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Gau
Nov 18, 2003

ASK ME ABOUT THE KEYS TO KICKSTARTER SUCCESS

I think it would be cool to start a new thread and have a bunch of goons review, critique, and otherwise improve each others' modules for submission in October. Goon rushing Dungeon would make me very happy.

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MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Gau posted:

I think it would be cool to start a new thread and have a bunch of goons review, critique, and otherwise improve each others' modules for submission in October. Goon rushing Dungeon would make me very happy.
I had actually planned on creating a thread that would be for converting old modules.

BetterWeirdthanDead
Mar 7, 2006

Ask me why I really
went to see Terminator


MadScientistWorking posted:

I had actually planned on creating a thread that would be for converting old modules.

Wizards would probably accept a conversion of an old adventure if it was done well.

It's time for "Journey to the Rock Revisited."

CuddlyZombie
Nov 6, 2005

I wuv your brains.

New threads for modules and module conversions could be pretty sweet.

What's nice about an adventure is that it isn't too large in scope that working on it solo would be unfeasible.




What process do you guys generally come up with for adventure ideas? Usually, whenever I watch or play something (or even attend a lecture), some small bit of my mind is always on the lookout for adventure seeds.

I like to look at how JRPGs that I play might fit into heroic/paragon/epic tiers, and whenever I watch episodes of the Powerpuff Girls I get ideas for games of Paranoia (which seems to me like an unlikely source of inspiration, but there you go!).

A lecture on religious beliefs from ancient China gave me the idea for an entire Oriental Adventures/Wuxia style campaign about Mt. Kunlun.

Hearing Githyanki described as "raiders of the astral plane" after going on a Metroid Prime Binge made me think of space pirates, which led to me making and running a game where Space Pirates from Metroid invaded the Forgotten Realms. (This was my favorite adventure that I had ever made; aside from a Solo Soldier fight that was a bit of a slog the entire thing was great and I'd submit it if it weren't for copyright issues.)

Edit: Now that I think about it, reflavoring the space pirate adventure and writing it up properly could be a viable pitch idea. When I originally ran it, I made sure that everything going on actually made sense in-setting and was internally consistent (the spellplague that occurred 100 years ago created a massive magical energy flare that the Pirates had just detected, and they were sending a small force from another galaxy, but the same plane, to investigate this new, mysterious energy source), and I honestly think it could be a great way to launch a game into paragon tier. I'd have to touch up some of the encounters, though.

CuddlyZombie fucked around with this message at Jun 7, 2011 around 21:12

Elswyyr
Mar 4, 2009


How good is the Scales Of War campaign that was published in Dungeon a year back or so?

CuddlyZombie
Nov 6, 2005

I wuv your brains.

Some fine fellow on the Wizards forums is "polishing up" the older 4e modules such as Keep on the Shadowfell: http://community.wizards.com/go/thr...eath_Conversion

I haven't looked through them in detail, yet, but the formatting and presentation is really good, and it seems to have gotten a really good reception.

He's done H1, H2, H3, and P1, and is finishing up on P2 (he has a beta version linked on the last page of the thread.)

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


homullus posted:

They accept pitches for Dungeon articles. From their thingy:


Payment is $.06 per word, maximum of 10,000 words ($600).

So, not module territory, and it would be a different kind of fun to run with a story or theme for longer than 5-6 encounters. There's also less pressure when doing it for free.

Without speaking for Gau and CuddlyZombie's interests, I've been interested in coming up with something, but I think I'd be more interested in contributing to something in the short term. If there are enough people nursing that secret ambition, maybe we can all come up with something small that doesn't suck.

I think they might have upped the rate to $.07 cents, or else it was a special rate for this contest. While this is behind many major magazine publishers (which can be $.10 a word), it's leagues better than some of the smaller publishers in the RPG industry.

Though, actually getting through the submissions window is harder than it looks. You have to convince them with a very short pitch, under 500 words at most about why they should pay you to make a module. Even if you have an end product that is going to be totally awesome, you might not be able to convey it well enough to hook Steve Winter and the rest of the submissions team.

