Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Hungover Heroes Guild, Part One

So I scrapped by World of Darkness campaign. I had some good ideas for it, but I really do not like the changes that White Wolf made with their new edition of the games about six or seven years ago. Setting material is fine for the most part--what I dislike is the mechanics of the game. After playing Old World of Darkness, the New World of Darkness rules set is actually counter-intuitive. They sacked Perception, for example--this became pretty confusing for me whenever I asked someone to make a Perception + something roll and I had to figure out what other ability would fit for such a roll.

Instead, I went back to an old standby and a favorite system of mine--D&D 3.5 in the world of the Forgotten Realms.

Of course, the party is completely insane:

Luke is playing a tiefling Warlock (see Complete Arcane, I think) from Sigil in the Planes (Fated faction) who is trying to get back home so he can "pick up his friend."
DJ is playing a Rashemar barbarian on his dajemma. No, he doesn't have a miniature giant mutant space hamster but he is about three shots from being an alcoholic.
Alex is a Dread Necromancer (see Heroes of Horror) from Zhentil Keep who sold his soul to a forgotten god in order to see the Zhentarim destroyed and a just government put in its place.
Finally, Shaun is playing a half-elven Waterdhavian rogue with a glib tongue.

We played for about four, four-and-a-half hours last night. Baravis was banished from Sigil by the Scratcher and appeared in a circle of menhirs (like Stonehenge) in the middle of the forest of Cormanthor during the late winter. Arriving at a road, he encountered Drog (DJ's character) and after sharing a drink and some roasted rabbits, the two proceeded to Shadowdale where they encountered Sven (the half-elf) and Vladimir (the Zhent).

Thanks to Alex's acting chops, all Moonsea people now have a Russian accent.

Anyway, most of the session was devoted to in-character carousing and insane antics.

I took a page from old school D&D and some of Justin Alexander's ideas and decided that I'd award 1 XP for each gp spent carousing. This means spending gold frivolously on gambling, girls, food, expensive lodging, and booze specifically, NOT on magic weapons, traveling gear, spell components, or anything like that.

After breaking up some of Jhaele Silvermane's crockery (thanks to Luke's eldritch blast) and almost getting thrown out of the Old Skull Inn by Lord Mourngrym's guards, they calmed down and found their ways to their beds for the evening.

The next morning, nursing hangovers, the party ate a hearty breakfast and haggled with the renowned Lewellyn the Loquacious over rumors. Once both parties were satisfied and Lewellyn had played a nice dirge to soothe Baravis' frustrations at not being able to return to Sigil, they decided to set out for Dagger Falls, Daggerdale, and investigate rumors of dwarves stalking the town at night and a horrible plague called Dream Fever. They also heard tell of forgotten things stirring in crypts beneath the ruins of the Temple of Lathander in Dagger Falls. All this pointed to adventure and, for Baravis, perhaps a way home. So they equipped themselves (Vlad bought a donkey as a pack animal) at Weregund the Trader's and made ready to set off.

They inquired of a junior priest of Lathander at his Temple in Shadowdale of anything they might need to know about the temple ruins in Dagger Falls. As they left, Baravis let slip a farewell in his native tongue (Infernal) that Lathander found offensive, so now during the hours of daylit morning Luke's character has a -1 to EVERYTHING. Should he find any relics of interest at the Temple of Lathander's ruins or in its crypts and bring them to the Temple in Shadowdale, perhaps Lathander will smile upon him and remove his harsh judgment.

Baravis' eldritch blast nearly snagged the party quail as they walked and swigged wine. After passing (and frustrating) a patrol of Shadowdale men-at-arms ("What is with adventurers?"), they spent the night at a Shrine to Torm at the crossroads of the Northride and the Tethyamar Trail. The next day was spent with the party following the dirt track north and as night fell, they sought refuge in Anathar's Dell, a small hamlet surrounded by a stockade and home to a clan of dwarves as well as Daggerdalesmen. With the discovery that 2 gp covered food, services (such as stabling for Vlad's mule), room and linens, and most importantly, booze, the party happily piled into the inn for more drunken carousing and antics.

And that's all that happened. 100% in-character roleplaying. No combat. An old-schooler's nightmare if I ever ran one. They spent most of their time blowing through silver buying bottles of alcohol. I've got to dig up some rules on alcoholism and drunkenness in game.


Kevin Mac said...

A lot of people seem to love WoD, but you don't read about many long lasting campaigns of it going on.

Dave Cesarano said...

Too true. It's harder to keep a long-term game going. D&D is like an American comic book or TV show--the campaigns can just keep on going and going. A lot of other games are more like Japanese comics or TV shows--they have a finite number of chapters and a definite story progression, but once it's over, it's over, by-and-large. I mean, after your vampire coterie just kicked the Sabbat out of the city and the Ventrue of the group is the new Prince, well... you can continue, but the magic just isn't there quite so much.

Dennis Laffey said...

I can't say I'd run kicking, screaming, and complaining on my blog about a game with zero combat. Looks like a lot of fun stuff happened in your game (in this first session, and the second you posted about). I enjoy combat in its place, but I (at least) don't need it to have a good time. I can imagine a lot of new schoolers (4E people, that is) complaining more about no combats.

Anyway, not trying to get into an argument. Sounds like a fun game. Glad you've found a good group to play with.

Luke Brickner said...

Dave, Alcoholism is covered under addictions in the Book of Vile Darkness