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Tag Archives: Dungeon

ダンジョン飯 (Dungeon Meshi) -or- Delicious in Dungeon

dungeon_meshi_coverダンジョン飯 (Dungeon Meshi) is one of these cute little gimmick manga that are just a joy to read, but whose ideas might be a bit too far out for everyone involved

Our heroes are a group of typical D&D-style adventurers who make a living descending into a giant dungeon that someone found a while back. This dungeon is so big that it contains whole cities and forests, all underground, and it attracted a veritable support infrastructure for all adventuring purposes just outside of it (including a resurrection service).

While our protagonists are already pretty experienced and far along  they run into a red dragon who promptly eats Farin, one of their spellcasters, just after she managed to teleport the rest of the group to safety.

The group (headed by Farin’s brother Laios) decides to head downwards again, to rescue and revive Farin before she is digested by the dragon. In this venture they hit one of the typical snags of adventure life: they have neither food nor resources after the failed run in with the dragon, and they don’t have time to gather more if they want to be in time. So Laios concocts a rather harebrained scheme: they will eat their way downwards. There are monsters in the dungeon after all, and a lot of them are edible. Or at least they should be.

Soon enough they are joined by Senshi, a dwarfish warrior chef with great knowledge of the dungeon and its inhabitants, and they start making headway through all the delicacies of the dungeon.

On their way down to the dragon the heroes meet multiple typical dungeon monsters, and somehow they find their ways to make them into rather delicious looking meals. The manga even provides us with recipes for these dishes, although it might be kind of hard to find basilisk or living armor in our world.

But here’s an interesting idea that I would love to see in a game: cooking the monster.

I don’t think this ever got done properly, but I bet someone somewhere created some classes for dungeon cooks. What if the player characters would venture down into the dungeon specifically to find some rare delicacy that otherwise could not be found anywhere else? Or what if we focus a roleplaying game not only on the survival aspect of it all, but also on how exactly one would make those things they kill or purchase in the dungeon edible. This of course would demand not only that the DM would know what the hell he/she is talking about, but also that the players know how to cook to be able to make sense of the scenario.

[Tools] Creating soundscapes with Syrinscape

I was looking for some interesting programs a while ago, and this popped up on my radar. I came across it when I was looking for ambient music for my games last year, but right now the creator of the software promises an upcoming release of a new version with loads of new features.

Very well…

Syrinscape is a soundscape program that allows the creation of dynamic soundscapes for RPG games. There are a few of that kind around, but Syrinscape is both free and more or less easy to configure. A soundscape in Syrinscape can be created by dropping the sound effects and music one wants to have in it into a folder and renaming them slightly so they are associated with certain channels in the program. Seems a bit daunting at first, but is not really much work. I decided to create a Tavern soundset yesterday and behold, it’s nearly finished today. So, not really hard to use.

The website offers a few different soundscapes that should give a good point to start from, even though some of them are a bit weird (Battle for example has mostly animal noises, and Bells has…  bells). One of the nicer things about it is that ambient music for the game can be added by simply copying it into the soundscape folder and renaming it. In that way one could actually create nice variant soundscapes by simply replacing the playlist for different locales (e.g. music 1 for the catacombs and music 2 for the orc warrens, while both of them have otherwise the same soundset otherwise in it).

One feature that does not seem to see too much use yet are one-off sound effects, or rather: current soundsets barely have one-off effects in them. The only one that actually has nice ones is the Dungeon set that has interesting things like an alarm bell, fireballs, dragon roars, etc. I think it would be nice to have a certain one-off soundset at hand in a few places though, just to make my players jump when they hear it. The howl of wolves in the wilderness, the cackling of a witch in the  distance,  the sound of footsteps coming from somewhere behind them. Hmm…

Syrinscape (Website)

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Half-assing the dungeon (Under the City State Part II)

Yesterday was the first time in months that we got together to play. It turned out to be less successful than I thought, although we had some fun.

We started with Dungeons and Dragons, as a continuation of the previous adventure which my players had mastered without any killed enemies at all. I foolishly had expected that we’d be in the dungeon a bit longer. Unfortunately they managed to find a viable way to find a way to the plot MacGuffin (an altar that raises the dead without the interference of all those pesky priests). They killed a few troglodytes (the neanderthal kind) and then managed to get themselves close to the altar without killing more than a few revenants on the way. Technically they were supposed to find the altar after dealing with the tribe of troglodytes. Instead they killed two of the trogs outright, then blamed their deaths on the undead when they met the next group of the tribe, got rough directions to where the undead were coming from, and the used then goblin cleric’s turn undead power to determine where exactly that particular wave of undead was coming from, herding the undead the right direction. Then they found the place and decided to get the hell out of there. Did I mention that these are the most careful adventurers I have ever played with?
I thought I had a few more hours of play in that dungeon, so I didn’t have anything prepared for the rest of the night. We played a bit more with them trying to get out of the city quick before the questgiver noticed that the altar he had them find was mostly resurrecting undead, and then they went on their way as caravan guards towards Thunderholt.

