Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kids' Campaign: Decisions, Decisions...

The Kids' Campaign continues apace. We gathered on the Thursday before Christmas at my in-laws' for early Christmas presents, bread-baking, dinner, and managed to sneak a little time in for some D&D.

When last we left them, they were about to have dinner with Valthrun, the town wizard. He had promised my son's character, Mike the Wizard, that he would teach him some new spells if he proved himself. Defeating Kalarel was proof enough, and Valthrun taught the young wizard a number of new spells, including a couple of second-level spells that the newly third-level wizard could use.

I also made up a small stack of cards that had different rumors and quests. Each player drew one, so they had plenty of different options to go investigate. A few of the rumors would lead directly to specific old-school adventure modules, particularly Keep on the Borderlands, Palace of the Silver Princess, and Night Below (without saying as much, of course!). The others were tied to places that were fleshed out recently by WotC in their Nentir Vale supplement and Dragon e-magazine.

You can download the quest cards here if you want. It's a PDF file, nine cards on a single sheet of 8.5x11 paper. I print them on cardstock so they're easier to handle, and if you cut them out, they fit perfectly in a regular-size plastic playing card sleeve.

They chose the Night Below route.

I would have liked to run the older modules, but I have always wanted a chance to run Night Below. It's huge and sprawling and requires a lot more than mindless hack n slash to succeed or even survive. There is a lot going on in it and I'm looking forward to all the homework I'll have to do to get it right.

On Christmas evening, they started on their way. Haranshire lay on the other side of the Cairngorn Peaks from Winterhaven, which meant they had to cross the mountains somehow. I gave them the choice of three paths. A northern route, rumored to be home to trolls and other big nasties; a southern route, guarded by an orc tribe who demanded hefty tribute of anyone passing through; and a possible third way underneath the mountains, if they wanted to search for it.

They chose the northern pass. They bought horses and other supplies and headed out. Most of the days were uneventful, until the third day as they neared the top of the pass, when they encountered two trolls fighting each other. The ever-regenerating trolls had been bashing each other's skulls in for god-knows-how-long, and the party managed (barely) to avoid notice and left the trolls to their rumbling.

They had one night-time encounter with a few giant spiders, but a well-placed sleep spell knocked them out easily.

And after six mostly uneventful days of travel, they arrived in Haranshire. They found the old wizard Tauster, who was quite distraught over his missing apprentice, Jenna. They spent the night in town and headed up the river to meet Kuiper, one of the local rangers, and that's where we left off.

We'll be heading out to my in-laws' this evening for the next session.

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