Rune-X Session 2

Alright, I’ve not felt much like blogging as of late, but I did manage another session of Rune-X. I tried to work in a bit more narration this time. I think it may have been a mistake trying to do a semi-parody of dungeoncrawling while running my first real dungeon crawl. We shall see- I have another session shedualed for Sunday afternoon with more players.

### Log session started at Fri Jun 17 17:59:28 2011 ###
[17:59:28] Channel topic is: Fight for fame and money in the reality TV show RUNE-X!
[18:12:29] Canageek|2 [~Canageek@OWIRCN-ebfed2a1.vc.shawcable.net] is now known as TheDM
[18:14:27] <@TheDM> So, to recap you had arrived and gone straight to the dungeon complex, a fortress or abode, since abandoned by its rulers, presumably slain when the great war sweat through the pre-industrializatoin valley
[18:15:04] <@TheDM> You proceeded into the first hallway and found a slain group of people outside the inner door
[18:15:43] <@TheDM> Your score for the dungeon will be determined by how much treasure you take with you when you leave, how much of it you explore, and what challanges you overcome while inside
[18:16:11] <@TheDM> The audiance at home is watching by scrying, and you all have recived a small earpeice piping the narrators commentary into your ears
[18:16:14] fudgebob [~fudgebob@27B34E.4FEA8A.0EDFA7.B2D00D] is now known as Eel
[18:16:22] <Eowyn> Not when we leave for the night I hope?
[18:16:26] <@TheDM> So far it has been theme music- there has not been much to say
[18:16:48] <~Canageek-OOC> Hmm? What was that in respons to?
[18:17:04] <Eowyn> The score for the dungeon
[18:17:35] <~Canageek-OOC> No, though total time taken may be a factor
[18:18:06] <~Canageek-OOC> Any questions?
[18:18:15] <Eel> *examines door
[18:18:38] Eowyn [~AndChat@OWIRCN-df1377d8.sub-174-252-115.myvzw.com] is now known as Ada
[18:18:42] <~Canageek-OOC> Ada/Eowyn: do you have the map?
[18:18:57] <Ada> I’m just trying to reconcile that with the plan to leave the dungeon at the end of each play session
[18:19:17] <Ada> I know where it is.
[18:20:02] <~Canageek-OOC> The formula isn’t public, but speculation has been that it takes into account amount of time healing from wounds vs adventuring time, and number of times you had to leave to heal
[18:20:16] <~Canageek-OOC> The end of session is the direction yelling ‘cut’ basically
[18:20:30] Ada [~AndChat@OWIRCN-df1377d8.sub-174-252-115.myvzw.com] is now known as Eowyn
[18:20:52] <~Canageek-OOC> However people had to go suddenly last time, and you’ve not been to town yet- was hoping to get to town before the end of this session
[18:20:53] <Eowyn> Well, I should be able to keep healing time to a

[18:23:22] <@TheDM> Correction, there is no door- just  a set of stairs leading up to a 4 way intersection
[18:23:47] <@TheDM> You’d partailly looted the bodies as I recall, shall I go over that again?
[18:24:04] <Eowyn> (Do the stairs take up one square or what?)
[18:24:17] <Eowyn> We’d want to finish looting them.
[18:24:19] <~Canageek-OOC> Less then 1 square
[18:25:16] <@TheDM> I’ll recap all the treasure to make sure we don’t miss anything
[18:25:18] <@TheDM> Body #1—A human fighter, slumped against a wall. His broken sword, sheared off about eight inches above the pommel, tells the story of his demise. The body has been stripped of any armor, and there are no items of value on the remains, other than a belt pouch containing 5 gold pieces (g.p.).
[18:25:30] Canageek-OOC [~Canageek@OWIRCN-ebfed2a1.vc.shawcable.net] is now known as Narrator
[18:25:42] <~Narrator> A voice murmers in your earpeice
[18:26:13] <Eowyn> (Silver pieces as I recall)
[18:26:15] <~Narrator> “Tragic, you all remeber what happened this this brave band in episode 4, don’t you? That WAS quite a struggle they put up, too bad it all came to naught.”
[18:26:23] <~Narrator> “Lets hope that this group does better!”
[18:26:28] <@TheDM> OOC: Yes
[18:26:38] <@TheDM> (Silver, not gold)
[18:26:44] Eel throws away the useless sword “Pity, I could have used that”
[18:27:20] <@TheDM> Body #2—A human magic-user, impaled against a wall: The killing sword, still thrust through the body, is lodged in the wall, which has a large section of wood at this point. When the sword was removed, the body will crumple to the floor, exposing a blood-stained carving. The carved letters form the word “QUASQUETON” in the “common” language.
[18:27:54] <Eowyn> … which I made a note of
[18:27:57] <~Narrator> “Quite clever of Eel to remove the sword right away, I wonder if they will determin the meaning of that word….IN TIME!”
[18:28:02] <Eel> … peers up the stairs “Eowyn, shall we… go on with the show?” *winking
[18:28:22] <@TheDM> The sword, upon being removed, proved worthless, since its handle is very loose and the overall quality of the weapon is poor.
[18:28:46] <Eowyn> “As soon as we finish looking these remains over.”
[18:28:51] <@TheDM> The body was bereft of any items of great value. The magic-user’s robe, now bloodstained and ruined, has a pocket and within it is a purse containing 2 s.p. and a  pouch full of garlic buds
[18:29:12] <Eowyn> (I had stowed those with my spices)
[18:29:15] <Eel> (( I hates it when TheDM gives oh so vague clues
[18:29:32] <@TheDM> OOC: As I recall that was were we got to last time
[18:30:23] <Eowyn> (( Sounds about right ))
[18:30:55] <@TheDM> The next body you find is a human berserker/fighter by  his dress, obviously a guard who defended to the death. The body is sprawled on the floor, and a broken wooden shield lies nearby. The body has no armor on it. There is no weapon on the body or nearby, nor are there any other items of value on the remains.
[18:31:47] <~Narrator> “Such a pity that so much of the last groups gear was taken by the victors– I wonder if our intrepid adventures will get far enough to see it used against them?”
[18:31:54] Eowyn checks her own armor and gear to s[18:29:32] <@TheDM> OOC: As I recall that was w[18:32:42] <@TheDM> It is, the guards appear to be local hires, using very a mix of cheap locally made junk and castoffs of the armies that marched through here
[18:33:26] <@TheDM> The final body lying at the foot of the steps is another human berserker/fighter guard. This body, with a bashed head from the blow of a war hammer, lies on the floor face down. There is no armor or weapon on the body except for a small sheathed dagger on the belt. The belt is very ornately decorated leather, which would appear to be worth something, except for the bloodstains ruining its appearance.
[18:33:29] <Eel> “Hmmmm. Poor pickings for us”
[18:34:09] <@TheDM> You can see another body lying just east of the intersectoin
[18:34:13] <Eel> “Want that, Eowyn?” *offering the dagger & belt
[18:34:27] <Eowyn> “Sure.”
[18:34:34] <@TheDM> OOC: Ada: Fill in the ‘door’ you drew on the map to make stairs and it should be prefect
[18:34:34] Eowyn examines the dagger.
[18:34:56] <@TheDM> OOC: Do you want to map in past the intersection or head back to town? I know it is late where Ada is
[18:35:15] <Eowyn> OOC And the intersection is immediately after the stairs?
[18:35:31] <@TheDM> Yes, just 4 steps leading up to it
[18:35:38] <Eowyn> (( Only 9:35))
[18:35:49] <@TheDM> *2 steps
[18:37:15] <~Narrator> ((Alright-The passage goes 80 feet forward befor hitting a wall- you can’t see which way it turns at that distance with the poor light
[18:37:24] <@TheDM> Errr
[18:37:30] <@TheDM> The passage goes 80 feet forward befor hitting a wall- you can’t see which way it turns at that distance with the poor light
[18:37:52] <Eowyn> And to the right and left?
[18:37:55] <@TheDM> It goes east & west at least 10 feet in either direction, but you can’t see more without going up the stairs
[18:38:21] <@TheDM> There are 2 doors on either side of the north passage immediatly after the intersection
[18:38:44] Eowyn scribbles.
[18:38:51] <Eowyn> Got it.
[18:38:56] <@TheDM> A passage to the east immediatly north of that, and one to the west right after that
[18:39:10] <@TheDM> SO, with the intersection at 0:
[18:39:22] <Eel> “We go up, you cover our left, I cover our right… so there won’t be any surprises. That ok, Eowyn?”
[18:39:34] <@TheDM> Doors EW +1 square, +2 W passage, +3 E passage
[18:39:35] <Eowyn> “Sure.”
[18:39:47] <@TheDM> You head up the stairs?
[18:39:47] <Eel> *nods
[18:39:56] <Eel> yes, as planned
[18:40:04] <Eel> wait!
[18:40:08] <@TheDM> You carefully step around the bodies, trodding on the dried ….
[18:40:08] <Eowyn> That is reversed to where you said the passages were
[18:40:12] <@TheDM> Oh
[18:40:33] <@TheDM> West is the southmost
[18:40:39] TheDM got E & west confused
[18:41:13] <Eowyn> ((Too bad I don’t have white-out))
[18:41:30] <@TheDM> OOC: Might I recommend pencil? *sheepish look*
[18:41:44] TheDM might not tell you some passages and such until you are closer and such

