The Shropshire Dungeon Master Update VII

It’s been a couple of months, and I was waiting on a few more things to come about, but there has been a great deal of progress made in the last eight weeks. It’ll be a short update, but let’s start with…

What Happened in Oswestry

Four games, a whole lot of players, and four new scenarios.

The Under 16’s faced down the Crow of Shellag the first week, a one-shot adventure for new players with supporting artwork from Inked Adventures whose work regular readers may be familiar with already. I set an age limit of 11-15, but still ended up with a 9 year old pyromaniac with a bear-whistle, wonderfully entertaining, although it was hard to convince him of the reasons not to burn things. A great deal of money was made by all present, promptly spent in the rebuilding of a local pub.

The 16s and overs joined A Parade for Thieves, a heist game that proved a little long for the three hour window we have to play in at the Oswestry library, but lesson learned, you can now find that game on the Facebook page with advice to play it across a minimum of four hours, because the prep time became a thing of joy, and the actual criminal activity was rushed and chaotic. Nevertheless, very little work and a bit more playtime to make this a far more satisfying game. Merely “fun” in the meantime.

Quick Start Guides: A few lessons learned in that first game have prompted me to create a few quick-start guides, single pages with details on how to rush a level 1 character of each class (wizard and warlock currently pending however) that made our prep-time so much easier, fewer people sat waiting for books to circle around to them as other players are occupied picking spells or comprehending the minutia of sneak attack or rage. I’ve looked around, no one else has such a thing as clear and concise that can take players from rolling ability scores all the way to spell choices and purchasing equipment.

Second week! The Under 16’s delved into a pit full of kobolds and learned the meaning of the word “trap”. You may know I have a selection of traps for kobolds, not all of which are visible in this article. This group did a considerably better job of dealing with the kobolds than the group for whom it was part of an ongoing narrative, but not without losing their minds. It’s a pleasure for me to offer one of my players a new character sheet, complete with an incredibly potent artifact that has robbed them of some wisdom, in favour of terrible knowledge.

The over 16s began a saga in Death on the Wandering Pass, a murder mystery in a frozen and secluded place. The mystery was solved, but the punishment may have to be resolved when the group return for episode two, Out In The Cold. There is very little to say without giving away the story, but it was dark, emotive, and atmospheric, all in all an excellent game.

New dates have been added in Oswestry! The 22nd has another Under and Over 16 game at 9:30 and 13:00 respectively, both of which are filling up! There are also provisional days set in November and December, so get in contact because places fill up well in advance.

Where Else?

Some information pending, but other libraries and other venues are interested, including Ludlow library, Whittington Castle, as well as a few private venues I have approached. If you’re interested in an event in your local area, send word via the Facebook page, I can take your interest to prospective venues to make an event vastly more likely.

What Else?

I apparently work to commission now too! Following a conversation after the panel at Amecon, I sold one of my most famous one-shot games, which encouraged me to give it a proper write-up complete with all of the details that have only ever been in my head before now. Rather quickly a page of notes turned into two pages of in-depth information about the scenario, DMs advice, and I threw in a bundle of pre-made characters so new players can be thrown straight into the game.

I also recently designed a collection of magic items, custom made to the specification of the customer, legacy items, a mixture of weapons and wondrous items, some including class restrictions, and each with a dormant, awakened, and exalted states. I’ve never made an item of the sort, and the experience was a wonderful challenge. I also happen to know that the items will have supporting artwork made by someone better at such things than I…

If you are interested in custom made magic items, monsters, NPCs, worlds, spells, or any other custom creation, just ask. All are provided without playtest, but are considered “under warranty” for the purposes of balancing and rules clarification issues.

A huge thank you to those helping make this mad idea a reality, and something that I can consider making a living, rather than a hobby, or even a supplement to the day-job. Next time… props!