Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 58
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    *Redacted*

    Default Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    So I've been mulling over an idea that I would really like to try and I was looking for ideas and suggestions that might help bring it to fruition.

    Recently I began fiddling with the idea of the reverse dungeon campaign; that is, a campaign where the players play the hapless monsters who happen to occupy the dungeon that groups of adventurers are exploring. My thought is to combine high mortality game play with elements of tower defense, resource management, and tactical combat/wargames.

    The plot as it stands is this: a powerful wizard researcher has made it their life's work to uncover the location of the tomb of a very famous and talented artificer, Wizard-Who-Did-It, whose fantastical tomb is rumored to be the home of a treasure trove of magical wonders. After discovering it, the researcher engages in battle with a rival researcher, which ultimately results in the location falling into the hands of a third party, an enterprising Bard.

    Interested more in quick profit than risky adventure, the entertainer makes a fortune spinning a tale of the wondrous tomb at taverns across the Lands, selling maps to interested adventurers for a premium. Thus begans the fantasy version of a gold rush.

    The problem? The PCs and their small tribe of mobs (I'm leaning toward kobolds) live in the caverns which house the entrance! Now they are being overwhelmed by a horde of greedy, racist tomb robbers "adventurers" looking to strike it rich.

    The idea is simple: the players are the leaders of the small tribe of kobolds (or other mobs) who must defend their previously peaceful village from the incursion of racist adventurers looking to enter the tomb located behind their village.

    Initially the adventurers will be low level parties doomed to meet their fate at the hands of the resourceful mobs, but over time the deadly reputation of the "tomb" will draw the attention of more experienced parties, ramping a series of diverse encounters up to match the party.

    To combat stronger foes, the players will have to manage their resources by leading their underlings, looting their enemies (and fallen allies) corpes, protecting their future generations, recruiting and protecting sympathetic merchants and helpful specialists, forging alliances with neighboring goblinoids and other mobs (given players of fallen PCs the access to new races), defending against other marauding mobs, and maybe even braving the super dangerous tomb itself (which will be a super massive "Undermountain"-like, everchanging magic labyrinth) for access to more magic items.

    First question is the most foundational: the system. What system would be most conducive to the idea?

    I'm only proficient with D&D 3.5, D&D 5e, GURPS, and the largely useless Shadowrun and Pendragon, so staying with what I know would be best. I don't really have the time or money to learn something new. 3.5 has all the relevant materials, but the balance issues are bothersome. 5e is more balanced and is quick and easy (important with high mortality), but it doesn't possess many of the necessary supplements (like playable monster stats). Which might be better?

    Can you think of another good system, preferably one that is simple, thematic, and hopefully open source?

    The remaining question is how to implement the desired features within the context of suggested systems.

    The high mortality element is important. PCs will probably die, and then their players will make and play their successors. Any suggestions on how to most efficiently deal with high character turn over? How to speed up character creation in suggested systems? On how to make challenging encounters and on dungeon design suggestions to make the tomb a death trap?

    The resource management/tower defense part is also important. The players will have to manage population and underlings, set up defenses for their village (walls, traps, wards, guards), expand their territory, and obtain resources key to their task. Any one know of good rulesets or tools for such estate and resource management? Suggestions or ideas for implementation?

    Other narrative ideas or suggestions? Playable monster suggestions? Ideas for a custom system for this purpose? Any contribution would be greatly appreciated.

    TLDR; A reverse dungeon. How would you do it? In what system? How would you make it tower defensish, while still RP?
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2016-03-11 at 11:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Former EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

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

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somewhere nice.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Well, This actually sounds like a dream campaign, Nearly.
    But may I recommend one addition?
    There will, of course, be adventurers who side with the kobolds.
    Either by sparing them, Or outright joining them. ( I often did, To save lives repeatedly.)
    Don't like the idea? And you're own touch. Have some players want to help them for power, manipulation, etc.
    I hope this helps. I would love to join, If you would have me.
    And by way of preference, 5e would be enjoyable.
    One last thing.
    This whole campaign idea has a lot of potential to show the usual adventurer's life,
    the criticals, hi jinks, and all that from an outside view.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

    Have a nice evening!
    {EDIT:}
    One interesting idea would to let the players have temporary control of boss monsters during "cutscene" moments.
    Last edited by IntelectPaladin; 2016-03-12 at 12:12 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    One fun thing could be to give each party a weakness that can be found out by careful spying, and utilizing that weakness could benefit the kobolds.

    Examples. (Most of these would probably work best on lower level parties)


    One part is very loosely connected, set together by a thiefguild sponsor. As such, they don't trust each other, and everyone is out for themselves. By ensuring that one singular member finds a cache of gold when he's off to the latrine, that party member will haul ass back to the surface, as he can now pay off his dealer.
    Or, by ensuring that the party finds one apparently powerful, but undividable treasure, the party will be less helpful towards each other, hoping that enough of the others will die off or be weakened enough that they'd be able to make off with the treasure for themselves.

