Friday, June 17, 2011

The Bucket List for D&D

What's on your D&D "bucket list"?  Meaning - what kind of games do you want to run or play before you finally hang up your dice for good?

Are there any monsters you've never had the chance to fight that you hope your DM will match your group up against someday?  How about gaming with the kids - is there a certain published adventure you can't wait for your kids to experience to see if it's as magical for them as you remember when you were like 12 or 13, yourself?

I spend a lot of time on the blog projecting ideas for future campaigns, but the current one (Gothic Greyhawk) grew out of a bucket list discussion from the players and just snowballed from there.  Most of the guys had never played the classic G Against the Giants and D (Descent into the Depths of the Earth) series modules, or the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, and we started imagining doing a tour-de-Greyhawk to experience these legendary and classic modules.  At the time I really wanted to do some supernatural horror (good vs evil type stuff) and I was sold on turning the World of Greyhawk into "Gothic Greyhawk" when the players pointed out that we should include Ravenloft, too.  (The module, not the setting).  At the time, the OSR was getting me all pumped up with old school love, so I hastily put together a bunch of hex maps detailing Sterich and Geoff for the old Darlene Greyhawk map, sketched out the towns and adventure sites (liberally dropping OSR modules and the tour-de-Greyhawk AD&D modules into various hexes) and away we went!

There's a few classic modules we'd like to get to in one of these campaigns - top of the list would be The Isle of Dread and Castle Amber - I ran both years ago, but not with my current players.  I know one of the guys has never played Keep on the Borderlands - that might be a good one for the kids.

I have that massive 4E Orcus mini looming over the playing space on the shelf - the players are pretty convinced that Gothic Greyhawk will conclude at some future time when they throw down with the Prince of Undeath himself, a notion I don't dispel.

But for now, it's Strahd!  That's right, friends and neighbors, we've started Ravenloft!  Look for the first game report shortly.

While you're waiting, drop a note about those things on your own D&D bucket list.

Edit:  One thing cool about getting together and talking about running the same adventure that other gamers have also run / played, is the shared experience of modules.  Simon's comment about running the LOTFP modules got me remembering - oh yeah, we did those!  They were awesome.


  1. Dude.

    I would totally play in your game. That sounds awesome and it's not too far off from my own plans with my kids.

    I have run Ravenloft so many times now that I don't think I'll be doing it anytime soon. But I am looking forward to hearing about your exploits!

    My bucket list? It's in my "Plan" post.

  2. Oooh, Ravenloft. Now that's an adventure I'd love to be a player in.

    For me, I'd like to play more classic adventures than I have. Mostly I've ran them, although I have played a few.

    I would like to go through Raggi's modules (hammers, dfd, and gears), the Saltmarsh trilogy, the forgotten temple of good old tharzidun.

    I would also like to run a campaign using the revised Slavers adventure, or Against the Giants from the 2nd Ed. AD&D days; both have enough detail to run a good campaign.

    And finally, I'd like to run an urban campaign set in the City of Greyhawk.

  3. I'm really looking forward to running Ravenloft - it's much different than so many prior modules with it's strong, central villain. Game villains in general suffer from lack of relationship... heck, I've had notes for a 'why your villain sucks' post ready to go for a long time, but there's always something else...

    I'll include WG4 (Forgotten Temple) in the same mountain area as S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth - the two together actually form a neat sandbox. Assuming the players engage in the S4 quest - I'm never sure in the open-ended game - then they'll have the chance to find WG4 as well.

    @Tim - I'll have to check that out, it's cool that other folks have their bucket lists as well.

  4. Beedo,

    Sounds incredible. You raise a good point about modules providing (or setting the stage for) a 'shared experience.'

  5. Great post, it's so interesting to see how you have transmogrified classic D&D modules to make them your own and integrate them into a gothic-flavored campaign. I look forward to the Ravenloft play report(s), and will get to work on my own "bucket list" type post soon!

  6. Hey Beedo cool blog. Just a clarification, are you running the module of Ravenloft or the world. Both are very interesting. I still remember when I first saw those Ravenloft 3d maps. It was the first time I remember seeing someone step away from the set layout formula. Anyways, bucket list, mine ismore RPG general based that D&D.
    1. Always wanted to run and be in a Pendragon campaign.
    2. Pathfinder has always interested me. I have all the core books and some supplements and it looks like it would be fun to play.
    3. Revisit the Keep on the Borderland only with GURPS. I may do this to my crew...shhh, don't tell them.

    That's all I can think of right now. Have fun with Ravenloft.

  7. I'm running a modified version of the World of Greyhawk and just using the Ravenloft module. I'll probably post a campaign recap shortly.