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 Post subject: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:13 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:59 am
Posts: 3
Hey everyone I'm new to Goodman games and picked Castle Whiterock up off amazon a couple of months back. Gurps Dungeon Fantasy actually got me intersted in running some old school fantasy games so I picked up The Wilderlands of High Fantasy boxed set and Castle Whiterock. Wow what a cool adventure the boxed set is just packed to the brim with awesome. I'm only just finishing up the second book and I can't wait to run this. I've read over most of the threads I could find pertaining to Castle Whiterock. I have a few questions:

Ok I've read that north should be up on all the maps and about the missing secret door anything else I should watch out for?

How well does 51.5 Sinister Secret of Castle Whiterock work as a lead in to the adventure? Does anyone know a place where I can purchase 51.5?

Has anyone made a players map of Cillamar they are willing to share?

Any tips or tricks to running this massive adventure?

Has anyone placed Castle Whiterock in the Wilderlands? If so where did you place it?

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me.

Trey


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:48 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:44 pm
Posts: 630
Quote:
Any tips or tricks to running this massive adventure?


I can offer a bit of help with this one.
Over a long crawl, your players are going to need motivation beyond "kick the door, kill the baddies." After you've read through the entire thing, encourage them to build characters that somehow tie in to the backstory OR feel free to change the backstory to be relevant to the characters.
Two good primers are the rumors table (for the players) and the Introduction (for the GM), which I believe contains the section on the various factions and important NPCs.

Similarly, I'd pick several subplots and really weave those into what's going on when the heroes aren't at the dungeon. Cillamar does a great job of that, but if (for example) the party is on level 3, it's not too early to start seeding rumors of weird toad-monsters and kidnapped villagers for level 6.

Then there's the dragon. CW works best if you build up Benthosruthsa as an uber-baddie over the course of the whole game. Making the heroes hate him (without ever meeting him) pushes them to dig deeper into CW.

Finally, a group could really, really get in over their heads with the shortcuts. Taking the lift down to the Watery Way (level 7) is suicide for a low-level group, who may just accidentally find it. Depending on your play style, it might behoove you to go easy on groups that wander into such a minefield.

Hope that helps.

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:52 am 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:23 pm
Posts: 195
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And I'll answer a bit about DCC #51.5: The Sinister Secret of Whiterock.

First, you can get it on RPGnow.com: http://goodmangames.rpgnow.com/product_ ... s_id=50985

Second, yes, it can work very well as a lead-in to the adventure. I'm running -- on a VERY infrequent basis -- a DragonMech campaign, and the PCs found the starting point to DCC #51.5, went through that, gained a couple of levels, then went back to explore some more and found the entrance to the Clockwork Academy. (When tweaked a bit for the DragonMech setting, finding the Clockwork Academy can be like finding an amalgamation of CalTech and Trump Tower.) The passageway to the rest of Castle Whiterock is there, though buried under rubble. I expect that at some point, they'll decide to dig deeper, but I'm not going to push it.

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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:21 am 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse
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Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2002 7:27 pm
Posts: 283
If you still need a copy of DCC #51.5, PM me with your mailing address.

I'll mail you a copy. No charge.

Hey, it's the holidays. :D

Update: Trey, got your PM - I'll have a copy in the mail to you tomorrow morning.

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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:59 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:43 pm
Posts: 11
I am not new to Goodman, but I started running CW in November of last year using Pathfinder. They just made it to level 7 last time we played and our next game is tomorrow. Any other tips people have would be very useful. I do worry about motivation in the future but have been able to get a few subplots going. I have done very little with Benthosruthsa so far.

Jengenritz wrote:
Then there's the dragon. CW works best if you build up Benthosruthsa as an uber-baddie over the course of the whole game. Making the heroes hate him (without ever meeting him) pushes them to dig deeper into CW..

What recommendations to you have for getting the heroes to "hate" him? My group is usually only worried about treasure and power, so I have been trying to play up that angle a little bit. I see little information to expand on from CW that would get my players riled up about getting to Benthosruthsa.

Jengenritz wrote:
Finally, a group could really, really get in over their heads with the shortcuts. Taking the lift down to the Watery Way (level 7) is suicide for a low-level group, who may just accidentally find it. Depending on your play style, it might behoove you to go easy on groups that wander into such a minefield.

I was a little concerned about this, but found the the DC to find the lift was high enough that I did not need to worry about it. The players have not gone back yet to see if they can find something since they have leveled up.


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:44 pm
Posts: 630
Quote:
My group is usually only worried about treasure and power, so I have been trying to play up that angle a little bit. I see little information to expand on from CW that would get my players riled up about getting to Benthosruthsa.


In several places the module mentions people that used to worship Benthos as a god. Use that, just be sure to have these dragon-cult types mention Benthos's name all the time, or say that he guides them to do this.
The best way to do this is to screw with their expectations and make sure they know that Benthos (or people acting on the dragon's behalf) are to blame. Do they think they cleared an area and it's "safe?" Not anymore. Do they think they can sell their goods wherever they like? Nope, the merchants have been pressured to not deal with them. Why is the city guard taxing them to enter the city? Cult of Benthos pressured the guard.

