Planning your adventure pitches

I wanted to share some advice to help those of you advancing to Round 4.

Keep in mind, the goal of your pitch is to excite the judges and voters about your plans. We need to know enough about the module to know whether we'd like it, but don't need every detail. Use evocative writing to get us excited.

You can certainly include entries from previous rounds, which would allow you to have expanded information on that, assuming people have read those rounds.

Some of the things you should focus on:

* Adventure Type: Is this a mystery adventure? Horror? War? What should people who vote for (or later buy) this module expect from it?

* Keep in mind word count. You're writing a module that's about 24 pages. You won't have room for unlimited encounters and locations, so don't try to be *too* ambitious. Look at Pathfinder Society Scenarios for a good example of what you should be considering in terms of scope.

* Location: Where is the adventure going to take place? We don't need every detail about the location(s), but should know if this is going to be an urban adventure, wilderness, dungeon or something else. Give us the most important aspects of the most important location(s) that will be involved. It might be worth mentioning if you think a location will have a map (keeping in mind that you're only going to have 1 or 2 maps in your module). Remember, if it's going to be based in your location from Round 2, we already have a good deal of information, and you don't need to repeat that (that said, if something's changed in that location based on feedback, this IS the place to make sure we're aware of that).

* Opponents: There's a reason we had an entire round devoted to villains. Give us a little information about the villain(s) the PCs will be facing. Also let us know what other monsters/foes that may be in the module. This might be mentioning merely that fey will play a large role, but you might also highlight a specific type of fey that's important (brownies) or even note a couple fey who are specific NPCs (i.e. Jhanas, quickling bloodrager 6).

* Other obstacles: If one of the adventure locations is going to be trap-filled, let us know. You could choose to give us some idea of what kind of traps the PCs will encounter if you think it's worth it (lots of pit traps) and certainly feel free to detail a specific, new trap if you think it's cool, but you don't need to fully stat up (or even give us the CR) of a spiked pit.

* Rewards: Don't overemphasize this, but feel free to give us some idea of what rewards the PCs can expect. Don't detail every magic item you expect to have, but if there's something special, call it out. Remember to keep wealth-by-level in mind (if you're writing an adventure for Level 3 characters, don't plan to have a staff of power for a reward for surviving. Similarly, keep in mind your adventure might be played as part of a larger campaign; don't give out rewards that may break someone else's game (PCs shouldn't become rulers of their own kingdom at the end of your module).


  • Thanks @motteditor for those tips. Is there no longer a requirement to use our Round 2 location as the basis for our adventure pitch?

    Also, more of a technical question, is there a way to use spoiler tags in this forum. I've noticed that many of the RPG Superstar entries used spoilers to present a much cleaner entry by keeping descriptions of new monsters and NPCs as their own 'sidebars.' I was wondering if this is possible on this forum or if we should just use indents or something to indicate this?
  • Correct; you do not need to use your Round 2 location as the basis for your adventure pitch (though you still can if you want to).


    We're discussing spoiler tags to see if that's possible.
  • There is apparently a spoiler tag built into the forum software. You can use spoilers code with your turnover: [spoiler]text[/spoiler

    (Obviously you'll need to close that last bracket.)
  • Excellent, thank you very much.
  • So I just got permission to post this, which is the pitch for my first (and still only so far) module. It was only 400 words, so obviously isn't going to have as many details as the DesignFinder pitches will have, but hopefully can give you more idea of what we're looking for. Note also that it's one of the very first things I did as a freelancer post-Superstar, so there might be a few things I'd do differently (that second to last paragraph -- which you can tell I was less excited about by the lack of detail there -- ended up not making the final product at all, a good example of making sure you're dialed in on the parts of the adventure that really are the core of what the adventure is. You can get the final product at


    Ironwall Gap Must Hold is a Pathfinder adventure for four PCs of 7th level in which they must take command of a border fortress and hold off an orc horde until reinforcements arrive, then infiltrate enemy territory and kill the orc oracle who spurred the invasion. By the end, PCs should be 8th level.

    When the PCs rescue a desperate messenger from a flock of perytons, they learn of an orc horde besieging the northern mountain passage into the kingdom of Cor Rheale. The PCs are asked to tell the garrison its message got through safely and the soldiers must only hold a few days before reinforcements arrive.

    The PCs arrive at the 30-foot-high wall fortress to a scene of chaos as horns blare out an imminent attack on the massive structure. With the garrison's commanders discovered dead overnight, the PCs must take command to prevent a rout. Assuming they survive the first attack (using mass combat rules in Pathfinder Adventure Path 35 or the upcoming Ultimate Campaign), the PCs have to lead the garrison through battle after battle.

    Among other challenges they will face:

    * Parlaying with the enemy commander, who offers a chance to flee to safety. In addition to learning valuable information about the orcs' motivation, the PCs must decide whether to hold the truce or take the opportunity to remove the orc army's general.

    * Defeating a deadly haunt that has manifested in the command room to find out who killed the garrison's commanders, an elite enemy ghostwalker (an orc ninja) who remains in the fort to cause more trouble.

    * Stopping a suicide charge into the teeth of the enemy by the demoralized, battle-crazed cavalry, an action that could sap the garrison enough that it can't stand.

    * Fighting an ant swarm that has been pushed ahead of a group of sappers trying to tunnel under the wall.

    * Stopping a colossal tusked battle beast (a new monster) before it lumbers up to the wall and lets hundreds of orcs easily bypass the garrison's strongest defense.

    Should the PCs avert disaster, the arriving reinforcements' leaders ask them to infiltrate orc territory, find the unholy woman who prompted the invasion and end her threat permanently.

    If they return safely, they will be heroes in Cor Rheale, offered wealth, a chance to study at the country's war college and a place in the country's aristocracy.

  • All good advice. I'm eager to dig into the Top 4's efforts.
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