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Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror
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TOPIC: Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror
#3087
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 5 Months ago  
So I've been lurking here for about 3 weeks, since I found out I'd be writing an event that would be using minis and mastermaze at GF: Milwaukee. The format was dictated to us, 6 tenth-level adventurerers have 30 minutes (Real Time) to kill as many mnonsters as they can. They can play multiple times, with each greater score replacing their former score. At the end there's be big prizes. Not knowing what to expect, my collaborator and I combined every race from the PHB, with every class from the PHB, yes, 77 single-classed characters. Meanwhile I copied monsters out of the SRD. We secured miniatures to represent our 20 different monsters and 6 PCs. So we set off to Milwaukee (a 13 hour drive). At this point we did not know what to expect, as we didn't own any mastermaze stuff at the start of the con (this was thankfully fixed by the end of the con). So, we built our dungeon and ran our games all weekend long, it proved to be quite popular I think, I have to check my records, I think there were about a dozen different teams and about 30 runs. You'll note there are pics of the new floor pieces in here, we didn't get to keep those, in fact to be on the safe side we pulled them from our set-up each night to be put into storage. I'm at work, so I don't have access to my pics to post them directly, for now, please sate yourselves on these thumbnails:
www.geocities.com/coz_jk/got/index.html

And the Gauntlet of terror will run again, in the next few months at:
Gamefest: Richmond September 17-19 (www.advantageconvention.com)
UNY-Con Rochester, NY November (www.uny-con.com)
And any other cons we can afford to go to that we can drive to.

In case you're wondering the system was D&D 3.5. And it will be even tougher next time.
coz
Kobold
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#3088
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 5 Months ago  
Looking Forward to Seeing the Picks with a Little better Detail... Looks Like Each Area was Unique, and I Do Love the Way that the "Crag" Piece Looks... That Having Been Said Kudos on the Event and I'd Love to Hear Some Specific "War Stories" about some of the Runs... And Of Course More Pics Please?
MyLordVoid
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#3089
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 5 Months ago  
I'll try to make the pics more detailed this weekend.
The crag piece was cool, I like the water tile more. It might be hard to tell from the pics, but we did re-arrange the pieces from time to time. We kept switching the stairs into the dungeon with a dead end piece in another part of the maze. It didn't take long for people to figure out the ideal party was not a cleric, fighter, wizard, rogue, and two others, it was instead: two wizards, 2 fighters, a rogue and one other, we gave every character potions which of course completely nerfed the clerics since there were all of 2 different undead that might be encountered, neither of which stood at any particular risk of being turned.

That's all changing. We're removing potions and other expendable magic from the characters. And we're making the whole thing a lot harder. We're also streamlining to make prep much faster (it would take a team approximately 30 minutes to prep for a 30 minute run).
coz
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#3090
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 5 Months ago  
Looking forward to seeing the pictures in detail :D
Tron_ac
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#3091
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 5 Months ago  
Coz,

What Sort of Prep work? Mainly Switching the Tiles Up? And was this Basically a matter of Having The Same Encounters moved with the Floor Tiles? Any Puzzles?

Tron,

Right there with Ya... I wanna Hear some Horror Stories too...<Grin>...
MyLordVoid
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#3092
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 5 Months ago  
The prep work I was speaking of was the work the players had to put in before playing. All the classes that prep spells had to prep their spells, I wanted to go with pre-prepped spell-lists to save time, but I was shot down based on the theory that we'd be removing the usefulness of non-spontaneous casters, etc. We left the dungeon set up largely the same between runs. We changed where the entrancce was to suit the room size needs of the encounters we had determined for that run. I made a list of 4 different EL13, 4 different EL12, 6 different EL10, and 6 dfferent EL9 encounters. there were four rooms, each room would have one randomly determined encounter from one of the above lists. Depending on the size of the creature(s) encountered would determin which room had the entrance stairs. Your team would receive a number of points equal to the EL of the encounter, and in the case of not completing an encounter when the time ran out, you would get a percentage of the points for that encounter based on the percentage of damage you had inflicted on the encounter in question. In addition there were two secret doors, one, in the room with the pentacle, usually led to a room with 'treasure' which was worth one point, the other usually in the room with the crack led to a chest that was both locked and trapped (with one of the EL 8 traps from the DMG), it was worth 8 points as long as you attempted to disarm the trap (in the future, it'll be worth half it's EL if it goes off, full if you disarm it). We built elaborate rooms to be placed after the secret door was found, and put them aside calling them 'extra' rooms until then. Despite the fact that people knew there were rooms in certain places there wasn't any metagaming (cool!) and they either searched every room and corridor, or didn't search at all until we let any elves know they were entitled to a search check. Also, the secret door pieces really really blend in, you just don't know it's there, even the one we had which was "loose" and had I thought a visible gap, people didn't notice. So I think some people assumed we re-arranged the location of the doors more.

We did re-arrange some the pieces, like I said we switched where the entry stairs were, often, and every night we had to remove the prototype pieces. Other pieces got a little rearranged every now and then. One run had the two bulettes come up as an encounter (finally), and we decided to put them in the room with the pentagram, (as opposed to the cavern where the dragon would be) so we put the crack in there (seemed appropriate). The location of the portcullis was changing every game at the beginning as we tried to find somewhere to put it, first it was at the bottom of the stairs, then the room with the crack, finally it went in the room with the water pool and mermaid fountain. We had narrow doors to play with, but no narrow passages (hardly any passages at all for that matter) those originated in the room with the water in the alcove areas, and eventually relocated to the crack room as a set of double doors.

