1. What game system are you running (D&D, Call of Cthulu, Palladium, GURPS, etc.), and if applicable what edition (Original, Classic, Revised, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 10th, etc.)?
2. What 'type' or variant of game will it be (i.e. "Shadow Chasers" or "Agents of Psi" for d20 Modern)? What is the setting for the game (eg. historic period, published or homebrewed campaign setting, alternate reality, modern world, etc.)?
Ravenloft by way of Forgotten Realms.
3. How many Players are you looking for? Will you be taking alternates, and if so, how many?
4. What's the gaming medium (OOTS, chat, e-mail etc.)?
5. What is the characters' starting status (i.e. experience level)?
6. How much gold or other starting funds will the characters begin with?
WBL (13,000 gp)
7. Are there any particular character classes, professions, orders, etc. that you want... or do not want? What are your rules on 'prestige' and/or homebrewed classes?
I have no real preference on class. I would like to see someone take the Knight of the Raven prestige class which only clerics and paladins qualify for. There is an order known as the Lightbringers. You may start as a member if you spend 100gp of your WBL, and if so you may chose any of the variant class features.
8. What races, subraces, species, etc. are allowed for your game? Will you allow homebrewed races or species? 'Prestige' races or species?
No specific restrictions. Im fine with level adjustments but I highly recommend against them. For anything thats not a core race just ask.
9. By what method should Players generate their attributes/ability scores and Hit Points?
32 point buy
Hit points are max at first level. Roll for all others after that. If you roll below average, take the average rounded down instead.
10. Does your game use alignment? What are your restrictions, if so?
You bet it uses alignment! In Barovia, goodness is seen as madness; and you would have to be completely mad to take on Strahd within his own domain.
11. Do you allow multi-classing, or have any particular rules in regards to it?
No restrictions. I would like to know what your plans are beyond 6th level.
12. Will you be doing all of the die rolling during the course of the game? Will die rolls be altered, or left to the honor system? If players can make die rolls, which ones do they make, how should they make the rolls, and how should they report them?
When you roll, do it in a spoiler, standard procedure. Besides the usual stuff, I will roll all of the following: spot, listen, appraise, diplomacy, sense motive. You can still make those checks actively, ill just do the rolling. I roll diplomacy for everyone every time they meet an NPC for the first time. If you pay attention to the flavor and the RP, you will know how you are doing on diplomacy (and sense motive) checks. If you don't pay attention to flavor and RP, this is not the module for you.
13. Are there any homebrewed or optional/variant rules that your Players should know about? If so, list and explain them, or provide relevant links to learn about these new rules. Player Resource
Instead of building the party around the 4 archetypal roles, it is built around 4 legacy items. Iv given all the stats for the items, so feel free to pick the one you like and build a character around it. You never know what kind of mix you will end up with. Also feel free to submit as many characters as you want.
14. Is a character background required? If so, how big? Are you looking for anything in particular (i.e. the backgrounds all ending up with the characters in the same city)?
Background is always important to me. You may or may not know each other. The Lightbringers is a large organization, spread out amongst many temples of many deities. They have no central leadership, so party members would only necessarily know each other if they were from the same chapter, which may or may not be the case.
The crux of your background is that you are searching for your legacy item. You have been studying it for years, going out of your way to pursue any scrap of lore concerning it. Your latest leads have lead you to the hamlet of Barovia, and you strongly believe you are getting close to your goal.
Who knows whom?
Where in Faerun you are from?
What is your lightbringers chapter?
At each of your respective Lightbringers chapters, you were all bright up-and-comers. In other words, in D&D there is a distinctive difference between professional adventurers and PCs. While they don't have a term for it, most PCs have that mentor, or whole organization of people that can see that spark in them. The same thing happens irl with professional fighters. Guys like BJ Penn and John Jones who where such naturals, and had that "it" factor. Your chapters tended to rally behind you, and take special interest in your actions. How much this went to your heads likely varies for each character. It was well known that you each had your sights set on your particular legacy items, and within your chapters may exist the only legitimate proof that the item you seek isn't just a piece of a tall tale.
15. Does your game involve a lot of hack & slash, puzzle solving, roleplaying, or a combination of the above?
Its a professionally written module, and a humdinger at that. You can expect a fair measure of all 3. The puzzle solving comes in the form of following leads, which requires you to pay attention and do a lot of roleplaying. It also comes in the form of navigating Castle Ravenloft, which is very big.
