Scenario Publishing Formats
These guidelines presented below define how a Here are the style definitions:
scenario manuscript should be formatted, and Normal: Font Arial 10 pt, justified paragraphs,
what should be included. Please follow them; a lot line spacing single, tab at 0.25 inches,
of editing time is saved if you submit your scenario widow/orphan control on, language English
in the right formats. Scenarios not formatted (US).
correctly will be returned. Read Aloud Text: Normal + bold italic
To ease your way through the formatting Heading 1: Normal + Font Arial 16 pt, bold,
process, we have included a template in MS Word centered, space after 3 pt., keep with next,
format (Word 95) that has all the styles defined keep lines together, language English (US).
correctly, and the title page elements in the right Heading 2: Heading 1 + Font 12 pt. bold
place and with the right legal and blurb text. If you underlined, flush left.
don‘t want to bother with all the formatting Heading 3: Heading 1 + Font 11 pt. bold, flush
instructions below, use that template. If you don‘t left.
use MS Word, then you should create your own Heading 4: Normal + bold underline, flush left,
template in your own word processor program, or keep with next
write to HQ for a RTF version (styles do not Footer: Normal + Not widow/orphan, tabs
always stay defined in RTF format, which is why center 3.25‖, right 6.5‖, not 0.25‖. Border top
we have not released the template in that format). (3/4 pt line), border spacing 1 pt.
All pages have 1-in. margins. The title page is Read-aloud text should be in the Read Aloud
single column. The main text is two columns, with Text format. The headings are used in increasing
0.25" spacing between equal width columns. number order, so heading one is a major head,
Handouts are generally single column, unless it heading 2 is a sub-head, and heading 3 is a sub-
makes sense for them to look otherwise. sub-head. When calling out tiered combats, such
as Tier Three, use Heading 3.
Style sheets are required for formatting. The style
sheets defined in this document (in the styles
function, and below) are correct for LIVING Section breaks in the document
GREYHAWK scenarios. Use the Format—Styles Section breaks and page breaks should be used
command to copy the styles into your scenario sparingly. They should be placed in the following
files BEFORE starting to write. If you copy them in locations:
after, re-apply them to the text sections as
appropriate. A good trick for re-applying styles in A section break goes after the legal text on the
MS Word is to go to Find-Replace and use the title page. This is a Next-Page section break.
Format selection pup-up to select styles. Then A section break goes after the text of the
select the style that is there (Normal, for example) scenario and before any handouts or maps.
in the top box and also in the bottom box. This will This is a Next-Page section break.
replace the style definitions for that style in all A section break goes just before the
paragraphs where the style occurs in the characters, which are the last thing in any
document with the new definitions. scenario file.
Alternately, you can save this file as a RTF file A section break goes before the title page for
under the name of your scenario, remove all the second and third rounds when these occur.
text from the NEW copy, and start writing without Page breaks go between handouts. Since I
worrying about your style definitions. Once you have to scan and load the maps once you are
start adding your own text, save is as a .doc file done, you need not leave space for them. I‘ll
(or whatever is appropriate for your word figure out where they go.
processor). Page breaks also go between characters if the
If you don‘t have MS Word, you will have to column format is the same for all (as in single
define these styles in your own word processor column characters).
and save them in a style template so you can use
them for all your scenarios. Continuous-Page section breaks only go in where
you want to have a single column header and a
Scenario Formats Page 1
two-column page of info. See Appendix A for a Player Introduction
sample of this kind of layout.
This section provides read-aloud text to help set
the scene for the players prior to the adventure
Title Page itself. The Player Introduction text sets the mood
The title page of your adventure needs to convey and tone of the adventure.
important information to the reader. This
"summary" information also will appear on the The Player's Introduction must include at least one
RPGA Web site, and will be used by convention "adventure hook" that pulls the PCs into the
coordinators to determine if your adventure fits adventure — perhaps they were hired by a
what they're planning for their show. member of their church, perhaps a family member
is in peril, etc. In some cases, multiple hooks are
The following information must appear on the title desirable, as PCs with different backgrounds and
page, and must accompany your submission: opinions may be motivated by different factors.
