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Old 08-06-2013, 08:18 PM   #21
ericthered
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
Probably about an hour, sometimes longer. It depends how many people say "Oh yeah, I wander to buy some Fine Dwarven Plate Armor, I don't know how much that is or how much it weighs. If they have it, I need to re-do encumbrance" or "we hire some laborers" or whatever else they do. It should take 5 minutes, it always takes 10-15 times that long. I use that time to get my stuff together so I don't get frustrated.
You can do that as part of the pre-gen. Including those with rumour gathering:

"The rumours have already been gathered, but are only available if you choose a character who could have gathered them. Once you've decided on a character for sure, I'll give you the info and where its from."

For equipment, they'll be happy if you just say no, or give a simplified list of options: he can have a really nice sword, or really nice armor, or he can have tons and tons of adventuring crud (ladders, flaming oil, pintons, manacles, 11 foot poles...) don't let them focus on stats, let them focus on feel.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:23 PM   #22
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
1) I'm just worried you risk making the dungeon too large, relative to the time slot allocated at the convention. The least bad solution might be to make it extra-large and make it very clear to everyone that the PC party isn't supposed to explore it fully.
Yes, that will be part of the briefing. The idea is to give them a map and clear mission. But if they decide to take a different route, I'll let them go.

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
2) Those classes may not be very easy to play for players who lack experience with GURPS or specifically with GURPS DF. Some players might be annoyed at not getting to use their research/people skill prior to infiltration, but it's a convention game, so I doubt you need to worry much about that. None of the classes, except the Scholar, are very focused on research anyway, and the Scholar has a fair amount of abilities that are useful in improv situations.
Clerics and Wizards might have the skill, and make a roll for more information prior to going on a delve. But my intent is to make caurosing/streetwise/research etc rolls before hand, and give the players the information the would find from the rolls as introduction information.
-Dan
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:27 PM   #23
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
I don't think having only 12 pre-gens, when you may end up with as many as 8 players, is ideal, but it's a convention game. That's not really the best place to sternly pursue ideals.
What are your (and anyone elses) thoughts on the right number of pre-gens to have for up to 8 players?

If not 12, 16? 24?

-Dan
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:00 PM   #24
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

If the con staff will give you a page or three in the catalog or whatever they are distributing to the attendees you could write up a "prequel" short story for the players. It could be what happened to a previous party of adventurers (described in sufficient detail that their zombie encounter would make sense). You could also use that to provide navigational clues for which way to go in the dungeon.

Then, if anyone takes appropriate characters, give the party additional rumors of what awaits at the table.

Some players won't both reading the story. Others will and will benefit from it. Anyway, it's a thought.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #25
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

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That's window dressing. Mega dungeon is a campaign style. This is a dungeon. A one-shot even. But, whatever.
I understand what you are saying, but I guess I define a mega-dungeon a little different.

For me, from a player character's perspective, a mega-dungeon is "endless". Bottomless pits, large unknown number of level, etc. There is no way to clear it all, no way to explore it all, no way to find all of its secrets.

For me, from a player character's perspective, a 'regular' dungeon is finite. It can be very large, but you can find its boundaries if you search long enough.

In really, both are finite, but the mega-dungeon doesn't feel finite.

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If I were doing this, I'd design a dungeon with about 6-8 areas and pack them as full of the most super-duper awesomeness that I possibly could.
The way I'm laying out this con game, is the PCs have a targeted mission, with a time limit, and decent information about where they need to go. So they will only need to go to 8 encounter areas if they follow the direct path in the map they are initially given. But if they decide they want to explore, or go off on a tangent, there is stuff they can find.

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Looks good, but I would suggest Wood Elf and Half Elf for the Scout.
Wood Elf Scout insteasd of a Mountain Elf Scout, and a Half-Elf Scout instead of a Human Scout. I'm pretty open to either.

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A quick action scene at the start is a great idea in principal.
Yes, the "James Bond" opening scene is a classic. But how to invoke it in a con game is the challenge.


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Not at all what I would suggest. I would reccomend using the the PC's for multiple reasons.
I could go either way, so this was one of the reasons I was asking.


