The Rotting Hole, Part I

Well here it is. My first ever written down attempt at adventure design. It sound strange saying that, because I’ve been GMing quite successfully since somewhere around 1990. But even just these couple of encounters were… not difficult, but definitely very brain-bendy in a way I haven’t ever encountered before. Writing for someone who isn’t in my brain is NOT in any way the same as writing notes down for myself. Having to write down all the stuff I know that *I’d* do in the running of an adventure is something new– and very enlightening. It also made me take a serious look at how I design stuff for my own games. I’m calling this exercise an adventure Beta-Test, because I know I’m going to go back and rework a lot of it based on whatever constructive criticism I get from anyone who wants to help me playtest it.

The adventure itself is really a proof of concept. I have always known that I interweave adventures as I run them– plots and subplots, etc. The Rotting Hole is an attempt at design choices specifically focused at doing that. I want a GM to be able to read The Rotting Hole and know how he wants to weave the encounters together in his own game.

Also, before I get jumped on for it, I’ll say this up front– I know many of the monsters in here (and especially the second portion coming up ASAP) are complex. I personally like having more than one or two options for a monster. Keeps the PCs on their toes knowing that a monster likely has more tricks than its showing in the first round or two. So keep that in mind as you’re reading, please.

So without further ado, check it out, my first attempt at written adventure:

The Rotting Hole Part 1

The Rotting Hole Part 1 Appendix

If you care to playtest, let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

This entry was posted in Afghanistan Gaming, Applying Theory, Brittanis, GM Advice, Maps & Mapping, Rules. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Rotting Hole, Part I

  1. Mr. Kemp says:

    Okay, seriously, that is awesome. I have absolutely no experience with encounters, so I can’t judge that, but the backstory is beautiful. The Grinning Skulls group is quite frankly, one of the most creative things I’ve seen in a long time. They are perfect.

  2. Francois B. says:


    On the first, fast read, i see a lot of “,” in your phrases, which can be, a little hard to, read πŸ˜‰

    Maybe some rephrasing or reorganizing of your paragraphs will be needed for version “2” for clearer text.

    Missing capital in “Chaos Scar”

    Suggestion : modifying the text to a 2-column format (with justified text) will help in reading the adventure as most Dm’s are used to it in other written adventures.

    Anyway, let me read it all out and i’ll post my “review” πŸ™‚

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