Saturday, March 13, 2010


Well I've begun writing a series of interconnected adventures for a new Dungeons&Dragons campaign I'm going to be hosting this summer.

This won't be my first experience with Dungeons&Dragons but it will be my first experience as a Dungeon master, We will be using the new Fourth Edition rules, which I know may seem like Sacrilege but I've only been playing since 3.0 anyway So I've got no nostalgic connections to Classic or AD&D.. But I'd like to eventually write a campaign using AD&D.

My previous attempts at D&D have never gone over really well, several years ago I had a pretty large group of Friends and we would get together every week and run a 3.5 game. But the group splintered, One was shifted from his Local Military posting to an overseas posting, One got married and then him and his brother lost their house and had to Move. So It slowly whittled down to just 3 players. We tried to soldier on but it didn't work.

When 4.0 came out, I manged to get a new group started from the remains of the last group and some drafted family members of our DM. It worked out pretty well but due to some problems with the host site we had to discontinue. So I've decided to simply host it at my house, and we will see how it goes.

Part of our never ending problem was, if we did large campaigns that carried over from week to week, we would invariably get a week where one or more players didn't show up and then would be lost. So to remedy that I'm going to keep all of my adventures short enough to be played inside of a 4-5 hour period on a single day. The previous Dungeon master of the group tried really hard to create these vast epic story lines for us to be part of, His typical reading fare almost entirely consisted of Multi Tome Epics. Which while great fun don't really make for the best material to harvest to write Adventures. Great pre-made settings though, just thats what they need to be used for.. backdrops rather than storylines.

We also had problems with peoples attention wandering, if we tried to make the game too serious, too dour or too full of itself, the players started to lose interest. But if we kept it short and with a slightly humorous bent then we had a captivated audience.

Having it at other peoples houses lead to them invariably wandering off, they'd go and turn on the Telvision or suggest we put in a movie which drew peoples attention away from the game. And it was impossible for the DM to argue because it wasn't his house.

Food was generally the last of our problems, but still a problem. Either we would have to play in some ones kitchen which meant getting under foot, or they would shanghai their wife into making us snacks.. Or we would go out and eat or call in pizza before hand. Not everyone always had the money to do this, so those that did would have to spot those who didn't.. Not everyone could agree on the same type of food.. etc.. the problems were endless.

So i think I've hit on the solution, and as Chairman Mao Said, The Solution is Revolution.

The Revolution in this case is for me take responsibility for all of these problems myself. I will Write the adventures so that I can guarantee their length, I will have them be intensely scripted in order to keep peoples attention from wandering.
I will host the games at my house, I will rule with an Iron fist and keep the Television turned off. And I will provide dinner or at least snacks for my Players.

Its something of an experiment as my group of friends are probably not used to this level of micromanagement when they come to my house. I'm normally the type, that if a guest wants a drink to tell them which direction the tap is and have at. But not anymore.

My idea for the adventure in order to keep them semi-humorous and short enough to play through in a day is a bit tricky, but thankfully, Lin Carter, L.Sprague DeCamp and Fritz Leiber wrote half humorous works, and Writers like Robert Asprin, Peirs Anthony and Terry Pratchett writing straight up Fantasy/Comedy.. I should be able to get enough story ideas.

My first one is based rather loosely on The Tower in The Forest by Fritz Leiber. With some bits lifted from the Fallible Fiend by L.Sprague Decamp. The Idea of a tower which sort of uses notes directing towards untold riches as a fishing lour to trap and kill adventurers is right up the alley of my group. I hope they are going to like it. I've left a few small bits in it to direct on to the next adventure, which is going to be partly based on George Macdonald's Princess and the Goblin. If that succeeds, it has a Sequel that I can use.

I dunno, what do my wonderful readers think? Do you want me to post the adventure?


Trey said...

Sure. I'd like to see it.

I think a touch of humor is always a good thing in an adventure. It's gonna show up eventually, in my experience, so you might as well intend it. I wouldn't try to overplan it though, or get too detailed in preparation. I think that just leads to frustration, at least for the DM, and possibly all involve.

I thnik system is just a means to an end. While I have some issues with some of design and marketting choices of 4E (as I did for 3 and 3.5E) just because it isn't my D&D doesn't mean it can't be someone elses.

I trying to get my old nephew into the hobby, I got him the starter set for 4E for Christmas, and my brother and I played with him. It was fun, even though it didn't scratch the same itch for me that I get out of my usual gaming, which hasn't been any edition of D&D in a few years now.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Yeah I'll try and not over plan it, but I figure if I keep it tight enough It will be less like herding cats and more like shepherding sheep.