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wormspeaker
01-15-2009, 12:15 PM
Introduction:

The land lies shattered and the sun darkened. The ancient wars have left deep scars on the world and its peoples. The winters grow colder and the summers grow shorter. The evidence of the scope and folly of the ancient wars lies underfoot far and wide.

In the Kingdom of Morkeden the glaciers grow ever closer, pressing the kingdom between the towering Southern Mountains and the savage tribes to the north. For generations the kingdom and the tribes have seen the passes to the warmer southern lands choked with snow and ice for longer and longer every year. The harvest has grown feeble and the game scarce.

King Delden XXIII has seen the lines of fate that lead to the death of his kingdom. Long has he sought to divert this inevitable end, but the balance of power in the valley has prevented action, until now.


Recent Developments:

For the past three summers none of the passes through the Southern Mountains have cleared at all. As little as three generations ago the Stone Tower Pass would remain clear for up to three months during the summer. The winters have been slowly becoming colder and the summers shorter ever since the ancient wars, but this process has been accelerating in recent memory.

King Delden knows well that this portends the doom of his kingdom, but has been unable to do anything about the situation due to the balance of power between the kingdom and the northern tribes in the valley. While the kingdom has an on again off again alliance with the Elvish tribe of the Muted Woods, the Barbarian clans, Orcish Hordes, and Gnoll packs (referred to collectively as the tribes) raid the kingdom and each other constantly. If King Delden were to make a serious effort to resettle his people past the Southern Mountains this would leave the kingdom open to attack by the tribes.

This latest winter (colder than any in memory) and the nearly non-existent summer has awakened concerns in even the northern tribes and King Delden’s diplomatic overtures have finally gotten traction. Recently the king has been successful in getting Skord Mandrson and Mauk Blackfist (the Barbarian and Orcish warlords respectively) as well as Lord Elendion the Eternal (the elvish leader) and the two Most powerful Gnoll leaders (Grik Bloodsnout and Kipt Ironclaw) to the negotiation table.


Enter the Players:

In the last generation the tribes and the kingdom have been pushed into nearly constant raiding and warring over the dwindling resources and productive land of the valley. Because all parties (even the Orcish Warlord Mauk Blackfist, who is considered perhaps the most ruthless, powerful, and cunning Orc in ten generations) recognize that staying in the valley will be a losing proposition, all parties have agreed to negotiate a solution to the problem.

A mass exodus from the valley seems to be the best choice. There are warmer lands to the south, but they are no doubt already fiercely held by others. If one party were to expend the resources to expand into the southern lands they would be easy pickings for the other factions in the valley. Further, with the expectation that Stone Tower Pass will remain closed year round, only small parties will be able to travel beyond the Southern Mountains. Something must be done.

While all of the factions have sent parties out to explore the southern lands few have returned and none with reliable information. The factions have agreed to create a number of joint parties to find access to the southern lands and find suitable places to resettle.

Most of these joint parties are to be set to explore the existing passes and scout for new ones. (As well as several parties sent to find a northern passage around the mountains over the glacier.) The player party on the other hand will be sent to investigate the first sighting of goblins in the valley in over a thousand years. Goblins (like dwarves) were once common throughout the world but the tremendous earth shattering magics that were used in the ancient wars collapsed many of their underground cities, devastating their populations. However since goblins have been sighted in the valley in numbers, it is thought that they might have come from the southern lands and there might be a clear underground passage that could be used.

Legends say that the mountains (and indeed the whole world) were once riddled by caverns and underground cities. The Dwarves and Goblins were said to have built entire highways for miles and miles under the earth. It is thought that perhaps some of these underground highways still exist. It will be the player character's party that will spearhead the effort to find a path under the Southern Mountains and clear new lands for the peoples of the valley to settle.


The Races of the Valley:

The Kingdom of Morkeden -- Humans, with a minority of Dwarves, Halflings, and a tiny minority of Eladrin. The elves of the Muted Forest have a tenuous alliance with the kingdom and as such there are often Elvish visitors and a small population of Half-Elves. The kingdom centers on Mirror Lake and the small city named for it. The city and outlying farms and villages spread out around the eastern side of the lake with a stone bridge leading to the Castle Morkeden sanding atop a small rocky island near the eastern side of the lake.

The Barbarian Clans -- Humans, with a tiny minority of Half-Orcs. There are roughly two dozen human clans in the valley. They have no permanent dwellings and move with the seasons. Moving southward towards Mirror Lake during the winter and northwards towards the glacier during the summer. The Barbarian Clans have historically squabbled amongst themselves, but in the face of the united Orcish Hordes they have put aside old differences and have agreed to be led by the warlord Skord Mandrson, chief of the largest clan, Clan Mandrson. The Barbarians of late restrict their raiding to Orcish villages and in general leave the Morkeden settlements alone. The Barbarian Clans are generally located on the western side of the valley.

The Orcish Hordes -- Orcs, with a tiny minority of Half-Orcs. There was a time when the Orcish Hordes numbered in the hundreds, or so the legends say. In recent memory the reprisals from the Morkeden army (in retaliation for Orcish raids on outlying villages) and their constant warring with the Barbarian Clans, and most devastatingly blood feuds among themselves have diminished their once uncountable numbers. The Orcish Hordes have been slowly pushed out of the better lands to the south and have been relegated to the more northerly sections of the valley. In response to this Mauk Blackfist of the Blackfist Horde (perhaps the most gifted of his kind in an age) unified the remaining Hordes into a powerful and focused army. They have had some successes pushing back the Barbarian Clans in the west, and in general have begun preparing better defenses for their women and young. (Leaving their offspring undefended was the downfall of several Hordes in recent memory.)

The Elves of the Muted Forest -- The elves in the eastern forest number the fewest of all the various races in the valley. They are lead by Lord Elendion (known as the Eternal One) who leads them against the Gnolls who also claim the forest as their home. The superior tactics of the elves have allowed them to contain the growth of the Gnoll Packs. Though they are at peace with the kingdom, they have relatively little interaction with them.

