Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Using High Level Adventures - Commentary On The World Book of Khaas: Legendary Lands of Arduin & Cha'alt

The balance between the divine & mundane sometimes has to be thrown out of the window. The play is the thing. But back in 2016 I learned several valuable lessons when dealing with both Arduin & Godbound. Could these lessons be applied to an upcoming campaign? 

Wayback in 2016 I had a group of players of White Wolf's Exalted rpg who wanted to take a spin on Kevin Crawford's Godbound.  So they wanted to play through your traditional Dungeons & Dragons candy campaign setting. Well that didn't happen. Instead I grabbed my copy of The World Book of Khaas: Legendary Lands of Arduin. I got a physical copy of this bad boy when it came out as a favor from Empire's Choice;"The World Book of Khaas, Legendary Lands of Arduin is an exciting, 800+ page volume: a literal encyclopedia of the world of Khaas and the country of Arduin. The World of Khaas, Legendary Lands of Arduin is a massive volume based on David Hargrave's work, once and for all throwing wide the gates on the Plateau of Forever; allowing entry not only to Arduin, but into the very world.

Gone are the days of wondering what lays beyond her borders.Departed are the times when your have dreamed of roving her dusty trails or foraging in the dangerous woods of the world.Its landscape is open, unraveled for the eye to behold. Khaora, the wondrous continent that houses Arduin, is mapped, its geography open to your eye. Joining it are not only the rest of the civilizations on the continent but also glimpses into the other six continents as well.
The World of Khaas, Legendary Lands of Arduin has 821 pages and over 80 professionally rendered campaign maps, showing the World of Khaas, the Continent of Khaora and the Country of Arduin in a level of detail never before seen in any published campaign setting.
This comprehensive guide to the world was inspired by Dave Hargrave. It was written without mechanics or game system material and is compatible with d20 or other fantasy role playing game system.
This soft cover version of the World of Khaas features the original full color cover and while trimmed to a shorter 821 pages than its predecessor the black hardcover version it actually has even more content than that original publishing! This new printing includes 10 more pages interspersed throughout the book and over 700 changes to spelling, grammar, organization and layout. How did we do this? We consolidated charts, condensed the index and reorganized the material to slim down the manuscript while taking away nothing. Everything from the original production is in this amazing volume. With the new method of publishing you get to enjoy the original full color cover as well as additional material!""

Now here's the thing according to some this book isn't worth the price of admission & Arduin is a generic fantasy world given the usual old school & OSR  blah, blah, blah. But a quick check through of Noble Knight Games order entry reveals a sold out tag.  A quick look at the Board Game Geek site reveals a score of 9.33 for 
The World Book of Khaas: Legendary Lands of Arduin.

The monsters of Arduin made short work out of our little band of godbound adventurers. How?! There are several monsters who act as the dungeon guardians to some of the Arduin dungeon locations. Arduin Eternal's The Arduin Eternal Bestiary & Treasure book  has several what would be considered Godbound Rpg worthy foes. These can make short work of any adventurers even demigods. 

Even with a complete TPK I learned several valauble lessons about the Godbound system. The fact is that Godbound are not in anyway like White Wolf's Exalted per say. Words can give advantages but the combat system of Godbound is abstracted enough to throw a curveball to even harded old school players as well as newbies. What this basically means is that the DM has to know & keep track of the combat system.
So what does all of this mean for my upcoming Cha'alt/Godbound rpg campaign?! Well several things. First I've kept my notes from those game sessions.

 The players had a great time but as DM Steve pointed out recently it gonna take a steady hand to navigate both the gonzo & the mythological during a game. Kevin Crawford is no fool. Combat in Godbound doesn't take buckets of dice to do & miracles are very powerful the equivalant of cosmic powers but they to be tempered with the reaction on the campaign setting. Cha'alt's gonzo wasteland is a road accident waiting to have its factions happen. They react & will act on the PC's regardless of the circumstances.

There are several reasons when dealing with player's PC's in a mythological or divine game that the DM has be aware of what's in play during a game at the table top level:

  1. Make sure that all encounters are posed for the adventure. The PC's players are going to do the unexpected & unimagined. Roll with it. 
  2. Divine or demigod PC's can & will try to force an issue let them. PC's often destroy themselves through their own overcofidence. 
  3. Natural or unnatural disasters make excellent high level traps for player's PC's. 
  4. Famine, plague, war, & death make perfect adventure opportunities besides dungeon crawling but should lead into a full blown dungeon crawl. 
  5. Even lower level monsters are perfect foils against powers of party of demi gods. 
  6. Technology is a pain in the ass to the divine. Use it over & over again. 
  7. Stars & other celestial bodies make excellent dungeon locations. Challenge the player's imagination & stretch yours. 
  8. Get cosmic & mythological with your dungeon design. 
  9. An adventure is only as good as the divine or mythological NPC. 
  10. Never be afraid to push the boundries of a game adventure.. 

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