[18:42:34] <@TheDM> ((Everything you drew last week was described correctly))

[18:44:24] <Eowyn> Uploaded the newer map, with scribbled out corrections
[18:46:35] <Eowyn> I may do a fair copy later, and put a pencil in my gaming binder
[18:46:56] <@TheDM> OOC: I could recomend arrows showing the real passages, sorry about that
[18:47:13] <@TheDM> OOC: Also there is a body just E of the intersection you can see
[18:47:18] <Eowyn> Added
[18:47:40] <@TheDM> Are you proceeding into the intersection?
[18:47:44] <Eowyn> The body is to the direction Eel said he’d cover
[18:47:48] <@TheDM> Ok
[18:48:05] <Eowyn> I believe so
[18:48:21] <Eel> “move!” *whisper
[18:48:32] Eowyn moves
[18:48:48] <@TheDM> You carefully step around the bodies, trodding on the dried blood of those whom have already died for the amusiment of the masses, silently hoping for a better death for yourselfs. Emerging warely into the intersection only the sound of your footseps on the stop floor greet you, echoing hollowly down the hallways.
[18:48:48] <Eel> my area clear, Narrator?
[18:49:34] <Eel> “I wish I bought a flash-bang… it would have been more dramatic” *laughs
[18:49:36] <@TheDM> To the east lies the dead body of a dwarven warrior, a trail of blood leading back to the battle site at the bottom of the stairs
[18:50:23] Eowyn checks to the west
[18:50:48] <@TheDM> Each passage, east & west extends 30′ from the intersection before making a right angled-turn to the south
[18:51:04] Eel kicks the dead dwarf, checking if he is alive or booby-trapped
[18:52:03] <@TheDM> The dead dwaf shifts out of the posture he was in with the sickening sound of dead meat
[18:53:14] <Eel> seeing the east passage is clear, Eel squats down to start the body search
[18:53:16] <@TheDM> No traps go off, and the dead dwarf appears to be well & truely dead
[18:53:31] <Eel> “East wing clear”
[18:53:57] <~Narrator> “Isn’t that horrible folks? You think that these adventures would have more respect when their bodies could soon join the deceased on the cold stone floor!”
[18:54:14] <Eowyn> “Nothing apparent to the west.”
[18:54:31] <@TheDM> In his right hand he still clutches his war hammer, and it appears that he crawled, wounded,to this point, since a trail of dried blood leads back to the battle location. A sack turned inside out lies alongside the body, now empty.
[18:54:48] <@TheDM> Armor has. been stipped from the body, although the fighter’s helm is still on his head. This headgear, however, has a noticeable dent in it which will make it unusable and thus worthless.
[18:55:43] <@TheDM> !roll d100
[18:55:43] <@ChanServ> 47 == 47
[18:55:49] Eel examines hammer
[18:55:58] <Eowyn> ((Is that a one-handed or two-handed hammer?)?
[18:56:28] <@TheDM> Eel: As you kneel to search the body you find a small smear of blood leading to a chink in the wall
[18:56:52] <@TheDM> !roll 1d2
[18:56:52] <@ChanServ> 2 == 2
[18:56:56] <@TheDM> 2 handed
[18:57:36] <Eel> *examines chink
[18:57:44] <Eel> … carefully, eyeballing not touching
[18:58:15] <@TheDM> Inside you see a flash of gold, looks circular
[18:58:15] recursive_faults [~hitokiri@OWIRCN-3e3de74c.res.rr.com] has joined #Rune-X
[19:02:36] <Eel> (( hello, recursive_faults, glad to see you here :)
[19:02:57] <@TheDM> Eel: What are you doing about the gold?
[19:02:59] <Eowyn> “What’s that, Eel?” *whispering*
[19:06:22] <Eel> “I don’t know… but it is… shiny!”
[19:06:31] Narrator pipes music over your earpeices
[19:06:37] <Eel> “Should I? Get it, I mean?”
[19:06:45] <~Narrator> ((http://radio.otherworlders.org/listen.pls  ))
[19:07:03] <Eowyn> Can you fish it out without putting your fingers in?
[19:08:36] Eel takes out his knife and tries to pry-out the shiny thing
[19:09:52] <@TheDM> It takes some work, but you eventually fish out a large golden ring, coated in blood
[19:10:00] <@TheDM> The ring is not thick, but it is solidly made
[19:10:23] <@TheDM> You can make Culture(Dwarven) checks at default
[19:10:45] <@TheDM> Or any skill related to jewlery or similar you can think of
[19:10:51] <Eowyn> !roll d100
[19:10:51] <@ChanServ> 87 == 87
[19:10:56] <Eowyn> Nothing
[19:12:15] <Eel> “Can we detect if it is ‘magical’?” *tries not to guffaw
[19:12:40] <@TheDM> OOC: Magic is very well known in this setting, FYI
[19:14:03] <@TheDM> OOC: But I don’t think either of you have the ‘Detect Magic’ spell
[19:14:34] <Eel> OOC: that’s why he was laughing… no detect magic ;)
[19:14:51] <~Narrator> OOC: Ahhh, I thought you’d gotten the impression it was a low magic setting
[19:15:13] <Eowyn> OOC Yep, but if the ring breaks its leg I can heal it!
[19:16:17] TheDM waits to hear what you do next
[19:16:34] <Eel> “Can you read the inscription, Eowyn?”
[19:16:41] <Eel> *hands it back to Eowyn
[19:17:08] Ina [~G.Vegt@OWIRCN-661d2d7c.solcon.nl] has joined #Rune-X
[19:17:13] <@TheDM> Eel…How did you know it had an inscription?
[19:17:29] <@TheDM> It does, on the inside the band in bold, deeply cut runes
[19:17:35] Eowyn cleans the blood off the ring.
[19:17:55] <Eowyn> “I don’t know Dwarven.”
[19:18:33] <@TheDM> You are not sure it is in Dwarven, though that would be logical. Either way you can’t read it
[19:18:51] <Eel> “Ok. I’ll try it on then… I am a human Detect Magic device” *winks
[19:19:24] <@TheDM> The ring is much too large for your finger, and does not resize. Nothing happens expcpt some of the dried blood rubs off on your finger
[19:19:33] <Eel> “… just watch my back, Eowyn, and heal me if I get cut in half!?!”
[19:19:38] <Eel> “… or worse!”
[19:19:45] <Eowyn> “Will do.”
[19:19:55] <Eel> “Drats!”
[19:20:21] <Eowyn> “Maybe it’s a keepsake, I wonder if he has family that would want the ring.”
[19:21:19] Eel looks at Eowyn’s fingers, shakes head “Nah, too risky. Medics are much too precious”
[19:21:43] <Eel> *shrugs “Where to now, stalwart buddy?”
[19:22:12] <Eowyn> “West?”
[19:23:51] <Eel> “West it is… lead on”
[19:24:04] <Eel> “No, wait… I’ll take point”
[19:24:12] Eowyn proceeds carefully behind Eel.
[19:24:26] <~Narrator> You reach the end of the passage with no incident
[19:24:36] Eel trods forward carefully, shotgun ready
[19:25:21] <~Narrator> It extends 130′ south of your position, with a passage east 70′ south
[19:26:25] <Eowyn> East? That would go back towards the passage with the alcoves.
[19:26:40] <@TheDM> OOC: Yes, East
[19:27:24] Narrator [~Canageek@OWIRCN-ebfed2a1.vc.shawcable.net] is now known as Canageek-DM
[19:27:29] <Eowyn> (( Oh right, we did go up slightly)
[19:27:56] <@TheDM> Slightly- only a foot or so. 2 steps.
[19:28:06] <Eel> “Be carful with the mapping, Eowyn… I get lost easilly”
[19:28:41] <Eowyn> “Will do.”
[19:28:56] <@TheDM> So, are you heading south?
[19:29:18] Eel raises an eyebrow at Eowyn
[19:29:20] <Eowyn> “I’d like to go south, then east.”
[19:29:38] <Eel> “Going”
[19:29:48] <@TheDM> One second
[19:30:01] <Eowyn> Hmm… maybe that passage hooks up with the strange walls in the alcove
[19:30:15] TheDM is cross-refrencing
[19:31:33] <@TheDM> The passage to the east extends 10′ then ends in a stone door
[19:33:04] TheDM waits
[19:33:27] <Eowyn> “If you don’t open it I will.”
[19:35:31] <Eel> *opens with a hard yank!
[19:36:23] <@TheDM> The door grinds open to reveale the alcoves you saw earlier
[19:36:38] <@TheDM> There is no handle from the other side of the door, and indeed no way to tell there is a door there at all
[19:37:01] <Eel> “Was this some sort of murder-hole?”
[19:37:10] <Eowyn> Except that it looked strange to me from the other side.
[19:37:31] <~Canageek-DM> Yes, though you couldn’t put your finger on it
[19:37:38] <~Canageek-DM> (1 point off from what you needed as I recall)
[19:39:39] <Eowyn> ((I should get to sleep soon))
[19:39:54] <@TheDM> OOC: Alright, then lets call cut and let you head back to town
[19:40:01] Canageek-DM [~Canageek@OWIRCN-ebfed2a1.vc.shawcable.net] is now known as TheNarrator
[19:40:33] <Eel> (( ok
[19:40:50] TheNarrator ‘s voice murmers in your ear: Why don’t the two of you head back to town? I’m going to have some more delver’s join you there in a day or so and would make things easier if had an inn room or somthing to meet up in
[19:41:16] <Eel> *comms* “Okey”
[19:42:01] <@TheDM> You make your way back, easy from this spot as you can just go through the secret door. However that will leave it open, as there is no way to close it from the other side. Do you take the shortcut or go the long way?

