September 17, 2018 0 comments

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What’s next?


Can’t wait for the delivery of the rulebook - I’ve been a fan and DM of rolemaster and Merp your years, but your take on combat and spells has fixed something that I thought was long broken. I vowed years ago I would never return to Middle-earth as a campaign setting even after the role out of The One Ring RPG, but since I read and backed Darkmaster I’ve not looked back.

So my question, is what next for Darkmaster? More adventures, more expansions. My Players are already looking beyond 10th level (currently 5th)

Keep up the good work


Terry Mullins has reacted to this post.
Terry Mullins

We have several projects coming up, at various stages of production. We'll definitely have detailed announcements about them when we're ready to disclose more about their contents, but I can tell you that the next official release should be an adventure by Scott Malthouse, titled "The Silence of Dawnfell". If you liked the Willow Lake saga, you'll surely enjoy exploring Dawnfell!

But let's make this about you, people: we know you have the best ideas! What would you like to see in the future of Against the Darkmaster?

Jakob Schmidt and Charles Robinson have reacted to this post.
Jakob SchmidtCharles Robinson
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

Will there be a more robust Bestiary?

In addition, could you expound on how to make our own creatures?  It is sort of confusing.

Thank you for any help that you can provide.



Charles W. Robinson

Jason Coplen has reacted to this post.
Jason Coplen

There will certainly be more monster coming.

So, when you're making a new opponent/creature you'll obviously have to start with a concept and decide if it's going to be a Common opponent, Elite, or an Antagonist.

Let's say I'm going to need something like a Minotaur, a bull-headed brute. This is probably going to be an Elite opponent, since I want it to be pretty though, and it's going to have up to 40 points to distribute among its Stats. I'll give it a  Brawn of 20 and a Fortitude of 15: it's very strong and quite resilient.

Next, I'll decide its Level: I need it to be something of a challenge for my Level 4 heroes, so I make it a Level 8 creature.

Let's calculate its bonuses: I think it should be a Large creature (like a troll), so we start with a base HP of 75, plus its Fortitude (75+15 = 90) and up to 2 ranks in Body per level. That would be 16 ranks at level 8, so 90+62= 152. I round it up to 155 HPs.

Next, attacks: its Primary attack is going to be its Large Horns. We have a 4 Base ranks, plus up to 2/level, so 20 ranks at level 8 (16+4), for a +70 bonus. Adding its Brawn we have a total CMB of +90. Secondary attack is similar, but starts with 2 ranks, so I give it a +80 total and decide it's a weapon.

Next, skills. I don't see it at particularly smart or sneaky, so primary skill is going to be Adventuring. At up to 2 ranks per level I settle for a +60 bonus (15 ranks). I give it just a couple ranks in Lore (+10) and a little more in Roguery (+20).

Then I'll give it a few special abilities. Since it's big and though, I'll make it a Heroic creature. I like the idea of this beast to start the combat by charging its foes, so I'll give it an extra +20 to its CMB when charging. I also see it becoming enraged when wounded, so I decide that when this monster becomes Bruised, rather than taking the usual penalty, it becomes immune to Stun and mental control, but also unable to Parry. That should make a nice surprise for the heroes!

The only thing left to do is adding a few details, like calculating its Save Rolls based on its Level, and giving it a DEF score. Add a nice description and you're done!

Charles Robinson has reacted to this post.
Charles Robinson
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

Thank you.  🙂

Just a follow up question, for a party of 4 to 6 players, how many minotaurs would be in the encounter, 1?  The rules really don't talk about the number of opponents for an encounter.  I am assuming that common would be no higher than 4, and antagonist would be no higher than 12?  The chapter about creating campaigns is lacking some.  Thanks!  🙂

Quote from Topramesk on January 12, 2021, 11:29 pm

But let's make this about you, people: we know you have the best ideas! What would you like to see in the future of Against the Darkmaster?

So, I finally took the dive into the full rules, and while I haven't played vsD yet, my mind keeps returning to Shannara while reading it, probably because I associate it so closely with reading all that epic Fantasy in the late 80s and 90s.

That made me think: How about a supplement that provides material for a "post-apocalyptic" epic fantasy setting in the Shannara sense, basically keeping the EDO thing but adding that layer of "this is actually some very far future that has seen the arrival/return of magic and kins that we now call elves, dwarves, trolls ... " Probably better to keep it subtle, like an occasional cybernetic monster stirred up from some ancient hypersleep chamber or a dark spirit that might have started out as an AI in the distant past. Nothing that would totally change the tone to scifi/post-apocalypse. I think it wouldn't even have to be a big supplement to achieve this, bascially just provide a few twists along those lines.

The one thing I'd like to see: Nice quick to play modules. The MERP Ready-to-Run modules were great at getting the tale, the npcs, and the task laid out easily. I like the OSR bullet point dungeons, but dungeon crawling is more a dnd thing. MERP was gold standard and easy to run non-dungeon (or at least minimally dungeon) modules.

This is not a big priority for me but a player's companion that expands the backgrounds would probably be popular. I think what y'all have done with the backgrounds is a great way to expand character options without a great deal of vocation or kin bloat. Of course, one could expand the magical vocations simply by providing alternate spell lores.

Jakob Schmidt has reacted to this post.
Jakob Schmidt

I'd love to see a MEGA campaign in a setting heavily influenced by Middle Earth, just like the game is, where you undertake an epic fellowship to defeat the setting's Darkmaster and restore freedom to the realm.  A good year or two worth of campaign would RULE.

I'd love to see a Bestiary that expands monsters, NPCs, and agents of the Darkmaster.  I want a Witch King of Angmar surrogate!

A supplement of legendary magical artifacts would be sweet as well.


Quote from Nevander on March 1, 2021, 11:44 pm


Okay, I know this is more Leiber than Howard, but "Swords Against the Darkmaster" sounds like a good title.

Nevander has reacted to this post.