Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

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NPCDave
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Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by NPCDave » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:05 am

Has anyone run a D&D 4th edition campaign?

If so, can anyone describe what they have done? And what resources they used?

I haven't tried 4th edition yet, but I am thinking of ways to use the Blackmoor 4E book along with the best adventures and supplements made for D&D 4E.

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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by Freedom92 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:42 pm

Interesting topic and I've had players ask me to do the same ever since I got the core books and Heroes of the Feywild as gifts. I eventually bought some of the other books off a friend who needed the money so I've got a mixed lot. I've also got the Gamma World sets and the alpha mutations and omega tech cards are good for those tech and special mutations, the bestiary from them all works wonderful for the things either in the Egg of Coots control or the Valley of the Ancients. I think the Dark Sun campaign setting and Creature Catalog might be useful as well in regards to creatures spawned from arcane tinkering, mutating, or alien origins. Maybe you could use stuff from the Eberron supplement as well, the artificer might fit in.

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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by NPCDave » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:38 pm

Yes my thought is we got a very solid release in the Blackmoor 4E book, which would normally have seen additional support, but in a bizzarre circumstance the license was not renewed soon after.

The good news though is that we can now take a look back at what worked well and what did not work well for D&D 4E, and apply that in creating a full campaign(or adventure path if you will) that someone motivated to play 4E Blackmoor can use. Of course, in one sense it is too late since many people only prefer to play the latest and greatest but I am of the opinion that the best time to play an edition of D&D is after the company has stopped releasing materials and has moved on to something else. That lets you pick and choose the best adventures and supplements to integrate into the campaign in advance.

My goal for such a campaign would be primarily to -

1) Have at least 2-3 players use the character classes in the 4E Blackmoor book while offering some of the standard or Essentials classes which were also found in Blackmoor 3.5.
2) Integrate supplemental 4E material that is also consistent with Blackmoor(as Freedom92 suggests).
3) Pick the "cream of the crop" of 4E adventures as the baseline adventure path to be used in the campaign, utilizing what we now know works for 4E in terms of scenarios.

Regarding issue 3), I read on another forum what I thought was an insightful analysis of why early 4E adventures were so weak and how they can be improved. It took a while for 4E adventure writers to stop writing in the style of earlier D&D editions, and write for 4E. In earlier editions, the players are much more resource constrained(such as more limited spells and hit points not as easily refreshed) and when tackling a large set of encounters part of the fun is anticipating how much you will need to handle the current encounter and next encounter and likewise knowing when to fall back. However, in 4E, most of your resources are available in every encounter(exception being daily powers) and healing surges let you last longer.

What this means is that the same set of large encounters in earlier editions which are fun as you fight the battle and deal with dwindling resources becomes a boring slog when brought into 4E as you take down most of the enemies using the exact same resources in every battle. To make 4E interesting you need to cut out similar encounters and concentrate on having fewer fights which matter more.

So I think early 4E adventures can be used, provided you only use the best encounters in each one.

I also collected a small list of what others have said are the best adventures of 4E. I don't own any of these though, so I would need to purchase them eventually and evaluate how well they can be adapted to Blackmoor.

The Slaying Stone
Madness at Gardmore Abbey
Reavers of the Harkenwald
Heathen (Dungeon Magazine 155)
Sellswords of Punjar (Goodman Games)
Many of the 3 encounter delves from WOTC's Dungeon Delve

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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by Freedom92 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:36 pm

I'd also like to make reference to Dragon Magazine 410 and Dungeon Magazine 210, they contain the Thingamajigs of Barrier Peaks and Faces of the Moon, articles including technomatic devices and a adventure taking place in a lost civilizations moon base where mind flayers and their derro servants are trying to unlock many of their technological treasures. The two issues also present some other material that may be useful, some constructs who could easily fill the roll of Cabal creations or valley of the ancients inhabitants, there is a article on the Far-Realm as well that describes variant was to run it including as the darkness between the stars hinting to aliens, etc.

Also I agree with you Dave, though I've played 4th Ed on occasion when a player was needed and often that was in Dark sun. The Blackmoor supplement to me was bland, while it was a nice guide it didnt give much crunch. I found the elderkin and idolator 'meh' classes as they fill more or less standard roles and introduce a new source of power. I've brought this up before, how would the primal source play into blackmoor? The Blackmoor supplement seemed to have only referenced the first player handbook or was iffy on including other details.

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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by NPCDave » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:52 am

I was going through my bookshelf when I pulled out a Living Greyhawk Journal #4 from my Blackmoor section. I knew it had to have some Greyhawk Blackmoor reference within it and I found it on page 26. The Qullan is described there as inhuman shock troopwes used by the Egg of Coot, and is a 3rd Edition update of the qullan found in the original 1E Fiend Folio. A bit of searching revealed that there is a 4E Qullan called the foulspawn berserker which I surmise was in the 4E monster manual?

I still haven't gotten around to buying the 4E corebooks, let alone build anything for a 4E Blackmoor campaign. But I wanted to file this information into this thread for my own future benefit as well as other Blackmoor fans.

Primal source...I am not even sure what that is, I really have to get around to reading the 4E rules.

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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by Havard » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:53 pm

NPCDave wrote:I was going through my bookshelf when I pulled out a Living Greyhawk Journal #4 from my Blackmoor section. I knew it had to have some Greyhawk Blackmoor reference within it and I found it on page 26. The Qullan is described there as inhuman shock troopwes used by the Egg of Coot, and is a 3rd Edition update of the qullan found in the original 1E Fiend Folio. A bit of searching revealed that there is a 4E Qullan called the foulspawn berserker which I surmise was in the 4E monster manual?