[19:42:54] <Eowyn> I don’t care
[19:43:03] <@TheDM> Eel: ?
[19:44:59] <Eowyn> OK, we’ll close the door to leave less sign that we’ve been here and exit the long way.
[19:45:30] <@TheDM> Alright, you treck back to town. You find it is a very small town, mostly comprised of old feildstone houses
[19:46:08] Eel follows Eowyn lead
[19:46:52] <@TheDM> For the most part it looks like it was pulled from the last century, but then and again there is an anacronism- a feild laborur wearing an undershirt and combate fatigue pants, a truck tire used as a flower planter
[19:47:06] <Eel> “Should we look for the Shop or the Tavern, Eowyn?” *grins
[19:47:19] <@TheDM> The town seems poor, but stable- you don’t see anyone fat, but no one seems to be starving to death
[19:47:44] <Eowyn> “Tavern first. Want to share a room? Cheaper and we can watch each other’s backs.”
[19:47:57] <@TheDM> You get a number of curious looks as you walk through town, and a group of children shadow you down the street, pointing and whispering
[19:48:02] <Eel> “Agreed”
[19:49:03] <~TheNarrator> You quickly fine a small hostel, more of a bed and breakfast due to the low amount of traffic the town recives. It is howerver just down the street from the bar
[19:49:52] <@TheDM> The women who runs it loosk suprised to see you, but quickly names a price of 1 s.p/week/person
[19:50:25] <Eowyn> Does she seem inclined to haggle?
[19:50:53] <~TheNarrator> You notice the stoicism or perhappes reticism the region is known for when she doesn’t ask any questions about your strange dress or reason for visiting
[19:51:14] <~TheNarrator> Eowyn: Is is hard to say, roll a social skill of some sort
[19:51:25] Eel flashes a smile at the lady
[19:51:36] <Eowyn> !roll d100
[19:51:36] <@ChanServ> 30 == 30
[19:51:59] <Eel> … sometimes impresses, sometimes depresses ;)
[19:52:15] <Eowyn> Perception would make it, trade wouldn’t

[19:53:21] <@TheDM> You think you would have a better chance at haggaling if you were not heavily armed and appeared in town suddenly, loooking like trouble, but don’t think it is impossible

[19:53:56] Eowyn tries to signal to Eel to bargain
[19:54:33] <Eowyn> (If the DM were still here)
[19:54:50] <Eel> ((lol
[19:54:59] TheDM is
[19:55:11] <Eel> !roll d100 convince Madam
[19:55:11] <@ChanServ> 40 == 40
[19:55:27] <@TheDM> Eel: Is that a pass with a -10 penatly on your skill?
[19:55:47] <Eel> (( I don’t know. where is the link again for my charsheet, TheDM?

[19:56:26] <@TheDM> You started with 28, so you fail
[19:56:4[19:56:44] TheInnKeeper [~Canageek@OWIRCN-ebfed2a1.vc.shawcable.net] has joined #Rune-X
[19:57:02] <~TheInnKeeper> No- you look like trouble enough, I need the money to cover any damage you hooligins cause!
[19:57:36] <~TheInnKeeper> That reminds me, I’ll need a 5 silver damage deposit from the yer husband and yer, split however yer want
[19:57:52] <Eel> “What?!?!”
[19:58:12] <Eowyn> “Here’s a silver. I’m only paying for the nights I sleep here, mind you, but I’ll be in and out often enough to make at least a week.
[19:58:23] <~TheInnKeeper> You’ll get it back when you leave, minus whatever you break
[19:58:25] Eowyn digs out the 5 silver from the treasure.
[19:58:26] <Eel> (( do we have enough money?
[19:58:28] <~TheInnKeeper> No explosives in the house
[19:58:49] <@TheDM> OOC: Should, you found 5 silver in the dungeon
[19:59:04] <@TheDM> OCC: You suspect you could get her down to 3 silver or so bargening
[19:59:19] <@TheDM> But if you fail when she is already suspecious it could have consequences
[19:59:37] <Eowyn> “Here, but I need a receipt.”
[20:00:12] <Eel> “Ack. Lets just pay-up and sleep… This lady is too much hassle”
[20:01:45] <@TheDM> Alright, you pay up and have a room
[20:01:50] <@TheDM> she takes your money and gives you a recite in large, crude writing.
[20:03:07] <Eowyn> In between sessions I’ll see if anyone sells detect magic casting
[20:03:27] <Eowyn> But I won’t be surprised if the town is too small
[20:03:58] <Eel> (( hehe
[20:04:00] <Eowyn> And I’ll sell or trade healing to anyone who needs it, until the other delvers show up
[20:04:17] <@TheDM> There is a general store that sells dry goods, milk and fresh meat from the surrounding farms, and a few cheap firearms, but people are not exactly spilling information at you just yet
[20:04:21] <Eel> (( good game. looking forward to the next episode
[20:04:32] <@TheDM> Alright, that should make you popular, we can discuss it next episode
[20:04:38] <Eowyn> Okay
[20:04:54] <Eel> good idea, Eowyn
[20:05:00] <Eowyn> I’ll set my rates to what they can afford
[20:05:33] <Eowyn> Sort of a healer’s instinct… get to town, patch people up
[20:05:56] <Eel> OOC: I think Eowyn is a Lost, Amazing Race, Survivor expert ;)
[20:05:57] <@TheDM> Alright, sorry if I’m loosing focus here- 8 pm and I’ve not eaten since lunch. I wanted to get this wrapped up before Ada went to bed
[20:06:00] <Eowyn> Thanks for the game, guys
[20:06:11] <Eel> thank you, TheDM and Eowyn :)
[20:06:23] <Eel> no combats yet!
[20:06:37] <Eowyn> Or traps
[20:06:44] <@TheDM> Nope, though I had outlined one in my notes that I forgot about as an opening
[20:06:45] <Eowyn> Go eat!
[20:06:48] <@TheDM> Fixed it
[20:06:52] <Eel> we have beginners luck
[20:06:54] <@TheDM> Alright, get some sleep dear freind
[20:07:05] <Eowyn> Thanks, my friend
[20:07:06] <@TheDM> Yep, however it is an easy enoucnter to move :D
[20:07:08] Sent part request, waiting for reply…
### Log session terminated at Fri Jun 17 20:07:08 2011 ###

 

My Summer Game: Details Finally Decided

So here are the minutes from the character creation and setting discussion. There is still room for new players, and I will be updating this as we go.

