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 Post subject: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:21 am 
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I play a lot of D&D and for quite a while I've been trying to run a more 'old school' style game in my 4th edition campaigns. Right now, I run a Chaos Scar/Tomb of Horrors campaign on Mondays at a game store, D&D Encounters (an official Wizards thing where you run one encounter a week from a module) on Wednesdays, and my 'real' game is 4e Temple of Elemental Evil on Fridays late at night.

Temple is cool, but in 4e it doesn't feel 'old school' or, really, all that fun. I saw a post on RPG Net for this Dungeon Crawl Classics Beta and once I took a glance at the 'occupations' chart I knew I wanted to run this. So I talked to my Wednesday group, and they agreed to try it out and play it on Free RPG Day (this Saturday).

Last Friday I ran a quick DCC thing before my Temple game. I had three players roll up a single 0-level plebian, and then had them fight a single orc with no weapons or armor. I was just trying to gauge what an appropriate challenge was in this game, as there's no xp values in the beta book.

Two of the three characters died! And the survivor almost perished too, but my dice ran cold at the end. We all died laughing, though. We've been playing 4th edition - a lot - since it came out, and it feels really bizarre to die so quickly.

I started DMing in around '89 as a kid. Second edition was my game. And I am really looking forward to running a game where i don't need to print out poster maps and plop down miniatures. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love 4e, but this game will definitely bring some spice into our lives.

This thread will chronicle our campaign. The players all seem extremely into this, so I'm assuming it's not going to collapse when I run the Free RPG Day adventure. We'll be playing it on Wednesdays at our game store (The Dragon's Den in New York, about an hour north of New York City) after we finish our Encounters session.

My idea for the campaign is simple. There's a lich called Thurfang Bormaug who has created dungeons called spell-crypts. Each one powers one of the lich's special spells, each of which is keyed to a different color. The heroes will end up seeking out and destroying the power gem at the heart of each dungeon, which will deny the lich the use of that spell and thus make him less of a threat to the world.

The heroes will have an ally/patron, a witch called Golila the Mazarine. She is a rival of Thurfang's and is guiding the heroes on their quest (and helps hide them from Thurfang's scrying. He'd surely squash the heroes otherwise).

So basically the campaign will involve the heroes hex-crawling, searching for the next spell-crypt, then going through the spell-crypt and dungeon crawling until they find that crypt's power gem, then move on...

Tonight was our preparatory stab at Dungeon Crawl Classics. Each player rolled up 3 0-level PCs, and then we did a couple test-fights. I framed them as "premonition dreams of the witch" - she's having visions of their possible future and now knows they will be relevant to her very soon.

The following summary is also posted here with a few pictures, including a map of where the heroes' village of Greywood is located....right here. Greywood is a village from an ancient issue of White dwarf, part of "The Search for the Temple of the Golden Spire". As fate would have it, Samantha gave me all her dad's old d&d stuff for christmas. It's from the late 70's/early 80's, and is perfect material to raid for this campaign.

Listed here is the player name, followed by his/her three characters. This group consists of people aged from 20-35.

John Z

Dwarven Herder, with sow (female pig)
Gregory, Elven Sage
Gong Farmer (cleans outhouses.. this guy has epic stats. Greg called him "the GG Allin of dungeon crawls")

Greg

John Doe, Potato Farmer with a hen
Grym, Wizard's Apprentice (with a high int and a luck bonus to spell damage)
Edison, Elven Artisan

Krista

Skip, Corn Farmer with a mule
Galla, Halfling Gypsy
Smacky, Armorer (Does an iron helmet do anything?)

Matt

Hezekiah, Corn Farmer with a sheep
Mr. Boscrow, Halfling Trader
Carlisle, Slave

Tom

Arvin Twiggins, Halfling Trader
Jonathan Growhaven, Potato Farmer with a cow
Freedric Goldwynn, Urchin with a stick, a bowl, a 14 intelligence and a very low agility (-3)

Samantha

Madam Mysteria, Halfling Gypsy
Goatswyn, Dwarven Herder with a Goat
Linnette, Healer

Our heroes lived mundane lives in the village of Greywood, west of the Kitezhan Mountains and just north of the Vermillion Steppes (MM10 on the big Aereth map on this site). The citizens worshiped Uleth, the God of Peace. Nearby was a spire upon which lurked a witch who went by the name of Golila the Mazarine. Only her brother and servant, Lergwe, lived with her. The spire was also home to Caliron, the Cantankerous Giant of the Fog. The big fellow flung rocks at any who he saw.

Golila slept and dreamed of those she would meet soon. She dreamt scenes from alternate realities, battles which never happened - but could have....

A call went out through the streets of Greywood. Three kobolds had barged into a barn and were eating everything. Who could possibly stop them?

A mob of eighteen citizens decided to try! They headed to the barn, and decided to have John Z's dwarf herder lead a bunch of farm animals through the front entrance to distract the kobolds. The rest of the heroes would pour in through the back entrance and pummel the kobolds before they knew what was what!

(I decided that the heroes each got a +5 to initiative for this attempt. Unfortunately for them my kobolds rolled very high for initiative.. they went second in the order!)

The intiative order:

Krista
John
Me
Matt
Greg
Tom
Sam

Krista's gypsy fired a sling bolt from the far side of a window. She struck a kobold in the head. Blood trickled from the wound. Her armorer busted in and missed with a hammer. Then Skip the farmer plunged his pitchfork through a kobold's back and flung its' corpse through the air (a critical!). Two kobolds remained.

John's dwarf burst in the front door, riding his beloved sow and leading a charge of farm animals. He rode up and missed a swing at a kobold. John's elven sage crept in and missed a kobold. John's gong farmer made his way to a kobold on the ground like a navy seal. Crowbar in hand, he whacked the kobold already hit by a sling stone. The kobold screamed in pain and turned.

The gong farmer recoiled but it was too late. The kobold plunged its' tiny blade into his neck, killing the gong farmer! The other kobolds missed.

Matt's farmer, Hezekiah rushed up and missed. Mr. Boscrow the halfling trader battled the injured kobold. Carlisle charged the wounded kobold and killed him. "For freedom... and food!", shouted the slave. Two kobolds down, one to go.

(At this point I remembered the morale rule. I decided not to use it, but made a note to make sure I did when it counted)

Greg's turn. Edison, the elven artisan approached a kobold and crushed it's kneecap with his staff! The leg broke open and the kobold died (a critical... we talked a bit about max damage. I am looking at the rules now, and it looks like there's no max damage on a crit, just whatever the result on the table is...). The kobolds were vanquished!

I took this opportunity to talk about a rule I'd read in an old dragon magazine. It's an article called "The Restless Dead". The rule is that if a fellow character dies, the heroes must pay a "Widow's fee" and bury their friend with his stuff. If they take his stuff or don't pay the fee, the character becomes undead and comes after the PCs. The type of undead depends on the dead guy's alignment:

Lawful: Haunt
Neutral: Zombie or Skeleton
Chaotic: Vampire!

It was a rule designed to prevent the looting of friends' PCs as it could lead to over-powered PCs. I decided to use it just because I think it's cool and seems in keeping with this game's tone.

One thing I didn't like about the kobold fight was that not every player even got to go! I was wondering if three kobolds was not enough or too many. I'm still not sure. Another note: The fight took 7 minutes! Bizarre by 4e standards. Everyone liked it. We can get a lot done in an hour in this game!


