Monday, February 12, 2018

Choose Your Own Adventure

The Tome of Adventure Design claims to be "A comprehensive adventure creation sourcebook for Swords and Wizardry and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game."

Let's take a look...

There are only four sections: Book One - Principles and Starting Points, Book Two - Monsters, Book Three - Dungeon Design, and Book Four - Non-Dungeon Adventure Design.

Basically, this book is a book of nothing except tables allowing you to create and populate an adventure.  There are hundreds of tables of various types - everything from the Villain's Master Plan, a great selection of monsters and creatures, a giant sized book of tales for dungeon design, and a fairly large section about building castles, cities, underwater and waterborne adventures, some material about wilderness such as deserts, forests, hills and mountains, and swamp bogs to slog through.  There's even a small section on planar worlds and realms, and also alternate worlds. 

I've been a Dungeon Master for a very long time - and you can believe me when I tell you that this book is one of the best aids for quickly and easily constructing an adventure on the fly.  Even on the back cover, this book exclaims: "It's Friday night, 6 p.m.  You haven't prepared an adventure and you still need to get to a store and buy snacks.  The rest of your group is heading over to game in two hours.  What do you do?"  I wish I had a book like this many years ago.  It reminds me greatly of products that were created by "Judges Guild" in the 1980's. 

There are seemingly hundreds of tables covering everything from locations for starting points, missions, the Master Villain and his plan(s?), and even the minions and Lieutenants of the Villain.  Animals ranging from beasts, to constructs, to Draconic, and after several more you arrive at vermin.  Basic elements of adventure design, designing the adventure and map(S?), various (non-dangerous, and dangerous) tricks you can use on the PC's, Traps the party can set off, and a huge section on miscellaneous items.

In all, I believe that there are over 400 different tables you can consult when creating an adventure quickly, or when you are stuck at a point from which you don't know where to go.  THis book has absolutely one of my very highest recommendations, and I believe that every Game Master would love it. 

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