Tuesday, April 20, 2010

4th Edition Campaign Starts Friday!

We played Necessary Evil on Saturday Night - update coming tomorrow - and it was decided to go ahead and kick off the 4th ed game next Friday and we will probably alternate the games after that. We've also located a 5th player so I will be able to follow the 4th ed design template to the letter, though he probably won't be there for session #1.

This will be the Phlan game I talked about in some earlier posts. I have decided to stick with a coherent theme - this will be "Return to the Ruins of Adventure", not an exact copy of the original. This gives me a little more freedom to make some changes to fit D&D4 a little better. I am still using the various city areas and many of the high points - the temple of Bane, Valhingen Graveyard, Stojanow Gate, the Pyramid on Sorcerer's Isle - all will be pretty similar to the original. Plus if we ever do a retro campaign it means I can go back and run the original as-is.

I have sketched out the Slums and Kuto's Well in some detail and have a lot of notes on the civilized area. I need to finish those up and start sketching in the rest of the city. Sokal Keep and Podol Plaza are up next. My overall plan is to make the cleansing of Valhingen Graveyard the climax of heroic tier - the city proper will be liberated at that point and the characters will hit 11th level after doing it - those that survive anyway. I plan to make it more personal by tying in the Invulnerable Coat of Arnd, which is presented as a Heroic Tier artifact in D&D4 and will have a grudge against the ruler of the graveyard, pushing its owner towards a confrontation. Plus I should have at least one background hook from a character that I can tie in somehow.

Once the characters have had a chance to bask in the glory and choose their Paragon Paths, it's time to finish the job and cement their legendary status. They will have to tackle Stojanow Gate first, which will be guarded by a beholder, among other things. Then they will have to attack the castle and I am planning some old-school nastiness to really push them. In keeping with the feel of the original, the big bad will be some kind of modified dragon - if they do some recon work it will not be a total surprise, but if they just blunder in then it will be tough - as it should be.

I want to work in a lot of old-school monsters keeping a classic feel to the adventure while we work through the new mechanics. So there will be several dragons of various sizes and types, all the classic humanoid races will make an appearance, undead in several classic forms, a hydra, a gelatinous cube, etc. Part of the garrison will be giants, which will let me lay some groundwork for the next thing, which I am tentatively planning as "Against the Giants 4th ed"a using my own material and working in some of the Revenge of the Giants 4th ed adventure, which is set for levels 12-17. I'm not sure exactly yet how it will break down and I'm not going to worry about it a whole lot yet - I have a whole initial campaign to work through first.

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