Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 32
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Hi guys,

    i've been running a pre-published adventures for some friends, and we're almost done with it, and i was thinking that maybe i should try and make a custom adventure/campaign (i didn't put this in the homebrew thread, because it usually takes longer for people to reply, and i'm counting on finishing the adventure next weekend). everyone in the group (including me) was new to D&D when we started playing the pre-published adventure. I've been talking to the guys about what they want to do after they finish the adventure, and they've all agreed that they want something airship themed. the characters are all level 2 warforged. i just need some help getting started on this custom adventure/campaign, like what i need to have ready, what kind of things i should plan on doing... the works. because all of us in the group haven't played D&D before now, i don't think they will mind if they don't have an immediate goal or objective while i get organized. i just need help for things like what kind of encounters they could run into while traveling, suggestions for places/settings - but any help as to an adventure would be greatly appreciated. i hope all that makes sense... anyways, thanks for any help you guys are able to provide.

    Vrythas.
    Last edited by Vrythas; 2012-03-11 at 05:18 AM. Reason: Changed title
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Bearpunch's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    If airships are involved Im assuming high magic or high tech.

    High Magic:

    Level 2 encounters will be filled with Kobolds and Goblins, just flip through the MM and fill out soem easy encounters you could use for travelling. Simple stuff, dont worry about extravagence.

    As far as quests go, try to avoid the giant rat problem int he old mans basement. Make the quest seem like it matters. The first thing I ever DMed was a town under siege by Kobolds and their dragon leader. If you own the monster vault, there is a level 1 dragon which will be suitable.

    Alternatively, you could seem unimportant, but at the end, a major plot hook is introduced. Goblins are repeatedly raiding a small town, but at the end they find a note that details a larger threat that the Goblins were servicing.

    As a low level party, it is easiest to handle small towns and forests, as that is where the weakest monsters usually lie. Caves are an option, too, but forests and plains for things like goblins and orks are betters.

    Another big thing I've learned; dont plot out a huge, detailed adventure, as your party will tear it apart. Brutally. Just sketch out maps and basic encounters. NPCs are important, too. Also, try to avoid the "shopkeep is actually a high level adventurer" trap. If they want to loot and pillage, let them. But send the town gaurds after them, and assassins and whatnot. In other words, there is a consequence for every action.

    High Tech:

    I've never run a high tech campaign, but I would weed out Kobolds and goblins and other mainstays. Maybe a pack of savage Warforged? I don't really know. Eberron would be a good reference.

    I'm sorry I couldn't help too much, but I hope you can pull something out of this rambling wall of text.
    Bearpunch Gunsmoke
    Dungeoning Dragons. All day. Every day.
    Thanks so much to Eruantion for my awesome Gith Monk avatar!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Binks's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    All Warforged Airship adventure game? I am jealous :P.

    Bearpunch gave some great suggestions for how to start into your own quest lines. Having a relatively simple scenario like kobalds attacking a town lead into them finding information that those kobalds were working for someone else is always a good way to get players hooked.

    If you want to go for an Airship campaign you should probably take maximum advantage of the fact the PCs have an easy means of transport. Having the PCs travel from town to town dealing with seemingly unrelated problems that all end up being caused by a single source is a fairly generic adventure setup but it works very well.

    Personally I would go with Bearpunch's idea for the first adventure, have some kobalds attacking the town, the PCs fight back and over the course of several encounters manage to put a stop to the attacks and chase them back to the cave where they fight the dragon.

    After they best the dragon I would have them find some information that the dragon was just, well, a Dragon for a much more powerful threat (my personal preference would be to have the bigger threat call in to check-up on his minion just as the PCs finish the fight. Very coincidental but it can be a lot of fun).

    They find some information about how the bigger threat wants to use some towns as part of a ritual or something and head off to the next town to put a stop to his actions. Town to town, figuring out how the local minion is trying to corrupt/destroy the town and putting a stop to it, then finally confronting the BBEG when they've damaged his plans enough to draw his interest.

    Good luck with this. It's always hard stepping out into your own world, but as someone finishing up a completely homebrew campaign in the next few weeks, it's totally worth it.
    Awesome avatar by kaptainkrutch.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    hey guys,

    thanks for the advice so far, it's been really helpful. anyways, i started working on some of the aspects of the world (i'm not using a published campaign setting), and i've decided that there was some cataclysmic event a long time ago that turned the region that the players will be traveling in, into a massive range of mountains - lets just say that the world's tectonic plates were split into slivers, and smashed up against each other creating a bunch of mountain strings right next to each other - pretty much resulting in one huge mountain range. hey, that actually sounds pretty good! anyways, because of this, the main form of transportation became enchanted ships, or airships (think airships like from the Eberron campaign setting, but i'm still figuring out how i can put my own spin on them..., also, to answer Bearpunch's question, the setting is high-magic). likewise, because almost all the land was turned into mountains, food will be scarce, as arable land is scarce, and thus most towns/cities will have to import grain and food - which makes for great conflict between factions/cities as they fight over grain shipments - which leads to the pirates that inhabit caves that they've turned into private air-ports (heheh. airports), as they try to capture the grain shipments as well. *takes a deep breath* anyways, i've outlined two cities so far, and am putting them up for your approval/disapproval.

    The first is called "Knife's Edge". The name coming from the fact that the city was built around a long thin mountain that looks like the edge of a knife. the city is split into two tiers, the lower tier being the place where the majority of the populace lives (poor, lower class, middle class), and the upper tier being where the wealthy live. the two tiers are separated by a wall, and the lower tier is surrounded by a wall, and thus the city is fairly defensible, and usually has no trouble repelling the occasional pirate/orc (or orc pirates...hmm....) attack. because the city is built all around a mountain, the main business is mining, and blacksmithing. the city's main export is various ores, and is also well known for it's high quality armor. the mining is so extensive that the mountain is riddled with mining tunnels. however, this has opened the city to a new threat - duergar. the duergar have connected their tunnels to the mining tunnels (with secret doors, though), and thus the city is always under the possibility of a duergar attack. consequently, almost all of the miners are a part of the Tunnel Watch, a separate detachment of the city militia that guards solely against duergar attacks. thus most miners can be seen carrying their heavy picks, while wearing light chainmail. the city has two air-ports one in the lower tier, and one in the higher tier. the air-ports are the oldest structures in the city, having been built when the first settlers arrived, and show signs of having been renovated many times.

