Adventure Hour! – Winning and Retirement

“Hey look, I’m Picasso!… You uncultured swine!”

The name “Dragonslayer Adventures” has been dropped in favor of “Adventure Hour!

Rules here!

Thinking more about running games for kids online as my Outschool classes are about to start up again with the school year (sign up here, folks!).

First, a word from the wise:

Characters grow in strength the longer they survive, but Maze Rats presumes a world full of peril, so only the cleverest of players will see their PC live long enough to retire from the adventuring life and enjoy their ill-gotten gains.

Ben Milton, “Maze Rats”

This is a good quote about the goals of Dragonslayer Adventures. Like many fantasy games, like Old School Essentials, Into the Odd, and Maze Rats, this game promotes the accumulation of treasures from dangerous places. But how?

While you think about that, there’s something else on my mind: changing characters. Since characters in Dragonslayer Adventures don’t die like Maze Rats suggests, some players want to change characters. One gets lopped off and lost to the void, never to been seen again. Making things more cohesive and the world feel lived-in is a side-goal that would enhance the experience…

In the context of this game being run in an online classroom, I think I have a solution.

Proposition

When a PC retires, count up the number of valuable items in their inventory to answer the questions “How legendary was their adventuring career?” and “How great is their retirement?”

# of valuable itemsLetter grade
10A+
9A
8A-
7B+
6B
5B-
4C+
3C
2C-
1D
0F

Give them a name, enter them into the Hall of Fame, and then send them off into the larger world. Make a new PC on the next adventure.

Comments

So what counts as a valuable item? Generally not any of the starting ones. Coins certainly count, treasures of various shapes and sizes count. Imbued or magical weapons and armor are good. It’s pretty intuitive.

“How legendary was their career?” This brings in an interesting element of challenge. Who tells stories of their adventures? Ben Milton and I discussed this when talking about him running games for kids. They felt a sense of pride when reaching a high level. A letter grade going up is just as good as, if not better than, a number doing the same thing. Got this idea from John Harper’s World of Dungeons: Turbo Breakers (look under “Loot”) and Blades in the Dark’s stash and retirement rules. I guess Sid Meier’s Pirates also falls in this category. Even Sonic I suppose where you get a little letter grade with the completion of a level.

“How great is their retirement?” This is something to have fun with. Where do they go? What’s the scenery like? Do the keep in touch with PCs and NPCs? Lots of potential here, once again tying back to their adventures and success in said adventures. Retirement based on class? Incorporate some Strongholds and Followers? Domain play? Who knows.

“Give them a name.” I can hear the confusion. See, I refer to the PCs not as their names, but as “[player’s name] character.” “Zeke’s character smacks the goblin in the face. Xander, what does your character do?” Giving them a name is the equivalent of entering a name in the arcade machine after a game. Solidifies the experience. Another neat part is that this hammers home the sense that the character lived before because of their background, then they’re under your control for a time, then they take on a life of their own.

Speaking of arcades, “enter them into the Hall of Fame”. This is ephemeral, but so appealing. Etched into the Book of Life, put down in the history books, welcomed among the others. Promotes the legacy of play. Maybe even give them a title based on their experiences.

And if you think PCs stay there, never to be seen again as NPCs, you’re sorely mistaken. 🙂

“Send them off into the larger world.” Narrated by the player. How do they go out? What do they say? Up to them.

“Make a new PC on the next adventure.” The road goes ever on and on!

if you are reading this an apocalypse is coming run now!!! if youbgfjwgvddfghjk

Zuzu, GM extraordinaire.

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