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How To Create More Immersive D & D Adventures:
The Ghostfire Method.

The only resource you'll ever need, to dive head-first into crafting amazing tabletop experiences your players will love!

July 22nd, 2019

How To Create More Immersive D & D Adventures:
Part I : Plot and Setting.

July 22, 2019.
By Tyler Kempthorne.


There's nothing quite as great as coming up with your own personalised D&D adventure.

But here's the deal:

Many players find the sheer act of sitting down to start plotting out there own adventure harder than they should!

But I am here to tell you, that with just a little bit of planning and commitment, you can create something unique and thoroughly enjoyable.

So just take a deep-breath, it's going to be fine!

Developing your Plot.

Every mind-blowing campaign starts with a simple idea.

I know you're eager to start building your campaign, trust me; I get it!

But before you dive-in:

We're going to need to come up with some ideas for the plot (or plots, you courageous soul.)

The plots and concepts that you brainstorm at this point, will eventuate into the fundamental building blocks of your game.

So take your time! There's no bonus points for speed, so feel free to let your mind wander down different paths and see what you can come up with.

Not all of these ideas will make it past this stage (and that's fine!), the purpose of this is to get your creative juices flowing! These ideas can be basic.

(For example: you could say that you are tasked to rescue a daughter of the mayor of a city; which is currently at war with a cultish mob of corpse traffickers serving a mysterious necromancer.)

Here are some quick and easy tips for designing your plot:

1. Choose a category.

Are you writing a heroic adventure? A jealousy-infused romance-gone-bad? An otherwise innocent creature, making a horrible mistake, thus getting themselves thrown into an unknown world of terror and danger?

2. Keep it interesting.

Throw your players and story into turmoil and trouble as early as possible; it kicks things off quickly and will instantly get everyone involved.
It also aid's in helping set the pace, preventing a story from dragging out or getting stale

3. Establish a Status-Quo.

.These (currently) no-name adventurers have all gathered at the behest of someone more powerful, or have just happened to stumble into the wrong place at the wrong time.

4. Something Happens.

Your plot comes to ahead when something (or someone) disrupts the original plan, flipping the status-quo on it's head.

5. Your group of Hero's Act

Whether or not your players act in a heroic fashion does not matter. they have to act. This has now shifted your plot into something liquid that must adapt to your players choices, which is the best part.

6. A Plot Twist.

It adds to the over-all fun of the game and helps keep your players guessing.
A plot-twist can be set anywhere and at anytime throughout your campaign.
The twist makes the game more complex by definition, and helps create more immersion within your game, as it should.

Remember, while your plot is the foundation, it is not the castle that sits above it! So don't stress if it's not perfect, you'll most likely come up with tweaks and changes for it as you develop your setting or content.

The Setting

Every good plot needs the perfect scene and setting!

Your plot and ideas should be based on what you want your adventure to be all about:

Where do you want it to go?

What sort of experience do you want your players to have?

What sort of Campaign do you, personally, enjoy running?

After you've developed the basis of your plot (I promise you it's better than you're giving yourself credit for,) it's important for you to create a scene or a setting where everything will take place.

The scene should not be overdone, as the old saying goes; "Keep it simple, stupid".

While a well-fleshed out setting is mandatory for immersion, don't over-do it.

You might think going into pain-staking detail about just how dry and brittle that tree slumping in the corner of the courtyard is, imagine you're in your players shoes; You're all pumped up, excited to trek through a new world and meet (and/or muder-hobo) it's inhabitants... and an hour later, you know the grass is a crisp Zoysia and that there is exactly 72 leaves in the large pile raked in the centre.

Descriptive? Yes.

Exciting and entertaining? No.

A setting is simply where all the action will be taking place, don't overthink it.

If you find yourself drawing a blank, here are some easy tips to help you create a setting or scene that, A) You'll be proud of and B) Your players will love.


Draw inspiration from around you.

Our world-setting is the original!

Nature is both beautiful and slightly-too-often horrifying. 

Use what you already have access too, either find somewhere around that; with a little embellishment, would be the ideal setting for that first gathering of your party.

Be it an old-abandoned building, a tranquil forest with naught but a bird's chirp echoing faintly in the distance, or a raging river crushing it's way through an aged canyon that reaches through the clouds themselves.

The internet is also wonderful thing, i'm sure you could find a photo to draw inspiration from!



Create an atmosphere.

Truly great settings use all the senses.

It's one thing to simply describe what everyone can see, but that's just the beginning.
If you really want to spice things up and leave an image lingering in your player's minds, focus on developing a vivid atmosphere.
What can they hear?
Even silence can take on different tones.
For example: " strain to listen for any clues as to what might be dwelling here, the only answer you receive is an eerie silence. this place was devoid of anything even remotely resembling noise..."

Compare that sentence with something such-as:

"You begin to drift softly to sleep, the faint rustle of wind gently shifting between the trees is the only noise you hear."

They paint very different pictures.
This same idea can be applied to all senses to easily flesh-out your scene. What can you smell? What can you taste? What can you feel?


Names are powerful.

Everything is nothing untill it is something... right?

The closing tip for this article will be short & sweet.

As the title suggests, Names are powerful.

The moment you name a place, building or site, you have brought it into existence.

Small things that I otherwise didn't have a purpose for, have become main or recurring elements purely due to now being named.

Is it just an old dying tree crumbling away in the corner? Or is it known as the Tree of Pity, rumoured to imprison the soul of a cowardly traitor who tried to evade capture by hiding deep within this very forest, and meeting a much darker fate... 

Annnnnd that's about all for this entry; the kick off on our journey through learning how to create more immersive adventures for you and your players!

Thanks' for reading.

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