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Mal's CnC-ified Campaign 
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Mist Elf

Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 22
Post Mal's CnC-ified Campaign
I converted my D&D 5 game to C&C, and we had our first session on Sunday. It went beyond great - everyone had fun, and everyone is looking forward to the next session (unfortunately, we only meet about once a month).

Switching back to C&C was like slipping on my favorite fuzzy slippers. It felt like coming home, and made running the rules effortless so I could focus on the adventure. I had hit major "writer's block" before the switch. Once I decided to switch, the ideas just started to flow again.

My players are mostly young - my teenage son, two brothers that he met in Boy Scouts, their father, and now my son's girlfriend, who had never played a pencil & paper RPG before.

Cast Of Characters
Arilarin - Elf Ranger/Druid with his winged cat familiar/animal companion Artemis
Shamash - Dragonborn Fighter/Half-Wizard (was an Eldrich Knight in D&D 5)
Sindri - Gnome Assassin
Daerathius - Drow Wizard (with some 'enhancements', as he was a Wild Magic Sorcerer in D&D 5)
Sassenach - Half-Elf Rogue with her chameleon familiar named Donas (apparently, she's a fan of Outlander)
Band-Aid, the NPC cleric (not his real name)

All are at 4th or 5th level (20k XP), and each has one or two hand-crafted Advantages to help keep the feel of their characters from their D&D 5 origin.

Arilarin is the focus of the current adventure - he is seeking magical ingots needed to forge a ceremonial weapon for the next Elf King.... They were stolen, and the group discovered that a group took them with the intention of forging a cursed weapon - the assumption is that the enemy is trying to take over the Elven kingdom (he's smart enough to find this post, so I'm not giving any hints as to their real motive).

In Sunday's session, they were deep in an old Dwarven smithy (based on the Forge of Fury adventure) that long ago had become the resting place of the First Drow Elf. Deep in the dungeon, the finally encountered the group that stole the ingots, and were able to recover them before they were able to be cursed - the vestige of the First Drow used most of his remaining magic to keep the forge from being lit.

They discovered that the enemy behind this threat was a separate Elven kingdom - one that uses orcs, ogres, and worse as minions.

After dealing with the bad guys and recovering the ingots, the group had to travel to the deepest depths of my mega-dungeon to find the correct forge. The First Drow (only a vestige now, and seeking atonement for his betrayal of the Elven people which created the Drow) gave them a friendly teleport to a spot near the forge, and they are now searching for the proper Elven forge before time runs out.

(Drow in my world were pretty typical bad guys until my brother decided he wanted to play one, based on his love of Bill Willingham's artwork in the original Fiend Folio - well before Drizzt ruined Drow for everyone. After his character's success in saving the world, Drow started to become grudgingly accepted).

Sassenach brought a very mercenary flair to the game - it appears that she is going to influence the group to take up pirating. She also wants a TARDIS. The rest of the group is fully behind getting a ship and building a pirate empire... they're less sure about introducing a TARDIS.

So now, I'm looking at pirate/nautical resources. I just ordered the Pirate's Guide to Freeport, I'm considering ordering DMGR9 - Of Ships and the Sea, and I'm considering ordering Bruce Heard's Calidar (I loved the Voyage of the Princess Ark in Dragon).

I'm also considering SpellJammer - previous campaigns in my world discovered both an airship (a ship-in-a-bottle which turned into a flying ship when uncorked.... that group visited the moon once, but mostly stayed close to the ground) and a crashed SpellJammer ship (they discovered it deep in a dungeon, half-sunk in an underground lake, with no idea how it got there - the helm was functional, but they didn't realize what it was... and left it there).

During our next session, I'm going to toss a few ideas their way, because regardless of how they decide, it's going to require me to do work - I'll either need to expand my campaign world to include a good spot for pirate gaming, or add airships, or determine how to introduce SpellJamming. It all depends on whether they want to sail the ocean blue, the friendly skies, or Spaaaaaaaaace!

I've already figured out how to introduce a TARDIS, but I'm not going to give them one.