Ultimately, it is the player's responsibility to justify
Scenario Title: ____________________ their character's presence at the table and in the
Author Name(s): ____________________ adventure, but a little help from the adventure
Appropriate for Levels/Tiers: _________________ author goes a long way.
Be careful to avoid hooks that dictate
The blurb should present a brief overview of the character actions or feelings.
adventure, giving enough information to allow the
player to choose an appropriate character without Encounters
giving away any "secrets" in the adventure itself.
Each encounter can include any or all of the
You may use the blurb to suggest particularly
following sections: Read-aloud Text, General
appropriate or inappropriate character classes or
Description, Trap(s), Treasure, Creature(s) or
races, though scenarios that exclude characters
NPC(s) (or both), Tactics, and Development. Do
based on these factors should be avoided.
not include sections that are unnecessary for a
given encounter. For instance, an area devoid of
Boiler Plate Information traps does not require a Trap section. Don‘t
Each RPGA adventure features a half-column or include heading labels for these sections unless it
more of "boiler plate" information — standard makes sense to do so.
introductory information that includes suggestions
to judges. This information will be added during Read-aloud Text: Usually set off by bold italics
the editing/sanctioning process. You don't need to (see Publishing Formats later in this document).
worry about it. The read-aloud text is meant to be read aloud to
the players, usually triggered by an entrance into a
Judge Introduction new encounter area, or by the appearance of a
new NPC. It also provides the DM with a
The introduction provides the DM with a concise
description of items in the room. Read-aloud text
summary of events leading up to the adventure,
provides a concise description of the encounter
including any pertinent historical details and
area; it does not make any reference to the
villainous machinations. The author also should
viewer. Avoid phrases like "you see," "as you enter
include some background for the local area for
the room," or other usage that assumes any action
DMs unfamiliar with the local setting. The Judge
or thought whatsoever on behalf of the players.
Introduction also should include a list of any
Avoid long descriptions of NPC actions or
required books, other than the core rules, that may
conversations. Be very careful when having
be helpful in running the scenario.
events that the PCs cannot affect happen in read-
aloud text; these should be extremely rare and
Adventure Synopsis justified by common sense. At all costs, avoid the
This section provides a concise summary of the evil villain five-minute exposition of his plan. Read-
adventure for the DM, including a general timeline aloud text never forces actions on players.
that tells the DM how the adventure should play
out. Surprises and "plot twists" should be outlined General Description: This section provides the
here, not during the course of the adventure. DM with information on interesting features, NPCs,
traps, and other specifics of the encounter that
Scenario Formats Page 2
relate to the read-aloud text. This information sections of read-aloud text that will be used,
follows immediately after the read-aloud text and depending on the PCs' actions and results. It is
is not set off in any special way. Simple important to use this section to bring a sense of
encounters can get by with a sentence or two of completeness to the adventure.
general description. However, a particularly
complex encounter might require more Experience Point Summary
This section details all of the available experience
in the adventure and details to the DM how it
Trap(s): This section describes in detail any traps
should be given out. Except in extremely unusual
(magical or mundane) that are triggered in the
circumstances, all PCs should be awarded the
same amount of experience.
Creature(s) or NPC(s) (or both): Any non-player
character (NPC) or monster that the PCs might Treasure Summary
encounter is described here. This section provides This section describes all available treasure
a physical description of the monster, as well as available to PCs in the adventure, and where it
general motivations and some background. This came from in the scenario. Be sure to include any
section also should include the appropriate unique or magical items that the PCs may choose
creature‘s abbreviated statistics. (See D&D- to acquire. If an item is not included in this section,
Specific Formats below for the proper way to it will not be given to any PC. Please see the
format NPC and Creature statistics.) Monsters that Rewards section, which details appropriate
appear multiple times should appear in rewards for the LIVING GREYHAWK setting.
abbreviated form (monster type, number, hit
points, and equipment)—full stats for such Most treasure in the LIVING GREYHAWK campaign
monsters should be gathered into an easily is represented by paper certificates. The text for
referenced appendix. Unique monsters and NPCs any certificates should appear in the treasure
also should be placed in an appendix at the end of summary with the item itself. See the Rewards
the adventure. section for specifics on certificate content.
