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Subject: Campaign Ideas rss

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Zen Darkstar

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Unlike other beer-and-pretzel boardgames (e.g. HeroQuest) or table-top role-playing games (e.g. D&D), the adventures seen it Dragon Strike are episodic, and the rules are not setup for campaigns. This post is to explore ideas on playing Dragon Strike as a series of adventures tied by an overall story arc.

When designing an Adventure Book, there are two ways to approach this:

* A linear chain of scenarios that leads to a climactic ending.
* A choose-your-own-adventure styled game that can branch-off in different directions, and can have multiple endings.

The linear rout is simple enough. This it the default mode of play in HeroQuest. The choose-your-own-adventure styled game is a little more complicated. It is basically structured like a flow-chart, where each "box" is an adventure, and finding items or triggering events can ether move the Heroes in particular direction or open up new paths of adventure. For example, talking with the Gypsy in an adventure set in the City could lead to a side-quest in the Caves to find treasure. Special notes should be taken by the Dragon Master to maintain a degree of continuity, especially if the heroes repeat a scenario or location. An adventure set could be set around the City, where the players have the option of to visit the City in between adventures to find more clues, and acquire more items (see below). (if the heroes evoke the Dragon by stealing, or attacking/assaulting allies, townsfolk or non-hostile monsters within the City would also get the heroes banish)

When playing such a game - linear or otherwise - players are going to play the same hero game-after-game, until the hero dies. If a hero dies, the player can choose a new hero, and can (randomly) draw treasure cards equal to the number of treasure owned by the dead hero, minus one for every dead hero by that player. The new hero appears by the beginning of the next adventure. Heroes start off with little or no treasure cards, and must acquire them in the course of play. Items acquired by a hero are recorded on a sheet of paper (the treasure cards are just used for reference and random draws), and can be used throughout the campaign, until lost, stolen or are given away. The heroes heal up between adventurers, unless the heroes jump to the next adventure. That is, the heroes might be trying to sneak into the Caste by making their way across the Valley to enter the cave entrance, which leads to the Cavern, which then leads to a back entrance in the Caste. In that case, the heroes have not had the time to heal, as they are just going from one map to the other. On the other hand, if the heroes get captured, then they could start out in the Caste dungeon without any of their stuff (they will have to find it in another room), and are unhealed (or less, if the scenario noted that they were tortured).

There are no money in Dragon Strike, so heroes cant buy anything. Using "Loot Tokens" could help heroes acquire new items, bribe monsters, gain the help or services of monsters or background characters, or to barter or gamble with other heroes or background characters. A Loot Token represents an item of value, like a big shinny gemstone, a piece of jewelery, a jeweled-encrusted dagger, a priceless artifact, a stack of fur pelts, a rear bottle of elven wine, or even a simple sack of assorted coins - it could anything! Weight, exact value or details of these tokens are not important, as this is an abstract form of treasure used to facilitate barter. Loot Tokens might be marked by a generic coin or dollar-sign, or it might show different images of valuables (as noted above). Treasure cards maybe used in place of Loot Token, but common equipment (rope, pack, food, etc.) are not as valuable (they are so cheap, they can be replenish between adventures). Naturally, some treasure cards are worth more then others (e.g. the Gauntlets of Ogre Power, with its ability to do 2 points of damage with any weapon, would be more valuable then the Ring of Spell Turning, with it's one-off effect), but these values are left up to the players and Dragon Master. A merchant might allow a hero to buy a random treasure card for a Loot Token, or might have a selection of upturned treasure cards of differing values. (stealing treasure evokes the Dragon, so don't be greedy!) Loot tokens can be found in treasure chests and on monsters (generally, the pocket change found on Orcs and Bugbears would amount to nothing, but a powerful monster might be carrying something valuable). They should be given out sparingly, as too many tokens could make the game too easy.
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J Mathews
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Some good ideas here. I got Dragon Strike over the summer and it is really my only introduction into this gameplay genre and roleplaying world. Outside of the game I only have a vague idea of the other games of the genre and they work. At the moment I am doing something simular here with your idea, except it is sort of an epic adventure verses a campaign as you've called it. I'm trying to write up an adventure that includes all 4 maps where the heroes have to travel all the way from caverens to the castle to complete the adventure. My story idea revolves more around an evil necromancer and vampire/zombie epidemic. Because Terapus is more of an evil wizard than a necromancer and the death knights are really the only undead creatures I've had to make up new creatures that are more death centeric in origin, and a necromancer character with necromancer based spells. I used the pre-existing creatures and cards to come up with what would the death version of this type and level of the creature and made new cards on index cards. And to represent them I just made cardboard chits with their name and class level on them (though I'll prob use Terapus to represent the necromancer).
The idea for the adventure came from one of the adventures in the adventure book where it says some princess has been kidnapped and is being held prisoner in the caverens. My idea was what if she had been bitten by a vampire so when the heroes finally find her and try to escape with her, half way through the caverens she actually turns into the undead and turns on them to attack.I'm currious to find out how the heroes playing the game will react when they find this out.
But I like your idea and maybe might try to think of how to make a future campaign from dragon strike. It is a basic game but sometimes its good be simplistic and also there are a lot of possibilities out there for creative thinkers i.e. campaigns and night of the living dead adventures.
And Idea I had for how to buy treasures is catagorize the treasures into different classes. Perhaps the best idea here would be level 1 treasures and level 2 treasures. If one would like to buy a level 1 treasure they just simply barter with one a level one treasure they already have. If one would wish to buy a level two treasure they must trade in 2 level one treasures that they have. Or one could trade in 1 level two for 2 level one treasures. Though I like the loot tokens idea. Another thing I made for my adventures are health points and spell points. When one opens a treasure chest they can either find a treasure, health poin, or spell point inside. Health points can be used at any time and are like health postions. They heal one HP and take an action to use, Spell points can be taken into the town spent at the magic guild in the town. 1 magic point buys a level one spell or 3 magic points could buy 1 level three spell or 3 level one spells, or 1 level two and 1 level one spell. One can also in town sell spell points and health points for the other (sell a health point to receive one magic point) or for a level one treasure (depending on the DM, one might want the heroes to spend 2 health/magic points for 1 level one treasure). Also, treasure can be traded in for health/magic points.
Just some alternative ideas but I like the loot items as well. Will have to play around with the idea.
Thanks for the ideas!
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Zen Darkstar

