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Author Topic: Ftf Campaign: War in the Snow  (Read 2950 times)
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Disembodied Spirits

Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 3

« on: November 02, 2007, 04:57:05 AM »

My regular board gaming group decided to taking up a little role-playing, so I volunteered to run a Midnight campaign.  We kicked off the campaign last night...

Vithareen and Tesslyan the elves, Mallodor the dwarf and Thokning the Dorn are the characters.  I used the "prisoners" opening, and gave them all backstories about how they were captured by Shadow forces and driven in prison wagons to a location somewhere north of the Sea of Pelluria.  Their Orc guards fell into fighting, spurred by a small party of insurgents, who freed the prisoners during the chaos.  The players were able to recover some of their gear, and escaped to the east, across the rolling scrub lands in a heavy snow.  They avoided a search party of Orcs that they watched ride down and slay one group of escapees.   As they passed over a ridge and down into the safety of hilly terrain beyond, they spotted a mass of shadow soldiers far to the north.

After passing a terribly cold night in the shelter of a stand of trees, they startled a pair of Goblin sniffers scouting near their campsite at first light.  This was the players first experience with d20 in years, so Thokning was surprised when he waded in to wipe out the little critters with his greatsword, but they weren't that easy to kill.  The elves and the dwarf took pot shots from the trees until Thokning's big sword finally put them down.

At this point, they debated briefly what to do.  Delightfully, the players squabbled in character... Thokning wanting to return home to seek venegence against the cousin who betrayed him to the Orcs, the dwarf suggesting they make a run for the Kaladruns, and the elves convincing them to head for the great forest to the west.

As they trudged through the snow, the elves heard someone approaching, so they rapidly took up ambush positions.  A wounded legate and two Orc soldiers quickly appeared, trotting through the rocky, snow covered ground towards the party.  Vithareen pinned the Legate behind a tree, nailing him with arrow after arrow.  Thokning, ever the impetuous human, raced forward to the tree where the Legate was hiding.  The Orcs tried to circle around to the right of the elves, but were picked off.  The Dwarf took potshots at the Legate, who was able to cast a Fear spell on Thokning, but the Dorn shook it off fairly easily, before he ducked around the tree and his Greatsword cut the dark warrior priest down.    The players celebration of their victory was dampened by the realization that their enemies bore wounds from an earlier fight.  But they discovered a small amulet and a note on the Legate.  The note said: "We wait at the Bone.  And sail at the end of Sutara.  Bring the Proof."

They puzzled over this for a bit before deciding to track the Legate back to where he came from.  Before leaving, the Dorn decided he wanted to wear the Legate's plate armor, rejecting the concerns of his cohorts.  A half hour later, they came upon a clearing.  Three goblins were moving through a field of fallen bodies, looting and killing wounded humans.   In the falling snow, the elves moved off to either side of the clearing to take up ambush positions, while the dwarf and the Dorn (in the Legate armor), staged a fight.  The Dorn called out to the goblins, who noticed them and came to the "rescue" of the Legate.  The goblins put up a stiff fight, but were defeated.  Searching the field afterward, the party found dozens of bodies, Dorn insurgents, and Orc and goblin soldiers.  One of the Dorns, on the edge of death, and convinced at last that the Legate wasn't really a Legate, revealed that the note and amulet was his.  His mission was to meet smugglers at a outcropping on the Sea of Pelluria, and finalize a deal.  In exchange for a group of insurgents who would act as mercenaries for the smugglers, the smugglers would provide the insurgents with new weapons and armor.  The Insurgent talked the players into taking up his mission.

And that's where we ended the first session.  All in all, very enjoyable. 
Disembodied Spirits

Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 3

« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 05:11:14 AM »

It's been a while since I've run a game, so I was delighted to put some excellent software tools to use.

The most important to me is DMGenie.  I've spent some time with it to customize it beyond the standard 3.5e SRD set it comes with, and I'm still learning how to make the most out of its very extensive options and abilities.   For those of you who haven't seen the program, it's awesome.  It'll just about handle every aspect of your game, from planning a campaign and specific encounters, to keeping track of time down to the second and creating weather and calenders, to running combat and keeping track of things.  I liked being able to run my player's characters through the encounters I was creating ahead of time to make sure they were balanced. 

One of the cool things about it is the Campaign module, through which I can link MP3s for background music and sound effects.  And it allows you to link maps/graphics to specific encounters.

Another of the nice touches is that it will let you create a creature, monster or PC/NPC, by simply cutting and pasting a standard text block.  This works well with Jamis' NPC generator, which comes as part of the DMGenie program.  Unfortunately, the output of the Midnight version of the NPC generator isn't quite the same, so it takes a little work to adjust those stat blocks to allow DMGenie to read them.  Regardless, creating NPCs is very easy with this setup. 

The other key tool I'm using in Dunjinni, the battlemap creation program.   While I look forward to future iterations of the program, it is already an excellent tool for creating customized playing grounds.  I've bought lots of pdf and print tile sets in the past, but dunjinni allows me to quickly create maps for specific encounters.  The only shortcoming I have with this is not having a large format color printer... you know, the kind where you could print some colorful 22" by 34" maps. Smiley  I've had to settle for printing those in four parts on an 11" by 17" laser I have access to at, ahem, work.  Not color, but it'll do.  As the campaign develops, and I have time to preplan some set piece battles, I may wander down to Kinkos and have them print the big maps out in color.

Spell Energy / Taint +13/-5
Gender: Male
Posts: 534

Oh, the humanity!

« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 11:48:36 AM »

Welcome to the boards, mwbay. This sounds like a really interesting campaign. I love the dynamic feel it has, with all these factions moving of their own accord in the background.

What level are you playing at? What are the PC's classes and paths?
Disembodied Spirits

Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 3

« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 02:04:01 PM »

Vithareen is a 2nd level Erunsil Wildlander, Quickened path.
Thokning is a 2nd level Dorn Fighter, Ironborn path.
Mallodor is a 2nd level Kurgan Dwarf, not sure what path off of the top of my head.
Tessalyn is a 2nd level Carunsil Spiritual Channeler, not sure what path.

I had them run into some normally tougher opponents... like the Legate, by having the Legate wounded from a fight an hour before he and his guards ran across the party.

One of the players has some of the Midnight books, but the others have no exposure to the setting, so I'm trying to build in a lot of the iconic stuff early to give them a sense of the world.  Next week, they'll come across a burned out village, destroyed by a Legate for not providing the demanded tribute.  Among the ruins, they'll find a little girl sitting on the ground, moaning... and quite undead.
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