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AD&D Greyhawk Campaign

Somethin terrible stirs in them thar woods.



  • Rating: PG-13
  • Politics: Low-Medium (option for castles and dominions)
  • Roleplaying: Low-Medium
  • Combat: Deadly (Combat as War, unbalanced encounters)
  • Challenge: AD&D “3e” (Castle & Crusades)
  • Weirdness: High (science fantasy, somewhat gonzo)
  • Magic: AD&D standard
  • Level: 1 to ?, starting at level 0 via a Character Funnel
  • Kick-Off: 22/Jan/2022 and then weekly thereafter.
  • Character Creation. Level 0 character funnel will determine race and influence class. For a list of races and classes, you can use the C&C Players Handbook. Character Funnel Process here. Any survivors I will assign to a family in the town. C&C character sheet here. AD&D race, level and class restrictions apply – humans can play any class to any level, demi-humans are limited. Demi-humans can multi class, humans get  class-and-half as well as unlimited levelling (pg. 15 for details). 
  • Currency. Standard D&D metric – 10 cp = 1 sp, 10 sp = 1 gp, 10 gp = 1 pp.  Exception is electurm which is 5 ep to 1 gp. 
  • Location. The Flanaess area of the super-continent of Oerth in the Duchy of Geoff on the Ninth World (same campaign world as Carao (Japan), Thylea (Greece) etc).  A “google maps” like version can be found here. The year is 576 CY (local calendar). The Viscounty of Vebobanc is a human kingdom made up of mostly oeridian humans.  The race and area is equivalent to a 15th Century Germanic State.  Character names should be Germanic in nature (generator here). You were born and raised in Hommlet so characters that survive the funnel will receive information about the town as well as rumours to follow up.
  • Religion. In terms of the pantheon to worship it’s the Greyhawk pantheon. Hommlet’s main religion is “The Old Gods of the Forest” (Druidism). The other major religion in town is St. Cuthbert. If you don’t pick a religion I will assign one based on alignment, class and actions during the funnel.
  • Discord Server for tracking things like loot, xp, npcs etc. is here. Use the nickname function to change your name on the server to your character name – Edit Server Profile -> Nickname.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) came out in 1977 and it’s the edition I played most – through the 80s and 90s. The books are entertaining to read but not well organised as its old, we will be playing a cleaned-up version of the original rules that has a more modern design aesthetic called Castle & Crusades (C&C). It was also the version that Gary Gygax called “AD&D third edition”. The C&C handbook is here and has all the classes and races and everything else you need.  Will walk you through the changes at the first session, but it’s not so different to 5e that I expect it to be an issue. The game will be sandbox based, you will have multiple options (all linking to a classic AD&D adventure or location) that you as a group decide which to pursue and then we will take it from there.




A note on races, specifically half-elf and half-orc. If you roll this as your starting race does not mean you have an elven or orcish parent – your parents are human.  What it means is that somewhere in your families history you have an elf or orc ancestor and the bloodline expresses itself randomly in your family and you happen to be the “lucky one”.  No demi-human race is common among humans – a dwarf or elf will draw a stare from most human settlements.  But they are not so uncommon as to be seen as a threat or outright ostracised.

Elves are rare, wondrous people, living deep within the forests of the OldWorld, and only rarely making an appearance within human society. They look similar to Humans, but are far more comely, with perfectly proportioned faces and laughing blue eyes. Elves tend to be of slender build, and somewhat fragile. Their ears may be finely pointed. They live in harmony with nature, tending the trees, and protecting the woodlands from malignant creatures such as Goblins. They are fastidious, with refined sensibilities and a love of good music and food. They find most Humans brutish and repugnant. However,they reserve the greatest part of their contempt for Dwarfs, who they con­ sider to be vulgar and destructive. Although Elves are peaceful, they are fine archers and fearless Warriors as their enemies can testify.

