View Full Version : Old School dm discussion of homebrew game in progress.

2014-05-23, 06:57 PM
Hello everyone this tuesday 5/20/14 i started a group of players on a homebrew adventure of mine, leading up to the beginning of play and even now im constantly searching the intarwebz for "dm tips/hints" i recently found one that said it is sometimes a good idea to have someone not playing in the campaign which you can talk to and discuss ideas, future plot points, etc with as a second opinion is never really a bad thing...since i do not have any friends interested in D&D that arent playing with me,i have come here to seek your opinions and critiques.

so to start off a little bit of background info...the world itself is rather earth like though something like 90% of it is covered in water leaving one main continent and various small islands.with this abundance of water i thought i could finally use the zaratans which i love so much but have never been able to encounter in any games ive personally played in.there are two zaratans in my world for sake of my sanity they will be referred to as zaratan(a) or (b).(a) is quite empty with the only sentient life being two fey stags and a spell weaver,(this is where the players are currently). while (b) is filled with an assortment of various nasty critters ranging from kobolds and goblins to orcs and minotaurs, perhaps even an ettin or hill giant. they use (b) as basically a mobile raiding outpost.

As for the mainland there are three major cities Rageon, the human city is located farthest north. Calamah, is roughly in the middle top end of the continent and is the home of the elves. and finally kersplunk is located furthest south and is the home of dwarves and various halflings.

The adventuring hook is that on each of the six sides of the planet respectively the north pole the south pole and 4 points even spaced around the eqautor.(imagine the world is a d6 on each side in the center is a large tower made of a shiny black material reaching over 1300 feet up into the sky out of the ocean. an ancient wizard known only as "the red"(who is the spell weaver on zaratan(a)) built the towers and put into place a defense shield around the planet giving the sky an eery red glow.this defense system was put into place as the party will soon find out to prevent hoards of elementals from various panes using the planet as some sort of focusing agent to gain access to the prime material.

i say the party will learn of this shortly because the shield will soon fail. (i plan to have this happen near the beginning of the next game session.) which will allow the elementals to once more gain access to the planet and the prime material.i realize elementals are rather nasty creatures and since my party are all level one they will be facing watered down versions to start and assuming they do nothing or take their time to reactivate the shield the elementals will grow stronger as larger and more powerful elementals begin to come through the various portals.

In order to reactivate the shield they must go into each tower and flip a switch or some such(havent decided on activation mechanism yet) which will be guarded by a plethora of creatures.the tower on the north pole is the main tower which requires the five others to be activated in order to proceed with powering up the shield. each tower has a theme which are as follows. :shark, bird, insect, feline, and snake. i have the tower maps all drawn out and places set for various traps and creatures which follow the themes.

i also have a map of the world and a blank turtle picture which i use as a map for the zaratans. these have been laminated and i have dry erase markers for making notes or marking locations and what not.

some last notes the games system being used is AD&D 2nd edition as it is my favorite. and the party consists of a bullywug shaman, a halfling thief, a dwarven fighter, and a half elf mage. there are talks of another bullywug(not sure of class, and an elven mage joining the party.

i forgot to mention how to gain access to the towers in the first place,(the following is copied directly from my notes so my apologies if it is confusing lol)when someone goes to the top of the tower in the very center is an odd elven hand shaped rune...requires an elf to place hand on rune and speak the elvish word for "down" written in elvish in a circle around the hand "to enter the depths speak "down"

if successful the entire top of the tower will split into multiple sections and begin to move (like the iris on the stargate or a nuclear missile silo door) revealing a second platform that covers the entire area inside the tower (roughly a foot down from the door) 30 seconds after the door is fully opened the platform(elevator will begin to descend at a steady rate of 60ft/min, which takes roughly half an hour to reach the bottom.(northern tower takes 1 hour.

each tower will descend into a different dungeon/puzzle...

the tower at the north pole is ringed by thick ice at the base and will descend the furthest and open into a massive chamber with a large pair of heavy locked doors. with intricate runes leading to 5 different animal statues (snake,cat,bug,bird,shark) placed evenly down the outer walls of the chamber, snake in center.

thats all i can think of currently though i have tons more notes...feel free to ask questions give suggestions and what not.

