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Forums: Campaigns

New Campaign - Virtue, Sin, Love
Started on June 13rd, 2005 at 6:32PM CST by Sulerin
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For the Uninitiated
I don’t run my games online, but at the table, in the traditional style of role-playing. I’ll be saying “you” and “our” a lot here as I refer to the players whom I personally know that will be in our next campaign. So I’m not looking for new players or talking about an online campaign. Still, if you are reading this and you aren’t one of the player’s in my campaign yet you have some commentary or question relating to this thread then feel free to join in the discussion.

Preface
As our old campaign, the Ashes of Arend, draws to a close I’m faced with an unusual opportunity. Here we have a group of players possessed of great creativity who are familiar with my gaming style. While you may not know very much about the local details of our next setting, you are already familiar with many aspects of the World of Sulerin, it’s magic, gods, world history, and much more.
        It is perhaps the nature of long term campaigns to end with too many loose ends. Each character of our Cleansing Flame campaign, years ago, had a lot of unfinished business even though we had brought to a close a large story arc. For various reasons though, children being born and people moving away, those loose ends will probably never be resolved. In this campaign though we have a heroic and complete closure.
        Sure there are a few small things we’d like to do still. Sasha might want to get rid of the curse that lives in the ancient druid Libraries of the Green. Vainegal still plots his personal evils to the east of Arend. Tellzan’s spirit has been corrupted by the evil of Kaug that lives within him. A new nation of spirits of the dead, Larenmorn, has been born to the north of Arend. Aoran surely still seeks revenge against our party. It is the dawn of a new era for the Kingdom of Arend. We’ve shaped that part of the world by the party’s actions and it will never be the same, but other adventurers will be the ones to explore those new changes. It’s time for us, as players, to change focus even though Al-Rathis, Ayoi, Sasha, and Tellzan continue to live on.
        I’ve already mentioned several parts of the world as options for campaigning in such as the region near the city of Hana, the Eastern Empire, or perhaps my alternate Sinordin campaign setting. I’ll be presenting some new information on these options to you as the time approaches for character creation, but I’m also interested in hearing from each of you about what kind of campaign that you are looking for. Feel free to post either here, by email, or instant message. I’ll repost relevant remarks here as a repository for the members of our campaign.


Character Creation Considerations and Guidelines
Posted on June 13rd, 2005 at 6:51PM CST by Sulerin [bookmark]  [printable]  [reply]
Just some items to keep in mind while you’re creating your character, once we have a location decided upon. We’ll do our character creation together one evening so that it’s easier to build a cohesive group.

Choosing Character Skills
One of the things I’d like to change in our next campaign is how skills are available. Each character will have the option of switching up half (round down) of their default class skills with skills of their choosing. So yes, you can have a fighter with Spot as a class skill if you really want to. The flip-side of this change is that I’d like people to have some explanation for why their character has skills (if any) outside of the norm for their class. Also, I’d like each of you to consider where your character learns and practices their skills.

Ability Scores
Your choice: a) choose between two sets of “4d6 drop lowest” then arrange chosen set as you like. b) point buy per DMG page 169, base 9, 25 point pool.

Alignment
We will be using the system of allegiances rather than alignment. You may choose to have “Good” or “Lawful” and other traditional alignment facets as a philosophical allegiance that your character has. However, please consider carefully before choosing to do so. Most people’s allegiances are to organizations (guilds, religions, lovers) and desires before ethics factors into who they are. Rather then being self-determined as “good” they are good people because they pursue the goals of a good organization. For the sake of harmony, I’d prefer to not have any overtly evil characters; that is to say, a character with “evil” as a philosophy to which they owe allegiance. If you choose to make a character who, by affiliation or directly, has evil tendencies then you can expect me to carefully scrutinize how well that character can work with other members of the campaign.
        Technically speaking, unless your character is self-ascribed to be a “good” person or they are a potent member of a good organization, then spells such as “Detect Good” will probably register you as only slightly affiliated with goodness, if at all. The same thing will apply to creatures of a more selfish and hateful bent.
        You can also expect that I will not be employing powers which forcibly turn your character from good to evil or vice versa. There won’t be any devils speaking might words of most awful evil, causing your very spirit to involuntarily curdle with corruption. By your characters actions you may expose them to corruption, but it will be your own doing that your spirit is turned, not by some devil crowing a blasphemous word.

