Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Magnificent Weathermen: Winston Cloudstorm

In preparing for The Magnificent Weathermen, I realized that I wanted to experiment a bit with characters and character concepts. One in particular that I had been very interested in really getting into was the "Ghost" character featured in Dragon Magazine #420. Of course, with my luck, the ghost features were never implemented into the character builder, so I would have to work by hand on this one. Of course, I would also have to decide WHO this ghostly weatherman was and how he fit in.

Winston Cloudstorm, former Guild Leader

As the idea for The Magnificent Weathermen began to really formulate, I decided that the motivation for the plot would come from the funeral of Sir Winston Cloudstorm, former Chief Meteorologist of the Waterdeep Meteorologist's Guild. I imagined that the details of his death would be fleshed out by the players at the table, but I liked the idea of a funeral with a bunch of different weathermen coming to pay their respects. Once this was established, it did not take long for me to determine who the ghost would be. From that, (the late) Winston Cloudstorm was born.

Don't stress the "feats." The names are all made up.
This may seem strange to experienced 4E players.
Cloudstorm is my first real attempt at openly violating the character building rules. Players familiar with Dungeons & Dragons 4E will observe that he seems to fit no character build whatsoever. Fourthcore players will scoff. Of course, Cloudstorm isn't meant to be "tournament legal" by any stretch of the imagination. He's a flight of fancy.

Experienced players should be able to detect some of his roots, of course. Other than taking a series of powers from the Ghost article, Cloudstorm is very much built on the base of a Dwarf Hammer Knight. His "Ghostform" powers are very clearly Knight stances. He has a number of Dwarf and Fighter feats to make him more effective at hitting and moving enemies around. Of course, his stats are wrong for a Knight, but that's because I swapped INT and STR. In addition, he's clearly missing Knight abilities like the Power Strike and Fighter Utilities. Mostly, I took them away to focus more on the Ghost aspects.

People familiar with the Ghost article will notice that I cheated that a bit, too. He has three healing surges instead of two, two uses of Stolen Years, and a few other tweaks. Instead of just building the Knight and overlaying the Ghost, I fused the two in a way that felt natural. It's not that he's the ghost of a guy with a hammer. He's a ghost, and that's what makes him effective at defending his allies.

Either way, that's the late Winston Cloudstorm, former Chief Meteorologist of Waterdeep. I welcome any comments from 4E advocates.

The Magnificent Weathermen: A Waterdeep Adventure

When I prepared a series of prospective adventures for my home D&D game, I had not expected what my players would make of them. Some of them seemed very much like typical D&D fare but a few of the prospective "episodes" were a bit off the standard tracks. One in particular that I want to focus on was the adventure that I originally titled "The Lost Weatherman" that would eventually be known as "The Magnificent Weathermen."

Background of the Weathermen

One of the players in my home game originally came to the table with his hometown weatherman (Vince Condella) as a weather predicting bard. This character eventually inspired a nemesis, the mad gnome Chet Doppler who threatened Waterdeep with elementally-infused weather. Chet was captured and placed in the Waterdeep Adventurer's Guild (WAG) "dungeon," left as a sort of reoccurring joke. Eventually, that player decided he was done playing weatherman, so Vince accidentally left on a transport ship bound for Luskan.

Chet Doppler!
During all of this, we established that there was a Meteorologist's Guild in Waterdeep. We never spent too much time explaining how that worked, but it clearly involved Arcanists who predicted the weather and promulgated that information throughout the city. Vince and Chet had been weathermen who, for somewhat unspecified crimes of "weather speculation," were stripped of their authority and kicked out of the guild. The only other character in the guild we really defined was Winston Cloudstorm, the head of the guild. Cloudstorm had been implicated as a conspirator in the attack on Waterdeep and stabbed outside of the Lord's Hall by a Thayan assassin, but the adventurer's eventually cleared his name.

The relationship between Chet and Vince was one that continued to pop up in play. When we ran a "Turn Left" session (It's a Wonderful Life, for those of you are not familiar with Doctor Who), we tried to return to as many iconic moments from our previous play. The elemental storm attack on Waterdeep returned and the characters engaged in a slightly different battle with Chet Doppler. Mid-battle, to the surprise of most of the table, Vince Condella joined the fray, now Chet's ally in the attack. Of course, as this was an alternate timeline, it had no greater impact on the story.