Publishing it on your own, and you have to provide art, maps, editing, formatting and the like, which can get expensive and quickly eat away your profits, especially if you can't get a wide audience who are aware of your work already and/or willing to buy it based only on a sample. Some small publishers have taken to using Kickstarter to pass the hat around and/or offer bribes.

You're not ever going to get rich in this industry, especially compared to taking the time spent on writing your RPG and using that time to work at an actual job (even part-time. It's something people do for love of magic elf books.

LightWarden
Mar 18, 2007


Elswyyr posted:

How good is the Scales Of War campaign that was published in Dungeon a year back or so?

As navyjack mentioned earlier, all over the place. It's like mainstream comics in that you have a bunch of different writers with different ideas, and only the vaguest outline to connect them.

CuddlyZombie
Nov 6, 2005

I wuv your brains.

MadScientistWorking posted:

I had actually planned on creating a thread that would be for converting old modules.

I think it would be cool to have a thread for converting modules as well as a thread for making new modules. Hell, maybe even a thread for critiquing existing modules!

We ARE a subforum instead of a sub-subforum right now, maybe we should get a little bold?

MMD3
May 16, 2006

Montmartre -> Portland

I need a quick idea for a gimmick build for a 1-off session we're playing tonight. trying to think of something fun/funny I can play with. Any recommendations?

CuddlyZombie
Nov 6, 2005

I wuv your brains.

MMD3 posted:

I need a quick idea for a gimmick build for a 1-off session we're playing tonight. trying to think of something fun/funny I can play with. Any recommendations?

The players are detectives in Sharn or any other fantasy metropolis and have to solve a murder mystery that leads them into a criminal hideout.

Quick edit: Didn't see "gimmick build" in there. Make a druid, but reskin all of his powers as hi-tech equipment and call him a gadgeteer. Animal form becomes Exoskelaton: Engage Close Combat Mode!

Area effects become deployable traps, effects that push the target are gravitic reorientation beams.

I ran a character like this in a one-off (http://iplay4e.appspot.com/characte...WN0ZXJWMhiUqzYM) and it was a lot of fun theming everything as high-tech.

CuddlyZombie fucked around with this message at Jun 7, 2011 around 21:53

MMD3
May 16, 2006

Montmartre -> Portland

CuddlyZombie posted:

The players are detectives in Sharn or any other fantasy metropolis and have to solve a murder mystery that leads them into a criminal hideout.

Quick edit: Didn't see "gimmick build" in there. Make a druid, but reskin all of his powers as hi-tech equipment and call him a gadgeteer. Animal form becomes Exoskelaton: Engage Close Combat Mode!

Area effects become deployable traps, effects that push the target are gravitic reorientation beams.

I ran a character like this in a one-off (http://iplay4e.appspot.com/characte...WN0ZXJWMhiUqzYM) and it was a lot of fun theming everything as high-tech.

that might be a lot of work for a single session... sounds fun though

Samej
Apr 25, 2011

A Ponderously Prescient Pachyderm

I think a Goon collaboration on a single adventure would be interesting for submitting to Wizards. We could even slip in one or two inside jokes.

Still, 10,000 words can get kind of constricting. I'm not sure how keen the community here would be on this sort of collaboration as I haven't been here that long, but ideas and development can make this into a good thing.

CuddlyZombie
Nov 6, 2005

I wuv your brains.

Samej posted:

I think a Goon collaboration on a single adventure would be interesting for submitting to Wizards. We could even slip in one or two inside jokes.


I'm not sure that collaborating on a single adventure would be all that great of an idea. The Scales of War campaign felt really mixed, and that was with each adventure still having its own author. I'd imagine a single adventure with multiple writers would be a nightmare, although I could be wrong.

Edit: I take all of this back if the adventure is about the Zybourne Clock.

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

quote:

I take all of this back if the adventure is about the Zybourne Clock.

Point taken.

MMD3
May 16, 2006

Montmartre -> Portland

MMD3 posted:

I need a quick idea for a gimmick build for a 1-off session we're playing tonight. trying to think of something fun/funny I can play with. Any recommendations?

