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From the prow of your ship you see the island come into view. At first it is nothing but a glint on the horizon, then a shining sphere.. a ...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tips about RPG Campaign Pacing taken from the movies.

This article starts with an assumption, that a 105 minute movie (in this case the 1984 work of awesome Ghost Busters) packs enough information on the screen to build a short role playing game campaign. 

Lets say our campaign is about 10 games give or take. Millage may vary. If you are one of those lucky souls that sit at a real table with real people and play 6 hour games, then you could run through this example in two or three games. I am not so lucky, I’m writing this form the perspective of three hour Roll20 on line games, which in my experience tend to get a lot less ground covered.
Honestly it's very cool but really,  it's not the same
What I want to look at is pacing.
A good movie has pacing form scene to scene a good mix of action and characters. A good Role playing game campaign will take this notion to heart and pace the action from game to game. Having a campaign that is nothing but all action all the time, is not as effective as fostering a good mix, simply if the 
characters are always fighting, the fights stop standing out, the characters cool abilities feel less cool and more common , no one wins.  If the Ghost busters had done nothing but shoot proton beams at ghosts the whole movie, the movie would have been a terrible slog. (Mr. Abrams.)

So in an effort to look at this more closely I broke down the  movie as if it were a Role playing game campaign, into  sessions side chunks that fit how I like to pace my games.



And here that breakdown is: 
(this is not quick, sorry)

GAME 1:
The GM intro the ghost in the library, This would be a gm setting the scene, showing the players the flavor and the direction the game will be going in.

The first RP section the characters get introduced.
Introductions we meet each of the main character the PC's in their own short vignette. Venkman, for example is testing and hitting on the girl and so on. The players could handle this by going around the table, narrating a quick introduction scene for each character.

The next role play section introduces the characters as a party going to the library now we know the characters are connected and at least in part what they do.

First encounter: Getting spooked at the library, I would say "Get her" was a bad plan and rolls were failed.
This would be a great time for the GM to go over the mechanics of the game and what encounters are going to be like.
Bad Idea
Game 2:
RP section:
Going back to Columbia to find their grant has been pulled.
 Now the know the characters are even more connected as the GM just introduces some adversity into the game. The party now has a direction they need to get some work and get money so they can continue moving forward.

They mortgage a home and find a place to set up shop, the fire house.
This would be a long RP section in most games, a movie covers it in about seven minutes but all of the moving parts involved would take a GM and players a few hours to chew through. By the end of this they are the Ghost busters.

Game 3: 
NPC  introductions : We meet Dana, she is not a character but a major NPC, love interest and quest goal all rolled into one.  And Louis a lesser character plot wise but no less important, he is after all the Key Master. Everything in Dana’s apartment happens outside of the scope of the characters, this is GM’s note book stuff that will only be shared as a story by Danna latter on.

At this point the players would have an RP session , Hire  the secretary Janine and do all kinds of rolling and research to get their resources in order,  Proton packs, traps,  Containment Grid, (ecto 1 shows up) and all sorts of other  things would have to be sourced out by the GM  in another mostly RP game.
LEGO!

Game 4:
Role play event: Danna seeks ghost busters’ help and one of the players decides to flirt with the NPC until he almost has him arrested. This is where many of the points involved in the main plot are brought to bear by the GM.

They get a call! Finally after a game and a half more action!

The encounter with slimmer at the hotel, the players get to use all the stuff they whipped up in game three, so they blow the ever loving shit out of the Edmonton hotel ballroom, but they complete the encounter successfully! Hot Box!  

This would be a good time for one of the player’s research roles to reveal how powerful but dangerous crossing the streams would be. Whether or not the players try it before the final encounter is a thorny point in the whole movie as narrative process. (The guys I play with would immediately run out the front door of the fire house and cross the streams on the nearest t taxi.)

In the movie they show a montage of the Ghost-Busters doing other side encounters. In game terms I would say Game 4 ends with another short encounter and... 

