Thursday, January 17, 2019

Gnolls (Starfall)

I posted my concept of gnolls two or three years ago, but they've changed a little for Starfall. So today, I present their updated statistics, as they are believed to be by the general population of Starfall, and specifically, Alnwich.

The gnoll presented here is a typical gnoll with no special training or adventuring experience to hone its deadliness. This is not a normal state of existence for gnolls and probably represents a juvenile or new recruit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Equipment of Alnwich: Armor

Thus far in this series on the equipment commonly found in and around Alnwich, I've discussed weapons. Today, we switch gears and take a look at what a typical warrior wears for protection. In other words - armor.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Gods of Alnwich: Malä

Malä

Keeper of Flocks, Soul-Bearer, the Three-Headed, of Wiles


Greater Deity
Sphere of Influence: Messengers, Spirits, Thresholds, and Transitions.
Symbols: Archway, Butterfly, Cross, Door, Falcon, Horn, Shoe, Wind.
Favored Weapons: Rod or Sickle.
Relationships: Son of Mënes and brother to Yaunävä.

Malä is the god of boundaries who leads souls to the Underworld. His connection with crossing boundaries links him to thieves, spies, and invaders as well as honest travelers, merchants, and messengers. His mastery of thresholds also makes him lord of spirits and the ideal divine messenger for the other gods, and his connection to the dead ties him to necromancers and resurrection.

Malä appears as an impossibly pale young man with a signaling horn and is almost always accompanied by a halo of butterflies. While he can fly using his winged shoes, he often sits a pure white pegasus when delivering messages from the gods. Despite sometimes being called “the Three-Headed”, Malä only has a single head; the epithet refers to intersecting roads.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Equipment of Alnwich: Shields

Available for purchase at www.GamingBallistic.com
Today, shields. There are a wide variety of shields available in Alnwich, largely thanks to trade and Usking soldiers stationed at the garrison. From the blade-edged Curonion targes of the southern lowlands of Usk to the local Norling shields of pine and hide, Alnwich sees them all.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Equipment of Alnwich: Swords & Spears

The first installment of equipment of Alnwich offered up a variety of polearms for the PCs to buy. Today, I'll further expand weapon options to include all of the sword and spear varieties common in Usk, and thanks to the Royal Mercantile Syndicate, are also available in Alnwich.

To begin with, it is worth noting that the Skidafolk traditionally used spears and axes as their primary weapons of war. It wasn't until contact with Usk that they began to make swords, and even then, those were of the typical straight and pointed Usking variety. It wasn't for some time that the curved swords of the Arnathian horsemen made their way to the distant North.

The typical spear of the Skidafolk is a little higher than a man with a significant blade backed by a crossbar. Often called a boar spear, these prevent enemies from running themselves through to reach the wielder. Skidafolk also used barbed throwing spears to disable enemy shields before a charge. Longer spears and spears with broader blades were also used by some tribes and are seen with sufficient regularity to be noteworthy.

Monday, January 7, 2019

House Rule: Melee Weapon Skills

When it comes to weapon skills, GURPS has them in spades - so much so that entire articles have been published in Pyramid Magazine (R.I.P.) about how to reduce their number. For the purposes of feaux-medieval old-school hack-and-slash gaming, we need primarily concern ourselves with the plethora of melee weapon-related skills.

For starters, all combat skills also have an Art version and a Sport version. The former refers to weapon demonstrations that look pretty (think martial arts demonstrations that aren't actual combat), and the latter are those used for sports rather than combat (think modern fencing). The inclusion of these two melee weapon skill categories triples the number of melee skills.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Gods of Alnwich: Sieva

Sieva

the Feathered, of Marriage, the Watcher


Greater Deity
Sphere of Influence: Marriage, Protection, and Womanhood.
Symbols: Bells, Cauldron, Circle, Cows, Eye, Falcons, Knot, Stephanotis.
Favored Weapons: Guisarme or Sovnya.
Relationships: Wife of Veträ.

Sieva is the goddess of marriage, protection, and womanhood. She represents the ideal wife in that she is dignified, motherly, dutiful, supportive, and strong; but her wrathful jealousy stands as a warning against infidelity. Like most other gods and goddesses, Sieva has a strong warlike aspect that is responsible for providing women the courage and might to defend their homes and offspring against invasions foreign and domestic. She also is known for her persecution of the bastard children of Veträ, but in doing so often drives them to accomplish tremendous feats. In this way, she is the adversary that makes men of boys and forges girls into women.

