Friday, June 19, 2009

Playing the Dungeon of Voorand - the entrepeneur phase

Note: I have a newborn son who's only a couple of days old, so right now I'm not totally focused on blogging. I'll try to keep up. This post is a little late. Sorry about that.

Our Wednesday game have had to move to Thursdays, and I've been worried that some of the walk-in attendees would be confused by this. Unfortunately that happened, but we still had enough show up for a game this week.

Now we have entered what I call the entrepreneur stage. Our dwarven hero have lost a couple of limbs, and in order to scale back on the hazards he decided to start a tavern. Earlier that player managed to become the chief of a small tribe of hyenakin by defeating the former chief in single combat. He is now the player's second in command and gets to run the show as usual. Now the tribe have become recruited as loggers, and builder of the tavern. I really like this development. I have not set out any clear targets for the players, except some hooks and rumours about the dungeon. From out of player initiative we now have another campaign reaching development! I can let this tavern be a source of more information, problems and adventures for the players. The best part of being the one player who has to build the environment and provide the building blocks for fun, is when a player starts giving you building blocks they have carved themselves.

The delving this time focused on a weird intra dimensional room they found earlier, which spins like a carousel. Tugging the rope that hangs from out of nowhere in the centre of the room, they started the room spinning and then opened the doors that now lead to adventure. What was most fun for me at this point was when they found a room which wasn't really like anything else they have encountered before. Save or die effects are hated by some, and ridiculed by others. In this instance I had a room with a very subtle threat, that none the less had hints to decipher about what was going on. To my amusement they looked in the right direction and draw other conclusions than the wholly correct one. Hilarity ensued and the party was split in two and had to flee when a fight showed itself way to much for them. Learn to run away, and remember that sharks swim in the shallowest water. I have good players, and they know that. But, it is fun to see them not just waltz through it all and get a reminder once in a while.

Sometimes you hear that any touch of technology or "science fantasy" makes hard core fantasy gamers run away screaming. The module Expedition to the Barrier Peaks is one that those kind of gamers love to hate. Those also seem to be vary of anything related to Blackmoor, since they know there are hi-tech there. Personally I kind of like to mix anything fun in. I decided to put a piece of gaming history in my dungeon. Anyone ever heard of Adventure or The Colossal Caves? If you have, you have probably also played the version with the vending machine in the labyrinth. For me vending machines are neat. They are fun to play with and might dispense all kind of wondrous stuff in a world of magic. Needless to say, I couldn't resist putting in a vending machine filled with toys, gewgaws and magically powered trinkets. I have no idea what some of them can be used for, but I trust my players to come up with something funny. Already the bouncing ball that doubles in size every time it bounces have provided us with fun and laughter. Imagine that one in a cramped environment down in the tunnels of a dungeon.

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