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drengnikrafe
2009-12-08, 01:33 PM
First of allÖ Jason, stay out of here. Important things will be discussed, and I donít want you knowing what they are.

Now that thatís out of the wayÖ I come to you, Playgrounders, for some help.

(Begin Backstory) It was a year or 2 ago, back before I had become a decent DM, I was looking for some inspiration in regards to the type of campaign I should run, or other such things. I was talking to my friend, and he suggested a campaign based upon Alice in Wonderland.

I was so excited, I immediately went home, watched the movie, wrote down the characters, and developed a dozen monsters based upon those characters. Then I realized these monsters were horribly balanced, and I had no way of fixing that (and still donít). The campaign immediately fell to the back of my mind, and hasnít yet been run. (End Backstory)

Recently, though, due to Alice related material, I have become reinterested in the campaign idea, and I want to run it. However, I have only about a week to prepare for it, and none of my old notes. All this being said, do you know monsters that could represent the various characters of the world, what could be changed to make the world more campaign friendly, or other clever ideas. I could probably do the entire thing on my own, butÖ like I said, only a week.

Any input would be welcomed.

jmbrown
2009-12-08, 01:39 PM
There was actually an AD&D adventure module based on it and it was posted on Wizards website for free back in the early 3E days but I can't seem to find it.

Shouldn't be too hard, though.

Jabberwocky - some kind of flying wyvern like creature
Caterpillar - base him off a huge centipede
The Duchess - ogre
Mad Hatter - some kind of crazy enchanter
Card Guards - warriors
Queen of Hearts - Cleric
The entire living chess game - warriors (pawns), clerics (bishops), knights, rogues (rooks), king/queen (wizard)
White Rabbit - scout
March Hare - insane monk
Walruss and the Carpenter - some kind of martial class
Cheshire Cat - take the blink dog stats and rearrange it for a cat

Djibriel
2009-12-08, 01:43 PM
Well, the whole schtick of Alice in Wonderland is that everything's bizarre and unexpected.

As such, I'd just throw together characters from the story and not-at-all related DND classes. Give that chain-smoking caterpillar Ranger levels and make him shoot arrows of smoke (also, poison). Let the Mad Hatter go all Kung Lao with Monk levels and a +3 Returning Splitting Whatever hat to throw. Make a Cheshire Cat with Rogue/Assassin levels to make full use of at-will Invisibility.

In my book, if the class is fitting, it's good. If it's not fitting, it's also good. It's very Alice to meet a giant walking talking egg and then have it shoot Eldritch Blasts. Or roll over people as a Dungeoncrasher Fighter, whatever.

Another_Poet
2009-12-08, 01:48 PM
For the cards I would use animated objects or even outright mimics.

I would make the chess game cruel. Pawns should be bait - easy to kill warriors, but if you kill one, some horrible trap goes off on your square. If you choose not to kill them (after seeing a few of these horrible traps) they are sitting around the board just waiting to take their AoOs as you by. Give 'em spiked chains for fun.

High-level clerics for bishops, golems for rooks and just go crazy on the queen.


"OMG giant chessboard puzzle" is so overdone that you want to make it stand out somehow. A truly unnerving, brutal, long combat against clever, well-prepared baddies is gonna be a game to remember. Especially since the PCs walk in thinking it's gonna be a puzzle and it turns out to be a meat grinder.

Also, what Djibriel said.

jmbrown
2009-12-08, 01:49 PM
You might also want to watch Jan Svankmajer's Neco z Alenky (Alice) which is retelling of the first book and pretty much the inspiration for every "dark" retelling of Carroll's otherwise bizarre and lighthearted children's story. You can probably watch the entire thing on youtube and I always recommend the movie for people looking for something 'different.'

The Glyphstone
2009-12-08, 02:02 PM
American McGee's Alice, for example.

Also that might be more appropriate for Call of Cthulu than D&D...

cenghiz
2009-12-08, 02:08 PM
Why not, turn it into, horror?

