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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistrad

    I finally finished it: check it out!

    The adventure takes place in Innistrad, a world steeped in european gothic horror themes and tropes. Though it certainly helps if you're a fan of the setting, the module can hopefully be enjoyed without knowledge of the setting and I think there's plenty of non-setting specific material to salvage. I hear Ravenloft is comparable in terms of setting.

    A redditor named Nihilates drew the maps, and he also made a sweet PDF of Variant Humans if people want to run the game with no non-humans.

    Edit: I also made an NPC Delandel, the Undead Paladin. He was created as a possible hook to continue the adventure beyond its end, but I wrote him open-ended to be inserted into any adventure.

    So yeah. Wanted to share!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Wow, this is really impressive. As always with your PDFs, the art is integrated seamlessly and it all looks professional. You even included milestones, which save a lot of time and help with new people joining. Well done.
    Breaking BM: Revised - an updated look at the beast-mounted halfling ranger based on the Revised Ranger: Beast Conclave.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Most of my group are Magic players and we've often entertained the thought of playing in one of the Multiverse's worlds, though the one time I tried running such a campaign it ended rather disastrously.

    If I ever try it again, I'd probably choose Zendikar as the setting. Even in MtG that block was basically D&D, with creatures that leveled up, tons of equipment, treasure maps, quests, the Allies, which were like adventuring parties, and so forth. I remebmer it was rather hard to homebrew setting-specific races for that plane in 3.5, and it will probably be even harder in 5e.

    I'm writing this having only skimmed the document, but what I believe might immediately spring up as a problem is how imbalanced Clerics and Paladins would be in such an undead-heavy setting, not to mention all the other monsters that have various resistances and immunities. Casters would do fine, but mundanes might find it hard to deal with the threats of the world without heavy investment in equipment, especially at lower levels. If this is adressed in the module, please ignore this paragraph.
    Last edited by MOLOKH; 2015-07-04 at 02:55 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Wow, this is really impressive. As always with your PDFs, the art is integrated seamlessly and it all looks professional. You even included milestones, which save a lot of time and help with new people joining. Well done.
    Thanks! The art is easy since it all comes from one source (Magic's Innistrad setting).

    Quote Originally Posted by MOLOKH View Post
    Most of my group are Magic players and we've often entertained the thought of playing in one of the Multiverse's worlds, though the one time I tried running such a campaign it ended rather disastrously.

    If I ever try it again, I'd probably choose Zendikar as the setting. Even in MtG that block was basically D&D, with creatures that leveled up, tons of equipment, treasure maps, quests, the Allies, which were like adventuring parties, and so forth. I remebmer it was rather hard to homebrew setting-specific races for that plane in 3.5, and it will probably be even harder in 5e.

    I'm writing this having only skimmed the document, but what I believe might immediately spring up as a problem is how imbalanced Clerics and Paladins would be in such an undead-heavy setting, not to mention all the other monsters that have various resistances and immunities. Casters would do fine, but mundanes might find it hard to deal with the threats of the world without heavy investment in equipment, especially at lower levels. If this is adressed in the module, please ignore this paragraph.
    I love Zendikar! It's a terrific choice because it's Magic's D&D setting.

    It's indeed undead-heavy, so Clerics and Paladins are a bit stronger than usual, but I don't think mundanes would struggle. Most of the creatures don't have resistances/immunities to mundane attacks and there's a high amount of blessed silver weapons to pick up to bypass the more common resistances that do crop up.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Ziegander's Avatar

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    This is one of the most high-quality adventures I've ever seen. I like it a lot more than even some of WotCs celebrated adventures. It's well-written and so well laid out I get the impression I could DM it with no prep time at all, just reading along as the night goes on. Most adventures tend to be incomprehensible messes to interpret, but this is a gem. You should consider writing your own original adventures and selling them. If you could recreate the quality, I know I'd buy them.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    This is one of the most high-quality adventures I've ever seen. I like it a lot more than even some of WotCs celebrated adventures. It's well-written and so well laid out I get the impression I could DM it with no prep time at all, just reading along as the night goes on. Most adventures tend to be incomprehensible messes to interpret, but this is a gem. You should consider writing your own original adventures and selling them. If you could recreate the quality, I know I'd buy them.
    That's high praise indeed! Thank you. The next few things will continue to be free, but I'll consider putting up some "pay what you want" stuff some time in the future.

    I also made an NPC Delandel, the Undead Paladin. He was created as a possible hook to continue the adventure beyond its end, but I wrote him open-ended to be inserted into any adventure. Swap out "Pelor" and "Orcus" and it's setting-neutral.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Dunno if I would ever play it myself but that is one impressive piece of work.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    This sounds all very cool.

