Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Apprentice Campaign - So Now What?

The D&D 4th Edition apprentice campaign has now crashed and burned, so while the main game goes chugging right along I now have to figure out how to restart things with the boys.  They went ahead and made up new characters the next day and we talked about options a little bit. We also ran a session of d6 Star Wars and that made them feel a little better though they got a little shot up there too. They do still want to play 4E so I have the interesting problem of where to start them out this time. My thoughts:

  • Stick with Loudwater in the Gray Vale of the Realms - it's a little familiar to them and it is a good location (that's why I went with it in the first place) but I like to start fresh after a TPK and they feel the same way, so no Loudwater for now. 
  • Start them out in Phlan which is the location of the primary 4E campaign - this saves me a lot of background work and allows for the possibility of a crossover between the two groups. The problem is they are 4 levels behind and might feel overshadowed by the other group. They apparently felt the same way so we're not going to Phlan.
  • Icewind Dale - one of them has been reading the Drizzt books and asked about this and my kneejerk reflex was "No", but then I started thinking and I really like it - tough environment, small towns rather than big cities, barbarian tribes, an emphasis on cold environment monsters - that could be really cool and it isn't a super-detailed part of the world. Naturally, since one of them suggested it, the other one vetoed it almost immediately.  Sigh.
  • The Bloodstone Lands of Vasa, Damara, and Impiltur- I almost started them here anyway as it's another northern environment (not as harsh as Icewind Dale though) that isn't heavily detailed and has old antagonists (Orcus was the regional threat in the 1E days) and new ones (4E has added the Warlock Knights of Vaasa which have a rather dark jedi feel to them).  The feel is different too - lots of knights, ruined castles, noble families in small holdings - I could do some very old school Greyhawk type stiff in this region. 
  • Forget the Realms and go with my Ancient Greyhawk idea using the default D&D 4E world background. The problem here is that I'm kind of enjoying using the new Realms (more than I thought I would) and there is a benefit to only having one set of Gods, one set of races,  and one set of maps to worry about across multiple campaigns. Plus the boys seem to like the Realms and this would be a fairly radical change.
  • Forget the Realms and go with my Classical Greek campaign. I do want to run this but I am probably not ready yet. It's the most prep work of any of them though the work I did a few years ago on a similar idea for Arcana Evolved would carry over in some places. It has all of the disadvantages of Ancient 'hawk and is even less like "normal" D&D as I would customize (read "limit") the races, classes, weapons, monsters, and magic items to be included in such a campaign. It's not a minor undertaking.. I brought it up once before with the kids and I know they are very interested - thank you Percy Jackson, Clash of the Titans, and Mythology Classes.  
Working through this again now I am heavily leaning towards doing the Bloodstone campaign now and starting up the prep work for the Greek idea as the "next" campaign, whether it be the main one, a future side game, or maybe a 3rd game run once a month or so for the family and whoever else can show.

Anyway, that's the thinking so far. I'll post how it goes when things are nailed down and play actually starts.

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