Under Dark Spires, Character Generation

And so it begins, our run through Under Dark Spires, my mini-campaign for Crypts and Things starting with 1st level characters.

It’s been a while since I’ve played C&T and an eternity since I’ve run an ongoing campaign of it. In between, I’ve been on a steady diet of D100 games (OpenQuest mainly) and new modern D&D variants like 5th Ed and 13th Age. So it was a shock at first going back to C&T’s very old school OD&D base + tweaks from 80s White Dwarf/Fighting fantasy. Any doubts that I would not enjoy this style of play anymore were quickly dispelled. The players are certainly very enthusiastic about playing it 🙂

The Crypt Keeper awaits you in the Room of Zoom!

The Crypt Keeper awaits you in the Room of Zoom!

I explained a bit about the dying world of Zarth, the demonic Others who have come to feed. We discussed that it has elements that require maturity due to themes of violence and oppression and the safety tools we would use if the game moved outside of what people were comfortable with.

The immediate set-up is that the characters are 1st Level and are many treasure hunters who have gone to a region called the Ash Plains. Where the Gods buried an Empire under volcanic debris for their hubris hundreds of years ago, hence in places, you can literally trip over the treasure that was left behind (or so they say).

We did character generation pretty much as written in the rulebook, the exception being that we used 3d6, rerolling 1s and 2s, which leads to more heroic characters. Part of me thinks I should make this the default for Crypts and Things.

The characters are:

  • Bodak Slashingspear (male fighter) played by Tony.
  • Xara (female Theif) played by Al.
  • Torsten Dagsson (Female Disciple) -played by Ginger Matt

We’ve also had another player, Jason, join us since the character generation session, and he’s currently considering a Sorcerer for his character.

I’ll post more about these characters, including starting character sheets, once I’ve got Jason’s character in a future blog post.

Under Dark Spires is currently in development. This run-through is meant as a final playtest of a set of adventures that were previously run individually as convention games. As well as making sure there aren’t any places where there are unavoidable Total Pary Kills, I’m also seeing how experience point allocation and levelling up works when the adventures are run together as a campaign.

We are playing again in just under two weeks when we get stuck into an adventure called Blood of the Dragon.

Look, it’s us rolling up characters!

My Verdict on RuneQuest Glorantha

RuneQuest Glorantha? I’ve come to the conclusion I like it.

When it came out, I plunged right in and ran it several times as a convention game. The epic Lunars on the run from angry animal riders, looking for the last moon boat home that is Dry Run in Prax (coming to Jonstown Compendium soonish). I even ran it online as a mini-campaign with a mix of newbies and old hands. All the new subsystems and new lore overwhelmed me, to the point of overload. And I’m a Gloranthan GM of 30+ years experience! So when the OpenQuest Kickstarter blew up in my face with its success, I switched to running that. Partially because I craved simplicity system-wise, I also had to take care of business and get some last-minute play-testing done. Since then, OpenQuest Thursdays, as that group is known, has firmly established itself as a long-running home campaign 🙂

On reflection, though, it was very clear that the players had a great time because those new subsystems gave them options and power at the table. I’m thinking Runes and Passions especially. They can read all that new lore in the rulebook or when I shove the Gloranthan Sourcebook in their direction. We were playing Lunar Tarsh characters, so we had whole sessions discussing Lunar Theology and mythology since the players were curious and it was relevant to their characters, who are questioning their faith after the downfall of Pavis.

I’m making a small return to RuneQuest via conventions, and when I do, I shall be keeping things simple on my side of the fence and letting players focus on all the bits I find fiddly. If you want to use Passions in my game, great, but you work out when you want to use them and how.

Finally, I love the fact that Gloranthan Fandom has got a shot in the arm due to its release. People are picking up RQG and are staying and running campaigns. Lots of fan-made stuff on the Jonstown Compendium, and while the official releases are slow, in a sense, there’s no regular release schedule, there’s still a large chunk of playable stuff out there already.

This post came about because of this thread over at the RPGPub forum, where I chime in on page 2. Also, it’s in lieu of a long-overdue review of RuneQuest Glorantha itself, which is this long epic thing in my head being a long time RQ/Glorantha fan 🙂  Its also posted on Arkat’s Playground which is my new blog about RuneQuest and Gloranthan Games in general.

 

Wyrdworld Recreated Minitures

As a roleplayer, I don’t do miniatures. It has its roots in my start with the hobby, where it was a choice between RPG books or minis blister packs for my pocket/paper round money. RPGs won out and the rest is history.

Recently I’ve been dipping my toe in minis, mainly through supporting Fenris Games, a British manufacturer who put out some fiercely originally and fantastic work.

