Like many pen & paper role-players I'm on an eternal quest to find the perfect Rpg system.
Of course i was hindered by the fact that I did not exactly know what i was looking for.
My preferences change constantly, this poor blog is testament to my flakiness, I tried everything from super narrative games like Other Worlds (an interesting Hero Quest variant) to crunchy Gurps extravaganza.
One constant among this aimless meandering was the avoidance of anything even remotely D&D and adventures related to the so called "dungeon".
Not my style! The average D&D adventure bored me to tears. My previous experiences, back when AD&D was still in vogue, were of endless monsters to be fought in narrow corridors, stat block after stat block of odd creatures to be killed and looted, all tied together by a flimsy background plot that could be safely ignored.
Why bother, Rogue Like PC games deliver the same experience and are so much more convenient to play!
But then i discovered the OSR movement. As my previous post mentioned soo long ago, I loved the creativity and the pulpy, weird science fantasy feel of those games.
And yet, i still disliked dungeons. Enter Dungeon Crawl Classics! By pure chance i happened to leaf trough it at my local, not so friendly, gaming store. Wow, anyone believing that art does not contribute meaningfully to a set of Rpg rules would be seriously reconsidering his stance at the first page of this gorgeous tome!
I finally began to glimpse the mind space were the fans of ye old dungeon crawl reside as they explore foreboding ruins. My sense of wonder duly sparked anew, I proceded to buy DCC, a set of bizarre Zocchi dice and eventually got my hands on a few adventures.
I was blown away! I absolutely dig the fact that the authors don't require players to be high level to play epic, far reaching adventures. Definitely no zero to hero here!
Next weekend i will try out a 0 level funnel grind-fest and let my group brave the Perils of the Sunken City. First impressions will follow. PS: Here is the hex map i promised, sans names, feel fee to flatter me by stealing it and customizing to your own tastes.
Still working on the hex map.
In the meantime here are some more wacky Npc's!
Giselle of Storn
Known as the rabbit princess among detractors,
Giselle is the sole owner of the Shrieking Orb, a tavern frequented by poets, scholarly snake readers and dabblers in the arcane.
She is an enthusiastic collector of slow pets and rabid political activist, seeking greater rights for the women of Vornheim. Women of means and status of course.
"Women are the future of Vornheim. Men are the future of nothing."
The Monkey Man
Once a famous street performer. Now too old for juggling and acrobatics, he tells stories to children. To adults too, if they can pay his price.
Nobody knows were the Monkey gets his news. Some speculate he has deals with the high class courtesans on the flower boats. Others believe he is the fabled beggar king, with a network of street urchins and deformed beggars raking in gossip and secrets. Maybe he works for the Wyvern himself.
He usually walks the streets unmolested, from dawn till dusk, bringing joy to kids everywhere and troubled sleep to men and women with secrets worth hiding.
"Mmm... let me think, how did that story go again..."
Weird, my last contact with old school D&D dungeon crawling or even wilderness hexcrawling was in the glorious 2nd edition days of beloved T$R.
And yet, I've been following with great interest the whole OSR movement. Of course, me being a pagan and shameless heretic, and never really getting into D&D in the first place, I decided to ignore most of the stuff they put out and use the awesome Legends of Anglerre tome and a few great, idea-sparking OSR products, to plot a traditional hexcrawling, sandbox campaign.
One such brilliant product is Vornheim the complete city kit. You will find a ton of blogs reviewing it all over the net, so i won't go into it here.
The idea is to use this blog to sporadically post stuff about the campaign, hopefully helping me to visualize and keep my notes and musings in an easy to reference place.
Enough blather, here is a location of interest and my first NPC. A cool hexmap to follow!
A chasm of howling winds stretches wide in the southeastern quarter of Vornheim,
blocking the travellers way.
Many Bridges, built by tyrants past are now skeletal ruins swaying gently in the icy breeze. Black chains cris-cross the gap over the bottomless darkness below.
Madmen called chaingliders will ferry you across on contraptions not unlike gondolas mated to bird shaped gliders. Ingenious wheeled hooks latch on to the chains, employed to keep the gliders aloft when the winds fail. Just where the winds come from and why many a chainglider carries flaming spears is a mystery best left undiscovered.
Robur the Torturer
A nice guy really. Unfortunate profession, but his lack of social graces, not to mention how weird he looks, really restricted his career choices.
Currently employed in Lord Thrain's "guest tower"
My mama told me that sticks and stones can harm ya, but words never will. She was kinda right. Mostly use hot pokers meself.
1) Arabian Nights
3) Planetary Romance
5) Sword & Sorcery
6) Samurai japan
7) Heroic Fantasy
8) Space Opera
10) Modern Urban Fantasy
11) Arthurian Knights
12) Roll twice!
SETTING ELEMENTS (roll 1d12 twice, reroll duplicates)
4) Flying Island's
5) Lovecraft Monsters
6) Odd people in Charge (Cat-girls, Lizard-men, Demons etc.)
10) Interdimensional Rifts
11) Forgotten Empires of the golden age
12) Roll twice!
1) With great power comes great trouble
2) History is a process of decline and rebirth
3) The lot of the common folk is misery and death
4) The "divine right" of the powerful is a lie
5) Our admirable qualities inevitably grow monstrous and destroy us
6) Nothing is impossible for the truly audacious
7) Nothing lasts forever
8) Cultures are quite innovative in responding to their circumstances
9) Beliefs and reality seldom match
10) Growth and compassion blossom in fields of sorrow
11) Love conquers all
12) Roll twice!
Careers of course stand for the multiple, typical S&S professions that pulpy heroes engage in their eventful lives.
Here is a sample character. Samriel of the Red Hills, a scribe before the recent fall of his country, he was sold as a skilled slave by foreign conquerors and learned to rely on his wits. Making "nothing comes to he who does not take what he wants" his personal motto. Escaped from his masters thanks to series of fortuitous circumstances, he is now ready to face the world on his own terms.
First Career: Scribe
Past Career: Slave
Current Career: Thief
Edge: Honest face
Drives: Samriel was from a wealthy family back home, he will not be satisfied by mere baubles like his colleagues. He is waiting for the big score, meanwhile spending all his hard earned cash to live among the luxuries of the nobles. If only for a night.