Game 5
 ALL action giving the players time to figure out what works and what doesn't. This process is implied in the movie, but would make a very satisfying game 5. Play out that photo montage; let the players rip things up outside of the main plot for one game.

Game 6:
The calm.

The research roll on Tobin’s Sprit Guide having gone well, Peter tells Dana the NPC about Gozer and Zull, over lunch in a Role play section. This opening would be A great way to settle the game and get the main quest back after the chaos of game 5. The player is even given a date with the NPC, finally.

A new player joins the group and rolls up a fighter named Winston. He gets an introduction and gets to unload some ghosts.
While the GM introduces the narrative foil to the ghost buster party Walter Peck of the EPA. A quick Role play sees the Characters out witting Peck, but you know these kinds of guys never go away for long.

Game 7:
RP showing more of the ropes to Winston, the GM can drop the uptick in paranormal activity on the players here invoking the   much loved "600 pound Twinkie" metaphor.
 In the Gm's note book Dana is being accosted by arms in her arm chair and Louis being chased down by a terror dog in central park would happen outside of the eyes of the players, these things while important, take up no game time.
I know how you feel bro.
One of the Characters (Venkman) goes to pick Dana up for their date, but instead gets to role play with Horny possessed Dana. (AKA Zull.)
is that a real poncho? or is that a cheap sears poncho?

The rest of the party would have Louis hand delivered to them and would have to make some skill checks to determine the nature of his possession

The Rp heavy session continues:

The party does, research into the nature of Dana's building, and a good Rp session between Ray and Winston, which moves into "could this be the end of days?"   If this were a game and not a movie and the GM was doing their job that's exactly the conversation the players should be having by now.

And finally Game 7 sets up the rest of the campaign with Walter Peck reappearing with a cop and a con-ed guy, shutting down the ghost containment grid, and generally fucking things up, causing the Gm to describe all hell breaking loose for the next 10 minutes.

Game 8:
Last game was RP heavy the scene from the film, with the Ghost Busters in the Jail cell is getting cut, it’s a great comedy scene but really after session 7’s cliff hanger we need to kick this off.

This game should open up "in media res" in an argument at the mayors office. The Players will have to make some rolls but in the end they will win the argument and the GM should quickly get them to work.
The arrival at Dana's building should be played out with sirens crowds cheering and all that.

The pivotal part of this scene however is when the earth almost swallows up the team.  In an RPG this should be one of those total party kill moments when the GM whiffs (with purpose,) but the players know, things just stepped up.
Also in an RPG the visual gag of the ghost busters trudging up 22 flights of stairs does not work, I would add some small encounters some lesser dead to blast or something along those lines or just skip to the final scene.

The encounter with Zull in the form of an exotic woman and the Dana / Louis terror dogs on top of the building is actually a Role play segment that leads to the final "boss fight." This interaction would be delicate, as players love to punch shit in the nose before they think about how badly outmatched they might be. A Gm would have to use a deft descriptive touch to keep this from becoming a brawl that the players could not win. Or the GM could just ask "Are You a God?" then almost push the players off a 22 story building.
The big fight should dominate this game the Stay Puffed Marshmallow guy is the dragon of this game, and it should be a big over the top fight.

In the movie they crossed the streams and that was it. In an RPG this could take a bit longer with other complications such as the terror dogs running around, or the need to weaken the beast before stream crossing.
Damn that's a big bitch.

It could be argued that the Gm should have dropped the never cross the streams line back in game 2. And that the players would have to arrive at the decision to cross the proton streams themselves to beat the Stay Puff’d guy. I agree with this but I don’t think it would work that way in an RPG. I don’t speak for everyone, but my group would have crossed the streams a long time ago by this point, (back in game 5) if it was presented as an option at all.  In that caste The Gm would have described some awful out come from that (whatever happened to Jim the 5th ghost buster?)  The players would have been reinforced not to cross the streams, and might not want to take the chance to now.  No, I don’t think the story device of to or not to cross the streams works as well in an RPG as it does in a movie script.


