Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kevin's Krawl

Last night I ran a dungeon crawl session. I jotted down a short report over at my Tales of the Templars blog.

Here are a few pictures. The quality of the materials is not very good; I was basically using whatever I had at hand, including the tiles I made for Space Marine games, some half-painted metal figures, a bunch of D&D pre-paints (although figures often had to represent other monsters), a 30 year old paladin figure, and even some Khurasan 15mm sci-fi miniatures.

The Goblin Lord goes down
Fighting imps (including some 15mm Khurasan figures)
The necromancer sends his zombie hordes against us
Despite the ad hoc nature of the materials, I feel that the game was a success. I was trying the new dungeon crawl rules I worked up (and which I'm calling Kevin's Krawl). In general, the rules met most of the criteria I discussed last week. The game went for 1 and 1/2  hours, which was not bad considering that we did 2 levels. We managed to get through about 10 encounters during that time frame!

As I mentioned last week, Kevin's Krawl (KK) uses rules loosely inspired by Castle Death although I use 2D6 rolls instead of a single D6. Generally, there is only 1 modifier to apply so math is minimal. Tiles are laid randomly until the party arrives at the quest room (shuffled into the stack of tiles) where it fights the boss. Except for the boss, encounters are randomly determined (I made cards but a table could work as well). All in all, it worked out smoothly.

One clever part (imho) is that the monsters do not make any rolls. The players win initiative on a roll of 4-6. When attacked, players simply make a defend roll (against a particular target number). This eliminates the need for a person to act for the monsters and keeps the focus on the players. (It's ironic that even though the odds may be the same, making a defend roll lets the players feel that they have more power over their own fate).

Nevertheless, there is room for tweaks. In this first draft, I put no limits on how many times spellcasters could use their spells. This allowed them to sit back and use magic rather than engage in hand-to-hand combat (which is a feature I like; I hate it when a wizard has to go toe-to-toe with a monster). However, this gave them access to unlimited heals. They needed a lot, but having limits would make the game more challenging. If I do add limits (I'll probably give spellcasters a number of spell points) I will need to give characters access to other forms of healing (e.g. potions).

I still need to do some work on character advancement, additional spells, and other bits and pieces. I am happy with the game and plan to run some more sessions in lieu of a full blown RPG.

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