There are tons of published adventures out there, so why go to the trouble of creating one from scratch? Very often, published adventures don’t fit your game world or your gaming group. Perhaps the adventure relies on monsters or treasure that you’ve decided don’t exist in your world. Or maybe you have a difficult time getting your PCs motivated to go on published adventures. Oftentimes, published adventures can require so much reworking to fit into your game that it takes almost as much, perhaps more effort to adapt them than to write something from scratch.
By writing your own adventures, you can customize them to your group. You can give rewards that your PCs will find motivating and meaningful and you can write in incentives that will have the PCs raring to go, even before the adventure actually starts. You can include the details of your game world within the structure of the adventure, thereby avoiding extensive reworking of published works that would require as much effort as writing an adventure from scratch in the first place.
The biggest obstacle most GMs seem to have to writing their own adventures it coming up with ideas. One way to develop ideas is to use a mind map. Other ways involve listening to your players and asking them what they would like to do in the campaign, or using adventure seeds or ideas, many of which can be found on-line. Evil Machinations is currently running a series of posts detailing how to take an adventure seed and flesh it into a full adventure. The Adventure Creation Handbook, currently being written, will cover several ways of finding inspiration, as well as outlining a step-by-step method (from inspiration to game session), showing how to create your own, original adventure.
You don’t have to limit yourself to published adventures. There’s satisfaction in creating adventures specifically tailored to your campaign, setting, and PCs.
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