Barrowmound Campaign- The Set Up, House-rules, etc.

Dungeon Art

The other day I posted that I was switching my Barbarians of the Ruined Earth and Hubris games to a megadungeon.  I have started to develop my own megadungeon that I will want to run them through (and possibly publish), but it’s still a bit off and NOT switching was not going to alleviate the issues that were arising from attendance, etc.

I also have a rule for myself when I’m writing something (for running or publishing).  I don’t run it until it gets to a certain point (and after a certain point).

I decided to run my two groups through Barrowmaze!  It’s a great book, easy to read/run.  The price is a bit high, but I definitely think the PDF is worth it.

I’m using my house-ruled Black Hack rules (married with some Swords and Wizardry).

The House-Rules

  • Taken from my Barbarians of the Ruined Earth game- Armor absorbs a certain amount of damage (i.e., leather= 1 armor, chainmail 2, and plate 3).  Armor has a number of “ticks” equal to the absorption score.  This is reduced by one each time the character is knocked unconscious or subject to a critical hit.  Once dropped to zero ticks the armor is broken and provides no protection.  The player makes a Luck roll (rolling 1-3 on a d6) to see if the “tick” is repairable (roughly 10% of the cost of new armor).
    • Shields provide an extra “tick” that the player can determine take the brunt of the damage and sacrifice that tick instead of their armor.  Shields cannot be repaired.
  • All classes start with max HP for class +4.
  • All classes deal 1d6/1d4 damage, including mages.
    • Only Warriors and Paladins deal 1d8/1d6 damage.
  • Characters can rest once per day for an hour to regain 1 HD of HP.  8 hours gives another 1 HD.
  • Usage Die has been reduced greatly.  Torches, waterskins, rations, ammo is all back to actual numbers for resource management.
  • Characters gain experience similar to standard ratio in Pathfinder/Fighter in S&W.
  • Monsters can make Saving Throws against spells, abilities, and effects.
    • Enemy HD Damage Savings Throw
      1-2 1d6 6
      3-4 2d6 8
      5-6 3d6 10
      7-8 4d6 12
      9-10 5d6 14
      11+ 6d6 15
  • There are races and classes
    • Races: Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Halfling, Half-orc, Half-elf, and Half-demon.
    • Classes: Warrior, Thief, Cleric, Wizard, Ranger, Paladin, Druid, and Warlock.
    • There are occupations- I’m using DCC until I write my own.
  • Death- When a target falls to 0 HP, they are “unknown.”  A healing potion or spell during combat will revive them.  At the end of combat, the player rolls a Luck roll.  If it favors them, they are still alive and roll Out of Action.  If it doesn’t favor them, they are dead.
    • Out of Action
      1-2 KO’d: Just knocked out.
      3-4 Fat Head: Disadvantage on all tests for the next hour.
      5 Cracked Bones: STR, DEX and CON are temp -2 for the next day.
      6 Cracked Skull: INT and WIS are temp -2 for the next day.
      7 Crippled – STR or DEX is

      permanently reduced by 2.

      8 Brain Damage: INT or WIS permanently reduced by 2.
      9 Disfigured: CHA reduced by 1d6.
      10 Limb Lost: Need a prosthetic.

The Premise

First session- start on the Barrowmoor.  The players know the location of the immediate entrance to Barrowmaze and can either go right for it or hunt through the burial mounds.

Each session after starts in Helix (local town in Barrowmaze) and can carouse (per Jeff and Zak).  The group then deals with ramifications from this.

Buy supplies and sell goods from previous session, go to tavern for hooks and rumors (if so desired) and find hirelings (again- if so desired).

Go to dungeon and dive.

In the dungeon, it’s a slow crawl of encounters, fear, and death.  If they crash in the dungeon- there’s a chance for an encounter.  If they decided to head back to town to resupply, heal, more hirelings, etc. there is a chance for a random encounter, traps, etc.

At the end of the session the group gets back to Helix without any encounters or hassle.  Loot is divvied up, magical items are identified (for a cost), scrolls are copied, spells are learned (possibly), experience is given.  Then leveling up if applicable.

Next session takes place a week (or more) later in game time than the previous.  All characters start with full HP, spells, etc.

All sessions will be numbered according to sequential order and not group (although that will be indicated in notes).

Sessions and format inspired by the awesome Jeff Rients and his Vaults of Vyzor.

As far as restocking the dungeon goes, each week after a room is cleared, I roll 1d100 to see if something moves in.  The base chance is 25% and it increases by 10% until something has moved in and begun taken over.  This could be a new horde of treasure, a monster, a new trap, etc.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

The World

Barrowmaze takes place on a soggy, rainy moor.  Nearby is the small town of Helix, the castle Ironguard, and Bogtown.

Far far to the North is Vornheim with its decadence, rusty spires, and sprawl.  Nearby is the Maze of the Blue Medusa.  This will be open for my players should they want to try that megadungeon out as well.  Further north is Death Frost Doom.  Further South is Scenic Dunnsmouth in the Bogwood Swamp (of Hubris).  This gives me everything my group will need (especially if they need to stretch their legs) for an expansive world (without becoming too convoluted).  I still will run all these areas in a similar megadungeon fashion as I mentioned above.

The Plan

Both groups will be running through Barrowmaze- their decisions and actions affecting the other.  After I take each group through a few spins (and my life slows down a little with RL work, writing, etc.), I plan on doing some flailsnails runs with it!







Author: wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn.

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