View Full Version : Very small parties

June 3rd, 2010, 23:28
Does anyone know of any pre-built adventures that are available for very small parties (1 or 2 players)?

Sometimes I just like to run a friend or two through an adventure, but it seems impossible to find a module that scales well to that small of a party. Large parties are great at assaulting lairs, but small parties can be used for for thieving jobs, city intrigue, or perhaps investigative work.

Anyways, if you know of any modules that are free, or that I can buy that fits the bill, please let me know!

Moon Wizard
June 3rd, 2010, 23:40
I know that Doug is in the process of reviewing a new publisher that specializes in small scale adventures. I think that they are designed for 3.5/OGL, but perhaps their adventures could be converted.

Otherwise, I haven't heard of anything specific for small parties, but I agree that the current batch of modules from Wizards does not scale well. Perhaps you could try asking your question on the Enworld or Wizards forums as well, since your question is more about adventure design, and not specific to FG.


June 23rd, 2010, 12:55
Expeditious retreat press do a series called "1 on 1 adventures", but you would have to convert them from 3rd edition. You can find them on drivethrurpg.com

Similarly, there used to be a series of adventures from TSR for 1 player, but they are for AD&D.

June 23rd, 2010, 22:19
Honestly, that's a bit of a tough one and something I do quite a few times each week. If I might, I would suggest the following:

1) If we are only talking about killing an hour or two, and having some fun with D&D over FG2, you don't have to put a lot of effort into it. In fact, it's a perfect opportunity to let the player(s) come up with ideas for a quick adventure. They might ask to be a part of a murder mystery, foil a crime, hunt for some lost artifact in the woods, ask to be hired as men-at-arms for some merchant caravan, or just say they'd like to get in a few skirmishes. From there, it's easy to fill in the blanks. A murder mystery might be some skill checks, followed by some late night pursuit through streets leading to an encounter (one that maybe the character need to take the suspect alive, etc). Guarding a caravan might be a skill challenge followed by some attacks as they pass through a forest or mountain pass, etc. Skirmishes are easiest... just find some mobs that are level appropriate and invent a scenario that seems plausible. I usually roll it into some sort of mini-adventure. Example: Two nights ago, my friends ranger was approached by the elven leadership to investigate a crypt that was despoiled (by the demon cult of Impiltur). The cultists were chased off, and pursued, by the main elven militia, but there was some worry that some of the foul rituals left the crypt unsafe. He had to work his way through the forest, try to quietly approach the crypt, only to find that some undead were left over from rituals. Dispatching the first couple, he went to enter only to find that some of the dead around still weren't at peace (a zombie crawled its way out of the earth to attack). Finally, he made it inside the simple, one-chamber crypt only to find a final foul skeleton was there, wielding a longsword that was an heirloom item of the crypt! A last tough battle and he was a hero for dispatching the undead and recovering a family treasure. It took about 5 minute to think up and set up the entire thing. Most the time, those simple, ad-lib adventures are entertaining enough.

2) Find and set aside maps of all shapes, sizes, settings, and types. It will give you something to put players in for any quick adventures you come up with.

3) Don't be afraid to steal the "ideas" behind some of the bigger adventure (including maps as above) and twist it for your own uses. Say you have an old copy of Keep on the Borderlands on hand. Take the ideas from that, use the keep for a base, and just barrow away. A kobold cave to start, only just a few here and there (based on party size) to fill out chambers. Etc. There are tons of adventures out there to draw from.

4) As for rewards... that's pretty simple. Give out what is appropriate as you go along. I have been giving that one friend (and some others who join on occasion) experience during our for fun skirmishes. The night before last, after the crypt run, I figured it was about time for him to have earned a magic item so the grateful family who owned the crypt rewarded him with a magic scimitar as a thanks for cleansing the crypt and returning the heirloom longsword. The parcel system gives you a good idea about how much treasure a PC should earn over the course of an adventure level.

Gah.. I have more thoughts (ideas) but I need to come back to this later. Wife is expecting me to meet her for sushi soon. :D

June 26th, 2010, 14:23
Thanks for the terrific replies - look forward to reading more.

June 26th, 2010, 14:46
I kind of lost the momentum of this but a few more things come to mind still.

5) If you play any MMOs, don't hesitate to barrow from those as well. There are tons of mini-quests, quest chains, and the like that are usually pretty shallow, but some of them are interesting and can be tweaked for D&D use. It's extraordinarily cliche in your WoWs, EverQuests, and LotROs (etc) to have the "wolves are terrorizing our vineyard" or "giant rats and dire rats have infested the temple's basement", please go kill them for us, but in a pinch, those short "adventures" from MMOs would work. There are even some quest chains out there that offer some roleplay, interesting plotlines, and maps to boot.

6) D&D Insider (if you don't have it) offers a lot of material you can use to stimulate the brain cells and parse up. Also, if you have a hobby shop anywhere near you, it's worth seeing if they have any old Dungeon Magazine they are selling used copies of. You might be able to find some easy to convert adventures out of those.

In the end, though, you'll find just winging some roleplay, a mini-quest or series of quests, some skill challenges that fit their characters, and some modest encounters with creatures of appropriate level will keep everyone entertained and provide a lot of low stress fun.