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Author Topic: Advice for New Paladin & Donjon Player?  (Read 2125 times)
catenwolde
Member

Posts: 18


« on: November 06, 2002, 07:26:40 AM »

Gents,

With my brother and I planning our annual "get together over Thanksgiving for a week and do some gaming" event, I'm going to work up some sessions of both Paladin and Donjon, and wondered if there were any tidbits of shared wisdom about gameplay, common knowledge errata, etc. that might come in handy.

For Paladin, I'm going to play in the Star Wars universe, after The Return of the Jedi, with the government of the New Republic gone "plain old corrupt" (as opposed to "Dark Side corrupt") and the Old Empire areas experiencing a resurgence as they champion tough-love Law (just the Law, ma'am, not the Dark), and a vague "Dark Threat" starts to grow behind the scenes.  Any Star Wars veterans out there to give some general pointers on Star Wars / Paladin play?

For Donjon, I'm going to convert Hackmaster's take on the classic "Little Keep on the Borderlands".  It seems I'll be able to treat the defined dungeons as "scene libraries" to draw from, and use the cavern layouts as general guides to the physical world, but should rely on free-form cavern creation during play.  Again, any nuggets of Wisdom, err... Discernment?  Has anyone started a D&D Monster Conversion Library?

Regards,

Christopher
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Wulf
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2002, 11:12:46 AM »

Quote from: catenwolde
For Donjon, I'm going to convert Hackmaster's take on the classic "Little Keep on the Borderlands".  It seems I'll be able to treat the defined dungeons as "scene libraries" to draw from, and use the cavern layouts as general guides to the physical world, but should rely on free-form cavern creation during play.  Again, any nuggets of Wisdom, err... Discernment?  Has anyone started a D&D Monster Conversion Library?


I've just started such a project myself, for the same reason, to use old scenarios. Originally I was intending to use the bestiary I create to limit the world (and the players) to a more Celtic/Scandinavian/Northern European look, getting away from the D&D everything-all-at-once mishmash of mythologies.

However, I realised that no matter how much I like Stoorworms, I'll miss my Minotaurs :-) I thought I might add to the surprise of playing Donjon for the first time by making the wilderness primarily, if not solely, Northern European mythology, then, when they reach a certain level of the Donjon, letting all hell loose :-)

I'm starting by defining a list of creatures, everything I think the characters will know about (including all the nastiness they've only heard about), and defining levels. I quickly realised that, if I wanted characters to interact (kill...) a good variety of monsters, I would have to compress the levels down. Given the advice that 3 levels of superiority are near insurmountable, what level do you want characters to be capable of surviving an encounter with a dragon? I decided that smaller, animal-intelligence, non-fire breathers would be level 10.

As to using the scenarios, I think the greatest problem will, as you suggest, be the maps... wilderness scenarios would be easier! One thought would be to redraw the map as you go, rather than using the original map at all. While the referee controls the game, he can duplicate the original map. How he copes with a change in the map then a change back to his own control is another matter... Actually drawing the map in front of the players would help it stay logical (unless some of your players would delight in making corridors launch off cliffs, etc).

However, I'm currently no better prepared than you...

Wulf
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2002, 12:08:03 PM »

Using old modules as encounter libraries is a great idea. One small problem may come in the form of the fact that the rooms may include inforamtion that only makes sense locatationally. For example, a gatehouse probably doesn't make sense in the middle of a dungeon (OTOH, though...). Overall sounds great, tho.

A conversion library would be a great idea.

Mike
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Wulf
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2002, 12:15:16 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Using old modules as encounter libraries is a great idea.

A conversion library would be a great idea.


Well, I just half-killed myself digging (almost literally) through some of my old RPG stuff... found a whole load of old D&D stuff (original Queen of the Demonweb Pits, anyone? I'm sure I have the rest of the 'Giant' and 'Drow' series somewhere...). So it damn well BETTER be a great idea!

I'd say some sort of bestiary would be a necessity to mere mortals who want to run a game without constantly stopping every time a player says "OK, I've successfully sneaked up, and I use the two successes to state that it's a Barguest, and it's facing the other way!" or something...

Now... how can I do a Beholder in just 5 Abilities... :-)

Wulf
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Wulf
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2002, 03:22:39 AM »

I have now done a simple Bestiary of mythological creatures, primarily Celtic/Scandinavian/European, avoiding Greek types (just for a change), and a couple of my favourite D&D specials. Maybe 30-odd creatures, just one line each on an Excel spreadsheet, no notes or explanation so far.

If anyone else has done similar, maybe we could compare notes? As a standard for comparison, my 'Big Nasties', like Fire Drakes, are level 10 - I found that more than enough to give them massive abilities!

Wulf
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jdagna
Member

Posts: 563


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2002, 12:09:21 PM »

Quote from: Wulf
Now... how can I do a Beholder in just 5 Abilities... :-)


Spellcasting could give you most of the effects, but the delay in casting would probably not give you the effect you want.  Perhaps an Ability to store a spell and release its effects later would let each eye use an effect once, then it would have to start pausing to gather energy later.

