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  • Adventure help

    Hello everyone, I want to ask you for your opinion on how I should continue.

    My group (3 Warriors, 2 Rogues, 1 Mage [around lvl 4-5]) are currently hostages on a ship. The pirates took their weapons, armor etc. away and plan to sell them into slavery to the Tevinter Imperium (it will be their first trip outside of Ferelden) Also they lost a very powerful artifact to the pirates which enables blood mages to summon and control an undead army. (bind demons to bodies)
    Now I plan to let them run through a labyrinth and face several groups of mobs and of course one big boss. If they exit the labyrinth then they shall be set free (which no one has ever done since the only exit is well hidden through magical means and dwarven engineering PS: the walls are moving) So I want to send a Tevinter mage to their rescue to help them to escape and then they would have to flee (don't know where they want to go)

    Now you will ask yourself, why would the Tevinter mage help them? Because he will be a new character (played by my friend) and he too wants to escape because a powerful Archon wants him dead. (The one who bought the PC's)

    Or: moving labyrinth walls? That's too much. I say yes, they are not supposed to escape by themselves. But it is possible and threre are weapons, armor and minor magical items in the labyrinth so that they can get a few things back. (Though I will let them make a map of the labyrinth after they pass a cunning test)
    Also, because he is just a good sport, the Archon will allow them to keep one item of their personal possession. I guess that most will choose their weapons, if not then they will have no weapons to fight the monsters.

    Now I could use some ideas, advice or critic on my little plan. Thanks a lot.

  • #2
    Re: Adventure help

    Keeping the atmosphere mysterious and interesting at every turning is a real challenge with a place like this. You could add effects to certain paths, like a hazey fog that moves over it at one point, a place where unusual mushrooms grow and so forth.

    The other problem I can foresee is having too many fights. Perhaps some fights can have a run and gun style, to outrun walls closing behind them, and traps implemented throughout of course, to further break apart combats.

    You could be really evil and offer them something marked as "Exit" near the very beginning. If they walk through it, it transports them through the exit all right, but in the wrong direction...back into the maze.
    Whatever bad boss is in there, if you don't want it to be a minotaur, you could have them find a dead minotaur in the middle, suggesting that this thing killed it...

    If they get really stuck, you could then throw them a guide who is compelled to run on ahead, making the party chase or lose them. In this way you could present things like treasure, enemies and other stopping factors to tempt them. Course, they would also need to keep up with advanced running threshold tests as they go.

    If you do make this, please send your GM file notes to me at robafett@gmail.com where I can consider it for my own use and for posting on Dragon Age Oracle in your name.

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    • #3
      Re: Adventure help

      Are the PC's efforts being shown to an audience or are they simply doing this to amuse an archon who watches from above?

      I think that if the walls are being controlled by the archon himself, the PCs should learn this rather soon, and should make it the focus of the adventure to either jam the walls so that the archon cannot stop them from reaching the exits. This makes their escape their own work, and makes it much more satisfying for the heroes to get out.

      They could jam these walls by strategically moving about the maze to trick the archon into locking the walls together so he cannot block the exit, or they could defeat the big boss in such a way that the corpse gums up the works (gruesome, but definitely dark fantasy).

      I love this idea, but you also want to be sure that this isn't going to enrage the players every time they try something to only have the archon stop them. The archon should have a control on this situation, but only so much, so the heroes can find a way to outsmart or outplay him.

      Giving the PCs an audience might earn them a title that works among the people who watched the event or those who have heard about it and like blood sports like this.
      If you like the Dragon Age RPG, please consider listening to my podcast:[URL="https://wondersofthedaspodcast.wordpress.com/"] The Wonders of Thedas[/URL]! We discuss classes, backgrounds, GMing techniques, specializations, play styles, and much more!
      You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or [URL="https://soundcloud.com/wondersofthedas"]Soundlcoud[/URL]!

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      • #4
        Re: Adventure help

        Originally posted by Kot the Protector View Post
        They could jam these walls by strategically moving about the maze to trick the archon into locking the walls together so he cannot block the exit, or they could defeat the big boss in such a way that the corpse gums up the works (gruesome, but definitely dark fantasy).
        Although it would be unfortunate if they did the latter at a time when (unbeknownst to them) the exit is momentarily inaccessible, thus making it *permanently* inaccessible....

