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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    I was planning on starting a PbP adventure here in the forums, and I decided that I wanted a lovely, high-powered fantasy game, with Warforged and Water Orcs and twenty-five kinds of elves battling dragons and extraplanar undead while hunting for the all-powerful macguffin.

    Well, that's just stupid, isn't it? How can you possibly justify a self-consistent world with everything from all the many 3.5 sourcebooks existing simultaneously? Well, I'll tell you how.

    A WIZARD DID IT.

    Right, let's move on to what that actually means. Let's say that about 500 years ago, some massive magical force, let's say a wizard or group of them, decided to create a cool new clubhouse. Being 3.5 full spellcasters, they gave it a go in the most absurd, over-the-top way possible, trying to make their own plane to play in. Now, the Great DM In The Sky was sick of their antics, and, as fate would have it, it all went horribly, horribly wrong.

    A plane was created, yes, but it didn't quite fit onto the Great Wheel. Instead, the magic yanked a few tens of thousands of square miles and a few million inhabitants and their stuff from their home planes and shoved them into this free-floating abomination of a place. Plane-shifting magic was utterly cut off to everyone but the gods, and after a couple centuries of utter, abject chaos, things settled down.

    500 years isn't a very long time. Some young elves were part of this new plane, and some elan, and some other long-lived or immortal races, and they remember their old homes, and some want to get back. Some dragons are part of the new world, and they've put themselves in charge.

    Now, I've decided to call this new place Quisquiliae. It's Latin, which makes it smart and mysteeeeerious. It means "sweepings" or "garbage" or "the stuff that falls off trees." More importantly, it adds a sense of gravitas to this ultimately frivolous exercise.

    At any rate, I'm working on fleshing out the world. It needs cities, and oceans, and deserts, and all sorts of other things. The main point is to create a place where you can hang almost any plot off of the world, and have it be hacked to bits by a party made up of a diverse bunch of characters.

    What do you guys think? Got any ideas?
    Last edited by Bulwer; 2009-03-05 at 04:57 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    That's awesome. That's actually awesome.

    "while hunting for the all-powerful MacGuffin"--extrapolate!

    Well, if everyone's hunting for this thing, I suggest having a whole bunch of powerful dudes who don't care but have a different thing, which is irrelevant to everything, but they make everyone participate.

    IE, the dragons. Who don't give a crap about the MacGuffin and just want to play Xorvintaal. Oh, and incidentally don't really give a crap if they burn down cities and capture castles in the process.

    [/end] my input. That's more of a LordZarth idea (I just really want to use Xorvintaal in a game, myself). If you do use it (I would be surprised), cool.

    And, lastly. PbP game? I really want to do one of these, but I can't figure out how to get into them... can I join yours? Please?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Dammit, I just lost four paragraphs to these damn forums.

    I was thinking that the dragons would have been the ones that adapted best to the new world, and they immediately set themselves up as rulers.

    The big, central artifact of the world can be something that allows Plane Shifting out of the world, something otherwise impossible short of actual divine intervention beyond that of a Miracle spell. Of course, that premise messes with rather a lot of magic, notably summoning spells.

    We'll need to zoom in a bit to get to where we can have PCs. Say they're all residents of a certain city, ruled by a dragon who lives in a big tower and commands his people with an iron claw, so to speak. The party can be summoned by a servant of that dragon to find, say, a book. In that little adventure, they'll uncover bigger and better plot hooks in the traditional D&D fashion.

    One of the things that I see this world as being is dense. There should be a lot of people, places, and monsters all over. Even a farmer's field should be crawling with beasties. This is the sort of place with one big random encounter table.

    EDIT: Xorvintaal is MM5 material, right? I need to get that, it sounds like wicked fun.
    Last edited by Bulwer; 2009-03-04 at 10:53 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulwer View Post
    I was thinking that the dragons would have been the ones that adapted best to the new world, and they immediately set themselves up as rulers.
    Cool!