16. Are your Players restricted to particular rulebooks and supplements, or will you be allowing access to non-standard material? What sources can Players use for their characters?
Core books, PHB II, all the Complete books, most other stuff thats not too crazy. No Tome of Battle. Basically just pitch whatever you want.
One flaw and one trait. Be reasonable with them (this makes a good filter for me). If you think something is borderline, ask me what I think.
Now you each have a name and a location. The location is of course Barovia, and the name is different for each of you. The name, mechanically speaking, is the "useful contact" you receive for being a member of the Lightbringers. The contact you are looking for is someone who is helpful toward one of your fellow Lightbringers. Lightbringers always look out for each other, and always do each other right. You have done good by your chapter, and your loyalty is being repaid. A friend of a friend has currently traveled to Barovia to help the locals who suffer under the yoke of a cruel lord. All research points to this town as the most likely place your legacy item was last seen. If you travel there, you will meet your contact, and have an ally who can help you with your quest without wishing the item for themselves.
Holy Symbol: Sir Urik, an excentric but devoted slayer of evil.
Sunsword: Ashlyn, champion of the Shadowdale chapter of lightbringers.
Tome: Thendrick, a faithful servant of Lathander.
Full Moon's: Mathilda, a fighter of great renown.
Communication, Gameplay, etc.
I wouldn't call this or any module a sandbox per se, but it has that free flowing style that PnP games make possible. In my experience, players expect to be railroaded and become paralyzed with indecision when they aren't. While I could reduce this module to a series of linear encounters, it would absolutely suck 100% of the mojo out of it, which makes it so great.
It is up to you what you do. This is obviously going to require communication, because how you spend you time in Barovia is a big deal. Hasty actions can get you killed, yet you are constantly racing against the clock, and having your sleep interrupted. Looking at this module, I envision a game where combat is merged seamlessly into various situations. My challenge as a DM is to make this happen. Also, I don't shaft players on divinations and sneakery. If an inn is supposed to have its walls lined with lead, the module will tell me (etc, etc).
There are other aspects of communication as well. For every single monster you fight, I will make passive knowledge checks and deliver the appropriate information in a spoiler. It's up to you to pass the info on to your team mates. The same can be said for clues, gut feelings, dreams, spot+listen checks, etc.
Both modules involve following the advice of a sage, but they are different in how they flow. In Ravenloft its about getting the info and interpreting it correctly. In the second module, its about gathering clues and determining the right questions to ask (I promise the answer will not be 42). Either way, you might have to write stuff down, or sift through threads looking for a piece of info.
As a DM I encourage roleplaying everything. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing "I go into town and look for a +1 longsword." That is simply not how it works. Im not going to punish you for not being able to remember the name of the weapon shop and its proprietor, and I dont expect you to describe putting one foot in front of the other, but what I want is something reasonable. If you don't know the town, what would you do irl? Most likely walk around looking at placards, or ask around. If you know the town, your character probably has an opinion about each local weapon smith. Maybe there is one in particular who consistently loses money to your father at 3-dragon ante.
Forgotten Realms Cosmology
As far as I can tell, the "wheel" that makes up the outer planes is just a generic thing that can apply to any setting. Either way, thats what I assume is the case. Between Planar Handbook, Book of the Planes, and FRCS I have enough to hash out what I think is a pretty accurate and interesting system.
Any description of the size, shape or physical location of the planes is just a model. Most planes are infinite in size, and have no determinable relative location to any other plane. By definition, they exist in a different time-space continuum. The model does, however, properly demonstrate how the planes interact with each other and how inter-planar travel and communication may be possible.
The wheel is composed of all of the "original" planes. These are the planes that are believed to either exist naturally, or have been created by Ao or another deity or equal or greater power. Deities have created planes outside of the wheel in which they dwell. These are the places such as Dweomerheart and Demonweb Pits found in the FR campaign setting.
The outer planes form the tread of the wheel. There are 16 of them, not counting the Outlands. These are the planes such as Baator and Pandemonium which are strongly aligned one way or another.
The Outlands form the hub of the wheel. The spire in the center is said to be the axle around which the great wheel turns. On top of that spire floats Sigil, the city of doors.
The prime material plane is at the center of the wheel. It is represented by a ring or disc around the spire in the center of the wheel. It is theorized that there are many material planes, which are represented by a series of discs or rings stacked along the spire.
