Nuadha's Tale

Ignorance can be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -Thomas Jefferson

Monday, August 18, 2003

The World of Connemara- The Decision to DM
Carla and I have been wanting to try D&D 3rd edition for a while now and with all the recent Lord of the Rings hype and recent fantasy novels I've read (or re-read), I've really had the urge to run a traditional fantasy epic. Also, I'd like to try the D20 system as I've been thinking that my Dreaming City setting would work really well as a D20 Modern setting. Besides, I've been missing the more "game" elements in "roleplaying games." Ever since Carla and I started playing Amber, I've been running games that have tried to focus more on the roleplaying elements and have left out many of the game elements of RPGs. Sometimes, it is fun to roll a d20. Even using dice with White Wolf's games, they tend to me more about the character interaction than the gaming elements of RPGs and I think the games have lost something. I think that in a well-balanced game the roleplaying elements should be balanced by the gaming elements. (By gaming elements, I refer to the strategic aspects of combat, problem solving and dice rolling.) I think the Champions group I play in is probably the best I've ever seen at mixing the roleplaying and gaming aspects of roleplaying games. While we use what is possibly the "crunchiest" system around, Champions, and combat is very strategic with lots of dicerolling and decisions to be made, the game also has some excellent roleplayers who work to bring their characters to life.

I bought the D&D3e Players Guide back when it came out even though I had never really liked AD&D or Palladium Fantasy (a system that almost clones the D&D mechanics that I broke my gaming teeth on and GMed for a while). I was curious to see the chages they were making as it sounded like they were making the exact changes that I had always said I would make to AD&D. They had gotten rid of the hideous THAC0 system and replaced skills with a system that uses a d20 much like combat. I bought it and was impressed, but not enough to play. They still had the level-based advancement that always made me cringe and the game still didn't allow for the more creative character concepts a player may come up with like in point based games such as GURPS or Hero System.

The biggest reason I decided to go ahead and DM a D&D game is that I have this great plot idea. I'd like to run. It has elements of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings, Record of Lodoss War, Robert Jordan's Eye of the World, Weis & Hickman's Dragonlance Saga and, of course, Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series. (Almost all of my games have had some influence from Michael Moorcock.) It's an epic quest in the classic fantasy mold and I can only think of two possible systems to run it in: Hero 5th edition and Dungeons and Dragons. D&D won because of it's relative simplicity and the before-mentioned possibilty of using the same system for the Dreaming City.

It starts like many of the classic fantasy series start, with the main characters living a simple life in a rural village. I'm not sure why so many fantasy stories fall into this mold, but it fits naturally for for my story as well.

The plot I have in mind needed to be based in the history of the world, so I have started planning the setting and the worlds history, mythology, etc. While I can not share the plot I have planned with everyone on my blog, I'll probably be sharing the setting here. I had a few pages of notes and a lot of stuff planned in my head for the world, but today the world finally received it's name: Connemara. In the "old tongue" of Connemara, it means "land of the goddess, Mara."


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