Monday, March 9, 2015

A glimpse at Sunday's setting for DF Felltower

It's looking like:

- a swampy, cold badlands to the east of Stericksburg, close to but not quite along the river route to the east.

- some wilderness mixed with dungeon-delving and possibly lair-clearing.

- possibly a small-area hex crawl, if I can do up the hexes by Sunday.

- limited access to special gear (this isn't Stericksburg). So the PCs will need to special order any good stuff for a while. Minor healing potions and paut will be available but not in unlimited quantities, stronger stuff will be much less available (6-, for the most part.)

- a main area that contains a throwback, for me, to elementary school, modified to fit a go-and-return sandbox instead of a more direct go-and-complete quest.

- side areas that draw from campaign-specific references and from a couple of sources that have been on my "must use" list for a while.

- definitely a need to have some outdoors abilities. It looks like someone will run a barbarian, which would make that a little better for the group. A scout would be useful, too.

- an interesting mix of enemy types - some familiar, some new.

- and at least one Felltower tie-in!

In anticipation, I've tried to speed-paint up some minis I'll need for the game. I primed a barbarian mini, who will take a little more time. I'm not sure I can get him done, but I will try. The others are monsters and whatnot. And yes, there will be apes. Why wouldn't there be apes?


  1. "Why wouldn't there be apes?"

    On Odinsdays and Thorsdays they have the day off and all their roles are duplicated by Owlboar temps?

  2. I would like to suggest some Ravenloft style monsters that have full roam of the dungeon and can reform to attack the PCs again. They could attack to get some idea of what abilities the PCs have and then later set up an ambush with full knowledge of the PCs abilities. The PCs must find what allows the monster to reform and destroy it. It could be a coffin hidden by a vampire or the bones of a ghost hidden in a secret crypt which allows these monsters to reform and set up recurring attacks. I would be curious about how these types of monsters would play like in DF and also if thd players would enjoy defeating these types of monsters.

    1. I can't comment on the monsters they'll face, but ambush-and-return is something you can get a lot of in a wilderness - it's much easier to hide.

    2. I think some of the best monsters are the ones the players begin to really hate. Like a ghost that appears after the players have had a tough battle and need to recover. Or it appears when they are crossing a crevasse it appears and ties to push them in. It cuts the rope when they are climbing up a wall etc. It does not need to be ultra powerful it just needs to play unfair and be really annoying. Once the players find the bones where the ghost has hidden them and performs a final rest on it they will likely be very happy.

    3. That's not a bad idea, but since my players almost all read this blog (and the comments), if I pester them with a ghost they'll start looking for bones to lay to rest instantly.

    4. But maybe the bones are on a deeper level of the dungeon and the PCs would have to fight their way through the other parts of the dungeon to get to them. Anyway, what I feel is the Ravenloft innovation is that the monster is not confined to a room and also attacks in different areas of the dungeon and if defeated has some way to come back again and fight the PCs again. I had a DM who loved Ravenloft so we had a lot of fun playing those adventures. Straad would attack and we would fight him and then he would either leave or become mist and regenerate to attack again later. Straad became more of an enemy than just a monster sitting in a dungeon room.
      I feel this blog is useful as a laboratory for running GURPS so I would love to see how you would handle Ravenloft style monsters.

    5. My first thought about the bones is that they're not just sitting around somewhere. Perhaps they're being used as weapons, armor, a skeleton, a zombie, flesh or bone golem, Maybe even scattered throughout the dungeon/countryside.

  3. Considering it is wilderness:
    Do you stick to your "the weather is the weather outside my house" or do the PCs have to prepare for rapid shifts in weather if they stay outside for longer than a day?

    I have always found it difficult to integrate weather in my games. Most of the time it is just "the weather is so bad outside that you really, really should stay in this derelict mansion you just found in the middle of nowhere".
    I have seen it in a game from another GM and it seemed exciting when the group got surprised by a sudden storm while scouting a forest, even if it didn't do much more than a bit of non-lethal cold damage, making a short battle with some wild boars a bit more memorable and leaving the whole area muddy for the next days to come. (I am not sure if the change was a "random event" or if the GM added it on whim or if he had the weather for the week planed out in advance though.)

  4. Lars brings up a good point I'm interested in learning how you'd handle. Up to now you have always had a "the weather in game is like outside" and also "time passes in-game at the same rate as the real world (between games)". So if you do a wilderness adventure it is very likely that one session would involve multiple days of travel. If the players experience a week of travel and the next game happens in a month does the next game's events occur 3 weeks after the last ended or will a whole month pass since that is the time between game sessions? If the players experience three weeks of travel and the next game happens in two weeks, how is the timeline in the game handled? I know your guidelines have been created to make GM chores easier, but what do you do if the simplified guidelines end up not being simple because of a change in the basic approach of the game?

    1. I've solved this by not having any wilderness travel in the game, so far, that could possibly take more than 2 weeks. And we never play more frequently than every other week. It hasn't been an issue. I might be limiting my options a bit, but it's not a fun-killer.


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