Personality Quirks
Each player should choose one or two personality quirks for their character. It is important that these not be flaws which make your character difficult to get along with. No one wants to adventure in a lengthy campaign alongside a mute, an asshole, or a kleptomaniac. They should be minor flaws. For example: is easily lured by a pretty face, has a love for the bottle, is color-blind, tends to over-exaggerate, likes to sleep in, likes to bet on things, absentmindedly whistles when nervous, and so on. Feel free to use any of these examples if they suit you.

More NPCs
One way or another, a lot of NPCs will have lasting roles as people who your character knows. Create one NPC concept whom your character dislikes and three whom they go to when in need (for information, shelter, advice, training, or what have you).

Epic Play
Do not expect this campaign to aspire into epic play. My thought for this campaign is that characters should be heroic from the start. If a new system for epic characters appears then perhaps I’ll reconsider this position. So don’t bother shaping your character in anticipation of an epic play. Character progression may be a bit slower.

Prestige Classes
Most prestige classes are a part of some organization, being a part of a supporting organization will be a part of the prestige class should you be interested in entering into one. Let me know if you have something in mind so that I can make sure to provide you with opportunities to make contact with groups that you are interested in being a part of.

Min/Maxing
I’d like to open the possibility to you that you explore characters who aren’t tweaked for maximum play. Death will be less trivial then you have come to expect in our epic campaign. I’ll be reintroducing the concept of random encounters, so some variation in danger is to be expected rather than the fairly tightly scaled battles we’ve often had throughout the last half of our previous campaign. Particularly if we play in the Eastern Empire, expect your intelligent enemies to either flee or ask for mercy rather than throw their lives away upon your swords.

Reputation
I’ll be using a system of reputation to model your characters fame or infamy. More on this later.

Other Things You Might Consider
Social skills and who-you-know will play a bigger part in this next campaign. This will probably mean an occasional five or ten minute aside with one player at the table while they are making arrangements with their guildmaster, church leader, trainer, or what have you.  I’ll try to keep these things short, but they’ll be happening.
        Since you’re expecting to have a successful character, you should also expect promotions and responsibility within your organizations to grow as you become vested in them. Their trade in support for your character’s needs (materially, spell casting favors, social introductions, political clout, martial shelter or assistance, and so forth) will correspond to how much time your character spends building a relationship with the organization in question.
        I would also expect leaders of both legitimate and criminal organizations to take notice of your characters actions as they grow in repute, viewing their agency either as a possible ally or hindrance.
        In our last campaign there was a great deal of Outsider meddling in the affairs of mortals. Titalus coveted and subverted worshipers of Qo and actively worked against the party. Angels made appearances to give guidance or make demands. Consequently, we spent a great deal of time running around many of the Outer and Elemental Realms (planes). I’m planning on keeping Outsider influence in this coming campaign a much more subtle element. They are more likely to be the summoned and bound minions of your mortal foes than independent agents with their own agenda.
 
Character Creation Considerations and Guidelines
Posted on June 24th, 2005 at 8:28PM CST by Patroklos [bookmark]  [printable]  [reply]
Story Arcs
Was the pacing and length of these adventures to your liking?

I don't recall actual arc pacing to ever be a real problem.  Going too fast is almost never an issue at all.  If we expected something to take 8 sessions and it takes 2, then that's usually happy bonus time since it's so rare.  Feelings of going too slow at least in the last campaign was mostly a player problem.  Players not wanting their characters to be doing what was at hand and dragging their feet intentionally.  Players knowing an invisible clock was ticking somewhere and every game minute mattered (hence frustration with new material being introduced).  Players talking about new spells instead of deciding what to do next combat round. :P  That can be fixed with less of a grand sense of forboding and agreement on acceptable party dynamics though.  No need to reiterate old material about that here.

