Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

A forum for discussing how to design adventure modules. This will provide a place to follow up on conversations at our Gen Con seminar on adventure writing.

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JediOre
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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by JediOre » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:14 am

Harley Stroh wrote: We needed to dig deeper, so deeper we dug. //H
Don't dig too deep. The Dwarves of Moria affirm this! :lol:

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by Ogrepuppy » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:13 pm

I've never read Jack Vance.

I'm reading the Compleat Dying Earth now.

Why in the WORLD didn't I read him before?!? He's amazing! As I read his stories, I imagine young Gygax reading them and eventually creating D&D, or Vance's characters as painted by Erol Otus. The Dying Earth stories so very clearly influenced all of D&D it's almost eerie. (But it's not eldritch.) :wink:

A sincere and enthusiastic THANK YOU to everyone here for encouraging me to pick up his work!

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by finarvyn » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:38 am

JediOre wrote:
Harley Stroh wrote: We needed to dig deeper, so deeper we dug. //H
Don't dig too deep. The Dwarves of Moria affirm this! :lol:
I think I about lost it when I read this! :lol:

Nothing better than a Moria reference in the middle of an adveture design discussion, since Moria is really one of the first megadungeons on record!
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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by 3.5Player » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:02 pm

From what I've found, something is only done to death if you run the same thing 3+ times in a single campaign (i.e. Running 3 "goblin raider" adventures in a row.) I HATE those adventures.

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by Mike_Ferguson » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:23 am

Seriously? Write what interests you. Write something that makes you want to roll dice and run an adventure. White something that makes you excited about putting words down on the page. Don't worry about guessing what someone else is looking for. If you're passionate about what you're writing, it'll show when you try and pitch the adventure.

Most of the writing that I've done that I don't like tends to be the true "work-for-hire" stuff - where I got approached to write something that I really didn't care about one way or the other, but I accepted the job anyway. Not saying I did a terrible job with those projects, but it was hard to make them as good as they deserved, since the core ideas didn't particularly interest me.

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by finarvyn » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:02 pm

Ogrepuppy wrote:I've never read Jack Vance.

I'm reading the Compleat Dying Earth now.

Why in the WORLD didn't I read him before?!? He's amazing! As I read his stories, I imagine young Gygax reading them and eventually creating D&D, or Vance's characters as painted by Erol Otus. The Dying Earth stories so very clearly influenced all of D&D it's almost eerie. (But it's not eldritch.) :wink:

A sincere and enthusiastic THANK YOU to everyone here for encouraging me to pick up his work!
I posted this in a link in "general" but if you liked The Dying Earth you might like this anthology as well.

Songs of the Dying Earth, George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois - Editors, $15.99. An anthology prepared in tribute to the career of Jack Vance features original tales inspired by The Dying Earth and includes contributions by Neail Gaiman, Tanith Lee and Robert Silverberg.

Here's a link:
http://www.amazon.com/Songs-Dying-Earth ... 134&sr=1-2

I haven't read it, but some posters on my OD&D boards give it decent reviews. They said that, like any anthology, you get some hits and some misses. They seemed more positive than negative, however. 8)
Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; 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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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by beermotor » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:07 am

"Arise, thread, and serve me!"

On the "Tentacles != Lovecraftian Horror" idea, I wanted to add, really HPL is basically only about fear of the dark. What's in the dark? Who knows? Nobody knows, I mean KNOWS knows. Sure, we have our ideas, we expect things to be more or less as we see them in daylight with the lights off. But the vast darkness of night is pretty frightening if you think about how little you, we as a species, really know about what's in it. There could be ANYTHING in it. The darkness below ground is similar, except perhaps claustrophobically tight.

Stephen King alludes to this in the Dark Tower series at some point, about the nameless things that find you wandering lost in the dark todash void. Nom nom nom.

Because that's ultimately what's hardcoded into us at a genetic level. We're afraid that when the lights go out, a lion's going to eat us. It's a proper object of fear.

Whether the thing doing the eating is a lion or a tentacled extra dimensional horror, or an extradimensional HOUND (my personal favorite of the stories, I think), it doesn't really matter to the eaten.

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by GnomeBoy » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:05 am

Beer, don't think that doesn't occur to me every time I am camping... I do manage to sleep, but I keep a 'bear bell' by my head, because there are things out in the dark, perhaps ready to eat us...

A couple years back at Great Basin NP, we did an after-dark, ranger-guided hike out to a choice spot overlooking the moon reflected in a large pond. There was just enough light to make out the white rock on the trail, so it was mostly done without flashlights on... the mind had much room to roam in the forested dark....
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Kuruz, Mendicant, N • AC 8, 4 hp • R-1, F0, W0 • S9 A8 S9 P11 I16 L8
Zend, Grave Digger, L • AC 9, 3 hp • R-1, F0, W1 • S14 A6 S9 P13 I13 L6
Mercer, Outlaw, N • AC 12, 2 hp • R0, F-1, W1 • S7 A9 S6 P13 I8 L13
Dejah, Ropemaker, C • AC 10, 2 hp • R0, F1, W-1 • S8 A12 S15 P7 I11 L7

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by DCCfan » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:59 am

The words "bear bell" don't make me want to go camping anytime soon. :shock:
"When creating your character,choose an ethical system that can justify nearly any fit of temper, greed, cowardice, or vindictiveness, for example, Chaotic Violent..."