In the end if all goes well the heroes win , the end of the game is a wrap up, guy get girl, team gets fame and fortune, and the  city becomes the sand box in game 9, let’s just hope  the GM has something better up his sleeve than Vego the Carpathian.

So let’s look at the pacing  we got from the movie game by game.
  1.     Intro game that ends fast with the library encounter
  2.    All RP, slower
  3.    All RP,  slower
  4.     RP in the start with an encounter crescendo leading to game 5
  5.     ALL fast the players cut loose.
  6.    Another RP game slower.
  7.    RP building to the cliff hanger.
  8.   Action finale and a wrap up.


Of the 8 games there are three that are totally Role-play, and two that start slow and build to something. Game five and Game eight are generally all action; each one is preceded by two slower games. This is using the games narrative to rock the players to sleep a bit, before hitting them with some adrenaline.

The slower games also give the role players more of a chance to role play; a chance to grab spot light time, before the combat monsters get to take over.  It is Very important that all of the players have a chance to do what they enjoy, some players like to role play more than they like to roll dice, it’s a fact.

Next time you are working on a story arc for a new campaign or thinking about running with a new group, look at some of your favorite movies, observe how the movie is paced.
Pick a film that matches the color of the campaign you want to run and view it as segments that could be individual sessions. It might just surprise you how much millage a GM can get out of 105 minutes.

For the record to put this together I used the movie synopsis found HERE  on IMDB, big ups to them.
Thank s for reading , any questions or comments are welcome.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

The D&D - Music Metaphor

Quick blurb:

If D&D  campaign were rock albums: So far my Ad&D 2 ed game has been  the  lilting  sounds of Journey "Escape" of D&D campaigns.
that numb3rs as l3ter5 thing?  Journey did it first.
In the next few games I think it's going to sound more like Clutch...
but it will sound more like "Pure Rock Fury"
Enjoy the mountain views.
Thanks for reading!





Thursday, March 13, 2014

I pick paper and pencil RPG's over PC games when I can.

The difference between Paper and pencil RPG’s and Computer RPG’s, is you my fair GM, it's you.

Lets go at this through the lens of my recent computer gaming.


 I am giving Skyrim a second chance. I played it when it first came out but that was a bad gaming time for me there were some first person shooters I would have rather played with friends and I basically never gave it the time it deserves. 

Then there is the walking, the interminable walking, not my favorite part of the game.

So this time with “legendary edition” in hand, I started over. (Legendary edition is a great deal BTW three of the DLC's in the package for like $35.)

My character is Fin, Nord, 2-hannded weapon specialist, nothing fancy.

Let me share a story from the travels of Fin:
I have had this early quest floating around on my list, “retrieve a mammoth Tusk for so and so. “ Getting a tusk form a real mammoth is not something I feel like trying any time soon, being only level 15 I know a giant would literally toss me out of the game.
Each one of these guys comes with a "Don't F with me" bumper sticker.

In the meantime I had started the quests at the wizards’ college, and was talking to the grumpy librarian orc in the Arcanum when I spotted a tusk just hanging out on top of a book case. Bingo. I waited until no one was around, the orc had moved to the far side of the room , I “hid”,  waited until the icon said “hidden “ , then snatched that tusk and walked. (Where does one hide a mammoth tusk? Let me just say I got some stares from the local ladies)

I took the tusk back to Whiterun and dropped it off, finished the fetch quest, everyone is happy (sort of).
This is the good. This kind of computer RPG has advanced to the point where in many cases how you solve a quest is up to you. I was not going to kill a mammoth for the tusk. Risk messing with the giants? No sir, no thank you.

I saw an opportunity to fill the quest, perhaps a bit underhanded, but so what, it was my choice, I could have just left the tusk there to collect dust in the Arcanium.  The game the computer game let it happen.  Had I been caught in the act there would have been repercussions, fines, jail, a mad orc sorcerer shooting death balls at me, and all that good stuff, but that was my chance to take.  Awesome.

A few minutes later I was walking towards a camp of breakaway summoners who had stolen some books from the college. Due to some issues with a herd of Mammoths and their friends in the way I had to go around a mountain side via cliff hopping to get to my destination. While I was traveling I started to hear voices nearby, so I hid on the cliff. Along come three mercenaries, tracking me!