You could always give it enough levels so that you could justify more Abilities.  Another option: you're the GM, go ahead and cheat!  Actually, I don't see any rule that says monsters have to be generated with the same rules used for PCs (though it does use that model in the book).  Also, GMs are the final authority on the use of a power... a "Shoot Magical Effects" primary ability could be used for paralyzation, ice, fire, etc.  I wouldn't let a PC have so much leeway but I'm a firm believer in a double standard for PCs and NPCs in any game.

Another thought: if I remember my Beholders from D&D, each eye has its own special spell effect.  What if a Beholder were treated not as a single enemy, but as one big one (the main eye), with a bunch of parasites (the littler eyes) hanging on to help it?  Then each eye could act separately, using a unique set of Abilities... and it would make it easy to cut off individual eyes if people wanted.

47 different options later, I'm bound to have come up with one that could work =)
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Justin Dagna
President, Technicraft Design.  Creator, Pax Draconis
http://www.paxdraconis.com
Wulf
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2002, 05:45:52 AM »

Quote from: jdagna
Quote from: Wulf
Now... how can I do a Beholder in just 5 Abilities... :-)


Spellcasting could give you most of the effects, but the delay in casting would probably not give you the effect you want.  Perhaps an Ability to store a spell and release its effects later would let each eye use an effect once, then it would have to start pausing to gather energy later.


That's what I was thinking, an ability of 'Store Spell'. Magic words Control, Move, Destroy, Fear seem to give me all the effects I want, with a separate ability of Destroy Magic.

Wulf
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catenwolde
Member

Posts: 18


« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2002, 08:34:30 AM »

Just a quick note here to thank everyone who responded with advice either here or via pm.  I'll be taking Donjon for a spin next week, and am making stacks of my old Monster Manuals for conversions.

Regards,

Christopher
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quozl
Member

Posts: 534


WWW
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2002, 08:49:29 AM »

Everyone, please post your monster conversions!  I've been meaning to get to this myself but haven't yet and I would love to see what others come up with.
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--- Jonathan N.
Currently playtesting Frankenstein's Monsters
Wulf
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2002, 10:39:33 AM »

Quote from: quozl
Everyone, please post your monster conversions!  I've been meaning to get to this myself but haven't yet and I would love to see what others come up with.


Well, I've got about 50 odd 'thingies' on a spreadsheet, no descriptions, just names and numbers. I'm still going through it all trying to balance stuff, but never actually having run or played in Donjon yet (next Saturday, looks like) it's not easy... I'm not sure how I'd present them, except one at a time.

BARGUEST
The Celtic Fairie Dog, a terrifying ghostly grey-white hound about the size of a large dog, with huge, saucer-sized eyes. They hunt down lone travellers in wilderness areas, in small packs, although others are bound as temple guardians. Although not of exceptional strength, their most magical aspect is to shock their attackers, a magical charge being conducted through any melee weapon that hits them. When killed, they dissolve into mist.
LEVEL: 4
ATTRIBUTES:
Virility 5
Cerebrality 2
Discernment 4
Adroitness 3
Wherewithall 4
Sociality 1
SAVING THROWS:
vs. IC 4
vs. PPT 3
FLESH WOUNDS: 4
ABILITIES:
Reflexive Melee Shock 5
Induce Fear by Sight 6
Bite 4
Flit Through Shadows 5
Race Down Victim 4

For a start I need nore D10s...

Wulf
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quozl
Member

Posts: 534


WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2002, 11:13:05 AM »

Quote
Well, I've got about 50 odd 'thingies' on a spreadsheet, no descriptions, just names and numbers. I'm still going through it all trying to balance stuff, but never actually having run or played in Donjon yet (next Saturday, looks like) it's not easy... I'm not sure how I'd present them, except one at a time.

Wulf


Actually, what you did there is great!  If you don't want to post them all like that though, I'd be content with the spreadsheet just to get a feel for the numbers.  Let us know how it goes next Saturday.
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--- Jonathan N.
Currently playtesting Frankenstein's Monsters
Wulf
Member

Posts: 141


« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2002, 11:43:01 AM »

The Strix (plural Striges) is a crow-sized bird with large eyes and a long, barbed beak Flocking around thrir victims, they dive to impale with their beaks, thereafter sucking blood from the target. The barbed beak prevents easy escape. They are intelligent enough to stab at weak points in armour, even eyeslits in full helms.

LEVEL: 1
ATTRIBUTES:
Virility: 1
Cerebrality: 2
Discernment: 4
Adroitness: 5
Wherewithall: 3
Sociality: 3
SAVING THROWS:
vs. IC: 2
vs. PPT: 3
FLESH WOUNDS: 1
ABILITIES:
Barbed Beak: 3
Stab Through Armour: 3
Drain Blood (Wherewithall): 3
Fluttering Flight: 3
Mass Attack: 2

Note: the barbed beak is an attack, but also a damage ability when someone attempts to extract it.

Wulf
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