404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

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404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Big Mac » Tue May 03, 2016 5:22 pm

Hi Blacky,

I've had someone report that they can't download Darker Dungeons. I checked the website and I can't get the website itself to load.

I thought you might want to know. :)
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Blacky the Blackball » Thu May 05, 2016 2:18 pm

Yep. My ISP has decided to stop providing webspace.

I've set up a new site here: Gurbintroll Games (the change in name was because there's already at least two other "Gratis Games" out there, but a Google search for "Gurbintroll" got no hits at all).

I've moved some of my stuff onto there.

Some of my PDFs (Dark Dungeons, Blood, Guts & Glory, and FASERIP) are now available at RPGNow, since they've changed their terms and conditions* so some that are compatible with me giving everything away for free. I'll be making the other titles directly downloadable from the Gurbintroll Games site when I get around to it.



*The terms used to be that you could only put up free downloads if you also had pay-to-download items available. That was fair, since otherwise they'd be losing money on your stuff, but excluded people like me who were committed to giving stuff away for free. However, now you can have some things as "Pay what you want" instead. That's ideal, since I get to still give it away for free, but some people want to give me something for my games despite being able to get them for free and RPGNow get to take their percentage out of that.

So everyone wins. People who want my stuff for free get it for free. People who want to show their appreciation by giving me a "tip" can do so. RPGNow gets a cut of the tips, and I get the rest as store credit to inflate my already bulging RPG collection with.
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Big Mac » Thu May 05, 2016 6:50 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote:Yep. My ISP has decided to stop providing webspace.


Thanks for the update.

Blacky the Blackball wrote:I've set up a new site here: Gurbintroll Games (the change in name was because there's already at least two other "Gratis Games" out there, but a Google search for "Gurbintroll" got no hits at all).

I've moved some of my stuff onto there.


It's looking good.

It must be annoying for you though. You effectively have to reinvent the wheel to get back to where you were back when you did all the hard work last time. :roll:

Blacky the Blackball wrote:Some of my PDFs (Dark Dungeons, Blood, Guts & Glory, and FASERIP) are now available at RPGNow, since they've changed their terms and conditions* so some that are compatible with me giving everything away for free. I'll be making the other titles directly downloadable from the Gurbintroll Games site when I get around to it.

*The terms used to be that you could only put up free downloads if you also had pay-to-download items available. That was fair, since otherwise they'd be losing money on your stuff, but excluded people like me who were committed to giving stuff away for free. However, now you can have some things as "Pay what you want" instead. That's ideal, since I get to still give it away for free, but some people want to give me something for my games despite being able to get them for free and RPGNow get to take their percentage out of that.

So everyone wins. People who want my stuff for free get it for free. People who want to show their appreciation by giving me a "tip" can do so. RPGNow gets a cut of the tips, and I get the rest as store credit to inflate my already bulging RPG collection with.


It looks like you have two titles on "pay what you want" and the other set to free.

(One thing about "pay what you want" that some people might not realise is that people can "buy it" for nothing and then go back and "buy it again" and pay more money. So if anyone new comes along, they can use the system for a free trial, without loosing the ability to come back later and give you a "tip".)

Do you think you might go with Print on Demand via RPG Now/DriveThru at some point?

BTW: Your old darkdungeons.wordpress.com website is still up. Do you still have access to that, so that you can update the "Dark Dungeons has moved." message?
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Tim Baker » Fri May 06, 2016 8:17 am

Blacky the Blackball wrote:Some of my PDFs (Dark Dungeons, Blood, Guts & Glory, and FASERIP) are now available at RPGNow, since they've changed their terms and conditions* so some that are compatible with me giving everything away for free. I'll be making the other titles directly downloadable from the Gurbintroll Games site when I get around to it.

Do you plan to make Darker Dungeons available to download from your site in the future? On RPGNow so we can leave a tip?
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Blacky the Blackball » Fri May 06, 2016 9:00 am

Big Mac wrote:It's looking good.

It must be annoying for you though. You effectively have to reinvent the wheel to get back to where you were back when you did all the hard work last time. :roll:


It was a pain having to re-do stuff - but don't forget, I'm not trying to make money at this or create a "brand" or anything, so as long as I've got somewhere I can point people to if they ask the relative prominence of my site isn't really relevant.

Anyway, to be honest I think it was a net gain in that respect putting things on RPGNow.

It looks like you have two titles on "pay what you want" and the other set to free.

(One thing about "pay what you want" that some people might not realise is that people can "buy it" for nothing and then go back and "buy it again" and pay more money. So if anyone new comes along, they can use the system for a free trial, without loosing the ability to come back later and give you a "tip".)