The Gnoll Packs -- Though few in number, the Gnoll packs are able to use their superior woodsmanship to defend themselves against the Orcs attempting to expand into the forest edges and the Elves attempting to drive them out. Though wild and quick to anger, even they see the impending doom of the valley. The two strongest packs account for nearly all of the Gnolls in the forest, with only a few scattered family sized packs living on the fringes. The two major packs are the Bloodsnouts and the Ironclaws. The Bloodsnouts are known for their wise but savage shamans, while the Ironclaws are known for their swift and fierce rangers.


Religion:
[New]

Kingdom of Morkeden: The Kingdom of Morkeden is nominally monotheistic. They worship The One God who’s symbol is a golden sun. However, they do recognize the older religions out of practicality. Some of the outlying villages still practice ancestor worship, though the One Church is slowly converting the peasants. Many of the minority races continue their traditional worship however. The dwarves still worship the Stone Father, the legendary progenitor of their race. Halflings tend to worship a vague harvest god that lacks a specific personality or name. (Actually, the halflings believe their god to be dead, (having died during the ancient wars) which is the cause of the dwindling harvests.) The eladrin on the other hand do not seem to have any sort of organized religion at all, simply describing themselves as “spiritual.”

Barbarian Clans and Orcish Hordes: The Orcish Hordes and Barbarian Clans are divided by a common religion. Both groups venerate their ancestors. Their ancestors must be appeased to allow a favorable harvest, specific heroic ancestors can be called on to aid their progeny in battle. The ancients can be beseeched for prophecy and lore. The two groups believe that if they die in battle they will be welcomed into the next world by their ancestors where they will hunt and feast for all eternity. Ancestor worship tends to lean towards death symbolism such as skulls and bones. Often times particularly spiritual practitioners will carry personal items or even portions of the remains (bones generally) of their ancestors so that they might have a stronger contact with them if they need to call on their aid.

Gnoll Packs: The Gnoll packs feel that all life and nature contain natural spirits. Rivers, large stones, trees, animals, everything has a spirit. To the gnolls some are to be venerated, some appeased, some worshiped, and liberties should be taken with none. When an animal is killed, its spirit is to be thanked for its sacrifice, when a river is to be crossed, its spirit should be appeased lest it drown the unobservant, when the sun rises it should be worshiped for fear that it might not rise again on the next morn. Gnoll symbolism tends to run towards animal figures.

Elves: The elves do not worship, per se. They do however venerate the legendary first queen of their people, Selindra the Benevolent (who’s symbol is a crescent moon). Selindra is seen as a mother figure to the whole of the elvish race.

Racial Information:
[NEW]

Ignore the descriptions found in the Monster Manual where they conflict with the information below.

Gnolls:
Physiology: Physiologically Gnolls are bipedal canine- or hyena-like humanoids. The general large scale features of Gnolls include lower legs and paw-like feet resembling that of a canine. Gnolls are also very tall, with males reaching just over seven feet in height and while they tend to be strong they do not become bulky and instead retain a lanky body with long limbs. All Gnolls have facial features and a snout resembling that of a canine or hyena, and are covered in fur. The smaller scale features of Gnolls show much greater diversity than most other species. The fur of a Gnoll can range from short and downy to long and matted, and ranges in color from white and a light golden color to black and brown. Some genetic groups have spots or multi colored patches on their pelt. Further, the facial features of the varied genetic groups of Gnolls vary from wolf-like, to those resembling a hyena, with the hyena appearance being constrained to a relatively small population in the arid desert areas of the planet. Gnolls are mammals and give birth to live young, with a gestation period of six months, often resulting in litters of two to three young at a time. Though Gnolls are known to copulate year round, they are only fertile in the spring. Gnolls become sexually mature in eight years, reach full physical maturity in thirteen years, and males have a general life expectancy of thirty-five years. Female Gnolls have an upper life expectancy of fifty years. Gnolls are technically omnivorous but prefer meat and are quite competent scavengers. While they prefer fresh kills, their gastrointestinal system allows them to consume carrion without ill effects. The genetic group located in the Muted Forest have thick outer pelts that are rarely solid in color but instead are predominantly grey with small white, brown, black, and blue-grey patches. They also have a soft downy under pelt that is off-white. Their facial features and eye colors resemble those of timber wolves, which the Gnolls consider to be their "brothers and sisters" and it is not unusual for one or more timber wolves to accompany a Gnoll pack on the hunt.

Culture: Gnolls are highly social pack animals. While occasional fights for dominance between the alpha male and rivals can become vicious and bloody, it is rare that defeated rivals are driven from the pack. Once the hierarchy is set, Gnolls tend to work together with little discord. Gnoll packs are lead by the alpha male, generally this is the largest and strongest male in the pack, but in the larger and more stable Gnoll packs this is not always the case. Particularly in the Gnoll packs of the Muted Forest, the alpha male is often the male supported by the matriarchs of the pack. The pack matriarchs are generally experienced shamans and are the keepers of the pack’s lore, history, and spirituality. They are highly respected females that have held an increasingly important role in the packs as game has become scarce with the inexorable approach of the glaciers. The alpha male is still the leader of the pack in hunting and warring, but more than ever he rules the pack with the consent and assistance of the matriarchs.

Psychology: Gnolls are by Human standards exceptionally vicious and cruel. Gnolls tend to treat other races with the cruel indifference of nature, but they are rarely intentionally sadistic. To Gnolls there are three kinds of creatures in the world, predators, prey, and pack-mates. Humans nominally fall into the prey category, but on occasion achieve the role of predator. The most horrifying aspect of Gnolls is their tendency to consume their prey, be they man or animal. To the Gnoll religious philosophy it would be wasteful and disrespectful to the prey if they were not to consume them after killing them. Gnolls rarely kill for sport, when Gnolls kill other than for food, it is in defense of self, pack, or territory.

