Our First session of Castles and Crusades started today. Two of my Minions participated. One of them played a human Paladin named Joshua and the other played a Gnome Rogue known as “Little Peter”-(don’t ask). They travel with a Halfling Mercenary swordsman named Kupo (who had a class that day) and an NPC Cleric named Helga. Helga is a standard NPC that I sue in almost all my games where a combat medic role is needed. She is usually a no-nonsense Cleric of St. Cuthbert who has no tolerance for evil, undead, or laziness. In this campaign however, I decided to forgo the entire pantheon of god’s and simply take a cue from the works of the late David Gemmell- I use “The Source” to represent the forces of good and “The Darkness” to represent the forces of evil. So in this campaign Helga is a Source Priestess, though still a foe of shirkers and cowards.
I’ve decided to run them through the introductory module “Shadows of the Halfling Hall”.
To make a long story short- Helga and Joshua have been asked by the local Abbott to travel to the Halfling shire of Newbriar to investigate reports of the town leaders all disappearing after attending a party at a local well-to-do Halfling’s estate.
Arriving in the small shire, Joshua and Helga (accompanied by their comrade Little Peter) make their way to the local Pub and meet with the interim Sherriff. Who fills them in about the missing Halflings, the party they attended, and the loss of the patrol that was sent to look for the partygoers the day after the party.
Our three heroes decide to make their way to the estate and investigate. They arrive at noon and find the estate in shambles, with a very definite aura of evil emanating from the darkened doorway. With their Halfling guides safely down the road providing morale support, our heroes descend into the manor.
The grand main hall resembles a slaughter house of the damned. Corpses and body parts are strewn about the place along with broken and upended furnishings, rotting food and an overpowering stench of death and decay. It must have been some party.
As our heroes continued further into the great hall the bodies of the Halflings begin to reanimate and gather to attack the intruders. Helga summons the power of the source and turns a good number of the zombies, but not all. Joshua whirls his great sword in a silver arc and wades into a group of Halfling undead. Little Peter unloads his hand crossbow and imbeds a quarrel right in the eye socket of a zombie (The first natural “20” of the campaign). The battle lasts several rounds and though its close, our heroes are victorious. Little Peter was grievously wounded and was drug out of the manor by Helga as Joshua dispatched the last of the zombie welcoming committee.
Now all of this was with the new Castles and Crusades (C&C) system I wrote about a few days ago. Well, I'm here to report that so far C&C gets two great big thumbs up! The character creation rules are a breeze and combat was fun and exciting. Now, I'm running this for my guys who are 11 and 12 years old so the roleplaying is slow and halting but it will get better as they get older and more comfortable with the system. But I am having a great time reliving that feeling of low level character death coming with every new dice roll and the elation when a solid hit is scored.