In this episode, we explore the search for strongholds and dynamic encounters in tabletop RPGs. We examine various approaches to building strongholds, finding entrances to dungeons, appraising items, and engaging in wilderness exploration.
Players uninterested in combat?
Switching up the classic attributes?
How do you tell your players they've found a magic item?
Appraising found treasures
Non-Stronghold Money Sinks
Story time: how encumbrance and cash converged to create a faction
Ten campaign sessions, by the numbers
How do you handle hex discoveries?
On Flying PCs
I can appreciate the GM's perspective when they go look in the monster manual and let's say you're goblins. If you're a low level, like, oh, I got some goblins, and you look at their equipment list and, oh, they don't have short bows, they only have spears or something else, they're not equipped to deal with the 200 foot away flying creature. And I get that, and I get that from me looking at OSR perspective when I'm looking at a sheep or a goblin, and I just say, okay, well, some of them are going to have short bows and it's very easy to switch out. It's a little bit more complicated in the fifth edition setup.
There's a certain kind of heightened reality, and I think you can think about this when you're reading books or you're watching movies or you're watching TV shows. What you're getting in these shows, even the ones that purport to be gritty or down to earth, are not exactly that. If you are someone who's in the field that the show is covering, you'll almost, I guarantee you will probably 99% of the time, find the seams, find the things that they're skipping over or not doing or not talking about. But for the person who's not aware what the idea is, is that you're giving people a close enough approximation that their mind will fill in...
And I think the same way about game playing. We're using that suspension of disbelief so we don't have to describe every little facet of a room because we're depending on the players, all our minds, to kind of picture you picture a cave, and you talk about some stalagmites and stalactites. We don't need to give exact measurements. We don't need to do all this stuff. We can give paint a general picture at the party. Everyone fills in.
On Converting Loot to XP
They don't get XP until they essentially go to town to settle up. And part of that settling up process, for me, is you're going to take it somewhere to someone who is going to either just appraise it or appraise it and buy it, which is where you're going to get that XP to gold... You're taking the items turning into gold or whatever and get the XP out... This is something they're not doing in the campsite, they're not doing in the dungeon.
On Alternatives to Strongholds
If you don't want to do Strongholds, you can always have your taxes and paying for favors. I think one thing that gets overlooked a lot, I think, is the party having to climb the social ladder paying with some coin. You want to get an audience with the Lord, you can't just walk up to the door and say, 'hear ye, hear ye! We'd like an audience with the Lord!' It doesn't fly. Well, what can I do? Well, maybe you can start to spread some coin around the town... rent someone else's mansion or, if they have a sizable home somewhere, then maybe you may have some gatherings or parties or celebrations...
How do you engage yourself with high society? You have to spend a lot of money and it's not just on the stuff you're spending on them. You also have to spend it on yourself. I'm a big fan of sort of lifestyle expenditures. If you want someone to take you seriously as a power player, you can't be spending the minimum amount to clothe yourself and eat. If you you're hanging out in the Dregs, people are going to assume you're the Dregs. And if you're hanging out in the Dregs with a lot of money, they're going to assume you're a criminal.
On Handling Hex Discoveries
Conceptually... you go from landmark, the obvious thing, you're still searching around... then the secrets lead to the hidden thing and each secret will get you closer.
Note: This is an unedited AI-powered transcription so it will be full of errors and misunderstandings. I may come back to clean it up, or not, but here it is, warts and all.
Oh, well, happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody. It's Friday, and it figures that I would run up into something weird right before stream time. I don't I don't know exactly. Let me switch. Let me get my screen set up here. All right. Somebody decided to piggyback on a tweet that I've been sending out, essentially on repeat, I think it may be once a month I have this tweet that I just set. I don't think I have Twitter set up on this machine.
Otherwise I would just long keyboard. Hey, Ian, is it going to log me into Twitter? Does it remember me? I don't think that's how I have it set up. Let me just see. Actually, I bet you if I just search for myself, it'll come up. Is there a search bar? Is there no search bar? What are you doing? Wow, Twitter. All right, I guess I won't pick it up. You can go look it up. I don't know why someone decided to do this.
Someone that I follow, I have no interactions with them, certainly no negative ones, but I don't know what happened. I don't know. You can go check it out. But I checked my phone and I saw some notifications. All of a sudden, I got to read it. It's just kind of blown my mind a little bit in terms of just like, what the heck? Just for the little bit of context. The tweet that I've been sending out once a month is looking for people of color and female creators and other creators to talk to because I think that they tend to be underrepresented in the stuff that I see put in front of me. And I'm always looking for new stuff and different voices.
And so I thought, hey, let me put out a call for folks who have different voices to come out and come and talk and maybe get a wider audience, necessarily, but just to see what's going on. Because sometimes you end up in our own little bubbles. And those are not bubbles that I necessarily tend to find myself in. So I thought, you know what? Let me reach out, I guess would be the sad thing is I haven't really gotten any takers on it. I got a couple of times a couple of people reached out and said, maybe I should reach out to this person, that person, but really nobody coming forward. And I've thought about this often on what the reasons for that are. I don't know. So I sent it out.
Every couple of weeks it goes out, and no one's had a problem with it until apparently today, where somebody decided to insert a whole bunch of other stuff in there. Not really directly accusing me of anything, but sort of insinuating that I'm, in a sense, up to no good or that I'm I don't know. Agendas. I don't I don't even know. I don't even know. I tend to think someone had a really bad experience, maybe today or the other recently, because we're mutuals on Twitter, and this is not the first time I've put this out there. I've been putting this out there for a while now and decided to take umbrage with it and just kind of caught me by surprise because I don't know either why, that they're trying to emboil me in some kind of drama they have or somehow fault me or pick out people like me for the drama. I don't know.
I don't know what that's about. I guess I'll leave it there. You can go search out Twitter and see that price says no good deed goes unpunched. Apparently not. And this one's just, like, retroactive because it's not even like the first time I posted. It just weird. Sorry, but it just kind of got me a little bit flustered because I'm just thinking, Why? And it's one of those things, too, that I guess it really says more. I don't know if they took it down.
All right, let me pull it up. I'll just go through it. Let me see. Like I said, I don't have Twitter up on the desktop. Let's see at Hexed Pressman because it just happened. No, I don't want any of that. Gosh, I haven't even let's see. This is all this stuff.
Oh, my gosh. I could see myself seeing myself here. No, that's not it. Wait a minute. Or maybe I should look for mentions. You're really going to do this to me, are you? Not? Twitter. I'm going to go to Google. Maybe the Google Machines can do it.
Hexed Press. Yeah, that's me. I don't know how to search Twitter outside of Twitter. I'll read you what they said. I'm not going to source it because why do that? And of course, folks, it's probably getting me the wrong sorts of okay, so here we go. So they retweeted my tweet, or they quoted it, and they said the most famous female Vipoc creator in the OSR space once got hold of a beta read of something I was working on that I didn't give her permission to read. Gave me unsolicited feedback on it. Told me that if I didn't implement all of her changes, she'd hold on a minute.
