Friday, 25 May 2012

Temple of Elemental Evil: War of the Roses Style.

Now that I spend about 10-12 hours a day painting figures for a living, the Isle of the Earthshaker campaign has pretty much died. I was largely making up dungeons and encounter locations as I went, so prep time for each weekly game was fairly considerable. I just don't have the free-time anymore to put so much work into writing a campaign.

The solution is to re-start with a published campaign, fleshed out with a few extra adventure locations from published modules. I had an inkling to convert the WFRP 1e Doomstones campaign back to it's original format (AD&D) but that would be a fairly substantial task. Plus, the story driven nature of the game makes regular attendance by the same group of players pretty important. That isn't really compatible with my current group's"sit-in when you can" style of campaign play.

So, I'm thinking of running Temple of Elemental Evil. It has it's flaws, but it should do the trick. I'll take a look through my early module collection for an alternative, but I'm thinking Temple of Elemental Evil for the main dungeon, Stonehell Dungeon as an alternative location nearby and simply sticking other adventure locations from modules on the map as and when required. Not exactly a masterpiece of creativity but it'll do.

The twist is that I'll be setting it in an alternate-earth version of Real-World history during the War of the Roses.


I have a few ideas in mind that need fleshed out. For the moment, Clerics and Paladins can be Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Servants of the Dark One. Druids are, well, druids. Wizards use coin magic (spell preparation consists of enchanting small coins which unleash the magic contained within when thrown),  Elves come from the wildest, more remote parts of Wales, Ireland and Scotland and are more British-Fae elves than they are Tolkeinesque. Half-Elf's are called Changelings, Dwarves come from Scandinavia and can be found in parts of the British Isles settled by Vikings (yes, Dwarf Vikings!). Half-Orcs are humans with an ancient Fomorian bloodline, rather than being actual half-orcs.

All humanity knows that the legendary creatures of fire-side tales and dark, ancient myths still lurk in the wildwoods, driven from the lands of humanity by the likes of the Sainted George and King Arthur in the distant past. From time to time, a village is burned, crops or beasts are stolen and children vanish. All know this to be the work of creatures from the wildwood, and every house in Britain keeps an iron horse shoe above the door and ancient runes carved on their window-shutters.


16 comments:

whiskeytangofoxtrot said...

All my YES.

Hmm... a Half-Orc Fighter/Thief might be good - a horrid, dirty fighter, motivated by mercenary tendancies...

Or an ex-Man At Arms, out to regain a little coin after being dishonourably discharged.

When are you thinking of starting?

Lead Legion said...

Middle of June or thereabouts. I take it you're in then? Your good lady is more than welcome to come along as well.

scottsz said...

I've been devoting a lot of time and research to an alternate ToEE, and I find that placing the Battle of Emridy Meadows at the center of things in chivalric, human-vs-humanoid, wargame context... a lot of material writes itself:

* The Elemental Eye as an evilly corrupted ancient faith.

* The Furyondy-Veluna fusion (a medieval-esque 'superpower') would certainly stimulate some towards treachery to avoid tyranny and political dominance.

* If the Battle was only ten years prior to the timeline of Village of Hommlet, then the material of 'T2' should include veterans/survivors of the battle.

War of the Roses is a great timeslice to use as a backbone!

Lead Legion said...

Damn Scottsz! I'd never thought of that. Excellent suggestion. I'll say that the Yorkists rose up because the Lancastrian Kings were falling under the influence of a Dark Cult.

The Battle of Emery Meadows will be replaced by the battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. I'll set the campaign in 1481, ten years after the battle but four years before the historic return of the Lancastrians.

You rock Scottsz. Thanks for the ideas.

scottsz said...

Well done, sir!

My research also pointed to Tewkesbury! "Blood Meadow"!!!

There are some map differentials, and geographically, it's tough to pin down (there are some clues in the old Greyhawk Gazetteer which read like a wargame report).

I think you're in good stead with your geography and historical parameters!

whiskeytangofoxtrot said...

I'll invite her tonight!

And whether or not I'm in all depends on what nights you're running...

But, even if I'm not, I support this idea wholeheartedly. It's too awesome not to.

SAROE said...

Everyone does Dwarves as short Vikings. With Scottish accents.
What you need to do is make them from France.
They don't guzzle ale-they sip wine.
No long beards-pencil mustaches and goatees.
They would be VERY stylishly dressed.

Lead Legion said...

Good point. I was looking to keep that stereotype because I know it will appeal to some of my players. but now that you mention it, the idea does appeal to me. I might even take it one further and make them all Greeks or Italians. Leonardo Da Vinci (who's alive during this period) would be an Italian dwarf!

So I'll simply have it that dwarves live throughout Euopre, anywhere there are mountains, and are fully integrated with local human society. So French, Swiss, Italian, German, Greek dwarves etc.

scottsz said...

@Saroe, D. Brian: Make 'em very renaissance, and if there's a royal court...

make sure their jester is a really tall elf!

Lead Legion said...

Lol. That's a class suggestion that is.

Hendrid said...

Always liked campaigns based (loosely perhaps) on the celtic mythos and folklore of the British Isles. Good links to that milieu in your stuff.

I like the WOTR ToEE thang too, definitely knocks on all the doors.

Lead Legion said...

I've been doing a lot of Dark Ages and Classical period gaming lately, so I thought high medieval/renaissance would be a nice change.

Hackbutts!

Ragna said...

Sounds like fun! My players are getting closer to Hommlet now, but I don't think they should be starting ToEE at that level yet (2nd level hackmaster 5th characters) so I hope you share your players experiences :)

Lead Legion said...

Hi Ragna. I love keeping up adventure logs, so I'll certainly try to. I'm planning on starting them with Eye of the Serpent (with a few modifiers to the start of the adventure) and placing Hommlet at the bottom of the mountain.

Bard said...

This sounds like a really great idea -- I like the historical twist applied to a classic module. I'll be interested to read how it plays out!

Uchiha Madara said...

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