Monday, January 24, 2011

Village of Hommlet - D20 Style (Part 0)

A few years back, I ran a solo, play-by-email game for my buddy, Dr. Love. At the time, I was getting the first strong itch to get back into regular gaming, and had not yet had the balls to go looking for a local group. The Doc and I had been friends for a good long while (we met, I believe, in 1997) but he had since pulled up stakes and headed down to Oregon. Email was our only option for gaming.

As I said, this was a few years back, and we were still playing 3rd edition D&D at the time (the Doc has followed me back into Old School gaming since then). Playing MOST role-playing games via email can be a bit cumbersome, but a low-level D20 game...and a solo definitely more manageable than some. It was an attempt at a high-level (15th) D20 game via email that broke the Doctor's love affair with 3rd edition. At least he never DM'd a game after that abortive attempt.

The adventure we played was the old TSR mega-module T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil, though we only managed to get through the first part (The Village of Hommlet). Back in my D20 days, I was generally converting the "old stuff" myself, but this may have been one of the conversions that used to be posted over at ENWorld (I can't really be sure at this time). It was fun and neither the Doc nor I had ever played T1 (and still haven't "technically;" I'm not sure how much the super-module differs from the original), so this was a new experience for both of us...and a fairly good one (even though we never got to the Temple of Elemental Evil proper, we did complete the entire "moathouse" scenario).

Why am I even talking about this? 'Cause I'm about to get lazy on y'all. Turns out I have pretty much the entire transcript of our game saved in a Word document (about 30 pages), and I'd post it to Ye Old Blog over the next week or so. I hate to let the blog go derelict, just because I have more important priorities (like the new baby), and this is an easy way for me to do regular updates, the document already having been written.

Plus, it's fun to read (well, I think so)...the only part I kept is my narrative...there are no dice rolls and such. Heck, it's pretty much a one-sided conversation (you won't find the Doc's replies and decisions in the document except maybe a couple times...though you should be able to infer what his actions were by the direction the narrative takes). Even though it was a D20 game, the transcript could read much the same for any AD&D take on the doesn't feel "D20 specific." And it shows one possible way that T1: The Village of Hommlet might play out. Some people might consider that entertaining.

Now, of course, there WILL be spoilers present in the transcript, so folks intending to play T1 may want to skip this series of posts. Those LOOKING for spoilers, though, should be advised that some of the background material is different from the original. Grognardia recently asked whether or not folks prefer published campaign settings to "homebrew," and I've always favored the latter...though often my 'brews are inspired by film and book. In this particular case, I created a whole campaign setting for our game, right down to towns and factions and allowable prestige classes. My intention was for T1-4 to be the start of a D20 campaign...however, the thing crapped out after the first 30 pages of emails (duh...PBEM is pretty cumbersome, as I said). It IS a rather neat setting, though, and I may post my campaign notes at the end of this series (in case anyone wants to run a Pathfinder game or something using it).

So, without further discussion (my wife is now making fun of my "laying off the blog" assertions), we'll get this party started. The first part of the transcript will go up later this afternoon or tonight detailing the adventures of Christoff the 1st level rogue. Later!

: )

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