Udra: My RPG Campaign History in Several Parts

See part one.

1989 to 1994: Udra Becomes More Serious, If Schizophrenic.

After a long hiatus, between ’84 and ’89, where I pretended I was normal person and denied my true nature, I met a new friend who revived my interest in roleplaying games again. To start with, his first character he built was a cleric! No one had ever, in six years of play, built a cleric in my game. This foreboded a new direction. Coming up with campaign background actually made sense now because here was a player who actually appreciated and demanded it. He wanted names, gods, local histories, heraldry, politics–he wanted the lot. He also GM’d, like myself. His campaign and style became a model for me. It was very inspiring all of a sudden.

Significant events in this period

  • The clearing of the dungeon under a storm giant’s castle. The Pins! The Pins!
  • Some people of doubtful sanity claim that all the orcs and hobbits disappeared for a year or so during this period only to reappear just as mysteriously. Their disappearance and reappearance was accompanied with the settling of a mysterious fog. Billy Bo Jim Bob, a hobbit illusionist, disappears with his fellows.
  • Xerxes and Sklanthar meet with a mysterious woman who spoke in a deeply arcane language and riddles. She never claimed to be such but Sklanthar thought she was some kind of goddess. Her disappearance coincided with the disappearance of spellcasters known as technos.
  • Jim the Hitchhiker sows his oats and spreads his psychic gifts as widely as possible. Later he is saved from all the strags by a buddy with a flying saucer.
  • Hugh Mann joins Xerxes and Sklanthar and begins a drunken, psychic rampage across Udra and realms outside reality. Eventually winds up being a bartender in Sigil.
  • Castle Clearmoon is cleared by Xerxes and Sklanthar.
  • The dungeon of Roghan and Zelligar is cleared and transformed into the main temple of Koyanesqatsi, which is devoted to the god Ummanah.
  • Udra is depopulated of ankhegs by the acts of the Knight Ogre.
  • Plague strikes the canton of Vos Obyorn. The clone of Duke of Damerand the Different is found and revived.
  • The amulet of the demon, Mr. Farlops is found but not recognized.
  • GrimJack is cursed with an insatiable lust for copper and an irrational hatred for all other precious metals.

Notable characters

  • Sklanthar Quintilia Regulus. The first player character ever to be a cleric. A priest of Ummanah. The Active Reformer.
  • Xerxes Zendesium. A Holy Warrior of Ummanah. Sklanthar’s right hand.
  • Hugh Mann, a mind mage and drunken lout.
  • Jim the Hitchhiker, a mind mage and a generally hoopy frood.
  • Sir Izak, an orphaned and knighted ogre.
  • Kickboxer from Katmandu, a troglydite monk who reveled in violence.
  • Annette Elbert Ugh, a kobold with giant strength who also reveled in violence.
  • Hadrian Laughminer. I can even recall what Hadrian was–just that the name was cool.
  • Zaire Zaire Nargoona. A throonish slaver.
  • Grim Jack, a dwarven thief.
  • Hendar the Heroic, captain of Sklanthar’s body guard.

Also during this period I changed the rule system twice. Originally, my rule set was a mix of TRS’ AD&D and Dave Hargrave’s Arduin. Then I coverted to the rules set used by my friend: Palladium. This I stuck with through most of 1990-1994 period despite it’s poorly balanced magic system.

Also during this time, another friend introduced me to the Hero System. I also began exploring GURPS. These were very powerful and flexible rules systems that could, in theory, model anything. They were like Unix. I was sorely tempted but I decided that most of my players would find such rules systems too complex.

Anyway, by the end of all this experimentation, I had decide to reign in all the chaos and dithering and present my players with consistency and unity of theme and genre. I threw out all the science fictional dabblings. I threw out the all the rules extensions, variations and so on and focused on playing strictly by AD&D rules. This takes us to third period.

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