Friday, March 26, 2021

Return to the isle

 I'm running isle of dread again.  I'm not thinking of other campaign ideas! I've done too much of that over the years (and lately).  We decided to ditch the 5e game as honestly it was making me anxious.  I was trying to write too much backstory and weave the plot.

I'd like to return to the nightwell barony, but old school.  That is another day though.

Things I've learned from attempting a 5e homebrew game and world.

1.  Don't

Okay that was harsh.  I'm obviously more comfy with an older game.

1.  Know all the rules backwards and forwards.

2.  Run a wotc campaign first before attempting a homebrew.  There's lot of tidbits that come up, lore,  game mechanics etc that are easier to deal with.  See 1.

Creating a less magical, only basic rules 5e game is extremely difficult. 

Even if you run a longer one shot, you will understand the play style a bit better.

Okay isle stuff....

I'm running basic fantasy and enjoying it.  Next game I may use ose or shanes home brew osr rules (you can backstab a shark with a bow in it).  I should write them down.

I have the basic intro sorta scripted,  in such that there are no events but * "If thens "  for some situations. Once they are settled on the island ,it's about exploration.

Mostly things like npcs rumours, some faction oppositions, threads. Enough to get them excited.

Another thing I did that I learned from another awesome gm, was pre rolling encounters. This allows me to add some detail, map out possible treasure or lairs, and stats.  Now what I'll do is roll if an encounter is present, if so move to one of them.

Here's an example. I rolled a giant elk, wolves, humans, and a giant snake.

First thing I thought was to combine the wolves and the elk.  Maybe the wolves are hunting it? Or eating it?

The humans could be other settlers, another tribe of islanders, pirates, maybe pirates who have been marooned? Oooh.

See the wheels turning.

The above humans could be cooking a giant snake over the fire, hunting the elk, getting eaten by the snake.

Another thing I wrote was some basic weather, and hazards like quicksand, rock slides, annoying insects, old skeletons,etc.

I am going to play up the ancient civilization on the mountain, as well I am going to pop the forbidden city into the southern part of the island.  Also possibly b4 lost pyramid somewhere. Another thing I considered was kotb, however it's abandoned and filled with monsters.

Of course someone is going to be hunting a giant ape.

This island is filled with possibilities. 

*If then, for anyone whose programmed basic.


  1. Can't you just ignore the more "new school" 5e junk and create your homebrew world the OSR way? Basic 5e should've made things easier.

    1. I totally can, and the system is workable from an old school perspective. Players who've played the full version have certain expectations.i didn't fully paint the old school picture from the beginning. That said it was still a lot of fun

    2. As a GM who appreciates 5e only tangentially, it's part of our job to disabuse players of their unrealistic expectations.

  2. You will savor the purity of simply getting on with it. Fun. ROC like a Boss.

    Our DM (older brother; threatened to burn our big toes off with a lighter if we touched his D&D shit again, there were colorful expletives which are probably illegal now) actually repopulated Dread with a lot of tribes from Dwellers. A fantastic set of adventures. Probably killed 35 hours when we should have been mowing lawns.

  3. Did you get on with it?

    (Maybe you were distracted by paying $23,381 a year to send your son to university ONLINE? and explaining to your daughter that she would not have a prom for the second year in a row)

    Save versus Family Madness!

    1. I believe we are on session 3 now. Going really well.