From Inception to Reception

As we began the "fourth season" of our D&D game, the WAG was arrested, found guilty of treason and murder, and sentenced to life in the Waterdeep Prison Authority. Our first adventure involved the "big breakout." One of the monkey-wrenches I threw into the mix was the presence of the two former residents of the WAG prison: Malvolio Guildenstern and Chet Doppler. These two (former) villains now aided the party in their escape, ostensibly joining the former Adventurer's Guild (in exile).

I thought it would be interesting to have an adventure where we find out what happened to Vince Condella so many sessions ago. Chet Doppler, now changed by his time living as a prisoner of the WAG, wants to find his old friend. I had originally intended this adventure to feature Chet Doppler and an arrangement of other adventurers. There would be some pirates, a couple of battles, and somehow the party would be reunited with their old ally.

Ridiculousness ensues.
No adventure idea survives contact with the players. One of my players, on reading my original adventure premise, interpreted it as "bring your own hometown weatherman to the table." Suddenly, this went from a standard rescue adventure to something resembling the iconic Deep Space Nine episode "The Magnificent Ferengi." Accordingly, I changed the official title of the adventure and told all of the players to start thinking weird weathermen.

Of course, this changes the entire nature of the episode. From out of the woodwork, crazy ideas started surfacing. One player wanted to play his local Hawaiian meteorologist, a jilted lover of Vince Condella that wanted to "rescue" him (without explaining what that might entail). Another player immediately went to Brick Tamland for inspiration (Brick, where did you get a hand grenade?). Other ridiculous characters came up: the Underdark weatherman (Today's weather: cool and damp); the psychic weatherman (who steals other people's forecasts); and so forth.

The Buddy Story

Having all of my players get into the ridiculousness of weathermen got me really thinking about what I wanted to accomplish out of this adventure. Most of these characters were intended as one-offs. Whether they died, survived, turn traitor, or whatever else didn't especially matter. With that in mind, it occurred to me that the focus of this adventure was the relationship between Chet and Vince. This made me re-think the "rescue attempt" as a concept.

Although I am not certain what tomorrow's adventure will entail, I know that in one way or another, its resolution will be about the relationship between old comrades and later nemeses Vince Condella and Chet Doppler. Maybe they will both end up dead. Maybe Chet will discover that Vince has established himself as a pirate king and join him. Maybe Chet will find Vince a prisoner of his own power and rescue him. Who knows.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dungeon Mastering: Examples of the D&D TV Season

After my D&D group finished the first episode of "Season 4" of our campaign, I thought I would present them with a few options for the upcoming sessions. Below is the list of "episode" summaries I sent. Hopefully, it will provide a sense of how a D&D campaign can be organized in a manner akin to an overly ridiculous television show. In the future, I'll take some time to write more about organizing a RPG campaign like it is a television show.

For context, it's important to understand that the group just broke out of prison after having been found guilty of three counts of murder (of a Lord of Waterdeep) and treason. This is the point in the grand narrative where they go from being brave adventurers working in the city to branded criminals trying to save the city from internal corruption.

The Magnificent Weathermen

Required Character(s): Chet Doppler
Optional Character(s): None. See Note(1)
Background: As things begin to calm down after the big breakout, Chet tries to figure out where Vince Candela, his arch-rival, has gone. Once he learns the real story, he puts together a team of friends and rivals from the Waterdeep Meteorologist's Guild to rescue their old comrade.
Note(1): This adventure is sort of a "one-off" featuring mostly new characters that aren't necessarily essential to the overall story.

Old School Ties

Required Character(s): Malvolio, Orsino
Optional Character(s): None
Background: Orsino and Malvolio sneak into Waterdeep to investigate a mystery from their youth at the Waterdeep Academy of Royalty and Noblemen. While there, they discover truths they were never meant to know.Note(1): This is likely a small party adventure, featuring only 2-4 players.

The Perfect Prison
Required Character(s): Archon
Optional Character(s): Gilderoy
Background: With everybody back together, Archon asks for assistance in determining the full extent of who is trapped within his psychic prison matrix and, if possible, find a way to separate it from the rest of the Blackstaff Core. This can undoubtedly end poorly.

Shadow of the Moon
Required Character(s): Darkscale
Optional Character(s): Ieuan, Nagda
Background: With all these new people onboard, life is getting cramped aboard the airship Scara. Archon and Onceval have discovered a legendary fortress hidden beneath the woods east of Neverwinter. However, those woods are home to the werewolf barbarian clans, some of whom still have ties to the Netherese.Note(1): This adventure begins the "Through Blood and Shadows" trilogy.