I'm currently thinking of a warforged bard who's having a crisis of conscience and is a reluctant fighter.

coeranys
Aug 25, 2003

They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, and after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.


What would be most interesting I think would be soliciting a bunch of people who were interested in writing adventures/modules whatever and assigning each person a level range, and seeing if we could get enough goons to make adventures that they could take a party from level 1 to level 30.

BetterWeirdthanDead
Mar 7, 2006

Ask me why I really
went to see Terminator


I started a conversion thread. Let's take the conversation over there: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3417382

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

MMD3 posted:

I need a quick idea for a gimmick build for a 1-off session we're playing tonight. trying to think of something fun/funny I can play with. Any recommendations?
A kobold, any kobold. It could be an Iron Soul monk meditating on Steel Dragon Zen, or a kobold seeker who thinks he's the greatest hunter ever (), or a kobold battlemind defying his foes using the power of his tiny mind, or a kobold bard who sings inspiring if slightly bawdy songs in Draconic just, you know, kobold.

bacon!
Dec 10, 2003

The fierce urgency of now

All the published module hate leads me to believe you guys all just make up your own adventures. I like DMing, but I'm not creative, especially so soon into my DM career. Do you guys all just make up your own adventures?

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

I do both. Usually I just make some set piece encounters, map out a dungeon and wing it. Sometimes I work a published adventure into a campaign if I really like it.

I do like to cannibalize the published adventures for ideas though.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Still one more question. I've been curious about Tomb of Horrors since the WTF D&D article, and couldn't help but notice it's been remade for 4th Edition. Would I be able to play this with only the books in the Essentials line recommended in the OP?

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

Yeah. Though the 4e version is a lot different.

Zero Suit Ridley
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


I pretty much run my own material most of the time. For awhile I did public game day stuff and ran the LFR or Encounters sessions at an FLGS but they stopped being quite so F so I stopped going. Running your own stuff's a balancing act and can be stressful, after awhile, though. My campaign just got put on hiatus for a few weeks to let me unwind; to keep the group active I'm just going to run some prewritten things while I get planning done for the regular campaign.

Some DMs I've known refuse to run anything they didn't come up with themselves, others haven't done anything that wasn't already written out. Before 4e came out I was in the former camp, but--especially when learning a new system--I've come to feel there's nothing at all wrong with starting out on some premade stuff until you get a feel for how to design fun encounters and for what does and doesn't work for your group.

BetterWeirdthanDead
Mar 7, 2006

Ask me why I really
went to see Terminator


Dr Nick posted:

Yeah. Though the 4e version is a lot different.

There's a 4e conversion of the original Tomb of Horrors that was issued through WotC's DM Rewards last year.

It's kind of pricey on e-bay, just like most of the Encounters and Game Day modules.

crime fighting hog
Jun 29, 2006

Fuck yes, I want the most authentic Trail of Tears imaginable, bitches. Gotta up the Orcs-dying-per-ten-miles rate from 2d4 to 2d8. Anyone have stats for dire smallpox?

Imagine a d20 stamping on a human face- forever.


They should redo Sunless Citadel for 4e.

CuddlyZombie
Nov 6, 2005

I wuv your brains.

crime fighting hog posted:

They should redo Sunless Citadel for 4e.

This would be pretty cool.

Markovnikov
Nov 5, 2010


As long as we are talking about adventures, anyone knows one that I could run as a one off for new players (so the adventure would have to be level 1-2)? I've already done the ones in the Dungeon Delves Book, so those are off the table.

Also, talking as a first time DM that has run/is planning to run some of the adventures:

The Slaying Stone: This one was a blast, it needs some work as there are a lot of superfluous or uninteresting encounters, but it wasn't hard choosing the most interesting and useful ones, and those need no changing. There are a lot of things going on, and as has been said, you could play up the factions inside the town to make it even more interesting.

Seekers of the Ashen Crown: I've been on the player side of this one. It kind of has way too many encounters when you are inside a dungeon. I think you'd have to cut a lot of them out to let the political stuff shine.

