New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default A Self-DMing Adventure

    I had this idea awhile back, after a campaign I was running fell apart due to a quickly declining lack of interest I had in the scenario. I'm a planner. Not to the point of railroading my players, mind you. I just like for everything that happens in the game to reasons, to have backstory, and to possess an ultimate direction that it drives toward regardless of player desires or interactions. I like depth to my games.

    Unfortunately, all the work and planning often leads to a growing disillusion with a campaign, as there is little mystery for me, and my players rarely surprise me anymore.

    On the flip side, when I'm a player, I create strong backstories and personal, limited goals for my characters. I work to give them flaws, make them interesting. I try to slowly reveal my history to other players, adding to the mystery of the game. I don't want the spotlight, but I inevitably end up controlling the campaign. I REALLY don't want to, but the other GM's don't think like I do, don't put the same amount of effort into the game as I do, don't provide the level of depth I want. I WANT mystery. I WANT a problem to solve. I WANT to be stumped, to feel like there is so much more to what we're experiencing in game than appears on the surface.

    So I had an idea - the Self-DMing Adventure.

    A bit of a misnomer, but it serves my purposes. The way I have it pictured, the setting is revealed to the players in a sort-of 'round robin' format. Each page of the adventure is designed to be DM'ed by one of the players. He/She reads the area descriptions, runs the combats, ect. And...this is where I run out of ideas. I'm not sure how to plan it out from here. The main goal is to maintain a level of mystery for ALL the players. It would take a fairly intelligent and creative person to write it out, and unfortunately, that person would never really get to experience playing it. Designed properly, this could open up a whole new section of roleplaying where people design their 'Self-DMing Adventure' and uploaded it for others to play.

    Any thoughts on how to set this up?
    I am the Thread-killer. All threads involving me inevitably die. It is my curse, a curse that deprives me of the answers I seek.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: A Self-DMing Adventure

    You could have scenarios, like rooms of a dungeon, forest encounters, townsfolk help requests, etc. on seperate index cards. You start the game by drawing from the "you're in a tavern" deck. That card gives you your fluff, then tells you to draw from the "wooded trail" "town square","dungeon ""castle " etc. deck. That card decribes the area you're in, the NPCs/enemies there, and the terrain if needed. It also says what deck to draw from next if you beat the monster, or if you answer yes/no to the npc's question. The fluff could be as deep as you want to make it. The monsters/enemies could each just have one type of attack and it's assumed they use it whenever possible.

    This is all just of the top of my head, obviously it needs to be fleshed out.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: A Self-DMing Adventure

    I like the index card idea, but I'm not sure how you would be able to transfer a fully-designed campaign from the internet to index cards without learning all its secrets. What about a custom designed piece of software for both designing and playing, and people upload a simple database containing the campaign info? Wouldn't be too difficult to program. I could probably get it together in a few hours.
    I am the Thread-killer. All threads involving me inevitably die. It is my curse, a curse that deprives me of the answers I seek.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: A Self-DMing Adventure

    I once was designing an adventure that involved a lich in an old dwarven mine. Another DM was going to design and run the deep dungeons of a ruined castle several miles away, which had been blown to bits decades earlier. I told the guy who would design that dungeon the background of the castle's owner, who was a high level wizard. We arranged that one treasure, well-hidden near the bottom of the dungeons, would be a small item about which he knew nothing except that it radiated magic, and fit in an area 2" x 2" x 6"

    What he didn't need to know to design and run that dungeon was that the castle's owner was now the lich in the dwarf mines, and that his phylactery was hidden in the dungeon.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: A Self-DMing Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gan The Grey View Post
    I like the index card idea, but I'm not sure how you would be able to transfer a fully-designed campaign from the internet to index cards without learning all its secrets. What about a custom designed piece of software for both designing and playing, and people upload a simple database containing the campaign info? Wouldn't be too difficult to program. I could probably get it together in a few hours.
    Isn't that basically Final Fantasy?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: A Self-DMing Adventure

    Uh...no? The way I look at it, all the software does is prevent any of the players and whoever has the reigns for the current scene from finding out all the secrets of the campaign. No graphics. No dice generator.
    I am the Thread-killer. All threads involving me inevitably die. It is my curse, a curse that deprives me of the answers I seek.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: A Self-DMing Adventure

    Quote Originally Posted by Gan The Grey View Post
    I like the index card idea, but I'm not sure how you would be able to transfer a fully-designed campaign from the internet to index cards without learning all its secrets. What about a custom designed piece of software for both designing and playing, and people upload a simple database containing the campaign info? Wouldn't be too difficult to program. I could probably get it together in a few hours.
    I think that I can translate this over decently well as far as going from an online campaign to index cards (or even to a simple printout, honestly):

    To start, the campaign would already start off broken into (on average) four parts. I am not saying that each person gets a chapter of the game. Rather, the campaign is broken into tons of tiny pieces (spatially and temporally) and is more or less shuffled out into four piles. Each person in the campaign clicks on one of four online links leading to a corresponding set of data that they individually copy onto cards or print out (so nobody ever sees the full set of information).

