4/23/16

Montporte Dungeon Campaign 2.0--Campaign Reboot

We are six sessions into the second Montporte Dungeon campaign. I will try to catch up with some gaming session notes in the upcoming week before I get too far behind and I lose track of what happened in each session. Sadly, because of my work schedule, the gaming session notes will be less detailed and will have fewer maps.

Here are some random details for the Montporte reboot:

Bloody Basic: We are using John Stater's Bloody Basic: Classic Edition for our rule set, with the following modifications:

  • Player characters are limited to humans only.
  • Clerics, fighters, and magic-users are the three classes. Most of the thief skills that are useful in the dungeon have been allocated to these three classes.
  • Player characters have additional hit points at first level--Clerics have an additional 6 hit points, fighters have an additional 8 hit points, and magic-users have 4 hit points. These points are in addition to the hit point die roll at first level for each character.
  • Clerics can lay on hands for some additional healing, fighters have a weapon specialization, and magic-users automatically read magic.

Bloody Basic tops out at sixth level, which is fine by us. We plan on using something similar to the E6 variant of Dungeons & Dragons. We do not have all of the details I worked out, but there is a lot to draw on from Blood & Treasure (e.g. feats and additional spells) as well as other resources.

Heroes and Sidekicks: Each player has two characters. One character is their "main" character and the other is the "sidekick." The main character is the default for role-playing and decision-making, unless there is a specific reason for the sidekick to be involved (knowledge of a language, class-based conversation, use of a skill, etc). Main characters earn two shares of experience at the end of each session while sidekicks earn one.

Resource and Time Management: We are keeping more careful track of resources, such as food, torches, and arrows. We are also tracking encumbrance. We are working to streamline the process for the former while relying on the simple and elegant system in Bloody Basic for the latter.

Economics, Exploration, and Experience: In additional to the usual ways to gain experience points, the party gains experience with successful conversations and negotiations, exploration of new areas of the dungeon, and making a profit off of trade. The party was commission at the start of Session 1 to establish trade relationships in the recently discovered dungeon and Deep Dark, as well as to seek out a mythical subterranean ancient dwarven city.

Campaign and Continuity: One of the challenges for a dungeon-based campaign is maintaining momentum and continuity. We lost a lot of that in the final dozen sessions of our last Montporte campaign. We changed rule sets, lost players, added players, and the main threads of the campaign were lost in all of it. This time around, we are starting with a couple of goals (explore, establish trade relationships, and find a dwarven city), using a simple rule set, and playing with a smaller group (and only playing when everyone is present).

A key to the campaign working so far is the players themselves--they are keeping notes, making decisions, and determining the direction of play within the parameters we had agreed upon prior to playing.

So far, so good.

4/9/16

Arbold--Montporte Dungeon Campaign Critter

ARBOLD
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1 Punch (1d4) or by weapon +2
Saving Throw: 14
Special: None
Move: 12
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60

Arbolds are close relatives of kobolds and are often found in their company. They stand about 7' tall and are of extremely low intelligence. They are generally amiable but have a mean streak and enjoy melee combat.

COMBAT: Unlike kobolds, who avoid melee combat whenever possible, arbolds enjoy close quarter combat and inflicting violence on their foes. They can attack with their fists, but most often use a spear or a trident.

1/26/16

Churrelloth (Demon)--Montporte Dungeon Campaign Critter

CHURRELLOTH
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 2 Punches (1d6+1 each)
Saving Throw: 12
Special: Magic Resistance; Stunning Blow
Move: 12
Challenge Level/XP: 6/400

The churrelloth (plural churrellothii) is a very minor demon inhabiting the plane of Syvyys, where the churrellothii often form vast hordes under the control of more powerful demons. The churrelloth is a small almost featureless bipedal demon, about 3' in height. It has pale gray translucent skin and human-like eyes with black pupils.

COMBAT: The churrelloth knows no fear in combat and will fight until it dies or is commanded to stop by an overlord. It is surprisingly quick and strong, enabling it to strike twice during each round of combat with its fists.

MAGIC RESISTANCE: Like all demons, the churrelloth is resistant to magic. It gains a +2 to its saving throw against arcane magic and a +1 to saving throws versus divine magic.

