Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

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Whoa, how did this remain under my radar. They announced this back in March!

 

http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop-games/rpg-products/adventure-modules

 

Hardcover re-release of B1: In Search of the Unknown and B2: Keep on the Borderlands (including multiple versions given its long, revised history), plus 5th Edition conversions of both modules including an expansion of the areas around the Keep and a proper filled-in Cave of the Unknown! ::D:

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Return to the Keep on the Borderlands was such a disappointment. ::(:

 

I was always kind of glad that there was a blank for Cave of the Unknown - I don't think that I ever put the same thing there twice. ::): (Heck, sometimes it wasn't even a cave!)

 

The Auld Grump - it would not surprise me if more folks have played B2 than any other dungeon.

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3 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

Return to the Keep on the Borderlands was such a disappointment. ::(:

I flipped it briefly, it didn't look very good.

 

Supposedly it tried to move stuff to Greyhawk but still kept a lot of Mystara lingo?

 

3 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

I was always kind of glad that there was a blank for Cave of the Unknown - I don't think that I ever put the same thing there twice. ::): (Heck, sometimes it wasn't even a cave!)

I like that too but sometimes not everyone feels up to the task in this regard. It's a nice extra and can even be good inspiration. Lord knows if I ever re-run B2 I currently haven't the foggiest what I would put in there...

 

4 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

The Auld Grump - it would not surprise me if more folks have played B2 than any other dungeon.

Wouldn't surprise me either. It was the "starter set" pack-in adventure for so long...

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, BlazingTornado said:

I flipped it briefly, it didn't look very good.

 

Supposedly it tried to move stuff to Greyhawk but still kept a lot of Mystara lingo?

 

I like that too but sometimes not everyone feels up to the task in this regard. It's a nice extra and can even be good inspiration. Lord knows if I ever re-run B2 I currently haven't the foggiest what I would put in there...

 

Wouldn't surprise me either. It was the "starter set" pack-in adventure for so long...

B2 was always Greyhawk - one of Gary Gygax's adventures.

 

As a point of amusement - on Golarion, in the borderlands of Ustalav, is a keep, and a nearby series of caverns known as 'The Caves of Chaos'... ::P:

 

Quote

In truth, one of the best-known “dungeons” in the Worldwound is on its far southern frontier, in the borderlands area where Numeria and Ustalav meet at the junction of the Moutray and Sellen rivers. A motley assortment of humanoid tribes resides here in a scrub-filled valley honeycombed with caves, sometimes fighting one another and sometimes raiding Sarkorian refugees and other settlers in the area. Many would-be heroes set out from the keep Ustalav constructed, through the cold marshes and tamarack stands, to bring ruin to the Caves of Chaos and those who dwell there.

 

From the Obsidian Portal Wiki, quoting the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting .

 

The Auld Grump *EDIT* Putting in credits for the quote.

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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48 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

B2 was always Greyhawk - one of Gary Gygax's adventures.

You sure? It's got some creatures that were pretty much exclusive to Basic/Mystara, like the Living Statues.

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15 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

You sure? It's got some creatures that were pretty much exclusive to Basic/Mystara, like the Living Statues.

Mystara did not even exist as a published setting when B2 was first written - 1979. ::): It came with later printings of the D&D boxed game, replacing Into the B1 - Unknown.

 

Mystara was first mentioned in X1 - The Isle of Dread, based on the home games of Schick and Moldvay. (So the world may have been around - but not yet published when B2 came out.) First adventure for the eXpert expansion.

 

Why do I know this, you may ask? Because Megan wants me to run Savage Tides, which takes place, in part, on the Isle of Dread. So, I started digging. ::):

 

Also, I asked, and sure enough - B2 was the first adventure she played - run by her mum.

 

Back when I started running, there were no published adventures - and then... Judges Guild! Printed on crappy paper, but.... they proved to E.G.G. that yes, there was a market for pre-written adventures.

 

The Auld Grump - and the Wilderlands setting is still pretty danged awesome, if you ask me.