    One party consists of nothing but humans, and their strategy to deal with darkness is to have the fighter carry a torch while they shoot everything that gets near him. What would happen if that torch were to go out?

    In one party, both the Ranger and the Fighter are hopelessly in love with the party's rogue, and ensuring this persons safety, and suitably impressing them, is their only reason to be here. Could a carefully forged letter cause n-fighting? What would happen is the Rogue is assassinated, but it's made to look like they ran away? Would they leave? And what would happen if the assassination failed?

    One party seems to consist only of fighters in heavy armor, but it turns out, two of them are wizards in some kind of very light mock armor, and should be easy to target if you know who they are.

    One party are some hopelessly superstitious, but incredibly dangerous barbarians. Could a carefully orchestrated "haunted house"- style trap system make them leave this ghostly businesses behind, and return to the sunlight?

    By listening in to one partys fireside conversation, the players might find out that the Party's Druid/Paladin/moral core, has second thoughts about slaughtering these Kobolds. Could their empathy make them stay their hand in a crucial moment? Or could the players, by luring them into a room of defenseless youngling make them convince the party to leave? Or, if they're feeling cruel, could an illusion of a piteously crying little kobold baby lure the poor sap into a magnificently spikey trap?

    One party is so large it could almost be seen as an army. But careful spying reveals they are all members of a religious cult, and would turn tail and run the second their leader, a very cunning charlatan, went down. Or maybe putting up effigies that imply that the kobolds cave is actually a temple to their very own god, would lessen their resolve.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    As for system, I'd probably recommend Pathfinder. They have some pretty neat Archetypes and class options for Kobolds, and you could probably re-fluff some of hte many things they've done for goblins to fit as well.

    The Tower defense angle is pretty tricky. Those kinds of games often rely on a whole lot of pretty weak enemies, while the player is untouchable until they reach the end. Traps and general murderholes could be used, but you have probably already thought of that.
    Maybe if the Adventurers turn up unexpected, the PC's have to distract them for long enough to set up a trap/ambush further down. This could be by having them fight a losing battle for a couple of rounds, or by leading the enemy on a wild goose chase through a labyrinth or something.

    Hit and run tactics, where the enemy party is attacked, and then the kobolds retreat into tunnels too small for them to follow could be useful. Or using the same tunnels, so that they can set up traps behind the enemy, and then, as they leave, for some reason or another, they run into traps in places they didn't expect.


    By in some way making a corridor difficult terrain (Rubble, marbles, spider web, floor covered in tar), you could recreate "slow" tower and pick them off while they're trying to make their way to the players.
    Last edited by Concrete; 2016-03-12 at 05:54 AM.

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

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somewhere nice.
    Gender
    Male

    Post Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    I'm glad to see this thread continuing on,
    But I'm not sure i like the direction..
    Here's some of my thoughts on the matter, If you like
    I'm mostly trying to sort through it,
    And see what the creator of said ideas thinks about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Concrete View Post
    One part is very loosely connected, set together by a thief-guild sponsor. As such, they don't trust each other, and everyone is out for themselves. By ensuring that one singular member finds a cache of gold when he's off to the latrine, that party member will haul ass back to the surface, as he can now pay off his dealer.
    Or, by ensuring that the party finds one apparently powerful, but undividable treasure, the party will be less helpful towards each other, hoping that enough of the others will die off or be weakened enough that they'd be able to make off with the treasure for themselves.
    Gah, The cynicality. I'm cringing.
    In terms of pure practicality, The idea makes sense. But if I may add, What if the kobolds paid for
    the loyalty one of the party members? (or the entire party, Should circumstances allow)


    Quote Originally Posted by Concrete View Post
    By listening in to one partys fireside conversation, the players might find out that the Party's Druid/Paladin/moral core, has second thoughts about slaughtering these Kobolds. Could their empathy make them stay their hand in a crucial moment? Or could the players, by luring them into a room of defenseless youngling make them convince the party to leave? Or, if they're feeling cruel, could an illusion of a piteously crying little kobold baby lure the poor sap into a magnificently spikey trap?
    The first idea in this paragraph is my favorite so far. (The last is pretty much the opposite.)
    And one thing I feel I need to ask is something about the second idea.
    How well would it work of the moral center were the weakest, Or couldn't convince the others?
    Do you recruit them, by showing them this section of the warrens and telling them what the other's would do to them? ( Honestly, That's what I'd do, But I'm open to other ideas.)

    Basically, I'm wondering about not just turning the parties against themselves,
    But for getting as many adventurers onto the kobold's side as possible.
    And Couldn't they be used as the "towers", So to speak?
    A person who joins for reasons of ethics would gladly stand guard with whatever resources were available,
    Leaving the kobolds free to other actions.
    (And Yes, I realize that they would need to be watched. I'm kind, Not idiotic.)

    So, That's my first attempt to go over ideas with someone else.
    I really hope I haven't offended, I'm new to working debate. Please, Feel free to tell me what you think!

    Thank you for taking the time to read this!
    Last edited by IntelectPaladin; 2016-03-12 at 09:14 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelectPaladin View Post

    So, That's my first attempt to go over ideas with someone else.
    I really hope I haven't offended, I'm new to working debate. Please, Feel free to tell me what you think!

    Thank you for taking the time to read this!
    Well, I have no need to be offended. The way I see it, all I suggested was a premise, and one thing one could do with them. Depending on the players, they might go a cynical route, or they might appeal to the enemy's better nature, and depending on the GM, it may or may not work.

    I like the idea of turning adventurers to ones cause, but I also get the feeling that they'd risk getting in the characters limelight, or just cause an overly large influx of new NPC's that'd be a hassle to deal with.

    I'd kinda like the idea of recruiting other monsters, like in OP's post, better, but that's just because it would give more of an insight in how other monsters live, whereas almost everyone has a lot of experience with adventurers.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Delaware
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    the villagers should be working with the pcs on this. The more adventurers come through, the more they make and richer and richer people come through as the tales spread. Maybe they even help the kobalds build up defenses outside the dungeon or tip them off about incoming adventurers. There is a lot of rp opportunity here. Definitely start with a small dungeon and have the diggers expand it by adding more rooms between sessions. There could also be amusing sessions where the kobalds have to go out monster hunting in the countryside with the objective of bringing monsters back alive. Good thing kobalds have a high birthrate... This campaign is going to take a lot of making **** up on the fly. Just be ready

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Difficult. I don't know of any systems that could handle this well, but my experience is fairly limited. Lets first identify what the system has to do. In combat to start.
    1. It needs for there to be no hard stops. By this I mean that there must be no way for the players to just win, such as building a gatehouse with murderholes. Mid level 3.5 works for this, particularly once DD comes online. clairvoiance, invisibility, DD, and you can take a gate house without even setting off any manual alarms. Don't know how to have players interact with this though, particularly if the adventurers get very far without setting off any alarms.
    2. It needs to handle large numbers decently well, and ideally have rules for commanding large numbers of cowards.
    3. AoE effects and strong short term specific defenses for the adventurers. The kobolds need a good reason to not just nova into one encounter. ie, by hiding all their defenses behind one door.

    Out of combat the system needs to do well at.
    1. Excavation rules. Not just for the Kobolds, but for any dwarves that decide to just mine around your defenses.
    2. Construction rules, including traps.
    3. Crafting rules, including weapon smithing, but also things like doors.
    4. Agriculture and trade rules. The kobolds need to have a good reason to go to the surface regularly, or they can just make the only ways in or out into a convoluted gauntlet of deathtraps. There needs to be a good reason not to do this for any assault to be feasible.
    5. Training rules. Your minions are your weapons, so they need some love.
    6. Minionmancy rules. This ranges from pets to animating any dead to summons.
    7. Long term magic rules. 3.5 is focused mainly around combat, so is very weak at this. Can you cast alarm 4 times a day in a confined space for years and expect no consequences?


    The setting itself needs some things too.
    1. A reason for the kobolds not to set up a hotel. The adventurers are greedy before racist, and having an already established base just outside the Dungeon would be very convienient (but a completely different game). The kobolds might regard the dungeon as sacred, for example, possibly with good reason. Adventurers go in, bad things come out.
    2. A reason for armies not to show up. Prolonged sieges are difficult to game in a fun way, and are likely to end the campaign. Putting the dungeon in a mountain range could make the logistics much easier for small parties.
    I play dwarf mode: Play to win, never be sober, and always die horribly despite everyone's best efforts (DM included).

    I have a blog now! I make no claims to be that fool on that hill, but I do like to think I think the same way. Check it out for some of my more nutty thoughts.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somewhere nice.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Concrete View Post
    Well, I have no need to be offended. The way I see it, all I suggested was a premise, and one thing one could do with them. Depending on the players, they might go a cynical route, or they might appeal to the enemy's better nature, and depending on the GM, it may or may not work.

    I like the idea of turning adventurers to ones cause, but I also get the feeling that they'd risk getting in the characters limelight, or just cause an overly large influx of new NPC's that'd be a hassle to deal with.

