Showing posts with label Come Endless Darkness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Come Endless Darkness. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2017

Into the Nentir Vale, 5e Style

Vacation day today.  So the boys and I are starting our "Halloween" adventures of Into the Nentir Vale.  Yes, I am converting the 4e the adventures to 5e.  I started these adventures back when 4e came out and they really had an impact on what I am doing now with Come Endless Darkness.


So today we start H1, Keep on the Shadowfell.


I have done the conversions to 5e and they look good.



We are going to stick with this one for a bit and pick up Vault of the Drow when we go to Gen Con in 2018.  That would be a good time to do that!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Temples of Elemental Evil in the Multiverse

I have been thinking a lot about my interconnected D&D 5 campaigns.
  • There is the Mystara/Oerth combination on my wold of Mystoerth I have been running for The Order of the Platinum Dragon. Which cover all the classic "Greyhawk" modules.  Big bad is Lolth.
  • There is the one I have been calling The Second Campaign which I have started in the Forgotten Realms (2017 is my year to be introduced to the Realms).  I am running other classic 1st modules here too.  Big Bad here is Asmodeus.  I am including some elements of Dark Sun here too. 
  • There is a third campaign I have not started completely just yet. It is a resurrection of my old 4e game and deals with the rise of Orcus.  Originally I wanted this one to be the Realms but I am likely to set it in the Nentir Vale.  Have not decided yet. If I do then I need a better home for the Second Campaign.  I'd love to play a little with Krynn, to be honest. 
I still have some details to work out. But all of these fall under the larger umbrella of Come Endless Darkness. Tharizdûn is returning to the multiverse and the PCs of the three campaigns need to stop him.

But I need to know my end game. I know all three are coming together at the very end.  In the "main" Order of the Platinum Dragon game, the PCs have already been to Hommlett. They know about the Temple of Elemental Evil, so they have a pretty good idea that they are headed back there.

I know that I am planning that have the big bads, or at least their proxies, in the final battle too. But how do I get the characters of three universes together?

Then it dawned on me. There is a Temple of Elemental Evil in every game world.


Let's look at it from this point of view.  Nearly every game world (notable exception Mystara) got its genesis from First Edition AD&D.  The first level First Edition adventure was T1 The Village of Hommlett.   So if you played regularly in any game world there is a good chance that that world had a Hommlett and accordingly a Temple of Elemental Evil.

I thought at first I wanted a Tanelorn-style temple that flitted from world to world.  But that is unsatisfactory to me and I already had something like that in Halfway. I thought about having it as a place that exists on all worlds at the same time,  but I also have that in West Haven.
So instead I am thinking of something more along the lines of the Altgeld Castles here in Illinois.

On five different campuses here in Illinois there are five gothic-style castles all (except one) called Altgeld Hall. Named after Gov. Altgeld.   The rumor was that all these buildings can be combined, Voltron-style, to make one complete castle.  There is no facts to back this up, but it is much more fun than the rumors that usually surround campuses in Illinois.

So I propose the following:

Every game world has a Temple of Elemental Evil.  Some are decrepit and decayed, others are active and strong, and others still are only just starting.  The main feature of these is that all are connected.  They can be combined together across time and space to form a giant Temple and Cathedral of Elemental Evil.

For locations, I went to the experts online.
They have given me some good ideas. I didn't go to Eberron or Dark Sun since I know very little about either world other than the most basic basics.  I figure they have them as well.

For maps, it will be easy.  I can grab one from the T1-4 Supermodule for each world. I can also grab an absolute ton of material from the Princes of the Apocalypse.  Appendix C of PotA gives me plenty of ideas of different loacations and backgrounds for the Temple in various game worlds too.



Heroes of the Three Worlds will have to come together to defeat evil and face the ultimate evil in Tharizdûn.

It's gonna be epic!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Eclavdra, D&D Beyond test and stats

I have a big three-ring binder FULL of stuff for my upcoming D12-3/Q1 adventures.  I have been wanting to do this for years and I am very excited.