    Going into more detail on the cards. Each card would possess a 3-digit number (the first number of which indicates which player gets that card) and would possess a description and may possess a list of possible actions that cross-reference cards you don't have (along with DCs, if required).

    Example Cards:
    Spoiler
    Show


    In Player One's Deck:

    Card 117: Kyton's Cove
    The rancid black water you've seen in harbor seems to be flowing out from this concealed cove, in which at least a half-dozen ancient ships rest in various states of decay. The cave's mouth gapes wide, though very little light seems to pass through.
    Walk Into or Speak Out: Card 207. Card 404 if passing inside.
    Sneak In: vs. +11, Card 207 if failed. Card 404 either way.
    Search Wreckages: vs. DC 32, card 302 if successful

    Card 173: Magic Item:
    You have discovered a Ring of Protection +1

    Card 187: Magic Item:
    You have discovered a Ring of Feather Falling

    In Player Two's Deck:

    Card 207: Ambush
    Do Not Read This Card Aloud: A Kyton (DMG p. XXX) is lurking on top of this chamber, previously working on torturing the mayor's son (wrapped in a cocoon of chains) and is now waiting for a chance to strike. Feel free to play this out after Card 404 is read.

    Card 261: Dead End
    Nothing of particular note lies within.
    Search or Appraise: vs. DC 25. You spot a bit of a silver inlay within the case itself. Further, you find a clip that suggests the case itself can be unrolled like a map.
    Spread out the Map: You see what looks to be a map leading from the area to an island just beyond Karrinton, written entirely in what looks to be silver dust. The name "Captain Corrain" is written hastily in one corner.

    In Player 3's Deck:

    Card 302: Treasure
    While it looks as though the area has mostly been looted, you do manage to find a few things in a small hidden compartment. Namely, you uncover a sack overflowing with silver ore, a waterproof scrollcase, and a silver band engraved with ancient runes.
    Detect Magic: Ring is magical
    Identify or Knowledge (Arcane) on ring: vs. DC 25 for Knowledge. Card 173 if successful.
    Open Scrollcase: vs. DC 11 Str check. Card 261 if successful.

    In Player 4's Deck:

    Card 404: Smuggler's Cove
    The darkness in this natural cave is nearly absolute, blocking those without darkvision or a light of their own.
    To those who can see: The space seems to be about 80 feet deep and 80 feet in diameter, not counting the huge central area (60' deep and 40' wide) occupied by the water. A large black sack hangs down over the water, a black mist leaking down into water. A single dim light can be seen in the furthest depth of the cave, marking a side-room blocked off with thick curtains. Several small niches in the side of the cave may also provide entrances into new spaces.
    Investigate/Attack the sack: Card NOT CONTINUED
    Making Noise or calling out: Card 207 if not drawn
    Sneaking through: vs. +11. Card 207 if failed.
    Investigate Niches: Card NOT CONTINUED.
    Investigate Back Room: Card NOT CONTINUED.


    Of course, this brings back a fundamental question. How can you really ensure a mystery if a player may have a card in their hand suggesting where the ultimate weapon to fight a creature they haven't met yet will be found. For the answer to that, I turn to the tried-and-true method of simple misdirection. Each player's deck will have a number of red herrings (such as card 187, which no card actually leads to).

    These red herrings could be anything from treasures you'll never find to monsters you'll never face to complete nonsequitors that "reference" cards that don't exist in the decks of others. You might carry a card saying that you'll find the dawnbringer in the great mountain of Thalog only to learn that it's actually a cursed blade or a demon that rests in the mountain. In this way, you help keep things a mystery even if you seem to have an answer right at hand and you help discourage metagaming.

    As an extra note, I'd recommend referring to monsters and items through references to specific pages to cut down on space, especially if notecards are your ideal medium of play.
    I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.
    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
    At long last, I have an extended signature

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    San Jose, CA

    Default Re: A Self-DMing Adventure

    I recommend looking into the Fighting Fantasy books for inspiration.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: A Self-DMing Adventure

    Hm there where Adventure books with multiple choice, skill checks etc designed to be read/played alone ie you read a passage and your choice(s) will move you onwards to page xyz etc.

    Maybe those could be adapted for what you want?

    I think theya where in German though (dark eye) I do not know if there is something similar to that in english.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •