This spring I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Normally, I read novels. I like Fantasy novels for obvious reasons but Science Fiction, Historical Fiction and Thrillers are also high on my list. Lately though, those simply haven’t been scratching the itch. This has gotten me to experiment. I’ve been readying adventure modules. No, not to prep for my campaign. Not even to get ideas, although I often do. In most cases, I have no way to use the materials. Maybe they are too high in level, or too low. Maybe they are set in a different world, time, or circumstance. Nonetheless, I’ve been enjoying them immensely. I have a rather significant back catalog of adventure modules spanning all the editions. Reading them has been enjoyable and inspiring.
I’ve actually been reading them almost as “Choose Your Own Adventures”. I’ve been reading them as if I were in control of the party of adventurers faced with the challenges presented. When you read them this way, it really brings the writing to life. No longer is it simply a list of NPCs, motivations and encounters. It starts to breathe and almost, just almost, fills that void that comes from not playing an RPG every so often.
I’ve decided they are one of my new favorite “genres”. Here’s the rub though. As reading material, they are pretty expensive. With my back catalog, its a non-issue. But when I think about getting more, the cost starts becoming prohibitive. A paperback novel runs $6-$9. It provides maybe 20-50 hours of enjoyment. An adventure module runs $10-$20 and provides perhaps an equivalent amount of play time, but as a piece of literature, maybe offers 2-4 hours of entertainment. They simply read much faster than they play.
So I have a few questions. Do you have anything you routinely read recreationally that isn’t really written as such? Do you ready books of recipes or perhaps instruction manuals? Something else? And how does one pursue the hobbies of reading and RPGs using adventure modules as a source without breaking the bank? If you have ideas, let me know. If I figure it out, I’ll do the same. In the meantime, I think I’m going to go grab Thunderspire Labyrinth and see what it’s all about.