DS Game Mastering

RUNNING DUNGEONSLAYERS

Dungeonslayers is a very fast game. Characters have their moments of glory in this game, but they can die very easily, too, so let them bask in their glory as often as possible. Although the focus of the game is on entertaining dungeon crawls and exciting combat, don’t forget you can as easily run wilderness campaigns with lots of overland travel or detective stories in an urban setting.

DUNGEONS

A dungeon is an underground labyrinth of tunnels filled with traps, secret passages, monsters and a whole lot of treasure. Following an unwritten law the deeper you get into the dungeon the more challenging it gets.

XP REWARDS

Especially at the beginning of their careers, characters tend to level up very quickly, sometimes even 2 or 3 times in their first dungeon. The following guidelines shall help the GM to award the right amount of XP:

XP rewards for enemies

The XP rewards for killed or outsmarted enemies are calculated by adding up the XP values of all defeated enemies. The resulting total is then divided equally between the party members.

Example: Five characters have defeated ten goblin warriors which grant 20 XP each. Every character gets 40 XP (= 10 x 20 XP / 5)

XP rewards for quests

Completing defined adventure goals (finding the artifact, defeating the villain etc.) should be awarded with at least a quarter of the amount of XP gained by defeating enemies.

Example: For completing the quest “Destroy the goblin band” every dungeonslayer gains 10XP (40/4).

XP rewards for roleplaying

Playing your character well and helping to create the game’s atmosphere should be rewarded. A character can get up to double his level in roleplaying XP rewards per situation.

//Example: A character of 5th level can be awarded up to 10 XP for roleplaying his character per single situation.

Special rewards

Good thinking, clever problem-solving and reaching certain adventure stages should be rewarded with 5 to 20 XP. The GM can hand out 1 XP for each explored dungeon room for example.

SLAYERS’ HAZARDS

There are more things than just monsters that can threaten the life of a dungeonslayer:

TRAPS

Every dungeon needs a few well-placed traps that the characters have to find (MIN+RE) and disarm (MIN+DX) in order to avoid taking damage.

TYPICAL TRAPS

Pits

Falling into a pit causes falling damage and some pits feature sharp spikes at the bottom which cause additional damage (Melee Attack = pit depth in meters x 3)

Poison needles

These traps are often used to protect chests and the like. They attack with poison 10+.

Falling rocks

The “attacks” from falling rocks usually have a check value in the range from 11 to 30 (10+d20).

Spear traps

One or more spears shoot out from the walls. They attack with Melee Attack 15.

FIRE & ACID

Size of fire Damage/Rnd
torch (like club) Attack result
burning clothes d20
campfire d20
in a burning house 2d20
inferno 5d20
wet clothes -d20
Amount of acid Damage/Rnd
jet of acid Attack result
bucket d20
whole body 2d20

FALLING DAMAGE

Dungeonslayers tend to take deep falls from time to time. Falling damage is equal to the falling distance x 3 in meters (e.g. 12 points of damage for a 4m fall). Defense applies as usual.

RANDOM ENCOUNTERS

Used against temporary lack of tension, random encounters can add momentum to a dungeon that can even astonish the GM. The GM should design them individually for each dungeon. A random encounter table should also include positive encounters.

MONSTERS

What would a dungeon be without monsters to fight?

FAST DEATH

Monsters with less than 1 HP should be considered dead to speed up gameplay (important NPCs are an exception). If the players want to take prisoners to interrogate them, the GM should use the normal rules.

IMPROVING MONSTER STATISTICS

To determine the LP the GM should first decide if the monster at hand is a fighter, scout or spellcaster.

TREASURE

Without decent treasure even the most imaginative dungeon is no fun at all.

The possibilities range from simple healing potions (which should be abundant in the first few dungeons at least) or gold pieces to magic items which grant bonuses to attributes or abilities.

Even weapons and armor or even more exotic artifacts with wondrous effects might be found.

MAGIC TREASURE

With a successful MIN+AU check a spellcaster can sense whether an item (or a place) is magical in nature.

When they are certain that the item is imbued with magic, they can use a MIN+RE check to identify the properties of the magic item. Please note that it’s always necessary to find out an item is magical in nature before an attempt at identification can be made.

TYPICAL MAGIC TREASURE

Cooldown potion (50GP) Halves the cooldown of all spells for one combat encounter.
Elvish boots (500GP) These boots increase the Speed by 1m.
Emerald key (200GP) Can be used once every 24h to cast Open at a single lock (check value 15).
Healing potion (10GP) This red liquid heals d20 hitpoints.
Magic Broadsword +2 (800GP) The magic bonus allows the broadsword to injure incorporeal creatures and it has WB +3 / Enemy’s Defense -4.
Magic chainmail +1 (500GP) Adds +1 to AV without reducing the Dodge value by 1.
Magic wand (cost of spell x 5) A magic wand has specifically been crafted for one spell. Anyone who knows this spell can use the wand to cast it without the need of activating it first.
Potion of levitation (25GP) Works like the Levitation spell (check value 20; no critical failure possible).
Potion of spellchange (10GP) Grants +10 to all spellchange checks for the duration of one combat.
Ring of protection +1/+2/+3 (500GP-1500GP) Adds +1/+2/+3 to AV without reducing the Dodge value by 1.
Ring of Spellchange (250GP) Once every 24h the wearer may change one of his spells without making a check. The effect is instantaneous.
Sleeping dust (100GP) Works like the Sleep spell (check value 15) against one target. Must be thrown.
War horn (250GP) Once per 24h the sound of this horn grants all party members +1 on all checks for the duration of one combat.