GenCon and the DCC tourney

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fathead
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Post by fathead » Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:27 am

So, here are a couple of questions for other teams:

Round 1 - the room with the spheres...for the teams that were able to solve this without the help of Sezrakin - how did you do this? We were able to figure out the weights, tried once (got zapped), and then humbled ourselves by asking "please". What were we overlooking?

Round 2 - what was the light/moonlight puzzle about?

Round 3 - In the room with the spinning top o' death - where was the key for the door?
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Post by ynnen » Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:29 am

Why is there an option to quit before the buzzer sounds? Because if players wanted to end it early, they could do so anyway by dragging it out.

I had this happen during a session of Crypt of the Devil Lich... The team knew they were nearing the end of their time block, but didn't know how close they were... They knew one more round in a certain battle would kill them.

So one of the players slow-footed his turn... "Hmmm... maybe I'll go here [discussion]. Nah, maybe I'll cast this spell [discussion]. Perhaps instead I'll pull out this scroll [discussion]. Anyone need healing [discussion] -- oh look, the timer went off. Shucks."

Since we can't force a player to act or take their turn (imagine the difficulties in adjudicating forced actions equally across the board with all the GMs and players), the option to stop when they've had enough eliminates the long, painful alternative.
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Post by fathead » Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:40 am

ynnen wrote: So one of the players slow-footed his turn... "Hmmm... maybe I'll go here [discussion]. Nah, maybe I'll cast this spell [discussion]. Perhaps instead I'll pull out this scroll [discussion]. Anyone need healing [discussion] -- oh look, the timer went off. Shucks."
:laugh

Good point. It's easy to waste time. Hell...ask Adrian. This year we spent a good half hour trying to decide whether or not we wanted Corebrin to set off all of the fireball charges while he was inside of the purple worm. :)

Ah...good memories.
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Post by Hamakto » Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:10 am

Well to let everyone know... the Blood Kings stopping during the final fight in round one was NOT an easy solution.

We discussed it for the first 2-3 rounds of combat. It is NOT in our nature to stop... to give up... And when I mean discussed... I mean agonized and had disagreements on if we should do this or not.

One of the phrases my characters all have when we play DnD... is 'No prooobbllleeemmmm'.

It does not matter if we are fighting 1 orc or 10 frost giants.

'No problem' is a key quote. :)

But when the odds were stack too much against us, we decided to call it after one more round of combat to prevent a TPK.

It was a painful experience for the group as it is something that runs counter to the 'Kill or be killed' mentality of our group.

But you have to do what is necessary... we could of dragged out the combat for another X minutes and it would of been called on time. But that would just of been worse.
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Post by jfrenia » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:20 am

fathead wrote:Round 1 - the room with the spheres...for the teams that were able to solve this without the help of Sezrakin - how did you do this? We were able to figure out the weights, tried once (got zapped), and then humbled ourselves by asking "please". What were we overlooking?
We asked for help a few times before we solved it. One of our friends was in another group and said he solved it without help. Upon us asking him he said he put 3 reds in one and 3 yellows in another and it worked. Yeah, huh:?: Oh well...
fathead wrote:Round 2 - what was the light/moonlight puzzle about?
We solved this by going with the phases of the moon. One button on each side. We did get it wrong once, which got our cleric a little.. blind... Not sure what getting it right actually did for us, we maybe would have known if we got farther.
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fathead
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Post by fathead » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:28 am

jfrenia wrote:
fathead wrote:Round 1 - the room with the spheres...for the teams that were able to solve this without the help of Sezrakin - how did you do this? We were able to figure out the weights, tried once (got zapped), and then humbled ourselves by asking "please". What were we overlooking?
We asked for help a few times before we solved it. One of our friends was in another group and said he solved it without help. Upon us asking him he said he put 3 reds in one and 3 yellows in another and it worked. Yeah, huh:?: Oh well...
Hmm...well, 3 red and 3 yellow can't be right...that's what we put in the 1st time (and got the love zap). We had to keep asking for help until we got the "no two of the same color may be on the same side" (or something like that).
jfrenia wrote:
fathead wrote:Round 2 - what was the light/moonlight puzzle about?
We solved this by going with the phases of the moon. One button on each side. We did get it wrong once, which got our cleric a little.. blind... Not sure what getting it right actually did for us, we maybe would have known if we got farther.
Yeah. We solved it as well...but never discovered what it was for. We left it on the moonlight one...
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Post by jfrenia » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:36 am