    I'd kinda like the idea of recruiting other monsters, like in OP's post, better, but that's just because it would give more of an insight in how other monsters live, whereas almost everyone has a lot of experience with adventurers.
    Actually, I was having the same concerns you are now. Something along the lines of "If we add too many adventurers to our roster, Won't it just be another random-people campaign?" So Yes, limelight is an issue.
    But in the long-term, Kobold-kind adventurers are going to be a factor. So while It's not the greatest plan,

    A long-term solution would be to just send them home.
    (Or pay them more to go away than they were paid to stay, As a last resort.)
    And the "more monsters" Idea could be fun, But how would it happen, mechanically?
    Anything with intellect is usually out for itself. Remember the necro-ranchers? But i still love the idea. I wonder...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvenoutrider View Post
    the villagers should be working with the pcs on this. The more adventurers come through, the more they make and richer and richer people come through as the tales spread. Maybe they even help the kobolds build up defenses outside the dungeon or tip them off about incoming adventurers. There is a lot of rp opportunity here. Definitely start with a small dungeon and have the diggers expand it by adding more rooms between sessions. There could also be amusing sessions where the kobolds have to go out monster hunting in the countryside with the objective of bringing monsters back alive. Good thing kobolds have a high birthrate... This campaign is going to take a lot of making **** up on the fly. Just be ready
    I may not agree with the wording,
    But I certainly agree with the sentiment!
    Concrete, I think Elven just found the mechanic. I'd particularly enjoy the "take 'em alive" aspect.

    Thank you for reminding us about the civilian impact, Elven.
    I'm seeing so many different ideas, concepts, thoughts, and so on are being had about this campaign idea. Wow.
    While the possibilities are neigh-infinite,
    I think it's certainly manageable, able to host different play-styles at once easily, Etc.
    And We've all managed to confirm one thing already:
    This campaign is going to be truly amazing.
    Last edited by IntelectPaladin; 2016-03-12 at 11:56 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Canada

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Seems to me that any adventurers would have to outnumber or out-level the kobold PCs. If they didn't, what would prevent the kobolds from just strait-up going toe-to-toe with the adventurers, and winning?

    For games, I would suggest 5e, because it is easier to just make things up on the fly, or Pathfinder, for kobold specific material and similarity to 3.5. I would suggest looking at kobolds of Golarian for PC options.
    Last edited by Belac93; 2016-03-12 at 12:06 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by Belac93 View Post
    Seems to me that any adventurers would have to outnumber or out-level the kobold PCs. If they didn't, what would prevent the kobolds from just strait-up going toe-to-toe with the adventurers, and winning?
    One way to solve this, and to keep the Tower defense angle would be to have higher level Adventurers, and then let the players design a dungeon that could wear down the adventurers gradually, until they are hurt/de-buffed/de-moralized enough for the players to be able to take them out.

    Maybe by giving the PC's some kind of magical stonshaping item, which is also the only thing that can reshape stone magically in that particular area. This would let them create labyrinths, pit-traps and such that'd change the area between invasions.
    If you balance this item in such a way that they can only use it a certain amount of times a day, or if using it costs som kind of resource that gets more plentiful the more the game progresses, this would force them to make do with only changing the dungeon to a certain degree between assaults, and use other means to renew it otherwise.

    It could also be done by putting captured beasts in rooms, which has been mentioned earlier, and trading with outside forces for resources, anything from building materials to tar, alchemists fire, poison, and similar nasty concoctions.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    First thing to google is Tucker's kobolds. This is presumably more for inspiration for later, higher level (and possibly well optimized) murderhobos attacking your kobolds.

    Another source of inspiration is DDO's "crystal cove challenge" and later challenges. Basically they were* tower defense mini-games where "union rules" forbid the kobolds from fighting the pirates and undead that would keep attacking. Kobolds would mine the crystals along routes the PCs would light with torches. I doubt you could use the kobold voice samples, but they were loved and helped ease the grind.

    Just out of curiousity, do your players require a certain amount of "re-educating"? This seems a perfect opourtunity to allow the players to build/understand the concept of "killer dungeons" vs. optimized characters.

    More thoughts:
    Rogues (assuming rogues are the trap builders. Pelar help the murderhobos if the kobolds have an artificer) are obviously the powerhouses.
    Lowbie kobold sorcerers (backed by party members, especially including a wizard) are likely more effective than wizards. They get to cast a few more spells, and can make up a wizard's versatility with player provided scrolls.
    First level kobold adepts are even better, assuming you can provide your wand whippers (both divine and arcane wands) with wands. Leveling may help them survive, but expect them to derive most of their power from wand whipping. Scrolls are an obvious way to extend versatility. Of course, they are slightly more expensive since you have to provide nearly all the magic, but the versatility is impressive for a "NPC class".

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
     
    EtuBrutus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Black List
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Oh, so you come up with this gem after I move... Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by Concrete View Post
    As for system, I'd probably recommend Pathfinder. They have some pretty neat Archetypes and class options for Kobolds, and you could probably re-fluff some of hte many things they've done for goblins to fit as well.
    And most of it is open source. Fixes much of 3.5's balance issues, with more kobold related supplements. The supposed PF/3.5 transparency can be confusing though.

