Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mazes and Monsters Script

Is anyone's google-fu strong enough to find the Mazes and Monsters script?

Is there like a script database somewhere or would that be too easy?

I started thinking about this when we watched a portion of the film in my spring class.

Friday, May 27, 2011

OGL and Posting New Monsters

So I'd like to post some new monsters and some monster tweaks.

However, I'm unclear as to "how" to do that within the confines of the OGL.

I noticed James at Grognardia posted the OGL on his blog and references monsters as open game content under said license with his Grognard's Grimoire monsters.

Rather than fumbling around in the dark, can someone light a torch on this issue for me?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blue Dungeon Mapping Help

I just finished the first draft of my megadungeon map.

I've rounded out at 375 keyed areas, excluding sub-areas. So likely 450-ish total rooms.

I used Dungeon Crafter with the blue tile set from Dragonsfoot.

It does the job, but it doesn't get style points.

Has anyone bumped into easy-to-use but aesthetically pleasing mapping software? Alternatively, is anyone particularly adept at this sort of thing and want a challenge?

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Art of Choice: The Bricked-Up Wall

I've been reflecting on A Paladin in Citadel's post about the use of the portcullis and the brocked-up wall as alternatives to doors.

I love this idea because it fits in nicely with some other mechanics I've been thinking of regarding player choices and providing more of them in my one level sprawling megadungeon.

The bricked-up wall is super cool, because there's the hint of the unknown but also how to deal with it in-game. If you take a sledge to it, that's a guaranteed random monster check in my game, or you could pass it by - and have some beastie break free behind you later on. Ultimately, it comes down to player choice.

In the comments we discussed possibilities for representing the "Bricked-Up Wall". So I present to you the above image represented simply as a B, much like the S of a secret door.

So what do you think of the idea? Have you used similar ideas (tied to random monster rolls) in your campaign?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blogger Strangeness

Hi folks,

I'm not sure what's going on with the blog at the moment, but I've noticed that my new posts aren't updating as normal on other sites.

Perhaps this relates to the whole RSS issue, I'm not overly knowledgeable with the interwebs to know.

Also, my pc is in getting looked after which further complicates posting and other jobs.

I'll try to figure it out here shortly.

Lecture topic tonight: Governmentality and D&D

Monday, May 16, 2011

One-Page Dungeon Contest 2011!!!

The results for the 2011 One Page Dungeon Contest were announced today.

I'm very excited to share with you that my entry entitled The Bastion of the Boglings won the Best Monster Lair category! WooHoo!

I have played a number of dungeons from the one page contest over the last two years and hope that someone out there gets some fun and enjoyment from my adventure too.

I want to say thank you to all the folks you contributed and judged the competition.

This is a really important expression of the old school movement and I hope it continues.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Megadungeon Crypts

In order to make my busy life more difficult, I've been pecking away at a megadungeon.

This will have some differences from your standard run-of-the-mill megadungeon.

This will be a massive sprawling crypt that spans 6 8x11 pieces of graph paper. The idea being that the crypts were expanded and added-to over time creating a massive labyrinth.

Also, to do something different I'm eschewing traditional vertical dungeon levels in favour of horizontal semi-themed ones.

I've created massive randomized lists in excel for monsters, treasure, and dungeon dressing, but I need to generate a bunch of one or two sentence descriptions for empty (or largely nondescript) rooms. Has anyone bumped into a forum post about this or perhaps a list of empty rooms?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ever Teach D&D to 30 People?

[First, I apologize for the blogging hiatus. Getting this spring course underway has taken every waking moment of my time for the last 10 days.]

I'm not quite sure how I imagined it, but teaching D&D to 30 people at the same time was a very interesting experience.

In short, we have had three classes and I've used a combination of fish-bowl style modelling where I DM a small group while the rest of the class huddles around with questions flying from all directions, walkthough-style step-by-step instructions for character generation and one-page dungeon generation, short-video clips, much discussion, and tonight, for the first time, a video-conference with the DMs of Red Box Vancouver. SO I've tried to cover all the different learning styles.

Dan Proctor from Goblinoid Games graciously sent me some hard copies of Labyrinth Lord to use as the gaming texts. They, of course, have access to the no art version and I see that most of the students printed that off and bring it to class. I'm actually indebted to a bunch of very cool OSR folks for making electronic materials available and helping me facilitate this course. I'm going to recognize them all in a single post shortly.

Remember that this is a spring course, effectively 10 classes (2xWeek) for 3 hours each. So there's no time to play silly buggers, we needed to get going from class 1 and that's exactly what we have done. It's a lot to throw at them, but that's the nature of taking a course in the spring session.

The first tutorial assignment was a walk-through of character generation. In addition to rolling their scores and starting gp, they needed to write a short backstory. I can sum that process up concisely in two sentences (the above), but the sheer volume of questions was hectic. Assumed in all this, of course, is getting familiar with the subcultural lexicon - all the stuff we take for granted HP, AC, Saving Throws, etc. The second assignment was a 12-room one page dungeon scenario. This also had a full step-by-step walkthrough. It was really interesting to see how some understood there was a methodical process and followed it, and others who were frustrated by it. I'll have a better idea tonight, but I think most grasped the concept.

The first night, after using the first hour to go through the course outline, I threw them right into a scenario (mean, aren't I?). We switched out players every 10-15 minutes or so. I had a very short contextual blurp to start the game, indicating that their objective was to plunder the tomb, find the treasure, and claim it as their own. I finished with "Your standing outside the tomb, what would you like to do now?" Some of the facial expressions were priceless as they all started to grasp the idea. The second group were particularly gregarious and wanted to do all sorts of things and spent much time in debate about how to proceed. These tutorials are busy, but fun learning experiences.

The front-end of the course is tutorial heavy - to facilitate play - and the back-end of course is more academic in nature with assignments, etc. So there's a natural transition over time.

The next assignment is to read Clark Ashton Smith's The Colossus of Ylourgne with the idea of 1) summary and review of the story, and 2) pulling aspects of the story for gaming sernarios.

I probably won't get to post again until next week because I'm busy serving on the organizing committee for the Popular Culture Association of Canada conference this weekend in Niagara Falls, Ontario. If you are interested in the types of papers you can go here and to the conference program.