Tactics: If the actions or tactics of the NPCs or Appendices
monsters are too complex to handily fit into the These should appear at the end of the adventure
General Description, they should be described in and may encapsulate any of the following: maps
this section. for the DM or player, handouts for the PCs,
monster statistics and new monster descriptions,
Treasure: Any treasure that the PCs can find or any other necessary information.
during the encounter is described here, above and
beyond possessions noted in the monster stats, if
any. Special items, such as new magic items,
should be listed here; however, the full The footer should be as in the template file sent
presentation of a new magic item or other special with this file. The name of scenario is written in the
item should be placed at the back of the lower left, "page #" is written in lower right. Round
adventure, in the treasure summary. # in the middle if the scenario is for multiple round
Development: Sometimes the PCs‘ actions can
have unusual ramifications or impact on later General Writing Style Issues
encounters. These changes and developments The following sections are information scenario
should be described here. designers should be aware of prior to writing an
This section describes the possible consequences Tense
resulting from the adventure‘s success or failure, Text should be written in the present tense.
including material rewards and punishments. It Wherever possible, avoid using the future tense
generally allows the characters to return to the "will" or "shall" to describe NPC or monster
starting location and summarizes all of the actions. For example, do not say, "If the
outcomes of the adventure. There may be different characters open the door, the golem will attack."
Scenario Formats Page 3
Instead say, "If the characters open the door, the following sections: Trap Presentation, Stat
golem attacks." Blocks, and Tense.
Numerals should be used for any measurement of Capitalize abilities (Strength, Dexterity, etc.), skill
distance expressed in yards (or meters) or any names (Craft, Search, Decipher Script, etc.), feat
smaller unit. The spelled-out form of the number names (Whirlwind Attack, Quicken Spell, etc.),
should be used for any expression of distance Cleric domains (Good, War, etc.), wizard schools
longer than yards (or meters), except when the (Transmutation, Necromancy, etc.), names of
expression is a specific large number. These are languages (Common, Dwarven, etc.), sizes
correct: 750 miles, fifteen miles, 15 feet. Do not (Small, Medium, etc.), and saving throw categories
use ‗ or ― to denote measurement units; use feet or (Fortitude, Reflex, Will). The term "Dungeon
inches instead. You can abbreviate feet as ―ft.‖ Master" and the abbreviation "DM" are always
and inches as ―in.‖ capitalized, while the various D&D hardbound
Numerals should be used for any books are capitalized and italicized (e.g., Player’s
measurement of time expressed in hours or any Handbook, Monster Manual). Never abbreviate the
smaller unit. The spelled-out form of a number names of D&D handbooks.
should be used for any expression of time longer In LIVING GREYHAWK, the terms Fame, Fame
than hours, except when the expression is a Points, Influence, Influence Points, Regional Triad,
specific large number. These are correct: 648 Triad, and Circle of Six are always capitalized.
years, forty-eight years, forty-eight days, 48 hours, Monsters, character classes, alignments,
48 minutes. spells, magic items, and weapons that do not
Numerals should be used for any include proper nouns are all lower case. Magic
measurement of weight expressed in pounds (or items and spell names are italicized.
kilograms) or any smaller unit. The spelled-out
form of a number should be used for any Abbreviations
expression of weight larger than pounds (or Abbreviations usually use all capital letters and no
kilograms), except when the expression is a periods (DM, NPC, HD, XP). The abbreviations for
specific large number. These are correct: twenty hit points and coins use lower case letters and no
tons, 20 lbs. periods (hp, gp, sp). Note that the abbreviation for
Numerals are always used for geometric "electrum piece" is ep, and the abbreviation for
angles (e.g., 45 degrees) and expressions of experience points is XP.
temperature (e.g., 45˚F), ability scores, skill ranks,
skill points, creature statistics, amounts of Ability scores are abbreviated as follows: Str
currency, level references ("1st level," not "first (Strength), Dex (Dexterity), Con (Constitution), Int
level"), experience points, bonuses and penalties, (Intelligence), Wis (Wisdom), Cha (Charisma).