    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    First level kobold adepts are even better, assuming you can provide your wand whippers (both divine and arcane wands) with wands. Leveling may help them survive, but expect them to derive most of their power from wand whipping. Scrolls are an obvious way to extend versatility. Of course, they are slightly more expensive since you have to provide nearly all the magic, but the versatility is impressive for a "NPC class".
    In 3.5, they are a tier 4 class. Which means that outclass the monk and the fighter, among others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvenoutrider View Post
    This campaign is going to take a lot of making **** up on the fly.
    This is actually the OP's strong point as a DM.
    Last edited by EtuBrutus; 2016-03-12 at 01:45 PM.
    People are losing the spirit of the Ides of March. It's not just about stabbing. It's about coming together to stab. In groups.

    smuchmuch made my avatar.
    I played the Nemerians in Empire2!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    *Redacted*

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by EtuBrutus View Post
    Oh, so you come up with this gem after I move... Nice
    Sorry, mate. Couldn't be helped!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvenoutrider View Post
    the villagers should be working with the pcs on this. The more adventurers come through, the more they make and richer and richer people come through as the tales spread. Maybe they even help the kobalds build up defenses outside the dungeon or tip them off about incoming adventurers. There is a lot of rp opportunity here. Definitely start with a small dungeon and have the diggers expand it by adding more rooms between sessions. There could also be amusing sessions where the kobalds have to go out monster hunting in the countryside with the objective of bringing monsters back alive. Good thing kobalds have a high birthrate...
    My original thought was that the players would have the option to organize raiders against the nearby population (for resources). But the idea of them allying with the natives, either out of sympathy or greed, does sound fun. If my players try and take that path, I certainly will entertain the idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by ace rooster View Post
    The setting itself needs some things too.
    1. A reason for the kobolds not to set up a hotel. The adventurers are greedy before racist, and having an already established base just outside the Dungeon would be very convienient (but a completely different game). The kobolds might regard the dungeon as sacred, for example, possibly with good reason. Adventurers go in, bad things come out.
    2. A reason for armies not to show up. Prolonged sieges are difficult to game in a fun way, and are likely to end the campaign. Putting the dungeon in a mountain range could make the logistics much easier for small parties.
    Quote Originally Posted by IntelectPaladin View Post
    Gah, The cynicality. I'm cringing.
    This campaign will necessarily function on the most cynical interpretation of adventurers. It will more or less assume that 90% of adventurers interpret the MM's qualification of kobolds as "usually Lawful Evil" to mean "they're definitely evil". Preliminary talks with my potential players indicated that a few might do little to fight that assumption.

    Basically to explore the different perspective, the campaign will probably view adventurers the ways monsters might see them: as the real "monsters" and as murderhobos.

    Initially, the kobold will defend themselves because it's their home. Eventually, they'll be motivated by revenge or greed.

    As for armies, I planned on the campaign taking place in a remote region, inexcessible and largely devoid of the resources for a large scale response to the kobolds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belac93 View Post
    Seems to me that any adventurers would have to outnumber or out-level the kobold PCs. If they didn't, what would prevent the kobolds from just strait-up going toe-to-toe with the adventurers, and winning?
    In the early game, toe-to-toe might be reasonable, if I don't use numbers.

    In the late game, out-level will be the method of choice. In most campaigns, players seem to think it is just fine for them to min-maxed their characters. But respond with a min-maxed NPC and they loose their ****.

    Eventually, this campaign will see the players outclassed by higher leveled min-maxed parties who are generally better equipped. The players will have to make up that ground with traps, minion fodder, and clever tactics.

    One thing I was going to do was create a mediocre state array for the players to use, while giving the adventurers relatively powerful ones. That should provide some additional balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelectPaladin View Post
    The first idea in this paragraph is my favorite so far. (The last is pretty much the opposite.)
    And one thing I feel I need to ask is something about the second idea.
    How well would it work of the moral center were the weakest, Or couldn't convince the others?
    Do you recruit them, by showing them this section of the warrens and telling them what the other's would do to them? ( Honestly, That's what I'd do, But I'm open to other ideas.)

    Basically, I'm wondering about not just turning the parties against themselves,
    But for getting as many adventurers onto the kobold's side as possible.
    And Couldn't they be used as the "towers", So to speak?
    A person who joins for reasons of ethics would gladly stand guard with whatever resources were available,
    Leaving the kobolds free to other actions.
    (And Yes, I realize that they would need to be watched. I'm kind, Not idiotic.)
    The players will have minions who can function as guards. If they recruit an adventurer, I will probably have the adventurer leave following the encounter and have them serve as a resource for the kobolds, assuming the players can convince the adventurer that such continued support was in their interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    First thing to google is Tucker's kobolds. This is presumably more for inspiration for later, higher level (and possibly well optimized) murderhobos attacking your kobolds.
    One of the appeals of 5e is that Bounded Accuracy amplifies the Tucker's kobold scenario. A lot of little enemies can be dangerous to high leveled characters simply by virtue of probability in 5e. Make them all resourceful and prepared, and they'd be even more dangerous. Just wish 5e had NPC classes and official kobold material.
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2016-03-12 at 03:26 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Former EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    I'd suggest a gander at the Birthright setting from 2E (and it has an online 3.5 update wiki). Mostly by looking at system to manage lands, fortifications, troops, and leadership functions. The other mechanics and all the fluff should probably be ignored (though special bloodlines from dragons instead of gods could be fun) and all would need major adjustment but it would give you a possible place to start.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somewhere nice.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    This campaign will necessarily function on the most cynical interpretation of adventurers. It will more or less assume that 90% of adventurers interpret the MM's qualification of kobolds as "usually Lawful Evil" to mean "they're definitely evil". Preliminary talks with my potential players indicated that a few might do little to fight that assumption.

