D&D 30 Day Challenge, Days 11 – 15

Favorite Adventure You Have Run

– Punjar Adventure Path (Dungeon Crawl Classics Published Adventures)

Consisting of three separate published adventures: Sellswords of Punjar, Scions of Punjar, and Thrones of Punjar; the Punjar Adventure Path is set entirely within the city of Punjar and takes characters from creation to 11th level.

For those who do not really know about Goodman Games DCC line of modules, they’re good. Before the Fourthcore movement, DCC offered one of the best ‘old school’ dungeon crawl feels for 4e rules. They also publish adventure modules for 3.x and 1e if those are your systems. Goodman Games also published their own DCC rules system. I own the core rulebook but have not had an opportunity to play it as of yet. It does a good job of melding the primitive and visceral feel of OSR with the benefit of modern mechanics. It also has a wonderfully novel approach to character creation.

Favorite Dungeon Type/Location

Urban. Slums, back alleys, warrens, catacombs, and sewers. There are all sorts of places to go, things to do, and people to meet.

Part of why I like urban adventures is the suspension of disbelief problem I have with the typical ‘dungeon’. Cave complexes and abandoned fortresses just did not happen. Unless really well hidden it’s doubtful a bunch of low level characters were the first to find a bevy of riches and artifacts unpillaged. I always remember a tidbit I read about why there are not a lot of castle ruins around. Any castle attacked was either repaired and occupied or was too utterly destroyed to be strategically beneficial so they would build a new castle right on top of it.

But cities build on top of themselves routinely and build downwards. They seem the most reasonable adventure spots to me.

Favorite Trap/Puzzle

Harassers. While not a specific type of trap, my favorite traps are the sort that stick around for a while. Pit traps are great and useful but they’re very much a Gotcha! mechanism. One person either falls in and takes a good punch of damage or it’s avoided. My preference is for things like magic crossbows perched out of melee range. They do less one-time damage but coupled with some other reason for players to stay in an exposed spot (such as a low-level combat filled with high HP, damage spongy, brutes) giving the traps plenty of opportunities to do damage.

As for puzzles the odd riddle is useful, even a game of chance can be useful. For pure puzzles something like grid puzzles are best as there aren’t any tricks, just time, patience, and some scrap paper is all that is needed. Time grid puzzles to give the PCs a sense of urgency. Another fun idea is to not let them write down anything if the party does not have chalk or some other way to write down the puzzle to solve it.

Favorite NPC

None I guess. I tried to think of one but came up with nothing. I have never transposed an NPC from one campaign to another or anything like that. I do like NPCs with definitive goals, even more when they do not completely overlay the path of the PCs.

Favorite Monster (Undead)

-BBEG Lich

Iconic spellcasters and powerful wizards who could not be tamed, even by death itself. Often they’re absolutely mad, or at least tortured souls. Powerful enough a foe to destroy adventuring parties with a wave of a hand they can also be useful and intriguing NPCs. Take away the strangey common ‘give me what I want or I’ll beat in your face’ approach to NPCs by some parties and some good wheeling and dealing can be had between the party and lich. Perhaps not the most common use for a BBEG, but it can be effective and even reminiscent of Vulgrim from THQ’s Darksiders.

-Minion Skeletons

Probably because I watched Jason and the Argonauts too often as a kid. Ever since seeing Harryhausen’s skeletons rise from the teeth of the Hydra I’ve been enamored with them. Simple, cheap, mindlessly loyal, and they can’t be poisoned or killed with arrows. You can’t ask much more from bottom-of-the-barrel henchmen.

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