Golila the Manarine awoke. She called out at her brother to bring her a drink. But then she fell asleep again, once more dreaming of the citizens she would soon meet...

The village of Greywood was under attack. 6... yes, 6! Mighty orcs, claws bared, loincloths flapping in the breeze were crossing a field and approaching! They were clearly hostile. Who could defend the town from such a threat? Why, our golden-hearted plebians, of course!

The initiative:

Greg
Me
Tom
Sam
John
Matt
Krista

Greg's Elf Artisan, Edison, raced up and cracked an orc in the face with his staff. It reeled but was still alive. Greg's potato farmer used his flint & steel to light Grym's (the apprentice) oil. Wisely staying out of melee, Grym flung the lit oil through the air. The burning oil hit, covered and scorched the already-wounded orc. The orc screamed and died. (A question was asked of me as to whether the oil spread, like in a burst formation in 4th edition. I said no, it only hit and affected the orc. ).

But Greg wasn't done! His third character, John Doe, the one-hit point potato farmer, raced forth and plunged his pitchfork into an orc's eye (yes another critical from Greg~). The orc died.

A nearby orc snarled and swiped a claw at John Doe, killing him. Another orc lunged at Edison, clawing him in the neck and killing him as well.

The other two orcs raced across the plain toward the village defenders. One reached Hezekiah, clawed and cut him down.

Tom's turn. One miss. Growhaven hits with a staff for two points. And Goldwyn the urchin tried to feebly tap an orc with his stick.. no.. he missed.

Samantha's trio got into it. Madam Misteria loaded up her sling and staggered an orc with a shot, but it was still alive. Then Goatswyn raced up and beat on that orc. Linnette missed.

John's Pig-riding dwarf rode up and cracked an orc in the face. Gregory followed up and finished off the orc. Gong guy missed! Three orcs left!

Matt's guys missed, except the slave. Krista rolled low on all three attacks.

End of round one. Took 8 minutes for 18 characters and a pile of orcs!

Greg's go.. Grym, the apprentice, struck a wounded orc and nearly killed it.

One orc went after Arvin Twiggins. The halfling trader died a grisly death. Then I rolled to see who the other orc attacked. It was another of tom's guys - Johnathan Growhaven the potato farmer. He'd never skin another spud, for he was slain. Somewhere in the distance, his cow mooed mournfully.

Krista said after the first adventure, we'd need to have a wake..

Tom's guy missed. Madame Misteria slinged an orc, and killed it. Goatswyn missed. Lynette also missed. One orc left...

The pig rider, Mr. Smithy, rode up and yelled "Let's get him Bessy!". He rode by and swung, and killed the final orc.

Reactions: They loved it. The entire table was more into this than any 4e event I've run for them. The random charts and the terror of having 2 hit points seemed to really get them going.

One thing I'm already thinking about is the fact that there's certain characters that need to make it to level one. John Z loved his pig-riding dwarf, much more than his awesome-stat poop-shoveler (that is what a gong farmer is, right?). And Greg has his apprentice, who I am already having ideas for. We could say he is being taught by Golila! That would be really cool. I don't want him to die!

Another thing that came up was that... I need a map. I was just rolling randomly to see who the monsters attacked (if there was no obvious choice), and with so many PCs it got confusing. We won't need to count squares or anything, but I think I need to bring minis and a vague map just so we can keep track of who is where.

Rules Confusion:

I haven't read the whole book. So maybe these questions will be answered once I go back through the book. But:

How do you make a "perception" check? Do you? I guess you need to look for secret doors and check for traps, I'll have to see what skill that's keyed to.

If you roll up a 0-level PC who has a -2 as their stamina modifier, and she rolls 1 starting hit point, is she dead? I assumed she just had one hit point. Poor Sam!

Does an iron helmet do anything? Bonus to AC? Krista's Armorer came with one.

Do their animals have stats? Should they be used as combatants? There's already a billion characters, animals running around seems like overkill.

Overall: It was awesome. Everyone loved it. I got my copy of the Free RPG day adventure and wow, the map in there is incredible! I can't wait to run it. I'm about to give it a read. We will play it on Saturday at 12:30 PM. I'll have a report up soon after that!

Hope this is of use!


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:17 am 
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Netherstorm wrote:
My idea for the campaign is simple. There's a lich called Thurfang Bormaug who has created dungeons called spell-crypts. Each one powers one of the lich's special spells, each of which is keyed to a different color. The heroes will end up seeking out and destroying the power gem at the heart of each dungeon, which will deny the lich the use of that spell and thus make him less of a threat to the world.
Sounds like a great concept for an adventure. Your synopsis, while detailed, was also fun to read.

Netherstorm wrote:
I took this opportunity to talk about a rule I'd read in an old dragon magazine. It's an article called "The Restless Dead". The rule is that if a fellow character dies, the heroes must pay a "Widow's fee" and bury their friend with his stuff. If they take his stuff or don't pay the fee, the character becomes undead and comes after the PCs. The type of undead depends on the dead guy's alignment: It was a rule designed to prevent the looting of friends' PCs as it could lead to over-powered PCs. I decided to use it just because I think it's cool and seems in keeping with this game's tone.
This sounds like a good rule for higher level characters but I’d avoid doing it for 0-level. I have a quote for you from the playtest rules. I don’t think it made it into the Beta download, but my playtest folks really took this to heart:
Quote:
You will discover that 0-level characters possess almost no equipment. Begin play with a properly sized party (at least 15 PCs) and you quickly will learn what “wealth by attrition” means, and how it applies to low-level play.
At 0-level, characters need anything they can get to survive, and this includes picking over the bodies of their fallen comrades.

Netherstorm wrote:
Reactions: They loved it. The entire table was more into this than any 4e event I've run for them. The random charts and the terror of having 2 hit points seemed to really get them going.
Random is fun, and there is a certain charm to being “near death” at all times. It will be interesting to see if this wears off given time, or if players continue to enjoy the 0-level experience.

Netherstorm wrote:
One thing I'm already thinking about is the fact that there's certain characters that need to make it to level one. John Z loved his pig-riding dwarf, much more than his awesome-stat poop-shoveler (that is what a gong farmer is, right?). And Greg has his apprentice, who I am already having ideas for. We could say he is being taught by Golila! That would be really cool. I don't want him to die!
But remember that the whole point of the character funnel is that you don’t get to control who lives and who dies. Every character has a potential story; some are just harder to find. If you have a neat idea for a character who dies, keep in mind that you’ll probably get a similar chance for another adventure another time when you roll up a pile of zeroes.

Netherstorm wrote:
If you roll up a 0-level PC who has a -2 as their stamina modifier, and she rolls 1 starting hit point, is she dead? I assumed she just had one hit point. Poor Sam!
There is a minimum of one HP per hit die. Unlike Traveller, you can’t die in character generation. You live long enough to die some horrible death otherwise. :lol:

Netherstorm wrote:
I got my copy of the Free RPG day adventure and wow, the map in there is incredible! I can't wait to run it.
Just curious: how did you get a copy of the Free RPG Day adventure? They are not supposed to be given out before Saturday. :?

