Work has been hectic, your life is seemingly one endless chore after another. Finally, Game Night arrives - but oh no! You haven't prepared anything for your upcoming D&D game. Is it Tuesday again already? Your friends are coming over (or online) in mere minutes. You don't have time to read through a whole adventure module and your mind is as blank as the hex map you are currently staring at. What's a GM to do? Does this sound familiar? If you've ever struggled with an episode like this, know that you are not alone.
Incidents like this are what prompted Ashton and I to release a set of one-sheet adventures that were designed with overworked Game Masters in mind. We set out to create easy to read, fun, and quick adventures that felt full without unnecessary language holding them back. We wanted a "Download and Go" model that wouldn't require hours of reading and prep. After reading though once, all the GM would need is a single sheet for reference.
Our first publication of this type was "City of the Swamp Kobolds"
Description: "The Swamp Kobolds have risen up, crowned themselves a king, and even built a ramshackle city deep in their fetid swamps. Now they freely pillage the nearby towns. Who will stand up for the innocents who have been slain? Who will brave the dangers of the swamp to burn this kobold city to the ground? A hero is needed...."A one sheet adventure module for 2nd level characters. Optimized for double sided, color, home printing. The front shows the map and information public to the players; the back gives DM information.
Art and layout was provided by me, Callie MacSaylor, and the subject matter was written by my husband, Ashton MacSaylor. I made the art traditionally using ink and water color which I then touched up digitally. I felt that a traditional art style would give it a more "old world" feeling without seeming artificial. The result was better than I imagined! I decided to continue working in that medium for our second adventure.
"The Magister's Tomb" was released not too long after the Kobold adventure.
Description: "The King lies dead, murdered in his own bed. Only his three heirs had access to the tower. Now the Magister has passed as well, before he could complete his investigation. Who killed the King? And more importantly, who should rule next?
In this one-sheet adventure, you have everything you need to run a four hour session for a level 5 party. We've cut all the fluff to bring you the nuts and bolts in just two pages--the front is for the players, the back for the DM. We give you the essentials, you bring your own flair for the dramatic, and together we get you ready for your next session with just a few minutes of prep time.
Do your heroes have what it takes to unravel the mysteries of The Magister's Tomb?"
Overall the modules were well received with "City of the Swamp Kobolds" becoming a silver seller. When designing the modules we wanted to give DMs a sense of liberty. The module provided a sort of "bare bones" storyline and structure, trusting the DM to fill in the rest. We hope to release more of these types of adventures in the future. There is a market for short, succinct, beautiful, and imaginative modules. Long campaigns sometimes need shorter interruptions or side quests that don't require hours of planning. What do you think? Have you seen similar offerings on DMs Guild or other TTRPG content sites? Do you prefer long form? Would you ever consider using something like this in your own game? Let us know in the comments! Also, stay tuned for more TTRPG content by signing up for our mailing list or following us on twitter or instagram.