Updated Murky Cellar Map

After my first play test of the Murky Cellar, I discovered that I had to make a few changes to better accommodate the combat and encounter I wanted.

I’ve increased the passages from 1 square to 2 squares to make it less narrow. Narrow could be interesting for specific claustrophobic encounters.. Secondly I moved the opening to the cave from the first cellar room to the second. In my encounter I allowed the dice to spawn new goblins coming from room 3 and move up to room 2 to stress the player in their combat a little. Having the hole there served more as a distraction at this point.

Finally I also added a stream to the natural cave for the goblins to find some water…

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Sadly the play test encounter resulted in the party fleeing the cellar… I will have to work on the balancing of the encounter.

Stay tuned…

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The Murky Cellar

I now have the Murky Cellar mapped out for the Forest ruin that I plan to run later this week as part of an introduction to Pathfinder RPG. I wanted an easy low fantasy combat encounter to run where I could introduce gradual challenge to test out the rules for me and for my players. I was really not impressed with the scenario that comes with the Pathfinder Beginner Box… mixed monsters, way too much treasure and magic items. I prefer the players not being able to upgrade their gear after the first encounter to max.

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Building the cellar using Dungeon Tiles. Minis are from Pathfinder and the Swedish RPG – Drakar och Demoner.

I originally drew it on regular grid paper and then did some slight editing in GIMP. Not 100% happy with the results. I want it to feel a little bit cleaner and perhaps work out a better method for adding grids to the dungeon.

When I mapped out the cellar using Dungeon Tiles, I realised that I’ve drawn the corridors and rooms slightly too narrow. I prefer to have at least the corridors two grids wide unless making a special nasty passage.

The Murky Cellar essentially consists of three different regions. The first original cellar, inhabited by goblins. A natural cave system that connects into the cellar in the south; and finally a crypt section where the family buried their dead and carried out a little bit of experimentation…

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The Murky Cellar –  I will redraw the map with wider corridors and slightly larger rooms.

I’ll be running the encounter with my group and post the full encounter with room descriptions and theme shortly after on the blog…

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Dungeon Tiles to bring the cellar alive.

Meanwhile – let me know what you think and feel free to leave comments, suggestions and ideas in the comments below.

Dungeonstone for 3D terrain?

With my personal focus on creating interesting encounters I am drawn more and more to 3D terrain. Setting up a room or a series of rooms and presenting it to the players gives a really nice basis for environment creativity. The combat becomes more interesting as at least my players care more about the rooms and what they can do than just combating the enemies straight on.

After a little bit of investigation there seems to be to main manufacturer/suppliers of ready-made 3D terrain. Dungeonstone and Dwarven Forge, with the later being offered painted. There is a quite noticeable higher price on the DF set. Personally I love to paint minis so the unpainted will be perfect for me. I am curious about how they fit together though, if there is some kind of locking mechanism.

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Dungeonstone Advanced Set – unpainted

It is still to early for me to fork out the money for going 3D but I am definitely keeping an eye out. So far I’ve only seen limited amounts of reviews on the net. Perhaps it is more common to create and build your own terrain tiles. I can see this being a grpzo1001-1_500eat option if you own a 3D printer… Mmm the possibilities!

I am currently using Pathfinder Pawns minis together with a Pathfinder Flip mat that I draw using a dry eraser. I have the Bestiary Box and it gives a good assortment of basic monsters to choose from. I can definitely see myself expanding this collection to more types.

If you haveused either Dungonstone or Dwarven Forge, let me know how it works out for you!

The Forest Ruin

I used this encounter for my new groups first combat lessons. I wanted them (and me) to get a flow for the combat mechanics. As such we did not put effort into talking about why and where or how the players had arrived. Quite simply a combat encounter.

You are completely lost. The rain is pouring down almost horizontally, making it hard to see anything at all. Somehow you stumbled away from the road and ended up walking into a hilly area with a few trees sprinkled around. The rain grows heavier and you really need to seek shelter from the elements or you will catch a cold or worse. It is now starting to get dark as well making it hard to setup a camp. Up ahead on a hill there seems to be the old ruins of a house. As you get closer, you see that it must have been abandoned several years ago. Several walls are crumbling and most of the interior seems shattered and broken.

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The ruins appear to be abandoned and they will easily be able to seek shelter inside. Some of the walls have crumbled and makes for easy entry. There are plenty of dry wood from broken tables and shelves inside that can be used to fuel a fire. There is very little of actual value in the ruins.

Perception: A successful perception check will unearth several small footprints inside the ruins. These can be traced to a stone stairwell leading down into the darkness. A character that is a bit experienced with tracking or goblinoids will figure out that these tracks do come from goblins and that they are pretty recent. There is most likely goblins down the stairwell…

Treats: There is an old chest in the southeast corner beneath some rubble. Random item inside.

D4

  1. A weapon of sub-standard quality
  2. A piece of armor barly usable
  3. Supplies – a roll of rope 6 meters (20 feet)
  4. Nothing of value

The Goblin Attack

If the player decides to camp they better setup a watch. A party of goblins will sneak up from the stairwell and attack. If there are no watch, they will be in for a nasty surprise.

Use a perception check to see if they do wake up in before a goblin straddles them with a dagger on the throat… if you are nasty try out the damage to sleeping target, otherwise have something wake them up. Perhaps their mule detected the goblin, or one of them stumbles on the debris.

If they setup a watch, use D4 to determine during which watch they appear. Their numbers should match the player party. In my game of three players I used a 1D6+2 to determine numbers. Use your system’s goblins.. They should be pretty cowardly and aim to swarm a player if possible. When half their numbers are cut down, they will retreat towards the stairwell.

Our session…

In our game our merry band of heroes found the stairwell but decided to camp first and venture down in the morning. They did camp in the southwest room and before setting watch taking the time to create a fire and also create a makeshift barricade towards the other rooms. This gave them the advantage during the night ambush.

The group consisting of a knight, a squire/archer and a healer fared well against the goblins. I played out two waves of goblins and in the second wave the goblins managed to jump the healer and knocked her unconscious. Despite the low light use any penalties – we’ll save that for next encounter.

After the battle they never dared venture down the stairway, waiting for the morning first… also wanting to heal up and rest a little.

I drew up the encounter on grid paper and used Pathfinder Pawns 2D minis to help visualize the combat. This is something new for me as a DM but I think it did wonders. The players were much more keen to flank and maneuver around the enemies than I was used to making combat more fun and creative.

Down the Stairwell

I’ll post the map and encounters for the basement in the next post…

 

Hello World

It all starts with one, and then we add another one and another one. On this blog I aim to share my RPG creations.

I’ve always been an avid gamer and started out back in 1984 with pen and paper RPG. Like so many others I got bitten by the fantasy bug and for the next 12 years focused completely on dungeon mastering and playing fantasy rpgs. Typically our group then expanded both games and settings; trying out everything from adventuring in the Cthulhu mythos, travelling the stars, participating in the Twillight of World War III and of course a healthy does of various fantasy games.

And then when starting my university studies the gaming waned, first to a few times per months, down to once per year and finally nothing. Recently almost 20 years later with a family of my own, the RPG bug has bitten me again…