Prisons Below

Prisons Below

A good Dungeon Master should always have a spare prison they can can pull out for when the PC’s get into trouble (which never happens, right?)

  • The north section of this map includes ten 10’x10′ cells along with multiple areas for guards to hang out and keep watch.
  • The southern section is a large room for what else? Torture and interrogation of course!
  • Connecting both arms is a defensible choke point with a large circular staircase to freedom.

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Map: Tower of the Black Sun

Tower of the Black Sun

First version of a map for an adventure I’m working on. I don’t want to give away too much, so just a simple map this time. Key points include multiple small rooms behind secret doors, stairs to upper and lower levels, and an astronomically aligned summoning circle.

 

 

Map & Plot Idea: Pools of Sacrifice

Map Pools of Sacrifice

How’s this for a first isometric map? I found a nice way to print isometric paper on iOS devices, will have to put up a how-to later.

So, for some ideas for this map:

The top level has an arcane circle. Maybe PC’s find a portal here? Or maybe they are unwittingly sent here by an evil cult in order for the PCs to unknowingly set off a blood summoning?

On the second levels are sacrificial blood pools. Populate these two levels with some big baddies. I mean big, as in at least large in size. The bigger the bloodier!

Then, the idea is that their blood channels down through the tunnel all the way to the bottom where it fills a sacrificial cult alter. And then what happens??? Nothing good, I’m sure…

Have fun!

Dungeon Crawl Classics #83: The Chained Coffin – Color Cover box set

How far does a Dungeon Master go?

SPOILERS

How far do you go, as a Dungeon Master, Game Master, or Judge, to steer PCs toward special treasure or effects? Stuff that you probably just as much want to see your friends find (and play with) as you’re hoping they will.

For example, in Sailors of the Starless Sea 2nd printing (for DCC RPG), the PCs investigate the hot pits in H-1, but keep wimping out, not to go down further. This is understandable as it is clearly dangerous, but now they miss any opportunity to acquire the Fiend-Blade or a Blessing of the Slow God. Despite me even encouraging them to return later (I mean, it’s a perfect place to thaw out a decades old frozen Chaos Lord…)

Then, a PC actually pulls the bronze ring in the pool in 1-2, survives, and falls into 1-3, but then never even says anything about “oh, let me look around here”. So, it’s not like the Band of Fire is just going to slip onto his finger (ala The One Ring, although now I think of it, I probably missed an opportunity to play it like that!) I give a little extra description to entice further exploration, but it’s like survival kicks in and the priority is simply to get out ASAP, and so the legendary ring remains in the much covered in hundreds of old skulls.

So, a DM, should be “Neutral”, yet I think we also ought to be cheerleaders for the PC’s.

But like a cheerleader, we cannot actively affect the outcome of the game. Yet, it drives me nuts in my OCD brain thinking of cool things that totally go unnoticed simply because a PC won’t at least say “I want to look X to see if there’s anything there amongst all of the A’s, B’s and C’s you just described as being there”. And, I’ve learned that there’s no fun at all just giving them an uncalled for “passive perception” type of roll to do it for them.

If the item, place, etc. is truly necessary for the game, then I see three options:

  1. Make multiple way for the PCs to come across it
  2. Should be rare, but sometimes you have to hit them over the head with it if the DM and PCs simply aren’t on the same wavelength (i.e. if you feel it’s “your fault” and not describing the situation accurately.)
  3. An option for stellar DMs, improvise around it. The PCs don’t find the widget that saves the kingdom at the last minute? Fine. The Kingdom falls. Tear up the last couple sheets of paper you have in your binder and the DM rolls right into describing the chaos that immediately ensues. Roll for initiative motherfuckers! Muahaha!

However, if the loot or what have you, is not necessary for the outcome of the story, then I believe the answer is to simply keep a poker face and don’t ever let on to the PC’s that they just passed up a Vorpal Sword or similar. If your doodad is extra special and you really want to see it in game, then your option is to just put it somewhere else. Maybe in your next game you create a special little add-on area (that they overlook again… uggh…). Or maybe a villain finds it! The über boss at the end of this adventure (or the next?) is now tougher, richer, and has his own castle because he came across the Deck of Many Things that the PCs passed up!

Any other thoughts?

Starting DCC #67 Sailors on the Starless Sea tonight

What the PCs will be seeing when they show up tonight:

Goodman Games Road Crew

I’m so glad that I found this, has been a blast to participate in!

Showing off DCC and MCC dice sets from Goodman Games – the perfect Christmas gift for your players

Happy Black Friday Delivery Day!