[Dungeon Construction Kit] Playtesters Wanted

edited October 2009 in Directed Promotion
DCK is an on-the-fly dungeon encounter generator for 4E. Dungeon tiles and card decks are used for randomization -- no charts.

Playtest kits take some time to put together, because the tiles and card decks are essential. I'll certainly give priority to prospective playtesters that are willing to print and cut their own. 110-pound cardstock and a machete-style paper cutter recommended.

Comments

  • I'm not playing D&D but i'm interested in the concept. Do you think it could be -without any changes- used for another purpose ?
  • I play a fair amount of 4e and have been playing it since launch, and I'd be interested in playtesting this. Is it intended for solo use, group play, GMless play? How many playtesters do you envision?

    No machete cutter, but I have cardstock on hand.
  • Philippe, it's pretty tightly integrated with 4E.

    Bryant, it's intended for group play with a GM. It supports groups of 3-6 PCs. The encounter book for levels 1 to 4 is finished, and I hope to finish the encounter book for levels 5 to 8 this weekend.

    I'm looking for something like 4 to 6 more playtest groups. The upper limit is mostly because it's a fair bit of work for me to put together a playtest kit and get it in the mail, and I want to make sure I have time to follow up with each group and carefully review their feedback.
  • edited October 2009
    Basically, I've got the same questions (and materials, and experience, and level of interest) as Bryant, from what I can tell.
    Oh, except I might actually be able to borrow a machete cutter from my in-laws...
    So, yeah - a little more info would be nice, but I'm interested in giving it a try.

    Edit to add - Saw your reply to Bryant. If it helps with playtest kit assembly, I could probably work from just an electronic copy, as long as the printing requirements aren't too weird, but it sounds like your current set is a little outside my ongoing campaign's level/focus, so I'd have to see if I can pull together playtesters outside that. Hmm...
  • In the past week my extended-group has played 5 delve-format 4e games. Each is a set of 2 linked encounters, level 2 and then level 4, for 4-6 level 3 PCs, with a strict 45 minute time limit. How would this work for something like that? Does it have any support for linking two encounters? A faster way to generate the delves would be pretty fantastic.
  • edited October 2009
    BTW: This was my One Cool Thing from Go Play NW.

    For those willing to admit that 4E plays best when you don't fool around with roleplaying nonsense and story and just want a thinly veiled excuse for racking up monsters to kill (which is pretty much the only reason I'd play 4E) this was sweet.

    Pick how hard of a challenge you want, pick some map tiles, pick some entry halls, set up a marching order, wait 10 seconds while the DM puts the baddies out, go kill whatever is in the room, draw cool treasure cards, repeat until dungeon is clear.

    I don't know exactly how the DM side worked but it looked like point buying some already compiled groups of opponents from a list of what sort of monsters were found in the dungeon with the ultimate goal of getting to the boss fight and winning the legendary treasure.

    We cleared what, 3 or 4 rooms in a single con slot with 4 players? Including 1 room that was set to one notch below killer difficulty IIRC. No fuss, no muss, no worrying about exactly why we were in this dungeon killing these people...pure tactical killin'...just like god intended.

    Good times...
  • Posted By: ValamirBTW: This was my One Cool Thing from Go Play NW.

    For those willing to admit that 4E plays best when you don't fool around with roleplaying nonsense and story and just want a thinly veiled excuse for racking up monsters to kill (which is pretty much the only reason I'd play 4E) this was sweet.
    Ah, well. Count me out, then; I don't fit that demographic.
  • edited October 2009
    Guy: in what way are you linking the encounters? Similar creatures or maps or themes? For creatures, I think you could do this pretty easily by just playing with a stacked deck of tiles -- say, sorting out all the tiles that have kobold encounters, and using only those*. Doing the "level 2, then level 4" part is easy. And I'm pretty sure this would be a fast way to generate the delves.