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:34 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
I don’t think it made it into the Beta download, but my playtest folks really took this to heart:
Quote:
You will discover that 0-level characters possess almost no equipment. Begin play with a properly sized party (at least 15 PCs) and you quickly will learn what “wealth by attrition” means, and how it applies to low-level play.
My error. I realize that that it did make it into the Beta rules. It's on page 16, under "Trade Goods." :oops:

It's still one of my favorite quotes of the rulebook! 8)

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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:24 am 
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A lively read. I'm happy to hear a report on how quick combat can be. That helps me think about adventure design. I think I will need to concentrate on building a sense of place and time and a strong atmosphere. Since combats are so quick, I think DCC will be (and needs to be) more about the adventure than about the fighting.


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:30 am 
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Netherstorm wrote:
Does an iron helmet do anything? Bonus to AC?


Great question! There's also a steel helmet that Squires can receive.

Personally, I'd rule that any fumble or monster crit that results in a head wound/injury is reduced, since there doesn't appear to be anything in the Beta rules about helmets.

Anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:40 am 
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Netherstorm wrote:
I haven't read the whole book. So maybe these questions will be answered once I go back through the book. But:

How do you make a "perception" check? Do you? I guess you need to look for secret doors and check for traps, I'll have to see what skill that's keyed to.


Yup, it's tied to Intelligence (page 53).

Netherstorm wrote:
If you roll up a 0-level PC who has a -2 as their stamina modifier, and she rolls 1 starting hit point, is she dead? I assumed she just had one hit point.


You're correct. Page 14, but you always start with a minimum of 1 HP (can't find the page but I could swear I've read it in the Beta rules somewhere).

Netherstorm wrote:
Do their animals have stats? Should they be used as combatants?


if you have a copy of 1st edition D&D, you should be able to safely use the stats for animals from a Monster Manual. The animals can be used as combatants if your players desire to, but you may want to consider that animals are good for bartering, too, so that those not-so-sturdy 0-level peasants can upgrade their equipment ASAP. This relates directly to what Finarvyn was saying a few posts up ^ and can be found in the same "Trade Goods" section.


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:54 pm 
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finarvyn:

Quote:
Sounds like a great concept for an adventure. Your synopsis, while detailed, was also fun to read.


Thanks! The Widow's Fee... I plan on using it for if there's a PC with magic items who die. I have no prob with them taking a rope off their dead buddy, or something like that.
Quote:
Just curious: how did you get a copy of the Free RPG Day adventure? They are not supposed to be given out before Saturday. :?


They give certain events out to DMs who are running stuff. I have to read it and prepare before I run it, I wouldn't want to walk in there and run it from the seat of my pants.

Quote:
"You will discover that 0-level characters possess almost no equipment. Begin play with a properly sized party (at least 15 PCs) and you quickly will learn what “wealth by attrition” means, and how it applies to low-level play."


Ha! I've been thinking about this quote today. I have two more players who are going to jump in on Saturday. Today, one of them, George C, rolled up his 3 guys. He rolled a 100 for his occupation (a woodcutter)! And on another character, he rolled up a soldier. He got a spear (d8!) and a shield! I felt like I wanted the soldier to make it. I don't want my players to be disappointed that their favorites got slaughtered. But hey, let's just see what happens.

nanstreet:

Quote:
A lively read. I'm happy to hear a report on how quick combat can be. That helps me think about adventure design. I think I will need to concentrate on building a sense of place and time and a strong atmosphere. Since combats are so quick, I think DCC will be (and needs to be) more about the adventure than about the fighting.


Thanks! Yeah it goes very fast. I'd imagine it'll slow down a bit when they're first level. The warrior will have his mighty deeds and the casters will have spells.

Ogrepuppy:

Quote:
Personally, I'd rule that any fumble or monster crit that results in a head wound/injury is reduced, since there doesn't appear to be anything in the Beta rules about helmets.


Agreed! I like it!

I did a bit of reading last night. That Corruption table is pretty insane. I read some threads in other sections about it. Actually, the thing I don't like about it the most is that there's certain results where I just wouldn't want to use my character any more. Boils on my face? Tentacles? I'm thinking of re-flavoring some of them for more "kewl" type effects, like tears of blood or Raistlin eyes.. or Raistlin skin, even....

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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:24 pm 
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Netherstorm wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
Just curious: how did you get a copy of the Free RPG Day adventure? They are not supposed to be given out before Saturday. :?
They give certain events out to DMs who are running stuff. I have to read it and prepare before I run it, I wouldn't want to walk in there and run it from the seat of my pants.

Ah. Makes sense. I'm running something but didn't want to pick the same adventure as the Free RPG Day handout because I figured that people who got the freebie might want to play in a different adventure from what they would have already. If that makes sense. Try one, be able to play at home in another.

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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Well... I ran the Free RPG Day adventure. The store we played in was really... how do I put it... loud? Very unpleasant? It's always a little nutty in there, but wow, this was pretty painful. I had to yell out the flavor text. People in costumes were rubbing up against my players because they were in a line o play a "live" game right behind our table. Not good!

There were definitely some deaths, and the players did some things that boggled my mind, but in the end they figured out how things worked in this dungeon and succeeded greatly. I'll have a detailed report in a day or two. Unfortunately, not sure if all the players are going to want to keep going. Four definitely do, a couple others... not sure about. :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:43 am 
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Netherstorm wrote:
Ha! I've been thinking about this quote today. I have two more players who are going to jump in on Saturday. Today, one of them, George C, rolled up his 3 guys. He rolled a 100 for his occupation (a woodcutter)! And on another character, he rolled up a soldier. He got a spear (d8!) and a shield! I felt like I wanted the soldier to make it. I don't want my players to be disappointed that their favorites got slaughtered. But hey, let's just see what happens.


Oooh I hope you update us on how this went.


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:36 am 
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Netherstorm wrote:
Unfortunately, not sure if all the players are going to want to keep going. Four definitely do, a couple others... not sure about. :shock:

It's certainly a different style than some of the other RPGs that they've played before, so that may be an initial turn-off to some. In DCC you start off pretty mortal, and some players are used to superheroic characters blasting everything in sight and wading through the bodies. DCC won't start off that way. Bottom line is that if they enjoy playing games and you run something, my guess is that they will try it again. There are always lots of players and not enough DM's.

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:35 pm 
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This sounds like a great campaign you're starting up!

Netherstorm wrote:
Reactions: They loved it. The entire table was more into this than any 4e event I've run for them. The random charts and the terror of having 2 hit points seemed to really get them going.


Excellent! There's nothing like the threat of death to keep things exciting. One-shots in particular really generate excitement in the "fear of death" department. But I have found that the excitement of deaths in a one-shot can get diminished once the characters actually level up...it's a real bummer to lose a character you finally get to 2nd level. Since you're running a long-term campaign, just keep in mind that everybody enjoys death in the first game...and not as much after they've invested a lot! I still recommend rolling in public and not pulling any punches, but give them adventures that are slightly more survivable than what you started with. :)

Netherstorm wrote:
One thing I'm already thinking about is the fact that there's certain characters that need to make it to level one. John Z loved his pig-riding dwarf, much more than his awesome-stat poop-shoveler (that is what a gong farmer is, right?). And Greg has his apprentice, who I am already having ideas for. We could say he is being taught by Golila! That would be really cool. I don't want him to die!


I'll second some of the comments above that the players will come up with some great backgrounds if given the incentive. In the two games I ran yesterday we had some outstanding, inventive role playing associated with just a few simple rolls - occupation, ability scores, lucky roll. I wouldn't worry too much if one of the best-loved characters die: I'm sure your characters will come up with something cool for the background of the characters who do survive.

