Sunday, August 17, 2014

Draft Players' Guide - 50%?

I've spent quite a bit of time this weekend working on the Player's Guide (PG) for my OD&D campaign world.  Not sure how much longer I'll be able to say it's OD&D though.  The PG started off as a copy of LBB 1:  Men & Magic.  I've been working through it, updating things here and there based on my house rules and other things I've posted here on the blog.

The goal is to create the document I can hand to any new player at my table, so that she can begin play immediately, but still have access to all she needs to know for long term play.

So far, I've added the Adventurer Class, the Initial Occupation table, a section on creating zero-level characters as well as one on creating leveled characters.  I've also added in the modified combat rules (ascending AC w/Combat bonuses vice Men Attacking and Monster Attacking tables or THAC0).  Still need to update the other classes, experience awards, magic and add the rest of my house rules.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Resources Used in my Milburn Hall Campaign

Had a great time yesterday, running my Milburn Hall campaign for the first time since January.  I had a blast, and my players did as well.

I've always had time pass in-game at the same rate as the real world between sessions, so I started off by letting the players know they'd been hanging around the budding Village at Milburn Hall for six months.  During that time, another 350+ refugees from Cittá had arrived, with most staying at the Village, and the rest heading north to settle down with the Clerics in Kemper Village.  Earlier in the week, I used my old copy of Midkemia Press' "Second Edition of Cities" to generate the two growing villages.

I wanted to start using weather because of the long term plans of the inhabitants of the Shining City to CHANGE the weather... hard to make that seem like a threat if we've never bothered with it!  I had looked at the weather generation tables in my Wilderness Survival Guide, but found it WAY too much work.  Instead, during play, I made use of the "Empire Weather" chart, which proved useful AND simple.  I'll probably go with a little more crunch, but this was a great start!

I introduced a new NPC, Fasu Susalliassa, an Ambassador from the Shining City, and his retinue.  The plan was to have him visit Milburn Hall and be there as a minor but growing threat during the next several sessions... but as always, the players surprised me and dealt with him right away.  Of course, the Shining City itself is still south of Milburn Hall, and sooner or later they'll have to deal with it!  Prepping for the NPC led me to come up with a lot more background data on the city and it's inhabitants, as well as their naming conventions, which frame the culture of the Masked Ones for me and will make future prep work much easier.

I also made use of what my players came to refer as "Satanic amphi-bunnies," the Skwugs I found at "destination unknown."  They were fun to use and my players seemed to like them.  I let them read the description after the session ended, and there was immediate discussion over whether the spit could be used to make potions, and whether a gain in intelligence was worth the risk of a loss of the same.

Love that I have access to the work that others share thru the internet; it makes the execution of ideas (both mine and theirs!) so much easier.  Now, if only I had a secretary to transcribe my words...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


As I mentioned, I found a box of old game notes.  I looked through it trying to find my missing Freeservers password, but had no luck.  Happily, the company was able to help me out, and I now have access to the old site again.  I'm unsure of what to do with it, though.  Do I retain it as it?  Should I delete it and transfer the data to this site?  Should I update it with the notes I had and use it as a campaign specific website?

I was especially excited to find the vocabulary notes I thought I'd lost.  I've never designed an entire language, but I like to sketch out the basics of grammar and a smidgen of vocabulary so things like place names have the coherent feel of a real culture, rather than just random sounds.  This is also a great way to leave subtle clues for players about campaign world history.

Now if only I could find the detailed notes on the calendar I created for my 2e game!  I was very pleased with it, but right now, all I can find are some notes with specific dates in them, rather than the entire construct.  Oh well, more digging to do!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Lost Treasure Found!

About fifteen years ago, I decided it was time to update my campaign world, by consolidating all my prior notes and ideas into one.  I took my 1e notes from high school, and the 2e world I ran during my first assignment in the Air Force, and all the other half-baked ideas I'd collected, and began to put them together.  I was having fun working on it, and the Western Marches Campaign briefly described on the site was going to form the basis of a new campaign world.

Today I found a box of old gaming files.  As I looked through it, I recalled my first attempt to post campaign information online... so I decided to share the link.  Sadly, I lost the password to the site, so it didn't get the treatment I felt it deserved.  Think I'll contact the company and see if they can't help me out.

I never did pull a group together to play that world... but with my notes again in hand, I can make use of it in my current game!

Monday, August 4, 2014


Lord of Sleep, Giver of Health, Loremaster.  Lawful.

Thanatos is a member of the Concordat, and is worshipped in Cittá as well as in the newly founded monastery at Kemper Village.  His priests have access to a first level sleep spell, as per the 1st level mage spell, and to a 3rd level spell, "Healing Sleep" that causes the recipient to sleep for 2-12 hours, during which they heal 1 point for each hour slept.  Temples and monasteries of Thanatos tend to include libraries and often host sages and researchers for a fee.

Thanatos' symbol is a stylized eyelid, found in two forms:  Thanatos Aware, (Up, with 17 eyelashes) and Thanatos Dreaming (down, with 7 eyelashes).  His clerics will normally keep this as their sleep cycle, being up for 17 hours and asleep for 7 each day.  The "Thanatos Aware" symbol is used when seeking knowledge; the "Thanatos Dreaming" symbol when invoking sleep or healing.

Thanatos himself is never portrayed.  His clerics turn undead as though they were a level higher than they are, using the Thanatos Aware symbol.  They fight only with blunt weapons like clubs, maces and hammers, bludgeoning their opponents rather than cutting them.

Thanatos is the patron of healers, sages, and those who seek hidden knowledge.  His clerics often wear a Thanatos Aware platinum earring on their right ear, and a Thanatos Dreaming earring on their left.  Those who seek his favor give either books or medicinal herbs to his temples.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Where has 2014 gone?

Played yesterday morning for the first time in quite a few months.  My "year in gaming" hasn't turned out quite like I hoped, as I've gotten side-tracked not only with work and real world issues, but big time-sinks like Facebook.  Anyway, I played in my son's game, where my thief, Corrin Aledrinker, is now 7th level.  When we started, my son was running with 4th edition, but he switched backward to 2nd edition after he and the players saw how much simpler the rules were in my OD&D game.  For Christmas 2013, he got a spiral-bound copy of OSRIC, and soon switched back from 2nd edition to 1st.  I've got to admit, I liked the 2nd edition rogue's ability to decide which thieving abilities he wanted to improve when gaining levels, but I don't mind the loss all that much.  Corrin is still Corrin after all... a halfling from a family of brewers who left home to see the (ales of the) world!  I have a great time playing him.  From sampling every wineskin we find, to using ale and wine when negotiating with the orc merchant we sell our found gems and jewelry to, he's been a blast!

I've set up a game for this coming Saturday in my OD&D campaign.  Even though I haven't done anything with it since, I think, January, I'm already thinking up new adventure hooks to lay before the players!  The local village around Milburn Hall has grown, the recolonization of Kemper Village has proceeded, and the lizard men in the swamp south of Milburn Hall are about to make themselves known to the PCs... I'm very much looking forward to Saturday!

Game on!