I wanted to do an article on the creation and process of making my new one-shot The Curse of Jade Creek Manor. The goal is to give you a look behind the curtain at my creative process and a little insider knowledge on my interpretation of the story.

To start things off I’m going to talk about where the inspiration started from and how I grew it into what it is now. Then we’ll dive into the meat of it all where I can talk about the more secretive and compelling angles of the story I have created.

My hope is this will show others that this is not an impossible task, and with a little creativity and motivation you can build your own story.


The origin of Jade Creek manor started simple enough. I had a friend who played in a previous campaign of my own and she asked if I would run a one-shot for her and some friends one night. I was of course delighted to do so and set to work on defining a concept and searching for inspiration.

I realized early in the process that I did not know very many of the players I would be running through this session. Would they be more into combat, puzzles, or story? I just did not know, and not to mention, what if their characters were too powerful, what if I killed them all too quickly. When mulling over these questions I had a moment of inspiration, what if I designed something that could resolve all the above? This is when I set to work.

I decided early on to find a story reason to have a respawn point, and I made it a point to add elements of story, combat, and a puzzle, just so I covered all my bases.


Once I found my concept the rest fell into place. The big bad lich came to mind when I realized a powerful spell caster was needed. him being a lich made sense because why kill random adventures if there is nothing gained. I started to develop this character, one who has lived so long and seen so much that he only feels alive when he’s at the threat of death. So he creates this convoluted puzzle, through the manor and lets the players run through like rats in a maze. What he doesn’t account for, however, is the souls of his previous kills aiding the adventures in this endeavor.


Once I made the one-shot, I decided to test it with some close friends. They all loved it though it ran longer than I had originally thought it would. If you were wondering I never did get to run the group through it, however, seeing that the pandemic kicked up, right as we started to schedule.

I do hope this inspires someone, or at the very least gives a fun adventure to those who are seeking. I do plan to write and publish more adventures in the future, so stay tuned for updates. Happy gaming.

Amber Crook
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