Tag Archives: narrative

Activity #6 More read throughs (and no playtesting) of my encounter in Week of ‘Spring 2022 Write your First D&D Encounter Workshop’

Activity #6 in Week 3 of ‘Spring 2022 Write your First D&D Encounter Workshop’ is all about playtesting.

In theory and in practice it’s a good thing to do, but in the context of a relatively inexpensive online workshop where the stakes are low and there’s little incentive for a participant to engage in an optional activity aside from the goodness of their heart with the hope you reciprocate, your expectations are low when it comes to getting someone to playtest your encounter – it can be intense constantly schilling your encounter in the Discord channel.

That’s why the fallback of a read through works – it’s relatively quick and easy to do alone and within your own time, which means it’s more likely for your encounter to receive feedback. I’ve been fortunate to give and receive four read throughs, which is fantastic.

Throughout the week I’ve also been exploring layouts and tinkering with The Homebrewery to format my encounter and prepare it for publishing in Week 4. So far it looks a little like the following.

Activity #6 Playtesting my encounter in Week of ‘Spring 2022 Write your First D&D Encounter Workshop’

Week 3 of #WYFE , also known as ‘Spring 2022 Write your First D&D Encounter Workshop’, is all about playtesting my encounter.

As noted on the #Stoco workshop website, playtesting is an optional step in the game design process in which you test your design for flaws before releasing it to the market (Arman, n.d.). As Arman (n.d.) also notes, the playtesting can be of great benefit and can help you to:

  • receive valuable feedback from real gamers
  • glean insights about your audience and how to anticipate their needs
  • mitigate negative criticism arising from unforeseen issues in your creations prior to release.

Arman suggested to really focus your playtest, making sure to identify the areas and specify what you’d like to find out and make it easy for playtesters to offer feedback e.g., provide an overview, goals and link to survey or similar to gather responses.

Arman also suggested casting a wide net when inviting others to playtest, which I did by sharing my encounter with the RPG Writer Workshop Discord, the Game Writing Twitter community, and the Discussion section of the workshop website – I’ll also ask my D&D inspired work colleagues to take a squiz!

Activity #4 Outlining your encounter (Submission – 11 May) for ‘Spring 2022 Write your First D&D Encounter Workshop’

Using the outline template, I outlined my encounter in the following format:

  • Title
  • Synopsis
  • Location
  • NPCs/monsters/creatures
  • Objective
  • Conclusion

I’ve refashioned the worksheet from the Welcome Kit as a Google doc and have been outlining my encounter in it and shared it on Discord in the #crafting-your-encounter channel – I’m really looking forward to refining it over the remaining weeks!

Week 2: Activity #4 – Start outlining your encounter for ‘Spring 2022 Write your First D&D Encounter Workshop’

Activity #4 for Week 2 (and beyond) of the ‘Spring 2022 Write Your First D&D Encounter Workshop’ is to start outlining my one page (500 words at 12 pt font) encounter in my Workshop document and then share on Discord in the #crafting-your-encounter channel.

This is the ‘writing phase’ of the workshop and that builds on what I’ve done for Activity #1, Activity #2 and Activity #3.

D&D Maps

Leading up to the start of Write Your First D&D Encounter | Spring 2022 workshop, I’ve been totally inspired by the maps produced and shared for use by Dyson Logos and have started drawing out my own D&D maps for my encounter – it’s been fun to think how I can keep them tight, light and urgent for my encounter.

Break out/Escape – totally inspired by Dyson Logos’ “Page o’ Little Ruins”, which is okay right?
The under to get over – make your way through three levels to get to the surface, if you can…

D&D trade dress with Homebrewery and GM Binder, and maps

Before the Write Your First D&D Encounter | Spring 2022 workshop starts on 1 May, I’ve been exploring the additional resources section of the online portal.

In there, a bunch of cool stuff can be found, including links to GM BInder and Homebrewery which are online tools for generating the ‘D&D trade dress style’ – gotta explore this more so I’m ready to apply these tools to format my published encounter at the end of the fourth week!

A quick go of Homebrewery with placeholder text and markdown – neato!

Equally cool is Dyson Logos Commercial Maps, an archive of maps by professional cartographer, Dyson Logos – unbelievably awesome!

My current favourite is the short and sharp map, The Dragon Shrine. Dyson Logos writes…

Seeming to have climbed out of the ghost dunes, the namesake of the Dragon Shrine is more accurately described as the upper torso, shoulders, head and arms of a massive troglodyte assembled from massive stone blocks. Stone tiers and rows of parallel columns lead up to the idol’s chest where a copper door covered in a deep green patina allows access to the interior of the beast to those who know the command word to open it.

The Dragon Shrine

Worksheet for the ‘Spring 2022 Write Your First D&D Encounter Workshop’

My worksheet for the Spring 2022 Write Your First D&D Encounter Workshop, which runs from 1 May to 31 May, 2022.

By the end of the four week workshop, my worksheet will be fully populated and (hopefully) ready and good enough to be published as part of an anthology of encounters by other workshop participants.