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3 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

Back when I started running, there were no published adventures - and then... Judges Guild! Printed on crappy paper, but.... they proved to E.G.G. that yes, there was a market for pre-written adventures.

 

The Auld Grump - and the Wilderlands setting is still pretty danged awesome, if you ask me.

 

Tegel Manor! Thunderhold! Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor! City State of the Invincible Overlord! City State of the World Emperor! Exclamation Points!! ::D:

 

If you look at them now, they're kind of terrible, but the maps were decent to very good and they were the only thing in their category. I still have very fond memories (and all of the above, come to that.)

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City State of the Invincible Overlord is still, in my opinion, the best RPG city ever made. And the remakes are also pretty danged awesome. (Barring the Mayfair Games edition... which was not so good.)

 

Cramped to the point of claustrophobia, nasty underworld - in both senses of underworld.

 

An overlord that is more concerned with expediency than justice.

 

And those maps from the original - with GM and player versions.... *Sigh!*

 

Bard's Gate may be the only thing that comes close.

 

The Auld Grump

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I guess I'd call KOTB "setting-neutral", at least in the way it's written. There's not even names assigned, it's so great. Just a big blank slate for the DM and players to work their own narrative.

 

On 2017-08-09 at 5:30 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

City State of the Invincible Overlord is still, in my opinion, the best RPG city ever made. And the remakes are also pretty danged awesome. (Barring the Mayfair Games edition... which was not so good.)

Interesting.... got any details?

My players seem to be getting a massive kick out of the massive city they're fully free to roam about... Might be an interesting starting point for a future campaign.

 

 

Seriously, though. I love that this exists:

b3HHdqC.png

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Posted (edited)

Replying to a post way back -

 

If you're looking for a book with a good city, the (Sadly out of print) Five Fingers, port of deceit by Privateer Press is great. For a smaller city by the same guys, check the witchfire trilogy book (Also out of print) and extract the stuff for Corvis.

 

Both are 3.5 (variant), but the crunch conversion isn't a killer.

 

------

 

Replying to a different post RE: Cults

 

There are a few different types of cults. How about a cult where the challenge is to save the cultists from their leader? S/he could be either nuts or just a sociopathic grifter.

Rogue celestial and a (Nominally) good cult, just for fun? Remember kiddies, lawful good is hardly lawful nice. You know how many people your paladin has killed, right?

Edited by Club
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On 8/11/2017 at 10:40 PM, BlazingTornado said:

I guess I'd call KOTB "setting-neutral", at least in the way it's written. There's not even names assigned, it's so great. Just a big blank slate for the DM and players to work their own narrative.

 

Interesting.... got any details?

My players seem to be getting a massive kick out of the massive city they're fully free to roam about... Might be an interesting starting point for a future campaign.

 

 

Seriously, though. I love that this exists:

b3HHdqC.png

The City State -

 

CSIO_map_-_letter.jpg

 

If you want cheap, then look at RPGNow for the PDFs of the original ($4), or the Revised ($10) - the latter has had the game stats for D&D removed and a generic non-system put in its place - I do not recommend it, as I found the non-system kind of distracting - and no easier to convert than the old OD&D version.

 

More expensive, but very well done, is the d20 version from the nineties - almost $30... but likely my favorite edition. (I got the hardcover, cheap. Now that hardcover is running over $300... and I am not tempted to sell my copy.)

 

Even if you get the d20 version, I highly recommend getting the PDFs of the classic players map from RPGNow ($2) - the d20 version does not include the partial map for the players..

 

The city map is the same as the older version - redrawn, and cleaner - but each street where it was before. But I like having a map to hand the PCs, with big blank areas not shown.

 

There was a Kickstarter in 2014 for a new-new edition, but I have no idea what happened with it.

 

Bard's Gate... a few weeks ago, you could have gotten the PDF for $15 - it was on sale. It went from being a pretty standard perfect bound book of maybe 125 pages to a behemoth of over 500 pages.... Frog God Games - go big or stay home!

 

Still chewing through it - I got the PDF during the above mentioned sale.