I will say though sometimes it feels like the party is never actually going to reach a destination because new things keep getting in the way.  In dungeons this sort of makes sense, but overland it's a real pain.  My personal view is that teleporting around the universe is the least adventuresome means of travel but that we (players) end up doing it a lot because we are afraid that if we take a slower method we'll be beset upon by a new quest for every mile traveled.  Sometimes you just want to get to where you're going and sometimes the journey IS the adventure.  Knowing which any situation is and modifying pacing to match is an art.

I guess that does relate to pacing in a way.  Not every arc has to be the same length.  A good mix of arc lengths is better than one size fits all.


Would you like another over-theme for the next campaign or would you prefer an open-ended approach that gives you the psychological freedom to explore various?

Having a theme in my opinion is better than not having one.  Knowing where you're going generally speaking lets you plan out your character and outfit them with the tools they will need.  No one likes being totally out of their character element for an extended length of time with no warning.  If the majority of the party suddenly decides to pick up shop and go from being dirt farmers to seaweed farmers a year into the campaign and you've made your character afraid of water, that really does suck to be you.  Any good RPer is going to dislike betraying their character by doing that, and few DMs are going to like the idea of letting you change characters over the issue, so this situation is just going to end in one player suffering a lot.

That being said having only one theme for an extended campaign can become burdonsome.  Knowing that "the campaign will end when the party does X" is kind of a let down.  Having the theme change as the party develops I believe helps keep things fresh and relieves long campaign boredom.

Finally I would say that it is my preference that themes be open ended, that is do not tie the players into one ultimate choice of actions.  "Destroy Titalus" was a worthy theme but it did sort of limit every choice we made up to that point.  We didn't HAVE to stop him, but if I might quote The Tick, "Imagine the Earth, the place where you put your stuff ... Now imagine it gone."  Most of us didn't really have characters that could call another plane home so the choice was sort of acedemic and once that choice was made, most every other major choice fell out from it.  On the other hand I personally felt that I was eventually given good reasons through character choice actions to go through with it rather than go home and smoke weed until the end of days, so the lead up evolved about as nicely as it could have.

I really liked the way the Cleansing Flame campaign evolved as an example.  After a rough beginning taking some character choices on faith getting the party together, we settled on a dungeon theme.  We got attacked by orcs now and again, but it was mostly a head scratching "huh that's weird" sort of thing that happened getting between the dungeon and town.  We then proceded into some "open play" where we got to evolve our characters freely and fufill some character goals.  We settled again on a mercinary theme and did that for a while.  We developed a nemesis while doing this, adding an important element to any heroic story:  a tangible bad guy who has as much character as any of the PCs.  Later we developed the mercinary theme into an orc invation theme, bringing old elements in with new ones.  This took us up to high levels where we then again did some free play.  Finally we settled on an exploration theme.

Ashes of Arend on the other hand felt like running down a gun barrel most of the time.  We had one goal, and everything we did was built with that goal in mind.  Other issues asside it just felt more like an action RPG than a real pen and paper game that can evolve on the spot.  Just my preference though.


Story Components
Are you in favor of a more character development oriented campaign in order to create a more complex depth to the world that your characters adventure in?

Oh yeah.  If I wanted hack and slash I'd be playing computer games not D&D ;)

I can't say it enough, good solid bad guys are REALLY important to a story.  Good stories start with bad guys and heroes develop from the deeds they do.  Without a villian, a hero is just a normal guy with good intentions.  The more hands on the bad guy the better.  Twenty years from now I will still probably remember HS because he was so totally hands on and so well developed that he inspired RPing in its best form.  Titalus couldn't hold a candle to him as a villian.  He was too far removed, too nebulus, and sadly lacking in depth.  Sure he was evil and powerful, but where was the HEART?  Inpersonating the hero's friends and silently mocking them from 5 feet away out of spite, now THAT's a good bad guy.

