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Just started my new campaign

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:19 am
by Ronin
After a 20 year hiatus from GM'ing a campaign, and almost a decade of not gaming, I've rejoined a local group recently - and I have just this past week ran my first game in a new campaign. Thought I'd share bits as they go along here, as well as taking advantage of any lessons others may have learned along the way.

Using the C&C rules set in the Wilderlands, starting out in the City State of the Invincible Overlord - using a mix of the new books and my original JG source material from ages past. One of the players is an old-school gamer like me, the others have come up in the 3rd edition & later years - but are learning the idea of role-playing vs. power gaming and skill blocks very well. All seem to have embraced the idea of developing a character concept and having the chance to explore the campaign.

House rules so far I'm trying to keep kind of simple. Right now I'm using the following changes/additions to the 4e C&C handbook:

- CON stat as a kicker to starting hit points for PCs only.

- 4d6 highest 3 for stats

- Allowing multi & half-classes

- Spellcasters in armor get an armor check penalty equal to their AC - this may need some tweaking and any advice would be appreciated.

- Using Crits & Fumbles out of the Crusader - similar to the AG charts we used back in the dark ages of gaming

Our party as it stands consists of:

a Grey Elf Wizard/Cleric

an Altanian Sorcerer/Barbarian

a half-Elf knight

a Liowan barbarian

a Neamuan rogue

It surprised me, although I should have known better, that everyone went for the esoteric races. Think my best approach for dealing with this is going to be NPC reactions throughout the City State.

Our first game started with a "roll for initiative" fight at an inn, in which they:

- witnessed a high-level spellcaster kidnap an unknown serving boy

- defeated some goblins somehow in the city after hours

- recovered a map to a tomb/dungeon two days ride away

- and learned of a mage seeking adventurers to recover some stolen items

I liked the idea of giving them several hooks to work with, and plan to give a chance for a few to interconnect down the road. The group role played amongst themselves and the city for a bit, then journeyed out towards the tomb. A random encounter that night with two wights resulted in some temporary party deaths (and a reminder for me to tweak my charts and start encounters at a greater distance away in the wilds) - the group then returned to the city, did some begging at the temple of Mitra and got the two members back. That ended the first session.

Sorry to ramble, but wanted to set the starting point well. I look forward to any thoughts or questions which will help me keep this going well - I want to enjoy the old-school flavor of the rules but not be too capricious as it were.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:53 am
by Dagger
Everything sounds awesome so far! The only comment I have is that the eclectic races fit right in for the city state... considering you can encounter trolls just walking down the street in the middle of the day.

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:33 am
by Rigon
For the spellcaster check, I've used this in the past and it worked out rather well.

Arcane Casting in Armor

Multi/Dual-classed arcane caster can cast spells while wearing armor that is appropriate to their non-casting class.

1. The character makes an Int check versus a CC of the AC bonus of the armor worn + the spell level of the spell being cast.

2. Multi/Dual Classed characters add in (rounded down) of their non-casting class and all of their casting class to the check.

Rigon o' the Lakelands, Baron of The Castles & Crusades Society
The Book of the Mind

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:45 am
by Omote
Wow, that is so awesome. *Jealous* C&C using the Wilderlands... just awesome in every sense of the word. All the best Ronin.
> Omote's Advanced C&C stuff <
Duke Omote Landwehr, Holy Order of the FPQ ~ Prince of the Castles & Crusades Society

Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:47 am
by Ronin
Wow - thanks for the replies and encouragement - I like knowing others are on the same page.

Dagger - I agree on the eclectic nature of the Wilderlands races... BUT I don't want to completely lose the basis of humans and all that. But I left it open to the group so we will see how it plays out.

Rigon - I'm going to keep that one in mind & suggest it to the group as a potential. Need to figure out a good balance - I don't want to screw the spellcaster, but don't want to make it a total freebie either.

So for the next session - I have a feeling that they will head back towards the dungeon (which BTW is a tweaked one from The Dungeoneer); I'm also leaving a few hooks in place like an old cemetery where the wights came from & the still unsolved mysteries from the city.

Continue to welcome questions and thoughts til then, and I will update following the next session if nothing sooner.

Posted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:57 pm
by Ronin
Alright, finally got game #2 ran & here's the brief synopsis:

We had one player swap-out, so a druid took the place of the knight. A few other folks are tweaking the characters a bit, which I don't mind at this stage.

As expected, the party headed for the dungeon. The only random encounter they hit was a small warren of giant rats which, although the scout missed them for any surprise chance, the party dispatched rather easily. From there the group found the dungeon, and made it through about the first third of things. Most of the encounters were combats with orcs in various rooms; they encountered one wounded ogre who wasn't interested in fighting & did a good job of role-playing the discussion with him for info and such. No traps that they set off and no other real surprises at this point. We hit our ending time for the night & the party chose to just remain where they were for our next session.

Rules tweaks which have come up:

- Crits & fumbles are being rolled for confirmation now, as opposed to just on any natural 20/1. Just too many of them otherwise, particularly using the table-o-doom.

