From its perch high in the Carpathian Mountains, the ruins of Kierstrahd Castle cast a wide shadow, thick with the memory of Transylvanian tyrants. Once, the dark queen Zaleska held dominion over the lands to the east from this forlorn citadel. Her cruel and capricious rule left a lasting legacy upon her people. The hushed tales of black deeds and horrific rituals still stir deep-seated fears.
Now, after three centuries of silence, cold lights flicker to life in the still of the shattered ramparts of Kierstrahd Castle. Bone chilling howls and mad laughter echo through its ruined halls. Foul beasts and fierce goblin tribes emerge from their mountain lairs to raid the villages below.
Those who fear the night huddle before their fires behind bolted doors. Others heed the call of adventure: the promise of eldritch secrets and treasure beyond measure. But any fortunes will be hard won. For this is no simple treasure hunt. Kierstrahd Castle has a spirit as dark and cold as the stone beneath it.
In the end, it is for you to discover what dark secrets lie at the heart of…
After a series of surveys of the players to determine what they wanted to play in 2016, I am pleased to announce the next “chapter” in the Library Roleplay Family: Dungeoncrawl.
We’ve done fantasy themed games before: 50 Fathoms, Warlords of Aros, and Heroes of Ash and Flame. But Dungeoncrawl is going to be…different. Each of those previous worlds involved something of an overarching storyline for the players to participate in. Dungeoncrawl does not have a story. Not really anyway. Dungeoncrawl is about exploration. About what lies down the corridor to the right. About what lies at the bottom of that chute into the inky depths. About what horrors lie in those forgotten catacombs, undisturbed for ages. There is no overarching plot. The story is entirely what the players create out of it.
Dungeoncrawl is about managing your resources. Do you have enough torches to light your way? Are you strong enough to go on? Do you spend time searching for a hidden cache of treasure, knowing that by doing so you risk being happened upon by some terrible creature?
But perhaps the biggest difference will be in terms of the game. For the first time in the history of the program (8 years), we will be using a different game system than Savage Worlds. Not that Savage Worlds can’t handle fantasy, or even dungeoncrawling. But the way Savage Worlds handles resources is not necessarily ideal for old school dungeoncrawl expeditions. Instead, we are going to turn to a game that is solely focused on this sort of play experience. After a lot of deliberation, soul searching, and experimentation, we’ve decided we will be using the original Dungeons & Dragons* game.
Wait. Not the new edition of the game? No, though we may incorporate some parts of the new edition into the mix.
This isn’t a choice that was made lightly. One of the things we’ve always strived for with this program is that the worlds we explore are accessible to new players. You can go to your favorite book, comic, or game store and pull the book off the shelf, take it home and start playing with your friends. We haven’t strayed far from that objective here, because the rules (and many variations of the originals) are available in a variety of forms. Like dungeoncrawling, the reasons have a lot to do with resource management. The original is fast and simple, allowing for maximum play time with minimal rules referencing. Character creation boils down to a small handful of choices rather than the dozens in the new edition. In addition, rather than directing you players towards a $50 rulebook, you can download a facsimile of the complete rules for free online. And if we want to expand the scope of the game (new classes, new spells, new…anything) there are hundreds of thousands of resources available for free. So if you know how to use the internet, you can start playing today without having to invest in anything other than dice! You can start running an adventure of your own for your friends without having to invest in book X, Y or Z.
Almost every one of the core concepts of the newest edition can be traced back to the original edition. So if you do want to play the 5th Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game, everything you learn with the original you can apply to the latest version.
Stay tuned for more information on this exciting new game in the coming weeks.
*Ok, it’s not technically the original edition, but it’s close enough.