Sunday, February 23, 2020

CoastalCon 2020 - Caverns, Crypts & Catacombs Public Debut

While it was a bit off my night schedule meaning I was a little out-of-whack, I stumbled down to CoastalCon 2020 in Beaufort, SC yesterday and managed to run two games of Caverns, Crypts & Catacombs - it's first "public" playtest.

CoastalCon is a new convention in its first year, but the venue was nice, good sized, and a decent flow of people.

I did the usual "set up a game and sit around for an hour or two" thing, and then three awesome dudes volunteered to give it a go.  I didn't take any pictures during the game (I never think to do that...for some reason).  Here are two pics I snapped between the games:







Game One:
At first I thought this might tank the interest as our group stumbled into an empty Tavern...and another empty chamber...and things were going "too well".  Then they ran into a Crone and a room filled with acid and it all went pear shaped from there.  While the party should have died about eight times they managed to squeak through each time, and luckily ended the Quest having survived and defeated Hygthumpus the Goblin King.

Designing a game based on random chambers, encounters, creatures and rewards is occasionally risky at something like a convention, where a player's first encounter may be their only encounter with a game!  I have considered in the past "pre plotting" cards and encounters to guarantee a balanced dungeon - but then I completely ignore that impulse and let chaos reign.  It worked out in this case...even the players picking up that I was suspicious of how easy it was going at first....

As with all playtest I found some stuff to fix, some underwhelming cards, some underwhelming creatures, some "how does this work?" questions that I didn't have an answer to, etc.

The best part was that, while CCC is a relatively complex game, I want players to be able to pick it up quickly (within two or three turns), and these guys were 100% on it within a few turns. 

Game Two:
After I ran across the unpaved parking lot for Firehouse Subs for lunch, I was sitting around waiting for another group to assemble.  I was close to calling it quits and packing up for the drive home, when two of the guys from the first game swung back around the table and decided to give it another shot!

This was awesome as they get to run different characters and they already knew the rules, so the game was far more quick and efficient.  It's awesome to see the game is easy to pick up and run with.  They had a much better go at the second dungeon, acquiring a Man-at-Arms (yes, "Tod"! returns!) and an Elemental (sacrificed...don't ask), etc.  This dungeon draw turned out to be more balanced and a bit easier - with no mega-deadly chambers encountered.

It all worked out well and we blazed through the second game - which is nice, as it highlights the ability for a group to play 2-3 games in an evening or afternoon easily if you feel like having a mini-campaign.

In Game Two we skipped a lot of the repeat encounters or rewards just so the players and I could see more diverse stuff in action.

Overall it was a good con, and I had fun.  Will definitely go again next year, maybe with a finished product!

PS: Stumbled upon a couple of pictures from the Con's facebook page:


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Dinner & Dungeons

Having been sick for nearly two weeks...which has absolutely murdered my hobby progress, I was finally able to have some friends over last night for some chiney foo and some dungeoneering.

Good game, 2/5 of our party survived...and I ended up with a page full of notes for edits/changes, which means it was a great playtest overall.

 The mess after the game...
 The dungeon build - made quickly and sadly I used very few of the my new pieces!
 At the end of the quest, the Elf, Wizard and the Mute Savage prepare to simply run for an exit...
 They make a run for the staircase...but zombies pile out of the darkness to stop them!  (Yes, some skeletons are standing in for additional zombies...)
 In the chamber behind the fleeing heroes, the Barbarian and Thief are murdered when they accidentally free the Giant.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The Mute Savage and the Elf escape.  The Wizard...rolls three '1's and falls flat on her face.  She is quickly devoured by five zombies on the staircase, a mere TWO SPACES from exiting the dungeon...

 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Go go gadget dungeon!

Having sold off a handful of extraneous Dwarven Forge hallways, I turned that money into some more useful Dwarven Forge bits.  This order was all about elevation.  Getting a boring set of elevation blocks, then some ramps and some nice stairs.  Painted them up real quick, happy.

Straight out of the box.  Nothing particularly interesting this time, but...basic stuff before cool stuff!
 
You can still use these random bits to make some cool entrances, or gateways, etc.
 
Painted and finished...really quick, maybe 1.5 hours!  Next time I can order some proper cool stuff!

 
 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Another day, another dungeon...

Had a play test of CCC last night on a nice dungeon we built the night previous.