Netherstorm wrote:
How do you make a "perception" check? Do you? I guess you need to look for secret doors and check for traps, I'll have to see what skill that's keyed to.


Keep in mind that there is generally not a roll to look for a secret door: the players have to specify what actions they're doing, and you tell them if they find the secret door. For example, I ran an adventure yesterday with a room that has 13 covered coffins. The first 12 all contain skeletons...the 13th has a staircase that leads into the floor. I don't allow a Search roll to find that staircase. Once the characters finally open up the 13th coffin, they find the staircase down. I've run this adventure 3 times now and they always find it...

Netherstorm wrote:
If you roll up a 0-level PC who has a -2 as their stamina modifier, and she rolls 1 starting hit point, is she dead? I assumed she just had one hit point. Poor Sam!


Although it would be hilarious to allow this :) I'm afraid everyone gets at least 1 hit point (as noted above).

Netherstorm wrote:
Does an iron helmet do anything? Bonus to AC? Krista's Armorer came with one.


As noted above - could nullify crits against the head, protect against collapsing-ceiling type traps, etc. Up to judge's discretion but "one of them role-playin' things." :)

Netherstorm wrote:
Do their animals have stats? Should they be used as combatants? There's already a billion characters, animals running around seems like overkill.


D4 hit points, attack at +0 for 1d3 damage. Guess I should clarify that somewhere. You will often have animal companions that are tougher than their 0-level handlers! They can be combatants if persuaded to fight...I could see a dog defending its master, but not a chicken!

Netherstorm wrote:
Overall: It was awesome. Everyone loved it. I got my copy of the Free RPG day adventure and wow, the map in there is incredible! I can't wait to run it. I'm about to give it a read. We will play it on Saturday at 12:30 PM. I'll have a report up soon after that!


Great to hear you like the adventure -- and the maps! Doug did a great job.

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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:23 pm 
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goodmangames wrote:
I could see a dog defending its master, but not a chicken!


Clearly you haven't met the chickens I have...those ornery cusses! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:33 am 
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OK! So first I'll post the story-style summary, then go through thoughts and etc after. So skip the summary if that kind of thing bores you, intrepid interwebber...

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

6/18/11: 'Twas loud and sweaty in the hobby store that day, but we persevered. And lo, many 0-level plebians were slaughtered unceremoniously. The mighty were separated from the footnotes in the annals of history.

George

Wellington - Halfling Merchant
William - Soldier (with a spear and a shield!)
Burke - A Woodcutter

Greg

John Doe - Potato Farmer (died)
Edison - Elven Artisan
Grym - Wizard's Apprentice

Krista

Artemisia - Armorer
Skip Waits - Farmer
Galla - Halfling Gypsy (died)

John Z

Smitty - Dwarven Herder, with sow (died)
Gregory - Elven Sage
Gong Farmer ("the GG Allin of dungeon crawls")

Sam

Lynette - Healer
Goatswyn - Herder
Madam Mysteria - Halfling Gypsy (died)

Tom

Arvin Twiggins - Halfling Trader (died)
Jonathan Growhaven - Potato Farmer with a cow (died)
Freedric Goldwynn - Urchin with a stick, a bowl, a 14 intelligence and a very low agility (-3)

Matt

Hezekiah - Corn Farmer with a sheep (died)
Mr. Bosceroe - Halfling Trader
Carlisle - Slave

Old Man Roberts lived in the village of Greywood. The old fellow talked often of a certain Empty Star that appeared in the sky once every 50 years. There was a stone circle near the village. When the Empty Star rose, a portal appeared in the circle for just that one night. The portal led to a dungeon created by some ancient war-wizard. He'd regretted never going in when he had the chance. Our plucky collection of citizens would not make the same mistake he had...

The prospective adventurers filed through the portal, and found themselves in a long hallway that ended at a door with a starry configuration implanted upon it. Their cows mooed, goats neighed and hens clucked.

John Doe, a potato farmer, pulled on and opened the doors. As he did so, a blast of radiance exploded outward, killing him! Undaunted, the heroes took what they could from his body and peered into the room that lay beyond.

The room was square and had a door on the far wall. Lining the wall that the door was set in were four statues holding spears, ready to throw. The heroes cautiously stepped in... Once three were in the room and one was in the doorway (the "bulls-eye"), the statues launched their spears! Arvin Twiggins, Madam Mysteria and Smitty the pig-rider all died. The fourth spear narrowly missed Grym, the wizard's apprentice.

Once they could see that the statues were not going to do anything else, the heroes looted the spears, and the scale armor each statue had on. They peered into the next room...

A thirty-foot tall statue of a barbarian was pointing at them. The square room had doors to the east, west and north. The heroes tested the statue... They launched a sling stone at it. Nothing happened. They saw a seam in its' base - it swiveled. They tried to force it to swivel, to no avail. They notice burn marks all over, as if many campfires had been set.

Johnathan Growhaven made his way toward one of the doors. Suddenly, with a deep groaning sound, the statue turned so that it was pointing at the potato farmer... and a fireball exploded from the statue's fingertip and killed the poor fellow.

The heroes made a mad dash toward the east door! The statue turned and launched a fireball at Edison, the elven artisan. Hezekiah the corn farmer jumped in the way, taking the hit! The fire engulfed the heroic fellow, and killed him.

Most of the heroes made their way into the side room. Four remained in the room with the fireball statue. They were trying to figure out what triggered it (on its' turn it would ready, and the next person to make for an exit was shot at). They forced their farm animals to move. A goat and a hen each took a fireball and died. Then they used the things they had on them - a grappling hook and rope. Mr. Bosceroe climbed it and placed his empty chest over the statue's finger. Then, when the statue was triggered again, its' fireball exploded and shattered the chest, but harmed no-one. The statue had five "charges", and all had been expended.

In the eastern room, there were a few tattered items hanging on the walls next to alcoves containing crumbled skeletons. When someone would come close, the skeletons would bite at them. The heroes took a few bites, but no-one died. They got the items and crushed each of the skulls. Each time a skull was destroyed, a strange thunderous crack would shake the base of the dungeon. The thundering noise seemed to come from below the dungeon (As would soon be learned, each of these skeletons was linked to a clay general in the clay army that was waiting them below. When the heroes destroyed the skulls, they destroyed the spirit link that they had to the clay generals).

Edison grabbed a bone, wrapped some rags around it and made a makeshift torch.

The adventurers decided to make their way to the western area. It lead to a narrow hallway and a door. Galla, the halfling gypsy, opened the door. In the room beyond was an immortal demon-snake with a horn in its' head! It spoke in a sibilant hiss: "I am Ssissuragg, and you intrude on my guardianship!". The snake lunged forth, bit Galla, and dragged her limp corpse into the room. The heroes quickly barred the door as best they could. From what they could tell, the demon-snake was not going to give chase.

The adventurers then opened the door to the north. The room beyond was a vast chamber with a shallow pool in the floor that had many shimmering crystal embedded in the bottom. Shuffling about in the back of the hall were six crystal men. Edison entered, and the crystal men shuffled toward him. He stepped out of the room, and they stopped. Through a bit of trial and error, the heroes realized that these things were attracted to heat, and were non-violent.

They attached the torch to their cow, and had it wander into a far corner. The crystal men all gathered around the weirded-out cow. There was a door in the far corner of the room. The heroes decided to check out the pool.

