DCC 14: Interludes Questions & Answers

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ynnen
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DCC 14: Interludes Questions & Answers

Post by ynnen » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:23 am

I wanted to start a fresh new thread about DCC 14: Dungeon Interludes specifically to answer any questions readers and GMs might have about the overarching adventure or individual scenarios. I also wanted to take the time to point out a minor error that I didn't catch the first time through.

[Very *Minor* Spoiler Alert Warning]

Race Relations: On p. 2, the first line of the Background Story reads: "Albrecht Skullshank, a human summoner of unspeakable evil..." Albrecht is in fact a gnome, as is properly indicated in the illustrations and stat block on p. 71 ... Sorry for the confusion. In my original draft, I had been going back and forth between making him human, gnome or dwarf, and ended up going with gnome in the final version.
Crypt of the Devil Lich, Dungeon Interludes, The Mask of Death, Adventure Begins, Vault of the Dragon Kings, the Power Gamers Wizard Strategy Guide, The Adventure Continues, Palace in the Wastes and PhoenixCrawl Open

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Post by JediOre » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:01 am

I'm reading the adventure now. It is quite good. I can truly see this being a connecting thread for the various DCC modules.

One question I have about the adventure (it's not with me at work so I apologize for being vague) is how do the adventures get up to the mine and fight the ogres? Will they need to fly or climb or could they rush up the incline?

My other question is about the binding. Why did this DCC get a perfect (or paperback) binding? My experience has been adventures bound as such often have the spine break.

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Post by ynnen » Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:03 pm

JediOre wrote:I'm reading the adventure now. It is quite good. I can truly see this being a connecting thread for the various DCC modules.
Thanks for the kind comments! I really poured a lot of myself into this, and the overall storyline of the module incorporates the overarching plot elements from one of my home campaigns that spanned nearly four years and dozens of sessions.

Joseph's prodding and suggestions helped tie together all the loose threads, and I'm very, very pleased with the final results. I'm glad you are, too!
JediOre wrote:One question I have about the adventure is how do the adventures get up to the mine and fight the ogres? Will they need to fly or climb or could they rush up the incline?
* * * SPOILER ALERT : DM EYES ONLY * * *

I probably should have included a few options to let the GMs know what to expect, but at the level for that particular scenario (Chapter 4: The Dunerain Mines; Levels 7-9) there are probably 4 main strategies enterprising groups will try to employ:

1) Magic transportation. Flight is a spell option, and some magic gear might also make this option accessible. If this is the case, they may catch the ogres unaware, but the ogres do have some thrown weapons to pelt flyers -- and the group still needs to get past them into the cave itself.

2) Magic deception. Invisibility, vision impairing effects (darkness, obscuring mist, etc) or distractions (ghost sound, illusions) could take advantage of the ogre's stupidity, allowing characters to get fairly close before having to engage them in combat.

3) Climb the cliffs. Characters with strong physical skills will be tempted to climb up near the base of the mountain where the cliff meets up with the cavern entrance. It's a long climb, and asking for a Fortitude save (DC 15 or so) to resist fatigue would be a good call after such an exertion. The ogres aren't very wise, and their attention is focused down the hill, so this could get charactrers pretty close.

4) Rush the bastards. (Pardon my French) ... Some blustery groups, especially those just itching to dive right in and mix it up, may simply opt to charge right up the path and engage the ogres. The ogres aren't too bright, but they're smart enough to ready actions to hurl spears at the first eligible target, or bellow for reinforcements.

I suppose there is a 5th option - a combination of the above... Monks, rangers and barbarians might try to scale the cliff while a wizard or sorcerer flies up and the rogue/bard sneaks up the main path itself with the aid of a druid/cleric's obscuring mist. Don't forget to take into account how much noise the party is making! They may attract the attention of more ogre guards inside the cave.

