Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Special Event: Expedition to Castle Ravenloft

For Halloween, I hosted a special event of "Expedition to Castle Ravenloft" at my home for 6 select gamers from my groups and family.  Unfortunately, one of the players bailed at the last minute, but a party of 5 was sufficient to get going.  There was a plethora of food and drink (no Pinatas).  I tried out the prototype build of my new 'gaming extension table'.  

The party spent over 3 hours building characters.  We used HeroLab for some and had to fight it a bit on the spell-less ranger build.  The group consisted of:


  • Zephyr, a Kitsune Rogue / Druid
    • Sam the axebeak
  • J, a blind Oread Fighter / Cleric
  • Kratos, a spell-less ranger
    • Lloyd, a wolf
  • Orflex, a half-orc barbarian who flex into a rage anytime anyone messed with his juice
  • Berth, an Aasimar inquisitor
During one of our breaks.  From left:  My sweetie, my GM assistant, the ranger, and the inqusitor.
(What's up with black T-shirts and blue jeans -- nearly everyone was wearing that?!?)


The gaming extension table was a small map-sized table about a foot off the regular table.  We could put stuff underneath like laptops while using the tops for minis and rolling dice.  It was just a bit too high, so the next version will be an inch or two shorter.



GM's end of the table with the extension table above.

Extension gaming table with player and GM stuff under.  Orflex is at the end of the table.


The group of undead hunters was called to the village of Barovia which was facing a zombie infestation.

The first encounter with zombies really showed the group's strengths.  They quickly took down 8 zombies without issue.

They searched the town, finding the mansion of the man they were seeking boarded up, barred, and with a woman inside who would not talk to them.  The party split -- J going into the temple, the barbarian going into the local inn/tavern, and the rest checking out the weapons shop.

The weapons shop had a few zombie rats and zombies inside.  Searching the debris after produced a couple of longswords, including a holy avenger sword good versus undead.

The temple contained four zombies locked in rooms and a priest praying at the front altar of the temple.  J approached the priest, but he went crazy, yelling "You can't take my son."  and attacked J.  He unleashed 3 of the zombies to assist him.  J tried to take him down with nonlethal damage, but an ill timed critical killed the old priest, leaving him only with an unreadable scrap of paper as a clue.  The party got back together.  The rogue pushed the priests body into his bag of devouring, nearly getting himself pulled in.  The party decided to kill the priest's undead son, the last remaining zombie in the temple.  J channeled positive energy and killed him, ending the zombie plague.

The party went on to talk to the local girl who now came out of her house.  She was happy the zombie plague was over, but talked of a great evil Count in the local castle who had bit her and was going to take her away.  The party agreed to take care of him in return for payment.

The whole adventuring moved very slowly in our ten hour session.  It was pretty clear that they weren't going to see much of the castle.  In the end, this first battle turned into the final battle of the night with Count Strahd, a very old vampire.

Quick-mapping the entryway to Castle Ravenloft.


The party entered the castle to find two stone dragons, alive but unmoving.  The party repositioned themselves, the dragons moved, and four gargoyles started attacking via fly-by attacks.  The party backed off.  The barbarian charged, the dragons moved, and kicked in their breath weapons against the party.  The group moved in, attacking the foes.  Two animated suits of armor and a large bat appeared.  A full battle ensued.  The bat attacked feebly, draining two levels from the barbarian who seemed to be attacked by everything.

Eventually the bat flew to the hall and turned into the vampire Count Strahd.  He began spells against the party, generating a hungry pit that swallowed up the inquisitor, and tying up two of the party that were trying to help her out (The Axe-beak and Kratos).  A well-placed fireball by Strahd ended the adventure, burning the ropes in half and dropping the inquisitor back into the pit again.

J had a bad roll -- you take 5d6 damage.


Next time, I will plan a shorter adventure to accommodate the slow moving party, and we'll pregenerate all the characters.  We'll also probably have less food to avoid gamers rolling around on the floor saying "I ate too much."

Zephyr:  "I ate too much."

Friday Night Pathfinder: Countdown Expiration

Having been kicked out of the Blushing Mermaid, the group moved on to the Trades District to a place called the Bowels of the Earth, first briefly stopping by a temple to get Don's charisma damage healed.  Yuri (Winter Wolf), Don the Magnifiscent (Human Bard), and Corrail (Half-elf Ranger) went off to visit Corrail's father.  The animals were becoming more unsettled and there seemed to be signs that something strange was about to happen.

