What do you have in minds for your players?

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Zdanman
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Zdanman » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:45 pm

reverenddak wrote:
Zdanman wrote:What is funny is that the Appendix N characters and stories were not really that inclined towards mortality and death. Oh sure it happened around them but not to them. That is not to say that the party will get off scot free.
Where do I find episodes? I totally want to see it! I might turn my campaign into a pirate-themed one (I almost did that after watching the Pirates of the Caribbean series.)

It's one of the ironies of D&D, and more so for DCC. How do you tell these stories like Conan or Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser with ensemble casts without it turning into the Avengers (i.e. Super-Hero Teams.) People have to die, I guess.

Which is interesting actually. My longest running D&D campaign was for 3.5 and it really became a story of one character. I'm notorious for TPKs in my gaming groups because I can't help but ignore Challenge Ratings and other encounter balancing rules. Let's say kill lots of characters. So one character in that campaign survived the whole time we played it. His player kind of hated the character and tried to kill him several times, but it made for some really interesting events, curses, etc. He somehow never died. I hated that character at first, because he was a hyper optimized 3.5 character. I hate that, so I had to nerf him several times to his player's hatred (which is why he ended up hating and trying to kill him.) Over time, because he somehow managed to survive several suicidal actions, I grew to like him. His character's goals (being an only survivor and loaded with plot-seeds) became focus of the all the adventures. He was very much Elric, Conan or Cugel. The only people he trusted would be constantly dying around him, everyone else were either out to get him, or send him on wild and stupid missions for... who knows what? It's everyone's intent to be that (anti)hero. So only luck and time will tell.

This game just really makes you earn and tell that story. This is probably the biggest difference between DCC and vanilla D&D. Later editions of D&D really catered to those that wanted to be Conan the King at 1st level, instead of Conan the slave-boy/orphan whatever he was. This DCC really makes create your character's story by surviving to tell it.
As for episodes - I truly do not know. Search for Pirates Of Dark Water around the net - I am sure some site hosts the complete series. I got them from a torrent long time ago.

As for the stories - this is all fine and I actually agree with your approach. That said the prevailent OSR vibe that people have to die to make the game meaningful and challenging is something that does not gel well with Appendix N storytelling. Oh sure you might die eventually but Appendix N tells of heroes. Not many of them were scrubs even at the start of their adventures. Grey Mouser and Fafhrd were described as competent and even powerful from the get go. Elric and Corum were beyond the scope of what even high-level PC's can do. Conan was always described as a mighty person. John Carter is a veteran soldier at the outset of his adventures. Solomon Kane is mightier and more iron-willed than anything he encounters. That to me is essentially Appendix N storytelling.

While I love the vibe of DCC and I totally want to play it and understand the need to earn the stripes of Conan or Grey Mouser I do not intent the heroes to be lowly scrubs that barely can do anything. Rather those are the people that CAN battle the devils from the Nine Hells and beat them! They do not need to be high fantasy heroes but heroes anyhow. But that is my take on the issue. That is why in my campaign I allow for such things as 4d6 drop lowest etc. I allow for max hp at first level. Why? Because the world is cruel and deadly and the characters are the Rambos, John McLains etc of the world.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by ctaylor » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:44 pm

I'm making some maps and prepping for a character creation/funnel run with my kids:

Image

We're going to go pretty basic to start, as they've only played a few games of Pathfinder and Gamma World.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Harley Stroh » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:24 pm

Sexy! That is a great map. I love the secret door off of the first room ...

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by haiiro » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:35 am

I'm reading Patrick Wetmore's Anomalous Surface Environment, usually while grinning, and considering it as a DCC setting.

It's a gonzo, Barrier Peaks-style post-apocalyptic fantasy Earth. There's a monster called a sasqueton that sums it up pretty well: It's a sasquatch with one giant crab claw, and instead of a head it has a mysterious gem-studded cylinder encased in a plastic bubble.

I'm saving myself for the print edition, so I don't yet know if this is a perfect match, but the spirit seems appropriate.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by bat » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:32 am

I am going to start with a gloomy Dunsany+Black Company+Bakshi Middle-Earth+CAS vibe and go from there. Bleak, weird, gonzo.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by reverenddak » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:44 am

Ok, so I found The Pirates of Dark Water. While "finding" that I came across the old 80's CBS show, Wizards & Warriors. I watched the first episode of each last night with my Girlfriend... I loved them!

Pirates is pure pulp. It's action orientated, skipping from action scene to action scene without skipping a beat. Very "Temple of Doom" pacing with no time for monologues or "character" development. You learn about everyone through actions! In the 25 min episode we get a major quest, establish the bad guy boss, the hero and they throw together his adventuring party. They then go on the first part of thier quest. In 25 minutes! My girlfriend didn't care for it, but she doesn't play D&D with me, so whatever. But it was good fun. Very creative and subtly violent (people die.)