Minutes

  • We are going to start with the modern dungeoncrawling idea, Rune-X, and after the first adventure possibly move on to the dimension hopping game
  • Mullem is in favour of adapting a classic adventure.
  • Guns will be allowed in the crawl, but be reduced in power to avoid risk to the audiance. Therefore they will ‘count as’ bows

The character concepts:

[13:25:09] <Mark> I’d like to keep it simple. A fighter-type. Maybe with a little bit of military experience. A smattering of skills and maybe a bit of battle-magic. Someone fairly resourceful, with a focus on fighting.
Going to it for the fame and glory

[13:25:59] <Ada> So maybe I should be a combat medic.
Is having trouble adapting to civilian life, and the money makes it more lucrative then mercenary work

Quirkygirl will be making a sorcery users. She likes danger, exitement and killing things.

Some imporant exerpts:
[13:22:14] <~Canageek> As I don’t have much of a defined world, I’m going to set the game in something vaugly related to our world, but with magic and whatnot
[13:23:31] <~Canageek> It just came out of a large war, and the Emporor wants something to keep the people happy in the post-war depression as the industries retool
[13:24:05] <~Canageek> So he brought in a new form of gladiator games, which have been hugely popular
[13:24:43] <~Canageek> I’m thinking a late-60s level of technology, with some specific advances in the areas of television as the Emporor views that as an easy tool to control the masses
[13:25:27] <~Canageek> Wait, make that modern, but computers are heavily maingframe based and state owned

Update on my online summer game

So as you may have guessed from my review of Dungeonslayers, I will not be running a game of it this summer. I’ve gotten into a GURPS game on Wednesdays, but well, I have weekends free. However, I forgot how much 1.5 hours in transit and 8 hours of work a day took out of you, even if you have free time, so I’m going to have to limit what and when I’m capable of running.

1) I have been looking at what system to use. So far I’ve looked at FUDGE, ‘Warrior, Rogue & Mage’ and both Red Box Hack and Old School Hack. None of them have seemed to be quite what I am looking for, though I would like to place some FATE & FUDGE. The current front runner for my summer game is GORE. GORE was designed to be an eldrich horror game, in the sprite of another game I play a lot. However, it uses a more D&D like magic system and is freely available, so I think with some house rules it could make a good, if high danger, dungeon crawling game. Additionally, it is simple enough that I think I could convert old D&D monsters to it- Since it is % based I could just make a D&D character of the appropriate level and see what that monsters chance to hit would be, then use that.

2) I’m still interested in the following ideas from my planning post- I’m having less energy after work then I thought, so some of them are not as feasible. Basically I don’t know if I have the energy to run the Dimensional Hopper game and Tangents is definitely out- I don’t have the energy for the planning either of these would take. I’m also less sure of the Megandungeon based ones until I get my feet under me- I’m thinking I could start a standard game with smaller dungeons, and if it goes well move it into a megadungeon. On the plus side, if we use GORE then we could include guns in the X-Crawl based settings if we wanted.

I know what times I can do this at now: Friday night post 7pm, any time Saturday, or Sunday night, ending no later then 9pm, all Pacific Time. I don’t get hope from work until 6 most days, later on many, and that leaves me just enough time to shop, eat and relax a bit before I have to go to bed.  This allows me to move things along a bit, as I have narrowed down the times to the point I feel fine taking applications to join in and suggestions on what to run.

3) I think Google Wave, Maptools, IRC or similar is more my speed right now. I don’t have a webcam or a decent mic, so yeah, voice seems like a bad choice.

So yeah, there are my current plans for an online game. I’m willing to look at other free gaming systems, and if I do use GORE it will be with some houserules (Probably more skills, might use pointbuy. It has rules for gaining HP already, but I will have to look at the system more. I also might tack on a simple XP system, as ‘when you finish the adventure’ doesn’t work in megadungeons.

So, is anyone interested in playing? Leave a comment! Ask questions! Please!

–Canageek

My New Campagin: Modern Dungeon Crawling with Dungeonslayers

I’ve been thinking of running an online game of Dungeonslayers this summer if I can find enough interested players. I’m going to start putting more work into this once I am done exams (end of the week), but am starting to put thought into it during my study breaks.

I’ve been a fan of modern dungeon crawling ideas since I heard about XCrawl, though I was reasonably disappointed in the book and setting when I read them (Great ideas, poor implementation –though latter books improved it a fair bit) and have done some writing on the topic.

I was looking at the dungeons posted and was thinking that it might be fun to mix things up by adding in a modern twist.

I’ve started writing up a bit of background. I’ve used some ideas from X-Crawl, some of my own and random bits from a couple of other places.

Gladiatorial matches have long been a staple of the Empire. For years gladiatorial matches have been popular on television. Recently a small arena owner, bored of traditional events set up an obstacle course filled with lethal traps and several monsters in mini-arenas. The event was huge, and the sport of Dungeonslayers was born. The mazes quickly evolved into full blown dungeons, more monsters were added, each slayer has dozens of statistics tabulated and compiled after each dungeon and managers, bookies and fans pay pour over these numbers. Slayers start in simple dungeons made of plywood, scrap metal and concrete slaying rats and spiders, and if they live eventually face demons and dragons in recreation dungeons in front of live audiences of half a million. Guns are not allowed in the dungeons as it makes it far to hard to have a live audience, but a fair amount of other things are allowed.

Dungeons would be similar to normal, but the traps may use modern mechanisms and there is of course live commentary and occasional anachronisms. Guns are not allowed in dungeons as it makes it too hard to have live audiences. I am also thinking that a a late 80s-early 90s level of technology would work quite well- TV is big, possibly some BBSes, but less gadgets and whatnot for players to want me to rule on, while at the same time being familiar enough to me to be comfortable with it. Magic replaces technology in some instances, however due to black boxing no one really cares about which is which.

Any suggestions on using Dungeonslayers for this? Ideas for me to put in my dungeons? What about converting traditional fantasy dungeons to have a live-sports feel? Heck, would anyone be interested in playing? I’ve not worked out times or medium or whatnot yet, but I can start work on that once I have preliminary expressions of interest.

Well, sorry for the long gap between posts, school distracted me for a while. I’ll try to post more regularly after exams. I’ve got my first ever blog recommendation coming up, which I meant to write up oh, a few months ago and got busy. Anyway, until next time, Stay Geeky.

–Canageek

DJ Elemental

I’ve been thinking of my old modern dungeon crawling idea more, and have thrown together a couple of DJs for an XCrawl like event. I found that the information on the DJs in the xcrawl book was a touch bland, with a couple of very interesting DJs, but most of them rather bland. I find that this is one of the most interesting ideas of XCrawl as the DJ designs the dungeon. I think that every DJ will have some sort of trademarks and themes they like to place in the dungeon, to let the fans watching instantly recognize them. This will also help make each crawl feel a bit different, so that the players don’t encounter dungeon after dungeon of 10×10 rooms.

The first idea I had was DJ Elemental. Elemental themed dungeons are not a new idea, I mean, look at the Temple of Elemental Evil, so it struck me that someone in the dungeon crawling league must enjoy elemental themed dungeons. They would have a very distinctive visual element, allow lots of dramatic special effects, and have a number of very obvious monsters. So without further ado: DJ ELEMENTAL!