Because, y'know... Alice is dead... (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/511552)

I would be shocked if DM told me "We'll play something based on Alice in Wonderlands.." and it turned out to be a creepy story.

Edit: Horribly Ninja'ed? So everyone has the same taste.. Alice in Wonderlands should have a dark atmosphere.

dsmiles
2009-12-08, 02:11 PM
You might also want to watch Jan Svankmajer's Neco z Alenky (Alice) which is retelling of the first book and pretty much the inspiration for every "dark" retelling of Carroll's otherwise bizarre and lighthearted children's story. You can probably watch the entire thing on youtube and I always recommend the movie for people looking for something 'different.'

Also, back in the '85, there was a made-for-tv movie. It was called "Alice in Wonderland." Good stuff.

EDIT: Also in one of the 2e Monstrous Compendium annual splatbooks, there was a Jabberwock monster. It actually burbled.

JasonP
2009-12-08, 02:20 PM
I would make sure that all NPC casters were Int or Cha based with little to no Wis and include lots of Illusions. Also you should have a lot of plant based monsters such as treants.

SpikeFightwicky
2009-12-08, 02:31 PM
American McGee's Alice, for example.


American McGee's Alice definately gives a good 'power level' for various Wonderland type monsters (though with more of a horror-y twist). It's funny you bring this up. I had something similar planned, and had written up every McGee's Alice enemy in 3.5 rules. Unfortunately, it was all on my Yahoo website and it got canned in October and I lost everything (I even playtested most of them with some of my D&D group and got a good CR balance). I may be able to dig up something of a backup content, assuming I had the hindsight (which I may or may not have)... If it's a 3.5 game, it shouldn't be too difficult balancing things.

Thane of Fife
2009-12-08, 03:03 PM
There was actually an AD&D adventure module based on it and it was posted on Wizards website for free back in the early 3E days but I can't seem to find it.

See here (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.asp?x=dnd/dx20020121x8). Interesting, kind of bizarre, very combat-heavy.

drengnikrafe
2009-12-08, 03:21 PM
I find myself very fond of the concepts of nonsense abilities, illusions, and a very dark atmosphere. I even have fluff for them. Since Wonderland is, after all, just an illusory word based upon the imaginations of the PCs, and Alice is/was a lot more innocent than any most PCs will be. *Evil laugh (that needs to be worked on)* Excellent...

Another_Poet
2009-12-08, 03:44 PM
I remember a homebrew spell that was submitted as a joke on he WotC forums a long time ago. It would actually be a great spell for the PCs to find on a scroll somewhere in Wonderland. It went something like this:

Create Ploof
Conjuration (Creation)
Sor/Wiz1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Duration: Permanent
Saving throw: None
SR: No

You summon into being 1 pound of Ploof. Ploof is an unusual substance valued more highly than gold. It is so rare that it can only be created by the spell Create Ploof.

Material Component: 1 handful of Ploof.

hee hee hee

(wish I remembered the original author to give proper credit, but my search fu fails me. The above is a paraphrase, not exact quote.)

Vorpalbob
2009-12-08, 06:07 PM
But what about tweedle dee and tweedle dum? I personally would have them act similar to the wierd squid things from OotS.
probably a bad idea.

qoalabear
2009-12-08, 06:15 PM
Cheshire Cat (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fools/20030401c) has "controlled invisibility" and sorceror spells.

Silenced Dimension Hop(PHBII) so that it can reappear on the other side of the party.

ken-do-nim
2009-12-08, 06:32 PM
Caterpillar - base him off a huge centipede


In the AD&D module, the caterpillar was a behir btw.

