Friday, June 26, 2020

Welcome To My Process (part 5)

New here?  This is where you begin.

Before I forget, the blog has a new heading.  Jon Mollison did the last one based on The Outer Presence, and he created this one for Cha'alt.  Let's give him a round of applause.  Yes, slap those slimy tentacles together in appreciation.  Huzzah!

Ok, everything is taking shape and we're close to the "finished" stage.  Once the writing's done, I'll start handing things off to professionals who can take the rather rough material and make it look awesome.

Specifically, I'll need to find one or more artists.  The cover image is key, but this could do with a couple additional pieces of interior art, as well.

As I mentioned before, the map should be re-imagined by someone who draws maps every day and is head and shoulders beyond my passable skills.  So, find a suitable cartographer.

What else?  Oh yeah, layout.  I don't do my own layout.  That, too, gets farmed out to someone who'll do a great job.  Obviously, if you're creating an adventure for home use, you don't have to do any of this.  And if you're just starting out or really want it to be a DIY project, feel free to go it alone.  That's up to you.

As I reach out to those individuals, I will refine what we already have, embellishing the good, pruning the bad, and turning what's ugly into beauty.  Basically, it only needs a bit of TLC from this point until we're ready for the tedious but necessary writing-it-all-out phase.

Let's work on that random table for those touching the green slime dripping down the curving crimson-brown walls.

  1. It stings a bit, but nothing serious.
  2. You get a nasty chemical burn (take 1d3 points of damage).
  3. Whatever touched the slime and the surrounding flesh pulses with an eldritch green glow (save or die in the next 10 minutes).
  4. You're mutated into a screeching, hot-to-the-touch, green and hairy primordial man-wolf [props if you get that reference].
  5. You get a psionic ability.
  6. The flesh that touched the slime is forever stained with Old One ichor - the next time you're knocked unconscious, a ghastly visitation of horrors beyond time and space take you on a little tour of your own past, present, and future.  Each stop contains gratuitous and unwanted groping by one or more tentacles. 
I might change things later, but that's a good start.  Want my generic advice on creating a random table with various effects?  Here we go...

  • One result where nothing much happens.
  • One result where something bad (minor) happens.
  • One result where something bad (major) happens.
  • One result where something weird happens that could be either beneficial or detrimental.
  • One result that's clearly a benefit.
  • One result that's just plain weird.

Ok, what now... the dimensional toxic waste?

I'm thinking a pile of sludge on the floor that's a melange of strange, constantly changing colors.  Touching it won't do anything, but lengthy handling of the waste will transport one to another dimension... maybe through time, as well.

Now, onto Queen Tresillda's personal magic item!

What about an anklet of youth?  Wearing it makes one look and feel like they're 25 years old.  I may decide to give her another one, something with offensive power... or possibly her sorcerer Xa'algex.

Last but not least, there should be some kind of twist or revelation at the end.  Something to make the adventure pop, taking it to the next level... 

What if the PCs eventually (either before the Queen is killed or just after) learn that Queen Tresillda was right all along?  The priesthood disavowed and banished her because of their idiotic hypocrisy and cowardice, and the Queen's revenge was not only justified but thoroughly righteous.  Perhaps the PCs would even be willing to help her, or finish her task if they killed her off before realizing the truth?

Now, that we have a strong foundation, we write it out, revising little details as we go, making improvements.  That's how adventures get finished.  Before too long, you just have to get in there and get to it.  Remember to feel the flow, ride the snake, and make it awesome!

Good luck,



  1. Awesome breakdown of everything ! Excellent use of classic material with the " Ooze" and its effect! (I wont ruin it for everyone )... Seeing the creative process is very cool, thanks for showing us the steps!

    1. My pleasure, hoss! I estimate the adventure will hit virtual shelves mid-August.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Cool... you know, I've never written stuff... although outlining and creating a module hasn't been a problem. Oh, btw, picking up your book tomorrow from the post office. (R.K. from Mewe)

    1. It's not for everyone, but the writing process often comes in handy. Awesome, hope you love it!

  4. "Each stop contains gratuitous and unwanted groping by one or more tentacles."

    How do you know it's unwanted? Sounds like railroading to me...