If you had to break it down into a three-phase kind of thing, it would go like this:
Phase I: Drop in some Benthos-cultists somewhere (maybe somewhere the party "cleared" and thought was safe) for a normal fight. This is the first taste and lets the heroes know the cult exists.
Phase II: The party gets either gets robbed of valuables, or finds out that some valuables are actually just junk, or finds a cursed item among their treasure with a note like, "This is what you get for taking my stuff - B." This is where you screw with their expectations.
Phase III: The cult offers to meet up in a neutral location (via a sending, or a dead-drop, or something) to negotiate the return of an item or to cut some deal. Go figure, it's a trap. A really, really, REALLY dangerous trap.

None of this is written in the module because I just made it up. You know your group best, and you know what would spur them on. If that sounds good, do it. If not, maybe this gets you thinking in that kind of direction.

To pull this off, you take pieces of the adventure as written and pluck Monster A from here or Monster B from there. Remember that the red dragon-trog on level 5 (maybe?) is descended from Benthos, and I suppose Cinder (the red dragon from the same level) could be as well. The undead on level 15 serve Benthos even after death, and the Thane thinks he's still alive, as does Galdiera Goldmoon and just about all the other NPCs.
As I've said, use locations that already exist in the module. I'd also keep a loose track of what bad guys (especially named bad guys) that either avoid or get away from the party.

Anyway, kinda rambling, but I hope this helps.
And if your party calls b/s on you for doing any of them, feel free to blame me.

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:06 pm 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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Also, work Benthos into your existing subplots, if it's possible. I missed that sentence on my first read-through.

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

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


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:58 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:43 pm
Posts: 11
Thank you for the great recommendations.

We played yesterday and the players made it to the Far Garden. The only problem is that they are only level 5, but they leveled up after yesterday.

***SPOILERS***

I had one player death so far. The party made it to the mountain troglodyte area several weeks ago and was somehow able to get everything there attacking them at once. The mountain troglodytes, rats, troglodyte young, children of bobugbubilz, and Sossank. Sossank entered the fray after many rounds of noisy fighting and took one of the fighters down. The players were able to get him ressurected, but our paladin was then introduced to Benth. by his temples priests. I gave the paladin some information about the Order of the Sundered Scale and there task that they never completed was to get Benth. It is now on his shoulders to complete. I am using Pathfinder dieities, so the paladin is a follower of Sarenrae and I changed the Sundered Scale to the same.

A few weeks ago we started the fight with Vulgaris until she escaped into the mushroom farm and we started yesterday with finishing that fight. I think that was the most fun battle we have had so far in the adventure. I don't know if the palyers had as much fun as I did with it. :) They decided not to head down the river and instead rebuilt the portal, of course. Most of them are already very afraid of the Far Garden. Having encountered the first scene as well as "Stagheart" (they have not revived him yet) and the forest book (a very strange name for that encounter by the way).

I did plan on some ogres trying to take over the top level of the Castle, so I might do some cult stuff with them. The last time they entered the Castle they saw mutilated goblins and even more destroyed structures, especially the stable building. They already guessed right that probably some ogres had caused the destruction.

I have lots of things going on with this campaign/adventure and it is starting to get hard keeping track of everything. I am having fun though. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 10:04 pm 
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This is all fantastic information. I'm a pretty newbie DM and have run one previous campaign with 3.5 ruleset. I'm currently undertaking my first initial reading of the entire CW (up to level 11) and can't wait to run it! What an incredible array of adventures back to back. Nice job.

Has anyone created monster tokens or any other DM aids for CW yet? I was thinking of putting every creature, important item etc onto index cards for convenient tracking and use during play. As a DM I don't get on well with the sequential nature of a module book - I like to have everything at hand without flicking pages. I bought the PDF version of CW for this reason.

It would be great to share more of these extra adventure hooks, like the bentho cult.

Thanks,
Fippy


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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 am
Posts: 2236
Location: Chicago suburbs
Fippy wrote:
This is all fantastic information. I'm a pretty newbie DM and have run one previous campaign with 3.5 ruleset. I'm currently undertaking my first initial reading of the entire CW (up to level 11) and can't wait to run it! What an incredible array of adventures back to back. Nice job.
I agree that it's a formidable task to read through Castle Whiterock. It's one heck of a heavy box and it's simply crammed full of stuff.

Advice I'd give to a newbie DM is that you shouldn't try to run the whole campaign at one time. Focus on a small slice of the CW set and be sure to know what's going on there, and then slowly add in parts as the campaign grows and expands. The problem with having the entire box at one time is that it's pretty overwhelming and full of details you won't want to mess up, but by selecting only parts to start with you can limit this somewhat.

Good luck in running CW, and have fun with it! :D

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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."
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 Post subject: Re: Castle Whiterock newbie
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:31 pm
Posts: 3
As my group plays through Castle Whiterock I am recording the treasure in a spreadsheet. This way I have a quick reference for items and I can print out index cards to hand out to the players when they get the treasure. I can also provide totals for selling the treasure back in town. I have entered in treasure for up to level 4 and I'm working on level 5. The items are for Pathfinder rules but it would be easy enough to change stats, where needed, in the spreadsheet cells. I can also provide the master document I use for printing up the index cards. Both files are in Open Office format, since I'm too cheap to fork over money for MS Office. :D


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