Monday, January 4, 2016

New Campaign Announcement

After Robert and Andrew had to cancel last minute on Sunday for various health-related reasons,  Jason and I dropped the painting idea and totally geeked out and sketched out ideas for a new D&D campaign.   I wanted to do something using the City State of the World Emperor campaign setting (by the Judges Guild in the immediately pre-AD&D days of the late 70's), which I've had for decades but have only rarely used.

It's kind of wild and wooly.   There are hundreds of shop descriptions for the city, a nice wilderness map with tons of encounters keyed.  And it is just packed with rumors, legends and adventure seeds.  It's also quite peculiar in that almost every single NPC from alchemists to shoe-makers has a class and a level.   The over all feel is a bit different too.  It has a weird mix of medieval Europe at the ground-level, but middle-eastern/Asia at the upper level.

In any case, Jason and I ran through a lot of different subsystems from the various dozens of D&D versions out there and decided which versions we liked best.  We wanted to get away from ACKS and its convoluted economic system for all the various magic item constructions etc.

Look to Doctor Skull's Workshop
over the next 2 weeks as I work through the rules details, comment and make suggestions as I do so, if you would.

A quick summary:
Classes:  using D&D Rules Cyclopedia for Class descriptions
Magic:  using Hackmaster Player's Handbook for spell lists, but using a Spell-point system for play purposes.   Using a spell-point sacrifice system for creation of a class of permanent magic items.
Combat:  going to harvest a large number of Combat Options from various sources rather than using a proficiency or feat system.
Surprise:  a roll off with many modifiers, if one side beats the other by large margin, gets surprise
Initiative: use Savage Worlds playing card method
Death and Dying: die at -1 hit points, unless throw a Fate Chip
Fate Chips:  use Fate Chip system recycled from my Castle and Crusades campaign from many years ago.
Money, XP, Maintenance:  use the maintenance spending to determine hit point rolls, re-rolled each month.   XP gained when treasure is spent on non-maintenance, non-combat related expenses.

With any luck, we will be ready to play in 2 weeks.


  1. You and Jason don't mind being the GM? Is this a completely one-off campaign to the Gatavia / Baldgarth game world, or will this just be a different time and place in that same world?

  2. I think we're putting aside Baldgarth for this one. The Judges' Guild Wilderlands setting has its own background and cosmology. I'm sure we'll come back to Gatavia in the future, but I wanted to try something different, something fleshed out by someone else.

    I'm fixing on DMing at the start, but I'm up for anyone else jumping in at any time.

    1. Sounds good. I agree we need a new project. I believe my latest attempt at LARPing has disintegrated spectacularly. Is it just me or are Millennials the worst at making commitments? Were we this bad when we were in our twenties?

    2. Do I know what rhetorical means?

  3. If a lot of this game is city based, may I suggest the Vornheim sourcebook for inspiration?

  4. What is the state of reincarnation/resurrection magic? Can we expect PCs that die to stay dead - particularly in light of the use of fate chips (also a big favorite of mine, BTW).

  5. We are using the Hackmaster spell lists, so Raise Dead is essentially AD&D 1st edition Raise Dead. Each time you are Raised. you loose a point of CON and have to make a System Shock.

    So, it should not be quite as bogus as ACKS got to be, but we will see people jumping back up now and again.

  6. In regards to the magic bonus/item system, I think that if the spell point is burned permanently to make the item, then the item should scale in power with the caster.

  7. I'm also thinking that there should be a good chance (but not automatic) that if a dude dies, the permanent item is destroyed when he does so.