Dungeons & Dragons Online

Megacrafts, hassle-free campaign generators

Wagons, big flying mounts, naval vessels, zeppelins, floating islands, space ships.

Now upscale that up to eleven.


Megacrafts.

It might sound great for the players, but why DM would want that?

Small frigate for party-of-four is an excellent platform that:

  • Serves as means of transportation between objects of interest
  • Provides location for downtime activities
  • Can house plenty of encounters (pirate raid, big tentacles, etc.) by itself in an otherwise uninteresting environment (big patch of water)
  • Doesn't hand over too many raw resources to the party, ensuring that players won't unexpectedly outgrow challenges before them

Enlarging the construct doesn't further any of the first three points and would risk players becoming unstoppable. Or would it?

I will now provide you with some writing advice for your next adventure:

  • Independent, hermetic environment:

Centuries-old landship of a bygone civilization. Mile-long behemoth, painted in yellow like the dunes it crosses. Forged from thick steel that puts current blacksmiths to shame. Beliefs of some people mark it as creation of Gods.

Why is it here? Who built it? Was it abandoned? Or perhaps something happened to its creator(s)? What was its purpose? Is it dangerous? What could possibly lie within?

There you have it. This thing doesn't provide a quick ride to keep facade of the setting together.

It is the setting. It is the adventure. It is the campaign.

For that of course you need to get your priorities in straight. What is the outline of this machine? How many decks are there? Are functions of these machines I wrote last week consistent?

Don't panic. Your answer is down below.

  • Fluid Interior

It felt like a maze. It was a maze. Travel between each functional section was a risky undertaking that required time, resources, and cooperation. Corridors were cluttered with crates of unknown markings and contents. Walkways crumbled, pipelines collapsed, and airducts were festered with creatures that could only be described as crossbreed of goblin and drowned undead.

There is no ship.

Just like with any other setting, depths of eldritch dimension, sunny valleys, town market, or average Bethesda game, there is no living world. It's all an illusion. DM's job is to keep it together.

What really matters are points of interest. The reactor, bridge, crew bunks, cargo bays, entrances, workshops, turrets, you name it. Everything in-between is a small pocket universe where encounters and even entire dungeons can happen. Hell, you might find a dragon down there.

You will write at the edge of your seat. The vessel will evolve as you go. Maybe you won't finish it even as your party rams that hundred thousand ton hull through BBEG fortress. Stir up old and new templates, experiment, and see how your players react.

Tell them to buckle up. There can be no predictable plot if DM doesn't know.

What's within this "Tech Room #14"?

You tell me.

  • Beast to Tame

Newly inserted fuel cell had lit up blue-white and wheel of the generator sped into motion. It screeched and jitter for few moments as if it wanted to lament on how long did it miss its nutrition.

We like building things. We like making things. Humans have a passion to create in the genes.

We cook, we paint, we sculpt, we design, we construct. We make and wander fictional worlds, both interactive and not, as if our own weren't enough.

People play Minecraft. People play Terraria. People play Factorio. Your players surely do too.

DnD isn't exactly an Iron Smelter Empire Simulator, but by letting your players control and transform their surroundings with personal and combined effort you'll make them feel truly home. Provide resources from within (old machinery, cargo stockpiles) or outside (trade with villages, extract the ore from old mine) and watch the job being done for you.

Jessica retreated to the entrance and looked proud at fruits of her labor. Previously cold steel walls had taken on emotion since she painted them pink bright. She always dreamed of bedroom like that. She always dreamed of making her own corner. She could only dream about it in her village. She forged those dreams into reality.

All within ruined workshop that almost evisecrated her with industrial buzzsaw just two weeks ago.


"I see your point. But how am I supposed to design my craft without Party becoming a world superpower in under a week?"

Very easy. Make an ultimate craft. A literal Mary Sue of Machines that in pristine condition would be a game-breaker even for 17th level campaign.

It's time for BMC

  • Breakdown – stuff doesn't work

Ship was in terrible state, well beyond it's prime. Only 3 of 12 boilers were running and reactor cooling had 11% capacity. Every main and secondary gun was gone. With skeleton crew of 280 and optimal of 3600, there were now only 4 unexperienced helmsmen on board.

  • Maintenance – stuff that works will stop working

Emergency valve collapsed and reactor disconnected. Machine momentum died down and came to a stop. Steam pipe had ruptured again. It hasn't been 72 hours.

  • Caps – some things just can't be done

Small arm and autocannon munitions could be theoretically manufactured in the workshop. When it came to main guns, only the 52 ancient shells is all they had.

This is my first "support" post and I'd love to hear some feedback.

Source

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