Introducing the Tri-States Realms of Quincy, a Universal 5e Campaign

As many of you know, I’ve been playing RPGs for a very long time. My first game was at a friend’s birthday party where we set out from the Keep on the Borderlands for the Caves of Chaos from the Holmes Basic D&D boxed set. It was a life-changing event for me because I’ve been playing RPGs in some form ever since. I have many good memories of playing AD&D (there was no 2nd ed. back then) in high school and in the Army on Okinawa. It was on Okinawa that I had my first encounter with a DM who had some connection to Ed Greenwood, and thus to the Forgotten Realms.

I remember when I saw the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting box set. It was in 1989 at a bookstore in Mishawaka, Indiana. I saw the art on the cover and after reading the back of the box knew I was in for something special. I stayed up late reading through the books and realized that my DM on Okinawa had been using various pieces of the Realms in his campaign. Unfortunately, I could never find a group to play in the Realms, let alone play AD&D. Thankfully, we had just entered the computer era and the SSI Gold Box games would be my ticket into the Realms.

These would have to suffice for my RPG hobby for several years. There were other computer games that came along but still nothing that matched the joy of sitting around the table with other players playing characters and trying to defeat the foes while staying alive. Eventually, the computer games got to the point where they could have cooperative Massive Multiplayer Online RPGs and that helped a lot. I fondly remember Everquest and its world of Norrath. I still play in it via the p1999 emulator at times. Other great MMOs came out like Dark Age of Camelot, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Everquest 2, Lord of the Rings Online, and World of Warcraft. However, none of them really matched the fun of being at the table with your friends. Quick sidenote: All of these MMOs are still around in one form or another. I played Dungeons and Dragons Online the other night.

Still, despite all the hours of adventure I put into all of these computer games, I still wanted to go to the Forgotten Realms. When the opportunity to begin live roleplaying again in 2016, I leaped at it, but I wound up on Golarion instead of the Forgotten Realms. I have no regrets about that at all. I love playing and running Pathfinder games. I have no intention of quitting Pathfinder 2e at all. However, that desire to go into the Forgotten Realms has never gone away. It is time to go there!

I know the Adventurer’s League exists. I also know that no one is playing it very much in the region. There are several reasons for this and I am not going to go into them. I also know that there has been some competition between Pathfinder and 5e for some time now and I want to address that. First of all, both game systems are good systems. They have great points and some drawbacks just like every game system has. There are some great adventures written for both systems too as well as campaign settings. Both systems are pretty easy to pick up and play too. Ultimately, though, it always comes down to the people at the table. It is not the game system that matters the most. It is the people at the table that matter more than anything in roleplaying.

What I want to do is end the competition between the people playing 5e and Pathfinder. It is silly and pointless. There is no reason why we can’t play both game systems. If we stop scheduling games opposite each other and start working together to promote gaming in our local game stores, we will build up our overall community and have a lot more fun together. Many are playing both systems already and I think that’s great! What I propose we do is to work together to promote our events and games. Not only that, but for us to play both games when we can. Also, to schedule some events where we have 2 time slots with each slot dedicated solely to one of the game systems so everyone can play both systems without any pressure to favor one over the over.

I know some of you are probably saying, “Well, we don’t have any organized play in 5e around here like Pathfinder does because of X reason.” Okay, let’s fix that. Let’s just make our own 5e version of Pathfinder Society where we take what we can from Adventurer’s League, but change it to meet our needs for the local area. Let’s make it like PFS where we have character portability between sessions, a universal set of campaign rules for playing in this new organized play, but keep it so that the rules are completely 5e. I’ve already written up a prototype Player’s Guide for this thing which I am calling the Tri-States Realms of Quincy or TSR of Quincy.

What I’ve done is taken the newest AL information and begun to adjust it to meet our needs. I selected the Forgotten Realms as the base campaign setting for this, but I am pretty sure we can incorporate the other ones too. The one thing that is going to change significantly with this is the continuity that characterizes a lot of the AL campaigns. We are just not going to be able to sustain long running closed campaigns with this. The whole thing depends on players being able to take their characters to other tables ran by DMs participating in the TSR of Quincy. That seems to be a major problem with building up the player base for 5e. This will also allow us to sustain character advancement into Tiers 2 and 3, and maybe even 4 if enough people participate in this.

Currently I am working on the FAQ for this and getting feedback from some DMs and players as to what they think we should have in this new venture. This does not eliminate anyone from playing in a regular campaign either. By all means, keep doing that. This just creates a way for more people to play 5e around their life schedules which seems to be a major challenge for all of us. It should build up the player base for 5e and for Pathfinder because both systems will be played by people in these groups.

That leads us to Black Friday. But I think this is a long enough post. I will post more about Black Friday which will be a joint Pathfinder/5e game day at Tri-States Games & Hobbies in Quincy later in the week. I am still working on details and need to contact some people to gauge interest in gaming that day. If things work out, we could begin to operate our new Organized Play concept that day too. I’ll find out more and get back to you!

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