    But The Thing is very strong. I think the strongest NPC needs some more options than just attack.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    The Monster is just a refluffed T-Rex. I kept it intentionally simple for the DM's sake, because you already need to do paperwork with Siegfried being a wizard. So the rest of the monsters in the battle are more basic.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    This is really professional... Wow...
    Quote Originally Posted by Baptor View Post
    You never go full Samson.
    My 5e Homebrew:

    The Bashou-http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...8#post18198938

    The Episcan-http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...in-No-Episcan!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    I'm gonna read through this, and this is fantastic! Thank you so much! :)

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Damn. This is excellent all around. It looks great and would be easy to run. I don't play Magic but I'm going to use this. The undead paladin and variant humans are cool too.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mr.Moron's Avatar

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Great Adventure. I really liked the Innistrad setting too, at least as they presented it in the first set.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    I'm glad this adventure is well received! I'm working on my next projects now, including an adventure set in Zendikar.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rhaegar14's Avatar

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    I'm glad this adventure is well received! I'm working on my next projects now, including an adventure set in Zendikar.
    What might be really cool is if you used this as a jump-off point to write a campaign with the players as Planeswalkers, jumping between various settings from different Magic blocks. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to run the Planeswalker spark as every player having the ability to cast Plane Shift, targeting only themselves, once per day with a modified/removed material component.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaegar14 View Post
    What might be really cool is if you used this as a jump-off point to write a campaign with the players as Planeswalkers, jumping between various settings from different Magic blocks. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to run the Planeswalker spark as every player having the ability to cast Plane Shift, targeting only themselves, once per day with a modified/removed material component.
    I agree with the planeswalker ability, it's easy to do it in D&D as a self-cast plane shift.

    As for a campaign planes hopping, I've actually been writing adventures that deal with that, but it's a generic D&D setting (hopping between the Outer Planes) that I plan to release as pay what you want.

    My Zendikar adventure will be the last Magic thing I do for a while, then Ravnica -- though that could involve planes hopping now that I think about it.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Aww yeah. I can't wait for your Ravnica campaign. I'm hoping it'll geared towards inter-guild politics.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    I'm glad this adventure is well received! I'm working on my next projects now, including an adventure set in Zendikar.
    I can't wait to see what you do with Zendikar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    As for a campaign planes hopping, I've actually been writing adventures that deal with that, but it's a generic D&D setting (hopping between the Outer Planes) that I plan to release as pay what you want.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadamantium View Post
    Aww yeah. I can't wait for your Ravnica campaign. I'm hoping it'll geared towards inter-guild politics.
    The feedback I've gotten so far indicates that a Ravnica setting is most desired, so I hope my attempt will be satisfying.

    I have a title: "Rise of the Guildless."

    I have a story, the antagonist's motivations/personality, and a rough outline of places/events I want to visit. The PCs will be guild representatives. The task at hand is a threat to all guilds and as such requires each guild to have an active member in the group.

    The adventure itself will be more sandboxy, where you have a home base and you discover mission hooks and choose which ones to do. You only have X amount of days, so doing everything is impossible. The home base can be upgraded over time by recruiting NPCs to work there (bruisers to guard, alchemist to brew potions over time, other professionals to "unlock" things) and will play a role in one of the last events. The missions will involve a mix of social intrigue, infiltration, and some dungeon crawl, dealing with all the guilds and the guildless movement.

    It's ambitious but as I gain more experience with these things it should be doable.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralnu View Post
    I finally finished it: check it out!

    The adventure takes place in Innistrad, a world steeped in european gothic horror themes and tropes. Though it certainly helps if you're a fan of the setting, the module can hopefully be enjoyed without knowledge of the setting and I think there's plenty of non-setting specific material to salvage. I hear Ravenloft is comparable in terms of setting.

    A redditor named Nihilates drew the maps, and he also made a sweet PDF of Variant Humans if people want to run the game with no non-humans.

    Edit: I also made an NPC Delandel, the Undead Paladin. He was created as a possible hook to continue the adventure beyond its end, but I wrote him open-ended to be inserted into any adventure.

    So yeah. Wanted to share!
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Mate...
    It's frigging AWESOME!!
    Even if you're used to print software, I cannot imagine the time sink this must have been. I began designing my own campaign a few days ago and the amount of work just to get the essentials is huge. So, writing detailed setting, finding appropried art and assembling everything with quality standards on par with official D&d books... Hat down to you.

    I may indeed be using part (or maybe all) of your campaign in my oncoming game (if I can find a way to link it with my own premises... :))

    Sincerely thank you!

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Dralnu, this adventure is awesome.

    Just reading the encounters and seeing how they all tie in and lead the characters forward into the story makes me want to DM it!

    Fantastic!

    Please know that the time you have put into it will be appreciated by many. Well done.
    "If I went around saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint threw a scimitar at me, they'd put me away..." - Dennis, aged 37 - Executive Officer of the Week, Anarcho-syndicalist commune, somewhere in Britain.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    This looks excellent, and I'm going to be trying it out on my group this weekend. The map of Shadowgrange and that of the area are a bit grainy in the PDF - is there a higher res version available? To be honest, I'd happily pay for the adventure as it is, but adding that would make it pretty much perfect, especially for an inexperienced DM like me.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    I'm glad to hear people are using it! That's the ultimate compliment to me

    As for grainy maps, I had to shrink them in Photoshop so they'd fit the page. Clicking the map in the PDF should open the regular sized version. You can also find the maps here on my blog.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Excellent. Thanks. And now I have a new blog to read...

