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"Why Are Adventure Modules So Bad?" Topic

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blackjack07114 Dec 2022 7:09 a.m. PST

A blog post where I – a middle aged man – yells at clouds while complaining about the flaws of published adventure modules. I also look at ways to improve the situation and how the whole experience has influenced how I write my own adventures. Warning: I take a swing at a couple of classic D&D/AD&D modules in my deranged rantings. Enjoy!

Why Are Adventure Modules So Bad? at the Over the Hill Gaming Blog

Lascaris14 Dec 2022 8:25 a.m. PST

Nice rant :) After a long hiatus I'm running a campaign for some friends, and I definitely see the same issues with published campaigns. Some are so dense that they it's extremely difficult to tease out exactly how to figure out how to get a group through it.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian14 Dec 2022 11:51 a.m. PST

My problem with some modules are the amount of world building backstories that is not Character Knowledge. How do I get this too them without spoilers and lots of exposition?

Personal logo Mister Tibbles Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2022 2:04 p.m. PST

Solid rant! What you say is too true! It's like a novel in a module. Bought them, had fun reading them, never used them, still get sudden warm waves of good vibe nostalgia just seeing photos of them. Sigh.

I found that the adventures in the early years of White Dwarf were excellent. Not too much fluff, not too long, easy to modify for our campaigns, ect. Anyone recall Halls of Tizune Thane?

One of my favorite blogs about RPGing back in the day is It's fun to reminisce about my early adulthood in the late70s and early80s.

BTW I just saw Kim Mohan (editor supreme of Dragon) just died. Damn. :-(

blackjack07115 Dec 2022 7:50 a.m. PST

Exactly! Just have a summary near the beginning of the module so a GM knows how things are supposed to unfold.

The dreaded wall of text that has to be presented to the players! In theory, the GM breaks it up into digestible chunks, but the modules that actually provide guidance for this are in the minority. I end up writing my own summary, but that goes against the whole idea of a module being a ready-to-use adventure.

Mad Anthony Schwartz:
Format is also an issue.

Mister Tibbles:
"Novel in a module" – I like that! Mind if I steal it if I ever revisit the issue?

And, yeah, hearing about Kim Mohan hit hard. Kim took the time to write me a rejection letter back in the day. That was generous considering the quality of my submission.

Personal logo Mister Tibbles Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2022 12:36 p.m. PST

"Novel in a module" I like that! Mind if I steal it if I ever revisit the issue?

Feel free to steal it. LoL.

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