I’ve been running my players through a long treasure hunt, which has lead them through 4 or 5 different dungeons. I’ve designed them all myself, really pushing myself to design dungeons properly. However, we are approaching the final dungeon, in which the Pirate’s real and final treasure is hidden, and I wanted to make this a multi-session dungeon delve, really challenging the characters. The players I have these days are very new to d&d, and so they really don’t know what to expect. Being new myself, I’ve found it very challenging to design dungeons that actually challenge the players and aren’t just simple encounters that will be overcome so easily.

But anyway, in browsing Dyson Logos’ amazing blog, I’ve come across his 4-level dungeon, Erdea Manor. I’m reading through it right now, and I’m thinking that I will use it for the last treasure dungeon. I’m going to use the first two levels as he has them stocked, but for a couple reasons, I am going to take liberties with the other levels. The reasons being that there are particular encounters that I would like to happen (such as Lizardmen and Derro, and an epic Dragon-Battle to top it off).

I am going to spend the next few evenings of my spare time stocking the lower depths, using the Labyrinth Lord stocking method, while filling in those encounters I want. I am going to try to compile this all into a .pdf once I am done, and I will upload a link. I’m hoping this will all prove to be useful learning experience for me.

The first Mystik Hertz compilation is on its way, I just have to figure out the exact format. Stay posted (if anyone is out there reading this).

RE: Effectively Using Music at the Gaming Table, by Dyson Logos

In setting up this new blog of mine, I came across this new post by Dyson Logos: http://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/effectively-using-music-at-the-gaming-table-2/

It’s an insightful treatise on the use of music in gaming sessions, but most importantly for me, it is uncannily related to one of the main reasons for starting my blog, the sharing of dungeon adventure soundtrack mixes.

I’ve always made an effort to use music in my gaming sessions, and it has usually gone well (although it can sometimes be a little overwhelming as a DM).I always use a laptop. I DM with a laptop because I make my adventure notes in a text editor. I combo with these notes and other random papers on the little tables I set up (such as character sheets and maps). Using music has thus been fairly easy, and something that I have done from the very beginning of DMing.

I agree with Dyson in that music with lyrics should be avoided. I use a lot of songs from soundtracks, such as anything composed by Ennio Morricone or Eduard Artemiev. A lot of the music I use is more atmospheric, to set a mood essentially, but during battles I like to take a moment to queue up something a little more upbeat, like some good instrumental psychedelic rock (see this). I personally don’t mind taking the time to do this, because I feel that it adds so much more excitement to the battle. Otherwise I usually let iTunes play randomly in my large “adventure” playlist (although if a silly song, or one that just doesn’t fit comes on I will switch it.)

Anyway, this post is long enough, so I will end it here. I will be posting the first Mystik Hertz dungeon adventure soundtrack within the next week (hopefully).