DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1499 posts
Mon 1 Apr 2019
at 10:14
IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I want to run a game where the players must truly be careful when entering the dungeon. Rushing in should be a very risky experience, not the norm.

Yet despite this, I do not want it to be a pure tactics fest. I have a world and some story ideas for this and want roleplay along with the creative thinking and difficulty in getting high level characters.

I want the players to feel like reaching high level is an actual accomplishment, yet also to have enjoyed the narrative events of the game as well.

The system will either be a total creation of my own, or a heavily modified DnD 3.x depending on the players input.


SETTING
Almost 100 years ago, a great many people from many places found themselves transported to this world. However, while arable land is plentiful, many resources simply can't be found except inside one of the great pillars that climb into the sky. Even simple iron and copper must be retrieved from the pillar. The higher one goes, the better and more plentiful the materials become, but also, the more dangerous the enemies and traps.

What makes it worse, is that the dungeon is in a constant state of flux and renewal. The dungeon inside the pillar changes every week, and the monsters inside get tougher higher up but strangely are bound to specific levels and/or areas.

Thus the acquisition of materials requires expeditions into the pillar.

Magic in this setting is very common, but weak. Nearly everyone can cast simple cantrip level magic, but it is extremely rare for anyone to cast high level spells. In fact, after a certain point, the only way to increase the power of a caster is for the caster to venture into the pillar and find a special ethereal material that increases their ability to channel greater magic power. This material, called Manacite, is extremely rare and can not be transported, as anyone who touches it either physically or with their magic absorbs it and physical items, like sticks or swords simply pass through it.

This message was last edited by the user at 03:26, Tue 02 Apr.

engine
 member, 699 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Mon 1 Apr 2019
at 15:34
IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
If the risks are real, you should expect character death. How do you plan to handle that?

How do you imagine that might impact the narrative you're hoping to include?

Risk often results in players taking very tentative action, or no action at all; how do you imagine this might impact the narrative?

Roleplaying and tactics are often very much at odds, because what makes sense to do in character might not make sense tactically; how do you think you'll address this?

High risk can have a tendency to encourage metagame-based cheating, which can be as frustrating for players as for GMs, since the players might feel as though they have to "play dumb" and walk their character into danger rather than being accused of cheating. Have you considered this?
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1501 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 02:31
IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
>1; Introduce new characters. The story is a situation and therefore while someone needs to handle it, it doesn't need to be the same characters from beginning to end. Also, hirelings help by providing a pool of additional warm bodies if the players bring them along.

>2: I follow Alexandrian's route on this, prep situations not plots. The situation is not aimed at specific characters, thus reinforcements can be fit into things just fine.

>3: Going all out "old school" on this, means wandering monsters and perhaps monster groups actively hunting them will mean that sitting around is dangerous. Also, limited supplies will be a thing as well. The group will be facing danger anyway. Caution and patience are to be expected and will be just fine, but inaction provides no escape from danger.

>4: I find this an odd statement. Dumb characters can be entertaining, but it makes sense that they are smart enough to survive or at least to listen to teammates who can keep them alive, and if not, their death can still entertaining and spur other characters onward. Personally, I'll just see how the players handle it and respond if need to.

To me, the only time tactics and roleplay are at odds is when players try to play the rules and the rules have weak or no connection to the in-game world. For example, having minions that you treat differently from otherwise identical enemies because the rules handles them differently. Another example is players who will not think to flip a table over for cover because there are no rules for flipping over tables.

Get everyone on the right page of playing the game, not playing the rules. Everything else can be worried about as it comes.


>5: I find such things as metagaming occurs in only two cases, the first is like above when players are playing the rules instead of the game, the second is when players have knowledge their characters don't and can't keep that knowledge separate.

The latter is easily handled by playing an original story/sandbox and playing in a setting where the standard expectations are false often enough to make players question their own knowledge.

On second thought, there is a third way in which this becomes a problem that is easily remedied, and that when the gm doesn't make secret checks on behalf of the players. This leads to cases where the players know they rolled low and must have missed something. This is avoided in two ways by any decent gm, first, if failure of the check results in failure obvious to the player but not the character, then make that check secretly and without the players knowing that you made it. Second, you can also combine the check with another similar check the player does know about (such as needing a perception check to notice a hidden enemy while they are searching for a secret door. Have them roll for the search and take the result for whether they notice the enemy as well), or make the check standard such as a perception check whenever they enter room whether there is need or not.

=== ALSO ADDED SOME SETTING AND GAME DETAILS TO OP POST

This message was last edited by the user at 03:15, Tue 02 Apr.

engine
 member, 700 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 13:36
IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
That all sounds pretty standard, so you should expect to see the standard outcomes from it. Have fun.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1503 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 14:36
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
engine:
That all sounds pretty standard, so you should expect to see the standard outcomes from it. Have fun.


I have no idea what you mean by this. How would you define standard in something that has nothing even remotely standard about it (as in there is no identifiable standard in rpgs)?

And what are these standard outcomes you expect, and why do you expect them?
engine
 member, 701 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 16:32
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
DarkLightHitomi:
engine:
That all sounds pretty standard, so you should expect to see the standard outcomes from it. Have fun.

I have no idea what you mean by this. How would you define standard in something that has nothing even remotely standard about it (as in there is no identifiable standard in rpgs)?

I mean you're doing stuff that people have done in RPGs for years. None of your wording seems all that unusual, except maybe in degree.

DarkLightHitomi:
And what are these standard outcomes you expect, and why do you expect them?

I expect them because you're planning doing things I've seen people try to do before. The standard outcomes are just the kinds of things a GM usually sees when doing these things, which can be good and bad, depending how one thinks of them. They're the kind of things GM advice blogs are full of. For instance, player frustraton is pretty standard; some GMs relish that, some don't. Lots of questions and clarifications are pretty standard; again some GMs (and players) go for this, others don't. I'd expect players to forget key parts of the narrative you have planned, as that's pretty standard. I don't see an upside to that, but I think some GMs make forgetfulness risky in hopes that the players will quickly learn not to forget.
Hunter
 member, 1493 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 18:42
Re: IC: Truly deadly dungeon with rp
I personally would expect a lot of cookie cutter and one trick characters if I were to do this.   Very few people are going to want to put the time and effort into a unique character build that's probably not going to last long enough to do any development.