D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

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D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 7th January 2009, 12:33 am

Hey

Spoke to Iain about this a couple of times.

I have an idea for a Ravenloft type campaign that would be set exclusively in and around a haunted castle.

The idea would be that the PCs would all have some kind of relationship to the castles Count/Baron/Lord (whatever) and would be invited to join said C(o)unt at dinner. The adventure would begin from there.

I envisaged a mechanic whereby rather than XP, PCs would simply gain a level per adventure. The game would be primarily story based (although I'm sure some combat would creep in). I have some failry major twists and turns in mind for the game, mind, so players would need to be prepared for some 'fluidity' or development of their character ideas.

Also some dark secret as to why Ravenloft may want you wouldn't go amiss. I was thinking it should be Good and/or neutral PCs though rather than evil bastards. Just so the characters motivations are not entirely self centered. It can get abit wearing when all the PCs want is money and power!

I also envisage it being fairly short, perhaps ten sessions or so (hence the increase in level per session). I would DM the main story thread, but with room for others to do one offs and perhaps to continue the campaign further once the main story arc was concluded.

In terms of setting, I imagine this being a horror type setting. I was thinking that it would be part of Ravenloft, but perhaps a pocket domain rather than the main deal. The PCs would likely not recognise the name 'Ravenloft'.

I was envisaging a type of scottish highlands setting, but perhaps more civilised than that may initially sound, so while swords and armour are prevalent, full plate would be very rare (more a museum piece) as there had been no war in the land for sometime.

Magic would exist but would be the stuff of secret societies and legend (think call of cthulhu). Spellcasters would start with some spells perhaps inherited from a family member or gained through a secret society. There'd be room for researching new spells, but finding new magic would be a rare occurrence and the setting would be decidedly low magic. That's not to say magic items would not be found, but they'd be intrinsically linked to the story rather than simply being 'treasure'.

So I guess I'm just asking if people would be interested in playing such a game?

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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by illumination on 7th January 2009, 9:14 am

sounds cracking. count me in. Smile
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by ^^Truth on 7th January 2009, 9:33 am

Absolutely. Sounds great.

If you want low magic, as in spells. What you gonna do about clerics/druids (if applicable) and potentially sorcerers? Cos there's nothing to stop them (at current) from doing what they like in regards to magic.

I'm likely to play a cleric, although I think Trom said his next PC would be a cleric, so to get him off wizards for a bit, I might opt for a bard. So you know in advance.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 7th January 2009, 11:05 am

Cool cool

Hmmm...yes that's a good point I hadn't considered Sorcerers/Druids/Clerics etc.

Hmmm....I'm loath to ban any particular character class, I just don't want too many spells flying around, dimension doors etc, might spoil that atmos somewhat.....

I'll have to think on that....
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 8th January 2009, 2:06 am

OK having thought about this I think this might be a way of doing it.

First off, clerics:

Clerics learn and cast spells in the same way as mages, ie from scrolls, they have to memorise spells per day, they only have those they've learnt available to them etc etc.

Secondly, normal 'priests' in the setting cannot casts spells, so your character, if you have a cleric, would be viewed as a miracle worker or saint if their abilities became widely known.

Druids and Bards

Also would use the wizard mechanic for spells, with bards learning spells through song sheets perhaps rather than spell scrolls.

Not sure about wildshape, I'll cross that bridge if I come to it I think!

Sorcerers

Unless anyone can think of a way to do them then let me know, otherwise I reckon we'll just say they don't exist in the setting. If anyone really wants one we can discuss.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by ^^Truth on 8th January 2009, 5:33 am

Awww come on, I said I might have a bard, but I ain't fucking siinging songs.. can't they just learn certain low-level magics from wizard/cleric spells?

Also, another idea is like.

Totally ban magic and use a sort of ritual spellcasting system, where in people find ancient texts (maybe need certain CHA/INT/WIS to use certain things) that allow them to use certain rituals and magics. Which doesn't have to be like D&D at all, could be more like CoC magics.

People would then sorta pick like... warrior, ranger, barbarian, bard, thief and cleric. (clerics still good cos they can turn undead and they're tougher than thieves anyway).

Dunno, just an idea.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 8th January 2009, 8:54 am

Well I don't wanna change things too significantly, I just don't want people throwing out spells that are inappropriate in a horror setting, ya know?

I'm fairly flexible about all of this.

As for bards, well it can work whichever way really, song was just an example, if your bard were a dancer then it could be through dance, a story teller then through tales etc etc.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by ^^Truth on 8th January 2009, 12:37 pm

Magic missile, colour spray, mage armour, glitterdust, invisibility, fireball, stoneskin are all inappriopriate in a horror setting. Infact, all types of magic, bar horrifying magics are. You'll find that 98% of the PHB spells are inappriopriate to horror, depending on how horrifying you want it.

This mostly occurs because "magic" is a form of "higher power" that the PCs learn to possess. It just ain't sword and shield, thus with it, PCs tend to feel more secure.