To that end, I have been prepping on various fronts.  Here are the fruits of some of that labor.

As you might remember I signed up for D&D Beyond.  I am in for the whole deal, the books the builder all of it.  So I have been trying out different sorts of characters to get a feel for what works.

So far I find it superior to the builders I used for 3e and 4e from WotC but not quite as flexible as Hero Lab.  But for D&D 5 with all the content at my finger tips is great.  The HUGE plus for me is the ability to do it all on my Chromebook, switch to my Windows PC or laptop, switch to my phone or tablet or even use my Ubuntu Linux Frankencomputer.   For me, that is the best selling point.  I use too many different technologies that are cross compatible now, I expect that in the tech I use for fun as well.  While working on characters for this post I moved seamlessly between my Chromebook and Android phone.  I have not tried it on an iPad yet.

So far I have only used the character builder and the ability to look up material.   There is a lot here and I have to admit I get a kick anytime a bit of art from 3e and 4e pops up.

Eclavdra
I figure what better to test out this tool and to prep for my "Against the Drow" adventures is to stat up a new version of the classic Drow High Priestess Eclavdra.
Note: This is not going to be a "Power Score" like retrospective like +Sean McG does.  He does a far better job at that than I can do.



We get very little about her in the pages of G3. She is a Drow High Priestess of Lolth. She has some fighter ability and she is also serving the Elder Elemental Eye/Elder Elemental God/Tharizdûn.  +Joseph Bloch would know more and has likely talked about it a lot on his blog.
I have seen 3rd and 4th edition stats for her and I know I have 2nd ed stats for her somewhere.
I was hoping that the recent Tales from the Yawning Portal would have something more "5e-ish" for her, but other than some neat art (above) and a mention, nothing.  Not even the basic stats we got in the original G3.

Last year I talked about Eclavdra when I was getting ready to run the Giants series. I noted then that she was listed as:

Eclavdra (10th level cleric/fighter; H.P.: 60, Wisdom 17, Dexterity 18, Constitution 10, Charisma 18; Armor Class -8 = +3 shield, +5 chainmail, and +4 dexterity bonus).

So I started with that and compared it to the 4e stats I had at hand.



 I know I wanted to change her around a bit, keep her levels of Cleric but instead of Fighter, I gave her 4 levels of a Blade Pact Warlock of Tharizdûn.  I used some feats to also round out her fighting ability and I am very pleased with what I came up with.


A couple of things.  AD&D had lower ability scores but more powerful magic items.  This Eclavdra has greater Charisma and Wisdom, but she is unlikely to have a magic +5 anything.  So her 5e Armor Class of 16 seems weak compared to her AD&D AC of -8.  I might make her elven chain a little more powerful.

I am limited to the items in the software; that is until I make some more myself to use.  Good candidates here are +3 Elven Chain and her Tentacle Rod (not in the software or her sheets just yet).
But all in all I am pleased.  Like I mentioned above the ability to go back and forth on the platforms I use all the time appeals to me.  The phone version is also not too bad. I created a complete character on my phone with no difficulty.



If you want to check her out for yourself here is the PDF output the builder gives you.

Eclavdra, D&D Beyond Sheet.

It might not be perfect, but it is pretty good.

Most of the nitpicks I have with it are rule interpretations that I thought I had known.  So before I call them "bugs" I want to recheck my rulebook.

Is it worth the price tag?  Yeah, for me it is, but we are playing a lot of D&D 5 in this house these days.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review: Module G123 Against the Giants

Want to get some more reviews in.  I figure since we just finished this one it was a great choice.

G123 Against the Giants

Getting to play AD&D at the height of its popularity was one of the best things about growing up in the 80s.  Even living in a small town in Central Illinois there were multiple, independent D&D groups going on everywhere.  It was not uncommon to hear talk of an adventure, or a rules debate or anything else.  One of the adventures that everyone seemed to be playing was the Against the Giants series.

