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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Jukashi's Avatar

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    Default Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    I could use some advice. See, I'll soon be running a standard D&D game for 6 friends of mine - 4 of them I've played with before and 2 of which will be new to the game. Since 6 is more than I've run for before I decided to keep it simple with a straightforward dungeon bash - a bunch of undead and demons guarding the tomb (and treasure!) of an ancient dark lord. I was thinking a bunch of warriors and servants buried with him as skeletal foes, with some minor demons guarding his treasures and a decent amount of traps. Good ol' executioner statues, pitfalls and suchlike.

    Thing is, when I try to run serious adventures it tends to come apart, and all of my friends are appreciative of a bit of fun, so I thought I'd lighten it up a bit. Question is, how? What sort of stuff is humorous but not too complicated? Any advice on running for new people would also be appreciated. Unfortunately, in order to save time I told them all to make characters from the online SRD before the game, so I don't know exactly what they'll be playing. All level 5, though.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    I'd be more worried starting new players at level 5...

    If you're with a group that doesn't like to take things seriously, my advice is to keep things simple, almost to the point of a boardgame. A pack of comedians, or even just a couple, will introduce all the humor you need (or want...). Dramatic NPCs usually fall flat with such a group.

    For traps, maybe a spell trap combined with something else is as complex as you want to get. If you want to get creative in this regard, conjure up some oddball trap (combine a long slope to a pit trap with a Grease spell). If you want to inject a few laughs, work in such a trap.

    And Stinking Cloud never stops being funny. The key is in the delivery.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Jukashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    The level 5 thing is mostly for the other guys, but it's also because I sort of want to sell the game to the new ones, so I'd like them to start with a range of nifty abilities to have fun with.

    Grease pit... now that sounds a good idea. I suppose, though, it'd be best to leave things a bit ephemereal so that I can adjust them to how the mood goes.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Xuincherguixe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Have the Dungeon be designed by an eccentric.

    Do things like have a sign that reads "Pull this lever". Next to a lever. Or spiked walls that close in, only on each tip is a marshmallow. Golems that will only walk on white tiles. (This is even better if there's actually nothing wrong with the black tiles)
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    Rizban: You could be all, "Today's Destruction is brought to you by the color green.... I HATE GREEN!" then fly off mumbling to yourself "Seven... seven bats... mwa ha ha ha..."

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    Everyone knows you can just parse XML with regex.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    To give the place a little extra personality, have an annoying or amusing imp around to give the players some 'advice'... There's your clown there. It's even demonically themed.

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    Solo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuincherguixe View Post
    Have the Dungeon be designed by an eccentric.

    Do things like have a sign that reads "Pull this lever". Next to a lever. Or spiked walls that close in, only on each tip is a marshmallow. Golems that will only walk on white tiles. (This is even better if there's actually nothing wrong with the black tiles)
    Knight to G 6!

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    The Variable Gravity Maze is a personal favourite of mine if I want to crack a few smiles at the gaming table.
    It's a basic maze and fairly straight forward maze with a twist. Every ?d? rounds the gravity changes direction and/or strength. Throw in a few basic traps and you're set.
    It's a good idea to make sure the players have a set of pitons and rope before they go in.
    The only problem with it is that it's darn hard to keep track of the players position.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Benejeseret's Avatar

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Willy Wonka and the Death Factory

    Choose the most likely vice for each player's personality. Greed covers most, but so could pride etc. Setup a series of small personality tests at the end of each encounter to find the one most suitable player to take over as Heir of the death factory.

    Very liberal use of curses spread all around to anyone who falls for a 'personality flaw' such as greed, pride etc....or turn it around and anyone showing compassion, caring etc gets odd and fun curses.

    Willy Wonka is a lich.

    The passing PC gets the option to start the lich conversion and gets the Death Factory as his base.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiel View Post
    The only problem with it is that it's darn hard to keep track of the players position.
    Try a transformation matrix. You can use them to translate between 2D positions on the various faces of a 3D object. They're not exactly the easiest to do by hand, but if you play D&D, chances are someone in your group owns a graphing calculator. :D
    I think that's a really nifty idea, BTW.
    ~Joe

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Quote Originally Posted by seedjar View Post
    Try a transformation matrix. You can use them to translate between 2D positions on the various faces of a 3D object. They're not exactly the easiest to do by hand, but if you play D&D, chances are someone in your group owns a graphing calculator. :D
    I think that's a really nifty idea, BTW.
    ~Joe
    Uncalled for. And not particularly helpful, if I understand the trap correctly. So all the PCs are walking along the floor, then the gravity changes and the wall is now the floor. So all the PCs fall a certain distance depending on how far they were from the wall, and are now in a heap at the base of the new wall. That is how it works, right?

    And this could be amazing. If your players think they're in a lighthearted game, it'll show. The first time one of my players pulled a manly pose check, I almost panicked and started going through splatbooks looking for the mechanic, before I realized he was being silly. (He nailed it too, rolled a 19.)
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Tomb of Horrors anyone? Whoops, this is meant to be fun for the players isn't it. Any way, I'm a fan of the permanent levitate with an invisible bard playing elevator music ( Make a DC 23 will save vs. insanity. ) Or you could have a statue who's pedestal reads "Pull my finger". Anyone who does releases a stinking cloud. Then again that is pretty low-brow.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    drengnikrafe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuincherguixe View Post
    Golems that will only walk on white tiles. (This is even better if there's actually nothing wrong with the black tiles)

    *Extreme Gasp*
    I do this in Supermarkets all the time! It's a natural urge, and I just can't resist that driving force... to only walk on certain tiles!

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Xuincherguixe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    The easiest way to design a dungeon made by an eccentric is to be an eccentric who builds a dungeon.

    Yeah, I do something like that too on occasion.
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    Rizban: You could be all, "Today's Destruction is brought to you by the color green.... I HATE GREEN!" then fly off mumbling to yourself "Seven... seven bats... mwa ha ha ha..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Everyone knows you can just parse XML with regex.
    Don't mind me. I'm just going to have some post traumatic flashbacks in the corner here and sob uncontrollably.


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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tengu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Quote Originally Posted by drengnikrafe View Post
    *Extreme Gasp*
    I do this in Supermarkets all the time! It's a natural urge, and I just can't resist that driving force... to only walk on certain tiles!
    There was an xkcd comic about that - I'll try searching for it.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    drengnikrafe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu View Post
    There was an xkcd comic about that - I'll try searching for it.
    I've read that comic. When I did so, I almost died of laughter.
    http://xkcd.com/245/
    If anyone else wants to read it (or even if you don't), I'm pretty sure it's that one.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    To make the gravity thing easy to run, use your favourite Escher print as a tacmap. Eyeball the distances (or stick a completely incorrect grid over it) and require correct climb/tumble checks.

    Another fun thing is to use constructs and geased creatures who try to follow some classic dungeon challenge, but get it all wrong. See http://sluggy.com/daily.php?date=990804 and the rest of the Yffi sequence, but try not to get caught up rereading the entire archive as I almost did.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a lighthearted dungeon for new people

    Traps that hit articles of the player's clothing with prestidigitation. Nor the next hour their shirt is neon pink. Note, this is the pally. Animated giant chess pieces that move as chess pieces. Make the PCs a few of the pieces, or have their movement limited to that of a specific piece to get across the room, or else the pieces activate and go after the PCs.

    Edit: Also, Benny Hill/Scooby Doo hallway doors are fun, as well.
    Last edited by Farmer42; 2008-03-09 at 02:40 AM.

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