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        • #5
          Re: Adventure help

          Originally posted by Kot the Protector View Post
          Are the PC's efforts being shown to an audience or are they simply doing this to amuse an archon who watches from above?

          Giving the PCs an audience might earn them a title that works among the people who watched the event or those who have heard about it and like blood sports like this.
          Yep there will be an audience watching, it will have high walls and a permanent magical shield to prevent the "heroes" to attack the audience (Or only iron bars across, like in a medieval prison [sorry I don't know the English word for this])
          And yes, they will earn a title by escaping the Labyrinth which can/will help them in the future

          Originally posted by Kot the Protector View Post
          I think that if the walls are being controlled by the archon himself, the PCs should learn this rather soon, and should make it the focus of the adventure to either jam the walls so that the archon cannot stop them from reaching the exits. This makes their escape their own work, and makes it much more satisfying for the heroes to get out.
          I plan to let the walls move every 3-5 rounds by themselves (no Archon to change it) and not possible to jam the walls (see DrawGreeny as to why) Also the walls will move slowly, to give the Pc's a minute to think where they want to go. In total it shouldn't go longer than 15 rounds (or the players might feel that it takes too long, but I'm not sure about it yet)
          But the Archon can send new monsters or creatures in the maze so that he can give the people what they want. (Slaves or misbehaving guards can be send in to give the PC's a chance to loot the corpses)


          The point is that the Archon doesn't intend them to escape, so the exit is well hidden (high TN to see it) and magically sealed (You need a mage to pass a high TN test) after they try it twice to find/open it, the Archon will send some minions to disturb their efforts.
          After around 15 rounds (or more depends on how fast they are) I will send in the new player and he will try to find the PC's in the Labyrinth and together they can escape. I make it "15" rounds short because I don't want the players to feel that they can't escape, but also to give them a sense of despair. (though many will already be despairing without their armor)

          Not sure if you know it, but there is a board game named: "The aMAZEing Labyrinth" I was thinking if I should use this as layout, just that I have more control about where to move the walls.

          P.S.: Of course there will be another EXIT sign that leads direct to the big boss.

          Edit: @Bardwulf Sure, I will send it to you, though I think my sentence structure might make it difficult to read, maybe I will just post it here before playing it so you guys have the chance to add or change some things.
          Last edited by Eldaran; 10-18-2014, 06:40 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Adventure help

            I like the way this is going!

            And I totally understand not allowing the PCs to jam the walls, it makes the encounter easier for you to run. (but I honestly think that, from my experience, that could be one of the first things they try to do, unless the walls moving isn't going to stop them from escaping much. Maybe that would just be my players...)
            If you like the Dragon Age RPG, please consider listening to my podcast:[URL="https://wondersofthedaspodcast.wordpress.com/"] The Wonders of Thedas[/URL]! We discuss classes, backgrounds, GMing techniques, specializations, play styles, and much more!
            You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or [URL="https://soundcloud.com/wondersofthedas"]Soundlcoud[/URL]!

            If you have a question about the Dragon Age RPG, have custom content you'd like to share with the world, or any other contribution, send a message to [email]wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com[/email], or through our [URL="https://www.facebook.com/wondersofthedaspodcast/"]Facebook[/URL], [URL="https://twitter.com/wothedaspodcast"]Twitter[/URL], [URL="https://plus.google.com/u/0/117394385983855213618"]Google+[/URL], or [URL="http://wonderofthedaspodcast.tumblr.com/"]Tumblr [/URL]accounts!

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            • #7
              Re: Adventure help

              Have the whole thing as a contest with two Archons (or Magisters) instead of a audience. That way the players might have an indirect ally in the opposing Archon/Magister since i doubt the one who put the group in this maze in the first place would be dumb enough to give out weapons to warriors who die so easily (note i said weapons not armor as i found "the one size fits all" esp on humans to be annoying).

              Plus a few traps here and there like in Bardwulf's House of Traps vids on YouTube would be nice.
              Last edited by Shadow Mask; 10-25-2014, 04:44 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Adventure help

                Originally posted by Shadow Mask View Post
                Have the whole thing as a contest with two Archons (or Magisters) instead of a audience. That way the players might have an indirect ally in the opposing Archon/Magister since i doubt the one who put the group in this maze in the first place would be dumb enough to give out weapons to warriors who die so easily (note i said weapons not armor as i found "the one size fits all" esp on humans to be annoying).