Make a long story short they  found me but wish they hadn't, my dwarven forged 2 handed sword took the head clean off the first merc (my favorite skill) and laid the others low after a brief skirmish. One of them was carrying a note.  

A note from the library Orc,
“Find the thief Fin, get my processions back, kill him if you have to.
 Love, Orc guy”
The #1 cure for any "Librarian Fantasy" you might have.

Ok Fine I think it’s cool that he sent mercs after me, I honestly do. In a table top RPG however I would be asking the GM, “WTF no one saw me steal that tusk?” and the Gm would say, “You stole from a magic college, they have ways - cause magic.” While I am fine with that in a computer game it’s only because I have no one to ask, I have to accept.

In a paper and pencil RPG after that first guy’s head and body got all estranged from each other, I bet there would have been a morale check. I could have taken one of them alive. At which point I would have sent the guy back with a note shoved into the severed head’s mouth that Read

“Dear Orc guy,
 I’m on college business getting your lost books back, I don’t know about your processions, but send more mercenaries if you want to, we’ll sum up latter.
Yours Truly, Fin.”
Not fin, but you get the point.
No matter how good PC games get they will never match what a player can do when interacting with a live GM. The “on the fly,” creative process is impossible to fully integrate into a pre-programmed game. The best games feel like sand box games in some situations, like when I finished the quest by stealing the mammoth tusk.  In the end however a player quickly realizes the games are creating an illusion of freedom, by allowing the player to choose which rails to ride on, while not ever really being able to take the rails away.

 The give and take between a GM (and the group in a Gm-less game), and the players, and the world they are making stories in together is the thrilling part of RPG’s for me. It’s what keeps me coming back to RPG’s even as I creep toward my 40’s. I am not sure I will ever find that gaming rush  in a PC game.


To further the example, when I found the books slaughtered a bunch of apprentice wizards and some gal called the caller, I went back to the library. I completely expected to be run out of the place as a thief, however When I got there nothing of the sort happened. 
Perhaps it was because I was mid quest, the Orc guy acted as if nothing had happened, like he never sent mercenaries and I never stole a dusty tusk from his bookshelf.  I was fine with it; again because it is a PC RPG, I looked at it as a boon. 

 If it were a paper and pencil RPG I would have been confused as all get out.  Again PC games don’t have that flexibility and likely never will. I turned in my books and was rewarded handsomely. Thanks Orc guy and, did you get that thing I sent you?


As an aside, before any one jumps my shit (this being the interwebs and all) and tells me how awesome Skyrim is, I know.
The post is not so much about Skyrim as it is about the inherent limitations of the form.
It’s REALLY, REALLY good…the best game of its kind in my opinion.
I plan on spending a lot of time going through the game.

Thank you for reading:

Please feel free to leave questions comments and fresh vegetable offerings to the god of the ever hygroscopic gut, below.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

To the bravery of Adventurers

To the bravery of adventurers:
This is sort of an ode to the beauty and tragedy of level 1 character’s.  Thoughts often lost on that road to the first encounter.
What is it that would bring a cooper, a guard, a smith, a vagabond, a farmer’s son to take up arms?
Necessity?  Duty? Fear?
A band of kobolds has made camp in a small cave north of town and have been raiding the village flocks.
The guards of the sleepy town have never had to fight in earnest, now they are asked to go fourth as a group. Enter the darkness of a cave, and kill. To hunt those who would threaten their livelihoods and cut them down, in a flurry of chaotic blows, and confused torch thrown shadows, shrill screams and blood. To draw steal and violently take the life of another sentient being, face to face. It's no small choice, it is a line that can never be uncrossed.
This is Halfred the overweight gate guard, who spends more time on a bar stool than at his post.
Flynn the son of farmer Nan and apprentice to the smith, who has been pursuing the Olia the banker’s daughter since they were children, he thinks he might be getting close.
Willam the seventeen year old farm hand, which lost seven sheep to the kobolds and might lose his job next, these kobolds, might cost him the roof over his head and his one meal a day.
Olfrig the guard captain nearly 60 summers old, he has seen wolves in the winter and drought in the summer, but in all his years he has never drawn his father’s sword in anger.
No they are not heroes but by the end of this fourth night they may be.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Priory of the Lumbering Collosus

He, is the last of his kind, a Titan in the flesh.