 A Cockatrice and Crone magic the crap out of our party and we're put in the hurt locker...this may be the room that finished us.
 Our party is sent to investigate an abandoned "haunted" Tavern...we discover a rotating book case that leads us into a deadly dungeon...
 The dungeon, nicely laid out using Dwarven Forge bits.
 The last remaining party member, our Gnome Wizard is fleeing from a Goblin King...who in turn is fleeing from a Giant...so that happened.
 Upon entering the tavern, the stone fireplace erupts into a Stone Golem, welcoming us to the dungeon.
 This supply room is home to some angry Lizardmen.
 Our fleeing Gnome Wizard is finished off by the most deadly CCC denizen...the friggin' Cave Spiders! 
 Our party smashes through some Zombies while exploring.
 We open the door to what we discover is the Quest Room...
 Exploring the dungeon, one room at a time...
 Dungeon layout.
 The Tavern is a two-chamber encounter, with a small store room in the back with a rotating book case that leads us into the caverns.



Thursday, January 23, 2020

Version 2 materials arrived!

Well, after some hefty revisions, the Version 2 playtesting materials have arrived.  This is a complete revamp of the original stuff, though only maybe 25-30% of card faces were altered.

 Action Tables have custom backs for each Discipline now.
 Action Tables didn't need any revisions on the front which is great!
 Revisions and fixes applied to Chambers and Encounters deck.  Every single Encounter card was revised, all the monsters - several more added.  Traps were all re-done.  Chamber cards were likewise edited/redone for text sizing and some rules changes.
 The Discipline Decks each received new back images, and each deck had around 6-7 cards revised/changed/removed.
 Some slightly changed "Door Dice".  While not necessary they're actually rather handy.
 A revised exploration deck.  A few new options added and some graphic changes.
The full second playtest version.

There is still a lot to do.  Many creature and event cards still have temporary images.  Treasure cards need images and revised rules.  I'm sure plenty of the monsters will change a few more times before they "feel" right.  As always small typographical errors will be fixed/etc.  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Say it with me: T. P. K.

Got in another two playtests for CCC.   Our group was killed off at the end of the second quest by a miserable encounter of spiders and orcs.  Still, enjoyable and difficult as desired!

The tragic end of the party...weak and terribly wounded we're jumped by Spiders (our arch nemesis...) and Orcs.
 
 The table after game one...the usual mayhem.

 The end of Quest two, and our staircase is in a room filled with Orcs.  They're pretty tough opponents.

 Preparing for the morning's games!

 The party begins Quest two...with 'Stanley' the Squire in tow.

 Early in Quest one we run into a Specter.  We assumed it'd be an easy fight but he beat the crap out of us.

 Spiders in Quest one...at least we didn't die this time.


The last few moments...

Monday, January 13, 2020

"We left the Elf behind..."

Had a play-test of CCC today.  I produced a quick Dwarven Forge dungeon (also did an inventory, decided on some things I need to sell on, and some things I need to acquire) and ran a simple mission with a buddy of mine.

I forgot to take pictures during the game until the very end...because stupid.

 The dungeon set-up before the game got underway...

 The table...after the game (covered in madness!)
Post-game mayhem...

The end of the quest...
 
The highlights...
  • We chose random heroes and ended up with a Wizard, Dwarf, Warrior and Elf.
  • Only our second room in we ran into a Stone Golem, a group of Spiders and a group of Goblins...and it just went downhill from there.
  • The Elf was slain by Goblins late in the game...
  • When the Elf died and everyone else was wounded we abandoned the idea of trying to finish the quest and bailed...
  • The Dwarf escaped first and the Warrior and Wizard had an Unexpected Encounter with a Wyvern who they avoided by literally one turn (shown in the last picture).
  • We drew really poorly and really tough bad guys but did surprisingly good considering...

 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020. Year is Stronk.

To get things started in 2020, I finished up this Chaos Warrior-esque figure from Reaper.  He'll be playing the role of "The Horned King, Tyrant of Eyr", a legendary encounter in CCC.  My proper camera is down, so this is a phone pic...but it works.


Saturday, December 28, 2019

Radg stomps into 2019.

I received an order of minis recently and decided to knock out this big fella for 2019, number 122.

He'll serve as a generic giant and the Legendary Encounter Radg, the Brute.


And a few random shots I took of some goblins...