I have a problem of sorts.
I don’t have a regular game of my own at the moment. There are a few reasons (that I can think of) for this, but one I’ve recently been ruminating on relates to players I’ve gamed with quite a lot with in past years. See, I like this thing called old school, which to me says freedom, rules-light, adventure, and fun, and to many others it says simplistic rules, cardboard characters, narrow focus on killing monsters and looting. As you might have guessed already, the people with whom I used to game a lot are of the latter opinion.
So I got this idea of running one of the published D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder RPG Mega-Adventures (or Adventure Paths as Paizo likes to call them) using an old school rules system. Now, I realize this would mean some heavy-duty converting, as the differences in the old school rules systems and 3.5 aren’t “just the rules mechanics”. In fact, the whole play style is so radically different I’d have to rewrite pretty much everything except the basic backstory and the setting. I’d have to do away with everything even remotely resembling a pre-ordained plot, as in my view having a railroad of events is anathema to anything calling itself old school. The question arises: Why in Hell would I want to go through all that trouble, when what’s most likely to happen is the players doing the usual player thing of doing anything but going along nicely with the material at hand?
There are a few reasons. The Paizo adventure path material is (for the most part) quite good, and I since I’ve spent hard-earned money on buying the books, I should find a use for them, even though I can’t stomach the rules system they were written for anymore. Another reason would obviously be to bring some of the lost sheep back into the fold, and show them how old school games can be used to run an interesting, long-running, epic fantasy campaign, which doesn’t concentrate on clearing 10´by 10´rooms of orcs, and getting killed by random and instantly deadly traps.
Now the question arises which Paizo adventure path or mega-dungeon, or other long D&D fantasy epic campaign should I use for this project. Do you have any suggestions or recommendations, preferably with commentary on why that particular one, and how you’d go about making it Old School?
Edit: A more recent post I wrote has relevance the topic of this one. For anyone interested in the topic, it might be worth checking out: Lamentations of the Whispering Tyrant.