Friday, 5 May 2017

A Foray into DM-ing

Back in October I started playing Pathfinder again, taking part in a campaign called The Thin Man run by my friend Seb (of Miniature Strategy fame). It was sent on a fantasy version of Earth (Alterra) with a firm rooting in the 'real world' in terms of timelines, global events and geography. The campaign went swimmingly - featuring heroic battles, great sacrifices and a lot of childish giggling.

With that story now wound up, it raised the question of what we were going to play next. I'd been wanting to DM a full campaign for quite some time but never quite settled on a story that I felt able to tell nor had the experience to improvise. Apart from a handful of one shots a decade ago I'd always been a player, not a storyteller. No doubt many of my friends were already sick of me saying that I would run something 'soon' though.

I started to think over all the settings and stories that I'd like to have seen expanded and one jumped out at me - Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. I busily set to work converting the setting back into something compatible with Pathfinder.

A map of the Zone

Pathfinder: Shadow of Chernobyl

After quickly swapping out radiation for 'magic', the setting was perfect. It had abandoned towns to explore, roving mutants, religious fanatics, magical traps and rare treasures. What more could an adventurer ask for?

It's going to be a strange mix of the lore from a modern-day FPS shooter, combined with Pathfinder-style fantasy and all set in a semi-realistic version of 14th century Ukraine. Much of the background has been ripped directly from the Stalker games series and articles about medieval eastern Europe with only a few facts changed around. It is set in 1366, a few years after the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeats a Golden Horde army to claim the Principality of Kiev for themselves. 

My players, acting as Pathfinders, will be tasked with opening up the Zone and eventually travelling to the village of Pripyat and the mines of Chernobyl to uncover the secrets within. Will they be killed by bandits, claimed by anomalies or eaten by mutants, or will they reach the centre and find the truth behind the wild explosions of magic?

If you feel inclined, you can read more about the setting over on our Obsidian Portal page and I'll post up some of the custom rules over time as my players encounter them. 

We have our 'session 0', mostly for character creation, in-character introductions and background design on Monday and I'm really excited!


  1. £10 says we're all dead by session 3...

  2. As long as you don't do anything phenomenally stupid and you don't run of vodka.. Err... I mean potions, you'll be fine.