Hi, my name is Tommy Huff
For my senior project, I got to write, edit, produce and market a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) adventure. D&D is not only a hobby of mine but something I truly love. I’d like to explain the process of making an adventure, where I’m at with it, and where I hope to be.
Making an Adventure
What is D&D?
You might be asking yourself, what is D&D? D&D is a structured game of imagination and role-playing typically in a fantasy-based setting. Normally four to five people gather around a table and take on the roles of adventurers that the players choose and make. These adventurers all work together to overcome some sort of obstacle. The group has a dungeon master that acts as a referee and storyteller for the rest of the players. The adventurers tell the dungeon master what they want to do and will roll various dice to determine if their actions were successful or not. The dungeon master then describes the results of these actions whether or not the adventurers were successful in their attempts.
Writing an Adventure
As mentioned before, an adventure is typically a group of adventurers overcoming a problem. This problem could be a terrorizing dragon, a captured princess, or a lost treasure. Throughout the adventure, the players must explore dangerous caverns, overcome deadly traps, and battle ferocious monsters before they can reach their goal. These adventures could last one night of play or last many nights of the play. For this project, I wanted to write an adventure that will last multiple nights of play.
My adventure would look as close to an actual Dungeons and Dragons product as possible. Moreover, it would contain enough content to last a group of players for a long time. My goal for this adventure was to write an epic adventure filled with twists, turns, and multiple days of fun, but I also wanted to add in an additional one-hundred side adventures for the players to explore in addition to the main adventure.
As you can guess, a lot of work is put into these adventures because you need to understand the game enough to have it make sense to someone who is going to buy it. You can’t be there to hold their hand and explain what you meant on this page or on that other page. To make sure I truly understood the rules and game, I had to reread everything and make sure everything made sense before writing an adventure. By the time I was finished writing the rough draft, my adventure was over three-hundred pages long.
Where I’m At
Editing and Testing
As mentioned before, my adventure is over three-hundred pages long. This is a massive undertaking for one person. I am thankful to have people to bounce ideas off of but this is a one-man show. You can’t produce an adventure unless it’s been edited, but you can’t edit an adventure unless it’s been tested. I’m currently in the testing stage of the adventure. Testing involves playing the adventure and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Moreover, it’s receiving feedback from the people who are playing it. Again, this is over three-hundred pages, and these tests take time.
Once things have been tested, it’s time to edit them. Here is where I check for grammar mistakes, formatting problems, and ultimately making what I have to look professional. Through programs like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, I can capture an authentic D&D feel. For this project, I chose to go with a modern D&D look but with a mix of retro 80’s D&D.
Where I want to be
After everything is edited, I would then compile the materials I have and put them into a pdf format. This pdf format would be similar to reading a book and would include various bookmarks for easier access. The result of the finished pdf would look similar to that of a professional product one would find in stores. I would like to have this adventure as an actual book but for now, will focus on the PDF. Below are an actual adventure and a mockup of what mine would look like.
Once testing, editing, and producing is finished, the next step would be to sell it. I plan to sell this on a website called The Dungeon Masters Guild. This website is sponsored by Wizards of the Coast (the company that makes D&D). Because this is an official Wizards of the Coast website, I have free reign to use the official Dungeons and Dragons name and to sell my product on their behalf. In short, I would be in a partnership with the company and they’ll receive half of the royalties for each product sold. It’s my goal to sell my adventure for $19.95 and to also have various promotions that would allow a percentage off the overall price. These promotions would be sent via Facebook pages and Reddit forums.