I guess I have to read down. She'd do a day one negative review of my work if I dared to charge money for it. And then when I told her no, she got several hundred people to block me based on vague allegations that I was, quote, unquote toxic, quote unquote abusive, and quote, unquote difficult to work with. I can't even name her here because Hex Pressman, aka me, would just take the info and use it to go and give her a platform because he's decided that someone's demographic information is more important than their talent as an artist or their actions towards others. The bigger point here is that treating people differently based on inborn characteristics is not only going to blind you towards good people, but easily exploited by bad people. After all, nothing that unnamed could do could not give her that opportunity. For me, I feel like there's all kinds of things wrong with this one. One person doing a bad thing.
I don't know how that equates to a whole bunch of people. So just to give again, to complete the contextual loop, here my tweet that he has quoted was I'm looking for some female and or BIPOC OSR TTRPG creators to interview. If this sounds like you're interested, hit me up, please signal boost or send me names if you know folks that I should reach out to. Thanks. I don't think that implies that I am somehow uncritical in what I'm looking at or that because someone is whatever characteristics I'm suddenly just going to champion whatever they're saying against whatever else. Common sense out the window, whatever that means. I simply am looking at a group of folks that I feel like I don't see as much from, but I know they're out there. So I say, hey, come talk to me.
I don't even think it even says anything, like I'm trying to do anything. It's just, hey, you want to talk to me? If you want to talk to me, reach out. And like I said, the sad thing is I don't get any takers on it. So not only is nobody taking me up, certainly whoever this person is, isn't. And this person then making these assumptions. That because I'm looking for folks of a certain thing. That one. And the thing is, we're mutuals, right? How much stuff do I cover? Like, you guys are here with me.
I am reading materials. Granted, I do other kinds of streams, but a couple of times a week for I don't know how long, how many videos I have, how many has anyone known me to go and say, no, I'm not going to read this because of this person or something? No, I'm just looking for in addition to all the other stuff that I do to find some other people. And this person just decided to hey, happy Cinco de Mayo to you. Mr. Guy just decided to kind of hammer me for it with a whole bunch of assumptions and just talking all kinds of stuff. And listen, I'm sorry that this thing happened to you with this particular creator, but guess what? We're all individuals and defining somebody by where they're from, saying that somehow because this person fits these different characteristics, therefore that my intentions are somehow not good or all this other stuff is just wrong, it's unfair to me. And then of course, you start to get these replies in there like, yeah, bigotry. It's like I'm not being a bigot, okay? And if you think I am being a bigot, then and hey, anyone in the chat here, listen, if you feel that I'm doing something, if you look at this tweet exchange.
I'm not even replying to it. If you look at that and you're on board with that guy and yeah, and I'm a bigot, then just unfollow me and quit the channel. I appreciate you coming, but come on. Come on now. And sorry, I didn't mean to start with drama, but it just came to my doorstep unbidden, unasped for. I was just wanting to get on with my day, and somebody decided to poop in my punch bowl for I feel like, I mean, granted, they had a bad experience, and I'm sorry about that, but that has nothing to do with me. It has nothing to do with what I asked for. And like I said, frankly, no one's even reaching out to me.
I might as well be farting into the wind with that tweet for all the people it's gotten me to interview. And then this, I think, doesn't help, because if folks were looking at this and today was the day, they think, hey, yeah, maybe I'll reach out to this guy and then they see these other folks piling in, it's probably going to make them head back to like, no, not going to do it. So, hey, be kind, be kind, be kind and let's rewind. Hopefully I can get back some positive energy after having to just sit with that. And part of me wants to just get in there, but I'm not going to. I'm trying to be better about that. And I think on something like Twitter, no good is going to come of it. Person who sent out that tweet.
If you happen to be watching this at some point I don't think you would, but if you happen to be and you want to talk to me about it in a more adult, nuanced kind of way, instead of just throwing me under some kind of bus on Twitter because you had a raw deal, I'm happy to discuss it. But that's all I got to say on that one. Brian Smith saying it's toxic garbage. I agree. Frederick says that there are people that create confrontation for attention on Reddit. Yeah, this wasn't Reddit's Twitter, but of course, same rules apply. Ian's reading the thread now. Yeah.
Thankfully, it's not super long or anything, but you're starting to get the folks that are, I guess, probably not even getting the context of what I was saying is jumping on board. Like, yeah, you tell them, boy. Right? And as Brian Smith points out, one person's bad experience with another person means that all people are bad and anybody who likes them are bad. Yeah. And I'm not even saying I like them. I was like, hey, just talk to me. Right? It's not even me saying something. That's the thing.
I don't feel like I was saying anything controversial or weird other than me saying, hey, I'd like to talk to people, but of a certain yes, I am saying I'd like to talk to some people of a certain type. But I think if you look at me and my channel and all the things that I've covered, I don't think you could say that there's some pattern in what I'm looking at or somehow I'm not that I'm missing out on good people. No. If anybody has anything interesting, I'm always like, let's look at it, let's read it. I mean, look, this is what I do on these threads. Every Friday I come in here and say, let's just find out what's happening in reddit other communities and just read it. And I don't go try to figure out suss out who they are, what their histories are, their cultures, or anything else. Let's just go read it.
But as Frederick said, some folks want to take offense and look, if they want to vent about their bad experience, that's fine, but you don't have to drag me and drag a whole bunch of other people into the mess to do that. All right, enough of that. I say enough of that. Let's see. All right, someone wants to put a very quick role tutorial. That's neat advice. ADHD. I don't think I have anything for ADHD and TTRPGs other than my own ADHD, which I don't know if it's affected me one way or another in terms of role playing games.
I may have made a bad decision. My player play an Aricocra wizard. This is true. One of the things I think that I don't say the problem because I know this thing with if this is the flying stuff, right, oh, I'm flying 200ft away. I got sharpshooter all this stuff. Now, the solutions I tend to give to these situations is, well, they're at risk. You're in the air, you're totally exposed. Yeah, you're 200ft away from this present encounter, but then you can't see behind you, you're totally up in the air.
A lot of things that could go on, but that usually does in terms of if you're playing your sort of vanilla content, making some changes, giving folks missile weapons who might not have missile weapons. He says sleep spell. Yeah, having somebody cast sleep. But I do understand or I can appreciate the GM's perspective when they go look in the monster manual and let's say you're goblins. If you're a low level, like, oh, I got some goblins, and you look at their equipment list and, oh, they don't have short bows, they only have spears or something else, they're not equipped to deal with the 200 foot away flying creature. And I get that, and I get that from me looking at OSR perspective when I'm looking at a sheep or a goblin, and I just say, okay, well, some of them are going to have short bows and it's very easy to switch out. It's a little bit more complicated in the fifth edition setup. Of course.
There's also the thing is what happens when you go inside a dungeon or castle or something else where you don't have 200ft of distance to be up in the air. You can't really be up in the air. I mean, there's other things, but I get it. But I kind of feel like people take the wrong lesson, not lesson away from it. Because, look, I know everyone's got limited time to do stuff, and Fifth Edition kind of, I think forces a lot of. And maybe there's some expert GMs that can just run it just off their own knowledge and just easy peasy change stuff around. I get it. You don't want to spend time having to tweak every encounter.