    now the second city is called Skydock. the city is carved, literally, out the face of a cliff. thus the entire city is built within caverns that are open to the cliff face. don't worry, there is a reasonable explanation for why people would bother to carve out a city here (pun intended). The original cavern was part of an old dragon's lair that was exposed/split open during the cataclysmic event previously mentioned. the original settlers said "hey, look, a place to build, safe from orcs, and it comes with pre-made shelter". the strange settlement expanded, and eventually it became THE place to live. the wealthy started hiring mages to blast out new caverns. thus while there are a few main large caverns that make up the city, there are many smaller caverns that are privately owned by guilds or the wealthy. each cavern requires a dock for access, and thus the city's name comes from the numerous docks jutting out from the sheer cliff face into the open sky. As the city grew, the large docks attracted traders, and eventually the city became like a crossroads, and is the main information and trade hub of the area. it is the perfect place to hire a captain for your airship, find a crew, or pick up a job for someone - as an escort or for other odd-jobs. transportation between caverns is by airship. if you don't own an airship, then there is a city-funded taxi service that run established routes between the public caverns (think of it like a bus route for airships). the main threats to the city are pirates. and more pirates. oh, another aspect that is unique about the place, is the market. because of the limited ground space, the extensive dock system allows merchants to open their airships as their shop, with city guards guarding each ship opened for such a manner against pirates and hijackers. i'm pretty sure that's everything i've come up with for this city...

    the last city i outlined - and this one i came up with right before i went to bed, so i haven't written anything down about it yet, but it will be called The Bronze City. This city will be situated in some of the only (relatively) flat ground in the area, and thus only the extremely wealthy (and the farmers under them) live their. the name comes from the color of the wheat that is the city's main export. because of its valuable resources, it is VERY well defended. as in, no one who has tried has ever captured the city, and many have tried - other cities, pirates... it has the best armed and armored military of all the cities in the area (it doesn't have a militia because the militia is the militia). the players will not spend much time here, as entrance is only granted via the invitation of someone living in The Bronze City.

    soooo, that's it i think. for the cities.... to start off the campaign, i'm planning on having the party come upon a merchant who is being attacked by goblins/orcs/kobolds, and the party will save him. as it turns out, the man will be the owner of an airship that he landed in a nearby town. in exchange for saving his life, he will offer them transport aboard his airship. i'm thinking that when the players reach the airship, goblins/orcs/kobolds from the same organization that attacked the merchant before will attack again, and it will be a race to the airship. the merchant will then take the players to Skydock, where they will be able to pick up a quest that i have yet to make.

    so, tell me what you guys think. please feel free to tell me the names i came up with are cliche/stupid, but please provide alternates if you do so, it would be most appreciated. otherwise, just let me know what you think of what i have come up with. thanks!

    oh, and sorry about the long post....

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Material Plane
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    Whatever you do, don't plan a land based encounter when they are traveling from point A to point B. IIRC, something like this actually happened:

    DM: "Your airship is heading directly towards a tribe of ogres. What do you do?" *Picks up the D20s and prepares to roll for initiative*

    PCs: "We fly over them."

    DM: "Umm, what?"

    PCs: "And climb to a higher altitude. We already have an objective."
    I know what you're thinking. "Did he prepare six Explosive Runes this morning or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is the 3rd level spell Explosive Runes, the most powerful Abjuration in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Raimun View Post
    Whatever you do, don't plan a land based encounter when they are traveling from point A to point B. IIRC, something like this actually happened:

    DM: "Your airship is heading directly towards a tribe of ogres. What do you do?" *Picks up the D20s and prepares to roll for initiative*

    PCs: "We fly over them."

    DM: "Umm, what?"

    PCs: "And climb to a higher altitude. We already have an objective."
    words of wisdom indeed . at any rate, i was planning on having most of the encounters be with pirates who have their own airship. in the region, overland travel is difficult if not impossible, and even the occasional orc tribe would have managed to steal their own airship. i was talking to my group the other day, and one of them was joking about a new defensive procedure: form a tight circle at the center of stable ground, that way, none of them ever get thrown off a ledge .

    so yeah, anything else you would advise that i change/add? even any ideas as to what i could do are appreciated. what i want to do soon, is name the rest of the cities/towns, and then map out the region. i'm trying to figure out where the Bronze City would be located in relation to everything else. i'm thinking maybe a cluster of mesas increasing in height? like a mountain, except instead of peaks, there are mesas that are flat enough for farming, and the steep edges make it defensible.... still working on it though. thanks for the help so far - more of my work to come soon.

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    INDYSTAR188's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Citadel Adbar
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    Knifes Edge and Skydock are perfect names for your theme. The idea for the setting seems pretty awesome to me and I wish I had thought of something like that. I was going to suggest that maybe the PC's are low level deck hands or just passengers travelling from the two cities on a merchant ship and it gets attacked by a band of goblin/kobold/orc pirates w/some of the lowest level air elemental's from MM2.

    Also, thanks once again for the avatar.
    I am a Neutral Good Human Fighter|Ranger (3rd/2nd Level) STR 14, DEX 15, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 15, CHA 17

    Dwarfalicous Avatar by Vrythas

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by INDYSTAR188 View Post
    Knifes Edge and Skydock are perfect names for your theme. The idea for the setting seems pretty awesome to me and I wish I had thought of something like that. I was going to suggest that maybe the PC's are low level deck hands or just passengers travelling from the two cities on a merchant ship and it gets attacked by a band of goblin/kobold/orc pirates w/some of the lowest level air elemental's from MM2.

    Also, thanks once again for the avatar.
    First off, you're welcome! if you ever want your avatar changed or adjusted, just let me know.

    now, back to business. if you want to use anything that i come up with, go right ahead! and regarding the start, i don't have to worry about that, because the party won't change, just their location, and so the start of the new setting will be them getting there (if that makes sense). i'm glad you brought up elementals, because having elementals as possible encounters never even crossed my mind, thank you! another question/issue i need help addressing: how can i justify having a mountain made of mesas instead of peaks? i appreciate any of your wonderful ideas.

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    okay, sorry about the double post, but this is just me updating the stuff i have made. anyways, i scanned the first page of cities that i have outlined, with some sketches for you guys to enjoy. unfortunately, they won't be as enjoyable as the avatars that i make, because i am less coordinated with a pencil than i am with a mouse . also, the scanner didn't pick up some of the light shading that i did. so if there is anything that looks like its supposed to be there, but is barely visible, its because it's shading. anyways, without further ado, the page (spoilered for size):
    Spoiler
    Show


    you should notice that i added another city (and i am working on another). actually its a town - Graysky. i imagined this place as a mostly dead and barren place, except for the barley that the townspeople manage to grow. the place is a constant battleground, and if the PC's need a little gold or a little more XP to level up, then they can count on being able to come to this town and fight as a mercenary against the orcs. i also included the city because it shows that not all towns amongst the mountains are prosperous and peaceful...mostly... so yeah, let me know what you think about Graysky. i do feel like the place could be improved, but i don't know how...

