the great modron march

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galan
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the great modron march

hello
i've been a lurker for quite some time, but made an account to post this. soon-ish i'll DM a 'great modron march' campaign in 5e and i need your help. i have never run a planescape campaign, a pre-made module or even a game in 5e - and i have no other planescape book so my knowledge of the setting comes from online resources, the module, and planescape:torment (which i only started recently to familiar myself with the setting and most importently sigil).

i have a few questions for you:
- did anyone here already DMed the march and can give me advice?
- a lot of ingame time passes from one event to the following one, and it says both in the book and online that i should mix it up with other adventures. are there any online that you recommend? i don't mind buying a book or two from drivethrurpg, but my budget is pretty low so fan-made stuff would be great
- following the last one, is there any BOOK i must-have? again, low budget so only a couple at most. i think i'm quite familiar with the setting (i read basically everything i found online), but i guess there is no replacement to actually reading the book.
- two of the players know nothing about planescape, the third one played torment. how much info do i dump at them?
- we will play in roll20, with skype for talking - so maps, music, pictures and the like would be great for the game. is there some good source for such thing?

sorry for such a long request, and thanks to anyone who read the post :)

Palomides
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Good luck

I'm always eager for another person to join the fold (so that I can steal any juicy ideas you have for your campaign)

Regarding how much info you need to give the players, the answer (IMHO) is not a lot. I always think that Planescape is more fun when the players are just a touch disoriented and wondering what the heck is going on. (Now this will require you to give more engaging descriptions of what they see/experience). Don't get too crazy at first, or else it will overwhelm them and take them out of the game. Just give them enough info to provide a sense of wonder and to make sure they don't do something painfully stupid ("Hey, let's take this portal into the depths of Baator"). Making a contact in one (or more) of the factions will probably be sufficient to give them the info they need (and it will allow you to have the person unavailable if the PCs start abusing the resource - and it will provide a source of potential adventures "I'll tell you all about the Beastlands; but first, I need you to make a delivery for the faction")

Personally, my favorite module is "Dead Gods" which I strongly recommend but NOT as an in-between adventure like you are planning.
This isn't a module but I also like "Faces of Sigil" a lot for a rich collection of individuals found in Sigil.
You can look at the following links for some ideas:
"Desire & the Dead" http://mimir.planewalker.com/sites/default/files/Desire_And_The_Dead.pdf
http://mimir.planewalker.com/forum/adventure-ideas-introduction-planescape
http://mimir.planewalker.com/081225/adventure-hook-junction-i
But the great thing about Planescape is that if you can think it up, you can find a place for it somewhere.

My piece of advice on running the campaign is to remember to create some buzz/concern about the off-schedule March. If the most clockwork-like beings do something this far off-schedule, it should throw off a lot of people's expectations and generate a fair amount of concern/curiosity (I personally didn't think the module did enough playing up this aspect)
-

Simile
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Start small

Hi, Welcome to the Planes! I hope that ou have as much fun GMing Planescape campaigns as I have over the years.

To answer your questions:

Q1 - did anyone here already DMed the march and can give me advice?
A1 Simile: My advice is start small. Explore a Gate-town on the Outlands. Pretend that you are creating a stage on which a theatrical play will take place and leave the dialogue, action, and decisions up to the actors (your player characters) to decide. Allow the group to find out more about the planes as they explore the area around the Gate-Towns, nearby planes, and then perhaps on to Sigil. Some people refer to this as a sand-box, an environment in which your players feel as if they have lots of choices about where to find adventure. By starting small you also have time to learn more as a GM about the planes as there is quite a lot to read up on.

Q2 - a lot of in-game time passes from one event to the following one, and it says both in the book and on-line that i should mix it up with other adventures. are there any on-line that you recommend? i don't mind buying a book or two from drivethrurpg, but my budget is pretty low so fan-made stuff would be great
A2 Simile: My advice is not to start with the Great Modron March. It's a super campaign in my experience. However, unless your players know much about the planes, getting them to take an interest in why this clockwork army is marching at the wrong time can be a struggle. Once the players get a feel for the Rule of Three, Centre of All, Unity of Rings and have an idea of what is likely to happen on the planes - then (and in my opinion only then) will they feel disturbed enough by the Modron marching at the wrong time to bother to investigate.

