Saturday, October 8, 2016

Back In The Saddle Again

With apologies to Aerosmith.

So one of my friends was running a Rolemaster Fantasy Game. That's the Rolemaster version after the Rolemaster Standard System. But he wanted some more time to get some ideas fleshed out and get some more world building done.

I volunteered to run either Pathfinder in the official setting or 3.5 in the Forgotten Realms.

A bit of debate and some sidebars and blah blah blah, and it went with 3.5 in the Forgotten Realms.

I generally know what I like when I put together my campaign ideas. So some of the first things discussed were starting level, 3rd, starting gold, official for 3rd level, hit points, max, no rolling, character creation, 32 point buy per the Dungeon Master's Guide.

With that out of the way, I started to organize my collection. I haven't run anything in any real capacity in years. My books are vastly out of place. Some of them in storage even. So while I'm organizing, I'm also brainstorming ideas.

I like the Sword Coast. I like the North. Not a big fan of the Dales, Cormyr, Thay, or the whole Amn region. I decide on the Sword Coast. Hey, turns out I bought Murder In Baldur's Gate many moons ago and never had a chance to run it or even open it.

Awesome screen. Two booklets, one adventure, one campaign setting information. Read over the adventure. For first level players. I throw some of the things that happened in the adventure into the background ideas I'm weaving together. The setting booklet I keep as a reference point for the good stuff like bars, churches, important characters, important bits like Little Calisham, etc...

During my clean up, I also run across the Solomen Guild. I really need to do a 'real' review of that one day because it's a fun little thieves guild product. While Baldur's Gate does have an "official" guild, who cares? I throw some of the ideas of what these thieves do into the city and plot to have the characters harassed as an early encounter.

I suspect that the players will not give the thieves a few gold to be left alone and rather, attack the guild members. This allows me to get the game rolling with some combat encounters as well as refresh my memory of how the game MOVES as opposed to how it reads. It's been years since I've run a game after all.

By the way, this worked perfectly. The party realized they were being observed, called out the thieves; thieves asked for a small donation from the newcomers to the city and glorious combat ensured. A few of the thieves escaped and now the players are 'wanted' men by the Solomen Guild.

Another thing I did while cleaning, organized my books by companies. One of those companies is Green Ronin. I used to buy pretty much everything Green Ronin put out in the day. Well, to be fair, a lot of that was review products when I was doing a ton of reviews. One of those items? The Secret College of Necromancy!

Baldur's Gate has a long association with Bhaal, one of the 'evil' gods of the setting. So why not a college of necromancy? Even better, one of the already existing NPC's is always on the lookout for adventurers to guard him/escort him while he does his research.

And one of the notes in Murder in Baldur's Gate? Some tombs have recently been unearthed on the cliff face! Instant scenario. A little exploration, a little fighting against some ghouls, a little exploration of the city, and bam, first game session done.

Several NPCs introduced to the party, several ideas put out, several future adventure options put out. Oh, and I also threw an evil sword from an old Role Aids supplement, Blood & Steel, into the mix to give the players a bit of punch and worry about what others are looking at when they look at the characters.

In between the organization and reading, I've also been painting up miniatures. By skipping the first few levels, I'm trying to move away from goblins, kobolds, giant rats, orcs, and other too familiar foes. I've got gnolls, bugbears, ogres, and minotaurs on the painting block along with some gargoyles, so I already have an idea of where I'm "pushing" the new few encounters.

Hope everyone else games are going well!