DCC #29: The Adventure Begins

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Gailbraithe
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Post by Gailbraithe » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:46 pm

I picked DCC#29 up the week it came out, which happened to be the week after my new Wilderlands campaign started. I had written my own adventure, but after I ran it I really wanted to put this book to use, so i included several maps - one leading to the Mage Maze, another leading to the Tower of the Black Pearl. So far the party has reached neither, but the did take a job doing some mushroom gathering (A Question of Morrels) and next session they will finally be at the Tower of the Black Pearl at the right time (they've been waiting months in game for it to rise).

Because my PCs were 3rd level when they did Question of Morrels, I had to upgrade a lot of the monsters a bit (tainted badgers became dire badgers, immature fungus became mature, kobold became troglodyte, dryad was unweakened and fiendish, ferrets gaine the woodling template, etc.), and I'm doing the same for Black Tower (these pirates will not be warrior chumps).

That I think is the best thing about this book. All of these adventures can be easily rewritten for higher levels, and I'm pretty sure I'll run at least a dozen of these scenarios in my current campaign by the time it's done. I'm also mixing in Dungeon Interludes and a few other DCC, with just the occasional self-written adventure to tie it all together with the Wilderlands setting.

Outstanding stuff!

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Ogrepuppy
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Post by Ogrepuppy » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:27 am

Some spoilers, FYI. Mostly rambling, but if anyone enjoys this I'll provide more detail later.

I started my little campaign with Tower of the Black Pearl. I dispensed with the "meet an old man in a tavern" junk and just jumped right into, "You're on a boat about 2 hours rowing into the Wooly Bay..." I filled them in with back story as we went along. (That's Greyhawk's Wooly Bay, yeah.) It was in media res and also a strong start to the story, and they didn't complain.

They got into the tower and got into the lower levels of it. They managed to slay the pirate captain and cut off his head to claim his bounty. This is important later.

They played well, and I allowed them to nab the black pearl--renamed, due to Pirates/Carribean, to the Ebon Sphere (cheesy, but it works).

I decided right then and there that the pearl was going to increase in power as they did, but I deviated away from the suggestion in the book. I'm currently allowing the pearl to do anything I want. The thing I retained from the adventure as written was that the player "holding" it (in the thief's backpack, in our case) gets a +1 to everything she does. I also tried to scare her...the pearl acts as a ring of sustenance for her, but she also looks like she's whithering away, like the lack of food & water & sleep are making her shriveled and emaciated. I even went so far as to say that healing from the cleric is starting to make her feel "uneasy". Suddenly, she's worried that the pearl is turning her into an undead. (Heh heh. It's not, but she doesn't have to know that yet.)

Since the pearl was near the pirate captain's severed head when they scrambled out of the tower, I allowed the pearl to "teleport" the head back to the pirate's corpse and turn him into a revenant. (I know that was overly powerful, but....why not? It threw them for a loop when the bloody head was gone.) In revenant form, the pirate collected his old crew and began pursuing them.

I know the +1 from the pearl doesn't help much, but on occasion it makes a difference. Every once in a while, during combat, I'll tell the thief's player the amount of damage the opponent inflicted on her, watch the player change the HP score on her sheet, then take her sheet and add a point to it. She also suddenly became more lucky, being able to hit things a little bit better than the other players, or being just a little bit luckier at her spot, search, disable device and open lock scores. If it made the story fun, I'd give her the extra point. Saved her life a few times, too, the pearl did...level 1 characters aren't very rugged...!

So they wanted to do research about the Ebon Sphere before selling it. They've travelled up the coast by boat, going from Hardby on their way to Dyvers. They began to cut west, on a path that would take them to Dyvers by skirting the northern edge of the Gnarled Forest. When they touched ground just a little east of Maraven on the Selintan River, I placed Silverton (i.e. Idylls of the Rat King) there.

They took the bait and began investigating the mines. This was about the time I learned that Dungeon magazine was going to start the Savage Tide Adventure Path...lo and behold, there was my Ebon Sphere / black pearl / shadow pearl. :) Suddenly I had a use for it.

The revenant pirate captain pursued them into the silver mines last game and confronted them. He managed to capture and knock out my party (with some help from his ship mates, who are transforming into weak undead because of their captain's "corruptive influence"). He stripped them of their gear--including the Ebon Sphere--and shackled them in the hold of his boat where they laid unconscious while he took them...somewhere.

Currently, they've managed to break free of their shackles and escape the pirate's ship, only to find that he's anchored off the coast of an unknown island. I plan on giving them a little Robert E Howard-style Pool of the Black One-type fun when next we game. Also, been listening to Treasure Island in audiobook format to get additional inspiration... ;)

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Post by Harley Stroh » Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:27 am

This is such a _cool_ story. Any time I read about DCCs being used in Greyhawk I get all warm inside.

Re: Pearls/Pirates. Haven't seen the movie yet, but the overlap burns, especially since the black pearl in Tower is a "hidden" reference to X-1: The Isle of Dread, not Dead Man's Chest.

Ah well. :)

//H
The lucky guy who got to write some Dungeon Crawl Classics.

DCC Resource thread: character sheets, judge tools, and the world's fastest 0-level party creator.

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Ogrepuppy
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Post by Ogrepuppy » Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:44 am

Harley Stroh wrote:This is such a _cool_ story. Any time I read about DCCs being used in Greyhawk I get all warm inside.

Re: Pearls/Pirates. Haven't seen the movie yet, but the overlap burns, especially since the black pearl in Tower is a "hidden" reference to X-1: The Isle of Dread, not Dead Man's Chest.

Ah well. :)

//H
Sorry, not really a huge "easter egg" as Paizo/WotC's got an entire adventure path based around them (at least tangentially) that started this month. Doesn't mean it's not cool..!

I could do a story hour about my group's travails, but I don't know if anyone wants to read it.

I've actually painted myself into a corner by putting them on the revenant's island. I want the revenant to get away (with the pearl, mind you) to harrass them another day, but I also don't want to have too much repetition with the Savage Tide Adventure Path when I run 'em through that. I also can't rightly strand them on the island, since I really have absolutely no way of getting them off of it. Now, the pirate can get away fairly easily as 1) he has a small army of undead mook--err, mates that he can throw at the party to distract them while he slips away, and 2) he can quite literally walk along the bottom of the water from the island to the mainland nearby.

I've hit a creative "DM's writer's block" and am completely unsure where to turn next. I'll likely pull a LOST and have them find something utterly abnormal on the island, something that will make them scratch their heads and wonder "what the hell it's doing there--?!?"....I just dunno what that something is yet. I also need to figure out the layout of the revenant pirate captain's Fortress of Solitude....

rabindranath72
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Post by rabindranath72 » Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:34 am

Hello all
new to the boards, and to the DCC line. The first book I bought was DCC 29 precisely (for less than 15$, it was the last in stock), and I was hooked! It is really a brilliant product.
I do not play 3e, but I am adapting it for C&C and the Dragonlance setting.

Cheers,
Antonio

Harley Stroh
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Post by Harley Stroh » Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:36 am

Welcome, Antonio!

Glad you like the book. Feel free to post any questions or session recaps. DCC authors are junkies for reading how their dungeons play out.

//H
The lucky guy who got to write some Dungeon Crawl Classics.

DCC Resource thread: character sheets, judge tools, and the world's fastest 0-level party creator.

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