Want to write epic content for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, but don't know where to start? Start here!

Write Your First D&D Encounter is a project-based program that teaches you the basics of writing for D&D.


Dungeon Masters Guild written in blocky white text and outlined in black and red.

We partner with the awesome folks over at DMsGuild.com to produce collections of your encounters. This is a great way to score your first publishing credit!

If you say "yes" to any and all of these, this is the program for you!

Write Your First D&D Encounter has helped thousands of writers get their foot in the door of the tabletop roleplaying game industry.

  • You LOVE D&D and aspire to create your own stories and adventures for it

  • You want a manageable first project to tackle so you can learn the ropes and do BIGGER projects next

  • You'd love guidance and support from an awesome community of fellow D&D writers

  • You are eager to score your first published D&D credit and build your portfolio

What is a D&D encounter?

At the end of this workshop, you'll have written and produced a one-page D&D 5th Edition encounter.

Think of an encounter as a "mini adventure." It entails everything you'd expect from a full adventure — a cool setting, a monster, and a quest — with one major difference: it's short! Writing an exciting encounter is a great first step in building your D&D design portfolio.
A pink, purple, and orange dragon sits gazes off to the left

In this workshop, you'll learn...

  • Elements of an Encounter

    We'll break down the essential elements of a compelling D&D encounter (with examples!).

  • Writing Your Encounter

    We'll share brainstorming and outline best practices to guide your writing.

  • Playtesting Your Encounter

    We'll demystify the process of playtesting and how to facilitate it.

  • Designing Your Encounter

    We'll show you how you can make your encounter beautiful and accessible.

  • Dungeon Masters Guild Best Practices

    Our guest contributor shares how to make the most of DMsGuild.com.

Lesson Schedule

This workshop is composed of four units that cover each step in the ideating, writing, producing, and publishing process. 

Unit 1: What is an Encounter?

M.T. Black breaks down the components of a D&D encounter. 

Unit 2: Writing Your Encounter

Ashley Warren provides tips on effective brainstorming and planning out your encounter, as well as suggestions for starting your encounter and using popular tropes. 

Unit 3: Playtesting Your Encounter

Justice Arman shares the process of playtesting your encounter and implementing feedback.

Unit 4: Producing & Publishing Your Encounter

Ashley Warren, along with our friends at Dungeon Masters Guild, provide guidance and resources on putting your one-page encounter into layout, as well as DMs Guild publishing best practices.

Curious about the published encounters from previous workshops?

Check out previous volumes of our Write Your First D&D Encounter collections featuring workshop alumni!


Meet Your Instructors

The developers of this course are all D&D industry professionals eager to help you get started!

M.T. Black

M.T. Black (he/him) is a freelance game designer who has published dozens of Dungeons & Dragons adventures. He has accumulated nearly 40 platinum bestseller medals over his career, and his RPG books have collectively sold over 100,000 copies. Recent works include The Book of Wondrous Magic, The Anatomy of Adventure, and Darkhold: Secrets of the Zhentarim. Find out more at https://www.mtblackgames.com/
Two yellow eyes peer out of a dragon's scaled face, partially obscured by orange fog.

Justice Arman

Justice Arman (he/him) is an Iranian American writer based in central Texas. In addition to penning best-selling DMs Guild supplements such as Devil's Advocate: A Guide to Infernal Contracts, Justice is a Senior Game Designer at Wizards of the Coast. You can find him on Twitter (@justicearman) or at www.justicearman.com.
Justice Arman has dark hair and a dark beard. He smiles at the camera while standing in front of a brick wall.

Ashley Warren

Ashley Warren (she/her) is the founder and director of the Storytelling Collective and the RPG Writer Workshop. She is the founder/producer of the Uncaged Anthology and a co-author of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (WotC); Heckna (Hit Point Press); and Legendlore (Onyx Path Publishing). Connect with her on Scribemind.com.
Ashley is a white woman with long dark hair. She wears a black sweater and a tan and black plaid scarf. She smiles at you.

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting this workshop!

Here's what StoCo alumni have to say:

Christopher Harding (@Xanethlyon)

RPG Writer Workshop Participant

Joining the RPG Writer Workshop has been the most fulfilling and welcoming experience that I've had in a long time. The connections and friends made, the knowledge gained and the confidence I have has grown. I've gone from being unpublished (and no writing projects), to 2 adventures, 3 supplements, a few collaborative projects, as well as charity bundles in just 7 months. I highly recommend joining the discord and the courses whenever possible. They've proven invaluable for getting my foot in the door and learning how to be a TTRPG writer.

TL Massey (@tlmasseywrites)

RPG Writer Workshop Participant

The RPGWW is not only a fantastic little community, it's also a powerhouse of project management for first-time TTRPG writers. Even if you're an experienced writer or illustrator, the RPGWW framework is a great new way to think about a module from start to finish. Best part about the community? You have baked in real-time access to peers and resources to make your debut into the TTRPG scene. Bonus: You'll still have them when you stick around after you publish module #1. I'm very pleased with how much I've been able to get done since I joined.

Matthew Wulf

RPG Writer Workshop Participant

The Write Your First Adventure workshop gave me the tools, motivation, and communal resources to publish my first TRPG adventure. The importance of having a defined goal every day cannot be overstated. This course will make you a better author and a better game master, guaranteed.

Michael Reid, MikeReidWrites.com

RPG Writer Workshop Participant

The RPG Writer Workshop is the perfect starting point for writers breaking into the tabletop industry. The structure of the course provides a strong foundation for developing each individual's method for writing TTRPG material, while the encouraging instructors and fellow students offer something even more important: community. Crafting my first adventure for the DMs Guild, "False Profits," as part of the July 2020 RPG Writer Workshop was a transformative experience for me as a new independent TTRPG writer. I can't recommend it enough!


  • What do you mean by "self-paced"?

    This means that you can log in when you're able to log in and complete the lessons on your own schedule! You have indefinite access to the course material.

  • What is the format of the lessons?

    In this course, almost all of the lessons are written (like blog posts/articles). The guest lesson from DMsGuild.com is a video. Each of the four units includes a few activities to guide your learning.

  • Where is the "private community" for this program?

    This workshop comes with a private community accessible on Discord! You'll be added to it after you register.

  • Do I have to publish my encounter in the collection?

    Submitting your encounter to the biannual collections we assemble is 100% optional! It's just our way of supporting you and helping you have a published credit to your name. You can publish your encounter on your own or just create it for personal use!

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