    Vrythas.
    Last edited by Vrythas; 2012-03-13 at 09:25 PM.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    INDYSTAR188's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Citadel Adbar
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrythas View Post
    how can i justify having a mountain made of mesas instead of peaks? i appreciate any of your wonderful ideas.

    Vrythas.
    I think your two cities look pretty awesome. I was looking at your drawing and I thought a mountain peak was a pyramid, but then I thought it'd be cool if all of the richest folk live in hollowed out peak/pyramids tipped w/gold or something. For the hearty folk of Graysky, really probably for everyone in this world, tunnels connecting cities (probably underground cities too) would be an invaluable source of trade/food/new blood ect. As far as explaining a mountain made w/mesa's I present to you the Tibetan Plateau.

    Seriously though, it looks pretty awesome start. I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun to play.
    I am a Neutral Good Human Fighter|Ranger (3rd/2nd Level) STR 14, DEX 15, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 15, CHA 17

    Dwarfalicous Avatar by Vrythas

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: First Custom Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by INDYSTAR188 View Post
    I think your two cities look pretty awesome. I was looking at your drawing and I thought a mountain peak was a pyramid, but then I thought it'd be cool if all of the richest folk live in hollowed out peak/pyramids tipped w/gold or something. For the hearty folk of Graysky, really probably for everyone in this world, tunnels connecting cities (probably underground cities too) would be an invaluable source of trade/food/new blood ect. As far as explaining a mountain made w/mesa's I present to you the Tibetan Plateau.

    Seriously though, it looks pretty awesome start. I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun to play.
    *chuckle, chuckle*, i had to do a report on Qing Hai in 8th grade. it was a travel agency style assignment, where each student was assigned a province in china, and had to make a presentation as though we were trying to attract tourists. you want to know what i learned? pretty much the only reason people go to Qing Hai, is because it's a stop on the train to Tibet. also, it has 80% of China's salt reserves - lots of salt flats.... anyways, i digress... again...

    first of all, when i was talking about mesa, i was thinking a narrow, mountain-like peak made up of mesas. but anyways, due to radical fleshing out of the "cataclysmic event" that made the land the way it is, i've kind of gotten rid of the idea that food is super-scarce. i realized that what i originally had envisioned would create a world that is pretty barren - a cold, wintry place populated by bleak, gray cities. what i've decided, is that the "cataclysmic event" was a meteor strike, that smashed the southern end of the continent, shattering the tectonic plate that made up the continent, turning the continent into one big mountain range. however, it also caused the southern half of the continent to sink a little ways. thus the crater ridge forms the southernmost land on the continent, and the southern half of the continent is tropical - the mountains jutting out of winding rivers. so there is still very little flat land, but food is not barren, and at least half of the continent has a temperate, if not not tropical, climate. subsequently, i have been able to flesh out where some of the cities are.

    Graysky will be in the far north - in the cold, wintry part of the continent. Knife's Edge will be at the northern edge of the temperate zone, but not so far north that it's constantly cold. Skydock, i imagine, will be in the tropical southern zone. i've scrapped the idea of the Bronze City, but have come up with another city in its stead: the city of Crater. as you can probably guess, it will be built along the inside edge of the mountain range formed by the crater. Crater will be the main sea-based trading zone - like the Skydock of water ports.

    Now, one last thing. i don't think i'll use underground cities and tunnels in cities in the southern half of the continent, because why would people want to be in a cave, when they could be outside enjoying the sun? however, storehouses could definitely be underground, and i can picture a lot of the cities in the north being built mostly underground, and having connecting tunnels. however, the cities in the south are too far apart, and could just use the vast river network to sail to different cities, where they could then take a skiff taxi to the city proper.

    you know, i've just been thinking more about underground storage, and i now have this idea for the most epic bank ever! a city-sized bank simply called The Vault. the only signs of it on the surface is a very foreboding fortress built on the top of a spire-like mountain, accessible only be indoor airship dock. woah, this sounds cool! the rest of the place would be a series of underground vaults - like the bank from Harry Potter, except more epic! and well defended! essentially the Bronze City of banks! hahaha!!! INSPIRATION!!!

    *cough, cough* i'll be back when i have more stuff for you guys.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    okay,

    so i'm back with a map that i drew of what the continent looks like. i have conveniently drawn what the continent looked like before the cataclysm, and what the continent looks like now (after the cataclysm) when the players will be on the continent. from this, you should be able to see where the various cities will go. please note that i will be adding color-coding for elevation soon, so you can get an idea as to the height of the various areas. let me know if something seems really off/unrealistic (relatively speaking ).
    Spoiler
    Show

    the extra half-erased lines are exactly that. half-erased lines. so please disregard them as they do not pertain to the shape of the continent. also, that weird circle is something i didn't bother to erase - it is the circle that i envision as being the edge of the crater, and was just there to help me draw the crater ridge mountain ranges correctly (if that makes sense). in other words, you can pretty much ignore that as well.

    so yeah, with the new continent idea, i can get both waterships and airships in, which could lead to pirate organizations that attack targets from above and below... mwahahaha..... just a heads-up, i will be working on more cities soon - either directly before or after the color-coding of the map.

    Vrythas
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Brighton
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    The best advice I can give you when you're building a setting is to focus on political players, like the Tunnel Watch in Knife's Edge. I tend to think of two or three groups like that per location, with conflicting aims: they're not at open war, but they're jockeying for control. Then I think of ways they might be interacting, and the plot hooks tend to write themselves.

    For example, take Knife's Edge: what you say about there being a big wall between the upper and lower city makes me think about social stratification. So maybe the upper city of Knife's Edge see the Tunnel Watch as a threat to their security they are, after all, a large group of working-class folk arming themselves up. Maybe they think the Tunnel Watch are overstating the duergar threat in order to justify their existence. Maybe they're right. As well as that, I'd imagine that with all the air traffic there's bound to be a lot of smuggling going on, so maybe there's some sort of Thieves' Guild -- except that it focuses on running drugs in and out of the city, not picking peoples' pockets. They're staying sweet with the more decadent nobility by getting them their daily fix, but the folks whose business involves making law want them wiped out.

    So immediately we have options for adventurers in the city: the Upper City want them to spy on the Tunnel Watch and root out revolutionaries (who may or may not exist). The Tunnel Watch want help fighting the duergar, but they also want a bodyguard for one of their men who's attending an Upper City banquet to smooth over bad feeling. The Thieves' Guild want the adventurers to get a stash of controband from its hiding place, in tunnels they thought were safe but which Tunnel Watch have recently excavated. The Upper City want them to do the same thing, but bring the drugs back to them -- as evidence, or just because their employer has an addiction.