dice designators (but use d%, not d100), Class abbreviations are as follows:
multipliers, number of charges (in the context of a
magic item that has charges), and number of Ftr = Fighter Clr = Cleric
times per day or other unit of time in a stat block Bbn = Barbarian Drd = Druid
(written as 2/day, 3/day, etc.). Pal = Paladin Rog = Rogue
Rgr = Ranger Brd = Bard
Hyphenation Wiz = Wizard Mnk = Monk
Always hyphenate class and spell levels when Sor = Sorcerer
they precede a noun (4th-level rogue, 1st-level
spell). Hyphenate compound adjectives before Nob = Noble NPC Exp = Expert NPC
nouns (the red-haired, 18-foot-tall fire giant). Do Adp = Adept NPC War = Warrior NPC
not hyphenate before the suffix like except after Com = Commoner NPC
double-l endings (e.g., snakelike, spell-like).
Ddf = Dwarven Defender Arc = Arcane Archer
D&D Writing Style Issues Lor = Loremaster Shd = Shadowdancer
Asn = Assassin Bgd = Blackguard
The following sections are information scenario
designers should be aware of prior to writing an
adventure. However, be sure to strictly follow the
Scenario Formats Page 4
Damage D&D Trap Presentation
Use the phrase "points of damage" when giving Most traps have several associated DC values the
damage in numbers or ranges. Always use a die DM needs in order to adjudicate the PCs‘
range when giving damage, and always include a application of their various skills. Whenever a trap
numeral before the type of die, even if there is only is encountered, the following specific information
one. For example: "The skeleton inflicts 1d3 points also should be available in a standard format, as
of damage with each claw" is correct. Do not use shown in the following examples:
"d3 points of damage," "1d3 damage," or "1d3 hp
damage." Ability damage uses the appropriate Arrow trap: +5 ranged (1d6 [crit x3]); Search (DC
ability score abbreviation. For example: "The 21), Disable Device (DC 20).
character suffers 1d6+1 Str damage from the
poison." Poisoned arrow trap: +5 ranged (1d6 [crit x3]) +
poison (Fort save to resist (DC 14); 1d6
Miscellaneous Str/1d6Str); Search (DC 21), Disable Device (DC
The names of magic items and spells should be 20).
italicized or underlined. List all pluses before the
description of the item (+3 longsword is correct; Trapdoor pit: 20 ft. deep (2d6); Reflex save to
longsword +3 is wrong). avoid (DC 20); Search (DC 21); Disable Device
The following terms are each single words:
longsword, greatsword, greatclub, greataxe, Glyph of warding: 5 ft. acid spray (2d8); Reflex
waraxe, longbow, longspear, shortspear, save for half damage (DC 15); Search (DC 28);
halfspear, warhammer, shortbow, crossbow, Disable Device (DC 28).
breastplate, chainmail, spellbook, spellcaster,
spellcasting, and trapdoor D&D Stat Blocks
When D&D creatures and NPCs are described
Defunct D&D Rules Terms under Creatures, the entry should contain a full-
Several once-familiar DUNGEONS & DRAGONS length stat block indicating all information about a
terms have changed. creature. Note that values that derive from other
stats should indicate the appropriate root value, as
These terms are no longer used: shown below.
AD&D, backstabs, character death at 0 hp, ability-
based XP bonus, any random determination of PC If you want to be sure you have created your stat
abilities, dual-classing, chance to know spell, blocks corrected, copy the one below that fits the
infravision, class groups, minimum/maximums creature you are making the stat block for, and
spells, melee declaration phase, secondary skills, replace the information in the block with the right
nonweapon proficiency, alternate magic systems, information for your NPC or creature. That way,
turns as a measure of time, weapon specialization, the semi-colons, periods, and labels will be
exceptional strength, memorizing spells, custom correct.
dice rolling rules, roll low for success, fractional Improperly formatted stat blocks will result in a
attack rates, kits, morale, Complete Handbook scenario being returned so that you can fix them
material, segments, alignment tongues, and with the helpful statement, ―Your stat blocks need
ultravision (the last three were not even in 2e, but to be fixed.‖ It will be up to you to figure out what is
they still occasionally show up in writing). wrong with them, or even with only one of them,
and make the corrections. We really recommend
These terms or rules have changed, be sure to that you start by copying one of these.
