Hail Shield Wall!
Here’s a small list of the ICRPG games I’ve been DMin’ with the family and friends over the past year and how they went, plus 1 extra. The hobby happens at the table so I figured I’d let everyone know how its going and any tips I’ve learned. Let me know if any raise an eyebrow and I’ll be happy to give more detail.
Warpshell “Keila the Conqueror” - using the Warpshell setting the kids have been playing one-offs focusing around a “space truck stop” owned by Moe the alien fry cook. Kids have run everything from “bad” Jedi’s from starwars, to space “brownie” hunters. Used only 2e Core rules. Here I learned the value of failing forward - it is no fun to get sucked into space and just die horribly.
Last Flight of Red Sword - straight out of the book for a group of buddies, took six hours and nearly a crate of beer. Ended with a heroic suicide blast into the Dark Star as they held the door against unthinkable odds. Here I confirmed just how awesome serious prep can be - cause after four beers, I couldn’t read my notes anyway…
Baldur’s Mouth - using Forgotten Realms as the setting. Several one-shots where the kids and wife explored the city of Baldur’s Gate as investigative reporters working for the Baldur’s Mouth newspaper. Used only 2e Core rules. Fun way to use all the content in Descent into Avernus in the city section. Even the wife had fun and focused on short three to four room adventures that opened up greater mysteries in the city.
Caverns of Carnage - using what I can discern from Professor DMs gritty medieval world. 2e Core rules and some homebrew adds from OSE and Dungeon World. The Kids died - a lot - but they had fun. Here I learned in particular that numbers of bad guys and their turn economy far outweighs a big bad. That if you play creatures intelligently - even equal numbers are deadly in a ten hit point world. I also learned the value of starting characters with next to nothing and watching how cool they feel when they power up their characters even a little - grabbing that first real sword!
Descent into Avernus - that’s right the official D&D campaign, I converted the module to ICRPG, played it with my buddies. Used 2e Core, Worlds Advanced Characters, and ICRPG Magic. This was a heart-pounding romp through the forgotten realms. I used all the stuff, the three Ds, the timers, threats, treats. Learned that ICRPG magic is amazing - but totally overwhelming for someone who doesn’t have time to study the book outside the game. Here I learned and confirmed several things, such as you only plan for the next session, players can only get through about three to four rooms in three hours, and never assume anyone is reading the handouts you give them Ended each session playing the theme from the “A” team.
Windlehopper - A Dungeon World Story: DM’ed dungeon world for the kids using the 5 room dungeon model. Quick thoughts, I love Dungeon World - but it does take a lot of effort to make a custom character. If you haven’t tried Dungeon World out I highly recommend it. Custom character is only a complaint if you do it, making up 25ish relevant custom moves, plus custom bonds, plus custom alignment goals is not fun (for example I tried to make a Brownie Hunter for a sci fi adventure, what a mess… tried to figure out how to integrate it into an ICRPG game, also a mess unless you just use the basic moves… Otherwise if you play it is as is, it is a blast. This gets a mention because ol’ Hankerin’ made three videos about Dungeon World, and went on and on about how amazing it was so I had to try it.
If anyone wants to hear more I can go play by play or deep dive some of the lessons. My hope is that some of these lessons will sink in for you and me and we won’t have to repeat them!