I'm currently playing in a Pendragon game on Friday nights and a Dungeon Crawl Classics game on Sunday afternoons.
The Pendragon gamemaster, Dave, is running us through the Great Pendragon Campaign. We are currently in year 513, during the early years of Arthur's reign. I'm playing Sir Hyll, an unattractive knight that distrusts religions. Last week we mostly did "paper-work" for our Winter Phase, taking care of our lands, determining the health status of our wife and offspring, etc. Sir Hyll is notoriously randy, with a Lust rating of 17 (out of 20)! During the year 513, Sir Hyll fathered 13 children while convalescing at the Castle of Ease in the Faerie lands, then got married and fathered a daughter with his wife.
Mostly the campaign has been a series of major battles to solidify Arthur's consolidation of the kingdoms and to put down King Lot's rebellion of the Northern Kingdoms and a few personal missions assigned to us by "That Douche" Merlin.
Dungeon Crawl Classics
DCC is a fun little game that plays on the nostalgia for early editions of D&D but with new rules. It is also highly reminiscent, in my opinion, of games like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It also does a great job of emulating the style of weird fantasy written by the likes of Clark Ashton Smith. There are a lot of references to strange alien gods and there is a high probability you are going to receive some horrible mutation, especially if you dabble with magic.
You start with several characters per player, each level zero with no class or special abilities. The idea is you go through a meat-grinder introductory dungeon that will kill off several of your plebes. Whoever survives at the end earns a class and goes up to level one. My characters included a tax collector named Kevin, a butcher named Oscar, a baker named Franz, and an astrologer whose name I forget. The rest of the party included a similarly motley assortment of chicken butchers, candle-makers, etc.
We gathered to explore a legendary portal on an ancient hill that appears once a generation. We entered tentatively, fought a giant snake, encountered and ignored some bizarre room features, and activated an army of clay golems that chased us out.
Due to our over-cautiousness, we had multiple survivors in our group, and little treasure as well, so our DM ran the survivors through another zero-level adventure.
I played two characters for the next adventure. First was Kevin, the former tax collector now turned Lawful Thief. He has an Intelligence of 7 so I played him kind of dim and a little reckless. I also played Thisbee, the female halfling. Thisbee has a Strength of 4 so we kept joking that she can barely support the weight of her own head. She has no melee ability (-2 to hit, -3 damage), despite halflings penchant for two-weapon fighting. She was pretty useless.
In the new adventure, our heroes went to a crumbling keep to rescue some captured villagers and some gold stolen by some beast-men. We fought some beast-men, desecrated an ancient crypt protected by magical traps, splashed around in a murky pool looking for some magical glowing skulls, flushed said pool down a drain like a tub or toilet, killing one of our wizards i the process, found an ancient magical viking boat in a subterranean lake, fought a giant tentacle monster, then unleashed a terrific battle while climbing an underground ziggurat to stop a ritual sacrifice and save the villagers. Doing so brought the entire cavern down and we rode the viking ship through an underground river into a lost canyon, where we'll pick up next week.
By the end of the adventure, Kevin had aquired a mutation of an owl's beak and feathers for hair, and Thisbee had gained the mutation of over-eating. She's going to gain forty-something pounds over the next month, reducing her Agility (her best stat) and movement rate, making her even more useless. Kevin's mutation was fun, however. Anytime someone would say something to Kevin, he would respond, "Who?" The other person would usually start answering before they got it. I got Nick several times. It was hilarious! Kevin became the most lovable asshole in the group.
I'm liking DCC so far, but I'm kind of a sucker for games where you play nobody schmucks who are barely able to survive.
In other news, I'm writing an adventure for Swords of Cydoria set in the city of Norukar. I'm about 75% finished with the core writing. Now I need to fill in some gaps, descriptions of things, and details. Then I go in with the rules portion of the writing: monsters, NPCs, room descriptions, etc.
I'm also doing additional development of Exiled in Eris whenever I can. I can't wait to run this setting using.. AD&D? Swords and Wizardry? Castles and Crusades? I haven't decided.
More next week!