Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Few Notes on The Upcoming Campaign

The Upcoming Campaign (henceforth TUC, until I come up with something snappier) is a sword-and-sorcery-meets-science-fantasy game using Swords & Wizardry Core Rules and a generous dollop of material swiped without shame from the works of Venger Satanis.  Here are some unfocused thoughts from the past couple days on some things I'd like to do/see happen with this campaign:

  • A mix of expected and unfamiliar fantasy monster archetypes.  Sure, orcs and goblins are here, but so are 2' tall rat-men, black-furred toad-men, bat boys, snake-men and Stereotypical Neanderthals.  Around that corner's the Manticore's cave, but go left at the fork and you'll run into the stingray-ostrich.  
  • Human-dominated world; Elves and Dwarves are present, though rare.  Elves are very much the Vadagh from Moorcock's Corum books - impossibly long lived, strange senses, sometimes viewed as demons by the unwashed-masses, typically very happy to live apart from humanity and spend decades composing a single symphony or arranging flowers, bored on a cosmic level with existence but incapable of feeling any sense of curiosity or wonder any more.  Dwarves are very much the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Dwarf - a species that's essentially lost its will to live, and is more or less just killing time until their flame goes out.  PC Elves and Dwarves are the weird exceptions that got kicked out of typical Elf/Dwarf society for having the ability to desire anything at all.  
  • I need to not just re-read, but truly absorb into my soul Robert E. Howard's "Beyond the Black River" for the atmosphere of the principle campaign region.  
  • It's looking like everyone (myself included) I'll be running for here at home will be unfamiliar with Swords & Wizardry, most of them unfamiliar with fantasy RPGs in general, and possibly a couple players who have never played an RPG before.  Because of this I want to cut out the way demi-humans are default multiclassed and just say, "Elves can be Magic-Users, Thieves or Fighters, but not Clerics; Dwarves can be Clerics, Thieves or Fighters, but not Magic-Users."
  • In the deep, deep background of the campaign is conflict between Kirby-esque Space Gods and Lovecraftian entities.  
  • I want to gift every player a set of dice to call their own, and what's more, paint everyone a miniature to represent their character (at least those characters who make it past first or second level).  
  • I want to see the PCs go up against an Aboleth at some point.  

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