Friday, January 29, 2010

Editing an Adventure

Last night I was working on my adventure, The Mine of Rot & Disease, which was originally built using the Castles & Crusades system, but I've opted to go with OSRIC. It's amazing those two systems that share so much have so much different. Luckily this is not a large project, but going through and editing the stats is a chore. This is my third go around with this adventure which is usually my last draft, but since I switch systems it may not be.

I've edited several small fiction magazines, the magazine for my college and have edited both Points of Light products by Robert Conley from Goodman Games and Rob's latest, Supplement VI: The Majestic Wilderlands. I jokingly tell Rob I make him look good and when something doesn't work he can always blame me for not catching it. Which is true. I missed some laughers. Gibbering Mothers was one of my favorites.

Anyways, I am currently editing my own adventure. I'll send it to a few people to get a fresh perspective and comments. I have a thick skin so criticism doesn't bother me. I have the scars from the advanced literary class. I was someone who dared to write fantasy or science fiction in an upper level writing course, the nerve. Screw'em. I liked it.

A good edit is essential if you want your message expressed clearly. The story in a module is not much different from than a short story. There is a problem, an obstacle to the problem, the goal or multiple goals and then the degree of achievement. Not all adventures are written for the players to achieve their perceived goal. I think those are some of the more interesting adventures.

The problem comes when people are too close to their work and they can't see the flaws. They may completely understand what is going on and why, but someone who is reading it for the first time may not understand important parts. This is why it's always good to have a few people take a look at it. A nitpick here and there is not a problem but if all of them are getting back to you and saying, "I don't understand the blazing troll section" then you better take a look at it and start figuring out what the problem is. And usually it s simple fix, but like most creative people we tend to make it more difficult than it is.

With all the independent products available a well edited manuscript will help your product stand out above the others.

My random rambling for Friday morning concludes. Off to work I go where I will think about my adventure and take notes on the tweaks I want to make. (The ironic or hypocritical side note, I don't have time to go back and edit this blog, I am running late. Go figure.)


  1. I always find converting an adventure for my own use between systems is an easy, on-the-fly exercise, but trying to do anything for print or any type of publication is a royal pain.

  2. I'm eager to hear about your progress on this. Trying to edit your own materials is always a challenge.