Sunday I spent the day away from the internet and social media, instead I spent the day with friends doing a bit of brain storming and world building. The location for tonight's adventure was basically a blank canvas and we began by choosing a not too often used AD&D 1st edition book, in this case the Fiend Folio. The next trick was to pick and develop the vile villain of the piece. That's where Venger Satanis's Revelry In Torth came in. As one of the reviews stated from Amazon," Lastly, I really like that Torth was designed with fan participation in mind. If you get inspired and wanna create your own module for this mindf*ck of a lovechild, contact Venger Satanis and tell him what you have in mind. He'll work with you from there. If your intent is to simply make a module and throw it out there for "unoffically" then go ahead and make it your bitch with no restrictions. After you've made it public, send Venger a link so he can help other Torth fans find it." Given some of the nasty Lovecraftian magick hiding just under the surface of the module this was an easy fit.
The look and feel of the adventure is just as important as the direct that you want to take with it, in this case I'm playing with the tropes of a haunted house style adventure but mimicking the usual fun house style but inverting it almost Silent Hill style keeping adventurers on their toes every step of the way. Death lurks around almost every corner. The trick here is to avoid the usual pit falls of D&D adventure design and tug the players into an unexpected direction. Knowing your players personally instead of the usual convention pit falls also helps with this. In a con your going to be playing with strangers but in a home game the dungeon master is afforded the luxury of dealing with the one on one personal experience. So you can tailor your adventures as needed.
Next came the grounds and how they're going to be put together given the fact that this isn't our world per say and that its a massive sprawling complex with almost a hundred year history in its wanderings I decided to go with a something a bit different on some of the floors, I took out The Star Ship From Hell By Rafael Chandler From Neo Plastic Press to develop some of the weird alien medical tech medical wings and really give the place an unearthly feel. From there a few of the grounds and weird phenomena were quickly filled in with some really dangerous wild life from the Teratic Tome and Lasus Naturae which is now available in PDF at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. The random table were perfect for generating strange life forms and dangerous stuff as needed. One thing I've learned over the last couple of months reading, writing, and doing development work is that you need to keep things tight and keep the adventure to about six pages.
This is the perfect length for a night's entertainment with up to about six players and enables the DM to go through the material to get the PC's in and out of the adventure location, to the conclusion and goal of the adventure and to give the PC's either modest treasure or a minor reward keeping the victim errm heroes on the reel. It also keeps the adventurers hungry for the next adventure!