Short Updates 2009-02-25

February 25th, 2009 by TheLemming (2) english,Roleplaying Games

Short newsupdate since i haven’t had the time to continue  on my Underdark sequence.

Pathfinder beta-testing has ended yesterday,  found the information on pathfinder newsletter and over at Questing DM.

Besides that I’ve seen a very interesting posting (a real recommendation) when you’re facing some disharmonies in your gaming group. I’ve had that problems at least once in the past and had problems dealing with it. Mike and Johnn describe different approaches to facing disharmonies by lack of trust and problems with character concepts.

Since alchemy is present in most fantasy systems, but I haven’t found a rewarding – easy to use – nice looking, working basic ruleset or the like, I think I’ll give Bard of Valiant’s system a try, and will introduce a little bit (really only a little bit of it) to characters that are likely to have uses for this. I might come up with a few rules for a downside (explosions, failure without noticing) but right now would like to try her alchemy rules that she has laid out in a straight-forward and easy to use blogging series.

A few words on our campaigns over here. We’re currently running Pathfinder RPG in two campaigns, one is located in the underdark and run by Thomas, the other one is currently located in Rashemen and run by Roman, I will take charge of the later group at the next opportunity. Very motivated to sit in the DM chair for once again, I made sure to read Johnn’s freemind feature once again and while I used the mindmapping tool so far only with single-mindmaps I found the interlinking of different mindmaps to be very comfortable, this makes the use of the maps a lot easier and even on larger-single trees you can link within one mindmap. Currently I’ve prepared an overview mindmap crosslinking to “Allies, Items, Timeline, Brainstorming, Opponents and Traps”, I will add at least characters as another mindmap to it. It’s very helpful in the planning procedure and I’ll post the mindmaps once the whole adventure campaign is over here. If you’re curious, let me know and I’ll send it to you via email (the main reason why I can’t post it here is – some of my gaming group might read it and I hate to spoil their fun). To get the planning mindmaps in mm (Freemind format) write me an email to admin (insert an AT here) lemmi (insert a DOT here) at and you’ll have them in no time.

As a teaser I’ll give you my intro-mindmap with no specific information on it.

Adventure Outline Mindmap

Adventure Outline Mindmap

The Underdark: Underground Environment

February 18th, 2009 by TheLemming (1) english,Roleplaying Games

So here we got – part two of The Underdark is online, in case you missed the first one:

Not too long ago I had one a discussion on player perception and your hardest job (at least for us in our gaming group) is to deliver the same perception of the situation to everyone, no matter if (s)he played for years and is a dungeon master himself or if (s)he played only for a few hours and actually does not care a lot about rules, story and the lot. This if course is true for UNDERDARK adventures, your job as a dungeon master will be to create an environment for your players to call home, for the time of their stay. But this “home” will be a lot different from what most of us are used to, that mentioned I hope most avoid having various mushrooms growing in their homes ;).

The environment

Hardly two forest look alike and that’s the same for the underdark. You will have to come up with a few ideas on your own and there will be distinctive differences to various regions down below. Still a basic question you might want to consider: What can survive underground without light? Fungus, worms, earth-elemental and related creatures and plants, everything related to negative energy (undead) will not have a lot of problems either, as well as shadow-related stuff, after all there’s shadows everywhere down there.  Read more

The Underdark: Introduction

February 17th, 2009 by TheLemming (3) english,Roleplaying Games

I’m working for a few days on a writeup of our latest adventures, then again I think our current campaign is a classic introduction to the Underdark. You might have the (official) Underdark Book (D&D 3.5) and find it quite useful if you’re running a forgotten realms based campaign. Then again, there are a few flavour factors you can hardly get from the book, something you should hear over and over again before you even consider running an underdark campaign. I’ll try myself on a series to prepare any motivated dungeon master to lead a party of adventurers into the down-below, feedback is (as always) very appreciated.

To introduce your players to the underdark, make sure you and they understand where they are going. It isn’t some dungeon-dwelling when you’re travelling into the homes of duergar, drow and illithids. All of you should be scared, where you’re headed there is more darkness than light and your chances for death are higher than for survival. Read more

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