I read a great post back at critical-hits, Changing the Way We Think About Published Adventures. I’ve been thinking about what he wrote, twisted and turned it in my mind, and then I got this idea that I just can’t get out of my mind.

Wizards have a golden opportunity with their DDI here, that can evolve the way we play DnD into the next stage. I do not talk about digital game boards, playing online or anything like that, but something else. I talk about how we, the DMs around the world, could all be part of creating this fantastic repository of ready to run hooks and encounters. This is what I came up with, a simple schema to implement and handle this, that could incorporate both non commercial and commercial content from a variety of sources.

OK, I’m visual guy, I think visual, thats why I work with programming GUIs most of my time I guess, and that’s also why I got myself so deep into mapmaking. So, how do I think this would work?

You got an evening free for gaming and you get a few friends over and you want to run something in your campaign. So, you log into DDI (or what service this might be) and navigate to Hooks. Here you can search Hooks. Each hook has a brief description, a level and some more info. Hooks can be “free” or “commercial”, which means you might have to pay a $0.50 or so to use it, or whatever the publisher demand, much like how RPGNow works today.

You pick a hook that you like, for example, the hook involves a nightly raid on the tavern in which the PCs spend the night, burning down the stables and the killing of a nobleman living in the room next door to the PCs.

The hook will in addition to the start, advice the GM on what kind of encounters and/or challenges it requires to take the PCs from start to end, and probably, but not necessarily, the type of encounters.

So, in this case, the Hook says :

(1) Encounter – Woods: Forrest trail ambush
(2) Challenge – Village: Find which way the baddies travelled through a village
(3) Encounter – Village: Attack by henchmen
(4) Encounter – Woods camp:  Assault on enemy camp

Now, you just click on each of them, and you will get a short or long list of alternative encounters and/or challenges that meet the requirements for you choice of level.

So, this is really something I think WotC should look into, or someone else, but with WotC, connecting with DDI, compendiums etc, scaling encounters could be built in.

I will rant more about this, I just need to bring more thoughts together in a structured way.


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