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Friday, February 21, 2014

Perverts Run Amok

I have three games going, now:

(Mondays) Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG

(Wednesdays) D&D Encounters

(Fridays) The Shadow Pantheon (D&D Next)

I discuss the DCC RPG game here. Encounters, I'll get back to you once I've actually read the new adventure (which, yes, I have to pay for). Today I'd like to talk about The Shadow Pantheon.

The idea of this campaign is steeped in the events of previous games. The gist of it is that there's this evil god Zev (all of the gods of my campaign are former characters who ascended) who wants to plunge the world into eternal night. He's assisted by a bunch of zombie gods, demon lords and primordials. Our heroes are trying to stop Zev's agents in the massive city of Olwynn.

My idea is to connect a whole bunch of "old school" published adventures together and link them all to this overarching plot. I knew I wanted this to end with the Labyrinth of Madness, Monte Cook's 2nd edition adventure which is said to be "the most difficult adventure ever made". I love the idea of my players braving killer dungeons, one after another, honing their skills and surviving hideous, ridiculous traps, all of which will get them ready for an adventure I have waited 20 years to run.

Here is the art I had commissioned of Zev and his Shadow Pantheon:

From left to right: Shar (Forgotten Realms goddess killed by Zev), Piranoth (bad guy from Revenge of the Giants), Timesus (bad guy from The Orcus 4e path), Orcus (killed in said Orcus path), Aoskar (from the Planescape setting) and Zev, wielding the wand of orcus.

I did a lot of reading and was finally able to settle on which adventures I'd run. Many of them will be "abridged", as in, I'm cutting them down to the 10-15 best rooms. Time is precious, after all!

I started with the Dungeon of the Bear, a truly zany old school dungeon featuring cursed items, pirahna pools and a crossbow the size of a tractor trailer.

The first session recap is here. I kept the dirty stuff vague, but maybe don't click on it if you're easily offended.

I have had a weird phenomenon develop over the years. I find that sexual stuff adds a lot to the game. Especially in a group with males, females, straight and gay, like mine are. I have been exceptionally lucky to find great players with vastly different lifestyles to play with.

So over the last 6 years or so, the perverted stuff has gotten more and more pervasive and ridiculous. It boiled over in my Skull & Shackles game and finally jumped the shark with me. I am hesitant to even tell you the things that went on in those games. It was done amidst much laughter and light-heartedness, but in that pirate game we pretty much plumbed the depths and then some.

The filthiest pirates in The Shackles
By the end of the campaign, it was all about making sweet, sweet love to anyone and anything. The modules were almost the backdrop for it. And that was not cool, as those modules are awesome. Skull & Shackles is without a doubt one of the best series of RPG books I have ever read. It is a fantastic campaign.

So once that was done, I worked with my players to tone it down. And now, with The Shadow Pantheon, I was ready to fire up a truly epic, back-to-the-basics game of Dungeons and Dragons which heavily featured - Dungeons to explore and Dragons to kill.

I am blessed to have many players to choose from. So for this campaign I grabbed my two favorite players, George and Jessie. And then I decided to bring in two newbies I'd met at work, both female. I'd told them about my games and they wanted in. Cool right?

They'd heard about the dirty stuff. They liked it. And what I got was one character who was literally Robert Downey, jr. As in, he somehow got transported from earth to my world of Nyrod. And... a transgendered cleric who shifted sexes each day, but always had a penis.

OK, well, there's lots of possibilities there, right? Now obviously these concepts could end up just too silly. I always remind myself that every time someone makes a silly character in one of my campaigns, after a few sessions the joke wears thin and they either make a new guy, or they start playing their silly guy serious. One of the greatest characters in the real life 23-year history of my world is Penn Silverfist, whose original name was "Natas Silvernuts". Yes. "Satan" backwords.

This session was full of breast-milk distribution, and absolutely obscene methods of clerical healing which could not merit an R rating.

After the session I decided to pare down the group to just George and Jessie. The newbs are great people, very fun to hang around and drink with. But I am dead-set on running a more traditional game.

We should start back up next friday. I'll tell you more as we get closer.

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