Sunday, October 10, 2010

Returning to the Realms

I've finally made up my mind on what campaign to run for my next game - Forgotten Realms.

Since I want to try and tempt a couple of players who haven't gamed in some time, I'm planning on enticing them with the combination of Waterdeep + Undermountain.

I used to run Waterdeep as my primary campaign for probably 5 years. The two guys I'm planning to recruit both had characters of 10th-12th level in that game and whenever we speak of DnD in general both of them always bring up the good times they had in Undermountain.

The game I was running in Undermountain came to have a near legendary status - in any other game setting my players would say stuff like, "This is nothing, we survived the torture chambers of the illithids in Undermountain." Whenever we played in this dungeon the player I'm looking to recruit would faithfully put in the Hellraiser soundtrack, which he had decided was thematically appropriate for the dungeon.

But, the kicker here is that I'm going to run this game using B/X rules and I'm going to make a few changes to the realms setting to make it easier to run. So I'm working on a few changes to the game to accommodate the change from AD&D to B/X. Here are a couple of them:

1. I'm organizing the deities into Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic groups - instead of the LG, CG, N, etc.. that was shown in the core books. I'm also selecting a few special deities that will commonly have "Adventuring Clerics". Here is my list so far:

Lawful - Tyr, Torm, Lathandar, Ilmater, Helm

Neutral - Tymora, Selune, Tempus

Chaos - Bane, Bhaal, Myrkul, Talos

2. Gnomes - the B/X rules as written don't have gnomes as a player race - they are described in NPC/monster format (B35). I think I'm going to stick with that for now. If somebody really wants to be a gnome, I'm going to slightly modify the Dwarf class to make it work.

3. No Time of Troubles, and absolutely no plaguestorm crap. I'm going to start the game out DR1356, using my copy of the 1987 Sourcebook + Cyclopedia of the Realms and add to that Waterdeep City System and Undermountain. I will probably use little snippets from the Volo's Guides during stops to villages and inn's and I'll also be using the treasure tables from Forgotten Realm's Adventures supplement. Other than these books - no other sources will be considered valid. Anything read in a FR novel, or sourcebook will be considered valid, and large sections of even the books that I listed will be changed to freshen things up a bit while retaining the original Realms flavor my PC's will be looking for. I will let the events of the game, and my strange whims take the realms in a different direction from the Canon chronology from the last 20 years or so. Mainly, since I'm really displeased of the direction that was taken.

4. I'm strongly considering eradicating a few races. The drow are at the top of my list. I think the drow have become very stale creatures too chained by the novels that are out there. There are a few other demihuman races that have become somewhat redundant/boring.

5. Changing the planes. I find the idea of the "plane of fire" "demi plane of shadow" "Hades" "The Abyss" very tired and I'm thinking of trying something different. More to follow soon on this one.

Anyway, there are probably some additional changes and modifications on the way to help merging the Realms with B/X. I'll be posting more on this soon.

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