Talk of Ombi, King Snurre Ironbelly, and Eclavdra were not daily topics of conversation, but they were common enough that there was a shared set of experiences. It was something we all could relate too and talk about even when we knew those other groups were playing it all "wrong"!  It is no surprise then that G1-3 have been ranked as some of the greatest *D&D adventures of all time and have been updated for every version of the D&D rules since it was published back in 1978 (and combined in 1981).

The Giants series began as three individual adventures. They were run as part of the AD&D Tournament at Origins '78.  When later released they became the first ever published adventures for the then new Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) game.  Each adventure dealt with raids from a different race of giants; Hill, Frost and Fire respectively. They were aided by other giants and giant type creatures including ogres, stone giants and even a couple of white dragons in G2.  But what really grabbed the attention of many players, and certainly this player, was the big reveal that the masterminds behind these giant raids were none other than the Drow; evil, dark elves that lived underground.  This elevated the adventure from mere dungeon crawl and searching in giant's bags to a conspiracy.  The giant-Drow alliance became Evil with a capital E.

The giants themselves were new-ish monsters then.  Giants had appeared in the Original D&D rules, but all six races were "detailed" in a paragraph.  In the (then new) Monster Manual for AD&D 1st Edition giants were given significantly more space and more details.  It would be difficult to say which really came first, but we do know that Gygax worked on and published the Monster Manual before the Giants series came out.  Notes from one certainly could have influenced the other.
What of the adventures themselves?  I had the chance to play this as a player way back in the early 80s.  So my memories of it are quite fond. So fond in fact that I also ran this adventure with my sons as the players and using the newest edition of the D&D rules.  My experiences playing under 1st Edition AD&D compare very favorably to my experiences running it under 5th Edition D&D nearly 40 years later.


The 32-page combined adventure splits into three easy parts that represent the three original modules.

G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
Here the characters and the players are introduced to the World of Greyhawk, or at least this small section of it.  They learn that giants of various types have been raiding the local villages and the character have been pressed into doing something about it.  Now the original modules put a threat into the characters to investigate, I find that by appealing to their higher moral codes and motives (and the ability to keep all the treasure) works so much better.

Soon the Steading of Hill Giant Chief Nostra is discovered and even a party of 9th+ level adventurers will soon discover that bigger often does mean better.  Giants, even Hill Giants, are not dumb monsters. They are not bigger orcs or ogres with more hit points.  This is their home and they will defend it.  I am quite impressed anytime I think about how this was run as a tournament.   It took me many sessions to get through all three and when I reran for my kids at Gen Con I had wanted to do each one a different night.  Didn't happen that way.  This adventure requires the players to plan, to hit hard and then run away.  Many times they would send in the assassin to take out a giant and then follow it up with a barrage of magic from a distance.  Combat can honestly be a slog here.  But the action is often very fast paced.  There is a lot going on.



This adventure shares a lot in common with its sibling B1 Keep on the Borderlands. While designed for two different versions of the D&D game, there are similarities that should not be ignored. In fact, I would like to think that they are there on purpose.  Each represents a "beginner" view of dungeon crawling, but the Giants adventures, if you pardon the pun, get more advanced.
This adventure gives only our first clues to the larger conspiracy, namely that the Hill Giants are taking direction from Giants, quite literally further up.  Completing this adventure only leads the characters to the Frost Giants.

G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
Going further up the mountains we get the first hints of how the AD&D game is different than the D&D one.  We now have rules for cold and the wind and most importantly getting lost in the snow.  Like the Hill Giants before, some sections are left to the Dungeon Master to detail.  This is partly due to the desire for a sandbox style play and largely due to the tournament origins of these adventures.

