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Friday, February 3, 2017

Welcome to Dungeon Tours, Ltd.! A tabletop beta.

My friends over at Tangent Artists love them some tabletop games -- as do I. And recently they told me about Dungeon Tours, Ltd., based on the Fate Accelerated open-source gaming system. Before it goes to Kickstarter, though, they're asking people to run betas.

Well, I volunteered my little group.

I used to have a group in my college/post-college years, and they're still around, but some of us have branched off and the rest of us were busy. We did primarily White Wolf, but at one point I ran a Sailor Moon Tri-Stat game (yes, that's something you can buy a book for) with the Sailor Scout archetypes based on Medieval astronomy. It was... pretty amazing. I was an unskilled GM, and that was obvious, but I enjoyed it.

Now it's 15 years later, I've gamed and written a bit more, and I'm working with a new system entirely. In fact, I'd never even heard of Fate in any form until Monica and Co. told me about DTL. On the surface it's fairly easy -- there are special Fate dice, but you can also use a fistful of d6 for your purposes, and this is a character sheet. Seriously, that's it. You actually make up a lot of your own stats. Even so, it's a new game and a new system, and I suspect that I will be learning alongside the players no matter how much I may have studied.

So, in short -- DTL is D&D meets heists. You play retired adventurers who open up a "dungeon tour" business, offering totally real adventures to people who who probably get killed if they tried to go on a proper adventure. The DM plays the client and any other NPCs, and the adventure comes in the form of interviewing the client, designing and building a dungeon, populating it with threats, and then leading the client through without them getting killed or realising that dragon is 100% made of canvas.

I've called it "D&D sukiyaki" to some: the DM brings everything to the table, but the party makes it.

Now, at the front, this sounds kind of like "lazy gaming" or "DM's revenge." It may be a bit of the latter. But prepping for tonight's campaign, in which my team of con artists will have to convince a [spoiler] that s/he's really and truly engaging in a [spoiler], is anything but lazy. Because the client has demands. Dumb ones. Plus, you have to make sure that not only is your character not too likable... they also can't be too unlikable, in case the team just decides to off them and pocket the cash.

Once we've run this beta game, I'll tell people about it for sure. Some of the group read my blog, so I don't want to give anything away. Suffice to say I think this is the right team for an adventure like this -- it's tailor-made for the really creative groups.

Check out the links above if you're interested in doing a beta (they're accepting gamers and proofreaders). Even before the Kickstarter starts, you can get cool perks just for helping them punch it into shape!