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Sunday, November 9, 2014

New Campaign Idea

Here is my latest idea for a new D&D or AD&D campaign.

This campaign that Starts in England in 1066. I know what you are thinking here- another military style campaign with a different historical period. That is only half true, my 1066 campaign would be set during the conquest period, but not really be a part of it. Just straight D&D adventures, with dungeons and all the other stuff (within the context of the setting); my thought is that the PCs are NOT members of either the defeated Anglo-Saxon or Norman armies, but rather the type of rogues and scoundrel that follow any military undertaking, opportunists taking advantage of the chaos generated by the multiple invasions of 1066. Maybe your character is a Norwegian that got stranded in England, for whatever reason, or maybe he's a Lithuanian trader with a taste for high risk, high reward opportunities

William the Conqueror's England was not really all that stable, pretty much for the rest of his life. In 1066 England was invaded by two major north/west European powers, major battles were fought in the north and south of England. Additionally, the Scots, Welsh and Irish made major raids into England that year. The Anglo-Saxon nobility had fled to the Scottish court looking for help, Edward the Aetheling was the last surviving real heir to the English throne; his sister Margaret would eventually marry Malcolm Canmore, the Scottish king, thus cementing a weak claim to the English kingdom for the Scots. Edward would go on to join the Byzantine Emperor's elite Varangian guard, like so many other defeated English lords and warriors, which changed the ethnic make up of the Varangians to mostly English from nearly totally Scandinavian within a generation. Anyway, it was a really chaotic period of time to be in England for more than two decades.

Now you are thinking “But there are no monsters in England!”, au contraire mes amis, England has a rich tableaux of mythology, tradition and history to draw upon, from the ancient Celtic Britons to the Romans that conquered them to Arthurian myth and legend surrounding the post-Roman period in Britain and the Nordic type religion of the old Anglo-Saxons, as well as the actually Nordic mythology of the Norsemen themselves who invaded and settled England in the preceding centuries. All kinds of Christian stuff can be thrown in there too, check out some of the stories about English saints.

Add to that flavorful mix of northwestern European myth and legend the fact that this is a D&D campaign world we're designing, and you can throw in pretty much anything from the Monster Manual if you want. Humanoids? My take on this is that they are just men that have been tainted by the chaos and evil of the Norman Conquest period. Petty, tricky men might become Kobolds; brawny, bullying scavengers might be twisted into Gnolls. Dragons are all over the British isles in myth, St. George the Dragonslayer is the Patron Saint of England (although not yet, he has to wait until the 14th century). Dungeons can be Roman ruins, or ancient Celtic sites, or simply a manifestation of the world reacting to the conquest itself. Then mix in the undead, plenty of reason for the unquiet dead to be poking their restless spirits around Conquest period England.

Plus, all of this stuff falls directly into the middle of my college major, History with an emphasis on the medieval period and my minor, Medieval Studies; so I think I can pull off the atmosphere of this campaign pretty well. Big Darryl always says that I majored in D&D at college and I don't think he's really wrong.

I might ditch some of the more anachronistic stuff, like plate mail, but maybe not, I can see an argument either way on that.

 See- They are wearing plate in this medieval depiction of the battle of Hastings :)

But not in this one :(

Lack of local players may necessitate  going a non-standard route to run this campaign, like PBEM or even Google+, despite my Luddite ways; anyone who is interested in going one of these routes should probably comment here with their preference or email me here

Even if you aren't interested in playing,I'd still like to see any commentary that might help me improve the experience for my prospective player, thanks!

Minor edit: I also wanted to mention that no one won the Celtic Halloween contest, because there were no entries. I noticed that as soon as I hit publish.

Thursday, November 6, 2014