JD - Baptism of Fire - Adventure

Arabin

Mongoose
I found the Baptism of Fire adventure over at http://www.dreddtimes.com and I was wondering if anyone had run this with beginning characters. Having never GM'd before, I am going to be starting a Judge Dredd campaign with friends who do not know anything about Dredd other than what they saw in the film. I am going to be lending them certain graphic novels before we begin play, but I'm trying to decide whether to start them out with Baptism of Fire or boost them all to level 2 and start with Full Eagle Day.

Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?

Arabin
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
It depends - how familiar with the D20 system are they in general?

A scenario designed to gradually intorduce them to diffrent parts of the system may suit them better if they are relatively new.
 

Arabin

Mongoose
They are very familiar with the d20 system, far more than I am. Two of my players have been involved in a D&D campaign that's actually been successfully run almost every week for a couple of years now. Of course, they are up into epic levels and I believe they are working on becomming gods right now, but yes, they have a lot of experience.

I'm the only one who knows the Judge Dredd setting though. I had them look over the rule book and some graphic novels, but it'll take a while for the to get used to the different way they will need to play.

I'm fairly certain that I will have my hands full since they are highly likely to be quoting rules at me and I'll have to have a good defense prepared so that I don't have to fall back to the "Because I'm the GM and I say so" arguement.

Arabin
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Heh - a scenario designed to gradually introduce *you* to the system and them to the background seems to be in order ;)
 

Arabin

Mongoose
Exactly! I have done a bit of D&D and I'm comfortable with playing, but I certainly won't be able to quote rules without referring to the manuals. I figure that as long as I have a good idea of where to find the info, I should be alright. If the rules don't seem to answer the question then I'll make a judgement call based on my years of reading 2000ad and the megazine.

Based on the knowledge of the players and myself, do you think Baptism of Fire is a good start of should I begin with Full Eagle Day?

I did mention the two modules vaguely to my soon to be players, and joked that we could start off with Baptism of Fire and if everyone dies then we know it wasn't such a good idea :)

Arabin
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Is that the Cursed Earth run with the extremely hard-assed Judge in charge (who doesn't deserve the title judge?)

(It may not be, in which case I am rambling pointlessly...)

If so, I personally didn't much like it. It struck me as too arbitary in places, and more reminiscent of a D&D overland adventure than the sort of thing I would expect for JD. And letting the *players* first example of behaviour suitable for a senior judge be that guy would give them very much the wrong impression of what it means to be a judge IMO.

If your players are new to JD, something that introduces them to the city proper would be more appropriate, IMO. In the Dredd strips, a trip into the cursed earth is a big deal. To through it away as a starting adventure seems remiss, to me - the fact that Cadets have to do a hot-dog run notwistanding. If you really wanted to take the PCs into the cursed earth, as cadets or otherwise, I'd make a much bigger story out of it myself.

I did like some of it, though - I will probably steal the Hunt Club bit to use as a scenario in its own right, with over a the course of a couple of games the PCs picking up clues that the Hunt Club are up to something big, and desperately trying to find out what in order to prevent a massacre....

********

All this is only my own, personal feelings of course, and not based on trying to run the adventure.
 

Arabin

Mongoose
I like the way you think Mayhem. You are correct about the content of the adventure.

I agree, now that I step back and take a broader look at things, that the Baptism of Fire "adventure" isn't a good idea for people new to the world of Judge Dredd. I think I'll try boosting them to level two so that they are a little tougher and can take on the official mod, Full Eagle Day. I have only flicked through it so far, but it does seem to be better suited for beginners.

Now, another question I have, is about the number of players. The modules recommend that you have 4 to 6 players... but I only have 3 right now. For Full Eagle Day, do you think it best to add an NPC who would need to pretty much stay by the players side through the campaign, or should I just let them try it with three players? I don't have the experience yet to be able to scale encounters so I might end up killing them all unless I cheated on die rolls... which I'd rather not do.

Anyway, I appreciate all the feedback. How is your campaign coming on?

Arabin
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
Lol - slowly - played 2 games then christmas got in the way. One player has since moved out of the country, so I am down, in theory, to three, two of whom can be described as "sporadic."

I can't comment on teh published adventures, since I don't have them. I could, perhaps, send you the notes on what I ran for my PCs as an intro to both the city and the rules - I was thinking of polishing it up enough to publish on the net but I never seem to get around to it.

My own plans are to convert the old White Dwarf scenarios, including, once the PCs are up to it, Marcus Rowlands excellent adventure about the paradoxical return of the Mutant...
 

Arabin

Mongoose
I'd appreciate anything you can send me. I have been trying to pick up some old Games Workshop stuff for the original JD game with the hope of converting it, but I haven't had much success yet. I'd love it if you could send me even a rough draft of what you ran. The main thing for me is that there doesn't seem to be a large player/gm base for Judge Dredd right now. I'll take a look at your website and if you do add anything there, I'll be at the front of the queue to download it.

Do you think there is enough interest to start some kind of newsgroup or something? I joined the yahoo groups I could find but there hasn't been any activity. Where is everybody?

Arabin
 

Arabin

Mongoose
Heh, well, I've just read through it and it does sound like a lot of fun. If you were starting with level 3 players (freshly graduated) then it'd be a very nice introduction to so many of the features.

It could do with being fleshed out a little with some flavor text and more information (for the GM) on things the players could and should do at the big accident. For example, it'd be nice to have some info on how many rounds before the fire reaches the gasoline and explodes, but the ideas in here are really good.

I know you had mentioned that you hadn't had time to "polish" it, and to be honest, that's really all this adventure needs.

I would like to see messages from control to direct players, like "Control to all Judges in the vicinity of skedway 320 exit ramp 47. We have a 5, no make that 6, car pile-up". To which the players should respond something like "Control, Judge ***** responding." or "Control, this is Judge *****, we're on it."

The adventure did end a little abruptly, though it does make sense, and so it'd be nice to have some ending text to send them back to their barracks with.

If I get a chance, I might try to flesh it out a little, but I really do like it. Great job. You'll have to let me know what you run for your players next as you have me hooked now :)

Cheers,

Arabin
 

Dredd Times

Administrator
Hi everyone,
Baptisim of Fire is a pretty good adventure to run if you want to introduce your players to the wonderful world of Dredd and ease them in, though to be honest in all fairness to Hugh some parts of the adventure are pretty shaky and you may need to wangle your way around them or players could end up coming unstuck.

Full Eagle Day is the perfect intro adventure for judge characters, and they even get to meet up with Dredd himself, but during playtesting some of my players almost didn't make it through the Resyk scene, but then again thats roleplaying for you.

Currently I have a couple of introductory adventures for Dredd that I have ran for Mongoose at shows over the past year or so, and as soon as I get the chance I will post them on Dredd Times.

Check out Signs and Portents for some great adventures btw, well worth investing in and you get coverage of other Mongoose games thrown in for good measure :)

Marc
 

Arabin

Mongoose
I think I'm set on starting my Judges out with Full Eagle Day and seeing how they get on. What kind of problems did you experience with testing? You mention the Resyk scene, but was the problem that they needed to do a little investigative work or did something else happen?

Also, without giving too much away, did your players visit the vid arcade or did they skip that part?

Just trying to get a picture of some of the issues I should plan backups for.

Arabin
 

Dredd Times

Administrator
Arabin said:
I think I'm set on starting my Judges out with Full Eagle Day and seeing how they get on. What kind of problems did you experience with testing? You mention the Resyk scene, but was the problem that they needed to do a little investigative work or did something else happen?

Also, without giving too much away, did your players visit the vid arcade or did they skip that part?

Just trying to get a picture of some of the issues I should plan backups for.

Arabin

I have ran FED four times now with four different groups, and each time something has been missed out by one of the groups or caused a problem for another! Simple thing is to work with the group and remember that the adventures are not written in plasteel so be flexible :)

As for resyk? Well lets say that falling was a problem and leave it at that for those who havent played it yet ;)

Marc
 

Arabin

Mongoose
I hadn't read through the entire module when I posted that, but although I'll avoid spoilers here (I'd love to hear of potential problems or fun things you added via email), I do now understand the problem you were having. I have stressed to my players that they round out their characters. A lot of skills come in to play, and if they don't have a sensible rounded character, there is a good chance they will die in this adventure. I'm personally agonising over starting the campaign tonight as I want to make the adventure a challenge, but I don't yet have the GM experience to make things challenging, but survivable. It'll be interesting anyway.

Arabin
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
I just ran "A Day in the Life of Sector 255" from an old White Dwarf, and a good time was had by all. A little rail-roady in places, but I was able to gloss over that with relative ease.

Can't wait to run "A Night in the Death of sector 255", and am incredibly keen to run "To live and Die in Megacity One."

****

BTW, I have a plot idea that I may not get around to using, so I thought I would share it. Havn't worked out any details, but the basic premise is a recurring bout of Lycanthropy - every couple of weeks, a werewolf goes on the rampage.

No traces of Cassidium are found, and the outbreaks do not conform to the normal way that the disease spreads. Whilst they are limited to the lower classes, they seem to spring up randomly in any area of the city.

What is happening is, in fact, that a bite fighter who has a natural immunity to the disease is acting as a carrier. Whilst he never develops symptoms himself, every couple of weeks or so he will infect a new opponent, causing a fresh mini-outbreak.

Of course, even when teh judges piece together the common link between the victims, they still have to find the one bite-fighting carrier. This won't be easy, of course, since Bite Fighters don't openly advertise!

Any thoughts?
 

Arabin

Mongoose
That sounds like an interesting idea, but on it's own it seems too much of a "normal" mystery. One of the great things about Dredd is all the weirdness and wackiness. I think this idea could work well if lots of humorous side-quests were thrown in to put them off the track.

On the subject of old White Dwarf adventures though, since I don't have any, but notice they often sell on Ebay, is there any chance you could post the numbers of any issues that contain content for the Judge Dredd GW rpg that can be converted over with a bit of effort? I'd love to pick some up, but have no idea where to start.

Actually, I wouldn't mind picking up some copies that have extra stuff for Advanced Heroquest as well... but that's another story.

Arabin
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
WD 83 and 88 contain "Day in the Life" and "Night in the Death" respectively, I'll have to have a look at my collection to get the other numbers.

Be warned, though, that having been produced in the Mid Eighties, they are not up to speed with the latest developments in the Dredd Universe. Since neither am I or my players, this has not as yet been a problem.
 
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