Each adventure should have one and only one main goal. This goal should be the reason for the adventure and should be concrete and tangible—something the players will know if they’ve succeeded or failed. Good examples of goals are: recover a stolen item or rescue the crown prince and bring him back safely.
Write down the goal you want the PCs to achieve and make sure that the players understand it. This may seem obvious, but writing the goal down can help you focus your adventure. Too many GMs give the PCs goals along the lines of “Chicago. Go. Fix it.” This is extremely frustrating for your players. Without a clear goal in mind, your players are likely to flounder, uncertain what to do or what they are supposed to accomplish.
You can have more than one goal, as long as they are of minor importance. The success or failure of the adventure shouldn’t rest on the outcome of these secondary goals. You can use them to lead into other adventures or to provide “extra credit”, so to speak.
- The Players Just Gutted Your Plans, Now What Do You Do? (gnomestew.com)
- You Wrote the Plot, Let the Players Write the Story from STUFFER SHACK (stuffershack.com)
- Creating a One-Shot Adventure (rpgblog2.com)