Sunday, December 28, 2014

PHOS going to Arisia

I'm going to run my first proper convention game this year at Arisia.  Exciting stuff.  I'll be running a straight dungeon crawl experience from the Perilous Halls of Sorrow where success is going to be determined by if the party survives and, if so, how much loot they manage to pull out of the place.

Simple stuff, but for a 4-hour time slot I think just what is needed.  Of course, I'm not sure how a somewhat "open-ended" is going to play at a convention game.  The goal is simple - escape with your lives through grinding dungeon insanity, but are players going to want more plot?  Will anyone appreciate the fact that I'll be using each adventuring group foray into the Underworld and taking ontes on what they do, loot, and so on?  Probably not, but who cares, right?  I'll just make some old school dungeon fun for everyone.

Here is my checklist
1) pre-generated characters, like 4 sets of 20 of them
2) simplified dungeon maps and notes (notes on maps rather than a key)
3) wet erase mat + markers, combat clicker
4) tons of dice - I'm going to order a pound of chessex dice
5) minis ... nothing too nice, but something for the board
6) Karma/Honor ships
7) name placards - so people can write Joe the Fighter
8) contingency plan for a TPK  ...

I just thought of number 8.  This is a serious possibility and something I should consider.  I'm also thinking of coming up with some vague plot-related reason for being in the dungeon other than "SHIT, DUDES!  A DUNGEON!  Let's Go!"  But back to the list ...

9) cheat sheet on loot, equipment quality, and other stuff
10) quick reference cards for clerics and mages
10a) a deck of random spells for wizards to draw from?  maybe by lineage?

What else?  Ideas?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Updates

The Perilous Halls of Endless Sorrow Update
The grand expression of my many years as a GM in one fuck-off huge mega-dungeon (giga-dungeon?) that is mostly mapped and quite heavily populated.  This is wrapping up many of the previous mega-dungeons that I've written and combining them through flimsy storylines.  Right now, though, I've got a set of levels that I'm working on to present and run at Arisa this year, if they accept my GM submission.  Even if they don't, I'm going to start bringing it into the world as a living place affected by any who dare to delve.  I'm adding some basics to a wiki and going to let players add whatever they want - kind of a word of mouth rumor mill for the place: PHOES.

I've run one session in the new dungeon levels and it was pretty rad - I'll need to adjust things slightly for the travelling game and the Conventions if I continue to run this, but it is definitely fun.  I didn't blog the report because, in short, I'm lazy.  There were some nasty traps, wicked monsters, and sweet loot.  Good enough for now.

The Aldsburg Chronicles Update
We finished up the Guest GM's awesome plague thread.  Three session of blood, fire, turmoil, and far too many descriptions of vomit and boils.  It was a good time - Hemlock was killed, the nameless Orc Shaman was killed, numerous members of the Red Shield were laid to waste.  Sadly my halfling fighter bit the dust, but it was GLORIOUS!  I had the opportunity to save my character, but it would have brought him into low honor or dishonor and I decided that simply wasn't an option.  Death Before Dishonor!  OK - enough exclamation points.

I'm getting ready to ramp up the next sessions of the Aldsburg Chronicles.  Going to introduce some new levels of Lions Tooth Tower and a new Tower.  Slowly grow the super city and introduce some adjacent wilderness.  Like seriously old school ... I may have the maps as a GM, but all the player's know is that the city is built and carved out of the mountain they are on.  Per player request some wilderness activity may ensue ... or perhaps dungeon wilderness.  A forest inside the Underworld?  Ravenwhatnow?  They should be more careful what they ask for.

As thr house rules pile up we are moving parallel to Hackmaster.  SO much so that I'm writing everything down in a single document that will, with enough time and energy, become a separate set of rules.  While initially a supliment for HM, it is taking on a life of it's own.  I've decided to call it BXDH (BX in honor of Basic / Expert D&D; DH for Dungeon Hack).  It isn't even close to being ready to be shared, but when it is more complete, I'll make it available.  Lots of the rules show up where and there on this blog :)

Happy Holidays
Whatever you celebrate (including nothing) may those days be pleasant.  My RPGs are over for the year and I do declare it a magnificent year.  I'm looking forward to 2015 when I attempt to share the Gigadungeon PHOES with the world.  I've talked about a write-up and kickstarter for ages and it definitely is not ready for that, but it is close.  More playtesting is needed.  Let the good times roll.