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.
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.
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
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!