Game Plans

Parallel Quest for the Rod of Seven Parts

Chase and I are married, and we’ve returned from our honeymoon. Public Facebook album shared below. Now that we’re back in Fresno, I’m in the fantasy world builder’s playspace again. I can feel island-inspired themes coming on…

Which means I’d like to modify the  4×4 Prewrite of the Multiverse by switching to this drumbeat:

  1. Level 2, 3, 4: Stormwrack and Expanded Psionics Handbook, summer of elves, universal surplus income;
  2. Level 5, 6, 7: Cityscape and Complete Adventurer, autumn of dwarves, true capitalism income;
  3. Level 8, 9, 10: Frostburn and Complete Psionics, winter of humans, monarchic income;
  4. Level 11, 12, 13: Sandstorm and Complete Scoundrel, spring of humans, universal basic income.

August Design-an-Adventure Goal

In this first branch of the Dungeons & Dragons adventure (levels 2 – 13), I intend to build the aforementioned four pocket worlds in the spirit of:

  • sandbox-style,
  • time-sensitive quests,
  • based on themes of man vs. nature,
  • with an overarching collections agenda—gather together the Rod of Seven Parts.

These adventures won’t follow linear plots so much as embrace an open-style, quest-based model with a variety of NPCs and limited-stock shops; and adventurers will ultimately be responsible for making purchases to complete the Rod of Seven Parts based on a) the economic factors, b) the wealth amassed from adventures, and c) services rendered to receive discounts with the shopkeep’s family.

The overarching goal of parts collection, over the span of the four pocket worlds, will further extend to three adventuring parties in three parallel Material Planes.

So in other words (and worlds), I’ll be working with these building blocks:

  • 4 pocket worlds,
  • 3 adventuring parties in 3 parallel Material Planes, based on those 4 pocket worlds,
  • resulting in 12 rod parts total (or 14 parts that, when combined together, make 7 parts… I like that better).

Players will be given a type of dashboard that displays where the other adventuring groups are located in the Rod of Seven Parts’ gathering process, applying pressure onto their success. If I build this sandbox properly:

  • I could host a Dungeons & Dragons adventure in Fresno,
  • and another “in person” game in Orange County,
  • with a third, NPC-based adventure ticking in the background,

…and perhaps, my sister and Lee would be willing to travel to Fresno once every 4-6 weeks to participate, along with my Fresno-based sister and brother; or we could set it up so half the adventures are conducted on Skype, and another in-person, cutting down on the real-life travel responsibilities for both groups’ sakes—that might be the sanest bet.

It could be a grand 5-player Fresno group vs. 5-player Orange County group vs. 5-NPC group adventure, with the NPC’s storyline recounted on this WordPress for entertainment’s sake (and maybe players could write a “this is what happened” entry for the blog, too—just a cell pic of a bullet point list would be enough).

I’m stoked about these ideas, not only because running parallel plots sounds fun, but also, my previous D&D campaigns have focused more on demons, angels, and dragons—and they’ve relied heavily on railroading the player experience so I can create a predictable, controllable story—so I’m excited to relinquish a lot of that control; let go of the stereotype enemy models; I want to see where these tweaks in my thought process takes me as a storyteller.

OoOoOoO, dire animals, elementals, and magical beasts,…

…Here I come!

Future Design-a-Monster Goal

I’ll also build monsters using templates from the Manual of the Planes, to introduce the second plot (levels 13 – 20) early. I enjoy 3.5e templates; they give the Dungeon Master the creative freedom to shape default enemies into something more flavorful and eventful, keeping seasoned players on their toes (while also marveling new players with a lil’ extra Glitterdust).

Islands of Maui (Lahaina & Kona) & Lanai, Hawaii

Posted by Kourtnie McKenzie on Monday, July 23, 2018

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