Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Con Diary - Day 2 (initial ideas)

Im 12 days I've a table at a convention in the middle of the night and I need to come up with an adventure. The system, no surprises here, will be my hack of D&D. A mix of HackMaster and Rules Cyclopedia with house rules. Some of them from the community, some of them by yours truly. So I get to try them on an unsuspecting audience. I want it fast and simple. Not only because we play so late at night, but also because it's a convention and the players will need to know fast what's what.

Incidently it will mean some new and customized character sheets and a DIY DM screen. At least the screen is on my to do list for some time now, so it would be good to get this done. Got some ideas already how to do it, too and will post the results, of course, as soon as it's done.

Now for the adventure. Needs to be fast, challenging and, let's say, primal. Not much story, but not just a simple dungeon crawl either. I know there is a shitload of excellent and free adventures out there, but doing it myself should be easier than preparing an unfamiliar one. And it's something to share with the community, when it's done. So that's what I'll do.

Contentwise I'm thinking "Zombies" right now. Lots of Zombies, actually. Going "The Walking Dead" all the way. Maybe make a contest out of it, who'll survive the longest and giving those that died early a chance to participate as the living dead. So it will be deadly. I think that goes well with the late hours. Right now I'm tending towards giving everyone a level 3 character, with an option to have a second one after the first death, but level 2 and a third one with level 1 before it's all over. Maybe with an option tovstay dead earlier and have a more powerfull, maybe even concious (?) Zombie to use against the players. If possible, I'll make a mini game out of it to keep those playing the Undead engaged. And people will get points for surviving, but also for playing dead. Tournament style.

Those Zombies will infect people pretty fast (should be a save or die situation, I suppose) and only hitting them on the head should kill them.

Now I need to think a bit more about location and reasons for the group to stay together. All that points towardsva game in a dungeon. We'll see. More on that tomorrow...


  1. Zombie temple on the outskirts of an endless desert and thick jungle? Players could always have gotten stranded by their guide during the middle of the night.

  2. Under normal circumstances I'd say this would be a very good approach. A variation of the trope "the charcters are stranded in a strange location because of a terrible storm", that kind of thing. Alas, I think it's too much information about the set up and before the adventure (especially that late in the night, with the players most likely just coming from another game...), with the beginning of the game rather leading to more questions about the surroundings than the immediate problems at hand.

    So for this game, I'd think the "you woke up in a dungeon"-type of adventure would be better suited.

    Or better yet, something like: "You're prisoners of war (slaves?) in a work crew deep down in a strange mine/strange catacombs under a once proud but now ruined city (maybe a war was just lost and the winning troops enslaved the remaining population...). You realize something terrible has happened when all the guards go missing. You want to get out, but they sealed the only entrance und you have to find a way to the ground through the endless catacombs around you. But something lurks in the dark, hungry for BRAINS...".

    With all the slaves in the same situation, it's a perfect basis for a zombie infection scenario (also: a mass of potential victims other than the PCs is a good thing to have). The action starts immediately and the characters are surrounded by danger. The first questions aren't "Where am I?", but "how can I get out of here and where could I get weapons?". I think that change of focus is important if you need to get things moving fast.

    As always, thank you for the feedback and ideas, Charles. Although being somewhat different than what I had it mind, it sure helped me getting my set up straight. Very nice :)


Recent developments made it necessary to moderate posts again. Sorry about that, folks.