Wednesday, October 12, 2011

GPS D&D-Style

I'm the Map, I'm the Map...
One of the fun things about buying used game books is the ephemera left in said books: character sheets, notes on pages and in margins, etc. It isn't often that one finds something like this, though.

I recently purchased a 1st Printing of the AD&D 2nd Edition Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide from Half Price Books here in Oklahoma ( I have the 2nd printing, but I find the 1st printing easier to read and find info in).  I checked them at the store for readability, etc., they looked fine so I got them.  Perusing the PHB at home, a map fell out.  Obviously a map of someone's campaign, it was crude but fascinating nonetheless.  It was also pretty big, too big to fit in my scanner, so I took a picture, the one you see here (Here's a link to a copy with higher resolution, so you can read the place names).

One thing I can tell is that it was probably based on the Forgotten Realms as Torm is mentioned, although I have a feeling he may have just used the pantheon from the Realms.

I love things like this.  Gives real insight to campaigns gone by, not to mention the mysteries that it leaves behind.  Names like Satan's Forge, Mariah, The Wardog Providence and the Field of Kamchak stirs my imagination (especially if it says the Field is the Old Elven Plains - I'd like to know why he put elves on the plains and what they would be like).  Where does the Upper Sea lead to?  What is the area in the upper part of the map like, with it's description of "rebels, outcasts, wild tribes, malcontents, outlaws, giants, monsters, bandits, etc?"

Now a lot (if not all) used books come with the name of the previous owner in them.  This has the name Jerry Rove.  Mr. Rove, if you're reading this, thank you.  This is a great map and I'll probably be using it for my grandson's Basic D&D campaign (I'm already thinking about making this the larger area beyond Thunder Rift).

Unless, of course, you want it back, which I would regretfully but dutifully return it (at least I got the picture - I can always recreate it).  Until then, on my wall it goes.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Thunder Rolls

...and the Rift was never the same.
Well, it happened. I started my 8 YO grandson Gage on the Road to D&D. He and a couple of his friends wanted to learn and, Grampa being a sucker for new players (and Gage in particular), I said "sure."

My flavor of choice for these games (I hesitate to call it a campaign - yet) is Basic D&D via Messers Metzer and Allston aka the D&D Rules Cyclopedia. The first session was just Gage and another young friend. We rolled up a character for said friend (Gage had rolled up one with me previously - a Priest of Posiedon named Logan Semester) and we proceeded to play. Now Gage and I had a one-on-one session the day before so Gage was a bit more savvy about the system (and a bit is all he needs to tell his friend what to do) which made play a little smoother.

His friend rolled up an Elf that, for some reason, he didn't want to name. So Logan and The Nameless Elf (or "Hey You!" as he's also referred to) met in a tavern in Puddleton.(yes, I am not ashamed to start them off with that creaky old plot hook). This is how they joined forces:

DM (Me): Logan, you see an elf sitting at a table across the room looking at you (I had them describe their characters).
Gage: I go over to the elf. (to the Elf) Hi, I'm Logan. Wanna join me on my adventures?
Gage's Friend: Okay.

That was the actual conversation. If only all PCs were that easy to form into a group.

Anyway, after a short adventure with some orcs and an ogre (in which they were remarkably effective), I awarded them XP and we adjourned until tomorrow after school.

Next day, Gage brought over his other friend so we rolled up a PC for him and got down to it (his other friend also rolled up an elf, which he called Shadowkill - kids ain't subtle). This time I took a one-page dungeon I had had lying around (Goblin Gully by Dyson Logos) and had them be hired by the Puddleton sheriff to clean out an old abandoned slaver pit that became infested with goblins. They're in the middle of that right now.

Now, we've been going along, playing and they're having a ball, especially with the magic items I gave them (Gage got a Ring of Posiedon from the head of his order - blast of water 3x a day for 2D4 damage - one a Ring of Protection +1 and the other a Ring of Protection +2, 5' Radius - that ought to keep them alive for a while).

So, after two adventures that were pretty much ass-pulls by Yours Truly, they're up to their ankles in goblins. That's when I realized, I didn't know where they were (as in, they're in Puddleton, but everything else I haven't thought about).

A problem easily solved - put 'em in my world of Skye - except that I get lazy, not wanting to put in the work of building up the world. So, looking around at the PDFs and other things (I was awfully tempted to put them in the Wilderlands), I decided to plunk them in Thunder Rift. As a starting place, it's perfect. Hell, I wished I'd adventured in it back in the day. So, since Puddleton is on the shores of a sea, I plunked it down a few miles east of Melinir.

And we're off to the races. Stay tuned for more.