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Am adapting the adventure to my current campaign (Pathfinder's Carrion Crown using D&D 5E), and it looks like I can fit it in almost seamlessly into the Ustalav setting.

    Well done, sir, well done.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering

    I am currently running the adventure with some friends and loving every bit of it. Just a question though that came up and was unsure how to answer:
    The warlock of the party used detect magic on the saint's sealing dagger in the chapel and figured out it was stolen and swapped out with a replica. But the original dagger was warded, alarmed and trapped with divine magic, yet, a pair of lowly cultists managed to steal it under Flora's nose. How? And why didn't the priestess take notice of it earlier?
    "Those who fear Darkness...
    ...have never witnessed what Light can do"


  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadarai View Post
    I am currently running the adventure with some friends and loving every bit of it. Just a question though that came up and was unsure how to answer:
    The warlock of the party used detect magic on the saint's sealing dagger in the chapel and figured out it was stolen and swapped out with a replica. But the original dagger was warded, alarmed and trapped with divine magic, yet, a pair of lowly cultists managed to steal it under Flora's nose. How? And why didn't the priestess take notice of it earlier?
    I'm glad you're all enjoying it!

    I imagine the cultists patiently waited to swap the daggers when the magical wards were temporarily down, either because Flora was out of town and couldn't replenish them for a day or they cooked up a plan, maybe even dispelled it themselves. The dagger has been sitting in the church for years, maybe decades without incident, and it may be that Flora grew lax about securing it over the years. It could also be that the divine wards protecting the dagger lost too much power with Avacyn's disappearance so the wards were "up" according to Flora but the cultists were lucky that they didn't trigger anything when they stole it.

    As to why Flora never noticed: the fake dagger is a near-perfect replica so she never noticed, and she never considered to randomly detect magic on it after the swap, if she even has access to that spell.

    Hope that helps!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Tesla_pasta's Avatar

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Just wanted to chime in, since my DM just ran this adventure from start to finish (we wrapped up last saturday). I'm glad I didn't stumble upon it here until afterwards, since I'd hate to have ruined the story for myself!

    We had a great time playing this- our group was a few veterans, a few newbies, and a relatively new DM (almost all of us played magic during innistrad), and the whole thing ran smoothly and logically. The farbog was cool and thematic, and interacting with the vampires was an fun roleplaying challenge, since characters of various moral codes had different ideas of how trusting/aggressive we should be towards them.

    The tower is a very-well constructed dungeon. I really liked the imp/dryad mini-objectives that rewarded you for approaching the tower tactically, as well as the gargoyles outside to present a challenge to players that attempted to fly/spider climb the tower. The invisibility bonus made the last encounter a little bit easy since we had high single-target damage between the assassin character and the wand of missiles you can loot, but the dungeon as a whole is excellent.

    Overall, great job! It was linear enough for the new members to handle, and had plenty of fluff for the roleplayers to dive into. The highlight of the adventure for me was the shopkeepers who gave us elbrus the binding blade in disguise! The mystery of the magic weapon was a constant concern for myself and the party wizard, and the distrust of the shopkeepers escalated over the course of several sessions to the point of espionage and assassinations.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesla_pasta View Post
    Just wanted to chime in, since my DM just ran this adventure from start to finish (we wrapped up last saturday). I'm glad I didn't stumble upon it here until afterwards, since I'd hate to have ruined the story for myself!

    We had a great time playing this- our group was a few veterans, a few newbies, and a relatively new DM (almost all of us played magic during innistrad), and the whole thing ran smoothly and logically. The farbog was cool and thematic, and interacting with the vampires was an fun roleplaying challenge, since characters of various moral codes had different ideas of how trusting/aggressive we should be towards them.

    The tower is a very-well constructed dungeon. I really liked the imp/dryad mini-objectives that rewarded you for approaching the tower tactically, as well as the gargoyles outside to present a challenge to players that attempted to fly/spider climb the tower. The invisibility bonus made the last encounter a little bit easy since we had high single-target damage between the assassin character and the wand of missiles you can loot, but the dungeon as a whole is excellent.

    Overall, great job! It was linear enough for the new members to handle, and had plenty of fluff for the roleplayers to dive into. The highlight of the adventure for me was the shopkeepers who gave us elbrus the binding blade in disguise! The mystery of the magic weapon was a constant concern for myself and the party wizard, and the distrust of the shopkeepers escalated over the course of several sessions to the point of espionage and assassinations.
    I'm glad the roleplaying encounters ended up working well. This is the first time I've heard of a group assassinating the shopkeepers, well done

    A full group invisibility may make the final encounter a bit anti-climatic, something I hadn't considered. I don't want to make getting the jump impossible, but I'll go back and change the reward from invisibility to something else so it's not as easy. Siegfried has the very best defensive spells prepared (including Shield to block the magic missiles), but unfortunately they mean nothing if you catch him surprised.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Army of the Damned: Free lvl 1-5 adventure set in Magic: the Gathering's Innistra

    I'd like to add my appreciation - I'm an experienced player, but very new DM, and I've been running AoD over a good few sessions. It is easy to manage for me, and has lots of opportunity for both the role players and the "kill them" crowd. Plus a few hooks for the future.

    Thanks.

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