Thunderspire Labyrinth: The set up is interesting (a black market city set up in an old Minotaur Labyrinth-city bordering the Underdark), and a lot can be done with it. I'm planning on cutting the whole first part (in which the PC's go around a bit trying to find some slaves or some other thing that reeks of "Your Princess is in Another Castle" and goes on for way too long), keeping the old shrine to Baphomet overrun by Gnolls part and the ending; and adding a lot of little cool encounter scenes interspread around the labyrinth to make it feel more like a twisty unknown mysterious labyrinth.

Pyramid of Shadows: The premise is railroady as heck because it forces you to spend 4 levels inside a big rear end dungeon, and it looks boring if played with all the encounters in. I'm planning on ramping up the conflict/interaction between the various factions inside the Pyramid, a la Seeker of the Ashen Crown.

Kavros
May 18, 2011

sleep sleep sleep
fly fly post post
sleep sleep sleep

Locus Cosecant posted:

No system is better than a bad system, because it's easier to talk people out of using no system.


Words to live by! (Sadly)

Alasdair Crawfish
Nov 18, 2006

Hanging just next to your door in the hallway is a painting of an EXQUISITE WIZARD. Your mother collects these awful things IRONICALLY.


Markovnikov posted:

The Slaying Stone: This one was a blast, it needs some work as there are a lot of superfluous or uninteresting encounters, but it wasn't hard choosing the most interesting and useful ones, and those need no changing. There are a lot of things going on, and as has been said, you could play up the factions inside the town to make it even more interesting.


I'm running this at a small con, can you be more specific?

I'm already going to redo some of the solos based on this http://angrydm.com/2010/04/the-dd-boss-fight-part-1/ which has been linked in the thread before (it's great btw)

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

Alasdair Crawfish posted:

I'm running this at a small con, can you be more specific?

I'm already going to redo some of the solos based on this http://angrydm.com/2010/04/the-dd-boss-fight-part-1/ which has been linked in the thread before (it's great btw)

I would revamp the solo fight a bit (though it's not terrible as far as solos go). I almost always drop the first encounter with the wolves in favor of something that fits more with the campaign or story I'm running (I hate that the entire map is difficult terrain for starters. It's also one of those fights that's sort of pointless except for pacing).

I would definitely keep the fight in the Library and the fight where the bulette shows up. My group had a blast with those. I might make the random encounter style fights a little quicker (lower HP or minionize the monsters) if I ever run it again.

The main thing you need to do as DM is make the city come to life. There's a lot of good stuff in the module, but when it lists out the encounters it doesn't really tell you what to do in between (because it's assumed you won't be going from a to b to c so much).

In that regard I have three tips:

1. Some of these encounters have some potentially memorable NPCs and I think you want every opportunity to play them up
2. Have the status of the main "sneaking around" skill challenge inform the npc's reactions to the party. It really reinforces the central theme of the module and ties it all together.
3. Have stuff happen outside of the encounters. Give the players npcs to talk to and make deals with. Give them a chance to use the factions present in the city to their advantage. In order to do that you need to make the factions obvious.

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

ASK ME ABOUT THE KEYS TO KICKSTARTER SUCCESS

I'm trying to come up with some good ways to reward the players at my table who slant toward perceptive deduction or creative thinking as opposed to tactical prowess. Any ideas?

Locus Cosecant
Jan 12, 2008


Gau posted:

I'm trying to come up with some good ways to reward the players at my table who slant toward perceptive deduction or creative thinking as opposed to tactical prowess. Any ideas?

Provide important non-combat challenges instead of just combat challenges...?

RPZip
Feb 6, 2009

WORDS IN THE HEART
CANNOT BE TAKEN


Gau posted:

I'm trying to come up with some good ways to reward the players at my table who slant toward perceptive deduction or creative thinking as opposed to tactical prowess. Any ideas?

Can you give a less generalized example here?

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

ASK ME ABOUT THE KEYS TO KICKSTARTER SUCCESS

RPZip posted:

Can you give a less generalized example here?

