Our D&D campaign that I've discussed now and then just had its 67th session a few days back. However, what follows is only laterally related: a certain friend of mine has moved to a culturally dead town in western Finland, and being as how he apparently can't get a gaming group going to save his life, we decided to try our hands at a bit of interwebs gaming. Said friend has played OSR-style D&D with me a bit, but doesn't entirely grog it, so we decided to gather up some other long-distance friends and play some D&D. For the sake of simplicity we're just going to treat this as a side franchise of my on-going sandbox campaign, so I'll be recycling the specifics of rules calls, campaign geography and so on. If the online platform proves satisfying and we'll make this a regular thing, no doubt the online crew and the local party will come to cross swords sooner or later.
All fine and good so far. However, what material should I run for this new online group? I don't want to reuse the dozen-ish good low-level modules that we've already used in our tabletop campaign - not that there is technically anything preventing me, but if I can avoid it, I'd rather just not repeat locations. (Easier to keep everything straight in my head over the long term if I don't need to remember two separate lays of the Tomb of the Iron God
, you understand.) Also, another friend of mine who has his own OSR-style campaign in Helsinki is also participating, and we've been swapping adventure material quite a bit, so chances are that if I use my current trove, we'll stumble on something he's been reading recently. All in all, I find myself in sudden need for some new material.
Here's what I've got so far:
- I could just declare that we're playing Carcosa. (Or Fomalhaut from Fight On, for that matter, or Vornheim for somewhat different but still decidedly unearthly color.) Takes the campaign away from the semi-historical "fantasy-Europe" we've been playing in, which helps a bit in selecting adventures, because I could use all that swords & sorcery stuff that's been underutilized in our on-going campaign so far. The disadvantage is that there's less fruitful friction between the campaigns if I go to a distant planet like this. And of course, I'd still need to gather up some Carcosa-compatible adventure modules to begin with, all the same; Carcosa itself provides just a backdrop.
- Another approach would be to put the Isle of the Unknown somewhere close by to our current campaign tromping grounds, and either place the new stuff there or just provide journeying there as one of the alternatives to the players from the start. The Isle is like eg. Carcosa in that it's just a vague backdrop, though; it helps, but I'll be needing specific adventures, too.
- I've got just I think one or two proper low-level adventure modules lined up that the tabletop group has not been tromping over and that are probably not familiar to the player base here. One is the Courtyard of Gerald the Red, while the other is The Thing in the Valley. For a proper sand-box kickstart I'd be more comfortable if I had a couple more, especially as the Thing is more akin to a random encounter event than a proper target for an expedition.
- I do have a surfeit of mid-to-high level adventures available. Some are well-designed and provide meaningful content for a starter-level party, too; also, there's no reason why resources might not be exported from the tabletop games, so maybe the party won't be low-level long if this platform of play catches on. Still, I'll be needing more low-level stuff, too.
- I suppose I could just write my own adventure stuff. I'd rather not, though, unless I've already tapped everything the Internet has to offer in this regard. Prepping adventures takes time, and I'm spending too much time on this D&D campaign already when I should be working on other projects.
Looking the above list of resources over, I think I'll be pretty good to go with either the civilized fantasy-Europe setting or a more primal sword & sorcery one once I select a few more adventures. Ideally I'd like to do this session (and possible campaign, campaign branch or whatever we're doing) in my favoured sandbox style: here's your starting town, here are some rumours and lore about the neighbourhood, now choose your own best method for striking it rich. My experience so far indicates that it'd be good to have even half a dozen different adventure locales in my bandolier; some I'll drop into the setting to start, and others I'll need in case the players end up doing some long-distance travel or a random overland encounter indicates a special adventure site, or so on.
Well, I think the above explains what I'm looking for pretty well: if you've got some suggestions for free D&D adventures in the 'net that are not by the ever-excellent Dyson Logos (we're all over that stuff already), that'd be great. The color doesn't matter, I'll just see what I can find and then recommend either Carcosa or the more conventional setting to the players once I see what I've got to work with.