Encounter Building in Dungeons and Dragons

Quite simply, a game master can prepare no encounters until the players first have a goal.

Before designing your encounters, review the goal of the players and their characters. Then your encounters will mean volumes to the players and their characters.

  • Scene – upon the ocean with shore in sight
  • Goal – to reach the shore
  • Incident – monster shark strikes the boat enough to introduce a leak
  • Conflict – water fills the boat to the point of submersion
  • Question – will the Sojourners arrive to shore before they sink into the waters?

See how an encounter is made up of many pieces. And many encounters can spawn from one encounter. And many encounters make up one amazing adventure.

Ask questions to build a memorable encounter

  • What are the player goals?
  • What opposes them?
  • What will help them succeed?
  • What will help them fail?

Enjoy your encounter building and as always,

May your story continue!

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