One thing I quickly learned when I set out to run a homebrew campaign (especially one that’s meant to be a reasonably flexible sandbox) is that I’m in dire need of adventures. Because once I’d finished outlining the campaign story and making the map, all I had was a lot of space. Very empty space. Imagine Skyrim with a map and all, some vague idea that you are supposed to be fighting dragons, but not only are there no dragons, there’s also not a single quest to be found anywhere on the map. There aren’t even flowers to pick.
What were my players supposed to do?
My go-to reaction was to panic. Which I do a lot.
Since where do I even start? What sort of stuff works as quests and adventures in a game like that? I mean, I’m a writer, right? I can write up a story and I can build conflict and create obstacles for characters, but at this point, I had absolutely nothing to use as a yardstick. Worse still was the thought of cobbling together and scaling encounters (I still don’t understand that bit, but hey).
I did not have to fret for long though, because then I found Adventure Lookup and Dungeon Masters Guild. That, in turn, made my wallet panic. Which is not something we talk about. Sshh~
So, ah, what are those things?
Adventure Lookup is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a place for looking up (*drumroll*) adventures!
You can pick a system (5th Edition in my case), settings (setting neutral), all the way down to environments and common monsters or even items. The filters are extensive, is what I am trying to say, though the one I find most useful is the one that lets me define level range. This made the search for a quest that’d fit a group of level three characters easy.
Didn’t take long, and I’d found a bunch of adventures that not only had encounters and such in it that suited my player’s level range, but also sounded like I could fold them into my campaign.
Which led me over to Dungeon Masters Guild.
DMSGuild (much like its family member DriveThruRPG) is a marketplace for RPG sources. It’s got adventures, rules, toolkits, items, maps… those sorts of things. There’s a lot of content, and after I’d checked out the handful that I’d come looking for after finding them on Adventure Lookup, I fell down a real deep rabbit hole.
Was worth it though. By the time I was done, I had a whole host of small adventures to my disposal and I started placing them on the map around Ved. Each got its own little plot hook and I adjusted them all to fit into the larger campaign and reveal meaningful things about the story.
Now my players just got to find them.
Granted, there’s probably a lot of other places out there that provide the same content as the places I mentioned above. There’s the official books as well, of which I have a bunch, I’ve just found it difficult to customize them.
So far, my players have (almost) completed two of the adventures. And my next planned blog post is a review of the first one that I ran with them, which I think was a lot of fun and deserves its own space on here.