I guess I chose a bad moment to start writing the blog again, I will go back to Italy for the whole month of February, so I wo't be playing or blogging for the next four weeks.
But before I leave, I decided to start writing about how I started playing again here in Edmonton and what happened until now. This should hopefully take a few posts, just to catch up with where we are now.
The group of players I play with now is actually not the first I tried to DM since moving here. The first try at starting a campaign happened over a year ago with my friends Garner, Adrian and Jeff, we started a Forgotten realms campaign, we managed to complete an adventure, "Doom of daggerdale", and to start another one, "The accursed tower", but we never got past the first half of this.
During this adventure, that I have to admit is not the best one I've ever DM'd, the interest kind of faded away and we stopped playing.
For the subsequent months I tried to find some other people to add to the previous group or to start a new one, until, talking to some people at work, I foiund someone who had never tried any rpg before, but was willing to give it a try.
To make things simple I started a trial campaign set in good ole Karameikos (in the "Known world" or Mystara setting) using the basic D&D rules, to keep things simple for beginner players.
We started with a classic "Castle Caldwell", a simple adventure to give the players a taste of the game without overwelming them with rules and options.
The first adventurers group was formed by:
- Billston Galarauth, a cleric of Halav, run by Will,
- Thror Brewhammer, a dwarf run by Doyle,
- Inquisitor Milhouse, a magic user run by Cyrus.
They managed to survive and complete their first adventure, with a mix of luck and cunning, but taking much longer that they should have, so they ended up almost empty handed, but certainly more experience, even if they still didn't make it to second level.
After this adventure they were engaged to investigate Eddistone point signal tower, in an adventure of the same title I found on an old issue of Dungeon magazine.
There has always been a shortage of starting level published adventures, but I finally found pdfs of old issues of Dungeon magazine that are full of interesting little adventure, many of which are for beginning level characters.
For this adventure the party was accompanied by Mich Buchannon, a thief that was supposed to act as a guide and as a support to make sure the adventurers made it through this mew mission.
The group did pretty well unti they faced the final fight of the adventure when disaster struck and the whole party was wiped out.
We used this event as an excuse to start anew and this time the players decided to move to the Advanced version of the game to be allowed more options in terms of character classes ad races.
At the same time the group gained a new player, Max, that brought the total to 4 players, which, even if in my opinion is barely engough to run a proper campaign, still works quite well and allowed me to start running more challenging adventures.
In general, since I don't have a ton of time to write adventures, my habit is to use published adventures which usually end up being tweaked and changed to fit my needs and to appear as parts of a major story plot.
I offered the players the option to chose which setting they preferred between:
- Forgotten Realms
I can mix adventures from all of them together and the differences between all these settings, but I wanted the players to set the general mood.
They decided unanimously to keep playing in the same setting they first tried, Mystara, they liked the amout of magic present and the easily perceived medieval feel.
The only diference I decided to include is the timeline, the first trial campaign was set in the "classic" yeat 1004 or the first publications of the basic game, this new one would be set after the "Wrath of the Immortals" events, so there were some reasonably major changes in the geography and political asset of the area where the campaign would take place.
I also planned to include as many visits as possible to the demiplane of terror (Ravenloft), which Ireally like.
Another idea that I had, was to include, after a while, some 3D miniatuers battles and skirmishes, just to have the opportunity for some change of pace in the campaign and to be able to have the players take an active role in major setting changing events while their characters were still relatively low level.
After setting all this we generated the characters, obviously first leve, and ended up with the following:
- Tayla Naleana, human female thief run by Doyle,
- Bill Bearcharger, half elf raner, run by Will,
- Magnus, human priest of Pflarr,
- Aemilianus, human wizard, run by Max.
The first adventure was "The acursed tower", but this time i decided tu ust run the main tower and not the trip to it, so I changed the beginning of the adventure and the party was hired in Darokin city by a merchnat to go and find a diary in the tower.
And so the new campaign began, I named it "The holy wars campaing", but this happened way later and so it might not make sense now. I will sitll use this name as a tag for the posts telling that story starting from the next.
I guess it is all for now, I'll be back posting as soon as possible.