The inner planes lie between the material plane and the outer planes. Rather than spokes, the great wheel turns via 6 great cogs; the 4 elemental planes, and the positive and negative energy planes. As the center of the wheel turns, the 6 cogs rotate around it as they are turned. These cogs proceed to turn the outer edge of the wheel. The result is a system where natural connections between planes are formed, based on their current orientation. The inner planes always connect to the material plane but only one or two outer planes at a time.
The transitive planes overlap the material plane. They interact with other planes in such a way that allows inter-planar travel without a proper portal. The shadow plane is simply an alternate material plane. It is as if someone created a dreary photo-negative of the material plane. The ethereal plane seems to actually coexist in the same space and time as the prime material plane. The denizens of that plane are invisible and insubstantial to anyone on the material plane, though the material plane can be seen and interacted with from the ethereal plane. The astral plane is represented by all of the empty spaces on the wheel, since it connects to every other plane. When travelling through the astral plane, one would most likely see a vast ocean of nothingness. Any land masses, or planetoids as they where, are almost certainly the bodies of long dead titans and deities from epochs of millennia past.
First, we have Ao. He is to the deities as they are to mortals. His existence was completely unknown until the Time of Troubles. As the term implies, the gods were screwing up badly, so Ao banished them to walk Faerun in mortal form. He has the power to ascend anyone he choses to godhood. He does not have a clergy, and does not grant spells.
Next we have the original gods: Pelor, Boccob, etc. After being banished to lives as mortals, and eventually dieing, their bodies were committed to the astral plane where they re-assumed their godlike size and life giving properties. They now serve as homes for various creatures, and are thought to have spawned some new forms of life.
Then we have the current list of gods: Torm, St. Cuthbert, Mystra, etc. The story behind Mystral and the creation of these deities is really cool, but not important right now. The story behind the shadow weave is too. These gods are all ascended mortals who are currently the ones getting it done. There are so many deities, that most mortals pray and even pay homage to more than one. The keystone of every mortal's religion, though, is their patron deity.
When a mortal dies, their soul (if not obstructed) travels to the Fugue Plane, where Kelemvor and Jergal reside in The City of Judgement. They must wander the plane, waiting for a representative of their patron deity to come for them. These representatives are not allowed to lie to a soul, or take them against their will, nor can they be impersonated. They will recognize those they have come for, and will be recognized in turn. There are also pit fiends here who will attempt to bargain with souls, offering higher station, or speedy "promotions". There are also occasional demon raids.
If a soul does not have a patron deity, or if they paid only lip service in life, they are deemed "faithless". Anyone who betrayed a deity to whom they pledged them self is deemed "false". These souls are compelled to enter The City of Judgement and stand before Kelemvor. The faithless form a living wall around the city, of writhing, tortured forms. A green mold holds them in place and eventually dissolves them into oblivion. The false are forced to spend the rest of eternity in The City of Judgement. Their punishment depends on the severity of their crimes, and ranges from light servitude to torture that would drop a demon's jaw. Souls judged faithless or false can not be resurrected without the intervention of a deity (i.e. a wish or miracle coupled with extremely stiff negotiations with Kelemvor himself.)
The theoretically safest and easiest way to travel from one plane to another is to find a natural connection. The material plane always connects to all 6 of the inner planes. Each inner plane connects to two or three outer planes depending on the current orientation of the great wheel. If you wish to travel to one of the outer planes via natural connections, you must determine which inner plane is connected to your destination. Creating portals directly from one plane to another requires deity-level power.
There is also powerful magic that can circumvent the laws of the cosmos. Spells such as plane shift, ethereal jaunt, astral projection, etc, allow creatures to move directly from one plane to another and do not require the planes to be in any particular alignment. This is not as safe or reliable as standard planar travel, in and of itself, and is only available to powerful spell casters.
The book describes it as being up in a tree. Imagine standing out on a long branch, and you want to get to another branch. You can either take the safe method and climb back to the tree, or you can take the direct method, and leap straight to the branch you want. Some times the "safe" method is either impractical, impossible, or perhaps not safe at all. Maybe there is a deadly viper waiting at the base of your branch.
how do you feel about the rules for prestige paladin or prestige bard?
those are both fine. Looks like prestige paladin would do exactly what you where talking about earlier with the cleric/paladin. The cool thing about beater clerics, is there are 2 good items for them, so the party could potentially have 2 clerics.
