Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gearing Up

   The Marine returned from his five years in the Corps in April and has now moved back out, this time to scenic Grand Forks ND for school.  Thank those of you who are taxpayers for footing yet another college education, this time commercial pilot with a side of air traffic controller.  (They have a world class aviation program up there).
  The meaning of that for my blogging is that I have my home office back and more time for writing and playing in 'my space' in the house.  I've decided to convert my Epirus Nova campaign from 1e to ACKS; especially as I left it at essentially a TPK.  Also for the dungeon I decided to use the inestimable +Joseph Bloch 's Castle of the Mad Archmage for the delvings.  I'll change some of the details to match the pseudo-Classical setting; for example the artifact on Level Seven, room 41 goes known as "Gregor's Little General" to the "Stragtegion of Phillip".
   The last time I did a solo play, I ran it with a mixture of Mythic and 1e random encounters as they looked for the Keep on the Borderlands.  I liked the variability that Mythic offered, but wasn't enthralled by running bare encounters.  This time I'm working on a different approach, I'll still use Mythic for variability, but will structure the play more like I would if I was running an adventure, with a definite beginning and end to each expedition.  The standard flow can be diagrammed like this.
Adventure Flow
Back story is just character creation, of course as characters meet their various grisly demises, it become an ongoing function of game play.

Adventure is the goal the party is trying to accomplish - and probably a weak area for me as a DM is in setting goals for the party.  It does impinge on the question of player and character agency, but the GM at least needs to offer initial guidance on what goals can be.

Outfitting: Buying crap to meet anticipated threats.  This is also where the characters interact with NPCs and have a chance to learn things the easy way.  So I'm working on methods to determine what kind of information the player can get about the dungeon as well as what's happening in the world outside the dungeon.

Encounters: We all know what they are, killing things or role playing opportunities.  Killing things is easy in solo play, role playing not so much.  Again I need that common method to determine what the party can learn from the NPCs.  Encounters are also resource sinks, after each one the party needs to determine if they have sufficient resources to continue the expedition.

Disposing of the loot is the natural end to an expedition, it's another time the party interacts with the NPCs and can learn things other than what size teeth the monster has.  It also leads to the question, re-outfit and go back in or chose another goal for the party to pursue.

More to come, hopefully in less than two months.

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