fathead wrote:Hmm...well, 3 red and 3 yellow can't be right...that's what we put in the 1st time (and got the love zap). We had to keep asking for help until we got the "no two of the same color may be on the same side" (or something like that).
Yeah, we told him that shouldn't have worked either and he said the DM said it worked.
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Post by Hamakto » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:52 am

On a slightly different topic... but related...

WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO POST THE POINT TOTALS?

Umm...

<whisper>Please</whisper>
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Post by jfrenia » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:55 am

Well, before we asked for help, we could determine which ones were the heaviest and which ones were the lightest. That was about it, I think you'd need some help to make it more than just guessing.

Hey where'd that post go? LOL
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Post by fathead » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:02 am

jfrenia wrote:Well, before we asked for help, we could determine which ones were the heaviest and which ones were the lightest. That was about it, I think you'd need some help to make it more than just guessing.

Hey where'd that post go? LOL
Oops. I deleted it. :lol:

We took items off our characters (which listed their weights) and made approximations. Then, we placed 3 red, and 3 yellow...were zapped...then started asking Sezrakin for help. Unfortunately, all of the initial answers were about getting the weights. Eventually, we wound up with the "no two spheres of the same color" suggestions, and were able to solve it.

We kept trying to find a significance to the black rock with a vein of gold and the white rock with a vein of silver, but just couldn't make a connection.

Anyone else have an idea?
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Post by Hamakto » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:57 pm

fathead wrote:
jfrenia wrote:Well, before we asked for help, we could determine which ones were the heaviest and which ones were the lightest. That was about it, I think you'd need some help to make it more than just guessing.

Hey where'd that post go? LOL
Oops. I deleted it. :lol:

We took items off our characters (which listed their weights) and made approximations. Then, we placed 3 red, and 3 yellow...were zapped...then started asking Sezrakin for help. Unfortunately, all of the initial answers were about getting the weights. Eventually, we wound up with the "no two spheres of the same color" suggestions, and were able to solve it.

We kept trying to find a significance to the black rock with a vein of gold and the white rock with a vein of silver, but just couldn't make a connection.

Anyone else have an idea?
The number of characters in the color and a the number referenced in the riddle are the keys to the riddle. We did have to ask for help on this one, but we did solve it. The actual weight of the spheres really had no relevance to solving the riddle.
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Post by fathead » Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:39 pm

Hamakto wrote: The number of characters in the color and a the number referenced in the riddle are the keys to the riddle. We did have to ask for help on this one, but we did solve it. The actual weight of the spheres really had no relevance to solving the riddle.
The number of characters was the same as the weight of that given sphere. ;)
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Post by goodmangames » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:35 pm

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Post by N'Haaz-aua » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:46 pm

That can't be the less than 0 stat for deaths. That must be less than -10.

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Post by Jengenritz » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:57 pm

Correct. These are only actual kills.
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Post by N'Haaz-aua » Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:00 pm

The table header shows <0. The under 0 number would be huge.

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tourney results

Post by Damien the Bloodfeaster » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:25 pm

Wow! We came in 1st in round one. I didn't expect that. (I'm one of the Bastard Sons of Lee Van Cleef).

Like Blood Kings, we called the game rather than suffer a TPK in round 1. When we called it we had one PC stable at -6, one at 0 hp, one at 3 hp, and my character (Rootli) still full at 11. After calling it, in the last round I ran Rootli up, took a full attack and dropped to -3, and then the round ended.

