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  1. #1
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Adventure Module Creation Best Practices

    This is a guide to help people understand best practices for creating adventure modules for Fantasy Grounds. The AAW guide from 2013 is the current base for this guide (see link below). When creating an adventure module, read through these best practices before beginning.
    Note; some rulesets may not include all of the capabilities mentioned below.

    Due to the length of these best practices, they have been moved to the attachment. Below is a very short summary:

    Create a Module Development Campaign
    Create a new campaign using the ruleset the module is designed for. Only use this for the creation of your module, do not use it as a live campaign with players. Even if you are only creating this for your own use with a single group, this is still the recommended practice. A name that includes "Development" or similar is suggested.

    Map/Image Preparation
    Images should be kept to less than 1 MB in file size and less than 2048x2048 pixels in size. JPG/JPEG format is recommended.

    Item Creation
    Any items that you are going to give to NPC's or make available as treasure should be created in the module Item list.

    NPC Creation
    All creature or NPCs that are going to be used in the module should be created in the module NPC list.

    Story Entries
    Story entries should be consistently named and formatted throughout your module. They should include links to; maps, encounters, parcels, Next/Previous story entries and any other logical entry.

    Encounters
    All map based or combat based NPC's should be organized into Encounters. This facilitates population of the combat tracker and the encounter map with a single click.

    Parcels
    All treasure or items that may be distributed to the party should be included in treasure Parcels.

    Edit
    Last Update:
    27 June 18 - Added PDF version
    1 March 17 - Updated attachment
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by LordEntrails; June 27th, 2018 at 18:47.

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  2. #2
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    This is (obviously) not completed yet. But, Not sure I will get much more done tonight. Some of this was done by memory, so it may be wrong.

    PLUS, so far these are just my suggestions. The intent of this thread is to get input from everyone. So, please post your module creation suggestions and questions. Then I can edit the first post with what appears to be the general consensus / best practice.

    Therefore, post your suggestions
    Last edited by LordEntrails; August 9th, 2016 at 22:45.

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  3. #3
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    Thanks for putting this together. For the story entries, I'd include info about creating section headers/part summaries/chapter header that include links to the sub-sections within that section/part/chapter. Then have links to other parts. You can see e maples of this in the second screenshot here: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/store...?id=CHA0321AFG and in most of the screenshots here: https://www.fantasygrounds.com/store...?id=CHA2328FG2

    Some folks might think this is link overkill. If you're creating the module just for yourself then it might be and go with the approach that works best for you. But if you're producing a module for public consumption then try to offer easy navigation from most story entries, with previous/next links (if appropriate) and a link to a section/part/chapter header, plus any other appropriate navigation links.

    Offer many ways to navigate around entries so that the GM can use the method they find easiest. Also bear in mind (especially for conversions from PDFs/books) that the GM might not have those products and is reading/digesting the whole product purely through Fantasy Grounds. Lay it out logically, and provide those multiple levels of navigation links to make it easy to move around and find the right story entry needed.


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  4. #4
    This is a very useful guide, LordEntrails - thanks!

    For maps, your image size and scale recommendations mean that it's not possible to include a map that covers more than 70 feet top-to-bottom or more than 120 feet across. I'm sure there are many maps that exceed these limits, so perhaps you could include some recommendations for those?

  5. #5
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callum View Post
    This is a very useful guide, LordEntrails - thanks!

    For maps, your image size and scale recommendations mean that it's not possible to include a map that covers more than 70 feet top-to-bottom or more than 120 feet across. I'm sure there are many maps that exceed these limits, so perhaps you could include some recommendations for those?
    Glad you find it helpful

    Good point that I had not addressed. I've got a few battle maps that I've done that are larger than 120 x 70. I still keep the 10 pixel/foot, but use a lower JPEG quality setting to get the file size down. One specific is 200x300 ft with a quality of 20%. File size is 415KB. I'll update the first post to address.

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  6. #6
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    {contents deleted, see post #2}
    Last edited by LordEntrails; August 9th, 2016 at 22:31.

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  7. #7
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Was unable to edit the first post so I put it above. Will try again to get it into the first post and then will cleanup these posts.

    Not sure what if any information needs to go in about tables.

    Current Projects: Ultimate Undermountain (NYDUM)
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  8. #8
    Very well done guide. Thank you for your efforts. Your guide is timely for me as I am in the midst of recreating an old campaign from 2002 that only exists in my notes and in my head. This will help me get better organized.

    Once again, thanks!!

  9. #9
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diceman View Post
    Very well done guide. Thank you for your efforts. Your guide is timely for me as I am in the midst of recreating an old campaign from 2002 that only exists in my notes and in my head. This will help me get better organized.

    Once again, thanks!!
    You are very welcome. Glad it helps. Seemed it would be worth putting it together and glad to hear it's of value.

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  10. #10

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    Rollable tables should be under their own tab, just like Story, NPCs, Items, etc. should be. Decide before you export whether the table should output to Chat or to Story so it's preset for the GM; if it's a table that players would be rolling on, leave it on Chat. Decide before you export whether the table should be Locked or not (usually yes, especially if you're reproducing from published material). Give all tabs the same color, icon and name so your entire module is consistent.

    For the story chapter display order technically the order is controlled by the index id, not the name. But since most people are just copy-pasting into a Story frame the engine gives the index id the same name as you gave the chapter. Anyone writing in (or editing after the fact) the XML source has a lot more fine-tuned control over the index ids.
    Last edited by Talyn; August 9th, 2016 at 14:11.

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