D&D CATCH-ALL because Baron is dumb

Demosthenes wrote:
Duoae wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Well, with Giant in the Playground broke for a while... here's the outline for my D&D campaign setting as it sits now.

Huh.. I see... So... it's a sort of self-referential work wherein the players manifest their own deep-seated fantasies based on the guidance, or lack thereof, from the DM?

;)

Apparently GWJ doesn't like outlines or whatever that grammar thing is called when you hit the Tab button to ad that space to the beginning of a paragraph. :X

Yeah. As I recently found out trying to post song lyrics and associated chords. The GWJ input is very sanitised! Which, I guess is good... But I mean, we've been here for years! They should trust us to not type in stuff like ; Drop table users;..

Oh god! What have I-

[edit]
As a side observation, now is the right time to get in on my idea for 2017 spam bots generated today in order to overcome the spam rules of the future!

Demosthenes wrote:

Apparently GWJ doesn't like outlines or whatever that grammar thing is called when you hit the Tab button to ad that space to the beginning of a paragraph. :X

Use the "List" BBCode

  • Makes a indented, bulleted list
  • Works great for outlines
    • And patch notes
  • Will require some reformatting

I don't have anything useful to say. I'm just subbing because DnD.

Mantid wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Apparently GWJ doesn't like outlines or whatever that grammar thing is called when you hit the Tab button to ad that space to the beginning of a paragraph. :X

Use the "List" BBCode

  • Makes a indented, bulleted list
  • Works great for outlines
    • And patch notes
  • Will require some reformatting

I was about to say I have no understanding of how you did that... then I hit quote on your post... and I think I get it now. Will have to try it later... like... when I'm at home and have the time to do that much editing.

Demosthenes wrote:

I was about to say I have no understanding of how you did that...

Mantid must be a level 20 WIZARD!

Too lazy to do all of that typing, so I made my own bullet points using spaces, wheeeeeeeee...

Provinces' Backstories

Mountainheart Province (Dwarven)

- Mountainous Terrain

*** Northwestern volcanic island and the western cost and southeastern volcanic.

------> Volcanoes and their magma flows used to smith materials, armor, weapons, and tools

*** Northwestern volcano = city capital of province

------> Stoneheart City

- Province ruled by 5 Families, sub families all report to these 5 families; families hold Elder Councils for all internal and external affairs.

*** Blackrock

------> Neutral Evil family alignment

------> Power Primarily comes from family wealth

------>Vast mercantile holdings

------>Uses Thieves and Assassins Guilds to hedge out, frame, and kill rivals

------> Name used as a curse away from the family

*** Aeriepeak

------> Neutral Good family alignment

------> Armorsmiths for generations

*** Stoneshard

------> True Neutral family alignment

------> Weaponsmiths of great renown

------> Sells weapons to caravans

------> No sub-families

- Many outcasts and outlanders associate with the family

- Apprentice to learn the skills of weapon-smithing

*** Marbleheart

------> Lawful Good family alignment

------> Warriors of the province

------> Guards of the city

------> Army leadership

------> Known to rise in the Imperial Army

*** Oreseeker

------> Lawful Neutral family alignment

------> Miners, supply most of the ore to the other noble families

- Founded by Ignis Mountainheart with the creation of the Empire

*** Family matters are determine by the family's leadership

*** Province's matters are determined by a council of the families' elders

- In the last two years, the province's forges have been going cold, leading to unrest, and increased political maneuvering between the families try to restore their own brand of order and leadership

Eauparadis (Human)

- Marsh terrain with a tropical southern coastline and bay

- Two main cities, both on the bay... third city in the north of the province

*** Eauporte – City at the mouth of the bay, primary trading city for the province

*** Poissonreste – City at the back of the bay (eastern edge), known primarily for fish and fish foodstuff exports

*** Boisville – Smaller city in the north toward the border, primarily known for logging and woodworking

------> Brings them into conflict with the elves who try to protect the forests

- Noble families rule the province's various districts and choose the leadership who represents the province to the other provinces and imperial city

*** Jean Eauporte founded the province with the creation of the Empire

Greenhill (Gnome/Halfling)

- Very agrarian culture, the gnomes live in the northern half of the province and the Halflings in the southern half.

*** They live in peace with each other (and with the dwarves to the north).

*** Each group is known for crafting...

------> The gnomes for more technical devices (crossbows, locks, traps, etc...).

------> The Halflings for food, wine, comfort items and leather goods.

*** As a general rule, as long as no one disturbs the peace, the communities (which barely rises to village level for inns, taverns, and marketplaces to buy things) are disorganized and self-running.