Most of my memories of the event are sorta fried, and fused together (it was a long drive from upstate ny to milwaukee and back, with a con in between, and nightlife...). Luckily I wasn't the only guy running it, so I'll have to ask my collaborator what he remembers at some point here. Let's see. We had some trouble filling the game, it was supposed to be for 6 players each run, but only a few teams were able to gather that many people, so we decided to let just two people play, or jsut 3, 4, or 5. Big mistake, it's way too easy for 2 or 3 people to play all the characters and work quickly, it was only there poor dice luck that kept such teams from overtaking the well-oiled 6-player machines of death and destruction. Also this was a family-oriented con, and there was at leasst one father/son team, and far be it from me to say, sorry no you and your daddy can't play if you can't find four more people to join you (again, having an 8 year old on your team, even if you give him 3 fighters while you play the more complicated spellcasters, probably doesn't do much for your chances of a high score). I think we made the encounters too easy, too caught up witht he idea that it was a party of tenth level adventrers, but there were 6 of em, which by most logic is equivalent to a party of 4 15th level adventurers, by the time we realized our mistake it wouldn't have been fair of us to re-tool, and we only had limited minis to choose from so the most we could have done was up the hp on the monsters and equip them. We gave the PCs 'high average' hp (take your hit die divide by 2 and add 1, ie: d12 HD = 7 hp per die and full for 1st level) whereas the monsters hadd exact average as per the monster descriptions in the monstermanual. Further, the only monsters I gave equimpment to were the dragons, the drow, the 9th level vampire monk, the lich, the half fiend, and the half dragon, there were other item using monsters that should have had equimpment, but it fell by the wayside in my frenzied preparations for the event.

I think that'll be all for now. I'm at work stuck behind a Macc with painfully small keys (large hands). I'll try to post detailed pics at some point. Thankfully, I still have more than a month to prep before it runs again, to fix the mistakes of this time.
coz
Kobold
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#3093
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 4 Months ago  
Coz,

Thank You For the Very Detailed Info I Think I have a Better Idea of What you Folks were Up to Now... I Guess from what you have Stated the Two Big Questions for You Folks on Improvement Are More Fleshed out Monsters and a Need to Build Some Flexability into Character Generation for Different Sized Groups... (IE) Character Pools predesinged for 2 Player, Vs 6 Player Games? Maybe even Have a Half or Quarter Strength Encounter List For the Father Son Teams? In any Event It Sound Kewl and I Gather that Now You Folks have Aquired the DF Sets you Need For Future Tourneys? (Minus the Proto-floors of Course)....
MyLordVoid
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#3094
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 4 Months ago  
Dont you hate it when life gets in the way of using the internet?
In the future I don't think we'll be allowing teams of less than three. And will probably assign a penalty to the scores of teams of less than 6. Yeah, we have enough DF sets for the future, and we're revamping our encounters, and attempting to find minis. (Why is there no pre-painted Wotc beholder?)
coz
Kobold
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#3095
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 4 Months ago  
I Guess Beholders are in a "Future" Set? I Have yet to figure out what if any Logic there has Been to date on the Creatures WotC has Chosen to replicate... And I Know it Frustrates the "Pureists" out there who only Game with Custom Painted Pewter to hear me say this but I Really Like the New Miniatures... I Just Hate that there are So Many Commons that are not Likely to see a lot of Use... (Abyssal Maw?) It would have made more Sense to make Giant Spiders, Or Mummies or Some such Common... (Musch More Useful in my Less than Humble Opinion)... Ok That Rant aside, It sounds like You Folks are on the Ball with working out the Kinks so Kudos...
MyLordVoid
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#3096
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 4 Months ago  
I've pretty much given up on the dnd minis. I like giants of legend since you get a huge beastie and a bunch of interesting smaller ones pretty cheap, but I looked at reaper again to see if they had anything equivalent to "non open" or "product identity" monsters, and I don't like the look of their beholder-ish minis, they some decent mind flayer-ish minis. and two metals for 7 bucks beats trying to chase down a less than common figure from the base set of wotc minis (which my local store only has starters of).
In the end I may just mount a rubber ball on a "flying" base, paint a face and use pipe cleaners as eyestalks for my beholder. Tho if I can find the hackmaster one cheap or the metal wotc one (circa 2000/2001))
coz
Kobold
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#3097
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 4 Months ago  
Coz,

Fact is you are right... Making your Own is not so Drastic, May I Suggest Sculpting it out of those Plastic Beads that You Boil in Water to Melt into a Maleable State? Then at least Your Final Product could in fact be painted at least... If you Wanted to that is...
MyLordVoid
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#3098
Gamefest Milwaukee: Gauntlet of Terror 10 Years, 4 Months ago  
If I was going to make my own that way I'd model it in plasticine clay (it's cheaper than the 'green stuff' that pro mini sculptors use, reusable too), and then cover it in latex and cast it in plaster for durability.
coz
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