Defy Danger Release & Newsletter #1

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WARNING!
DEFY. DANGER. RELEASED.

DDSkull_White_Small
After a recent storm of high-powered tabletop gaming, DEFY DANGER is excited to unveil new branding and refinement to our global ambitions.
In addition to the current schedule of offerings from DDE Adventures, here is what you can expect from DEFY DANGER on the 13th of each and every month;
  • a proclamation of tips, tricks, guidelines, and answered questions to help you elevate the games that you run
  • a fiendishly devised puzzle to both tease your brain and give you a quick, go-to challenge for your next tabletop RPG session
  • a design challenge granting you the chance to test your game designer mettle against the greater DEFY DANGER community.
  • a collection of three evocative rumors to plant the seeds of your next over-the-top expedition
You do not want to miss out on any of these exciting, ground-breaking new developments. Sign up today on the right to follow the blog via email!

DEFY DANGER MONTHLY NEWSLETTER #1

Proclamation. Puzzle. Design Challenge. Rumors.

PROCLAMATION

Our new emblem, seen here below, symbolizes what DEFY DANGER is all about.
DDSkull_Black_Small
The logo is black & white to represent the clarity of our vision and the uncompromising stance we take. We do not make or play games that attempt to appeal to everyone. We crave a different experience. We will only create tabletop gaming content that strictly adheres to our vision of quality.
The skull was chosen as a stark symbol of death, failure, and challenge. It’s a nod to our design tenants that our games are always challenging and raise the stakes to the utmost.
It also represents the emotional experience that is brought forth during our games – terror. Terror is complex and covers a wider range of more simple emotions: fear, excitement, apprehension, panic, awe. DEFY DANGER wants every player to be terrified by something at least once in every game. It is through that shared, heightened emotional state that we can forge real emotional connections with our fellow players at the table.
Lastly, the combination of jawless skull with gem eyes is a nod to the classic D&D adventure S1: Tomb of Horrors and its chief villain, the demi-lich Acererak. People may debate the merits and quality of that adventure, but no one can doubt that it changed the way roleplaying games were played from then on by subverting the norm. When it was written in 1975, it did exactly what DEFY DANGER is shooting for – it defied expectations.
Moving forward, this will be the stated mission of DEFY DANGER:
  • inspire creativity and fresh ideas in the tabletop gaming world
  • elicit strong emotional connections in face-to-face gaming by subjecting players to shared terror
  • present intellectually challenging scenarios to promote lateral thinking and a sense of true accomplishment
Do you have questions for the Defy Danger Council? Please drop us a line in the Comments below and we will answer you in future Proclamations.

PUZZLE: SERPENT’S FEAST

Descriptors: Rotting, Claustrophobic, Unsettling
Note: When reading aloud the hybrid creatures words, be sure to emphasize and elongate the ‘S’ sounds on all words. Allow players to engage in a small amount of conversation with the hybrid creature so that they might verify their suspicions of the importance of the ‘S’ sound.
After describing the Features, place a 3-minute timer clearly on the table and count down aloud, as best you can, the remaining 10 seconds before the time expires to add tension and distraction to the players’ thoughts.
FEATURES
In this chamber, a hybrid creature of a woman’s body with a snake’s head and elongated neck sits on a crumbling sandstone throne.
The head of the snake speaks out,
“I am impressed at your success in reaching this chamber. However, I am starved and must be sated by something special. See to it that I am satisfied or you yourself shall serve as my delicious dessert.”
Dangling above the snake head are 5 locked glass feeding tubes, each holding a different creature; Mouse, Ferret, Frog, Squirrel, and Sparrow.
Dangling around the neck of the woman’s body are five corroded brass keys, each labeled with a different collective noun; a business of, a congregation of, a herd of, a host of, a litter of. Each key unlocks all of the glass tubes, but only the correct key will satisfy the serpent woman.
SOLUTION
The players must deduce which tube to unlock by matching the correct collective noun with the correct animal and feed the hybrid creature this choice morsel. Players must either recognize the importance of the double ‘S’ sound, or luck out and know their collective nouns very well.
A ‘business of ferrets’ is the correct answer, business being the only collective noun containing a double ‘S’ and the only collective noun with its associated animal represented. When you reveal the solution to players who have failed this puzzle, be sure to emphasize the ‘S’ sounds in the word ‘business’ to make them feel as though the solution was plain and obvious.
Successful players are allowed safe passage and granted the Amulet of the Serpent-Lord (see Design Challenge).
If the adventurers dawdle for too long and the timer runs out, the snake woman will release her children, a nest of razor-toothed poisonous phase-vipers, to feed.
If the adventurers choose the incorrect animal to feed the snake woman or open a glass tube with an incorrect key, she will become enraged and attack, attempting to eat adventurers. She then reveals her true form, a half-lamia demon-spawned mummy warlock / divine ascendant matriarch. Her nest of poisonous vipers arrive on the next round of combat.
EXPERT LEVEL CHALLENGE: Reduce the timer to only 1 minute.
MASTER LEVEL CHALLENGE: Describe the animals with associated colors, throwing a red herring into the puzzle to confuse and distract. For example, “Grey Mouse, White Ferret, Green Frog, Black Squirrel, and Yellow Sparrow.”

