ramblings about the Cormyr campaign

Once upon a time…..

Hello I am Damian, the wrong side of 40 and an avid D&D’er for nearly 30 years and a gamer for as long as i can remember.

I have always played games from a young age, cards and dominoes and monopoly and anything else I could persuade my parents to show me and play with me. My love of gaming comes from them and I can’t thank them enough for letting me play and explore and expand my imagination via games.

The D&D Years

It all started when I moved up from junior school to senior school and my mate Dave gave me a copy of the The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Fighting Fantasy book. I took it home intrigued, spent all night trying to find my way through the adventure but failed every time. Next morning in the playground he asked me what I thought and after I responded positively he said the following to me:  “I have something even better to play” and that was it, we went to his house after school and his younger brother Kev ran a D&D adventure for us, (the magenta box version), and my life was changed forever. Within a couple of days I had designed my own dungeon and we were playing most evenings after school, killing goblins and skeletons and random critters in 10X10 rooms whilst looting treasure chests and hoping to avoid the gas traps that lurked at random in every corridor and room.

Not much has changed in the last 30 years, I still game with Kev regularly and catch up with Dave every month or so for some multiplayer action on the Xbox/PS, and sometimes, just sometimes, I sneak a 10×10 room with an orc guarding a treasure chest into the on-going campaign, just to see the smile on the players faces.

I have played D&D in the Forgotten Realms setting since the old grey box set was released  in 1987 and the on-going campaign  gravitated towards Cormyr fairly early on after I got the OGBS. Most recently Thunderstone has taken centre stage as the campaign hub and I plan on posting home-brew information here.

Cormyr was an instant hit for me when I read the Cyclopedia of the Realms. A stable kingdom surrounded by wilderness and plenty of internal intrigue with fractious nobles, ambitious merchants and secretive Wizards of War. The perfect place to run any genre of adventure and why the campaign is fully entrenched in the Forest Kingdom.

The current game uses the Castles and Crusades rule set published by Troll Lord Games supplemented by 1E and 2E material, as well as MERP modules, some 3E publishers, fan created work and any other inspiration that happens along!

The current ‘mini campaign’ within the larger on-going campaign is reaching 12th level and all the players know that they are adding to the history of the setting and that actions taken by other characters from 20+ years ago might come back to haunt them in the current timeline (as well as their actions having a permanent impact on the ‘future Realms’).


2 responses to “Once upon a time…..

  1. Liz January 10, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Damian is both a visionary and a source of consternation amongst other DM’s and players alike… his knack of being able to totally immerse players into a world of mystery, magic and machinations, puts him in a category of storytellers rarely seen.

    The world of Cormyr is brought to life in his ability to describe not only the grander, some would say more prevalent pieces of information needed to be able to run a game, but also the intimate details of the people, fauna and flora of this wooded land, making it seem so much more vivid, perceptual and alive. Magic is not just a means to an end in the Cormyr campaign, it is a entity, alive in its ability to create and destroy. Places around the realm have depth, not only in the people who inhabit them, but involve players in the rich tapestry that is the Land of the Purple Dragon.

    To the players, he inspires, terrifies, amazes and yes.. frustrates with his depth of knowledge of the game, creative abilities and the memory of a pachyderm. The NPC who first made an appearance 20 ‘real’ years ago will pop up randomly to cause havoc, or an item which was first lost in a battle on the Vast Swamp by another player (now flown the proverbial nest) will be randomly spoke about in a Inn in Wheloon.

    Frustrating? Certainly, because players instinctively know that most of the time these people, items are being shown to them for a reason. What that reason is, is generally the source of frustration, but its these ‘gems’ of knowledge which give the world he creates a history, and a richness of continuity. Unless of course he is presenting a red fish on a very frayed line (which has happened….quite frequently)

    In essence he is a true master of storytelling, a stickler for getting things ‘right’ and an inspiration for the countless numbers of players he has run for….. which is why we players keep coming back for more!

    Liz…. AKA Jeoly Silverwands

  2. Rob January 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    D&D as it should be played, what is on a character sheet is not important, dice are things the children steal off the table to make patterns (again not important) with and tea is consumed by the litre…..comradery, the story and imagination all that is required to unlock Cormyr and it’s rich tapestry. Having played this game for many years we often liken it to pulling on a pair of old slippers (welll at least the slippers that have survived the attention of Liz and Damo’s dogs)

    I am sure in coming weeks, with more time, I will add a deal more about what a young noble kicked out of his home to make his fortune can accomplish in a war ravaged eastern realm with the help of good friends, a handful of fey, a young king (who can see past the pointy ears) and a colourful rabble of the common folk of Cormyr (well at least the ones who pay taxes)

    As it is I shall only say that as the voice of Liongrym Sansilver, wielder of the traitors blade, it is a most pressing challenge (even for one with my many years of escape into fantasy) to remember to speak in a ‘squeaky voice’ when lying about ones military aspirations…..

    Rob – aka Liongrym ‘Leo’ Sansilver

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