    The best thing about plots like this is that they create more plot. Every time you help one faction, you hinder the other two, and the balance of political power in the city shifts. Eventually the players are defining the political landscape, which makes them important enough that the other groups start retaliating, sending assassins or even just trying to talk the characters over their side. It makes them important enough that the people on their own side start worrying, and the players have to deal with internal Tunnel Guard politics or have their powerbase within the city erode. And that's before they start worrying about the effect that their politicking will have: do they really think that the people of Crater will sit and ignore Knife's Edge if there's fighting in the streets, or will they take the opportunity to try and take the city for themselves? And the best thing about this is: it's all because of something the players did.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Reading about your city on mesas (and the subsequent problem with having a mountain city w/ mesas) I thought of Machu Picchu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machu_Picchu) which is pretty much the same thing. Essentially the inhabitants of your city just leveled the mountain top. It would have been backbreaking labor, but worth it for the city to have its own food source.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Whybird,
    you have a deliciously deep and evil mind. i LOVE your ideas, and i've already been thinking about what could be going on in other cities - such as Skydock, where the Pilot's Guild (for airships), and the Seafarer's Guild (for sea ships) will constantly be jockeying for shipping contracts, with constant sabotage going on between the two... mwahahaha...

    DaPaladin, while that is a very good explanation for such a city (i may yet use it), i have scrapped the idea for that city... sorry. however, you have alerted me to something i should do. a RECAP! duhn duhn duhn duuuuhn.

    anyways, just to catch everyone up on what i have and haven't done, here are the scans for all the cities that i've outlined, so that you don't have to read the multi-paragraph descriptions (unless you want to):
    Spoiler
    Show



    if you can't read anything, just let me know, and i will type it out.


    okay, so you remember how i told you guys that i was going to make an elevation map? well....heheh.....i, um....didn't.... really..... make it.... Now, before you start throwing full wine bottles at your computer screen (to quote Strongbad), i did make a map showing vegetation density, shown in the spoiler below. The deeper the green the more lush. in a nutshell, the farther south you get, the more lush and tropical, with the far north being a cold barren (mostly) wasteland (again - mostly).
    Spoiler
    Show

    i also hope that this image makes it easier to see the numerous islands.


    there, i hope that catches everyone up with what's going on. i have also decided on some names. the mountain range forming the ridge of the crater is going to be called "The Ridge" (i know, the settler's were incredibly imaginative). so yeah, that's it for now. also, i had to cancel the session that would've started this setting, so the first usage of this place will be this coming saturday. hopefully i will have actually designed the first encounters . thanks for all the input so far, it may not seem like much, but every little bit counts.

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Okay folks,

    sorry about the silence, but i was on spring break and did not have access to a computer and/or the internet. however, i did have access to a pencil and piece of paper! and you know what that means: more of Vrythas's painful to look at drawings and chicken scratchings!

    anyways, what i did was outline some of the characters that the PC's will meet initially, such as the merchant who will give them passage on his airship, and i've got some base ideas for the captain of the ship and the pilot - i will get to these later. i also came up with the basic schematics and workings of the airships that will be present in the world. Okay, so the airships will be shaped much like sea ships - they will have the same shape hull and they will have a set of sails, however, they will have only one set on the main deck, and there will be another set that protrude from the bottom of the ship (as they will be flying and need wind from more than just the top). The bottom set of sails will be able to have the crossbeams fold up against the mast, and the mast will be able to telescope out and in (in for storage), and then hinge up to be stored in the bottom-most deck of the airship. These sails will be the main form of power for forward momentum. To assist in fine movements when docking, and in other situations, the airships will have one or two sets of shark-like fins - covered in magic runes - that provide forward movement (by tilting forward), backward movement (by tilting backward), turning (by having the fins on either port or starboard sides tilt independent of the other), and tilting of the ship (by having having either the port or starboard fins(s) fed more power/energy, providing greater levitation, thus tilting the ship). Please let me know if any of that doesn't make sense. now, for the controls, for this, i will have the drawing first, with the explanations to follow (also in the picture, is how i picture one of the skiff-taxis that will be used at Skydock - note that the enchanted fins on the skiff are located near the bow):
    Spoiler
    Show


    As shown in the sample cockpit in the picture, there will be a set of throttle/levers and a set of helms/wheels. The upper wheel will control the forward/backward tilt of the shark fins as it pertains to turning. the bottom wheel controls the tilt of the ship through the differing power levels for the fins. The reason for having the controls separate is for when docking the ship, and for the need for non-banked turns. however, if banked turns are need (for high-speed turn situations), there is a chain that hooks around the pegs of wheels so that they can both be controlled by turning only one wheel (for the chain, think something like the chain on a bicycle). The lever on left controls the forward momentum as provided by the fins. The lever on the right controls the altitude. The airships ability to float is provided by runes inscribed along the keel of the ship. As the lever is pushed up, the more power the runes use, and the higher the ship rises. Now, to quickly explain the runes. The runes are very powerful, and all the various controls control inhibitors. For example, the height control. the lower it is, the more that the runes' magic is being inhibited, and an increase in altitude is provided by letting off the inhibitors.
    Whew. I hope all that made sense. let me know if you have any questions, or need clarification.

    now, i am still working on writing down stuff about characters, but i will give little "teasers", if you will, of the characters.
    First, is Thal Draelon. He is the merchant that the players will hopefully save from the orcs, otherwise, i need to figure out a new way for the players to get to the new setting....ANYWAYS, he is a very wealthy merchant who owns a fleet of airships, and offers the characters passage on the ship he was traveling to in exchange for saving his life. once onboard, the PC's will meet two more characters (that i have come up with). First, is the captain of the ship. he needs a name, but i know that he will be a nimble eladrin. However, unlike the traditionally refined eladrin, he will be bellowing orders like a minotaur, and will carry a great-axe on his back, and a rapier on his side. he will have the supple leathers of his people, but a large fur cloak more suited to barbarian tribes. i want him to be an interesting and somewhat paradoxical character that they PC's will never truly understand. i think i will have fun presenting him...heheheh .... anyways, the other character is the pilot of the airship - a four-armed warforged named Fourman. Yes, the pun is intentional. he was specifically built as the pilot - piloting airships is very difficult, and it takes people years to master it - mainly because there are four main controls, and people have only two arms. thus people have to know exactly what they're doing and have to be able to do it very quickly. however, wealthy airships owners commission warforged pilots with four arms, who can have one arm to manipulate each control, allowing for greater efficiency. now that i have given a brief explanation of THAT ... Fourman will be a jovial warforged, an eternal optimist, and very trusting - almost to a fault. Another of his quirks is that he is deathly afraid of heights. He explains to people that while he is a pilot, he doesn't have to see the ground, others communicate the altitude. that, and he can almost feel - intuitively - exact altitudes. thus he is a pilot that is afraid of heights. and that is all that i have come up with for him.

    and that concludes today's post. let me know what you think of the ideas. i welcome constructive criticism, and i love it when people tell me whether or not they like my ideas.