                Plus a few traps here and there like in Bardwulf's House of Traps vids on YouTube would be nice.
                So you mean that there are two Archons, one sends the team in and another tries to kill them? Or maybe having there 2 teams and each tries to beat the other to gain their freedom? That's actually a good idea... something to think about.
                The Archon wants to give them weapons so that the audience has something to see. If the prisoners die too quickly than it would be boring too. Most enemies in the maze/labyrinth are monsters, not people.
                I have 3 possible bosses and 4 "wandering monsters" the dice decide whom or what they encounter.
                Boss:
                - Spider queen (Let's see how they deal with spiders crawling along the walls)
                - Rat swarm (my own creation that counts as a single creature but has 3 attacks and instead of health they have to pass an increasingly difficult TN to continue their fight)
                - A trapped demon (again the dice will decide what kind of demon)
                Wandering Monsters:
                - Mabari and guards (so they can have some healing potion or armor etc.)
                - Undead (well, we are talking about the Tevinter imperium here)
                - Slaves (many but rather weak and desperate)
                - Spiders (the queen needs food)
                - Darkspawn (MAYBE... I was playing with this idea but am not sure if I should do it)

                And for those who want to know how I made the maze/labyrinth... draw and cut out 3-5 circle, each circle smaller than the next. Important to remember is to have around 1cm 1/2 inch to draw the walls also leave some space to include some rooms where either treasure or a Boss is waiting (traps are also fun) stack these circles together (smallest on top) and put a pin in the middle of all circles. Draw some lines, mark entrances (that go from the smaller to the bigger circle) and add numbers as indicators of traps.
                Some of my (more or less) spectacular traps:
                BBQ:
                Spikes shoot out of the wall to impale a person while a fire trap is being activated at the same time. 2d6 +2 spike damage + 1d6 penetrating, fire damage over 1d3 rounds
                Cold Cuts:
                Like a ceiling pendulum with a blade (sorry don't know the English name) 2d6 damage + 1 injury, is continuously and can be avoided and if you wish to pass you have to pass a DEX (acrobatic) test
                Hot bath:
                The floor is like a big plate with a single hinge in the middle, on one side (to your liking) are stoppers that keep the floor from tipping but if the weight on the other end exceeds than the floor will tip forward and the PC's will find themselves sliding towards a really hot bath (Magically or naturally heated water) 3d6 penetrating damage
                Perceptive PC's can feel the heat and might see/feel that the floor isn't as stable/thick as in other places.

                (Adjust the numbers as you need them for your characters)

                If you have any other questions just ask and I will try to answer them.

                Just as little update, we were supposed to play it yesterday, but people were busy. So we'll be playing next Saturday.

                Edit: I am in China and it is difficult (illegal) to watch youtube videos

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                • #9
                  Re: Adventure help

                  Originally posted by Eldaran View Post
                  So you mean that there are two Archons, one sends the team in and another tries to kill them? Or maybe having there 2 teams and each tries to beat the other to gain their freedom? That's actually a good idea... something to think about.
                  Both actually ("I've created this labyrinth that no one can survive, so bring a team by whatever means necessary to see if this maze can be beaten." or "My 'chosen champions' can go through this maze and defeat your so-called champions. All for two dozen of your best slaves and 10 Gold Sovereigns.")

                  The trapped demon might be there willingly (all the flesh it can eat, yum.) and can betray the archon if it suited it by giving out a hint or two on what might lie ahead or it might not and just lie to the players, demons being what they are.

                  Darkspawn are trickier and harder to explain. Far easier to use those tainted by the Blight like ghouls.
                  Last edited by Shadow Mask; 10-25-2014, 08:53 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Adventure help

                    Originally posted by Shadow Mask View Post
                    Have the whole thing as a contest with two Archons (or Magisters) instead of a audience. That way the players might have an indirect ally in the opposing Archon/Magister since i doubt the one who put the group in this maze in the first place would be dumb enough to give out weapons to warriors who die so easily
                    You could take this idea a step farther, and have a competing team thrown into the labyrinth as well, with the implication (or outright explanation) that the two teams must fight each other to survive. Perhaps have different magisters backing different teams. If the walls are constantly shifting, this provides a way to separate the two teams in the middle of an otherwise potentially deadly encounter, allowing the two teams to meet in different situations in the labyrinth. The players could even have the option of trying to convince the other team to work together against the magisters.

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