Placing Headstones
More and more I've been trying to write my d20 modules with a cinematic flair. Any computer game can slog PCs through encounters, but the human element of PCs interacting with a GM makes pulp drama possible. This is where table-top games win out over computer games, and to not make use of it is to miss a crucial strength of the medium.

Anyhow. Cinematic flair. There's a module coming out for Dundracon that is in the last stages of playtesting, and I'm pretty proud of its pulp sensibilities. Or rather, I was proud, until I got back the playtest report.

See, there's this bridge. Only it doesn't look like a bridge at first. It looks like your regular dungeon crawl hallway. But then it splits across the middle, breaking into two halves that dump into a steaming lake. PCs make their saving throws, and suceed in clinging to the walls of the hall-turned-chimney.

Perfect. Right out of a cliffhanger serial.

Then something awful and unnamed comes up out of the lake. I think the sorcerer went first, plucked off the bridge like a little black robed hors d’oeuvre.

One bite and the Thing moves on to the main course.

So much for pulp action.

Now, clearly, finding out where an encounter is over (or under) powered is what a play test is for. I just always feel awful when a group of players is forced to go through a lousy encounter because of my poor design skills.

A big Deathy thanks is owed to the Moore family and their players, and their big Deathy death. :( I hope the module isn't a total wash.

Edit: Hey, Silverfyre. I never feel bad about beating up on you guys. When are the Knights of the Dinner Table back in action? >:)

This post has been syndicated to livejournal by the soiled and grim Harleybot.


At 12:05 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Edit: It doesn't matter how much a story stinks, it is always nice when a stranger takes time out to tell you he liked something you wrote.


At 10:46 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

You got something for us? We should be getting back together sometime in early February so lemme know if you need something during that time period.

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'd love to give you a module for playtesting in February, but I don't want to eat into Spellburn's time. Let me know if you are free, and how much flesh you'll demand. ;)



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