The Slumbering Tsar

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Bisikoff
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The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

I just want to say how entirely inappropriate it is of me to be giving serious consideration to running The Slumbering Tsar Saga for tonight's DCC game. It seems to be a very old school adventure series, nasty (nasty) sandbox around the ruined, lost temple-city of Orcus.

While's it's very D&D, and not quite Appendix N, what's caught my attention outside of the old school spirit is the odd, weird feel of the setting - it's end of days gritty with crazy tough encounters.

That it's written for Pathfinder gives me no pause. It would have been nice had it been a Swords & Wizardry adaption, of course.

It's a level 7 start ... haven't considered if I'll buff the DCC PCs to Level 3 (or at least 2), or just run some tough intro encounters on the road.
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Ravenheart87
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Ravenheart87 »

Why is it inappropiate? The Slumbering Tsar Saga seems to be a nice campaign. It would be nice if Frog God Games joined the rank of DCC RPG 3pps. Tome of Horrors Complete and Rappan Athuk for DCC RPG anyone?
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Karaptis
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Karaptis »

Ravenheart87 wrote:Why is it inappropiate? The Slumbering Tsar Saga seems to be a nice campaign. It would be nice if Frog God Games joined the rank of DCC RPG 3pps. Tome of Horrors Complete and Rappan Athuk for DCC RPG anyone?
Yes! Rappan Athuk would rule for DCC! An excellent and nasty mega dungeon!
Bisikoff
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

Ravenheart87 wrote:Why is it inappropiate? The Slumbering Tsar Saga seems to be a nice campaign. It would be nice if Frog God Games joined the rank of DCC RPG 3pps. Tome of Horrors Complete and Rappan Athuk for DCC RPG anyone?
Well, I was actually kidding a bit ... it's only inappropriate if players want their PCs to live. :twisted:

Overall, it's massive campaign - I just picked it up on Friday, and have been skimming it. One of the local game stores, Black Diamond Games, is - apparently - the only game store to carry copies of Tsar.

I was a little disappointed to see there was only a Pathfinder version. I'm pretty good at substituting / adapting. A flip through my S&W version of the massive Tome of Horrors Complete provides 0e adaptions of many of the monsters. Things like demons really "collapse" nicely into a small stat 0e block. I find the 0E / S&W stuff much easier to adapt to DCC.
Bisikoff
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

I'll add that Slumbering Tsar has a bound in, eight page Obituaries section to track PC death in the campaign. Apprently, there's spots for a mere 250 PCs.

Who said this campaign wasn't written for DCC? ;)
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by bmonroe »

Where, when, and what can I bring? :D
Bisikoff
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

bmonroe wrote:Where, when, and what can I bring? :D
Well, Father's Day is out now, and this coming Sat is FreeRPG Day. ;)

I'm thinking maybe twice a month ... Sunday maybe (DCC Brunch? Kill things and take their omelet?). People who can make it, make it.

I'm thinking of a start the weekend after next.

I really, really gotta add some names to that Obituaries section ...
Bisikoff
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

Ravenheart87 wrote:Tome of Horrors Complete and Rappan Athuk for DCC RPG anyone?
Actually, I think the Swords & Wizardry versions of both those books (I have them) are pretty close to DCC. ToH is effectively 0e - the stats blocks are really easy. Likewise, the Kickstartered Rappan Athuk is going to have an S&W version. It's not DCC, but I think it's a good place to start.
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by bmonroe »

Bisikoff wrote:
bmonroe wrote:Where, when, and what can I bring? :D
Well, Father's Day is out now, and this coming Sat is FreeRPG Day. ;)

I'm thinking maybe twice a month ... Sunday maybe (DCC Brunch? Kill things and take their omelet?). People who can make it, make it.

I'm thinking of a start the weekend after next.

I really, really gotta add some names to that Obituaries section ...
Crap. Sundays are out for me right now, and I'm booked up the next three weekends anyway. Well, run it for whomever can make it.
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by reverenddak »

I've ran several S&W monsters & adventures in DCC RPG, without a hitch. The stats are practically identical.

Too bad the OP didn't find the S&W version, it's available online for sure.
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Bisikoff
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

reverenddak wrote:I've ran several S&W monsters & adventures in DCC RPG, without a hitch. The stats are practically identical.
Sweet.
Too bad the OP didn't find the S&W version, it's available online for sure.
The printed version - 1000 page hardback - is only in Pathfinder. That I'm aware. At their site, I'm pretty sure "Tsar" is only available in Pathfinder; it never got an S&W adaption ... I didn't see an S&W link.

As mentioned, I have their ToH which has a bulk of the monsters, which will help.

Rappan Athuk will have an S&W version ...
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reverenddak
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by reverenddak »

Bisikoff wrote: The printed version - 1000 page hardback - is only in Pathfinder. That I'm aware. At their site, I'm pretty sure "Tsar" is only available in Pathfinder; it never got an S&W adaption ... I didn't see an S&W link.

