Well, after the events recounted in last week's post, it was time to lift the hood on the adventure and do some tuning.
Spoilers aplenty below...
Well, I have word that Jackson has recovered enough hit points to return home, so that's some good news for his recovery.
In the meantime, a quick stocking exercise of "The Mausoleum of Matias" that he posted a couple weeks ago.
|An inviting 5-room format|
The mausoleum, per the creator, is heavily trapped (3 in the 5-6 areas), with the true tomb hidden behind a secret door. So a good space for the player characters to defile, er, explore. And, as I've done in a few other stocking exercises, the big-bad may be a threat or potential benefactor, depending on how they are played, and how the party interacts with them.
Feel free to pay your respects at The Mausoleum of Matias.
So I attended our revived local con, Dragonflight, after a year's hiatus due to <REDACTED>. I signed up for a few games, but felt the offerings were thin in the RPG front (due, in part to the absence of organized play supported by the current editions of the game).
Nothing else to do but step up and run a game. I set up a 3-hour window on Sunday morning running my B/X-OSE dungeon-crawl Vobleavira Haven. It's been a while since I looked at the adventure, so I reviewed it, and decided to tweak the adventure for the game - adding a few details, and creating a bit more story to make the adventure less of a "wander around and steal stuff."
First of all, apparently adding this:
... is becoming a recurring theme via another recent adventure....
Besides, it was a Halloween game. Gotta have something spooky.
Been quiet but not unproductive (I hope). Besides reworking The Long Hall (see yesterday's post), I took a whack at itch.io's recent Dyson Logos Jam. After all, a theme and a deadline is always good for the creativity. Perhaps.
Per the jam requirements, I scrounged through the maps made available for commercial use. I downloaded several, and of course there are now multiple notated maps scattered about. But this one came through in the end:
It's an interesting complex - certainly not linear, and with multiple zones to work with. At first glance, it doesn't have a clear 'goal' location. The adventurers enter into the center of the maze, with four doors to choose from - which way to go?
Some process notes:
The entry room with three columns and an apparent broken fourth column implied an incomplete story.
The five-chambered room looked to hold five small sarcophagi - were they small individuals, or other remains? Who were they?
And why is there a separate larger sarcophagus in the upper center? Obviously an honored dead - what was their relationship to the other remains, and why were the two sets separate??
And what's with that capstan-looking thing in the hall adjacent?
Subterranean water is always a good feature to hide threats... Besides, I'd just watched this video.
The number of small alters, statues, shrines, implied a temple or center built in stages, or maybe repurposed to fit a need.
There will be traps - some telegraphed, some not.
In the end - we have the tomb of a hero, interred to watch over those he defeated. And because the hero is here - so is his favored weapon, a magic spear... But of course it's not in his tomb. That would be silly.
And those he defeated? Like many evils, they do not rest easily...
So welcome to the Tomb of Spear and Smoke.
Where's the smoke? Well, the adventurers will just have to discover that themselves...
So a bit ago I entered the Prince of Nothing's No Artpunk Contest with a cobbled-together adventure using Jackson's "The Long Hall" map.
And, well, it sucked. No two ways about it. That said, I got some valuable constructive criticism in the judging.
So nothing to do but take it home and rework.
(insert stock footage of typing away in the garret)
Added some more story to the place, a few more NPCs, tweaked the baddies. Shifted a few things around to help the flow of the adventure. And dumped in more treasure (although the Bag of Holding hit the cutting room floor). So perhaps it sucks less now...
And now it's live, again, on itch.io. So have a look, see if it's improved, and enjoy your visit to the shrine... Where is that weird droning noise coming from?
Some bad related news: Matt Jackson took a serious fall last week, ending him up in a trauma unit with numerous d6 in falling damage. Been receiving updates from his family, and now, thankfully, Matt himself. He has a healthy shopping list of injuries, but nothing that won't mend. That said, he's at the beginning of a long road of recovery and rehab, but I suspect it's hard to keep an old soldier down. So if you know him, feel free to drop a line of support, prayers to an appropriate deity, and/or good thoughts.
Oh, and I received an Honorable Mention in the One Page Dungeon Contest, (again, with a "Matt Map") so there's that.