Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Totally Different Take On B10 Night's Dark Terror By Jim Bambra, Graeme Morris, Phil Gallagher For Your Old School Campaign

"Barely one day's march from Kelven, the uncharted tracts of the Dymrak forest conceal horrors enough to freeze the blood of civilized folk. Those who have ventured there tell how death comes quick to the unwary - for the woods at night are far worse than any dungeon.
But you are adventurers, veterans of many battles, and the call of the will is strong. Will you answer the call, or are you afraid of the dark terrors of the night?"

So I've been thinking of aligning the events of the  Thirty Years War  with B10 Night's Dark Terror. 
B10: Night’s Dark Terror (1986) was made  the TSR UK brain trust of Jim Bambra, Graeme Morris, and Phil Gallagher.  You can't possibly use B10 with the Lion & Dragon rpg system?! Right? Wrong given the fact that there are a few improvements in black powder weapons, medicine,etc. from the Medieval period its not a stretch to move the time line forward a bit after the Rose War. Cut the reload time in half, adjust some of the healing checks, update the maps, revamp the religious issues & your ready to go! The Thirty Years war is perfect campaign fodder. We'll see where religion plays it hand in this campaign!
"The Thirty Years' War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648."  Why would Night's Dark Terror work for a Dark Europe game? Fairyland has suffered extensively during the history of the world up till this time. Well sort of.
Fairyland is a collection of heavens, Hells, & pure Chaos where the dreams & souls of mankind are the stuff supernatural fuel. Given the religious nature of the Thirty Years War well this is perfect fodder for bringing goblins back into the world. Certain groups of Elves have been using the cover of the war to move among humanity almost undetected. Wherever Chaos touches or washes against reality we've got mutation, supernatural issues, and the old Elven hills & pagan groves in some places are still opening upon Fairyland. So the Elven courts are taking full advantage of the foolishness of Humanity & in someplaces opening the gates to Fairyland where their own alien wilderness is taking over! That's right Night's Dark Terror is the Elves uncovering the ruins of a former fortress right in the middle of their realm that hasn't been used in centuries. They're going to feed on the souls of those fools who fall into the wilderness to expand their own empire. This means that Night's Dark Terror could be set in Hungry, Bohemia, Austria, or the Black Forrest of Germany.


Don't forget this is a wilderness crawl and it can swallow entire parties quite easily and even with black powder weapons parties can easily die in the blackness of this adventure. I would probably set B10 Night's Dark Terror in the realms of the Hungarian wilderness. The elements of the slavers and more cry out for it. The realms of  Russia are way too far away from the clash of the Thirty Years war. When could this adventure be set? Right around the time of the Bohemian Revolution of 1618.
"The Bohemian Revolt (1618–1620) was an uprising of the Bohemian estates against the rule of the Habsburg dynasty that began the Thirty Years' War. It was caused by both religious and power disputes."
The Thirty Years War is just starting, events are far more up in the air in Europe then they've ever been. And there's rumors of the Devil about in every nock and cranny of Europe especially around the Czech lands.

But B10 Night's Dark Terror is a second level to forth level adventure & players want an adventure path right back into something resembling a character level  ascendancy. Fear not because by using Gary Gygax's  B2 Keep On The Borderlands its possible to get the PC's right into the thick of events!  The PC's are minor noble or upper class adventurers who get themselves sent onto the border of Bohemia or Hungry to look into rumors of supernatural horror. The woods, dungeons, etc of the Caves of Chaos are actually in Fairyland. The keep itself has been touched by the forces of Chaos & everything begins to come together from there. The PC's are low ranking royals whom the various families want out from under foot. They have the important job of investigating the border and they're out of the way of the events of the new Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, coming to power!

B2 could get PC's up to level second or even third level but B10 Night's Dark Terror is perfect for shunting PC's with Elven fairy slavers taking full advantage of the chaos & fog of war. Even with black powder weapons its not going to make a blind bit of difference against an owlbear or worse.

So why use B10 Night's Dark Terror for Thirty Years War Campaign? Because this is a transition module and takes PC's into the big leagues. Should they survive they'll know of the dangers & possible alien threat that Fairy posses to the world of men. Beyond the petty religious squabbles of Europe there are alien things nipping at the heels of the world.

So how does a dungeon master deal with the serious nature of the Thirty Years War? There are lots of old wounds & prickly bits to deal with. That's actually very simple, you treat them as you would with a bit of humor & go the route of the classic BCC Black Adder television show. Have a good time and make sure everyone is open season and I do mean everyone! Don't leave your players hanging!

Don't worry dear readers I haven't abandoned Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. We've got a hook up campaign & adventure point coming up!

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