The Kharschum Campaign is at an end. It started off well, I thought, as the party defeated the necromancer Ogodei and took up residence in his tower, and it still felt like fun as the characters tangled with the various underworld figures in the city and took over their criminal organizations. As the characters pushed past 10th level, however, the 3.5 rules became unimaginatively complex, and the characters became so powerful that they took on the feel of superheroes or gods, which required me to challenge them with equally potent enemies, which caused the tone of the campaign to shift from something that felt like fantasy to something that felt more and more like an X-Men movie. The party had also lost most of its muscle, and when Alayna died, leaving the party without an arcane spellcaster, it felt like the game had reached a crossroads.
I am going to start a new campaign with the Swords & Wizardry system while Carl continues with his own Swords & Wizardry campaign with Matt and the new group he formed. My hope is that at some point, we can merge the two groups and be fully intact once again. For the moment, however, we have done such a great job of pulling in new players that two groups seems the only practical solution.
The new campaign will take place in a new campaign world, which I will initially sketch out, and then develop as our game progresses. I will follow this up with a post that describes the campaign world so that those of you who will be playing can get a sense of its peoples and cultures. Although the game was heavily influenced by pulp fantasy, it also draws heavily on Medieval history and culture. Therefore, I am going to model this campaign world after the historical world of the Early Middle Ages, specifically on areas of present day France and Germany during the late Merovingian period. During this period, Europe was still heavily forested and sparsely populated; vast tracts of forest dominated the landscape, and the roads that linked the scattered manors and towns were dangerous places where lepers begged for food and bandits assailed unwary travelers. Society was feudal, and was dominated by the Catholic Church. Expect more detail to follow. I will also post house rules in a third post.