When you try your hand at being the game master, sometimes it is convenient to draw on pre-built campaigns to give structure and coherence to the game, other times a little cue is more than enough to kick off our inspiration. Micro adventures are small pieces of adventure that are not lost in frills or long explanations, but they give those seeking inspiration a contribution to start a new story or to enrich an existing one with new ideas.
In this article, we explore the rationale behind each micro adventure: flexibility with respect to our own setting, the type of content and the most useful tools to connect them to any ongoing campaigns.
Free contents for fantasy or sci-fi settings
The micro adventures encapsulate an experience that the game master can grab on the fly and play in a quick session. Each adventure is divided into self-contained situations explained with a certain level of abstraction. In this way we prepare adventures suitable for a wide range of settings, in particular with fantasy or science fiction roots.
Location aspects: partially unearthed monuments, tire tracks, geysers and braziers always lit.
Various traces of excavation remain visible in this hole in the ground. Some stone totems partially emerge. Some are straight, others tilted or bent, while still others depict sacred animal heads. For some reason this excavation was abandoned by its workers.
Blurbs like this help the game master with ready-to-use content, open enough for adaptations and with few but significant points of interaction for the player characters.
Components of a micro-adventure
Here are the building blocks we use to structure a micro adventure.
Situations. Fantastic locations that hide secrets to discover. In one situation, the game master receives what it takes to introduce the context and leave the characters free to act and interact with the environment.
Treasures. A description of the items, upgrades, or rewards characters can get from a given situation. In this context, the game masters can apply the mechanics provided by their favorite game system.
Antagonists. Game master controlled characters designed to generate combat trials or situations. Each antagonist foresees possible links with ongoing campaigns, initial attitude towards the characters and tactical actions in the event of a fight.
Traps. Events not immediately known in the introduction of the situation. A trap is activated to the detriment or benefit of characters, but only under certain conditions.
Complications. Optional content that enriches the depth or variety of the game. They may include additional mechanics, particular events, or different storytelling modes.
Engagements. Curious ideas to generate new adventures. These elements can be inserted at the beginning of a new campaign or scattered throughout the development to provide the characters with additional narrative options.
Space for customizations
Some game masters reuse external content to the maximum to enrich their adventures, while others prefer to add their original touch to better suit their group. Whatever the case is, it is more than valid for us, which is why in the micro adventures we have marked the best spaces to integrate the mechanics you want, but above all how to link the situation to your personalized campaign. Here are a couple of examples: the antagonists are particularly suitable for this purpose, as they can recall an already existing relationship with the characters such as belonging to known organizations or communities. Furthermore, it is often possible to enrich the treasures with objects that the characters are looking for, thus transforming a micro adventure, even very different from the usual, into a place that has its own specific purpose.
Micro adventures are content completely dedicated to you. They are and will be free from registration or purchases, ready at any time to help you enrich or beautify your gaming sessions. We hope you find them as useful as we did for our playtest sessions.
[Photo © Canva]