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Nights of Daring Do in Lankhmar - West Marches Style Urban Campaign

As I write and illustrate more and more games (while still working on a day job) time for regular campaigns become rarer and rarer. I keep going to mini-cons here in Brazil and occasionally play with a more or less regular group. But I wanted to have a more regular game without the hurdle of organizing and remembering everyone of every session.

So I decided to Judge an Open Table of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG set in Lankhmar, the iconic city created by Fritz Leiber! Inspired by the concept of the West Marches campaign, each session would be independent from the next one, and players could come and go freely.

In a urban setting, with lots of things going on, and focused on daring escapades of thieves and adventures done in the shadows, this concept could really shine I thought. Every session would be a single night. Everyone night one quick adventure or escapade, with almost endless possibilities. Players can do almost anything in a great city like Lankhmar and still go back to their home when the sun starts to shine!

So I made an open invitation and a poster to call players in to the game, which is happened every Wednesday during the night. Who ever shows up, plays that night. Players have to bring their characters and keep it updated and whatever (honor system basically). Those that don’t have the necessary books generate a character at Purple Sorcerer Character Generator (only Warrior, Thieves and Wizards) and we adjust for Lankhmar rules at the game (defining Place of Origin, Boons and Banes, Languages and what not).

I just started it, but it is working pretty great. I try to always present them at least 3 hooks or rumors they can follow or lean in. These are usually some unusual thing that is happening, a rumor about some good opportunity for rogues like them, job proposals by contacts, attacks by their enemies and things like that. I do keep an eye on time and sometimes make things less complex than they were originally to make stuff fit in one night.

I make heavy use of random tables and generators to improvise these, and plan on using adventure modules in the game too. Already used one actually.

Below I am listing the support material I am making use of right now to make this game work for me:
  • DCC Lankhmar Boxed Set (actually, the PDFs, which are available to backers) - Goodman Games: Not only it has the rules, setting information and all the usual stuff, it has a lot of great tables and generators to create stuff on the fly!
  • 650 Fantasy City Encounters - Roleplaying Tips: A lot of interesting encounters to throw at your players that can either buy you some time to come up with a more complex adventure, or actually inspire that crazy adventure!
  • Cities - Midkemia Press - A book full of tables to generate events, encounters, neighborhoods, events and much more for medieval cities.
  • Maze Rats - Ben Milton - Although a great quick game, Maze Rats is also great for its impressive set of random tables that help you generate almost anything!
  • Tsuro - Calliope Games - I use the pieces to generate street plans, that’s basically it.
  • Dark Streets & Darker Secrets - Although the focus is on modern cities, I am using some of the tables and extrapolating for a medieval setting.

The games last for 2 hours only, so it is pretty fast paced and exciting. We have to get down to business and just do what we gotta do. I will try to make a post with a little recap of the game every week. So next post will come soon!

If you like what you've just read, check out my books over RPGNow and Lulu.

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