Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Big or Small?

When it comes to adventures, is less more?

I ask because I've seen adventures range from 4 pages to 104 pages more or less (I'm not counting mega dungeons, settings or adventure paths).

For me, the sweet spot is usually around 16-24 pages. Long enough for maybe 2 nites of adventure but not so long I can't familiarize myself in less then an hour or so.

I know at times more IS more, but for the me, less is usually more for adventures.


  1. Assuming the page count is detail, I like 4 to 7 pages for a straightforward dungeon crawl, 10 to 20 for a multi-session adventure with a more complicated plot and several locations, 30 to 60 for a mini-campaign involving multiple NPCs and intrigues.

    It also depends on what game is being played. 4 pages of S&W:WB adventure is probably one or two game sessions worth, 4 pages of D&D4 is probably a statblock.

  2. true about the system.

    lets say i'm assuming the usual OSR style statblocks

  3. This seems like a predictable response: it's not so much the page count, but is the product any good?

    At first, I was tempted to say that a larger page count would have more ideas to pull out, but I have stolen plenty of great ideas from things like the "one page dungeon," so who knows?

    I was also tempted to give you the exact perfect number for a straightforward dungeon crawl, but that is a secret, my fried.

  4. for what it's worth, I favor a two-page spread per encounter or interesting area (two facing pages). Assuming 5-8 such elements in a small-medium adventure, that'd be about 10-16 pages just for that part, plus a few more at the meta-level (for instance, showing relationships between the different 'encounters', providing backstory, and so on).

    All in all, I would expect a fully-documented adventure to run 20-30 pages... but that includes a fair bit of whitespace, small maps, supplementary material (such as the new monster I devised for the adventure).


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