check carefully when using them:
0-Level Characters, Creature Death 0 hp, Non-classed creatures
Initiative, Missile Range Categories, Training,
Plate Mail, NPC Classes, Proficiency, Monsters, Non-classed creature’s name (#): CR #; Size
Spheres, Surprise Rolls, Saving throws, Magic and template (# ft. tall or long); HD #d#+#; hp #;
Items, Deities, Fear & Horror Checks, and Spells. Init # (Init modifiers); Spd # ft.; AC # (AC
modifiers); Atks +# melee (damage [crit info if not
20/x2] [qty if >1], attack type), +# ranged (damage,
attack type); Face/Reach list if other than 5 ft. x 5
Scenario Formats Page 5
ft./5 ft.; SA short descriptions of special attacks, melee (damage [crit info if not 20/x2] [qty if >1],
complex attacks go below; SQ Short descriptions attack type), +# ranged (damage, attack type);
of special defenses, complex Qualities go below; Face/Reach list if other than 5 ft. x 5 ft./5 ft.; SA
SR spell resistance value; AL alignment; SV Fort short descriptions of special attacks, complex
+#, Ref +#, Will +#. attacks go below; SQ Short descriptions of special
Str #, Dex #, Con #, Int #, Wis #, Cha #. defenses, complex Qualities go below; SR spell
Skills: list skills and values. Feats: list feats. resistance value; AL alignment; SV Fort +#, Ref
SA: Type—Type explained. Type—Type +#, Will +#.
explained. Str #, Dex #, Con #, Int #, Wis #, Cha #.
SQ: Type—Type explained. Type—Type Skills: list skills and values; Feats: list feats.
explained. SA: Type—Type explained. Type—Type
Equipment: Stuff, more stuff, items, more explained.
items. SQ: Type—Type explained. Type—Type
Examples Equipment: Stuff, more stuff, items, more
Zombies (3): CR 0.5; Medium Undead (6 ft. tall); items.
HD 2d12; hp 9 (each); Init –2 (Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC
13 (+ 1 Dex, +2 natural); Atks +2 melee (1d6+1, Example
buffet); SQ May only take Partial Actions in any Skurge Dwarfbane, male troll Bbn3: CR 8;
given round, undead immunities; AL N; SV Fort Large Giant (8 ft. tall); HD 6d6+36 + 3d12+18; hp
+0, Ref +1, Will +2 101; Init +6 (Dex, Improved Initiative); Spd 40 ft.;
Str 13, Dex 10, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 11. AC 18 (+7 natural, +2 Dex, –1 size); Atks +9
Feats: Toughness. melee (1d6+6 [x2], claws), +9 melee (1d6+3, bite)
SQ: Undead Immunities—Immune to mind- or +9 melee (1d12+9 [crit x3], greataxe);
influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralyzation, Face/Reach 5 ft. x 5 ft./10 ft.; SA Bbn rage 1/day,
stunning, disease, and necromantic effects. Not rend; SQ Bbn uncanny dodge, regeneration, Scent
subject to critical hits, sneak attacks, ability (detects living creatures within 30 ft.); AL CN; SV
damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to Fort +14, Ref +3, Will +5.
anything requiring a Fort save (see MM for more Str 23, Dex 14, Con 23, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 6.
info). Skills: Jump +8, Listen +5, Spot +5. Feats:
Alertness, Improved Initiative, Iron Will.
Xill (2): CR 6; Medium Outsider (6 ft. tall); HD SA: Rend—Rend described briefly. Bbn
5d8+10; hp 32 each; Init +7 (Dex, improved Init); range—describe briefly.
Spd 40 ft.; AC 20 (+7 natural, +3 Dex); Atks +7 SQ: Uncanny dodge—describe briefly.
melee (1d6+1 [crit 19-20] [x2], shortswords; 1d4+1 Regeneration—Troll regeneration described
[x2], claws) or +7 melee (1d4+1 [x4], Claws) or +8 briefly.
ranged (1d8 [crit x3] [x2], longbows); SA grab, Equipment: great-ax with three gems
poison; SQ planewalking; SR 21; AL LE; SV Fort embedded in the handle (500 gp, 100 gp, and 50
+6, Ref +7, Will +5. gp respectively), large leather sack containing six
Str 15, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha severed dwarf heads (can be used as a large sap
11. in a pinch, inflicting 1d10+9 points of subdual
Skills: Escape Artist +11, Intuit Direction +6, damage).