You just want to have your goblins be able to look up a goblin real quick or on D and D beyond and go you don't want to have to mess with it. But I think maybe the thing to take away from this is how can we make our situations less I don't want to say more resilient, because it's not very different than the party taking an attack that you didn't account for. Right? So you have a thing set up where all the party is going to come to the gate. Somebody's going to be at the gate, this thing's going to happen, and then the party doesn't go to the gate. And then you got to figure out, well, what do I do when the party decides to scale the wall and avoid the gate? Which is a smart thing. And then you have to adjust. And I think the same thing with the flying creatures. It should be an invitation to adjust how you're running your encounters or how you're setting up these scenarios that the party is in.
But I'm not going to hate on people who are just like, no, I don't want it because I get it. Everyone's time is limited, and if you don't have time to think of those questions or you're running a lot of I don't know how the pre generated material like those things, how they handle such things, they might not. So I could certainly see why it just becomes a, oh, my God, why did I put this extra piece on my plate that I could have easily avoided just by saying no to flying creature? What are some possible motivations? I don't know what always a lot of stuff in here. There was something good, and then I saw it, and then I got here we go. This was what I wanted. This is offering advice from DM Academy, and this is a tip. Oh, boy. That's a really short bit of advice.
So it looks like it's gotten upvoted a lot and has some comments so we can read through. So the tip is that realism has less to do with mimicking reality and more to do with Versamilitude. So if you're playing the Versamilitude drinking game, you can take a drink now, which I will, of some cold oolong tea for the working man. Versamilitude, the appearance of truthfulness. Shout out to the land of OG for teaching that lesson. So I guess I'll give an upload. It's not bad advice. I mean, yes, you want the appearance.
I call it heightened. There's a certain kind of heightened reality, and I think you can think about this when you're reading books or you're watching movies or you're watching TV shows. What you're getting in these shows, even the ones that purport to be gritty or down to earth, are not exactly that. If you are someone who's in the field that the show is covering, you'll almost, I guarantee you will probably 99% of the time, find the seams, find the things that they're skipping over or not doing or not talking about. But for the person who's not aware what the idea is, is that you're giving people a close enough approximation that their mind will fill in. Not only fill in, right. That disbelief. You're able to put your disbelief aside, but that it's also heightened, which means that dialogue in movies, TVs, books, whatever, even when they're trying to be clunky on purpose, it is less clunky, more focused, not only just in terms of just how it's worded and everything, but also in terms of how it's driving at something.
When somebody is really clunky in a film, there's a purpose to it. There's a purpose there. Whereas somebody in real life could just be clunky because they're stumbling around like I am right now. I put in it's not for a particular point. I'm not trying to say something about myself as somebody who stutters or who can't get their idea straight in the moment. It's just a random occurrence. It happens. Whereas in a movie or book or something like that, there's purpose here, and that's that kind of heightened reality.
And I think the same way about game playing. We're using that suspension of disbelief so we don't have to describe every little facet of a room because we're depending on the players, all our minds, to kind of picture you picture a cave, and you talk about some stalagmites and stalactites. We don't need to give exact measurements. We don't need to do all this stuff. We can give paint a general picture at the party. Everyone fills in. But then also, that just like in a real office building in which you'd go into tons of floors where everything's the same. Basically, just the floor plans just increase.
We tend not to do those things in games. We tend to try to make things different, differentiate things to heighten the reality. Not so much for the most part, you're getting into Gonzo territory where you care less about the kind of reality, but you're trying to make it a more condensed, more vibrant type of reality. That makes sense, as dude Bob Max says, believability over realism. It's probably a good way to put it. Okay, dummy. Eleven says hex pressman. Who am I? I am just a dude.
My man or my lady, my person. I'm just a dude. I'm just a boy. In this world, I am nobody. Essentially worth it getting naved if I already have other systems. That's kind of silly. Do you want to read it? Yes. I think it's almost always worth it if you got the time and you got the space and you have the coin you're interested in.
Such what else do we have here? Fire. Rune weapon. Enchant. Navy Federal Union Tower this might be interesting. Another DM academy. No, they're looking for it. I was hoping somebody would have had some let's see need Advice adventures and Encounters. Let's see about this one.
This one might be meaty. This was posted by Mpindara. The exciting encounter struggle continues. They're looking for advice, but I like when they're looking for advice where they actually give something to work with and not just help. I've been DMing for a few years now, so I feel comfortable running the game and combats lately with one of my campaigns. Every combat just feels uninteresting to the players, regardless of how exciting I try to make it. The first problem I'm running a module descent into a furnace, and it feels like so much extra work every time there's a combat encounter, because more often than not, modules are written as these bad guys fight on site until they're dead. So I need to get inventive with ways to make that more interesting, and sometimes I just don't want to put in that effort.
The second problem, and no offense to them, but my players aren't very inventive. Most of them are playing martial classes like Paladins, Combat, Druids, et cetera. And they're all pretty video game minded players in that they wait for the cutscene to end and move on to the next obvious location. Sometimes they just decide not to use their core abilities like Smites and the like, and we end up having combats that are swing sword miss next term. Things don't slow down, so it's never really a slog, but I could tell everyone gets pretty bored of it. So my big struggle is trying to use the module to save myself a lot of time, but also play sessions that are exciting and interesting for my players. Does anyone have any suggestions for any content that provides plug and play dynamic encounters that are easy to swap with existing module ones? I have a few things from the DMs Guild that are additional encounters for our module, but some of them are more of the same. Well, I mean, you could always do that, swapping in encounters.
I mean, I think this is where I would say yield reaction roles and morale roles. Morale checks will help you with a lot of time and give you the ammunition, the material you need. If somebody rolls low morale and then you can interpret that as them running away or them surrendering. Or if there are sufficient numbers, maybe you say a bit of column A and column B. You can do that as well. The other part about the players not really engaging with their class abilities so that they end up with combat that's kind of vanilla. And then not engaging with that, because coming from the OSR, combat is kind of vanilla anyway. You don't have a lot of special abilities.
A lot of stuff is if you just get down to it, swing, use weapon, hit, miss next. So then you want to engage with what's going you want to hopefully get them to engage with the habitat or the habitat, the space, the encounter area. And yeah, modules may not always do great things with that. You could just be essentially fighting in an open field, and so there isn't a whole lot to do but run to or run away from the combat and then fight. Maybe I would say maybe they don't want to fight that much. Which case, maybe you want to see if either this adventure is not great for them or look at the are there options for social encounters? I'm not familiar with the sent to a furnace itself, but are there some social options? Are there some other things you can do to give them things to do? Are there other things they can do that maybe they're interested more? Maybe you need to find out. And of course, probably the biggest thing is just talk to your party. As usual with these kind of questions.
