Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two things to talk about

(I apologize, this is a post I should have done a few days ago.  I started to write it and the second topic literally swept out of my head when I sat down to write this post.  But, here it is...)

One of them is brought up by Michael Curtis over at Torch, Pole and Rope here.  I think what I will do is try and talk to my players about asking questions.  There have been many times in this past game I am DMing right now that could have been avoided, or it could have changed the game play in a good way.

The other thing I wanted to talk about today was using things from other bloggers.  Now, I must warn you, I have forgotten who did this great keying for a dungeon.  (If you are out there and read my tiny blog, please send a shout out to me on my comments.)

What he did was he took the map included in the 1st ed. DMG, the underground temple complex of the Fire Opal, and keyed the entire thing.  It was roughly 35 rooms or so.  I stumbled upon it and thought it was amazing.  Once again, I wish I could throw the link up, I will try and dive through the mountain of posts from more prolific bloggers than I and try to find it.

Anyway, I ran my group through it.  I tinkered with a few things and added a few things of my own, a wall of darkness that concealed an altar to Asmodeus, the altar itself destroyed by a very devout fighter/mage/cleric and found the wall solid when he tried to go back through.  Discovered that the ability to "turn undead" also worked on the wall.  And, I put the Fire Opal and the manual on how to use it in the same room.  (Though the "fire opal" and book were part of a trap which lead to a nasty surprise by the end of the session.)

Afterwards, my players were telling me that it seems really hard and one of them even said I think this was for a MUCH higher party.  And, this feeds back into the first point.  None of them really asked any questions about this abandoned temple.  They knew it was a place where Asmodeus worshippers use to gather.  They knew it was abandoned and sacked fifty years ago in my campaign's timeline and they stumbled upon a small group of human worshippers of a snake deity.  Yet that was it.

Granted, I do think I need to have a chance for them to ask questions.  There are a few times when I feel like I am rushing them along.  Maybe being chased by goblins or some group of "paladins" that believe themselves to be part of a holy war.  (I hope to get back to this idea later on.  IF the campaign ever does falter, or if I need some blogging fodder and I need to, I write about these guys.)  The main point is that my players and I need to learn to start asking more questions.

The reason to ask questions instead of out and out telling them is I think it takes away from the game.  It becomes a more meta-game plot of, "Well, I can't go into that dungeon because the monsters are to tough for me," or "Hey, I just dinged and I need to go train."  (Yes, I do require training, YET it isn't at every level.  I looked at how 2nd ed. does weapon and non-weapon "skills" and thought it would be best to have a PC train when they are eligible for a weapon or non weapon slot.  Granted, a few of my players still don't like it and think it is a money sink and time waster, yet I think PCs need to get some training every now and then.  I know we have debated it on the podcast more than once.  I am sure it will come up again and again.

But, I do know what the topic will be for the next podcast, and that is not only the level drain topic I posted a few days ago, but also this idea of having characters ask MORE questions.

Until next time...

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