The crystals in the pool were embedded into the floor. There looked to be dozens, maybe even a hundred! Each crystal was worth 10 silver. The heroes climbed into the pool and cautiously began pulling them up. Each time one was removed, little bubbles came up. They did some testing and figured out that if enough crystals were removed, water would pour through the floor into a room below.

The door in the room led to circular stairs that went down. The stairs led to a hallway containing a few tables with clay soldiers on them. Four of them were made of silver. There was also a door. Opening the door revealed a huge chamber containing 70 man-sized clay soldiers, seven headless, limp clay generals, and a thirty-foot tall clay leader! They sprung to life and began to advance toward the door!

The door was shut and the heroes made their way back upstairs. The army didn't follow. The heroes resumed pulling up crystals. Once 50 were removed, the pool floor buckled and almost collapsed into the room below! The heroes exited the pool, and then forced the torch-bearing cow in to put weight on it. The crystal men followed, putting more weight on the floor.

They tied a rope around Artemisia's waist. She entered the pool and continued removing crystals. It took a long time, but 50 more crystals were removed and then the floor collapsed! The water, the crystal men, and the poor cow plummeted onto the clay army below! The cow died... the clay men did not. The water his the mud men, and reduced them all to simply inert mud in mere seconds.

In that room was a crystal globe - a potential scrying device for a wizard! Grym took it.

The heroes headed down and searched the clay room. They found a secret door! Beyond was the corpse of the war wizard and treasure! there was also a slot to place the globe in. When it was placed, a goat-headed demon's image appeared in the globe. The demon informed the heroes that the wizard's spirit had been lost in the ethereal plane, never to return. It offered to become their patron, if they'd obtain something for him....

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Overall: It was really fun. The big problem was simply that the place we were playing in was very obnoxious. I could tell it was bothering some of the newer players quite a bit, to the point where the atmosphere was threatening to ruin the game. I'd normally have asked to play out in the hall (the store is in a fairly dead mall.. the hallway is very cool and quiet) but they'd already put tables out there for the magic players to play at. I could go on, but the bottom line is that while I don't always agree with this game store's decisions, I have benefited tremendously from being allowed to run games there.

Miniatures: I used tiles and minis. It was too 4e for my tastes, but I felt it was necessary for this adventure so we could see who was where. Worked just fine!

Room 2: The statues throw spears "at an opportune moment"? Haha, that is very vague! I decided that I'd wait until three people went in. As the fourth walked into the doorway "bullseye" - ska-pow! I should note that I as always was using my giant grey d20 of ultimate destruction. The thing is downright cruel! It never misses! But wait.. one of my targets was Grym, the one PC I really wanted to make it! I rolled... and the grey die spared him. Of the four who triggered the trap, he was the only survivor.

Odd player behavior: I made very sure to tell everyone how lethal this was beforehand. Well beforehand! And yet Tom was putting himself in harm's way left and right. He's a player who hates to die, and yet here he was tempting fate. First he walked into the spear room and died. I'd thought he'd learned a lesson, but then in the next room, he waltzed in and was fireballed! He had only one character remaining... and he played cautiously for the rest of the night, thankfully.

Room 3: The statue shoots fire at people who head to one of the doors in the room "once per round". So I had a choice of how to run this. I could just sit back and let them tell me who was doing what, and whenever someone headed for a door I fired off a shot... or I could do like I'd do in 4e and have everyone, including the statue, roll initiative. I was already pitying them, so I decided to roll initiative. I had the statue "ready" on its' turn, and fire at the first person to go for a door.

They took a few hits, including a heroic sacrifice by Matt's farmer (jumping in the way of a blast heroically, saving an ally). Then they started using their farm animals to trigger it, which was really fun. Then! They pooled together their stuff, using a grappling hook and rope to climb the statue. I had Matt roll a climb check to climb the rope (a DC 5 in 4e). He rolled a 3. I decided that his idea was too good and that he climbed up regardless of the poor roll. He got up there and covered the finger with an empty chest. It fired, and I rolled a d20. I decided if it was a 20, then the fireball would explode through the chest anyway and do something epic. But I rolled a 17, so I ruled that the chest blocked the (final charge) blast.

Room 5 aka What are you, crazy?!
: I presumed that the skeleton piles couldn't move. They'd just bite when someone got "adjacent". And my players proceeded to walk adjacent, over and over! George did it twice! Bit for one point, then two... he had 4 hit points total! Why on earth would you walk next to it again when you already know it's going to bite you? I figured they'd just fire off ranged at them until they were destroyed. They did it the hard way. Nobody died, though....

Room 4: Poor Galla. She opened the door, I rolled a mega-high initiative, she died. I was very worried about Sissurag. 20 hit points! :| The heroes baked away and shut the door. I decided that Ssissurag was a "guardian" and therefore would not pursue - he was only protecting the room. I had the fear that the demon-snake would kill way too many! Don't know if I made the right call there.

Room 6 and beyond: From here on out, they really shined. Putting the torch on the cow, prying the gems, figuring out how to take out the clay army with ease... they're really clever! And they really seemed to take to the more 'hands on' approach to dealing with things as opposed to 4e's more abstract 'hand wave with a die roll' take on non-combat. Sometimes, yes, details are boring, but a lot of times, the details are what bring the twists and classic moments out in games.

I can remember back in 2e, my friend Stan refused to sleep in a tent when we were traveling through dangerous woods. He insisted on sleeping outside in the forest in his full armor instead. During the night, a sabre-toothed tiger crept up and bit him with a critical hit, putting a huge, hilarious hole in his armor that all of our enemies would stab through during combat.

Rules Issues
: I had read that when you use a missile weapon and miss, 50% of the time the ammo can not be recovered. Even with a sling stone?

The Verdict: The players overall enjoyed it. We're going to level up to one on Wednesday, and that's when I'll know for sure who's going to keep going with this. I know I have at least three.

The Campaign Plans: I've been digging through old modules to find good rooms to steal. I found a couple real good ones in B1 In Search of the Unknown. There's a room with a gem. If you cut off a sliver and put it in your mouth (?!?) you roll on a chart. Half the things are good, like get a permanent +1 to a stat, and the other half are bad (-1 to a stat!). I love stuff like that.

I dug out the old 1e fiend folio. There's a ton of monsters in there that are very obscure. I know that in some cases, that's because the monsters suck, but not in all of them. I am going to make the villain of my campaign, Thurfang Bormaug, an Eye of Fear and Flame from the folio. And Caliron the Giant in the Fog will be... a Fog Giant.

Also, the drawing of Cryonax in that fiend folio just kills me every time I see it. I am using him somehow! I just love the image of him walking with his octopus arms held out, wiggling as he bounces up and down while a background scrolls behind him.

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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:45 am 
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OK it took awhile... we had one week where we just leveled up from 0 to 1, then we skipped a week, and finally this past Wednesday we played us some Dungeon Crawl Classics!

Goodmangames said:
Quote:
Excellent! There's nothing like the threat of death to keep things exciting. One-shots in particular really generate excitement in the "fear of death" department. But I have found that the excitement of deaths in a one-shot can get diminished once the characters actually level up...it's a real bummer to lose a character you finally get to 2nd level. Since you're running a long-term campaign, just keep in mind that everybody enjoys death in the first game...and not as much after they've invested a lot! I still recommend rolling in public and not pulling any punches, but give them adventures that are slightly more survivable than what you started with. :)


I am glad you wrote that, because it changed my mindset on the game. Having read the beta rules I was under the impression that PCs were going to die regularly. But once I read this, I assumed my old mindset from when I ran 2nd edition - the "stupid rule": PCs die only when they do something very stupid (after I've warned them about their actions in a very obvious manner).

