Sumberton Campaign: Our Favorite
New Rules and DM Tricks
Favorite New Rules
David specifically designed the keep to examine cover in action. The arrow
slits, crumbled walls, and towers gave us (and often our enemies) anywhere
from full cover to barely any at all. During one battle the goblins approached
us with tower shields. The cover proved very useful for them, because
we were pinned down in place.
(and Sneak Attack): The only benefit (if you could call it that) we
had in being outnumbered is that we were very careful to place ourselves
where we could use every advantage. And any rogue could tell you that
+2 bonus for flanking is a pretty nice advantage. Most of us didnt
dish out the extra sneak attack with the flank, but that special ability
is where Fik got his new last name: "Goblinslayer." It came
back to haunt us however, when four Vicious Halfling Bastards (who all
had levels of rogue) positioned themselves in a four-point pattern flanking
the top of a trapdoor-like staircase.
and Tumbling: To avoid being flanked, we moved whenever possible --
and if that meant moving near an enemys square, we tumbled past.
Tarian was very skilled at tumbling past an enemy, so the rogue would
have a flank attack when his initiative order came up.
Adjustments: Those characters without the Tumble skill helped set
up flanking opportunities by moving one square on the map (representing
5 feet) as a free action during a round. Small movements like that also
allowed Sam to take advantage of both her weapons.
Favorite DM Tricks
Cheats: As game master, David clipped to the inside of his DM screen
a 5x7 sheet of paper filled with random names. If we came in contact
with an NPC and wanted to know his or her name, David would just look
down at the screen, circle the next name on the list, and tell us. We
figured he was checking his campaign notes and were never sure if wed
met an important character or not. Theres nothing like a DM pausing
to invent a name for an NPC to tip off players that "this guys
not worth our time -- the DM didnt even name him." Daves
trick fit well into the multiple-agendas aspect of the campaign world.
If you try this in your campaign, make sure to record the name in your
notes afterward. The second best way to tell your players that an NPC
is insignificant, is to change her name the second time they meet.
David has a wonderful range of voices. He would change his voice and speech
patterns for each character and monster we ran into. Each NPC in the village
had a slightly different accent, and our partys NPC cleric spoke
in a deep bass voice. It was always clear when Pernich was healing: "O
Fharlanghn, mighty Fharlanghn . . . HEAL!" We soon recognized the
high-pitched pidgin squeaks of the goblins ("Hee-hee-hee, wes
gonna stick you!"), and the ogre who only knew one word ("Yum!")
But most frightening were the Vicious Halfling Bastards (VHBs) who said
nothing at all, but used invisibility, attacks of opportunity, flanking
and sneak attacks against us only too well.