Yeah I like doing paladin that way because of the increased spellcasting and turning ability. The other Character I was thinking about is a good necromancer. He was born into and raised by a family of necromancers. He was this little irrepressible boy that was taught the family business. This would be the equivalent of a modern person that was naturally happy and gregarious being born into a family of morticians, all the while being expected to carry on the family tradition. So, I was even thinking lawful good to denote that strong sense of loyalty and duty to my family. I will have to look into it some more but I was thinking of only casting those necro spells without the evil descriptor. I will have to check and see if there are even enough spells that aren't evil to make it worth it to go specialist mage. Otherwise a conjurer might be useful. I was kicking around this concept of a mage who constantly ripped open planes to bring out what he wanted. The summoning alone would be worth it, celestial creatures can bypass simple DR. **** it, let the wraiths and shadows drain the disposable bodyguard (read: HP-sponge). That would be kinda funny. To see if I can base a conjurer wizard on the song "Disposable Heroes" by Metallica. You know, I've always wanted to make an Eldritch Knight. I guess I'm kinda leaning more toward a wizard right now. But as George can testify, I have no problem at all with throwing down on a divine warrior/spellcaster type (maybe I should dust off the Boot). How do you guys think a druid would do in this setting?
Stanhope is here to play! What's up guys!! I've looked over the campaign materials and I'm going to be bringing another of the Peppers family to the table, long lost uncle "Ancho"! I'll be going after the Full Moon's Trick as my legacy item of choice. Character sheet should be linked up soon! HP rolls at the bottom!
Last edited by Gorthok : 05-23-2011 at 09:34 PM.
Reason: HP rolls
Everyone pick a color. Also, if anyone is in touch with Kris, send him the link to the OOC thread. He'll be posting about once a week. The good thing about the game being the 5 of us is that we can keep in touch out of game. Kris can set his actions up with an IC and OOC post when he can get online, then someone else can run his character following what he sais. If we really need him to make a decision, someone can text or email him then act for him on the forums.
For the last 2 items we have the Sunsword and the Tome. The Tome is as good for a monk or duelist as it is for an arcane caster, and the sword is good for anyone who likes to hit stuff with a pointy piece of metal. If someone makes a non-caster for the tome, Ill have to modify the personal costs to make sense. An arcane caster might me more shrewd though, since they are powerful, and this is a tough mod.
@Corey: check out the Lightbringer rogue alternate class feature. That will be huge in this or any other campaign. There are no items in my world that mimic that effect, and weapon crystals are rare in general. You can start the game with any crystals (other than "that one") and I reccomend that you buy as much as you can with your wbl before you enter this one zombie-horse town. I would also recommend starting with one of those swords as mwk and spending the 2000 gp on something else, since one of them will be going into the "trade section" before you reach level 7.
edit: oh, I almost forgot, telling blow and the alternate class feature work together. If you roll and confirm a crit on an undead, you dont do any extra damage from the crit, but it still triggers burst damage or anything else that goes off on a crit. This means that your sneak attack goes off, which with the alternate class feature would still hit for half. I add up the damage DDO style, which is in fact the correct way according to Rules Compendium. If you sneak attack someone with DR 5/-, add your sneak attack to your weapon damage, then subtract 5 from that number. If you sneak attack someone with a wand of scorching ray, add the sneak attack in the form of fire damage to the first ray. If they resist 10 fire, add the sneak attack first, then subtract the 10. If you sneak attack someone with a ray of enervation or something like that, they take the 1d4 neg levels, then they take your sneak attack in the form of HP damage (negative energy damage). Long story short, its set up to be as beneficial as possible to the rogue.
Awesome. I'll probably try and call Kris or something, haven't talked to him in a while. If I end up doing that I can hook him up with the info for the threads then either by painstaking old fashioned telling him or by emailing and him checking...if someone else can do it too that would basically cover it since..I might not have his number written down anymore.
Oh yeah, are we waiting for all characters to be finished before posting in the IC thread or can we hammer down with some introductory posts?
We should wait until everyone is ready before posting IC. I have Kris' number and can easily communicate with him. Casey might be a good candidate to run Kris' character when needed, since he is in touch with him too.
Dark Orange feels very Ancho to me. I'll go back over my sheet and fandangle some stuff. By the by, is the rogue alternative class in the Ravenloft stuff or do I need to go searching through compendiums for it?
EDIT: I've gone over the sheet and revised some things. Let me know what you think!