Listen +9, Move Silently +11, Spot +9, Tumble
+11; Feats: Improved Initiative. NPCs
SA: Grab—Grab explained briefly. Poison—
Poison explained briefly. NPC’s name, gender and race and Class and
SQ: Planewalking—Planewalking explained level: Size & template (# ft. tall); HD #d#+#; hp #;
briefly. Init # (Init modifiers); Spd # ft.; AC # (AC
modifiers); Atks +# melee (damage [crit info if not
Classed Creature 20/x2] [qty if >1], attack type), +# ranged (damage
[crit info if not 20/x2] [qty if >1], attack type);
Classed creature’s name, gender and race and Face/Reach list if other than 5 ft. x 5 ft./5 ft.; SA
Class and level: CR #; Size & template (# ft. tall); short descriptions of special attacks, complex
HD #d#+# + Class #d#+#; hp #; Init # (IN attacks go below; SQ Short descriptions of special
modifiers); Spd # ft.; AC # (AC modifiers); Atks +# defenses, complex Qualities go below; SR spell
Scenario Formats Page 6
resistance value; AL alignment; SV Fort +#, Ref Spells
+#, Will +#. For spellcasters, the available number of spells
Str #, Dex #, Con #, Int #, Wis #, Cha #. prepared/slots available should be summarized in
Skills: list skills and values. Feats: list feats. order, from lowest to highest within parentheses,
SA: Type—Type explained. Type—Type then listed in alphabetical order by level where
explained. numerical indicators should separate each level of
SQ: Type—Type explained. Type—Type spells from the next. For example, here‘s a sample
explained. spell list for a 5th-level wizard:
Equipment: Stuff, more stuff, items, more
items. Spells (5/3/2/1): 0 lvl—dancing lights, detect
magic, flare, mending, read magic; 1 lvl—magic
missile, summon monster I, sleep; 2 lvl—levitate,
Jakasta the Sly, female human Rog2: Medium rd
summon swarm; 3 lvl—fireball.
Humanoid (5 ft. 3 in. tall); HD 2d6+7; hp 16; Init +3
(Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 16 (+3 from +1 leather
armor, +3 Dex); Atks +2 melee (1d4+2 [crit 19–
20], +1 dagger), or +3 ranged (1d6 [crit x3],
shortbow); SA Rog sneak attack +1d6; SQ Rogue
evasion; AL NG; SV Fort +2, Ref +8, Will –1.
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 10.
Skills: Disable Device +6, Hide +7, Jump +3,
Listen +2, Move Silently +8, Open Locks +6, Pick
Pockets +6, Search +5, Spot +1, Tumble +7.
Feats: Lightning Reflexes, Toughness.
Equipment: +1 leather armor, +1 dagger,
shortbow, nine arrows, pouch containing 15 gp
and 40 sp.
SQ: Rog evasion—when spell allows Ref save
for ½ dmg, Jakasta takes no dmg on successful
save and full dmg on failed save.
Jack Nightshade, male human Com1: CR 0.25;
Medium Humanoid (5 ft. 8 in. tall); HD 1d4–1; hp
5; Init +1 (Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 11 (+1 Dex); Atks -
1 melee (1d6–1, Club), or –1 melee (1d3–1
subdual, unarmed strike); AL NE; SV Fort –1, Ref
+1, Will +0.
Str 9, Dex 12, Con 9, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 11.
Skills: Climb +1, Listen +1, Rope Use +2;
Feats: Simple Weapon Proficiency, Toughness.
Equipment: Club, pouch containing 4 sp and
Note that where a commoner or other unimportant
NPC is noted but is not in any way vital to the
adventure, a particularly short "stat" can be used
inline with the text, or broken out into its own
paragraph, if desired. The shortened stat provides
gender, template, Class, and any relevant skills or
feats bearing on the encounter.
Jack Nightshade (male human Com1; Use Rope
+2) sells rope in the bazaar.
Scenario Formats Page 7