    The big, central artifact of the world can be something that allows Plane Shifting out of the world, something otherwise impossible short of actual divine intervention beyond that of a Miracle spell. Of course, that premise messes with rather a lot of magic, notably summoning spells.
    Ah, that makes sense. Incidentally, if you haven't figured out a summoning fix yet, I once had a campaign where plane shifting was impossible (except between very related planes: ethereal, material, shadow, for instance [although they were very dangerous]), and I decided that Summoning Spells called a creature from an 'Elemental Wild' world, OR (never actually chose) a world which echoes the archetypes of ours. So you cast your spell, and from our 'shadow world that isn't the Plane of Shadow', the archetype of, say, a tiger appears.

    One of the things that I see this world as being is dense. There should be a lot of people, places, and monsters all over. Even a farmer's field should be crawling with beasties. This is the sort of place with one big random encounter table.
    :P Useful for rationalizing.

    EDIT: Xorvintaal is MM5 material, right? I need to get that, it sounds like wicked fun.
    I know some of it is on WOTC website. I don't know what you know about it, but basically the designer's premise seems to be rationalization (in a good way). IE, PCs are sent to a random dungeon. Why? Patron dragon; Xorvintaal move. Why was there a mind flayer on the second level of the dungeon? Other dragon put it there. Why was there a dragon's hoard, but the dragon wasn't there, and we didn't even end up taking it, but teleported away, leaving a note? Xorvintaal moves.

    Seriously. Best. Campaign. Device. Evar.

    P.S. PbP game? I don't know what to say in the other forum, so that's why I'm talking here. I really have no idea what to do... but I want to play!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Quote Originally Posted by LordZarth View Post
    Cool!

    Ah, that makes sense. Incidentally, if you haven't figured out a summoning fix yet, I once had a campaign where plane shifting was impossible (except between very related planes: ethereal, material, shadow, for instance [although they were very dangerous]), and I decided that Summoning Spells called a creature from an 'Elemental Wild' world, OR (never actually chose) a world which echoes the archetypes of ours. So you cast your spell, and from our 'shadow world that isn't the Plane of Shadow', the archetype of, say, a tiger appears.
    I was thinking that seeing as the world got made with a random sample of everyone/thing from everywhere, it could just take, say, a Celestial Giant Fire Beetle from wherever the nearest one is, and put it back in the same condition in came in when the spell is done. This means, of course, that whenever there's something that's on a Summon Monster list, it might just suddenly vanish for a couple minutes.

    :P Useful for rationalizing.
    This world is useful for rationalizing.

    Seriously. Best. Campaign. Device. Evar.
    Sounds like the right kind of thing for Quisquiliae.

    P.S. PbP game? I don't know what to say in the other forum, so that's why I'm talking here. I really have no idea what to do... but I want to play!
    I've never run one before, but they tend to be roleplay-heavy, have sheets stored on Myth-Weavers or similar, and use the forum dice-roller. I'll put a link here when I get a signup thread up.

    Okay, time to plan out the city that this starts off in. It's ruled by a Very Old Green Dragon. It's got an underground lake, and a huge tower that rises from the mishmash of poor and rich that live below.

    Got any name ideas?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulwer View Post
    I was thinking that seeing as the world got made with a random sample of everyone/thing from everywhere, it could just take, say, a Celestial Giant Fire Beetle from wherever the nearest one is, and put it back in the same condition in came in when the spell is done. This means, of course, that whenever there's something that's on a Summon Monster list, it might just suddenly vanish for a couple minutes.
    Summon a Human?


    This world is useful for rationalizing.
    Ah, indeed.

    Sounds like the right kind of thing for Quisquiliae.
    You have no idea.

    I've never run one before, but they tend to be roleplay-heavy, have sheets stored on Myth-Weavers or similar, and use the forum dice-roller. I'll put a link here when I get a signup thread up.
    Whatabouts would your time commitment be?

    Okay, time to plan out the city that this starts off in. It's ruled by a Very Old Green Dragon. It's got an underground lake, and a huge tower that rises from the mishmash of poor and rich that live below.

    Got any name ideas?
    Hmm. Usually, I'm bad with names. I'll give advice a try. You could go with normal, fantasy-random (Diban, Iltor), normal, derived (Laketower, Towertown, Greenville, Riverwash), Latin (Clara [clear--irony on the part of the lake, perhaps?], Quid, Stercus), existential Latin joke that your players won't get (Nonsum, Idne-est), retarded (X'k-sh'k'a'l'k'k'ly'a'ka), or other (<insert good name that you'll actually choose>).