I remember hearing about calling a game early before, but the DM had to confirm the process for us. Considering the situation, if you did not allow calling the game you'd have actually punished teams that were able to play efficiently and make it to the last room, since I bet most or all of those battles would have been TPKs. Instead, slow parties that make it most of the way but avoided death would have advanced.


For the spheres puzzle, we didn't ask for any assistance. I know we figured out the talents thing was the weight of the spheres (with the help of a Knowledge check or Int check for confirmation); we then figured out the spheres' relative weight, came up with a suitable combination, and placed them with no problem. I believe we mixed the colors so they'd be pretty even on both; if there was a penalty for two of the same color, we only avoided it through luck, I suspect, since I don't remember there being any hint of it in the riddle.

EDIT: One thing odd I'm noticing from round 2...we placed 5th according to the results, so how come we were the first alternate team? I would have thought that would go to the 4th place team. Hmm.
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Re: tourney results

Post by N'Haaz-aua » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:54 pm

Damien the Bloodfeaster wrote:Considering the situation, if you did not allow calling the game you'd have actually punished teams that were able to play efficiently and make it to the last room, since I bet most or all of those battles would have been TPKs. Instead, slow parties that make it most of the way but avoided death would have advanced.
This has been exactly our experience over the years as playtesters and as tourney judges. Its just another tool in the box. We aren't encouraging anyone to quit, but there is a consistent mechanism in place if someone wants to throw in the towel instead of just dragging feet and wasting everyones time. Maybe we should have a penalty next year for calling uncle (and now that i've said that, no one will want to quit mwahahahahaha). But its true, without being able to quit, a slow team might advance when a bold team gets wiped, and thats not heroic. By the same token, its not heroic to chicken out. So there are balances in place.

edit: I wanted to mention, something that balances this out is there is a large exploration bonus for engaging rooms. The bonus for hitting all the rooms is large.
I believe we mixed the colors so they'd be pretty even on both; if there was a penalty for two of the same color, we only avoided it through luck, I suspect, since I don't remember there being any hint of it in the riddle.
It was lucky.

One of my first round teams guessed the answer on the first try. they said, "we don't like riddles" and just threw some spheres on the pedestal and got *really* lucky.
Last edited by N'Haaz-aua on Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Jengenritz » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:54 pm

EDIT: One thing odd I'm noticing from round 2...we placed 5th according to the results, so how come we were the first alternate team? I would have thought that would go to the 4th place team. Hmm.
As my old math teacher used to say, "Speed Kills." That was my fault...as I was hurridly writing down the advancement, I got the order wrong.

Fortunately it never came up. I didn't catch it until shortly afterward.
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Post by goodmangames » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:30 am

N'Haaz-aua wrote:The table header shows <0. The under 0 number would be huge.
You're right, that should read <-10 hp. I'll get that changed.
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Crying and calling uncle?

Post by toad » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:56 am

Sorry to say it but that is total bull.

If you are going to let teams do that than annouce it prior to the event as would have saved us a death. Sure we still wouldn't have advanced but that is one less death to our total. If just giving up is an option now because the group missed an item and can't beat the bad guy tough cookies. I am sorry but this just really makes me mad that teams that got far just decided to quit, and due to a rule that was never mentioned, were allowed to so that they wouldn't have negeative death points. There should be a penalty for this at least equal to 2 deaths.

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Re: Crying and calling uncle?

Post by eleran » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:21 am

toad wrote:Sorry to say it but that is total bull.

If you are going to let teams do that than annouce it prior to the event as would have saved us a death. Sure we still wouldn't have advanced but that is one less death to our total. If just giving up is an option now because the group missed an item and can't beat the bad guy tough cookies. I am sorry but this just really makes me mad that teams that got far just decided to quit, and due to a rule that was never mentioned, were allowed to so that they wouldn't have negeative death points. There should be a penalty for this at least equal to 2 deaths.
I'm there with ya bud. If we had used the "wimp" rule we would have placed above the guys who eventually won the whole thing and they would have been alternates. FWIW

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Post by Jengenritz » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:22 am

Gentlemen, thank you for your feedback. We try to improve the tournament every year, to make it different and challenging in ways not explored in previous years. It is a process of refinement. The "take 20" penalty was introduced in Year Three, and it seems likely there will be a substantial penalty for early withdrawal in Year Five.

