May 25, 2011

Labyrinth of the Underdark

from the movie Labyrinth (1986)

Many times in D&D, I have tried (or read an adventure that tried) to create a scenario with the dungeoneers trapped in some sort of maze which they must find their way out of. Time and again, however, the adventure idea has fallen on its face. I've had boring, uninspired implementations one after another. I've done timed pan and paper maze puzzles, skill challenges, complex dungeon tile setups; you name it. While helping out on some work on a Project That Shall Not Be Named, I was inspired by the author to create a card-based mini-game to represent the maze that is the namesake of H2: Thunderspire Labyrinth.

May 22, 2011

Encounter: Astral Ambush

Astral Ambush
Encounter Level 18 (2,000 XP each)


Astral Ambush is a complex encounter I ran for my D&D game. The encounter centers around a derelict Arkhosian Destroyer, a prized warship ready for the taking. The ship is a tempting target for the party, bait to lure them on board. Nearby, however, are several environmental hazards and hiding on board the ship is a lurking villain. Astral Ambush uses the Starship Combat rules provided here, however the encounter can easily be altered to be applicable to an open sea environment.

May 19, 2011

Magic Item Black Market

Recently, I was presented with the exciting opportunity to start up a new D&D campaign from scratch. I generally enjoy this aspect of the Dungeon Master’ing experience. I’m an organized, planning-ahead kind of person by nature, and the start of a new campaign gives ample opportunity to put those tendencies to good use.

One of the complaints from this group of players during the last game we had was the overall lack of magic items and loot. During that campaign, I opted to use the inherent enhancement bonus option from DMG2 and use a handful of very special, powerful, almost artifact-like magic items through the entirety of the game world. I also banned the enchant magic item and disenchant magic item rituals, and the related martial practices. This allowed me to keep magic rare and special in the world, to give it a sense of wonder and mystery. My efforts fell on deaf ears, however, as the players preferred to haul away barrels full of loot. They missed the +1 magic longswords, having some sense of nostalgia for their prior adventures in that style. Being the manager of this dog and pony show, I acquiesced to my audience and went back to Rules-As-Written magic item distribution. I would even let the dungeoneers (gasp!) buy magic items.

May 1, 2011

Deathmatch Podcast & Updates

A 4th Edition podcasting blog, A Roving Band of Misfits, has posted a podcast where they start out excitedly talking about the Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. All this support and excitement has gotten me very encouraged! I can't wait! There has also been talk from Benoit's side about some very special treats for some lucky teams in the Deathmatch. More details will be dropped as things progress!

As I write this, we're at 23 31 players signed up! Only 1 ticket remaining! I see this event easily selling out by the end of the week. I thank you all for your love of killing your fellow man.

With that in mind, please make sure to get in touch with me and get your team squared away. I'd hate to have to do all that messy administrative juggling at GenCon, splicing together teams and all, when we could be better spending our time telefragging.