Sieva appears as a fearfully beautiful and dignified woman wearing a robe of falcon feathers and accompanied by a panther as black as her long, flowing hair is golden.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Deity Template Update: Favored Weapons

I was talking with Kalzazz on GURPS Discord about the deity write-ups for Alnwich recently, and he made an interesting request: break out the deity's favored weapon on its own line. I didn't originally include this because I didn't want to imply that priests and paladins should be constrained to those weapons, but his issue was more one of general guidance.

Specifically, he sees favored weapon as a personality and iconographic trait that helps both the Gm and the player frame the deity within the game and the setting. Not all deities need to have a favored weapon, but those with one should have it listed. I'm not against this and will add such a line beneath "Symbols", since a deity's weapon, in many cases, is a symbol in itself (e.g., Thor, Zeus, the Grim Reaper, etc.).

So that begs the question, "What are the thirteen deities' favored weapons anyway?" I'll try to answer that now and add them into the existing write in the coming days.

Favored Weapons of the Gods

Jürä: Staff.
Karalis: Spear & Staff.
Korë: Bow & Spear.
Liekki: Fire. Lots of Fire.
Likumä: Spear, Sword & Shield.
Malä: Rod or Sickle. (coming soon).
Menes: Knife & Magic. (coming soon).
Milä: Sword, Spear & Sex. (coming soon).
Pazamë: Axes. (coming soon).
Sëra: None. Sëra is a goddess of peace and protection. (coming soon).
Sieva: Guisarme* or Sovnya*. (coming soon).
Veträ: Shield & Spear. (coming soon).
Yaunävä: Bow & Boar Spear.

* For descriptions and statistics for these weapons, see Equipment of Alnwich: Polearms.
† For a description of this weapon, see Equipment of Alnwich: Swords & Spears (coming soon).

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Unforeseen Consequences in Dungeon Mapping


I have realized recently that there are some major consequences to some of my early design decisions regarding dungeon entrances. See, I started out thinking, “An ancient castle sitting on top of a dungeon is cool!” so I made that the main entrance. And that sounds all well and good, but that castle is big. But it’s a megadungeon, right? Well…

The thing about players is that they are unpredictable. That’s what makes GMing fun, though; you never know what they’ll do. That’s why I prefer sandboxy games, too. If I wanted to know the outcome of every action in the story, I’d write a book. So how does this interact with Giant Castle for an Entrance?

Consider how a castle looks. It’s a big, tall structure open to the air with walls and windows and ramparts and stuff. And these players are going to show up decked out with burglary gear, ropes, and murderous intent. So yeah, I laid out entrances, and there are ways through all of them, even if some are tougher to penetrate than others. But why should the PCs settle for going in the front door when they can climb in through a 5th floor window?

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Gods of Alnwich: Likumä

Likumä

of the Horses, of Letters, the Lightbringer, Protectress, of War



Greater Deity
Sphere of Influence: Agriculture, Civilization, Protection, and the Sun.
Symbols: Fire, Girdle, Gold, Lamp, Ram, Shield, Sun, Sword, Wolf.
Favored Weapon: Spear, Sword & Shield.
Relationships: Daughter of Karalis and Sëra and twin sister of Korë.

Likumä is the virgin goddess of civilization, law, oaths, and war, but she does not focus on personal combat or killing, like Veträ. Instead, her domain encompasses strategy, tactics, and establishing peace afterward. She first performed this feat when she introduced Law to the ancient Skiding clans, allowing them to find peace and make decisions without the need for bloodshed among kinsmen.

The child of Karalis and Sëra, Likumä sheds her life-giving warmth on the fields as she flies through the sky on her owl-drawn chariot with her sword and the golden shield, Aurinko, who burns with such fire and fury that it sheds the light that creates the days. She is a friend of Veträ and often spends time in his halls training, drinking, and discussing matters of importance. Her complete disinterest in love prevents Sieva from growing jealous of her – no small feat to be certain.

