So the Traveller game is going well – one of the things that KR asked for during the game was that she really wanted to “get more of the picture” of this multi-timeline campaign that she’s played in several times.
So there’s been some heavy exposition dumps over the course of the campaign, and as of last session they’ve learned a datapoint that has never actually been learned or made explicit before in twenty years of playing.
The group now also has a better focus and a new, more focused mission – plus a couple of new members. KR’s character left to pursue her goals, and brought in a new (old) character while an NPC joined the party in response to the summons on the part of Sir Vicqmarre.
In other news I’ve been thinking about the next game, which is almost certainly AD&D. Sometime here we’ll be able to play in person again, and at that point I’ll lose a player who is the middle of moving to Boston – that said I’m likely to get one or two new players.
I’ve been thinking hard about AD&D and the various (almost entirely) good differences between it and 5e – and the one or two places where there’s a couple of good ideas. Inspiration (and Advantage/Disadvantage) is honestly a pretty decent idea – and several games have newer editions with similar mechanics (Call of Cthulhu 7e and Traveller 5e come to mind immediately), plus a couple of things from other editions.
But I’m so much happier with the game as a House-Ruled AD&D 1.5-1.75e.
The proto-idea is a Village of Hommlet-style startup, aka my (now very) old Northanger Campaign, but set in some more hostile location like the mountains, the fens, maybe some badlands?
(KR has already cast a definitive vote against fens because she doesn’t want to play in a swamp.)
But, like Northanger, it would be a small human village, with some kind of significant ruin nearby to explore and several other exploration sites that are both known and will be stumbled over. Basically a version of a sandboxy, somewhat West Marches-esque campaign. The big question is if the players are locals, exploring outside the village for the first time in a generation or two, or outsiders who know nothing and just arrived in town. Both options have their upsides and downsides.
Non-human PC’s options to start off would be limited, and with AD&D we get statistic and alignment restrictions on classes again.
(Yeah, I’m ignoring gender-based limitations, duh)
Honestly, I’m shopping around for a different term for “race” – currently I’m leaning towards Genus or even more likely Clade – though I might just settle on Ancestry or Heritage or something like that. But if I really, really want to reboot things with less problematic descriptors – and I’d want to capture a biological piece and a cultural piece – plus the social class piece.
I think that this week that I decided that the “significant ruin” is just going to be Module B1, In Search of the Unknown, the very first module I ever ran, back a million years ago. The other sites might simply be a series of older modules, probably adapted slightly.
But the statistic requirements means that despite being open to many, many of the old “NPC” classes from Dragon magazine (and probably having to seriously adapt the Cavalier and the Barbarian) players are most likely going to be mostly limited to the “basic four” – Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, & Thief.
Other classes I can see fitting in?
Honestly, that might be a factor of people rolling well, and qualifying for another class and wanting to play it. If someone can play a ranger, then I’ll figure out the local Ranger Lodge or something, same thing for a Witch (and a coven), or a Paladin (which will spur the decision on what religion the town worships).
There’s already a couple of things in the town that I want to do that are against type, but I’ll get to those later…