… He won’t be expecting us then.
A line from one character when friends of mine when playing the original Ravenloft adventure. I wasn’t actually there but I’ve heard it so often it almost feels like community property. I’d played the same scenario back in college so it made sense to me. Back on the 1st I said that I’d been tinkering with my old Ravenloft notes for no good reason. Except now it may not be so frivolous as I may have a couple of players for a game of D&D. Trust me to set that up a couple of months before 4th Edition hits the shops but at least I’ve plenty of material to fall back on and its not like 3rd Edition is a bad system.
So tonight I’ve been picking out a set of appropriate monsters I may use. Like picking a colour pallet for an illustration or a web site I find having a small set of monsters to work with gives a more satisying feel to a campaign than using any old monsters that take my fancy. The adventures end up with a stronger linking theme and can take on a more personal feel for the players. Not to say I won’t throw a monster from out of left field if I think the players have gotten into a habbit of dealing with a particular way. I think of it as the Boromir strategy after Shaun Beans’ great line in Lord of the Rings "They have a cave troll".
I’ve also been devising outlines for four villains. I always like to have four villains on hand. One will be thrown away pretty quickly when either I don’t like them or the players just don’t act like they are scary or villainous. One will probably be defeated early on to give them a false sense of hope and progress. One will appear to be bad but will get munched on by the other remaining villain. Which will leave the last one standing of the four: in Buffy Speak the Big Bad.
After a couple of years of writing more fiction than gaming I’d forgotten how much easier it is to put stuff for a game together. Anyway it looks like I’m going back to the castle and there is every chance it’s night.