Game Information: Gnolls do not wear boots. They do wrap their feet in pelts, leather, and cloth. (This means that they will not be able to wear magical boots, but does not affect their AC from armor at all.) Gnolls do not need to wear the kinds of cold weather gear that Humans, and Orcs need to. In general they will wear a fur cloak or pelt over their shoulders, but nominally their fur will otherwise protect them as well as the cold weather clothing that Humans and Orcs wear. However, if they do wear such cold weather clothing, they will gain a +2 to all mundane cold weather related effects. Gnolls are also feared and distrusted by all the other races in the valley. Choosing a Gnoll as a character will be to accept a social and diplomatic back-seat when dealing with “civilized” races.


Orcs
History: Orcs and Humans share ancestry. Just as Humans and Elves (or Eladrin) can crossbreed, so can Humans and Orcs. Indeed, ancient Eladrin myth claims that they were the first men to walk the earth, even before the coming of the gods. The myth says that Humans are the result of the gods trying to copy the Eladrin race. While there is no proof to back up this myth, the origin of Orcs follows a similar vein. Orcs, it is said were created from Humans to be foot soldiers in the ancient wars. Whether this is true or not, the Orcish physique and society seems almost to be a crude reflection of Humanities’ own.

Physiology: Orcs are broad bipedal humanoids with shorter legs and longer arms than Humans. Orcs tend to have huge ropey muscles under thick skin and remain somewhat hunched over even when standing upright. Orcs also tend to be slightly larger than humans, with males regularly topping six feet. Orcs have powerful lower jaws with small tusks, short upturned noses, and small, slightly pointed ears. Orcs, like Humans are fertile year round and have a eight month gestation period. Orcs tend to give birth to twins and the relationship between twin siblings is highly relevant to Orcish society. Orcs reach sexual maturity at nine years and physical maturity at sixteen years. Males and females can expect to live up to sixty or more years if disease, exposure, or battle do not claim them first. Orcish skin color varies in much the same way that human skin color varies albeit with a slightly greenish cast to the tone. (Their skin is not the dark green that you see in World of Warcraft or Warhammer. Their skin is generally human toned, but with a slight greenish tinge. Nor are their faces porcine, they look more like neandertals than pig men. So, in other words this is the 1st edition version of the Orc.) Orcs almost invariably have thick lanky black hair and while not covered entirely, they tend to have far more chest, back, leg, and arm hair than humans, though their facial hair is not quite as aggressive. Orcish facial hair is limited to portions of their upper lip and under their chin. They do not grow facial hair on their cheeks or necks, but the facial hair that they do grow is thick and lanky just like the hair on their scalp, leading those Orcs who wish to grow out their facial hair to favor long thin braids.

Culture and Artistry: Orcish tools and art tend towards simple, crude, and brutal. While Orcs will buy, trade, and steal more finely wrought items from Humans the items they craft for themselves tend to be ugly but effective. Orcish dress tends towards animal skins and leathers, and while their tents and garments tend to be thick and layered; sewing skill or fashion tends to be absent. When an Orc wishes to decorate, they tend to do so in broad primary colors liberally smeared on their equipment or bodies. Orcs also commemorate occasions such as battles, coming-of-age, or superstitious events with ritual scarring done with heated blades. Orcish society tends to be highly competitive for the males and highly subservient for the females. In most hordes a warlord will rule only so long as he can best his challengers. In such challenges the loser is almost invariably slain, while those that are not slain are exiled from the horde. Of late however, the fractious nature of the Orcish hordes has lead to a significant reduction in the numbers in the valley. The warlord Mauk Blackfist has taken the opportunity this decline has offered to unite all the hordes under him with the original warlords of the hordes becoming his "council". Mauk has instituted many cultural reforms which have so far lead to greater cooperation and less schism within this united horde. Only time will tell if the changes instituted by Mauk will change Orcish society or if it will simply dissolve back into the old individual fractious hordes on his death.

Game Information: Orcs are fond of heavy weapons that provide a visceral thrill when wielded in combat. They much prefer the solid chop of an axe to the complicated swordplay of a rapier. As such when they create weapons for themselves they tend towards axes, clubs, and heavy bladed swords. The Orcish Cleaver is by far the most favorite of all Orcish made weapons. Generally just referred to as a "Chopper", the Orcish Cleaver (and it’s larger brother a two handed version, much like a halberd, known as the Two Handed Orcish Cleaver, or the "Big Chopper") is a clumsy, heavy, vicious weapon. All Orcs start with proficiency in both of these weapons.

(Note: Stats forthcoming. Low trained proficiency bonus, good damage, high criticals.)
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Game Type:
The feel of this campaign will be Low Fantasy, as opposed to High Fantasy. So in other words it’ll be more Conan than Lord of the Rings. As such, you should expect moral ambiguity. There is no black and white, only shades of gray. For example, from the perspective of the Orcs, the Human Barbarians are evil (since they seek to drive them out of their lands and slaughter their women and children) and vice versa. Further to the people of the Kingdom of Morkeden, all of the “Northern Tribes” are evil since they raid their villages, burn their homes, and kill their peasants. No side is completely innocent, even King Delden (good aligned) would kill every last man, woman, and child in all the tribes as well as the Elves if it would guarantee the survival of his kingdom. However, the king recognizes that only through cooperation can his kingdom be saved.

Play Type:
The early adventures will be predominantly dungeon crawls, however later adventures will be in the wilderness as well. Also while there will not be much in the way of diplomacy and social encounters early in the campaign, this will become a larger part of it as the campaign progresses. Dungeoneering skills will be advantageous in the early stages. Mixing in Wilderness skills soon thereafter will be very helpful. Finally Social skills will become a larger part of the game later. This is not to say that you will not use Dungeoneering skills in the late game, nor that you will not find occasions where social skills will be helpful in the early game, but as a general progression this is fairly accurate.

DM Style:
Expect that I will hide many of my rolls. Expect also that I may fudge some rolls to enhance the tension or excitement of the game. Further, I will ask each player to roll a number of D20s before the game that I will use for rolls where I prefer that you not be aware of failure. (For example, spot checks where if you fail the rolls I would prefer that you not be aware of anything unusual happening.) Of course, sometimes I’ll have you roll dice when nothing is happening, just to keep you on your toes. Otherwise, I’m fairly happy to let the players direct the flow of the game. However since I’m very rusty at DMing and have only played 4th Edition once, I may exert more control over the flow of the early sessions in order to keep things on track and within the boundaries of things I have prepared in advace.

