The Gods Must Be Crazy…

Now by “Gods” I mean the Wizards of the Coast R&D team, in this instance. It seems that these good folks have opened a continuous submission deadline for freelance designers and developers via a standardized application process. The task: Design a 2,500- to 4,000-word D&D adventure, then design a specific game element (feat, spell, or magic item) to accompany it. To imply that this opportunity represents the first step towards a dream-come-true for me is understatement… I just hope that no one from the review team glances over this site in the coming months…!

So the question becomes, what to submit? I encourage any of you who have ever been interested in the same to ask yourself the same and with a great deal of trepidation. All we aspiring DMs have written (and re-written and re-written again) adventure modules, in one form or fashion over the years, but few of us ever deign to utilize the formal style that TSR and Wizards have developed, I’m sure. While emulating them to varying degrees, none of my modules even vaguely resemble official DnD products. Some assembly may be required.

For those of you who have played with me, recently or ever, here are some of the ideas I’ve been toying with, appropriate level indicated in parentheses, names are barely suggestions:

  • Who Ever Heard of Goblin Poachers? (ch3): A small village on the edge of a mystic wood discovers a band of wolf-riding goblinoids poaching nearby. Their latest victim is a young unicorn, and only the PCs can rescue it before it’s too late… Or can they?

  • Minion of the Sleeper (ch4): A map is found to a strange and long-forgotten site. Strange symbols, remnants of an unreadable language, the possibility of treasure, and the surety of danger lure adventurers to the ruined remains of a subterranean temple, where lairs its last inhabitant: the Minion of the Sleeper.

  • Those Aren’t Alter Boys… (ch5): A sleepy town is beset by evil in the middle of the night. The local chapel of [Insert Sun Deity] is violated and its inhabitants slain with the notable exception of the itinerant priestess, who is strangely absent. Where has she gone, who perpetrated this heinous act, and why are the acolytes trying to eat people!? Can the PCs survive to find out?

Obviously for those of you who have played through these adventures with me, there’s going to be some work required to get them up to spec. The other concern is with the second part of the process: design a specific game element (feat, spell, or magic item) to accompany it. The one that most easily qualifies is the first, since I’d already designed a specific, unique magical item for use in that scenario (nuts to you players what missed my brilliance by passing it over).

The biggest problem stems from the non-originality of the basic plots, which were all basically taken from the 3rd Edition Adventure Kit. Yes, they’ve all seen a gross amount of editing, as must anything I acquire, but they’re essentially iconic plots of DnD legend redecorated and presented in true Crazy Dave fashion. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach in an actual game, I’m concerned that my application would be dismissed based upon that element alone.

As always, the comment board is open for suggestions and the like, so feel free to voice your opinion on the matter.

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One Response to “The Gods Must Be Crazy…”

  1. Grim Says:

    Crazy Dave:

    You have indeed created some wonderful backdrops in which characters may adventure. But I agree that your re-tooling of established plot points, as good as they are, would not be something the folks at Wizards are looking for.

    But the ideas you, Quetzalcotil, and others have developed for conversion to the Forgotten Realms are exactly the kind of thing they might like:

    (1) inserting events which are totally plausible under the established histories and mythos, without disturbing future events;

    (2) creating a new race and cataloguing its struggle to adapt to the “modern” world of DR 1372-74;

    (3) developing new magic items, spells and feats to logically and seamlessly fit within the storyline and the setting as a whole; and

    (4) integrating a new religion (or religious organization) into the pantheon without disrupting the deities and portfolios already in existence; all of which leads to

    (5) multiple adventure hooks, plot points, expansion possibilities and gaming sessions.

    I say go for it, so long as I can be a beta-tester.

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