I'm also in favor of more varied story components where the answer isn't at the end of a weapon.  Bad guys don't just want to kill people or make them do immoral things, they want to corrupt them socially, mess with their heads, and destroy who they are without killing them or directly modifying their outlook on life.  Questing isn't always to slay the dragon (Campbellonian metaphores aside) but sometimes to save something, to build something, or to find an open taco stand at 3 AM.  As a player, a good character has inner issues that are dealt with as a story progresses, and that's heroic too.  If heroes can be corrupted, then bad guys can be saved, and if an evil creature is a friend, then helping it to see a wider world view is heroic too.


Magic Prevalence and Resources
Did you feel that the amount of devices at your disposal were both varied and complimentary to your character’s abilities with reasonable frequency?

I would personally say that random magical stuff needs to be more varied.  Cloaks, boots, bracers, vests, eyes, and belts have always seemed way too rare in loot piles.  Weapons always seem to be swords and daggers.  Armor seems to always be chain or plate.  It would be interesting to see a really nice set of scale, or a pink flowery cloak of +4 str more often.  Rings and necks .... way too often.

Once you get used to it, I like the idea that important magic items from loot is hand crafted.  You just sort of have to get used to the idea that you'll have to sell most of it if you have something really specific you want.  I do sort of dislike the idea of hand crafting items to specific characters though unless one character has been getting the shaft lately on the draw.  That always feels sort of weird when an item is obviously made for a specific character, unless it's a quest reward from an NPC or something.

The arms race needs to be carefully watched.  If one character gets an extremely cool magical item, a nuclear arms race has been declared whether intended or not.  If every other character doesn't get an equally cool magic item soon, alignments will shift and daggers pulled.  Lord help you if every item isn't equally cool.  Players overlook this with normal stuff, but if particularly powerful magic items show up, it has begun.


Based on our previous campaign’s pacing and your other gaming experiences, what amount of storyline baiting versus self-initiative is right for you?

My preference is for large scale storyline with small scale initiative.


Setting
Are there any particular setting elements that you’d like to see?

dungeons, cities, rural, the sea, PC owned keeps or land
 
Character Creation Considerations and Guidelines
Posted on July 6th, 2005 at 5:10PM CST by Sulerin [bookmark]  [printable]  [reply]

sometimes it feels like the party is never actually going to reach a destination because new things keep getting in the way.  In dungeons this sort of makes sense, but overland it's a real pain.  My personal view is that teleporting around the universe is the least adventuresome means of travel but that we (players) end up doing it a lot because we are afraid that if we take a slower method we'll be beset upon by a new quest for every mile traveled.  Sometimes you just want to get to where you're going and sometimes the journey IS the adventure.


I think that was a symptom of our old Cleansing Flame campaign. I know a lot of our adventures there involved travels. Lengthy travels underground were we'd have multiple encounters between the start of the journey and our destination. It happened with overland travel as well. For example, there was the whole giant in the forest lamenting that his brothers were going to attack Ravensclaw that turned into a side adventure.
    On-the-trail encounters in our most recent campaign though were typically either storyline related (encountering the corrupted Temple of Passion treant-guardian) or one-off random encounters (the dragon-turtle that attacked while the party traveled across Lake Clinnon to that self-same temple). In that respect I think we did better. You're right though, it's nice to get to the site and not be laden down with encounters and numerous sub-stories along the way. Since Mike is playing a wizard in this upcoming campaign it would appear that the party will after some time once again have easy access to quickly move from place to place, but I think that the setting of the story will make such travel considerably less common.

No one likes being totally out of their character element for an extended length of time with no warning.  If the majority of the party suddenly decides to pick up shop and go from being dirt farmers to seaweed farmers a year into the campaign and you've made your character afraid of water, that really does suck to be you.  Any good RPer is going to dislike betraying their character by doing that, and few DMs are going to like the idea of letting you change characters over the issue, so this situation is just going to end in one player suffering a lot.


