Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Kara'Zad Campaign (Beginnings)

First Things First 

For the past few months, I've had the good fortune to play in a sandbox D&D campaign run by my good friend Jamie Adamson. This is a D&D 5e campaign. Now, anybody who knows me, knows that my personal preference where D&D is concerned runs toward Original D&D (1974), B/X D&D, or AD&D (and related clones or play-alikes). Having said that, I love D&D 5e. Sure, part of it is having a great DM who can take what we do as players and run with it to create fun. Part of it is playing with a great group of people who get along with one another. But part of it is also the rules and D&D 5e gets a lot of things right, for me.  

D&D 5e strikes a good balance for me between too few rules and too many. It gives me enough options to make mechanically differentiated characters without requiring a lot of bookkeeping or making it necessary to map out builds levels in advance. It provides real tactical combat options without slowing martial conflicts down to a crawl. Further, it provides a lot of backstory options baked into the Rules As Written that help me flesh out my characters. All of this makes D&D 5e my favorite official edition of D&D published since AD&D 2e. 

And that's why I'm blogging about it here. As to the game at hand....

We're jumping into this Actual Play report at an inconvenient juncture because, frankly, it hadn't occurred to me to start blogging about this at the beginning and I haven't been taking notes. 

Who's Playing Who

Alexandro Trivaldi: Mike W. 
Aton: John S. 
Chinh Ro: James H. (Me) 
Telamon Venaquil: Tim J. 

What Has Gone Before

Welcome to the city of Kara'Zad, an ancient and dangerous desert city on the edge of civilized lands, a frontier trade hub and frequent destination for those brave or foolish enough to take up the mantle of "adventurer". It is a group of such folk that this recounting concerns itself with. 

This is the tale of Alexandro Trivaldi, a self-professed human noble with dubious moral leanings and a silver tongue; Aton, a member of a winged kobold race that hails from a floating continent high above the domains of earthbound men; Chinh Ro, an aarakocra monk who has returned to the larger world after spending more than a decade in isolation tending to an ancient ruin; and Telamon Venaquil, an elven cleric who has arrived in the city from far away lands to spread the Word of the One True God and honor the name of his fallen friend, Galen. 

These four confederates have joined together to carve out a living in the city of Kara'Zad. Aton is the proprietor of the Winking Gecko, a lower class drinking establishment. Telamon is the keeper of the Church of Saint Galen, named for his fallen comrade, and conveniently located next door to the Winking Gecko. Alexandro is a mercenary businessman interested in both self-enrichment and bettering the standing of his fellows in this hard city. Chinh Ro is simply happy to be back in the world and is reveling in all that it has to offer (he's especially fond of ale and whores).  

Together, these four have foiled the scheming of a devious manservant and a band of brigands who were responsible for relieving Alexandro of his many belongings. They have battled (and defeated) the foul servants of Fungar, God of the Mycanids, and earned the ire of Yeenoghu, the jackal-headed god of the desert (and reigning deity of Kara'Zad). They have cleansed the subterranean elven crypt beneath the Church of Saint Galen of evil influence and, in doing so, rediscovered the undercity of ancient Kara'Zad. Here, they discovered many gnoll warriors working to loot the undercity and defeated them in battle, narrowly avoiding death. This is where our tale begins in earnest....