Tuesday, July 6, 2021

New B/X Megadungeon Campaign

Got the itch.

Starting new OSE (B/X) roll20.com campaign centered on a published megadungeon (being cagey about which cause, I don't know, surprise?).   Tired of hex crawls that either 1) never start cause I'm still "prepping", 2) that never get to one of the megadungeons as there's so much other stuff 3) that stutter and stall because players are paralyzed with choice. Even more tentpolish than tentpole campaign.

So, similar to Ford Model T color options, the players can go on any adventure as long as it's The Megadungeon . And there is nothing to do in overworld other than recover and prepare for next delve into megadungeon. This hobby started with game like that (more or less (a lot less than some would believe, but it fits my narrative, so going with the myth)) and megadungeon is large and varied enough to actually provide plenty of choice.  Probably branch out eventually. When the players are stuck, or need a break from crawling, it's good to have small palette cleanser "side quests".

The Overworld

Who can guess the megadungeon from the map clues; it is in box canyon and there is nearby swamp?

Worcestershire county of "The Kingdom". 

Overworld play is handled in abstract "downtime turns".  Nominally one week long. Travel time is subsumed in those turns. Being mounted will let you evade slower encounters, not "move" faster. Carts and wagons will let you carry more loot but unable to evade just about anything. Towns have a fixed "menu" of choices players may pick from during downtime turn. All are pretty similar; Salisbury has Wizard "patron" and Wellington has Cleric one, Hamburg is Dwarven outpost.  The City has more advanced options, magical research, sages, finding better prices for unique piece of dungeon loot, and the like. 

Wilderness encounter checks are made when travelling in the direction indicated. So, no encounter check going to The Dungeon from human towns of Salisbury or Wellington. This is because it's annoying to get all prepped and set for delve only to have random encounter wipe half party resources and require going back to town. And if you push your luck and just barely make it out of dungeon, you're risking a lot with that return encounter check. I made Hamburg the opposite to provide players choice / agency. But Hamburg is less convenient. For instance almost no hirelings are available for hire there.

Travel around the overworld, to city, going back and forth between towns, has the cost and the discouragement of wilderness counter checks. Which tend to be both deadly and non-profitable in terms of treasure.  In addition the more turns spent in overworld the more times DM rolls on dungeon restocking tables. There is no adventure in the overworld, no fun to be had It exists only to recuperate, resupply, and prepare for another delve into

The Megadungeon

Oh yeah, if you're interested in playing Fridays 6pm Central Time, email me njharman@gmail.com or I might notice if you DM me on https://www.reddit.com/user/njharman/

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