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The Butcher

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The Great Pendragon Campaign always gets name-dropped. It must be awesome, but I really don't see myself running Pendragon.

The Enemy Within for WFRP often gets mentioned too. This one I might end up running some day.

Masks of Nyarlathotep for CoC is one I definitely want to run.

Technically not a campaign but there are loose connections between Temple of Elemental Evil, Scourge of the Slave Lords and the GDQ series. I'd love to run them all as "The Great Greyhawk Campaign", using either AD&D1 or D&D5.
 

Tommy Brownell

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Technically not a campaign but there are loose connections between Temple of Elemental Evil, Scourge of the Slave Lords and the GDQ series. I'd love to run them all as "The Great Greyhawk Campaign", using either AD&D1 or D&D5.

If I did it, I'd make it a point to move them to The Forgotten Realms, just because I'm sure it would cause someone somewhere almost physical pain.

The best campaign I've ever ran was Necessary Evil, but I know that was at least partially the group (not to take anything away from the campaign).
 

Baulderstone

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The Enemy Within for WFRP often gets mentioned too. This one I might end up running some day.

Masks of Nyarlathotep for CoC is one I definitely want to run.

I've run both of these. I've played Masks once and run it twice. It is a fantastic design. On one level, it is a classic investigative model, with clues guiding you through the adventure. On the other hand, it also feels very sandboxy. In each city/country, there are a number of NPCs going about their own plans. How the players interact with them is very loose. It has meant that there have been a lot of difference in how it has played out each time.

The Enemy Within deserves its reputation, but it had issues. The first three parts (The Enemy Within, Shadows over Bogenhafen, Death on the Reik) are all great. The first part is admittedly a little railroady to get the story underway, but it is entertaining enough that the players didn't complain.

The fourth part, Power Behind the Throne is also very good, but the ending forces the players into the fourth part where is starts to go wrong. Something Rotten in Kislev wasn't written to part of this campaign, and it shows. It has no connection to anything that came before. It is a sourcebook for Kislev with the three adventures that having nothing to do with the campaign railroaded into it.

The other issue is that at least of these adventures is an almost guaranteed campaign ender. Running a party through a massive campaign, then heavy handed forcing them on an unrelated string of adventures in another nation where they are almost certain to never come back is a good way to piss off your players. I know because that is what happened when I ran it.

Taken as a standalone book on Kislev with deadly adventures, it is quite a good book I think its bad reputation is due to the marketing decision to make it part of TEW at the last minute.

I bought the last installment, Empire in Flames despite my campaign already having fallen apart. It just wasn't very good. It was a narrow railroad. It had looooong scenes where the players watched as other people did things with no way to affect them. There are some other things that really annoy me in written adventures, but they are specific enough to be spoilery. I'll just say that I was actively angry by the time I finished reading it. How did such an awesome campaign line end so badly.

Still, the early adventures really did define the setting, and for that the campaign does deserve respect. Just be aware of the issues if you decide to run it.
 

Stevethulhu

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I've had a hankering to run Enemy Within. I haven't touched it for years, with the last time it got dragged out ending in a TPK during a goblin raid. But having stumbled onto GURPSHammer 2.0, I'd be very tempted to put the elbow grease in and convert the whole thing to GURPS.
 

The Butcher

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If I did it, I'd make it a point to move them to The Forgotten Realms, just because I'm sure it would cause someone somewhere almost physical pain.

MFW I read this
Chest%20pain.jpg


The Enemy Within deserves its reputation, but it had issues. The first three parts (The Enemy Within, Shadows over Bogenhafen, Death on the Reik) are all great. The first part is admittedly a little railroady to get the story underway, but it is entertaining enough that the players didn't complain.

Too bad about TEW. Anyone familiar with the WFRP1 Doomstones campaign? (It's the one other I'm familiar with. Big fan of the smaller, looser WFRP1 adventures, though.)
 

Stevethulhu

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Too bad about TEW. Anyone familiar with the WFRP1 Doomstones campaign? (It's the one other I'm familiar with. Big fan of the smaller, looser WFRP1 adventures, though.)
That's another one I've always wanted to run. I know it was written for AD&D, then hastily converted to WHFRP1. And than languised for years until Hogshead collected and finished it.

But it still looks like loads of fun.
 

Black Leaf

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The Alchemist's Wife for Clockwork & Chivalry is excellent. Sadly they never got round to publish parts 3 and 4.
 

