Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Restarting old campaigns - my first old school campaign

Many of us have fond memories of old campaigns, where fun was had by all and the dice were hot and the action over the top. For most of us, those stay as memories. Then again, you might get the idea to restart that group again. If it was great before, all you need is the same game, players and a set-up for action, right? It should work, it did last time.

When I've read online about restarted campaigns, there seem to be a consensus on how to do it. Don't. But, right now I'm still pondering it. I am bored to tears by the fact that some of my attempts at starting some gaming have failed miserabl, and now something have changed. Somebody have asked  me to run a game.

Back when 3rd ed was new, I had just bought it for the discounted initial price. My intent was to have it for reference, and to make it easier to do conversions. But, on ENWorld there was a thread about each of some of the classic TSR modules for AD&D. I read about the A series, the D series and a few more. Since I had read a review somehwhere of the 2nd ed Slavers module, and bought it, I was interested in the A modules. I got rid of the 2nd ed stuff, bought the older ones and decided that since 3rd ed actually looked like a proper game (it had skills) I should try to actually use it. All those people had fun with A1-A4, right?

Apart from the skill centric game view (I still have BRP in my veins), I missed a few other things. Running A1 was fun, and it wasn't a bad game. It wasn't at all like the stories of how it played back then, but we keept going. It was to be the founding of a campaign that lasted almost five years. My longest, so far. We played a bunch of Necromancer modules (1st ed feel, right?) and had battled our way to Erelhei-Cinlu.

Now I look back at it, and there so much of it that I don't want to go back to. The Attacks of Opportunity, and the enormous amount of data to keep track of for NPCs are two important things. But, it's gaming and right now I'm starved. Should I eat mouldy bread, since it's offered? Maybe it's not even mould, just a funny discolouring.

While I'm waiting for more invitations to games which suit my present taste better, I'm seriously thinking of how I could make a restarted 3rd ed game less painful. It must be possible, right? God knows. Until I make up my mind I'm thinking of writing something about the A series, since I have run them now. I became a better DM by doing it. Some of those amusing stories are now mine to tell, and even if the rules had their problems we did have fun.


  1. > restarted 3rd ed game less painful.

    Jettison stuff. Ditch AoO, hell ditch battle grids entirely. Ignore the NPC/monster's must follow player rules be built like players. Just give them the skills/feats/abilities you feel are right. Use hitpoint pools and mook rules.

    Look at True20 and the free d20 lites I think Microlite20 and Dans Diminutave 20.

    Look at Castles and Crusades.

  2. I've been thinking along those lines. The question is of course how much my players will let me do. They like a lot of the crunchy parts of 3rd ed that I've grown to abhor.

  3. I have not used a grid for my D&D (now Pathfinder) game for years and no one seems to miss it. Still have the occasional AoO but those are judged more by common sense than anything else. Combat is more fun and flexable without the grid locking thing down.

  4. Yes, Microlite 20 is great! And it's free!!!

  5. You are very brave to even consider this as a rules-lite aficionado; I do not think I personally could stomach any more 3.5 or skills or feats right now. But obviously I need to investigate these other d20 systems being mentioned. . .

    As for re-starting an old campaign, I am leery of such. . . the same campaign WORLD, yes -- I have been playing in the Lands of Ara for over a decade -- but the same storylines, villains, NPCs, etc.? I would fear that I would simply be trying to recapture the past. I tend to prefer a fresh start each time.

  6. Just what I'm afraid of, Carter. Will there be magic there still?

    I like rules light games, but I have Rolemaster, Burning Wheel, GURPS and Rifts on my shelves. Sometimes I even read them! :)


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