STUNNING BLOW: When the churrelloth successfully strikes an opponent with its fists, the opponent must successfully make a saving throw or be slightly stunned. The opponent attacks with a -1 penalty for the following 1d4 rounds.

1/25/16

Monday Moodsetter 79

RPG Rorschach: What's the first gaming thought that pops into your head?

1/24/16

Mazzik (Demon)--Montporte Dungeon Campaign Critter

MAZZIK

The mazzik (plural mazzikii) is a human who has been tainted by the demonic. This usually happens when a human spends its childhood in close proximity to demons and the demonic. A mazzik lives a Jekyll & Hyde existence, living among humans in its human form but occasionally becoming monstrous and demonic.  A mazzik will position itself so that it can prey upon humans, usually by putting itself in a position of trust and leadership in a community.

The mazzik can go for several years with its demonic form in dormant state. The demonic form, when it comes forth, usually creates a feeding frenzy over the course of several days or weeks. The mazzik only has partial control of itself, with the changing to the demonic happening when it is least likely to be observed.

LESSER MAZZIK
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 2 fists (1d4 each) or by weapon type (1 attack)
Saving Throw: 11
Special: Magic Resistance; Move Silently; Hide in Shadows
Move: 12
Challenge Level/XP: 7/600

The lesser mazzik lives hidden with human communities and preys upon humans, lapsing into feeding frenzies. During each feeding frenzy, the lesser mazzik will consume 3-6 humans.

COMBAT: The lesser mazzik will avoid combat unless it is clear that it has superior odds. In combat, it attacks fiercely but will also seek to escape if it looks like it may be killed.

MAGIC RESISTANCE: The lesser mazzik has a +2 to its saving throws versus magic.

MOVE SILENTLY: The lesser mazzik can move silently at will with no chance of failure.

HIDE IN SHADOWS: The lesser mazzik can hide in shadows as if it were an 8th level thief.

GREATER MAZZIK
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: 2 fists (1d8 each) or by weapon type (2 attacks)
Saving Throw: 6
Special: Magic Resistance; Move Silently; Hide in Shadows
Move: 14
Challenge Level/XP: 10/1,400

The greater mazzik lives hidden with human communities and preys upon humans, lapsing into feeding frenzies. During each feeding frenzy, the greater mazzik will consume 7-12 humans.

COMBAT: The greater mazzik will avoid combat unless it is clear that it has superior odds. In combat, it attacks fiercely but will also seek to escape if it looks like it may be killed.

MAGIC RESISTANCE: The greater mazzik has a +2 to its saving throws versus magic.

MOVE SILENTLY: The greater mazzik can move silently at will with no chance of failure.

HIDE IN SHADOWS: The greater mazzik can hide in shadows as if it were an 11th level thief.

1/23/16

Shared GMing

+Tim Shorts+Chris C. and I have been doing some round-robin GMing with a shared world. It has been a good time. Here is a bit more about what have been doing in bullet point form:

  • Using a Simple Rule Set: We are using Pits & Perils and it has been serving us well.
  • Keeping the Group Small: This was a hard one for us, but we had decided to restrict our group to just the three of us. We had been talking about this style of play for several months and decided that it would work best with the three of us. As far as gaming goes, it was the right decision. Personally and socially, it was difficult thing to do.
  • Short Adventure Arcs: We have been rotating the GMing duties every 2-4 sessions. Each time, whoever is GMing starts a new arc for the next 2-4 sessions.
  • Not Quite a Sandbox: Each adventure arc has started with a specific problem to solve or task to complete. Rather than spending time with the players figuring out what the characters are going to do, each arc has started a bit more railroady. Sometimes it is as simple as an NPC asking for help (we have all used this at least once). Other times, the PCs travel into a village with a major problem to be solved. We made a conscious decision to start off each adventure arc with a specific task or goal. 
  • Not Much World Building: We have not done much world building, except what was needed to support each adventure arc. The minimal world building was not intentional but I think it has worked fine so far.
  • Same Characters: Each of has been using the same player character throughout. When one of us is GMing, the GM's character simply sits out those sessions. 

11/2/15

Monday Moodsetter 78

RPG Rorschach: What's the first gaming thought that pops into your head?