Baulderstone

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Too bad about TEW. Anyone familiar with the WFRP1 Doomstones campaign? (It's the one other I'm familiar with. Big fan of the smaller, looser WFRP1 adventures, though.)
Just to be clear, there is still a lot that is fantastic about TEW. It's defined the WFRP world, and I consider it essential reading if you plan to use that setting. The Reik Valley and Middenheim setting are useful beyond the context of the campaign, and the Russian mythological stuff in the Kislev book was very new to me at the time.

It just isn't Masks of Nyarlathotep which, to be fair, has the advantage of being a single, huge product. TEW has the issue of being released over years in different books by different authors during the years in which GW went from being awesome to somewhat soulless. By the time Empire in Flames came out, White Dwarf magazine was a minis catalog that you were expected to pay for.

I looked through the Doomstones books in stores, but never actually bought them, as I was feeling burned by GW at the time. They definitely look D&Dish, as Steverhulhu points out, but they looked like fun D&D. I remember dungeon maps and so on. I've heard some favorable things about it over the years. I can't say it it is good, but it's one I would definitely play.
 

OHT

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I really like the Doomstones campaign. There's a bit of snobbbery where WFRP is concerned, that you're 'not allowed' to run it with a d&d sensability, but doomstones lets you do it while keeping the Old World flavour. The final part (again printed miles later than the first 2 adventures) is pretty brutal and again, pretty much just kills your characters at the end unless you want to 'hollywood-ize' it as the text puts it.
 

K_Peterson

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I've ran Masks of Nyarlathotep a number of times, it's always been entertaining. There are portions, or locales in MoN that I prefer more than others, but it's still very solid. But, I think my favorite CoC campaign was with Pagan Publishing's Coming Full Circle / Realm of Shadows. Less standard-mythos investigations with those, though.

This is nostalgia talking: but I still think fondly of Star Frontiers' Volturnus module-series.
 

Baulderstone

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This is nostalgia talking: but I still think fondly of Star Frontiers' Volturnus module-series.

I ran that again about ten years ago. We had a lot of fun with it.

I really like the Doomstones campaign. There's a bit of snobbbery where WFRP is concerned, that you're 'not allowed' to run it with a d&d sensability, but doomstones lets you do it while keeping the Old World flavour. The final part (again printed miles later than the first 2 adventures) is pretty brutal and again, pretty much just kills your characters at the end unless you want to 'hollywood-ize' it as the text puts it.
Yeah, that snobbery was definitely a thing. I was certainly susceptible to it at the time it came out. I was already souring on the game line a bit (on top of the fact that all the hardcovers near that time had pages that scattered like autumn leaves), but seeing it was D&D-like was the final thing that stopped me from buying it. I was sick of D&D in the late '80s, and I steadfastly avoided anything that seemed similar.

Fortunately, my gaming tastes are circular. There have been many things I decided I was done with forever when I was younger that I just needed a break from.
 

dr_mitch

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I'm going to talk about some more recent favourites rather than the well-known classics:

The Darkening of Mirkwood for The One Ring is some inspiring stuff, and a great framework for a good old-fashioned tragic epic.

Dracula Dossier for Night's Black Agents was stirring stuff as a player, as was the two part Albion's Ransom game for Esoterrorists. Still on the various Gumshoe games, the Zalozhniy Quartet for Night's Black Agents looks excellent on paper, and I'm looking forward to running the Final Revelation for Trail of Cthulhu.

The campaign taking up just over half of Owl Hoot Trail looks very good indeed. So does the campaign in Mythic Britain.
 

TristramEvans

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I completely agree with Baulderstone's assessment of the Enemy Within, which is one of my favourite campaigns. I think its best to run the first part as is, and then let players dictate where it goes, using the other books as inspiration as needed. I've run it three times, and each campaign has gone in a wildly different direction.

Masks of Nyarlothotep formed the basis, or skeletal framework, of one of my longest CoC campaigns (with other modules sprinkled in), but I radically altered it so much that it would probably be unrecognizable. It ended up being the chronicle of a secret underground war between the Cult Of Nyarlothotep and the followers of Moloch, the Machine-Mind. And then everything went to complete shit when the players infested the Dreamlands with a techno-disease that manifested visually as a sea of skin and wailing babies. It got seriously epic even as it completely went off the rails from the original framework.
 
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Black Leaf

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The Pelinore setting for D&D is massively underrated. (Probably because it was published in Imagine and there was the whole drama with them and Gygax).
 

Black Leaf

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What was the drama?

Essentially the staff on Imagine thought they should be independent editorially and Gygax strongly objected to the idea.