This kind of thing does happen, over-arch or not, which was why I thought it a good idea that Tadhg traveled with the party whilst they explored the dwarven ruins of Dunnal Krannok. It happened to work out well for Tadhg too since it was the kind of thing that he too was interested in, given research he had done in the previous campaign. I think people enjoyed the change too because they understood Tadhg's motives better than Ayoi's, which embarrassingly I must admit even I didn't really understand well.

Knowing that "the campaign will end when the party does X" is kind of a let down.


It was time to end the last campaign and slaying Titalus seemed to be a goal that everyone really wanted to have completed before we started anew with another campaign. At the outset, it was never intended to be a closed style campaign, one with a definite ending, but it evolved into it.
    I don't view our next campaign as a closed storyline either, though I've already stated in previous posts that this coming campaign won't go on to epic play, but if we arrive at that point and you guys have a compelling reason to continue
on with the story then we'll figure something out, but I'm not going to use epic progressions as shown in the Epic Level Handbook; the power levels were just.... out of proportion.

if I might quote The Tick, "Imagine the Earth, the place where you put your stuff ... Now imagine it gone."

  
The Tick rocks. A perfect quote for that Titalus situation.

Ashes of Arend on the other hand felt like running down a gun barrel most of the time.  We had one goal, and everything we did was built with that goal in mind.  Other issues aside it just felt more like an action RPG than a real pen and paper game that can evolve on the spot.


I don't recall if this was the sensation I was trying to create at the outset. By "outset" I mean the point at which the campaign evolved from a modular format to a free style format, but it was interesting to try a different campaign style for a while. I had fun, seemed like everyone else did too, so on that point I'll call it a success :). I think this coming one will be more back to our Cleansing Flame style. Perhaps not as gritty, we'll see what people are in the mood for in that regard, but certainly more like that campaign was with regard to NPC interactions.  On a scale of 1..5, 1 being an endless dungeon crawl with no NPC involvement beyond those that get killed and 5 being half the active party members being NPCs who are at least as active as PCs, I think this Ashes of Arend campaign was probably a 2 or 2½, whereas the Cleansing Flame campaign was closer to a 4. In that respect I think I'm shooting for something closer to a 4.

I can't say it enough, good solid bad guys are REALLY important to a story.  Good stories start with bad guys and heroes develop from the deeds they do.  Without a villain, a hero is just a normal guy with good intentions.  The more hands on the bad guy the better. Twenty years from now I will still probably remember HS because he was so totally hands on and so well developed that he inspired RPing in its best form.  Titalus couldn't hold a candle to him as a villain.  He was too far removed, too nebulous, and sadly lacking in depth.  Sure he was evil and powerful, but where was the HEART?  Impersonating the hero's friends and silently mocking them from 5 feet away out of spite, now THAT's a good bad guy.


I knew Titalus was a shallow bad guy... I knew it for a long time, but it was hard to fix. A hugely evil bad guy on another plane with no interest in personally interacting with the party aside from sending minions out to assassinate party members is just too impersonal. I equate it to how out of touch people are with the enormity of national debt. A trillion dollars? Wow, that's a lot. But it might as well be a thousand times bigger or smaller, it's just not a value that you can empathize with. Likewise, Titalus was an enemy we couldn't empathize with. It could perhaps have been remedied with henchmen of Titalus who were personable, but that doesn't really address the root of the problem: an eon old evil of terrible power might as well be a trillion dollars for all the personal attachment we can apply to it. So I've learned my lesson there.

            Are there any particular setting elements that you’d like to see?

dungeons, cities, rural, the sea, PC owned keeps or land


You got it. Thanks for all the valuable input. I read through it a few times and really appreciate it.

 
Character Creation Considerations and Guidelines
Posted on July 6th, 2005 at 5:14PM CST by Sulerin [bookmark]  [printable]  [reply]
You can nix the personality quirks. I'm sure I don't need to tell you guys, a bunch of experienced gamers of Sulerin, what to include in your character's personality.

           R.
 