Felix (Half-elf rogue/druid), tiger (whose name I forget), Elrick (human alchemist-barbarian), Ally (gnome sorceress), and Zirul (Half-elf cleric) went on to the Bowels with Marlowe (their guide).  Felix was happy to find a fellow shadowthief there, who directed him on how to get a backroom for the night.  Therein, the party slept except for the alchemist who stayed up brewing potions.

Corrail found his father before reaching the flat.  He seemed to be sneaking back in the direction of the tavern.  Corrail followed him, catching him, while he sent the other two back the other way.  His father knew him (surprisingly, after the contract demon) and knew of his adventures.  There was a greeting and his father lead him back to the Bowels.

There, Corrail's father called up the local braggart, a fellow named Mirt, who seemed to quickly sober.  He flipped something out in front of the bartender with a bit of gold and got a key for another of the back rooms.  There the three met and talked.  Mirt and Corrail's father flipped out their symbols for the Harpers on the table and told Corrail of their group and how he was know going to be their messenger.  Corrail was flipped out the similar symbol he had found in his mother's locket.  They told him to keep it a secret and that something was going to happen soon, under this night of the full moon.  If anything happened tonight, get out of the city, otherwise meet them in the morning in the market.  Make way to the Sword Mountains and find a group of gnomes to help if things go wrong.

Don came back to the tavern, got a room, and found a weasel to sacrifice for Cthulu on the night of the full moon.

Morning came and Felix fixed some breakfast.  An earthquake hit as the countdown time struck zero.  The group decided to stay together, though Marlowe took off with the wagon, nearly getting away with their treasure, and all the horses were gone.  (Only the war camel remained).

They teleported (wand of teleport group, 3 charges)  to the marketplace.  The earth was still shaking.  Corrail found his father.  In the distance, buildings could be seen falling through great rifts in the ground.  A shadow fell over the market as a Froghemoth appeared over the party.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monday Night Pathfinder Pirates: The Demise of Captain Jacen

This week I had the sad duty of eliminating the PC captain that was played by a player who left.

Captain Jacen approached Durgen aboard the Zelbinion, asking him to load the three kegs of black powder into the longboat along with all the riches gathered since the last trip over.  Giffen appeared aboard a longboat headed to the Zelbinion.  Climbing aboard, the crocodile man handed a note to the Captain.  The Captain grimaced and even Sheen picked up on the problem.  The crew of the Kyte was becoming unhinged.  Durgen planned his solution -- a ritual to 'remove the curse'.

The Captain took the longboat back to the Kyte.

Cranax below convinced the Druid and Kyte to assist him.  They were going to be coming into a segment of the sea within the next few minutes that would greatly accelerate growth of the plants, and Cranax wanted to get his specimens into the sides nets so they could grow.

Meanwhile Kroop below and Sheena above worked searching and opening rooms of the ship.

The shipped drifted into the area of growth and the plats spread quickly, covering the net in a fabric-like twist of stems, leaves, and roots.  The Druid had an insight... living sails.  If they had enough nets, it just might work.

Unfortunately, the crew had forgotten the four Wyvern eggs aboard the Kyte.  There was much ruckus aboard the Kyte, screaming, yelling, crashing.  A Wyvern flew into the air with only two places to land.  She dropped back down onto the main deck of the Zelbinion.  All the crew aboard raced to attack it.  Meanwhile a vicious fight could be heard aboard the Kyte.

Blades and spells glimmered through the air aboard the Zelbinion.  A wyvern flew out of the Kyte only to be taken down by gnomish gunners wielding crossbows.  Durgen picked up Quip the halfling and flung him onto the wyvern.  Quip managed to plunge both his blades into the wyvern before he was grabbed up by its huge mouth of teeth.  The jaws of a wyvern plunged out the side of the Kyte.  One last blow from Giffen (?) and the wyvern went down on the Zelbinion.

At last there was a creat explosion aboard the Kyte.  Sheena watched, seeing a third of the main deck destroyed, launching the main mast across the Zelbinion's main deck.  Two-thirds of the gun deck was gone, and a third of the starboard ship side was destroyed.  Sheena watched the Captain get blown into the sea along with Slippery Sly Longean and several other marines and gnome gunners.  Several aboard jumped into the water to search for survivors, but none were found.

