Friday, 17 May 2013

RPG Blog Carnival - What Campaign do I want to Play Next?

This month's RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Age of Ravens is entitled "Campaigns I'd Like to Run".  The short answer to which is always "my next one".

The Lands of Dual

It's been over 2 years since I last ran my Castles & Crusades campaign world, The Lands of Dual, and high time that I revisit it.  Of course I can't go into much detail about what will be happening as some of my players may inadvertently read this blog and that would most definitely let the cat out of the bag.


The Lands of Dual (interactive map availiable via MapLib)
In previous campaigns I've asked players to pick an unexplored area on the world map as their birthplace and write up a little description of it as part of their background. 

This has been quite successful but there are a still quite a few parts of the world which could do with being explored or at the very least developed:
  • The Frozen North & South - no-one has ever visited the northern icecaps so no-one knows what's there.  Perhaps a hidden valley with it's own microclimate, perhaps even a tunnel into a hollow world below, on the other hand it could just be the land of the long white death.
  • Hjorselandte - The interior of the land of the horsemen is rumoured to be inhabited by a race of wild and savage centaurs.
  • Kharis and Haki - These two warring domains, one a Matriarchy, the other a Patriarchy, could be of interest to the ladies in my group.  Think Amazonia, She-Ra, Xena Warrior Princess, Wonder Woman.


I'd like to expand on my demihuman races a little:

Salamankari (Lizardfolk) - Early on in my last Dual campaign one of the players chose to be a Red Salamankari (Red Lizardman).  We had a blast with the species racial history,  particularly in setting up some great bio-religious schism which caused the species to fork into two distinct coloured subtypes, the green marshdwellers and the red desert dwellers.  I'm thinking about adding at least one more subtype, but the details will have to stay secret.

Elfenkin - In Dual, Elves also have subtypes which are very closely aligned with their respective environments and elements.
  • Sea Elves (Vassadhim) - I'd like these elves to be something like the mariner from Waterworld, semi aquatic they can breath underwater and cruise the deep oceans in boats crafted from driftwood and kelp.  Their magic is restricted to the elements of Air and Water crucial to their survival on the high seas.  Their skin has a lightblue colouring and shimmers like fish scales.
In my world Kevin Costner is blue, honestly it will make sense, I promise.
  • Cloud Elves (Aerohimm) - The Aerohimm have broken the bonds of Earth and risen into the clouds in their glimmering floating cloud fortresses.  They keep a watchful eye over all the lands and are said to resemble angels being very tall and lithe with long flowing white hair.  They have a longstanding pact with the Grand Caliph of the Djinn, who supplies the Aerohimm with Elementals to power their great crystal castles.  It is said that they are the most cultured of the Elfkenkin and are fond of humans, often having relationships with them which bear children.  Their magic is largely concerned with the element of air although they are the only elfenkin who practice all forms of elemental magic.
  • Green Elves (Woedhimm) - Woedhimm shun contact with the other races of Dual and are rarely seen outside their woodland kingdoms.  They are reclusive and secretive, the few sitings of them suggest that they are the most diminutive species and their mastery of camoflague is exceptionally.  Their magic is restricted to the sphere of Earth and Water.
  • Desert Elves (Desierto, literally "The Abandoned") - Desierto are a peculiar species of elves in that they are a loosely knit community of fierce nomadic tribespeople who roam the great deserts in large caravans ekeing out an existence.  They are legendary masters of desert survival and their skills are highly prized by caravanserai who employ them as trackers and guides for journeys through the treacherous deserts.  They have ruddy skin, and wear brightly coloured gallebya, their dreadlocked or braided hair is woven with complex beadwork which is said to be a record of their life.  Their magic is restricted to the elements of fire and wind, but they are alo excellent desert animal handlers.

    House Rules

    I have been doing a fair bit of blog reading and some of the house rules I've seen have piqued my interest:

    No Alignments at Level 1 - I first read about Character Funnels in the Giblet Blizzard article DCC: Funnel Runners, and it struck a chord with me.  One of the things that has always bugged me is the chasm of difference between what a PC's character sheet says their alignment is and how it ends up getting played.  This is sometimes the fault of the player but it can equally be a reaction to a party dynamic.

    Whilst I don't think I could convince my players to go the whole hog by using the Character Funnel approach to create zero level PCs (check out Purple Sorceror's neat DCC Generator), I think it is perfectly acceptable to only let them decide what alignment their character is at the end of a few sessions of play when they level up.  I might even knock up some quick alignment tokens to award players during play or have Karma Points or something.

    Magic Corruption - I wrote a little D20 table of Corruption Effects for Mage Levelling and I will be getting my players take on whether or not they like it and if they would still choose to play a mage knowing that this house rule would be in effect.

    Magical Prosthetics - Loved this random table of 100 Magical Prosthetics so much that I will definitely have to use it in my campaign should anyone lose an appendage through combat or the above corruption effects I shall be deploying prosthesis.  This might become even become a bit of a hook (pardon the pun), King loses his nose in an ill conceived duel and requires PCs to find him a replacement.

    Meat Shields - In all my years of DMing and playing I've never used or utilised hirelings.  The closest that I've ever come to is when my fellow Hobbits Holer, Richard Wells, had us playing each others sidekicks in his Victorian Science Fiction game, but they were more than just hirelings.  This worked brilliantly and gave everyone the opportunity to be in two places at once.  So I think I'll return the compliment and do it in my game with mandatory meatshields.  Perhaps I'll utilise the DCC Party Generator to furnish them with stats or just stick with the meatshield generator.

    The Desert of Desolation

    It's been my long term ambition to run the Desert of Desolation series of modules (I3-I5), but I think I'll be having a mixed 1st and 3rd level party this time around so they're safe... for now

    Plenty of food for thought I think you'll agree.

    Thanks of course go to Of Dice and Dragons for continuing to promote the RPG Blog Carnival.  This is my 4th entry and you can read the rest by clicking the RPG Blog Carnival tag below. 


    1. On Meat Shields, who in their right mind would be one?

    2. That's a great link, perfect for giving my players inspiration on how to play each others meat shields. Have 10XP

    3. As a 'Normal Man' (1HD, no *), I'm afraid XP are wasted on me.