Sacred Vow and other Exalted Feats
Posted on July 9th, 2005 at 5:29PM CST by Sulerin [bookmark]  [printable]  [reply]
It seemed there was some misunderstanding regarding application of Sacred Vow as a requirement for Exalted feats. You do not have to take Sacred Vow to take most Exalted feats, just those which list Sacred Vow as a requirement (which are likewise listed in the Sacred Vow description).  Essentially, the Vow feats (vow poverty, etc) prerequisite the Sacred Vow, other feats do not.
 
Questions I Have For You
Posted on June 13rd, 2005 at 6:55PM CST by Sulerin [bookmark]  [printable]  [reply]
It should go without saying that my first question for you is… Do you have any questions for me?
        I do have some other more specific questions though which I hope you’ll take a moment to consider and give me a bit of input on. Most of these questions have as much to do with our last campaign as they do with a future one.

Story Arcs
In our most recent campaign a typical story arc would often cover ten or so gaming sessions. To give you an idea of what I mean by story arc, here’s a few that we had.

o        Deliver a bride to be to her troubled village, encounter the ghost of a betrayed paladin and unmask the illegitimate powers that manipulate the villagers there.
o        Rampaging guardian trees threaten sylvan settlements. What’s causing it and let’s get those commoners out of harms way.
o        The Font of Life is leaking out from the complex that guards it, allowing the demon-plant that seeks to overpower the Font’s defenses to grow to an incredible size. Explore the complex and gather the devices necessary to unlock the secret of the complex and thwart the machinations of the demon-plant and its tenders.
o        Find out why undead are harassing the town of Twin Shores, explore the Temple of Bone, discover its secrets, and put its mounting danger to an end.
o        Seek out ancient Dunnal Krannok and its legendary store of Celestial Steel. Solve the riddle of its ruined dwarven civilization and set free the dwarven spirits there that have been denied their afterlife.
o        Whilst exploring the dangerous Hall of Kings you find yourselves sent back in time in the age of the Unholy Wars. Three smaller story arcs await you: gain access and solve the riddle of the Oracle of Aken, free the spirits of the Baranar Giants from their airborne captors, and find your way back to your own time by exploring the ancient lands of the Southern Continent.
o        Enter into the lands of Saulos in pursuit of the Shrine of Passion, discover the evil plans Aoran has set in motion there and thwart him.
o        The plans of your adversary, Titalus, now made clear, travel into its realm and bring an end to the centuries of carefully laid treachery it has been preparing.

Each of these had several sub-stories to them, like the mystery of the City of Pleasures when you traveled to the southern lands while back in the age of the Unholy Wars or the ghosts in the Halls of Azrander from the first story arc I mention above. Most of these took quite a few gaming sessions to play out. My question for you is: Was the pacing and length of these adventures to your liking?
        Also, most of these tied into the overarching plot line of uncovering the work of Titalus and putting an end to it. An overarching theme in an Eastern Empire campaign might be the rise of your character from a humble freeman to a renowned lord and kingsman.  Would you like another over-theme for the next campaign or would you prefer an open-ended approach that gives you the psychological freedom to explore various?

Story Components
Many of our story arcs had clear good Vs evil components. I would like to introduce a more mature and morally complex campaign. This doesn’t mean more adult themes, rather it means more complex themes that intrigue a mature mind.
An example, borrowed from Relics & Rituals III (A Sword and Sorcery Studios production): Say you are an honorable knight who passes a despondent man on the road. While speaking to him you learn that he has been unjustly turned out of his lands by his cruel lord. Your sense of virtue swells as you hear his story and you swear an oath to slay his lord and return his lands into his keeping. However, when you arrive at the cruel lord’s keep you discover that they are sworn to the same liege as you, thus you cannot honorably slay them without your lord’s permission, which your liege will be loathe to grant since the lord, though cruel, has been a loyal servant. Breaking your oath is bad, yet slaying someone in service to your own lord is even more so.
        Another part of our previous campaign’s story element was that NPCs basically played a background role to anything that the heroes of the story wanted to do. Most NPCs were either resources or wallpaper. Their own ambitions rarely came into play unless they happened to be directly opposed to the heroes desires. I’d like to bring back the notion that NPCs should have more relevance as a part of the world that the PCs are a part of, but this requires a bit less swordplay and a bit more character development. It’s my thought that this would allow us to develop more non-martial conflicts, grudges against NPCs that you can’t just cut down in cold blood, and so forth. Are you in favor of a more character development oriented campaign in order to create a more complex depth to the world that your characters adventure in?

