Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Dungeon - Alchemists Level 2

Sadly, this blog is going to suffer over the next three months as more and more costs on my time mount up.  I am writing the rule book for Conflict! and moving at the pace of a sluggish, run-down out-of-shape snail with a hangover ... but I made some good speed today and I'm feeling generous towards myself.  I also hammered the below contribution together today and yesterday, in bits and pieces.

I'd like first of all to mention that just about no long-term thought has gone into this ... so if anyone wants to argue that it seems disconnected and trite, they're welcome.  I don't think it is.  I think it drips with originality, and I mostly think that because I don't read modules incessantly so I have no idea what they depict, what they resolve out at or if they have in them the sort of things written below.  I am a virgin soul where it comes to module mechanics, because I just do what works for me and my world.  If you have seen any of the below in another module, I promise, it is an amazing coincidence.  And besides, why should the gentle reader care ... it's free!

There is definitely room for DMs to 'riff' off the material.  I find I'm limited for space here and there, and though I can make extra grey boxes to cover the more complicated circumstances, I've tried not to.  A good DM should be able to fill in the blanks from what's here.

However, as I said in the last post, there is a definite THEME.  Not one element of the dungeon level below is accidental.  There's a reason for the various rooms to exist, there's a reason for the circumstances in the Administration room, there is a reason the whole area is deserted.  The various clues and bits and pieces all fit together, and the player is not meant to understand them at this point.  My players are quite used to me driving them around the bend with this or that little tidbit of data, and are happy in knowing its not just a jumble of disconnected details, like one would get with dungeon dressing tables ... ech.  So if you change anything without seeing the last level (which will take awhile, this is a deep dungeon, with at least five more levels plus any I think of later on that still fit the theme).  I have a tendency to get fertile and what is meant to be one level becomes two - this one, for example, is half my original conception for the second level.

Which was dreamed up the middle of Friday afternoon.

I'll post the level now, which can also be found more clearly here:

I'd like to bitch for a bit about the everlasting need for modules (I have seen one or two, you know) to carefully record all the statistics and details of monsters inside the module.  I've never understood this.  If the monster is a giant rat, and you have a monster manual, what the hell do you need giant rat statistics listed in the module?

I expect more from an experienced DM.  The reader will find unusually sized giant rats with 3 HD on this monster level.  I would think a DM could recognize what the armor class, damage and hit points ought to be for a rat with six times as many hit points as the one listed in the monster manual.  Really, does it really need a whole monster description for something painfully obvious?

I'm not in the pablum business.  If you can't do these things on your own ... meh.

I hope the dungeon is enjoyed.  I hope those just reading it get a feel for running while sitting at the office desks.  I hope to get the next piece of it up sometime before my game Saturday.  I also hope to do something with Level 1, a sort of redux that occurs after the players have come through and spent time there.

The week is shaping up to be a nightmare.


Roger the GS said...

Finding the text hard to read even at maximum size. But having everything laidout on the map itself is a worthy goal, and the direct correspondence with the combat reminds me of The Fantasy Trip's modules in more ways than just the hexes.

Alexis said...

Generally, the text is easier to read on the Wiki. Blogger is faulty in its file attachments, and tends to degrade large images.

SupernalClarity said...

It looks like one of the text boxes was cut off (the bit about the rats, in the mess area).

Otherwise, though, the dungeon thus far looks pretty interesting. For some reason I find myself enamoured with the little laboratory portion, and I'm definitely going to have to steal that strange black substance for use in one of my own games. Of course, I'm curious to see if it's at all related to whatever lurks in the lower levels (I would assume that the laboratory is there to hint at something later on, though I hope I'm not assuming incorrectly).

Anyways, keep up the good work, I say!

Alexis said...

That's been fixed, Supernal. The missing word was "cracks."