Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Campaign Blog - Eyes of the Stone Thief: Preamble

My friend Jack bought a copy of Eyes Of The Stone Thief and, despite knowing

that I was DMing a 13th Age game. Knowing that I’m the sort of DM who takes modules

and adventure books and tears them into pieces to assemble something from the spare

parts, he still lent me his copy.*

Now, as I said, I usually just take adventures and use them for parts, but this book

hooked me with a killer concept – the Stone Thief a sentient, mobile dungeon that steals

architecture to build new dungeons – and wonderful, descriptive encounters. Also, there

are no railroads. Well, rather, there are railroads but they’re complicated and chaotic, like

a Brio train set up by half a dozen overtired toddlers hyped up on Pixie Stix. The

dungeons can be different every single time you enter it, with dozens of differently sets of

rooms to run through.

Not only that, but some of those room-sets feed into different approaches to the

dungeon. Are your players trying to take over the Stone Thief? Well, there are rooms that

lead you to information about the care and feeding of the Stone Thief, as well as hints as

to how you control it. Are they trying to destroy it? There are rooms for that too. Are they

just trying to get their stuff back after the Stone Thief swallowed it? Yep, there’s rooms

for that, too. And the types cross over, so you can have a party enter the Stone Thief

thinking, “I need to get my gear back,” and leave thinking, “I think I can destroy that

monster.” It’s . . . heady. Like someone handed you a stack of campaign notes with tons

of helpful stick notes rather than a linear adventure.

Shortly after reading his copy, I bought one of my own, intending to run a Stone

Thief campaign at the earliest opportunity.

The problem was, I was already running a 13th Age game in a setting I’d spent

some months creating and wasn’t ready to give up. And then my wife realized something

I hadn’t – we’d already spawned a gamer, and he had a friend. That is, my 12 year old

son had expressed interest in playing D&D in the past, and so had his best friend.

And so our gaming group was made – My wife, Christy, my son, Graeme, and his

friend, who we’ll call M. I rounded out the traditional four character party with a GMPC,

a sorcerer. The next blog post will be about character creation in 13th Age and how it

worked for us.

* Insert copious maniacal laughter.

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