Goodmangames said:
Quote:
I'll second some of the comments above that the players will come up with some great backgrounds if given the incentive. In the two games I ran yesterday we had some outstanding, inventive role playing associated with just a few simple rolls - occupation, ability scores, lucky roll. I wouldn't worry too much if one of the best-loved characters die: I'm sure your characters will come up with something cool for the background of the characters who do survive.


So far, most everyone has two characters. Each player seems to have adopted one as their "favorite", who they roleplay as. And then there's the other one, who's kind of like a hireling.

Goodmangames said:
Quote:
Keep in mind that there is generally not a roll to look for a secret door: the players have to specify what actions they're doing, and you tell them if they find the secret door. For example, I ran an adventure yesterday with a room that has 13 covered coffins. The first 12 all contain skeletons...the 13th has a staircase that leads into the floor. I don't allow a Search roll to find that staircase. Once the characters finally open up the 13th coffin, they find the staircase down. I've run this adventure 3 times now and they always find it...


OK, cool. Once I read this I decided to try my best to have players describe what they're doing and then I tell them what the result is. It's hard, as in 4e everything is a vague roll (not bashing 4e, I love it).

Goodmangames said:
Quote:
Netherstorm wrote:
Do their animals have stats? Should they be used as combatants? There's already a billion characters, animals running around seems like overkill.


D4 hit points, attack at +0 for 1d3 damage. Guess I should clarify that somewhere. You will often have animal companions that are tougher than their 0-level handlers! They can be combatants if persuaded to fight...I could see a dog defending its master, but not a chicken!


I am planning on having the heroes obtain some "Saardoquu" (I may have spelled that wrong - they're blue dragon/horses from the DCC gazeteer). I'm a little worried about the heroes training them to attack, as that might make combat too unwieldy, so I'm planning on making just training them to accept the PCs as riders difficult.

Goodmangames said:
Quote:
Great to hear you like the adventure -- and the maps! Doug did a great job.

The maps were incredible. I hope all of the maps are in that style! And the adventure was great.

OK! We had our first actual session. The detailed summary is here:

http://dungeoncrawlclassics.webs.com/adv2.htm

Boiled down, it went like this:

1. Heroes were told by the witch to come to her tower, or the heroes would suffer.
2. Along the way, the heroes jumped some goblins
3. Then they saved a wild elf woman from four lightning-infused skeletons and healed her Saardoquu mount.
4. They got to the path that led up to the tower. The fog giant ended up almost killing one of them with a boulder! She was killed, but the halfling used his luck to help her make her 'death roll'.

Notes/Observations/Questions:

- Everyone noted how much "free"er this felt, as opposed to 4e. We started in Greywood, which I depicted as a really pathetic, dirt-poor village full of poor, five-toothed people speaking in bad british accents. The halfling went around making business deals, while the rogue (who's pretending to be a cleric at the church of Uleth, the god of peace) tried to get some "donations". The players seemed to really get a kick out of the slovenly villagers, who make the heroes look that much more bold in comparison.

- I was very worried about combat. I was afraid the PCs would get slaughtered. Both fights went the same: The heroes all got to go before the bad guys, and they killed all of the monsters before they even got to go! I figured 4-5 monsters would be enough of a challenge but sheesh it was a slaughter. I am not sure, however, what would have happened if I had won initiative.

- The Cleric getting a -1 per spell check... it feels too much at low level. It's hard enough for them to get a spell off. She seemed turned off by the concept.

- Carlisle, the slave-turned-wizard, worships a deity of freedom. The deity is an abstract entity, an open door with weird swirling energy inside its' frame. We're trying to figure out his patron spell that he rolled. I am thinking of having his spell allow him to create a door to pass through walls or barriers. I'm not sure if this is too much...? Maybe I should go with a dimension door-type variant?

- Also, Carlisle had tried to connect with his patron over the month between the free rpg day adventure and this one. He rolled a one! He has a -2 to luck, and so he rolled a total of 0 (ZERO) on the corruption chart. He will lose one point of strength for the next three months. The player seemed displeased. He asked if his patron could help him get his strength back. I am thinking that a patron would do that only to take away something else. Correct?

- The final part was a bit nutty. I'd foreshadowed the fog giant. The heroes were warned that the giant was crabby and loved to throw boulders. I tried to make it clear that if the giant heard them, he'd throw a stone at them (I used ogre stats.. +6 to hit, d6+6 damage! Instant death for this party!). But the halfling repeatedly yelled things to the giant. The cleric got hit and died...

- So, from what I understand, she had one round to bleed out, then she'd die. If someone could lay on hands on her, she'd be saved. But... she was the healer! So the other option is for someone to roll her over and she can make a DC 10 luck check. Her roll was... a 2! So I told her she could permanently burn 8 points of her luck stat to live. The halfling ended up loaning her his luck for the roll.

Did i do that right?

She lived, but she has a permanent back injury (-1 strength).

Overall, it was really fun and it was clearly much better than that night's session of Dark Legacy of Evard. I'm going to go to Office Max tomorrow to see if they can make some kind of book out of the beta pdf.

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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:44 am 
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Netherstorm wrote:
- So, from what I understand, she had one round to bleed out, then she'd die. If someone could lay on hands on her, she'd be saved. But... she was the healer! So the other option is for someone to roll her over and she can make a DC 10 luck check. Her roll was... a 2! So I told her she could permanently burn 8 points of her luck stat to live. The halfling ended up loaning her his luck for the roll.

Did i do that right?

She lived, but she has a permanent back injury (-1 strength).


Nice recap. Sounds like it was a lot of fun. :) As for the near-death above, yes, you did it correctly. When the cleric goes down, there aren't a lot of options for preventing the "bleed-out." I have occasionally allowed for one-off exceptions. For example, in one adventure the characters had some healing herbs from an old witch in the woods, which I said would be enough to prevent a bleed-out. But there is definitely a benefit in "cleric redundancy" within the party...

As for the "rollover" rule, you did that right, too. That's the "Conan rule" - in so many Robert E. Howard stories, Conan takes a blow that would fell a mortal man, but he wakes up in shackles in the wizard's dungeon, or is revived when mercenaries roll over his body as they loot the battlefield, then they take him prisoner...you do get the chance to come back, but burning the Luck reflects what always happened to Conan when he "came to"!

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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:17 am 
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Well, the campaign is now rolling along quite nicely! We had another player, Brendan, jump in. I decided to have him make three 0-level plebes and if they survived the session, they hit first level.

Here's the summary:

http://dungeoncrawlclassics.webs.com/adv3.htm

To quickly sum up the summary.... The heroes had to get past a chess board to get to the entrance of the witch tower. this was great fun. They had to figure out what the squares did and what the pieces did. Basically, the squares try to kill you and the statues try to help you across. An archer statue will try to shoot you across, a mind-flayer (aka "tentacle-faced wizard" :) ) will teleport you across, etc...

Then once in the tower, they had to speak with the nutty witch. I've been doing a thing where when the PCs meet a major npc, i randomly determine a PC that the NPC takes a liking to, and then another PC that the NPC is repelled by. Sadly, Golila was displeased by one of the zero level plebes. She gave him a moment to talk her out of it, but in the end she scorched him with a lightning bolt to show the heroes that she wasn't messing around.

