Saturday, December 11, 2010

Campaign Plans

As my recent post about making a wilderness map should show, I am starting to give a bit more thought to the world outside of Nightwick Abbey and the nearby village. 

I'm also starting to consider how I want to run the campaign outside of the dungeon.  So far both groups that have ventured into the dungeons beneath Nightwick Abbey have spent very little time in town.  This usually consists of buying supplies and hiring hirelings.  I'm fine with this, but such activity can't sustain a campaign for very long.

My current idea is to have the world creep in on them.  Have NPCs make themselves known as they hear about the party's adventures.  Present mysteries within the dungeon that can only be solved by talking to people in the village. That sort of thing.

If you play in my campaign stop reading now.

Ultimately I'm going to stick to the Basic/Expert divide and allow them to spend their first three levels mostly in the dungeon.  I'm going to have the entrance to the fourth level of Nightwick Abbey sealed off with some strange, magical sigils.  The party will have to travel to a city with a library or some similar thing in order to figure out how to open them.  This will, I hope, cause them to interact with the world outside the dungeon but still keep the dungeon as the focus of the game.

Eventually I hope to get into the Companion rules for BECMI D&D and let them build their strongholds and manage them and what not, but that is a long way off.

Nightwick Abbey is the focus of the campaign, but it is a tent pole and what use is a tent pole without a tent?


  1. "The party will have to travel to a city with a library or some similar thing in order to figure out how to open them."

    I love stuff like this, both as a player and as a dm. As a dm though, I've often been dismayed by players for whom an idea like "let's check in a library" seems oddly out of reach. One thing you should plan ahead is a way of letting them know what their options include without having to bash them over the head with hints.

    The first thing that comes to mind is a random encounter with a librarian transporting a rare book. Another idea might be seeing a wanted poster for someone who's stolen a book from a library. Books were a big deal back then, as you know, and libraries charged for the right to look around inside reading their books. The idea of taking a book with you was, of course, totally out of the question.

  2. Another tried and true method is to include maps or documents in treasure leading them to another location outside the abbey.