Jorun (As he is called by man) has always been, Just how long he has circled the island in silence no one knows. Endlessly he walks, shin deep in the ocean shallows never looking up, back hunched eyes fixed forward. Is it that time moves more slowly for a creature of his vast dimensions? Has he become so ancient that his mind has turned inward? Is he waiting or searching for something lost, unfathomable? No one knows.

What is known is that Jorun Is nature, he is of the earth not from the earth, he is a part of the island  ecology, he helps form the currents of the oceans and  casts a shadow crossed the island when the sun is low in the sky. (It has long been said that it is bad luck to do business in the shadow of the Titan, most wise shopkeepers suspend their dealings until the shadow passes.)
Were it Jorun's whim, if such a creature has whims at all, he could  crush the cites of the island under his  feet with little notice or concern, but he never has.

Jorun is a Titan, an immutable mystery of power and ages past.

And what of the priory?

Centuries ago a long monk named Calan, sailed a small skiff out to Jorun. Calan had convinced himself that Jorun was either the savior the destroyer, and that the silent titan was lost in thought concerning the current state of man. Calan felt that by showing kindness to Jorun that the titan's ages long meditation on the  condition of  man will end with a favorable judgement.

Calan scaled the hulking creature and for years toiled alone building at first a camp, then a hut, then a house on the very back of the titan. Each day Calan would use rope and harness to remove birds nests from the titans eye brows, pluck all manner of parasites from his thick flesh and mend his tattered clothing. Over time word of Calan spread crossed the island, he became a curiosity during his once a year visit back to the island for supplies, his wisdom had grown and he had claims of a connection to Jorun during his hours of deep meditation. Calan began to attract followers.

Over time Callan's followers built a thick leather and wood shoulder girdle for Jorun, they oiled it and padded it and have been ever vigilant for any irritation to the giants flesh, then they slowly built the priory on this foundation, brick by careful brick.

The locals call it “Jorun's Haunch” but it is “The Priory of the Lumbering Colossus.”

No less than fifty monks live in silence on the Titans back. They care for Jorun, Clean his teeth, tend his hair, moisten his brow in the heat, and shade his eyes from storms. Each day they meditate in the manner of Calan, in hopes of communing with the Titan and learning even a small part of the knowledge that he must have stored from his eons long life. They do not “steer” the titan, they do not command the or make any requests at all. Jorun simply circles the island as he always has, always looking forward, never looking up, if the Titan were to choose a new course, or decide to simply fall over dead, the priory would willingly go with him.


Once a monk grows old another youth is selected from an island orphanage, it is considered an honor. When a monk dies he is lowered gently into the one of Jorun's ever swinging hands, where the body lays in state until the winds or the rain allow the body to be dropped into the sea.

Some rumors about the Priory:
  • It is said that the monks of the priory  harvest the dead hairs from Jorun's head and weave them into a material flexible as cloth but strong as steel. They use this cloth to make the  baskets they hang from while tending the giant.
  • It has been told that the monks of the priory have tracked Jorun's movement  since the time of Callan and the Titan may be slowing down slightly as the years go by.
  • There is a story that once many years ago that at mid night during a horrible  storm Jorun stopped moving. A huge and ancient (nest to anything other than Jorun)  blue dragon flew close to his face, they locked eyes for several seconds before Jorun began to walk again. None of the monks will validate this legend. 
  • It is said that Jorun has a horrible scar running under his shirt a crossed his chest . Again none of the monks will validate this legend.
  • Legend has a school of mermaids live around the  legs and feet of Jorun.
  • Rumor has that several decades ago the monks  harvested a broken thumbnail shard from the titan, and with it the nail they created a mighty jagged sword, capable of cutting stone.
  • Legend says a colony rare song birds live in Jorun's ear. These birds are very valuable and sought after.
  • It is said,  that if  you walk the Titans shadow by moon light it is a path to the realm of the fey.



