As I said last time, I have lost interest in playtesting this iteration of D&D Next. Without a regular group to go to, or rules beyond third level, or balanced encounter building, or a way to make statted NPCs, I really haven’t been compelled to play. Also, I want the next iteration NAOW so I can keep blogging in earnest, and so that the jackanapes on Twitter have new things to crab about. [Seriously, the #dndnext hashtag has gotten horrible to read.]
But since I want to keep blogging, I thought I’d talk about the campaign I’m readying for whenever the more complete and campaign-playable iteration of the rules hits.
As I also mentioned last time, I have begun redeveloping a campaign setting that began with the WotC Fantasy Setting Search back about a decade ago. It’s been slow-cooking in the back of my head since I first sent it to WotC, and it has slowly incorporated characters, concepts, and storylines that have been bouncing around in my skull since my high school days [1989-1993]. I’ve actually quite impressed myself with the size and scope of the world at this point; I don’t know whether that will translate into other people being impressed, but I figure it’s worth a shot.
It’s an event concept — one of those fantasy worlds where a fairly standard medieval fantasy setting is shaken and forever changed by some world-level event. Think the War of the Lance in Dragonlance, or the Time of Troubles [or, yes, the Spellplague] in Forgotten Realms. The true setting and story take place after the event.
For the playtest I have decided that I want to play a campaign in the time before the world changes. This gives me a chance to flesh out some of the underlying culture, geography, and history of the setting before I break the world. It’s also a necessity since the post-event world will require some definite house-rules-type stuff, and I want to keep the playtest in a more house-rules free mode, since the point of the playtest is to play the RAW for possible flaws and feedback.
The pre-event campaign will begin in the Kingdom of Barien, a pretty standard feudal monarchy. Human-centric, Barien is the home of the dominant political power in the lands — the biggest army, the strongest economy, and the most influential diplomats are the Barien army, the Barien economy, and Barien diplomats. In many ways, the world revolves around Barien.
It is a fairly low-magic, low-fantasy setting, or at least as low as a D&D campaign can reasonably reflect. The fantasy realms I’ve gamed in the most in the past were Greyhawk and the Kingdoms of Kalamar, so it will probably reflect those flavors more than anything (since those are the settings I found with the most things I like in them). I don’t think I will keep the players in Barien itself for long — I am much too keen to explore the courtly kingdom of Longcort and the loosely federated Freehold — but it’s somewhere to begin.
I will probably begin sharing some of my developed material here, on the off chance anyone’s interested. We’ll see where it goes …