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:10 am

DCCfan wrote:The words "bear bell" don't make me want to go camping anytime soon. :shock:
lol

Further digression from thread topic: Last year, we were in Sequoia, and hiking along a three or four mile trail between one set of buildings in the park and another. About a mile and a half from the far end, I heard a crunch off to my left. It was a smallish bear. We had more or less passed it, as it was foraging. Cool to see, about 20 yards distant, but I wanted to keep moving and pick up the pace. I about lost my mind when my wife turned back and took a few steps back the way we'd come so she could get a picture of the thing! Our son was between us then, and I wanted to call out for him to come to me -- well, to yell at them both to come to me -- but I didn't want to draw the bear's attention. A huge part of my concern was that this bear wasn't very large. Is mama bear nearby? That is the worst case scenario, as I understand it -- getting near baby. So my wife snaps a couple pictures, and we double our speed to get out of there. About 100 feet down the trail we meet up with the family from out of the country, and tell them there is a small bear "just over there" and that it could be dangerous to go that way. They go that way. Again, I have a moment of loosing my mind -- do I watch these people get mauled by a bear, or just keep moving? I sent my family up ahead and just stood there for a moment and listened. A couple minutes without screaming, I assumed they had gotten past the bear and went to catch up to my wife and son. Shortly thereafter we described the bear to a ranger who said it sounded like a yearling (IIRC) and was probably not accompanied by mama bear. Still... quite enough of a bear encounter for me.
Gnome Boy • DCC playtester @ DDC 35 Feb '11. • Beta DL 2111, 7AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be 100+ DCC Monsters

bygrinstow.com

Kuruz, Mendicant, N • AC 8, 4 hp • R-1, F0, W0 • S9 A8 S9 P11 I16 L8
Zend, Grave Digger, L • AC 9, 3 hp • R-1, F0, W1 • S14 A6 S9 P13 I13 L6
Mercer, Outlaw, N • AC 12, 2 hp • R0, F-1, W1 • S7 A9 S6 P13 I8 L13
Dejah, Ropemaker, C • AC 10, 2 hp • R0, F1, W-1 • S8 A12 S15 P7 I11 L7

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by modemaus » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:11 pm

My absolute favorite section of the DCC RPG core book was the section "The Great Wheel", bullet point one, where the author recommends: "the judge is encouraged to begin extraplanar encounters at low levels." I'm relatively sure that there was a great rift in my brain, as the right brain judiciously buckled up and marched itself into a corner, complaining that this was totally impossible, as the left side bulged, enlightened finally.

I cannot recall how many times I looked over D&D sourcebooks regarding the planes, where there were these colossal enemies that would require a party of level 20+ to tackle, and while I would be incredibly interested in running such a campaign, I always just told myself, "one day my players will get there!" This just reminded me of the potential for fun I see in the simplicity and (current) cohesiveness of the DCC RPG core.

Needless to say, these words will be on my mind heavily in the building of 0-level adventures. I'm already marinating in ideas which are building themselves as I try to focus on other tasks!

SIDE NOTE - STOP TRASHING GOBLIN RAIDERS AND ORCS :)
--------------------------------------------------
Unfortunately, storytellers and game masters have unrightfully abused these characters as throwaway nobodies of no zero consequence. The mentality has always been '4 orcs, no name, and a chieftan, with a silly name, and you can increase your players by 1 level!' I recently read Goodman Games 'Monstercology of Orcs' by Maffei, and there was such an abundance of story inspiration in there, it would be so silly to write off orcs like they are yesterday's game. Yeah, you've seen orcs in caves, you've heard of orcs as savages, orcs being manipulated by a wizard, but what exposure has anyone had to the actual culture of orcs? Depending on which creation myth you choose for orcs, there are countless scenarios which could prove truly epic for a 0-10 campaign. Variations on orcs provided in said text were enough to get me considering that possibility. Especially since it appears based on the occupation list that DCC/Aereth has fully civilized all the demi-humans and humans (no human tribes, for example), the orcs are one of the last scraps of tribal organizations similar to that of humans of hundreds of years ago on the planet!

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Re: Writing DCC Adventures: What's been done to death?

Post by losloris » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:16 am

Here I am reviewing the Iron Overlord when lo and behold there is a bearded devil who is trapped into 100 years service.

Hmm, didn't we meet exactly this circumstance in the Mysterious Tower adventure? Yup, yup; exactly that.

Okay, moving forward, if this trope is to be used is it possible to provide a little more context? For example, what is the BD's name, how did he get trapped, and, how can that trap be released? I mean, if that fact is to be part of the module (it is written in as though there is a chance for the party to discover) then having more context would help.

In the case of the Iron Overlord I have found a devil sounding name, provided a barbed pentagram painting in the Overlord's last chamber and am now putting together how the devil got trapped as an aside.

Losloris

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