Monday, January 23, 2012
A New Game, A New Campaign.
I have been reading the Moldvay Basic rules and have really wanted to give them a spin, that's no secret to anyone that's read my blog recently. I have also had some issues with cast changes and a little bit of player burnout on the Oriental Adventures game, so last week, with the next game date approaching I asked the group if they wanted to take a break from OA and try something different for a bit and they pretty much all said yes.
So, I decided to grab some cool ideas from the OSR blogs I read and I snagged Jeff Rients Wessex map to use for a new campaign map and, since the map said 1139, that's the year I started a new Moldvay Basic campaign, pretty much rules as written*, and away we went. This decision was partly because I studied medieval England pretty hard core in college, partly because my wife and I just watched the entire run of BBC's Brother Cadfael series, and partly because Jeff made the maps and has made it so easy for me.
Now, I know that a hard historical setting isn't what I wanted to do here and, with rules as written, I was going to end up with a lot of Demi-Humans and other Fantasy stuff, I didn't care. Medieval people believed in all kinds of supernatural stuff, so I decided it was real enough to allow anything in the B/X books into the campaign world.
My intention was to start the campaign using Tim Shorts' module "Knowledge Illuminates", because it's a new module and it's old school, best of both worlds, minimal conversion necessary to make it work in Cornwall with Christians, the "real" middle ages and stuff; but everyone couldn't make it, so I held off for next time so everyone could have the fun of a new module. Instead I ran the party through a hastily converted "Castle Caldwell", which I renamed "The Manor at Bodmin Moor"; I snagged Jeff's small scale hex 1004 map too and started them in the village of Endelstow.
The set up was thus-The start date for the campaign was March 1st 1139 AD. Your party were in the village of Endelstow, Cornwall. The party was approached by and took a commission from Richard DuChamps the steward of one Lord Guillaume (or William) de Montfort to restore to him his manor at Bodmin Moor, which had been lost in the recent unpleasantness to Cornish rebels, or possibly Pirates, maybe Witches & Goblins, but most likely rebels. He inherited the castle through his wife Igrayne, who was the sole heiress of her father Sir Richard of Cornwall. They kept asking for more details.
The cast of characters has been so far-
Astrid, a female Thief from Norway, on the run from her homeland because of a blood feud.
Brocc, a male Fighter, a Welshman with a dark secret; OK, his secret is that he is actually the eldest son of an Anglo-Norman Welsh March Lord that ran away from home to be an adventurer because he didn't want to be involved in the impending civil war.
Linnie, a female Dwarf that sadly was slain fighting against a Wolf in the castle courtyard.
Sister Mary Jane Sledgehammer, a female Cleric from a secretive Catholic order devoted to seeking out ancient magical artifacts.
Gwynedd, a female Elf, who is hiding from the Elf queen.
Gerta, a female Magic-User, that also happened to be Jewish, slain in hand to hand combat with a Goblin, after slaying it's brother.
Another male Dwarf, whose name I don't recall, but who is deeply in debt to the Dwarf King.
And last, but not least, Lyanna of Thanet, a female Fighter they found captive in the castle, Linnie's replacement. She's half Norman and half Saxon.
Gerta hasn't been replaced yet.
I am thinking about adding a 1d12 Astrology roll, semi-adapted from "Fantasy Wargaming" for new characters, but I am an inveterate tinkerer.
Also, as it turns out 1139 is going to be an interesting year in England in general and Cornwall in particular, I looked up King Stephen's reign in Wikipedia, the Anarchy is an interesting time.
*Minus Alignment languages, I always thought they were pretty stupid.