Monday, March 19, 2018

Into the Woods

After three straight levels of dungeon crawling, I decided I wanted to do something different with my most recent D&D session.   First, I wanted to get out of the dungeon.  Second, I wanted a little plot and less wandering monster stabbing.

The players had been asking for a place that the PC's could own, arguing that with all the gold they were getting, some place must be available in a small, rundown village.  So I decided to give them one, complete with an infestation of monsters and a yard full of trouble.

Bugbears assault the only tenant the PC's have: a charcoaler living in the forest.

Need to get rid of the owlbear squatting in their place.
All in all it wasn't too bad.  I was surprised how little actually happened--perhaps combat was going slowly, but the good news is that means I have plenty of material for next time.

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out if I want to do the April Blog-a-thon.  When I have done it successfully, I have done a bit of work ahead of time to make sure I have enough to work with.  In teh past this has actually helped lay the groundwork for a new campaign, but since I'm barely into one now, I'm not sure if that really would be helpful, or if I should do something different.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Fieldstone Phase Two WIP rooms

Phase Two of my fieldstone modular dungeon project basically adds more rooms with more options, as well as some shorter hallway pieces and some doorways.  I've finished constructing the four rooms in Phase Two.

Two 20' by 20' rooms, with two exits, one with the exits on opposite walls, the other adjacent.

Two 30' by 30' rooms.  The recesses in the room on the right will have small pedestals in them, to be added later after painting.

I'm almost out of plaster, so I'll need to order more before I can too much farther.  Comments welcome!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Three levels down

So far the D&D mega-dungeon campaign has been running pretty smoothly.  For those who missed the earlier posts, this campaign is a fairly straightforward one featuring a dangerous, multi-level dungeon buried deep between the ruins of a destroyed manse.  The local community has suffered the deprivations of the dungeon's inhabitants for years, and now the heroes are there to clean house.

There's seven players, but I've decided to limit the table to four each gaming session.  With two sessions a month, everybody gets a chance (with one person getting two chances, a privilege I rotate around the group).

We are on the third level of the dungeon, with the group just having hit level three.  The engineer in me (I won't use the hackneyed and callous "OCD" joke) has each level having enough XP in encounters in it to advance the group a single level.  The downside is that sometimes the group has skipped encounters, etc. so the bookkeeping still has to be done.

Which way to go?

The other thing I'm doing is creating certain "themes" to each level, using along two characteristics, factions, etc.  In the first level, a small tribe of goblins had been infected by the zombie virus (yes, I know that there is no zombie virus in D&D--they are just juicy magically animated corpses, but this is my universe and I wanted Night of the Living Dead zombies).  So the party was navigating two groups--goblins and zombie goblins (zomblins, as they were called by the group.  They were led by a zombogre) which were actually fighting each other.  Level two didn't have this dynamic, partially because the XP gap between 2 and 3 is so small.  The third level has gnolls and demons, this time working together as a result of weird romance between a succubus and a divinely-gifted gnoll leader.

The two-theme paradigm allows for some diversity and character to each level without it getting overly complicated for the players.  I may have to mix it up to keep it fresh, but for now it is a nice way to structure things, and the game is, as I said before, moving very smoothly.

And yes, I'm already thinking about the next campaign...

Over at Strange Vistas