D&D 5E Where are the heirs to the 32 page adventure format?

I'm with the OP on one point. Having empty " rooms" is a dull and a waste.
Every room should have something to push, pull, find, smell, keep, break, steal, kill, resolve, disarm, reveal, etc etc.
 

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I'm with the OP on one point. Having empty " rooms" is a dull and a waste.
Every room should have something to push, pull, find, smell, keep, break, steal, kill, resolve, disarm, reveal, etc etc.
It's easy to add rooms to a map. It's thinking of stuff to put in them that is difficult. The opportunity cost of an empty room is minimal. Nor should players be spending much time on them. If players are spending ages searching empty rooms, they need more empty rooms, so that they learn than not every room has something to find. "Nothing to see here, move on swiftly" should be the norm.
 

Agreed. Not only does it feel more organic, but it keeps the players focused on the adventure rather than spend a lot of time searching every room excessively until they find something, which is what happens when you have something to find in every room.
That's my preferred way to play too (and you put it much better than I would have).

However, I can see how other people might want to play differently.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I'm with the OP on one point. Having empty " rooms" is a dull and a waste.
Every room should have something to push, pull, find, smell, keep, break, steal, kill, resolve, disarm, reveal, etc etc.
If they're expecting something in every room, the fact that this room is empty is the trick. :)

Edit to add: also, there'll be times when empty rooms are an integral part of the dungeon and have good reason for being empty.

Example: what I'm running right now started with the PCs going into a deserted manor house in search of another adventuring group which a few months back went in and never came out. Most of the place was empty and-or trashed due to the previous party having gone through and cleaned it out; but the PCs didn't know this and still had to explore it carefully (and there were still a few foes left also). So here, empty rooms are largely the focus of this part of the adventure.

The reason the previous party - and now, the PCs as well - never came back out is that in the manor is a hidden teleporter that both groups found the hard way, leading to a rather dangerous spot (and an entirely different adventure) a few hundred miles away. The PCs got through this; those they were seeking mostly did not.
 
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FallenRX

Adventurer
It's easy to add rooms to a map. It's thinking of stuff to put in them that is difficult. The opportunity cost of an empty room is minimal. Nor should players be spending much time on them. If players are spending ages searching empty rooms, they need more empty rooms, so that they learn than not every room has something to find. "Nothing to see here, move on swiftly" should be the norm.
Yup.

The reason empty rooms are important to game design is its supposed to convey that not every room is worth searching, and that searching a room takes time and is a risk(because it can be trapped or have monsters with no treasure). If made with this in mind, it changes the dynamic of the game, becuase once the idea that not every room is supposed to be explored is set, it fundamentally changes how adventures are made and designed to being more non-linear, because there are many ways to go, and not all of them are worth it, the players will be more selective, and will likely avoid content, which means you cannot design your dungeon in a linear manner with the idea they are supposed to see everything, you must design your game with the idea that somethings may be missed, this naturally leads to less linear dungeon design with many ways for the players to get to their goal, because you cant expect them to want to see everything, which leads to more dynamic games, and more player choice and freedom.

Once you learn this, you become a better adventure designer because you being to design your adventures beyond linearity, but more modular and dynamic, and nonlinear where choice is important and encouraged.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Agreed. Not only does it feel more organic, but it keeps the players focused on the adventure rather than spend a lot of time searching every room excessively until they find something, which is what happens when you have something to find in every room.
IME, that's what happens when you have an empty room, because if you have something in the rom, they find it and move on. If the room is empty, they waste time tossing it or being paranoid about trap. Not to mention the time wasted describing the room that serves no purpose.
 

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