Mar 15

On Deck for Monday Night

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  • Anthony and everyone--- How much thought have you given to game elements/structures that are part of the campaign's flow and evolution, independent of the individual adventures' structures? I'm reading Erin Morgenstern's new book _The Starless Sea_, which is a fairy-tale-like novel told through nested stories like the 1001 Arabian Nights, and exploring their structures, some of which are meta-fictionally self-reflective/-reflexive, a la Borges or Robert Coover. It's a bit like a mega-dungeon of a book, really. I'm thinking of structures that drive campaigns over the medium- to long haul, like: - active foreshadowing through backgound/history/sage advice, spies/spying, divination and research spells, prophecies and divine/infernal guidance, etc. - hidden foreshadowing through returning to earlier locations/NPCs/items/prophecies/etc. that have a newly-realized meaning or significance in retrospect after learning D after A, B, and C ("we should never have sold that wand at 3rd level so we could pay our training costs---it's the X"; "whoa!: we need to head back to that well in level 6 and open that unopenable door with this key now"; etc.); this works best, of course, when specific items, content, histories, etc. have layers of meaning/mystery to them - assembling pieces and parts of multi-part magic items (Rod of Seven Parts, Eye and Hand of Vecna, etc.), maps, information/lore, paintings, etc.; Anthony's Black Journal falls into this category, I think, in addition to being an awesome prop - red herrings , false trails/false alarms, and misinterpretations: player agency means that they'll get distracted by the fake ghost's tricks rather than unmasking the fake ghost, sometimes; this is possible through their own misinterpretations, as well as through being distracted by false trails/fake news clues intentionally created by NPCs---I'm thinking of Urgaan of Angarngi's map from Leiber's " Jewels in the Forest " here, or Eclavdra's false trail luring the classic GDQ players to assault Lolth as the root of all of their woes. - independent actors with their own agendas that drive their goals, priorities, relationships, etc.---this is the whole "putting it all in motion" to create verisimilitude What other kinds of tools like these do you use to structure long-term campaign play? Allan.
  • Jay Scott has dragged me back into his Twitch feed, to discuss AD&D dragons in the World of Greyhawk on Sunday night @ 7:30pm EDT. More details soon! Allan.
  • So, while reading up on the closure of Ray Bailey's recent 1e KS @ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dgg-03/dd3-the-misty-halls-of-kalavorka/posts/2662226 I read Ray's snippet about his next project, which mentions: I hope you will all come back to support my next project — DD4 Secret of the Silver Spire. This adventure will be somewhat unusual in that it features a semi-living, dimensional-hopping tower inhabited by intelligent ape-men who use science-magic, modrons (I hear some groans, but trust me on this one), and their overlords, the Silver Masters. I ran this one for my weekly gaming group a few years ago, and they all loved it. With this Kickstarter will be another Side Quest module. This one is tentatively titled “The White Queens Rage”. For characters levels 8-10, it involves the players exploring a frost giant queen’s mountain castle. Now I've loathed modrons for nearly as long as I've loathed anything in the entire corpus of D&D (and yes, I loathe modrons more than I loath 3.x, and Anything magic items, and WG7 Castle Greyhawk, and the lame RPGA-trash branded as Greyhawk during 2e, and... You get the idea, I hope. So, is it possible to redeem the lowly, despised, and reviled modrons? Have any of you done ever so? Allan.