Sunday, March 1, 2015

Comic Scripts: West, Part 11

And so the story enters the final showdown. Not a lot else to say at the moment, so I guess I'll just let this post hit the break.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

D&D Campaign: Setting

For this Campaign, I wanted to try something with a bit of a different flavor from standard western fantasy, but I wanted to keep things grounded. the distinction here, I think is between the flavor of a setting and the grit of a setting. Most D&D - and western fantasy in general - tends to go with a high-fantastic setting wrapped around an English-French-German flavor. Conversely, I wanted something that was more grounded, but with an unfamiliar flavor. That in mind, I decided to head for Eastern Europe.

My campaign is centered around the Constant Sea, an analogue for the Black Sea in actual Europe. It relies heavily on trade among the various nations that border it, as well as for the seas that lie beyond the southernmost inlet. This has led to the city of Icos, situated along this inlet, to become a dominant power in the region, at least economically. The other nations, I'll get to as they come up within the game, but there are a couple of elements that need to be established. Most of this is background - stuff I'll bring up and explain  briefly in the logs as they become relevant. If you just want the background on the starting area for the game, scroll past the break until you see the next map.

D&D Campaign

So, in the intervening gap between October and now, I've been able to start up a game of 5th Edition D&D. From what I've done with the system so far, I have to say that I really, really like it. It has a focus on clean design and relatively small scope, with some interesting mechanics to power down spellcasters and make fighters more interesting. Not everybody agrees with my assessment, but of all the editions I've played, 5th may well be my favorite.

And with the arrival of a new system that works well with low powered games and settings, my new campaign is built to those same ends. I'm running through it with players that are new to me, so there are understandably some rough patches as we get used to each other, but I'm hopeful.

Mostly I'll be writing this as a narrative. Not a proper story or novel, per se, but it's mostly going to be written independent of mechanics and rough edges. If I do feel the need to bring up this kind of thing - player absences, mistakes I make in story or ruling, et cetera - I'll do so in bold text like this. Essentially, it'll be using the same structure as Shamus Young's excellent Mar Tesaro campaign log. 

A word about style. As I mentioned above, I tend to prefer lower fantasy - I like extending the low levels of play, dealing with food and lodging, and characters that are challenged by mere mortals as often - or more often - than otherworldly terrors. Since I'm plugging inspirations, I should probably point readers towards Adam "Rutskarn" DeCamp's currently ongoing series Adventurers: Song of the Bastards. Unlike Adventurers, though I tend to prefer at least marginally heroic characters, and when I was advertising for this game, I requested as much. Did I get that? Well, we'll get into that later.

In the next post or two, I'll be getting into the setting and the characters before we dive into the Campaign Log itself.

Comic Scripts: West, Part 10

From this segment on, it may be a little hard to divide up the script into chunks the way I have been. The whole story has been building to the Shootout, like westerns tend to, so breaking it up might just kill the tension. We'll see, one way or another.

As far as this section goes, there are still a couple of important pieces to move into place.