Likumä most often takes the form of a wolf mother or a terrifyingly beautiful warrior woman clad in full battle regalia. She is particularly cold and distant, and this often frightens those she meets.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Pegasus


Pegasi are majestic winged horses akin to coursers in size and speed. Their tremendous eagle-like wings allow pegasi to soar through the sky or dive in fast swoops. If threatened, a pegasus will take to the air and fly away. Pegasi are rare creatures who inhabit high altitude plateaus – the more inaccessible, the better.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Equipment of Alnwich: Polearms


Polearms, polearms, polearms! All polearms must go. At the Liver Splitter, we’re slashing polearm prices in half! This is a polearm blowout! Make us an offer on our vast selection of polearms! We got long polearms, short polearms, local polearms, foreign polearms, keen polearms, sharp polearms, dull polearms, big polearms, little polearms, bloody polearms, clean polearms, dirty polearms, cutting polearms, stabbing polearms, hooked polearms, infantry polearms, chain polearms, horse polearms, wood polearms, Arnathian polearms, fake polearms! If we don’t have it, you don’t want it!

Few weapons in history have had the staggering variety and dizzying complexity as polearms. How does this mesh with dungeon-delving fantasy? Extremely well! Hack and slash players are notorious for tricking out their weapons and squeezing every ounce of utility from them. Few weapons in history have had the breadth of utility that some polearms offer. They can stab, cut, bash, trip, disarm, ensnare, dismount, grapple, etc., and if you have the bad luck of breaking the head, you’re still armed with a staff. That’s pretty nifty delver-bait.

So how many of these are available in Alnwich? A lot of them. They’ve got bills, fauchards, guisarmes, vulges, partisans, ranseurs, spetums, military forks, sovnyas, halberds, poleaxes, and more. They’ve got battlefield weapons, dueling weapons, and ceremonial weapons. They’ve got combination weapons and specialized weapons. So why would a community on the edge of the world boast such variety? For one, they are a very warlike people; only one of their deities isn’t at least a minor god or goddess of war. For another, polearms trace their roots to farming implements, making them readily available nearly anywhere. While I know that may not be enough for historical enthusiasts to content, but if picking nits is your thing, this isn’t the game for you, anyway.

How am I handling all of this variety? Am I making stats for all of these and more? Yes and no. While GURPS Low-Tech offers a pretty good variety of polearms from around the world, it still lacks some of the weapons I mentioned above. But that’s where GURPS Low-Tech Companion 2 – Weapons and Warriors comes in. It provides the backbone of what I used to develop the polearms I’ll eventually get around to mentioning. Where LTC 2 didn’t yield satisfying results, I fudged numbers until they felt right, but I generally tried to avoid doing this.

Before I go much further here, I’d like to address the definition of a polearm for the purposes of this post. I’m looking at weapons that involve putting something dangerous on a long stick that aren’t just spears or just axes. Some of these could fit into a couple of categories, but that’s because the definition of a polearm is vague. What’s worse is that many polearms are basically smaller weapons on longer sticks, for example, the bardiche. So bear with me as I go through these. Just because they don’t meet your idea of polearms doesn’t mean they don’t meet someone else’s.


Polearms of Alnwich


What polearms are available in Alnwich, specifically? I’ll go ahead and list them out, with references to their descriptions in Low-Tech, where applicable.

Bardiche A large axe head, with either a spiked upper tip or additional spear head atop the shaft, mounted on a long haft. The handle, while short enough to technically use from horseback, is more typically used by infantry.

