Thursday, October 10, 2013

Do You Like "Dark" Campaigns?

I like the Midnight setting. I think it's on of the better done "dark" settings, even though it is a bit too dark for my taste - I dont think the players have any chance of making a real difference in the setting as written.

Still, having the world go to crap around you, making adventuring more than just "time to get more loot" into something along the lines of "how can we get more powerful so we can change things for the better". Kinda pointing the heroes into acting like heroes, at least in the long term.

Yeah, I'm seriously considering kicking things off with +Harley Stroh 's Tower of the Black Pearl. That adventure can certainly change the direction of a campaign right from the first session (trying to avoid spoilers, as my players do read the blog).

So, what say you? Traditional carefree adventuring or heroes in "The Dark"?


  1. I like 'em both. Midnight was the setting for one of my best campaigns of all time, but it is about as grimdark as a setting gets.

  2. Dark, but not hopeless, is great! If you are running DCC, I understand that the conversion of Harley Stroh's Tower of the Black Pearl is top notch.

    1. Running a heavily houseruled S&W - breaking from DCC for a bit. My group wants classic play and a sandbox

  3. I tried to run a game in Ravenloft. Tried being key. I ran it in the wrong system (for me at least) that being pathfinder and after level 5 the players were just above being afraid or doing research and I wasn't putting enough effort forth to punish them for it.

    That said I'd run a game there again, probably in 2e this time around.
    I might just have to do a "Week End in Hell" since it's close to Halloween.

  4. No. But I also don't care for the meaningless accumulation of stuff murder-hobo approach, either.

  5. I like the "Blackmoor" feel, where the object is to civilize a wild world, one barony at a time, from hill to hill, castle to castle. I think it's the most rewarding feel for a campaign.

  6. I concur that Midnight is, as written, pretty much hopelessly dark. The only 'way out' I found plausible given a fair amount of supplemental Midnight material was "White Mother tribe of orcs rebels against the Shadow with support from One-Arm and orcish generalship; lands under Shadow fall into chaos. Concurrently, Ardherin has realized that Shadow intends to consume all magic. His multicentury plot to break the Veil via ritual magic comes to fruition, everything changes." Thus my Midnight gameplans tended to focus on PCs interoperating with enemy traitors considerably.

  7. Dark is OK with me as long as there is some way to get the world to "turn the corner." Without that, I get kind of Meh. Like ravencrowking said, "Dark, but not hopeless." Didn't really care for Ravenloft the few times I played it. Wide open wilderness waiting to be tamed (or re-tamed) and settled (or re-settled) is just fine with me. Throw in some Dark, then fold, staple and mutilate and it should be fine.

  8. I recommend that you go for it. I know my players figured out the "hook" but they managed to get out with triggering the hook. It was close though...and it would have made an interesting turn to the start of a campaign had they failed.

    As for dark, I tend to favor more horrific games and campaigns, since I have run and written for Call of Cthulhu companies over the years. Honestly, sometimes the most horrific games are the ones that start off as being low fantasy, real world based games. But a bit of darkness always keeps the adventurers on their toes, at least in my opinion.

  9. I think "dark" has been overdone a bit at this point. It's become a little trite.


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