2014-05-23, 09:45 PM
i would also like to add that i have various pictures and such to go with this giant block of text but the only add picture feature i see here requires a url and the pictures are on my laptop so this wont work lol.

this may need to be moved elsewhere im not sure. as im not really creating anything but a world/storyline,adventure arc.

2014-06-01, 09:50 PM
dont be shy! any input is welcome!

2014-06-02, 02:03 AM
What are you asking for, exactly? Advice on motivating the characters? Puzzles/monsters to employ in your dungeons?

I had a snake themed dungeon once, using Naga and Necrophidius (http://ericbelisle.com/weblogs/wp-content/gallery/paizo/necrophidius.jpg)(es) as they're human-headed serpents, with Amphisbaena (snake with a head at each end) and a hydra (6 headed snake that grows 2 heads whenever one is cut) as bosses and higher-up adversaries. It was a lot of fun. I think the final boss was a lamia queen.

Shark should be changed to "fish"

2014-06-02, 09:06 PM
apologies in advance for the wall of text...i know i tend to ramble so if anything doesnt make sense feel free to ask questions.

Really just looking for any opinions/critiques on various things mentioned, this is the third campaign ive run as a DM so i am still fairly new to it.

player motivations would be great!

so far the majority of the players motivations have come from wanting to restore the planetary shield as i had hoped for.having portals with random elementals coming out of them semi regularly to wreak havoc on whoever is nearby isnt fun for anyone! especially random npcs that the party hasnt made much of an effort to go see yet.(they have visited a merfolk city but the portals are appearing at sea level so it doesnt affect the merfolk much...)

also the change from shark to fish is interesting and i will give it some thought i was just thinking that a shark in the main towers great room would be more impressive looking rather than just a large fish. thought it is rather more inclusive towards being able to throw a wider variety of monsters into that particular tower/dungeon.

feedback from players that i have gotten so far has been fairly positive...they all say theyre having fun! the two negative things ive gotten were "accessibility" "towers were pretty tough to get into" (which was meant to be that way..they were only lvl 1s at the time and i was planning on them to go off and hopefully do some random adventuring to gain some levels before attacking the towers straight away...) and the other negative which i didnt pay much attention to as the player who said it showed up late for the game and thus missed his opportunity to do so..."theres no where to buy anything or restock on stuff!" (they had plenty of chances to visit various towns before going into the first tower and they chose not too...)

i was toying with an idea to backtrack a bit...something along the lines of "you wake up back on the beach on zaratan a." the adventure leading up to that point having been some sort of vision or future sight or something which i could tie into the storyline because i have a shaman player. "you can keep all experience gained and you remember everything that happened sort of thing but were back were we started the 2nd day of in game time."

2014-06-02, 10:12 PM
Making it a dream could be interesting, but you'll have to revert to old loot and gear inventories; it would be too hard to explain dream world gear becoming real.
Fish boss can still be a shark. Or possibly this thing (http://paizo.com/image/content/PathfinderRPG/PZO1116-PreviewMonster14.jpg), the Nightwave (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/nightshade/nightwave).
If you want your players to do side quests, then they need to be motivated to do such quests. Perhaps have them meet higher level NPC's leaving the towers unsuccessfully. This will be a hint that the players are too weak for that tower. (You pass a fully decked out party of lvl 10 adventurers that look to have just had their asses kicked... You're not going in until you're at least lvl 12.)
Give the shamans visions... private hints to push him in certain directions.

2014-06-02, 11:54 PM
Fish boss can still be a shark. Or possibly this thing (http://paizo.com/image/content/PathfinderRPG/PZO1116-PreviewMonster14.jpg), the Nightwave (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/nightshade/nightwave).

this is a pretty awesome looking boss creature however we are playing 2nd edition and that seems to be formatted for third or above. currently for the fish or shark tower the end boss is a "squark"