A lot of it comes down to talk to your party, because if they're bored with comment and they're not liking it or whatever's going on, then ask them. Ask them, and you can find out. Let's see, the one problem with DM Academy on this list I really like the stuff in there because it tends to be thoughtful, but, man, they really do kind of overload things a bit more than I would like. I wish I could do some kind of custom filtering to kind of even the odds of different some of the different subreddits. Excuse me. I suppose I can just do this. Ha. What's going on in here? High stakes vampire western and with blackjack mechanics.
Whoa. All right, this is posted by Caspawn. Can I get this bigger? Can I zoom? Can I zoom? Going the wrong what am I doing? No, that's not like high res, is it? Hold on. Did I zoom out? Where am I on the zoom scale? That's weird. All right, it's not formatted that well to read, but it seems kind of cool. They made it this morning. Fast work. I see it's got a link to it.
I wish you would have put that in here. I would have clicked on it. All right, I'll leave that for later, but I'll give him an upvote. What is this? Where are these classes? Oh, it's from a dolman. Okay, new dolman wood stuff, I guess. All right, let's see. Does dice sizes, tracking supplies someone know a community to post their one pager? That's just casbone. Who just went ahead and did that? That's fine.
Hey, someone else is doing a Dragon Bane solo. Nice. Stats for player skill versus character skill. This might be interesting. A variant rules. Here we go. Blunt pencil. 2001.
Posted stats for player skills. Player skill versus character skill. I've seen a number of games that want to emphasize the use of player skill over character skill. You don't roll to find traps, for example, you use the given clues. Great. Love it. An issue I have with this, though, is that a smart player can often end up playing smarter than his dopey. Barbarian with minimal int intelligence has any right to be the inverse.
Where a slower player could never be. Their genius wizard is also the case. The idea remove stats which determine social competence. Smarts. The player is the smart one. The player does the talking. Your mental stats are the characters. Of course, that means we end up with just three stats.
If using the classic paradigm. Okay, screw it. I think I'll try something different. We roll for when doing something dangerous. But how do we do it? Taking ideas from non OSR games, let's apply the following stat names power, Finesse, Endurance. If I were to apply these to an existing OSR game, I do it with Nave using the previewed second edition character Rules. Well, I don't know about that, so I guess we'll just motor on ahead characters. We get two stat boosts at level one and every other level as opposed to three.
Power would cover strength. Fine. It would also cover damaging or unsubtle spells. Whoa. Major overlap. Who cares if you're taking spell books and swords, less room for loot. This also allows for gifted sorcerers who aren't very bright. Finesse would cover decks and wisdom, as well as illusions and whatnot.
Serious overlap. But again, no worries. You only get so much inventory. I'm not sure where he keeps getting inventory from, but I guess is Nave the one where everything's coming from your equipment? Someone correct me, I blur them together and I forget what Nave does. What's Nave's thing? And there is recover con charisma gets chucked followers based on how good your chat is. Well, I think a lot of games have done this already. I think if this person feels like I've come up with a totally new thing, you probably have. Okay, johnson says, yeah, inventory is nay.
Okay, I like the idea, and some other games have done this, and I agree with it in getting rid of intelligence or making intelligence something else. So intelligence isn't your smartness, but it could be your education, could be your kind of book knowledge. So if you had a high, whatever that intelligence, I would rename it from Intelligence. It would be how much you went. To universities maybe, right? Oh, intelligence was low. Maybe you didn't go to use a modern example, you haven't even gotten your GED yet and you have minimal experience. That's your intelligence kind of your book learnings, the stuff you're learning on the field, that's for your player mind to keep track of. But this is kind of like well, prior to being an adventurer, I didn't graduate from kindergarten and I just worked in the fields.
So outside of a little bit of farming, I'm pretty much I don't know, anything that would be kind of low. What I would consider say, hey, that's low in wisdom. Kind of the same thing, right? My players have asked like, do I discern whether this person's lying to me? And my response is, I don't know. Do you discern that this person is lying to you? So is there something that wisdom could be rather than classic in a sense, your classic kind of intuition, which again, I feel like is much more appropriate for the player to have probably something there to that you could even combine them or just get rid of one and just have the other one be both. I don't think I'd want to have power covering strength and damage spells because I think especially say in an OSR game, let's say outside of nave, right, you're a caster and then you're with a staff and you're going to get some big bonus to your thing to hit and that's also going to be good for spells. I kind of feel like that's stacking too much, but I definitely think in terms of the intelligence. But I'm down with that. I've been down with that.
But I don't know that I would go with these three. It's a fine line. It kind of depends on your game too. I think that probably the more long term your campaign, the more your intentions anyway, the grittier you want to be. Then I think having stats that are these attributes more granular, I think makes sense. Whereas if you're trying to do something that's very just light and we just want to get into it and we just want to go and maybe it's only for smaller adventures and things like that, then I think that having a few works, but that's just me, but it's a cool idea. Questions about Halls of Ardenvool. I don't know much about Halls of Ardenvool.
How do you tell your players they've looted a magic item? This is a good one. So an OSC, sorry for actually first, how do you tell your players they've looted a magic item? Posted by Cryptonic 901 so in OSC the GP looted equals XP, but magic items are invaluable and they are their own rewards. So no XP. Imagine your players looted four rings. Three of them are mundane items worth 100 gold piece each. The other is magical. How would you tell your players this? Do you just tell them or do you try to hide the fact that the ring is magical. Does it depend upon the classes in the party? And I guess they really like the ideas below, so I'll read them.
So let's see what people are saying. PH Demented says generally I wouldn't tell them anything, though if they are brand new players, I might remind them to cast detect magic on treasure before you sell it in town. It's on the players to investigate treasure to determine if anything found is magical. If they find four rings and one is magical, and they sell them in town for 100 gold pieces each, I'll give them XP for 400 gold pieces in treasure, they return to town. Yeah, I think that's in general what I would do usually I will hint that something seems interesting unless there's something about that. Some magic animals, I do think kind of stand out and I'll play it as like, OOH, this sword. Like, if you found a Vorpal sword in a bunch of rusted swords, the Vorpal sword is going to be the one that doesn't seem to be rusted. That seems to be all these other ones kind of nicked and damned image.
But this one comes out of the sheath clean with there's no dust on it. The blade seems to be super sharp. Right. Which would probably give your players an inkling that, oh, this is special, and I think that's fine, but sometimes a magic item is just a plain version of something. The one ring doesn't look special, really, until you drop it in fire. So in that case, they might say, yeah, it just looks like an ordinary ring with an opposing opinion. Mega tapyrus says hide it. No.
Give the info away. Also no. So I guess it's not just opposing. Trying rings on can reveal some, though not all effects, but it detect magic spells the surest way. If they end up selling a magic item unknowingly, just give them the gold XP for it as if it were a bit of mundane jewelry, since they're selling it on that basis. Yes. So it's pretty much the same thing as the other person saying, well, there's a lot of things down here. This is actually not the Op.
