In 2013 I moved to NYC and started school. The first week I was there, I met Eric Minton and he introduced me to New York Red Box. I started playing in his Principalities of Glantri campaign the next week, and it was different from any kind of D&D I had played before; and not just because it was Moldvay’s B/X, and all that entails.
Eric’s Glantri game spends a lot of time in the Château D’Ambreville, and it was hard, in the mathematical sense. We had to map. Magic-Users only got one of each spell per day. The only healing on deck was some healing potions the party had been keeping for a rainy day. My character was level one, and there were level seven and eight people in the group. I spent a not insignificant amount of time in an armoire. We had to track light. Some doors we didn’t open, because we didn’t want to deal with noise and wandering monsters. An errant lightning bolt set a bunch of spell research on fire. It was incredible.
That dwarf did an okay job of living until he hit level five, after which both of his arms were rotted off by a fungus. He now lives in an underwater city with a cursed ring of water breathing, serving a shark goddess of drowning.
At some point in time I plan on moving back home, and I want to bring this experience back with me. This blog will be where I talk about creating/running the campaign, and the weirdness that results.
For this campaign, I’m going to build a city on top of a megadungeon. The general idea is to have an open table, where urban events can happen. Urban events are an issue in open tables because PC’s are PC’s, and eventually the town gets burnt down, and what happens with the PC’s who aren’t around? The general solution to this problem is to have all of the action take place outside of a safe space, which is usually a town where players do all their setup. You can buy/sell/get information on things in town, but most everything that involves conflict happens outside (fierce haggling that ends in the town being burned down is usually dealt with by some form of intervention). The po po catches up to people who burn towns down, and that generally retires characters. My solution to the problem is to have the safe space be around the town, because magic, and it’s a commuter city.
For the construction of this setting I’m going to organize it via hexes, that zoom down to eventual dungeon maps. There’s some problems with this, but that’s for another time. Part of the point of a megadungeon is to be uncompletable. There’s just too much space, people move in after the first occupants stop residing, strange things happen, et cetera. I’d like to have the city represent the first floor of the megadungeon, and that means places to go, things to do, and people to kill and take their stuff (mostly we want to be about taking their stuff). Part of the problem with having all this space that I need to fill is that I’m not terribly constructively creative. I can solve a problem with a chair, a lampshade, and a newt, but I have some trouble with deciding that the chair, the lampshade, and the newt should be in the room in the first place. I ran a randomly constructed and stocked dungeon a few weeks ago, and it ran pretty well. The stocking chart provided some interesting things; like a pristine kitchen with a force field trick attached to something that creates a “clean” kitchen where dirt cannot go, and no one but an approved chef can get to the ingredients. It was cool! This turned me on to the idea of stocking things, and so a large part of building the setting is going to be done via charts, and references to charts within those charts. This blog is where I’ll talk about all that.