With my dwarf Martina I discovered a "mini Barrowmaze" on the first level of Stonehell last night. Who copied who here? And does it matter? These are questions! 😄

Seriously, I call BS on everyone publishing "adventures" in print or PDF only. If the last half year has taught me anything it's that EVERY "adventure" that intends to actually get played should also come as a plain text file (with maybe a minimal Markdown flavor). Because that's the simplest "portable" format for referees to track the evolution of a place as it gets overrun and changed by generations of adventurers. As @kensanata says, scribbling into a hardcopy simply does not scale!

Spontaneous D&D game with three folks, two of which almost never play in "my" dungeon. Because they had "fresh" eyes they IMMEDIATELY picked up on the clue that the "regular" players have ignored for the 4 sessions now. They got "Treebane" a +1, +2 vs plants battle axe, ancient armor worth 800 gp, and they found the mummified "Melvin the Magnificient, Legendary Illusionist, Tula City of Mages" and his (cursed!) spellbook worth 1000 gp. A good Barrowmaze session all around. 😃

Silly RPG Violence 

Normally the Barrowmaze subsists on lots and lots of fresh adventurer blood. Last night it snacked on a silly ear instead. It's not satisfied in the least! 😄

Help! I need a wushu D&D variant where I can play the wizard from Chinese Ghost Story II. Biting my finger, scribbling on scrolls with my blood, throwing said scrolls around to cast spells, and a frickin' sword? Count. Me. In. Who's running a game?

Every time I prep a new area of Barrowmaze I get annoyed all over again. Tonight's example: An encounter that's simply copy/pasted from one place to another, even the hit points match. Must be that "awesome encounter design" that Greg is so famous for... This guy literally spent 70% of his effort on drawing a map (he did draw it himself, right?) and buying art. How long did that take? A month?

Monster encounters? Usually easy to figure out for players: Avoid or attack. Encounters with other tomb robbers? Not so easy! Trickery, negotiation, showing off, intimidation, heckling back and forth, etc. Almost sad that there are not more tomb robber encounters on average... 😄

And tonight they *finally* decided to look around in the actual Barrowmoor. They checked out the big standing stone about Nergal's Chosen. They found the flooded mound with the giant toads, the sunken mound they would have to dig out for hours and hours, and the looted mound that somebody had already... well... looted. 😄 Oh and they found a sinkhole/depression where a room in the Barrowmaze has collapsed so there's that.

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The players have explored about 1/10th of the "original" Barrowmaze map in this time (it would be 1/25th of the "extended" map I guess). If that's the average speed, here's to another five years of continued play. 😄

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Someone just posted a picture of the AD&D 2nd Edition splat book "The Complete Book of Necromancers" and I swear what I read instead was "The Complete Book of Nonsmokers" which I guess says... Something? I don't know...

The Barrowmaze game is now 16 sessions old, spread over roughly 5 months so far. Only 4 characters died in the catacombs during that time. A lot has changed, a whole section collapsed requiring players to find a new route. A lot has stayed the same. If I am hoping for anything, it's that sometime soon a group will "open up" a new entrance. Two rumors deep we are on "alternate entrances" and yet it has not happened. I guess my initial warnings about the Barrowmoor were too severe?

I must have gone insane. I wrote some bad music for a band that only existed in our Traveler game. Oh well, why not? Now I just need to find the time for a proper arrangement and mix, that'll be harder.

Running the dreaded Barrowmaze on a regular basis has resulted in some interesting learning. How to track an evolving dungeon that is explored by multiple parties, including DM-run "rivals" as it were. How to (tentatively) project consequences back into the wider world: some undead are walking towards town every now and then, and a bunch of Skandiks is on their way too, intent on running roughshod over Selina's Harbor. Also rumors have a way of being lost on players. Or I suck at writing them.

I am doing a LOT of self-censorship recently and I don't like it.

I wonder if that's going to happen once we finally play that A&A game in Zothay. Since the way I started prepping it, well, it's sort of a city adventure thing. Sort of. 😮

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I thought this was a funny quote: "My idea of a town adventure goes something like blah, blah, blah, there's a fight, and then the town burns down." jrients.blogspot.com/2008/08/w

Third session of Barrowmaze tonight, first henchmen death. Sadface because the henchman actually had a history. Still no player character death, although we were close in that first session. They slaughtered a giant rattler snake tonight and made off with a *huge* amount of loot. And a statue is being built to commemorate the henchman. (Yes, it's "XP for gold spent" and not "XP for gold collected" in this game.) I hope we can keep the momentum going for another ... three ... sessions? Or more?

...and now I better stop before someone says "So where's your awesome and legendary dungeon? Hmmm?"

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"If anyone looks at the mirror, they will be sucked in, no save, and have to fight a zombie version of themselves. If they win, they pop back out and the mirror shatters. If they lose the mirror becomes dull and there's loud laughter (roll encounter check)." I don't even have anything to say here. Except I want my $6.66 back.

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