Tuesday, September 8, 2015

D&D: Zeke's Mine

I’ve written several little adventures for this blog, mostly as a way to introduce my other writing to a larger audience.  This piece is a little different.  We were on vacation last week in Maine, and that gave me time, for once, to read.  The first thing I did was read through the new Dungeon Master’s Guide again, especially Part 3: “Master of Rules”.  I loved it.  It was not news to me that the 5th edition DMG is a quality product, but this was the first time I’d had a chance to go through it simply to enjoy how awesome it is.  Part 3 in particular struck me as truly excellent.

There is a Random Dungeon Generator at the end of the book in Appendix A.  I decided to use it after running a session of The Temple of Elemental Evil Board Game for my family on one of our first nights here.  My girls like the D&D Adventure System games okay, but everyone in the family prefers to play their own characters.  The random dungeon generator therefore seemed like the answer to a riddle—what kind of short campaign can I run for my family when I’m not feeling particularly creative?  As an added bonus, creating a dungeon randomly agreed with the ethos of the Adventure System games.  That fit my mood.
As you’ll see, some rudimentary design work was still required to make the dungeon come together.  For example, I had to decide where and why to start and stop the dungeon as well as what kind of dungeon it was.  Additionally, the random dungeon generator will tell you generally what kind of monsters to put in a room, but you have to decide on the specifics.  What surprised me, though, was the way that a story naturally progressed from otherwise random results.  In many ways, the process reminded me of reading Tarot cards.  The cards all have a set of preordained meanings, and you draw them at random, but when you take them together, they often suggest a story that you can apply to an actual person.  Opinions vary as to whether or not this has any value in the real world, but I’ve always enjoyed doing it.  The same was true with Zeke’s Mine.  The story was there in the random draw of the dungeon, I simply had to apply what I was seeing to a set of specifics that otherwise fit within our home campaign.
Zeke’s Mine is my love letter to the new DMG.  
Please excuse the crudity of the map.  Visual art is not my best thing.
Support this Blog
I write these adventures because I like gaming but also as a way to attract interest in this blog and in my writing in general.  My book, Sneakatara Boatman & the Priest of Loki, is out for the Kindle App and on Patreon.  The follow-up, Sneakatara Boatman & the Crown of Pluto, is out as of November 29, 2015.  Both are D&D-style fantasy adventures; they use the same WTF-style plotting that I use in my RPG content.  If you liked any of my RPG stuff, you will probably like my fiction, too.

I’m not asking you to buy anything right now.  However, if you’re looking for something to read on the beach this summer, and you have a tablet, please at least consider checking out some of the Sneax stories.  There are several free ones up on my Patreon page.  If you like those, and you want to support this blog, then buy my book(s).  That is by far the best way to support my writing.

Thanks in advance.
Previous Adventure Articles:
 -- The Mystery of Malven Manor (blog post & PDF)
 -- Journey through Crocodile Crossroads (blog post)
 -- Story Starter: The Demon’s True Name (blog post & PDF)
 -- The Mystery of Mordecai’s Monster (En5ider article, $2)
 -- Expanding Mordecai’s Monster (blog post)
 -- The Fall of Cahokiantep (blog post & PDF)
 -- Zeke's Mine (blog post & PDF)

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