Gygax said:
As for lower echelon staffers believing that they were paid to be independent critics of TSR products, somehow being given free rein to exercise their budding critical talents, I can only shake my head in wonderment at such hubris. Biting the hand that feeds one has always been considered in bad taste. If such persons felt so overwhelming an urge to be independent, they should have sought employment elsewhere or struck out on their own. In short, I have absolutely no sympathy for such views. The very reason for their employment was to promote the TSR line and its success paid the wages for their livelihood.

(...)

Had I remained in control of TSR, it is nearly certain that "Imagine" magazine would have resumed publication in due time, as the finances of TSR and TSR UK allowed. After all, "Dragon" magazine was my conception and I was likewise convinced that a similar publication in the UK subsidiary was needed for long-term success. Of course had I in the interim learned of the staffers' attitude, I would have directed Don Turnbull to move the would-be independent journalists to positions in the warehouse or to janitorial and tea service ones and required him to hire more mature and reasoning replacements for them on the editorial staff.

Lest the readers think I am too harsh in my dismissal of the "Imagine" Magazine's staff in regards to their efforts to become "independent journalists", allow me to assure you that prior to that there were a few persons on the staff of "Dragon" magazine that had the same delusions. I personally spoke to them at length to disabuse them of their fond notions and there were changes made in personnel.

From http://www.keithrobinson.me/thekyngdoms/interviews/garygygax.php
 

Baulderstone

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Masks of Nyarlothotep formed the basis, or skeletal framework, of one of my longest CoC campaigns (with other modules sprinkled in), but I radically altered it so much that it would probably be unrecognizable. It ended up being the chronicle of a secret underground war between the Cult Of Nyarlothotep and the followers of Moloch, the Machine-Mind. And then everything went to complete shit when the players infested the Dreamlands with a techno-disease that manifested visually as a sea of skin and wailing babies. It got seriously epic even as it completely went off the rails from the original framework.
Due to each chapter being its own sandbox, it is really easy to add and remove parts of the campaign without breaking it. Even within the published material, there are plenty of sidequests, like the Nitocris plot in Egypt or the newspaper articles in London. I've made the minor change of swapping out the newspaper articles for other leads. I've also gone very afar astray as well. Once the players ended up going back to Ancient Egypt and battling Nephron Ka. To return to their own time, they made dealing with the cult of Bast that gave them access to the Dreamlands where they had to venture to edge of the world where dream exist outside of time to find their way back to the modern age. I've found that Dead Man Stomp works very well if you set it in a speakeasy around the corner from the Juju House.

The campaign also has no real scripted climax. There are many ways to end the story. Even if the players end the main threat, it is likely other threads from the campaign will still be around and need to be dealt with.
 

TristramEvans

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Essentially the staff on Imagine thought they should be independent editorially and Gygax strongly objected to the idea.

Hm, so Gygax forsaw it as an advertisement vehicle, and the writers saw it as a critical voice. Yeah, obviously a disconnect. I think I was confusing Imagine with Imazine, the sort of arthouse rpg mag where I first encountered the writings of Andrew Rilstone.
 

Spinachcat

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I ran Doomstones a long time ago. Way to railroady for me and not how I viewed Warhammer. But its been many years so I probably should give it another read.
 

Leon ap Hywel

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I ran Night in the Underdark for my group 24(ish?) years ago and that was a great adventure, loads of fun with destroying underdark enemies that weren’t drow in an epic but nuanced dungeon crawl and a lot of laughs turning the surface world community of Milborne into a fledgling power in Cormyr.
 

Imperator

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Call of Cthulhu has, quie possibly, the best campaigns ever published for any game, period. Masks of Nyarlathotep is a golden standard for good campaign design, Horror in the Orient Express is one of the most moody things you'll ever run, and there are many many more brilliant campaigns, too many.
Griffin Mountain / Island for RuneQuest is THE sandbox, for me.
Chicago by Night 1st ed is the campaig that defines Vampire for me.
The Colymar campaign in Sartar for HeroQuest, best intro to Glorantha ever.
The Great Pendragon Campaign is something every gamer should experience at least once.
Danse Macabre, for Aquelarre, brilliant short campaign that gets the very best of the game.
 

Voros

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I'm a bit of a broken record because I bought and re-read it recently but the high point of my youth playing D&D was the mini-campaign of Night's Dark Terror. Starts with goblins and ends with a Cthulhuish horror!
 

Baulderstone

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Griffin Mountain / Island for RuneQuest is THE sandbox, for me.
Every time I go back and read that again, I am baffled that it wasn't more imitated in the '80s. It is such a friendly sandbox design, giving not just a big map to explore, but interesting NPCs that seek to use the PCs in their own intrigues.[/quote]

When I started playing the Elder Scrolls series of video games, I was impressed at how clearly they were trying to imitate Griffin Mountain. The sandbox divided by locals and an intruding empire. Colorful religious cults. NPCs with ready lists of missions for PCs that need a hook handed to them.