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Okay,

    it's been a while since i last posted. but i have been working on characters - and while doing that, i started working on the distribution and characteristics of the races that live on the continents, however, i would REALLY appreciate help with that particular aspect of world building.

    anyways, the characters.
    Thal Draelon i already mentioned, but i have gone on to flesh him out as a character (following the advice given by the Giant in the Gaming Articles). First, some backstory. Thal isn't just a wealthy merchant, he is a VERY wealthy merchant, having made his fortune manufacturing sails. since the founding of his company, Eagle's Wing Sails, has managed to establish almost a complete monopoly on the industry - by buying out smaller manufacturing businesses, while letting them continue to work under their own company name. Thal is a high standing member of the Merchant's Guild in Skydock, while earning the position of honorary member of both the Seafarer's Guild and Pilot's Guild in Crater - both of which are constantly battling for his favor. What i want to establish is that this guy has connections, and i want him to become one of the PC's main allies throughout their adventures on the continent (which still needs to be named.... hm ). That's what i have so far for his backstory.
    now for his mannerisms. Thal is formal, yet friendly, in a showman-like way (think almost like a used car salesman) - very charismatic. However, when money is involved he can become very cold and calculating, and can drive a hard bargain. Thal is also incredibly cowardly, and has a very weak stomach for blood. he can't bring himself to kill just about anything. although he carries a dagger for "protection", he has neither the skill nor will to use it, and instead relies on his vast and well-paid guard force for protection. One of his other personality quirks is his soft spot for birds. He loves birds, almost to the point of obsession. On all his airships he keeps a small pigeon coop, and the prows of his personal airships are carved in the shape of an eagle's head. His love for birds is also apparent in his company's name: Eagle's Wing Sails. his love goes beyond mere hobby, and he has become one of the leaders in the movement against the hunting and extermination of rocs (giant birds, not stones ). As you can imagine, this is somewhat controversial as rocs pose a fairly substantial threat to airships. and there are many that would like to see the roc hunted to extinction.
    that is what i have for Thal Draelon.

    The next character i worked on was the captain of Thal Draelon's personal airship (the airship that the players are offered passage on), the elven (yes, i changed his race from eladrin to elven) Captain Corthalas - or Captain Corth as his crew call him. Before i start my description, i would like you to know that if any of his descriptions feel familiar, it is because i drew inspiration from, and would like to model him somewhat after, Jarlaxle, the Dark Elf mercenary from R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms books. Captain Corth is completely bald, yet this is not immediately noticeable due to the large tricorn hat that he wears almost always. he usually wears slightly modified elven leather armor - metal plates having been sewn on in various places (e.g. shoulders). over this, when in flight, Corth wears a large plainsman style fur cloak. He also always carries a longsword and a shortbow strapped to his back (over his cloak if he's wearing it), but keeps a great-axe in his cabin. Corth is about 6 feet tall, but is fairly muscular (relative to other elves - compared to humans he would be considered a little lean).

    lastly, i haven't actually written anything down for Foreman yet, but i will right down the ideas i currently have here. i've decided against some of the things that i said earlier about Foreman. Foreman was not commissioned by Thal, but was originally commissioned by the Navy (air Navy, that is) as a pilot of a war-airship. from the military he learned the value of discipline, but also when to relax, and, when not in a serious situation, is quite friendly and outgoing. Foreman is fiercely loyal to friends, and would gladly sacrifice himself for those whom he has come to know. he has a very strong sense of honor, and when it comes to matters of honor, will often expect those he is dealing with to uphold the same sense of honor. this has led some to consider gullible, yet in all truthfulness, this expectation has been hardened by many years of experience, and Foreman can often tell when others will hold to their word - and when they won't - and will often prepare for the situation that will come about as a result of the other person's reaction (if that didn't make sense, then here's the condensed version: he can usually tell if someone will keep their word, and if he believes they won't, he will prepare for that outcome). yeesh, that came out a lot different than what i had originally planned... except, he'll still be afraid of heights - he often won't show it, but it terrifies him on the inside . that is all for the characters. i don't anticipate the characters meeting anyone else that needs to be as planned out as these three.

    now, i know that i said i would talk about my ideas for distribution of races, but i don't have time right now, so i'll post them up later - oh, also i forgot to put up Captain Corth's mannerisms, so i'll put those up as well.
    once again, all comments are welcome - even if they are "you're ideas are terrible"....just don't forget to give suggestions if those are your thoughts .

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default

    I'm loving this so far- I can't wait for you to post more!

    The rune-powered airships sound really cool. Do other kinds of rune based technology/machines exist in this world?

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Palegreenpants's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    When Im building a new Campaign World and need to figure out the races/countries I do this.
    Firstly, I think "who are the powerful races". Like, which races own the best exports, which races make the best skyships.

    Then, "what are the races in decline". These people would have stopped conquering/expanding their territory.

    "Who are the weak races?"
    Entire peoples might be enslaved by others!

    "who are the utterly evil peoples/organizations"

    "Which races are viewed as strange/backward"
    Maybe the other races have differing opinions about this.

    And so on! For every element of the world! Chose a "who are the".
    This is what I like to do, I hope you find It inspiring.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Lothar. "Hey Frostclaw, since im a werewolf now and can't control myself, you can lure me into Senri's bedroom so I can kill him and his girlfriend in their sleep!"

    Frostclaw. "Sweet! I'll get some meat to lure you with!"

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    @Baniff (and Palegreenpants):
    thanks! it's great to know that people are still reading this thread . to answer your question, i actually haven't thought about that yet... i imagine there being fairly forward technology, but i don't picture other things being rune-powered. i wanted airships, but i didn't want rune-power to simply stand in for things like electricity and allow for real-world-style technologies. if you have any suggestions as to what could be runepowered (i just now thought that large gates could be runepowered) without getting too involved in real-world tech, i would greatly appreciate it.

