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Norwold Campaign
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TOPIC: Norwold Campaign
#44486
Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
Hello fellow collectors!
Yesterday, I led the latest session in my ongoing Pathfinder campaign and as we spoke about past times a player mentioned that she knew exactly when we started this. It was in the summer of 2009 after her vacation in canada. That started me thinking so I decided to share some of the ideas, adventures and of course DF set-ups I used so far. Over the course of the next weeks (maybe months), I will share some insights into my campaign and my use of DF.
The reason I do this is because I hope you guys out there will be commenting, cheering, making suggestions or maybe even steal some ideas with and from me. Unfortunately, I only started to make pictures of my DF set-ups recently, but I will see what I can share.
So, how did this all start? It started February 2009 when I was only a casual Gamesmaster in another campaign, when I decided I wanted to have an ongoing campaign of my own again. I had just taken a longer break from DMing and wanted a comeback. After studying several game rules, I stuck to Pathfinder, since 4e reminded me too much of a certain online game. The decision was made, Pathfinder it was going to be.
Next I had to decide the setting and the mood of the campaign. I decided to stick to my favourite setting which is the classical D&D world of Mystara, but wanted something totally new for me as well as for my wife (who accompanies me on such ventures for over 20 years). I decided to play in the setting of Norwold (as described in CM1 Test of the Warlords), which is a region very similar to canada and thus very frosty. Since the details concerning the setting in that module were slim, I had to work out quite a lot myself. I wanted to start in the summer, so I had to use a trick. Since the region was very far off to the north and my players characters were to be from a roman-inspired, colonial country (Thyatis), I set the theme and mood as an expedition with focus on diplomacy, discovery and the unknown. A bit as in the saying, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
I had recently bought Campaign Cartographer 2 and decided to put together a map so I could work onward from there. This is what I came up with.
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R&P(x3), Room(x3), Ruins (x3), WA, WA 2, WA 3, ABS, CS(x3), CPS, CataSet(x3), CRW(x2), CLS(x4), CCS, RotA(x3), ABS 2 (x4), RotA 2(x2), DoE, DoE WA, DoE R&P, MBS(x4), MBS2(x2), Ice Caverns(x3), Fantasy Floors
 
#44487
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
This now is the Version 2.0 done with Campaign Cartographer 3, but the content is the same. Starting with only this map had several advantages.
First, I only had to flesh out the sites on the map and could devise some plots taking place in the major places.
Second, this gave me time to work out more maps and link them somehow to the first and thus having not to flesh out too much in the beginning.
Next came the part of looking for players which wasn't hard. My friends had wanted me to start again anyway so they were ready. They even bought the rules themselves which they had never before (older players have more money since they usually already have work). After some time, we had the 'cast':
Dharra of Sweetwater - my wife's human druid,
Rhufus Asmundson - a male Ostlander fighter (viking style)
Kjellberg Rainargar - half-elf ranger/sorceror (viking style, old friend of Rhufus)
Rowinia - female elf rogue (female player, too)
Miranda - female human sorceror (female player)
Marius Vorenus - male human paladin
After this stage it was only a matter of stealing ideas wherever I went. I definitely wanted a civilization like the Vrykuls from World of Warcraft as villains. I stole from there, and other background books I got my hands on. I have to explain that I measure roleplaying sourcebooks by meters by now, not in numbers. I have a full collection of Birthright, Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, D&D and a lot of 3.0, 3.5 material, too. Heck, I am better equipped in that regard than the local roleplaying store.
Anyway, finally the day came when we started to play for the first time. The beginning stage of the campaign included secure a shelter and enough food for the coming winter in the new colony, which was named Landfall. Before the ship landed though the scouts told some gnoll footprints and a centaur colony to the north. The players had a map without the details, of course. They decided to visit the centaurs first. On the way there they stumbled upon a wrecked ship near the beach and captured it as building material. Inside they found a still intact very sturdy desk which they donated to the NPC wizard, who from then on identified all magic items for them for free.
The stern of the ship was used as a shrine to Marius' goddess Ka and soon he found a follower willing take care of it while he was absent.
The journey to the centaurs was uneventful and they learned from them that they were expert ale brewers and were willing to trade it for some metal tools (they didn't have that technology). This was a very interesting issue by the way. The whole region being uncivilized meant no currency whatsoever, which meant barter was in high demand.
Anyway, they also heard of a giant spider's nest which was ready for clearance in exchange for a magical dwarven-forged chain shirt, which was a gift of some dwarves from Nydad, who used to visit them regularly to barter from some ale. The found out that the fearless leader of the centaurs called Finnigan Strongbow (Strongbow Clan) was secretly afraid of spiders...
They went there, killed them and came back for the prize. Then they left them and were told the centaurs needed elven steeds.
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R&P(x3), Room(x3), Ruins (x3), WA, WA 2, WA 3, ABS, CS(x3), CPS, CataSet(x3), CRW(x2), CLS(x4), CCS, RotA(x3), ABS 2 (x4), RotA 2(x2), DoE, DoE WA, DoE R&P, MBS(x4), MBS2(x2), Ice Caverns(x3), Fantasy Floors
 