Dark Orange feels very Ancho to me. I'll go back over my sheet and fandangle some stuff. By the by, is the rogue alternative class in the Ravenloft stuff or do I need to go searching through compendiums for it?
Replaces: Trap Sense
Benefit: When flanking a creature that is immune to precision damage, you still deal half of any precision damage. This also applies to creatures with fortification.
Rampage vs. Hamill: Hamill, Rampage sucks. He has too many nagging injuries and he gets out of shape between fights.
Mir vs. Nelson: Mir, I think he can use his superior boxing to avoid getting KO'd
Brain Stann vs. George Santiago: Brian Stann, the UFC is clearly throwing Santiago under the bus.
Rick Story vs Thiago Alves: Rick Story, its a close one, but I think his wrestling will make the difference.
Only wrong about the main event. Hamil was the one who looked deflated, and his takedown attempts where half-hearted at best. The rest of the fights went exactly how I thought. Santiago got TKOd in devastating fashion, Story's wrestling got the best of Alves, and Mir just made Big Country look like an amateur. Brown even KOd Struve like I suspected, but wasnt confident enough to make that my prediction.
Casey is kicking around the idea of a halfling necromancer, or more accurately (if less technically) an anti-necromancer. Since most of the stuff that ****s with undead also falls under necromancy, a LG specialist necromancer would work quite well.
heres what I think, along with the rest of the points we never got to finish in our last conversation.
The familiar type thing may be considered a construct. I believe (and I have pretty good intuition about these things) that the intention was to allow good NPC clerics to turn your undead minion, not to make it antagonistic combination for a LG necro in a party with a cleric. As far as evil clerics wanting to rebuke it... lol. You wish they would waste their rounds like that.
The flavor is good. I think you got the jist of this from our conversation, but you cant be from Barovia. Its all humans there, and a specific race at that (Vistani). Even before the land was consumed by Ravenloft, it wasnt the happiest most friendly place. Like most places, racism was prevalent. As far as mechanics and balance go though, that is the real reason. Part of the game is that you are all outsiders whos only lifeline is the Lightbringers.
I assume everyone chose to be a member of the Lightbringers. Dont forget to subtrace that whopping 100gp from your WBL (which is 13,000 gp btw).
Ill text Kris and let him know that he's "stuck" with the Sunsword. Quite an anomaly that the arguably best item is the last chosen, but that what I love about our group. If you love your characters more than your gear, that is a good sign. Just dont die.
Final Thought. Would you guys rather play this game as Pathfinder? for those of you who hant played it yet, the hype is true. Its just like 3.5 with minor tweaks to make it better. They are minor in the sense that they are easy to learn. Kind of like how you learn magic as you go along because the rules are more written on the cards than any rule book. The tweaks are huge as far as impact though. All in all, the game is much better balanced.
EDIT I almost forgot, think about flaws!!! Some nice horror movie flaws would work well with the flavor of the campaign. In the original recruitment thread, some good ones I saw where claustrophobic, fear of the opposite sex, George's nightmare one, etc. A lot of the flaws from the wiki are low impact but have good flavor. I usually dont allow low impact flaws, because they are unbalanced, but in this case, if they have good horror flavor, then that is your reward.
How do I transfer my character from myth weavers to OOTS forums?
Yeah you can just copy pasta the thing into this thread, and Rob will do the rest.
There is also a thing down at the bottom that says "Create Statistics Block" Which when pressed will make you a Stat block in the space provided, which you can copy and paste into your posts for ease of not having to look at your entire sheet for most battle use.
Dont forget to pick your colors. Also, if anyone has Kris' email, can you send him a link to this thread.
Go ahead and make an introductory post. That will hopefully get the action started. You all came via the wagon. Some of you may or may not know each other. When you get dropped off you cant quite see the gates through the mist, but it is assumed that you head in that direction. Once you enter the town, you wont be railroaded in any way shape or form.
I have a notepad document with lots of stuff for copying and pasting. Heres some of the stuff I use for my Half-orc Barbarian. If you want to see how this is formatted, click quote, and look at it in the text editor window. If you want to play around with die rolls, go here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=126564
Almost done. I've finalized my spellbook and purchased all of my goods. How do I pick a color and how much can I personalize my skeleton companion? It says in the book that it is a human skeleton with a scimitar and a heavy shield. I wanted to make him an orc skeleton with a greatclub. Numbers won't change, except for AC and damage obviously.