Bill Low-Tech, p. 55.
Bill, Dueling Low-Tech, p. 55.
Fauchard Little more than a weaponized scythe with a spear attached, it can deal brutal slashing blows and double as a spear in formations. A hook is sometimes added to the back of the blade to create a fauchard-fork. Cost and weight aren’t significantly affected, but this enables the use of Hook and inflicts 1d-2 cutting damage. The smaller Dueling Fauchard is often used in personal combat.
Glaive Low-Tech, p. 56.
Glaive, Dueling Low-Tech, p. 56.
Goedendag A large two-handed club with a sharpened spike protruding from its end and multiple spikes lining its striking surface to form makeshift flanges. It can be used to thrust like a spear or crack armor.
Guisarme Descended from a farming implement, this polearm sees a sharpened hook combined with a spike atop its pole. Guisrmes are mostly used for unhorsing cavalry and are often combined with other polearms.
Halberd Low-Tech, p. 56.
Halberd, Dueling Low-Tech, p. 56.
Military Fork A two- or three-tined spear that evolved from the pitchfork. It’s not very good at penetrating armor, but it is devastating against the unarmored.
Partisan This pole weapon straddles the line between polearm and spear. It consists of a broad spearhead with a pair of sharpened crescent-shaped blades below the main blade. The backs of these blades curve upward and prevent impaled foes from running themselves through to reach their attacker.
Plansion A large two-handed club with a sharpened spike protruding from its end. This lets the wielder both swing and thrust with the weapon.
Pollaxe Low-Tech, p. 60.
Ranseur The projections on this partisan-like weapon are not sharpened for slashing, but they are large enough and curved to catch enemy blades.
Sovnya This polearm consists of a falchion-like blade mounted atop a pole usually about the height of its wielder. While similar to a glaive, the blade is not as heavy, and the weapon handles more gracefully.
Spetum A spear with wide, curved prongs that assist with disarming.

Note that while this excludes the great proliferation of combination polearms that existed. This is intentional. I attempted to provide the basis on which those can be made using LTC 2 because, frankly, there are just too many combinations to produce statistics for. Players are more than welcome to ask for these, and I may will provide them as loot or random things laying around the weaponmaker’s shop.

More GURPS Stats for Polearms

Here I will provide my GURPS stats for these weapons. Note that not all weapons that fit the definition of “polearm” are used with the Polearm skill.

Polearm (DX-5, Spear-4, Staff-4, or Two-Handed Axe/Mace-4)

Weapon
Damage
Reach
Parry
Cost
Wt
ST
Notes
Fauchard
or
sw+5 cut
thr+3 imp
2, 3*
1-3*
0U
0U
$150
12
13‡
12‡

Fauchard, Dueling
or
sw+4 cut
thr+3 imp
1, 2*
1, 2*
0U
0U
$120
8
11‡
11†

Guisarme
or
thr+3 imp
thr-2 cut
2, 3*
2, 3*
0U
0U
$115
8
11‡
11†
[7]
Hook. [2 7]
Partisan
or
thr+4 imp
thr+3 cut
1, 2*
2
0U
0U
$120
4.5
10†
10†
[13]
Blades.
Sovnya
or
sw+2 cut
thr+3 imp
1, 2*
2
0
0
$100
6
9†
9†


Spear (DX-5, Polearm-4, or Staff-2)

Military Fork
two hands
thr+3 imp
thr+4 imp
1*
1, 2*
0U
0
$80
5
11
10†
-2 to hit. [7 14 15]
-2 to hit [7 14 15]
Partisan
or
thr+4 imp
thr+3 cut
1, 2*
2
0U
0U
$120
4.5
10†
10†
[13]
Blades.
Ranseur
thr+3 imp
1, 2*
0U
$140
4.5
10†
[7 13]
Spetum
two hands
thr+2 imp
thr+3 imp
1*
1, 2*
0
0
$80
4.5
10
9†
[7 13]
[7 13]

Two-Handed Axe/Mace (DX-5, Axe/Mace-3, Polearm-4, or Two-Handed Flail-4)

Weapon
Damage
Reach
Parry
Cost
Wt
ST
Notes
Bardiche
or
sw+4 cut
thr+3 imp
1, 2*
1, 2*
0U
0U
$100
8
12‡
12†

Goedendag
or
sw+5 cr
thr+3 imp
1, 2*
1, 2*
0U
0
$100
10
13‡
12†

Plansion
or
sw+4 cr
thr+3 imp
1
1
0U
0
$50
5
11†
10†



[1] Can be thrown.
[7] Can strike to disarm (p. B401) without -2 to hit for using a weapon with a non-fencing skill.
[13] Prongs prevent an impaled foe from running himself through to reach his attacker; see Holding a Foe at Bay (GURPS Martial Arts, p. 106).
[14] Target at -1 to Dodge, +1 to Block or Parry.
[15] Damage has a (0.5) armor divisor.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Lessons from the Megadungeon, Part II


I’ve been making a big push for stocking, lately, and in doing so, have come across a few more practices that seem to really help.