Sandara brought the Kyte to sail with the front sail and docked her along side the Zelbinion.  Jumping aboard, Sandara met directly with Durgen, both on the same page.  They made a huge ritualistic gesture with magical lights and then declared the Zelbinion free of curse.  With Sandara, Durgen, and Kyte huddled to discuss, the decisions were made quickly.  Durgen took his gunnery crew aboard the Kyte to assess the damage.  Sandara would assist the wounded aboard the Kyte.  Kyte would take care of things aboard the Zelbinion.  Kroop passed the news along to the crew.

Kyte talked to Sandara about becoming the new first mate.  Sandara refused, indicated she wanted to remain the healer aboard the ship.  Sandara indicated it was better to focus on the tasks at hand and worry about captain when there was a ship to captain.  Kyte persisted but Sandara cut her off -- there was only one man experienced and trusted enough aboard to be captain.  Kyte muttered the name... 'Kroop'.

Durgen worked his way through the old ship.  Rations were ok -- rum and food.  The cannons aboard were OK  but the ballistas were mostly destroyed by shrapnel from the explosion.  The main sail was mostly lost, but with a needle and thread, the Kyte's sails could reworked to fit the Zelbinion.  Durgen got his group working the sails, both sewing the Kyte's sails and placing plant nets into place while Cranax worked on planting the new sail material.

There was a brief discussion about moving things to the Zelbinion when there was no idea what was below.  Durgen agreed to prep the longboats with rations in case they had to make a run for the mysterious island.

Vic, the Druid, and Kroop cleared the lower deck, finding miscellaneous belongings in chests, cannonballs, and 6 working cannons including 2 that were long range.

Sheena cleared the cabins of the main deck, requiring several trips to see the ship healer due to unseen traps.  A dead body was found with Xill offspring feeding on it.  Sheena became suspicious of Cranax.

Deck 3 awaits the crew for next time.  Experience points were awarded with the party now reaching level 6 for next weeks excursion.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Friday Night Patfhinder: Waterdeep

So the party left Daggerford, headed for Waterdeep, with covered wagon, horses, a tiger, a winter wolf, and a war camel.  The entrance to Waterdeep was hustling and bustling.  They were stopped only for a moment by an old elf warning of the end of the world or some such apocalypse.

The group split with the agreement to meet at the Blushing Mermaid at Sunset.  Ally, the gnome, and Elrick, the alchemist-barbarian, headed directly to the Mermaid, getting a luxurious room to share.  Ally got a bath while Elrick went to the public bathing pool.

Marlowe and Don "The Magnificent" went elsewhere together, with Marlowe agreeing to act as a guide for additional free-flowing coin.  Don wanted first to change his appearance.  The local aptohecary supplied a potion to darken his hair and grow a rich beard.  It was a bit much, so the barber next door straightened it up for him.  Talking to the barber, Don tired to track down a lead on his hidden Cthulian religion in Waterdeep.  He got a lead on a bar on the Docks.

Zirul, Corrail, and Felix want to the docks.  Corrail contemplated old things that had happened to him there before looking for a place to buy some stuff.  The three went into the Warehouse of a local fence.  Undeterred by the row and heads mounted above the counter, the crew presented their lists of items.  After a brief exchange on cost and delivery time, the owner asked them to leave with no goods.  Felix drooled a bit over robbing the place, but Corrail informed him that it was guarded by margoyles and a ghost known for killing would-be robbers.

Don and Marlowe went on to the sailor's bar looking for information.  Marlowe knew the place, the contacts, and for a small fee, worked his magic.  The word was that the Black Well Court held what Don was looking for, but not to be there for a week.  Things were busy.

Zirul, Corrail, and Felix went on to another store nearby... the Xoblob Shop, an adventurers items and trinket store.  There they found many of the wondrous items they were looking for, at reasonable prices.  Some items would have to wait for another store.

Don and Marlowe went back to the Mermaid.

Zirul, Corrail, and Felix went through another Alley in the Trades Ward.  After a brief incident between Felix and a better pickpocket that left Felix embarrassed  the crew found the additional items they wanted.  Corrail went to his Father's place, only to find he had moved.  The butcher nearby gave him his father's new address, but it was too late to visit.  They went to the Mermaid, as well.

The group got all checked into the Mermaid.  Don poured on his charm, attracting the attention of the lovely proprietress.  With his charms, he got a better room and an invitation to private dinner with the beautiful women.

While the group supped in the main dining area, and Corrail and the animals waited outside, Don was lead up to a rooftop garden where a lovely dinner awaited him.  He pulled out her chair and engaged in charming conversation, until just after the second course, when he got dizzy and passed out.

