Fear of a Black Dragon - Tomb of the Serpent Kings

On the new Fear of a Black Dragon hosts @Coalhada and @jasoncordova look at Tomb of the Serpent Kings. In the show they explore beginner dungeons and look at how designer Skerples built this accessible labyrinth. Lots of great stuff in today’s episode.


Great episode!

I was thinking about the check in issue Jason mentioned.

If you think it’ll be an issue addressing the current discontentment you could do some fact finding without directly confronting the currently adventure. During a break talk to the player about what other games they are looking forward to this weekend, or games they have really enjoyed in the past. Just do something to help them make an emotional connection to something they enjoyed and see if in their telling of that event you can find seeds to plant in the current session.

Heck, sometimes just having a positive conversation can pull people out of a mild funk.


That’s great advice!

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How have you not heard of the Jason and the Argonauts movie? Come on, man!

This was a good episode. There really are a dearth of adventures that focus on teaching. Tower of the Stargazer from LotFP is quite good, and also has explicit discussion of how to run the adventure and why things are the way they are. I think it’s one of my favourites. (The Grindhouse boxed set also came with an adventure that I think also has advice on running adventures, but I can’t recall now.)

The first level of Dwimmermount (by James M from Grognardia) is also a really solid dungeon with all the trappings you’d want: mystery, secret rooms, factions, traps, clues, etc. But it’s not available in a format I would buy right now. One day. It’s not meant to teach, but I think is a good example of what you want in an interesting dungeon.


For everyone that hasn’t listened yet, there is a commercial for the Gauntlet patreon to get the last 4 issues of Codex when you sign up for the $6 level. If you are the type that donates to NPR or the like but only when the gift is good, this is your chance!


I always use Roses, Buds, Thorns; it is close to how Jason described Roses/Thorns, but also asks the players: what would you like to see more of?

I don’t really mind focusing on the negative, personally.


Oh interesting. I’ve never heard of buds, but I do like that it seems positive and oriented toward looking ahead.

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I use Stars & Wishes but I explicitly position the Wishes as “ways you want our game to evolve, whether adding, removing, or changing elements.” Generally players take the opportunity to say what they want more of.

And in the case where I could tell someone didn’t like something in the game but didn’t mention it in front of the group (or on stream, which adds another layer of complexity), I check in with them privately later. Often it wasn’t a big deal but they universally have always appreciated the attention and focus on their comfort in the game.