Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Less, More, and versatility of D&D

Not only did we find a buyer in the town of Lesserton for the honey, but we earned a nice sum of money and invested all of it a little barrel of lamp oil, which the Orkin tribes of Mor call “firestarter.” And pay very well for. We returned to the beekeepers in the ruins of Mor and traded the barrel for a couple fat wineskins, plus a few doses for Strothbogie to consume. The keepers gave us a word, “snickers” and insinuated that they were most used to dealing with a different, larger, meaner group of honey-traders.

Originally uploaded by Brayo

And so, when we returned to Mor, we had to be cautious about how we sold it. With all of our wealth more viscous than liquid, we slept a couple nights in a barn and ate trail rations before Strothbogie’s friend Rusty could find us a wholesale buyer. Strothbogie’s hankering for the stuff further complicated our efforts—he continued to take the odd dose once a day or so, even relying on magic to deceive his associates. And he bungled the sale, selling off the entire stock, rather than saving a portion to use in brewing or baking.

But this mistake might have saved his life. When he went into withdrawal, there was no honey left for him to consume, and so Brigitta took him to the Temple of the Divine Purpose. His friends worked out a deal with the Priests—heal our friend and we’ll perform a quest for you. Strothbogie rather enjoyed the ritual of purification and is eager to return to Mor in search of the fountain of holy water, hoping to repeat the experience.

Playing in this campaign confirms my opinions about D&D’s versatility. The atmosphere is rather different from that of the standard D&D setting. But these differences are supported by only the slightest tweaks to the rules. The same classes are there and they work in the same familiar way. One of the members of the party, Thakko, is an Orkin, which explains his long pointed ears and low charisma, but his special abilities are of the sort normally granted to demi-humans. Starting the game with very little money is a great innovation—one that I’ve experimented with a little in the past and now embrace whole-heartedly. It makes finding, for instance, a cache of normal weapons really exciting. What I like best is how this might develop in the future. If the players/characters get tired of their current post-apocalyptic setting, there’s no need to switch to a different game or even a different campaign. There’s a road leading south that I can only guess leads to somewhere like Greyhawke or the Grand Duchy of Karmeikos. The fact that we’d be arriving in those places with “baggage” from Lesserton and Mor only adds to the interest.

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