Article Spotlight: The Adventure Funnel

I spend a lot of my time looking through the vast stores the Internet has to offer searching for GM gold. Often times I find naught but crappy pages telling me to subscribe to DnD Insider so that I can read their new online Dungeon and/or Dragon magazines which have fled so far from useful that it makes me laugh...

And yet, sometimes I do find my gold. Today is one such day.

Have you, as a GM, ever had no freaking clue as to what your players were going to do during the next session... Which is later that night? Then, by damn, have I the article for you.

The blog "I Waste the Buddha With My Crossbow" posted this article, titled "The Adventure Funnel", all the way back in 2006, but I am just seeing it now. Basically, it send you through a formula for devising really quick quest lines. You still need creativity and imagination, but with this simple tool, you will find that cardboard-box-loving old friend in no time.

The method of simple enough:

  1. Think of a Goal. What should the players be trying to do? Something like "Kill the local witch" or "Find the hidden treasure" works perfectly.
  2. Next, think of the Obstacles. What is preventing the players from doing this something? Just jot down anything that comes to mind that may (or may not) make sense. "Bandits", "wolves", "a flood", "a broken down bridge", "an annoying bird". I find in this section that a random adjective + a noun works well, as it will get your imagination fired.
  3. Finally, explain why you wrote down in the last step with Details. Which bandits? Why are there so many wolves here? What caused the flood? Who broke the bridge? What the hell is up with this drastically annoying bird? Etc. Don't over do it, just get enough down that you don't have to stare blankly at your players when they ask you questions about their new feathered friend.
And that is basically it. Easy as hell, and damn effective.

Keep rolling those dice, and I hope to speak to you again soon!