Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Journal Entry November 28, 2016 "Top Level Completed!"

Ah, the clingy nostalgia that comes with posting older posts, and reading the information hidden there like golden nuggets in the stream of consciousness!

This "journal entry" was an email sent to my players on the date in the title ^, and its very informal, and doesn't cover the action that happened in the most recent game session. However, the title alludes to the characters completing the top level of Dyson Logos' excellent "Lair of the Frogs" map and dungeon synopsis. I've had a lot of great luck fleshing out his dungeons & descriptions and applying them to my 5th edition campaign.

On with the show...

Hi guys!
I'm in a better mood this week, due to a couple of things: I got my
last paycheck direct deposited on Friday, and I didn't even know about
it! I can now pay rent & bills for December! Whoo! Merry Christmas
after all!

My D&D creativity has been through the roof, thanks to my unintended
unemployment benefit (no work, more time to key-noodle...), and I'm
nearly finished with another encounter (dungeon) area, and I'm lining
up another for the foreseeable future.

Bad news: I still have yet to tackle the port city: Ermus Dock, so if
you want to go there in the next few sessions, I'll be winging it
until I get that nailed down.

I'll be handing out XP for Ciaus, Garth, Aramon & Clint in a later email.

I have the treasure written down on a 3x5 card, but I keep forgetting
to bring it with me to the coffee shop when I get online. :P

One of the scrolls you picked up from the Slaver Captain (Han Dan, for
anyone who keeps notes) is actually a treasure map. Determined
randomly, this means that I'll have to create it for you, either as a
map, pictograph, or riddle. I love riddles, but I suck at creating or
solving them, so it'll have to be a combo- map & pictograph.

Speaking of treasure, I'll need to know a few things, like your
Strength scores & how much weight (encumbrance) each of you are
currently carrying, along with any magic items.

Last session, I asked 4 of you to list the permanent magic items you
carry, but now I need to know ALL of them, and I know there are a lot
of potions & a few scrolls, so, please email me or write them down on
paper or 3x5 for me. M'kay? Thanks.

Also speaking of treasure, there is a reason why I'm asking for these
particular things, although I'm not going to tell you why. The reason
may be obvious, or not-so-obvious. I'll let you all stew over that for

Your NPC followers & N/PC stand-bys have been busy.
Falto the Albino (you call him "Casper") has the captured slaver goons
(Mezray & Lumus Al) so rattled that they are willing to tell you
anything to keep that "Kragenmoor Caveman" away from them.

Quellon (my Drude) let the giant bees & wasps loose. He had to chase
the wasps away, as they were out to kill him, or anyone who opened the
crate, but the bees left peacefully, and, according to Quellon, "Quite
joyfully." They left him with a giant bee honeycomb full of honey. The
honeycomb was laying on the bottom of the crate, which no one else
saw. He's working on a way to carry all of the honey as the rest of
you finish scaring/slaughtering the cowardly frawgs & looting the

That's all for this installment!

A New D&D5e Campaign Journal

I've been a part of a D&D group now for over a year, and its about time that I started to blog about the group's exploits. I wasn't always the DM, as it took a few months to 'gain my sea-legs' as it were for 5th edition D&D. Coming from a 1st & 2nd edition background, this was no easy task - considering that I have little to no experience with 3x or Pathfinder editions.

Most of the core group of players have some background with 3.5, and a couple of us have experience with earlier editions, so it may be obvious to see the direction this CJ will go: a sandboxy, open-ended, "Old Skull" campaign inflicted on "modern" players, and if this is what you expected, this is what you will get.

I am the type of DM that loves to create worlds and cultures specifically for players to explore and experience. I never set out to script a campaign for a group to muddle their way through. If a 'script' ever comes out of my campaign, it is because the players wrote it, I simply guide it in directions that will provide the most conflict, entertainment, drama, or enjoyment for the players. 

That is, the players pick the direction they want to go, I simply illuminate what they see, hear, taste, and feel when they pass through or even when they get there - that speck on the map that they told me they wanted to go to. Often, NPCs and monsters will already have a plan, but those plans never come into play unless the players enable them to do so. Events are set in motion by the characters' involvement and not the other way around. 

I advise my players to never create a background for their characters, because the first few levels ARE their background. Nevertheless, players will do it anyway, and then find out that those characters don't really fit well into the sandbox I've set before them. Its as if those players have already scripted a path for their characters - a path that may or may not exist in a sandbox, except through many sessions of play. 

So, anyhoo, without further ado, this introduction to my Campaign Journal is over, clearing the way for actual Journal Entries, House Rule posts, Design Notes, and NPC/Encounter Highlights. Eh, hopefully those are enough categories to work with. I'll undoubtedly create more categories, and wind up not using one or more of the categories I've already pigeon-holed myself with. On with the show!

Journal Entry November 28, 2016 "Top Level Completed!"

Ah, the clingy nostalgia that comes with posting older posts, and reading the information hidden there like golden nuggets in the stream of ...