A random thought, looking back

Been thinking a lot about my RPG writing recently.

Obviously, for the past year or two (and, unless things go wrong, for the foreseeable future *knock on wood*) my focus has been on fiction. I haven’t abandoned RPG writing, and I’d still happily delve into any project that really excited me, but it’s not my priority as it once was.

In particular, I was thinking about adventures (or "modules," as we old fogies knew ’em). It’s funny, adventures are, in many ways, the meat of RPG writing, but I never found them as enjoyable as some other kinds of work. I’m not saying I hated working on them, but I prefer (for instance) campaign setting work and monster design.

That said, I’m pretty happy with most of the adventure work I did. (And a good thing, too, since my first three or four D20 projects were adventures of one sort of another.) And I realized, recently, that perhaps my favorite adventure I ever worked on is, oddly enough, one of the ones that I think got the least publicity.

The Doom of Listonshire came out from Necromancer Games (easily one of the best of the D20 companies), but it came out through a newer, smaller distribution channel than most of their stuff. And honestly, it kind of got lost in the shuffle. (It also got printed in crappier quality than was intended.) Not that I’m saying it was guaranteed to be a modern classic or anything, but I think it would’ve had a better opportunity to make a splash in other circumstances.

But it remains my favorite. It’s not flawless by any means; there are entire swathes I’d redesign if writing it today. But I think it’s got the best combination of story, setting, and just general "old-school feel" (which I think is important for many adventures) of all my stuff. It’s definitely the most obviously inspired by 1E materials; it was heavily influenced by both Keep on the Borderlands and Destiny of Kings.

No real point to this, other than ruminating. But if I could only pick three adventures to be known for, this one would definitely make the list.