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Not trying to be too harsh, but that's about as bad of an idea as I can imagine.
It isn't harsh, I was asking for opinions from folks, which I appreciate. Better to get feedback now, then after I ruined 4 hours of convention time for 8 people.

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The PC's should win their fist encounter (especially a "trainer") with no deaths. That's just GM'ing 101.
Not sure about that in all circumstances, but I believe I agree for a con game.

I could probably run a TPK intro with my regular gaming group, and they would take it in stride. They know me and know to trust that I've got something entertaining for all in mind.

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Despite knowing better, I started a game with a TPK once not long ago. It was part of a time warp type of scenario where the PC's had to break out of a repeating loop. The PC's were intended to win the first battle, but be suddenly killed by an obviously superior foe, a souped-up death knight on nightmare who came sweeping in after a really tough battle with several goblins and orcs.

So, it was a win in spirit.

Then, the PC's were to snap back to the current time and know not to conduct a full-frontal assault, rather use some tactics.

The game was one of my few failures. Even though it was meant to be a win in spirit, at least half the players despised it altogether.

No matter how you dress it up and put a little bow on it, it's a horrible way to start a game.
Good cautionary tale.

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This isn't nearly a good enough idea to justify a TPK or even a difficult opening encounter where one or more of the PC's die, but "we knew those guys while they were alive" is cool.
I was looking at that cool factor, or maybe shock factor, when the player's new character comes face to face with a dead former character. But as you and others have noted, not a workable idea for a con.

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If you made some hanchmen, then have them be killed in the opening action scene and come back as undead baddies. That would be really cool!
I could probably work that in.

Maybe the new opening "James Bond" scene is the PCs and a group of hireling fleeing from the dungeon with some loot after a delve. Their loot may contain the information (map/journel) they need for the mission delve. The hirelings may get cut down just shy of the exit.

How does that seem for a opening "James Bond" action scene?

-Dan
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:39 PM   #26
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

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Originally Posted by DAT View Post
I wanted the players to get a feel to how deadly the game could be and allow them to make some of the common mistakes with the throw away characters, then they wouldn't make the same mistakes with the 'real' charactrers.

But as others have also said, not a good idea for a con.
I think it's the perfect idea for a con game, to have some kind of training course (I've thought and talked about that for non-con use, before). But only if you can get a much longer slot. 8 hours, or maybe even longer than that. But do you want such a huge slot? GMing for up to 8 strangers for 8 hours might be very exhausting. Then again, I consider 3 players to be the ideal number and would never ever consider more than 5, so that's one clear difference between you and me...
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:43 PM   #27
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
You can do that as part of the pre-gen. Including those with rumour gathering:

"The rumours have already been gathered, but are only available if you choose a character who could have gathered them. Once you've decided on a character for sure, I'll give you the info and where its from."

For equipment, they'll be happy if you just say no, or give a simplified list of options: he can have a really nice sword, or really nice armor, or he can have tons and tons of adventuring crud (ladders, flaming oil, pintons, manacles, 11 foot poles...) don't let them focus on stats, let them focus on feel.
Those are excellent ideas! Pre-Gathered Information sort of skips the roleplaying, but since it needs to be character skill-based anyway, that's not a genuine problem.

And Equipment Lenses is something GURPS lends itself to, especially with the CF-based system, and/or the various cost simplifications in DF. Especially if it can be tied in easily with Encumbrance, which I think is doable.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:47 PM   #28
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

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What are your (and anyone elses) thoughts on the right number of pre-gens to have for up to 8 players?

If not 12, 16? 24?
I'd say at least 2.5 per player, ideally 3, but my thoughts run along the lines of a non-con short intro campaign of 2-3 sessions, total 8-15 hours. And with a low number of players, ideally 3 or 4.

With up to 8 players, 16 pregens would be a good number. The main problem is if the last player to choose ends up forced to choose between only character concepts that he doesn't want to play or doesn't like to play. That can cause a lot of frustration.

Also be sure to include numerous melee warrior types, more than you think will be needed, ideally all a bit different from each other. Unarmed in DF is tricky, AFAIK, so just a large bunch of melee weapon types, and maybe indicating those that are particularly easy to play, although then again some players might take that as a personal insult, or even actively avoid choosing those, possibly for misguided reasons.
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