The search for the legendary "key" to Castle Zagyg continues! None know the form the key takes, only that it was rumored to be somewhere in the Dark Chateau, which recently opened it doors for exploration and plundering. Possession of the key is rumored to yank the castle from whatever space-time continuums/alternate realities is bounces around in. Last night's group cleared out a big chunk of the chateau, and made it to the basement. There they started a fire which drove them out of the mansion, with treasures and henchman corpses in hand. Magic, both rare and mundane, was discovered, which when sold yielded much gold.
This game will be run regularly on Friday nights at 9pm EST, until we all pass out from sleep deprivation. Players are welcome to join in at any time during the evening. However, due to the celebration this opening weekend, I will continue the third chapter of the Expeditions tonight, at 9 pm, until about midnight (having to go to work tomorrow is a bitch.)
Why run an "out of the box" Flailsnails campaign, you might ask? In the PnP game which I DM, I made up the world/setting, nations, politics, etc. and give the players situations and they run with it. I made up the political intrigue, dungeons, challenges and npc's. I did drop in Keep on the Borderlands and combined it with an old Judges Guild module that I liked, then twisted it around and changed it a bit to make it fit, and later threw the TOEE at them, but I would say that 80% of the campaign I made up.
Why do I use other stuff? Well, I don't have all the time in the world to create stuff and pre-made, if done well, gives me a base to tinker from. It works for me and the group. Also it's nostalgia. Back when I was a kid I never ran Keep on the Borderlands and wanted to try it out. TOEE was my favorite module, and I wanted to share that with my group, a few of which had never heard of it before. Its sort of like sharing a fond memory from the past with new people.
For the Flailsnails Zagyg stuff I just started doing, I am starting off using the Castle "by the book". The Castle comes with a couple levels and a tower or two all detailed. From there I will work on filling in all the rest of the levels with my own creations. Starting off with it "as published" is for three reasons--first, it gives me time to develop the other levels, and second many people wanted to play CZ, but due to a lot of bullshit it got pulled form the shelves very shortly after release, and relatively few copies made it into gamers' hands. Due to its layout it never made the torrents, as far I I can tell. This is my way of sharing with people something I own which they are interested in.
Third, there's the matter of not having much time in the day for a complete 100% DIY world/campaign creation. I work a regular job, work on a career alternative at night, and basically want to run a game of D&D for people, with minimal preparation on my part, which they will enjoy. I want to come home on a Friday night, after working a stressful shit job all week, and just let loose with a beer and pretzels ConstantCon game and have a good time with people. I want to forget about the shit I deal with all week at work---foreclosure, divorce, bankruptcy, terminal illness, broken homes, drugs, crime and jail time, and all the rest of the shit that life has to throw at a family. Running a pickup Flailsnails game, with random fun creative people in an alternate world, lets me do that.
I guess the bottom line is "did people have fun?" No matter the style or edition they play we can all have fun with it. Hopefully you enjoy my game. I like to view DM'ing as an art, in that its something you can always get better in. In the spirit of that, I welcome your input, good bad or in-between, on how I might be able to do things better to make for a more enjoyable experience for all.
Hope to see you tonight and on Fridays!