*** Neighborly disputes are usually handled by a third neighbor (with much wining and dining from both sides, usually the person with the best food, wine, or gifts wins the dispute).

*** If a larger threat appears, appeals to the dwarves are common, and calls to adventurers are made with notices of good payment for services rendered.

- Founded by Brand Defthand (Halfling) and Gord Greenblade (Gnome) with the foundation of the empire.

- On the eastern coast, the province's sole city, Hedgecoast Hills, acts as the trade hub for the halflings (the gnomes usually just trade with the dwarves to the north).

Sgiathatch (Elven)

- Capital City: Cloudbranch, massive tree city that wanders the hold.

*** As the city moves through the province, different clans rule the city.

*** Clans do not leave their own holdings, except for a few chosen delegates who stay with the city to confer with the other tribal leaders.

*** Capital grove where the ruling clan stays also home to the Elvan, an elven matriarch who, while not a queen, is always consulted by the clans for any major decision.

------> In recent years, the tree has stopped moving, settling in the northeast corner of the hold.

- Western clan: Edgestalkers, responsible for watching the western border where the hold meets dwarven lands. Lawful neutral clan alignment. Known for their prowess in battle and observation.

- Northern clan: Pinestriders, they primarily export the hides and furs of the cooler area's larger beasts. True neutral alignment. Known for their archery and tracking skills, but also their ruthless treatment of poachers on their lands.

- Eastern clan: Wavewatchers, they run the Hold's primary port. They export the hold's trade goods and distribute imports in exchange for the goods they export. Known, weirdly for elves of the hold, to have a strong business acumen, most elves found outside of the province come from this hold. Nuetral good clan alignment.

- Southern/Central clan: Petalseekers, they wander the large arboreal heartland of the province, the clan is known for finding, cultivating, and harvesting the many medicinal and poisonous herbs of the deepest forest. They are known to be very strong healers and alchemists, relying on the natural beasts and impenetrable forest for protection and an existence removed from the interference of others.

- The elves, as of late have been feeling squeezed by their neighbors.

*** The dwarves believe all of the mountains are theirs, and are encroaching from west.

*** The humans are uprooting the forest for the wood they need from the south... All while the forests themselves appear to be slowing their cycles of renewal and regrowth.

Ferrus Island (Colony of the Empire, mixed)

- Capital City: Andahar, located at the Southeatern edge of the island between the bay and southern mountains.

- Colony of the Empire, located off the southern tip of the eastern half of the continent.

*** Settled by the dwarves and humans, with a small elven settlement on the northeast corner of the island and some Halfling and gnomish homesteads on the western side of the island.

*** Southern half of islands is mostly mountainous, with a small bay in the southeast corner of the island serving as the capital of the colony and trade city/port.

- Known primarily for its mining through the mountains to the south and silk “farming” in the Elven settlement of Silkwood.

*** Dwarves and Humans mine the mountains both on the cityside of the mountain range, as well as from the city Farside, located at the end of a tunnel under the mountains that extends north from the west end of the city.

*** Elves coexist with the general peaceful (towards elves and humans in the town) large spiders, cutting their webs back and harvesting them for spider silk.

- Colony ruled by the Legate cleric (of Pelor) Dewar Brightshield, appointed by the Emperor a few years after the founding of the empire, as the army of goblins and hobgoblins was chased back to their ancestral base.

*** Ruled by a cleric, but not a theocracy. Brightshield keeps a council of advisors from each settlement that proposes legislation to him. He maintains veto powers unless a unanimous decision from all advisors is reached.

- In recent years, the mines of Ferrus Island seem to be “drying up” after a long boom, but not due to lack of ore. The earth seems less yielding to miners. Work that used to take a day now takes weeks. With the colony’s lack of export, the future of the colony seems to be in doubt. Silk and farming from the lesser settlements still brings in some money for the island, but many are surviving only on their savings from the years of booming exports.

Dragonheart – The Imperial City

- Set on a large island in the central bay of the empire, part of no province.

- The original Emporer chose the island because it was the heart of the Draconic army's empire that he conquered with the help of his adventuring group years ago. His son (Theodisius Dragonheart) now rules the empire.

- City laid out in five districts (like a Trivial Pursuit piece, but with no walls, just local defined districts).

*** Southern district is the port and trade quarters where the newest goods from around the Empire are received and sold

*** The other districts, continuing clockwise, match the provinces of the empire.

------> Halfling/Gnome

------> Dwarf

------> Elven

------> Human

*** Districts are very porous, so while a racial group may form the majority of each district, members of almost every race can be found in each district.

