DnD Campaign Design: Top-down vs. Bottom-up

Biggus Geekus Podcast
Biggus Geekus Podcast
DnD Campaign Design: Top-down vs. Bottom-up
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Episode 53Wednesday September 15,2021.
Call ins & Emails from the Outlands

Call ins:
Jason Connerly of Nerd’s RPG Variety Cast
Taylor of Cleric’s Wear Ringmail podcast
Pat of Pointy Hat Games

We played last Friday…together and it was Mudsword V.1
Contest of Champions 2
5 quick treats (courtesy of our very own Silent Josh)
Tier and Levels in Dungeons and Dragons
Stupid THACO?
Descent again
50 Riddles for DMs
Becoming a Pro DM

Main Topic: Top-Down or Bottom-Up Campaign Design?
https://scrivthebard.com/2019/08/14/worldbuilding-top-down-or-bottom-up/

https://noblecrumpet-dorkvision.tumblr.com/post/170282034022/world-building

Advantages and Disadvantages
Played and/or run both
Some of the other types such as: Reactive, Mad libs, Randomization & Three-Beat Premise
Are Outside-In and Inside-out really different?

Top 10 inspirational Music

Like it, Love it or Leave it

Playing in the Mud
After-action report from September 11 game
Used the RC- as a basis- it’s a bit weird if coming from AD&D
Stat Mods for Races < Stat Max/Min for races
The Rogue may need help: Momentum (13thage) or Gaining The Edge
Flexible weapons: a mace = sword = hammer = battle axe
The “Saving Throw” from White Box/S&W
Hit points
The Campaign World – if we build it will they come?
Difficulty/Danger level should be high
Sleep spell is BOSS!
Spell descriptions are better when short as possible
The place for game lore – mixed with rules or separate
Got up and running quick would be quicker with familiarity
Death rule is good
Cleric healing just enough to stave off death for a time

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We would also like to encourage you to check out a few things that we like.
Red Dice Diaries (with John Alan Large and his wife Hannah)
Radio Grognard (with Glen Halstrom)
The Tale of the Manticore (a unique quasi-actual play)
Tavern Chat (with Eric Tenkar):
1) Blog: https://www.tenkarstavern.com/
2) Podcast: https://anchor.fm/tavernchat
3) Video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIdpAASpAI7vu-bZx6pP_mQ
Why so many? He is the Czar of the OSR after all!
Nerd’s RPG Variety Cast (Jason)
Shadow of the GM (Barry)
Clerics Wear Ringmail Blog (Taylor)

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2 Replies to “DnD Campaign Design: Top-down vs. Bottom-up”

  1. DM Dastardly Dad

    When I have players roll against stats I use a d6 method. For easy task I require a 3d6 or 4d6 to roll under your stat. Harder tasks require 5d6 or 6d6 or even higher. For example, to move that boulder require the player roll 6d6 and roll under players strength.

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