Dungeon 187 - Editorial: Thinking Outside the Encounter

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Dungeon 187
Editorial: Thinking Outside the Encounter

by Steve Winter

When it comes to adventures, there's plenty of room for everyone's imagination.

Talk about this Article here.

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Well, I definitely applaud the desire to have some more variety in the adventures! Even ones that feel smoothly polished and with interesting mechanics (like the recent Runecutter's Ruin) feel somewhat limited by just being a handful of encounters strung together, with most of the story and plot in the background rather than part of the adventure for PCs to interact with it.
This sounds good. I've been trying to be more free-form/open-minded whatever you want to call it this time, and having more adventures aimed in such a way is great.

I wonder what that big beastie in the background is.
While I like overa ll what the article is announcing, I think we need to start a list of those DnD publications cliches that they feel they need to express every time, 

really DnD? There are different kinds of gamers? Cause I didn't beleive you when you published it in the DMG, The DMG2, The DMG Kit, The Players Strategy Guide, and almost every editorial you ever place . . .

let's hope that this is actually a concentrated effort on praxis rather than lip service.

(No but really this sounds like a great idea, I hope it works!) 
I welcome variety and think we already started to see a change in pattern. Since the Slaying Stone, many adventures and Dungon materials are less Heavy combat stylish with a more direct confrontational approach now and instead have more subtle Plot lines.

Last Dungeon adventure i ran was The Slaver's Stone and it had a few twists than just to kill the Slavers and free the slaves up. There was a clock ticking, some NPC turning their coat and hard choices ....

I like adventure that start In-Character discussion among the players and plans etc...
The Slaying Stone had them studying the map of the town and figure which point of entry they'd use, the path they'd take etc...a real conseil de guerre (War council) Was fun to watch. Laughing

So more unconventional adventures will help explore new ways. And i welcome that.

Plague 
I welcome variety and think we already started to see a change in pattern. Since the Slaying Stone, many adventures and Dungon materials are less Heavy combat stylish with a more direct confrontational approach now and instead have more subtle Plot lines.

Last Dungeon adventure i ran was The Slaver's Stone and it had a few twists than just to kill the Slavers and free the slaves up. There was a clock ticking, some NPC turning their coat and hard choices ....

I like adventure that start In-Character discussion among the players and plans etc...
The Slaying Stone had them studying the map of the town and figure which point of entry they'd use, the path they'd take etc...a real conseil de guerre (War council) Was fun to watch. 

So more unconventional adventures will help explore new ways. And i welcome that.

Plague 



Unfortunately my party decided to pretty much head in a SW to NE line across the city, which covers most the encounters. That said, I love the adventure and so do they, cause atleast they chose the line.

I just hope Steve realises that you actually have to PUBLISH some adventures before you have variety. Variety requires content.  The DDi version of Dungeon is not exactly bursting at its e-seams with content.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Unfortunately my party decided to pretty much head in a SW to NE line across the city, which covers most the encounters. That said, I love the adventure and so do they, cause atleast they chose the line.


 
Hehe cool Janx Laughing 

Mines entered by NW and busted the Mansion right away, falling on Hu-Jat. The Drake's head (and Hu-Jat) made a good offering to the Kobold chieftain to show their Power and eventually strike an alliance when they traversed the Slums. 

They really enjoyed it. A friend just had Vor Rukoth Supplement and it had an amazing Map of a ruined city we used.  Many memorable things i can think of...
Now that is cool. Its actually interesting to see how different parties approach the same adventure, especially when it was using options in the adventure.

In the last session the party actually captured Rort, the goblin tome ripper, and he's currently a companion character in the party with a list of random at-wills. They seem to be KOing every enemy with a name this time around, which while kinda odd is atleast allowing for some interesting RP.

Definitely more adventures like Slaying Stone are needed, unfortunately Orcs of Stonefang pass isnt quite as flexible, but still looks pretty good.
It's okay. I liked the maps it came with but the adventure is pretty linear. I would suggest going from the Slaying Stone to Reavers of Harkenwold from the DM kit and then maybe going through stonefang pass or maybe the cairn of the ice king (is that what it's called?) from the monster vault which is also linear but has an enchanted flying ship with a talking figurehead (so it's not all bad).
With this article Thinking Outside the Encounter, I was left kind of wondering a few things. First, I personally like the fact that the term Encounter is used, even though  there are valid points the article mentioned. Second, having that been said,  since it appears with the direction of changing the name from Encounter to Event, does this mean that Encounter Powers will be re-named Event powers.?

Honestly, for me I think the term should be interchangable to the point of what each scenaerio calls for and the way it's structured.

Timothy Adams

Battle Hardened DM

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