Chicago by Night 1st ed is the campaig that defines Vampire for me.

Same here. I was living in Muncie, Indiana at the time, which is just a few hours outside Chicago, so it was fun have my own Muncie setting that would crossover with the Chicago setting.

There was a lot to like about that book, but part of it was the fact that the NPCs all had identities that were rooted in their pre-undead lives. The longer Vampire went on, the more the characters were defined entirely in terms of imaginary vampire society.

The Great Pendragon Campaign is something every gamer should experience at least once.

Has anyone managed to do it twice?

I'm a bit of a broken record because I bought and re-read it recently but the high point of my youth playing D&D was the mini-campaign of Night's Dark Terror. Starts with goblins and ends with a Cthulhuish horror!

It's worth noting that Jim Bambra, Phil Gallagher, and Graeme Morris wrote Night's Dark Terror. Both Bambra and Gallagher would work on the first three volumes of The Enemy Within campaign.
 

Ronnie Sanford

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I have heard that Griffin Mountain is the bomb! How does it compare to Monster Island?
 

TristramEvans

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I ran Doomstones a long time ago. Way to railroady for me and not how I viewed Warhammer. But its been many years so I probably should give it another read.

Yeah I am not a fan of that campaign. Its seemed like everything they were trying to do with it was the opposite of WFRP's particular strengths.
 

TristramEvans

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I've sadly never been able to get a hard copy of the Great Pendragon Campaign, and its way too rich to run from a pdf (for me, I just don't take to that format - l can only digest pdfs in small chunks). Definitely on my list of life goals. Why the hell is it not in print? Or, at the very least, POD?
 

Doc Sammy

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Vampire: The Masquerade had some awesome campaign modules back in the days of First Edition.

The Succubus Club was a good campaign anthology, and Ashes to Ashes is a timeless classic that even got a sequel in V20 titled Dust to Dust. As for the non-Chicago based campaign modules, there was Awakening: Diablerie Mexico, which was an awesome Indiana Jones-style dungeon crawl to steal the power of a slumbering Methuselah. I've heard Alien Hunger is good, but have not checked it out.

There's also Blood Nativity, an adventure module for Vampire 1E that was published very early in the game's run and remains the sole published third-party material for World of Darkness (unless you count the new Storyteller's Vault stuff), as it was published by Atlas Games instead of White Wolf.
 

Baulderstone

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I've heard Alien Hunger is good, but have not checked it out.
Alien Hunger is weird. I barely remember it now. I seem to recall a kind of steampunk vibe with an undead Thomas Edison. It is very early Vampire: the Masquerade, and it lines up with almost nothing that came after. I'd need to look at it again to decide if that is good or bad.

Either way, as I know you are a devoted student of 1st edition, you owe it to yourself to read it. Your education is not complete until you do.
 

Doc Sammy

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Undead Louis Pasteur? Color me interested.

I am probably buying Alien Hunger next time I get paid.
 

Tommy Brownell

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Mrfish

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Though I think the campaign has some shortcomings, I have very fond memories of playing the Giovanni Chronicles. I don’t think it matches many (any?) of the already mentioned campaigns in terms of quality, but the concept of following the same characters across centuries in a storyline central to the VtM, was fun (and even the switch in book 4 was ok, since our old characters were obviously working in the background). It also has its share of horror, and I have memories of it dealing with the loss of humanity in a more substantial way. My impression might be a bit skewed by playing with a great group and I believe the campaign itself demands some serious investment from both GM and players.
 

Dr Jack

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I've sadly never been able to get a hard copy of the Great Pendragon Campaign, and its way too rich to run from a pdf (for me, I just don't take to that format - l can only digest pdfs in small chunks). Definitely on my list of life goals. Why the hell is it not in print? Or, at the very least, POD?

The Great Pendragon Campaign is a big disappointment. The concept is great but the actual printed materials don't make running that game easier. You're better off ignoring the book and running without, imo.
 

TristramEvans

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The Great Pendragon Campaign is a big disappointment. The concept is great but the actual printed materials don't make running that game easier. You're better off ignoring the book and running without, imo.

Is that so? It tends to get pretty rave reviews. What did you dislike about it?
 

Dr Jack

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Is that so? It tends to get pretty rave reviews. What did you dislike about it?

It's badly organised, very railroady, and doesn't help you run a good game. I am a big fan of Pendragon and the long campaign is great but the book is not useful for running it.

See also my review on rpg.net.
 
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