    @Palegreenpants:
    That is actually a very useful method of working on races! Thanks!

    here's what i've come up with in terms of races:
    Elves will be the dominant race. i picture humans being more periphery. not to say that they aren't important, they just don't control many settlements. the elves were the main settlers of the continent (which STILL doesn't have a name....) and are the most significant race. orcs and goblinkind exist in barbarian tribes that live in caves and small, ground-base settlements deep in the mountains. they are not loyal to each other, and are just as likely to attack a civilized settlement as they are another orc settlement. the Giant's articles, and R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms books (starring Drizzt) have influenced me to include gnomes as one of the other important, but not as significant races - however, they are a bit higher in the (unofficial) racial hierarchy of the continent. i want the gnomes to not be the bumbling, yet ingenious inventors that some make them out to be. i imagine them being more intellectual, yet maintain some of the inventor-ness in the form of architecture. i imagine the gnomes being the master's of architecture, and being responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of skydocks, among other building projects. that's how i picture the gnomes.
    now, i do have some more detail for the elves. as cliche as it is, there will be two types of elves. Sea Elves, and Mountain Elves. Sea Elves are smaller and leaner, and more light-hearted compared to the Mountain Elves. the Se Elves are the more "civilized" of the two elven races, and settled more of the larger cities. their culture has led to the favoring of melee weapons in combat, and (non-lethal) dueling tournaments are one of the main forms of entertainment. from a young age, Sea Elves are taught to use a sword - however, many of the Sea Elves do this only to follow tradition, and stop practicing sword-work if they don't think they will need it in their daily life. however, this does not lessen their appreciation for a good duel. Sea Elves tend to be more open to other races and cultures, and were the ones to settle Crater and Skydock.
    Mountain Elves (i don't have as much for them) are sometimes called Tribe Elves, because many of the Mountain Elves live in tribes - this is not to say that a tribe never settles in a city or similar settlement, but they tend to be a close knit society. before the widespread settling of the continent, the Mountain Elves were a nomadic people that followed game herds. unlike the Sea Elves, the Mountain Elves are not as unified as a race, yet they still have an appreciation for the mastery of weapons (not just swords). however, unlike the Sea Elves, the Mountain Elves frequently maintain they're proficiency with weapons, and many become mercenaries. One final difference, is that Mountain Elves tend to find work as caravan guards or crewmen on airships. Sea Elves - true to their name tend to favor sea ships. so that's what i have so far. i promise i'll get Capt. Corth's mannerisms up soon.

    also, feel free to shamelessly plagiarize borrow any of the things i put up on this thread and use them in your own games (unless you make money, then i want a cut )

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beleriphon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ma...inn.net%29.jpg

    You need to have something that looks like that. Its Machu Picchu and it is awesome.

    Also, I love the idea of the underground vault. It should be a massive and imposing fortress, but of course its even more massive and imposing inside! Like the dwarf city in Dragon Age, but bigger. Or Ironforge from WoW, or Markath from Skyrim.

    BTW, if you like I do have CC3 and make you a nice map if you give me some indication of where cities and what not are supposed to go. Also, what scale are you looking at there? Are we talking 1000 miles north to south, or something more akin to northern Canada to Belize, which is a whole lot farther.

    I like your ideas on gnomes. You might want to find some info about the gnomes in Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning. In the game they are THE master builders, and really are one of the more powerful organizations you'll come across. They're also a bunch of backstabbing pseudo-Romans. Also, refer to Eberron for more gnomey goodness, just whatout for The Trust.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2012-04-27 at 04:05 PM.
    Current campaign ideas at:

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ma...inn.net%29.jpg

    You need to have something that looks like that. Its Machu Picchu and it is awesome.
    Sorry about not posting for a while, but i was gone for the weekend. anyways, Beleriphon, i looked at the link and what you said about Machu Picchu, and thought aww man, another picture of that place? someone already put a picture up of it, and i scrapped the idea for the city that was going to be modeled after it anyways... but then i checked the link and thought MWAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! YES, YES INDEED!!!! that is perfectly, deliciously amazingly, cool! and decided, on the spot, that there would be a band cutting through the continent that is most ideal for crops to grow, and that villages and settlements along that band would be terraced like that - to be honest, i can't possibly resist the opportunity for fights to take place on slopes like that.... absolutely evil .....

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Also, I love the idea of the underground vault. It should be a massive and imposing fortress, but of course its even more massive and imposing inside! Like the dwarf city in Dragon Age, but bigger. Or Ironforge from WoW, or Markath from Skyrim.
    i am indeed dreading looking forward to the time when i have to get to map out the place. unfortunately, i haven't played WoW, Dragon Age, and haven't been to Markath in Skyrim, so i don't understand completely what you mean. however, i do understand that it is going to be big, and it is going to be epic. You can look at some of my old scans for my first idea about how the entrance will look. one thing i would like to stress is that the dock is indoors. the gate you see in my drawing is the gate to the indoor airship dock, after which there is another gate very similar to the first that people have to get through. i imagine the fortress being imposing, but fairly small - the smaller the entrance, the easier it is to protect, and the harder it is to breach. likewise, all the ceilings of all caves along the mountain face - for up to 500 feet into the caves - have been collapsed. i want the place to be the kind of place that even bandits are afraid of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    BTW, if you like I do have CC3 and make you a nice map if you give me some indication of where cities and what not are supposed to go. Also, what scale are you looking at there? Are we talking 1000 miles north to south, or something more akin to northern Canada to Belize, which is a whole lot farther.
    regarding the size of the continent, i at first wanted to say that it was about the same size as the african continent. then i looked at a map, and realized that that was probably a bit TOO big for the place. so i decided that the continent is about the same length as africa, but about as wide the the north american continent (where the US is). one more thing, could you tell me what CC3 is? also, your offer to help me with this is generous and greatly appreciated . unfortunately i still haven't taken the time to map out where exactly the cities are yet .

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    I like your ideas on gnomes. You might want to find some info about the gnomes in Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning. In the game they are THE master builders, and really are one of the more powerful organizations you'll come across. They're also a bunch of backstabbing pseudo-Romans. Also, refer to Eberron for more gnomey goodness, just whatout for The Trust.
    thank you! the way i picture gnomes in the society, are as an elven-style halfling. so they retain some of that refinement, and are generally a part of the middle or upper-middle class. one way to think of the architects, is as renaissance era artists, who would have a patron house who would provide them with supplies, in exchange for work. regarding the links and references you provided, i will look those up soon.

    lastly, i am forced to stop working on other parts of my world, as i need to prepare for the entrance of the PC's. the first city they will visit will be Skydock, so any ideas to help flesh out that city a little more is appreciated. this campaign's debut should be this coming friday. i will certainly let you guys know how it all goes. thanks for all the input so far.

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Okay,

    first of all, sorry for not posting for a few weeks, i kept on reminding myself, but then i kept on forgetting to actually post. so, to all those who enjoyed reading this thread, i would like to clarify: this thread is not dead .
    now, on to business.

    i have run a grand total of two sessions in the new campaign. my idea for getting them there worked perfectly, and they have just landed in Skydock. the way they got there is as follows:

    The first session, we ran one encounter, and a little bit of roleplay. the characters encountered Thal Draelon, who was being robbed by a band of goblins led by a hobgoblin. the PC's rescued Thal, who, inexchange for them saving his life, offered them passage on his airship. while this seems like a paltry reward, all the player's knew that the new campaign would have airships, and were really looking forward to blowing one up - they claimed that they would blow up the first airship they encountered, fortunately for me, they didn't. anyways, Thal brought them aboard his airship - where the players met Captain Corth and Foreman, after a pirate airship had been spotted. That's as far as they got with the time that we had.

