Introducing the Dungeon Fantasy / Witchfire Trilogy / Ravenloft Adventure
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With the recent curtailing of social activities due to COVID, I, like many people, have reconnected to role playing games, both in person, and hosted through the internet. But what system should I use? Some version of Pathfinder? D&D 5th Ed? One of the forms of Old School Revival, 1980 D&D style system?
This time around, I elected to give a system I had never before tried a chance, the GURPS Dungeon Fantasy system. Similar to D20, there is a rule for everything, and the system takes many sessions, and a lot of online questions, to master. But that technical style of roleplaying is what I have been used to, so it feels a bit at home.
Where the Dungeon Fantasy system tends to lack is modules. So I look back on some of my favorite modules to want to run through, and I come up with two: – Book 1 of The Witchfire Trilogy from Privateer Press, “The Longest Night” – The original Ranveloft, Module I6, written by Laura and Tracy Hickman published by TSR in 1983. I go over the reasons for my preference and re-count some of my experiences so far.
I recount some memorable stops along my role playing path from childhood through now. I must confess, I am surprised how popular D&D has remained. The system really seemed to be falling out of favor with the cool kids during the 1990s. White Wolf and its Storyteller system was becoming all the rage.
And yet, here we are two decades later; White Wolf is an obscure imprint owned by a foreign computer company while Dungeons and Dragons gets new editions and support to many thousands of fans under the guidance of Hasbro. What a long strange trip it’s been.
Roleplaying games are wars of intellectual property. Trademarks and copyrights mirroring each other but doing their best to avoid outright infringement. It’s a lot like comics, honestly. These experiences and stories are shared with groups of friends from different times in our lives. But, what system is best to relieve them?
Let me go ahead and say that I think 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons is a wonderful game, but that’s not the one I choose.