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

the experience of gaming should be the first goal of gaming.

Goal 1:
Gather some books and paper to go with a game or several games. Gather with a group of friends, it does not have to be too many any number will do. 
The group should then sit down bullshit about life for a few minutes. Talk about wives, girlfriends, babies, hobbies, cars, drums, or whatever you want. When the game starts, some chips come out , perhaps even a beer, or coffee depending on the time of day, pizza? More bullshiting ensues.
Dice get rolled, the group starts making a story up, and they should give each other heavy doses of ribbing. This guy never makes his hit rolls, that guy has a history of  botching skills, the gm never gives treasure, this one gives too much, This is fun but game X is better, that idea came from star wars.. Whatever, it’s all in good fun.
A few hours pass, quickly.
A story gets told, in some games the story gets finished, in other games the story is paused. T.B.C.
Chances are some new inside jokes have been seeded into the group, some laughs were had. The real life tale that group of friends weaves has Been added to.

Goal 2: refer to goal 1.

If you're writing a RPG, and your design goals past goal 1 above, there might be an issue.
There are very few more honorable goals than to bring people together in creativity and laughter.

For my part I think I have been over thinking things for quite a while now. While I think at the end of the day Shards of Thimbral is a better designed game than Amazing Adventures and Exciting Exploits, even in the rough stage of development Shards is in.
Is it as much fun? No it's not.




Shards makes good stories and I think it has a setting just full of fantastic potential, it's a solid game and I will continue to work on it, refine it and eventually produce it. For the  time being I have to look the game over and make sure that goal 1 as written above is foremost in my mind as I write.

Monday, March 3, 2014

You Jump down the shaft? Really? (play-test)

Just to set the mood, here is another silly doodle from my Amazing Adventurers AND incredible exploits pdf.
Adventurers in over their heads, Possibly?

So we played AAEE over the weekend.
Four players:
  1. The old man wizard Jeremiah and his tentacle “Jim” (returning from adventure 1)
  2. Hoarroar Moonshadow : The man who would be a thief, (Returning from adventure 1, now level 2!)
  3. A new Wizard, (I forget the name let’s call him “Red”  in honor of the player) this wizard worships a god of Smoke, and casts ghostly and or Growing seeds, was a former snake oil salesman, and generally can raise some havoc, he also managed to roll a dead fish as his starting weapon, so yeah …
  4. And a lady Minotaur warrior (Name also escapes me, Call her Velma) whose personality kicker said “wants to go out in a blaze of glory,” this pleased the player to no end.  The lady Minotaur had several careers the most relevant being “wizard’s footman” which lead us to decide she worked for Jeremiah, sort of like a research helper, and visiting nurse.


  • Random Adventure seed: Prove the innocence of a local merchant by finding his daughter.
  • Random location: The lost temple in MoonWood swamp.
  • Random monsters:  (I rolled a few ahead while one of the players had a cig)
    • Level 3 Tusked Iron dog,
    • level 1 encrusted fungus,
    • level 0 glowing rat,
    •  level 4 snot filled statue.)
  • Map: I have a note book of maps that I just sketch when I have time. I used one of them.
Awwww (only much bigger and more toothy)



The Game:
It went well.

The party thief called in a ticket and pumped a local ex-adventure for information. He found about the iron dogs, that the temple they were seeking was four levels deep, and that it lies in the middle of a swamp. Not only that but the thief was also given a jar of insects that the old man told him would act as armor if they ran into said iron dogs. A good roll, a good haul.

One of the other players, (Red the wizard whose character was once a snake oil salesman,) sold the old man a bar of soap which red claimed would regenerate his stump leg for some gold and a punch blade.


