JP On Gaming

Monday, December 17, 2018

What is the ideal size for an adventure?

What is the ideal size for an adventure?

A fairly simple question, but one that requires a lot of clarifications, and different answers. I will go over a few types of adventure: the stand alone and the convention product. Each has its own answer, and subset of questions and precisions. I may do one for the larger-scale adventures in a later post.

I am more interested in the format, and especially the amount of dungeon locations to include in each.

Stand alone module

I am not thinking of a Paizo-style Adventure path or a WotC hardcover, but a one-shot stand alone adventure.

When I think of like the classic I-series of adventures, like I3 Pharaoh or I6 Ravenloft, these adventures are "only" 32 pages long, with the maps printed on the covers. These adventures are very tightly coupled with location of events, with the overall plot woven through the rooms of the dungeon.

Paizo has followed suit with a similar products. However, Paizo had the advantage of years of play, their adventures do have a stronger plot (usually), and many elements are tied to a time or other event and they are better organized (20+ years of gaming shows), but the overall is still quite similar to the original.

Looking at the two products, the old TSR had much more dungeon in them, typically 1-4, while Paizo's adventures are much less dungeon-focused, relying on encounter locations. Still, they both end up at the 32 page mark.

So this makes me think I am looking at creating a product between 30 and 40 pages, with a sweet spot around 32. So around 15-16k words.

More to come in Part 2 of this self-interrogation.

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