Building a Module : Part 1 : Outline and XP Distribution

This week, I wanted to show how I go about building modules or campaigns for Apprentice. When I call it a module, I mean a chapter in the story that roughly translates into one player level. You can split your story up however you like, but this is one way that works for me and my group.

In case one of my player’s reads this, I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

During the last chapter, the group found a group of cultist were using a magical forge to melt down souls to craft powerful artifacts. They also found out that the cult had captured the major spirit that they claimed to worship and planned on using his power to tear down the veil between this world and the afterlife.

They stopped one of the three lieutenants of the cult, so this chapter will be about hunting down the next two so that they can scry the location of the cultist leader.

So at this point, I know I want two locations with dramatically different encounters and spaces.

Looking at the XP chart, I see that I need to fit 400xp per player for a level 7 group over the course of the module. An easy fight is 40xp per player, a moderate fight is 60xp per player, and a hard fight is 80xp per player.

I know I want at least two fights per area, one easy and one hard for a total of 240 xp per player.

I decide that the second area I want to be bigger than the first, so I add two medium encounters for a total of 360xp. Seeing I have 40xp left, I decide to have an easy encounter I can add wherever I need to later on to fill my quota.

While I’m looking at the big picture, I note that my treasure goal is 1700g per player, which at least 800g of it should be in magical items(at half their cost). I don’t really like to divy up all of the gold right away, instead giving items where it makes sense then filling in the treasure afterwards.

So with our outline set up, it is time to look at crafting our first encounter, which I will show off tomorrow.

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