Sunday, December 11, 2016

Keep watching the dungeon! (Emergency game session)

We were scheduled for Gamma Terra today, but non-gaming events conspired to take out our GM's availability today. We found out only yesterday, when he did.

So we're going to play Felltower one more time this year.

Lucky for me, I was ready. While a megadungeon doesn't require a lot of between-session prep, it does require some. Generally when I know there is a long break coming up I:

- Take apart the box of materials to sort out what needs to stay and what needs to go.

- Open up and empty out the Plano counter and marker trays.

- Take all of the mini trays out of the transport case for re-organization

- Leave all of the rumors, re-stocking, etc. until the very last minute.

For some bizarre reasons I didn't do any of this. Instead, I:

- Did all of the rumors, restocking, and so on immediately after the session (apparently, based on the dated notes).

- Left all of the minis and trays as-is.

The true upside of a megadungeon is this "moments away from ready to play" aspect. So I'm basically ready to go.

Had I not been, though, I had some options - rush the rest of the prep for some testing we planned to do, pull out some pre-prepped D&D5 or retro-clone or Basic D&D stuff to run for a change of pace, maybe play some Munchkin or Ogre (it's a bear to lug, but it's fun to play once it's there), something of that sort.

But no, given a choice of Felltower vs. anything else, Felltower always wins the vote.

What's the plan?

"Rah! Rah! Rah! We're going to smash the orcs!"


  1. Whoa. You do waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more prep than I do.

    1. You don't restock after a delve or prep new rumors?

    2. I don't run megadungeons. So... nope.

      My prep runs mostly to printing out new minis (I use paper minis - if I'm even using minis at all), thinking a lot about the last session and the possibilities of the next session, and not doing anything that resembles writing or work on the game at all.

      Now, prep work for LARPs? Yeah, it easily runs into the "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more prep than you do". But since I work with a group of other people to run those, I have to write stuff down so other people know what is going on (and get input and written stuff from them).

      But my sit down games? Almost no prep work at all (okay, sometimes I get overly anal about making a paper mini 'look right' and can spend days on it, but otherwise, nope, no prep work.

      In fact it's blogs like yours that keep making me set my two potential megadungeons down instead of working on them. I really don't like doing prep work between games. I avoid it like the plague.

      That yours sounds like so much fun and has so little prep work is the only reason I dither about whether or not to build them.

    3. Building a megadungeon is a lot of prep, but it's also enjoyable prep.

      Between sessions it takes a little work but not zero. It could take zero if you don't intend to do anything but let people clear things once, but that's not so fun for me. I prefer the living dungeon that needs some mods.

  2. My rule is to always be prepped 2 levels below where the PCs currently are. They way I can theoretically always run a game on an hour's notice. (Takes me an hour to reread stuff and dig out the right miniatures.)

    In the unlikely event my PCs try to crash-dive 3 levels and get deeper than I'm prepared for, they'll hit some random encounters. (I always have random encounters ready, but often choose not to roll for them, in the interest of speeding play. So I don't feel too bad inflicting one automatically if I have to.)

    1. I generally have only a couple hours of prep needed to play. But when a long break comes up, I use it to take stock of the physical game materials I use and sort them out. So people do Spring cleaning, I do "4-5 weeks between planned sessions" cleaning.

      Plus, yesterday was already fully booked with plans - I simply didn't have more than an hour to prep the game. Lucky for me, I found I'd done all the work ahead of time and just forgot I'd done it.


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