A different dungeon delve experience

It was my second Zweihänder session with my group where I planned a short dungeon exploration in a dark cavern. However, Zweihänder as a system doesn’t quite support that approach. On page 13 in the core rulebook the designers note that the system isn’t designed for the traditional dungeon romp. At that point I didn’t understood why, but after our game everything got clear for me. Zweihänder’s combat system is a deadly one. Add some close quarter encounters to the equation in a narrow cavern, and you get an even more bitter and deadly combat. The other hand I didn’t want to add a multi level dungeon to our game, just a tiny cavern-type outpost where my players can explore a bit further.

We play our combat encounters in theatre of mind style and this time I wanted to make a refreshing change. Usually, we make a rough sketch on a piece of paper for the given combat situation where we place or draw the players, the enemies and the overall environment. I started to search for random dungeon generators in the hope to find a proper option to make my cavern type dungeon. My first hit was donjon’s brilliant D20 random dungeon generator. With its smart algorithm you can generate a whole dungeon within minutes, even multi leveled ones. It was a good starting point but I wanted to have a memorable experience. So I continued to look up for dungeon tiles and I ran into Inked Adventures printable hand drawn Simple Caverns Cut-Up Sheets on DriveThru RPG. The hand illustrated sheets blew me away and I knew that this would be the best choice for my players. On the other hand it cost me a few bucks, meanwhile I was supporting an indie developer with my purchase. After I printed a couple sheets and drew random lines on it, I cut out the cavern tiles. Marked where the entrance is and the connection points are. In the end I had a full cavern outpost – or dungeon if you like – based on cut up tiles.

The whole Cavern with Wizkids minis for scale

During our game when my players discovered the dungeon entrance, the time has come to present the cavern to them. When I started to place the first piece I saw big and wide dumb smiles at the table. They lost it on the experience. As they were exploring deeper and deeper, I placed the whole cavern tile by tile. We agreed how far they can see with their torch in the dark and we placed a pencil where the borderline was from complete dark to dim light. I planned a few combat encounters for this specific cavern the main purpose was exploration. However, after three giant spiders and two goblin-like creatures one of them grievously injured. The others also had some moderate injuries despite the help of some NPCs. But the overall experience was priceless for everyone and we had laughs and bare fun.

My overall goal was to shake up the overall gaming experience at the table. Pull them out from the same old sketching encounters type of play. If you want random, inexpensive fun that blows away your players, you should check out Inked Adventures map tiles.

Let’s continue this, shall we?

Happy New Year everyone! After a couple of months of hiatus, I am trying to get my shit together and continue to share my thoughts with you. This blog is something that is always on my mind, but I just could not find the strength and time to write new posts. I am still aiming to create 1, 2 or maybe 3 articles a month. And the topic? Well, that remains as it is, TTRPG games and my reflection on it of course.

I have been playing D&D 5e in the recent months, but I also read fine rulebooks, settings and supplements during this time. So, there are a lot of topics to cover. I have GM plans for this year too. I would like to start a new adventure in the Eberron setting with an entirely new group of players. I am planning to share my top reads of 2018 that blew me away or just had some kind of impression on me. I also have a couple of Zweihänder sessions in mind. I think that ruleset is brilliant, and I am a big fan of dark and grim storytelling (still waiting to get my hands on those sweet, sweet print books).

And a final thought in the end. Starting this year, I will write my posts under my real name. I do not want to hide behind some kind of faceless internet nickname. So, hello everyone I am Attila, nice to meet you! Have a pleasant read on this blog.

Sometimes life just gets in the way

So I haven’t updated my blog lately. That is because life happened. A severe brain surgery of my beloved mother, the end of a relationship and moving to a new place to live. But I don’t want to give up on this blog. I still have the goal of writing one or two posts a month, and I still have thoughts to share. I don’t want to stop doing this. It is also a good exercise for me. Writing in English about my TTRPG experience is an entirely different journey for someone whose native language isn’t English.

I want to continue my Zweihänder adventure, and as a player, I started to play 5e DnD a couple of months ago. So there are plenty of topics that I want to cover in the future, and I hope I will find the time to share those ideas. Until then, take care everyone.