That's right. I've put Dark Dungeons and Blood, Guts & Glory on pay-what-you-want because that way it will keep RPGNow happy in that they can make some money for hosting my stuff but people can still download it for free if they want. I didn't put FASERIP on pay-what-you-want because of the art. I'm using Storn Cook's art under a strictly non-Commercial license, and while I contacted him and gained his blessing that giving the PDF away and having the POD book at cost was suitably non-Commercial, I didn't want to push things by then moving from "free" to "pay-what-you-want".

Any new things I put on RPGNow will have one or the other (free or pwyw) depending on how I've licensed the artwork.

Do you think you might go with Print on Demand via RPG Now/DriveThru at some point?


I might, but the issue there is that doing so might need me to re-do the books due to slight formatting differences between Lightning Source (the POD company that RPGNow uses) and LULU. That could be a lot of work for little to no gain, so I'm putting off thinking about it.

What's more likely is that any new projects I produce will be designed in the Lightning Source format from the start.

BTW: Your old darkdungeons.wordpress.com website is still up. Do you still have access to that, so that you can update the "Dark Dungeons has moved." message?


Oh, so it is!

Now if only I could remember which email address and password I used to create it...
Check out Gurbintroll Games for my free RPGs (including Dark Dungeons and FASERIP)!

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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Blacky the Blackball » Fri May 06, 2016 9:20 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Blacky the Blackball wrote:Some of my PDFs (Dark Dungeons, Blood, Guts & Glory, and FASERIP) are now available at RPGNow, since they've changed their terms and conditions* so some that are compatible with me giving everything away for free. I'll be making the other titles directly downloadable from the Gurbintroll Games site when I get around to it.

Do you plan to make Darker Dungeons available to download from your site in the future? On RPGNow so we can leave a tip?


I'm reluctant to put it on RPGNow in its current state because it's got some fairly major editing/quality-control issues.

My choices are basically:

  1. Finish writing the "Second Edition" that I abandoned when 5e came out, and put it up on RPGNow.
  2. Take the existing first edition text (which is in Publisher 2013), re-flow and re-format it into InDesign, cleaning it up as I go, and then put it on RPGNow
  3. Put the existing first edition PDF, which I know to be full of mistakes and omissions, and put it up on my website.

I should really do one or other of the first two, but they both involve quite a lot of work and I've not yet built up the enthusiasm for either of them. I could easily do the third, but I'm holding out because I know that if I take the third option "temporarily" I'll never get round to either of the first two.
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Tim Baker » Fri May 06, 2016 9:39 am

Blacky the Blackball wrote:My choices are basically:

  1. Finish writing the "Second Edition" that I abandoned when 5e came out, and put it up on RPGNow.
  2. Take the existing first edition text (which is in Publisher 2013), re-flow and re-format it into InDesign, cleaning it up as I go, and then put it on RPGNow
  3. Put the existing first edition PDF, which I know to be full of mistakes and omissions, and put it up on my website.

I should really do one or other of the first two, but they both involve quite a lot of work and I've not yet built up the enthusiasm for either of them. I could easily do the third, but I'm holding out because I know that if I take the third option "temporarily" I'll never get round to either of the first two.

Thank you for the quick and detailed response. I hope option 1 or 2 become a reality eventually. It's a nice way of playing RC content with few modifications using a more streamlined and consolidated ruleset. While 5e does a nice job of capturing the feel of older editions, it's not quite a easy to pick up a 30-year-old adventure and play it with little conversion (the sheer number of monsters that can appear in a single battle in many older adventures are likely to overwhelm a 5e party, for example). I think there's room in the hobby for both 5e and Darker Dungeons. :)

If you've written about how 5e impacted your work on Darker Dungeons, I'd be interested to read about it. I'm fairly new to the Piazza, and haven't come across a related thread.
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Blacky the Blackball » Fri May 06, 2016 11:05 am

Tim Baker wrote:While 5e does a nice job of capturing the feel of older editions, it's not quite a easy to pick up a 30-year-old adventure and play it with little conversion (the sheer number of monsters that can appear in a single battle in many older adventures are likely to overwhelm a 5e party, for example).


That works both ways around. Fights against multiple opponents can easily overwhelm a 5e party, but fights against a single opponent (which are also common in old adventures) tend to be much easier than you'd expect.

My big epic 5e campaign has exclusively used BECMI adventures, and I've not had to do any conversion in advance. I just adjust monsters and treasure on the fly and everything seems to work fine. The campaign's been going on weekly since the week the 5e PHB came out, and the party are currently 15th level, having played up from 1st. We have six PCs - a Tempest Cleric, a Wild Mage Sorcerer, a Circle of the Moon Druid, a Way of the Fist Monk, a College of Valor Bard, and an Assassin Rogue.

The party started in Darokin and we started with B5 - Horror on the Hill which I placed there. After that, the party started traveling south to Karameikos accompanying a merchant, and this segued into the first part of Wrath of the Immortals as they cleared out the keep on behalf of their merchant friend's associate. They then continued south into Karameikos during which time they got caught up in B10 - Night's Dark Terror. After finishing that in Specularum (introducing the Traldar to Duke Stefan) they found the plea for help from X6 - Quagmire.

They traveled to Slagovich via Teleport Circle, and set off from there down the Serpent Peninsula. Around half way to Quagmire Benekander (from WotI) returned and recruited them to help him. He knew that there was war brewing, and that it was something to do with the "alien magic" from his ship (i.e. The Radiance) but didn't yet know the specifics of where the Radiance was located. He was going to go investigate in Alphatia while the PCs investigated Hule - which was attacking Darokin. He helped them finish off their current mission (by teleporting them directly to Quagmire) and they went off to investigate the Hulean attacks - playing through X4 Master of the Desert Nomads and X5 Temple of Death to see if it had anything to do with the "alien magic".

While doing this, they'd asked Benekander about the prospect of time travel and if it could be used to undo things. That was convenient because I'd already planned for that to happen!

I brought forwards the later events of WotI and had Alphatia sink - with Benekander on it, destroying his mortal form - while the party were in Hule. After killing The Master (but not destroying his secret body) the party returned to Darokin to find that the whole world was going to Hell in a handbasket. They eventually managed to contact Benekander, who said that the only possibility left to save everything would be to try their time travel idea. He'd been investigating and discovered rumours that there was some place called the "Come Back Inn" which was apparently connected to time travel - but he had no idea where it was. One of the party had the "Hermit" background, and I told her that her "discovery" was that she'd found the inn on her travels (but didn't know its significance at the time).

The party traveled to the Come Back Inn - with The Master chasing them in the form of a Revenant - and went through it, finding themselves in ancient Blackmoor and doing DA2 - Temple of the Frog. After getting back to the present, they immediately contacted Benekander and they were confident that this was the correct time and place for where his ship crashed. Consequently they returned to the past a second time and did DA3 - City of the Gods, during which they took future-immortal-Benekander to the ship so that he could alter the engines and prevent the creation of The Radiance in the first place!

Upon returning to the present, they discovered that their actions had changed history. The Radiance had never been created, the war had never happened, and Alphatia hadn't been sunk. The Immortals of Time destroyed the time rift under the Come Back Inn and inducted Benekander into their ranks. They are the only people who remember the old time line, with even the other Immortals only remembering the current time line.

However, in this new timeline The Master was still alive and attacking Darokin! The party were summoned to Darokin City and told that the sages had pronounced that they were the people destined to kill The Master (the PCs recognised one of the "sages" as one of the Immortals of Time they'd earlier met in a mortal form - and he secretly informed them that the reason they were destined to kill The Master was because the were the ones who had killed him in the previous timeline and therefore their fates were tied together). This led into X10 - Red Arrow, Black Shield whereby the party had to kill The Master again.

By this time, of course, the PCs were high enough level to settle down, and they were contacted by King Ericall - an Alphatian who was setting up a colony in Norwold. Although the Alphatians didn't know why, they'd been told by the Immortals that the PCs had saved Alphatia in some unspecified way and that they should be rewarded. So they were each given land grants in Norwold and we ran CM1 - Test of the Warlords as they got settled.

After getting established (I wrote up my own 5e conversion of the dominion and war machine rules), they successfully fought off the Thyatian invasion. Since then they've dealt with the invasion of a neighbour's fiefdom from a Plane of Entropy (CM2 - Death's Ride) and they're currently in the middle of CM3 - Sabre River.

My plan is that when we've finished Sabre River I'll take them through CM4 - Earthshaker, CM6 - Where Chaos Reigns (they'll be chosen by the Immortals for this because of their experience with time travel), M1 - Into the Maelstrom, M2 - Vengeance of Alphaks, M3 - Twilight Calling, and M5 - Talons of Night.

By my reckoning (we're not tracking XP, just going up a level when appropriate) they'll hit 20th level between M2 and M3, giving them a couple of adventures during which they can play with their top-end powers.

And then they'll be given Immortality (I'll probably have Talons of Night serve as their trial) and - assuming I finish my 5e conversion of the Immortals rules in time - they'll do IM1 - The Immortal Storm, IM2 - Wrath of Olympus, and IM3 - The Best of Intentions.

I think there's room in the hobby for both 5e and Darker Dungeons. :)


Definitely.

If you've written about how 5e impacted your work on Darker Dungeons, I'd be interested to read about it. I'm fairly new to the Piazza, and haven't come across a related thread.


There's not much to tell, really. I was playing Darker Dungeons and updating it to a second edition. When 5e came out I started a campaign of that - and that campaign is still going. Because I've not been playing Darker Dungeons I've not really been thinking about it either, and I got distracted by other projects and stopped working on the Darker Dungeons update.
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Big Mac » Sun May 08, 2016 4:52 pm

Blacky the Blackball wrote:
Tim Baker wrote:I think there's room in the hobby for both 5e and Darker Dungeons. :)


Definitely.

Tim Baker wrote:If you've written about how 5e impacted your work on Darker Dungeons, I'd be interested to read about it. I'm fairly new to the Piazza, and haven't come across a related thread.


There's not much to tell, really. I was playing Darker Dungeons and updating it to a second edition. When 5e came out I started a campaign of that - and that campaign is still going. Because I've not been playing Darker Dungeons I've not really been thinking about it either, and I got distracted by other projects and stopped working on the Darker Dungeons update.


Thanks for the additional information. I'm not doing 5e myself, but it's great to see other people giving it a go.

Just for the record, the person who I mentioned in the original post was also specifically interested in Darker Dungeons.
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Krimson » Sun May 08, 2016 6:44 pm

I got a print version of Dark Dungeons off Lulu a year or so ago, so I'm good. :D
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Tim Baker » Mon May 09, 2016 3:22 am

Blacky the Blackball wrote:That works both ways around. Fights against multiple opponents can easily overwhelm a 5e party, but fights against a single opponent (which are also common in old adventures) tend to be much easier than you'd expect.

You make a good point. I hadn't considered that aspect, but you're right.

Blacky the Blackball wrote:My big epic 5e campaign has exclusively used BECMI adventures, and I've not had to do any conversion in advance. I just adjust monsters and treasure on the fly and everything seems to work fine. The campaign's been going on weekly since the week the 5e PHB came out, and the party are currently 15th level, having played up from 1st. We have six PCs - a Tempest Cleric, a Wild Mage Sorcerer, a Circle of the Moon Druid, a Way of the Fist Monk, a College of Valor Bard, and an Assassin Rogue.

You must have a pretty good grasp of 5e encounter balance. I found that there's a fair amount of math behind building an encounter that won't bore nor slaughter the party (especially the latter at low level play). I wonder if I'm the exception to the rule? I'll admit that I haven't done a lot of 5e DMing, so perhaps, as with anything, it gets easier with practice.

Your campaign sounds awesome, by the way!
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Blacky the Blackball » Mon May 09, 2016 10:48 am

I've found that the best tool in a DM's toolkit for encounter building (and I must admit to playing fairly fast and loose anyway - some encounters do end up walkovers for the PCs and others are real struggles; but we like the variety) is that of "Schroedinger's Re-inforcements".

The great thing about re-inforcements designed to act as a second wave is that until they actually appear the party have no idea what they are or how many they are. That means that if you intend for a second wave of monsters to join the fight after a couple of rounds, it gives you that couple of rounds to judge how the fight is going. If the PCs are finding it easier than expected then it's easy and seamless to bump up the numbers of the re-inforcements a bit; similarly if the party are finding it harder than you expected you can either bring in fewer re-inforcements or bring them in a round or two later to give the PCs more of a chance to thin the ranks a bit.

Even if you weren't intending to bring in re-inforcements it's often easier to lowball your original estimate of what would be fun and then add re-inforcements if necessary than to aim high and then find that the party are overwhelmed.

I'm also not afraid to fudge a few things. One of the good things about 5e compared to 3.x and 4e is that monster difficulty is largely related to hit points rather than armour class. The PCs will rarely have trouble hitting the monsters but might not be able to do enough damage to take them out. That's good because while monster ACs and saves are generally static and will become known to the players after a few attacks, hit points are hidden information. If the PCs are finding it hard to bring down the giants, maybe these giants have fewer than average hit points? It's the sort of thing you can retroactively fudge without it being obvious that a roll that missed last round is hitting this round.

I don't recommend fudging things too often, mind, or it stops being fun. But used sparingly to avoid an accidental TPK it can be another useful tool.
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Re: 404 Errors from the Dark Dungeons website

Postby Tim Baker » Tue May 10, 2016 7:14 pm

That's great advice. Thanks for taking the time to pass it along!
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