Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dragon Army Campaign

Way back in 2005 I dragged my players kicking and screaming into the modern area by starting this 3rd edition campaign. In honor of DM lack-0f-time and unfamilarity with the rules I started with some modules. Necromancer games 3e rules 1e feel sounded good and the Wizards amulet is free so I ran that one first. I followed it up with the Crucible of Freya and then the Tomb of Abysthor. Orginal party constisted of 3 players each two playing pregenerated characters from the wizards amulet. I placed it all on a homebrew wilderness map which included most of the key features of the Grand Duchy of bards gate but with some tweeks. It also contains the infamous Rappan Attuk, but the players have not stumbled on it yet (I am not pushing it either cause the traps and the entrance are just brutal). The Tomb of Abysthor is a sprawling multi level dungeon just shy of megadugeon status. So several trips were neccesary just to penetrate to second level. In between they paid several vists to the wilderness encounters included as a download supplement for Crucible of Freya. They also battled priests of orcus and gnolls rumored to be scouts for the massive evil army which had driven the Dwarves out of their moutain strongholds years ago (DM riff on a player backstory for the dwarven fighter). They assisted a band dwarves bring supplies into the last remaining Dwarven stronghold. The Surface route is blocked and swarming with gnolls and worse. The dwarves used a secret passage through the underdark which they refuse to show to the players. However they asked the players to lay a false trail through the underdark to through the hobgoblin trackers off the scent. The players did explore the underdark for a little while but decided after seening the trail lead to a rickey rope bridge with lots of stalagmites for cover on the other side to turn back. They did however solve the gnoll tracking problem by slaughtering hobgoblin rangers and their hynea tracking hounds on the way back out. They also found an abandoned gnomish workshop at the base of the mountain with the underdark which was actually a secret entrance to the lost gnomish city of Jzadirune (from the Pazio Shackled City book). Here they freed three elves from the underdark slave pits beneath Jzadirune (two more players joining in, one with sense enough to run only one character). The illustrious city of Bards gate had finally been published so a trip there was in order. There they hooked up with the temple of Thyr whose ruined temple they had run across previously in the valley in front of the Tomb of Abysthor. The high priest of Thyr hooked them up with a palidin of Muir to return to the tomb and recover some sacred relics which had been lost there. At the end of the mission I decided I had run enough "canned stuff" that I could start writing my own stuff again. More next time.

Lessons learned:

  • My players play very slow. Mostly because we all work for a living and have many other social obligations. On game nights we usually don't get started until 8 and have to quit at 11

  • Tailoring modules to your homebrew world is a lot of fun

  • Necromancer Games is "Old school" the modules actually feel like C. Petersons and B. Webbs campaign. If you look for the downloads you can actually find some of their campaign notes

  • Most canned modules are not geared for short term play

  • Players like it better when the game is tailored to their hopes and wants canned modules have a rough time with this

  • If you listen to your players the world writes itself

1 comment:

  1. Huh, that dungeon we called the "well of endless experience" was a tomb. Never saw a clue of that. I mean who puts a frigging well that spouts skeletons in the entrance to a tomb?


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