March 3, 2011

PAX East DM's Challenge: Intro and PC Backgrounds

I only have one week left to finalize all of my notes for the PAX East DM's Challenge. I intend to win. You might even say that I am addicted to winning. I'm on such a roll now. The preliminary draft of the adventure will be done either today or tomorrow, looking at around 30 pages printed out, including all the accessories. I'm blasting through this thing lightning fast. It's like I have tiger's blood. I have magic in my fingertips. I'm a vatican warlock assassin.

Seriously though, this is really getting my competitive spirit up, and I love it!

I wrapped up the introductory spiel, as well as the background/story information for the pregen characters, see below. Look for the complete adventure to be posted after I get back from the con.

A follow up to the PAX East DMs Challenge Character Sheets, here is the background of the adventure, as well as player character backgrounds/stories, with some embedded rumors and hints about what the players should expect or be looking for.

And lastly, repeated below is the official description of the challenge. I personally feel that the restriction on maximum encounter level is the biggest handicap for me here. I want to hit these guys with an N+4 badly.

PAX East 2011 DM’s Challenge Information

Dragon’s Lair” Rules

Adventure Design
DMs must create an adventure suitable for five 8th-level characters (actual group size may vary from 4-6 players) using the D&D rules, with a spotlight on a unique and fantastic dragon and its lair.

The adventure should play in about 4-5 hours, including time for the players to review characters. You should write approximately 3 tactical encounters for your adventure; you must write at least 2 tactical encounters, but no more than 4. Tactical encounters can be fights or other deadly challenges (like traps). Levels for the encounters should not be lower than 7 or higher than 10; you should endeavor to write a total of about 25 levels' worth of tactical encounters (that would parse out into two 8th-level fights and one 9th-level fight).

Your adventure should be set in and around a dragon’s lair, and should include a showdown with a draconic foe. You can develop any story or setting you’d like for the lair, and you should use Monster Vault or Monster Manual 3 for dragons and other monster designs (or as a design guide for your own). Add exploration and roleplaying encounters to your adventure to really make it come to life beyond the tactical encounters.

You are expected to provide player characters for players to use for your adventure. The characters should all be 8th level, and you should bring 6 different characters. Make sure to account for a play group of 4, 5, or 6 characters when you write your characters and the adventure.
You are required to bring all materials with you that you'll need to run your adventure - maps/tiles, minis/tokens, player character sheets, etc. If you’d like to use D&D Fortune Cards, you can bring cards and develop a use for them in-game (draw from a central deck, integrate them as boons earned during the adventure, etc.).

Each player at your table will be given a form to complete after they finish playing. On the form, they'll be asked to rate you on the following categories:

Fun Factor

Because we love our DMs so much, and know you put a lot of hard work into your adventure, just for showing others a good time you'll get a recent hardcover book release as a thanks for participating! In addition, the DM with the best overall rating in the categories above will be awarded a SWEET PRIZE, which will be unveiled at the show. It will be cool, I promise.

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