Monday, January 28, 2013
Having a Gaming Group is Awesome
So, we've now had session number two. Maybe it's too early to say, (how's that for being superstitious?), but having a regular gaming group again is Awesome.
A fun time was had as we got the S&W Waterdeep campaign from generation to action. I decided that since Waterdeep is completely new to the guys, maybe it should be fairly new to their Elf Druid (home rule) and Human Monk as well. These two devotees of Mielikki will be based in Our Lady's Hand's in Sea Ward, but how about a little backstory to explain how they got there and let the players identify with their characters' sense of discovering the City of Splendors?
The idea actually came from a random Dragon Magazine article that somebody had ripped out and put inside the City System boxed set I bought: Forest of Doom (Scott Butler, May 1983). In it, there's a giant tree in the middle of an evil forest that is a fortress of drow and their quaggoth and bugbear minions. I relocated the tree to a sacred grove in Ardeep and made it the home of Theophan the elf druid and Bro. Axthelm the human monk.
Mielikki's boys are sent on a mission to look for a missing member of their community. They find his body strung up, flayed, and disemboweled outside of the ruin of an old mill. Now, I didn't like the idea of drow having an army of bugbears, as I like the idea of bugbears being solitary, spooky murderers. But in addition to a force of hobgoblins, I could see the drow having a bugbear or two tagging along to join in the mayhem. I gave a 75% chance that it is was a single bugbear and a 25% that there were two. And that's how there came to be two bugbears who took advantage of an experienced but incautious ranger who lived in forest that had not seen any such dangers in his lifetime. The guys saw signs that the mill was occupied, but they could have tried to make up with the body without waking the nocturnal bugbears. Instead, they noticed the signs of occupation and decided to find out who was in the mill. When their calls for the occupants to come out did not meet with success, they set the old mill on fire. The fight that ensued was tough. I decided that, given my portrayal of bugbears, I'd do a morale check for one of them to see if it fled, having been surprised in its sleep and trapped in a burning building. One bugbear was plenty tough for a first level monk and first level druid. ( I was using the stats from the original Monster Manual and the morale score from B/X.) A series of great rolls from the druid who grappled the bugbear from behind and terrible rolls on the part of the bugbear who fell and then couldn't break the grapple allowed the monk to survive after a pummeling from the bugbear, and the two of them finally finished him off. It was bloody and exciting. The duo then headed back to the tree, arriving in time to discover witness the final scenes of its fall to the drow siege. They began the long, hard trek to Waterdeep in their diminished state, setting the stage for the rest of the campaign.
Thus ends, I hope, my gaming drought. And I got a guy in his forties who hadn't played since college back in the game and a new player inducted into our hobby. I hope your rambles of late have been as good!
Extra-challenge: Any body have any suggestions more inspiring as a name for the campaign than "Swords & Wizardry in Waterdeep"? Or am I over-thinking it?