The Brightwater campaign
First, a little background. The small group I DM this campaign for have all played AD&D with me before. However, that was way back many eons ago when there was no “third edition” AD&D. Since those days we’ve dabbled in quite a few other genres of RPG, settling on our two then-favorites, Twilight: 2300 and, more recently, three different GURPS campaigns.
This particular campaign started when Mary (Molly’s player) produced a bootleg copy of the third edition AD&D player’s handbook and DM’s guide. None of us had so much as touched anything AD&D related in…well, a very, very long time. When Mary pointed out the new approach to race and class, however, everyone got excited at the concept of..yes, you guessed it…Halflings. We’d always lamented how the poor Halflings were more or less tied to the thief class in the old rules. We had even tried a few house rules to correct that but were never really comfortable with the huge revamps that would be necessary to produce a workable Halfling paladin.
We spent the next little while batting around a few ideas for interesting Halfling characters and groups, like the rpg geeks we are, until we finally came to the inevitable conclusion that we just had to play an all-Halfling third edition AD&D campaign. The end result is the Band of the Blessed Fountain (since renamed the Brightwater campaign).
Now, those of you who actually play the game will probably notice a few things here and there that seem a little off. This is primarily due to the fact that we didn’t actually study the rules to any serious degree before playing. Instead we used this campaign to more or less learn the new rules. For example, in the story Molly Merryweather mentions a few times how the group had to rest while Ham (the cleric) awaited more healing spells. This is because we played something like four sessions before we realized clerics could spontaneously cast healing spells.As for the campaign world presented here…well, you can’t really call it a “world”. Because, again, the entire campaign was started on the premise that we would simultaneously explore an all-Halfling adventuring party and learn the third edition rules. In other words, it was intended to be a throw-away campaign that we never expected would go beyond two or three sessions at most. I still haven’t bothered to flesh out the campaign world beyond the immediate borders of the scenarios we play. Thus, you’ll find that the campaign world itself doesn’t really show up much in the story.
Also, a bit of warning: if you play AD&D at all you might want to reconsider even reading these stories. Almost every session represents one adventure that was taken straight from the Wizards of the Coast website or from the pages of the two dozen Dungeon magazines I managed to scrape together over the years. Almost none of it is original. Consequently, you might see your next AD&D game here.
Finally, I tried to make the stories presented here as entertaining as possible but, honestly, I don’t seriously consider myself a writer. Compounding my lack of skill is the fact that it’s only technically a work of fiction anyway. The entirety of the story presented here is adapted directly from Mary’s copious campaign journals and mine. Mary, thankfully, was anal enough to include lots of notes on Molly’s opinion on this and that (as well as a rather disturbing amount of other minutia) so recreating the campaign was really very easy.
But, still, this is a adaptation of an amalgam of notes from two separate sources detailing several sessions in an AD&D game campaign. As such, it doesn’t always lend itself well to entertainment. If you hit a boring part or suffer through a thoroughly uninteresting battle, well, you were warned.-Matthew