April 22, 2012

Origins 2012 Playtest

This is what goes through every GM's mind
Today is the first of three sessions where my HackMaster group will be playtesting the Origins adventure.

Today is also the day I have to take all my notes and convert them to a more usable format.  In the past I have done a rough draft of the final adventure in word and used that to take notes and do a re-write. Since this a HackMaster Association event that isn't an ├╝ber-competitive function, I don't think I have to go through the hard work of writing a massive tome that endeavors to make the whole game standardized across all tables.  Instead I'm going to attempt a more organic approach that gives the GameMasters a lot more leeway to play like it was more of a home game.

HackMaster Association Shield
The adventure is envisioned as being suitable for levels 6-10 and assuming a table size of 6 players. That is a larger level range that is normally accomplished, but if you factor in that the new edition of HackMaster somewhat works as if the normal level/power range compared to the previous edition is doubled, then a 5 level tournament range in this edition is much more like a 2.5 level spread in 4th Edition HackMaster.

What I'm doing is creating the encounters scale-able up and down depending on the total levels in the group.  The base encounter will be set as appropriate for a total of 44 to 52 total levels, downgraded for 36 to 44 total levels, and upgraded for 52 to 60 total levels.  I could break this down to average party level, but the math is easier to simply add up the total levels at the table at the start of the adventure.

In order to give the GMs leeway at the table, there will be a simple one page overview of the adventure, six encounter cards, and enough color-coded monster cards to account for any up/down grades.  I am also planning on providing pre-printed maps for table use.  Jolly Blackburn has come up with an awesome aid that I think will let me accomplish this with a minimum of fuss.  I'll put a picture below, but if you want to try them out for yourself you'll have to join the HackMaster Association and download them from the Kenzerco forums.

HackMaster game aid by Jolly Blackburn