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 Post subject: Fresh DM blood.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:12 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:57 pm
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Location: A shady alley, could be near you.
Ok guys, any help is welcome. I'm going to be DMing for my group. (please note I'm not a keen DM)

We play C&C, have done for.... ages? The normal DM's needing a rest, and I foolishly let myself be talked into taking over. But since nobody else has DM'd before, probably safest.

Having just purchased Castle Whiterock, I'm going to run that once it's sent to me, I understand I'm going to have a lot of work to do since it's a 3.5 ed module/campaign. I've played a few PC 3.5 ed games, don't really like the way it works, so I'll use the info provided in other strings to modify the game.

I've read few a good few posts people have put up of how they are running the campaign and there are things I like, but they've also raised issue's I'm probably going to end up worrying about. Xp is a worry for me, as I remember, 3.5 you lvl pretty damn fast, so does this mean I'm going to have to put in side modules and the like to keep the party at the right lvl to compete in Whiterock? Should I be using a money for exp training system? Would it be worth my time to get the party used to each other before I dump them into Whiterock, or should I just let them loose and see how they get on?

Maybe I should explain about my party. At the moment only one person knows what they'll be doing, he was soooo keen to do this, that he found out I was running it by wanting to order the campaign himself and finding out the stocks were gone just after he'd told me there was only one left and where to get it from, within an hour, I've had an e-mail through from him telling me what his character is. Human Monk for any interested. But as a player, he's a head down, death or glory type of person. Which will mean he'll die often, or I can see it happening. Another member of the group is a very structured player, but he doesn't turn up often, and can sometimes get pissed off when things are going fast enough for him. Another is a barbarian, CN dwarf. He'll play any character, and it'll turn into a CN dwarven barbarian. Funny how that happens, he doesn't think his way through problems, infact, he creates them (Again, he's not great at turning up either). Then there is the middle man, he does things his way, doesn't put up with &^$£ from others, but will listen and admit if he's wrong. He runs a balanced character whatever it is and he'll do it well, he's just not very good at a few of them, if he plays a cleric or a warrior type, he'll do good and the party as a whole will too. Lastly is the only female in the group. She tends to be very quiet, doesn't get too involved, but is a solid almost always there turn up type of person. She'll work together with the party, and she puts the party first. So one of the types everyone needs in their party. She works best with warriors, but I'd imagine she'd run a rogue or a cleric well too, I don't think she'd have the patience to run a mage with few spells at the back not being able to do much.

Anyway, that's my players, my module I'm planning on running for them, and my problems. Can anyone see anything before I've even started that I need to worry about? And how easy is Castle Whiterock to run?

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I'm not looking for trouble, it just happens to find me more and more often of late. Maybe it's the target on my back, I don't know, but either way, here I am trouble, come get me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:52 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:50 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Elfrida, Arizona
Most of the monsters already have a C&C version done up for them. Yes, XP's will be an issue, but I think that is cool. Every time I try to do a huge multi level dungeon like CW the players become bored and just grind to get it "over with".

Fortunately CW is set up to be gone into and left, many times. So yes, you get to add probably a half dozen to maybe 9 modules to fill things in. Personally I think that is a good thing since I want to run a lot of modules I haven't run yet.

Plus CW has a bunch of hinted hooks built right into it. SO use them and just run with them. Go where it takes your group.

As for being a new DM, don't sweat it. Just don't freak out when the module doesn't cover it. Go with it, do what you come with that makes sense. It'll probably blow your mind how they will say the best parts were what you totally came up with "off the cuff" as its often referred to.


Good luck. Just relax, be consistent, and go with what makes sense when you have to go outside of what the modules cover.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:35 am 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:44 pm
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Quote:
As for being a new DM, don't sweat it. Just don't freak out when the module doesn't cover it. Go with it, do what you come with that makes sense.


Excellent, excellent, excellent advice. Be relaxed, and feel free to add, subtract, or modify things on the fly as you need to. Remember this is YOUR game, and you're not forced to make things happen the way we authors wrote it. One mistake I hear about all the time is people being afraid to stray from "the script." Consider the module an outline - or a list of suggestions - with plenty of read-aloud text, and expect to change things on the fly for your particular party...we tried to write it to cover most playing styles, but PCs are an unpredictable breed.

If your group is a "charge in and kill them all" group, you can either let the module school them (and it will!) or change it around in a way you think will reward the party...use bad tactics for the schmucks, give them fewer hit points, that kind of thing. Feel free to add in or remove bad guys from a fight.

One way I change encounters is to tweak the starting positions of the bad guys...if an encounter calls for 6 bad guys, have 3 of them present at the first and then start having the other 3 show up from unexplored rooms as reinforcements starting on round 2 or 3. It changes things up a bit.

