Saturday, August 13, 2016

Back to Basics

Whenever I start running a campaign, I inevitably begin planning the next campaign I'm going to run. I think given my previous post, it's time to dip back into Labyrinth Lord after being away from the game for several years.

I've dusted off my plethora of old LL modules - Larm, Dolm River, Fortress of the Mountain King, Return of the Mountain King, The Shrine of Saint Aleena, Bad Moon Rising, Stealer of Children, Inn of Lost Heroes, and (of course) Barrowmaze. I'm going to be setting in in Amherth, using +Pete Spahn's Chronicles of Amherth, Guidebook to the City of Dolmvay, and Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall. I figure that'll give me more than enough material for a campaign to last quite a bit of time.

After long debate with myself, I'm going to use the Advanced Edition Companion, except I'm going to keep race-as-class - I feel that this reflects the unique and frankly inhuman nature of non-human characters. I also plan on keeping standard LL's basic ability score modifiers, with one exception noted below. Like any good DM, I'm going to be tinkering with the rules.

I'm going to implement the following changes:
Elves may choose at first level whether to be Wood Elves or High Elves. High Elves function exactly as written in the Labyrinth Lord rules. Wood Elves cast spells from the Druid Spell list, are prohibited from wearing any armor heavier than Studded Leather, with the exception of Elfin Chain. Wood Elves may also remain hidden in wilderness environments on a 1-5 on 1d6.

I don't recall any of the Amherth books making mention of the Illusionist class from the AEC. Also, there's no Bard in LL. I'm addressing both these things in one fell swoop. Illusionists, in my campaign, are typically "peasant magicians," and regarded with a touch of contempt by traditional Magic-Users. They learn spells by sharing information with one another, through study and travel. Because of their curiosity, Illusionists can use the Bard-like "Legend Lore" ability to know local legends or the history (though not necessarily the specific magical properties) of a magic item. I'll start this ability at 15%, increasing it by +4% per level.

Thieves receive +5% to all thief skills per +1 modifier of their Dexterity - with the exception of Hear Noise, which has no modifier. This should help increase the longevity of the typically fragile class.

Characters will be created by rolling 4d6, dropping the lowest die and adding the remainder. Distribute as my players want. Everyone gets 3d6 x 10 for Starting Gold. I'll also have each of them select a Secondary Skill from the AEC.

Now, as far as what I'll run - my basic premise is that all of the characters have either arrived in, or are local residents of Larm. They're on their way to Dolmvay to join the Adventurer's Guild. I can run Larm and Dolm River to get them to the city of Dolmvay. From there, I've got all manner of options. The Church of Law and Order can ask them to investigate the Shrine of St. Aleena, or they might hear rumors of a swampy territory on the edge of the Ghoul Lands where I'll place Barrowmaze.

Some good, old-fashioned, simple RPGing. The only question remains - should I run it for my local group, or do it as a Roll20 game?

1 comment:

  1. Race as Class is a good choice and for the reasons you've given, among others.

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