Character Creation:
Stats: Do not roll dice, either take the standard array or use a standard 22 point buy.
Level: Standard first level character.

Books:
At the current time I have access to only the PHB, DMG, and MM. I do not intend to purchase the other books at this time. Chances are that I will get these books if the campaign goes well, but at this time please restrict your choices to things available from these books. (Edit: Actually at this time, I actually only have the PHB, the other books are being shipped by Amazon as I write this.) You will note that below I include classes that should be found in the yet to be released Players Handbook volume II. This means that as soon as that book is released, those classes will be available for players to use.

Available Race/Class Combos:
Kingdom of Morkeden
Race -- Human, Dwarf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Eladren.
Class -- Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, Warlord, Wizard.

Barbarian Clans
Race -- Human, Half-Orc.
Class -- Barbarian, Druid, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, Warlord.

Orcish Hordes
Race -- Orc, Half-Orc.
Class -- Barbarian, Druid, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, Warlord.

Elves of the Muted Forest
Race -- Elf, Half-Elf.
Class -- Druid, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard.

Gnoll Packs:
Race -- Gnoll.
Class -- Barbarian, Druid, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock.

Note: Gnoll and Orc information is available in the Monster Manual as well as in the D&D Character Builder.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/insider/characterbuilder

Note: I do not know if the Half-Orc race is included anywhere in the MM, so it will not be available until it is released in an official supplement.

Other Race/Class combinations are possible, but must be cleared with the DM first.

To be explicit: Tiefling and Dragonborn are not selectable races. In fact they do not exist at all in this world. Other races are possible, but must be cleared with the DM.

Special Abilities:
Some races will have some small additional abilities available beyond what is listed in the official books. I have not yet decided if any other races need some extra “oomph” to make them attractive as player characters, but the Gnolls get a special weapon proficiency at first level. (Details below.)

Grik’kark (Gnoll Bladespear)
[NEW]

http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=96&pictureid=633

The Grik’kark (otherwise known as the Gnoll Bladespear) is essentially a short glaive. The weapon consists of a four foot haft generally constructed in a similar manner to a sword hilt. The haft is usually wrapped in leather and has a central knob or flange that is used to parry weapons. The top of the weapon consists of a short sword length blade (roughly two feet in length) that can be used to slash or thrust. The butt end of the weapon is a small mace-like knob, a short blade, or spike depending on the style of the weapon. The Grik’kark is used much like a spear when held one handed or like a quarterstaff when wielded with two hands in combat. (Where skilled users will strike with either end of the weapon as opportunity presents itself.) The overall length of the weapon is usually just under seven feet in length from tip to tip.

The weapon may be wielded much like a spear, as a Military Melee weapon. However, if a specific Weapon Proficiency feat is taken for the Grik’kark it may be used in an advanced manner detailed below. (Note: Gnolls get the feat Weapon Proficiency: Grik’kark for free at first level.)

Military Melee (One Handed)
Proficiency: +2
Damage: 2d4
Weight: 12 lbs.
Price: 30gp.
Group: Spear
Versatile

Superior Military (Two Handed)
Proficiency: +3
Damage: 2d4 / Special*
Weight: 12 lbs.
Price: 30gp.
Group: Spear, Polearm, Heavy Blade
*Special: When wielded two handed with the feat Weapon Proficiency: Grik’kark, the weapon counts as both a primary and secondary weapon for purposes of feats such as Two Weapon Fighting and Two Weapon Defense as well as powers and abilities that require two weapons, such as those granted to the ranger class. The primary attack of the weapon is the 2d4 blade, the secondary attack of the weapon varies based on the style of Grik’kark wielded. See the chart below. (Note: The proficiency bonus for the secondary attack is reduced to +2.)

Pike Head: 1d6 Spear
Blunt Head: 1d4 Mace
Short Blade: 1d4 Light Blade

Final Note: Quarterstaffs can be used in the same manner if the Weapon Proficiency: Advanced Quarterstaff is taken. The character treats the single quarterstaff as if it were two weapons for the purposes of feats and abilities that require two weapons.

The Orcish Chopper (Orcish Cleaver)
[NEW]

http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=96&pictureid=634

The Orcish Cleaver is a viciously simple weapon that relies more on mass and a strong arm than any real skill or finesse. The weapon's simplicity means that it is still very effective even when crudely made, as most Orc crafted items are. The weapon is most effective against cloth, leather, and hide armor but its mass makes it relatively effective even against chain and scale armor as well.

Simple Melee (One Handed)
Proficiency: +1
Damage: 2d4
Weight: 10 lbs.
Price: 10gp.
Group: Heavy Blade
High Crit
(Note: Character must have a STR value of 13 or more or the Proficiency bonus is reduced to +0 due to the weapon's ungainly weight.)

Player Responsibilities:
As a player you will be responsible for creating a character and providing that character to the DM electronically. (Scanned, Word Document, Plain Text, D&D Character Builder file, etc…) It would also be nice if each player were to have their own copy of the Players Handbook, but I will not make that mandatory at this time.


Player Expectations:
Most locations will be non-smoking, so smokers will need to take it outside during breaks. Otherwise new and experienced players are welcome regardless of age, race, and creed. We're all geek on the inside. (The female perspective is particularly welcome as well.)


Game World:
The game world is undergoing an ice age as well as something akin to a magical “nuclear winter.” In short, the game world is cold. Very cold. The glaciers have advanced to roughly the latitude of the US/Canada border. While the entire world population has been severely decimated by the “Ancient Wars” the encroaching glaciers have forced the races and creatures of the world south, resulting in conflicts.