    Hope I'm a little helpful. Or provide moral support

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Time commitment: I can do at least a post a day, but with a party that has to each post to progress, it might be longer intervals. I'm not sure what the "done thing" is, but I'd be inclined to allow a lot of inter-character back-and-forthing without worrying about whether everyone's posted.

    Re: city name, I'll dub it Deepcave and move on. Now, to my shiny new copy of Cityscape to flesh it out a bit.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Ahhh.... this is very, very tongue-in-cheek. I like it. If you'd like any input on anything, or just another person to help work on this setting, I'd be all for it. I'm a seasoned homebrewer and DM if I do say so myself, so I think I could be of some use...
    Marceline Abadeer by Gnomish Wanderer

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    Ahhh.... this is very, very tongue-in-cheek. I like it. If you'd like any input on anything, or just another person to help work on this setting, I'd be all for it. I'm a seasoned homebrewer and DM if I do say so myself, so I think I could be of some use...
    I'd love a bit of help figuring out how exactly the world would work, and what sorts of things that implies about life there.

    I got to this point by filling out that list of questions that outline what sort of game you'll be running in the Finding Players forum, and realizing that it made very little sense to have a "normal" sort of campaign setting that was so liberal in allowing material from so many places.

    I'd absolutely love help from someone who's done this sort of thing before. I've only made one setting before, and it's an alternate-history sort of thing that really made itself once I got started, not something like this to run Dungeons and Dragons in. What's good for mapping and so on?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulwer View Post
    I'd love a bit of help figuring out how exactly the world would work, and what sorts of things that implies about life there.

    I got to this point by filling out that list of questions that outline what sort of game you'll be running in the Finding Players forum, and realizing that it made very little sense to have a "normal" sort of campaign setting that was so liberal in allowing material from so many places.

    I'd absolutely love help from someone who's done this sort of thing before. I've only made one setting before, and it's an alternate-history sort of thing that really made itself once I got started, not something like this to run Dungeons and Dragons in. What's good for mapping and so on?
    Hmmm, well that depends on a lot of factors. 1st of all, the skill of the mapper- if you're a halfway decent artist, then the best thing IMHO is to just do it by hand. I usually don't do much mapping, preferring to just give a rough outline and then describing it by word; however, I hear maptools is pretty good. Frankly, I usually pursue things very simply myself; when designing a world, I just start with a general overview of the world, then build one city and just go from there. Think of the races, what they think of each other, where they get some food, the dominant cultures, the weather... just wander, and write everything down. The players are only going to see a portion of your world, so usually all you need is an overview to start with. Half of DMing is just following your whim; as you said yourself, once you got started, it just made itself.
    Marceline Abadeer by Gnomish Wanderer

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Well, I know enough to start with broad strokes (see above) and then give the portion where characters are starting out more detail. I can whip up a city as a party wanders through it, that's no trouble, and it's great fun starting from the tower, and the lake, and a few neighborhoods that the characters would know about and going on to the street level as the ranger is looking for the alchemist's shop.

    What do you want to pitch in with? The world's undefined enough that the characters' backstory is going to be a major factor in how things are. Since I'm going to be running this, you can join up if you want.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It, That's Why (campaign world)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulwer View Post
    Well, I know enough to start with broad strokes (see above) and then give the portion where characters are starting out more detail. I can whip up a city as a party wanders through it, that's no trouble, and it's great fun starting from the tower, and the lake, and a few neighborhoods that the characters would know about and going on to the street level as the ranger is looking for the alchemist's shop.

    What do you want to pitch in with? The world's undefined enough that the characters' backstory is going to be a major factor in how things are. Since I'm going to be running this, you can join up if you want.
    I'd love to join in on this; when do you think you might have a game up? Anyhow, I greatly enjoy building worlds... but really, as of now it's not totally defined, so I don't know where to start; do you want cities, people, events? While it is a very amusing amagalmation of D&D worlds, there would naturally be a darker side; for example, what happens when one of the eldritch horrors of Elder Evils gets dumped into an otherwise nice, peaceful place?
    Marceline Abadeer by Gnomish Wanderer

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Very intriguing, and the game also sounds like a blast (Hint: I'd love to join if the opportunity arises and my submission is good enough).