    Basically to explore the different perspective, the campaign will probably view adventurers the ways monsters might see them: as the real "monsters" and as murderhobos.


    One of the appeals of 5e is that Bounded Accuracy amplifies the Tucker's kobold scenario. A lot of little enemies can be dangerous to high leveled characters simply by virtue of probability in 5e. Make them all resourceful and prepared, and they'd be even more dangerous.
    "Hooray, I've been quoted for the first time." Anyways.
    I'm still looking forward to seeing how all of this goes. So in the interest of seeing a quality campaign, I heartily recommend 5e.
    It's more flexible to what you want than you might expect.
    For example,
    In one case in 5e, I was fighting a dragon-ish guard dog, and losing.
    What surprised me is that sentient carnivorous stalactite dropped down, Tapped me on the shoulder, and asked if I wanted help.
    He was mostly trying to turn the dog into his dinner. I cartwheeled out of the room. (Don't ask.)

    My point is that 5e Can probably run this campaign without a hitch, If it ran that incident.
    So I hope it can work out for you.

    Have a good day!
    Last edited by IntelectPaladin; 2016-03-12 at 03:37 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Delaware
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    I second pathfinder. You can take rules from kingmaker and transfer them as well as the fact that they have an npc library on the srd

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Sounds like an excellent concept! Here's my 2 cp on the subject:

    One thing you should consider before the game starts is how simulation-y you want to go. Are you going to make the players design food production areas, storerooms, temples, workshops, and living quarters in addition to the dungeon? If you do, I'd recommend going with an extremely simplified "1 5' square of food production supports 2 kobolds" or something similarly abstract. If not, you can just label an area "the warrens" and leave it at that.

    You've mentioned this dungeon is going to be "tower defense like". In those, there's usually an area where the enemy is trying to reach, and if they reach it bad things happen to the defenders. You've said that this "goal area" is the entrance to the real Wizard-who-did-it's tomb, so why don't the kobolds just let the adventurers through? Is that tomb a (un)holy site for the kobolds? Is there a prophecy that states "if anyone disturbs my tomb my wrath shall be swift and terrible, especially on anything short and scaly"?

    Are there any other monsters living in the caverns with the kobolds? How do they fit into the equation? Not everything needs to be tamed or domesticated by the players. Rather than building a chute that drops adventurers into a time-expensive and costly vat of acid, why not use that chute to drop them into a wild troll den?

    Related, how are the PCs going to recruit new kobolds? Will there be a substantial time lapse between adventurer attacks, or will they have to recruit new kobolds?

    Finally, having an amoral merchant type who comes through and trades hard-to-get items for the kobolds' ill-gotten spoils is always lots of fun.

    I'd recommend going 5th Edition. Seems a lot easier to mold to your needs. Good luck!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    I'm not sure a system exists for this that I would recommend.

    The closest I have is Dungeon Lords, which is a board game that is not an RPG. You may be best off building something from the ground up, to be honest. (Though this will obviously take a long time)

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    *Redacted*

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    I'd suggest a gander at the Birthright setting from 2E (and it has an online 3.5 update wiki). Mostly by looking at system to manage lands, fortifications, troops, and leadership functions. The other mechanics and all the fluff should probably be ignored (though special bloodlines from dragons instead of gods could be fun) and all would need major adjustment but it would give you a possible place to start.
    That is very helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelectPaladin View Post
    "Hooray, I've been quoted for the first time." Anyways.
    I'm still looking forward to seeing how all of this goes. So in the interest of seeing a quality campaign, I heartily recommend 5e.
    It's more flexible to what you want than you might expect.
    For example,
    In one case in 5e, I was fighting a dragon-ish guard dog, and losing.
    What surprised me is that sentient carnivorous stalactite dropped down, Tapped me on the shoulder, and asked if I wanted help.
    He was mostly trying to turn the dog into his dinner. I cartwheeled out of the room. (Don't ask.)

    My point is that 5e Can probably run this campaign without a hitch, If it ran that incident.
    So I hope it can work out for you.
    The problem is there is no official kobold or monster material, and I'm generally weary of homebrew. 5e thus far rejects both monstrous and Evil characters pretty hard. But the ease of character creation lends itself to a high mortality campaign.