So Lonely Surround 40 70 asks, so how exactly do you manage this without telling the players how much an item is worth at the time they acquire it and not disclosing? It's a special ring. How do you remember what's what later on when they go to sell it? Yeah. And then Eight bagels responds with a quote, hey, write down four gold rings with green, red, turquoise and yellow stones later at the pawn shop. What color stones are in these rings you're trying to sell? Don't know or don't care. They are all mundanely priced. They say they always use simple colors for mundane things red, blue, yellow, green, red, orange, purple, black, purple, white, black, brown. I use only slightly less common names to remind me. It's magical and I have a note on it.
I don't think my players have cut on lavender, turquoise, blood red, salmon, rose, gold, rust colored chocolate, et cetera. Edit and then they edited later on. And if it doesn't, it doesn't have to be stones or gems. Can be the color of the ring, color of the inscription, the hue, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, I think the thing is you just need to write down the rings or you can even have numbers. You have ring one, ring two, ring three, ring four. But I think ultimately I like differentiating between these things anyway and lots of generators will come up with you can find them. I think Don John might have them, other places might have them where you can basically get gems or get rings with settings and things that are a little bit more detailed and then you just write them down.
So since you've given them a handful of details hey, like I said, one ring has a turquoise, this one ring is plain gold but the ring is it not braided ring. This ring is rather circular, has kind of angles. So just give a little bit of details and then you just make sure you remember which details go with which ring. And if they go back to town and sell them then you can ask them, okay, are you selling all the rings? Which rings are you selling? And then the other thing that I do too is I don't give the value. So one thing I do that maybe helps with this, I don't know, maybe not is I don't release the value of the items until they go to appraise and or sell them. So in the wilderness, in the dungeon they're just finding four rings. Ring of gold, a ring with a turquoise gem, a ring, a braided gold ring. I got a plain gold ring, a ring, a stable called a silver ring with a turquoise gem inset and a braided gold ring.
No XP yet. They don't get XP until they essentially go to town to settle up. And part of that settling up process for me is you're going to take it somewhere to someone who is going to either just appraise it or appraise it and buy it, which is where you're going to get that XP to gold. And then the gold you're taking the items turning into gold or whatever and get the XP out. So that's when I'm doing all that. So this is something they're not doing in the campsite, they're not doing in the dungeon. Presumably someone could I've never had anyone ask about it but I certainly would allow someone to maybe get some kind of appraiser skill or I know in one adventure I played, I think at Shark and I don't remember whose it was. There was actually a class they had called I think it was the Merchant Adventurer who presumably something like that could have an appraising skill, who could appraise someone on the spot so that's when they're doing it so I'm not worried about the money thing until they go to sell it, and then I just have my notes.
And then by giving them details, you can just keep track of which one of these. Is it the braided gold ring? Is it the plain gold ring? Or is it the silver ring? Or is it, whatever, the ring with the turquoise stone that's magic and figured out from there. You just need to kind of give yourself some details to work with. And then, of course, look to me, the onus is on the players to recall, right? If they say we have four ring or we got those three rings and then we go to sell them and they're like, oh, no, we want to keep one of them, and we're like, well, which one? Then I would just kind of roll randomly. And if they don't pick the magic item because they don't remember, then they don't. That kind of cardinal rule, at least from my experience playing games, is write it down. If you wrote down Bob, the fighter is holding on to this ring, is keeping this ring, you better write down which ring it is. I'm giving you those details.
Use those details to write it down. If you just write down ring, I'm not giving you the benefit of the doubt. And it may seem cruel, but when that comes to bite you later on, the first time, you realize that, oh man, I should have done this or shouldn't have that, then you know what? Usually what happens is then you start writing it down, you get burned, then you start to do it. So that's how I do it. And if that makes me an evil, mean GM, then I guess so be it. Any advice? Okay, we did these money sinks for players besides strongholds. It's got a lot of love. I'm curious.
John says that that fixes an issue that they were having. They can just note XP values of items. They have a spreadsheet and not give monetary value until sold. Yes. And it also means that depending on how you want to do it, whatever. And also the thing I also like about the appraiser thing, Jonathan, is that that can also lead to other adventures because sometimes you might need to take something to a certain source. So, for example, if you're operating out of a small village and you're like, oh, we're going to go home and we're going to go back to the village and do this. I've had times where I've been like, yeah, this is beyond them.
Like the little guy. I mean, in my villages, there are no real shops anyway. But if your village has just Ye old Adventure shop and you're bringing in these complicated or ancient items that players want to unload, that might be books or archival materials or tapestries or other grave goods. The guy dude in that shop is not going to know, but you might need to go talk to the Lord. I've had my party have to go and say, the person is going to be interested in this who's the only one who could afford to buy it off you, and he's going to understand the value and even the desire to own it, because in a village, these farmers aren't going to care for a tapestry. That's not going to make them warmer simply because it's got some heroic thing on it. You got to find that person who can appraise it and potentially buy it. And then that could be more adventuring.
That could be like, oh, now we get to have social encounters. We try to try to find time with somebody in the local lord to unload these luxury items that we have. Right. Or we got to go to town. Oh, we got to go to the nearest town. Then maybe there's some stuff going on over there. So it's an extra step, but I think it's a nice one because I think it creates more engagement with the world. Oh.
Jonathan says they literally have this exact situation. Nice. I actually have my game tonight, though. My party hasn't actually gone out in any dangerous places yet, so they don't have any loot yet. In this newer part, a newer arm branch of the campaign. Okay, so money sinks for players besides Strongholds. This is posted by Mr. Gray.
Four. I'm making a setting right now, and I want to have some readily available options for players to blow all their cash on because I plan on doing gold spent for XP. What are some creative goods and services a city could have for adventures to spend ungodly amounts of coins? Also, bear in mind, this setting is supposed to be at least somewhat gonzo and silly with all kinds of anachronisms. So weird ideas are almost preferred. Ian says he's going to add a merchant talent to their homebrew hack system, maybe let them reroll reaction rolls with some money. That'd be cool. I'm down with it. When you say homebrew hack system, is this a black hack hack? Or I guess to put another way, what system are you hacking, man? I feel like my creativity isn't lying, just going gonzo, but in general kind of money sinks.
If you don't want to do Strongholds, you can always have your taxes and paying for favors. I think one thing that gets overlooked a lot, I think, is the party having to climb the social ladder paying with some coin. You want to get an audience with the Lord, you can't just walk up to the door and say, here you hear you like an audience with the Lord doesn't fly. Well, what can I do? Well, maybe you can start to spread some coin around the town. Maybe you can start. Maybe you have to, say, rent someone else's mansion or if they have a sizable home somewhere, then maybe you may have some gatherings or parties or celebrations. Think about again, I think I mentioned this. I keep saying again, that's one of my things I need to work on saying again, when I didn't actually say the first thing, but I did mention it a few streams ago, is a movie, The Count of Monte Cristo, which I dig with John Cavizo, I think is how you pronounce his name with the Count.