#44488
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
After their meeting with the centaurs they decided to follow the Forton River westward until they reached the ruined keep near the mountain range. They soon discovered this keep was run by a bold kobold tribe which managed to hold the gnolls to the north at bay by using vile tactics, traps and their illusionist shaman.
After pestering the players with lots and lots of arrows and some traps, a huge umber hulk appeared in the courtyard of the ruined keep (a pity DF Ruin Set wasn't to be released way later). The look on the players faces after me telling them it was an umber hulk was worth all the trouble (it was a monster way too hard for characters of their level). Of course it was the small kobold Illusionist that had cast an illusion. Rowinias single moment of glory was when she decided to charge it and roll between it's legs. She succeeded but was now standing right in front of the illusionist and his 3 bodyguard cronies...
The fight ended well, with all kobolds killed except for the illusionist who fled deeper into the adjoining iron mine. This keep was later annexed by Landfall and is now delivering a steady supply of iron to Landfall. Maybe one day the illusionist will return for revenge...
Traveling further north along the mountain range, they reached an old cairn west of Skaufskogr Hills. In there they managed to liberate several hundred Warforged (I had decided to want some Warforged introduced into my campaign, so I inserted this encounter). Reaching Dagoni Tower wasn't too difficult and they learned all about these monastic psychic-active monks. There they acquired a quest to go into Razorthorn Abyss and obtain the stolen Emerald of Pure Thought as well as a sample of the razorthorn bush (of which only the root would be of interest). They went there and obtained all items needed. This was also the first time I used DF to represent the underground complex of the gnolls living there. Unfortunately, I didn't make any pictures. It was a tremendous success though, my players liked it and it was also a very exciting fight. The monks gave the chars a reward in form of Murlynds Spoon (usable for 100 persons though).
They went to Tawar Black Axe's tomb only to discover the interred gnoll chieftain had become a mummy and destroyed it. And finally took part in a great druid meeting at the standing stones with participating druids from all over the place. There they found out about Frost Elves, the Vrykul and a dwarven community to the south called Nydad.

This will suffice for today and I will continue as soon as I can, if anyone is interested at all.
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R&P(x3), Room(x3), Ruins (x3), WA, WA 2, WA 3, ABS, CS(x3), CPS, CataSet(x3), CRW(x2), CLS(x4), CCS, RotA(x3), ABS 2 (x4), RotA 2(x2), DoE, DoE WA, DoE R&P, MBS(x4), MBS2(x2), Ice Caverns(x3), Fantasy Floors
 
#44494
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
Please keep the adventure coming! It's very interesting reading.

Thanks for sharing.
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#44510
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
I like what I am reading! Please keep posting.
How easy was it to make that cool map?? Does the software have a steep learning curve or was it relatively easy?
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aka Dwarven Ale on Facebook Old School Gamers, Old School Miniatures, and Fantasy RPG Terrain groups.
 
#44527
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
@ Arcarius: I had to teach me myself. I stuck to the tutorial on Youtube by Joe Sweeney and the rest was trial and error, error and error.


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#44528
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
After returning to Landfall, they received a quest to travel further east and try to discover the dwarves of Nydad, which they did. Thus, I had to introduce the next map.
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#44529
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
Their travels east (which is 'south' or down on the map) brought them first to the Running Horse Clan, which is a very secluded elven clan. Here they learned about an orc tribe living north-east on a plateau who constantly raided the elves and even hunted the wild horses on the plains. They were asked to stage a punititive raid on those orcs.
Reaching the plateau, they discovered the village of the orcs and nearly killed them all including their wyvern pet. They couldn't know that the shaman had an old artifact (the shaman didn't know himself), that was as long as it was intact the key to a curse that left the former (evil) dragon ruler in its dead, skeletal state on this plateau (they had seen it on the way in). During the fight the artifact was destroyed and the red dragon released, which would result in trouble later.
Afterwards they decided to travel further east since the elves reported seeing some human lumberjacks. They reached the Thorp Falias after several days and had a disastrous encounter with some hellish cows (spitting fire and usually looking quite evil). Try to calm some hellish cows while the farmer keeps yelling at you not to kill them or else he will starve. They discovered that the farmer had found a new trough in the wood which used to be a sarcophagus of an old abandoned temple. The cows had drunk from it and the evil magic did its work. After dispatching the trough (while kiting the cows), all returned to normal.
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R&P(x3), Room(x3), Ruins (x3), WA, WA 2, WA 3, ABS, CS(x3), CPS, CataSet(x3), CRW(x2), CLS(x4), CCS, RotA(x3), ABS 2 (x4), RotA 2(x2), DoE, DoE WA, DoE R&P, MBS(x4), MBS2(x2), Ice Caverns(x3), Fantasy Floors
 