There will, also, be other methods by which you can earn points in Year Five. We are already planning next year's tournament (no rest for the wicked!).

Finally, expect the Player's Pack for Year Five to have a little more transparency in regards to tournament mechanics. Not to the point of listing a complete breakdown of how the tournament will be scored, but a greater indication of the rewards and consequences of certain actions.

But that's the future, and this thread is about this year.
Round 2 - what was the light/moonlight puzzle about?
Activating the silver column of light allows you to levitate upward (or, I suppose, downward), meaning you bypass the trapped stairs - but also the planetarium.
Round 3 - In the room with the spinning top o' death - where was the key for the door?
No key. Most of Gazihmon's minions, such as those likely to visit the flying citadel, can teleport to where they need to go. Those dretches and the crystal slave in the final room were his personal servants, and not allowed to leave.
It was an Open Lock or bash-down door. By not including the key, we hoped that even the most hasty of teams would take a second to Search the door, finding the flasks filled with spider climb potions, necessary in the implosion-trap room.

I have a question of my own...did any teams activate the planetarium with the fluid from the giant mantis room?
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Re: Crying and calling uncle?

Post by Celtar » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:31 am

eleran wrote:
toad wrote:Sorry to say it but that is total bull.

If you are going to let teams do that than annouce it prior to the event as would have saved us a death. Sure we still wouldn't have advanced but that is one less death to our total. If just giving up is an option now because the group missed an item and can't beat the bad guy tough cookies. I am sorry but this just really makes me mad that teams that got far just decided to quit, and due to a rule that was never mentioned, were allowed to so that they wouldn't have negeative death points. There should be a penalty for this at least equal to 2 deaths.
I'm there with ya bud. If we had used the "wimp" rule we would have placed above the guys who eventually won the whole thing and they would have been alternates. FWIW
I will just let you know that teams need to pay attention to the way tournaments have been scored and ask the right questions in order to learn the game. We had heard from a DM in the past that you could stop at anytime (people had done it before)... and we ended up using the knowledge. I don't think that it was wrong/wimpy/whatever. It is a game of rules and we learned them as well as we could. It was still a gamble, since we didn't know whether we were missing out on the next room/area.

Also, I didn't try to hide it... and brought it up on the posts... Next year, I'm sure Goodman Games will change the tourney again. They are always good at shaking things up for us.

But to make you feel better, in the first round, the 9th team advanced, and we beat them by 500 points. Even with a TPK (which I don't think would have happened since we knew what to do to kill the end monster)... I don't think that we would have dropped that many points.

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Post by fathead » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:51 am

Jengenritz wrote:
Round 2 - what was the light/moonlight puzzle about?
Activating the silver column of light allows you to levitate upward (or, I suppose, downward), meaning you bypass the trapped stairs - but also the planetarium.
Ah...that would explain why we didn't know what it did...we weren't standing in that area when we activated it...
Jengenritz wrote:
Round 3 - In the room with the spinning top o' death - where was the key for the door?
No key. Most of Gazihmon's minions, such as those likely to visit the flying citadel, can teleport to where they need to go. Those dretches and the crystal slave in the final room were his personal servants, and not allowed to leave.
It was an Open Lock or bash-down door. By not including the key, we hoped that even the most hasty of teams would take a second to Search the door, finding the flasks filled with spider climb potions, necessary in the implosion-trap room.
Oh. Well, we were pretty quick to bash down the door...but we indeed search the door first.
Jengenritz wrote: I have a question of my own...did any teams activate the planetarium with the fluid from the giant mantis room?
Our group didn't...
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