(more…)

The Wyzard’s XCrawl posts: The Players [Part B]

I’d like to thank The Wyzard for allowing me to post all of this, its gotten me back into the habit of writing here again. I’ve marked my comments in blue as always. So without further ado, The Wyzard’s posts on XCrawl. Oh and the creator of XCrawl has posted a comment back on the first post in this series if you want to check it out. This is taken from the Wyzard’s RPG.net thread if you’ve just joined us.

3. The Empire: The NAE created XCrawl under a national charter for one purpose: To keep the populace entertained and distracted. It does that very, very well. It has also turned out to have a variety of other economic (and quasi-military) functions, and it has been turned to the end of social control in a number of other arenas. Potential dissidents, both citizens and inhabitants of NAE-controlled areas of the underdark, are channeled into XCrawl. There, they can safely be turned into being more supportive of the establishment by buying into it, or maybe you get lucky and they die. Hey, accidents happen. The official rules of XCrawl are set up by a Senate subcommittee, although the Emperor himself is occasionally involved. His consultations are taken, of course, very seriously. They also take testimony and suggestions from Referees, DJs, and the occasional Adventurer, if it’s deemed appropriate. Or if they just want a chance to invite him to their kid’s birthday party. He *idolizes* them, you see, and it’d mean a lot to the family…

The gist of this is: There are people in the political sphere who want to keep their finger buried deep in the pie. They don’t do this for fun, they do this because they have an agenda. If a politician has expended resources in making a team or a DJ into his highly-placed pawn, you can hurt him by cutting that finger off.

The only problem I see with this is that I’m my experience players that love long dungeon crawls will be bored with Machevialian politics and vis versa. That was one of my big complaints about the xcrawl books actually, too much time on the world not enough on xcrawl itself. I’d be more interested in the local politics of the arena and the bookies and whatnot myself, but could see this working. I do want some non-combat stuff to break up the crawls as I get bored after 40 min or so of combat or a couple hours without roleplay. I want to do some long crawls like XCrawl but am still looking for a way to do so. I will keep your ideas in mind if I ever actually run this.


4. The Refs
: The Refs are, undoubtedly, the cleanest part of the whole XCrawl machine. They must avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. They make sure that the rules are enforced. However, XCrawl being a game of high complexity and constant innovation, they also have many discretionary powers. They make sure that a dungeon and the tactics used in it are “fair,” and appropriate to the level at which the competition is rated for (Sure, “level” as in the 1-30 number the PCs are at isn’t an in-game concept, but there are relative levels of badassery, and we assume that there are people in the game-world whose business it is to judge those and make decisions based on them.) They can declare Adventurers or the DJ to be out of line, they can assess penalties, etc. They are almost always Lawful personalities, and their organization is rigorously self-policing.

However, they are allowed to play favorites, just a little bit. That’s what discretion means, after all. If a monster gets loose and the PCs risk injury or loss of points to save audience members, guess what? Refs remember that. What goes around comes around. Does a DJ pull a fast one and use a last-minute switchup designed to screw the party? Sometimes that’s fair, sometimes it’s bad for the game. The Ref may not do anything about it, but then again maybe they mark it down in the ledger for later. Oh yeah, and the Refs talk to each other. It is possible for an Adventurer, a party, or a DJ to get on the bad side of the Refs as a whole, and then hoo-boy look out. Referees answer to the organization as a whole. And they watch the games. If there is too much blatant favoritism, they’ll teleport a guy out there and jerk the acting referee during a commercial break. It happens every now and again. Or maybe it doesn’t. Your call.

So we are talking Hockey refs here, not football (By which I mean Soccer). That might be an interesting variant where the DJs are not unbiased and the rules are very fast & loose. No, I’m not referencing that Irish/French game at ALLLLL…. (actually I don’t follow soccer but it made the news and came to mind reading this). Carrying on with this idea it would be an interesting change if there were very few rules in XCrawl but a lot of traditions. For example in soccer there is no rule that play stops when someone is injured but it is tradition to kick the ball out of bounds. A player or DJ could get a nasty reputation for breaking these traditions just a little. A rift forms in the fans who love the blood this creates and the traditionalists who long for the old clean days.

5. The Sponsors: XCrawl is money. Big money. The pay-per-view guys make a fortune, the networks make a fortune, the merchandisers make a fortune, the cities that host the crawls make a fortune, the monster-wranglers and summoners and so forth make fortunes, even the guys that design traps and summon the cameras can make tidy sums. The people who are just in it for the money come under the wide umbrella of sponsors. Sure, NBC and Budweiser don’t exactly have the same interests, but they’re in the same bed together enough that I’m going to put them all here. What you need to know is this:

Cities like to have either their own pro team, have arenas that host XCrawl events, or preferably several of the former and at least one of the latter. NYC has an official XCrawl team for each one of the Five Boroughs, and a dozen more that just happen to be from/based in the area. They compete for this, and they can generally provide you with lots of lovely little amenities, like tax breaks and speaking engagements and God knows what. (This umbrella-group can include the Mayor, city councilpeople, aldermen, major organized crime figures, philanthropists, really rich people who just love the city, and any other local figures you can imagine. They can offer some pretty nice inducements.)

I found this one of the least realistic parts of XCrawl: Not enough corporate involvement. Crawls wouldn’t be named after cities anymore then sports arenas are. Look at the names: The Air Canada Center, The Rodgers Center (nee Skydome), I think there is one named after Bell now….

You’d have the Labatte Blue crawl, the Ford crawl, the Air Canada skycrawl (everything takes place on a giant cargo jet), the FedEx Crawl (Revolves around safely moving a package from point A to B…..by 8am the next morning with no damage), and so on.

The Temples like to have their God represented. Maybe prominently. But only by winners. They tend to encourage their young, attractive, martially-inclined clerics to join XCrawl teams and represent. They really like it if they can get XCrawlers to be seen in their temples, wear their holy symbols, and talk to kids about how they must venerate the gods to lead a virtuous life.

Broadcasters, whether major networks or Pay-Per-View, want to have a really badass Crawl, so that lots of people will watch it and they can charge enormous fees from advertisers. There is frequently some consternation on their part when the people who would like to buy advertising time become upset that the teams are sponsored by (and wearing the logos of) their competitors.

Direct Sponsors pay you to drink their sports drink during short rests, or wear their shoes, or put their logo on your armor, or whatever. DJs and Broadcasters consider them a pain in the ass, but haven’t so far been able to do much about it, since they don’t have the right to control the Adventurers that much. They lobby, though.

Yeah, have a look at TV: How much do you think Coke pays American Idol to have the judges drinking coke every episode? I respected Mythbusters for a long time in that they covered the labels on every product they used but even they are now shelling for some car company. Think about the opportunities in XCrawl. All the furniture in the break rooms is from either Ikea or Idomo.
Next Post: Factions!

To date this is the last post he has written which means that I have to start writing my own posts again. I googled around and bumped into this review which is a nice summery of the good bits, however I find it is not critical enough of the poorer bits (The number of pages spent on background to the world & the lack of examples of the crawl).  Oh, I may do a review myself as I saw the total line of XCrawl books on Pazio for huge discounts and bought the whole line. However I will not be getting it till Feb due to having to ship it to a friends due to the fact I’m moving & don’t want it going to the wrong place. Anyway, I’d like to here other peoples opinions & ideas, either here or in the original thread.

His post giving permission:

————————————————————–

The Wyzard's Avatar The Wyzard
Re: Do you mind if I mirror your posts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canageek
I’ve been doing a blog series on televised dungeon crawling: It’s not XCrawl, but its in the same genre. I’m going to link to your posts at http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?p=9795841 but was wondering if I could mirror them? RPG.NET has been known to lose threads from time to time and if I run a game I’d definitely be referencing your posts when explaining the world to people. I’m NOT a high traffic blog, its just a personal indulgence of mine, but I’d be willing to link to any blog or website you have in exchange for the privilege
I’d like credit and a link back to the thread in any post mirroring it, obviously, but as far as I’m concerned you can go to town.
I’d also like a link to your blog, in case there’s any interesting discussion. Get some interest, and I might even go back to working on the idea in-thread.

