Friday, February 26, 2010

Running a Fantasy Game

Similar to the efforts of Pointyman2000 I'm looking at running a type of RPG I haven't run in a long while. Unlike his efforts -- which are Science Fiction-oriented, mine is Fantasy-oriented. To be specific, it is D&D/AD&D-oriented, perhaps a vain attempt to finally use all those modules I've been accumulating over the years before I finally sell them or donate them to charity.

Furthermore, this campaign will likely be either play-by-post (on a message board or something similar) or use one of those nifty Online RPG tools with chat and shared maps and so on.

It's not really that I'm hungry for gaming -- I am currently playing in a regular campaign. It's more that I haven't been GM in a while and I feel like stretching those muscles. In addition to that, I actually want to DM, probably because of the resurgence of OD&D old school advocacy and the fact that I've largely played in Fantasy RPGs instead of running them. And I've never run a proper dungeon crawl.

As far as the system is concerned, I'm considering two:
  • Labyrinth Lord by Goblinoid Games (a retro-clone) is quite charming especially since my first D&D ruleset was the B/X tandem of rules and I've kinda collected a lot of the Gazetteers and modules over the years;
  • Castles & Crusades (a neo-clone -- is that the right term?) is fascinating because of all the tweaks made to the basic D&D/AD&D ruleset geared towards making characters fast and making gameplay fast.
As far as the setting is concerned, that's where it becomes like Pointyman's "How do I Sci-Fi" series of posts. I'm gonna brainstorm the possible adventures I'd like to run in what is essentially a Mystara-based area (actually, Karameikos would be the background campaign area for all the dungeons).

I'd think that for play-by-post the background campaign area is less important, but for the online gametable sessions it might come in a bit more important.

Other parameters: there should be a consistent reason for new PCs to come into play -- I don't want to have to deal with the following classic scene:
  • DM: "Mere minutes after the loss of Douglas Black to the poisoned porcupine, a lean figure slinks into the room, eyes wild and a bit wary."
  • PC#1: "Halt, who goes there?"
  • New PC: "I am Shadow Doug, and I have been wandering these halls, lost, trying to find a way out."
  • DM: "He looks suspicious."
  • PC#2: "Would you like to come adventuring with us? We seek the secret cavern of the Lich of Darkness!"
  • New PC: "Sure! Could I have Douglass Black's share of the treasure?"
  • PC#1: "Okay, you look trustworthy enough.."
Let's put the kettle on the fire, make some hot cocoa and see what my imagination can come up with.

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