Game Environment:
The bitter cold of the campaign location will result in the player characters being confronted and beset by the weather and environment itself. The ability to cross glaciers, climb mountains, and in survive blizzards will be of central importance during wilderness adventures. Also, while I do not yet know if the DMG has rules for hypothermia or frostbite, these will be serious dangers to the player characters. Assume that a strong constitution will be of importance to characters in this campaign. Also being caught in the open when a blizzard rolls in would be exceptionally bad, and quite possibly deadly to the player characters. Basic cold weather gear is assumed with a standard adventurer pack, but advanced survival gear is suggested. (Such as tents, extra blankets, heat sources, etc…)


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Location and Time:

The current plan is to have the group meet at the Midlands Technical College Airport Campus Cafeteria. This can change if one of the players has an alternate site to use. (The back room of the Heroes and Dragons shop is too small and crowded for my tastes though. Edit: The backroom on H&D was much larger than I remembered it. We can meet there if we end up doing a early afternoon weekend game if the MTC location is not convenient.) I have no specific day and time to run the campaign, this will vary in order to best meet the schedules of the group. Possibilities include Weekday evenings from 6 to 10 or some time on Saturdays or Sundays in a 4 hour block. The group will meet once a week, with the possibility of increasing to twice a week at some point in the future if the group would like that. If interested, please specify what times you would be available.

Link to the Midlands Tech Airport Campus Map:
http://www.midlandstech.com/campusmaps-airport.htm

The Cafeteria is located on the ground floor of the building marked as "ASC" on the map.


About Me:

My name is Chuck and I am 32 years old. I have played more RPGs than I can count. (I lost count somewhere around the mid-twenties.) I have played every version of D&D except the 3.5 sub-version. (Basic D&D, Advanced D&D, 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition, 4th Edition.) I haven’t played or DMed for more than an occasional one off game in a long while, but I figure that it’s like riding a bike. My favorite games are the old West End Games D6 version of Star Wars and R. Talsorian Games’ Friday Night Firefight version of Cyberpunk. Generally I dislike brute HP based systems, but I make an exception for D&D due to its near universal appeal.

Mead
01-15-2009, 10:09 PM
Hey there! I am definitely interested in playing in your campaign. Would depend on the schedule, but I should be able to make it once a week. Can't do twice or more, since I'm moving to a 6-day work schedule and mainly work nights.

But yeah, this one sounds like it's right up my alley, I'm looking forward to hearing from ya!

Todd

(well, I guess that was supposed to be a pm, but wahey, it's all good)

wormspeaker
01-16-2009, 10:06 AM
Update:

I have firm interest from three players at the moment. However, one of them will not be available until May. I am hoping to hear from one or more additional players soon. I am hoping to start the campaign in about a month if I can find four or more players with compatible schedules.

Players are still welcome, please let me know if you are interested.

Tookiedoo78
01-19-2009, 02:08 PM
I would be interested in playing, depending on what days of the week and what times. Just let me know what you're think about, and we'll see if I can get together with you.

HeraldAngel576
01-20-2009, 11:19 AM
OK, so I've already expressed interest over PM and have been talking about it, but I thought I'd put it on here to keep better track of everyone.

wormspeaker
01-20-2009, 03:58 PM
Okay, the following folks are interested in the game:

HeraldAngel576
Bloodhound14us (Not available until May)
Mead
Tookiedoo78
Jason Dunn

As far as I can tell there are two times that work.

Sundays from 2:30pm until 6:30pm
and
Saturdays from 6:00pm to 10:00pm

The Saturday time will result in one player missing approximately one game a month.

I'm thinking therefore that the Sunday time will be more appropriate, but I'd like everyone to have a say on it. How will either of these times work for you?

HeraldAngel576
01-20-2009, 07:29 PM
Yeah, Sundays would probably be better for me. This weekend I've got to go home for family stuff (though I don't think we're even starting that early, so it probably doesn't matter). There may be a few other weekends I might have to miss, but hopefully not too many. I know for a fact that either the 8th or 15th of March I'll have to miss, maybe both, but that's a ways away. Anyway, that's what I've got.

Mead
01-20-2009, 07:54 PM
Gonna have to bow out of this one, unfortunately. Found out the front end of my car is failing, and it's not safe for long-distance driving until I can afford to get it fixed.. which won't be any time soon.

Sorry guys. :(

Tookiedoo78
01-21-2009, 08:03 AM
Sunday is my best bet as well.

wormspeaker
01-21-2009, 06:19 PM
Okay then, it looks like we will schedule for Sundays from 2:30pm to 6:30pm.

How about we set the first meeting for Sunday February 8th?

You'll probably want to discuss what kind of characters you want to make. I don't care what you want to play, just so long as it's in line with the stipulations listed above in the campaign description. I'll try to tailor the campaign to your class choices, but obviously everything will go much smoother if you each choose a different class.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Sorry to hear that Mead. Hope things start looking up for you soon. You've got a spot in the party when you can join.

There are two more people interested in playing, a guy named Dustin and his wife. So we are still good to go I think.

HeraldAngel576
01-22-2009, 07:18 AM
Cool, works with me.

So, I'm thinking about making a Rogue, but if someone else really really wants to play rogue I can figure out another class. But, first choice is the backstabber.

Tookiedoo78
01-22-2009, 09:12 AM
I'm still a very new player, so I'll be learning as I go no matter what character i have. So once everyone has the character that they want, I'll choose one that will fit in well with the group. So just keep me posted on what everyone is doing. Thanks!

Josh

wormspeaker
01-23-2009, 09:47 AM
If you do not have a players handbook, you can use the D&D character builder (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/insider/characterbuilder) or let me know and I can arrive early and we can make characters before the game.

HeraldAngel576
01-24-2009, 09:12 PM
OK, so, I may want to change my choice to Ranger, if I can. There's one thing I need to request, wormspeaker, if I could use one weapon from the Adventurers Vault. I'll pm you the details, but if I can't use it I'll stick with Rogue, otherwise Ranger.

wormspeaker
01-28-2009, 12:41 PM
Some updates:

I have not gotten any feedback from three of the potential members of the group. (They sent initial emails stating that they were very interested in joining, but I have not gotten any further correspondence from them since.)