————————————————————–

The Wyzard’s XCrawl posts: The Players [Part A]

Ok, time for the 3rd post in my series of posts where I get The Wyzard to do all the work and just add commentary. This is the start of his final post in the original thread, however due to the length of it with my comments (Over 6 pages) I have split it into several parts. If you think this is too long (or that I should have left it as one post) let me know.

Re: It’s time for the big XCrawl/4E conversion thread

Okay, I’m going to vastly expand on my ideas in the above post, because it doesn’t really seem to follow from anything, and I need to fix that. XCrawl is a funny beast. It’s both a cultural phenomenon and also a massively useful political tool, and also a source of people who are extremely dangerous on a personal level. There are guys in XCrawl who can through personal force of arms take down dozens of normal soldiers. A party of them could spearhead a small military coup.

So, a lot of people are interested in it, and a lot of people want to have influence over it. For that reason, I’m going to go into a typology of the players in the XCrawl world, which hopefully will be inspirational to you.

XCrawl: The Players

1. Adventuring Teams: Also known as parties, or athletes. These are the PCs. Each team has a name, must be registered, may have an agent or a publicist, etc. They may have endorsement deals or sponsors, they may parley their success into non-XCrawl jobs such as shilling cream cheese and canned soup, or more…exciting work. Low-level XCrawlers will probably have to have real jobs, and for them XCrawl is mostly just a ridiculously dangerous hobby. High-level teams May well make enough money from their winnings and endorsements that they can just train or do whatever in the off-season. XCrawl adventuring teams can often end up with personal animosity (rather than merely professional opposition) toward the DJs.

I’d also be interested in seeing adventurers getting involved with politics like Ken Dryden that ran for the liberal party leadership. Xcrawlers are also probably like movie starts are look at all the stuff they get mixed up in. Tom Cruise? Arnold Schwarzenegger aka The Govonator? That NRA guy? Charlton Heston? Chuck Norris using Chuck Norris Facts to help a friend’s political campaign?

2. The DJs: These are the opposite sides of the coin from the Adventurers. To become a DJ requires a lot of things. You have to have both a carefully crafted public persona to display to the fans and media types. You have to be quick-witted and able to improvise on the fly. You have to have an artistic directorial sense, to make sure your crawls are something people want to see. You have to be a broadly capable administrator, able to handle everything from monsters going rogue and eating the audience, to making sure monsters don’t go rogue, to dealing with unions and teamsters and logistics and the financial end of running a crawl.

DJs have to be able to design a satisfyingly watchable and appropriately dangerous dungeon that will pass Referee inspection, get prize support and sponsorships, get a “slot” for it to fit into, cut deals with broadcasters and/or pay-per-view, stock the dungeon with monsters and traps (which is infinitely more complex than it sounds, with ritualists, wranglers, and others required), and…the list just keeps on going. Oh yeah, and you have to build a personal rapport with a fanbase, so that the networks and sponsors consider you to be a draw.

And then the Adventurers come in and wreck your shit, and you have to pay them for the privilege of killing off your expensive monsters and blowing your traps to smithereens (There was a way to disarm that! All they had to do was go up and solve the little puzzle and it would have stopped shooting at them! Now you have to buy another one, and it was expensive!) Fortunately, you are allowed to (try to) kill them. To some extent, it’s even good for your rep.

Man, I would have rather had more pages of stuff like this then all that background on the world before the historical collapse of everything. Again DJs are one of the best ideas in XCrawl and they are rather original and distinctive, so I didn’t feel comfortable stealing them for my setting. Make sure to play these guys up. Each one should have a distinctive style and personality. I don’t mean dramatic themes all undead, all the time for DJ Necropolis (though that is an option) but things like one DJ doing historical themes (The tower of London, The pyramids, the French Resistance during WWII), another likeing placing his crawls on converted ships. You can vary things up stylistically: One DJ might like a crude feel for his crawls, all cinderblock, sheet metal and plywood. Like a paintball arena but more solidly built. Another would make his dungeons with as little modern technology as possible so that it exactly resembles something out of D&D. This is one of the aspects I’d like about XCrawl is you can have each dungeon totally different without any justification needed. No I don’t like that just because I can steal maps & dungeons from lots of different games…though it is an upside. I should write up my Televised Dungeon Crawling setting for SF so I can have space stations, underwater complexes, Warhammer 40K style hulks on which the XCrawlers are dropped on one part and must simply survive and get to the ship waiting to pick them up. The sky is the limit: Push it.

————————————————————–

The Wyzard's Avatar The Wyzard
Re: Do you mind if I mirror your posts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canageek
I’ve been doing a blog series on televised dungeon crawling: It’s not XCrawl, but its in the same genre. I’m going to link to your posts at http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?p=9795841 but was wondering if I could mirror them? RPG.NET has been known to lose threads from time to time and if I run a game I’d definitely be referencing your posts when explaining the world to people. I’m NOT a high traffic blog, its just a personal indulgence of mine, but I’d be willing to link to any blog or website you have in exchange for the privilege
I’d like credit and a link back to the thread in any post mirroring it, obviously, but as far as I’m concerned you can go to town.
I’d also like a link to your blog, in case there’s any interesting discussion. Get some interest, and I might even go back to working on the idea in-thread.

————————————————————–

Sorry it took so long to get this up, I was bogged down in exams. The next part shouldn’t take QUITE so long.

Anyway until next time: Stay Geeky!

XCrawl Mirror Part 2: Meta-dungeon

Ok, time for the next post by The Wyzard from RPG.Net.

Re: It’s time for the big XCrawl/4E conversion thread


So, I’ve been thinking further about this. And I think that what XCrawl really needs is more meta-dungeon stuff. So, here’s my thoughts.

The really big thing underpinning the XCrawl world is the rivalry not just between Crawl teams, but between the DJs. Each DJ is as a world unto themselves. Even a moderate crawl requires a massive amount of resources and at least a hundred staff, many of them highly-paid specialists. And the DJ runs all of it. These are proud beings who wield immense power. Not just financial power, either.

This is one of XCrawls best ideas, and one of the ones I underplayed in my posts as it was original to XCrawl. Kinda a defining feature that I didn’t real comfortable stealing. –Canageek

Just as an outbreak of monsters from the underdark might give the PCs a chance to show off their skills and do good deeds outside of a crawl, there are a lot of times when the DJs skills and resources might make them valuable to temples, politicians, or even less savory types. Just like the PCs.

Not my cup of tea as your still dungeon crawling for the first part and I want to break that up. Second part has potential.

What I’m getting at here is, I think that a real campaign of XCrawl might be improved by focusing occasionally on those behind-the scenes elements. There are factions and political maneuverings that go off-camera. What do you do when an up-and-coming DJ upstaged you? You go golfing with a couple of adventuring teams you know from back in the day, and you bribe them to go screw him up.

Oh, I like where this is going.

See, monsters are valuable. Sure, there’s a lot of trash out there. Orcs and goblisn are a dime a dozen, they’ll work cheap. But a beholder, or even a very young dragon? Those are worth a small fortune. It’s vital to the health of a DJ’s operation that the higher-value creatures are still around for the next crawl, because nobody has the resources to constantly replace them all. This is where the PCs come in. Make sure you don’t just knock the bad guys down. Do what you can to accumulate a pack of actual kills. We can make it worth your while. Even killing off the trash monsters like gnolls or orcs is worth something, if enough of them get killed in this DJ’s crawl, he’ll have trouble hiring replacements. Word will get around that there’s a hit out on his operation.

Now, thanks to the Refs (who are incorruptible, of course), you still have to play by the rules. You can’t just take your axe to the bad guys once they’re all down. You have to respect it if they surrender. But there are ways around that. Catch them in an area effect that targets one of the ones still on his feet. Knock them into a trap when they’re low on HP, let it grind them out while you move on. Set them up with continuing-damage effects. There’s plenty of options. Sleep spells are your friend here, as the PCs can’t be expected to tell the difference between “asleep” and “dying” in the heat of the moment, can they? There isn’t a sign that lights up when the monsters run out of HP, after all.