Again in this adventure planning is required. The characters cannot just rush in blindly and hope to overwhelm these creatures.  In fact, assuming they are mere "monsters" is a good way to get killed fast.  The  Dungeon Master is encouraged to play these giants as the personages they are. Sure, Guard #4 in area 19 might not have a name, but he does have a purpose.  Even the white dragon has a purpose.  I could not help but think that the white dragon cloak worn by Snurre had not been one of the Frost Giant Jarl's dragons.  In fact I hope it was. Their haltered of each other is overridden by the fear they feel at the hands of the drow. How powerful are these dark elves?

In this adventure, it should become obvious that much more is going on than raids and attacks of opportunity. There is a force uniting these giant clans and directing to grim purpose.

G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
Here the conspiracy is laid bare and the character will discover what and who is directing the Giants. But first they must survive a live and active volcano.  The walls, for example, are hot to the touch. How hot? Try 2d6 hp damage per touch hot.  The giants here are smart and coordinated by a strong King. They will lay traps and ambushes for the party. They will try to stop them at every turn.  This adventure is not only significantly deadlier than the other two, it is also about 50% longer.  Not only do the players have coordinated giant attacks to deal with, burning walls and King Snurre himself but also hiding out on level 3 are the drow.   For many players back in the day this was their first introduction to the dark elves.  I liken it to the big reveal that Romulans were related to the Vulcans in the original series of Star Trek's The Balance of Terror.  It is something in our post-Drizzt world that we have lost.
Here the Drow are discovered to be pulling the strings, but we don't yet know why.  We do that they are lead by a High Priestess, an unearthly beautiful drow by the name of Eclavdra. She is no monster, but an NPC worthy of her own motives, desires and schemes.
In the last time I ran this adventure my kids figured out right away that they needed to take out the King in order to not die right away. So they hunted Snurre down.  With him out of the way the other fire giants lost their direction and were much easier to defeat.   The red dragon and the drow though were still a problem.  They managed to kill all but two; Eclavdra and her enchanter.   The characters were last seen chasing the drow down to the Depths of the Earth to complete the next series of adventures.

While the books are small, the adventures take a while to run.  The combats can be long and the characters really should take the time to explore every inch of the three giant strongholds.  There is more treasure here than any group of characters need but also there are plenty of prisoners to free and some have information on what is going on.

There had been D&D adventures before this, but this was the first epic.

Legacy
There are good reasons why we are still talking about these adventures today nearly 40 years later.

Some of it, of course, is just good old-fashioned nostalgia.  People loved these adventures then and now they want to share that love with new players today.  That is exactly what I did and there is no shame in admitting it.  But the reason why people loved them is also the reason why they stand the test of time. The adventures are just plain good.  These adventures combined a lot of things that people loved; great locations and sandbox-like play. Iconic and classic monsters mixed with new ones. Not mention an engaging story with memorable NPCs.  When gamers wax nostalgic over adventures like Tomb of Horrors, they think of things like the traps or character deaths.  In the Giants series they also mention things, like the Hill Giant Chief's dining hall, but also they remember names, like I mentioned above; Ombi, Snurre, Eclavdra.  When I played this back in the 80s Ombi nearly killed my whole party.  I survived all these giants just to be killed by a Dwarf with some potions and magic item. Well that and a DM that knew how to make a character memorable.  Imagine my shock and surprise when my kids plan and take out Ombi in two rounds!

This adventure also shaped much of what would become D&D's own mythology.  Giants of any sort working together soon became shorthand for bad news.  The drow, scantly described here, would go on to become one of the most infamous humanoids in all of the D&D worlds. Their underground city, only hinted at here, would be the template for nearly every Drow-realted product written in the late 80s and beyond to the present day.  G123 is not just the seed, it is also the fertile earth of much of what would become recognizable as "D&D".

TSR and then later Wizards of the Coast would go back to the Giants again and again. In 1987 TSR combined the G series with its sequels the D and Q modules for GDQ Queen of Spiders, one of the first Supermodules.  In 1999 they were reprinted and expanded again for the 2nd Edition of the AD&D game in Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff.  In 2009 Wizards of the Coast released Revenge of the Giants for the 4th Edition D&D game.   For the 5th Edition game Wizards of the Coast went back not once, but twice, to giant country with Storm King's Thunder (2016) and Tales from the Yawning Portal (2017). Storm King is more a spiritual successor to the original Giants series, but G123's DNA is all over it.  Tales from the Yawning Portal is a direct reprint of the original Giants adventures but updated to the new D&D 5th Edition rules with new full-color maps and art.  It has lost none of the punch of the original.




