Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Premium AD&D Books and How They Sparked Off a Campaign

Wrapped up a AD&D First Edition mini-campaign yesterday to avoid Campaign Death Due to Holidays. It wasn't deep roleplaying, but everybody had a good time. The game will come out of hiatus after we get some other gaming under our belts.

The whole thing started when I treated myself to the Premium Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks. These are incredibly nice books. The crisp printing and bright paper makes it much easier to read than the originals. The gold coating on the edges might be overkill, but it sure looks swanky. The bookmark is handy (the one in my copy of the DMG marks the combat tables) and attracts playful cats. And I can testify to the durability of the covers - stuff just wipes off them. Nevermind how I know that.

I'll admit that nostalgia played a role in my getting these. I actually started gaming with the Basic D&D Set back in the day, but AD&D First Edition wasn't far behind. My original set was lost in a move long ago. Although I replaced them with secondhand copies awhile back, owning a new, high-quality set was something I couldn't resist.

Something I didn't expect was how these books put the game back on the radar. My players asked me to run a game as soon as I purchased the books.

The mini-campaign lasted six sessions. I used the maps and some thematic elements from the classic modules X1 Isle of Dread and C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. The basic plot was that a mysterious island showed up out of nowhere and the player characters were hired to go check it out. One shipwreck, some ruins, a few groups of undead, a couple of native villages, lots of jungle, some mild Lovecraftian elements, and a close escape later, the adventurers are off the island and sailing for home.

There are more than enough loose ends to pick things up later. The current plan is to start Part Two after March. That's when I'm expecting some fantasy miniatures to show up and provide a greater variety of monsters to throw at the player characters.

In the meantime, the group's consensus is to give Ashen Stars a try. More on that next year.

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