Interesting idea, if rather specific. Also it still leaves the PCs in the dungeon killing stuff. I like the idea as part of a larger plot though.

In order to make this plausible, here’s the new workings you have to add:

1. Monsters die at a given negative HP total, just like PCs. However, since monsters often have slightly better HP than PCs do, I’d make it a number other than -50%. Maybe -25%. This makes Goblins and so forth relatively easy to slaughter even by accident, Dragons are tough to kill even on purpose. However! There’s also the death save. Monsters aren’t heroic, so they don’t instant-up on a 20. However, they do automatically stabilize on a 20, unless they take damage again in which case they start rolling death saves once more (they keep any tokens. Continuing damage is your friend.)

Akkk, extra number tracking! EVIL! (Say sayeth the DM)

2. Once all the monsters are confirmed to be down, a ref calls it and the PCs can collect their treasure while non-com healers come out and stabilize the monsters, then get them drug out through no-go doors.

3. If a monster pops back up and attacks after the combat is confirmed to be over, or if they break surrender, the PCs can kill that monster outright.

2 and 3 make sense to me, I think I will use them.

4. If one monster has healed another monster, they can open up with coup-de-grace attacks so long as the healing monster is up. Um…..I think I’ll have this as an obscure XCrawl rule that someone can break out at some point. Might type up a long list and see if anyone notices it.

So, XCrawl adventurers and DJs have a lot of ways they can subtly work together, or against each other. Sophisticated fans know what to watch for.

Any other suggestions?

__________________

I think the good idea from this post is how it changes things up. Constant combat gets boring fast. Well I suppose there are groups which just like killing things, but I want some roleplay. I’m a fan of mixing things up. Players getting involved with their agents, bookies, people trying to fix matches, rival groups, etc. Imagine an XCrawler that gets involved in the nonhuman rights movement and has some political opponents trying to bump him off during matches. You could roleplay out his rallies and whatnot. Anyway, that is what I am looking for, things to change up XCrawl/Televised Dungeon Crawling from kick in the door, kill the monster, take its stuff.
Not as much to say this time as this is a specific example. Look forward to the next post however, its a juicy one!

Until Next Time, Stay Geeky!

PS his letter of permission:

The Wyzard's Avatar The Wyzard
Re: Do you mind if I mirror your posts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canageek
I’ve been doing a blog series on televised dungeon crawling: It’s not XCrawl, but its in the same genre. I’m going to link to your posts at http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?p=9795841 but was wondering if I could mirror them? RPG.NET has been known to lose threads from time to time and if I run a game I’d definitely be referencing your posts when explaining the world to people. I’m NOT a high traffic blog, its just a personal indulgence of mine, but I’d be willing to link to any blog or website you have in exchange for the privilege
I’d like credit and a link back to the thread in any post mirroring it, obviously, but as far as I’m concerned you can go to town.
I’d also like a link to your blog, in case there’s any interesting discussion. Get some interest, and I might even go back to working on the idea in-thread.

It’s time for the big XCrawl/4E conversion thread [Mirror]

A while ago I stumbled upon these posts by The Wyzard on RPG.net: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?p=9795841 I contacted him (or her) and they gave me permission to repost them here as a sequel to my Televised Dungeon Crawling posts. My ideas are not XCrawl as I wasn’t a fan of the setting, but a lot of XCrawl material could be used for it, so I thought you’d enjoy it. My comments are in blue. This is just the first post in the thread, I’ll post the rest here. Forums have a habit of loosing posts, and I thought you’d enjoy these. If you think this is a cheap post for me and I should never do it again then let me know! If you love me finding interesting things and reposting them here (with permission of course) also let me know.

Here is the first one:

It’s time for the big XCrawl/4E conversion thread by The Wyzard

XCrawl is a better fit for 4E than it was for the edition it was originally set up for. Seriously. The profusion of tactical movement powers create a more dynamic, athletic-feeling battleboard. The conditions that last for seconds instead of minutes also help with this. The new philosophy of traps contributes to faster-playing, more entertaining encounters (a room with bladed tops spinning around and caroming off the walls is, let’s face it, far more appropriate to “demented game show” than fantasy novel stuff.) The fact that encounters are balanced towards multiple opponents with individual powers who use teamwork to stymie the PCs is perfect. The fast healing rate also helps keep things moving, making things “feel” more like an athletic event or pro wrestling match than medieval combat. Anyone else can probably come up with even more reasons why this is so. The “treasure parcels” in the DMG are nearly perfectly suited for being handed out as individual-room “prize packages.”

So, how do you run it in 4E? I’m not too much of a fan of super-detailed settings. I think that you can generally get rolling with, at most, two or three pages of setting handout for each player. For that reason, I’m going to leave that part in broad strokes. If anyone else wants to fill in, then that’s awesome. But I’m not going to stress out about how the inclusion of Tieflings changes the game setting.

I’d say the biggest problem with the original XCrawl books was too much on the setting, not enough on the crawl, but that is just my opinion.

Here’s what I’ve got:

Skills:
The PCs are generally talented losers in real life. That is, no matter how awesome they may objectively be, they just don’t seem to have the lucky breaks and ability to get ahead in the office that other people have. Otherwise, why would they do XCrawl? For that reason, the skills given on the character sheet are “adventuring skills.” They generally don’t have the application you’d think they have outside of XCrawl. A guy with History knows a lot about the history of XCrawl, and all the stories they got out of that intelligent sword, etc. A guy with Athletics does a great job if he ever has to out-swim a pack of ravenous alligators (either in or out of a Crawl) but he’s not necessarily the best in the office baseball team. Essentially, the PCs default to their base attribute bonus + 1/2 level if it doesn’t seem adventure-ey enough.

--I’m not sure I agree with The Wyzard here. I can see a number of people with no other options getting sucked into XCrawl (or the dungeons in my setting). Think of a suicidal white collar embezzler who knows he will never work again when he gets out and whats to leave his family something. A street thug who’s gang is destroyed by a rival and joins XCrawl rather then be hunted down by his rivals. If you use the darker version of my setting then anyone who speaks out against the government. An autoworker’s factory just closed and his family is living off welfare so he joins XCrawl for a paycheck. There are lots of reasons, and I see this as an interesting part of the character –Canageek

New Skill Uses:
1. History: Now, incredibly useful. This includes knowledge of the massively complex official rules and regulations of XCrawl. Can be used to argue technicalities, and get referees to rule for you and against the DJ. All DJs have this skill, or have advisors who have it. I’m not going to actually draw up such a codex, just run it Burning-Wheel style. The player says “But section 805(b)(1)(a) specifically prohibits installing traps outside the green room door while the PCs are in it!”
2. Dungeoneering: This skill covers knowledge of XCrawl DJs. Their habits, personalities, techniques, reputations, ons and offs. In combination with History, social skills, and and clever use of skill challenges, can provide plot-bennies.

–Ok, I love these. I’d add Streetwise for learning what the buzz about this dunegon is. I mean, think about places like Metafilter. I mean, look at this thread. Guys like this are going to track DJs every move looking for info. Did the DJ order 400lb of bamboo? They know that, and can hint he might have a dire panda. He took out a book on the care and feeding of chimara? What about the guy who cleans the cages? Streetwise will get you some hints.

Working the Crowd:

Each PC can only make use of the work-the-crowd rules once per crawl. They have three options.

1. Pre-Crawl Interviews: Make a hard Diplomacy check, and talk up one of your team members or yourself. Roleplay this out. You may include montage sequences in your description. On a success, you gain a token keyed to either yourself or the PC you talked up, as appropriate. During the game, you can spend that at any time the PC chosen has to make a D20 check, to have the crowd remember the interview. They suddenly cheer that PC on, and the PC gets a bonus. It’s +2 if it’s your character, +4 if it’s someone else’s. This must be announced before the roll.

2. Mugging for the Camera: Spend a free action to make a hard Bluff check. If successful, you get a +2 bonus to any D20 roll of your choice before the end of your next turn. Alternately, use a free action to make a hard Bluff check to call attention to one of your teammate’s efforts – they get a +4 to a roll of your choice before the end of their next turn. This must be used before the roll.