She had three challenges for them! One was a logic puzzle, the second was a fight with more lightning skeletons, and the third was a trapped bridge that they needed to cross.

Something interesting happened here that I think will likely happen in many DCC campaigns. The heroes started casting invoke patron whenever they could! They couldn't figure out the logic puzzle, so they called upon the door-god Otiax to get them out. He did.

Then, Grym the wizard called upon mighty Ulumax, Prince of Hail, who promptly slaughtered the skeletons.

And further... they tried to circumvent the bridge by calling upon Boulderloch, Elemental Prince of Grit (I love making up names for the entities :lol: ) to help them safely cross the bridge. At this point the patron use was very excessive. I had Boulderloch help a few of them, and then that was it.

What I'm going to do, to make sure they understand the consequences for asking a godlike entity for help, is that on their hexcrawl toward the mountains, each of these gods will demand they complete a task. So basically the heroes have given themselves more work to do on their trip, and failure to do so will mean an angry patron!

Everyone is really enjoying the game. At this point, Encounters is downright dull in comparison. In one hour of encounters, the heroes had one fight with a bunch of skeletons in which there was no danger and no excitement. In one hour of DCC, there was piles and piles of everything. DCC "feels" more like D&D, which is scary. Again I say this as a big fan of 4e, no disrespect intended.

There was some confusion on whether the cleric's cumulative minuses to her spell checks included when she laid hands on herself. Not sure on the answer on that.

Carlisle the wizard rolled another one, and got another bad corruption roll. He now will lose 2 points of strength permanently for each of the next three months! He was dismayed to say the least. We'll see if his low strength effects anything significantly. It still seems like the corruption charts are very brutal.

One thing I need to do is to figure out a find familiar chart for Friedrich. He has the spell, but I need to find a cool old familiar chart to roll on.

The two level 0 guys will now become a warrior and a cleric of nature. I have no plans of having them level any time soon. There's only five levels, might as well get our money's worth. I am planning on giving out some magic items next time though. Not sure if there's any guidelines on all that though.

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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:48 am 
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Netherstorm wrote:
Well, the campaign is now rolling along quite nicely! We had another player, Brendan, jump in. I decided to have him make three 0-level plebes and if they survived the session, they hit first level.

Here's the summary:

http://dungeoncrawlclassics.webs.com/adv3.htm


At that link, I saw a puzzle with seven doors.
Quote:
the Challenge of Intelligence.

They appeared in a round room with 7 doors. Each door had a logic statement on it. (Doors from left to right are numbered one through seven...)

1. Door #1 is True and door #2 is true.
2. Certain death lies beyond all the doors.
3. Door #4 is true, or door #2 is true.
4. No harm lies beyond any of these doors.
5. An elf may pass freely through this door.
6. Door #7 is true.
7. Door #6 is true.

After spending some time trying to figure out which, if any of the doors, were safe to pass through, Carlisle called upon his patron, Otiax (God of freedom and doors), for aid.


My first observation is that I expect all the doors have some risk of death and some chance of life, therefore 1 is (probably) false, 2 is (probably) false, 4 is (probably) false, and 3 is (probably) false. If the doors are probably false, they're probably immediately dangerous.

5,6, and 7 look like obvious choices - 5 is especially attractive if there is an elf present.

However, looking at this puzzle, it's not clear to me that there is sufficient information to really solve it. I think any party would end up shrugging and saying, "We're not going to live forever" and then taking a risk.


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:25 am 
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The problem here is the OR on door 4. Does it mean that if supposition A is true, B must be false? Or does it mean the truth of supposition A is independent of supposition B's validity? My first supposition must be true since both 4 and 2 cannot be true. My guess is that 4 is the true door since otherwise 5 is false. And thus none of the doors are "dangerous". If that is not the correct answer, where did I go wrong? (Aside from assuming that the doors are in fact "logical".)


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:09 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
The problem here is the OR on door 4. Does it mean that if supposition A is true, B must be false? Or does it mean the truth of supposition A is independent of supposition B's validity? My first supposition must be true since both 4 and 2 cannot be true. My guess is that 4 is the true door since otherwise 5 is false. And thus none of the doors are "dangerous". If that is not the correct answer, where did I go wrong? (Aside from assuming that the doors are in fact "logical".)


Conventional mathematical logic would say P OR Q is true if P is true or Q is true or P and Q are both true. The only time P or Q is false in conventional logic is when both P and Q are false.


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:56 pm 
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yfr wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
The problem here is the OR on door 4. Does it mean that if supposition A is true, B must be false? Or does it mean the truth of supposition A is independent of supposition B's validity? My first supposition must be true since both 4 and 2 cannot be true. My guess is that 4 is the true door since otherwise 5 is false. And thus none of the doors are "dangerous". If that is not the correct answer, where did I go wrong? (Aside from assuming that the doors are in fact "logical".)


Conventional mathematical logic would say P OR Q is true if P is true or Q is true or P and Q are both true. The only time P or Q is false in conventional logic is when both P and Q are false.

Conversational English language usage states that saying this or that usually implies a logical exclusive or where either this is true and that is false OR this is false and that is true. For example, "Your entree comes with a complementary soup or salad." Logically, you can get soup and salad for the same price as just soup or just salad. But because your waiter was speaking English, it doesn't work that way.


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:04 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
Conversational English language usage states that saying this or that usually implies a logical exclusive or where either this is true and that is false OR this is false and that is true.

But this was explicitly a logic puzzle, so conventional mathematical logic should apply.

If you ask a mathematician if his newborn child was a boy or a girl, he will say "yes."


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Eldric IV wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
Conversational English language usage states that saying this or that usually implies a logical exclusive or where either this is true and that is false OR this is false and that is true.

But this was explicitly a logic puzzle, so conventional mathematical logic should apply.

If you ask a mathematician if his newborn child was a boy or a girl, he will say "yes."

Well, the puzzle is not really a puzzle because we have no reason to believe in the validity of anything written on the door. That and we have no idea what it means for a door to be false. If a door is false that does that make it more or less dangerous to open? For all we know the doors are written in the Sniflimanian language that just happens to look like English and the words in Sniflimanian say things like "Puppies are cute." (Admittedly, that isn't very likely. :))


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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:41 pm 
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I forgot to put in my summary the inscription on the floor: "One true way be there only, so be it with the writings of Golila."

This puzzle is from a second edition book called Treasures of Greyhawk, page 82. Here's their answer:

"Explanation of the doors: The challenge for the players is to find the door with the true inscription, which leads to Ramael's hideaway." (In our case, the true door leads back to the throne room)

"Since only one door is true, simple logic can be used to figure out the true saying, and the correct door. A sample of the logic might run as follows: Door #1 is a false statement, since two doors can not be true. Door #2 is false because of the statement of door #1, and because certain death does not lie beyond all of the doors. Door #3 says 'or'. so if either statement is true, the whole thing is true. If door #4 is true is true, then door #3 is also true, therefore doors #3 and #4 are false. Doors #6 and #7 are mutually exclusive. If one is true, both are, so both are false. By process of elimination, door #5 must be true (Note that just because it says an elf may pass freely through this door does not forbid others to pass freely also."

So door #5 is the answer.

Touching the wrong door does lightning damage.

