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Dungeon Mastering By Dummies

Fifth Session: Cooking Up Adventure

by NotMousse
Dec 31,2004

 

Fifth Session: Cooking Up Adventure

Jaj turns the remains of his robes into a loin cloth to preserve the sanity of all involved. After a quick rally the troops venture further into the cave. Straying from the horizontal (not vertical!) waterfall, they find the goblin cafeteria, a disgusting place that dispels the hunger of all but the most die hard eaters. The room had little of note, a shiny frying pan, three gold in change, and a doorway to the kitchen. Hikaru discovers the kitchen which, while barely adequate for feeding the mob of goblins, boasted an impressive number of seasonings, including a fresh bottle found under the false bottom of a shelf.

It was about here that I began to think about making an Iron Chef prestige class. I later turned this into a less specific prestige class that allows for multiple specializations, and started me on the path of designing NPC classes that did not suck.

The shiny frying pan was a +1 pan of goblin slaying, but no one picked it up.

Ted on the other hand finds a very neat backpack, from which he withdraws and pockets a pouch, and a crystal ball. Uninterested in the rest of the items Ted tosses behind him a chain shirt, headband, several vials, and one very heavy loaf of bread. In an attempt to damage the bread Thomas takes a heavy handed swing at the offending carbohydrates, unfortunately the only thing damaged was the ground beneath the bread.

The backpack is a typical extra-dimensional space, originally owned by a very bound and tied dwarf. The bread is a special battle hardened bread, used in combat as a weapon of surprise.

Jaj, very interested in the prospect of correctly identifying magical items casts Detect Magic interrogating the vials and other objects in the room, pocketing the vials after discovering their magical nature. Hikaru shows the especially nice bottle of seasoning to Jaj who couldn't read it, and to Ted who identified it as Essence of Eghmrul. Hikaru also dons the chain shirt and headband, checking if it fits while modeling them for Jaj, only mildly surprised when she grows long blue black hair. Jaj, always interested in Hikaru's appearance, decides he likes her in that headband and tells her so.

Despite a constant lack of useful (or accurate) facts gleaned from his use of detect magic Jaj still attempts it with each new potentially magical find. If only he bothered to look at his rocks when they weren't next to each other.

Three guesses about the essence... And if anyone can guess what Ted really is I'll be impressed enough to give up a monkey snack. Hint, it involves non-dairy creamer.

Being an anime fan back in the 90's (80's if you count robotech) I had seen Ranma 1/2 and Hikaru reminded me very much of Akane, thus the sudden growth of hair after donning her magical headband.

Returning to his rummaging Ted throws back a flask of alchemist's fire, and another vial. Seeing the flask and a vial fly from Ted's hands the trio run to catch it before the imminent explosion. Thomas and Hikaru make running dives at the falling flask and vial, butting heads at ground zero as Jaj leaps over them, plucking the two items from midair, twisting around to land safely on his back.

Alchemist's fire isn't much to worry about on it's own, but the other vial had the players worried I was about to kill them all. Luckily for them Jaj managed to roll a natural 20.

While only a round's worth of action, and perhaps 2 minutes worth of set up and follow through, it was perhaps the most enjoyable moment of the session. I suppose the lesson here is to never underestimate your player's intuition on your capacity for evil. Or screw with your friends and see if they react entertainingly.

Crisis averted, Hikaru decides to look in the backpack, narrowly avoiding Ted's attempt to push her inside. Jaj sees this and walks over to Ted, interested in why the bard has seen fit to try and shove the poor girl inside. Ted counters Jaj's walking with his tripping directly into the backpack. Climbing back out of the backpack Ted chuckles to himself, thinking the entire episode is very funny.

With nothing else of interest in the room the group leaves, searching for a passage deeper into the cave. Coming to an interesting wall Ted looks at it, then knocks a certain way. The wall slides open, an orc steps out to be slaughtered, and swept to the side. Going down the hall behind the secret door the troupe finds a couple doors. Choosing the right door, a bound Dwarf is found.

After freeing the Dwarf, he introduces himself as Bobbin and demands his stuff back. Bobbin asks the group to 'take me to my bread'. Naturally they lead on, Bobbin smiling as he wields his bread in one hand. Returning to the secret door, they discover it closed, knock, and slaughter another orc. Down the hallway again, the thieves, erm... adventurers take the other door and find a place to rest.

It didn't seem like anyone got the idea that the backpack was 'big' inside, so Ted, as my avatar, demonstrated in his idiot manner. and they still left it...

The passage the group travels down three paragraphs up was hidden from casual view on their way in, but easily spotted on the way back as it connects at an odd angle to it's parent passage.

Letting Ted discover the secret door kept the characters thinking he might be an elf. Easily the most effective way to screw with my party was through the idiot savant Ted showing off the odd ability now and then.

Bobbin's utterance of 'take me to my bread' (in full authoritative do as I say before I bring ragnarok upon your pathetic souls voice) managed to bring tears of laughter to everyone in the group. Which surprised the heck outta me since I was merely trying to introduce the 'plot' to the group.

The secret door came to be known as the orc variant of a pez dispenser, dropping little XP snacks into the murderous hands of the party. Why the orcs didn't notice all the missing bodies will hopefully become evident soon.

End session.

Bonus Section!

Common

I think I may have not been entirely clear when I mentioned that Common was a language everyone knew as an amalgamation of other languages (and I know those weren't my exact words), much like a working model of Esperanto. While all surface dwellers (and a good portion of those who aren't) can communicate in Common, exact meanings are lacking and confusion may occur. As such when speaking to other creatures in Common expect generalizations and more than a few misconceptions. I'll be providing a few examples of this at next game, leaving one here for reference.

Common: it does not classify the subjects, because the resistance is mine to give the form to an alliance and to it gives the efficient form to an alliance, that he is he

English: Size matters not, for the force is my ally, and a powerful ally it is.

Okay, not a good example, but it was on TV when I was coming up with the idea.

Natural Healing and Hit Points

Healing will be handled a bit differently in my campaign. I find that all 10th level characters healing at the same hit point rate, 1 per level, creates scenes where the sickly wizard recovers over a weekend while battle hardened fighters and barbarians require a week or longer to heal. Instead characters' healing rate will be based on their BAB, with a minimum of one point for characters that lack a BAB of 1 or higher. If a character has complete bed rest he will heal at 1.5 times normal rate.

Heal checks for long term care will now allow the patient to heal one additional point of damage for every 5 points over a DC of 10 and one point of temporary ability damage for every 10 points above DC 5. Additional points of healing are affected by both complete bed rest and the Faster Healing feat.

Heal checks aren't always beneficial however, any modified roll of 5 or less will instead inflict one point of damage from mistaken treatments (pulling out an arrow or bolt that's head is too close to something important and the like).

Faster Healing will now simply multiply the normal healing result by 1.5 instead of using the nonsensical chart in the Masters of the Wild source book. In the case of a character having complete bed rest with the Faster Healing feat he will heal at twice the normal rate.

Toughness being a wimpy feat and practically worthless all around has been revamped in my campaign. When first taken you receive the hit point increase from the highest feat from the Toughness line for which you qualify. As your character's base Fortitude save increases the benefits you accrue from the Toughness feat will accordingly increase to the highest Toughness feat you meet the prerequisites for.

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What do you think?

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