I am back from vacation (both from blog, and from work), and although I didn’t really get to rest much (the realities of parenting younger kids, plus other, external stresses), I did get some important things done. After completing and publishing my first Dungeons and Dragons adventure module, For King and Crown, I have been working on a second, Japanese-themed one. During my time off, my wife and I invested time in this new adventure. She did the illustrations, and provided helpful cultural tips. Needless to say we’re approaching the final draft and will be releasing it on DMS Guild in the second half of November after I get in some play-testing first with friends.
Recently I teased the following on my humble Twitter feed:
Needless to say, after writing on adventure, I’ve learned a lot and am applying lessons learned into the second one. Much of this relates to how the flow of the adventure is designed, avoiding “railroading” the players, and how to interact with NPCs. These are elements of game-design anyone who plays Dungeons and Dragons eventually learns, but doing this in written form for other people’s consumption feels kind of next level, because you have to anticipate what they’ll do, or what they’ll ask.
Another learned lesson is maps. Last time, I made some maps using basic tools on my computer, but they weren’t very detailed, nor very professional looking. This time around, as I needed more maps, and I wanted to make them more presentable, I looked into how to draw maps. Turns out you have to have some skills at drawing, though. 😅 I did talk to some people about tools or possible commissions, but both options seemed overboard for a module that will be lucky to sell 10 copies. So, I found some online resources on how to draw basic dungeon maps, and I played around with some sketches which I then scanned and added to the module. Some turned out better than expected, some will need to be redrawn.
Finally, play-testing. I didn’t play-test my last module at all, which was due to tight timeline, but I have always regretted that. I setup the module for play on Roll20, but haven’t actually had a chance to host the game for anyone. However, this time, I am fortunate to have some people who are willing to play the game, and have learned some things from play-testing already. Even when a module totally makes sense in your head, that doesn’t mean it will work out the way you expect. Best laid plans and all that.