Dwarfs are short, burly creatures, immediately recognisable by their long hair and thick beards. They have a natural affinity with the mountains, where they live in caverns and mines hewn from the rock. Dwarfs are expert stone-workers, and generally adept at all manner of industrial crafts, such as ironworking, the making of fine swords and the manufacture of superb jewellery. Some Dwarfs live amongst Humans as metal-workers or craft­ smen of some kind, and their work is highly prized. Physically they are resilient, quite strong and rather ugly. They are somewhat greedy, gruff, unfriendly, short-tempered and anti­ social. They tolerate Humans because they have so many business dealings with them, but dislike Elves, who they fiQ.d arrogant and irritating, and with whom they have little in com­ mon. They favour axes as weapons of war and make very sturdy Warriors. They are not very magical, however, and their dispos­tion tends to make them rather poor Academics.

Halflings are small and slight of frame but with rather rotund features and pot-bellies. They cannot grow beards and are shorter than Dwarfs, so the two races are easily told apart. Their hands and feet tend to be large and hairy, and they prefer to go barefoot. They are not a very numerous people, living in a small secluded part of the OldWorld, protected by the surrounding lands of Humans. Consequently, life for a young Halfling is often very boring, and many seek adventure in the outside world. They are nimble-fingered and stealthy by nature, so they make good Thieves. Halflings are extremely friendly and easy-going, they enjoy merry-making and especially eating – and are usually the first to suggest visiting a local inn or stopping for a break.

Gnomes are insane tinkerers and personification of the “mad scientist” trope. Only gnomes can be Invaders. Gnomes are sly tricksters who excel at avoiding notice as they move between Faerie and the world, driven by curiosity and wanderlust. When they are noticed, they tend to use humour to deflect attention and hide their true thoughts.


Unless otherwise stated, all classes function as written in the Players Handbook.


Fighters – including paladins, knights and rangers – can tank non or low-intelligence attackers. That is, they declare they are tanking and all attacks – within reason – target them.  This is not a hard and fast rule, other characters (especially wizards) can “pull aggro” due to alpha striking and intelligent creatures will not be distracted for long.  This is also true for NPCs – the party can’t focus on the wizard if his arcane guardian is still active.


If anyone becomes a cleric I will grant access to diety specific spells (“domains”). In terms of the pantheon to worship it’s the Greyhawk pantheon. I can provide details as relevant.



  • Sorcerer/Sorceress. Wizards have mind-guns that shoot spell-ferrets. They train and breed spells. Warlocks borrow power. Cleric and Paladins are gifted power. A Sorcerer’s power is their own. In C&C the illusionist is a sorcerer despite the name (what ignorant people call them). 
  • Warlock/Witch. Trading free will for power the warlock/witch gains magical power from a Patron. This Patron can be any powerful being, including deities. The AD&D warlock/witch class is in Dungeon #114, I will likely modify it if anyone qualifies and decides to try it. Your primary attribute is Charisma.


Firearms are available for purchase, technology level is about the same as 14th Century Europe.  The firearm equipment list is here. This means you understand what a gun is and what a musket is (long barrel gun/rifle).

common knowledge – The Viscounty and Town of Verbobonc

  • Ruler: His Lordship, the Viscount Wilfrick of Verbobonc
  • Capital: Verbobonc (pop. 11,600)
  • Population: 35,000
  • Demi-humans: Gnomes (4,000), Sylvan Elves (2,500) Humanoids: Few
  • Resources: copper, gems (I-IV)

This small state would hardly be worth mention in a continent-wide work of this nature, despite its riches, except that evil forces chose the area to establish a stronghold. A temple and fortress were constructed in the wooded hills southeast of the town of Verbobonc, not far from the village of Hommlet. Trade was ravaged, the countryside pillaged, and bands of evil humanoids and men were flocking to the gruesome standards raised. Prompt action was taken when it became apparent that evil had grown strong. The Right Worshipful Mayor of the town called up the trained levies, and the Viscount brought all of his retainers and the militia, and these forces were in the forefront of the ensuing battle which broke the hordes of the Temple. The viscounty is a large one, extending from the Velverdyva’s south bank some 15 leagues into the Kron hills, being over 50 leagues in breadth. Verbobonc is situated in the approximate centre of its east-west axis.

notable differences between 5e and AD&D/C&C

The key differences between 5e and C&C are which are not obvious (like classes):