Label Rooms & Hallways Clearly


Each room should have a designation unique to it, not only for that level, but for the entire megadungeon. This will help with searches later on. I’ve adopted the following nomenclature:
[Zone Number][Zone Level]-[Room Number or Hallways Letter]
I used Zones because I will have multiple zones at a given depth. They don’t necessarily connect (or do!), but they are distinct areas with distinct features and difficulties. Each zone has multiple levels, so the zone ends up a multi-level construct within the greater dungeon. Rooms get numbers because there are more of them than hallways.
At first I wrestled with how to number rooms (upper left to lower right or whatever) and eventually realized I will be tracking PC movement, not hunting down a particular room on a map by its designation. So I just do whatever makes sense at the time. It’s works out well so far, but I’m sure I’ll regret it later.


Name Rooms


Once you have all of your rooms numbered, go give them names. Nothing super fancy, just a name for what that room is. If you’re not sure, skip it and do it later. Those names will inform what goes in them, how you describe them, etc. Using good room names cuts down on the amount of info you need to mention in the description. Heck, name your hallways, too!


Don't Get Bogged Down in Details


Keep your room descriptions vague. List stats for things the PCs can interact with – doors, locks, chests, traps, monsters, etc., but skip the minor stuff like floor type, wood paneling, ceiling descriptions, etc. You can do that on the fly. Jot it down then. No need to waste time on what you can improvise later.


If You're Not Sure, Skip It


If you get to a room, and you’re not sure what should be in it, what a puzzle is, what trap to use, which monster combination to throw in there, skip it. After you work on the surrounding area, you’ll get some ideas. Or maybe you’ll be showering and think of something. Or an episode of Frontier will give you an idea. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. If you don’t have the idea now, it’s fine. Don’t waste time, and move on to a room you do have an idea for. There’s a lot to stock; don’t get hung up on one room.


That's about it at the moment, but if you have any other suggestions for stocking, please make mention in the comments below. I'm always up for advice on this sort of thing.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Gods of Alnwich: Liekki

Liekki

the Ever-Burning Ember, of the Flame, of the Forge, Preserver of Prophecy



Greater Deity
Sphere of Influence: Craftsmanship, Fire, Fate, and Prophecy.
Symbols: Anvil, Ash, Bellows, Fire, Fox, Hammer & Tongs, Iron, South, a Stranger.
Favored Weapon: Fire. Lots of Fire.
Relationships: None.

Liekki is the divine embodiment of fate whose forge tempers the destinies of men. Through fire, Liekki hardens men into heroes by testing their meddle in a gauntlet of trials and tribulations only to emerge stronger than every they’d have otherwise been. As helmsman of fate, Liekki steers the cosmic world-ship through the entropic seas of future history with the subtlest of nudges – a whispered comment here, a spilled drink there – so as to maintain the workings of prophecy and preserve the order that Karalis spies in his drunken reveries.

Liekki often appears in the mortal world, but never in the same way twice. Only the forms most capable of applying the cleverest pressures will do, and no two situations carry the same needs. So it is that one meeting will see Liekki as a fat, rich, slovenly merchant draped with prostitutes in a brothel and the next, a chaste and pious priestess clad in vestal whites. No matter the shape taken, Liekki never lingers in the mortal realms longer than necessary to push history back on course.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Character Generation for Alnwich

I realized recently that I have glossed over an assumption now for some time regarding my Starfall setting - power level. So today, I'll talk a little bit about the power level I intend to start players at when I eventually run Starfall.

Starfall, as a setting, can handle virtually any power level. There are battles to be fought against bandits and against demon princes, so there's plenty of challenge to go around. Alnwich, however, is being designed with a specific starting power level in mind - 125 points, with [-50] points in disadvantages. I made this decision early on because I knew it would affect a lot of things that followed.

Why 125?

I hemmed and hawed over power level and character creation quite a bit at first. Dungeon Fantasy assumes a starting power level of 250 points, and that feels roughly like being 10th level in Dungeons and Dragons. In short, it's powerful. Very powerful. Not mythic, but well on its way there.

