October 29, 2012

SND-02: Divinity (fate)

Ross sits down for some tea.
Now that the Divine Domains have been decided by your guiding hands, we will continue on our journey through the sacred. Mystic symbols have been chosen for the dungeoneers by fate and destiny, and deep questions must be answered.

Players: Two images have been randomly determined for each dungeoneer. Take these two symbols and combine them into a new, unique image to represent the symbol of your last living dungeoneer. You can us ethe shape, what it represents, being as literal or a figurative as you desire. Get creative.

Describe what this new, combined symbol represents. Some images will be simple and obvious. Others will be more difficult, but also more rewarding as we unravel the mysteries and bizarre will of the gods. Take these images, draw your new symbol by hand (no simple Photoshop tricks!), and send the picture to Dungeon Master Ross along a description of the symbol and your answers to the Six Divine Questions below. Your new god will then be displayed here on DMG42 as a monument to your achievements.

Once you have submitted your new god, you may then choose to post in the Comments your claim to create one of the remaining four gods of the dungeoneers who fell to death and darkness before entering the Heresirach's Sanctum.

October 26, 2012

SND-02: Divinity (choice)

The end is nigh. It is the eve of the final confrontation with the Heresiarch itself and the end to a 2-1/2 month long play-by-post adventure. The Heresiarch has gathered forth the divine energies of the multiverse in a grand ritual of transformation and divine apotheosis. Ten brave Crusaders have steaded this dark Fane to stop the ritual and save all Humanity.

If successful, those dungeoneers (both alive and dead) will be elevated to the statues of immortal being and bathed in the unknowable light of the divine, creating a new Pantheon to watch over the affairs of the mortals races below. Here, we will use a combination of fate and choice.

Join us, readers, as we conclude our adventure and create a Pantheon of gods.

For the players: There are 22 domains of influence in the world. Their fate has been randomly assigned to each of you. Using the Comments below, tell us all which of the 10 dungeoneers of this delve will receive which of your domains, and why. Tell us a tale of past triumph and defeat. Since Fane of the Heresiarch encompasses but a single sitting, you will clearly need to draw on fictional past adventures of the dungeoneers. The aim of this exercise is to force players to create interesting and surprising choices, growing the tale in the telling. Lastly, let’s keep an eye out to make sure each dungeoneer receives at least one domain.

Megadungeon: Equipment

I don't like the standard D&D system of equipment on multiple levels. In general, the equipment and magic item rules in 4E D&D are pointless and tedious.

In actual play, I find that the 4E magic item distribution rules encourage hoarding of consumable items, which essentially removes those items completely from play as the dungeoneers are always holding onto them for some non-existent "Final Need".

I don't like tracking encumbrance; at best it is tedious, at worst it is ignored. An ignored rule has no effect on the game and thus might as well not exist.

Additionally, I find that wealth and coinage in D&D is almost entirely pointless beyond magic item creation, a subject I'll be getting into at another time. Mundane equipment and almost all Rituals are laughably cheap. If everything can be bought with no trouble, why bother with wealth at all?

Finally, there is the 4E "Magic Item Arms Race", a subject I've spoken on before, which irks me to no end by removing the wonder and excitement from magic items.

Here's how I fixed these problems for my Fourthcore Megadungeon.

October 12, 2012


At long last your efforts to penetrate the Heresiarch's citadel have paid off. After stepping through the mystic red smoke outside of the Heresiarch's demense, you find yourselves at the apex of a watchtower jutting from a deep hole in the surface of the Underworld. Carrion birds circle feebly through the air, viewed from a distance.

October 9, 2012

SND-01: CHAOS MAZE (Sidebar)

The following is intended for the play-by-post delve of SND-02: Fane of the Heresiarch.
Vitals Crusaders Chaos Maze + Score

A half-manticore, half-minotaur marauder stalks the shadowed halls of the Chaos Maze and descends upon the dungeoneers! Slaying the beast is now their only way out!

Roll initiative!

October 8, 2012

Megadungeon: Character Death

After the introduction into my Fourthcore Megadungeon (linked here), the question was asked of me:

"Dear Mega-Dungeon Master Ross,

How do you run an extended [Fourthcore] campaign with all the dying? Doesn't that get old/boring/difficult to maintain continuity/messy?"

and here, I shall reply with a quote:

" Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing."

-Tyler Durden


October 1, 2012

The Great Fourthcore Megadungeon

BADASS DUNGEON CRUSHERS (BDC) is the tongue-in-cheek name given to my currently running Fourthore Megadungeon D&D campaign. The name stems from the Dungeon Bastard post awhile back (linked here) and captures the spirit of competitiveness and struggle in our games, and also meshes perfectly with the level of self-awareness my group has for how ridiculous even the most "serious" of roleplaying games are. This campaign started up as a series of responses to problems I had been having both in and out of the game world. This series of posts on DMG42 will be going through those problems and the solutions we came up with in the hopes that you, the reader, can take our example and improve your own games.

Synergies and verisimilitude of the system, both mechanical elements and the campaign world, were very important to me and at the forefront of my thinking during design  Synergies help create a unifying sense of immersion in the game. With each piece of the puzzle that interacts and fits with the other pieces  the whole of the campaign is strengthened. So, I'll also be talking about how each of these pieces interacts with the others.

Today's post will talk about some of the overarching goals and big picture design ideas I had in mind for this campaign.