Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Onward I go

As I'm working on the specifics for each of the campaign settings, I realize that I really wished I hadn't sold all my old D&D books (save the AD&D hardbacks that I still have). I'm fairly certain that I had each of the adventures I want to run for each setting... minus Dark Sun, because I never really got into it. I had most of the 3.5 conversions, where they were published... like Expedition to Ravenloft or Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk. I'm working on reacquiring some of these books as I have a need to have the physical copy in my hands even though I have digital copies.

As for the Dragons of Autumn and Dragons of Winter 3.5 books, I was fortunate enough to find someone who was selling them off at a very reasonable price. (Not nearly what I found the Dragons of Spring book for, but also nowhere near what others are asking for them on Amazon and eBay.)

Something I think I'm going to start doing is actually using the digital copies that I have to keep notes on. This is easy to do, and I don't mark-up... thus devaluing... my physical copies. Never done this before, but I need to roll with the technological advances at my fingertips.

So far, I have plans for the following campaign settings:
  • Forgotten Realms
  • Dragonlance
  • Greyhawk
  • Ravenloft
I'm very on-the-fence about Eberron. From what I remember of the setting, it's good but I don't know that there were any "epic" adventures for it.

Dark Sun is basically out. As I mentioned above, I never really played it so I am very unfamiliar with the setting. Same can be said for Spelljammers. I don't even think they made a 3.5 version of SJ, so that works to my advantage.

Though I'm familiar with the Oriental Adventures setting for D&D 3.0, I don't think I'm going to offer it as an option because another DM is working on an oriental themed game as a continuation of the campaign he's been running for several years now.

I posted a poll on a Facebook group for local gamers that I help support, and it seems like the majority prefer Forgotten Realms. Even though my purchasing has been focused on Dragonlance, I think I should turn my attention to FR now and see what I can put together.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The planning begins

When the concept for the new campaign hit me, I was very excited about the prospect of being able to DM a large-scale game again. I don't want to give away the surprise I have in store for the players, but I will divulge the process I've gone through to come-up with the finished product.

I'll be the first to admit that more often than not, I tend to improvise on much of my campaigns. I'll start with a great concept and get much of my good ideas out within the first few sessions... and then I'm left with an open story but I've lost connection with how I would like to see the players get from point A to point B.

To alleviate that problem, my concept isn't about the actual A to B, but rather an overarching issue that the players will need to solve and the middle will be filled with some of the great and epic adventures that D&D has produced over the years.

My first thought was to use the Dragonlance settings series of "Dragons of" modules. Margaret Weis retooled these modules for 3.5, so it wouldn't be hard to convert them to Pathfinder. I loved these modules when I was younger, and I felt that they would be good for the "filler" for my campaign.

Dragons of Autumn, Dragons of Winter & Dragons of Spring are the names of the specific books that compiled the entire "Dragons of" module series for D&D 3.5. I didn't have any of these books in my collection, and unfortunately I didn't even have digital copies either. Fortunately, a friend was able to find a copy of Autumn for me, and I found a very reasonably priced copy of Spring. I have my eyes open for a copy of Winter now.

Only a few days later, I started to think of other epic adventures and modules D&D has had to offer over the years, and it made me think that perhaps I should broaden my idea outside of a single campaign setting and let my players choose where they will adventure. We've got Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Ravenloft, Dark Sun and so many other settings available. I'm a personal long-time fan of Ravenloft and Forgotten Realms... but I also love the Temple of Elemental Evil modules based in Greyhawk.

At this point, I've decided to come-up with a few options for my players with regards to setting. Since I'm going to be taking my time with my research and development for this campaign, I'm really looking forward to the end result of it and the beginning of a new gaming experience.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Working on a new campaign

Recently, I had an epiphany. I haven't actually run a large-scale game in quite some time. Over the past few years, I've run a couple of Hunter: The Reckoning games and I'm currently running a Werewolf: The Apocalypse game, but nothing with more than a small handful of players.

I remember a time when I was running games with 5-8 players. I kind of miss that. More to the point, I haven't run any really epic games in many years.

That's got to change!

Last year, I was finally introduced to Pathfinder. I've found that I like it, and I'm going to use it for the system of my next campaign... but with a twist. I'm going to work on adapting a few classic and epic modules from AD&D, 2nd edition and 3.5 to be run with Pathfinder.

In order to accomplish this, I'm going to have to do quite a bit of research and acquisition of books. I sold all of my D&D 3.5 books several years ago and I only have a couple of Pathfinder books. Fortunately, most of what I need I have available in digital format... so I'm not starting from ground zero.

For this and the fact that I'm still working to complete my schooling, I'm going to take (at least) the next year to create this campaign. I plan to give my players a lot of options at the beginning of the game from character creation to actual campaign setting. Not sure what I'm going to title the campaign either, but I'm going to blog about the progress of my research and acquisition under the label of "The Pathfinder Progression".

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Series

Last month, the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series turned 30-years old. That means I was 8-years old when I started watching it... and it left an impact. This cartoon helped inspire me to take-up roleplaying. At the time, D&D had a label of "Ages 10+" on it, so I had some time to wait before I could actually play it. (Yes, I thought this was mandatory.)

After reading so many of the articles that were posted when the cartoon hit 30, I was thinking about a special book that came with the DVD boxed set. I'm talking about the Animated Series Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition.

I remember wanting my character to have items like the Energy Bow and the Cloak of Invisibility. This book has all the characters stated-out including their magic items. There are even stats for Uni, Venger and Shadow Demon. This sole book made purchasing the DVD set worth while.

This is also when I began to adore the mother of the chromatic dragons - Tiamat.

This cartoon series also inspired me to run a D&D game where the players were actually their characters in the D&D world... including all their knowledge of the game system. It worked well for as long as it ran. I think, some day, I'd like to revisit that idea and run a longer campaign. Something to consider for the future.