Ok, time for the next post by The Wyzard from RPG.Net.
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:
Re: Do you mind if I mirror your posts?
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