Now I'm all about bringing the awesome, but some of my favorite gameplay in D&D was in the 3rd to 5th level range. More than that, I love seeing how PCs grow and morph organically over their careers. There's something flat about a PC built on 500 points as compared to one that started at 100 points and earned 400 more. As a player, I think there is something satisfying about playing a PC that long and growing him to that level, too. This informed my initial decision to do a Zero-to-Hero game.

Now that we've downselected standard DF starting point values, it falls to decide just how many points to begin with. Basic Set suggests that a good starting point for beginning adventurers is 100 points. I've played such games, and it works. I've also played in 150-point games, where it feels like you're getting your feet under you, but you're still far from godly. I'd call this feeling like about 3rd level. And it works too.

Unfortunately, both of these point values - 100 and 150 points - have one critical issue for me as a GM: neither have premade templates in their point value range! And let me assure you all that making a good template from scratch takes a lot of time and work. So that's a big strike for me. Making the dungeon is already taking all of my time. Thankfully, there's a happy middle ground where there are already templates: 125 points.

DF 15 - Henchmen, one of my favorite DF books, is full of 125-point templates that span all of the original roles and niches present in the previous 14 DF books. No work necessary. So it wasn't hard to decide to pick 125 points as the level I'd be starting people at.

Character Generation
This just left one more detail: exactly how will character generation work? Well I'll tell you...

All PCs may have no more than
  • 125 points total
  • -50 in disadvantages and reduced attributes and secondary characteristics
  • -5 in quirks
The latter two points have a caveat: if you want to take more disadvantages or quirks than this, I am cool with that, but you don't get extra points for them. I'm not going to rain on your concept, but you're electing to disadvantage yourself by doing this.

The following disadvantages do not count against your disadvantage limit
  • Illiteracy [-3]
  • Sense of Duty (Adventuring Companions) [-5]
Furthermore, starting details include
  • Everyone is Human. This is bold and italicized because it is a feature of the setting and nonnegotiable.
  • Everyone starts with a base of $1,000. This is modified for Wealth.
  • Everyone knows each other prior to the game starting.
  • No one has been to Alnwich for years, if at all prior to game start.
  • Everyone is arriving at Alnwich together at the same time.
The lattermost three of these are so the players can get right down to the slaying and looting.

With all of that said, individual players have the option to make their PCs from scratch or to use templates. I won't be imposing penalties on people who make their own PCs, but they will need to work with me so their creations gel with both the setting and the game assumptions. All PCs will have to be submitted for final approval prior to play. This is mostly so I can get a feel for what I'm getting into, but also to spot any potential problems early.

Multiple PC Sheets

I also strongly recommend all players to have more than one PC sheet preapproved when arriving at the gaming table. The reasons for this are twofold.

First, this dungeon isn't wimpy and I'm not fudging dice. If your PC dies, he dies, and if you don't have a backup, you get to go off in a corner and start making a new PC while everyone else plays. That's not fun, so bring at least one spare. We can write your new guy into the party easily enough.

Second, if you show up with a stack of backup PCs, you already know the dungeon is dangerous. Heck, getting to the dungeon is dangerous. You'll be more careful, and you won't be as upset when your PC does die. Because it is a matter of when - not if.

Evolving Point Levels

I expect people to "level up" quickly at first, gaining an average of 5 character points per session very reliably early on. This will peter off eventually as point totals increase and more loot is required to get more points. I don't mind if I eventually end up with PCs in the 500+ point range, but we need to grow into that.

This will beg the question: What about new PCs? There are a few ways to handle this, and it will ultimately come down to a discussion with the players. We could start new PCs at
  1. 125 points always and forever
  2. the lowest number of points in the group
  3. the average of 125 points and the lowest number of points in the group
  4. the average points in the group
  5. the lower the least points in the group and 250 points
  6. something I haven't even thought of yet (suggestions welcome! leave them in the comments)
Of these, #4 just feels wrong because it will shaft, on average assuming a normal distribution, half of the players with living PCs. No thank you. All of the others have merits, especially #6.

In Summary

Alnwich is being developed around an assumed starting point total of 125 points. This has mostly manifested in on this blog in deity write-ups, where notes for creating clerics and holy warriors are based on 125-point Henchmen templates. It is also present behind the scenes, but not to a tremendous degree. I'm not pulling punches with the dungeon, and if PCs drop like flies, that's part of the point. It's meant to be an oldschool dungeon where death is always right around the corner.