How do you create an adventure story idea for Dungeons and Dragons? You just need to ask yourself two questions, and then you can fill in all the details for that adventure. It’s very easy, just follow these easy steps and you’ll find Dungeon Mastering fun and rewarding.
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I’ve studied at least 18 books on story structure and writing for visual media. And I have been writing and Dungeon Mastering for many years.
This quick guide to making your own Dungeons & Dragon’s adventures is a consolidation of many, many years of writing and Dungeon Mastering.
First ask yourself, “What is the problem?”
Secondly, ask yourself, “What is the resolution?”
What is the problem? What is the resolution?
Think about those questions with one sentence answers.
What’s the problem?
What’s the resolution?
Example of an adventure problem and resolution.
A child is possessed and the undead begin to rise.
The party of adventurers must take the amulet the child has and place it back in its resting place.
That’s all there is. Two questions and from here you can start going deeper into the story if you like.
Just add details, maps, encounters, traps and anything else you’re feeling creative about.
Let us expand on the story idea I just presented, after creating a problem and a resolution, for the adventure. The child is a gnome. The child found the amulet in the river. The child became possess when he began wearing it. The child is possessed by a demon. The undead begins to rise by the powers of the demon that is using the child as a host. Player characters must subdue the child, take the necklace amulet, fight the undead, head towards the desert. The player characters must take the necklace amulet the child was wearing, away from the rolling hills and gnome community, into the desert, where the amulet’s true resting place lies, in an ancient ruin that is buried in the sands.
Now, continue adding other details, like encounters, non-playing characters, monsters, traps, creating wilderness maps, dungeon maps, and more.
All elements of the adventure should be relative to the expected party’s level.
Note: I created the basic story line in 10 minutes. When I pursue this story idea for an adventure, the work will come in the details (maps, creating NPC’s, possible traps, tricks and encounters, etc.).