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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

The art of changing editions

I've been running my D&D campaign for about 2 and a half years now, and at the beginning of the year one of my players moved away, but he was one of the most invested players and didn't want to lose the game, so I made a decision I'd been considering for a while, which was to transition from D&D 3.5 to D&D 5E.
Pretty much everything we were using transferred 1 for 1, but there were some things that we lost. one of our players was playing a beguiler in 3.5, which was basically a half wizard, half rogue with a leaning towards the magical side.
Transferring over the closest to that we could find was a bard, which had a lot of the magic, but none of the rogue. So to explain this discrepancy I put together a plan, one that would take six months to come to fruition.
Over 6 months of gaming I paid careful attention to what everyone was doing, kept notes of all of the things that they might want to do that could involve a rogue and finally sent them on a quest to a small town that the leaders of the city they lived in had lost contact with.
It took a little over a week to get there, and they had some adventures on the way, but when they finally turned up things were strange. The town was far emptier than it should have been. There were a lot of buildings that looked recently built and never used. People were acting odd, going up to these empty buildings and then looking confused and walking away, some were crying for no reason, others were giving strange pieces of information that didn't make sense, but they truly believed, like there was no town lord and never had been, but the manor was built in case one turned up.
Finally things started to come to a head the following morning when the party woke up. One group awoke in the tavern to find that the bartender that they had spoken to the previous day wasn't there and nobody knew who they were talking about, almost as if he hadn't existed.
What was even stranger however was the second group who slept out of town found an adventurer's bag in their camp that they didn't recognise. Searching through it they found a bunch of equipment, all of which they remembered as their own gear. Looking through their own packs they found the gear missing. amongst the items in the new bag they found this diary.
The Diary was written by a young rogue named Lyra, who, if the diary was to be believed, had always been a part of the party, but they had forgotten her. It  depicted all of their adventures together with small differences that included her into their adventures. It talked intimately about each member of the party and even had her final will, a message to each of them.
Reading the diary together with the group left my players with all the feelings, and a feeling of 'oh this is what D&D can be'. And that's where I ended that session.
The following week was chaos. Characters going all over the place in a frantic bid to figure out what was going on, until finally realising that while deafened everything changed. The buildings became run down buildings with many years of use and several months of neglect.
Every time they were no longer deafened I acted like I didn't know what they were talking about, and every time they were deafened again I acted like it was all new information.
One player had the idea to talk to a tree, which couldn't hear and it led them to the basement beneath the mansion. Finally making their way to the mansion they explored it, some deafened, some not, until they found their way to the basement, where they found a disgusting creature that they couldn't explain, as well as the bodies of many others, including a small halfling woman, dressed as they would have expected of Lyra. And that was the end of game 2.
Game 3 was a battle to the death against this creature, which they eventually won, though they got closer than ever before to death, knocking all of them down to below a third of health. Once they killed the creature  Luro, the one that the Diary said was Lyra's husband carried her up to his flying mount and left, flying back towards the previous city.
Even now, after the creature was dead, they did not remember this sixth member of their party. The game ended there.
We had to wait a game after that as Luro's player was sick, so we followed the others chasing after him back to the city, but the following game we watched as Luro found the ingredients to the spells he wished to cast, took Lyra to a church of Pelor where they helped him to cast Raise Dead, bringing her finally back from the dead.
And she did not remember him and the party either.

We continue the game even still, with Lyra alive, and friends with the party, but no longer knowing them as she once did.
What I did, in short was take Goblin Punches False Hydra combined it with the missing pieces of their characters  and put them together into a team member who has been lost from their memory. The player and characters memories remembered Luro doing each of the things that Lyra did because that's how the False Hydra's ability works. It takes things out and the character's brains fill in the gaps as best as they can.
My players loved it, and yet were broken hearted. It was one of the best things I've done to date.
Specifically I used the mature version Oats1321's false hydra stats, and added 200hp and +1AC.

Cheers,
 - James

P.S. Since my last post I have completed a couple more games. I'm now at 18 games. I've completed Last Of Us 2 and Observation, I started to fall behind, playing Desperados 3 from 2 weeks ago and having a break to play through observation last week, but I'm hoping -HOPING- to finish Desperados 3 this week, and maybe even something else like Uncharted Lost Legacy.

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