Quote:
It'll probably blow your mind how they will say the best parts were what you totally came up with "off the cuff" as its often referred to.


Probably true...it's happened to me more than once where the part I had to completely pull out of my nethers was the best part of the game.

Hope you guys have fun playing the module! Feel free to post gaming stories here on the board, and to ask questions!

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:17 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 5
Location: A shady alley, could be near you.
Ok, thanks for that, never really like going into things feeling like it's going to turn out badly. There's the chance it still might, but I at least will know where to plan now.

So next question is....

Are there any good modules that I should run inbetween various lvl's and the like of Whiterock? Or should I write my own? On the few occasions when I have had to run something before, I've always prefered writing myself because I know inside out what can be done, and what I don't want to do. Also, I don't have to re-read a module four or five times just to make sure I know it incase the party does something stupid.

_________________
I'm not looking for trouble, it just happens to find me more and more often of late. Maybe it's the target on my back, I don't know, but either way, here I am trouble, come get me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:45 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot
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Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
If you prefer to write your own, then go for it! There's nothing stopping you from creating your own side treks.

If I was going to build stuff outside of Castle Whiterock for side quests, I'd look at Cillamar first, and perhaps try to expand upon it as a source of adventure. The dungeon touches very little on the community, so adding more things to do in town should help breathe life into it. You could also create things farther afield in the kingdom of Morrain, assuming you're using the default setting.

I know there's at least one adventure that's set in the same general region--DCC #19, the Volcano Caves, for characters level 7-9. There are even a few tie-ins with Castle Whiterock (e.g., the mercenary gnolls on level 3 are hired from forces in the Volcano Caves adventure).

DCC#13 (Crypt of the Devil Lich) also has stronger than usual tie-ins with Castle Whiterock, as both the Monks of the Dawning Sun and the drow house of Forlorna appear in both adventures to some degree. However, DCC#13 is for 15th+ level characters, so it's not something you'd likely run until after Castle Whiterock has been fully explored.


In Cillamar itself, there are a number of interesting possibilities. I recommend reading through the Cillamar section of the gazetteer and expanding on areas and adventure hooks that appeal to you.

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Coauthor: Rappan Athuk Reloaded

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:15 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:50 pm
Posts: 414
Location: Elfrida, Arizona
As for writing your own, well you probably do that eve when you use a published module. At least you will when you get comfortable as the DM.

Take any module. There are things you don't like, for various reasons. You simply don't like how it was done, the order things are presented, motivations, doesn't fit with what has gone before in your campaign, what have you.

So you rewrite it to fit your tastes, your vision, the needs of your campaign, etc...

As for modules to fit in, I could suggest a ton. There are plenty done by Goodman themselves, there are a number I like by Necromancer games, from Dungeon, etc....


So first check out what you have and see if you can think of a way to connect them. Then check out others if you think you may need them.

Heck, your using C&C, right? Well now you have the chance to use any of the old classics pretty much as written. The great thing is you can get most of them at Paizo for $4 or so, or at RPGNow for $4.95.


Good luck and have fun!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:40 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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Quote:
So first check out what you have and see if you can think of a way to connect them.


Also, if you tell us what kind of story you want to tell, or what kind of locations/villains/crazy encounters you'd like your campaign to have, maybe we can suggest specific modules.

Castle Whiterock itself has a reference guide included (see Appendix H, black book), where we detailed all the references we made to other modules in the series (almost all of them!). If one particular aspect of the dungeon, or its presented encounters, or a piece of the backstory appeals to you, check there to see if that ties in to a DCC. We really wanted CW to fit into a larger world.

In general, though, I'm in agreement with the other guys...write your own adventures, and maybe base them off things that your party picks up on. If for some reason they really latch on to the drunkard monk in Cillamar, write some adventures with him. If they decide to develop the quartz mine, write something about that...these would be "instant hooks" 'cause you're party is telling you what they're interested in.

For example, I'm running my group through Red Hand of Doom. My characters are convinced that there must be a Fort Knox place nearby so that the hobgoblin army and its auxillaries get paid....that's not in the adventure, but it's pretty reasonable, so I'm writting such a place into the adventure now.

Just a thought.

_________________
Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:22 am 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse
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Location: Missouri
Jengenritz wrote:
For example, I'm running my group through Red Hand of Doom. My characters are convinced that there must be a Fort Knox place nearby so that the hobgoblin army and its auxillaries get paid....that's not in the adventure, but it's pretty reasonable, so I'm writting such a place into the adventure now.

Just a thought.

Ft. Knox has an armor division. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:24 am 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Posts: 630
Quote:
Ft. Knox has an armor division.


