Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Even More Commentary On Using The OSR Resource Book Dark Albion By Dominique Crouzet & RPGPundit For Extended Campaign Play

I just got back home after a very long industrial sewing machine repair job and I want to get back to talking briefly about the extended campaign play options available in the Dark Albion setting book. PC's in Dark Albion gain a social standing and have differences in their wealth in the beginning of character generation. Now one would think that this would make it rather restrictive for campaign or adventure play. Not so because there is one great equalizer going on. The Rose War which is tearing Albion apart from within. All of the violence, depravity, courtly intrigue, and more is going on right under the PC's noses. This is a grown up game of politics and violence set during one of the most brutal times Albion's history. This isn't a joke its a fact and it also brings up the fact that the events of Albion follow the real world history of the Rose War verbatim. One might think that this would make campaign planning a pain in the ass. Not at all. Here's why.


Albion's version of the Rose War opens up the wounds of society enabling various classes to rub elbows and even get along together. This means that adventures can be set against or around the battles, courtly politics, and more of the Rose War. This isn't some for the DM to ignore instead its a central spoke of and theme of the book's setting. By 1st level your characters are minor pawns on the board of the war, 2nd and you've moved up in the world of Albion, and by Third level your a mover and shaker because of  the fact you've survived and your reputation follows you around for good or ill. There is a "Prior Event Table" that randomly determines backgrounds for PC's allowing their history to mesh together both on the short term and the long haul.But your going to have to expect blood and guts on the pavement of history. Even though there isn't any remotely gross or adult in Dark Albion there is a degree of uncertainty that pervades everything in the setting.

With so many royals, backroom deals, simple good old boy politics, and black magic plus demons thrown into the mix Dark Albion delivers on its promise of extended play by giving the DM reams of history to pull from for their own extended campaigns. This also plays into the idea of the domain gaming being the end all of this sort of an rpg campaign. Domain play is at its heart a beginning and Dark Albion provides a robust set of guidelines to keep a campaign going for years at a clip.

Because of the nature of the Rose War being both royal driven and such a bloody affair the PC's are going to need the favors of a royal as a patron and that enables the idea for and extended campaign within a military slant to it. This sort of a campaign supports the PC's being mercenaries and sharing an adventuring life on the road and more as they follow the progress of conflicts within the Rose War's arena  and how it will impact upon their patron. Dark Albion is the perfect hex crawling or domain level game because everything is set up out of the gate but not etched in stone as some would have us believe.

He who gets to sit on the throne are going to affect the lives of millions for generations to come. And its going to be the PC's who are going to help or hinder this effort. This is almost the complete opposite of other old school games where the outcome in a module is predetermined or completely rail roadie. There is a wide open playing field when it comes to extended campaign settings and levels. Dark Albion is an adventure setting with lots of areas just off the map that has the perfect venue for PC's to set up their own domains or to take over someone else's domain or kingdom through circumstances of war, battle, or other factors. This is another place where Dark Albion shines by providing a ton of old school resources to really show off the wide openness of the campaign setting. All in all you get a lot of bang for your buck from Dark Albion and it really makes getting that campaign going for years to come a snap.

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