Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1

    5th Ed Campaign Blog

    Back in 1997-2000 I ran a three-year Birthright AD&D campaign that ended with the unfortunate (but also badly DMed) wipe of a party. 3e and 3.5 were fun in a different direction (Forgotten Realms, hearkening back to basement d20 rolls when I was 16) but the inevitability of marriage and kids destroyed our regular group and 4e couldn't get it flowing again. Now the 5e is a thing, it became clear to friends old and new that now was the time to pick up the game again. The questions were how, where, and who would DM?

    Entry 1 - 3 of 4

    I started a new job about a year and a half ago and discovered my manager was a Pathfinder player. Eventually I moved to a different department, but our friendship took the form of WH40K games instead of Pathfinder - I discovered and groomed two 40K players in my building who were both part of existing Pathfinder games. Their stories got me back into the roleplaying itch, but their games were full and my old crew just couldn't make a Pathfinder group happen.

    Lo and behold 5th Edition and its similarities to 2e/3e, which led to stories back and forth with Pathfinder Manager (Thief from here on in) and somehow I related my failure as a DM back in college. He asked which campaign world I liked, and I said Birthright was always my favorite. I was surprised and amazed when he was familiar with it but wanted to know more, and within two days the creative juices for a new Birthright campaign were flowing.

    I knew right away where and how I wanted to DM a campaign - it would be a Brecht "group of regents" type of party. Back in the '90s the group had revolved around Tuarhievel and eventually the Giantdowns, and I wanted a change of scenery from what I consider the closest to "normal" D&D, Anuire. I also wanted to maintain the flavor of Birthright and I thought choosing a specific and uncommon flavor might make that idea work best. Surprisingly the two 40K/Pathfinder coworkers (Thief and Fighter) were excited about the idea of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign where Dragons were pretty much a no-go and Dungeons might come second to Court Intrigue or Building Roads.

    I decided to enforce the Birthright campaign setting as I saw it - true magic required a bloodline, races were limited, classes and gear were also specific to the campaign world. No gnomes, no half-orcs, no dragonborn. Sorcerers were out, but I decided to take a chance on Warlock and I'm considering Khinasi monks. Warlock was a tough call, but original source material for BR includes outer-planar beings (see Warlock of the Stonecrowns) so we'll see how that works out. Elves, casters, and magical items would be rare.

    I happily found four players: Thief, Fighter, and Warlock (an old friend), along with To Be Determined, one of the guys from my original high school days (an older friend!). So far I have two Brechts and an Anuirean/Brecht raised to be an Anuirean fighter so he could play something a bit more platey - the idea of a landsknecht didn't sit well with him. So far all three are blooded, though their bloodlines are all minor and contain no particularly powerful blood abilities. To roll bloodlines I used the original 2nd ed source material for bloodline derivation, strength and blood abilities. For now, I've allowed the 5e bonus of +1 to all ability scores for a human, adjusted by the ability score adjustments for Brechts and Anuireans in 2e.

    Given the nature of the new system, the haphazard conversion I am doing for Birthright, and me being out of a DMing loop for a good decade, I already plan on allowing the characters to do some tweaking and fine-tuning of their characters at 3rd or 4th level.

    In one week is our first game, and I can only become more excited as it approaches. More details as we proceed!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Delazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Best of luck! I also recently started a Birthright campaign, but so far we're using the 2e rules.

    Have been pondering about converting to 5e, but I think I'l wait until the 3 core books are out before making the jump...

  3. #3
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Melbourne, Australia
    Good luck! Hope you have fun, and don't let the characters have too much fun.

    Information Communication ILLUMINATION!!

  4. #4
    Entry 2 - 3 of 4 in a Different Way

    We wrapped up Week 1 with one of the most enthusiastic players (Thief) missing the session due to a sick wife. That's what you get for importing.

    The party consisted of a Rjurik barbarian, Brecht warlock and Brecht/Anuirean fighter. This early into the campaign, playing with the new rules for 5e and developing a new group, I am keeping things fast and loose - change will come.

    In the port city of Saarmen in eastern Muden, a gathering of adventurer-types was called by Erek Schmitt, famous local explorer who wished to mount an expedition to the Klessberg in search of lost elven ruins. Individually the party members decided to join the expedition. Setting sail aboard a Khinasi freighter loaded with Brecht furs, they prepared for a sea journey to Drachenward, where they would winter in Drauch and set off for the Klessberg as soon as spring allowed. The Khinasi captain was glad for a group of ten stout fighting men to accompany his ship, as he feared pirates when the ship's route carried it past the Zweilunds and Grabentod.