    Some ideas to ponder at your leisure:

    The Terrain: Is it normal? That seems unlikely. I envision dense rain forests next to bubbling lakes of magma, while in the distance the Northern Lights dance across a vast tundra. Bits and pieces of every imaginable terrain slammed together haphazardly, creating a unique and challenging landscape. Islands float in the sky, vast underground rivers surge through sweeping caves...the whole place unpredictable and diverse. Imagine adventuring in a icy cavern only to turn a corner and find yourself on the brink of an enormous jungle.

    A Bit of Everything: The culture of this world should reflect its strange composition. With races pulled from everywhere in the multiverse, cultures mix and normal cultural lines blur. Mindflayers may live in harmony with Orcs and Gnomes, while high in the mountains the Dwarves burrow through the stone alongside Delvers and Trolls. There would be to few inhabitants for traditional rivalries to stand strong...maybe the PCs might defend a town of Goblins and Halflings from a Elven raid, or put an army of Deva to the sword for crimes against the Drow. Traditions, food, architecture...all would draw from the combined knowledge of the civilization. Cunningly carved dwarven stonework might be connected with spider-silk bridges woven by the Ettins, or the dripping palaces of the Illithids might sit high in the trees, hanging from platforms grown from the tree itself, a sure sign of Elven handiwork. Names are varied and unusual--language has begun to mix, and the normal racial distinctions are shifting. Monstrous abominations walk around with human names, and Elven children are christened with the nigh-unpronounceable names of the darkest demons. Alignments have become almost meaningless; good demons and terrible angels are all possible, their once fought-for causes abandoned in light of this new world. Change the expected, and the PCs will come to the realization that this is much more than your standard fantasy fare.

    Wizards...More Trouble Than They're Worth: Being jammed together from magical residue and chunks of other assorted planes, Quisquiliae has a very high amount of background magic. This sea of arcane power, called the Unseen Ocean is a constant presence on Quisquiliae, giving it a strange, otherworldly nature. Islands float on this sea, held aloft by strands of shifting power, and the magic radiating from the Ocean gives Quisquiliae one of the highest percentages of naturally magical inhabitants of any plane in the multiverse. In fact, finding a citizen without some small degree of magical power is hard indeed (maybe allow PCs to pick a number of 0th or 1st level spells equal to their Charisma modifier [minimum 1] and grant the ability to cast them 1/day each). This also gives Quisquiliae a somewhat sporadic field of magical interference. Sometimes spells work perfectly, but, in some areas, their effects are unpredictable at best. Some spells may magnify in power, devastating whole armies...but other may fizzle away to nothing, or even turn upon their masters...

    Which Way Home?: Quisquiliae, while mostly settled, is still not a universally stable place to live. Sometimes, for no discernible reason, inhabitants or even whole swaths of land will disappear as the landscape rearranges itself. Usually these sections return elsewhere, but sometimes they sink deep into the heart of the plane to meet with a fate still unknown. Theories are broad, ranging from utter destruction to a merging with the plane itself. And perhaps one of these is true...

    The Dragons: Who better to deal with the troubles of Wizards? Or so they think. Or, rather, so they'd like us to think. Regardless, the dragons have come out in force, taking charge of chunks of the land and trying to bend the inhabitants to their rule. Some are successful, some are not. The extent to which they control the world, however, is sometimes frightening...rumors abound that the dragons have tapped into the heart of Quisquiliae, and that the strange disappearance and alterations of the landscape are in fact all moves in some strange and undecipherable game...

    The Changing Sky: Like most planes, Quisquiliae has days and nights, although they are not entirely consistent. Some nights last for weeks on end, some for mere minutes. The effect is unpredictable, leaving long travel a dangerous prospect. After all, Quisquiliae is dangerous enough in broad daylight...

    Give Me that Old Time Religion: The Gods have had enough of Quisquiliae. In fact, it's more than that...they simply have no power there. Divine magic does seep through the great magical rifts surrounding the plane, but it matters little the source or the focus: clerics of certain gods exist, to be certain, but a cleric of Pelor has just as much occult strength as a cleric of the wind, or a cleric of a wooden desk.


    And so on. I think this idea has a lot of promise (although for some reason I see it as an unstable world that is, in many respects, an enemy in its own right). Consider this an offer of help/ideas/critique in whatever way is needed.

