Here’s a flowchart I made for making the simmering religious conflict that Gary talks about in T1: The Village of Hommlet come alive. And, by “alive,” I mean “escalate until one side is dead.”
You can think of this like an encounter that happens every time the players return from adventure; or you can think of it like a Front from Apocalypse World.
The point of using this procedure is to make the game world more compelling. It is independent of the players. They can choose to ignore the conflict as they wish; you, as the DM, will ensure they witness what’s going on by having these events occur in their presence.
If the players intervene, you may have to modify the events. Many or most might not happen, or different NPCs may need to be involved (say, if the players kill Jaroo, Calmert, or Terjon).
Similarly, you could use this for any generic religious conflict, not just for the one Uncle Gary gave us. Something happens, and one side esca-retaliates, and then the otherside does the same until there’s nothing like to retaliate on. That is, unless the players intervene and change the course of fictional history-in-the-making.
Here are a couple more annotations Daniel made for running T1: The Village of Hommlet.
Moathouse exterior, with Gygax’s flavor text
The Church of St Cuthbert, with routines and proverbs
Per the request of Erin in the comments, here are some examples of the kind of the marginal minimaps and annotations I was making in my prep to run Deep Carbon Observatory.
Also, you should use Claytonian’s version of the dungeon map, which I unfortunately didn’t have access to at the time: http://killitwithfirerpg.blogspot.jp/2017/07/deep-carbon-observatory-map-fan-map.html.
As promised so long ago, here are the annotated maps Daniel used to run T1.
The yellow cones on the moathouse map indicate the areas in which the party may be detected by lookouts inside the moathouse.
I converted AC to ascending, but the other stats are pretty much by the book.
Click the images for links to pdfs of the same.
Deep Carbon Observatory is a great module, but it’s missing an important component. The content is fresh and interesting and not the same “there’s a cult and you have to stop it” thing you always see in WotC’s stuff. It’s got it’s own thing going. It treats you like an adult.
20170711 Update: added pictures of minimaps and annotations. Linked to Claytonian’s version of the dungeon map.
The UX needs work. (But, really, that’s unremarkable. Most modules suffer from the same flaw and require the same work to deal with.)
I’m going to talk about how I prepped for running DCO, but this should be applicable to running pretty much any other module that’s not engineered to be run on the first read. Continue reading