DESIGN CHALLENGE: AMULET OF THE SERPENT-LORD

What game-breaking, crazed powers does the Amulet of the Serpent-Lord grant to its bearer?
Leave a narrative description in the Comments below, adding any supporting game mechanics (from any roleplaying game of your choice) to emphasize and reinforce your design. The most innovative, shocking, or thought-provoking entry will be featured next month as a paragon of game design.

RUMORS

Rumors are a great way to spur imagination. They must always portray evocative images, yet be vague enough in application to fit into any game. Rumors are never completely reliable, often tempting adventurers into dangerous situations by promising lies and half-truths.
  • The broken Necrolith can be repaired with the Mithril Gear and used as a devastating weapon.
  • The divine oracle, Myrris, is invisible in the natural world and can only be seen by viewing her reflection.
  • Mecha-Hitler has an advanced ray shield and can only be affected by slow-moving ballistics. Beware the slow blade and for the love of god, KILL HITLER!
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2 thoughts on “Defy Danger Release & Newsletter #1

    ddeadventures responded:
    May 13, 2016 at 10:25 am

    From Killer GM:

    The Amulet of the Serpent-Lord…. that loathsome, vile emerald, how I wish I’d never laid eyes upon it! When we first recovered it from the Scaled Pits, it seemed to be naught but another piece of treasure. A bauble for the dancing girls to wear as we frittered away our fortunes. Soon though, we became aware of it’s true powers, and it’s reptilian nature.

    At it’s most innocuous, the Amulet allows communication with all reptiles, though it has an affinity for snakes and their ilk. It can even attract any such creatures for at least a mile. Further tampering by our magic-user, Kulthas, uncovered even more though. Should one cast the Amulet to the ground, it becomes a deadly viper in it’s own right, heeding only the voice of it’s master. With sufficient force of will, one may also command belly crawlers as a venomous army. We had started to notice a pall coming over our once jovial mage and entreated him to set aside the amulet, hoping he had not been ensorcelled by it. Our efforts were unfortunately futile.

    It took us several weeks to find him. His cult had proven most troublesome. Mirthia had not faced Serpentmen since the Desert Wars of the Age of Might. Now I know from whence they come and it chills my soul to this night. Kulthas had been changed by the amulet, twisted into a part man, part snake. He’d shed his human form, and was using the Amulet’s ultimate power to create more of his kind. Their sibilant voices raised in exultation to their serpentine god. I pray you good adventurers, cast this item aside. Find a dark, terrible place and leave it there, forget it’s existence. Please.

    Like

    deucedm said:
    May 14, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Amulet of the serpent lord:
    Constant property: You can speak to and command unintelligent serpents at will. In addition, the soul-sucking seven skulled seer sentinel will relinquish the heart of the first hydra to you in the skin tent of MAGARTHA the hag. This item can be used elsewhere in the delve.

    The amulet can be destroyed, unleashing a thousand thousand razor-fanged phase vipers on all planes of existence. All creatures within a 100′ radius must DEFY DANGER with CON at a -3 penalty or suffer 12d12 (78) magical and poison damage. Once the generation of vipers has tasted blood, they then scatter to the wind, seeking to destroy the next seven closest family members of the former wearer before reforming in the belly of a great sleeping serpent in the hear of the world.

    Like

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