*cough*constructs-a-go-go*cough*

oh
yeah

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Co-Author: The Almanac of the Endless Traders, DCC #13, DCC #29, DCC #49, DCC #51, DCC #52, DCC #63

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


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:30 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:57 pm
Posts: 5
Location: A shady alley, could be near you.
I have to be careful with posting any idea's here since one of the guys reads these regularly. I'm sure he'll be taking notes for when he comes to do the modules.

So as for saying what I intend and such like, I'm not really sure what I can say without giving the story away to a certain someone. (Hi Adam BTW)

But I'm taking notes of what's being said myself so I can plan ahead and aside and around and so on and so forth. I think my biggest worry will be trying to keep up with the party. If it all turns out to be a little too simple I'll find myself having to fill in a lot. So I'll be writing from the moment we finish on game night to just before we start again the next week. But I suppose since the old dm's pretty much had to do that for months I shouldn't complain really. We'll see how it goes, as for Whiterock reports that someone requested, either Adam or I will do them, I'm sure he'll be only too happy to tell of me killing everyone off, or how amazingly well they've done as a party. We'll see how it all goes, just under two weeks to start time.

_________________
I'm not looking for trouble, it just happens to find me more and more often of late. Maybe it's the target on my back, I don't know, but either way, here I am trouble, come get me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:59 am 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse
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Rob The Thief wrote:
I have to be careful with posting any idea's here since one of the guys reads these regularly. I'm sure he'll be taking notes for when he comes to do the modules.

My players know better. I once told them I was going to run a module that had riddles in it by name. One of them went and looked up the answers somewhere. But, I had changed the riddles to ones I lked better. When they got to the point where they had to answer a riddle I read of my riddle and he gave me the book's riddles' answer. I just looked at him and said , "Wrong, make a saving throw." His face ... /rofl/ it was hilarious.

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 Post subject: Week One!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:37 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:57 pm
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Location: A shady alley, could be near you.
Ok, week one. Good news, got myself all organized. Bad news, only two of the players could make it.... I allowed each of them to role up two characters. They are as follows:

Kyvern - Monk, human.
Cicero - Mage, human.
Knarg - Warrior, half-orc.
Juna - Cleric, human.

I started the group from a distant city, guarding a merchant caravan. They new each other roughly, to make it easier for them playing two characters. The trip was uneventful. One encounter on the way into the region. They handled it well enough. No damage sustained except the warrior being foolish threw his only weapon at the retreating orcs that had attacked, missed and lost his weapon over the side of the mountain, much to my and the other players amusement.

They made it to Cillamar without more trouble. During the last bit of travel they learnt a little of the area they were coming into from other guards. They had a week to cool their feet before heading off to the capital. They explored a little, learnt some interesting places. Kyvern managed to lose all his money gambling then got himself beaten up for the honor when he picked a fight with a rogue in Myra's Bones. He was left penniless on the ground outside. I took pity on him instead of just plain killing him. The mage went off in search of somewhere he could by writing supplies and found himself walking around the high quarter, he learnt a few things including info on the temple in town. Got on quite well with the paladin commander, but failed to pick up some important information by not listening too well. Shame. -grins-

They then finished the job with the merchants by travelling to the capital, they stayed all of one day before returning because the mage had found something interesting out about some ruins up in the mountains, somewhere called Castle Whiterock. So having planned to explore the ruins, they then went off to buy supplies and the like. They then departed.. only to remember they needed to head back to get some torches.

Finally they got underway, an NPC rogue coming with them until the rest of their party arrived. The priest spotted the tracks leading up the mountain to the entrance. They followed the tracks, got spotted in a secret roll, and then tried to open the door. They were greeted by the monks. After a while, they agreed to come in and "help" with the dig. Or at least look at the ruins, they were taken to the tent with the artifacts. The leader was sent for then and sooner the party were knocked senseless. Captured and sold to the orcs. They woke up in the cells. Hurting. All separated. (I didn't really think the cells were well explained in the book, maybe I missed something) After about an hour of trying things they finally managed to escape. They were heard when the fourth was out of their cell. Hugin and Kyvern attempted to disarm the two orc guards. One got disarmed and the next round they slew the orc. The other orc ran, three of them lifted the portculis and gave chase. The elf prisoner was free'd by now and came to help. The orcs perished in a not very nice way. Soon they were re-equiped and headed down a random tunnel. Heading straight for the trollhounds and their keeper. They amazingly took them down very fast, but sadly one of their fighters was now badly hurt, as was the cleric.

They decided to end there for the night. It was pretty late, so we'll pick up the story more later on in the week.

_________________
I'm not looking for trouble, it just happens to find me more and more often of late. Maybe it's the target on my back, I don't know, but either way, here I am trouble, come get me.


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