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What, in your opinion, are the characteristics of a “good” adventure? Does it vary based on the context in which the adventure is being run? If so, how does it vary?

“Leitz” answered in the August 2010 issue:

A good adventure is one where the GM has fun playing out their ideas and the players get to develop their character story more.

“kafka” answered in the October 2010 issue:

A good adventure is one where everyone has fun. Pure and simple. If something doesn’t work…fix it, improvise and change it. Plot is a series of guidelines or benchmarks that you want the players to achieve. However, the good Traveller adventure depends upon use of familiar tropes and making the setting somewhat fantastical or very hard. Traveller requires that one put a lot of thinking (although not really work) into thinking about the setting. There has to be something that tells the players that they are no longer in Kansas anymore. And, as I game with newbies and seasoned players alike, I usually throw a few bones to the old time grognards by citing something from canon, e.g. when players were investigating an old abandoned First Imperium Space Station need in the Corridor…they found computers that did not need switches for some basic functions. Suggesting that Vilani-Zhodani cooperation taking place. And, indeed, as the main Boss was a vicious predator from the Foreven Sector that escaped its pen and was feeding on the other lifeforms (including, its own kin) that inhabited the station it was perfectly in keeping when I presented subsector maps with the names shaved off of the Avalon polity.

So other than setting, mood, if I am aiming for something creepy. I will add in creepy special effects. If I am doing something exploration based…I might add in natural elements such as the sound of Thunderstorms and counterpoise it with the relaxation track also containing thunderstorms when they make camp but all the time…terror is perhaps present. Similarly, when the mood is joyful, I might select a playful piece of music to convey that such as when they were meeting the head of crime syndicate, I played the Godfather theme…it provided a cue to the players who they were meeting was not going to be a nice trader as he appeared in respectful society.

Have an interesting cast of characters. Mongoose chargen makes this extraordinarily easy. Use what they have or improvise if you are doing pregens. Take a cue from Starblazer Adventures and have your players build some of their characters by simply looking at their bare stats.