Saturday, June 27, 2015

Monvesia: 3 Editions, 1 World

Several years ago, I played 4th Edition D&D with a group of friends.  While the ruleset was fun, I kept mentioning (probably to their annoyance, after a while) that it didn't feel like D&D.  It still felt like an epic fantasy campaign ... it just didn't feel like D&D.  Our DM was getting a bit burnt out, so I asked if I could run a game for a while.

They let me run a game from the Rules Cyclopedia (with Rage of the Rakasta).  Using the Classic ruleset, I built a complex world for them around their character's backgrounds and choices their characters made.   I came to call the known world Monvesia, named for the river which dominated it, the Monvesien.  We focused our early adventures on a small tributary in the north called the river Kleim.  A political intrigue surrounding the fall of the kingdom of the Hindland and the rise of the Grand Duchy of the Kleimland began to play out behind the characters--but their adventured quickly took them away from the ensuing war (toward the Isle of Dread, beyond the mouth of the great river).

Having already incorporated the Caves of Chaos into the local topography, we took a detour with the D&D Next pre-gen characters.  The adventure was changed based on the players' initial foray into the valley, though the goblinoids who inhabited the caves proved to be resilient enough to return in short order.

Our previous DM wanted to run a game of his own again, but didn't want to end the campaign I was running.  So, we agreed to switch off--one session would be his campaign, and the next would be mine.  In order to not confuse the players, however, we also agreed to play using the same ruleset.  He was going to be using a Pathfinder Adventure Path, so I agreed to update the rules of Monvesia to the Pathfinder rules.

The edition jump, skipping AD&D entirely, as well as the early incarnations of the 3rd edition, proved to be an interesting and fun exercise.  New possibilities of explaining classes and races expanded the world.  I even started to incorporate Psionics Unleashed into the campaign--introducing half-giants ("civilized ogres").

After only a few sessions, our collective personal lives got in the way.  Both campaigns ended without being resolved.  We would often talk to each other about playing again--either picking up where we left off, or starting anew.  Alas, it has yet to come to pass.

But an amazing thing happened in the last year:  the release of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons.  In this new ruleset, we (the players of the game as a whole) have experienced two seasons of adventure, and await a third.    As more an more options for this edition are released--through adventures, or the Unearthed Arcana column--the possibility of resurrecting Monvesia in a new edition has become more encouraging.

For the last few months, I have been updating my Classic/Pathfinder world of Monvesia to 5th edition.  I hope to present this world in pieces on this blog.  I will start with each race; then each class; then other tidbits of the campaign setting itself.  I will reference the necessary rules for each, and provide new rules where necessary.

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