#44647
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
Leaving the thorp Falias, they headed out north just to reach the Pool of Sorrows. It's name derived from the fact that there was a tree near the pool which was possessed by an evil spirit which being driven out of it went straight into the deceased wyvern inside the pools depths. A tough fight ensured which saw the heroes victorious. Having no other coprse to delve into the spirit was banished and the pool returned to its natural state instantaneously.
While traveling through the plain, they saw herds of wild horses and discovered that those were the very same ones they had seen the elves of the Running Horse clan riding. This might be the ones the centaurs needed...
Having been informed by the elves that the dwarven town of Nydad lay to the north, they began searching for it. They discovered it and helped those dwarves killing the kobolds living in the caves under the town. This adventure was inspired by the pathfinder module Crown of the Kobold King. I didn't play it like it was printed but rather used some of the stats inside.
The dwarves promised to send some engineers to Landfall in order to make it safer for winter and traded some coal with them, too.
Afterwards they travelled back to Falias in order to examine an old shrine to the goddess Terra in the eastern parts of the woods. After finding that shrine, they found a strange device near it which they tried to dabble with. Unfortunately, this was one of a series of ancient, linked teleportation devices and the whole party was teleported away.
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R&P(x3), Room(x3), Ruins (x3), WA, WA 2, WA 3, ABS, CS(x3), CPS, CataSet(x3), CRW(x2), CLS(x4), CCS, RotA(x3), ABS 2 (x4), RotA 2(x2), DoE, DoE WA, DoE R&P, MBS(x4), MBS2(x2), Ice Caverns(x3), Fantasy Floors
 
#44648
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
Those 2 maps belong directly to the right of Map 1 and 2 respectively. The adventurers were teleported to #1 on Map 4 (which they of course didn't know then).
They found themselves inside a cave where another of those teleportation devices existed. It became quite obvious quickly that this device, though able to be teleported TO was broken and didn't allow teleportation FROM it to a different location. Another somewhat disturbing fact were those really realistic statues of all different kind of humanoid creatures inside the cave. After exploring it (it was rather small) they found 3 gorgons (bull-like creatures whose breath turns to stone) outside the cave. They attacked the fully grown one, killed it and fled before the 2 smaller ones.
Discovering their current location by first traveling south, they decided to turn north again and thus went on to discover Map 3. There I was, having all kinds of ideas for Map 4 and tons of prepared adventures and they turn to Map 3. This is the best advice I can give to DMs out there. Be ready to improvise...always.


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R&P(x3), Room(x3), Ruins (x3), WA, WA 2, WA 3, ABS, CS(x3), CPS, CataSet(x3), CRW(x2), CLS(x4), CCS, RotA(x3), ABS 2 (x4), RotA 2(x2), DoE, DoE WA, DoE R&P, MBS(x4), MBS2(x2), Ice Caverns(x3), Fantasy Floors
 
#44662
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 7 Months ago  
Great maps. I'm the opposite of you, I'm running 4e in the Pathfinder world of Golarion. I loves me some Golarion! :)
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#45270
Re:Norwold Campaign 2 Years, 5 Months ago  
Here I will present my latest setup for this ongoing campaign. Since the characters reached Windreach, a major city in the Wyrmteeth range, I setup a a sample of the streets actually not to play in them but to get them the feel of a city after so much wilderness.








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R&P(x3), Room(x3), Ruins (x3), WA, WA 2, WA 3, ABS, CS(x3), CPS, CataSet(x3), CRW(x2), CLS(x4), CCS, RotA(x3), ABS 2 (x4), RotA 2(x2), DoE, DoE WA, DoE R&P, MBS(x4), MBS2(x2), Ice Caverns(x3), Fantasy Floors
 
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