Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mega-module almost finished!

The mega-module that was originally a two-module series is finally written! Not edited and not polished, which take a while for me to do, but the writing itself is finally done. This is always one of the really cool moments in writing a module that other people will read, because it's that one step further than you would ordinarily go when writing up an adventure for your own use. Just like the first idea for the adventure, just like being satisfied with the first combination of map and outline, finishing the raw text is one of the landmarks along the way.

It also gives me, at any rate, a sense of great relief, because this is the point at which I know the module will actually get finished rather than being put on a shelf when something distracts me. Even when I'm distracted I can still get through the editing/polishing phase of a module, since it requires much less intense creativity at that point.

In this case, it has been a really long process simply because of the size of the module. It has 147 numbered areas in total. I'm estimating about an 81 page beast of a module. Compared to a TSR format (which I estimate at maybe 800 words per page rather than 700) this would be around 61 pages of TSR-type module. I tend to use a larger font size and bigger headings than the TSR format for ease of reading, which is the reason why I think there's roughly a 100 word difference in the average page.

I'm really pleased with it -- I think that there's probably not as much coolness per word as Spire of Iron and Crystal has, but it manages to accumulate enough cool over the larger word count to make it a contender. For a while there I was worried that Spire was going to be the best thing I ever wrote forever and ever, but this one ... okay, I don't think it beats Spire, but it matches it.

I can't wait to get into the final phases now, because I really think people are going to like this one.


  1. Man, you write quickly! I'm really looking forward to this one. I'm a bit surprised you're around 50k words for 147 numbered locations (plus background stuff, etc.); from your other modules I never got the impression you were that verbose. This new one sounds somewhat wordier than Pod Caverns, for example.

    As an aside, the TSR format is closer to 1000 words on a page that has no illustrations. It rises to 1200 words per page once TSR went to the 3-column format in 1984 or so.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. @Guy
    It is definitely wordier than Pod Caverns. That's probably partly because it's not edited yet, but I think it's mainly that both of the comprising modules have some very open-ended possibilities rather than a normal dungeon where things are more channeled -- more contingencies have to be covered in an open-ended situation. There's more to explain to the reader in this one than there is in Pod Caverns, where the description didn't call for much additional explanation.

  4. (removed, edited, and replaced the earlier post because one of the sentences was confusing)

  5. Well done! It's great to reach a project milestone.