I’ve joined the Spring 2022 Write Your First D&D Encounter Workshop!

I’m super-excited about making a start on the Spring 2022 Write Your First D&D Encounter Workshop, which is a fully-online 4 week course that launches on 1 May and finishes on 31 May.

What I’ll do

By the end of the workshop, I’ll have written and produced a one-page D&D 5th Edition encounter – a mini adventure. In the workshop, I’ll learn about:

  • elements of an encounter
  • designing my encounter
  • writing my encounter
  • playtesting my encounter
  • Dungeon Masters Guild Best Practices – cool!

Workshop schedule

The weekly schedule looks pretty good – here’s how it unfolds over the four weeks of the workshop.

Week Lesson Date
1 What is an Encounter?

 

  • The components of a D&D encounter
  • What is an Encounter?
  • Types of Encounters
1 – 7 May
2 Writing Your Encounter

 

  • Brainstorming the Effective Way
  • Starting Your Encounter
  • Reinventing Tropes
8-14 May
3 Playtesting Your Encounter

 

  • Playtesting
  • Implementing feedback
15-21 May
4 Producing Your Encounter

 

  • Layout Basics
  • Publishing to DMs Guild
  • Marketing Your Encounter
21-30 May
4 Submission day 31 May

Before it begins…

So far, I’ve been able to successfully sign-up, join Discord and request to join the #wyfe channel where participants will be able to share their work and thoughts with others – great stuff.

The off-platform discussion and participant engagement and sharing via Discord is a vaguely similar to the way #DS106 used Twitter and each participants’s personal cyber infrastructure as well as a central hub to deliver the course, sort of – making use of available tools and platforms (that the target audience most likely already uses) is more efficient and flexible than designing an LMS/walled-garden situation. It probably also keeps costs down, which means the course is more viable.

The next steps for me is to continue to make my way through the pre-course welcome area and continue to monitor the Discord channel before it all starts on 1 May, of course – not much time!

Our work is going to be published – cool

Our work is going to be published – cool

The Storytelling Collective is going to assemble a collection of the one-page encounters into an anthology that they’ll release as one title on DMs Guild, much like Collective Encounters Vol. I, Collective Encounters Vol. II and Collective Encounters Vol. III.

Days later or maybe even weeks later

Days later or maybe even weeks later is a concept for a collaborative workplace/institute/teaching centre-wide activity for staff and students designed to mend the physical and psychological effects of the Victorian government’s $300 million in cuts from the state’s TAFE sector. Physical and psychological effects could include closure of campuses, a reduction of courses being offered and job cuts.

This blog post contains exerpts from a conversation about the concept I had with myself on our organisation’s Yammer network. This blog post attempts to consolidate the concept.

I saw the activity taking place after the catastrophic event. It could’ve been 28 days later or even 28 weeks later. It doesn’t really matter. Just as long as the scenario provides an exposition,  defines the goal(s) to be achieved by staff and students and also describes the resources/materials that are available for use.

I saw the activity involving the every staff member and their respective teaching centre. From the top to the bottom of the organisational chart. The CEO would actually play a pivotal role in activity. They would be responsible for broadcasting/providing updates on the progress of the activity. These updates would also allow activity facilitators to adjust the activity if/when required.


I saw each teaching centre being responsible for helping students contribute a specific artefact or service from their particular area of expertise. The artefact or service (and production of) would contribute to the activity while also satisfying the students scholastic assessment requirements.

Nothing about the activity changes the need for students to demonstrate their skills and provide evidence of their competence. It’s just their output or artefact may change, but not how they work through the process of creating the artefact.

I didn’t want the activity to involve only our Australian based campus. I wanted the activity to be inclusive. What better way to reach out to our state and international counterparts than a part in a inter-campus activity.

Hospitality Tourism planning is highly complex and requires integrated and flexible approaches. The activity would reflect the typical nature of each particular area of study. for example, hospitality and tourism is a complex industry that requires flexible approaches and unique problem solving skills, particularly in the context of responding to a natural disaster. Real-world examples that require application of employability skills and dimensions of competency.


Scientist area always important in an activity involving zombies. They serve as one of the last hopes – finding a cure!

The activity would take place in real time and play-out over an entire semester, perhaps even the entire scholastic year. Although maintaining momentum over this period of time could be difficult. The pacing of the narrative would be informed by the deliverables of each course.


Testing the activity on a teaching centre could be a good way to identify issues.

Then I realised. Yes. This is a zombie game.

This activity would take place openly and in public. Non-students and staff would be able to observe the progress of the activity via the organisation’s website. Completing the activity publicly gives people the opportunity to see the work the students and staff are doing together (Outside an open day, showcase or expo context).


Then I realised the zombie metaphor is problematic.

Staff and students are not to blame for the funding cuts.


Although the activity may not be completely appropriate at this point in time, I do think there is potential for a collaborative workplace/institute/teaching centre-wide activity for staff and students to occur.