Luckily Zirul and Felix got worried and were looking for him.  Zirul ventured below while Felix found Don having the charisma sucked out of him by the lovely lady succubus.  Felix called for the rest of the party while two guardian succubi watched him closely.

Slowly the group appeared.  Succubi took control of the tiger and Felix, sending them away.  The raging alchemist appeared but got similar treatment.  Others rolled in to attack.  The succubi were immune to many forms of attacks and it took considerable time to take down the first.

Felix and the raging Elrick climbed an adjacent building.  Felix fired off shots.  Elrick then picked up Felix and hurled him across to the other building.  Ally fired off entangle, trying to hold Felix in place so he could fight.  Felix made the reflex save and started leaving again.  Meanwhile the whole area was entangled, messing with the others' attacks.  The succubi were still draining Don.

Elrick threw a firebomb over, doing no damage to the fire immune succubi, but damaging his group and awakening Don from his deep sleep.  Just then, Marlowe appeared, sweeping across the roof and sweeping Don off the roof into a wagon of straw.  Don summoned giant ants to the rooftop.  The remaining two succubi fled.  The group was then politely asked to leave the Mermaid.

The countdown clock (from 100) had reached 42 by the end of the session.

Page -O- Maps

I just have to share this awesome page of maps.  The blog is a good read too!

http://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/maps/

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday Night Pathfinder Pirates: Aboard the Zelbinion

As dawn approached, there was a call out from the crow's nest of the Celestial Kyte.  A dinghy carrying a passed out human girl, perhaps 16 years of age, in heavy armor came into sight.  Sheena swam out to check on her and bring her aboard.  Sandara, the ship healer, patched up her health from the wear of several days at sea.  She awoke scared among the pirate crew, wanting for her shield and sword, and not wanting to share her story with a band of pirates, saviors or not.  The crew noted a marking on her shield, giving away that she was mostly likely part of a merchant crew out of Waterdeep.

Fishguts appeared on deck, taking the captain aside, and letting him know that the crew was not liking the cursed ship (marked with large red X's), and wouldn't be going aboard unless thrown there.  It was going to be up to the officers.

The magus studied the magical aura of the ship at a distance and the runes of the rails.  The magic pervaded every bit of the ship, covering the details of the magic.  The magus only knew that there were protective spells on the ship.

Two longboats carried the 10 across while Sandara and another officer stayed behind, minding the Celestial Kyte and the crew that preferred to stay below deck.

  • Captain Jacen
  • First Mate Kyte
  • Master Gunner Durgen
  • The Druid
  • Sheena
  • The rescued girl, Victaerris
  • Ichavon, the Dwarven Gunslinger and Gunner Crew Leader
  • Quip, the Halfling Gunner Crew Leader 
  • Govan, the Pyromaniac Gnomish Gunnery Crew Leader
  • Fishguts Kroop
Boarding the ship, the Druid was surprised by the various plants growing on the netting hanging from the side of the ship.  Druid spoke to the plants that told him of a "caretaker" that visited and took care of them every day or two.

Once aboard the Zelbinion, the crew immediately identified large weapons locker.  Sheena checked it for traps, but Durgen got hit with a falling portcullis trap, which Kroop barely was able to disable.  Inside they found a good haul of weapons.

On the sterncastle, the group found the ship's wheel with an attached compass and a runic control panel.  The captain tried to take the wheel only to be shocked by it.  Apparently it requires some sort of talisman, ring, or other keyed device that were probably worn by the helmsman and captain to allow only them to take control of the ship.  The runic panel was a bit of a mystery, but it was soon determined to be a magical panel that could be controlled to turn earth/water/wind/fire/magic spells on and off on the various decks.

The crew proceeded, using Sheena and Kroop to check for and disable traps to check various rooms.  In the navigator's quarters they found a map, but lost another chest of maps to a fireball trap.  There was treasure.  In the captain's quarters they found various goods after setting off a trap.  In the mate's and chronicler's quarters they found a journal telling part of the fate of the ship.  In the longboats, they found various gear, stowed for an escape but never taken off the ship.  In the quartermaster's area they found a large haul of goods.

Durgen did his duty by twice running the various loot back to the Celestial Kyte.

