In my moleskin where I tend to jot down random thoughts while I’m out and about or waiting in doctor’s offices or wherever I recently made a comment about my “Florida campaign.”
The “Florida campaign” is the campaign that I would run with a ton of leadtime, meaning I’d probably do it once I retired to Florida. But yesterday (Saturday) my wife was doing the books in Quicken which requires me to sit nearby so I can clarify what odd note I wrote on the back of a receipt or recollect what I bought for $17.35 from Wal-Mart back in May with the notation “GE LS Sateen.” While I was waiting, I thought “hey, break out the graph paper and start working on the Florida campaign.”
Now, I don’t know what incarnation of D&D or various simalcrums I would use, but I did want to do something megadungeon-ish, like James’ Dwimmermount campaign over at Grognardia or Evereaux’s Grimharrow over at Dragonsfoot. I’ve never been one to just draw maps, that’s why I bought Central Casting: Dungeons by Task Force Games.
Well, a few hours and a lot of percentile dice rolling later, I had the beginnings of my first map of the megadungeon. It came together better than earlier random dungeon’s I’ve done with CC:D, and I noticed that I had a large number of servants’ quarters, torture chambers, a market and an arena. That says to me “slavers.”
Two seconds later I had the title of the module: SV1 Slave Pits of the Overlords. Now I have no idea who the Overlords are or why they have slaves in an underground citadel, but it sounds appropriately like the title of a pulp fantasy novel to do the job. Actually, I immediately got the “hook” for the first two levels (that would make up SV1) and committed to putting together 80 or so “rooms” for those two levels.
By today, I’ve got the first level (37 rooms) mapped out, along with very basic descriptions. The descriptions read like this:
13. Torture room
20′ x 20′
Stretching and the Iron Maiden
Encounter level A
Treasure level A
Any DM worth his or her salt could probably wing the room on that alone, but I’m going to flesh it out.
Tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise, I’m going to share with you the hand-drawn map of the first level of SV1 Slave Pits of the Overlords (man the name is delightfully corny) and the room key with the generic descriptions. That way you can, if you have some interest in doing so, stat out the rooms yourself to whatever monsters and ruleset you like. If this is of little to no interest to you, or if this sounds really interesting, feel free to comment.
Oh, and if you live in either Piqua, Ohio (where I reside currently) or Tavares, Florida (where I’ll be retiring in twenty three years) don’t download them–you never know when I’ll get around to actually running this.
You know, Slave Pits of the Overlords also sounds like a name for a webcomic.
A side comment, regarding GMs and roleplaying (non D&D online games, in my case). One of the hallmarks of a good GM is how you handle the unexpected from your players, particularly the unexpected act that totally throws off your mental plan for the storyline.
The best GMs roll with it, reshaping on the fly and even completely abandoning their intended end to the storyline if need be. The worst GMs hammer the wandering player back into the planned plotline with brute force for having dared to leave their finely crafted story.