*** People generally move to where their professions take them, smiths of all races are likely to be found in the Dwarven District. Leatherworkers are more likely to be found in the Halfling and Elven districts.

- Emperor’s palace found at the center of the city.

*** Surrounded by temples to the various faiths of the Empire and military garrisons for imperial troops.

- Outside of the main port, a bridge connect the island to the mainland to the north (right at the dwarven and elven provinces’ border) to allow access, though most just sail in.

- Unlike the provincial borders, the Imperial City is a generally peaceful place for the various races of the Empire. Tensions are more individual between competing suitors, businesses, rivals, etc… not on a racial level.

Maybe because i read to much manga, but i think running a D&D campaign in the Maou Mayouu Yuusha world would be hella fun.

What system are you thinking of using, Demos?

clover wrote:

What system are you thinking of using, Demos?

3.5, it is what I and my group knows best.

Oh my.

Demosthenes wrote:

Oh my.

Lions and tigers and bears?

Still no impressions from anyone, or any DMing suggestions. Have to admit, I am nervous for whenever we start this campaign.

Sorry Demo forgot about this.

My general rule of thumb for DM'ing is the same as improv theatre. Do your best to say yes!

If a players want to pull an Errol Flynn and swing from chandelier to rope to the main floor to kick a bad guy in the face. Figure out a way for him to do it.

Also the rules are not really "rules" there... more of a guideline really

Each DM preps in his own way, i typically go with a macro view of what's going on, and let my players inform the micro. The only micro that matters is what the players see and hear so depending on where they go that determines what the micro is. I can't suggest one way or another for you to DM other than what your comfortable with. And know this, *most* players are on your side, if their not then screw em and make sure the game is fun for everyone else.

Cayne wrote:

Also the rules are not really "rules" there... more of a guideline really :)

IMAGE(http://www.gabe-e.com/rushes/analysis/barbossa1.jpg)

The first rule of keeping players from getting bored is keeping the game moving--don't spend a lot of time dealing with charts and rules. Encourage players to be creative and reward ingenuity. I'd also suggest doing at least some rolling for players behind the scenes, so instead of waiting for a player to say that they want to search something for example, make a perception check for them and if they see something special, at least hint at them that it's there. And remember, the more you rely on rules in a way that's exposed to players the more they'll meta-game. Figure out the balance between storytelling and letting the players feel the thrill of rolling 20s that works for your group.

For adventure time outside the dungeon, come up with some plots taking place and prepare events to get the players involved. Say someone is looking for an artifact and has hired thugs to raid various homes for clues, is bribing people for info, etc. If the players pass through a residential area at night maybe they will stumble across one of the looters as he's climbing out the window of a home. So for the looter encounter you'd know the looter's stats, what he's carrying (including something to point the players towards who hired him in case the players kill him), where he goes after the theft, etc. You can hold onto these subplots pretty much forever, and only a bit of reworking is usually required if you actually use the encounter at some point but the players choose to ignore it.

Prepare as much as necessary to ad-lib a single play session. If they're making progress too fast on some particular subplot, distract them with another. After a few sessions you should have a pretty good idea of what they like and can tailor things a bit more specifically to that. And if you're playing pre-done dungeon content, find ways to integrate it into the world you've created, even as far as having NPCs from town interfering with the dungeon part of the adventure.

My first night is a pretty simple intro to why they are on Ferrus Island followed by some dead bodies in the road and tracks leading back to an abandoned (previously) Dwarven mining outpost. Basically the outpost has been designed to test the players interest in different encounter types. Straight combat encounter, a puzzle door, an encounter with a twist (a circular room with a rotating floor), and an encounter the party can... well not sidestep... but work to make easier with skill usage before meeting a caster villian to end the dungeon. Working on plot hooks to have the character invested in following the caravan (thieves guild will try to recruit the rogue for in exchange for information on the caravans, blacksmiths will offer reduced crafting costs for reestablishing trade with martial classes, etc...).

"Huh dead bodies in the road... tracks leading away... hmmm well i head to town and ignore the plot hook."

Just something to consider It's what my players do to me all the time. Unless you include something in their back stories (their homicide detectives and should care about dead bodies, the bodies are their contacts for a job and had payment in advance for them, things like that)

Hopefully your players aren't dicks like that but try to have contingencies in place, even if it means a few hours of content that don't see the light of day (for now) you can always reuse mini hooks later.

Cayne wrote:

"Huh dead bodies in the road... tracks leading away... hmmm well i head to town and ignore the plot hook."

