The Final Act of The Necropolis of Pergia
are many ways to write RPG adventures, and Dungeonaday.com is, by its nature, a
reflection of one particular approach. We designers call it the site-based
adventure; some people refer to it as "old school" adventuring, though that's a
bit of a misnomer--not every early adventure was a simple dungeon crawl, and
there are certainly plenty of adventures with modern sensibilities that are
way, the adventures on Dungeonaday.com are traditionally site-based, but the
final act of The
Necropolis of Pergia isn't. This leads us to another distinction (bear with me):
The "sandbox" versus the "railroad." Many gamers see a distinction between a
sandbox philosophy (in which the world is laid out for the heroes to explore,
with no assumptions about the direction they'll go) and an outline-based game (in
which a story is unfolding and the PCs' actions tie in to that story). The
latter is often disparaged as a "railroad" because it necessarily makes
assumptions about the players' course of action. Without such assumptions it's
very hard to manage all the possible outcomes of the players' decisions.
I don't really see the distinction. If you're designing a dungeon and you make
a corridor that goes left or right, you're making the assumption the players
will choose either left or right--and you're enforcing that assumption with
walls of stone. Sounds to me like either approach can "railroad" the players.
But I digress.
this brings us back to the final five encounters of the Necropolis of Pergia. While each is associated with a location (or locations),
they really describe events. Unlike most Dungeonaday.com encounters, whether,
when, how, and sometimes where these events occur depends on the course of
action the players choose.
writing this closing chapter, I've made some assumptions about the players'
choices. The big one is that I've assumed they'll even bother with these last
actions--after all, once they've recovered Garlenthatir's
treasure, they've got
what they came for. But then again, if they discovered a mysterious staircase
going down into darkness, I'd assume they'd take that too, even with the
minotaur king's riches in hand. They are, after all, adventurers.
that, I've assumed a desire to foil the Blind Cabal, and an
interest in getting involved in the plight of Carisford and Dell
Farthing. And then I've
made assumptions about how they'll act on that involvement--that, for example,
from Carisford they'll either go to Dell Farthing or try to track down Kruushk.
And I've "enforced" these assumptions, albeit with walls much softer than
stone, by placing Carisford in a valley. But in so doing I've tried to cover
all the obvious bases and I've tried to leave each encounter as flexible as
possible, so that GMs can react easily to choices I didn't predict.
five encounters are numbered 41-45, but don't expect you'll have to play them
in that order (just like you wouldn't if they referred to rooms on a map) or
that the players will necessarily explore every encounter (ditto). Either way,
hopefully all the information you need to run these encounters, no matter what
course the PCs take, is there for you. Their actions have consequences, and the
effect of those consequences on other encounters is discussed. In the dungeon,
the PCs might not go right or left--they might start digging a tunnel straight
ahead through the rock. You have the rules, you have the map, you have good
GMing judgment, so you can adjudicate that outcome. The same thing applies in
encounters don't exactly fit the standard Dungeonaday.com mold, but as long as
you're comfortable with that small fact (and as long as I've done my job
properly), I hope you'll find them just as enjoyable as any musty underground
chamber--and a fitting, exciting conclusion to the players' descent into the