- Sleep spell from the next session out will allow a saving throw - otherwise it's just too gorram powerful, particularly when casters have more than one spell per day. The other issue is that if I design the foes to counterbalance said power & then the party somehow doesn't have any sleep spells left then they are humped.

- For the moment not doing an "XP per encounter/session" award; rather I'm just going to advance the group a level every 3 sessions or so. For balance I will probably do it thus: the multi-classes get 1 level up; the singles get 1.5.

No other real issues showed up this go. I definitely felt much more comfortable behind the screen & hopefully that trend continues.

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:40 am
by Relaxo
sounds like fun!

As Dm I used to just go " um... you level up now" occasionally when I wanted to run a harder mission.

Level to serve the story vs the # of goblins killed.... it worked for me.

RE; spells in armor, isn't there some 3.X rule like, DC 10+level of spell as a cast in armor check? maybe its a feat? so w/o feats in C&C... just roll it or something.

I was also notorious for things like this... "you want to do what? Pick a number... (rolls 1d12)... (player says, "um... 6?") ... (I ignore die) ... you fail."

got caught once not waiting for the die to stop rolling... hilarity ensued.

I'm no help at all.
Anyway, welcome back to the fold, glad you've found C&C which is also what brought me back after 8 or 9 years away (who could re-learn 2nd ed with Player's option rules and 6 Complete handbooks? (yes, we got that bad))....

As you know, the most important rule is to have fun!

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:50 pm
by Ronin
Yes 3.5 and such abominations used a spell check penalty of a % roll - just kind of equated it to a d20 roll, but didn't add a CL for the spell level... really haven't been in a position to sweat it so far either, but with more combats happening the mages who are multi-classed are rather powerful...

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:32 am
by Relaxo
you could always just kill them.

Session Three

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:01 am
by Ronin
The dungeon crawl continued quite well - dealt with various skeletons, animated statues, and a nice role-played random encounter with some halflings who escaped goblin slavers.

The change to crits/fumbles needing a confirm roll worked out well - we still had several which worked to both ends and provided some amusing scenes.

The group definitely also impressed me with some semi-old school tactics and thinking in how they managed their battles & resources.

Following issues/potential rules changes came up:

- May go back to standard hit points - otherwise we're going to have to tweak spell damage, healing and all that sort of thing. Might mean I need to adjust lethality of encounters downwards a bit from where it has been.

- The cleric is currently displeased with having to wait 8 hours to recharge spells - he wants an hour similar to Pathfinder/3.5... Currently I'm against this for balance reasons. His argument being that it means too long of a delay between healing once his spells are exhausted. Thoughts from others?

- Forgot to mention - one of my first rules had been dropping the damage of a sleeve tangler down to 1d8, but still allowing the improved disarms. Works better & more realistic.

Re: Session Three

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:12 pm
by Omote
Ronin wrote:
- The cleric is currently displeased with having to wait 8 hours to recharge spells - he wants an hour similar to Pathfinder/3.5... Currently I'm against this for balance reasons. His argument being that it means too long of a delay between healing once his spells are exhausted. Thoughts from others?

If I'm not mistaken, in Pathfinder/v3.5 while it is true that clerics only need 1 hour of prayer time (at a specific time of day) to regain spell casting, characters can only do that once per day. Although in Pathfinder/v3.5 it only takes 1 hour of prayer to regain all of the clerics spells. In C&C, there is that 15 minuites/spell level thing as well on top of the 8 hours of good rest.

> Omote's Advanced C&C stuff <
Duke Omote Landwehr, Holy Order of the FPQ ~ Prince of the Castles & Crusades Society

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:52 pm
by Ronin
I've always agreed that way as well - he seems to have interpreted otherwise. Fortunately it's not an argument - he's going with DM's ruling - just something which came up.

Session Update...

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:51 am
by Ronin
Since our other regular DM has some stuff come up in real life, I'm running bi-weekly for a while. Then, this week we had several scheduling conflicts, so it ended up being me & two players. Given that I didn't feel like trying to have just the two of them finish the dungeon crawl, so the group as a whole had returned to the City State for a break & I did some improv work...

Let's see... we still have the unresolved issue of the attack/kidnapping which opened the campaign. Skimming through some old ideas I have thoughts that maybe some cult is involved - let's make it an Old Ones/Hamarkis apostasy. They're staying at the Wayfarer's Inn & just outside of town is a place called Wayfarer's refuge...

So I draw all these connections together, throw in some noble conspiracies & let my players brainstorm as they go while I cherry pick for what I like. Some parts weren't as smooth as I hoped for but for a completely off the cuff session it worked danged well.

Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:44 pm
by Wordwarrior
Congratulations, and good luck with your campaign. I'm trying to get one of my own started up, but so far no bites. I plan to put up a recruitment thread on the forums here (in addition to the one I have on Dragonsfoot forums and my FLGS website) sometime later today. Hopefully I'll get some response.

Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:53 pm
by Treebore
My Tuesday game is set in the Wilderlands, in and around the CSIO. I am using a lot of 1E modules as the basis for our adventures.
The Ruby Lord, Earl of the Society

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My House Rules: ... llordgames