Title and single sentence summary
Antagonists and their plans – who opposes the party?
Plot motifs at start and end – What plot motifs introduced at the start might reappear later?
Mystery – What questions lie at the heart of your adventure?
Common interests in the party – What might draw your characters together as a party?
Connection to people & place – Why might players care about your setting & its people?
Cast with agendas – Can you create a small cast of both friends and enemies with interlocking agendas?
Party motivation – Which enemies and friends can motivate your party?
Prologue – Are previous events pertinent?
Opener – What begins your adventure, and where?
Adventure paths – Which potential paths lay ahead?
Information flow – How might information flow to your players?
Scenes & choices – What scenes might offer player choices?
Plot tilts – Could any plot twists surprise or intrigue your players?
Three Acts – Draft 3 possible acts, with act 1 showing why we care.
Principles & contradictions (… “but” …) eg the guard stands tall in his military uniform but you spy a lady's pink scarf tucked into his belt.
Always describe action (& weather).
Only roll if you imagine interesting consequences, such as success with consequences.
NO SPOT HIDDEN rolls for important clues. Players looking in the right place and asking the right questions always receive pertinent clues
When taking losses, which (supporting) characters took point/risks?
Write character nameplates on folded cardboard.