I found the MTC Airport campus cafeteria to be locked on Sundays. (It was open on Saturdays last time I was there though.) I am going to see if I can get Security to unlock it for me this weekend, otherwise we may need to meet elsewhere. The backroom of Heroes and Dragons seems to fit our current schedule just fine. So we may have to meet there unless some other option comes up. (I'll let you know how unlocking the doors goes.)

So far I have firm commitments from four players, but only two of which will be available for the first scheduled game on Feb 8. I will continue to look for more players, and it's possible that some of the silent folks will show up, but I'm perfectly willing to run adventures for two players until we can pick up some more. As a matter of fact, I have several mini adventures ready that can be used if we don't have a full group on day one.

---

UPDATE

Unlocking the cafeteria is probably not going to work out. I don't like the idea of having to rely on someone to let us in who might change their mind. So we will meet at Heroes & Dragons for now.

---

UPDATE 2

First meeting occured on Sunday Feb 8th. Josh and Gabe showed up. I was really rusty, but I think I was getting back into my groove near the end. Looking forward to next week's game.

Still positions open for players. We have 2 current players, 2 pending players, and I'd be more than happy to have a few more show up.

randomfool
02-17-2009, 04:27 PM
Wormspeaker, I sent you a PM. I haven't played D&D much since 2nd ed, but have been looking to get back into playing. Sundays should work well for me if you still need players.

xxpeggyxsuexx
02-18-2009, 02:06 PM
Wormspeaker, after the 20th of Feb. I will be available on Sunday evenings to come play. TookieDoo98 and I will probably be attending together.
As the date comes closer I will be more aware of my availability.

wormspeaker
02-18-2009, 05:31 PM
Absolutely, we have plenty of room. Let me know when you will attend and I can plan to arrive early and help create characters for those that do not have them yet. Aim to make 2nd level characters, since the group has made 2nd level already.

xxpeggyxsuexx
02-19-2009, 01:59 PM
I have a second Level character already made for D&D 4E. Would it be alright if I used him for this campaign? When I get home, I'll post his stats, etc.

wormspeaker
02-19-2009, 04:31 PM
Yes, that'll probably be okay. I'll have to see what the character is before I can make the determination though.

We've been playing long enough for me to decide on some house rules, so these will be in effect going forward.

House Rules:

New players enter the game with a character level equal to that of the average party level.

Replacement characters (to replace dead characters) enter the game at a level equal to one less than the average level of the surviving party.

Normally I give experience out at the end of the session, but I may give it out during the session as well. Unless otherwise stated, leveling up your character happens after the session is over so that you enter the next session at your new level.

Minion type monsters normally have 1 HP and do not take damage from misses. (Even if those misses would normally do damage.) I'm not fond of the way minions are dealt with, so I normally don't use them. However, when I do use them they will have HP equal to 4 HP per level of the minion. So a 5th level minion will have 20 HP. However they will take damage from misses as normal. This will of course make the encounters somewhat harder and the party will be compensated appropriately.

Tracking
[Updated]
Tracking is a "trained" function of the Nature, Dungeoneering, and Streetwise skills. They allow you to track in Natural, Underground, and Urban areas respectively. Perception will allow you to spot tracks but will not necessarily tell you anything about them or allow you to follow them very far.

wormspeaker
03-11-2009, 11:43 AM
[Update]
As an update we return to play this Sunday (March 15) and we have a Wizard now.

Tookiedoo78
03-12-2009, 07:20 AM
Yayy! Maybe we can actually take on a group of Kobolds now!

wormspeaker
03-12-2009, 09:59 AM
Don't count on it. Those Kobolds are pretty bad ass.

Tookiedoo78
03-13-2009, 06:57 AM
Ok, so maybe not a large group. But hopefully with a wizard, and my new "Sweeping Blow", we can at least whip three or four lizard asses.

xxpeggyxsuexx
03-16-2009, 08:09 AM
So i need the surnames of the charaters in our campaign. It's a suprise, so I'll bring it (them) to the next meeting.

teajay33
05-03-2009, 04:56 PM
hey guys, thanks for letting me watch your game. it was a lot of fun! see ya in a couple of weeks!


TJ

Bloodhound14us
05-03-2009, 05:26 PM
Wormspeaker
I would very much like to Join you campaign. Please let me know when and where your group will be playing.

wormspeaker
05-04-2009, 02:40 PM
Wormspeaker
I would very much like to Join you campaign. Please let me know when and where your group will be playing.

I believe that our next session will be May 31. The location is mapped on the Campaign Summary section of this page. It is in the back room of the "Heroes and Dragons" shop. Feel free to swing by if you're interested. If you bring a 4th level character conforming to the instructions listed in the first post of this thread you can jump right in when you arrive.

HeraldAngel576
05-26-2009, 10:40 AM
Hey guys. I'll be back in town when I planned, Saturday the 30th. So, if everyone's ready for it we can start up again Sunday the 31st. There's been a change in my overall plans for the summer, so I'm almost certainly going to be coming back here at the end of June until mid August. So, we'll have to put the game on hiatus again then. Sorry about that, but we'll figure it out as that time gets closer.

Anyway, see you guys in a few days.

Tookiedoo78
05-27-2009, 11:03 AM
Works for me. Sean and I will be there, but we'll have to leave at 6:00 instead of 6:30. But we're both looking forward to playing again.

wormspeaker
06-21-2009, 05:57 PM
http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=96&pictureid=924http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=96&pictureid=927


Players are on the south side, need to get to the north side.

This is how a DM should be:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/3/4/
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/6/22/

Tookiedoo78
08-08-2009, 11:45 AM
Hey Chuck and Nick. Are we playing this Sundy(8/9)? It's fine if we're taking a week off, I just didn't want me and Sean to miss a game thinking that we didn't have one. Just post on here or give me a call if we are. If not, we'll see you next week hopefully.

Josh
(803)600-8840

wormspeaker
08-11-2009, 04:57 PM
OK, gentlemen. I have finished most of the work I need to do in order to run a game other than D&D this weekend. (Sunday August 16 2:30pm)

This is just a heads up for now. I'll post the information that you'll need tomorrow as an attachment. You'll just need to think about what kind of character you want to play and we can do the character creation on Sunday if you have trouble following the walk through I'll post tomorrow.

