Build An Adventure Site

Choose A Theme

  • Pick a theme for the area. A specific mythology you find inspiring, something from history, etc.
  • Name (should reflect or theme). There are some great names here.
  • Come up with an adventure premise (for example, an amazing location with a treasure to hunt).
  • Decide on a ruling faction, with traits & motive.
  • Add some kind of counter balance (another faction, some kind of nefarious enemy, etc).
  • Keep these concepts in mind at all times: Dangers, Stakes, Motives, Urgency. The more you can weave in, the better.

Spark Tables

Spark Tables are very handy tools for quickly creating a setting. They are typically made of 40 words divided into two columns. For an example Spark Table see here. With some light editing, it can result in phrases like:

  • Digesting Claws
  • White Eyes
  • Distorted Tongues
  • Predatory Awakening
  • Grimalkin Fungi
  • Nourishing Deep
  • Paranoia Underbrush
  • Mouth-less Cemetery
  • Withering Hue
  • Subterranean Ripple
  • Transmutation Sparrows
  • Moonlight Trees
  • Mildew Gloom
  • Smoldering Shade

Create Spark Tables

To create a Spark Table, you’ll want to find a find a book or website close to your adventure’s overall theme (e.g. a PDF with related content). You can pull words from it by simply picking a random page and writing down whatever meets your eye, or you can import it into a web-based tool. You can also import public domain books on relevant subjects. can create lists of non-common keywords from a website. You can then copy and paste those words into a spreadsheet.

Alternatively, take a look at TerriblyBeautiful by Colin Kloeker. Basically, you join the Discord server (see Patreon link - it’s free) and then run commands in the “bibliomancers-workshop” channel (see pinned).

When you’ve finished:

  • Clean up the words. Sort by d20 in two columns.
  • You’ll want to generate at least 10 interesting phrases for inspiration.
  • You can of course simply write down 40 words that sound good together.
  • Images can also serve as sparks.

Draw A Map

  • If you can draw, great! Otherwise, find a map-making tool that works for you. Examples are, Hex Kit, Owlbear Rodeo, Wonderdraft, etc.
  • Draw at least four lines of any shape, each from a different color. Each line should cross another at least once. These lines represent roads or paths.
  • Generate at least 3 Points of Interest: take in consideration the theme(s) and factions. Put these wherever the lines cross.
  • Generate regional/hex features for each POI using tables and placing results in those POIs where it makes most sense.
  • Place additional (especially hidden) dangers, encounters or NPC’s in some of the POI.
  • Add some travel/route complications, taking in consideration any POIs along the way.

Create Encounters

  • Encounter table (either 1d6 or 2d6), with at least one result tied to the party or its members.
  • Details on any treasure or relics (Who wants it? Where is it now? Why wasn’t it ransacked before?). Include maps.
  • Describe rooms for a dungeon (one sentence describing obstacles, hazards, creatures or minor treasure).

You do not need to do this for ever single POI, only those that interest you.

Create Treasure:

  • Look on the map and think of who would want treasure, and what kind.
  • Look on the map and think of where that treasure could be now.
  • Add 2-3 steps leading up to the location of the treasure, but don’t be too obvious.
  • Add some sort of “dungeon” in the place where the treasure resides.
  • Stock “rooms” of a dungeon (additional treasure goes here)
  • Maze Rats has incredible treasure and “loot the body” tables. You can find an automated version in the Adventuresmith app.