4/23/16

Montporte Dungeon Campaign 2.0--Campaign Reboot

We are six sessions into the second Montporte Dungeon campaign. I will try to catch up with some gaming session notes in the upcoming week before I get too far behind and I lose track of what happened in each session. Sadly, because of my work schedule, the gaming session notes will be less detailed and will have fewer maps.

Here are some random details for the Montporte reboot:

Bloody Basic: We are using John Stater's Bloody Basic: Classic Edition for our rule set, with the following modifications:

  • Player characters are limited to humans only.
  • Clerics, fighters, and magic-users are the three classes. Most of the thief skills that are useful in the dungeon have been allocated to these three classes.
  • Player characters have additional hit points at first level--Clerics have an additional 6 hit points, fighters have an additional 8 hit points, and magic-users have 4 hit points. These points are in addition to the hit point die roll at first level for each character.
  • Clerics can lay on hands for some additional healing, fighters have a weapon specialization, and magic-users automatically read magic.

Bloody Basic tops out at sixth level, which is fine by us. We plan on using something similar to the E6 variant of Dungeons & Dragons. We do not have all of the details I worked out, but there is a lot to draw on from Blood & Treasure (e.g. feats and additional spells) as well as other resources.

Heroes and Sidekicks: Each player has two characters. One character is their "main" character and the other is the "sidekick." The main character is the default for role-playing and decision-making, unless there is a specific reason for the sidekick to be involved (knowledge of a language, class-based conversation, use of a skill, etc). Main characters earn two shares of experience at the end of each session while sidekicks earn one.

Resource and Time Management: We are keeping more careful track of resources, such as food, torches, and arrows. We are also tracking encumbrance. We are working to streamline the process for the former while relying on the simple and elegant system in Bloody Basic for the latter.

Economics, Exploration, and Experience: In additional to the usual ways to gain experience points, the party gains experience with successful conversations and negotiations, exploration of new areas of the dungeon, and making a profit off of trade. The party was commission at the start of Session 1 to establish trade relationships in the recently discovered dungeon and Deep Dark, as well as to seek out a mythical subterranean ancient dwarven city.

Campaign and Continuity: One of the challenges for a dungeon-based campaign is maintaining momentum and continuity. We lost a lot of that in the final dozen sessions of our last Montporte campaign. We changed rule sets, lost players, added players, and the main threads of the campaign were lost in all of it. This time around, we are starting with a couple of goals (explore, establish trade relationships, and find a dwarven city), using a simple rule set, and playing with a smaller group (and only playing when everyone is present).

A key to the campaign working so far is the players themselves--they are keeping notes, making decisions, and determining the direction of play within the parameters we had agreed upon prior to playing.

So far, so good.

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