In Part 1 of this series, I described the implied setting of the Dungeon Reality Show (DRS)
In Part 2, I described a few of the tricks I used when I DMed such an event.
Today, I’ll start sharing a recent example of a DRS game using the Bloodbowl game. My proposed adventure will differ from the accounts that were posted in order to make the game more enjoyable and less prone to crash on the hapless DM.
For those who have never heard of it, Blood Bowl is a Fantasy Football board game by UK company Games Workshop. It portrays a sort of ultra violent American Football game played by teams of thestandard fantasy races of the Warhammer Fantasy setting.
It’s one of those games where the richness of the setting makes us gloss over the games’ many broken rules peppered with the whole ‘you WILL get screwed by the dice’ that permeates all GW games.
I have a copy that was gathering dust in my Game Vault (i.e. my wine cellar is filled with discarded Games, not wine bottles, I’m a such a Geek) so I took it out for some DRS madness.
A copy of the game is not necessary, you just need to create a Football-like play area similar to the one found here (massive .jpg warning). However it looks really good and helps putting players in the proper atmosphere.
If you aren’t using the game’s board, feel free to set your Bloodbowl game in any kind of environment. Many of the Fantastic Locations battlemaps would make excellent play fields.
The Dungeon Reality Show: Fantasy Football Edition!
This adventure is for a party of 5-6 player characters of level 2 and uses the 4th Edition of the Dungeons and Dragons game.
The adventure divided in 5 scenes:
- PCs get whisked to the set, given weapons and told thier task.
- The PCs must play a game against team of Kobolds
- Half-Time Show: The PCs must entertain the crowd while various undead are sent to get them off the stage
- Sudden Death Overtime: During the second half of the game, the dreaded Zomboni makes an appearance and all hell breaks loose.
Adjusting for higher level PCs: While initially designed for low level PCs (I created the adventure to test the new classes of the Players’ Handbook II), you can adjust the adventure to pretty much any Heroic Tiered level by changing 3 elements:
- Choose an opposing team from a humanoid race whose level range within 1-3 levels of the PCs.
- Give the ball the defense scores of a minion of the party’s level (give or take a few levels)
- Change the Zomboni’s level to the new party level’s +3-5 (or create a new Elite/Solo monster based on the same concept)
Scene 1: We’re not in Greyhawk anymore
- Throw players headfirst in the DRS experience
- Equip players with new Sponsored Magic Items
- Inform players of the adventure’s objective.
Using elements described in the previous two posts, set the scene that brings the PCs onto the middle of the Playing field. Describe how they now find themselves in the middle of a large grassy field (or whatever environment you chose) surrounded by a what appears to be a horde of screaming creatures of all breeds and race standing on what appears to be amphitheater-like steps surrounding the field.
Then have a short, fat and loud halfling/goblin/Beholder come to the PCs with some sort of rod with a foamy/knobby end and try to interview the PCs. Load up on camera references and inane announcer chatter. This is where the PCs are told that they are the lucky contestant of this week’s edition of
(reverb) “THE DUNGEON REALITY SHOW” (/reverb)
That are then told that they are expected to play (and survive) a game of Football (Or Rugby… the actual game won’t actually resemble any of these games anyway, feel free to call it like you want) against the local champions: Meepo’s Scale Riders.
If questioned about the rules of the game, have the NPC promise that everything will be explained before the game starts.
If any PC actually manages to come out of shock long enough to mount anykind of objections, the host will happily say that participation to this event is entirely voluntary and that participants are free to choose from a lorge selection of alternate side events like:
- Quartered and Drawn vs the all-time Troll champion!
- Lava Dive!
- So you think you can kiss a Medusa?
- Dragonball GT! (Don’t ask, but the PC would definitively be the ball)
You get the idea. Should any player decide to draw their weapons or use a power to attack will be instantly frozen in time and be exposed to the power of the Plane of Games. The host will patiently explain that the simplest outcome for all would be to just play the damn game and go back home with a ton of prizes!
If asked what the prizes are, inform the PCs that it consists of keeping the Magic Item they will be given shortly, freedom from future contractual participation to DRS and a moneytary prize equivalent to 2 or 3 treasure parcels for the appropriate level.
If you intend to make the DRS one-shot game part of your campaig, I suggest that you pool the value of all treasure parcels for the party’s current level, substract the cost of the sponsored magic items they’ll get and award the rest as prize money. I would also suggest letting players level up after the experience.
Otherwise, feel free to award whatever you feel like.
Once the PCs have accepted their predicament, explain to them how equipment sponsorship works and have each PC choose one Magic item of their level+1. Alternatively, you can pre-select some items and hand them out.
Once equipment is done, explain the game’s objective to the PCs:
- Teams alternate playing Offense and Defense
- The Offense team must try to get a player with the ball passed the goal line through running with the ball or catching it once behind the line.
- The Defense tries to prevent the offense from scoring and tries to pry the ball out of their hands.
- The game’s first half will end after one ‘out-of game’ hour or when a team scores 3 more points than the other.
Tomorrow I’ll describe Scene 2, including all rules needed to play the game of 4e Bloodbowl.
Image Credit: Picture from user mike black from www.606studios.com/bendisboard/ forum.