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One-Page & Five-Room Dungeons, "The Operation" Style

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  • Eoin Boyle
    Fun with building scenarios out of dice rolls... I m using 3dF so as to stay on a +3 to -3 scale without further math. *One-Page & Five-Room Dungeons, The
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2011
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      Fun with building scenarios out of dice rolls... I'm using 3dF so as to stay on a +3 to -3 scale without further math.
       
      One-Page & Five-Room Dungeons, "The Operation" Style
      Published on Anaithnid Games | shared via feedly

      It’s One Page Dungeon contest time again. I use them quite a bit for pickup games, especially when using either Fudge or FATE. It’s easy to attach a Trait and a few Aspects to an NPC, trap or room itself - just look at the levels and adapt on the fly.

      Building one from scratch is a bit more involved. Since The Operation is based on the idea of somewhat formulaic spy fiction, I use a 5 Room Dungeon as a basis. For those unfamiliar with it, it goes a little something like this:

      1. Room One: Entrance And Guardian
      2. Room Two: Puzzle Or Roleplaying Challenge
      3. Room Three: Trick or Setback
      4. Room Four: Climax, Big Battle Or Conflict
      5. Room Five: Reward, Revelation, Plot Twist

      Normally, you’d run it straight through from 1-5, no deviations. What I like to do is take these scenes and handle them as clusters. I roll 3dF for each one, in order. Negative results mean that a room doesn’t connect out from it, but will take connections in to it. A 0 result means that it connects to the next room only. Positive results add connections to the next room and that many other rooms further down the line.

      Once I’ve done that, I break down each of the rooms as to which competencies are being challenged. Since I’m talking dungeons, I’ll go with the Attributes in my Lamentations of the Flame Princess/Fudge-hack: Mind (Int/Dex), Body (Str/Con), Soul (Wis/Cha). Again, I roll my 3dF for each room for each of those Attributes and the Trait level that results gives the level of success needed for those approaches.

      For any of these rolls, I can add FP to improve rolls or Compel existing PC Aspects to add dice (again, keeping only the best 3dF).

      At this point, I have a framework to start adding Aspects and descriptions to. I try to leave room for the players to add things, but the structure I have in place stands as a base.

      So let’s put something together as an example.

      The R-Map:

      1. Room 1: -1 (no obvious connections out)
      2. Room 2: +1 (connects to 3 & 4)
      3. Room 3: +2 (connects to 4, 5 and 1)
      4. Room 4: -2 (no obvious connections out)
      5. Room 5: -1 (no obvious connections out)

      Looking at this, having the party start at Room 1 means that they must find a secret connection to pass on. Starting at Room 3, such as having a fight that goes badly and forces them to retreat to a different room makes sense… and changes up the structure so that it’s not so simplistic.

      The Challenges:

      1. Room 1: Great Mind, Fair Body, Good Soul
      2. Room 2: Great Mind, Poor Body, Good Soul
      3. Room 3: Mediocre Mind, Poor Body, Superb Soul
      4. Room 4: Poor Mind, Good Body, Mediocre Soul
      5. Room 5: Mediocre Mind, Fair Body, Poor Soul

      No rolls were augmented with FP for this - kept 3dF as rolled. Translating this to CR or actual Traits is easy: Fair is at the party average for that Attribute, and each step on the ladder is a step up or down from there. Room one is describing a fairly easy fight (at level) that the party might be able to talk their way out of. Room 3, the room I believe I’ll have the party running from is some sort of Soul threat… I’m thinking something akin to Acerak’s skull rising from the dust at the end of Tomb of Horrors. They can easily flee (Poor Body) in time, but might also find a clever solution (Mediocre Mind)… but the clear suggestion will be to run.

      But where to run to? The puzzle room (room 2)? The guardian statues (room 1)? The smaller tomb (room 4)? Or to the exit (more properly, what appears to be the exit) at room 5? Rooms 2 & 4 are deathtraps - there’s no clear exit except back to Room 3, but I’ll make an arbitrary ruling in this planning stage that searching for hidden doors will find a passageway from 2 to 4 or vice versa - not that one place is better than the other. Running to Room 5 means that they leave empty-handed… but alive. Taking on the statues in Room 1 will be tougher, but not as tough physically as they would be mentally. Since Dexterity is part of the Mind stat, they’re very fast and fit a description of something that the lore says would be remarkably tough to fight (Great Mind), or at least that’s my initial brainstorm.

      I don’t have a session’s worth of material at this point, but I have a good start.

      I’m referring to these as Rooms, but the fractal nature of Fudge/FATE means that these could scale down to zones in a single room or up to planetary systems. You could even take a Room and divide it further using the same sorts of techniques.


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