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 Post subject: Castle Whiterock: What's the Story Quotient...?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:07 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Location: Left Coast, USA
Many times I've heard Whiterock described as a 'story-dungeon' or similar. The group I currently play with has a higher demand for 'story' and 'roleplay' than past configurations. I freely admit, I haven't gotten past the flipping-through-pages and skimming-certain-bits stage of reading Whiterock... All of which leads me to ask...

How much story is there in the famed 'story-dungeon'? Does it take the form of, "Yeah, 300 years ago, et cetera, et cetera...." or "OMG, we just discovered X and if we don't do Y with it, the world will never be the same again!" or just what...? In other words, to what degree is the story interactive vs. passive? Are there choices to make along the way that change the story? If so, do they come along once per book (4)? multiple times per book (5? 7? 9? 11?)? Are these interactive aspects existing as 'gaps' meant for the DM to fill in...?

Not looking for spoilers, just, um, 'structure'...

Personally, I'm interested to run Whiterock in any case, but depending on the answer, it may have to wait for some future group....

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock: What's the Story Quotient...?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:29 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:23 am
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Location: Auburndale, FL
I haven't read all the books cover to cover either. From what I've read you get the 300 years ago to today story as DM background. You can slowly make this available to the players through discoveries in the dungeon. Also good investigators can uncover a lot in Cillamar. This city has all the hooks you need to fill in between levels with side adventures and then some. None of these are needed to beat the dungeon. They just add flavor. In fact this is one of the best designed cities I've run a game in. Nothing you do will end the world or save it. I think a bunch of what the monsters will do long term is up to the DM. I definitely think it's logical to assume that if CWR is not cleared bad things will happen to Cillamar though. Choices made by the party can make you work a little bit. There are a lot of ways to skip around especially if you run #51.5 first. I personally don't like monsters to wait in limbo while level X is skipped. I like to have those monsters react and do something. My players took a prisoner and after getting some info set him free. They went on exploring so I had him circle back and take a bunch of hidden treasure. I made it obvious what had happened by leaving the secret door wide open and having them discover it on the way out. Anyway to wrap up there is a ton of story to work with. It is easy to modify and it should spark so many ideas in you that I would be surprised if you didn't find yourself tweaking it here and there. Do yourself a favor and bye it. You won't be sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock: What's the Story Quotient...?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
Posts: 2666
Location: San Jose, CA
Hey, didn't you read the side of the box? It says, "The Greatest Dungeon Story Ever Told." Does that help??

Seriously, though, Castle Whiterock is one huge story... 700 pages of it. The levels slowly build on each other, and there are multiple metaplots hidden throughout. I think the intro chapter preview posted at http://www.goodman-games.com/5050preview.html probably gives a good idea of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock: What's the Story Quotient...?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:46 pm
Posts: 74
The story of the dungeon and his various inhabitants spans for more than 1200 years...
The town of cillamar is not just a tavern and shops, dozens of NPC are there and many adventure hooks are provided to have out-of-the-dungeon adventures and flesh out the milieu in which the adventurers will have to live.

My players are having a blast, even if I had to make changes due to the fact that I run it in 4E. Basically, I've changed all the encounters. Other than that, Lady Chauntessa, Quintus, and many others are recurrent NPC that my players love to deal with.

So the part of the story in CW you ask? For me it's 95% story. Because I can tell you that my players don't go there just to fight and gain XP, they have a story to write!

Hyb'


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock: What's the Story Quotient...?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:59 am 
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Location: Left Coast, USA
So it sounds like the majority of the printed story of Whiterock is fixed/history, and the things that my players can really influence would be loose ends that I take up and create something more 'custom' from... Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

I am in no way saying that's a bad thing, since every group is different (and this group has gone through plenty of phases in the last 18 years). And I'd love to run all 700+ pages. But it seems that CW should perhaps wait for another, future version of this group. I'd say half the current group would rather spend their time in Cillamar and not give a fig about the Castle. If I have to create the stuff that they can sink their teeth into, in terms of changing the landscape themselves (as it were), I can create that out of something simpler, save myself from too many threads to keep track of, and save Whiterock for folks that'd love a gigantic, highly-detailed, designed-with-love Crawl....

:mrgreen: Basically, can't wait... :mrgreen:

Thanks for your time and thoughts, guys. :D

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock: What's the Story Quotient...?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:21 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:25 pm
Posts: 6
Castle Whiterock works on a couple of levels - first, as a few of the posters mentioned, you've got a dungeon with close to 30 levels/ sub-levels with 1200 years of history; the story of that history gets revealed through exploration and research.

Additional, there are stories within each level (the drive the players to explore, and usually encourage them to go on a little deeper).

It's everything you'd want a mega-dungeon to be... in addition, if you do want a larger meta-plot that embroils the local territories and make the plot more epic, it really wouldn't be hard to dial some of the hooks up a notch.

Haha, hopefully Castle Whiterock was profitable enough Goodman tries something similar for 4E! It's my favorite 3.x era 3PP product.


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock: What's the Story Quotient...?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 1:50 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
I view CW as definitely more site-based than story-driven. There's nothing stopping you from having a story-driven plot for your characters, but doing so will require a bit of initiative on the part of the DM. It can be just as easily run as a 29-level dungeon crawl (which is more how my players are approaching it).

The dungeon does have plenty of backstory, and denizens on different levels interconnect, so things characters do on one level might have an impact elsewhere, but this again is largely left to DM discretion. It is not plot driven the way the Paizo Dungeon Magazine adventure paths are (e.g., Shackled City).

There is a wealth of additional material in the form of Cillamar and the Kingdom of Morrain, but it is really largely extraneous to Castle Whiterock itself. Indeed, my group spends very little time doing anything outside of the dungeon, preferring to relegate time spent in town as OOC downtime for buying/selling/trading, leveling, and research. There are NPCs to interact with, and adventure seeds and hooks abound, but if you want to run an actual adventure in Cillamar, you'll have to provide it yourself. There's very little adventure interconnection between the town and CW, and you could easily jettison the entire setting and only cause minor disruption to CW itself (mainly in the background of NPC prisoners and the like).

If you did want to run a more plot-driven storyline in CW itself, I'd recommend having the PCs be captured and taken to the Bleak Theater deep in the dungeon, and attempt to escape from there and make it back to the surface. They would almost certainly have to do plenty of RP in this circumstance, since they'd often be dealing with NPCs tougher than they can handle. They'd likely end up skipping some of the upper levels if you go this route, though.

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Coauthor: Rappan Athuk Reloaded

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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock: What's the Story Quotient...?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:00 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:44 pm
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Here's one guy's take on the story of Castle Whiterock...

http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/nn24 ... =Cover.png














thisisaboutthecoolestthingI'veeverseen!!!!!

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Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


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