Today I’m going to tell you a story. The story of a game played in Menyr so stay awhile and listen.
I’m DMing a DnD 5e campaign with my friends titled “The Drawbridge”. Usually we prefer to play around the table but this time a few players are stuck at home so we’ll play completely online.
The upcoming session I’m planning will start in the forest where we finished the last one. The group is heading into a pretty creepy, cursed medium-sized city where they need to find a woman dressed in red and I plan on dragging them into the local dungeon under the mountain. Here I’m hoping they will kill a Crone, lift the curse and come back to a thankful village. These are my needs:
-The village in two different states
-Woman in red + Crone
-The mountain and its dungeon.
I’ll start with the dungeon, launch Menyr, go right into the Workshop and start generating dungeons. After a few randomizations, I find something I like pretty quickly. The boss room that is generated doesn’t really fit my story, but it’s fine because I found the perfect one on the Marketplace earlier. I open my Toolbox, go to my dungeon’s assets and replace the boss’s generated room. While I’m at it, I create a new hidden layer, drop a couple encounters and a trap in there. Now I can rename my dungeon, save it and I’m done.
I’ll deal with the environment next. I stay in the Workshop and create a new blank map. I’m selecting a 100km by 100km (62x62miles) wide square, it’s way overkill but I love to have these nice aerial shots from time to time and it will only take a second. I’m generating terrain as far as the eye can see and, in under a minute of randomizing worlds, I find something I’m happy with. Forest looks good, the mountain is a little small but I have nice terrain with the ocean in the distance. I’m now using the Terraforming tool to make the mountain bigger and more menacing, and to dig in some plains here and there, which also brings the ocean closer. I switch to the Biome Painting tool to clear some forest and leave a path to my village, then create a road coming from the forest all the way to the village. At the end of the road, I’ll drop a procedurally generated village. After a few generations, it looks pretty good so I’m keeping it. To finish my environment, I open my Toolbox, find the dungeon doors and select a stone entrance that integrates nicely in the mountain. Menyr asks me which dungeon to connect it to and I select the one I did earlier. The whole environment and dungeon are now ready to explore seamlessly.
My whole environment is all done in under 10 minutes.
For the characters, I am just going to use a Crone 3D file I imported earlier from my computer and use this red-dressed woman I have from a bundle of the Marketplace. Now I’ll take a little bit of time to set up some scenes I think I’m going to use during the session.
Players will start in the forest so I’m going to define a zone they can explore, and where to block them. I’ll use the Collision Pen for that and free hand draw the zone that will create an invisible wall for them. If they don’t want to take the road, I’ll punish them with a hidden event: I set up an invisible trigger zone on the ground somewhere in the forest and add the macro: freeze all players > start combat music > show hidden layer with monsters. I’ll also make a second zone all around the village with FPS-only restriction; that way, when they enter the village, they will have to look for the woman “on foot” and won’t fly over to find her in a matter of seconds as I want to have fun with them.
I’ll finish my prep with a mini cutscene as an introduction to my village with the Cinematic Camera and a few Points of Interests (POIs). The cutscenes will be a succession of camera travelings in different parts of the city and the POIs will be in the forest, village and mountain to use as a visual aid when I’m storytelling. I’m making two different settings for the village so I can switch from cursed to normal when I want to, cursed being foggy, cloudy, wet, greenish general light with no wind and low light.
A few days later it’s now time for us to play! I launch Menyr, start the Game Master mode and open the Lobby of our campaign “The Drawbridge”. Once in our custom Lobby, I check the quests on the Quest Board, load the new map I created earlier on the virtual table, move it to their camp in the forest and I drop their Characters around the fire. I set the lights in the lobby, make a very small Collision Zone around their campfire and call my players. Everyone joins me, I see their Avatars move around in the Lobby and we talk to each other over our in-game Voice and Text Chat, while everyone logs in. During this time, the players choose their dice sets and dice tower, some modify their Character skin, some dive into the table from time to time to see the campfire and warm up their dice.
We start the game.
I use my campfire POI set in the early morning to remind them where we were and get them back on track. After my description, I disable the collision zone and let the players find the village on their own. Of course, one of the players decides to explore the forest and triggers the fight I had hidden there.
Once the combat mode is auto-triggered, the players change their view to isometric and I display the grid. We all roll for initiative which is now displayed on the bottom left of the screen. We use different tools during the fight: the Ruler for calculating distances, the Pen to draw on the ground and strategize, the Dice rolls, the Spell Templates to check for AOEs, the Character Sheets to find an item in the Inventory or to roll on ability, etc.
Once the fight is over, the players go back to the path and eventually see the village in the distance. I use an animated mini teaser I made beforehand that shows the village from a few different angles to describe the village and what the Characters feel: the place is gloomy and dreary, an omnipresent blue fog covers the town and villagers are rare. They decide to look in the village for the woman in the red dress so I teleport them to the entrance of the village and activate my view restriction and collision Layer. They are now required to search in first-person view and can’t leave the village. While they move, I play with the musical and visual atmosphere. I adapt ambient sounds on the fly in the SFXs controller where I can control the volume and frequency of any sound that we hear: torches, wind, birds, etc. Sometimes I just want to mess around with my players so I take control of an NPC, move around in an ominous way and make voices they can hear with spatialized sound. In this setting, players can’t hear each other if they separate so there are a lot of options to play around with them. No combat this time because I don’t want them to spend too much time here.
After finding the woman in the red dress, they begin to realize that the village is cursed and they must venture into an old dungeon under the mountain. This dungeon is a two-day walk away, so we all return to the lobby where I zoom out of the map and display the hexagonal grid to decide on potential travel events. After all their dice rolls are successful and for the sake of speed, I show them the POI of the dungeon entrance for a quick description and then teleport them there. The players take back control of their Characters, enter the dungeon and explore by snapping onto the grid and play begins turn by turn as I restrict real time exploration this time. The dungeon will be explored entirely from the Lobby table except for a few moments shown in POI for storytelling. The Crone will be killed, loot collected and XP points distributed.
After completing the dungeon, recalling the various fumbles and nat20 during the last fights, I switch my town cinematic to normal mood so this time the village is sunny, villagers are scattered all over, birds are chirping, and all seems well. I teleport my players back to the town and they have one last conversation with the woman in the red dress to reward them for saving the town. I want to end the session so I find the town’s Inn and ping it on the Minimap for my players to come. To wrap up but still allow my players to be able to play in the world I make a final collision zone inside the Inn so they can’t get out and select the Innkeeper to check its available wares. They are offered a room for the night and I end the session.
I explain to my players that I will have to disconnect but that I have used a dedicated server and the campaign is therefore persistent: they can stay as long as they want in the lobby or jump in the table to talk with the Innkeeper to spend their gold and allocate their XP in the Character Sheet. I pin a parchment containing a puzzle they just received by mail on the Quest Board and my job is done.
I see two players already running a replay of the current session, another is in the Marketplace to find a dice set that makes better rolls (we all have been there), another is customizing his character in the armory and I log out.
I hope you liked my little story and learned a few things about how Menyr works. I tried obviously to fit most of the engine’s features in there so it might have made the story a little awkward but I hope it was still entertaining and interesting.
We absolutely cannot wait to see you guys creating worlds and play your games with Menyr, you have no idea 🙂
Until next time,