Critical Role Call of the Netherdeep playthrough commentary [spoilers]

One of my realizations as a DM in my 30s was "Wait, players almost never search for secret doors unless they have a pretty strong reason to believe they're there, but I've been putting loads of secret doors in my adventures, so how about I don't do that anymore?".

Dropping secret doors generally unless they were a significant plot point made my life as a DM better, and because then I wasn't hiding loot or weird/cool encounters behind them, my adventure design improved too.
It's possible I'm missing some significance to the secret doors. One thing you tend not to see in the text of modern published adventures is the intent.

Edit: It seems to me that the intent is that the doors open automatically when the PCs "complete" the room, or they befriend the NPC Theo, and he show them where the doors are.

But in my own stuff I only include secret doors where there is good reason for them to be (and hence reason the PCs might look for them).
 
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Session 19

Chapter 6

I'm warming to chapter 6 now I'm getting a sense of how it supposed to work (and have completed all the transport the players to a new location in the antagonist's memories rooms). I've come to the conclusion that the secret doors where added as an afterthought, to counter the scout the entire dungeon with Arcane Eye tactic, which could potentially break the narrative. A warning about the light devourer monster - I would change it's Light Absorption trait from "spends any part of its turn in an area of bright light" to "ends its turn in an area of bright light" otherwise it does ridiculous amounts of damage every turn if the PCs are unable to fight it in darkness.

Another monstrous anomaly: adult horizonback tortoises are monstrosities, buy young horizonback tortoises are beasts.
 

Session 20

Chapter 6

Nearing the end of this now. My players are finding it a bit of a slog. If your players are finding your adventures too easy, and you want something that rewards system mastery, this might be a good choice. What, you don't have access to damage type X?! You don't all have resistance to Y?! You don't have Tiny Hut or Rope Trick?! You are going to find this heavy going.
 
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