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Old 08-04-2013, 09:30 AM   #1
DAT
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

Hey Folks,
I am thinking about running a GURPS DF Mega Dungeon game for a convention, and wanted a sounding board for some ideas.

1) What are folks thoughts for a traditional hack and slash at a convention?

To save time, my first plan is to do pregens and to start the main adventure at the “door” to the dungeon; doing the rumor gathering, research, outfitting, and travel to the site off screen. This sort of hoses the Bard, Barbarian, and Druid

2) What are folks thoughts on starting at the dungeon door?

-Dan
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:34 AM   #2
DAT
 
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

And here is the DRAFT description for the game. Any comments on it are welcome.
-Dan

Game System & Edition:
GURPS 4th Edition, with GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Series
Game Title:
Dungeons of the Shadow Rifts
Running Time:
4 hours
Number of Players:
Minimum 4, Maximum 8
Brief teaser to be posted online & with sign up sheets:
The Shadow Rifts are a vast series of connected underground complexes, i.e., Dungeons, that are portals into the mythic underworld, a nightmarish world of magic, evil, and elements that can devour your PC's sanity. The entrances into the Dungeons of the Shadow Rifts (DotSRs), closed for a decade, have been reopened by a recent earthquake.
The DotSRs are weird, unfathomable, and deadly places. Within you will find ferocious monsters, lethal traps, cunning tricks and buried secrets, tortuous layouts and forgotten ways, baffling riddles, and best of all, fabulous treasure beyond imagining.
You are part of a company of adventures who delve into dungeons to defeat monsters and gain treasures. You have learned of a lord’s son who was captured by creatures in the DotSRs, and are entering to look for him.
Special instructions or comments for players:
This is a Super-Mega Dungeon setting in a fantasy realm similar to Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, or Golarion. This will be rules lite, friendly for people who haven’t played GURPS before. Just bring a pencil and 3 (or more) six sided dice.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

I'd do pre-gens, but let people do some rumor-mongering and planning in Town. Skip straight to the dungeon in a "it takes you a day to reach it but the travel is uneventful" kind of way.

If you're doing pre-gens, keep the party simple. Something like Bard, Cleric, Knight, Scout, Swashbuckler-Thief, Wizard, and focus the bard on mind control trickery instead of social skills. Don't worry that the Barbarian or Druid isn't contributing because they're not there.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:02 AM   #4
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

I'd start at the dungeon door.

Also, 4 hours for a mega-dungeon? That's . . . pretty short. Even if they spend only 15 minutes per room/encounter/situation, you only need 16 rooms/encounters/situations.

My dungeon has seen 21 sessions all twice as long as yours, and they've only hit like 100 rooms the whole time. A lot of that is because I keep making them start in town (effectively at the dungeon door, though) and go back through, but it's also because GURPS combat takes some time and it's lethal enough that even minor encounters can suck up some session time and use up resources, shortening the overall trip.

I'd make it a big dungeon, sure, but make sure they have very specific clues about that lord's son, so they realize there are distractions (Profitable and interesting ones!) that can take them away from their objective.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
DAT
 
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
I'd do pre-gens, but let people do some rumor-mongering and planning in Town. Skip straight to the dungeon in a "it takes you a day to reach it but the travel is uneventful" kind of way.
The problem I find is most time the rumor gathering and planning can run 1 to 2 hours unless there is a couple focused players. At that point, there isn't much time to actually go into many rooms in the dungeon.

So I was just going to give the PCs a set of rumors, a map, and a partial journal entry that supports their mission (plus some distractions). I would preface it by saying based on the carosing that Abe the Knight did, streetwise the Bob the Thief did, and research Carole the Cleric did, you founf the following ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
If you're doing pre-gens, keep the party simple. Something like Bard, Cleric, Knight, Scout, Swashbuckler-Thief, Wizard, and focus the bard on mind control trickery instead of social skills. Don't worry that the Barbarian or Druid isn't contributing because they're not there.
That is another issue I'm struggling with. What is the right number of options for pre-gen characters to present. On one hand I'd like to show off the variablity of GURPS characters, and make sure each player has a fun character for them. On the other hand I don't want to make and print out 60+ characters.

If I stick to DF 1, there are 11 main professions, and 2 – 3 general customizations for each, which can easily have 30+ different general characters.
Barbarian – savage berserker, primal survivalist, or wilderness guardian
Bard – sneak, sword play, or magic w/ social or mind-control
Cleric – buffs, healing, or supernatural warfare
Druid – beastmasters, elementalist,or green
Holy Warrior – paladin or inquisitor
Knight – chivalrous knight, mercenary soldier, or barbarian
Martial Artist – weaponless, staff, or exotic
Scout – bounty hunter, ranger, or sharpshooter
Swashbuckler – fop or pirate
Thief – burglar, mastermind, or assassin
Wizard – artillery mage, illusionist, or necromancer

If I include DF 3, and add traditional races:
Dwarf
Elf, Half
Elf, High
Elf, Mountain,
Elf, Shadow
Elf, Wood
Gnome
Halfling

The list of profession/customization/race combinations grows a little crazy, even discounting Halfing Barbarians and other less optimal combinations.

