Adventures are at the heart of Living Eberron: From short vignettes to epic showdowns, LEB lives or dies by its adventures. To ensure that players have a good experience, each adventure goes through a vetting process. The goal of this process is to improve the play experience for players and DMs alike, not to stifle creativity. This guide details the adventure proposal process.
Designing the Adventure Edit
The DMG provides significant details on designing adventures. LEB has two major modifications to adventure design DMs must keep in mind: XP rewards and Treasure rewards. Please include specific details addressing these factors when preparing your proposal for review. Keep in mind how Eberron is different from other campaign worlds.
XP Rewards Edit
Eberron adventures are fast, live-by-the-seat-of-your-pants action. To drive that point home and encourage lively campaigns, XP rewards in Living Eberron are doubled. Thus, when designing an encounter (DMG pp. 56–57), use the appropriate encounter budget for your target Encounter Level, but double the actual XP given to the players. For example, if designing a Level 3 encounter for five PCs (between 750–874 XP), you could use two monsters of level 3, a level 3 elite, and four minions of level 3 for a total of 752 XP. You would, however, give the players 1504 XP as their reward to split. Remember: Use the normal XP for designing the encounter, just double the awarded XP. This applies to minor and major Quest rewards as well.
With double-XP, it should take roughly five encounters per level to advance a level.
Treasure Rewards Edit
Treasure may be gold, magic items, rituals, or other items of wealth adventurers are interested. The details of treasure allocation are provided elsewhere. For adventure design, the main thing to keep in mind is that you will be rewarding one treasure parcel per character with additional gold per character equal to 1/5th the price of a magic item of each character's level. Additional gold and treasure may be earned as part of Players Rewards—rewards players earn by spending time in adventures. When designing an adventure, provide rough details for how many characters are to be expected and where treasure parcels will be roughly allocated (which encounters, quests, or locations will have parcels in them).
Preparing the Proposal Edit
In order to start an adventure, the DM must request that the current judges approve the adventure. Any adventure needs to submit the following information in order to be approved:
- Who are the players: This can be a specific list or this can be a description of what kinds of characters are likely to fall in line with this adventure. DMs are strongly encouraged to offer openings to players that not already has a character on an adventure.
- What is the story: What is the story of the adventure itself? What are the events that lead up to how is victory achieved or defeat met?
- What is the background: Describe the setting, the people, and the motives that make this adventure.
- What is the challenge: Specifically, what encounters, skill challenges, and roleplaying challenges will the players encounter? You do need to completely spell out every encounter, but you should indicate where in the adventure the encounters lie and give a basic description and indicate how difficult they are meant to be.
- Example: "After defeating the animated waterbed, the PCs must escape the haunted boudoir by fighting their way through a series of trapped corridors while spectral French maids emerge from the walls and pursue them with diseased feather dusters. This encounter will be 2 levels above the PCs level".
- What are the rewards: What kinds of rewards are there to be found? Fame, money, magic, and experience should all be expressed here. Anything that can be a reward is important for the judges to see. At a minimum, describe which treasure parcels and the total amount of experience from encounters that PCs can get (keep in mind player rewards may modify this). The more detail provided, the more effective the vetting process.
- How long is the adventure expected to be? E.g. A long campaign, a medium length adventure, or a short vignette with only a few encounters. DMs new to play-by-post gaming are strongly encouraged to run a few vignettes and short adventures before trying their hand at a longer game. Long campaign arcs are best served by splitting them into smaller medium length adventures.
One the proposal is prepared, email the judges at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to prepend your title with [LEB] so that it is properly forwarded.
Proposal Evaluation Edit
Once the judges receive the proposal, we will discuss it with the DM over email. The things we're looking for in an successful adventure proposal are basically as follows. First, to make sure that the DM is not planning anything too unbalancing or destructive, like handing out a bunch of +5 vorpal swords to level 1 characters or having an army of undead dragons invade Sharn. Second, to make sure the judges have enough information about the adventure that if the DM were to suddenly disappear, a judge or substitute DM can step in and finish the adventure. Third, to make sure that any new setting details or NPCs you introduce are compatible with the rest of the living world's setting.
When considering approval, we also factor in the DMs record. If there are any questions as to the DM’s reliability, this may factor in the adventure's acceptance. Previously abandoning a game may limit the DM to doing a few vignettes to warm up before taking on a new adventure, for instance.
Once the judges are satisfied, they will indicate their approval over email to the DM and the other judges. An adventure is accepted once it has two approvals by the judges.
Submitting an adventure proposal does not mean that a DM cannot improvise. No plan survives contact with the enemy, and no adventure outline survives unchanged once the players start posting. DMs are expected to use their judgement and adapt to player actions throughout the course of an adventure, and there is no need to re-submit if a DM changes plans in response to players. Significant changes should be communicated to the judge of the adventure by email to keep them informed, however.