The last two weeks were really hard with a lot of work and almost no free time. But finally, I have a more or less free weekend and can prepare something for my next session of "Splittermond" which is a relatively new pen&paper game here in Germany. I think it was created by some authors of the Dark Eye who wanted to flee from the big world of the Dark Eye which has an addon for every building, plant, creature, and society in the world (at least for me it seems so).
"Splittermond" (the translation would be something like fragmented moon) has some similarities to the Dark eye, for example, it's also a fantasy world with similar creatures, filled with magic and a lot of adventures but at the same time, it is very different.
Magic isn't as powerful as in D&D or the Dark Eye but everybody can use magic because it's a skill which you can learn just the same way as other skills like how to swing your mace. Because of that most characters can cast spells and are not limited to be either a fierce warrior or a powerful wizard, they can also be a warrior who uses magic to buff his armor or enchant his weapons with fire or a stealthy thief who can cast shadow spells to improve his shady skills. The game is also very good balanced and a fighter with 2 daggers can be as dangerous as a berserker swinging his two-handed hammer and that's because of the time system in battles: there are no fixed rounds with x actions per character which are used in order of their initiative, here there is a fixed timeline with character markers on it which shows when a character can take an action. Each action takes an amount of time here it's called ticks. The big berserker may swing his big hammer but because the hammer has a very slow attacking speed he has to wait longer until he can act again. While the berserker has to wait until he can act again, the nimble fighter with his 2 daggers can attack multiple times until the berserker can swing his hammer again. With that, there are no fixed battle rounds and it gets a lot more fluid in battle with more options. And it's also perfect when using miniatures for battle as we do (we played Warhammer for a long time and really like to build tactical battles with different terrain and so on ^^).
The game balance between different kind of attacks is also very good, a ranged weapon is as effective as a magic spell, it's even a bit better because magic offers more than just the ability to kill over distance.
And I really like the world the authors created. It offers a lot of backgrounds and still leaves enough room to create something on your own.
For a long time, all races were enslaved by a race of humanoid dragons, the draconians. They ruled over the world for a very long time until a big catastrophe happened: one of the three moons shattered and the draconians vanished shortly after that leaving the enslaved races alone. Over the next 1000 years the formerly slaves began to discover the world and create their own countries. They even learned how to use the moon portals, portals created by a long forgotten race. Two portals each are connected and when entering one you enter another world/dimension, a realm of the faeries and each is different with different laws of nature and magic. But for each portal there is one similarity: traveling through them reduces the amount of time to get from one portal to the other. Instead of weeks or even months to get from one point to the other with the portals, it can be done in less than a week, assuming that the faery world lets you travel through it without complications. The way from one portal to the other is stabilized by a guardian who is bound by an old faery pact. Without these guardians, it would be a hell of a travel because most faery worlds are based on illusions and sometimes even madness.
Did I already mention that I really like the whole system? xD
If you can understand German you should definitely take a look at https://splittermond.de/ because the core rules are for free. I don't know when they will offer an English translation for it because atm they are working on some addons. I think that they will try to translate it when they have finished the important extras.
So after I digressed a bit lets get back to the topic. After more than three months I can finally play Splittermond again and continue with my little campaign.
It all started with the death of the father of one of the adventurers. The father was a count who owned land with some small villages on it and he also had a small castle. But he was more or less a relatively poor count and everything was already a bit run down as he died under mysterious circumstances. His last son had to continue his legacy. In the past, his son had left the family when he had the opportunity and began a new life, a shady life as a gambler and a thief. And this happy gambler is one of the adventurers and it's kind of funny to see him try to fit into the role as the count von Landbeck.
It's planned to let him try to save his county and restore his reputation.
The county will have some attributes to simulate how it's going, like wealth, military, research&magic, and of course happiness of his people. He has to find out why his father died and fight against other nobles who want to get rid of him either from outside the county as well as from the inside. To support him I added some adviser who will help him and to make it a bit more thrilling one of them is a traitor who maybe even killed his father.
In the first session, he met the other adventurers: there is a charismatic bard who has a weakness for women and likes to sing songs about the heroic adventures of the new count (it's a bit like in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: oh brave brave Sir Robin... XD). The next one is a gnomish sailor and merchant who wants to benefit from him. And the last one is a grumpy soldier who left his order to fight the creatures of the darkness and now he got hired to help the count.
They are now on their second adventure and are visiting an old friend of his father who requested his help. So they traveled to the mansion and discovered more and more mysteries because it seems that the owner of the mansion was not the one who asked for his help. And there are more and more inconsistencies as they began to wander around the mansion. And some evil creature is also lurking around the mansion as well.
For the whole campaign, I will have to improvise a lot because I don't want to give them the feeling they are in a kind of cage and can't do what they want. I am just offering some prepared dungeons, encounter and some events happening when time goes by, for example, an assassin from another group/count and they will be the big villain in this campaign, trying to help the creatures of a shadow realm to get into this world.
The adventurers will also discover that the old count had a pact with the lord of a fairy plane to fight against the darkness which tries to break into the mortal world.
Now I have 2 weeks left to create some rules for the count as well as create the villains and prepare a nice looking map of the county. Add I think I should start creating a kind of timeline or just a list with different events and then I will have to see what they want to do and pick an event when I need to push them in a direction.
I think I will start with a cool looking map. Maybe I will make it look very old with burned edges and color it with some tea bags so that it will have this old stained look. If it looks cool I will post it here and if not I will just pretend it never happened xD.
Phew, I hope this posting wasn't too confusing for you, I am using it as a kind of pen&paper diary to get my freakish thoughts onto paper so that I don't forget them ^^.
Until next time