Well, yeah. It was nice as long as it lasted, but I should have thought a bit more what to do if they managed to solve the adventure too fast. I had thought about using another adventure I wanted to play for a long time, but I didn’t get to lay the quest hooks because they decided to leave town too quick. I have to make this work a bit better next time.
The rest of the night we tried out Over The Edge, which my players got rather enthusiastic about once I had explained the free-form character generation to them. After a short while they had three nice characters that I thought had some promise for an OtE game: a mage from a vanilla (anime) fantasy setting with the tendency to get transported to places he did not really want to be, a post-adolescent middle-eastern commando turtle (like a teenage mutant ninja turtle, only older and geographically confused), and a reporter with an identity problem and coffee addiction.

It went over surprisingly well, or maybe less surprisingly so, considering that my players are rather fond of roleplaying anyway. So far they tried to get the mage back to his dimension, but did not really get so far in that endeavour.

My Entry for the One Page Dungeon Contest 2012…

… is rather old actually. Last year I got into the mood of creating a dungeon somewhere after the last contest, and created The Mourning Wight of Brakhill.

Well, I noticed that the creation of a One Page Dungeon might be nice, but rather timeconsuming, so I just entered the Wight into the competition. Because really, I could sit down and create something really new, but right now I am working on so many other things it would just not come out right. For me writing OPD is a bit like writing a poem. I might not be the best of poets, but I damn well will try to create something that I can be proud of.

One Page Dungeon Contest 2012

Submissions are now open for the OPDC 2012. At least according to the official Facebook account an the website.

End of Submissions is April 30, 0:00 UTC and… actually, just go and read the page. Obviously some people already submitted, which is way faster than last year, when two weeks before deadline there were about two submissions.

Ok, looking forward to see a lot of excellent adventures again!

Under the City State (Part I)

dungeon

Uhm… why do I actually keep on playing other games if I know that I can run D&D without problems in any case? I tried out my homebrew ruleset with my group  and it worked beautifully.

There are some slight roadbumps there (like me having no index in the file), but I gamemastered without any real problems (besides trying to find the amount of starting money in either my own rules or the LL book).

The session itself was… quite awesome.
It was D&D, and all my players had played at least Baldur’s Gate,  so some genre conventions were expected. Like the first adventure being set in a dungeon.

The characters managed to get down to the second dungeon level, and there was exactly one attack dice rolled during the whole evening, and that one was the PC Orc pastry chef tackling the PC thief because he wanted to sneak out the tavern without paying. (and that one attack was a critical…)
“Ok.” says the orc’s player. “I guess my character is actually lawful.”
The rest of the night they intimidated, pulled rank, sneaked and bribed their way through the sewers into the dungeon under the City State.
There is a altar there, somewhere in the dungeon, and legend has it that it can resurrect people just like that, without any cleric praying for it. The questgiver thinks he has found an easy way to make a lot of money: If it really resurrects anyone it will be easy to find people who want or need to resurrect one or two of their loved ones/companions/party members. It will be easy to undercut the local temples with that if you don’t have to do anything else but bring a body there to get it resurrected.
He is technically right too… but… there might be a twist in that resurrection power.
Anyway, the party found itself together quickly: a local goblin cleric with a supremacist attitude, an orcish pastry chef from the clan of the Killer Frogs, and a human thief from somewhere in the west.
They quickly caused some havoc in the starting tavern (trying to sneak out without paying), then tracked down the questgiver, then for a while tried finding out where the hell that dungeon he was talking about was. The orc and goblin decided to get some beer and bribe some sewer dwellers, while the thief thought it was better to use some investigation in the city. In the end both sides ended in the dungeon, on completely opposite sides of the complex.
The two sewerdivers managed to enter the sewers only a few corners from the connection between sewers and dungeon. When they found a ratman bustling about they bribed him with beer and then threatened him with bodily harm when he told them how close they were to the entrance.
Stuff they found in the dungeon:
– the thief contracted cave tarsiers which now follow him everywhere hoping to get food. He didn’t realize yet that they make sneaking pretty much impossible.
– the one time they DID tell some subhumans his position he annoyed those so much that they left him alone and just told him not to follow them
– they found a line of talking stone faces that had decided to form a (bad) barbershop quartet
– a tribe of goblins was living there. The goblin cleric went full good shepherd on them and asked where they had been during their last few masses. It quickly became obvious that one of the reasons thet were living in that place was to get away from the priests.
– there actually WAS an altar on the dungeon level, but the goblins didn’t really know what sort. It turned out to be a temple of Smintheus the Rat Eater. My players of course thought that a god with that aspect was a bit far-fetched… alas