Not only have there been official Giant-related products from TSR and Wizards over the years, other publishers got into Giant business.  Notably there is a "missing" set of giants from these adventures; the Cloud Giants. I went to track down a cloud giant based adventure to slot in and easily found 4-5 all based on Cloud Giants. Actually, most of them dealt with a Cloud Giant castle.




Think about it, what was one of the first stories you remember hearing as a child? Jack in the Beanstalk might have been one of the very first.  The giant living in his castle in the clouds with a goose that lays golden eggs and a harp that sings on its own.  Think of the stories from our shared consciousness.  Giants living the mountains, David fighting Goliath, Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Giant's Causeway, the Frost Giants of Norse myth, the Titans of Greek myth, to Attack on Titan, and so many, many more.   These are the tales we tell. Tales from antiquity to last week's Game of Thrones.  It should then be no wonder why these adventures speak to us and call to us to join the battle.

Monday, August 21, 2017

D&D Beyond

I signed up for D&D Beyond this morning.



I pretty much knew I was going to sign up anyway, but gaming over the weekend convinced me.

Currently, I am running two D&D 5 games, the Come Endless Darkness game and The Second Campaign.  Eventually, I am going to get my aborted 4e game converted over to 5e and I'll get that going too, tentatively called Into the Nentir Vale.

My son is also running games. A D&D 5 game with his friends,  the same adventures (with different characters) with my youngest son and his friends (average age 14) AND the occasional one we take turns running for his cousins (aged 13 to 22).



So six D&D 5 games with about 40 characters total.
To say we have lost some sheets here and there is an understatement.  To say we need to be able to access our materials in a bunch of different places is also pretty clear.

So I pulled the trigger this morning and got a DM's Subscription and picked up the three core books.

I know there has been a lot of complaining online about the price.
For me, the price compared to what I get was worth it. I was a fan of the 4e character builder and I used it quite a lot.   When Beyond was in Beta I also used it a lot.  So far I am pleased with my purchase so far.

Are there cheaper tools? Of course.
Are there better tools? Maybe.
Are there tools that do everything that Beyond does? None that I know of.

So I'll be sharing my thoughts on this tool over the next few days.  Need to load about 3 dozen characters into it now.

Anyone else using this?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Weekend Gaming: The Giants Fall

Today the Order of the Platinum Dragon completed their quest to stop the giants.  With King Snuure and his wives defeated, rounding up the rest was easier to do.  Including getting rid of a bunch of giant fire beetles and some red dragons.



Though the brave heroes did not count on the drow on the third level.  They took out many of their elite fighters, but a mysterious drow priestess and her wizard attendant got away.


A satisfying end to an adventure that began at Gen Con last year.

Now it is time for the heroes to descend into the depth of the earth!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

First Day of Summer

Ok.  I am working like crazy to get something out to you all in the next few hours.  Had projects that came up at my day job that had to take priority (hey. it pays the bills, this doesn't).

Today is the first day of Summer 2017.  I love the Summer Solstice. Everything feels perfect really.

Anyway, Solstices and Equinoxes make me think of Elementals.
I am not the only one either.  +Joseph Bloch over at Greyhawk Grognard is talking the Temple of Elemental Evil again and that is good.

I am just about ready to wrap-up the Giants series with the kids and move on into D12 and 3.  I have given a lot of thought on what I can do with Q1 and a possible Q2.

I have also been thinking ahead to a scenario where I use the Temple of Elemental Evil as the end of my "Gygaxian Classics".  Though I am not 100% sure how I want to it.



