Saturday, 18 April 2015

More on the CE Series

Cross-posted from Google+, where Mark Gedak from Purple Duck Games was asking for feedback on the CE Series. I was going to link to the request, but to my chagrin I don't seem able to figure out how to find the hyperlink for specific Google+ threads. Hopefully, one or more kind readers can help me out....?

Anyway, related to the CE Series:

Writing these things was driven by a need at my own gaming table. The core rules suggest "Quest for it" as the default answer to any special character abilities, and I wanted to have areas prewritten for my own game that work with that core concept.

CE 1 allows a thief to conduct a legendary burglary, but it also allows a wizard or elf to deal with corruption, and offers a cleric a cult to belong to, or oppose.

CE 2 is largely designed to offer wizards a unique patron that works within the confines of the world, but it also can be used to "harden" a border region by making a mountain pass more difficult, can potentially offer an unusual paramour for one or more PCs, and offers two humanoid groups that the PCs can play off one another.

CE 3 makes passage through a swamp region interesting, despite recurrence, and offers the judge a way to build a story through multiple excursions (even when travel is not the focus of those excursions). 

CE 4 potentially gives warriors a boost, but also includes an oracular device that could bring the PCs back to the vicinity repeatedly. Or could be used against the PCs.

CE 5 has a base adventure, but also offers a quick set of mutations for the DCC game, including some mutated critters. It introduces an organization that the PCs could join, or (more likely) come into conflict with.

CE 6 offers something for the cleric, something for the wizard, and a good piece of backdrop against which many conflicts could be staged. The goal was to create setting conflict that could be ramped up as the PCs continue to change things around them, eventually leading to a high-level epic endgame.

From where I am sitting, there is a reason that DCC Lankhmar is such a big deal. There is a reason why people enjoy the background materials for Purple Planet and Chained Coffin. Even if the background details are not the focus of the adventure at hand, having those details to weave into your adventures is important.

That's what I want the CE Series to do. Yes, each can be used for a discrete evening's game session. You can sack the temple, or fight/parley your way through the mountain pass. You can try to dig up treasure hidden in the swamp or you can fight to prove yourself worthy to Sir Amoral.

But....what if your treasure hoard includes a map to buried treasure? CE 3 has you covered. You can do that. What if your wizard needs to learn a new spell? CE 2 and CE 6 might come into play. What if your players want to learn something esoteric? CE 2 and CE 4 might be your babies. Corruption your elf just can't live with any more? Break out CE 1.

Running Purple Planet? The Pellas Troth and Mahmat Troth are now renegade kith tribes, and the Black Goat dwells in a pass in the Ancestor Peaks. Or, if you need them to be, they are groups of disfigured Shudfolk in the milieu of The Chained Coffin.

Anyway, that is how I intended them to be used - set pieces to work with PC quests, treasure maps, tying unrelated adventures together, and enriching the sense of a living Appendix N world.

(If you know your Appendix N well, you will recognize strong homages in all of the CE series.)

They're not exactly traditional adventures. Every one of them has the potential to be used as a traditional adventure, and you will get your money's worth. But if you use them as they are intended to be used, your PCs will return to the material again and again, seeking ways to take advantage of the persistent elements. You will have persistent elements that can be used again and again to strengthen other adventures, and make them more personal to the players. In this way, you will get many times your money's worth. Or, you will if your table is anything like mine.


  1. I think this is the link, Daniel