Till Death Do Us Part
Requires Character(s): Zane
Optional Character(s): Nasher
Background: It's a tough life having a spellscar that absorbs the essence of undead creatures. That kind of thing changes you. It changes Zane. Having absorbed Reapers, Dementors, and other undead monstrosities with his spellscar, Zane finds his own identity, his soul, in question.

The Smell of a Rat
Required Character(s): Paetr
Optional Character(s): Onceval
Background: Sent by Lord Neverember, an interesting young man comes to the (former) Waterdeep Adventurer's Guild with a potential ally: new, powerful monstrous warriors to join them in their fight against Thay. The downside? It's the Dustclaws, a Luskan gang.


Orsino's Night Out
Required characters: Orsino Fortinbras, Roderigo Fortinbras
Optional Characters: None. See Note(2).
Background: Onceval realizes that he requires the power of the actual Blackstaff to be able to defeat Len-Jes, Archmage of Waterdeep. When planning a mission to recover it, Orsino informs the team that not everything is as it seems. In flashback, Orsino tells the story of what really happened to the staff so many years ago.
Note(1): This adventure begins the "Legacy of Fortinbras" trilogy.
Note(2): This adventure is a "one-off" using the Leverage RPG Ruleset. With the exception of the Required Characters, the characters are all arbitrary.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Campaign Settings: The Western Environment

[Note: I apologize for the un-timeliness of this post. For those who haven't been following me, I've been a bit split writing for several other websites. Here I am trying to get back on track with this project.]

This is part of an ongoing series of articles regarding a setting I wanted to develop for role-playing. This article focuses on the environment of my "fantasy western" campaign setting. Since this is the first substantive article regarding this setting, I suspect it will have a lot of loose threads that would likely warrant a second visit once more of the characters, organizations, and cultures are better fleshed out.

Environment Concerns

When I use the phrase "Western themed," one of my intents is for the setting to have the look and feel of classic western film. From an environmental perspective, I expect this world to look a lot like sparsely settled Arizona or eastern California. High plateaus, vast plains, deserts, and rocky badlands make up the bulk of the terrain. There may be pockets of dense forest here and there, perhaps nestled away in a secluded valley, but most of the world will have sparse vegetation. Shrubs and cactus are most of the green a resident of this world expects to sees on a day-by-day basis.

There is some vegetation, but the color palette is
made up of mostly reds and browns.
This raises an important question, though. Contrary to what Star Wars tells us, the idea of the single-biome planet seems unbelievable considering the biome diversity we see here on Earth. Keeping that in mind, there has to be a reason why the entire world would look like iconic images of the Old American West. Taking a cue from Dark Sun (and, as previously stated, Wild Arms 3), this is a world that has suffered some sort of catastrophe and is slowly dying. The catastrophic event may be in the past, but its effect can still be felt to this day.

Classic Western style!
Water and Oceans

Filgaia, the world of Wild Arms 3, is interesting because it has no oceans. Instead, it has a sea of sand that the party must traverse with a sand ship. I spent a significant amount of time considering whether this would be something to implement within my own "fantasy western" setting. It emphasized the decaying world message really effectively but it also felt a little bit... well, silly. It was hard in my mind to determine how a sea of sand wasn't just, well, a desert.

Right. Sailing... on sand.
Maybe it was just not translated properly, but the idea of having an ocean of sand just didn't quite feel right. Dark Sun's Athas presents a somewhat more acceptable alternative: the Sea of Silt. It's not an ocean of sand but instead fine silt that the braver souls of Athas traverse using silt skimmers. This seemed like the right kind of aesthetic for my fantasy western.

No ocean is too deep when you're a giant, I guess.
The other option that I considered (and may potentially integrate down the line) is that the oceans of this world are actually water. However, this water would be extremely saline. Imagine a world where the ocean is salty similar to the Great Salt Lake or, more appropriately, the Dead Sea. Like the sea of silt, the salt sea would be a harsh environment that is inhospitable to most life.

At World's End

Why is the world dying? Why have the oceans turned to salt and silt? Honestly, I prefer to take something of a sandbox approach to this issue. People have theories, but the truth will depend on the players. Of course, as I go on, I will elucidate different possibilities as to why the world is dying, usually colored by the perspectives of people that live in it, but none of them should be considered necessarily true. Like the destruction of Cyre by the Mourning, the catastrophe that is causing this world's slow death should be something of a mystery that develops as a party plays through a campaign.

