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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Shangxi, China

    Default A different kind of Dungeon

    I've been living abroad for a while now and I'm returning home for about two weeks very shortly. In my gaming group I was the original DM and more than one of my old players has said that they want me to run something 3.5 while I am back in town, but I generally think of big expansive plots and there is no way I could resolve them in one-two sessions.

    What I am looking for is help creating a one shot adventure/dungeon which I can strap fluff onto later which provides a set of unique experiences and challenges to let a very diverse group of people equally enjoy the game.

    My players:

    2 powergamers, one of whom only has fun when obviously winning and the other one who only has fun when outperforming everyone and everything that he is aware of (the second one I'm going to try to keep from joining if I run).

    1 playerwho purposefully creates anti-optimized characters and chooses the chaotic alignments because they like to be "random"

    1 roleplayer who genuinely gets into the roleplay but prefers to play dark and slightly evil characters, is highly likely to betray the party given a chance and something shiny.

    1 roleplayer who enjoys keeping things light, humorous, and unbound by evil or good. Taking the most creative path he can to answer a question while it still is the easiest one.

    1 role player who refuses to have anything to do with evil personas.


    Ideas that I have:

    1. Allow each character to create 2 PCs (thinking of mid ranged characters, such as 6-12th level), and then have a very dangerous (high mortality rate) dungeon. Tvtrope: Anyone can die

    (this would trump my longstanding campaign rule which is that I will step in and save you from an untimely death if it is just an accident of luck, though I won't save your pride. You die for real if you do something stupid. In my past games the only thing fatal was stupidity).

    Limit character creation to X number of source books per character.

    (instead of the above, my other idea was everyone creates two character sheets, then on the first day we shuffle all the sheets and deal out two to each player, they choose one and run with it... I don't think my players would be happy with the second option, though they'd like dying a lot less).

    2. "Boss" challenges like those seen on Doctor Who and other shows of the like, its not just about outfighting them, but there is another level to it.

    My idea was to create a Dungeon like the Library from the last two parter by Stephen Moffat, complete with the Vashtan Errada (sp?).

    For those who don't watch, its basically a sentient enemy that can turn a man to a skeleton in less than a second, is a swarm, and looks like a shadow.

    The idea was to have the shadows follow the PCs and try to get infected PCs to use the critters as ways to take bosses down with them, or as an incentive to run and not to stop to rest.

    3. This mortal coil: One of my first ideas for the adventure was actually that the players wake up in a slight daze, not sure where they are, with a thin blue cord wrapped around their bodies, and someone is tugging at it. The can see all of their belongings, but outside their clothing they can't touch any of them.

    They soon learn that they are on the Etheral plane, are dead, that someone is stealing their bodies, and that they can only get resurrected if they can first return to their corporal forms before said forms are destroyed or before Death comes calling. Since their tied they'd have a set radius they can travel from their bodies, which limits their options, but then since the material and Etheral planes have different landscapes it makes things interesting.

    4. I'd really like ideas for non-combat resolved encounters, or at the least ones where combat is both the most obvious and worst possible choise. I don't mean things like (that NPC would have helped you if you hadn't attacked them), rather things like multi-pronged objectives.

    Townsfolk kidnaped, rescue them and bring the bandits to justice... but if they attack head on the hostages will all be slaughters on the spot.

    Ideally I'll work all of these together.


    Currently I really like the carniverous shadows idea, and if nothing else I'd wonder how you would stat somethhing like that. (I'd imagine a low hp total, quick regeneration, and high damage output swarm. Likely a straight Fort or die on its attack starting at 0 and adding 1 every roll until fail while the swarm is attached to a person (and doing flat damage if forcefully detached).

    I like the idea (though a headache) of keeping track of where shadows are during combat, and not knowing if any given one of them is lethal.


    Final note: My players also very much enjoy Warcraft references (the slightly evil player) King Arthur (lesser or two powergamers), Fae (goody two shoes), and Naruto (creative solution roleplayer)... I'd like to work things in for them as well as I go.

    I was thinking of something like the Unseele (dark elf's) version of the Library of Alexandria in which a powerful runesword (frostmourn) was sealed at the time a great wizard (merlin) challenged the old gods. It has remained lost only to be rediscovered, lost from time itself.

    Some of party is looking to loot the place, some just want a story to tell, others were sent to look for any signs that someone survived the events there and to find out what happened to them.

    Part way in (early in the first session) they find a dying NPC who tells them, "look to your right, now look to your left. Congratulations, you've found the survivors... now get them out while you still can."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: A different kind of Dungeon

    Yer screwed. Go to a movie instead.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Shangxi, China

    Default Re: A different kind of Dungeon

    While likely what I'll actually do, still not to terribly helpful of a response...

    Thanks for the help anyway.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    Xuincherguixe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Non Sequitoria

    Default Re: A different kind of Dungeon

    Tell the person who doesn't like associating with evil types to just put up with it this time.

    Have everyone make a third character, under the assumption that the game is going to get ruined, because it probably is. For that game, establish that no one can backstab the rest of the team. Because let's face it, that's what's going to kill the first.

    You can just go the extremely heavy handed approach when they try something like that and tell them, "No, you don't." but that will get into a fight pretty fast. Instead, have the especially disruptive players possessed by something.

    Personally, I'm a fan of a little disruption. But not too far beyond petty in character bickering. To that end, the things possessing the characters won't get in the way when they say, attempt to steal some horses, but will when they try and backstab the party.

    Alternatively, whenever they die, they become ghosts and get sent into the past, and possess themselves. And, must prevent their own deaths ^_^

    I would say throw that party at the Tomb of Horrors, but after reading through it I couldn't help but think that frankly it's just not malicious enough a dungeon. Imagine what a place where misanthropy and hate are given substance. That is how you build your dungeon.

    You might want to have it so that the characters keep coming back to life after they die. I like the ghost thing myself. But in addition to that, at some point, (or perhaps several) they will encounter a being with many grotesque and warped faces that wants to kill the party. This being is composed of all the souls of the people who died in their place (I'm taking a bit of a page from Planescape: Torment here). Every time one of them dies, it gets a little bit stronger.

    All things being said though, I wouldn't bother coming up with anything too involved plot wise for that group. Make sure to give them a chance, it's more sadistic that way ^_^

    Rizban: You could be all, "Today's Destruction is brought to you by the color green.... I HATE GREEN!" then fly off mumbling to yourself "Seven... seven bats... mwa ha ha ha..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Everyone knows you can just parse XML with regex.
    Don't mind me. I'm just going to have some post traumatic flashbacks in the corner here and sob uncontrollably.

    Millenium Earl by Shmee

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