Thursday, April 28, 2011

Calling All Really Cool Idea People

My brain is melting.

I need help.  I am going to be starting a new LL +AEC game.  This isn't a home hosted one - but an every other week affair at the FLGS.  The ulterior motive is to create a public haven for old school gaming in this 4e/3,5/Pathfinder rich environment - a place where D&D or Traveller or Stars Without Numbers or Gamma World or Mutant Future or Top Secret could just be whipped out and people would be on it like stink on a dog.  But we'll start with LL.

The trouble is, I run a home game every other weekend.  It is very vanilla LL.  By design - cuz I like it.  But for the public game, I want to do something different.  Not so far different that it freaks people (newcomers) out, but different enough to keep me interested.  Understand?

We've so far got two players who are AD&D types, who want to start playing again, and two complete newbies.  I expect others will be interested, but I'll let it grow organically.  I think there will be some core people, but there will be people showing up some days and not others.

So I need . . I need . . . A slightly off-kilter episodic sandbox.  I guess that is how one would describe it.  I once ran a 4e game based loosely on Mouse Guard.  It was over the Christmas holidays for a random bunch of people.  It was 4e, but the players all were members of the 'Watch' and protected the border from EVIL.  And helped little old ladies.  They never battled giant crabs though.

Anyway, that worked, for the most part.  I could encapsulate each game session into it's own episode - but it wasn't sandobxy at all. I led the players by the nose from episode to episode. 

So, I'd like something different, but, well, my head hurts trying to think about it.  I want to show the new players what my view of old school D&D is all about.  I want it to be encapsulate-able into a session, however.  So, a episodic sandbox.  Is this an oxy-moron?  And it needs to be weird but not too weird.  Am I deluding myself?  Is this possible?

Thanks in advance for any ideas or thoughts.

- Ark 


  1. Dont let your melting brain leak out of your head! It will attract zombies! lol.

  2. Arkhein, if I read what you want correctly, you could take this and this while using these - and there you have it, a modular sandbox of one session adventures that increase in difficulty the further the characters go from town.

  3. I bet the links Dave intended to provide were all gems, but since they all lead to: "Page not found
    Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog Rather Gamey does not exist.

    Go to blog homepage" -- Maybe we need a more current pointer to them.

    On to this statement of yours I took the liberty of modifying: "what [is your] view of old school D&D [] all about[?]"

    My suggestion to you regarding the basic scenario is this:

    A group of muscle, problem-solvers, and healers travel around to various forts, outposts, trade-towns, and other out-in-the-sticks places where, lo, things happen that give them more reason to futz around on-site (the episodic setting) before moving on to the next place they choose to go of the places on their list. Curing diseases, healing the Centurion's son stuck at 0hp from a horse accident, confronting abusive authority, bringing li'l rays of sunshine into parochial village life, puppies, rainbows, loot, xp, that sort of stuff.

    The advantages are: Mobility, episodic nature, character interaction with the locals, different locales, PC-driven exploration and socialisation, rails or no rails, as fits the immediate scenario.


  4. I bet the links Dave intended to provide were all gems, but since they all lead to: "Page not found

    Thanks for that Kyrinn. Very strange, I've no idea what happened there with the html. Here are the three links:

    Modular Sandbox + Danger Gradients + One-Page Dungeons.

  5. I don't know if this counts as a "cool" idea or not, but I am thinking of doing more or less the same thing at a local bookstore this fall, and have been contemplating using (as a starting point) a prefab dungeon -- probably either B1 In Search of the Unknown or B4 The Lost City -- but restocking it randomly from the LL dungeon stocking tables.

  6. Here's a little chunk of weirdness to drop in if you are so inclined...

    Weird Kobold Cave

    My group actually played it and we had a good time. We played it with level 2 B/X characters, so LL should be no problem.

  7. Well, I'm still learning this myself, but it seems if you get them back to town/base at the end of the session you can still have an episodic feel whether they are making excursions into a megadungeon or a western marches style landscape.

    Jeff Rients helps this happen by making parties sill in the dungeon roll on a dungeon escape chart. I imagine you could devise a similar one for the wilderness:

    (I am quite surprised that link is not on the community wiki, and will now go add it)

  8. I run a very different kind of game when I run D&D so I'm really not sure if I can be of assistance. I would tend to direct you to other old school dudes who do that old school voodoo the you do better than I do. Dude.

    That said, drop by Barking Alien anytime and check out my D&D posts or anything marked by the tag D and D AD.

  9. Thank all of you for the ideas and helpful pointers. Your help, and some actual sleep, has made me realize that organizing this game is actually much easier than I thought. I am once again astounded at what a wonderful resource you guys and gals are. I swear, the years of expertise and knowledge just boggles my mind. Thanks again.

    - Ark