I’ve just backed their Wyrdworld Recreated Kickstarter. It’s a huge amount of anthropomorphic fantasy animal characters, full of characters without being twee. Its based on the Wyrdworld Play By Email game (remember those) that they ran when they started up their company.

Oh look they do a Newt figure, that knows Kung-fu (well that’s what I’m assuming the double clubs are for) 😀

Here’s a selection of the figures available 🙂

Piqued your interest, here’s the link again.

The Dee Sanction Adventures

Creator Paul Baldowski has brought bringing five short adventures for his game of occult investigation in the Age of Elizabeth I, The Dee Sanction, to Kickstarter.

It’s funded successfully, and there’s also the chance to pick up the main rulebook and the special limited edition hardcover as well as other high-quality add-ons for the game. I’ve got my eye on one of the A2 cloth maps of Tudor London 😀

 

Arkat’s Playground

People who have followed me and D101 Games will know I’m a big fan of Glorantha and RuneQuest. I’ve just unveiled a new blog which as well as putting out new adventures that I’m going to publishing via Chaosium’s Jonstown Compendium 1, it will have reviews, rules commentary and other bits and bobs useful to people who play RuneQuest, QuestWorlds or 13th Age Glorantha.

Here’s the cover of A Dry Run in Prax, a RuneQuest adventure that I’m currently working on. Art by Dan Barker.

 

 

Notes:

1. Jonstown Compendium is the drivethrurpg.com community content program for Gloranthan Rpgs such as RuneQuest, Questworlds and 13th Age Glorantha.

Lucky Friday 13th!

Who said Friday 13th is unlucky?

Glynn Seal of Monkey Blood Design has just announced another Handy Maps Kickstarter.

Pelgrane Press has just put out a new 13th Age Quickstart rules.

Peter Regan has just started a very quick, nine-day long Kickstarter to fund a 2nd Printing of the Black Hack 2nd edition. If you missed it the first time around, or want the deluxe box sets with lots of extras, like foil-stamped covers, mugs etc, now’s your chance.

This is a fine award-winning British OSR rules set, that I personally highly recommend. I liked it so much that I used it for the base for a self-contained Crypts and Things reimagining.

Chaosium’s Warehouse Sale

Chaosium (publishers of Call of Cthulu, RuneQuest, 7th Sea etc) are having a warehouse clearance sale, with items being 15% to 66% off.

Here’s a list of stuff I personally recommend.

Alone Against the Flames, A solo Call of Cthulhu adventure. Learn how to play CoC 7th edition for the price of a coffee. SOLD!

HP Lovecraft’s Dunwich  A Call of Cthulhu Sandbox, with a couple of supporting adventures. I had this in the 90s and foolishly let it go, but by gum, its mine again at a bargain price

RuneQuest Classic. A cleaned-up version of RuneQuest 2, without losing the original’s essential charm, with about 22 extra pages from magazines from the period, in a robust hardback. This is my Whitebox.

Borderlands and Beyond. Want a starting campaign for RQ? This is it. This is a collected edition, Borderlands + 2 other supplements integrated with new art from fan favourites. I had the pleasure of buying from Rick Meints, the publisher, at a convention in the 2000s.

13th Age Glorantha. Want to get into Glorantha, but overwhelmed by RQ and have a group that is more into D&D? This is your way of getting your Glorantha fix. Also worth getting if you are an old hand since it positively purrs in play 🙂

Khan of Khans. The easy to play card game intro to Glorantha. I played this with our H when he was around eight, he came away wanting to know more about Glorantha. Result!

 

OpenQuest 3rd Edition is Now Out!

OQ 3 is now on general release after being sent out to Kickstarter Backers and pre-orders.

You can get it in pdf and Print with free pdf from my web store.

The print version I’m selling there until it sells out is the last of the Signed and Sent version that was offered to Kickstarter backers. It has sewn pages, endpapers, colour plates and a ribbon.  Stocks are already running low.

Here’s a quick run-through.

If you have a previous edition and are curious about what has changed, I created this page for you.

Also, its gone on sale via drivethrurpg.com

The Kickstarter funded a number of supplements and the planned list of books and progress on them can be found on this page.

RuneQuest Starter Box Incoming

Just in time for the summer holidays, Chaosium’s RuneQuest box set is incoming.  This is where my holiday money is going, rather than the Call of Cthulhu Classic Box Set Kickstarter. Because to be honest while I played a bit of CoC in my teens, it was RQ that I fell for hard!.

So let the dulcet tones of Chaosium President Rick Meint guide through his unboxing of a still wrapped copy of the Starter Set.