How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

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jackattack
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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by jackattack » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:59 am

Sometimes, the DM can tell the players to set up a room, then make adjustments when it is done.

It keeps them engaged while he gets his notes in order for the encounter, and throws a randomizing element into the game for everyone.
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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by marcoreds » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:50 am

I use my own campaign and stuff.

But still, I do think modules are useful.

I read many modules, rules systems, campaign, and I often find good ideas in them

What I use is these ideas (the ones I like), not the modules themselves as they are written.

For example, I might read an adventure in which (just making this up) a village is beset by an evil witch. Maybe I like the idea, or the flavour, or some detail about motivations. I would take this idea and insert it in my story. I would not run the module as is written, as I very often find that the synopsis written is quite unbelievable. My players are quite smart, and I always need changes to actually have events make more sense.

As to the dungeons, I never try to rebuild them axactly as they are shown in the adventure.
It makes no sense, 99% of the times the actual map is irrelevant, you could build a different map and just use the ideas of the ecology of the dungeon, the critters, the traps shown with a very different setups.
I take the ideas, build MY dungeon with the pieces I have, then put the ideas in there.

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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by William » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:16 pm

95%+ Used to write my own, but played as a few characters in some modules early on. That was decades ago though.
If I needed to map a battle or puzzle with DF terrain, then I would pre-design area/dungeon and re-design it multiple times until I had a cool layout. Then I would map the layout on graph paper (like the old days) and add notes to a copy of the map and keys on yet another copy to point to further info... But, most of the time it was my own story/design, I think I ran a few modules ages ago as DM. My2Pence! :)
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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by Arravis » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:42 pm

derekjr wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:29 pm
I'd have to take more ownership of campaign creation instead of modules
Do most people on the forums use modules or write their own materials? For D&D I almost exclusively write my own stuff and can count the number of modules I've run in one hand (mind you, I've been playing since 1981). I know plenty of local groups that only ever run modules, I'm just curious as to the breakdown of that for DF users. I could certainly see quite a bit of frustration trying to run pre-made maps and settings in DF.

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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by derekjr » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:29 pm

Slowly realizing I've been looking at this from a very narrow perspective, and reading/seeing these revealed a lot more possibilities (while reminding me that I want allll the pieces! :lol: ) I'm thinking for my purposes in D&D, I'd have to take more ownership of campaign creation instead of modules, so I'll probably get more use from DF as I gain experience.

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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by jchunick » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:59 pm

derekjr wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:57 pm
I'm relatively new to D&D, new to DF, love the idea of it, love the product, spent way too much on KS5 :D I have lots of questions....

My space is very limited, so I just pre-build boss rooms or unique locations for special moments of the week. Encounters that I know will definitely happen. Yet even if I had more room, I struggle to see the use of a fully-realized, sprawling location in actual gameplay. If they're crawling through a large dungeon, don't they see you've built something hidden over there -- ruining the mystery -- even if you have it covered? Do you have a blueprint laid out, and build it as they go? can't see my players having the patience for that! :lol:
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the realization that there are people who buy the tiles simply to build and don't even RP any more.

:D
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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by jackattack » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:10 pm

A large set-up on the tabletop can be viewed in much the same way as a large setting in a computer game. Design your story and encounters similarly.

Create a plot that requires the characters to visit multiple locations. If it's a mystery, make sure the clues send the party all over your map. If it's intrigue and political maneuvering, put the principals in various locations and make getting from one to another more difficult every time so the characters have to bribe, sneak, or fight their way across the map. If it's a fight, make the characters chase their opponents, or have the opponents enter the map at lots of places so the characters have to maneuver through the tunnels or streets.

If the players get "off track", stage an event that brings them where you need them. A robbery, a fire, or a monster crawling out of the sewers is sure to draw the characters in. If there is a key encounter waiting for the characters to show up, figure out how to trigger the event in such a way that it attracts their attention.
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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by Arravis » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Now, up front, I don't run modules, I write all my own materials so I don't ever have to match pre-existing maps, so if that's the issue, there's little in the way my experience can help.