I absolutely LOVE it when my players take control of the campaign. They can't throw too many curveballs at me - and this was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to switch from D&D 5 to Castles & Crusades - it's much, much easier for me to pivot with them using C&C.

Regardless, the driving force behind the bad guys will have to change to support this pivot. The current big bad just won't fit a piratey campaign. Ten ideas are already swirling around in my brain. Swirl, ideas! Swirl!

If anyone is still reading, and has other nautical/pirate resources that they think may be useful, I'd love to hear them! I've looked at Razor Coast, the Birthright Naval supplement, the Forgotten Realms Pirates of the Fallen Stars supplement for 2nd edition, but none of those really pulled me in. I haven't looked at the Judges Guild's Sea-Steeds and Wave Riders supplement - if anyone has experience with that, I'd love to hear about it.

And yes, I ramble like this often. It's just what I do.

Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:16 am
Mist Elf
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:37 pm
Posts: 29
Location: Indiana
Post Re: Mal's CnC-ified Campaign
I had a lot of fun reading your write-up, and your ramblings.

If your looking for naval rules, Privateers and Gentleman from Fantasy Games Unlimited always had rules that made sense to me and ought to port over fairly easily. You can get the old set via RPGNow pretty cheap.

If you're talking campaigns, I always thought that 50 Fathoms read like it would be a great one to run, although it's set on a different world and probably wouldn't mesh with what you've already got going. Also, of course, it's for Savage Worlds. But even though I've never GM'd it, I can say I've rarely enjoyed reading a campaign description as much as I enjoyed reading that one. I've actually paged all the way through it twice.

"Who dies first?"
--Conan, "The Phoenix on the Sword"

Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:32 pm
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Cleric of Zagyg
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Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 10783
Location: Somewhere in Time
Post Re: Mal's CnC-ified Campaign
Welcome to the Crusade, malchidael!

Well done.

What a great session and write-up!

Enjoy the game,

Rhu. :)

Count Rhuveinus - Lejendary Keeper of Castle Franqueforte

"Enjoy a 'world' where the fantastic is fact and magic really works!" ~ Gary Gygax

"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes:" - Macbeth

Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:17 am
Mist Elf

Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 22
Post Re: Mal's CnC-ified Campaign
Our next session is coming up this Sunday, so I've been refreshing my memory and getting ready for the next session.
Cast Of Characters
Arilarin - Elf Ranger/Druid with his winged cat familiar/animal companion Artemis
Shamash - Dragonborn Fighter/Half-Wizard (was an Eldrich Knight in D&D 5)
Sindri - Gnome Assassin
Daerathius - Drow Wizard (with some 'enhancements', as he was a Wild Magic Sorcerer in D&D 5)
Sassenach - Half-Elf Rogue with her chameleon familiar named Donas (apparently, she's a fan of Outlander)
Band-Aid, the NPC cleric (not his real name)

As I mentioned, they received a friendly teleport near the forge. In my campaign world, the forge is basically an artifact and it moves around within my mega-dungeon, called Skull Keep (which was modeled after the sample dungeon cross-section from Holmes Basic (although it contains many more levels)).

The deeper the forge sits, the more powerful the weapon forged on it. Since the main purpose of the forge is to create a crystal artifact-quality weapon for the next Elf King, the Elven priests have visions of how deep in the dungeon it is. Currently, it is the deepest it has ever been (the 10th level), indicating that the weapon forged on it will be the mightiest ever. Therefore, getting a free ride to the 10th level of Skull Keep was a huge boon to the party. As the party is 5th level, I designed these levels to be reasonable challenges for them - not the traditional "10th level of the dungeon for 10th level characters" model. Although, there are encounters that will result in TPK's if the group is foolish.

They appeared on a small island in a flooded natural cavern. A 40' tall oak tree sits in the center of the island, and the oak tree was the gate from which they appeared. Crossing a bridge (guarded by three Stone Golems tasked with defending the bridge, so the golems let the party pass with just a glance), they entered the dungeon proper.

