View Full Version : Build-a-Dungeon PVP!

2010-02-22, 09:18 PM
Testing the system out! Recruiting thread: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7964424#post7964424

I've had this idea mulling about in my head for a while... I want a DnD game based upon command and tactics. I was thinking PvP, but only in the terminal stages will the characters be involved in the actual fighting. Tell me what you think and any suggestions. I will post a link to the recruitment thread when I solidify the rules, if I ever get that far. So here's the idea:

Groups of up to three will design a dungeon conforming to certain specification with a starting amount of GP. The dungeon must contain several enterances to a common area and will contain a Combat Information Center (CIC). The gold can be used to buy tunnel pieces (5x5x10 volume) as well as traps, monsters, embellishments (water-filled? oil-slicked? Fire?), items, and most importantly, sensors to monitor parts of their dungeons. Each party will start in its CIC, with monsters located anywhere in its dungeon. The goal is to use monsters to attack the enemy CIC and kill the other party.

At the start of a game, monsters follow their assigned orders. Intelligent monsters ('monsters' used broadly here, could include humans) that you can communicate with can be controlled and pass information back to CIC. Communication is handled with, for all all OOC purposes, is a radio.

Radios work via magic and report back to a 5x5 receiver switchboard terminal in CIC. Thus, you can connect two radios in the field to each other and listen in on both. Magical communication can be intercepted with appropriate spells. However, the exact spell by which the radio works is a secret, and will behave differently to different spells. If you spend money on a certain spell, you can create your own communication device, or use spells themselves to communicate.

Clearly, you will want to have divination spells active to monitor where you are being attacked. The spell could be a simple scrying cast on a rodent in a box, it could be a nonmagical system of mirrors, or it can be more complicated. Alarm can be useful as well. All scrying spells, except for ones that the PCs themselves cast during the fight, enter a 5x5 switchboard terminal in CIC. Note that spells that require concentration or focus, such as arcane eye need someone to focus on them or else they are inactive. You can spend money on intelligent monsters to monitor these and alert you to them as well.

Specific rules:
The common area is a 200x40x50 room. A team's dungeon must connect via the 200'x50'wall via at least three entrances at least 40' apart. CIC must also have three entrances, and three independent paths must connect the common area to CIC (although tunnels may connect these paths, I must be able to draw three paths from common area to CIC that do not cross or share a tunnel) There may be more entrances. All the dungeon must fit within a box extending from the common area back 400', extending 50' above and below the common area, and no more than 20' each way beyond the 200' foot length. Tunnels that cross the plane defined by the common area wall with the mandatory three doors must not include any traps or starting monsters, as there is the possibility for overlap in this area. No inescapable dead ends may exists (no one-way portals to a room isolated from anywhere)

Each team starts with 10000 GP and a 20x20x10 CIC to place anywhere for free. CIC cannot be in the overlapping region. 5x5x10 tunnel sections cost 10 GP each
Embellishments (cost per tunnel section):
filled with water: 30 gp (half price for half-full, etc)
lit torches: 2gp
Spells: @ cost to hire spellcaster (I think this is in DMG. Also, if a PC is a spellcaster, he or she may cast the spell, but must be able to cast that spell from class list. This takes away from the spells/day of the actual fight)
Traps: @ cost in DMG
Arrow slits: must buy masonry wall, slits come free (see Stronghold Builder's Guide)
Other embellishments, think of an appropriate cost, I'll verify

Building a stronghold in a large open area costs as per Stronghold Builder's Guide

Items: @ DMG cost

Monsters: 4*CR^2. To buy an NPC wizard, find the ECL, add four, and that's it's equivalent CR.

Radios cost 500GP apiece. You get three to start.

PCs may leave CIC to attack, but if they do so, they cannot take any actions that require concentration (combat, spellcasting) if they are actively engaged in CIC activities.

A turn comprises one minute. Each turn PCs can talk via radio, and DM will adjudicate actions, relaying to the PCs at the end of the turn what alarms and correspondance occurs. Between turns, they may carry out conversations via voice, radio, or magic, but not cast spells. They then decide what orders they will give and what actions they will take for the next 10 rounds (one turn)

3.5 Core rules only, plus stronghold builder's guide where applicable.

Suggestions? Comments?

2010-02-24, 07:26 AM
So, any suggestions? Comments? Basically, where is this plan likely to fail?

2010-02-25, 01:13 PM
How exactly does monster pricing work? Cause by what I'm seeing the big T would only cost 3,000 gp to put in your labryinth/dungeoun. And thats wait to cheap. Might be better to use something like CR squared times something as all the bonuses in items go to encourage some tactical thought.

Zom B
2010-02-25, 01:30 PM
Radios work via magic and cost 1000 GP each.[...]
Radios cost 500GP apiece. You get three to start.

Aside from that and some wonky numbers...I don't really see what's going on. Every minute, you have to decide your actions for the next 10 rounds?

Also, the setup (PvP game where players design dungeons to pit each other through) reminds me of this: The Head of Vecna (http://www.blindpanic.com/humor/vecna.htm).

2010-02-25, 07:09 PM
Yeah, the calculations are a bit off, I didn't have access to the XP table when I made them. I figured that as long as both sides had the same money, they would be balanced. After all, the 'Big T' could be stopped by a tall cliff, and most tunnels would only be 10' tall. To compare, twenty goblins could explore all passages at the same time and take orders from CIC... but could be stopped by a single, CR1, automatic-reset trap, unlike the T.

So I suppose climb, fly, and swim speeds and int scores should all incur a cost as well. Monsters with significant enough int scores should also incur an additional cost. I suppose the relative prices reflect the type of game you would want to run (eg, small dungeons, large armies, or vice versa. I'll edit the prices.

I was hoping also to get ideas for smart, economic choices. For example, a monster holding a torch could drive a swarm in front of it, including arrow slits and murder holes. Flexibility and economy of force are the biggest considerations, not necessarily the biggest monster. Also, unintelligent monsters, like an untrained dire lion or the T, could damage one's own troops.

How's this equation: 4*CR^2 for monsters.
Now that I think about the adjustments for exotic movement, this should be reflected in the CR. Also, I'd rather have cheaper monsters so that one side can win, rather than cheaper dungeons, so each side ends up building hundred foot verticals with water in the bottom fifty feet, stopping any monster except blue dragons and spellcasters with many scrolls.

I suppose I'll need to test this out on the recruitment board to get the balance issue right.

Also, I fixed the radio prices.

For NPCs: four PCs has parity with a CR of equal level. But one NPC is meant for a CR of equal level (if of an NPC class). So, 2x2 NPCs would be equivalent to a CR of equal level +2+2, or +4. In other words, buying a level 1 wizard human would cost 4*5^3, or 500 GP. Does that sound appropriate?

Love the Head of Vecna story, btw.

2010-02-25, 08:12 PM
Posted link to Recruiting thread