I still haven't gotten around to buying the 4E corebooks, let alone build anything for a 4E Blackmoor campaign. But I wanted to file this information into this thread for my own future benefit as well as other Blackmoor fans.

Primal source...I am not even sure what that is, I really have to get around to reading the 4E rules.
Very interesting Dave!

The Foulspawn are indeed described in the 4E Monster Manual p 112-113. As with most 4E monsters, there are different types of Foulspawn included: Grue, Mangler, Berserker, Seer and Hulk.

Image

There is no reference to the term Qullan in the book though. Perhaps due to copyright issues? Do you know where the Qullan/Foulspawn connection comes from? Looing at the picture above, they certainly look right for the part down to the ritual scarring/tattoos/warpaint etc. Foulspawn are linked to the Far Realm in 4E which makes sense at least with some interpretations of the Egg of Coot as well.

I created my own backstory origins for the Qullan as originally a Brute Man Tribe that was corrupted by the Burrowers before falling into the servitude of the Egg. I could see the Egg's Champion Moorcock the Slayer commanding hordes of these creatures.

Some more discussion of the Qullan at The Comeback Inn.


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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by RobJN » Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:17 pm

Bah. Everybody knows that a grue is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth with insatiable appetite. Its favorite diet is either adventurers or enchanters. Its insatible apitite is only tempered by its fear of light. :mrgreen:
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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by Havard » Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:20 pm

Lol Rob! :D

Actually I found the source linking the Qullan to the Foulspawn over at ENWorld:
Plane Sailing wrote:The Qullan lives!
I was just perusing the 4e monster manual and I realised that one of my creations from the 1e Fiend Folio lives in there - he has been renamed and given some new friends, but the Quallan has basically been reskinned as the Foulspawn Beserker (level 9 soldier)!

Evidence?

Exhibit a) he has a 5' radius beserker aura that makes people randomly target creatures within their reach. The Quallan radiated 5' radius confusion.

Exhibit b) he has the mental feedback on being attacked by a charm effect, in this case it does the beserker and its attack 10 psychic damage.

Huzzah! My creations live!

has anyone used them yet?


Source: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread ... z3cwpii0Gn

Edit: ENWorld's "Plane Sailing" is Neville White, a contributor to the 1st Ed Fiend Folio.

Another related thread over at ENWorld: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread ... e-qulan-in

Edit: And confirmed by Mike Mearls:
Mike Mearls wrote:Qullan: I love these guys. They ended up becoming foulspawn berserkers. Check out the berserker's aura - its obviously derived from the qullan.
Source: http://mearls.livejournal.com/155654.html

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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by NPCDave » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:14 pm

Havard, I see you found all the links I did while I was doing my legwork. And thanks for saving my post years ago when LGJ#4 first came out, I remembered I had posted something on the qullan before.

Did the foulspawn berserker make it into the monster vault? I understand the first 4E Monster Manual didn't have the math quite right and the vault fixed that.

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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:32 pm

NPCDave wrote:Havard, I see you found all the links I did while I was doing my legwork. And thanks for saving my post years ago when LGJ#4 first came out, I remembered I had posted something on the qullan before.
Sure thing! I've tried to save pretty much everything that has to do with Blackmoor from the MML and various forums. :ugeek:

I have played around quite a bit with different ideas for the Qullan and how to use them in different Blackmoor Campaigns. I do like making use of the Blackmoor related material from Greyhawk sources as well as the Arneson and Mystara stuff. :)
Did the foulspawn berserker make it into the monster vault? I understand the first 4E Monster Manual didn't have the math quite right and the vault fixed that.
Not sure about that.


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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by NPCDave » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:06 pm

I confirmed the foulspawn berserker is only in the original 4E Monster Manual.

So I purchased Madness at Gardmore Abbey, and I can see why it is a highly rated adventure. It utilizes the Deck of Many Things in the adventure and makes even the plot of the adventure revolve around the deck which you draw from in order to build the plot. So one of the ultimate villains of the campaign is determined by a draw from the deck.

Being set in Nentir Valley, there is quite a bit that needs to be translated from 4E setting assumptions to the Blackmoor setting. The Deck of Many Things has 22 cards in this version, and I was thinking of using a modified version of the Deck of the Spheres which is 30 cards that appeared in the Mystara DM Survival Kit. The Deck of the Spheres may have been created after the Blackmoor era came to a close, but perhaps it existed in an earlier incarnation during Blackmoor's time.

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Re: Blackmoor D&D 4th Edition campaigns

Post by NPCDave » Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:03 am

I managed to pick up a full box set of the Dungeon Master's Kit, which contains the Reavers of Harkenwold adventure. It is very good, with the PCs fighting against a mercenary company that has taken over a Barony. I would want to run this in Blackmoor, but it can also work well in Birthright or Mystara with modifications.

The Iron Circle mercenary company is allied with a bullywug tribe, so using the Temple of the Frog as allies of the Iron Circle fits perfectly. The Iron Circle also uses drakes, some constructs including clockwork constructs, and tar devils which are a new type of devil for 4E, I believe. I need to pick up the Monster Vault book next to read up on the tar devils and the Iron Circle, which has devotion and ties to Asmodeus. It shouldn't be hard to reflavor them for Blackmoor. I highly recommend Reaver of Harkenwold for any campaign.

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