* * * END OF SPOILER ALERT * * *
JediOre wrote:My other question is about the binding. Why did this DCC get a perfect (or paperback) binding? My experience has been adventures bound as such often have the spine break.
I'd guess it's due to the size... Most of the DCCs range from 32-48 pages, and are probably well-suited to side stapled binding.... Coming in at 88 pages (nearly as big as the Crypt of the Devil Lich), I assume this was the best balance between affordability and utility -- but that's something Joseph will have to answer!
Crypt of the Devil Lich, Dungeon Interludes, The Mask of Death, Adventure Begins, Vault of the Dragon Kings, the Power Gamers Wizard Strategy Guide, The Adventure Continues, Palace in the Wastes and PhoenixCrawl Open

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Post by goodmangames » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:14 pm

JediOre wrote:My other question is about the binding. Why did this DCC get a perfect (or paperback) binding? My experience has been adventures bound as such often have the spine break.
Jason's right about the binding: books bigger than 64 pages can't be saddle stitched (stapled), so perfect binding is required. Personally I do prefer the stapled books, because they lie flat and are easier to work with in the midst of a game (which is more important for a module than, say, for a sourcebook). But with these bigger adventures it's just not possible. Most of the future DCC's are slated for saddle stitching, except for the odd one that's longer than average.
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Post by JediOre » Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:35 pm

Thanks for the answer. I figured that must have been it for, if I recall rightly, it costs more to do a perfect bind than staple, especially if you stitch the binding.

Not to give anyone a big head, but for anyone thinking about buying this module it is worth the money.

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Post by ynnen » Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:08 pm

JediOre wrote:Not to give anyone a big head . . .
* * *ppphhhhhssssssssssssst* * *

Too late ... that's the sound of my ego inflating. :)

Glad you enjoy the module!
Crypt of the Devil Lich, Dungeon Interludes, The Mask of Death, Adventure Begins, Vault of the Dragon Kings, the Power Gamers Wizard Strategy Guide, The Adventure Continues, Palace in the Wastes and PhoenixCrawl Open

VFults

Post by VFults » Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:26 pm

I just bought the module today and am half way through it. Great job! This is one of the best modules I've seen in many years. I've just started a second Castles & Crusades campaign with first level player-characters (my other C&C campaign is now approaching 7th level), this module will serve me well. Thanks for a great module!

Regards,

V

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Post by ynnen » Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:55 am

VFults wrote:This is one of the best modules I've seen in many years.
Wow! Thanks for the great compliment! If you thought my ego was unwieldy before, it's ballooned to epic proportions now...

:D

I'm glad you enjoy the module, and hope you and your group get many hours of campaigning enjoyment from Dungeon Interludes. If you have any questions about the module, please ask -- and be sure to update us with some summaries and anecdotes of gameplay as your group progresses through the story!
Crypt of the Devil Lich, Dungeon Interludes, The Mask of Death, Adventure Begins, Vault of the Dragon Kings, the Power Gamers Wizard Strategy Guide, The Adventure Continues, Palace in the Wastes and PhoenixCrawl Open

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Post by The_Livewire » Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:17 am

All in all, I'm enjoying the interludes, I think they'll mesh nicely with the Eberron module arc I'm going to be using. Hopefully having two completely different story arcs going on at once will confuse my players and keep them guessing. Especially when I mix in my own subplots...

My only concern is some of the encounters seem a bit... lethal? The final battle w/the wererats is an EL 7, right? That's a high cost for even 3rd level characters.

I'm worried that even with some of the unique strengths of Eberron characters (Warforged not caring about Lycanthropy, for example) that there will be a high character turnover rate.
"I never knew how empty my soul, until it was filled." - Excaliber

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Post by ynnen » Sun Apr 24, 2005 12:05 pm

Yes, a wererat at low levels can be incredibly dangerous -- that's why we made sure to include some workarounds... Clever groups should be able to gain a significant advantage through several different approaches. Barring that, there are some simple suggestions for scaling the encounter to soften the blow for unsuspecting or inexperienced players and characters.



** WARNING ** Chapter 1 -- SPOILER ALERT

1) The group can find some silversheen throughout the adventure. And DMs should feel free to drop another silversheen here or there to reward clever play or thoroughness.