Sorry, yes. That was a lovely post. Here is a better one:

I have one player who is really good with the tactics of battlefield combat. I have another player who likes all the little details I throw into campaigns, and enjoys piecing them together to solve a mystery or puzzle, or just learn more about the setting. A third player really enjoys the interactions between players and NPCs and playing those for drama. My fourth player likes to think his way out of (or into) traps, puzzles, and even combats in the most creative way possible.

For some reason, I had no problem keeping everyone involved in the prior two editions, but the grid really ruins it for at least two of the three players. They say it complete tears them out of the story and makes them feel like they are playing a miniatures game instead of an RPG. How can I challenge people to use their individual skills (in character and out of) while keeping the miniatures on the mat?

An example:

I had a fight in a really well put-together room: a decrepit church of Mystra with pews for cover, an altar with a fight-relevant book, lots of difficult terrain, and trapped squares around the area that the monster could push them into. I figured the Fighter (the tactical player) could pin the solo down while the Druid (the interaction player) could try to figure out why this ghost was here and the Rogue (the details player) could disable the trapped squares. Then the Druid and the creative player (or whomever) could work out how to dispel the ghost without slogging through all her hit points.

What actually happened was that the Fighter did pin her down, but the Druid tried to use his control spells to counteract the solo's control-ish bits (and failed, because there's 4 of them and 1 of her). The rogue just hid, sneak attacked, hid, sneak attacked, etc. It was a terrible slog, and all my suggestions that they might want to examine the room or previous hinting that the ghost might be a vestige of the former Priest went unnoticed.

I feel like I've got them engaged in the out-of-combat scenarios, but once we get into combat, they feel required to shoot/smash until it's over.

AlphaDog
Sep 27, 2004

Destroyer of Hardware

victrix posted:

The writing is a funny mix of kind of smart, charming, and hilariously nerdy/rulesy.

What's the SA rule scans/pics of something like that? No way I'm bending the pages to scan them, but I could take pics or just quote some of the more amusing passages.

Tried to PM you but you don't have plat. I believe that the rule about scans of stuff is that it's ok if it's "out of print and hilariously difficult to find". I'd think that quoting amusing passages would be fine, as would pics of a page or two, and I'd really like to see it, but I'd wait for a mod ruling before posting anything. I can PM someone and ask if you'd like.

bacon! posted:

All the published module hate leads me to believe you guys all just make up your own adventures. I like DMing, but I'm not creative, especially so soon into my DM career. Do you guys all just make up your own adventures?

I usually just design my own adventures, yeah. I've only played/GMed 4th edition in published modules though (as well as a weird "DMless" system my friend concocted, which creates random dungeons and players take turns playing an encounter as the monsters. I can probably post the rules for it if anyone's interested, it encourages players to submit modular encounters to the group which are then added to the random dungeon generator).

If you're worried about making up your own adventures, don't be. The best thing you can do is talk to your group and see what sort of thing they'd like to do, and then make that happen for them. Check out the "GM Advice" thread for lots of examples of what to do.

Lemon Curdistan
Aug 6, 2009



Samej posted:

I think a Goon collaboration on a single adventure would be interesting for submitting to Wizards. We could even slip in one or two inside jokes.

Why submit to WotC and be constrained by the char limit? Just write a series of modules as a goon collab. It will never get officially published but we can release for free.

Meepo
Jul 30, 2004



Samej posted:

I think a Goon collaboration on a single adventure would be interesting for submitting to Wizards. We could even slip in one or two inside jokes.

Still, 10,000 words can get kind of constricting. I'm not sure how keen the community here would be on this sort of collaboration as I haven't been here that long, but ideas and development can make this into a good thing.


Not to nip a goon project in the bud before it gets off the ground, but I've read that WoTC won't accept a submission that's been posted online, since it makes it hard to attribute ownership.

bacon!
Dec 10, 2003

The fierce urgency of now

Lemon Curdistan posted:

Why submit to WotC and be constrained by the char limit? Just write a series of modules as a goon collab. It will never get officially published but we can release for free.

I am a newbie DM but I would gladly help playtest [GM1] (GoonModule)

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Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

Has this thread been made yet?

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