In which our intrepid hero embarks on a new project.

I’m off work sick today. Blech.

In other news, a couple of months ago, I tentatively signed on to WoAdWriMo, which is a bit like the better-known NaNoWriMo, except that instead of writing a 50,000-word novel, the goal is to write a 32-page roleplaying adventure.

What really surprises me, though, is the number of posts on the forums complaining about the length.

Firstly, it’s supposed to be a challenge.

Based on previous writing efforts, such as Word of the Fates (which I wrote roughly 25,000 words for), I could probably rattle this off in a week or two, so long as I didn’t have too much else on. I then have to herd cats to playtest it.

Unfortunately, I am very busy most of the time, as are most of my players. Writing a 32-page adventure in a month would be hard—but not, ultimately, impossible. It would just hurt a lot.

Secondly, most of them are going to be written for D&D 3.5.

Back in the dark days of AD&D 1st edition, an average module was 32 pages long—and although that included maps and illustrations, it was also in the days of inch-long stat blocks.

Particularly if you’re using the new format introduced in the DMG II, stat blocks in D&D 3.5 are huge. Stat blocks are going to take up a third of a page each, at the very least.

At the moment, I’m probably looking at two pages for a cover (maybe), a contents page, four half-page maps, four quarter-page maps, five or six pages of stat blocks, maybe a half a page for new magic items and stuff, and the obligatory page for the OGL notice.

This being the first WoAdWriMo, they’re not too strict about the time criterion (although they will be next year), and I’ve come up with a few ideas, which I’ve jotted down so I don’t forget them. In dribs and drabs, this would’ve taken up about a day. So far, it’s a basic plot outline, with a few combats in the first half of the adventure detailed, and only very sketchy details of the second half done—but it’s already six-and-a-half pages long.

All in all, that means that I only have about twelve or thirteen pages or so of actual adventure left to write, and then I get onto layout and graphics. Still, I’m concerned that that twelve or thirteen pages won’t be enough.

Anyway, I’m off to bed now, to get some rest and try to get over this bug. But first, I might try to get a few more pages of Ptolus read.