I was given a challenge. To come up with an simple Dungeons and Dragons adventure that could be finished by novice players in one evening (around 2-3 hours).
There are a few ways to go about that.
1) Make it so simple, it will not give a good indication of how the game works
2) Make the area to be explored very small — again lose some of the way the game works
3) Heavy Non-Player (game master run) character guidance — See above.
4) Come up with something where the primary objective is straight forward, but allow some side paths that will allow players to make their own choice. But the path to the true objective is easily found if looked for. Do this to make sure as many aspects of game play are introduced. Fights, parleys, retreats, find paths, avoid pitfalls, ect.
And of course don’t start with, you all meet in a tavern…
Guess which one I chose?
To make it easier, I also generated some characters with survivable statistics. I know more people who dropped the game just because their character didn’t survive the first attack. No overpowering characters, but they aren’t slouches either. Given a good selection, they should survive the first adventure (unless they try to combat the dragon).
Those that decide the game is worth playing could continue with the characters they are given for many further games. Those who want to give up the game, can. If they don’t like the type of character they have, they can change after the first game.
It has been fun getting back into the swing of running even a game. I was hoping to run a tournament module for some more experienced players in the future, so this should give me a bit of practice to get back into the swing of things.
I do have a tournament module that I designed years and years ago for low level characters
, but that is/was an experience in survival. It ran under 3 hours most of the time, but it was because the characters were all killed. Survival to the furthest point in the game was the object. I was told is was a lot of fun for players used to running high level characters to step back and see how well they can survive with the low level again. All the playing experience, with a rookie character for backup…
The next adventure shouldn’t be an experience in survival, but it could turn out that way. Make an incorrect decision and oops.