Wizards & Warriors was a Live-Action TV show on CBS that came out during the height of the D&D craze, 1983. It didnt survive a single season. I was a kid when it came out, and it showed on the same night as my Cub Scouts meeting (I think) and so I missed almost every episode, but I tried to watch them. I don't remember having an opinion then, but it probably wasn't a good one because when you're in your 10's you have a really strong one, and if the physics didn't line up 100% with D&D it sucked (right?!) I'm a bit older now and can look at it objectively... I have to say, I loved it. It's goofy, funny and very self-aware. The princess rides a unicorn, the bad-guy has black hair and is named Prince Blackpool. The good guy is blonde named Prince Greystone. My girlfriend hated him and how he'd flip his hair constantly. He has a side kick named Marko, who's obviously fat, funny and dumb. The first episode, called The Unicorn of Death, features a nuclear bomb hidden in a golden weathervane in the shape of a, you guessed it, a unicorn. It's a ticking time-bomb, literally, and the prince has to go retrieve the key in the "Citadel" that's full of traps and guarded by a strange minotaur-ish monster. There are wizards, taverns, monsters and trapped dungeons... yep, very D&D. It was awesome.

Both shows made me want to play D&D, and we game tonight, and I'm totally motivated!
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by toadlike » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:55 am

bat wrote:I am going to start with a gloomy Dunsany+Black Company+Bakshi Middle-Earth+CAS vibe and go from there. Bleak, weird, gonzo.
That sounds like the best campaign ever! :D
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by yell0w_lantern » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:53 am

Pirates of Dark Water is "Manufactured On Demand" but you can buy it from Amazon. Thundarr and the Herculoids are also out MOD.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by blindelf » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:15 am

I'm thinking of running a game of Call Of Cthulhu where the PCs enter the Dreamlands
and then wander into a Lankhmar/Appendix N world and become 0-level DCC RPG characters,
and have some thematic link or continuous quest across the 3 settings.

Maybe the PCs would be investigating the mysterious disappearance of a famous weird fiction writer
and follow his trail across the Dreamlands into the DCC world, where he is living another
life as a powerful sorcerer, having found via his writings that some of the ancient tomes
were more than legend.

Be careful which stairs you wander down kids.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Zdanman » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:02 am

Glad you liked Pirates Of Dark Water Reverend :). The first couple of episodes are pure puply fun as you described. There is some character development in later episodes but the focus mostly remains on tight, action-packed fun. Plus the cadre of character is really colorful - from Ren to Bloth each one of them is memorable. Ioz is my particular favourite. There was Pirates Of Dark Water RPG released in 1994 but I have yet to play it or even see it. I would love to run a short campaign of it though.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Harley Stroh » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:18 am

I had forgotten all about these.

As a kid, my family lived on a farm *way* out in the middle of nowhere. (Nowhere, as in "you can't see your nearest neighbors" nowhere.)

Anyhow, I ran a campaign for myself, set in Greyhawk City, based off the trailer for Dark Water.

Playing D&D alone. I'm just that much of a dork. :D

//H
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Zdanman » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:20 pm

Harley Stroh wrote:I had forgotten all about these.

As a kid, my family lived on a farm *way* out in the middle of nowhere. (Nowhere, as in "you can't see your nearest neighbors" nowhere.)

Anyhow, I ran a campaign for myself, set in Greyhawk City, based off the trailer for Dark Water.

Playing D&D alone. I'm just that much of a dork. :D

//H
That is awesome Harley! I would love to play in that sort of campaign.

Anyways I am from Poland so when I was a kid we had NO Pirates Of Dark Water and no DnD. The first RPG translated into Polish was the 1st edition of Warhammer. So we gathered what info we could find and played DnD with Warhammer rules. That was dorky :D

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by bat » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:06 pm

toadlike wrote:
bat wrote:I am going to start with a gloomy Dunsany+Black Company+Bakshi Middle-Earth+CAS vibe and go from there. Bleak, weird, gonzo.
That sounds like the best campaign ever! :D
Well, I do the best I can. Every time one has a go at it they need to make it the best game they can. Playing some really old Black Sabbath to get the juices flowing.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Booberry » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:01 pm

Great call on Pirates of Dark Water. I've wanted to do something inspired by it for a while now.

I'd thought about doing something inspired by those awful Italian Sword & Sandal films of the 1960's, but I run fairly infrequently and I think Barrowmaze might be a better fit given my harried schedule.

Seems like I could smoosh those together anyway.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by bat » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:33 am

Booberry wrote:Great call on Pirates of Dark Water. I've wanted to do something inspired by it for a while now.

I'd thought about doing something inspired by those awful Italian Sword & Sandal films of the 1960's, but I run fairly infrequently and I think Barrowmaze might be a better fit given my harried schedule.