When I write I keep details of positions of rooms, contents, etc relatively vague; I'll detail out all the NPCs and plot elements, but all those other details come later. The rooms layout end up looking like a flow-chart. Once I have that, I'll lay out the the scene in miniature (usually via DF), be it a city, dungeon, outdoor, ship, etc. and all other necessary furnishings, etc. This for me is a critical stage, it allows me to flesh out what was originally a nebulous concept into something solid. Seeing it in the flesh, so to speak, lets me see new story opportunities, new details that I need to add to my written story, etc. I will often take pictures of the set up so I can refer to it while I'm re-working the initial writing of the adventure/story (where we game and where I live are different locations, so I need the pics).

In the pictures below you can see some of the layouts I've done. I have descriptive details of all the rooms, their NPCs, etc. My adventures tend to be time-based not necessarily room based, so the placement of NPCs often changes depending where in the timeline PCs come in and their actions during the adventure. I end up treating the DF set ups as a stage that the story/play takes place in. I need to make sure the stage is large enough to support the inevitable changes the PCs will bring.

Some examples based on the pictures below:
The dungeon pictured ended up being a lightly populated dungeon, with a large group of giants beyond the gate. Once the PCs cleared it out, they realized that their real goal was to setup the area with defenses and traps as the giants beyond the gates were readying an imminent attack, going past the dungeon, caves, and then to the lands above. So the DF set ended up being a castle-defense game, where the PCs were to hold it as long as possible. A clear stage where every piece of furniture, equipment, and loose stone mattered.

The first city set up pictures was a murder-mystery where the PCs were attempting to solve a crime that had occurred within those city blocks. All witnesses, all clues, and all relevant NPCs were within that DF "stage". Each room was highly detailed in both their furnishings, clues, and NPCs. So not only is the description I give as a DM relevant to the mystery, so is every tiny detail in the physical diorama that I put forth for the players. Since I write the adventures, I can make sure it all matches exactly and will point out if it doesn't. It was extremely helpful in writing the adventure to see the physical layout, figure out the logical movements of the murderer, timing it would take, etc. It would have been much more... abstract without the DF to help.

The second city/castle layout was an Ocean's 11 style heist at a vault inside the castle. Like above its all detailed out, this time the player's had a lot of intel on the place and were able to use the DF to plan out all aspects of the caper. They were allowed to lift roofs, see where things are, etc. Of course, once it went "live" I went and changed a few things ;).

The next one is one I'm currently running, it takes place in a seminary that has been converted into a kind of war prison camp. The adventure requires that the PCs each go on their own to make alliances with NPC, spy on guards, and other plot-goals, independent of the other players. This part of the campaign will take place there over several sessions and the size of the board allows me to both split up the party, without actually having them in completely different areas, essentially allowing me the best of both worlds. Again, since the DF set piece is central to the story, having it out allows the players to effectively plan out their movements away from each other.

Lastly is a cool boat. Cool boat is cool. (Its an old picture, we've added sails and rigging since then)

Anyway, hope that's some of the kind of information you're looking for!
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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by Oldent » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:06 pm

I play more games than D&D with Dwarven Forge.

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Black Plague.

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Frost Grave.

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How I set up depends on the scenario. With a board game the door have to be in specific places for example. You have way more wiggle room for role play.

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I am going to set up this encounter again Sunday. If the players do everything right they will have a map.I set the lay out up.It does not matter if they see it. If they are afraid to open doors they will not find what they need to survive. If they refuse to enter they will never complete the adventure. I don't kill anyone for making a mistake.They can go back when they hit the dead end.
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Re: How do you plan your gaming sessions to incorporate DF

Post by ebrandeis » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:05 pm

I've been doing more pre-building lately (using full size baking sheets lined with black felt), however much of our initial use of DF was build-on-the-fly.

The DM (me or someone else) would describe the room and the players would use dungeon tiles to quickly build something. There was occasionally a need to make minor tweaks ("hey guys, you forgot to create an alcove over here"), but usually it didn't matter if the room exactly lined up with what the DM had planned. We found two benefits with this approach: 1) it was a ton of fun to build the room together, 2) it was fast to have multiple players quickly assemble the room while the DM did some quick prep for the encounter.

If you're not trying to get hyper focused on details, give it a try, you may like it.

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