    PF/3.5 has an abundance of kobold related materials.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    One thing you should consider before the game starts is how simulation-y you want to go. Are you going to make the players design food production areas, storerooms, temples, workshops, and living quarters in addition to the dungeon? If you do, I'd recommend going with an extremely simplified "1 5' square of food production supports 2 kobolds" or something similarly abstract. If not, you can just label an area "the warrens" and leave it at that.
    Probably not very much. I am kind of assuming that if the initially small tribe is resourceful enough to keep attackers at bay, then the noncombatants are probably resourceful enough to feed every one. The resources they will have to manage would be those required to defend the village: their fellow soldiers, the workers to dig tunnels, the masons to build the fortifications, the specialists to built traps, the smiths to make weapons and retool loot, the stables to house dire weasels, the trade to obtain material components and special trap parts, etc.

    In other words, in order to defend their land with more than just hide armor and spears, they need to be able to obtain those things, which is not an easy task for cavedwelling kobolds in the middle of butt-**** nowhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    You've mentioned this dungeon is going to be "tower defense like". In those, there's usually an area where the enemy is trying to reach, and if they reach it bad things happen to the defenders. You've said that this "goal area" is the entrance to the real Wizard-who-did-it's tomb, so why don't the kobolds just let the adventurers through? Is that tomb a (un)holy site for the kobolds? Is there a prophecy that states "if anyone disturbs my tomb my wrath shall be swift and terrible, especially on anything short and scaly"?
    Because the adventurers are racists who would rather kill kobolds than bother speaking with them. This is a cynical, satirical campaign. In part, it should to a degree satire the behavior of unscrupulous PCs the world over, by portraying that conflict from the view of the dungeon-dwelling monsters, who live in constant fear that wayward adventurers will show up and murder them all and steal their stuff.

    The kobold-adventurer conflict is intended to be somewhat irrational. The average adventurer is just too full of themself to assume a group of dungeon-dwelling kobolds are anything more evil little creatures out to kill them. The kobolds on the other hand could care less about the actual tomb (which they view as a cursed place no one returns from), they just don't want dangerous murderhobos waltzing through their village to get there. Plus, dead adventurers drop nice loot.

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Are there any other monsters living in the caverns with the kobolds? How do they fit into the equation? Not everything needs to be tamed or domesticated by the players. Rather than building a chute that drops adventurers into a time-expensive and costly vat of acid, why not use that chute to drop them into a wild troll den?

    Related, how are the PCs going to recruit new kobolds? Will there be a substantial time lapse between adventurer attacks, or will they have to recruit new kobolds?

    Finally, having an amoral merchant type who comes through and trades hard-to-get items for the kobolds' ill-gotten spoils is always lots of fun.
    I intend to inhabit the lands that surround them with a few additional monster groups, mostly ones that could feasibly be PCs (goblins or other potential level-adjustmentless races). If the players ally with them, they can optionally respawn as one.

    There will probably be a few big, unruly mobs that the players can fight, tame, or live in tenuous peace with.

    As for recruiting more, I'm thinking most kobold resources will be provided by the tribe as it grows (kobolds bred like rabbits and mature quickly). Obviously, if they develop a reputation for giving the adventurers the boot, maybe I'll think of a means that they could recruit kobolds from other tribes to join them.

    As for unscrupulous merchants? I very much plan for them to be obtainable resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImNotTrevor View Post
    I'm not sure a system exists for this that I would recommend.

    The closest I have is Dungeon Lords, which is a board game that is not an RPG. You may be best off building something from the ground up, to be honest. (Though this will obviously take a long time)
    The temptation to build a custom system for this is very strong. I just don't know if I'd even have the time and I would certainly want interested co-conspirators and testers before I was willing to put in the effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelectPaladin View Post
    Have a good day!
    I feel like you are only required to wish people a good day at minimum once per thread, at most once per actual day.
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2016-03-12 at 07:09 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Former EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    @BootStrapTommy: Right, I understand the adventurers are going to off every kobold they see for kicks and giggles. My question is why the kobolds don't just hide from them? Obviously it'd be boring, but I've had PCs do that.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    *Redacted*

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    @BootStrapTommy: Right, I understand the adventurers are going to off every kobold they see for kicks and giggles. My question is why the kobolds don't just hide from them? Obviously it'd be boring, but I've had PCs do that.
    Because I'm use to having players like Brutus, who go off on people for even the slightest, perceived insult. The assumption is that the kobolds like their home and that their home is located at the entrance to the tomb. They don't feel like they should have to leave.

    Since they are being run by players, my assumption is that players don't like marauding raiders stomping through their home, stealing their stuff all the time.
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2016-03-12 at 07:10 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Former EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somewhere nice.
    Gender
    Male

    Post Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    I feel like you are only required to wish people a good day at minimum once per thread, at most once per actual day.
    Well as the day goes by, new events pop up, And can easily turn a nice day into the modern equivalent
    of a random encounter with a tarrasque. Hence the repetition. ( And yes, I'll stop now. )

    Lighter notes aside, I thought the "cult of the dragons" 5e campaign was well-known? It was a campaign all about a dragon cult, yada blah etc, And they had kobolds as the frontlinesmen. Every. Single. Battle.
    We were practically tripping over the little guys.
    Ah, But what do I know, I haven't played D&D In months.
    I'll stop rapid-posting at this point, And let the thread tick over for the day. Take care, Bootstrap,
    And It's nice to meet a forum celebrity!

