I've recently read through about 80% of a great blog. Michael Curtis has inspired me to help generate some buzz for this hobby we love. I'm not a professional writer, but I do believe I have some things to say to help keep our hobby thriving. So, I am going to endeavor to blog at least twice a week.
I also finished Of Dice and Men last night. I know a lot of people don't get into history like I do, especially the geeky history of Dungeons and Dragons, but this book is worth a read to D&D fans. It is amazing how screwed both Gygax and Arneson got screwed over. It makes me ashamed that I really started playing in the 2nd edition era.
And finally, back to the subject that started the blog: Mord Mar. For those of you who don't know, Mord Mar is my Mega-Dungeon, ran under Pathfinder rules. Someday I hope to publish it in module or boxed set form. Here's a link to the beginning. Since I started the blog, we have adventured probably 20-25 times inside of the halls of Mord Mar, and the biggest drawback I have found is it feels modular, not Mega-Dungeon-y.
I think this is due in large part to the "teleporter highway." Although it serves its purpose, it has taken something away from the Mega-Dungeon feel. Maybe its because the players aren't going back through parts already explored. Or maybe its because they don't get lost as easily. Maybe its because I can move them to any part of the mountain without issue. Maybe its a combination of all of these, and more.
The worst part is: I love it. For all the drawbacks, it makes sense in the city. I imagine in Mord Mar's heyday, all these merchants traveling to and from bazaars, shops, farms, feast halls and other points throughout the city. It makes it easy to avoid GM hand-waving, saves time in game, and allows the players to go anywhere in the mountain.
I have a couple of solutions to the problems of Teleporter Highway kicking around in my head. Maybe they should consume gems upon use? Sort of a toll that pays the city for their use? Maybe they should have waning magic that doesn't always work as intended anymore. Anyone in the blog-o-sphere have other ideas?
And a recent encounter from last week:
A red dragon statue made out of rubies, pearls and mithral. It is worth over 1 million GP, with no single gem worth more than 500 gp. If anyone attempts to take a gem, the statue turns and breathes fire (d6 per level of character.) The second gem it does 2d4 per level of character. The third gem initiates a 2d6 breath (per level) and each claw opens to reveal a sapphire which deals 3d4 (per level) cold damage each. (so 3rd gem theft deals 3d4 + 2d6 + 3d4 per level of thief.) Save vs. BW or DC 17 Ref for 1/2 damage on all these attacks.
This trap quickly can kill a greedy party.