Monday, March 14, 2011

Dungeon Magazine Indexes

So the other day I was thinking to myself about how it would be good to have the various Dungeon Adventures organized not only by level, but also by topic, and .......well looky, looky what I found:
In my opinion this one is the best, but let it never be said that I don't offer some variety.....
This last one is not particularly my favourite, as it just lists each issue and what was found in them:
Well I hope you find these useful.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Started Death Frost Doom

Hi There, I know its been ages........sigh.....I must say I'm not the most consistent blogger ever. I've still been reading; it's just that I haven't really had much of interest to say.
Most importantly though is that we've still been playing. I was worried about this for a little while, as just before christmas  one key player  moved farther away, making it tough for him to make it as consistently as before, and another started doing more volunteer work which made it tough for her as well. This left me down to two players for a couple of sessions. They were entertaining sessions nonetheless, but it left me worried about the life of the game. I should try to find more players but its always tough to find enough interested English speakers in this end of Quebec.
   Hopefully (fingers crossed) things are picking up, last session I had a bigger crew, and was finally able to incorporate Mr Raggi's Death Frost Doom into my campaign. They didn't finish in one session though, and this Sunday we'll hopefully get a chance to finish it. Once we're done, I plan to give a short review of the adventure. I know people have probably review it to death, but I just want to let others know how it was in play, and what worked, and what didn't.
Well that's all folks, just wanted to let everyone know I was still kicking around, mostly lurking on other blogs trying to absorbing their strength, and therefore make myself stronger!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dungeon magazine

 As a kid, I never owned any Dragon magazines, I'm not even sure if I even knew of it until around 1990, and even then, with the budget issues I had, I probably wouldn't have seen the use it buying it anyways.  I was lucky enough to buy a few dungeon magazines though, not many but a few. I say lucky because, wow, some of those submissions were very well written. Two of my favorites included a library where the rooms shift around in issue 29, and an Underdark adventure involving a massive multidimensional alien in issue 24.

I think one of the things that would impress me the most about these adventures, was that many times the designers were either high schoolers, or college kids close in age to myself. I would read these mini-modules with a mixture of admiration and envy that such quality products could be written by such young people.
At first I thought is was strange that I rarely saw anything written about them in the old school blogs, but I realized that dungeon magazine was mostly a 2e (and beyond) resource. Still though, to me, converting between 2e and 1e (or B/X for that matter) was no big deal.
I remember reading on JM's Grognardia about the lack of truly memorable 2e modules, and some-one had quite rightly pointed out that although the offically released 2e modules were mostly forgettable, Dungeon magazine was releasing some great material at the time (a sentiment I would have to agree with from what little I had read in the magazines). 
    The thing is though, that although the few I had were impressive as reads, I never had a chance to actually use any of them in play (only because by that time I was mostly a player, and never a DM). I guess this leaves me wondering how playable they would have been. I'd hate to here that they were like most 2e materials, interesting to read but impossible to use in play.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Borderlands Monsters

The Perverssi Koira
  (Ghoul Hounds)

Armour Class:             6
Hit Dice:                      2+1 to 4+1
Move:                          180'
Attacks:                       2claws/1bite
Damage:                      1-3/1-3/1-6 + special
No. Appearing:            4-6
Save As:                      F2
Morale:                        9 see below
Hoard Class:               VII
Alignment:                  Lawful (evil)

     The Perverssi Koira (more commonly known as Ghoul Hounds) were an ancient dark undead construct, created through horrid perverse arts involving the sacrifice of both wolves and humans in a ritual that would drive even the most seasoned adventure mad from witnessing it. 
   The exact method this took, was a a closely guarded secret which was thought lost to the vasts mists of time long ago. Recently however, these creatures have resurfaced, terrorizing the Grey Forests of the Borderlands with their horrific howls of pain; which always precedes a hunt.  Its unknown whether these newly reported sightings are the last remaining creatures from the past, maybe freed from long held imprisonment; or worse, if someone has discovered anew how to create these terrifying monsters.
    Perverssi Koira can be considered a combination of ghoul and wolf, with abilities derived from both. It has as the ghoul's chilling paralytic touch, as well as the wolf's great speed. Most importantly though, a ghoul hound will retain a wolf's pack mentality, making it easy for its creator to control, and giving him/her a powerful and loyal servant (hence its lawful alignment).
  Despite its great power though, the ghoul hound does seem to have an usual Though no more or less susceptible to the ravages of flame then other creatures, a ghoul hound shows a hesitancy to cross any large flame (it must make a saving throw vs paralyzation). This fear will eventually be overcome though, resulting in a saving throw being made at  +1 each round. It is unknown where this fear comes from; is it an instinct that is retained from its wolf like nature, or a fear born from when the beast must pass through the flames of hell as it returns to the realms of man.
    A ghoul hound's paralysis (just like a ghoul's) can be counteracted through the ingestion of the blood of a Corp d'Arbre. 

