Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dragon Armies 12 The Sandbox and the Railroad

***Spoiler Expedition to Undermountain (not that it's not already spoiled)***
In effort to pick up some extra DM points from the Role Playing Gamers Association (RPGA), I decided to try and incorporate some RPGA adventures into my campaign setting. I duly registered my game, downloaded Crypt of Yeldoon from the Undermountain mini campaign. To connect I added added a cave-in to the underdark highway that the Mountain Man card gates to. On game night I issued RPGA cards to the players and had them set out. Well, one look at the arcane magic arcing off the Helmed Horrors in the first room of the Crypt of Yeldoon and the ranger decides well maybe the ice caverns weren't such a bad idea. The party retreats to Candololain for a two hour discussion of what to do next. Then its oh my look at the time it's 11:00 already (did I mention my party plays sloooooow?) we'll pick it up here next time. O.K. so the Crypt of Yeldoon which was supposed to be run in a single four setting on a specific night is now complete (100 ep to the party for peaking their heads into the first room). To add insult to injury the RPGA cards I passed out were too old for the online event reporter to take so I had get every one new cards. Well at least I got a week to rethink this fiasco and come up with a more enticing approach.

P.S. It takes the experienced professionals of the Editions that must not be named to take a sprawling sandbox dungeon like Ruins Undermountain and linearize it into a single track plot hammer railroad. As one my old gamer friends puts it "It should Expedition to a tiny little scrappy piece of Undermountain". In the Crypt of Yeldoon the linearization is handled by the crude expediency of collapsing all the passages which don't lead down the linear track. I can hear my players breaking out the picks and shovels even as I describe it to them. Well at least they finally published maps of all the levels, giving a good 25 pages of useful stuff in 221 pages of text, a better return than many books in the Editions that must not be named .
P.P.S Doppelganger merchants will be borrowed from the Crypts of Yeldoon for the follow-on adventure as well.

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