The Druid and Victa went below to the gunnery deck where they found a Xill crewman still on board, the caretake of the plants, a botanist and ship's surgeon.  The Xill and journal together told the crew much of the story.  Elemental creatures were taken on the ship at a mysterious island and taken below.  During a storm the magic protections (controlled by the runic control panel) were knocked out and the creatures caused a ruckus below.  The crew went to fight them while they tried to restore the magic protections.  After the caster was blown off the ship by the storm, the officers left the crew behind and tried to take to the boats to escape.  One of the creatures got through and drowned the officers.  Cranax, the Xill, survived by jumping to the ethereal plane and returned to find the magical protections restored.  The captain happily offered the Xill a position on the crew who was happy to accept, so long as he did not have to venture below the gunnery deck, where he was unsure if the creatures still were.

In addition the crew found cannons, old black powder, and cannonballs on the gunnery deck, still usable.  The black powder would require careful transport and handling, but was otherwise a nice commodity.

Three unopened rooms remain on the main deck, and the gunnery deck and 2 decks below remain unexplored.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Durgen

This is how I envision the pirate Durgen half-giant fighter / cleric who thinks he is a dwarf.  Holy symbol on the armor, cannon on his shoulder:

http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2012/10/14/new-york-comic-con-2012-in-pictures-part-1-gallery/mrt/


Friday Night Pathfinder: Escape from Secomber Ruins

Friday Night, the band got back together, and Felix, Corrail, Ally, Don the Magnificent  Zirul (player absent) and the new human barbarian / alchemist Elrick got underway in the ruins below Secomber.

Elrick had taken refuge in a cave while running from the city guard.  It just so happened to be the same caverns that the party was stuck in.

Elrick joined with the party just as they uncovered a Dream Spectre, which was quickly dispatched.  A Cloud dragon then appeared, which Don was able to reach an understanding with.  The party left the caves.

Above ground they emerged into a firefight between Ally's father and the Red Wizard.  The party, all except for Felix, was caught by a huge, concentrated burst of entangle that trapped them.  Felix chased the Red Wizard into the forest until he completely lost him, in fact, until he came across a large enchanted druid grove.  Familiarity drew him in and the glowing spirit of his mother communed with him, telling him that the druids there would help him.  She left for him a cloak of the bat.  The druids there came and placed a ring upon his finger which gave him the missing knowledge of the druid language and gave him a link by which he could learn new druid customs and rituals (and take new druid levels).

Meanwhile, the party slowly got untangle and Ally rushed to her father's side, only to find dying of a magical infliction that they could not heal.  "I am sorry," he said in his last words to Ally.

In addition, nearby was a covered wagon, packed full of riches and various useful items for Lord Rutherford.  Don the Magnificent jumped in and began going through the riches and seeing what the party could use, while the driver and guide Marlowe looked on.

The party sent an invisible pair back into the city to get their horses and camel and then headed towards Waterdeep, with a brief stop-over in Daggerford.  Daggerford found a drunken gnome and drunken alchemist at the bar.  The party started spending their new found wealth on equipment.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday Night Pathfinder: The Launch of the Celestial Kyte

Monday night was an exciting time for the former crew of the Bonny Kate.  After the adventure with the Wyvern, the crew was greeted by a rather unhappy captain wondering why the cargo hadn't been relocated to the new ship.  The first officer, still angry from the circumstances of the captain's overnight activities, provided little explanation, but Fishguts filled in the captain.

Sheena and Kyte paid a visit to the local tavern on hearsay of a newly docked crew of gnomes, halflings, and dwarves.  After a round of drinks and a bit of wiley womanly ways, a dwarf, halfling, and gnome in charge of the crew were on their way to the new ship.  One view of the newly painted Celestial Kyte and they were sold, perhaps with some persuasion from Kyte.

Kyte visited the magistrate, hoping to buy a trip to the private island, but instead got only a warning about a mad mage.  Kyte, Captain, and Sheena made a trip to the private island, knocking on the door, which then exploded.  A rather drunken mephit appeared, sparking up a crazed conversation, and finally indicating that Vrimm the master was inside.

In the depths of the junk piled house, teetering in the wind, Kyte, Captain, and Sheena found an insane Vrimm dressed in only a purple hat.  After a brief discussion, the Vrimm gave his price of a piece of a moving x on a map, a location at sea, from which he wanted as much as possible, in return for enchantments on the new ship.  Upon leaving the island, the building exploded.  The captain counted his blessing of having the map still.