Unlike all the other adventures I am taking my kids through I never played or ran Temple of Elemental Evil.   In fact, till today I never even owned a physical copy.  I bought the PDF a while back.  I have a couple of copies of T1 and I have been thinking about this a lot.





Anyone who has ran this adventure, any advice?

I know that this is going to be the capstone to my huge 5e games.  Currently running two, soon to be three concurrent and independent games in 5e.  They are all going to meet at the temple and unless they are really, really good, they will see the rise of Tharizdûn.

Not sure what I am going to do yet, but I know it will be fun.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Rise! Tharizdûn!

Spent some quality time with the Order of the Platinum Dragon this weekend.

These guys:


They just cleared out the first level of the Hall of the Fire Giant King and are now headed down to the second level.  They have encountered the first bit of solid proof of the Drow interference.

We (You and I that is, not the players or the characters) that they will eventually encounter Lolth.


She should put up a pretty good fight.  What happens to her depends on the actions of the characters.

After that there is a real good chance that they (or they along with the Second Campaign Characters) will also have to fight Orcus.


He looks a lot tougher.

But the problem is that they are not the "big bads" of my 5e games.  All my campaigns will link up at the end to fight the mastermind pulling all the strings.

Tharizdûn!


Yup. I know that is a WoW figure (Demon Form Illidan Stormrage), but he works perfectly as Tharizdûn as I envision him.  Part drow, part demon, part dragon, part devil.

Tharizdûn, through Asmodeus and Graz'zt, have manipulated the characters (in all three campaigns), Lolth, Orcus and scores of other demons to locate the Chaos stones. Once collected the PCs will think they are using them to save the world, but really it is the key to Tharizdûn's prison.  Blocking out the sun is a herald of his return.

I'll get more details on how this is all going to work in future posts.
Right now I need to make some minor alterations to that figure.  I need to find some chains to wrap around his wrists and ankles to show that he had been imprisoned.


My players have not seen this figure yet. I plan on keeping it hidden till he is released.

Now to come up with some appropriate stats for him.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

No More Secrets in Saltmarsh

Over the weekend we continued with what was going to be the Second Campaign.  Still is...but I'll get to that.

The boys made some new characters and we started the "Treasure Hunters" group.  Overtly this group is getting together to hunt treasure. We have a band centered around "an expert treasure hunter" (a ranger), a cleric of the god of Knowledge and warlock.  Joining the group is my favorite character to date, a gnome druid named "Erky Timbers", played by my youngest.

I took them through U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.  We had such a great time we played for about 10 hours, only stopping to quickly grab a bite to eat.



We played it under 5e and I used +Mark Stout's  "Classic Modules Today" conversion of U1 to help us out.

Though this proposes and interesting problem for me.  This is the adventure I wanted to use to start the "Second Campaign", the one that runs parallel to the "Come Endless Darkness" campaign.  At some point, after 15th level, the survivors of both campaigns will come together to fight a larger evil.

I supposedly started the Second Campaign back in March with the Forgotten Realms.  But so far we are only one adventure and two sessions into that one.  Plus that one is in the Realms, the Come Endless Darkness is very much Oerth/Greyhawk.

So. I might change that game to a simple "Into the Forgotten Realms" game and pick the Second Campaign Game up here in Oerth.  I was vague on where Saltmarsh actually was, so I can still decide. Given the adventures, I am pretty sold on it being in Greyhawk.

N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God levels 1-3 (novice)
U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, levels 1-3
U2 Danger at Dunwater, levels 1-4
U3 The Final Enemy levels 3-5
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, levels 4-7
I3 Pharaoh, levels 5-7
I4 Oasis of the White Palm, levels 6-8
I5 Lost Tomb of Martek, levels 7-9
X4 Master of the Desert Nomads, levels 6-9
X5 Temple of Death, levels 6-10
I9 Day of Al'Akbar, level 8-10
Gary Gygax's Necropolis, levels 10+

With a break right after I4 for the Council of Greyhawk. This group will be sent to the desert but unlike the Order of the Platinum Dragon the Treasure hunters will not be transported back.