Well these are the stats for a creature that I had recently created for the PC's . Originally it was made as a simple wandering monster encounter, but it left such an devastating impact on the players ( all level ones), that they've had to make a repeat appearance since (the players now live in fear of its telltale howl). Many of it's characteristics (such as the howl, fear of flames and the counter to its paralysis) were developed through the character actions in game. I hope you enjoy (and please disregard any grammatical errors I may have made).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Puzzle and riddle goodness

I've been interested lately in incorporating some puzzles in my game. I know they can give the game a "funhouse" feel. But when I played I always enjoyed having at least one puzzle or riddle challenge in it (I guess they'd be seen as cliche now). I've been searching for some, and found I neat one derived from the Davinci Code on this site. I like the idea of using the Fibonacci sequence  (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,etc) but I worry because one of the players is also a math teacher and may pick up on it realy fast. My idea is to use pressure plates with stones on them where the adventures have to put the proper amount of stones on the last plate.
   I also have one which would be alot more challenging involving a geometric riddle which I'll paraphrase:

         A King wants his gardener to make plant 5 rows of 4 roses, only problem is he only has 10 roses to do it
    How what does he do?  I usually put a lot more flourish in the presentation when giving this one, but you get the idea.

Answer:  a star shape.

I also love old fashioned riddles too, but I find that sometimes they can slow things to a halt because if people can't get the answer, they can't progress any farther. So I like my riddles to be for non essentials (chests, scroll cases etc.). I also like how they were done in the old video game Betrayal at Krondor; where each riddle was given a dial lock mechanisms. (again Davinci Code did something similar for a scroll type case) I find they can make them a little too easy at times though, giving not only the possible letters but how many of them there are as well. Still, the right riddle can keep them challenging anyway, and we all know there are enough of them out there.

I also really like this idea from Die Hard 3 

That's all Ive got for now, I hope some of these are useful to you, and If you have some to you want to share please feel free.

See ya.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Summer is Over!!

So the summer is done, and we spent it working on the new house.  We decided not to head back home for this year, which means I missed all this:

I also didn't play either; summer is not the best time to get a group of teachers together, as they tend to go on family vacations at different times. But we have started back since then, with one session two weeks ago, and another set for this Sunday.
   I decided to combine the keep on the borderlands with 0one's blueprint for the Caves of Chaos. I found that they gave a more exploratory feel, and allowed me to place some more traps and mysterious hooks for the players. (Not that they found any......oh well maybe on the next game).
     I've also had a few inspirations for puzzles which I'll share later, as well as had the pleasure of reading through Grimtooth's traps (again I think I'll share more about it also).
   I've found since starting to game again, I've also  found since gaming again, I've blogged less; which in all honesty is fine by me, because if I had to choose between the two, I'd take gaming over blogging anyday  :p

Monday, June 21, 2010

Borderlands Session 4

Like I said, I was behind on my session wrap-ups, so that's why these are coming at you fast and furious style.
   By the end of the last Session, the PC's had found a map which supposedly would lead to a treasure hoard found in Quasqueton, and had managed to discover a secret passage between Melissa's and Rohgan's rooms.

                       This session saw the party going through Rohgan's private quaters, only to interrupted by a group of Northmen, who have also been exploring Quasqueton's halls. While they first decided to try diplomacy with the barbarians; suspicion soon turned to open hostility, as Dale the Killing Machine quickly attacked the tattooed warriors.
 A long battle then ensued, as for the first time, the party seemed to face an even match in their foes. After beating back the Northmen, the PC's blockaded a door and took a prisoner. again the questioning seemed to get very little and the frustrated party left the prisoner tied to the bed as they fled the fortress.
 They headed back to the Keep, to regroup and report on what they had found with Balin, the wizard who had hired them.
  Once there they deciphered  Zelligar's coded diary, and the PC's learned of his suspicions of the true instigators of the Northern attacks 20 years ago; a group by the name of the Red Hand. ( An organization composed of wizards, clerics and nobles who have revived the worship of some sort of Elder God which is yet to be revealed to the players).  Balin was concerned about the nature of such a secret society, and asked the PC's to further investigate the halls of Quaqueton for more clues.
 The party though decided to take some down time to enjoy the amenities of the Keep, While MoonBeam and Theodore the cleric took the time to study and pray; Stickles and Dale the Killing Machine had come up with a ploy, where Dale would distract a local patron with small talk, and Stickles would use the moment of distraction to pick their pockets for cash.
        Unfortunately the plan backfired; the first person Stickles attempted to rob caught on to what was happening. He and his friend confronted the duo, only to be attacked by Dale, who nearly killed one of them men with a single blow of his axe.
Shocked by the wanton display of violence, the remaining patrons and the barkeep held Dale until the authorities arrived. Stickles, seeing the sticky situation that was about to occur, slipped out during the commotion, and was able to avoid arrest.
   To make up for their crime Dale (and by default the rest of the party) were charged with the rescue of a local merchant from a group of Bandits which had been attacking lately from the woods.  The characters then readied themselves to face the bandits of the woods, in what they considered their first rescue mission.

Edit notes...Okay so this session had actually happened looong ago, and its hard to remember all the good bad and ugly, but here goes. I seem to remember the challenge in improvising all the events in town; especially the consequences of their robbery attempt. They were really keeping me on my toes. By the way if you didn't know it all ready, Dale is a bit of a sociopath; I tried to play some shock at his resorting to a weapon right away in the bar fight (an axe no less). The Keep as a meant to be a tough but law abiding area, a frontier area filled with puritan ( at least on the exterior) types. I haven't put a great deal of work into the personality of the Keep yet. Its pretty small after all, and I see it more as a focal point for small villages in the area as opposed to a sprawling city which can hide thieve guilds, etc. I don't even think the Keep has a brothel....not that I've put a lot of thought into it, but one character did try to find one....maybe I'll have some sort of traveling "entertainment" group come in or something.

Well I have more to think on about this, plus two more sessions to summarize yeesshh.