Category Archives: Adventure Seeds

One Page Dungeon Contest 2012: The Dwarven Museum of Moriah

I’m kind of conflicted about drawing my own dungeons for these little adventures. On the one hand, I have a lot of fun making them, and I think I’m getting better. Sketching dungeons in this style is easy and addictive. Also, when I draw my own dungeons, I can tailor its layout to the story I want to tell. On the other hand, there is a great amount of inspiration that I get from looking at someone else’s dungeon (without looking at its story) and asking, “Why is this dungeon laid out this way? What are those features for?” It’s a challenge to explain every piece of someone else’s dungeon, and a challenge I relish. In other words, the question I’m asking myself is: do I start with the story, and make the dungeon, or do I start with the dungeon and make the story? I’ve found both ways work for me, but that starting with the dungeon and making up a story about it is often more fun. Continue reading

Two Page Mini Delves: Lair of the Lifedrinker

There hasn’t been a two page mini delve in a while. I know. I’ve actually been working on a dungeon for the WotC contest (ending tomorrow!), and the one page dungeon contest, both of which I will turn into two page delves eventually. But for now, here is one to tide you over. The map is my own handiwork, but was inspired by this map over at Dyson’s Dodecahedron (formerly A Character For Every Game). What is new and exciting in this delve? A lot! Continue reading

Interesting Encounters: Disorienting Cataclysm

Taking items away from characters can be a fun exercise for the party – how do they deal with combat without certain items? Unfortunately, there is usually a lot of kicking a screaming from players when you take their toys away. I understand that, but I also wish there was more trust between players and DMs that would allow for removal of equipment. The solution, I believe, is the temporary removal of equipment, with the understanding that characters can retrieve their stuff in some way. I experimented a bit with this in Escape From The Badder Warren, but I wanted to explore the removal and retrieval of equipment all within the same combat. Continue reading

Free Story Arc Introduction: The Temple of the Four Winds

Normally, when I plan a campaign, I plan big arcs. I think about what the final destination is, and maybe a few points along the way, but I let the players determine the path to get there. A few years ago, I had a story arc planned that I was calling “The Temple of the Four Winds.” It would end with the party making a journey to the elusive temple in the clouds to change the course of the world’s trade winds. I wrote up an introduction to the arc with the intention of emailing it to my group, but we never got that far. Since then, it’s been sitting on my hard drive doing nothing for anyone. I’ve decided to release it into the wild in the hopes that someone will find some use for it, even if it’s only a small bit of inspiration. Continue reading

Two Page Mini Delves: The Crystal Heart of Heldenfrost

This two page mini delve is a guest post by Clayton McFarland. He contacted me a few weeks ago about making one, and I was interested to see what someone else might do with the format. He made his own map, and came up with a really cool dungeon delve that’s very much in line with old school delves. I’m excited to try it out, and we’d love to hear feedback in the comments from others of you who decide to use it! And now here’s Clayton in his own words:

Continue reading

Got Loot Blogfest: Where Do The Characters Keep Their Gold?

This blog post is a part of the Got Loot blogfest going on all this week, hosted by Daily Encounter. If you’d like to read what other bloggers are doing on this theme, you can check out the main carnival page here.

Money in D&D has become something that is largely hand-waved. What I mean is, characters “have” gold, but where they have it, and how they move it around is usually not a factor in gameplay. I blame the rise of computer role-playing games, where the balance of gold your character has is simply a number on the screen, without any other game mechanic tied to it. A character could carry around thousands or tens of thousands of gold pieces with no consequences. For some people, that’s ok. Doing more than tracking the balance of gold a character has would be cumbersome bookkeeping for most people. I will admit that, in my games, the idea of “banking” or movement of money is largely ignored. Who cares where my character keeps his money, as long as it’s there when I want to buy something? Continue reading

Two Page Mini Delves: The Cave of Crystals

I have to admit that I had quite a bit of difficulty with this mini adventure. I love the map, and had some vague ideas for it, but for the longest time couldn’t quite make those vague ideas into something that was concrete and cohesive. I even consulted with Alphastream on plot ideas, as I wanted to include his flumphs in the adventure. Though you may not see his influence (beyond the flumphs, of course), I’m sure he will see how I incorporated some of his ideas. In the end, I think it came together nicely. Continue reading

Why We Should Care About the Flumph (aka, Owlbears – WTF?)

It’s about time someone gave flumphs some 4th edition love. And that someone is going to be us. Sort of. Today we have a guest post by the venerable Alphastream, Ashes of Athas living campaign admin, and a renowned flumph apologist. Also, stay tuned for next Tuesday’s article where we will be making super easy flumph miniatures with another guest author!

Behold. The humble flumph.

Life isn’t always fair. Sometimes, for no real reason at all, a monster is forgotten. Or, worse yet, one monster is made fun of while another, of similar… um… bizarreness, gets to be on the cover of several monster books. This is the sad unfair story of the poor good flumph. Also, of the evil Owlbear, which no one should like. Continue reading

Dungeon Accessories: Standing Stones

This entry is part of a series instructing you how to make your own accessories for your Dwarven Forge or Hirst Arts 3D dungeons. For the rest of the series, click the Article Series menu item above. If you’re not interested in making the project, you can still scroll to the bottom of the post for ideas on using standing stones in your campaign.

I'm sure those stone pillars are nothing. You go ahead, I'm right behind you.

A few months ago, I talked about making a terrain board for some Hirst Arts pieces I was making. If you remember, I talked about using insulation foam for it; when you buy that stuff, it comes in a sheet of about 8’x4′. I only needed a 2’x2′ piece of it, so the rest of the sheet has been sitting in my garage since July. I needed to do something with it because my wife is threatening to “relocate” it. While this little project won’t use too much of the foam, hopefully in the coming weeks, I’ll be able to outline another project I have in mind for it. Stay tuned. For now, let’s carve off a section of that foam, and make some super easy, really nice looking standing stones, or stone columns. Continue reading

Two Page Mini Delves: Escape From The Badder Warren

It’s been a while since I posted a Two Page Mini Delve. This one is from an idea I had back when I was comparing the original Gamma World adventures to their new counterparts. I’ve actually been sitting on this particular one for about a month now; I didn’t want to post it before I ran my players through it. That’s right, Sunday was the first session of my new Gamma World campaign (sort of), and it all started with them tied up in the dark with no equipment. Continue reading