Oct 9, 2007

A New Campaign

I know I was going to write about the first game session, but I also want to touch a bit on the campaign, in some broad strokes.

First, I always like to think of D&D in terms of campaigns, there's a beginning (typically characters at 1st level), and a series of adventures. Some are directly connected to a longer plot, some are just one-and-done adventures, and others seemingly have no connection, but in the end turn out to be related to the main plot. I came up with this idea long before shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and X-Files, but I see them as great examples of what I try to do in my games. They were great at doing long arcs as well as one-shot eps that had no real connection to the over-all plot.

For my games, I typically work backward. I usually know the climax adventure (which is never a 1st level adv) and then work at filling in the advs that would lead a party from 1st level to the level and location of the beginning of the finale. I'll use published mods from a variety of sources as well as writing up my own stuff.

For this current game, I'm not writing so much from whole cloth, as I'm modifying a bunch of stuff from mags, etc to fit the vision and theme I'm thinking about. I also need to mod most adventures since I use the Dragonlance setting and there are enough unique quirks that almost no adventure fits in smoothly without some tweaking...

For this campaign, I started off with a module from an issue of Dungeon/Polyheadon. In fact the module is actually from the Poly section of the mag and tied in to some third part products that were available at the time (I'm intentionally vague here as it could give away certain future plot elements). I liked that it had a unique setup (if rather a basic premise) and some unusual encounters, especially at first level. There was underwater combat and a bit of urban and underground encounters... and not a kobold in sight (I have countless 1st level advs that ALL seem to involve every manner of kobold encounter). The other reasons for choosing the module were a) it's from a mag and therefore rather short. b) it's broken up into 3 discrete sections which turned out to be a boon for me (as you'll see later) and c) it did tie in to some of the other advs I have planned.

Unlike other advs or campaigns, I'm setting this one in a rather lawless and seedy town, which is in direct contrast to other campaigns where the city is usually a safe haven will most manner of resources and little in the way of direct threats to the party. This time, the city may end up being just as dangerous as the wilderness or any dungeon, depending on who they befriend and who they make enemies... I'll go into more detail on the city of Flotsam in another post.

Next time... first session (for real, I think :) )