Seems like I could smoosh those together anyway.
Some of those are painful, but if you can endure it, do have great ideas to mine. I found a dvd collection called Sword & Sorcery that has a lot of those sword & sandal movies on it (and The Magic Sword among others). Excruciating at times, but there are great ideas all around.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Booberry » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:55 am

bat wrote:
Booberry wrote:Great call on Pirates of Dark Water. I've wanted to do something inspired by it for a while now.

I'd thought about doing something inspired by those awful Italian Sword & Sandal films of the 1960's, but I run fairly infrequently and I think Barrowmaze might be a better fit given my harried schedule.

Seems like I could smoosh those together anyway.
Some of those are painful, but if you can endure it, do have great ideas to mine. I found a dvd collection called Sword & Sorcery that has a lot of those sword & sandal movies on it (and The Magic Sword among others). Excruciating at times, but there are great ideas all around.
The Magic Sword is pretty fun. Basil Rathbone in a turban FTW!

EDIT: apparently you can watch the whole film on youtube.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by SYKOJAK » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:46 am

This game just really makes you earn and tell that story. This is probably the biggest difference between DCC and vanilla D&D. Later editions of D&D really catered to those that wanted to be Conan the King at 1st level, instead of Conan the slave-boy/orphan whatever he was. This DCC really makes create your character's story by surviving to tell it.[/quote]

That statement right there is the heart and soul of DCC in my most humble opinion. Earning your right to tell your tale, simply by surviving.
There comes a point in time when it all comes down to the roll of a die!

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Vandendanderclanden » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:31 pm

Oh boy, i have a group that collectively have never done against the giants, the drow, the demonweb pits. How lucky am i?

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by finarvyn » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:01 am

reverenddak wrote:It's one of the ironies of D&D, and more so for DCC. How do you tell these stories like Conan or Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser with ensemble casts without it turning into the Avengers (i.e. Super-Hero Teams.) People have to die, I guess.
The real secret is to have a smaller party size. Part of what I remember about the "good old days" is that we used to have 1-2 players and a DM. When you have smaller party size several things happen:
1. Emphasis on the individual rather than the party.
2. Each gets to do more and watch less.
3. You can have higher level characters without upsetting balance.
4. You as the DM can bend some rules (e.g. allow characters to multiclass) without upsetting balance.

Your Avengers analogy is a solid one. For any Avengers comic you really need a "lead character of the week" with the rest following. Otherwise, you get a story that is really fragmented where no one gets to do much. This was my big problem with 4E D&D, the fact that each player's turn seemed to drag on and a large party size had a dynamic which was mostly one where everyone was waiting all of the time.

Smaller party size fixes most of those issues, but since D&D and DCC are class-based games it might be prudent to allow characters to gain levels in more than one class so that they have a party-type range of talents.

Take for example Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. Fafhrd is a fighter but also a thief. Mouser is a thief but also has a touch of magic-user. Together they cover most of the skills needed in a larger party.

Just my two coppers.
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by finarvyn » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:03 am

Vandendanderclanden wrote:Oh boy, i have a group that collectively have never done against the giants, the drow, the demonweb pits. How lucky am i?
I had a similar situation a few years ago and it's a great one to have. Those are classic modules, but most interesting the first time.

Enjoy!
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by reverenddak » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:45 am

Vandendanderclanden wrote:Oh boy, i have a group that collectively have never done against the giants, the drow, the demonweb pits. How lucky am i?
Man. You know I never have either! I owned a bunch of those modules, but never ran them. Much less played them. I wish I had time to play more than once a week I'd join your game in a heart beat. Though I have to say, everyone misses Zilbo (I miss Van.)
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by Vandendanderclanden » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:16 am

reverenddak wrote:
Vandendanderclanden wrote:Oh boy, i have a group that collectively have never done against the giants, the drow, the demonweb pits. How lucky am i?
Man. You know I never have either! I owned a bunch of those modules, but never ran them. Much less played them. I wish I had time to play more than once a week I'd join your game in a heart beat. Though I have to say, everyone misses Zilbo (I miss Van.)
I also wish that I could play more than once a week. Something so great about being a player in one campaign and a DM in another. Alas.

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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by GnomeBoy » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:18 am

blindelf wrote:I'm thinking of running a game of Call Of Cthulhu where the PCs enter the Dreamlands
and then wander into a Lankhmar/Appendix N world and become 0-level DCC RPG characters,
and have some thematic link or continuous quest across the 3 settings.

Maybe the PCs would be investigating the mysterious disappearance of a famous weird fiction writer
and follow his trail across the Dreamlands into the DCC world, where he is living another
life as a powerful sorcerer, having found via his writings that some of the ancient tomes
were more than legend.

Be careful which stairs you wander down kids.
Somehow, until now, I missed this post in this thread...

This sounds like a really, really cool idea to me -- I may have to steal it! :mrgreen:
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by reverenddak » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:24 pm

I want to be a player in this!
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Re: What do you have in minds for your players?

Post by jmucchiello » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:46 am


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