Plague Ships - Design Notes and Practice

Plague Ships is both a dungeon design project, an effort at reconciling 5th Edition D&D and the classic dungeon crawl playstyle  - in other words it's a distillation of the goals and ideas of All Dead Generations.
Point Crawl Map for Plague Ships

Plague Ships is an adventure about exploring the cursed wrecks of a lost fleet of high magic warships - stone colossi more akin to the pre-dreadnoughts of the 19th century then the classic warships they're named after.  It's a direct reference to the scuttled German High Sea Fleet scuttled at Scapa Flow in 1919 and the Naval Reserve Fleet in Suisun Bay CA. Set in a post apocalyptic fantasy world, it's aimed a sort of elegiac tone about a world in decline, overshadowed by its past and threatened by the legacies of unthinking power. The players will ideally end up telling the stories of scoundrels and freebooters in a world where the future promises to be worse then the present and goodness comes from private acts of mercy, humanity and reason rather then epic narratives of salvation and power.

Plague Ships is also a series of meditations on the process of dungeon design for public use (publication rather then home play) - the best nuggets of practice and knowledge I've been able to save from a childhood playing Dungeons & Dragons in dusty back lots, 1980's summer time basements and the wreck of the "Old School Renaissance".  It's a personal and idiosyncratic process, aimed at helping my own design process and sharing it with others.  If it doesn't suit you, that's not a concern for me - hopefully you'll enjoy my thinking out loud all the same.


1. Introduction & Hooks

2. Rumors

3. Regional Map & Scope

4. Wilderness Random Encounters at Sea

5. Sea Encounter Statistics & 5E v. B/X Monster Design I

6. Point Crawl Map & Basic Travel

7. Travel & Random Encounters Ashore

8. Green Morass Encounter Statistics & Random Encounter Procedure

9. Wrecks Among the Mangroves & Dungeon Types





No comments:

Post a Comment

Old Games

Let’s talk about old tabletop roleplaying games - specifically the kind of games played in the 1980’s and recently depicted in the nostalgia...