Expansive, dusty plateaus that need be traversed
by horseback seem the right style. 
For now, I intend to just leave it as that. This is a world of sparse vegetation, dusty plateaus, and sandy deserts. It's as if somebody built a single-biome continent that looked like Arizona and was surrounded by a sea of silt (or very salty water).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Campaign Settings: The Fantasy Western

Recently, a good friend of mine pointed out one of the musical pieces from the recent Quentin Tarantino movie, Django Unchained. Like he usually does, Tarantino used musical pieces from a variety of older films. He was pointing out how the track "I Giorni Dell'ira," composed by Riziero Ortolani for the Italian western I Giorni Dell'ira, sounded suspiciously familiar to a musical piece we both knew from our teenage years. This started me thinking about the Western genre and how, despite being exceptionally well represented in film, it rarely finds it way to the gaming table. With the exception of Deadlands (and its progeny), the only real Western role-playing out there came out of generic systems like GURPS. Having been a big fan of the few Western themed fantasy console role-playing games coming out of Japan, I thought it was appropriate to try and build a campaign setting for people who wanted to try something a little bit different.

Not the most common RPG setting...
Most followers of the blog know that I have been heavily steeped in Dungeons & Dragons in the past few years, running a multi-party campaign set in the Forgotten Realms and participating in several other games set in other iconic fantasy settings. Part of my desire to try something different has been my growing interest in playing 13th Age. I really like a lot of what 13th Age does and the setting is actually pretty interesting to me as a player, but I have been hankering for something that is very different than the typical swords & sorcery fantasy. For some reason, the notion of an "old west" themed fantasy setting sounds especially compelling to me. Therefore, I hope to present a Western themed, fantasy inspired setting that could be adapted for any game system but will focus on game mechanics of 13th Age.

This, but add some fantastic elements.
I want to start by specifying a few things about this project. This is meant to be a western themed, tabletop RPG setting. It is meant to be the kind of setting that stands alongside settings such as Eberron, Faerûn, Golarion, and even the various Earths of Deadlands. As a fan of collaborative story telling, I intend to create a basic framework for a campaign setting that gives players enough to work with but does not specify too much as to take away from a player's ability to adapt it to fit her own character. One of the frustrations I find with heavily fleshed out settings like the Forgotten Realms or Deadlands is that it is too easy to get blocked up by existing canon.

That's why, to a certain extent, I'm using 13th Age as a framework. 13th Age is a game system that really promotes collaborative narrative control of a role-playing game. Mechanics like One Unique Thing and Icon Relationship dice give players an opportunity to influence the overarching story in ways that more standard role-playing games do not. Despite the preference for 13th Age, these articles will focus more on non-mechanical aspects wherever possible, so a crafty game master could utilize what I do here for any system.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Campaign Settings: Neverwinter in 13th Age

Recently, I became involved in a conversation regarding converting the Forgotten Realms to 13th Age. Specifically, the discussion centered on Icons in that setting. The Icon system is an important part of 13th Age because it shifts some of the narrative control over to players, making their choice of relationships become part of the overall campaign story. I became interested in the conversation because I run a Neverwinter/Waterdeep D&D 4E campaign and I continue to think about how I would shift it over to 13th Age if the situation ever presented itself.

Keith Baker addressed the use of Icons in Eberron back in October. He makes the good point that Eberron, as a setting, does not lend itself well to a simple transition to 13th Age. Instead, he suggests that icons should be determined based on the focus of the campaign. Who the important players are in the game will determine what icons are relevant. If the campaign focuses on the power of the Dragonmarked Houses, than they would fit nicely as icons. However, if the campaign has some other focus, other icons would be more appropriate. This seemed especially important to me in determining how Icons would be developed for a campaign similar to my own.

Considering my own Neverwinter campaign and the material presented in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, I thought I would lay out a potential list of Icons for a 13th Age game set in post-Spellplague Neverwinter. In doing so, I have tried to present them less as specific people and more as icons, referring to them by general terms. In general, I associate each Icon with a specific character presented in the campaign setting, but as is true with the Icons, its less important who they are but rather what they organization, faction, or even ideology they represent in the greater setting.