As mentioned, I have their ToH which has a bulk of the monsters, which will help.
derp, you're right. But, yeah, it shouldn't be an issue converting 3e/pathfinder stuff to DCC.
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Bisikoff
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

And, it's on - the Obsidian Portal campaign site is up, and my first session is this coming Saturday (6/30).
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by phg »

Bisikoff wrote:
reverenddak wrote: As mentioned, I have their ToH which has a bulk of the monsters, which will help.
A word of warning: I purchased the PDF for ToH (S&W edition), and the thing is over a quarter of a gig in size! It's easily the largest PDF I own, dwarfing by a factor of 10 my "Hi-res Maps of the Wilderlands" PDF.
Bisikoff
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

phg wrote:
Bisikoff wrote:
reverenddak wrote: As mentioned, I have their ToH which has a bulk of the monsters, which will help.
A word of warning: I purchased the PDF for ToH (S&W edition), and the thing is over a quarter of a gig in size! It's easily the largest PDF I own, dwarfing by a factor of 10 my "Hi-res Maps of the Wilderlands" PDF.
Dang. It's a book I own in hardcover. Likewise with Tsar ... probably for just that reason. ;)
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by nstr »

Bisikoff wrote:And, it's on - the Obsidian Portal campaign site is up, and my first session is this coming Saturday (6/30).
I was considering running Slumbering Tsar myself until I realized it might be too much work since the starting level is 7 and I really do not want to start players at that level. I went to obsidian portal and saw that you are starting your players at level 2. I am curious about what adaptations you are planning. I read in your previous post that you are pretty good at substituting/adapting in your game. Do you plan on making changes on the fly? Lowering the HD, HP, attack bonus, damage, etc.? I know DCC RPG is supposed to be deadly, but I think it would be impossible for the players if kept mostly as is.
Bisikoff
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

nstr wrote:
Bisikoff wrote:And, it's on - the Obsidian Portal campaign site is up, and my first session is this coming Saturday (6/30).
I was considering running Slumbering Tsar myself until I realized it might be too much work since the starting level is 7 and I really do not want to start players at that level. I went to obsidian portal and saw that you are starting your players at level 2. I am curious about what adaptations you are planning. I read in your previous post that you are pretty good at substituting/adapting in your game. Do you plan on making changes on the fly? Lowering the HD, HP, attack bonus, damage, etc.? I know DCC RPG is supposed to be deadly, but I think it would be impossible for the players if kept mostly as is.
DCC runs at approx twice-ish level to D&D and such. So, levels 1-3 = DCC level 1, and so forth. It's probably a little low level, but not quite as far as it seems at first. The players are pretty experienced as well, in general.

I also expect to be substituting in S&W monsters - they tend to run at a lower power curve than Pathfinder / 3.5 in general, which should help - and creating my own DCC interpretations elsewhere. There's not much to DCC stat blocks, really. If it was converting to Pathfinder, it'd be much more work. I am a bit concerned about the amount of work, but we'll see.
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Re: The Slumbering Tsar

Post by Bisikoff »

First session was this evening - we were scheduled for noon to 8; by the time everyone got here, we were 2 - 7:50 pm. Finishing chargen took the first hour, I'd say. I bumped them to 3rd level, handed out some interesting magic stuff, and then we rolled. I pretty much went with nearly any idea they brought in chargen.

It was pretty awesome. I had three players, and each of them had brought (as instructed) a 2nd level char. They had to level them up, and then decided to each bring in a 2nd PC as well. Tsar, with 3 PCs, is a little suicidal.

Regina had made a warrior (female). She asked about playing twins, so I had her just copy the character sheet, change the name and sex, and done. Ialith and Arnanr Arngeirsonne. They had a magical two-handed sword that they could pull into two swords. It / each was +1, Int 6, and the wielder could decipher any non-magical map and make whirlwind attacks. If they pulled the sword apart, each was +1 / Int 6, but they had to decide at the time of splitting which magical power went where. They used a lance and warhorse as their primary weapons.

Dennis brought Tylus, an elf, with a (sexy) honey badger familiar. He had a staff, and a pair of boots of levitation. They were full calf boots, with curly, pointed toes. He made a 2nd character, Mira, a cleric of Freya. A male cleric; the only male cleric (or at least in his region). Sister (it's the formal title) Mira was, as Dennis put it, apparently entirely sincere, but sort of smarmy, and everyone assumed his was in it for the priestesses. "Even Freya", says I, and thus his Disapproval starts at 2 every day. He wound up with a +2 mace on loan from the church. It's Int 14 (higher than the PC), can speak and has telepathy (but rarely speaks to him), is a bane to thieves, sheds light on command, and has a purpose of causing great monuments to great heroes to be build. And she has the name Novomira Provida and requires he praise her, by full name, boldly when using her (unless the direst of straights).

Angelo brought Lucius, a thief. Lucius had a magical blowgun carved from the thigh bone of a murderer (and could be used as a club, and counted as a magic weapon), a flask that when unstoppered emitted black smoke, and 100 feet of fine magical spidersilk rope. He also rolled up Darius, an elf, who had a scorpion tailed familiar (who was just smart enough to know he didn't get the parable, and was tired of hearing it).

Some highlights

I used active defense rolls (instead of static ACs). They rolled d20 + Defense Bonus (which was basically AC - 10).

I ran them through a initial combat, with a giant scorpion right out of the DCC book. The thief took a stinger hit, failed his save, and nearly died the round after from poison. The cleric was just able to save him.

The scenes in the Camp were fun - lots of roleplaying. They fought the raging hill giant, which I ran as a DCC hill giant. They used Word of Command to stop him. It didn't quite work as expected when the giant's head explored two rounds later (Saves for 1/2 damage, 2d8 from skull fragments). You simply can't force a rabid, raging giant to stop mid-charge without consequences.

They fought the hanged man, which I seriously thought was heading to a TPK .. unless Dennis' elf got a spectacular magic missile result and pretty much nuked it from orbit.

Of all things, they wound up finding (tripping over) the brood mother's lair. They just managed to kill it - I was a bit stunned, but one of the PCs died. They just about lost a few more - the thief hit 0 and was bleeding out as well.

Great time.

Also, my issue of Crawl #2 was delivered by the mailman during our midsession break, which was pretty awesome too.
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