Your choice anyway. Personally I'd change it a lot. I mean, it's a seperate campaign/game, it doesn't have to follow the core rules and for horror you want the PCs to feel as in adequte as possible. (give Mike's PC a small dick!)
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by Tromador on 8th January 2009, 7:15 pm

I think if you are culling magic, then you should simply ban the classes. The concept of "yes, you can play the class but it's going to be badly nerfed" is a recipe for an unbalanced party.

If you want to include certain class abilities such as undead turning, make them a feat or something else which can be purchased as background.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 8th January 2009, 7:30 pm

Actually the majority of spells are perfectly OK, it just comes down to the way you describe their effects;

Magic missile would look out of place, but if you describe it as 'the man chants in a language you've never heard, suddenly from nowhere invisible blows land on your body' it becomes less fantastical.

Fireball - 'a nearby candle suddenly falls to the floor, it's fire spreading as if some kind of oil were spilt over the floor creating a raging inferno'.

Even polymorph self would be OK - the PC's a lycanthrope!

It's not a case of trying to nerf spellcasters, rather I'd just want a bit of control over the spells PCs choose so I can avoid a situation where I say 'the abomination crawls towards you gurgling foul curses' and the PC goes 'OK, I D-door away'.


Iain's right about the PCs feeling powerless being a key point in making a horror setting work, but fear not I have that in hand ;0) Like I said alot of this is going to be story based.

I'd like to actively encourage the use of magic users though, as I like the idea of secret societies, priests who the local populace think are a saint, bards who have an odd way of getting what they want all the time.... etc etc. I like the idea of someone casting summon monster then all of a sudden the howling of wolfs can be heard outside the keep..........there's alot of situations where the spell casters add to the horror atmos, particularly if other PCs are not magic users and are seeing those effects for the first time. The mage polymorphs into a wolf, how are the other PCs going to react?!!

Just be prepared for me to occasionally say 'ya know I'm not sure I can see how fly would work in this setting' when you're choosing your spells.....
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 8th January 2009, 10:03 pm

Oh, PS mike has to roll 1d4 for the number of inches he's allowed ;0)
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by ^^Truth on 8th January 2009, 11:29 pm

Sure bro. Only suggesting.

All sounds good anyway dude.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 8th January 2009, 11:30 pm

Nah that's cool, cheers. The less work I have to do on it the better :0)
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by ^^Truth on 8th January 2009, 11:44 pm

Btw 1d3 is more spot on.

Also, remember the HP thing.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 9th January 2009, 12:11 am

What was the HP thing?
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by ^^Truth on 9th January 2009, 12:40 am

DM rolls and records HP.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 9th January 2009, 1:37 am

Oh yeah....that was about our 5th Guinness as I recall!

Yeah - Iain came up with this idea whereby the players would not know their hit point rolls, they'd be kept by the DM instead. The idea being that this would lend a degree of uncertainty to combat as you'd never be entirely certain how close to death you were.

Thoughts?
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by ^^Truth on 9th January 2009, 7:02 am

I think it works with horror, but you have to make sure the descriptions are right is all, so that the players are vaguely aware of how hurt they are.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by illumination on 9th January 2009, 9:35 pm

firstly, have no problems with the spells mods, the DM has spoken and sounds reasonable to me.

secondly secret hp is fine, not convinced what additional 'horror' or suspense it adds to the game to be honest mind. knowing your say 90% dead and could die on the next hit isnt much different to knowing you have 7hp's left. damage rolls and npc/monster actions are very unpredictable anyway.

i personally would consider a very low hp system for a horror setting. CoC gives you something like 13hp average and it never goes up. maybe a flat +1hp a level for d6/d8 PCs, +2 for d10/d12 classes. that would make folks fear death a bit more! =)

just a thought, it is indeed joe's trainset. i dont think we should bust his nuts too much on how we want it but if he's canvassing the group no harm in throwing out ideas i guess.
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by The Dark Power on 10th January 2009, 1:15 am

Cool beans

Hehe, maybe I will use that system, just not tell you ;0)

Happy for people to chuck ideas about really, don;t wanna be too draconian with it all as we are meant to be enjoying it!

Can I assume people are generally in favour of the campaign idea as a whole? I'll develop it abit more if so.

Not sure Virt....sorry Zirt (;0) has seen this thread yet now he's back on the scene...........any thoughts mate?
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by ^^Truth on 10th January 2009, 3:04 am

Yes you can assume that.

Also, I'm for ridiculously low HP as well. Would make a nice change. Won't balance at all, in any sense, unless the campaign is run from like 1st to 4th level and little higher, but ya know =)
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Re: D&D 3.5 - Possible future Ravenloft Campaign

Post by #1! on 10th January 2009, 8:10 am

I LOVE low-magic shit. Hence me liking low level shit much more than high level stuff. I really like the idea of not knowing your HP. I'ma say this sounds supa cool and I'd be interested in it, if my schedule permits it.
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