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Showing posts from February, 2012

New Campaign Idea: Primals

So I'm going to take a break from the AD&D and old school focus of the blog today to get some thoughts down for a new campaign idea I've got. Now I cannot entirely take credit for this, as I'm pretty patently ripping off the core idea from a symphonic goth-metal band called Within Temptation. Within Temptation put out a concept album recently (last year? the year before? uncertain, as I've only recently discovered the band) that carried with it both a comic book limited series and three short films. The album, entitled The Unforgiven, functions as the soundtrack to the comic series, and deals with people who have been returned from death by a mysterious old woman to battle the forces of darkness and punish sinners.  The key is that all of these people had some severe and fatal flaw in life, which is what lead to their deaths--their resurrection is a second chance at redemption. So far as I can tell from the films (I have yet to acquire the full album or get the com…

Reading Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Part 35

TERRITORY DEVELOPMENT BY PLAYER CHARACTERSIf I have not yet mentioned how much I love this section of the DMG, let me do so now.  I know I've made comments about how much of the advice herein seems very common sense in scope, it's still so incredibly awesome to go back and see how, at the root of rpgs, a Dungeon Master's guide was actually about the art of Dungeon Mastering. What I mean is, in later editions--even as early as second edition--the DMG (or GMG, in other games) tended to be about interpretations of rules, inclusion of additional rules, subsystems, optional rules, rules, rules, and more rules.  While this DMG certainly contains the bulk of the game rules, which were of no concern to players, it also contains real advice on being a DM: advice on how to build, maintain, track, and run your own milieu, or fantasy world. This is  not just a book of hard rules and subsystems, or a book full of paragraph upon paragraph, page upon page, expounding on Rule Zero and all…

Reading Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - Part 34

PLACEMENT OF MAGIC ITEMS
Just as giving player characters too much money can cause serious imbalance in a campaign, so, too, can be over-generosity when it comes to magic items.  Players love to acquire magic weapons, armor, rings, cloaks, brooches, bracers, and any other kind of magical doo-dads that you can imagine. 

In a D&D world, magic items are the equivalent of the newest iPad (or, in my case, the Asus Transformer Prime).  They are the gadgets with which adventurers are chiefly concerned, obsessed, and upon which they are often dependent. A set of bracers and girdle of giant strength can turn a weakling fighter into a monster of a hero, and losing them can have the reverse effect. As one can imagine, being overly generous can create serious problems in a campaign.  For example, giving a second-level thief a cloak and boots of elvenkind will quickly turn him into a master of stealth--unfortunately, his hit points are still going to be settled around eight or so, and his AC p…