Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Old Scarred Lands Campaign - Year 1

I ran a campaign in the Scarred Lands during 3rd Edition D&D and it was one of the best games I have run and had maybe the most memorable ending of all. Prior to this, in third edition, I had run:

  • A Greyhawk campaign that ended up centered around Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (this one ended in a TPK)
  • A Kalamar-based game that was tied to Kenzer's "Coin Trilogy" which frankly was not that great (this ended because the players wanted to go back and finish the Temple adventure in Greyhawk)
  • A second Greyhawk campaign that returned to the Return to the TOEE (this too eventually ended in another TPK - that temple was dangerous, OK?)
After this it was time for something different, so we played a few other games then after about 6 months we came back to D&D 3E. 

We started in May 2005 with six players - a Ranger, a Half-Orc Fighter, a Rogue, a Paladin, a Cleric, and a Dark Elf Wizard disguised as a High Elf.

Sessions 1-3
The first adventure was "The Serpent Amphora" which was a free intro to the 3-module series set in the Scarred Lands. It took 3 sessions to work through and while it was pretty railroady (there were some fights you were definitely not supposed to win) it did start with a set of athletic contests during some holiday games that was a nice change from happenstance tavern meetings or other traditional D&D campaign kickoffs. I also worked in "The Wizard's Amulet" the first Necromancer Games adventure and that was well-received too.

Session 4-6
The group decided to head north towards Vesh and along the way kicked off "The Dragonfiend Pact", a fun little Goodman games DCC adventure.

Session 7-8
Continuing northwards the party played through the Crucible of Freya set around east Onetenazu. This is another cool adventure and instead of starting in a keep on some borderlands you end up attacking a keep full of orcs ... on some borderlands. They had made it to 4th level by the time they finished this up.

Session 9
The party then travelled through the Canyon of Souls to Amalthea and began exploring the Tomb of Abysthor. Actually this session was just the journey and exploring the shrines to Thyr and Muir between Amalthea and the burial halls that are the core of the adventure.

Session 10-11
These were spent exploring the first level of the Tomb and the interesting features like the Font of Bones!

This wrapped up 2005. We stayed pretty closely to an every-two-weeks schedule though we did miss one here and there. With six regular players one or two person's schedule issues did not derail a session - unless it was mine!

As the game went on I wrote up more and more details on Amalthea - it's condition after the Druid War, various organizations, facilities, and characters who lived in the ruined city. I had forgotten how much info I had on this city until I started looking back through my notes in preparation for the new 5E campaign but it's pretty extensive - probably the most I have done to detail an area since first edition. A lot of this is because there isn't much detail on Amalthea in the Ghelspad book and I wanted to give my players an interesting home base. It was a lot of fun and maybe the new campaign will make its way there at some point.

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