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lanceleader wrote:
Some good ideas here. I got Dragon Strike over the summer and it is really my only introduction into this gameplay genre and roleplaying world. Outside of the game I only have a vague idea of the other games of the genre and they work. At the moment I am doing something simular here with your idea, except it is sort of an epic adventure verses a campaign as you've called it. I'm trying to write up an adventure that includes all 4 maps where the heroes have to travel all the way from caverens to the castle to complete the adventure. My story idea revolves more around an evil necromancer and vampire/zombie epidemic. Because Terapus is more of an evil wizard than a necromancer and the death knights are really the only undead creatures I've had to make up new creatures that are more death centeric in origin, and a necromancer character with necromancer based spells. I used the pre-existing creatures and cards to come up with what would the death version of this type and level of the creature and made new cards on index cards. And to represent them I just made cardboard chits with their name and class level on them (though I'll prob use Terapus to represent the necromancer).

The idea for the adventure came from one of the adventures in the adventure book where it says some princess has been kidnapped and is being held prisoner in the caverens. My idea was what if she had been bitten by a vampire so when the heroes finally find her and try to escape with her, half way through the caverens she actually turns into the undead and turns on them to attack.I'm currious to find out how the heroes playing the game will react when they find this out.

But I like your idea and maybe might try to think of how to make a future campaign from dragon strike. It is a basic game but sometimes its good be simplistic and also there are a lot of possibilities out there for creative thinkers i.e. campaigns and night of the living dead adventures.


Thanks, and welcome to the hobby!

Yes, Dragon Strike was made to be an introduction to fantasy role-playing gaming (namely Dungeons & Dragons, which was made by the same people), but the core rules are simple and open-ended enough to be an enjoyable PRG on its own right. "Campaign" is an old wargaming term used by D&D used to note a series of adventures or a fictional world (called "campaign settings") - the D&D rules started off as a wargame called Chainmail, and there are a lot of holdover rules and terms. Much of what Dragon Strike is (with the heavy-use of miniatures and structured scenarios) a "beer & pretzel" game. The rules for preforming Feats of Strength and Dexterity and the ability to talk with monsters are at the heart of role-playing games. For a good idea to play RPGs in a free-form way, I recommend reading A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming (A lot of younger players got into the hobby with the newer editions of D&D that are overly-structured and have players roll-out events instead of role-play it out, while the older editions were more loose with on-the-spot judgment calls). Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the role-playing world.

Your scenario sounds good. You have came-up with some great ideas, came up with some clever uses with the game-set and added a twist-ending to it. You already sound like a natural gamer.

lanceleader wrote:
And Idea I had for how to buy treasures is catagorize the treasures into different classes. Perhaps the best idea here would be level 1 treasures and level 2 treasures. If one would like to buy a level 1 treasure they just simply barter with one a level one treasure they already have. If one would wish to buy a level two treasure they must trade in 2 level one treasures that they have. Or one could trade in 1 level two for 2 level one treasures. Though I like the loot tokens idea. Another thing I made for my adventures are health points and spell points. When one opens a treasure chest they can either find a treasure, health poin, or spell point inside. Health points can be used at any time and are like health postions. They heal one HP and take an action to use, Spell points can be taken into the town spent at the magic guild in the town. 1 magic point buys a level one spell or 3 magic points could buy 1 level three spell or 3 level one spells, or 1 level two and 1 level one spell. One can also in town sell spell points and health points for the other (sell a health point to receive one magic point) or for a level one treasure (depending on the DM, one might want the heroes to spend 2 health/magic points for 1 level one treasure). Also, treasure can be traded in for health/magic points.
Just some alternative ideas but I like the loot items as well. Will have to play around with the idea.


You have some good house rules there. It looks doable. Making house rules is one of the fun parts of RPGs besides playing it.

I have to note that the rules I laid out are untested - they are ideas based on my experience as a role-player, and is a primer for other players, like yourself. I also have other rules listed here if any of it is at all useful.

lanceleader wrote:
Thanks for the ideas!


Cool, I'm glade I can help.
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