And what does he do to ingratiate himself with this upper crust of Parisian or at least French society that he's trying to get his vengeance on is he shows lots of wealth and throws lots of parties. Now, obviously that's not a medieval, that's 19th century as opposed to medieval times, but I feel like you can play with those same kinds of concepts. How do you engage yourself with high society? You have to spend a lot of money and it's not just on the stuff you're spending on them. You also have to spend it on yourself. I'm a big fan of sort of lifestyle expenditures. If you want someone to take you seriously as a power player, you can't be spending the minimum amount to clothe yourself and eat. If you you're hanging out in the Dregs, people are going to assume you're the Dregs. And if you're hanging out in the Dregs with a lot of money, they're going to assume you're a criminal.
Because who else is hanging out in the Dregs with a lot of flashing, a lot of coin in their pocket? It's criminals. So if you don't want to be seen as a criminal, then you can't hang out in the Dregs, which means you got to find yourself an upper end place to stay or potentially some kind of patron at whose residence you can stay. Who then in the patron part of it is able to help entree you in society? And how do you grease their palms? Because they're all practical individuals is money buying them stuff, helping them with stuff, financing their parties and their gatherings and showing up at, say, tournaments and having your own massive pavilion with food and everything that you're sharing, all these kinds of things can be big. Money sinks. Yeah, I hear you, Jonathan. It is definitely when you compare anything to the books, particularly books like that, it's not going to hold up. But yeah, as a fun kind of revenge movie, it's good. And the one thing that always just I just loved was his first entrance coming down on that hot air balloon.
He just looks like this prince of darkness and it always just makes me giggle. I just get a kick out of it. Rylan says they like seeing intelligence as problem solving rather than knowledge known, like with puzzles. I hear you, Ryan, but the problem is I don't want players to rely on that role. I don't want to do role versus puzzle. If it's not a puzzle that they can solve using their own brains, then I don't think I need it or I don't want it. I don't need the role to solve kind of thing. For me, for my game, I would rather have present a situation and all situations in the game are in a sense, puzzles.
And then the party sorts out how they want to solve it using their own brains. So that's for me. But that's my style. There's no wrong answers. And certainly folks use intelligence like that, no problems. Ian says going back to the system, they're smooshing the black hack, the black sword hack pack, finder two and a few other things. Ian, you got your task cut out for you. You've got your task cut out for you.
Is that the way we say it? I think so. T goblin mentions art patronage. That's another good one. Your artists, your bards, you want people to sing tales of you. My party was very big at one point on having folks out there to expound their good deeds or what they were saying were their good deeds at least. So paying people to go out and do that. On a quick aside, let me tell a tale. This is not from my current campaign.
This is from a campaign that was running play by post. And I was probably going to do a video on this separately, and I probably will already. So apologies in advance for you're probably getting a repetition, but I'm putting in here because it kind of makes sense given talking about money sinks and such. A lot of folks, or a lot of times I would say when we're talking about concepts in a game, we end up isolating on those concepts. And I think when we do that, sometimes we miss out on the web that works together. And I don't know if I know, it's always super intentional, it's just the way it works. And I find that sometimes when I want to talk about hirelings, let's say we focus on hirings and we don't maybe touch on these other areas where they connect to in this web of other things. So let me give you the situation.
This game I was running, the party goes out on an initial mission that they were given. They come back, they've got a bunch of loot and they had I think they previously I think they had rented a place to stay already. I think they had a place to stay, but they came back with a bunch of loot. And I think when they got back to town, I think my question was great, what are you going to do with all that loot? And there wasn't anything that they want to spend on, there was no money sink necessarily immediately in place. But what happened is that becomes a good question. And I also would as they're taking their chest full of coin and stuff back to their residence, I mentioned how folks are kind of eyeballing them a little bit. They're like, oh, what do you got here? People are taking notice of this because it's not small. I think that's the other thing that maybe get forgotten.
Like, this stuff isn't small. You're coming around with all this stuff into town. And this is another reason why I kind of don't like the bag of holding, because it tends to hide all this stuff, which I don't want to hide. I want them to have to lug a chest up to the door of the inn, if they're staying in an inn, into their room. So everybody in the common room sees that they came back with a wagon. And this thing, this comes out again. Watch the kind of Monte Cristo when he loots that treasure hold. He's got a boat full of chests.
And then he's trying to be clever in where he unloads this stuff so that only him and his pirate followers essentially know where it is. So you bring in this stuff in. I'm like, okay, so what are you going to do with it? They're getting ready to go on their next foray. They're already looking at where they're going to go, and it's like, oh, that's good question. Well, we can't just leave it. No, I mean, you could, but they won't be there when you get back. It's like, okay, so we'll put it in our house. Great, they got a house, great.
But that's just in a house. There's nobody in the house. I mean, when they leave, nobody in the house. Okay, well, then we're going to need somebody to pay our expenses while we're gone, because we don't know how long we'll be gone. Could be weeks, could be days, could be weeks, could be maybe even a month, depending on what's going on. We need somebody to kind of watch the money and pay our rents and do that stuff and be sure. Okay, so we're going to need an accountant. All right, you can hire an accountant.
Well, we're also going to need somebody to watch the money, maybe even watch the accountant and the money. And the other thing is, we need to hire somebody, a guard to do that stuff. Okay. But we need to hire more than one because can't have one guy doing it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So we need to hire three, and they'll work seven days a week, but at least they'll be on reasonable shifts. Okay, great. And then we're going to need somebody to kind of watch the house and take care of the house, maybe monitor that stuff. So we need some kind of a butler type, not the accountant.
Accountant is just watching the money or taking care of the money, but we need that. Okay. And of course, we have the accountant to then pay all these people off while we're not there. Okay, so what's happened here is just having this money that has no sink, right? It didn't have a money sink. One, it's become its own money sink because now they're spending a bunch of money just to watch the money. Right. So you have the gold is spending itself because now they went from having a chest of gold to having one kind of sort of butler house person, an accountant and three guards. And of course, if they didn't have somewhere to stay permanently, they'd either have to be paying rents and an in if they're an inn, or paying rents on wherever their lodgings are, all this stuff literally just to watch the money.
This is just so that they can leave the money and be reasonably assured with some areas that at least if somebody's going to steal it, it's going to be a real doing that for the most part, that's good. So right there, the gold has just created its own money sink. But this is also you can see how this is the seeds of the stronghold, because once you get enough whoops, once you get enough going on, once you get enough going on, then you are naturally going to need more. Well, now we got a bunch of money and now we got a bunch more. Maybe we need more people. We're trying to spread out, oh, we want to make our own things, or we need our own things. Suddenly it's like, well, we don't want to be beholden in the town because that's not secure enough. Maybe we cleared out this old tower and now we're going to take that.
And now suddenly we're bringing this over here, but now we have a tower, so now we need folks to repair it. Now we need folks to set up around. We need sustenance. Right. You can just see how this can potentially and I'm not saying it's going to work for every group, but just having the gold becomes its own thing. Just like as dealing with encumbrance sort of in some ways creates hirings. Because once you start tracking what you need to carry and the party realizes we can't carry everything, they generally don't want to leave a bunch of loop behind. So now they're going to naturally think about, well, how can we get this carried for us? So once they ask that question of, well, how do we carry this stuff? We can't.