Aboard the ship, the Druid coordinated the move of the rats from the old ship to the new ship.  He also used his carpentry skills to move the Besmarian symbols on the masts to the new ship.  A short conversation with Ratline ensured that he wouldn't being ridding the new ship of the rats, which Druid planned to use for defense on the new Celestial Kyte.

Durgen, gathering gold for weapons, spent time at the local tavern gambling, gaining nearly 7000 gold.  He returned happy and clad in spiffy new clothes.  Unfortunately, the new ship could only support one cannon and several light ballista with the meager funds available.  Durgen was greatly disappointed in the lack of firepower.

Sheena ensured that run and rations were bought for a couple month voyage, enough perhaps to get them through the doldrums to the southern isles.

Gathering items, crew, and such, the Celestial Kyte finally got underway, just in the water in time to watch the private island's house reappear with a pop.

With rumors of the Waterdeep Navy as far north as Luskan, the crew chose to head to the mysterious moving red X on the map given them by Vrimm.  They sailed without issue, while Durgen was building a close relationship with the new gunnery crew.

At the X, they found a large ship, perhaps 200 feet in length, adrift in the circular currents that outline the doldrums.  It was the Zelbinion, abandoned, marked with red Xs indicating it was a cursed ship, with sails in tatters, and several cannons missing, perhaps extracted right out the gun ports.  The deck was empty, and it gave no hint of light at night.

The Zelbinion was a new class of cannon destroyer from Waterdeep's Navy that had launched five years earlier, only to be lost on its first mission.  With the loss of the ship, no more were built.  The rumors suggested that its first mission included various alchemists and mages looking to voyage to an uncharted island occupied by elemental beings.

The ship itself was outlined with runes on the sides and masts, indicating magic infused into the great beast.

The crew eyed and drooled over the hulk drifting at sea.  They sailed around it, noticing nets draped into the water, covered in various plant life, waiting until morning to make their next move.

How to Teach Dice to Roll Better

I have a vice if anyone needs to use one...

http://bigballofnofun.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-dice-must-learn.html


Monday, October 8, 2012

The Myth of Random Dungeons

There have been lots of Kickstarters, articles, and books lately dealing with the generation of random dungeons.  Over time I have found the fascination with random dungeons to be an affront to the very nature of an adventure.  The point, after all, is to visit places that could exist in the fantasy worlds we play in.  These stone underground structures require enormous resources to build and because of that, they simply must have purpose.

This purpose may have evolved over time.  The dungeon form may have been modified to take on new purposes.  There may even be elements of madness involved.  Ultimately, though, the design of dungeons should be logical.  The only exception is Undermountain.  lol

I had a party go into a dungeon that was part of a great dwarven fortress a while back.  The layout of the dungeon level was dictated by its original purpose -- an ore processing level attached to a mine.  However, time had modified its connectivity due to deep earth tremors in the area (which had a logical cause).  The level recently had been taken over by various new inhabitants.  Bullywugs had taken over a segment that was partially underwater.  A family of ogres lead by an ogre mage had walled off a few rooms and a segment of hallway to serve as a makeshift home.  A necromancer had isolated the great hall in the center of the area as his lair.

All of these elements were important.  As the PCs try to cut through various blocked hallways and came across various collapsed doors, they glared at me.  "Why are you railroading us?"  The answer was simple.  I'm not.  This dungeon is built the way it is for very logical reasons which will become obvious.  In effect the necromancer had aligned his defenses so he couldn't be reached except by someone traversing his defenses.

Now the group had taken an alternate method to get into the dungeon, bypassing some of it.  Instead of crawling into the only visible entrance, they dug a hole into the ground and pried a new entrance into one of the dungeon rooms.  I allowed it because it was consistent with rules and the construction.  In essence, the PCs figure out how to outsmart the necromancer (not the GM).

The other reason for giving the dungeon a purpose is to provide an additional context for details.  Hmmm... I'm in a dwarven mining level -- I should be able to find a pick, right?  The PCs can come to this logical conclusion and the GM can allow it and it doesn't require a bunch of preplanning every single item that might be stuck somewhere in one of the rooms.  Context = free details.  Context = expectations.

So next time you design a dungeon (or any other structure, for that matter), start with an idea of purpose, a layout for purpose, and then repurpose it by its current inhabitants and see what you get.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

D&D on YouTube


Check out this on youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/DNDWizards

Our recent favorite video:

Mordenkainen's Tips for Every Adventurer

Kharma point for any player that can sing the Illithid song or who says 'Yoink' while successfully stealing something.