The Lord Protector

This is the current ruler of Neverwinter, a powerful man from another place that seeks to rebuild Neverwinter in his own image. The Lord Protector is a force of order in the city, but it is foreign. Some view the Lord Protector as a great boon to the city, helping to rebuild the Jewel of the North to its greater glory. Others view the Lord Protector as an usurper, come to take away Neverwinter's liberty. As written in the campaign setting, this would be Lord Neverember, Open Lord of Waterdeep. However, as with all of the icons, the specific person is less important than the ideology that they represent.

The Lord Protector is the Icon of ORDER in Neverwinter.
The Rebel

The Rebel is a direct political contrast to the Lord Protector. As an Icon, he opposes the Lord Protector's designs for Neverwinter. Ideologically, the Rebel represents an opposition to the Lord Protector's authoritarian role rather than opposition to order. Officially, they claim that true rulers of Neverwinter must descend from the line established by Nasher Alagondar. Some view the Rebel as a force of chaos, attempting to tear down everything that the Lord Protector attempts to build. Others see the Rebel as a hero of the people of Neverwinter, doing his (or her) best to stop the Lord Protector from seizing what last bit of freedom the people still have. Arlon Bladeshaper, the leader of the Sons of Alagondar, or the Lost Heir of Neverwinter (Selda Tylmarande) could both be potential Rebels taken from the campaign setting.

The Lich King
Valindra, the "regional" Lich King

Thay's influence in Neverwinter is important to the region. The Lich King represents that force encroaching upon the city. Like many Icons, the Lich King's interest is directly opposed to the Lord Protector. Quite frankly, the Lich King is directly opposed to most of the Icons as nobody much cares for a city of the dead. Szass Tam is the obvious choice for the Lich King, but a campaign that is more locally focused could adopt Valindra, Szass Tam's agent on the Sword Coast, as the "regional" Lich King.

The Dead Rat

The Dead Rat is the leader of the most significant criminal community within Neverwinter. The Dead Rat primarily works to garner himself power and profit and embolden his position as the most powerful person in Luskan. This is typically against the interests of the more civilizing Icons of Neverwinter, but the Dead Rat is not opposed to working with another Icon in the short term if it brings him more power. King Toytere of Luskan would be the best example of the Dead Rat as written in the campaign setting.

The Lords of Waterdeep

Using the Lords of Waterdeep as an Icon is, perhaps, a bit sketchy given the content of the Neverwinter Campaign Setting sourcebook. However, their influence is still extremely important in the city, especially if you assume that the Lord Protector, one of the Lords of Waterdeep, began the expedition into Waterdeep without their approval or consent. Having an Icon relationship with the Lords of Waterdeep could be a very interesting way to add some uncertainty to the game, especially when you consider that the Lords of Waterdeep are never of a single mind. Ostensibly, they support Neverember's mission to Neverwinter, but it is just as likely that they do not and work against his interests.

The Prophet

The Abolethic Sovereignty is a major player in Neverwinter, even if most people do not realize that they are. The Prophet, as an Icon, takes the character of Rohini the Healer and makes her, more directly, the leader of the Abolethic Sovereignty. The Prophet seeks to spread the abolethic corruption throughout the rest of Neverwinter, using it as a base to corrupt the whole of Faerûn. Like the Lich King, most people view the Prophet as a danger to Neverwinter. However, it may very well be that an Icon like the Lord Protector could ally with the Prophet under the old adage that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

The Infernal Prince
The Infernal Prince of Neverwinter.

The Infernal Prince, leader of the Cult of Asmodeus, has great plans for the Neverwinter region. From their plans to free the primordial Magera to aspirations to seize control of Neverwinter, the Infernal Prince is an important Icon to consider. Mordai Vell is an obvious choice for the Infernal Prince, but as with all of the Icons, it is not the specific person that matters but more the role. The Infernal Prince is interesting because, as with all devil related matters, he opposes chaos in the city. This could bring him in line with other Icons, such as the Lord Protector, that would normally not be expected.

The Shadow Lord

The Netherese only recently returned to Faerûn, but under the rule of the Shadow Lord, their ambition has already struck fear into the hearts of many. Although the Shadow Lord seeks to conquer the entire continent, Neverwinter is of great importance. This puts him in conflict with the Lich King, the Lord Protector, and many of the other greater powers of the region. That being said, as with all of the iconic enemies of Neverwinter, a relationship with the Shadow Lord could be useful where the Lich King or the Infernal Prince are major villains. Clariburnus is the natural fit for the Shadow Lord in the default Neverwinter setting.

