September 22nd, 2008

Smiley

Attack of the Campaigns

Originally published at Figures of Text. Please leave any comments there.

I seem to have started running two new roleplaying campaigns this week, both replacing the Dark Heresy campaigns that ended when I went to Swindon.

The first new campaign came about largely by accident. One of the players was hoping that I’d run a Legend of the Five Rings game, but I’m fairly burnt out on that. I wandered upstairs to find a one-shot, and ended up coming back down with… The Great Pendragon Campaign. Oops.

I doubt we’ll run through the whole campaign, since it takes about two years of play, but I should be able to get through the Uther Phase before Christmas with a bit of luck. The Wednesday group’s attendance fluctuates quite a bit, and Pendragon’s a good drop-in-drop-out game. I need to immerse myself in Arthurian lore, as the first session was very ad hoc and generic, but I’m quite impressed by Pendragon’s minimalism. It feels like a filthy forge game in play.

* * *

The other game was Dungeons & Dragons, 4th Edition. I’m using the Oone games Great City maps, and the PCs are licensed treasure hunters, recovering relics and gold from the ruins of a once-mighty city. All the players are more familiar with the rules than I am, so we got character generation (human wizard, human cleric, dwarf fighter, tiefling rogue) and four encounters (roleplaying intro, bunch of goblins, skill challenge to navigate the ruined streets, and a pair of spiders that nearly TPKed) in less than three hours.

The skill challenge was the most interesting part, as it let the players add to the campaign world without me having to relinquish narrative authority. I’d suggested Stealth and Thievery for the skill challenge, but they ended up using History to declare that noble houses usually have cellars, then Dungeoneering through the cellars past the goblins.

This is a much looser D&D game than I normally run, and I’m having fun riffing off ideas from the players, including ‘my grandmother’s a lich’. Now there’s an NPC for later…