    The second session picked up just as the player's were about to man the "steel bows" (i couldn't come up with a better name). steel bows are small ballistae that fire small metal, explosive liquid-filled projectiles. these are replacements for cannons, because cannons didn't quite fit the theme. anyways, the Captain was skeptical about the PC's skills (as he is of most people brought in by his Lord, Thal), and wanted them to try and take down the pirate airship using the steel bows. this was the main encounter for the session. unfortunately it became pretty much just dice rolling, with a little bit of strategy as to where to aim on the enemy ship. regardless, the player's succeeded in taking it down. following which, the Captain apologized for his skepticism, citing the multiple occasions on which Thal brought aboard the less-than-savory adventurers. the session ended with them landing in Skydock.

    so that's what happened with the sessions. now, unfortunately, i have not been working on furthering the rest of the world, and thus do not have much to share... however, i did come up with a name for the world - Cultris, which is Latin for "knives". get it? because the mountain ranges are like knives... . anyways, if you guys come up with something that you think is better, let me know. i only mentioned the name once, and i could probably change it without the players noticing (i also don't like the name very much, but i couldn't come up with something better that still fit ) so yeah, that's it. once again, sorry about not posting.

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beleriphon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrythas View Post
    anyways, if you guys come up with something that you think is better, let me know. i only mentioned the name once, and i could probably change it without the players noticing (i also don't like the name very much, but i couldn't come up with something better that still fit ) so yeah, that's it. once again, sorry about not posting.

    Vrythas.
    Turons i Muntanyes, it means mountains in Catalan. Its pronounced more less like Spanish but its spelled differently enough that most players aren't going to recognize it right off. If you want to fantasy that up make it Turo'muntanyes and pronounce it the same.

    I have a few other suggestions as well for names of things, largely after playing with Google translate. Greek is a good one to go with for single words, especially if you are familiar with the letters and know what sound they make using English characters (they are nearly one for one if that helps).

    Blade
    lepides - Greek
    thikë - Albanian
    ağız - Azerbaijani
    oštrica OR sječivo - Croatian
    čepel - Czech
    talim - Filipino
    Ruderblatt - German
    penge - Hungarian
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2012-06-06 at 12:32 PM.
    Current campaign ideas at:

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Okay,

    once again, i apologize for the extended radio silence, but, life happens... sigh. anyways, i was looking around for names i could use for my continent, and i stumbled upon a name generator put up by someone on the Cartographer's Guild forum site. it is a truly powerful name generator. anyways, i found a name, but can't find it right now. i may have saved it in a note on my ipod... anyways, thanks for the suggestions Beleriphron. that was the first thing i try to do when trying to come up with a name - check google translate. however, my goal is also to make all the names in my campaign easy to read and intuitively pronounce - per the suggestion by the Giant in his Gaming articles. so yeah, that ruled out most languages. however, the input is appreciated.

    hold on, i found the name, it's Kulros. let me know what you think.

    now, i've also come up with an idea for another town - Frostfall. it will be in the far north where the weather is similar to that of Siberia. cold and miserable. with permafrost. the buildings in the town would be built more underground than above ground. the only part of buildings that would be above ground would be the domed roofs of the buildings. the entrances would be made up of two doors. the first would be almost like a trap door opening to a stairwell that would lead down to a door that would open into the building itself. the purpose behind the existence of the town is the excavating of ruins there that predate the cataclysm. i'm going for something like dwemer ruins in the elder scrolls series - a place where the adventurers could go dungeon diving and face more traps than monsters, and find antiques of indeterminate value. i'm thinking the ruins will have a lot to do with an ancient religion. one thought that crossed my mind is that it could be a monotheistic religion worshiping Diem (has nothing to do with Latin), the god of Fate. the deity is one that me and my friends came up with. the name is a play on words of DM - Dungeon Master, who can be considered to control the fates of the players. get it? ... we thought it was pretty funny. so yeah, that's what i've added.

    go ahead and give comments, suggestions, things that cross your mind... i'll read them, and may or may not use them .

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beleriphon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrythas View Post
    Okay,

    once again, i apologize for the extended radio silence, but, life happens... sigh. anyways, i was looking around for names i could use for my continent, and i stumbled upon a name generator put up by someone on the Cartographer's Guild forum site. it is a truly powerful name generator. anyways, i found a name, but can't find it right now. i may have saved it in a note on my ipod... anyways, thanks for the suggestions Beleriphron. that was the first thing i try to do when trying to come up with a name - check google translate. however, my goal is also to make all the names in my campaign easy to read and intuitively pronounce - per the suggestion by the Giant in his Gaming articles. so yeah, that ruled out most languages. however, the input is appreciated.
    Yeah, I've found that Greek is especially good for English speakers since its actually pronounceable if you transliterate the characters into standard Roman. Other ones need to be transliterated a bit more. Usually by taking out accents or just playing with the word until you can actually pronounce it the way you want.

    hold on, i found the name, it's Kulros. let me know what you think.
    I like it.

    now, i've also come up with an idea for another town - Frostfall. it will be in the far north where the weather is similar to that of Siberia. cold and miserable. with permafrost. the buildings in the town would be built more underground than above ground. the only part of buildings that would be above ground would be the domed roofs of the buildings. the entrances would be made up of two doors. the first would be almost like a trap door opening to a stairwell that would lead down to a door that would open into the building itself. the purpose behind the existence of the town is the excavating of ruins there that predate the cataclysm.
    Again, I like this idea. The doors seem more like an airlock than proper building doors. It seems really neat. There is a town in Siberia that is completely abandoned that was a Soviet era coal mining community. You might want to check that out for some more ideas. Its called Pryamiden if you want to see what something like that would be like.

    i'm going for something like dwemer ruins in the elder scrolls series - a place where the adventurers could go dungeon diving and face more traps than monsters, and find antiques of indeterminate value. i'm thinking the ruins will have a lot to do with an ancient religion. one thought that crossed my mind is that it could be a monotheistic religion worshiping Diem (has nothing to do with Latin), the god of Fate. the deity is one that me and my friends came up with. the name is a play on words of DM - Dungeon Master, who can be considered to control the fates of the players. get it? ... we thought it was pretty funny. so yeah, that's what i've added.

    go ahead and give comments, suggestions, things that cross your mind... i'll read them, and may or may not use them .

    Vrythas.
    For your possible deity you might want to look into the ideas of henotheism, and monolatrism. They both describe the worship of a single deity above all others but still acknowledge the existence of other deities. Henotheism admits that these other deities are worth of worship but followers of X deity don't worship Y for any of a variety of of reasons. Monolatrism admits the existence of other deities, but none of them are worthy of worship above X. Functionally the cleric class in most D&D games (especially the Forgotten Realms) operate on concepts of henotheism for a variety of reasons.

