View Full Version : [3.5] D&D as a Extracurricular Club

2009-12-08, 12:40 PM
Hi, there. Long time reader, first time poster.

I'm going to write a lot so feel free to skip down to the tl;dr part.

At my college, we have a "Nerd Club" that centres around table-top games, TCGs, and other things like that. It's been going well for the last few years (slowly but surely growing).

However, something that always irked me about it was that the club didn't actually do a whole lot when it came to D&D. The club set up DMs with the email addresses and schedules of PCs and then it basically sat back and let it happen. The club didn't actually check up on the DMs or their games and didn't offer any support.

I wanted to change this so along with the other exec's in the club, we came up with this:

The setting relies on several DMs and several PCs. The game centres around a guild hall in Sigil (whose very existence heralds changing times). All the players (let's say about 15 or 20 people) and DMs (let's say about five) would meet at some room we'd book on a twice-weekly basis (we're expecting most can only come to one session). Players would be completely aware of everyone else's characters and would even be allowed to interact.

The idea is that the handful of DMs would offer several one-shot adventures for the guild of players ("Slay a wizard!", "Explore some catacombs!", etc.) and the players would split themselves up into their own parties and just go. A DM would take several of them to one side of the room and they'd play.

The motivation behind this is:
1) Players could actually leave and join at their leisure. Because of this inherent flexibility, they could afford to miss a few sessions and not worry too much about missing out on exp and treasure (the guild would provide "training" and a "stipend").
2) A missing player doesn't mean a party is weakened but that they just need to pull another player from somewhere else. If they can't do that, we have several "hirelings" they can buy out (for a pretty hefty fee) of set class levels.
3) Because this is centred in Sigil, DMs (though limited to one-shot adventures) can use whatever setting they'd like. They can even have their adventures on original planes.


I don't want to post all my notes on this idea (for fear of crushing someone beneath a wall of text) but I do want to give you a rough idea of where I'm headed because I want to ask...

...What problems do you think we'd encounter running a session like this?

We've gone over this idea several times (the exec's and myself) and we've ironed out a lot of things. However, I'm afraid that because we worked with the idea so long, we're all overlooking something really small and minor that only someone virgin to the idea would pick up.

Some things we've already ironed out:
There's an exp/treasure schedule worked out. Each DM will be giving a exp and treasure budget to spend on their one-shot adventure before putting it in the water. For example, the expected exp and treasure from level 6 to 7 is 6000exp and 8000G (per character). There are about two sessions for this level gap (two one-shot adventures). Each one-shot adventure would have ~4000G worth of treasure (per character) and ~3000 exp in encounters.
Players (ideally) would advance from level 6 to level 15 in one semester of play.
On their adventures, if the PCs don't finish by the end of the session, they are ripped back to Sigil. The guild would then pay them gold until their party had enough money to total ~70% of what they would have gotten had they finished the adventure.
Hirelings are split into 4 archetype categories (melee, ranged, support, utility). For example, a human fighter, elf wizard, dwarf cleric, and halfling rogue. Each has a set class level and does not progress. The cost to hire is 20% of the expected gold gain to level. For example, a level 6 hireling would cost 8000*20%=1600 gold.

We have contracts/guild charters that prevent PCs from killing each other and their hirelings, though it doesn't stop them from being "sneaky" with each other. Breaking a contract is not good for your health.

A player who has missed out on exp or treasure will just be given ~70% of the wealth/exp gain as their comrades.

Players start at level 6, 32 point buy, 6665G to start, and all books are open but Tome of Battle/Magic and Magic of Incarnum and 3rd party sources.
We worked out how gods will work on different planes. For example, a cleric of Tyr (Forgotten Realms) in an Ebberon setting would normally not be able to get spells (Tyr can't affect that realm). However, we'll give cleric spells based on faith alone. Spells that ask to commune with specific deities generally won't work until much later in the game when the walls of reality start to bend (as per storyline).
We have a guild hall written/drawn out complete with arch-typical NPCs (arcane caster, divine caster, general merchant, etc.).
We have an over-arching storyline involving a modified version of Ragnorra (Elder Evils) that ties everything together.

I have a feeling that I left out something vital or left something too vague to really interpret. Please, let me know if you need any clarification!

Thanks for reading and an extra big thank you if you can think of any way a player/DM might break this, abuse this, or if you have a comment/suggestion that would make this even better!