Last Saturday I finally managed to participate in an organised D&D roleplaying event in my country, called the Dawn of Heroes. I have been there before, but it was years ago, it was nice to be on the other side of the paravan for a change. Probably it was my main motivation when I asked my group if they wanted to give it a try. It was a time well spent, we had a great day of roleplaying, had good laughs, got to chat with other roleplayers.
Dawn of Heroes has been going on for quite a while now, this year it will be celebrating its 5th anniversary. The event started out small, with a few groups of players sharing a common interest. They wanted to involve more people by creating great adventures, and bringing tables together for a day of adventuring. There are 3-4 events organized every year, with a growing number of players, this time one club was not big enough to host all the participants. Fortunately, both Cantina Klub and HammerTime Cafe welcomed the hordes of geeks at their tables.
This time, the groups could even choose the league they wanted to join. The Player’s League was meant for the casual groups, who wanted to ephasize on roleplaying and playing out their characters, not worrying about the time limit, just lookng for a good time. In the Competitive League the groups were given points for succesfully revealing secrets, getting on with the story, killing monsters, and so on, in the end eventually crowning the team who had the best score. This way every player and group could get what they were looking for, a great idea from the organizers.
This Saturday 86 players entered the event, and 15 brave Dungeon Masters told their groups the same module: The New Lord of Windcliffe. This module has been written for this occasion, just like all the others told before, and again, it was quality work. This time the tone was set a bit darker (hence we started at 6th level), a bit in honor of Curse of Strahd. Despite the lack of time (about 7-8 gaming hours) to complete the module it was great fun to play, the story was well estabilished, dynamic and not restrictive at all. After the event my group said that they would love to give it more time and play it through properly. I agreed to run it for them sometime later, when the module can be downloaded and I would have some time to read through and prepare. I think it tells a lot of the adventure, when a group wants to play it again, through several sessions.
The modules after these events are free to download so everyone can read it through, re-play them or DM it to another group. Unfortunately it is only available in my native language, Hungarian, but I have been thinking about translating this one to English sometime later in the year, since so far I liked this one the best, and I think it deserves a broader audience. Although it was only my second participation at the Dawn of Heroes, I always read the modules of the ones I missed, I’m especially looking forward to reading this one.
Our group owes a big thanks to our appointed DM, since we made quite a… well, let’s say, strange… group of adventurers. All of us brought the character we wanted to play at that moment, not really caring about party balance or optimization. Also, our aligment was leaning towards evil, but we stopped at Chaotic Neutral, just to have a little chance of cooperating and not kill eachother in the first hour. We were far from disruptive though, it was just not the usual lineup of characters. With a party of a Cleric of Talos, two assassins, two wizards (a necromancer and an evoker) and an eldritch knight, we were destined for a TPK, but we managed to hold on until the final battle, where eventually we all met our doom. It was no problem though, we all kinda knew it will end like this. It can’t be too good for a party when my Cleric of Talos has the best AC (17!), deals the most damage (with the constant use of Call Lightning in stormy weather), almost the only one who has social skills (but is too much of an arrogant bastard to use them effectively) and refuses to use healing spells. But we still had a blast, and that’s what matters. Our DM was really patient with us, in fact, he was a partner in playing this style of gaming, letting us play our alignments and going with the flow. He also liked puns, which was a brownie point in my eyes!
I hope it won’t take years again for me to be able to get to the Dawn of Heroes again. I think this event has proved that roleplaying is still not dead in my country and it’s worth organizing meetings such as this one. Who knows, maybe some tables will be run in English in a few years if there are some players from other countries living in Hungary who would like to test themselves against the mastermind of the module-writers…