Game one in the four-game experiment to choose our next campaign went on last night. I had run the funnel in the Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) book twice before and my own funnel once. The players were familiar with both of those. The first step was to then find a new funnel to run them through. I have just started a new full-time job and am learning the role so most of my energy has gone into that this week. I did not have time to write another funnel myself. So that was task one: Find the Funnel!
Find the Funnel
Tuesday night I sat down and decided to search the interwebs for the source of our next game. I came across many pages touting funnels for the game and it was pretty hard to make a decision. I decided that I wanted a funnel that was pay what you want. This way I could try the funnel for free and if it warranted I could go back and pay the author something. One of the funnels that I looked at on DrivethruRPG was right in line with much of what I want to do over these four weeks.
The games are going to be completely different but of the ones that I design, there is an underlying theme or motivation. That is the richness of fairy tales. The games may not appear that way at times but I want nearly everything in these four games to be magically larger than life. I happened onto the funnel presented by Purple Duck Games called Faerie Tales From Unlit Shores Prince Charming, Reanimator. It looked good. After the download, I read it and it delivered, almost exactly, what I was after.
The Game Last Night
We sat down to play the module with five players and me. Unfortunately one of the players that were due to arrive was unable to attend. I am fairly certain that he loves his DCC so it was a real shame. The game was fun and fast. The players’ managed to almost head directly toward the end room and ignore all the other areas that would help them survive it. We made it through the whole funnel in around two and a half hours and I think only six of the initial characters survived.
It was enjoyable and got a reaction from the players. The fairy tale aspects are laid on thick in this book. There is a lot I would change in it if I were to run it again though. There are a lot of areas that can split the party. One of these areas it is done specifically to do it. This became very hard to manage with twenty characters on the field. Also, although it is deeply set in a magical castle that has succumbed to a curse, the game just felt like walking through a ruined castle. I would do a few more things to balance this in the future.
They seemed to have a good time for the most part. There were a couple of players who incessantly talked to one another when they were not involved. Even when I was doing descriptions. Another pair just wandered off to get a hot drink while I was describing something major. The group was all together at this stage and one of them said to call out when their group was involved? Attention seemed to be an issue through this. Finally, one of the players just does not seem to get DCC. They made comment after one of their characters died;
This is why I don’t like DCC. You lose all your good characters.
Funnels are designed to do this. In a funnel, no character is safe. It is coincidentally one of the reasons I love DCC. It forces players to not play the best-statted characters. The funnel gets them into the mode of playing to the weaknesses of the character rather than dismissing them at the start.
The final part of this module is insanely hard if the players have not incrementally gone to most of the locations before. The end also split our party and one half of them found a magical wizard who I turned into an option of saving the group. Without this Wizard the game would have been a TPK. As it was, I think only seven characters survived, barely.
The DCC Role Call
So, in memory of those that had fallen in the pursuit of Prince Charming’s happiness:
- Farmer Barney was crushed to death by the “Hentai” (player’s nickname) vine
- Farmer Bob had his spine snapped by the crush of the “Hentai” vines
- Huon the woodcutter could not chop the “Hentai” vines quickly enough and was dragged to his death
- Jimmy was last seen in a mass of writhing “Hentai” vines
- Brick died by drinking containers that he could not read
- Slick was bitten by a rose dragon
- Sir Branson flew across the room in pieces after being tail slapped by a rose dragon
- Dandelion Wiffleleaf was shredded by the thorny claws of the rose dragon
- Dugan was killed when the rose dragon splintered his shovel and the shards pierced his brain
- John was hammered into the ground like a human nail by the rose dragon’s tail
- Fineas survived 2 blows from the rose dragon but succumbed to a third
- Blanc disappeared wholly into the gullet of the rose dragon who was in need of blood and bone it seems
- Bought was the last to “buy” it and was shredded by the claw of the rose dragon
Until next week where we will be playing either Gods of the Fall or AD&D. Keep rolling!