Just something to consider It's what my players do to me all the time. Unless you include something in their back stories (their homicide detectives and should care about dead bodies, the bodies are their contacts for a job and had payment in advance for them, things like that)

Hopefully your players aren't dicks like that but try to have contingencies in place, even if it means a few hours of content that don't see the light of day (for now) you can always reuse mini hooks later.

I always felt bad whenever I had to pin gigantic plot hooks right to the NPC's faces to get my group to even sniff around, but it does feel nice when you get to pivot a little later on and reuse something that they walked past.

As a player, I've evolved to understand/accept the unspoken accord between player and GM: there are probably going to be plot hooks and the game will be a lot more interesting/better if I don't ignore them. Even if it doesn't entirely make sense for my character to do so.

Players never follow the direction you plan. At least in my experience.

True. Which is why I try to do so as a player.

In my current game I've co-opted one of my players. We worked together to develop the campaign end boss, and he's currently playing it. This has multiple benefits for me, as the DM. Not least of which is that there's a PC who knows what the end-game is (because it's his evil plot, you see) and he actively works to keep the rest of the group working toward that goal. It won't work in every game (and won't work for me again for a good long time once this is over), but it's been super fun so far.

Zudz, I have considered doing that as well.

Mantid wrote:

Players never follow the direction you plan. At least in my experience. :?

I don't get this. It seems really disrespectful. I know my DM spends hours preparing the game and has mapped out a large campaign with numerous small stories throughout taking into account each of our characters and their arcs... why would I purposefully derail that except to be a jerk? That seems pretty selfish.

lostlobster wrote:
Mantid wrote:

Players never follow the direction you plan. At least in my experience. :?

I don't get this. It seems really disrespectful. I know my DM spends hours preparing the game and has mapped out a large campaign with numerous small stories throughout taking into account each of our characters and their arcs... why would I purposefully derail that except to be a jerk? That seems pretty selfish.

It's not always on purpose. Often what seems blindingly obvious to the DM is completely abstruse to the players.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
lostlobster wrote:
Mantid wrote:

Players never follow the direction you plan. At least in my experience. :?

I don't get this. It seems really disrespectful. I know my DM spends hours preparing the game and has mapped out a large campaign with numerous small stories throughout taking into account each of our characters and their arcs... why would I purposefully derail that except to be a jerk? That seems pretty selfish.

It's not always on purpose. Often what seems blindingly obvious to the DM is completely abstruse to the players.

Caravan leader declares that the PCs must go find out what killed those people so that they know the caravans will be safe going forward.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
lostlobster wrote:
Mantid wrote:

Players never follow the direction you plan. At least in my experience. :?

I don't get this. It seems really disrespectful. I know my DM spends hours preparing the game and has mapped out a large campaign with numerous small stories throughout taking into account each of our characters and their arcs... why would I purposefully derail that except to be a jerk? That seems pretty selfish.

It's not always on purpose. Often what seems blindingly obvious to the DM is completely abstruse to the players.

Yep. It's a tough balance... you do want the players to have a choice in the course of the game, so you don't want to blindly lead them by the nose. Still, the obvious choice sometimes doesn't always stick.

In a campaign I'm running, my players have been tasked with finding a way to end a series of raids on the coast by barbarians. So far they have learned that the raiding parties are being lead by demons, and they seem to be after a holy artifact that was split into eight pieces and hidden along the coast. They manage to slay one of the demons at a barbarian raid and find a map on him that has nine locations marked on it, eight along the coast being raiding and one on the coast the barbarians' lands. All of the eight on the coast are crossed out except for the village they PC's were at... and they saw the barbarians make off with the artifact piece there.

The general idea was that the barbarians had already raided the other locations and had all the pieces and they should sail to the marked location on the barbarian coast, since it was likely the location they were sailing from.. I thought it was fairly obvious. My players, however, decided they should travel to one of the other villages on the raided coast in hopes of stopping another raid...

It's up to the GM to make sure the plot hooks tie into the characters in some kind of personal way. This is why it's so good to establish the characters' histories beforehand, talk about why the character is on the adventure before it even begins.

It depends on your group, of course. Some groups want to be railroaded, though they'll never admit it, because the game to them is to go from combat to combat.

In my old age and laziness I like to string existing modules into a coherent campaign or use pre-existing campaigns to help reduce the prep time. Let my creative juices flow as the players diverge. Pathfinder is great for that type of thing as is the D20 system in general. The MSUAYG rule.

Edwin wrote:

I'm doing it online via http://roll20.net/

Still taking people for your campaign or did I miss the boat?