At last: Ravenloft with the OpenQuest rules

In the Bayou…

This game has been in the pipeline for a long time, but last sunday we finally managed to gather half the gang and start the game!

First impression? Awesome! For both me and the players.

First, we started with character generation together. I had made some character generation worksheets (see Alexandian Library section) so it went smooth, despite us all being noobs to OpenQuest. Me and another guy have played RuneQuest, and all have played Call of Cthulhu, so most of the basic concepts were already in place.

The cast:

Slingbill – human Monster Hunter

Sigurd Slapptask (translation: Sigurd Lame-balls) – human Bounty Hunter

Quatzing – Caliban* Avenger

Erne “MacWyvern” Lint (not his real name) – elf sorceror/warrior

All from Darkon in The Land of Mists

*= a Caliban is someone (almost always human) touched by the Chaos or the Darkness in the womb, thus they are Marked by Chaos and generally shunned by most normal people.

I also used pre-prepared equipment kits, so we managed quite fast. Then I started, by handing them this:

AotR Player intro

So we started the game with having them shipwrecked in a tropical land, when they had fought a wintery snowstorm the night before! And all their stuff was gone!

I had them roll a Luck check (POW x5), and if successful they could keep one item of choice. Then they got to roll 1d3+1 times each on my “d30 Shipwreck Table” to see what they would be able to salvage from the wreckage. We had some good laughs there, as they managed to get all the weird stuff like: Lizardfoot backscratcher, Wooden Martial Aid, Hook Hand, Dragon Tooth, Used Toothbrush and so on.

It was fun to see how they would manage the dangers of a tropical swamp without proper armour, weapons, food, water and so on. A large portion of the session was spent trying to find water, trying to make makeshift spears and bows out of stuff from the beach. Finally, they went into the swamp, where they had a run-in with a huge crocodile and in the end, met two Pumpkin-Head Scarecrows near a dead body and a run-down swamp boat. An intense battle followed, where we got to try the various combat maneuvers and even a fumble where the elf tried to spear a Scarecrow grappling the Bounty Hunter, with the result that the spear ran through the straw-man and into the face of the player character. He rolled good, and managed to dodge, but still got a nasty wound in the cheek. The elf also missed his Fear check** and panicked, jumping into the boat and abandoning his buddies for a while. The Combat Reference Sheet was very handy, I had one and the players had two to check for maneuvers and so on.

We left off, when they slowly left the swamp waterbank in the half-rotten swamp boat, after having defeated the Scarecrows and throwing their pumpkin heads into the swamp. Which was a very good move, since these vile beings re-constitute themselves if not completely destroyed.

**= We use the Sanity Rules from Renaissance, as well as the Critical Hit and Fumble tables. Awesome, and a bit easier on PC survival rate. I think…

___

Everyone had great fun, and I think OpenQuest is going to be played a lot in our little group! Hopefully, the rest of the gang will make it next time!

Also, if you’re interested, the Combat reference sheet and some more GM and Player Aids are available in the Alexandrian Library section of this blog.

OpenQuest awesomeness!

Hoplites…

 

Finally, OpenQuest delivers the stuff that Chaosium’s old RuneQuest 2 started out long ago.

First out, the OpenQuest 2 rules set is awesome, and has just about the right amount of rules crunch for me these days. And now there’s even a free basic version.

Second, the supplements for the game are seriously cool:

  • Crucible Of Dragons – Ancient Greek style Hoplites against Dragonmen on a weird isolated island.
  • Savage North – Barbarian Swords & Sorcery galore.
  • Life & Death – Death in the ancient post-apocalyptic desert sands.

This game and the supplements feels like the natural successor to RQ2. Simple and cool, yet intricate enough for intrigue and investigative games.

This is what I wanted and hoped that RQ and Glorantha would become – adventure and action in a well designed setting. They are also a great GM tool to help design your own, less “serious and mature” and more adventurous – well, adventures. I also think that OpenQuest has the right amount of crunch for a beginning d100 GM.

What happened in real life was that during the lean years in the 90’s, Glorantha became a scholar’s world, with layer upon layer of esoteric knowledge added and the focus shifted from cool place to adventure to some mythic quasi ethnologic intellectual training ground for self proclaimed Gloranthan Scholars. Shifting the system from RuneQuest to the more free-form storytelling HeroQuest, did not help the situation either. (There’s a more in-depth post on that here).

The result of this, plus the Mongoose thing kinda burned me out on Glorantha. Thus, I’ve decided to draw up my own World for running OpenQuest and RuneQuest 6 adventures, and I will cram in all these cool mini-settings plus the new non-Gloranthan ones for RQ6. And yeah, I will throw in the old, but modded Gloranthan stuff also!

Started on the World Map today! Freedom!

References:

d101 Games (OpenQuest)

The Design Mechanism (RQ6)

Moon Design Publications (Glorantha)