So who do we get to carry for us? Suddenly they have a hireling. Okay, now you have this guy to do that. Okay, well, we need torches in the dark. Yeah. Can I hold my sword and my shield and have the torch? No, you cannot. Well, I got to have my sword. Probably. It's a good idea.
I don't want to give up the shield. You probably don't. That's two hands. Yes, but I need the torch. Yes. Hey, a party member, too. Can you hold it? I got my two hands on this thing. Or I got this other thing.
Okay, well, maybe we need somebody to hold this torch for us. Hey, we got a hireling. Now, we got a bunch of loot, and we got several hirelings. We got horses, but the horses can't carry all the loot. No. Especially if we're doubled up because we're carrying hirelings. Very true. Well, now we need maybe a cart, but we want to stay on horseback.
We don't want to drive the cart, and we're not cart drivers. No. So we probably need another hireling. So now when we're on campaign, we've got a wagon, we got a hiring to watch the wagon. We have a couple of hirings to carry stuff. We've got a hiring to use the torch, but we're bringing out loot, and the loot is by the wagon, and the wagon is just with a driver all by themselves. Well, now we need a couple of guards. Yes.
All right. And before you know it, you've got a whole organization. Now, as Rylan points out, maybe you don't want to deal with all that stuff, but if you do, if that doesn't sound scary to you, suddenly you have this whole thing. And I feel like over time, that's naturally going to kind of morph into your own faction kind of stronghold, because you're going to be thinking at some point, well, where can I house all these people near me? How can I gather all this stuff to a place that's secure, to a place that's going to hold all my things, where I can invest my money? I think naturally, you start to think about stronghold. Maybe you don't call it a stronghold, but you might lead that way. It might. But if you start thinking along those lines, getting your players to think along those lines, they might kind of lead you there, or they might lead themselves there without you having to say, like, hey, don't you want to invest in a stronghold? Maybe they're thinking like that doesn't really help. But when you start laying out these immediate practical problems, the solutions will also involve these other tools, assuming you have them be available.
And then those other tools can sometimes add up to at the end, you've sort of built up a stronghold even if you never meant to, even if it was never your desire to make one. You might end up with one just because it's what makes sense. We need a secure place for a loop. Yes. What's going on in town? Well, the only secure place in town is the Lord's castle, and you're not getting in there. Everything else are makeshift kind of buildings. There's the inn, but that's not secure at all. Well, we're going to need somewhere secure.
Yes. So now we're going to have to find it, right? We're going to have to clear it out. Yes. We're. Going to probably have to repair it. You can just see how those questions go. I'm not trying to say that it'll always lead that direction. Maybe your parents or maybe your players just decide to go pirate treasure and just bury the stuff somewhere.
That's fine. It's got its own issues, but that's totally up to them. But if you think about these practical concerns and deal with them instead of saying what they think a lot of folks end up doing, which is, I don't want to deal with it, so I'm just going to not have it. I think it adds to that richness because all these different things, while they are more work, also are more avenues for the players to engage with these things in the fiction. And you can have a lot of fun with that. And at least I do. I have a lot of fun with playing out these people and playing out these situations, situations and what's going on with this stuff. And I think it adds to that kind of dynamic, sort of lived in practical elements of the world, which I appreciate.
Yeah. I'm not saying it's going to work for you necessarily, but you could try it. Let's see. Jonathan says that oddly critical role. Season two did this really well. They had to hire someone to take care of their house and the like. Same with season one, actually. Yes.
I think making your players aware of these problems and I think when you do, that one thing that happens. If I say that the players just walk through town and dump their loot in their apartment, maybe someone thinks about like, boy, that's not very safe, but they might not. But once they start to introduce something about either ask them the question, so are you just going to leave the loot in there? Or people are eyeballing you on the street, it seem to be being noticed. People seem to be eyeballing you and more importantly, they're side eyeing those chests you're carrying. Or like I said, simply ask the question like, so who's watching this loot while you're gone? Kind of thing. We can kind of help get them thinking through this process. But if you just kind of hand wave it and say, okay, the loot is in your house, then they're probably not going to think about those lines. Some people are naturally their minds are just going to drift that way.
But just be aware you might need to sort of prime the pump a little bit. Wagons work because you can hide stuff in them. Well, to a certain extent you can. Rylan yeah. You could put a tarp or some kind of sheet over what you have. But I mean, a cart that's got a bunch of stuff in it's going to look like a cart that's got a bunch of stuff in it. Now if you want to try to hide it all and say, no, we're just carrying bales of hay from this dungeon back to town. You could try it.
I'm not sure who you're going to be fooling. You don't look like farmers, you don't look like trades folk. You look like adventurers. I mean, maybe your party can invest in really trying to be into the subterfuge, but I think it's going to be a hard sell. I think the thieves people watching you on the road are not going to be particularly swayed with some wagon that looks like it's heavily laden with stuff and you've got some bits of hay sticking out or something, or I don't even know where you're getting the hay from, but whatever it is you're trying to pretend it is and not loot could be tough. I think a lot of thieves might just steal or rob you and then figure out later whether you've got anything or not. Roland says they're not sure if they want to deal with the paranoia that comes to trying to hide loot from others that can drag on sessions unnecessarily. It's really going to be in your group.
I find those kinds of things really fun. I like dealing with that stuff. I mean, granted, if you get into analysis paralysis territory that you want to try to avoid that, but I think that stuff is fun. I've had a lot of great sessions where it's all about these things and dealing with them, so I guess it's all going to be your miles may vary, right. But I myself have not had bad experiences dealing with that, and to me, as a GM one, I find it fun because it's engaging with the world in an interesting way. And the other thing is just for a lot of times with me where I might be trying to catch up on what I need to have ready for them for their next step. If they want to spend the last third of the session dealing with these problems, that's great, because then it just gives me more time. I'm like, okay, great.
I don't need to start thinking about what's next. I can think about after the session because they're going to spend the next 45 minutes, we're going to be talking about all these other things. I'm like, great. For me, it's not a huge deal, but again, YMMV right, your miles may vary. Ian says that there are three players of adventuring with three armed hirings a donkey and a keeper for the donkey. Yes, indeed. And then suddenly you've got an organization. Suddenly your party has their own faction, whether they even meant to or not.
All right, I know it's after the hour, but we kind of started slow. And on a dower note, I want to end strong. We got a play report. I like reading play reports, but I don't know if folks here do. I'm going to read it. I'm going to read it and maybe we'll do another one if it's kind of short in honor of one of their favorite podcasts. Oh, these are really short. Oh, no.
Let's see. Okay, so by the numbers, they've had one PC death, one cursed by a magic sword, two hireling deaths. They've discovered three dungeon levels. They defeated four bandits when they tried to raid the PC's treasure stash. Look at that. How appropriate to what we just been talking about. They've gotten five level ups. They've done eight expeditions into the dungeon.
They've played ten sessions. Two weeks of campaign days have passed, and their longest dungeon delve was 26 turns. So 260 minutes. And they've earned about 12,500 XP so far. So here's the more. It's not that detailed. After ten sessions, we're still in the first dungeon that designed back in February. It's a huge mystery, but the PCs are closing in on the solution.
