Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mord Mar Monday

This past week I have been spending more time on Mord Mar, and less time on blogs, and other gaming-related activities. I have had a couple of solid breakthroughs on design and writing.

First, I have been moving forward on writing the sequel to Goblins. Mord Mar: Denizens of the Citadel has 4000 words written. I have made it to a room that is overwhelming me. There's just too much to describe. I'm pushing through it, trying to find a way to write it that won't overwhelm the reader. Nine different objects need describing.  It is a challenge that I will overcome. In the next couple of days, I will find a format that works.

The flip side of that overwhelming room is the adventure is outlined, and will move quickly once the room is done. I love the different challenges that are going to be presented. Combat, puzzles, and exploration will really be at the forefront in Denizens of the Citadel. I'm excited about the history and setting that is becoming organic to the module.

On a different note, I think I have finally found a solution to the Teleportation Dilemma. This problem has been nagging at me for years. For those of you that don't know what the Teleportation Dilemma is, allow me to explain. Teleportation can screw up a mega dungeon. The ability to come and go at will removes a large portion of danger. It allows the quick transportation of loot. Teleportation can allow access to areas that the GM has not fully prepared.

With all of this, most mega dungeon creators limit or remove the use of teleport. Look at Undermountain as a great example. Here's a quote from The Ruins of Undermountain Campaign Guide to Undermountain, page 16: "Old, but still potent, protective magics placed by Halaster prevent many forms of teleportation and similar spells - word of recall, dimension door, succor, and even passwall from functioning within (and into or out of) Undermountain. No magical methods of escape are possible unless such magics don’t touch or pass through any stone walls, doors, floors or ceilings."

Removing such a powerful spell from the party has caused many of my players consternation. In some games they have had to find the spell, in others they chose it as a spell when leveling. Either way, they hated not having it available. They felt punished, simply because of the setting that we were using.

My conclusion to the Teleport Dilemma is a randomization. As I was thinking about the teleport nodes that line the entrance corridor, I decided that Egg devised the system. He built it, but it is pervasive throughout Mord Mar. 50% of the time the teleport spell taps into the system, and dumps the people being teleported into the nearest teleport node (or activation point). 25% of the time, they teleport as intended (with the usual teleport chances of failure), and 25% of the time the spell simply fails.

1 comment:

  1. FWIW, Rocky, I build teleportation networks into my mega-dungeons, including my version of Castle Greyhawk. But I also don't restrict access to or the ability to use teleportation magics either. They go hand-in-hand, in my mind, to help reduce the slog of higher-level PCs needing to march down through 7 levels worth of WM checks before they can access the level they were planning to assault. Teleport and teleporter/gates networks are key ways to mitigate that RL time-and-fun sink, along with placing multiple entrances that grant access into deeper levels. Definitely worth thinking about further!