Here are the basics, I'll give more detail tomorrow:

The campaign takes place in the modern day, January 2010 to be exact. However this world is an alternate history time line where the cold war did not end. For the last twenty years a stalemate has prevailed between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Your characters are a group of old high school buddies (aged 34 to 38 years old) from South Carolina that have kept in touch but have not been able to get everyone together at the same time for decades. It turns out that the only time you could all get time off together for a camping trip was January 2010.

One of you have secured permission to use a campsite on private property owned by a relative in North-East New Mexico. The location is so remote that it will take a full week to hike to it through unpopulated canyons. The camp site offers hunting and climbing opportunities and a complete isolation from the modern world.

You have rented a four wheel drive SUV that you will take to a point roughly 40 miles from the campsite and 30 miles from the nearest highway. You will then spend the next week hiking to the camp site. Though the parking spot is only 40 miles from the campsite as the crow flies, it is through some of the most difficult terrain and twisting turning canyons that New Mexico has to offer.

While you do not need to procure transportation, you will need to determine what your character will take with them to the camp site. Bear in mind that it will be high in the mountains during the winter, so dress warmly.

You have $5,000 to purchace gear (just look around the internet for what you want, has to be a retail price.) You ought to start making a list early. If you don't know what to get, search the internet for some suggested camping trip equipment lists.

(I'll post character creation and mechanics information tomorrow.)

Tookiedoo78
08-12-2009, 12:42 PM
Can we get whatever gear we want, as long as it's in the price limit?

wormspeaker
08-12-2009, 02:57 PM
Yes, within the limits of the law. For example, you could buy one of those cheap semi-automatic AK-47 variants that have become legal again with the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban, but you still can't own an automatic version. Also, while if you are a SWAT officer you would have access to automatic weapons like sub-machine guns and assault rifles while performing your job you would not be allowed to take them on a camping trip. On the other hand, a police officer might be required to keep a uniform, sidearm, and body armor in their vehicle in case they get called in on an emergency.

Here are the files...

Don't worry if you don't follow all of it, mainly I just need you to come up with a character concept and a general idea of what options you want for your character by Sunday. We'll go through everything then and fix up characters and other things. What I do need you to do is choose your equipment though. I used to have a bunch of catalogs that I could bring along to pick from, they are all hopelessly outdated. So you'll need to use the internet to choose.

You might want to search for camping gear lists to give you some ideas. Also remember that the characters will be spending four weeks in the mountains during the winter. A zero degree sleeping bag, a tent, and several changes of warm clothes are going to be important. New Mexico does not get to the temperatures you see in the north, but expect to deal with lots of wind and temperatures as low as the teens.

Also remember that while you will be able to do some hunting while there (Antelope, Deer, and small game like Rabbits) you will need to bring at least 2 weeks of food for the hike in and out. Bringing two weeks of food should also allow you to ration it if your hunting forays don't go so well. Water should be available on-site without too much trouble.

wormspeaker
08-12-2009, 11:21 PM
Here's a link to a page about GURPS quirks (which is essentially the same in JARPS) that will give you some ideas on what makes a good quirk. If you have something that actually has in-game consequences rather than role playing consequences it would be a Disadvantage and would be worth more than 10 points.

http://www.codepoet.org/~markw/gurps/player/quirks.html

HeraldAngel576
08-16-2009, 11:31 AM
Hey guys. I just wanted to let you know I'm going to be coming back into town on Tuesday, so I'll be back for next Sunday's session (assuming you haven't had to cancel it).

I noticed from the last few posts that you're trying out a non-D&D game. If you want to keep going with that that's cool with me, as long as I can jump in somehow. Let me know what you want to do and I'll either make a character for that or come with my D&D stuff.

Jeff

Tookiedoo78
08-17-2009, 08:26 AM
I'm good either way. The new modern game is interesting, and I would like to continue it for a bit and work you into it as a new character. But if we switch back to D&D, that's cool too. I just enjoy playing a game on a Sunday afternoon. See you Sunday.

Josh

wormspeaker
08-17-2009, 10:47 AM
Alright. Well if no one has a problem with the modern era game, then we can continue that. Go ahead and look over the information and come up with a character concept. Do what you can to make the character on your own, and if you show up a little early Sunday we can finish it up before the game.

wormspeaker
08-20-2009, 09:43 AM
Some more documents...

HeraldAngel576
08-21-2009, 08:41 PM
OK, I've got most of my character done. I'm thinking about going with someone who lives in the wilderness (a cabin or something). I was thinking, since you guys are hiking, it's a relatively easy way to integrate another character. I've only got a couple problems, probably easy to sort out.

One thing, I wanted to add a perk, along with the Avid Outdoorsman perk in the example character sheet. I was thinking it could either add another 20 to Fieldcraft, Athletics, and Outdoorsmanship, or make the complexity of Hunter skills 1 less.

My second problem is just getting my head around the math (ie, total skill values and such). The description of complexity and skill level is kinda confusing. So, just gonna need to go over those on Sunday before we can get started.

See you then.

wormspeaker
08-24-2009, 01:15 PM
Jeff, I have reduced the cost of the "Deep Reserves" Trait by 1/2. You can either bump it up to level 2 or you can have 25 points back to spend on other things.

wormspeaker
08-28-2009, 04:33 PM
Some more files.

To speed up combat we'll be using a map and some figures if we get into combat again.

Also to speed up combat, I will be using an optional rule "All or Nothing."

The All or Nothing rule goes for wounds. If the character so chooses (so PCs don't need to do so unless you want to) you can roll only one Bleed/Shock Save at the end of the round. (You need to roll once per wound when wounded still though.) This means that if you have a wound of 10, 8, 7, and 4 and you roll a 7, 4, 5, 5 you will go down 2 status levels since you failed two of the wound severity values due to having the highest die a 7.

