04/08/10 06:48 GM's Post

What the hell are we doing?

It was August 2009, and a couple of friends and I decided to play Dungeons & Dragons. – Hey, what a surprise!- you might think since you are at Obsidian Portal and probably almost anyone who ends up here knows what the f@ck i’m talking about when I say “d20”, “dragonborn” or “+1 to attack rolls”. Anatomical discrepancies between goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears might seem self-evident to you as would those of a human and a monkey (ok, maybe some humans). The thing is, we had no idea what we were getting into nor had the slightest clue on how to start, our sole motivation being our innate nerdiness and, specifically, the Penny Arcade podcasts -WoC owes those guys a sh@tload of money in advertising.

Our incursion in the D&D world took shape when one of us, Leo, decided to bear the burden of being the DM for our first adventure, running the Kobold Hall adventure pretty much as it goes in the 4E DM Guide. About a month later, having five level 2 PC’s and an exhausted GM, I took the baton, my character (Kilu) would stay in Fallcrest aiding her step-dad and I would run the freebie Keep On The Shadowfell adventure. We pretty much decided to rotate the GM role in the future in order to let everyone enjoy the experience should they wish to do it.

Now Gabe is running Thunderspire Labyrinth with variable success but solid, good ideas (like using this webpage). My character returned to the party and his was mysteriously kidnapped. BUT, and there is always a big but – so to speak-, I was left with lots of ideas, unused NPCs and, surprisingly, energy to gamemaster; besides, we were having a hard time getting together and coordinating our schedules in order to play once every other week. Plus, towards the end of KotS, I came across the 4e’s The Village Of Hommlet adaptation and started toying with the idea of converting the whole of Gygax’s story to the new rules. Thus, three or four weeks ago, after playing with the concept of running a “side campaign” for some months, when two of us could not come to a session due to having exams and family commitments, I said “I could run a couple of encounters…”. We ended up playing for twelve hours non-stop!

The Seal Of The Elemental Stones was born then, to keep weekly doses of Dungeons and Dragons coming, despite the fact that some of us still claim that they have a life outside the Realms. It probably will end up having a “book novel flavor” since I’ve got a pretty good (although raw) idea of where I want the story to go; the players’ characters were created by me as part of the campaign story (some of them were NPCs from our main campaign) and they have no particular owner, the players present at each session can use them as they fancy, rotating them if they wish to, or even playing with two at the same time if necessary. I decided to keep playing on the 4e “standard” setting since I think I’m not ready to create a universe of my own nor I wished to delve into the Forgotten Realms’ complexity but I’m trying to add enriching elements, such as a chronology, a calendar, historical facts, and a new “valley”, the West Coast, that complements the Nentir Vale.

To those of you patient enough to read my ravings, here are our spin-off adventures, I hope you enjoy them!


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04/08/10 06:48 GM's Post

The Seal Of The Elemental Stones Quique