Saturday, August 11, 2012
Savage Tides of Kalamar - Epilogue
So that last session was dated January of 2009 and we played into October - I'm sure we hit at least 30 sessions in this campaign. Somewhere between March and October we had the greatest adventure finale I've ever been a part of with the climax of the original Freeport Trilogy which became a ferocious running fight up the giant lighthouse in Freeport's harbor and ended with all but one member of the party dead or dying, and that last member was unconscious and at zero hit points but they managed to slay all of the evil cultists and traitors behind the grand plan to summon the serpent god - it was Epic and one of the great confluences of roleplay, mechanics, and die rolls in my gaming history where everything seemed to work out in the most dramatic way possible.
Also during this time Lady Blacksteel and I got married and she joined the campaign (her first time to try this thing of ours) in time to be a part of that epic conclusion, which was cool. The married thing has worked well too. Hi honey, glad to see you're reading the blog.
After the Freeport Finale we moved into playing through the Savage Tide adventure path as the sole focus of the campaign and it seemed to decline for a variety of reasons. I liked that set of adventures but by the time we were making our way across the Isle of Dread I was burning out on 3rd Edition, Kalamar, and my then-current group. Running 3E for 7-8 players at a time was a pretty big load even with a published adventure. With that many players I think the published adventure has some downside as that level of options and resources completely destroys many basic assumptions about encounters and balance, requiring a fair amount of rework to present a reasonable challenge. It would probably have been better to take the concepts and the high points of the adventure and just rebuilt the whole thing from the ground up (kind of like I later did with my 4E Ruins of Adventure campaign) rather than trying to use some version of what was presented. Ah, well ...
So, while some lessons were learned in hindsight we never made it past the Isle of Dread, roughly halfway through the campaign. It would be six months before I ran anything again and that would be Necessary Evil, a completely different kind of game, and then eventually D&D 4th Edition.
I still like both sets of adventures and I think they work well together, intermingled into a single campaign. Maybe Pathfinder, maybe Next - my 4E plate is full for quite a while, thanks - or maybe a non-D&D system altogether will be the framework for the next attempt at them - we will see.