This time I'm covering some Dungeons & Dragons (or D&D whatever you prefer; if I use your non-preferred term imagine I'm using the other; you're a gamer, shouldn't be hard for you).
I want to share something about a campaign setting I'm working on (tentatively titled "The Gift"), and some of the thinking that's gone into it.
|Fantastic Castle! (credit Joakim Oloffson, DeviantArt)|
I run D&D using a primarily 3/3.5 edition ruleset, with some bits and pieces I like from Pathfinder chucked in. It's what I would call *permissive* rule set; generally open to all OGL material coming to the table top with a view that anything disruptive or unbalanced either gets canned or toned down after a bit of play time. (There's probably a whole article in this rules philosophy).
The point of this is the Open Gaming Licence that came alongside 3rd Edition was brilliant; so much excellent material was produced (and is still being produced). So much material in fact my group is still working through it.
About 2 years ago I came across the acronym OSR for the first time; it stands for Old School Roleplaying or Old School Renaissance depending on who you speak to. It's a kind of an approach or philosophy about approaching RPGs; aiming for the feel of the early games from the 70s and 80s, For some people it's a Gygax like exploration game; for others its rekindling that early excitement from first exposure to the game.
And OSR has a really creative, clever bunch of people creating content; either material designed for use with older systems or new rules systems with that old style about them. For me it's like that 3rd Ed content Gold Rush all over again! (There's another article to do covering this in more detail)
Keeping up? Good: I've got another slant on OSR; it's about reusing Classic material on the modern table top. I want to introduce my players who've never heard of "Against the Slavers" or "Castle Amber" let alone played them to these great adventures I have a lot of fond memories of playing.
This leads onto background storyline for The Gift.
"Many years ago the forces of Good clashed with the forces of Elemental Evil, but a great swathe of land was despoiled in the process. The victors withdrew back beyond the mountains to the safety of their civilised Kingdom but they raised a great Keep both to defend the border and to maintain a watch on the Dead Lands of the war.
In current times it seems the Dead Lands are starting to heal, and there are resources there to be claimed; timber, good land to be farmed and minerals in the hills to be mined. But it also seems creatures are stirring in the dark forests and furthest reaches. Coupled with political unrest at home the authorities see an opportunity; certain groups of people are offered land grants in the Dead Lands and the opportunities to practice non-state religions free from laws which exist in the homeland.
These pioneers will start to exploit the resources and also provide a buffer from the rising forces. This area where the settlers are now calling home is simply called "The Gift"."
Classic Adventure B2: The Keep on the Border Lands meets Classic Adventure T1: The Village of Hommlet. Game On!
More words than planned! There will be a pic or two next time. Promise!