The party ran into five tentacle filled “encrusted Fungus” in the swamp.  The encrusted part came from the small shells the fungus had stuck to themselves to create a protective covering. After a couple of rounds and a few dead fungus, everyone agreed the giant fungus were a bit disturbing, so the lady Minotaur in the party proceeded to chop the  crap out of them with some of the best rolls any one has had in the game so far.
Wow, yeah so that thing... umm ... ok.


The Wizard (Red) managed to fumble during the fungus combat, but it only resulted in a trip and a lost round. His fumble was a missed opportunity for me. I should have described it more vividly than I did, I was trying to move the encounter along and did not make the fumble memorable enough. (note for next time)

They rested and I rolled for a random encounter coming up blank.

Velma the lady Minotaur scavenged an old wagon to create a shallow raft in order to cross a stagnant pond, good move by her.



Once at the temple the huge stone doors seemed troublesome until Red used his growing seeds on them and with an excellent result roll, ripped them clean of the front of the ancient structure.

Some glowing rats were dispatched, Velma fashioned one into a dripping glowing banana.  Hoarroar tried his hardest to play sneak thief while the rest of the part roamed around kicking over ancient vases.


In level one the party discovered a room with 4 hot coal filled copper braziers surrounding a shaft. They tipped a brazier into the shaft and watched the embers fall 40 feet down onto a sloping passage below. They had the means to climb down, but Velma the Minotaur decided to empty a brazier, and jump down the shaft circle sled style (remember her personality kicker?  Go out in a blaze of glory.)  Some rolls were asked for and failed. 
So she took off in a shower of sparks and one must assume grunting. She landed 40 feet below, hit the slope, slid 20 feet right past the entry to level 2, fell down the second shaft, saw level three halfway down the  60 foot plummet, finally landing  heap of sparks and cow meat in level 4.
She took 10D6 damage one for each 10 foot of vertical fall, I rolled badly on a lot of them and she took about 36 points of resolve dammage which left her with around 4 resolve left (or something close to that.)
You get this guy because when I google "Female Minotaur" I find things I don't want to re-post

The rest of the party set about using ropes and chains to climb down to her. Once they reached her they took a short rest to recover, and again I rolled no random encounters. (boo!)

They explored level 4 and fought off a few more glowing rats.

The party  awakened a snot spraying statue which  guarded a secret door, the characters that were hit by the stuff realized it did real damage so everyone decided to  run past it making checks to avoid getting hit, The wizard Red was the one most in danger and it set up a pretty  tense check to avoid further damage.


In the end they found the girl and freed her and found a nice secret way out. 

They did leave 2 levels unexplored for future delves, if they are ever so inclined.

The party found two randomly generated magic items:
“Exploding Dagger of Tether darts” dagger that shoots its blade out on a long filament, causes an explosion then retracts, it has about 40 charges.

And “the master's boots of fire holding”  The keep the wearer warm and cozy, they  cause 1d6 fire damage when you kick , and they occasionally suck in small flames. They also look like your sister’s uggs.

The Minotaur Velma discovered gravity.


Jeramiah Discovered wet wood burns more slowly than dry wood. (he tried to set fire to the raft, but it was soggy.)

The play test went well , combat was swift enough.
I think, the players did the idea of getting to pick from special effects when they roll well. 

The thief used it to good  result when he got a good deal of information and even a one use magic item from his inner city contact, and Red the wizard made great use of choosing perks to rip the temple door off with a spell.

At character generation wizards need to be stream lined, making random spells simply took too long. As a solution I'm going to make up a chart of 100 spells on which the player will roll on for starting spells, the "create random spells" chart will be moved to the character improvement section, and only used when leveling up.

As a Gm, it kept me on my toes. I rolled up 4 random monsters, and a few random magic items, and then It was really up to me to  flesh them out. When a result like "The master's boots of fire holding" comes up the GM has to think pretty quickly to determine what the hell that would be.  
Someone forgot their boots of fire holding.

In the end we laughed allot and I think every one had a good time. At the end of the day that's my only design goal with this one.

Any interest, Questions or comments, please leave a comment.