Sunday, July 19, 2020

Memory & Reason - More Mentzer Dungeons & Dragons - More Campaign Workshop Thoughts

So today I got a lovely email from Joe The Lawyer & it got me thinking about the wilds of Connecticut. These days work keeps me pretty damn house bound & looking after my father whose as much a curmudgeon  as ever. He keeps doing sewing machine repairs to spite his Parkinson's. That's right he won't let the disease ravaging his nervous system keep him down. Yet I'm constantly over the man's shoulder such is the way of son's with their fathers folks. So is there an 'OSR underground' in the Northwestern corner of Connecticut?! Yes in point of fact there is! There are group of four or five dungeon masters who part of a small network of friends that keep in touch in my neck of the woods. The reason for this is Mentzer Expert Dungeons & Dragons

Larry Elmore's artwork in these box sets were on point. 

Once upon a time back in '95 or so the Brass Dragon hobby shop was in full swing selling Magic the Gathering & having 40k. The gaming scene was thriving (sort of ) in the Northwestern corner of my side of the state. It was & sort of wasn't my regular haunt for gaming instead 'War & Pieces' was more my home for gaming. The Brass Dragon was more of a kid's kinda hang out for Dungeons & Dragons. 'War & Pieces' was a far more older clientele but I still pulled quite a few players & friends from the Brass Dragon. Ironically it was George who also a bit of a regular at both places. George V. was/is a friend of mine whose also a bit time antiquarian & old school war gamer.  Ironically War & Pieces West Hartford space is now a Games Workshop store.  Sigh but it has excellent reviews on Facebook. So I don't judge. 

George is a part of a group of antiquarians & wargamers, these are grognards whom Covid has done a number on. The reason that I discovered them is because these guys had a Mentzer D&D game going on over at War & Pieces. I was invited to sit in & was then invited into a few private Conventions. At the time White Wolf was all of the rage with the LARP's & who not down in West Hartford but also up in the Northwestern corner of Connecticut. Lots of these older gamers & hobbyists didn't want to deal with a ton of the PC crap that was going on back then. Yes there was a lot of friction in the hobby in certain quarters. Let me tell you about the bollocking that I got at Dragon's Lair for a very unPC game I was involved in back in '95 or so. But this is a blog entry for another time. There have always been two very distinct parts of the hobby in Connecticut. The business side & the hobby side but its been the hobby side that has given me the most satisfaction. It was during this time that I got involved in a bit of Napoleonic war gaming with this group. The guys make their own figures & we played a ton of dirtside & full thrust. 

Full thrust led me to run a mixed Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition/ Mentzer Dungeons & Dragons  hybrid version of  Gary Gygax's 'S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks'. Here's the rub though folks this game was set hundreds of years after the arrival of the 'Warden' & another star ship was set after the science vessel. 

What happened when the first contact between the D&D party & new vessel didn't go well for the player's PC's. But the TPK was actually well received & it was a valuable lesson in playing with the right group of players in the hobby. 
To loop this around, Lamentations of the Flame Princess's Carcosa was something that I talked with George about. He's a fan of Lamentations because of the Mentzer connection often watching Ivan Mike's Lamentations of the Flame Princess. 

I'm still tossing this science fantasy campaign setting hybridizing Venger's Cha'alt/Carcosa especially after having a beer with George. We discussed a classic review of Carcosa with a friend of mine. 

 But it was really the second part which got me thinking about real facts & solid adventure opportunity during game. There's a free version of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess referee book here. And this second part of this review got me thinking about the idea of the remains of a spawn of Shub Niggurath from Carcosa being reabsorbed by the mass of the Outer Goddess herself. And its here that the alien cosmic nature of the monster mother goddess kicks in.. 

Dominique Signoret artwork of 
Shub-Niggurath  from  -

A new villain race member with the memories of the old one are spawned into existence. The rather unique nature of this alien goddess makes this not only possible but likely. Raggi talks about this sort of tactic with the 'Grindhouse referee's manual'. Monsters & villain NPC should be unique. 

Its this unique aspect which is going to be the basis for part of the religious conflict brewing within this campaign setting of mine. The question becomes how & when I can execute this campaign into play. But it brings up some of the brewing of the conflict between the Cha'alt region's black pyramid factions & Carcosa. 
 rsk350 – Page 11 – Age of Dusk

If the religious elements & conflicts are driving the whole cloth war fare of this setting then it stands to reason that warfare is going become one of the driving forces for adventurers regardless of tactical advantage or for intelligence advantage over the enemy. 

Monstark on Twitter: "I made a bunch of cover and monster art ...

Artwork credited to 
@Monstark who did some great &
very inspirational work on Cha'alt. 
Could this far future world of lost & damned Lovecraftian madness be connected with the rough & ready parts of HP Lovecraft's Dreamlands as a part of a very high end far future millions of years from now?! 

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