If I continue with the idea of starting at the dungeon door, and cut the Bard, Barbarian, and Druid; I can still come up with set of 24 profession/customization/race combinations:
Clerics
– Dwarf (buffs)
– Gnome (healing)
– Human (supernatural warfare)
Holy Warrior
– Human (paladin)
– Dwarf ( inquisitor)
Knight
– Human (chivalrous knight)
– Dwarf (mercenary soldier),
– Human (barbarian)
Martial Artist
– Wood Elf (staff),
– Human (butterfly swords)
Scout
– Human (bounty hunter)
– Wood Elf (ranger)
– Mountain Elf (sharpshooter)
Swashbuckler
– Wood Elf (fop)
– Human (pirate)
Thief
– Halfling (burglar)
– Gnome (burglar)
– Human (assassin)
– Shadow Elf (assassin)
Wizard
– Half-Elf (artillery mage)
– Gnome (illusionist)
– Shadow Elf (necromancer)
– Human (generalist)
– High Elf (generalist)


Thoughts on a smaller sub set. Say 12 characters?
-Dan
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
DAT
 
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Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
I'd start at the dungeon door.

Also, 4 hours for a mega-dungeon? That's . . . pretty short. Even if they spend only 15 minutes per room/encounter/situation, you only need 16 rooms/encounters/situations.
Yes, I was going to point them at their target (the cell the lord's son is being held). My first cut has 20 rooms in the immediate area they are travelling to, but they only need to visit 8-10 if they stay focused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
My dungeon has seen 21 sessions all twice as long as yours, and they've only hit like 100 rooms the whole time. A lot of that is because I keep making them start in town (effectively at the dungeon door, though) and go back through, but it's also because GURPS combat takes some time and it's lethal enough that even minor encounters can suck up some session time and use up resources, shortening the overall trip.
How long does your crew spend in town gathering rumors and planning? I find that easily fills 1 to 2 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post
I'd make it a big dungeon, sure, but make sure they have very specific clues about that lord's son, so they realize there are distractions (Profitable and interesting ones!) that can take them away from their objective.
Yes, I was going to give them a map and journel entries to point them at the cell the lord's son is being held. The journal entries were also going to point out where there was an alter with a big treasure (including an artifact), just a short distance away ...

-Dan
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

It's a dungeon. It's not a mega dungeon. It's certainly not a "super-mega dungeon."

I thought I already commented in this thread and it was a lot longer . . . ?

Oh, no, it was this one.

1. Same advice given in the other thread; KISS.

2. Not a problem at all. Hey, start in the first room if you'd like. I do it all the time. "You're here to kick ass and loot. Any questions?"
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:31 PM   #8
DAT
 
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
It's a dungeon. It's not a mega dungeon. It's certainly not a "super-mega dungeon."
The dungeon has 6 levels (and increasing as I find the time) each with ~100 rooms, 3 sublevels with 20-30 rooms, and ~20 entrances scattered over many square miles, so it does meet the definition of a mega-dungeon. The "mission" for the convention game will focus on ~20 of the rooms, but if the party desides to chase a squirrel, there is no danger of them running out of encounters in a 40 hour session, little on a 4 hour session.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
I thought I already commented in this thread and it was a lot longer . . . ?

Oh, no, it was this one.
Related, but different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
1. Same advice given in the other thread; KISS.
Agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
2. Not a problem at all. Hey, start in the first room if you'd like. I do it all the time. "You're here to kick ass and loot. Any questions?"
The entrance will give them a chance to state SOPs and marching orders, plus cast continual lights and other utility spells.
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:23 PM   #9
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAT View Post
If I continue with the idea of starting at the dungeon door, and cut the Bard, Barbarian, and Druid; I can still come up with set of 24 profession/customization/race combinations:
Clerics
– Dwarf (buffs)
– Gnome (healing)
– Human (supernatural warfare)
Holy Warrior
– Human (paladin)
– Dwarf ( inquisitor)
Knight
– Human (chivalrous knight)
– Dwarf (mercenary soldier),
– Human (barbarian)
Martial Artist
– Wood Elf (staff),
– Human (butterfly swords)
Scout
– Human (bounty hunter)
– Wood Elf (ranger)
– Mountain Elf (sharpshooter)
Swashbuckler
– Wood Elf (fop)
– Human (pirate)
Thief
– Halfling (burglar)
– Gnome (burglar)
– Human (assassin)
– Shadow Elf (assassin)
Wizard
– Half-Elf (artillery mage)
– Gnome (illusionist)
– Shadow Elf (necromancer)
– Human (generalist)
– High Elf (generalist)


Thoughts on a smaller sub set. Say 12 characters?
Drop the Martial Artist entirely, as it is confusing to beginning players. I'd merge Swashbuckler with Thief, so you have Human Pirate and Shadow Elf Assassin. Pick two of each of the rest and you've got 12.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:46 AM   #10
DAT
 
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Default Re: DF Mega-Dungeon Game for a Convention

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
Drop the Martial Artist entirely, as it is confusing to beginning players. I'd merge Swashbuckler with Thief, so you have Human Pirate and Shadow Elf Assassin. Pick two of each of the rest and you've got 12.
So here is my revised lineup, any thoughts?

Clerics
– Gnome (healing)
– Human (supernatural warfare)
Holy Warrior
– Human (paladin)
– Dwarf ( inquisitor)
Knight
– Dwarf (mercenary soldier),
– Human (barbarian)
Scout
– Wood Elf (ranger)
– Mountain Elf (sharpshooter)
Thief
– Human (swashbuckler-pirate/assassin)
– Shadow Elf (assassin)
Wizard
– Half-Elf (artillery mage)
– High Elf (generalist)
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