Wednesday, January 6, 2016
2016: New Campaign, a New Game
Having cleared out the Caves of Chaos, I advanced my Keep5e game ahead six months. The forces of Law have pushed out further east into the ruins of the Old Kingdom. An enterprising dwarf merchant named Thalk Moraven founded the Gold Sun merchant company and has formed a trading post town, Venture, where the enigmatic tribesmen of the eastern wastes can do commerce with the men of the Realms. The party has taken up residence in Venture with the intention of plundering the lost treasures of the Old Kingdom. I guess I can't really call this campaign Keep5e anymore, given that they have left the Keep behind.
For a chunk of the group (me included), the best part of the session was the party meeting Yozol an (admittedly) recycled NPC who is the proprietor of the local apothecary. Yozol deals in spell components, healing tonics, and "curiosities." It's also a fairly poorly kept secret that he deals in exotic substances of dubious legality, though he pays a fee to Thalk Moraven (who is the de facto authority in town) to have his shadier business overlooked. The party has already made several purchases from Yozol: the assassin restocked her poison kit, the druid refilled her herbalism kit, and the ranger purchased some Dreaming Dust for.... recreational purposes. (He also bought an herbal coagulant for battlefield first aid, but that was nearly an afterthought)
I will also admit that I stole the town's inn/tavern, The Rock, straight out of the AD&D 2nd edition module "Wizard's Challenge 2." While I think 80% of 2nd edition era modules are absolute trash, I really did (and do) dig on that particular location.
This session did fan the embers of my newly sparked hatred of experience points, but that's going to be a separate post.
Meanwhile, I have started another game with some of the Saturday group, along with a few of their pals. This game is also D&D5e. I went with a pretty basic premise: Calax, the self-proclaimed King of Dragons, has awakened from his centuries-long slumber. Drawing the brute races and some of the dragon-worshipping northern human lands under his banner, his Dragon Army sweeps southward, razing and conquering everything in its path. The PCs begin at the Temple of Iron, a dwarven religious stronghold on the front lines of the war. All the PCs are either refugees or acolytes of the Temple. While the armies of dwarf and human dig in for the coming siege, the Temple sends refugees and low-ranked acolytes (ie the PCs) southward to escape the imminent carnage. The first session ended with the PCs crossing a monster-infested mountain trail to escape south to the Free City of Cormwin.
I really dig the party so far, although we have one player who is playing a neutral evil character in a party that is almost entirely good aligned (not to mention contains a cleric and a paladin) She's a relatively inexperienced player, and I predict that she will lose her character in short order. (She has a tendency to go off on her own, and she'll be in trouble the first time the paladin or cleric decide to use some kind of evil-detecting ability) The passive-aggressive PVP vibe kind of annoys me, but I'm kind of a big believer in letting players learn the hard way.
A thoughtful player of mine got me a print copy of Dragon Warriors for Christmas. I haven't had a chance to go over it in more than a cursory fashion so far, but I dig on the art and I kind of dig on the campaign world of Legend. I find it interesting that, out of seven character classes, four of them are some type of magic-user.