Magic Prevalence and Resources
By the upper levels of our campaign a fairly copious amount of magical items had found their way into the party’s possession. Sometimes it seemed as though it was too much so. This could very well have been simply one more aspect of high-level play that some of you and I found to be an undesirable yet necessary evil. So, consider the presence of magic throughout the course of the campaign rather than just at its upper levels. Did you feel that the amount of devices at your disposal were both varied and complimentary to your character’s abilities with reasonable frequency?
        One of the things that easily happens in higher level play is that magical things become common enough that their presence is cheapened by it. When you consider the course of the previous campaign, would you like more or fewer magical elements?

Pacing
In our last campaign much of the time the group was continually on the move. Little time was afforded for characters to take a break from adventuring and enjoy the spoils of their achievements. There was always the dark cloud of Titalus looming on the horizon, a palpable hourglass whose sands were relentlessly running out.
        I’d like to avoid this extreme in our next campaign, allowing characters opportunity to take a few months off (or longer) here or there through-out the campaign. This could allow us to have some long term natural events take place: the development of families and other relationships, opportunity to adventure in various seasons without being locked into the same one for months at a time, and changes in political and social climate. Particularly, it would give us an opportunity at mid to upper levels of play to explore how actions of the characters broadly impacted the area that they reside in.
        I’d like to avoid boring you though, having things drag on, and depending solely upon your own initiative to bring about adventures. So rather than either extreme I’m planning on striking a balance between the two. I think it’s much more likely to be successful since you guys are more familiar with my DMing style, each other, and with the setting.
        Based on our previous campaign’s pacing and your other gaming experiences, what amount of storyline baiting versus self-initiative is right for you?

Setting
With a few exceptions, a lot of our adventuring was overland rather than dungeonesque. Quite a bit of it also took place on exotic other-planar locations. Cities were a place to stop in-between visits to the isolated wilderness. I would like to work more on developing a campaign throughout a smaller, detailed region; a campaign where ventures out into the wilderness are an occasion rather than the rule. Thus, most of my setting offerings of choice for our next story include a lot of urban and rural material. As part of that, I’d like to have a few more dungeon crawls (sewer, cave, ruins, genuine dungeons, etc) as part of the campaign. I like the opportunity they provide for puzzles. I think most of these would be fairly short excursions as I’m not the biggest fan of unending journeys in the maze-like hallways of the earth.
        Are there any particular setting elements that you’d like to see?

Thanks!
 
Character Roster for the New Campaign
Posted on July 6th, 2005 at 5:25PM CST by Sulerin [bookmark]  [printable]  [reply]
In case some of you forget and also for the curious, here's our character roster for the upcoming campaign which will be starting in Hana. Aside from the character classes, I would say that some of this is a bit speculative still.

A human monk character named "Wind," possibly with some sorcerous powers or starting out initially as a sorcerer. Possibly filling a role as a party leader and having ambitions as an exalted (per Book of Exalted Deeds) character, though merely a good aligned person at the outset. He is a native of Hana.

A tenerthor elfin swashbuckler called Maximilian, starting as a romanticist character with scouting abilities and a focus in alchemy. Generally chaotic in personality, but a good intentioned man with exalted ambitions. Maximilian is from the Maerl-Tarsus region of the Shinomen Plains, northwest of the Hanois Peninsula.

A silothreni wizard named Messhininok. He is formerly a slaver in his family's enterprise, but long since has become an advocate for freeing all beings from oppression and enslavement. He is a long time resident of Hana and an adherant of the god Arden. Like others in the party, he has exalted ambitions.

A aasimar paladin of Arden of exalted goodness. He is from a neighboring city in the Hanois Peninsula region.