Inhuman Bot
2009-12-08, 07:15 PM
I remember a homebrew spell that was submitted as a joke on he WotC forums a long time ago. It would actually be a great spell for the PCs to find on a scroll somewhere in Wonderland. It went something like this:

Create Ploof
Conjuration (Creation)
Sor/Wiz1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Duration: Permanent
Saving throw: None
SR: No

You summon into being 1 pound of Ploof. Ploof is an unusual substance valued more highly than gold. It is so rare that it can only be created by the spell Create Ploof.

Material Component: 1 handful of Ploof.

hee hee hee

(wish I remembered the original author to give proper credit, but my search fu fails me. The above is a paraphrase, not exact quote.)

Eschew Materials. :smallsmile:

Stormthorn
2009-12-08, 07:29 PM
In the AD&D module, the caterpillar was a behir btw.

So...he breathed lightning rather than smoke?

KillianHawkeye
2009-12-08, 07:50 PM
Eschew Materials. :smallsmile:

Since ploof is more valuable than gold, Eschew Materials won't work. It only works on spells with material components costing 1 gp or less.

hewhosaysfish
2009-12-09, 06:20 AM
Since ploof is more valuable than gold, Eschew Materials won't work. It only works on spells with material components costing 1 gp or less.

Ignore Materials, the Epic-level big brother of Eschew Materials, could do it. And once you have 1 pound of ploof in the world the obvious question is: how many handfuls is that?
Since the spell requires "1 handful" and creates "1 pound", the question is not how much ploof if worth but how much it weighs (and how big your hands are, I guess). If a handful weighs less than a pound then one could still turn a profit on this spell.
The Epic wizard could quickly multilpy this one pound, pulled into being from nothing, into a vast fortune in ploof. Of course, he would have to be careful when spending it because if any 1st level wizard in the world were to accumulate a single handful of it, they could begin producing their own ploof production and his monoploy would be lost.

Prime32
2009-12-09, 06:43 AM
Ignore Materials, the Epic-level big brother of Eschew Materials, could do it. And once you have 1 pound of ploof in the world the obvious question is: how many handfuls is that?
Since the spell requires "1 handful" and creates "1 pound", the question is not how much ploof if worth but how much it weighs (and how big your hands are, I guess). If a handful weighs less than a pound then one could still turn a profit on this spell.
The Epic wizard could quickly multilpy this one pound, pulled into being from nothing, into a vast fortune in ploof. Of course, he would have to be careful when spending it because if any 1st level wizard in the world were to accumulate a single handful of it, they could begin producing their own ploof production and his monoploy would be lost.It's more efficient for halfling wizards. Smaller hands. :smalltongue:

Tokiko Mima
2009-12-09, 06:52 AM
Since ploof is more valuable than gold, Eschew Materials won't work. It only works on spells with material components costing 1 gp or less.

Since no value is given for the handful of ploof, it can be assumed to be of any quality, concentration, or purity. A handful of dirt cut/mixed with extremely low grade ploof would count, and the result would be a handful of ploof worth less than 1 gp. Therefore this spell is a valid target for Eschew Materials.

However, if it listed the minimum cost of the ploof and it was more than 1 gp, then it wouldn't be. Here's what the SRD says on the subject:



Link: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#components

Material (M)

A material component is one or more physical substances or objects that are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process. Unless a cost is given for a material component, the cost is negligible. Donít bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost. Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch.

So going by that, you technically don't even need a feat at all. Every wizard has several handfuls of ploof in their spell component bags, exactly enough to tide them over until they reach the next town with a stock of ploof.

Zanticor
2009-12-09, 08:04 AM
When playing wonderland, make it about wonder. Very little fighting (don't kill the cat please) and a lot of talking. Don't watch any films but read the book! Go for bizarre and arbitrary. Make your players think themselves through it and punish every logic idea. Only outrageous decisions should be rewarded. You don't need to kill them just be rude to them like everyone was to Alice. Then finish it of with a chess battle or some polo and have them lop of the queens head. Remember: wonderland is about being unable to control the world and wondering about the craziness of it all. Just like the real world I would say.

Zanticor