The Gray Alpha

The Gray Alpha is the leader of the Gray Wolf Uthgardt. Unlike most of the Icons presented here, the Gray Alpha is a slight deviation from the material presented in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting. As the Gray Wolf tribes have generally allied themselves with the forces of the Shadow Lord, the Gray Alpha likely sees their alliance as a source of power for himself and the tribes. However, just as some of the Gray Wolf tribes are divided over their alliance, the Gray Alpha himself could be conflicted. Perhaps, akin to the Forsworn tribes, the Gray Alpha could be persuaded to turn against their allies and join some sort of organized resistance.

Other Icons
Want Harpers? Make them an Icon!

There are numerous other major characters within the Neverwinter setting that could be easily adapted into important Icons. The leader of Bregan D'aerthe could easily fit a role similar to that of the Prince of Shadows. The Warchief of the Many-Arrow Orcs could be fit in to a similar role as the Orc Lord. The various factions residing in Gauntlgrym could be made into major players sufficient to warrant an Icon. In that capacity, it is important for a group to determine what factions on the Sword Coast are relevant to the game they want to play. Does the group not want to involve the Shadowfell and its associated Netherese incursion? Remove the Shadow Lord. Want to make the Harpers a major player? Make them more present in the affairs of Neverwinter and make the Harper Council (or something similar) as an Icon within the setting.

The 13th Age Icon system is a way to allow players narrative control over the story arc. It lets them, as players, define which organizations and personalities they want to have as major players in the game. The Icons presented hear, as based on the background, character themes, and other content presented in the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, is the simplest way to bring that sort of structure to a 13th Age based game set in post-Spellplague Neverwinter.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Scoring the Scene: Fantasy Sims

A few months ago, I wrote a bit about scoring a tabletop role-playing game session. Playing music in the background can often bring an extra dimension to the play experience. Today, I thought I would showcase an album that can be easily inserted into any fantasy themed tabletop game: the original score soundtrack to The Sims: Medieval, by John Debney.

The Sims: Medieval is full of "generic medieval" music.
I will admit that I have never actually played The Sims: Medieval. I ran across the soundtrack while browsing the iTunes store. Sold in two parts, each priced at $2.99, I felt like taking a chance with it. The excerpts playable from the iTunes store sounded like they could easily work in my Dungeons & Dragons campaign. I was quite surprised with the results.

What to Expect...

Most of my players have come to learn that I prefer video game scores for my Dungeons & Dragons games. Since this type of music usually has to play somewhat dynamically it tends to be the kind of songs that can be readily repeated without becoming quickly irritating. This can be convenient when you want to spend thirty minutes having a meaningful encounter without having to worry about controlling your playlist. In that regard, The Sims: Medieval provides a solid musical foundation.

Having not played The Sims: Medieval, I cannot say in what context these musical arrangements appear in the game. There appears to be a fair mix of "royal court" mixed in with "village montage." A few of the pieces stray a bit from that theme. For example, the track "Incantus Magicus" sounds like a light-hearted take on the world of Harry Potter. Some of the others go off in their own direction. However, they do not stray too far from the medieval village/town theme. This album successfully captures enough of the the musical stylings of a medieval community.

If your D&D game has a lot of this, then this album
would be perfect for your gaming group.
What Not to Expect...

Although the score to The Sims: Medieval covers an important part of the fantasy adventure world, there are significant parts of the Dungeons & Dragons experience that it does not touch. Although these light-hearted melodies work great for a trip to town or a visit to royal court, nothing in the album does much for the mysterious exploration of dungeons or the dangers of combat. Do not expect to be rocking out The Sims: Medieval when your D&D group fights the mighty dragon or explores the grim cave outside of town.
Strangely, not a lot of this was featured on the album.
The music on this album tends to run a bit on the shorter end. Unlike some albums, the vast majority of the tracks in this album are two minutes long or less.  Although they are pretty short when compared to a lot of music out there, it is not that significant a concern. It is relatively simple to keep four or five of them on loop during an extended encounter in a civilized area. Thus, when your Dungeons & Dragons game heads to town, The Sims: Medieval is there to provide the background flavor.

In the End

The Sims: Medieval offers music for a somewhat limited range of the Dungeons & Dragons game experience. However, it is surprisingly inexpensive and can be acquired quite readily. Keeping all this in mind, this album is a nice compliment to a set of medieval themed albums. It can be surprisingly difficult to find good "around town and castle" music, so I was quite pleased to have this album thrown into my mix. Hopefully, your gaming group will agree. Overall, this is a good album to have for the price.