Design

Most Popular Adventures – 2020

It’s been a busy 2020 on the 1shotadventures blog! This year, 9 new free adventures were published for systems ranging from D&D and Call of Cthulhu to GURPS and Savage Worlds. Special thanks to everyone who gave me feedback or dropped a note to here or on Twitter. I originally started this blog because I […]

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Adventure | Design

5 Ways to Make Urban Adventures Great – The Moon of Thorns

Fantasy roleplaying games are home to many magnificent, fictional cities. From the sprawling metropolises of Waterdeep, Lankhmar, and Sigil to the corrupt and insidious Arkham, Menzoberranzan, and Bögenhafen, these great cities connect players and stitch campaigns together. How many adventurers have had an ale in Baldur’s Gate? How many investigators have saved Arkham from cosmic […]

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Adventure

Is Slasher Horror Impossible? The Mound in the Yard

The slasher film is a popular take on horror. In RPGs, slasher adventures are utterly underrepresented. For Halloween this year, I went on a search for a great ’70s or ’80s style slasher killer adventure. I almost came up empty. I found RPG-adjacent storytelling games like The Final Girl and Slasher, and I also found […]

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Adventure

Playing as Villains – Minutes Not Hours

Steve Jackson Games has produced some of the best roleplaying material on the market for Mission Impossible-style action games. Even if you’re not a GURPS player, if you’re looking for modern action ideas, grab the Exploits supplement. It covers everything from audio surveillance and lockpicking to dumpster diving and grand theft auto. It’s hard to […]

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Adventure

Writing Savage Fantasy – Conan’s Queen of the Red City

There are many sub-genres of fantasy adventure — high fantasy, low fantasy, style sword and sorcery, whatever Planescape is, and lots more. But my favorite type of fantasy for a one-shot adventure is savage fantasy. Savage fantasy’s defining pillar is that it is dangerous, unpredictable, and unbalanced. Tough and unpredictable adventures are perfect for one-shots, […]

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Adventure

Use Your Outtakes – The Curse of Sekhmet

One of my favorite pieces of movie trivia is that the famous mine car chase from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was originally planned for Raiders of the Lost Ark. If you read the original Raiders screenplay, you’ll find the scene at the very end. After Indy and Marion recover the ark from […]

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Adventure

Lovecraft in the Ice Age – Canyon of the Snow Cairns

The ice age is probably the most ignored RPG setting. It’s also one of the best historical settings for Lovecraftian horror. Let me make my case: Every element of the setting makes for sheer desperation. In the ice age, civilization is viscerally surrounded by the dangerous unknown. Night IS dark and full of terrors. This […]

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Adventure

Solo Adventures – Beyond the Vale of Madness

The first adventure for a generation of roleplayers was Bargle’s underground lair. Featured in the 1983 red box set, this D&D solo adventure did a fantastic job of teaching rules, introducing bizarre monsters (the dreaded rust monster!), and even giving characters a compelling emotional reason to delve into a dangerous dungeon — the murder of […]

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