[diy] D&D Adventure Zines

I have a few of these in the pipeline and nowhere to talk about them post-plus, so I'm starting a thread.

The first: SUPER BLOOD HARVEST
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-qpHEHu2md8jaXJaKknmsFW55_Txz_Zu

Wherein you're abducted by space vampires. My main obsession with this is interface design and table-usability (and then I sabotage myself by making the art all crazy.) The way I run this type of thing:

-Map out, full transparency.
-I point to the map and say "you're here, here's what you see," and they pretty naturally start to explore the page from character POV.
-It helps to have features on the map that are distinct enough to inquire about, but don't give away the whole story of anything. They can see a bunch of things they might explore, but they still have to actually go there and interact to learn anything.
-And if they do use "out-of-character" info to inform decisions ("that guy in the corner looks scary, let's avoid that area") that works for me too.
-I do miss a stronger element of secrecy and surprise sometimes, and am thinking of ways to bake that back in. Maybe cut up the map into tiles to reveal as the characters explore.
-Especially I miss the feeling of the players not knowing where they are going. When they can see the whole map, they'll never waste time bumping into a dead end. Which, I mean, I've seen dead ends cause a lot of unfun frustration, but the risk and suspense of that possibility also makes exploration more engaging.

Also contains a new drift of Into the Odd I've been playing with.

Comments

  • Wow I love this.
    Dirk said:

    My main obsession with this is interface design and table-usability (and then I sabotage myself by making the art all crazy.)

    I actually love this most of all for it's aesthetics. The art is really just fantastic and reminds me a bit of Moebius. The fact that the map is color coded in terms of which rooms and halls have breathable atmosphere is also a very cool and usable feature to me. Plus I love the blood ducts as a means of navigation.

    There is one part of it that I'm conflicted about which is the bestiary/treasure tables. On the one hand the fact that they all have art associated with them is sooooo great. But the art also looks just like a map, it's even keyed like a map. It looked so much like a map that I thought they were second and third floors of the ship (are they?? even now I'm still not totally convinced they aren't).

    If I were to run this I would almost definitely show the players the map. And probably the bestiary and treasure tables too, and just point to stuff as they encounter it (although this stuff I'd be more likely to cut up). It's all just too cool not to put in front of the players. I think as long as the players don't know how the navigational map is keyed that should still leave plenty of surprises. I could be wrong though, would def need to try it out to be sure.

    Just a word of warning I don't personally make anything, I just play with stuff other people make so take anything I've said here with a grain of salt :)
  • This is pretty wild!

    I'm not a huge fan of the visual design, but I bet some of the potential target audience will love it.

    I do really like the format in general, and some of the little rules tweaks are great!
  • ebear said:


    There is one part of it that I'm conflicted about which is the bestiary/treasure tables. On the one hand the fact that they all have art associated with them is sooooo great. But the art also looks just like a map, it's even keyed like a map. It looked so much like a map that I thought they were second and third floors of the ship (are they?? even now I'm still not totally convinced they aren't).

    Yes, it's absolutely possible the encounter table started out as a map and I pivoted the format mid-drawing. My thought has been that there's no reason you can't use it as a map, but the details of that are yours to manage :)

    Always appreciate your thoughts @Paul_T, thanks for taking a look!

    One of my favorite rules here is for HP and injury:
    HP protects from serious injury. When hp is zero, further damage is subtracted from STR.

    When you suffer damage to your STR, pass a STR save or roll an INJURY. If you roll one you’ve already got, it becomes permanent. If you roll it again, you die.
    1. arm
    2. leg
    3. torso
    4. jaw
    5. eyes
    6. brain
    Unnamed characters who suffer STR damage must instead save or die.


  • Are injuries freeform, or defined somewhere else somehow?

    Also, why such a focus on the, uh, "head area" (3 out of 6 results are blows to the head, I guess)?
  • edited April 23
    It works for the game to leave it as vaguely defined as “leg injury” etc, or to color it in with whatever specifics emerge.

    The adjudication of injuries is handled by the logic of the fiction and judgement of the referee, ie,
    “how do you climb the rope with an injured arm?” or “you’re at disadvantage on this negotiation roll because you cant talk properly with a broken jaw” I’m loathed to write specific guidance for situations where higher-level rules already want to intervene, but it could stand to be specified that disadvantage is an appropriate way to handle impairment from injury.

    But I wouldnt call them “freeform,” either. There are only six basic injuries, and the constraints on them leave a fairly narrow window for interpretation (the first level of injury is implicitly “not permanent” for instance.)

    Why the head? hmm, it is a weighted sampling relative to bodily geography, but my goal is to threaten an array of distinct capabilities (human capability being also concentrated around the head.) And ludonarratively it makes sense to me that “when you are out of hit points, your head is pretty vulnerable.”

    Since this method also insulates characters against instant death from damage (requiring a minimum of three damaging events before death is on the table) “brain” is an important possibility to maintain the threat of meaningful incapacitation with each injury roll. And head injuries generally keep the roll scarier.

    I’d swap out “jaw” and “torso” for better ideas (better meaning, “with clearer and more direct impact to capability”)
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