    Ralph: glad to hear you had fun; I did too. You're pretty much on target for how the GM side worked. We played pretty fast that slot -- I wanted to playtest as many of my new critters as I could. You certain CAN stop and smell the roses if you want to. In fact, the Event Cards (unfinished as of GPNW) are designed for just that -- though they can also be played as "Hey, make me a few skill checks and let's move on to the next encounter" if you want.

    Bryant: Well, I'm hoping the game is useful for a wider demographic than the one that Ralph has mentioned (though I definitely want to appeal to that demographic). There's a couple of ways I think that this can work: (1) use the Event Cards for more in-dungeon roleplaying and GM-interjected events for more pre-/post-dungeon roleplaying, or (2) strip off the game's "outer shell" that frames the encounters and frame the encounters yourself and simply use DCK to take a huge bite out of the work you have to do to prep encounters. I'd love to get feedback on the rules from that perspective, and won't be at all put out if you take a look at the rules and decide it's not for you. Though, of course, I'd want to hear why. But you should probably be able to form an opinion by reading the rules (8 pages or so).

    *at least for the initial draw, which determines what encounter to use
  • edited October 2009
    Posted By: Lee ShortGuy: in what way are you linking the encounters? Similar creatures or maps or themes? For creatures, I think you could do this pretty easily by just playing with a stacked deck of tiles -- say, sorting out all the tiles that have kobold encounters, and using only those*. Doing the "level 2, then level 4" part is easy. And I'm pretty sure this would be a fast way to generate the delves.
    Creatures & maps, usually. In the last one the PCs charged up a hill through a line of archers and a berserker, then back down it (start on the other side of the map) chasing a few more archers, a couple berserkers, and a hexer. Not always that interconnected, of course. Probably just interconnected creatures would work well enough.
  • I'd be interested in giving this a whirl. Willing to print out my own too.

    I have a group that meets regularly for 4e. They'd be most likely to give this a whirl on one of our off-weeks, I'm sure.

    S.
  • I'm interested. I've been playing a lot of 4e lately. I have access to a paper-cutter, so I could also print them myself.
  • Update: my motherboard died about a week and a half ago, and I've spent much of the intervening time recovering (buying new parts, fighting with drivers, surrendering and going with Windows 7, fighting Windows 7, . . . ). I'm about to leave town for most of a week (AmberCon Northwest!) -- so I expect to email PDFs out on the weekend of Nov 14-15.

    I can accomodate everyone who has signed up so far and maybe one or two more.

    Joshua, can you whisper me an email address?

    thanks
    Lee
  • bump - Lee, are you still around? I am interested in this thing.

  • I would be interested to check this out. And I don't mind printing my own.
  • Shreyas -- Yep, still around, though less active. Glad to hear you are interested.

    You can certainly get stuff for a playtest if you PM me. I've even got some printed prototype stuff (cards, books, etc) that I'd be happy to send you for the price of shipping.

    Right now, the game is in limbo, because I'm not sure how I can produce it for a marketable price. The game really needs all the components in the base set: tiles, cards, and the books. That's tough to do in a smaller print run while keeping the price reasonable. I actively investigated a larger print run (1000+). Some fairly in the know people thought the there just wasn't that kind of market for a third party 4E supplement --- but that DCK might find a market as a Pathfinder supplement. Given that the original design was for 3.5, that has some appeal. But I've had too much else on my plate to do that much rework (I've never even bought the Pathfinder books). Another possibility is doing some sort of PDF or partial-PDF product.

    Just seeing this thread pop up prompted me to make a couple of (sadly, fruitless) phone calls and start thinking about it again.
  • edited August 2011
    Once you have an idea of how to get it where you want and just lack the funds to make it happen, try a Kickstarter.

    Surely by now there's a big enough network of interested people to help get the word out and generate some attention. Especially if you come up with a cool actual play video showing it used effectively to set up encounters and short scenarios.

    I know I'd contribute for a set. It was hella fun at I-can't-remember-con* where I played it.



    *GPNW a couple years ago maybe?*
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