Saturday, September 21, 2019

ACK's Dwimmermount + Dark Albion Equals a Massive Campaign Setting Idea As Your Old School Campaign

Near the Black Forest of Germania people are going missing, weird relics & strange magics have been filtering into the cities of Germania, tales of monsters stalking the countryside, and now the entire region around the city of Muntberg has disappeared like it never existed!?
Tales of centuries old cults becoming active again people disappear in the night have started again. All of this is happening even as tales of the country of Avalon boiling over in civil war! People are whispering that the olden days have returned & it is all the work of that devil mountain Dwimmermount! Yes, I'm talking about crossing Dwimmermount with Dark Albion here & your right its madness in a way. But let's just go along with this thought exercise here for a moment. How did all of this come about?

Not my actual tea but one created by Nikon D70

This morning I got together with some other dungeon masters & gamers for coffee, we were talking about OSR gaming. We spoke at length about some of the challenges of using Dwimmermount with other products specifically lower fantasy and sorcery products such as Dark Albion. One of my coffee clutch pointed out an article from The Soldiers of Misfortune website which has an interesting article breaking down the War of The Roses;"Many historians consider the masses of defeated mercenaries returning from France to be one of the main causes of the Wars of the Roses. There had undoubtedly been dynastic conflicts in England before, but apart from the long feud between Queen Matilda and Stephen of Blois, there had never been such an enduring and bitter struggle for the English throne. The unemployed veterans of the Hundred Years War were the ideal reservoir for anybody looking for experienced and ruthless fighters. In addition, in recent decades the English had settled many colonists in Normandy, and these were now also returning having lost everything.

Even more dangerous were the struggles of the great magnates, trying to control the increasingly insane King Henry VI. The war in France had long served as a valve allowing the power-hungry nobles to expend some of their pent-up energy. The most dangerous contender for power, for example, Richard Duke of York - also a descendant of Edward III and thus a Plantagenet - had served several times as a commander in France. After the final English defeat at Castillon (1453) the nobility focused their energies on the struggle for power at court, many of them looking for compensation for lost estates in France."
Those bitter and unemployed veterans of the Hundred Years war are the key here. Everything here is set up for the return of these veterans to become the catylist for the events of the War of The Roses'. While Dark Albion follows the exact events of history it does not follow the actual supernatural forces that would have a lot to gain by the falling of Albion itself. This includes the Elves of Dark Albion, who have a vested interest in humanity and restoring their rightful place as Albion's rulers. Their cults have infiltrated every level of society across Dark Albion's Europe as per Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos. But what does this have to do with Dwimmermount? Centuries ago the mega dungeon was a site of a battle between the other world Eld & the Dark Albionian Elves. The Elves with their dark magics were able to drive away the mega dungeon location into the realms of Fairyland & for a time all has been right. But now with the intrigue & bloodshed happening across Europe especially Albion. The mega dungeon has returned & when the first few relics poured into Muntberg filtered through the hands of adventurers the region's fate was sealed. More & more relics have made the town  even the entire region unstable as the Aztoth pulls them back into the world of the fairy and spirits.

Landsknechts mercenaries have come to Albion to seek work but also to ask the temple of the Unconquered Sun to send inquisitors to find out what has happened. The returning of the hidden valley of Dwimmermount in the Black Forrest regions of Germania have not gone unnoticed supernaturally at all. The foul star creature's worshipers have seen signs in the sky that point to coming violence that could upset their master's heinous plans for Germania. They have sent several groups of cultists under the guise of adventurers to investigate but not one has returned. Now the temples of Albion have sent their own under guise of Landsknechts back to their homelands even as war threatens to tear Albion apart from within.

The Lancastrian army of Margaret of Anjou had ill-disciplined Scottish and French mercenaries, as well as northerners and Welshmen, in its ranks during the campaign. So the black magicians of the French are well aware of the return of the devil mountain & it's black secrets. They long for the power & possible advantages that it could give their country but they don't realize the price. For the more power & relics that adventurers, mercenaries, and others collect the further from Albion's European reality are they taken.

As events unfold around the war and its ripples that echo round Europe what role will the PC's play? Can they unravel the mysteries of 
Dwimmermount or become part of its legacy of black evil & treachery?

Events in Albion will unfold around the war even as the power & foundations of  church of the Unconquered Sun are shook to the core. Such as when King Edward IV and his Yorkist troops are beseeched by a priest to stop the pursuit of their Lancastrian foes who have requested sanctuary from the abbey. Everything can change on the whims of war, the power & desperation of the factions drive such a campaign. At its heart and soul the domain level of play is determined around the events of the Rose War. A mega dungeon or adventure location such as Dwimmermount is going to be incredibly important. Rumors or legends of such a site are going to attract both the royals and their circles & the inquisitors especially if the place is next door in Germany.
This is the exact sort of thing that Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos was created for, that is the creation of factions,cults, weird happenings & more centered around the forces of Chaos within cults. Yes, a lot of this is going to fall hard on the shoulders of the dungeon master to alter the flow, tone, and more of Dwimmermount but there is a system to hand such a task. Adventurer, Conqueror, King is a perfect system to merry to such a task. Dark Albion & ACK's work very well together & I'm surprised that more folks haven't talked about it.

While this is only a thought exercise, its one that has the gears turning in my head. I can see several of the systems of Dark Albion filling in ACK's backstory very quickly & being able to turn adventures out around the areas of  Muntberg with impunity. There are several serious hang ups to such a campaign, one of which is to be able to find experienced role players who would be willing to take on some of the challenges of this.
These include the following: 
  • Dealing with the tonal issues of  Dwimmermount's OSR game setting voice verses the low sword & powder levels of Dark Albion 
  • The campaign wide issues of Dwimmermount's doors opening in Dark Albion's setting. Not to mention the factions of the dungeon should they have influence within the setting of Dark Albion. My vote is not to have them have any at all. Dwimmermount should be a self contained adventure location. 
  • Dwimmermount would be an adventure location sponge tempting fools, idiots, and adventurers across Albion's Europe and could be a location that would take years to pin down. The War of The Roses would continue to rage onward. 
  • This sort of a campaign would require a lot of time on the DM's part and be a commitment of love. He or she would have to have a real love affair with the material and history of both Dwimmermount & Dark Albion. It could work very well and be very rewarding.
This could work very well as one hell of a great campaign setting and idea that would take years to play through. This sort of a game lends itself to the sort of a game that inquisitor PC's would love to play through.

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