Ignoring a stairway up, the continued into a series of rooms - all polished, 30' square rooms in a grid arrangement. Definitely not natural. As they entered, the passage behind them was sealed by an elaborate pressure plate mechanism that the Rogue missed.

After searching around, they found the reason the walls were so smooth - a gelatinous cube was circling around, acting as an acidic Roomba(R) keeping the chambers clean and polished....

Except for one room, which contained some form of nest... Three large, oddly shaped egg-like objects rested in the nest. As the party approached, those three objects started to float, their large beaks and nasty tentacles dangling... The grell (sorry - I can't use the name Gromm.... They will always be Grell to me) approached and attacked - not many large, tasty elves recently.

Thankfully, the NPC cleric could cast Remove Paralysis - the party was hurt, and several paralyzed, but the cleric kept them in the fray until the Grell were destroyed.

After searching, they managed to find a secret door, leading down. Given the extra time we took discussing the rule changes (from 5e to C&C), and introducing our new player, this was the end of the session. The party decided to rest here before climbing down.

Little do they know that the passage down leads to the lair of a great wizard - they will be unable to explore much, as the iron golem guardians will prevent a 5th level party from doing a whole lot (and I'm hoping they don't become foolish and attempt to get by the golems... this is one of the TPK points that they will encounter), but they will be able to open the passage that trapped them, allowing them to exit and continue their exploring.

As a complete aside, I was pondering why I love C&C more than pretty much any other variant of D&D. It hit me as I was re-reading the Princess Ark articles from the Dragon Magazine, and reading Bruce Heard's "Calidar, In Stranger Skies" book. When I started playing D&D, it was with Holmes Basic. I was in 8th grade, didn't make much money, and couldn't afford AD&D; however, a few friends of my older brother had AD&D, and gave me photocopies of the XP charts, To-hit charts, and spell lists. So, after we hit 3rd level, I started to run Holmes Basic, extended with 1st Edition AD&D charts & tables to provide additional leveling opportunities until I could afford to buy into AD&D.

Castles & Crusades reminds me of that hybrid game. Simple, concise rules with more character options. Had I been introduced to D&D through BECMI, I might be still playing that system, but I moved to 1st Edition AD&D, grudgingly to 2nd Edition AD&D, and then into the maelstrom of 3e and beyond... but after it was published, C&C was always there, beckoning me back to where I started.

I will post a recap of the next session sometime next week.

Sat May 14, 2016 2:40 am
Mist Elf

Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 22
Post Re: Mal's CnC-ified Campaign
Wow... It's been a while. Between work and health issues (and my son finding a job that wreaked havok on gaming schedules), we played only once.

The group delved deeper, through the secret door, climbing down a rusty ladder into a room with four doors and four mirrors in the corners - one cracked and one completely shattered.

Iron golems guarded three of the four doors (not the one they came through) and warned the group that this was the home of the mighty Wizard Mordenkainen (yes, I stole Mordenkainen for my world because my son was interested in acquiring several of his spells, and I figured I'd give him a hint as to where they could be found... once the group could defeat three iron golems.

The mirrors were obviously portals - one led to the surface, one led back to the dungeon above (and they watched the door that sealed them in open through the portal), the cracked mirror led to a ruined city (my stolen version of Myth Drannor), and of course, the shattered mirror was an unknown.

Instead of annoying the iron golems, the group wisely went through the portal back into the dungeon above to continue their quest.

Heading straight through the main passage and avoiding all the awesome side-passages chock full of treasure, they fought their way through a pack of Skaven (and a few WarHammer Rat Ogres), a group of degenerate Duergar, and then found the Elven Forge they were hunting for.

Unfortunately, the way was almost completely blocked by a cave-in - only a gap small enough for the wizard's familiar to sneak through allowed them to discover the forge. The familiar also found a chasm leading down to a lower cave....

We stopped here. In the next session (hopefully Sunday), they will probably try to dig through, resulting in a cave-in and the need to keep searching for that lower cavern so they can climb up and hopefully make it to the Forge.

Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:08 am
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