This should make end of round rolls go much faster for NPCs with multiple wounds. I will also be implementing a psychological save as well next time which should also improve combat somewhat as well. We'll see.

wormspeaker
09-03-2009, 05:22 PM
Another document.

wormspeaker
09-24-2009, 09:59 AM
Upcoming Schedule:

I'm going to be out for three weeks starting after the next session.

Sunday October 4th.
Sunday October 11th.
Sunday October 18th.

We should discuss what you want to do while I'm out. I would suggest that someone else take over running a few games.

Tookiedoo78
09-25-2009, 08:03 AM
That's cool. I'm sure we will come up with something. I was just about to post a note that Sean and I would not be able to make it this Sunday, Sept. 27. We're moving this weekend, and we just not gonna have the time on Sunday. But like I said, I'm sure we'll come up with something to do in the short interim while you're out Chuck. Thanks for the heads up.

Tookiedoo78
10-01-2009, 08:18 AM
Hey everyone. Any ideas on what we're doing while Chuck is out? If we're playing this Sunday, just let me know. If y'all haven't come up with anything, just let me know, and I'll try to think up something. Thanks, Josh

wormspeaker
10-01-2009, 05:24 PM
I believe Nick was going to possibly run something but he's not come up with anything yet. He's been having a lot of trouble this week due to his car being broken. That being the case, you might want to run something.

wormspeaker
10-02-2009, 09:45 AM
Josh, Nick's swamped with homework this weekend, so he will not be able to run a game or even play this weekend. He also does not think he'll have the time to run anything at all. However he is interested in playing (possibly if he does not get swamped with home work again next weekend) something you would like to run.

Tookiedoo78
10-02-2009, 03:20 PM
I would say that we'll be taking this weekend off then. I don't have any ideas yet, and I won't have time tomorrow to come up with something. But I'm sure I can come up with something by next weekend though. Take care, Josh.

HeraldAngel576
10-03-2009, 10:35 AM
OK, so we're not meeting this week then. In that case see you guys next week.

HeraldAngel576
10-09-2009, 11:48 AM
Hey guys. I just wanted to check and make sure we have a game this weekend. Hope someone sees this soon.

Tookiedoo78
10-09-2009, 10:12 PM
I'm not sure if we're meeting this weekend or not. Nick, if you've come up with something, let us know. If not, then I'd say we're still on break. I haven't had time to sit down and come up with anything yet, but I'm open for suggestions

HeraldAngel576
10-09-2009, 11:43 PM
OK, well, if no one says otherwise by tomorrow night, I'm going to assume we won't meet on Sunday.

HeraldAngel576
10-13-2009, 07:36 PM
Hey again guys. So, since we've still got a week before Chuck can start up again, I figure we're not gonna be able to get anything started and finished anyway. Therefore, I'm going to suggest we skip this last week and get started again next week with our regular game. Also, this is an excuse to go along with some friends of mine to the fair since it's the only day they can go. So, basically, I'm not gonna be there Sunday even if you guys are, so I'm requesting a final week of break. See you guys in a week and a half.

Tookiedoo78
10-14-2009, 06:55 AM
Sounds ok to me. We're still getting unpacked and settled in at the new place, so I can use the extra time at home right now. See you guys next week.

wormspeaker
10-19-2009, 06:57 PM
Unless something unforeseen comes up we'll be able to resume playing on November 1st. I'll see you all then.

Tookiedoo78
11-12-2009, 02:52 PM
Hey fellows. Sean and I won't be at D & D this Sunday. My sister-in-law, Sean's aunt, has passed away. We are leaving Saturday morning for the services in Waukegan, IL, which is just north of Chicago, so we won't be back until Wednesday. But we'll be there next Sunday, ready to go. Hope y'all have a good weekend.

Josh

wormspeaker
11-13-2009, 10:10 AM
Understood. Have a safe trip.

HeraldAngel576
11-15-2009, 02:08 PM
Hey guys. I know you're not gonna see this until after the game, at the earliest, but my car's dead in the driveway, so I'm not gonna make it out today. See you next week.

wormspeaker
12-14-2009, 01:03 PM
Next Game 2010 Sunday January 3rd.

HeraldAngel576
01-09-2010, 12:06 PM
Hey guys. Just thought I'd let you know I'm not gonna be back in time for the game this week. Sorry bout that, but it's been a little hectic for me lately. Along with this, there's a chance I will have to come back to Charleston for the semester, so if that happens I obviously will have to back out of this game. I'm not sure yet, I'll let you know as I find things out. Thanks.

wormspeaker
01-09-2010, 08:14 PM
Alright man, keep us informed.

HeraldAngel576
01-13-2010, 12:45 AM
OK, so I did end up having to go back to Charleston for the semester. That means I'm gonna have to drop out of this game. I'm sorry to have to do it, but extenuating circumstances and all.

Thanks for letting me play with you guys, it was a lot of fun. Overall it was a great first campaign for me. I learned quite a bit about how to run and play in a game. Plus, with all the horror stories I've heard about meeting up with random people to play a game, this was all together a great group of players.

I may look you guys up come summer, see if you're still playing. Until then, play on.

Tookiedoo78
01-13-2010, 07:57 AM
Sorry to see you go man. I hope your semester goes well in Charleston. Drop by sometime this summer. See you later.

wormspeaker
01-15-2010, 12:38 PM
I expect we'll still be playing over the summer. Leave a message if you intend to stop by so I can have something ready for you.

wormspeaker
01-30-2010, 04:49 PM
This Sunday (Jan 31) if the ice doesn't melt by game time, it's probably best that we call off the game. I don't want anyone getting into an accident because of icy roads.

Tookiedoo78
01-31-2010, 09:25 AM
Everything's looking fine out my way. If I don't hear from you before about 1:30, I'll give you a call Chuck to see if we're still playing.

Josh

wormspeaker
01-31-2010, 10:57 AM
It's looking good here too. I'll see you there at 2:30.

wormspeaker
03-08-2010, 07:01 PM
Here's the link to the campaign listing for the science fiction campaign we will start after the D&D campaign is over.

http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=134488#post134488