This could end up being quite epic.  Hope I am able to get it all done.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Preparing to Descend

The Order of the Platinum Dragon has just begun their attack on the Halls of the Fire Giant King, but I am thinking ahead to their descent into the depths.
While I am putting together my adventures now in truth I have been planning for this since 1983.

My Giants+ binder was so successful that I am doing the same thing for the D Series and Q modules.


I bought and printed out all the PDFs plus some extras.


Some 5th edition Lolth stats I found on Redit. (I think).


D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth.




D3 Vault of the Drow with the 5th edition conversion from Classic Modules Today.


I am also adding "D4" Encyclopaedia Subterranica from Dragonsfoot.

Then we get into the "Q" series.



Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits and the 5e Classic Modules Today conversions.


I am going to add in bits from Skein Of The Death Mother also from Dragonsfoot.


I'll wrap up their underdark/Abyssal adventures with Monte Cook's Queen of Lies, which I am going to mod a bit to make my own Q2.

Been planning this since 1983, back when I went through all of these myself.

It is going to be epic!

Monday, March 13, 2017

More Weekend Gaming in the Second Campaign

It was my youngest son's birthday last week so we spent the weekend having kids over and gaming.
I decided to run another session of my so-called "Second Campaign".
We had a variety of kids playing including some that have played before and some who never had played.  I stuck with Under Illefarn since there other adventures in the book that would work.

Also, I had 7 kids between the ages of 13-14 so I needed something to keep them all busy.
So I ran the "Rescue Mission" mini-adventure.  The conceit of having all the characters be part of the city guard is great and it worked out well for this group of mixed new and old characters. Plus we had three paladins, so that worked out well.


It took us three hours to play that adventure.

Overly caffeinated and sugar-dosed kids (birthday cake, ice cream) makes for some difficult times in focusing.  Plus I was tired, having worked on my son's computer all week and weekend to get it running (I failed, but that is a different tale for a different day).

I will give the kids credit, they caught up with the Baron that had kidnapped the Duke's sister and instead of fighting him made a VERY convincing plea to the Baron that why kidnapping is not a good way to profess your undying love to someone.  They managed to do such a good job that the Baron agreed to go back with them to the Duke and plead his case for the hand of Bronwyn (the Sister) to the Duke himself.  By the end of the adventure, they Baron and Duke were already discussing wedding plans in front of an aghast Bronwyn.  I know, not very forward thinking of me, but it was a time when people were married off for political alliances all the time.

Of course on the way they managed to fight some ghouls and rescue a band of pixies.  One of the pixies is now part of the city guard.   We had about an hour left so my oldest joined us and I had them take out a nest of ghouls.  The nest of ghouls was added by me, it was something that I have used in the past to great effect.

I have decided that I am going to spend more time on the personalities populating the Realms than my usual games.  I am still fairly sure that many of the "Big Names" won't be making an appearance, but it would be a shame if I didn't at least name-drop them.

One thing I am thinking of doing is have Demogorgon make an appearance or be a "thing" in this game.  Orcus has what, 30,000 adventures out there, Lolth has at least as many. But no one ever does anything with the Prince of Demons.

It will be this campaign that I introduce the multi-verse to the players and characters.

One character, in fact, is coming over from our Come Endless Darkness game.  Cynder is the daughter of one of the wizards of my 3rd Edition game. She made a brief appearance in the Come Endless Darkness game during one of the flashback adventures. The other characters had forgotten about her but when the flashback was done they remembered and began to wonder what happened to her.

She is going to wake up in the Realms and it will soon be discovered that she can wield Spellfire.  Why not. It is an homage to first ever Realms novel I ever read and I love that cover art from Clyde Caldwell.  How she got there is not as important as to why she got there.  Spellfire could have changed the tide of the war brewing in Come Endless Darkness.



This is going to be a great time.
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