The DJs work a little differently. They get 4 bennie tokens to spend during the crawl. They use these by using lighting and stored footage to get the crowd cheering for the monsters (not that hard, since the crowd will be full of people who are backing teams other than the PC’s.) They can spend a Bennie at any time to give one of the monsters a +2 to any D20 roll. They must announce this before the roll.

This leads into use number 3:

3. Psyche-Out: A PC can make a hard Intimidate check when the DJ has announced the use of a Bennie token. If the PC fails, the token is used normally. If the PC succeeds, the monster gets a -2 rather than a +2, as the PC snarls and the monster chokes under the pressure.

Crawl Design:
I suggest using the following as a basis. A Crawl consists of three Delves – each Delve must be completed within a day. Delve 1 has about three level-appropriate-encounters, Day 2 has the same, Day 3 has about 4. Appropriately designed, this means the PCs will gain a level per crawl (So, one per game-year unless they get in more than one.) Obviously, some variation on this is normal. Mostly, it makes it really easy to split up the treasure parcels. The best treasure is on Day 3, so that it only goes to parties who don’t wash out. PCs can get in a short rest once per encounter room, if they want to rest longer they need to find a green room (This shouldn’t be necessary, if they’re sharp enough, since they can always get rested between delves.)

The GM can also, of course, come up with various non-standard tournament forms, such as linear dungeons that are pure time-trial, etc.

I’d mix this up a lot as I feel this would get boring. Just grab maps from D&D mods, Shadowrun, even starship deck plans and use that. There was a battle in roman times where they flooded the arena and staged a naval battle. Now think of doing that in roman times and extrapolate with additional technology. A pure time trial set in a mall filled with zombies? A McGuffin retrieval on a decommissioned warship….as it sinks? Go for it. Pure combat games get old quickly unless you keep things diverse.

Suggestions? I’m really not sure how one should do scoring. Knowing that there are other parties going through the crawl as well, what’s a good way of judging the PC’s performance? I’ve considered a combination of bonuses for goals and penalties for extra time, but I’m not completely certain how that should work, or even if it’s worth the effort.

And the message giving me permission:

The Wyzard
Post Re: Do you mind if I mirror your posts?
Quote: Originally Posted by Canageek
I’ve been doing a blog series on televised dungeon crawling: It’s not XCrawl, but its in the same genre. I’m going to link to your posts at http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?p=9795841 but was wondering if I could mirror them? RPG.NET has been known to lose threads from time to time and if I run a game I’d definitely be referencing your posts when explaining the world to people. I’m NOT a high traffic blog, its just a personal indulgence of mine, but I’d be willing to link to any blog or website you have in exchange for the privilege.
I’d like credit and a link back to the thread in any post mirroring it, obviously, but as far as I’m concerned you can go to town.
I’d also like a link to your blog, in case there’s any interesting discussion. Get some interest, and I might even go back to working on the idea in-thread.

Until next time, Stay Geeky.

—Canageek

Televised Dungeon Crawling: Condemned Prisoners

For my first example of how a modern televised dungeon crawl could be done I’m going with a very dark tone: The PCs are convicts. They could be legitimate criminals, sentenced to death for their crimes. They could be political prisoners a totalitarian regime wants dead. They could have been falsely accused and sentenced to die so as to provide more fodder for the blood sports. This could even have gone so far as too make minor crimes punishable by death. (As in Larry Nivin’s Gil Hamilton/Gil the Arm books.) Then they are given an offer: they go on a ‘Delve’ into a manufactured dungeon armed with medieval armour and weapons. If they survive 10 delves all charges are dropped.

Traps and poison should feature heavily into this type of game as they have a habit of feeling unfair. Not just simple scything blades either, but massive deathtraps, with spikes and fire and such. For monsters I see Warhammer type demons and flying skulls and whatnot (I’m not a Warhammer person but I read the W40K website a lot when I was younger and I think corrupt vile demons would fit nicely, also indicating that the people running the demons are evil enough to deal with them). Undead would also be good as they feel evil and have a habit of draining stats and levels in a number of games.

Character could be forced into death fights with other inmates to earn a spot in the dungeon delving program.  After that the dungeons themselves could be done a variety of different ways. Converting part of the prison into a crude dungeon would work, perhaps as an early ‘house league’. This would explain the crude traps and weak monsters. As the players level they get sent up to move and more expensive killing complexes, I mean, dungeons. Converted factories where the equipment has been modified into deathtraps would make good dungeons. Giant swinging blades, arc wielders, assembly lines all are giant and scary. Converted shopping malls could also work, with monsters attacking from the top or bottom level and a miniboss in the food court. Finally as they get to the highest levels they are doing events with as many viewers as the superbowl. These could be obviously modern complexes as previously or perhaps finally crafted dungeons of meant to look like something from D&D.

I’d be very tempted to have huge body counts in this version. Dungeons filled with insane traps, heck run them through the Tomb of Horrors. Perhaps you could give them an offer like survive 10 delves and the prisoner is set free. Have them meet someone 1 run away. Have them talk about how they can’t wait to meet there kid and wife again. Then kill them. With his wife and children watching. If you use Dungeon Jockeys as XCrawl does or similar they should be sadistic and cruel. If the players survives 10 delves they should find themselves shunned by society, as everyone knows they are a criminal. Unable to find work they return to the games as a free man, slightly better of but still forced to risk life and limb for the amusement of the masses. Alternatively you could work with the players for reasons to return to the game. A character with political ties could join the games once again as a means of getting publicity for his or her cause.

Technology level is always a question in this game. It makes a lot of sense for prisoners not to be given firearms or explosives, too much risk of an escape vs swords and bows. If you do want them with guns and are using a fantasy game I suggest re-skinning bows or crossbows instead of stating up your own weapons as I find people NEVER balance firearms, but this is just my opinion.

I view commentary as an integral part of this type of game. In a dark game the commentators should be cruel and vicious. Laughing as the PCs struggle, mocking their failures. When PCs die, I see the prisoners standing solemn and mournful, seeing their own fate in their companions death. Meanwhile the crowd roars and jeers, bets are paid out and the commentator mocks the dead person irreverently.

The spectators should be decedent and corrupt. Corpulent oligarchs denied no luxury with young bratty kids along, the kids screaming that they ‘wanna see someone die’ (See the kid in George R. R. Martin’s game of thrones series who wants to throw someone out the window. Heck, see his entire family. Actually a lot of that series gives a good ‘feel’ for this type of game.)

While I do not have a ton of experience with different game systems D&D 4e seems to be a bit too heroic for this, though I suppose you could send them against overleveled opponents. I like the cruelty the new disease system can have, as well as the traps you can set up with skill challenges (see Kobold Quarterly #10) but still, it makes you feel like heroes, which I normally love, but doesn’t seem right for this. I’ve heard Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is good for that sort of thing. I think retro-clones or old D&D (By which I mean 2e or older) might also be good for this based on stories I’ve heard. Dark Heresy or Rouge Trader’s systems might also work though I have no experiences with them. However they are designed to run a dark universe so I suspect they are a pretty good fit. The general aim is to find a game where life is nasty, brutish and short then just re-skin it.

Now this isn’t a game I’d play, I WANT to feel like I’m a hero, and I’m not sadistic enough to DM it. An idea I’ve been kicking around for this type of game is players either have a stable of characters, so they can rotate in another one. Perhaps using the old idea of playing your henchmen as PCs when they level up. Or assign XP to the player instead of the character, though you should find some way of punishing them for dying.

Inspirations: Most of these are just for tone, not content.
XCrawl: Adventures in the Extreme Dungeon Crawl League
Warhammer 40K
The Bolo series by Keith Laumer
Any SF with escaping prisoners & blood sports
The Black Company by Glenn Cook
Gil Hamilton/Gil the Arm books by Larry Nivin
The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martian
Neromancer by William Gibson
The 10th Victim by Robert Sheckley
I’ve not seen it but Death Race probably fits this as well.
Edit: The Dr Who Episode “Bad Wolf”

Well, my next writing on this subject will be a more light hearted approach, focusing more on reality TV with Paranoia as an inspiration. Until that time, Stay Geeky!

–Canageek

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 957 other followers