Saturday, December 3, 2011

Purple Mountain Character Generation

So, last night we rolled the bones to generate four T&T characters to use in our Purple Mountain campaign.  We will be using my house rules for T&T 5.5e, all codified and spiffy.  More of how my ruleset varies form standard 5.5e as it become relevant (specialist mages from 7e are one example, as are talents, although I like my talents narrowish rather than broad).  As Temple of the Locust Lords calls for four first level PCs, and I have four trollspawn, it was a perfect fit.  So far, so good.  In addition to generating the basic T&T attributes, et cetera, I also had the players roll on a few charts of their choosing from Bob Liddil's fun 30 Sided Character (which they enjoy the quirkiness of, as do I) and also once from the Dungeon Motivation table from an early issue of Fight On! (by Paul Vermeren; sorry I don't recall which issue it appeared in off the top of my head).  They also described the character's appearance, decided on three personality traits, and came up with one secret to help flesh out the PCs a little.  What we ended up with is:

Delv'ain Elveric (played by Aeddon, 13) - Elven Wizard, talent: healing (INT)
Darikin the Banished aka 'Jim' (Alden, 11) - Half-Orc Rogue, talent: roguery (CHR)
Waterbeard (Alwyn, 9) - Dwarf Warrior, talent: brute force (STR)
ElDirk Lowlands (Arian, 7) - Leprechaun Specialist Mage (Communication), talent: pick locks (DEX)

I should note that I have been a longtime fan of the Flying Buffalo Catalyst products, so I long ago adapted the spell list to fit into Mike Stackpole's 8Cs of Magic.  Thus, rather than the four schools of magic that appear in 7e, I have eight schools.

Purple Mountain comes with no setting.  So I will be using some made-for-T&T material for that from Elder Tunnels.  This week I will figure out the setting details and work on converting the adventure from Pathfinder to T&T and we will start actual play next Friday.  After the players finish a level and are ready to move on I will post my conversion notes.  In the Temple of the Locust Lord there are lots of new monsters, spells, magic items, feats and more that I need to figure out how to handle in T&T.  More to come.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Purple Mountain Campaign

After reading a review of the first level of Purple Mountain (Temple of the Locust Lord) at the fine Adventures and Shopping blog, I picked up the PDF and have decided to run it with my four trollspawn while my Demons & Wizards campaign is on hiatus over the winter.  [One of our players is blind and winter travel is too difficult for him.]  We'll be playing Friday nights while the trollwife is still at work.  Overall, I was impressed with what I saw in this megadungeon and it will be the 'tentpole' in a new campaign I began tonight (at least character generation).  Purple Mountain will have twenty levels, if all goes well with the Purple Ducks.

Because I do everything wrong ;), I will be running Purple Mountain using Tunnels & Trolls in lieu of the Pathfinder rules it is written for.  In addition to the dungeon PDF, the first level also has a companion 'battle mat' PDF.  I plan on using this as well - not for combat, per se (I don't feel restricting T&T combat in this way plays to T&T's strengths) - but for positioning, mapping, trap searching and the like.  This will be a new experience for me so I am curious to see how it will go.

What I will be attempting here, in addition to just having fun with the trollspawn, is to see how the conversion process goes between Pathfinder and T&T.  As the dungeon is intended to pair the characters' level with the dungeon level (i.e., 3rd level PCs should be exploring the dungeon's third level) it will be interesting to see how long this holds to be true.  While sharing the same fantasy roots, Pathfinder and T&T are quite different rulesets and I don't expect level correlations will be meaningful for long...but I've never attempted a level by level match up before.  It will also be interesting to see how Monster Ratings and Saving Rolls (SR) are impacted.  In T&T, in my experience, the base SR level is usually the same as the dungeon level, but there isn't a level to level pairing.  Usually the first level of a T&T dungeon is appropriate for 1st-3rd level characters (approximately).  While Pathfinder and D&D 3e in general have formulaic rules to make sure challenges and rewards are continually matched with character level (with all the weal and bane that goes with it), T&T is much more at the GM's whim and 'gut feeling', and all the good and ill associated with that approach.

In any case, this will be a grand experiment on many levels.  I plan to post my thoughts on the conversion process here, revealing how well it works and what I learn by the process.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Oh, my sad, neglected blog....  I always have such good intentions for you, and yet always leave you disappointed.

With my Demons & Wizards campaign on hiatus for the winter, I've been inspired by some new ideas.  This:


More to come....