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Encounter Theory


Write or publish better adventures!

Ben Riggs has read and reviewed hundreds of adventures for Geek & Sundry and the Plot Points podcast. In Encounter Theory he channels that accumulated wisdom into tools you can use to make your adventures better. He has invented a theory of adventure design to cut away unhelpful ideas and created 14 playplans, tools which will apply the theory to help you write better adventures for home or publication.

Life is too short for bad adventures!

Make better fantasy, horror, and investigative adventures today! Encounter Theory includes:

  • A manifesto on Ben’s ideas on adventure design, Encounter Theory

  • 14 playplans that distill Encounter Theory into something you can use at the table, or to publish better adventures

  • A 5E compatible adventure, “The Mysterious Death of Lord Alfred”

  • Commentary on the adventure, explaining how I deployed Encounter Theory to create the adventure

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (3)
Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Juan David J May 18, 2022 5:19 pm UTC
Do you have it available on Amazon or on kindle format?
Customer avatar
John M February 26, 2020 2:56 pm UTC
It would be nice if a future update included bookmarks; I find it tiring to read a PDF on screen (now that I'm ancient) and so trying to get back to the place where I was can be painful. Yes, some PDF readers do help with this, but I keep a document on multiple documents, not all of which share PDF readers. I love PDF for a number of things, but it really does assume a structure like paper: you have enough room, and the interrelationships of objects are important. So I second the possibility of a print version.

I am slowly retyping the book to create an ePub for my own use, so an ePub might also be nice. It would not be as useful for the playplans, but you provide those as a word document, so...
Customer avatar
Benjamin M August 11, 2019 3:02 am UTC
So I've been going through the adventure brainstormer. In it, among other things, you generate a villian, their plan to achieve their goals, and obstacles that stand in their way. To me, it seems like their plan should stem from the obstacles (x, y, and z are in the way, so I should do a, b, and c to get rid of them). Is this the right way to think about it? And if so, why put the plan section before the obstacles section?
Customer avatar
Erik F September 24, 2019 2:01 pm UTC
Your reasoning on a villain's plan sounds fine to me. As for "plan" and "obstacles," I think your issue is only a matter of looking at a step-by-step process and seeing something more organic. In other words, you're conceptually correct, but the text is structurally correct. If you're coming up with obstacles that are integral to the plan, that's no problem. Later, the "obstacles" step might help you see something you missed earlier, or give you a chance to add obstacles that the villain might not have planned for (and can therefore be exploited by the players), and so on.
Customer avatar
Stacie W June 20, 2019 4:16 am UTC
Is this available in print?
Customer avatar
Benjamin R July 01, 2019 3:40 am UTC
Unfortunately not. People keep asking, but I have thought that my time would be better spent working on writing another book. But clearly, I need to figure this out, since people keep asking.
Customer avatar
Lucus P June 03, 2019 11:21 pm UTC
There is a button for a full-size preview but its a broken link to...

Not Found
The requested URL /Not PDF (file=Fillable_Playplans.docx, ext=docx) was not found on this server.
Customer avatar
Scott M June 12, 2019 12:59 am UTC
The "Full-size Preview" link works for me.

Direct link:
Customer avatar
Lucus P June 12, 2019 5:41 pm UTC
Its working now, it hadn't back on June 3rd. Thanks for pointing out it was fixed.
Customer avatar
Benjamin R June 16, 2019 1:07 pm UTC
Yeah, that was my first time uploading to DriveThru, and I made a couple rookie mistakes which I fixed in a frenetic few hours after the upload. Thanks for noticing Lucus!
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This title was added to our catalog on June 03, 2019.