Another session or two, and I expect they will have unlocked the secret of what has bound their spirits to this ghost town and affect their escape at last. My personal triumph in every other game. I've gmmed over the last several years across several game systems. I've had nights, even in the first few sessions, where I just didn't feel like I could keep up. The pressure and brain space required to render a world just to the horizon at all times is utterly exhausting for me. By contrast, I leave these weekly three hour BX sessions feeling energized and ready for more. I probably spent 10 hours of prep time on this scenario, and we've now gotten almost 30 hours of game time out of it. Dungeon turns as a mechanic has encouraged me to keep much better notes rather than just relying on memory alone.
The simplicity of the game and my deep familiarity with the basics has moved a good chunk of attention away from looking things up in a rulebook and on the current moment, whether I stay with BX in the future or expand out to try other systems. I did just back the swords and wizardry kickstarter. I'm really glad I gave this a go, because I've now learned that some prep time on the front end gives me the space and energy I need to really focus on what's happening during the game rather than trying to keep everything in my head all at once. And I'll carry that playstyle to all my games going forward, making them more fun for me and hopefully, by extension, my players. So there you go. Ian says it's some impressive timekeeping. Yes, I can't say that I have all these noted down, but it is cool and hopefully they keep it up. Well, congrats to oh, and this was Kyellen TDG who posted that.
Let me see if I get one more. One more. Let's see if there's a goodie here. How do you handle hex discoveries? Let's write up my alley. This was posted by Fly the outgrabe. So if a dungeon isn't a hex and the players are looking for said entrance in the hex how do you handle them finding it if it's not obvious? I yanked, quote, roll a D six giving a chance based on how much direction info they have and how obvious it is chance of finding increases by one for every 2 hours spent searching check for an encounter and failed roles from somewhere and just feels a bit underwhelming. I like the landmark hidden secret approach to hexes but how do you handle the hidden part? So for me, conceptually is you go from landmark, the obvious thing, you're still searching around assuming the landmark isn't the dungeon okay, that'd be number one because the landmark is the dungeon then you found it, then the secrets lead to the hidden thing and each secret will get you closer. If you just have one secret and you find that and then you keep searching, then the secret for me anyway or the hidden part gives you more context, helps you find the secret let's just say I don't know we're looking for the Lost Dutchman Mine.
We're in a hex in the Superstition Mountains. The landmark is a rock that looks like a face but it's a very particular face because I know lots of rocks can look like lots of faces, whatever, but it looks like a particular old face and you find it. Okay, we got that landmark. Bam. Now we're searching around. We're searching around, we know, unfortunately, we don't know whether the mine entrance is low or high or it's in kind of a valley part a dip down in the mountain or on the side of one of these we don't know where it is a mountain, but we know that it's in this area that's near this rock with a face on it. Great, so we're searching around. Okay, next thing we find a hidden thing.
That hidden thing may be an old campsite we found an old campsite it's got stuff around it that maybe let us know that okay, this is people and we determined or let them know that, hey, this seems to pertain. So great. So now we found this campsite. Now we're continuing to search. So whatever I'm using and you can use whichever mechanic you want to I'd almost just be like if they're taking the time to search, just give them the next step. So let's say that there's one more hidden thing before they find the secret. So they found the landmark, they decide to search, they find the hidden thing and you can roll you do your ink if you want to roll for encounter however you want to do it. Now they found that first hidden thing, which is this campsite great, that campsite, it basically puts the stamp on it that, yes, we're in the right place.
Not only that, but there's tracks leading away that seems to be on some kind of trail great, so that has now helped us narrow the field. Now we can use this campsite, narrow our search. We've got tracks, maybe lead to a trail. We can narrow that trail now. Maybe the next thing we find is somewhere deeper in. We find a cache of tools, mining tools. Okay, do we know if this is from the, say, original miners or from these other prospectors? We don't know yet. But now we found these tools, and now that leads us into something else.
And then if we continue to go on, then we would then arrive in the sheltered valley in which we see now the mine entrance. That would kind of be how I run it. You can insert the mechanical bits of what you want to roll, what your percentage, chances are, how you want to sprinkle in your wandering monsters or creature encounters, or you want to do that, you can do what you will, but that, conceptually, is how I would run it. And let's just see a couple of comments before I close up shop. Rover Buff says, personally, I allow my players to find any hidden feature on a hex by spending time searching for it. Doing so will cost valuable time travel resources that might occur, additional random encounter event checks. There's not much of a point in having an entire dungeons be hidden and only found on a random role. I think it would both be a waste of your time making the dungeon and frustrate the players.
If you do want to have a random aspect to it, then perhaps allow them to fail forward. Yes, you find the entrance, but before you do, you have an encounter or alert all the occupants of your coming or block off the entrance, et cetera. I think it's okay to have a little mystery about it, but ultimately, on a metal level, you want them to find the dungeon, so you want to make it something that's solvable. And if they want to spend time instead of you can do a couple of things you can have in the situation where let's say that okay, so they find the camp. Now some folks are going to say, OOH, OOH. All right, we search for footprints. Yes, you find footprints. They seem to lead, and then you follow them around some bushes and you see that there's a trail there that you didn't find before we followed the trail.
Right? Bam, done. But you can also be like, well, maybe they don't see the thing, the clue that's hidden here, they miss it or whatever. Then they can always, like, spend time, spend time, which indicates general effort over finding the clue. So they don't find the trail by following the footprints, but they spend the time, maybe extra time, to say we know what we need to find it. And I'm not seeing anything, but so we're just going to do a canvas, the place which is spending more time. But that spending that extra time makes up for the fact that they didn't use the clue or didn't notice it or whatever it is that you thought that they were going to pull out of that they didn't. They can always spend them to find it. But I don't have a problem with just saying, like, hey, you found the hidden campsite, and there's a trail leading off of there.
And that trail or that foot prints and that footprints lead to a trail that because it was in a gully or some kind of depression, you didn't notice it before and just kind of give them that next step. But I also think that a little mystery is good, and I think it makes when you find it more fun when you put some legwork into it. Exxonnell posted something. Lots of check later, so I'll save that so I can check it later. All the folks mentioned fail forward. Let's see. This one talks about using. I don't know.
They're more into the nitty gritty on the hexes and then throw two says with six mile hexes, one in six chance of just traveling through. Guaranteed if they spend a half a day in a clear hex, one day in a hill or forest hex or two days in a mountain or swamp hex. That's another good one. And then one more maldoche master says landmark auto Discover feature spend a watch and find one feature secret. If you know the secret, either auto discover or spend a watch finding it. If you don't, spend a watch and get a one time two and six chance, surveying can be performed over a month. A little more detail, but also good. All right, that was a good question.
Thanks, slithyoutgrabe, folks, if you could give a thumbs up on your way out, that would be awesome. Otherwise, have a great Cinco de Mayo and an amazing weekend. Game on, everybody, and I will talk to you later. Bye now.