  • The system uses ability scores (attributes) for everything – skills, saving throws etc.
  • An attribute check is Ability Score bonus + Level + d20.
  • You do not automatically level up.  There is a time and cost to levelling up.  Usually, a week per level of time spent training with a mentor/master and a relevant cost in gp.
  • You get one action each round, this action can be used to move, attack, cast a spell etc.
  • You are expected to have hirelings at lower levels and followers at higher levels. It’s not mandatory, but it does make life easier.
  • Natural healing is very slow – 1 hp per day of rest, increasing as time goes by while resting.
  • GP = XP.
  • Magic Items = XP.
  • Monsters = XP.
  • Living costs come to 100 gp per level, per month.
  • Time passes in real-time when not in session … plan your expeditions appropriately.
  • Ranged attacks have a chance of hitting allies – on a 1-4 you miss your target and may hit an ally. Roll a die to determine who you hit, including 1 pip for miss and 1 pip for the monster.
  • Ressurection magic is back in the game, however, I may change this, let’s see how it plays out in AD&D. Every time you are brought back from the dead you need to make a system shock roll (DC 15 CON saving throw) to see if you survive. If you do, you come back and take a permanent -1 CON.
  • Death and Dying is the original rule – when you are reduced to 0 hps you are disabled and from -1 dying and die at -10.  Until you get healed (magic or stabilised with first aide) you lose 1 hp a round until you die.  I am happy to play this way for now instead of the “Die on your turn at 0 hps” initially because AD&D is much deadlier than 5e so there is probably no need for such a brutal death mechanic in this campaign.
  • Much like 1e actions are a little ambiguous so let’s stick to the 3/5e codification, types of actions are Move, Action (Attack, Cast a Spell, User an Item, Use an Ability) Reaction (mostly used for Attack of Opportunity) and Bonus action.  Manoeuvres are also a thing – Charge, Evade etc (see pg. 221). Disengage has changed – you make a double move (Dash + Move action) and do not provoke from he square you are leaving but do provoke from any other squares you pass. If you Move you can only ever make one action, this doesn’t affect most characters but a fighter who moves, can’t use the Extra Attack class ability. Delay and Ready are still OK as well.
  • When in doubt, the 5e way of doing things will be the default approach.



Unless otherwise stated, we will be playing C&C RAW (Rules As Written):

  • Boons & Banes as previous campaigns (details boon and banes).
  • Radiation and Mutation rules apply when/if relevant (details).
  • If you are doing an attribute test of any kind with a primary attribute you have advantage on the roll.
  • Sticking with Group Initiative – each side rolls once, highest goes first then clockwise around the table.
  • Time. Though this is listed in the AD&D manual it’s worth pointing out that outside of the game time flows 1 to 1 as the real world.  So if there is a week between sessions in the real world then a week has passed in the game as well.
  • Encumbrance is a thing. You can carry a number of items equal to your STR using slots, 1 slot per STR point. The PHB lists how heavy things are in slots. +3 slots of STR or CON is your primary attribute, +6 if both are.
  • Critical Hit/Fail. All natural 1s are automatic failures, all natural 20s are automatic successes. Critical hits do maximum damage + 1d12.
  • You may research spells and may even discover new ones as you adventure.  Any spellcasting class can do research, I have rules for this if/when it’s relevant.  For example, you can change a spell you already know (relatively easy and cheap) or you can try and introduce a new spell – say beacon of hope – which will be time-consuming and costly.
  • All treasure given out will be quoted in gp sell value.  So if an item is worth 400gp but would sell at 200gp, I just say its worth 200gp and already factor in any “commission” the PCs need to accomodate. If the loot is 10sp, 20cp, 10gp and 1pp I’ll just say its 25gp worth of coins.


Table Rules

  • No technology/cell phones at the table.  These are a distraction taking the player out of the moment.
  • No looking up rules.  The onus is on the player to know their character inside-out, if there is a dispute, the DM will make the call and it can be looked up later.
  • Since we have a large group I don’t want a single-player running off by themselves.  Work together.



Posted in AD&D, Dungeons & Dragons

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