    Passing through the Zweilund Straits without incident, the ship was attacked by sahaugin as it reentered the Krakennauricht. Since I was expecting a thief party member, the players struggled with the combat and the ship was eventually overrun, most of the crew killed or dragged overboard. Due to some incredibly bad dice rolling, the captain and most of the other expedition members also met their fate early. It was, in hindsight, a pretty complex combat with more DM-dicing-to-himself than I should have had, but it led to a fierce and frightening battle before the players ultimately drove the remaining sahaugin to retreat. Ultimately, Erek Schmitt was killed but not before revealing to the party that he was delivering a powerful artifact to Drachenward.

    With only a skeleton crew and most of the party too injured to help, the ship limped along until it encountered a ship out of Grevesmuhl's Black Ice Traders. Their wild tales of sahaugin and the signs of foul violence led the party to be arrested for piracy - fortunately the party had preserved one of the sahaugin corpses in the ship's grog. Maybe Khinasi don't drink grog, but they did on this trip. Making shorefall on the northern peninsula of Eiresmachen, the party is locked up waiting to be hauled to the capital of Daugren for charges of piracy.

  5. #5
    Session 1 - 3 of 4 II - Electric Boogaloo

    Thief, of all the people, couldn't make it! "My wife has strep throat and I can't get a babysitter" - Excuses! Alas, the show must go on, especially on opening night!

    Erek Schmitt, explorer and adventurer extraordinaire, held a recruiting drive in Saarmen to find a handful of good adventurers to explore the mysteries of the Klessberg. The party, strangers all, individually signed up for the great adventure of a lifetime. After Warlock got a little too friendly with an elf mage (trying to look up an elf's robe will earn you a boot to the face, can't kill a character 20 minutes into the game), the party met to board a Khinasi dhow which would sail them from Saarmen to Drauch, there to ride out the winter before heading for the Klessberg in the spring.

    The Khinasi captain, himself no slouch with a spell, was happy for the extra fighting types aboard his ship. With a lot of sailing between him and the Sea of Dragons before winter arrived, he needed to pass up the coast of the Overlook and past its dangerous pirate kingdoms to make good time.

    The ship was able to cross the Black Ice Bay without incident, but guard was doubled as they passed the straits between Grevesmuhl and the Zweilund Islands. No trouble came to them in the straits, and the captain and crew celebrated one night where they were too far north to worry about Zweilund pirates and too far south to worry about Graben pirates - only to be attacked by sahaugin.

    The party fought off wave after wave of sahaugin, but I admit that I was planning for there to be a thief in the party as well so things didn't go as well as hoped. Erek and the other adventurers were killed defending the ship, while Warlock, Barbarian and Fighter did their best to save crew before retreating into the sterncastle. Eventually they were able to counterattack and sweep the sahaugin from the ship, but both Fighter and Warlock barely survived.

    Pickling a sahaugin corpse in wine as proof of their existence, they assessed their situation - not good. The ship was damaged and making poor time, and most of the crew was dead or too wounded to sail the ship. Along came a cog of the Black Ice Traders, sometimes pirates and sometimes merchants of Grevesmuhl. Sensing opportunity to claim the Khinasi dhow and its rich cargo of Mudenese furs, the crew of the Black Ice ship placed the characters under arrest for piracy.

    The party ended the night trapped in a jail cell, in a Black Ice camp on the Eiresmachen Point, waiting for transport to Daugren to await trial as pirates. With the pickled fishman they were able to convince some of the locals of their innocence, but once pirates condemn others as pirates, it is best to clean up the mess . . .

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. AoC campaign arc
    By AndrewTall in forum Main
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-31-2012, 10:00 PM
  2. Migrating game data and fan fiction to blog
    By ebatalis in forum The Royal Library
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 09-23-2012, 10:40 PM
  3. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-07-2011, 02:19 PM
  4. Campaign
    By Sorontar in forum Category
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-28-2008, 02:41 AM
  5. Looking to run a campaign
    By Paul Eves in forum MPGN Mailinglist archive 1996-1999
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-14-1999, 02:44 AM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.