Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Back to Phandalin, Majestic Wilderlands and 5e

So I am on deck after we hit a natural pause point in the latest run with the Rusty BattleAx's Monteporte campaign. After conquering the final dungeon of the Phandelver campaign, Wind Echo Cave, what will our intrepid heroes be doing next?

For one thing, Glasstaff lives! We will see how much that complicates their lives.

Now that I have access to all the books, I am firming up the way I intend to run 5e in the future.

Sandboxes and Character Background
I try to run things as a sandbox where the players set the course of the campaign. The use of Phandelver was to get started with 5e while we were waiting for the other books to come out. Luckily Phandelver is pretty much a sandbox so it worked well with how I like to run things. But now the general course of the campaign depends on what you want to do with your characters. Don't worry about what I have prepared or not prepared just go what feel natural even it means a total change in direction.

It helps to have some ideas of what to do and where to go. To this end I am working on a summary and a recap that I will send to everybody. All the blog posts helped me remember what went down. Thanks to everybody for writing them. If you want feel free to flesh out your own backgrounds. For those not familiar with the Majestic Wilderlands, I use a lot of generic fantasy tropes. So use that to come with some ideas, let me know, and I will give you a choice of specifics. I am not overly worried about "balance" if it make sense in terms of the setting, I will work with you to make it work. Hopefully this result for each of you something interesting to pursue in the course of adventuring.

With that being said, there are things that happen that out of your control. Things and event that result from what other PCs did in past campaigns, plus plots I have set in motions. Like in real life these things can be ignored or dealt with. There are areas of the world where different circumstances hold sway. I will say that at the moment there are no events going on that effect the entirety of the Wilderlands. There are however major events going on that effect regions like the two separate civil wars in Viridistan and City-State. In fact in the eastern half of Viridistan (the part nearest City-State) the civil war has pretty wound down because of the campaign I ran with Tim, Dwayne, and Ken. While in City-State the violence of its civil war has been increasing.

So if you want to ignore them, there are option to do so. Plenty of NPCs in the Wilderlands do anyway. If you want to get involved there that path as well. Remember there are always options and I try to incorporate as many as I can in my roleplaying. If you think of one and it make sense as if you were really there as that character then likely I will go with it. You don't even have to spend a fate point or whimsy card.
Some of the rules options I will be using.

I use a silver base economy. All this means that the main coin is a silver penny equal to 1 silver piece. I denote the value in pennies as d. 10d mean ten pennies or ten silver pieces. There is 250 silver pennies in a pound of weight. There is a 1 oz gold coin called a Crown and it is worth 320d. 16 crowns equal a pound of weight. Rare coinage are a gold penny worth 20d and weight 250 to a pound. Typically they are found in old elven or dwarven treasure hoards. The vikings use a silver mark which is a 1 lb bar of silver worth 240d.

Slow Natural Healing (DMG 267)
Instead of regaining all your hit points you spend hit dice like on a short rest. However you still regain half your hit dice back as a result of your long rest. Makes long rest a tad less generous and the campaign little more gritty.

Lingering Injuries 
if you roll a death save of 5 or less (DMG page 272).
Note not all of these are permanent disfigurement.15% chance of a major disfigurement (lose of an eye, hand, etc), 15% chance of a scar. The rest is cured by the use of a healing spell. Note I am NOT using massive damage.

Attack Options: 
Climb on top of Bigger Creature, Disarm, Mark, Overrun, Shove Aside, Tumble. (DMG, page 271).
Stuff I would allows you guys to do anyway, just we now have mechanics that everybody can read up on.

Morale (DMG 273)
This for NPCs and monsters. I used something similar before but like the above now there is mechanics for everybody to read.

Experience Points 
I will award monster xp and milestone XP (DMG 261).

Milestones are personal and party oriented. I basically try to pay attention to what you guys are trying to do and when it seems you guys accomplish some goal individually or as a group I will award milestone XP. For example gaining the Sleeping Giant would have earned the party a minor milestone. Bagging Glasstaff in a future session would be a major milestone for the party.The better I understand what you are trying to accomplish as your character the more opportunities I will have to award milestones.

DMG (page 253)
I want try this when chases ensue. The Chase Card are too metagame at times like Whimsy cards so I want to see if this does any better. I may incorporate some of chase cards with this in the future.

Miniatures and Grids
I will be using the rules for miniatures, grids, and facing from page 250 to 252 as guidelines. No major change from what we been doing except now there are rules to reference. For example if you flank a target with an ally you both get advantage on your attack. The main difference will be from page 250 where the DMG has useful method to determine the difference between the different levels of cover.

Downtime Activities
Starting on page 127 of the DMG these are available for those who are interested. The party has ownership of the Sleeping Giant in Phandalin. For now I am going with crafting magic items on page 129 until I am ready to roll my own. My version will in general have lower prices.

Per my Majestic Wilderlands Swords & Wizardry rules, two rings, two bracers, one hat, one belt, one cloak, one suit of armor, one medallion, two items grasped (one in each hand). . You can switch freely out of combat. In combat you can use your interaction for easily accessible items or take a Use and Object action.

While attunement is not required, spending a long rest to understand how to activate an item is with activated powers is. Requires a arcana check 15 or better to succeed. Items with inherent powers simply just work. If you get a +1 sword with fireball 1/day. You can use it a +1 sword until a long rest. Note that a character with a high arcana can figure out an item for another character. One item per character per long rest.

Training to Gain Levels
I am using Training gain levels on page 131. It is no where near as onerous as AD&D 1st edition it does force some amount of downtime. For 5th level it will be 20 days of upkeep and 400d. You do immediately gain any increase in proficiency bonus. The rest of your class abilities have to be trained.

Starting Characters.
This is for Doug and possibly Peter if he joins us.
You start halfway beyond 4th level at 4,600 xp.
Your starting money is 5,000d plus 1d10 x 250d. (1 d= 1sp)
You can buy a common magic item at 1,000d
You can buy a uncommon magic item at 5,000d

Buying and Selling Magic Items
I am the kind of DM that answer yes to magic shops in my campaign. Remember magic items is a luxury trade. The most valuable items are held for limited access auctions. Keep this in mind when you sell a rare items it may take a while to get the gold for it.

At present I will be using the 5e prices as is. I think they are too expensive compared to what I did in the past. But I haven't worked through adapting what I use for Swords & Wizardry.

1 comment:

Peter V. Dell'Orto said...

I hope I can make it sometime!

By the way, I read Glasstaff as Galstaff Every. Single. Time.