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Some questions on designing Modules 
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Some questions on designing Modules
For those that have done this, be it for publication or fan support; what tips can you give to those of us seeking to do so?

As I have continued and started working full force on my own world I have had an idea for an adventure arc that might make a good module and some ideas for a few one shots.

I downloaded Dungeoncrafter and I like it ok for making maps but I was hoping for something that would be a bit more print friendly and classic looking. Also what are good free reasources to make out door maps?
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Lord Skystorm

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AD&D per se is as dead a system as Latin is a language, while the C&C game has much the same spirit and nearly the same mechanics. --Gary Gygax 8/16/06


Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:50 pm
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Ungern
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For outdoor maps there's AutoRealm which is free - http://autorealm.sourceforge.net/index.php .

It's a serviceable tool and will get the job done.

I've gone up a level (both in learning curve and price) and am going to use CC3 from ProFantasy.

If you are looking for classic blue style dungeon maps there is the free Dungeon Forge http://www.dungeonmapping.com/df/public_html/ which has a classic blue style set that allows you to make some great interior maps.

Later
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Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:58 pm
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Ungern

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Post use pre-existing campaign worlds
for the first time module designer my advise is to use a pre-existing campaign world. Designing adventures and designing world books are entirely different endeavors. Adventures aka modules are "crunchy", a LOT of what you'll be doing is setting monster levels, traps and their difficulties and so on. Remember that the goal of a "module" is to make as little work for the GM as possible - that's the whole point of using a ready made module. This means you don't just say "Kobold HD:2d8" but you say that AND you have pre-rolled the Hit Points for the GM. you've already set the challenge levels, and so on.

You also provide the narrative for the story background aka the "reason for the madness". You decide wether the module is "open" where the players can freely alter the plot based on their decisions throughout the adventure or if its scripted. Designing open is difficult to do but not impossible, it requires providing more information to the GM so that she can adjust the adventure on the fly. Both styles also require a measurable amount of good drama use that is the same as employed in short story fiction writing. These often come about via a moral dilemna. An oft used device for this is the sacrifice, the players can either try to rescue the damsal chained to the wall about to be attacked by the werewolf or leave her so they may reach the lever room in time to drop the gates thereby keeping the werewolves servants inside who are about to rush out and descend upon the town killing all in their way. For extra drama you make that damsal a long lost love or sister/cousin/mother/etc... of a party member. When done effectively things like this can inspire the player to actually cry like they would when reading a book or tv program and it provides more background or "ghosts" so to speak which can affect them later on. Somebodies going to die no matter which decision they use and perhaps one or more of them afterwards goes through a period of grief or flashbacks with real game effects like a % chance to have one which means a d4 number of turns are lost or AC drops by d4 etc.... (Unless the players are munchkins, this is why I always make magic items rare, far too many plots go up in flames by overpowered munchkins).

If you want to stay plugged into C&C make your module fit into Yggsburg (sp?). Other popular (non C&C) campaign worlds are: Yrth (GURPS Banestorm book), Greyhawk (D&D), Eberron (personally Yuck but to each his own), FRealms, and so on.

Even better of a choice is not bases your adventures on any one setting but leave it open so that the GM can use them in any setting. This works great for dungeon/cavern crawls but can even work in a short series of modules by simply saying "town" or even ______ so the GM can pencil in the town name.

Just some tips, have fun!

Rob,

author: "Dead of Winter", a Deadlands adventure and "Comancheria", a western skirmish.


Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:28 pm
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Lore Drake
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Julian, I noticed you didn't post in the topic "Rethinking mod design". Several people, including myself put a lot good tips in that thread. You may wanna check it out if you haven't done so already, unless you're just concerned about the map-making aspect, in which case nevermind.

Brian Miller
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Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:24 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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I've read over it. I look at it closer a bit later on.
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Lord Skystorm

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AD&D per se is as dead a system as Latin is a language, while the C&C game has much the same spirit and nearly the same mechanics. --Gary Gygax 8/16/06


Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:32 pm
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