 

The Auld Grump

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Apparently the 2014 Kickstarter was for a Pathfinder version.

They're still giving updates as of July 2017:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/judgesguild/city-state-of-the-invincible-overlord/updates

 

I guess Pathfinder is such a pretentiously overcomplex system that it takes 3+ years to convert a city-state to its ruleset. :poke:

 

Sure would like a 5th Edition version. Guess for now I'll check out the original and D20-system pdfs...

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2 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Apparently the 2014 Kickstarter was for a Pathfinder version.

They're still giving updates as of July 2017:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/judgesguild/city-state-of-the-invincible-overlord/updates

 

I guess Pathfinder is such a pretentiously overcomplex system that it takes 3+ years to convert a city-state to its ruleset. :poke:

 

Sure would like a 5th Edition version. Guess for now I'll check out the original and D20-system pdfs...

Yikes.

 

Really, Pathfinder isn't that complex - especially for a sandbox setting, where you do not really need to worry about encounter balance.

 

The project would have been a good deal easier if they had the same designers working on the Pathfinder version as had worked on the 3e version - the folks at Judges Guild  started over, from the original, rather than updating the 3e version. (Different publisher. The 3e version was by Necromancer Games, which would later kind of become Frog God Games.)

 

Necromancer had a much bigger staff than it is likely that the current incarnation of Judges Guild has. (The original Judges Guild was tiny. I want to say that it only had one full time person - and that was Bledsaw, who also owned the company.)

 

At a guess, it is quite likely that they vastly underestimated the amount of work required - period - and likely put money in the wrong areas first. (This happens a lot for Kickstarters - folks not having any idea of how to proceed, and misallocating funds - do that too much, and the project will never recover.)

 

So, things happen like suddenly realizing you have no art budget - aside from the cover, which you blew your entire art budget on.

 

Or that you paid your writers, and forgot about editing. (A game system and mechanics editor is a very special beast - pretty much every edition of D&D, from OD&D to 5th, has suffered from this lack at some point - and D&D has suffered from it less than many others.)

 

Or, oh, hey! We need to hire somebody to lay it out! (Another special beasty - and why Paizo uses such a standardized format - the first time is the worst.)

 

That said - OD&D is probably the easiest to convert to 5e, and the PDF is easily available.

 

The Auld Grump

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Just had an epic, scenario end, battle - which for once went exactly as planned. ::):

 

I had fun - when the party went into the dungeon, through a ruined castle, they noticed the strong scent of dragon - but no dragon to be seen.

 

Then on the way back out, they realized that the scent was stronger than when they went in.

 

With the party having depleted resources - about half their hit points, and almost all their spells spent. (And a deadline - they need to get the MacGuffin to the right people in time.)

 

They finished off two wands and all the cleric's Channels.

 

Megan laughed - she was in a playtest of the game, and ran out of time before they got to that point. (Camping trip, showing parents what I was throwing at their kids. ::): )

 

The end of the next scenario is going to be fun - that party is still split in two.

 

The Auld Grump - used the castle from Dragons Don't Share II....

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I accidentally killed another player character yesterday.


A wight critted its life drain attack. On the cleric, who happened to be the only member of the party with means of reviving a fallen ally.

 

Fortunately, he's the one primarily indebted to Ares, so he's back as a Revenant (thank you Unearthed Arcana racial stats!) until his debt is repaid, so for the next... I figure six or so levels, the party's going to have this gaunt, corpse-like tiefling cleric.

 

 

 

On an unrelated note, anyone know how to deal with special snowflake players? I got one who's like "all the races and backgrounds are boring can I play gnome twins with separation issues and creepy incestuous subtext" as though breaking the D&D mold is what makes characters interesting (hint: it's not, and every other player in my campaign proves it) and it's like... Allowing it won't cure her of this ailment. Gnome twins die or she gets bored of em and she won't want to just go back to a plain ordinary race/class combo... she'll want a pixie or a satyr or something. And I don't want to do that, that's not what makes D&D fun for me. So how can this be resolved with minimal animosity here...

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