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    *Redacted*

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelectPaladin View Post
    Lighter notes aside, I thought the "cult of the dragons" 5e campaign was well-known? It was a campaign all about a dragon cult, yada blah etc, And they had kobolds as the frontlinesmen. Every. Single. Battle.
    We were practically tripping over the little guys.
    Ah, But what do I know, I haven't played D&D In months.
    I'll stop rapid-posting at this point, And let the thread tick over for the day. Take care, Bootstrap,
    And It's nice to meet a forum celebrity!
    But no playable kobold race, which is what I need. Meanwhile 3.5/PF has multiply playable kobold subraces. With kobold specific classes and features.

    Also, wasn't aware I was known for anything around here.
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2016-03-12 at 08:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Jake View Post
    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
    Steal a PC's boots? Now it's personal.
    Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Unless we're arguing about alignment. In which case, you're wrong.

    Former EMPIRE2! Player: Imperator of the Nihoni Dominion
    Former EMPIRE3! Player: Suzerain of the Phnīx Estates
    Former EMPIRE4! Player: Margrave of the Margraviate of Rhune
    My Awesome Campaign Setting

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Canada

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    Also, wasn't aware I was known for anything around here.
    Everybody says that .

    Seriously.

    Every.
    Single.
    Time.

    Good luck with this game! Seems like it'll be interesting.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London, UK

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    I had a vaguely related idea for an "agents of the dungeon keeper" game, where you played a small group of characters ideally based on classic dungeon monsters who get sent out by the self-styled "Dark Lord" in charge of the dungeon to cause trouble of the kind that might draw a response from adventuring parties, with missions ranging from raiding local farms to kidnapping princesses as the game progresses. I hadn't really thought through how to do the dungeon defence part of the game, though - some good ideas here!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Wouldn't a reverse dungeon be... DMing? Dungeon Mastering?

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London, UK

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Well, a TPK tends not to be quite so much the goal of the exercise when DMing...

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    Because I'm use to having players like Brutus, who go off on people for even the slightest, perceived insult. The assumption is that the kobolds like their home and that their home is located at the entrance to the tomb. They don't feel like they should have to leave.

    Since they are being run by players, my assumption is that players don't like marauding raiders stomping through their home, stealing their stuff all the time.
    So... maybe kobolds aren't right? I like to play my role, so in this situation I would be playing a coward.

    Certainly my sense of neatness would be better served if there was some in universe reason for the kobolds to be fighting, even if the players would fight either way. OCD I guess, but it can be used as a plot hook. Maybe the dungeon is part of the critical infrastructure of the world (what gate?), and the kobolds swore to a dragon long ago that they would defend it to the death. Doesn't really change the player's actions too much, but fleshes things out and raises the stakes. If the players are the kobold equivilent of the sapphire guard then the cowardice of the other kobolds in leadership positions becomes an interesting issue too, if you want to go that way.

    A whole new system is probably overkill, particularly for combat. Extending an existing system to deal with the scenarios outside of it's scope is probably more appropriate. For example, using 3.5 for combat, but replacing the very basic out of combat mechanics with something more fleshed out.
    I play dwarf mode: Play to win, never be sober, and always die horribly despite everyone's best efforts (DM included).

    I have a blog now! I make no claims to be that fool on that hill, but I do like to think I think the same way. Check it out for some of my more nutty thoughts.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Kobolds Are People Too: A Reverse Dungeon

    Just got wanted to give you some various sources I found useful for kobolds and bases and minionmancy.

    Some basic kobold goodness sources:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Kobold Traps
    Kobold web enhancement
    Races of the Dragon1
    Unearthed Arcana
    Dragons of Eberon
    Dragons of Faerun
    Draconomicon

    1: Dragonwrought allows for kobolds to be actual dragons.


    For micro/macro of a tribe and its structures:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Stronghold Builder's Guidebook (3.0)
    Ultimate Campaign (PF)
    Pathfinder srd stuff on base building


    Things to help players stock their dungeon in flavorful ways:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Leadership (feat)
    Extra Followers (feat)
    Improved Cohort (feat)
    Inspirational Leadership (feat)
    Might Makes Right (feat)
    Undead Leadership (feat)
    Thrall Herder (class)
    Dread Pirate (class)
    Pale Master (class)
    White Raven (maneuver school)
    Animate Dead (spell)



    These are things I know of that could be of help, maybe someone else has more?
    Last edited by DarkBunny91; 2016-03-13 at 03:19 PM.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

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