Ryan McRae

Ryan McRae

Creator of Burn the Tavern Down.
Bringing Creativity Back to Gaming.


When I would read comic books and see the hero and the villian fight, I swear on my Green Lantern figurines I would think “who is going to clean up this mess?”

So I want to talk today about clean ups and how they can bring some adventure to your game.

Clean Up: Better Get a Broom, Sir or Madam.

When there is a massive battle in a city or town, things are going to get wrecked. A hapless fireball and misplaced laser beam can have huge disasterous effects on the city. Was that the orphanage? Yes, yes it was.

Have I inadvertently released a catastophic poisoned dragon egg that spread acid all through a city square? Yes, yes I did. And man, did it wreak some havoc.

When the major battle is over and hopefully the heroes are still standing, there is an adventure hook that most people miss—cleaning up the mess you made.

If buildings are torn down, the magistrate, city mayor or whoever is going to be some pissed because the town has to get fixed. Sure, there are some magic spells that can help rebuild, but those aren’t abudnant enough.

Maybe you are in a superhero campaign, and you have telekenisis or super strength, but that can only go so far, and that’s super useful, but only to a point. If you are space cowboys, what can you do to help the people of the town, now that their hydroponics is wrecked? Just take off in your ship? That’s cold. Space cold.

Here are a couple of adventures you can use and I’ve put them by setting, but with a few tweaks, you can make anything work, just like a burrito. Let’s get started.

Do you have ore for wood? (Fantasy)

Now that you’ve burned down half the town (or the villian did, that pesky dragon), the town you have needs to lumber, so you’ll have to set out to the Great Forest (or just the forest nearby) and cut down trees.

You can do it by magic. You can do it by brute strength, but you have to get the lumber back to town so they can rebuild. The problem is, the druids of the forest aren’t really about sharing, so you have bargain to get the wood. Maybe they have a grove that’s set aside for culling and you will have to travel there (and they told you that to get rid of a nymph they don’t like.)

The Alloy and a Big Drill (Space!)

The damage to the power plant requires a metal that’s only found in the floating asteroids above the planet.

You and your team need to get to the asteroid, drill the metal, get it back to the planet so repairs can be made. You’re on a time crunch (of course). You have to get the planetary defenses back online before space pirates figure out what went wrong and raid the helpless city.

Once you start drilling, of course things go wrong. Maybe you find something buried there. Maybe the asteroid you picked isn’t an asteroid, but a remnance of some ancient defense system. Well, which is it? It’s your game. How would I know?

Taxes May Be The Greatest Enemy. (Superhero)

Yeah, you defeated the Gray Menace and her henchpeople, but the city is wrecked or at least part of it is. The mayor and the people of the city are now facing hire taxes because of you. Sure you saved the day, but someone has to pay.

Your heroes have some different ways to go about this problem before they are shunned and maybe labelled villains as well.

  • Become actual police for the city and that can come with limitations, but also some cool storylines.
  • Use their powers or technology to fix whatever is broken.
  • Do “favors” for local construction companies so they can get repairs done for the cheap.
  • And if you really want to situation, have a city council “town hall” sort of meeting that condemns the heroes and they get booed! BOOOOOO! HEROES! BOOO!

(and if you are looking for sweet superhero RPG you can get up and running quick, look no further than Spectaculars)

Next week: I’m talking about how to create adventures around building a community/town/village/colony etc.

This is What I Dig This Week

  • If you are looking for an all-in-one carrying case for all of your gaming needs, look no further than the Haversack. This Kickstarter looks like the perfect gaming accessory. Highly recommend checking it out. (psssst, it would kill as a gift. Kill. Slay.)
  • I’m considering starting a Youtube channel where I discuss how to create adventures and such. But I have no idea where to start creating a Youtube channel. I have the equipment, but it’s like having allllll the kitchen supplies needed to make cookies, but I have no recipe for what I want to do. That’s where my friend Matt Ragland comes in. He’s doing a Youtube Starter Workshop and I’ve joined it. If you that’s something you want to do, you can get join here on the inexpensive.

A little love.

Hey, if you dig this, I’d love if you shared it with other gamers. I do this little email just to spread better gaming to everyone and it’s a bit of a labor of love. If you could throw this sweet link in an email or a gaming group you’re a part of online, I’d really appreciate it.

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