Q3 - following the last one, is there any BOOK i must-have? again, low budget so only a couple at most. i think i'm quite familiar with the setting (i read basically everything i found online), but i guess there is no replacement to actually reading the book.
A3 Simile: There are lots of good books. The Planescape box set is a good place to start, especially once you want to give your players with some Planescape knowledge a bit more information. Aside from the books & boxed sets on Outer and Inner planes, there are lots of books that give a lot of flavour to the planes. For me these are my treasured books as the setting can seem so vast that it's hard to capture. The flavour books helped me as a GM set the tone, atmosphere and background to give the players hooks for their characters to seek new adventures.

Q4 - two of the players know nothing about planescape, the third one played torment. how much info do i dump at them?
A4 Simile: Like any new setting, drip feed the information to the new players. Try to show them, rather than tell them. For example, seeing a Baatezu or Tanar'ri may freak them out, even a lesser one. But when the players learn that by turning the two fiends against each other, they can escape with their lives intact... they learn that belief is not something just talked about, but something that creatures live, breathe and die by.

Q5 - we will play in roll20, with skype for talking - so maps, music, pictures and the like would be great for the game. is there some good source for such thing?
A5 Simile: I have not run a campaign over the internet. However, the more information that you can provide, the better. Maps, letters from NPCs, character portraits, etc. Also, how you use your voice will be quite important. Don't go too over the top with over-acting, but you can create a really good atmosphere just by changing how you describe things, how NPCs talk (what vocabulary they use) etc.

And thanks for reading my lengthy reply :-) Please ask away for more advice.

KnightOfDecay
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The Great Modron March is a

The Great Modron March is a great adventure (even better, as Palomides has mentioned, if it is followed by Dead Gods). I've included several of the adventures in my current campaign, starting "The Last Leg" in the near future.

The timeline is imho one of the big problems of The Great Mordron March. I'm not quite sure how long it officially takes (about a year in my campaign) but you will definitely need some stuff to fill the gaps or at least some other explanation what the PCs do in this time.

The adventure sites are:
- Outlands (Automata)
- Mount Celestia
- Outlands (near Excelsior)
- Beastlands
- Outlands (near Sylvania)
- Limbo
- Outlands (near Bedlam)
- The Abyss
- The Outlands (Curst), Toril
- Outlands (near Torch)
- Acheron

The biggest gap is between "Ambushed" and the "The Policy of the Beasts". Maybe "Something Wild" would make a nice filler, as it introduces the PCs to the Beastlands and the plane of Carceri. I also recommend Well of Worlds, Tales from the Infinite Staircase and the Planes of Law/Chaos/Conflict boxes as they include several mini adventures for different planes, which can be easily expanded and may be a nice way to fill the gaps.

As Palomides said, don't dump too much information on players new to PS. This sense of wonder is great and there's no better way to play a Clueless than to actually be one. ;)

I'd also recommend to give the PCs a patron with a strong interest in the March (maybe via the factions) as some PCs might lack/loose the scholary motivation to follow the Modron March (The lawful little automatons can be pretty annoying anyway).

Quote:
I personally didn't think the module did enough playing up this aspect

Absolutely. E.g. you should definitely include the great effort the Doomguard takes to attack the Great Modron march in the Abyss. Factol Pentar is a former Entropie Champion and hates the Modrons/Modron March.
Wicke
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Don't neglect to read through

Don't neglect to read through old threads both here and on the pre-crash Mimir mirror (http://mimir.planewalker.com/). Some of the old threads are a gold mine for ideas, both in terms of evoking the setting as well as sparking adventure ideas.

If you're looking for maps, you can always comb through the Cartographers' Guild forum and see if anything there catches your fancy.

As for recommendations for running a game on the Planes, I'll suggest this: Play to your strengths. Whether you're used to running dungeon crawls, political games or urban settings, Planescape can accommodate all of that and more. No need to push yourself into something that you're unfamiliar or uncomfortable with for the sake of the setting or module you're running.

Oh and I'll also second the suggestion for the original PS boxed set. It doesn't have the expansive details on the planes of the later expansions, but for folks who are mostly unfamiliar with the setting, it's a great primer and gives tips from the setting creators on how to get at the right feel.