Help me design DM improv tools?

I’m still working on prequelling « Scepter Tower of Spellgard » and I’m figuring out that I’ll have to mostly improvise through the scenario.

My objective is mainly to help my players develop their characters story-wise and find a motivation to go to the Oracle.

I used to be good at improvising as a DM, but I haven’t done so in a while and have been thinking about methods to help me there.

An idea started to form when we were playing Munchkin Quest.

I liked how the dungeon was built randomly, how events and monsters where arriving randomly… My mind wondered a bit about how this could be applied to an improvised DnD game.

Dungeon building can be handled easily with DnD tiles – or just plain stealing already crafted dungeons. Internet seems full of perfectly good dungeons to steal from.

What I figure would be interesting is to have a pile of « event cards » the DM can draft from randomly when the pace slows down to spice up things.

I figure such events should not necessarily enormous, but be potentially engaging enough that the players might want to explore them.

Provided we take for granted that these events can happen in a dungeon. Perhaps these cards might clues of what to put in a room?

Here are a few idea templates I had:

  • Characters. NPCs that come and meet the party. They might be friend or foe. The description could give a few role playing tips (a quirk, a distinctive physical feature). They might have a little story – potentially driving towards a small quest. Or maybe just people to interact with.
  • Items. They can be found or just mentioned. Perhaps they are required for something to happen in this room?
  • Traps. Pretty much self explanatory. A trap might require an item from another room (hopefully both described in the same card).

I feel the idea has some merit and might help on those times when the DM didn’t have enough time to prep something up… or just needs some spice to add to a dungeon.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – and I’d love even more to hear your suggestions on what random tidbits you’d like to put in a dungeon…



Les commentaires de 3 sur “Help me design DM improv tools?

  1. Well there is always the Book of NPCs:

    I find this really helpful for adding henchmen or cohorts to the game. I would say it would allow for quick replacement PCs but my game is solo so it doesn’t matter much 🙂

    I really prefer the « enemies as monsters » concept that 4E provides so the list, for me at least, would not be foes.

    As for that, I am currently compiling a collection of monster stat blocks from all the various PDFs out there. From adventures to Dungeon & Dragon to copies of the source books, you can build yourself quite a stash of instant (tailored) monsters.

    As I am playing a role-playing centric solo game, after each session I always draft a « things of 5 » page for the game. For each spontaneous NPC / Place / Event they run into I create 5 story elements, that the character may or may not get wrapped in (now but who knows about later). After a few sessions these lists become massive and with a bit of re-reading you can start tying threads together into plot elements for further games. Almost everything I create in these lists can be dropped quickly into the story so they take no more than a few lines each.

    Yes, I am more about the fluff than they crunch 🙂

    HermitDave´s last blog post..dis-snows-able?

  2. @HermitDave :

    That’s a pretty cool list!  Thanks for sharing!

    I’d love to find one like that, but more geared towards role playing.  You know… a little background info, a distinguising trait & a catch phrase.

  3. There is an old one out there for just that, a net book of NPCs for any system so it focuses more on traits and such. It may be a bit dated, as in referring to classes from prev versions, but it still may be useful. i will check my old blog posts and see if i can find it.

    HermitDave´s last blog disposable puns please

Les commentaires sont fermés