I'm going to go and fix up my summary, lots of typos and etc. I do them late at night. I had a pile of ideas for the trip to the spell-crypt. I think I'm going to have a dragon as a recurring villain - it can smell halflings (or dwarves?) from far away and it's obsessed with its' treasure hoard. I'm trying to think of a cool way for it to transport found treasure to its' hoard.

I've also been thinking about the talking magic sword they'll find. I am going to try doing a thing where the sword must draw blood once per day, or else it's powers go away and don't come back until you've drawn blood again. Mostly I want this sword to be able to talk, as I like having an npc sidekick for the characters to interact with, and to use as a way to help them if they get stumped on something.

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 Post subject: Re: The Spell-Crypts of Thurfang Bormaug
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:42 pm 
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Summary:

http://dungeoncrawlclassics.webs.com/adv4.htm

Short Version: Heroes begin their journey to the orange spell-crypt (over 100 miles north). Two days in, Ulumax, Elemental Prince of Hail, demands the heroes head to a tomb to grab a soul crystal for him. They get to the tomb and fight an ogre variant i made up called a maug.

In the previous session, my heroes had three challenges: 1. Intelligence 2. Battle 3. Cunning. They called on their patrons to bail them out all three times! So I've decided to have their patrons now ask them to do things to return the favor.

Also, upon further reading of patrons, I realize I shouldn't have had the entities show up... though actually I really enjoy the idea and have wanted to do it since I read an elric book a year or two back. From now on, though, I'll stick to the guidelines in the bobugbuzilz example in the beta handbook. You have to roll really really high for an avatar to show up.

I dug through a bunch of old judges' guild stuff. I found an incredibly awesome dungeon in a "treasure maps" book that suits DCC perfectly IMO. To my dismay, however, we barely got into it when we had to stop for the day. I had so much crap to get through tonight (return to village, journey through woods, visiting Legion Hall) that we ran out of time.

One question that came up... on a critical hit, do you do max damage? Or regular damage and the chart result? I'm under the impression you do not do max damage.

Another issue is that I am terrified to throw monsters at them. The "maug" was a powered-down ogre. I believe the actual ogres have an AC of around 15, do d6+6 damage and have 30 hp. I gave this guy an AC of 10 and d4+2 damage. He never got to attack! It feels like if I hit a PC one time, they will die, so every battle is terrifying. So far, every single fight has been a slaughter, as my initiative rolls have been really bad and they kill the monster before it goes. I don't think ogres are meant to fight level one characters, right? Or do they?

I made a hex map and I'll drop it on them next week. I read through the old wilderness survival guide and boiled it down, and will use the material on their journey until it gets boring. That book has rules on everything. Here's some of my notes:

Precipitation

Roll a d6 at the start of the day
1-3: No precipitation
4: Light (sprinkles) 1/2 inch of rain
5: Moderate (downpour) 3/4 inch of rain
6*: Roll on special chart below

Special Chart:

1-2: Thunder Storm
3: Gale - winds 45-70 mph (d6x5+40) w/ rain2-7 hours little to no travel!
4: Lightning storm! lasts 30 minutes
5: Mist/Fog - sunrise (1-4) or sunset (5-6) lasts that die roll in hours.
6: Heat Wave! For the next 3-8 days (d6+2) drink twice as much water!

Foraging

90% chance of finding 2 pounds of fruit/vegetables in 20 minutes.
40% chance it's inedible. Roll a d6:

1: 1 Plants are poisonous; anyone who eats a half-ration or more will suffer painful cramps beginning 1d10 rounds thereafter and lasting for 2d10 turns. He will lose 1d4 hit points per turn for as long as the cramps persist. These lost hit points will be regained at the rate of 1 d4 per hour if the victim rests and drinks at least one pint of water per hour while he is resting. Duration and damage are both halved for a character who makes a saving throw versus poison. A slow poison spell will act the same as a successful saving throw, or will provide cumulative benefit (one-fourth duration and damage) for a character who made his saving throw. A neutralize poison spell will halt the cramps and negate any damage that would have been suffered subsequently, but will not offset any damage taken before the spell was applied.

2-4: Water-damaged, over-ripe. cramps!

5-8: Not harmful but not helpful

Hunting

50% chance of finding wild game in 40 minutes. -5% chance for each additional hunter.

* best time to hunt is early in the morning or very late evening.
If hunting during mid-morning to mid-evening, -10%.

Roll 1d6:
Game Encountered and Distance

1: Size S, 2d6 creatures at 20-40 yards
2: Size S, 1d6 creatures at 20-40 yards
3: Size M, 1d10 creatures at 20-40 yards
4: Size M, 1d6 creatures at 40-60 yards
5: Size M, 1d3 creatures at 40-60 yards
6: Size L, 1d3 creatures at 60-80 yards

If attack is possible, DM rolls a d10. If it's higher than the d6 roll, it's a hit. Continue to roll d10's until hunters run out of projectiles or whatever. It takes one hit to kill a size s creature, two to kill a size M and four hits to kill a size L creature.

Creatures found while hunting are toothless versions of monsters from the Fiend Folio:

Small:

Al Mi'raj - yellow rabbits with black unicorn horns
Gryph - A bird with multiple legs, four or six... size of eagle with razor sharp beak.
Osquip - Eight-legged hairless yellow rodents. Unusually large jaws. feeds on mice and vermin. can burrow.

Medium:

Flumph - saucer-shaped, pure white. Mouth is at center of upper surface, either side of mouth has long eyestalk. Underside has small tentacles. Flies by sucking air into its' mouth and expelling it through its' underside. Shoots foul smelling liquid.
Rothe - Small ox-like creatures with a mass of long black hair. they have horns. Shy, don't like bright light.

Large:

Caterwaul - bipedal feline with midnight blue fur, yellow eyes and a long tail. lets out high pitched shrieks which stagger foes
Giant Strider - Large, flightless, featherless birds look like heavy ostriches. Fearless.
Thork - Stork-like birds feathers are metallic (pure copper - worth 200 gp) squirts jets of water long legs.

Fishing

Number = how many fish are caught in an hour.

Type of area Day Night Dawn/Dusk
Poor d4-2 d4 d4+2
Fair d6-3 d6-1 d6+2
Good d6-2 d6+2 d8+2

Each extra fisherman on same area -1 each. Once each fisherman rolls a zero, there's no more fish to be had.

Muddy pond/shallow pond: Carp or Pike
Clear deep lake: Bass
Cool mountain stream: Trout

Finding Water

Can make two water checks per day. (Waterskin holds one day's worth of water! Mounts need 4 waterskins/day! Can go three days without water before ill effects set in)

40% chance of finding water in area
30% chance it's tainted

Building a shelter

takes d6x10 minutes to gather wood
takes 40 minutes to lash it together
takes 60 man-minutes to gather enough firewood for 8 hours

I also made a find familiar chart based on one from an old player's handbook. It's kind of boring.

1-4 black cat night vision, good hearing
5-6 crow good vision
7-8 hawk great distance vision
9-10 owl night vision, great hearing
11-12 toad wide angle vision
13-14 weasel good hearing great smell
15 roll on special subtable
16-20 no familiar within range

Special sub-table:

Chaotic - Pseudo dragon
Neutral - Brownie
Lawful - Imp

We'll get into the dungeon next time! The Tomb of Aethering the Damned.. it is awesome.

P.S. Encounters sucked again.

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