The Riverlands Campaign – Session #1

I started a new campaign on Saturday using the Myth and Magic rules. My reasoning for using those rules I explained HERE.  Four friends of mine, two new and two old, wanted to play. There will likely be another player or two but they couldn’t start quite yet. They will probably join us after the Christmas and New Years holidays. The players made the following characters:

  • Malfour: Human Male Fighter/Cleric (NG)
  • Heitala: Elven Female Ranger (NG)
  • Al’fric: Elven Male Monk (LN)
  • Ais’linn: Half-Elf Female Druid (N)

It took about an hour to roll up the characters. I think that was mostly due to none of the players ever having played 2nd Edition and one of the players not having played any edition whatsoever. Once the characters were done I got everyone immediately into the game with the set up hook. I didn’t want to have to come up with a lot of back story for the characters up front so we simply went with assuming they knew each other and had banded together in an adventuring company.

The company was now contracted by Baron Harken of Harkenwold. The  river lands immediately to his south were mostly lawless but a significant portion of his land’s trade came from a caravan route that came from Bard’s Gate through that area. The Baron’s problem was that bandits had become a real issue. They were disrupting his trade to the south and he wanted it stopped. He gave the company a charter to deal with the bandits and dispense justice on his behalf. He would outfit them reasonably to start, pay a 25pg bounty per bandit, and buy back any stolen goods recovered by the party.

The Baron sent them first to a trading post that he had commissioned at the northern border of The Riverlands. The proprietors, Oleg and Svetlana, were having trouble with the bandits and had requested help. Baron Harken was gathering a few soldiers to send as guards but that would be a couple of days away. He wanted the company to go immediately and see what they could do to help.

That was the set up and, granted, it was a little railroady. However, it is only a railroad in getting the players involved in the game. Once engaged the players have complete control over their choices. This is old school. Plopping the party at a specific place with a specific goal is common practice and expected. There’s no hour or two floundering around at the beginning trying to figure out what to do. The game starts with the characters engaged with a well-defined problem and specific goals.

So, Oleg is upset that the company isn’t the guards he had requested from the Baron. However, Svetlana ingratiates herself to the characters by being hospitable and offering a meal and a place to stay. During the conversation that night it is discovered that the bandits are coming on the same day every month to collect “taxes”. The thefts are driving poor Oleg and Svetlana out of business. Tomorrow, coincidentally, is Tax Day.

The company set up an ambush for the next day when 6 bandits arrived to collect their due. The attack went fairly well. Heitala and Ais’linn were injured but not enough to put them down while all the bandits except 1 were killed. The prisoner was questioned and agreed to take them to his band’s camp in the Thornwood if the company didn’t kill him. With this information, the company headed off towards the bandits camped in the woods.

This is where we ended things. The session went well. The rules are new to everyone so play was a little slower than I would expect once the standard rules for initiatives, attacks, and other stuff are internalized. It’s been years since I played 2nd Edition so I had to shake of some of the rust myself. Not to mention I’ve never actually run Myth and Magic. It did have that 2nd Edition feel that I remembered though and I enjoyed the session very much. I’m eagerly awaiting our next session which won’t be until after the holidays. Come January we are making this a bi-weekly gaming event.

Feel free to ask any questions you have about the game, rules, etc in the comments.

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