I woke up this morning with the knowledge of how to finish the tenth of the first ten encounters for my adventure Escape from White Cliff. However, as I was either walking to the train station, waiting for the train, riding to work, walking from the train stop to the office, or somewhere in between all that, it occurred to me that I had too many encounters in the first “encounter group.” I want to run the characters ragged, not dead.

I’ve expressed this concern before but there was something different about the thought this time. Honestly, ten encounters is a lot of bloody encounters. Not getting to rest at all between them means there’s no time to spend healing surges and get back up to full hit points before the next encounter hits. If I want this to work, I need to create smaller clusters of encounters, and I can make the individual encounters deadlier.

There’s also this “purity of concept” I want to try and keep between scenes. It occurred to me that I was scraping the bottom of the barrel when designing some of the encounters, and concepts I want to introduce later had migrated into the first encounter cluster, which is bad. I mean, I can use those encounters I came up with later, just not now. They have to wait their turn. They need proper introductions.

What I need to do now is move on to the next cluster of encounters, now that these are more or less done, move on to design the next group, and keep the momentum. Then, when I’ve finished “Act One” of my encounter clusters, go back and cut about half the encounters out, keeping only the best, and edit for time, coolness, fluidity, and mood.