    As for the name you might want to with Diem, D'em, or D'im. The apostrophe should be a glottal stop which makes that particular construction sounds like of like DM.
    Last edited by Beleriphon; 2012-06-21 at 08:38 PM.
    Current campaign ideas at:

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Beleriphon, you are a fount of wisdom that never runs dry. if not for your comments and suggestions, i figure that this thread would have stagnated and died many weeks ago.

    anyways, i just barely read your post, and haven't had time to really process everything yet, but i did have an idea about the the pronunciation of the deity. i was thinking it could be Di'm, or a variation. the only difference between this and yours being the main spelling/pronunciation emphasis being on the first syllable, rather than the second. also, i think that this makes it less likely for the players to recognize it as DM, while maintaining the play on words. the pronunciation for what i wrote previously would be something like this:

    Dee' mmm. so the "m" is pronounced like "mmm" (like Campbell's Soup - Mmm Good!) except not as drawn out. so almost like Deetm, except with a gutteral stop instead of a 't' sound.

    okay, now that i've gotten that out of my system, i will proceed to look at the rest of your suggestions, and will come back once i have done that.

    once again, thank you for your input.

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beleriphon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrythas View Post
    Beleriphon, you are a fount of wisdom that never runs dry. if not for your comments and suggestions, i figure that this thread would have stagnated and died many weeks ago.
    Oh, no problems. Always happy to help.

    anyways, i just barely read your post, and haven't had time to really process everything yet, but i did have an idea about the the pronunciation of the deity. i was thinking it could be Di'm, or a variation. the only difference between this and yours being the main spelling/pronunciation emphasis being on the first syllable, rather than the second. also, i think that this makes it less likely for the players to recognize it as DM, while maintaining the play on words. the pronunciation for what i wrote previously would be something like this:

    Dee' mmm. so the "m" is pronounced like "mmm" (like Campbell's Soup - Mmm Good!) except not as drawn out. so almost like Deetm, except with a gutteral stop instead of a 't' sound.
    My only suggestion would be that if you're going to go with the something like Di'm most people would assume the Di is pronounced like the fist syllable of dioxide. If you want to have the subtle the play on words that's cool, but unless your players are linguists, or you make it a point to call out later, the joke is one only you're likely to get.

    okay, now that i've gotten that out of my system, i will proceed to look at the rest of your suggestions, and will come back once i have done that.

    once again, thank you for your input.
    Again always happy to help.

    Vrythas.[/QUOTE]
    Current campaign ideas at:

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Vrythas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Library of Vivec
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Once again, sorry about the long period of radio silence. i've been kind of lazy busy.

    anyways, regarding that religion, i've finally decided how the deity's name will be spelled. it will be spelled "Deiym" (DAY-em).
    regarding the nature of the religion, i'm just going to try to avoid having to articulate too much about it, because its a pain in the rear to do, and unlikely that any of the side information will come into play - as i see it now. this is subject to change as i progress more with my setting. i'm thinking the religion will acknowledge other gods, but choose to worship Deiym, as the god of Fate has the most influence in people's lives, and thus this ancient civilization saw Deiym as the supreme god. so i guess it would be monolatrism.

    now, since i last posted, i have come up with another city - which is also a play on words. it is the city of Crymia, which was built at the gently sloped base of a mountain, next to the large and majestic Crymian River. do you get the play on words yet? if not, i'll spell it out. if your fed up with someone complaining you can say "cry me a river", and i like to say "cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it". anyways, the part of the city's history will be the vicious and bloody Crymian Wars, the most violent and devastating battles of which was the Battle of the Weeping Willows (weeping willows being vary populous near the Crymian River's banks). now, it sounds funny once you know the joke, but if not, the stuff actually sounds pretty epic. large battles seem to make silly names sound epic. i mean, think about it, "The Battle of the Weeping Willows". It sounds like a huge tragedy of a battle..... of course, the city of Crymia will have been devastated by the war, and despite the time that has passed, it will not have regained the glory it once had prior to the war.
    and that's all for today. i promise to post sooner. anyways, let me know what you think of the idea for the city.

    also, it would be really cool to know if anyone has used any - ANY - of my ideas in their own campaigns. if now has, then go ahead and use the stuff (although i realize that little to none of it is finished enough to use, but still, if you fleshed stuff out on your own, i'd love to hear how it went).

    if it seems like i'm not doing a whole lot, it's because i'm doing a little bit of rethinking regarding the initial encounters to get the players to the setting. mostly i've been thinking about how ship battles should work (recently i watched Master and Commander with my younger brother...). anyways, comments/suggestions/constructive criticism is always-ALWAYS-welcome - it's nice to know that people read this thread.

    Vrythas.
    Avatarist mercenary in the Playground.
    PM me if you would like to enlist my services.
    My previous "Contracts".
    Avatar by me

    Highlord Ship Wyvern
    Aircraft Dragon Carrier in the Playground
    Spoiler
    Show

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beleriphon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Protecting my Horde (yes, I mean that kind)

    Default Re: Building My First Custom Campaign (a DM's journal - comments welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrythas View Post
    anyways, regarding that religion, i've finally decided how the deity's name will be spelled. it will be spelled "Deiym" (DAY-em).
    regarding the nature of the religion, i'm just going to try to avoid having to articulate too much about it, because its a pain in the rear to do, and unlikely that any of the side information will come into play - as i see it now. this is subject to change as i progress more with my setting. i'm thinking the religion will acknowledge other gods, but choose to worship Deiym, as the god of Fate has the most influence in people's lives, and thus this ancient civilization saw Deiym as the supreme god. so i guess it would be monolatrism.
    That sounds pretty cool. If you want to find out more about that specifically, and kind of how it might work look into the ancient Egyptian religion of Aten.

    Now, since i last posted, i have come up with another city - which is also a play on words. it is the city of Crymia, which was built at the gently sloped base of a mountain, next to the large and majestic Crymian River. do you get the play on words yet? if not, i'll spell it out. if your fed up with someone complaining you can say "cry me a river", and i like to say "cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it".
    I kind of picked up on that one right away. Its good, and it sounds like Crimea.

    anyways, the part of the city's history will be the vicious and bloody Crymian Wars, the most violent and devastating battles of which was the Battle of the Weeping Willows (weeping willows being vary populous near the Crymian River's banks). now, it sounds funny once you know the joke, but if not, the stuff actually sounds pretty epic. large battles seem to make silly names sound epic. i mean, think about it, "The Battle of the Weeping Willows". It sounds like a huge tragedy of a battle..... of course, the city of Crymia will have been devastated by the war, and despite the time that has passed, it will not have regained the glory it once had prior to the war.
    and that's all for today. i promise to post sooner. anyways, let me know what you think of the idea for the city.
    I like that.
    Current campaign ideas at:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •