The long overdue report on session 14 of the (yet ongoing!) castle Xyntillan game. The party discovers new and odd magics, gets ambushed, and talks with pigs https://espharel.blogspot.com/2020/08/castle-xyntillan-session-14.html
Woot, almost at the session 15 milestone! How many more sessions do you think are left in the ole’ Castle? I’ve been thinking about grabbing this, but my distaste for written megadungeons has been slowing me down. My main issue with the megadungeons I’ve read is I usually have to do a round of note-taking after I read the relevant section to prep for my sessions. If I’m spending that time prepping, I’d rather just make my own stuff. Have you found that you can run Xyntillan “from the book”? As in you could just have the book with you and then run the session with minimal prep beforehand.
Sorry, I just saw this now. Hard to say how many more sessions. In sessions consisting mainly of delving, the party can cover about 10 rooms reliably. There’s a little less than 300 keyed rooms in the castle, and a look at the maps they’ve made make halfway through exploring the castle a good estimate. But in sessions which have some gameplay in town or which involve activities in the castle other than exploration (like the wedding session or the one from last Friday) they get through less. Plus, the campaign isn’t over even if they explore every room.
In terms of prep, CX requires very little. Some time to read it (you don’t have to read the whole thing to begin with either), a little time to make any worldbuilding changes you want. If you need a location for a dungeoncrawl in five minutes, Xyntillan will do the job easy.
dedicated prep time only really becomes necessary if you want to dramatically change the module. The wedding quest, for example, went way out of the boundaries of the module’s normal operation, and it took me some digging to find the right locations and characters to populate it. But once that was done, it was a matter of my going back and forth on exactly what the wedding would be like.
This past session, for example, the entirety of the prep I did consisted of writing up my notes from the last session for the blog, pre-rolling the next couple hours of random encounters and their HP so I wouldn’t have to do it in the middle of combat, and deciding on any personal touches to add.
If you put a gun to my head and made me run a session of Xyntillan for a new group in five minutes, I could do it. Running straight from the book is easy.
Awesome, seems like a great module.