Part 2, we’ll start to populate these encounters. If you want to see a particular monster, let me know in the comments. BTW, all the images in this article?
Exported from Masterplan.