2) Rescuing Thistle! If the characters realize what's happening and can rescue the wererat's captive, Thistle can help them out. He's in a weakened state, but each extra person helps!

3) Lure him back to the grey ooze. Blood Whisker is feral, anger, bitter and aggressive, but not too bright. Feel free to run him as a reckless, easily baited combatant. With his heightened abilities and damage reduction, he's used to being a bully, so is careless and can be goaded into action. Bluff/Intimidate checks could anger him and get him to follow the group back to the pool with the ooze, so reward clever planning by having Blood Whisker fall victim to this sort of ruse.

4) Magic and energy! There's not a whole lot of magic sprinkled throughout the level, but remember that fire from a torch or flask of alchemist's fire bypasses damage reduction, as do magic effects like magic missile or shocking grasp. Your magic users and clerics should shine in this encounter as their magic could turn the battle quickly against the wererat!
Crypt of the Devil Lich, Dungeon Interludes, The Mask of Death, Adventure Begins, Vault of the Dragon Kings, the Power Gamers Wizard Strategy Guide, The Adventure Continues, Palace in the Wastes and PhoenixCrawl Open

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DCC #14 thread over on the Necromancer Boards

Post by JediOre » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:15 pm


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Post by James Maclennan » Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:08 am

Have to admit my view on the above would be that if the players want to do this then let them.As I have set my campaign in the Southern Reaches they will then have to figure out a way to
1)Guard the mine
2)Safely transport the goods,firstly to a port then by sea(which will take them into Stozari Stormbringers sights)
3)not get swindled by the agents they will have to employ to sell the stuff unless they want to waste months travelling with every shipment

I will be adding this to the necro thread under my Wellard persona
Open the Door, Kill the Monster, Take it's Treasure

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Post by ynnen » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:34 am

If folks think they can retire in luxury after clearing out the mine, let them! As a DM, I enjoy stating things like "That's a great idea-- let's roll up some new characters to continue the campaign."

But things are not that easy. Yes, I did not set an absolute limit on how much value can be drawn from the mine -- that's completely under DM control. But for enterprising GMs, there are scores of ways of handling this:

...Perhaps the ogres and their slaves have almost mined the crystals out of the caverns, leaving only the amount of truly valuable crystals at a fairly low limit...

...A mine this lucrative will surely attract others. After all, the ogres made their way here. If the players slowfoot their adventures to stay at the mines, Skullshank will surely learn of the fall of his valuable mine and send reinforcements. Perhaps Tarfoot or some of the other later episode minions will show up to investigate for their master...

...The poison gases in the lower levels expose a structural weakness in the mine system -- the gas has to be leaking in from somewhere. Let the players make an enormous haul of gems, and try to get it back up the rickety elevator. An untimely accident, trapping the PCs down below with their wealth to die a slow, agonizing death would be fun...

...Let 'em live a little. They will find a way to blow through their money. They want a +3 keen icy longsword at 6th level? Good for them. Sell it to them. Now someone with Improved Sunder will have a much simpler time of destroying everything they've worked for -- or thieves have a much finer focus on what to steal (being easier to steal a single valuable item than thousands of coins/crystals).

...Think of the logistics... how on earth are the PCs carrying this much out of the mines to begin with? How will they get it back to civilization and reasonably protect it while looking for a fence or merchant to purchase them? Perhaps no merchant will touch gems from the Accursed Mines -- making all their labor for naught.

... Simple economics. Once they dump 1,000 worth of gems on the market, now supply/demand equalizes. Everybody has enough of these gems, so no one needs 'em anymore. Suddenly the price falls flat beneath them, and it takes twice as many gems to earn half as much money. After that next level of market saturation, they can't give the gems away.
Crypt of the Devil Lich, Dungeon Interludes, The Mask of Death, Adventure Begins, Vault of the Dragon Kings, the Power Gamers Wizard Strategy Guide, The Adventure Continues, Palace in the Wastes and PhoenixCrawl Open

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