Saturday, April 11, 2009

The OD&D Real Life!

Yesterday, while idly looking at the dust jacket blurb of a book on the founding of Jamestown called Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America, my jaw dropped as I read this:

Four centuries ago, and fourteen years before the Mayflower, a group of men--led by a one-armed ex-pirate, an epileptic aristocrat, a reprobate cleric and a government spy--left London aboard a fleet of three ships to start a new life in America.

So let me get this straight...

What we have here are four rag-tag individuals who, having once established themselves financially and socially close to home, leave with a small army of hirelings, followers, and henchmen to establish a stronghold on the edge of an untamed wilderness. And this group of professional adventurers includes:

* A Fighting-Man ("a one-armed ex-pirate")
* A Magic-User ("an epileptic aristocrat"--epilepsy, of course, often being mistaken for magical powers in days of yore)
* A Cleric (a "reprobate" one, no less)
* A Thief ("a government spy")


On the boards a few months ago Paul Elliot talked about running a classic B/X D&D mega-dugeon campaign using pretty much the exact classes cum professions listed above and using limestone caves on the aristocrat's grounds as the dungeon. The idea struck me as quite clever, especially since the conceit would be that magic and magical items only work underground, where the rules are different. I see no reason why the same rationale couldn't be applied to the New World as well.

And this is yet another endorsement for the Gryphons of Califerne campaign that I'll run...some day...
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