    -The Djinn
    Last edited by Djinn_in_Tonic; 2009-03-05 at 07:27 PM.

    Ingredients

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  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    An alternative approach to the summoning problem would be to create a blocking effect that specifically excludes summoning spells from its area of effect (a la Xykon's headband of Cloister).

    An advantage of this approach, should you choose to use it, is that you could introduce new blood into the world at will by summoning them and slapping dimensional anchor on them (I think that would work, don't use those spells often). You could even have one or two dragons that do that regularly...cast summoning spells, do a quick interview of who/whatever shows up, and if it sounds like they have something of interest or value, the dragon slaps an anchor on them so that they can interrogate them at their leisure. This would be the only way of getting updates from the outside world, since scrying, etc, are all blocked.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Dimensional Anchor SPECIFICALLY can't do that. However, a similar situation of a dimensionally uber-locked region exists in "The Worlds Largest Dungeon"... anything that gets summoned in STAYS in, but after the time runs out the recommended thing is that the summoner no longer exercises any control what-so-ever over the creature. Which generally means they aren't going to be too happy when the spell ends.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulwer View Post
    Right, let's move on to what that actually means. Let's say that about 500 years ago, some massive magical force, let's say a wizard or group of them, decided to create a cool new clubhouse. Being 3.5 full spellcasters, they gave it a go in the most absurd, over-the-top way possible, trying to make their own plane to play in. Now, the Great DM In The Sky was sick of their antics, and, as fate would have it, it all went horribly, horribly wrong.

    A plane was created, yes, but it didn't quite fit onto the Great Wheel. Instead, the magic yanked a few tens of thousands of square miles and a few million inhabitants and their stuff from their home planes and shoved them into this free-floating abomination of a place. Plane-shifting magic was utterly cut off to everyone but the gods, and after a couple centuries of utter, abject chaos, things settled down.
    I think my setting just needs a new demi-plane.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    The Terrain: Is it normal? That seems unlikely. I envision dense rain forests next to bubbling lakes of magma, while in the distance the Northern Lights dance across a vast tundra. Bits and pieces of every imaginable terrain slammed together haphazardly, creating a unique and challenging landscape. Islands float in the sky, vast underground rivers surge through sweeping caves...the whole place unpredictable and diverse. Imagine adventuring in a icy cavern only to turn a corner and find yourself on the brink of an enormous jungle.
    That is indeed part of the plan. If you'll forgive the reference to a children's TV show, it'll be somewhat like the first season of Digimon, with parts of a sane world arranged insanely.

    A Bit of Everything: The culture of this world should reflect its strange composition. With races pulled from everywhere in the multiverse, cultures mix and normal cultural lines blur. Mindflayers may live in harmony with Orcs and Gnomes, while high in the mountains the Dwarves burrow through the stone alongside Delvers and Trolls. There would be to few inhabitants for traditional rivalries to stand strong...maybe the PCs might defend a town of Goblins and Halflings from a Elven raid, or put an army of Deva to the sword for crimes against the Drow. Traditions, food, architecture...all would draw from the combined knowledge of the civilization. Cunningly carved dwarven stonework might be connected with spider-silk bridges woven by the Ettins, or the dripping palaces of the Illithids might sit high in the trees, hanging from platforms grown from the tree itself, a sure sign of Elven handiwork. Names are varied and unusual--language has begun to mix, and the normal racial distinctions are shifting. Monstrous abominations walk around with human names, and Elven children are christened with the nigh-unpronounceable names of the darkest demons. Alignments have become almost meaningless; good demons and terrible angels are all possible, their once fought-for causes abandoned in light of this new world. Change the expected, and the PCs will come to the realization that this is much more than your standard fantasy fare.
    Good idea. That effect, though, would vary greatly by species. Goblins would adjust quickly because they have had many generations in which to do so, but a certain percentage of elves will remember their original home, and may retain old prejudices. Also, some groups may have maintained a breeding population independent of the main centers of people, and be similar to their more mundane cousins.

    Wizards...More Trouble Than They're Worth: Being jammed together from magical residue and chunks of other assorted planes, Quisquiliae has a very high amount of background magic. This sea of arcane power, called the Unseen Ocean is a constant presence on Quisquiliae, giving it a strange, otherworldly nature. Islands float on this sea, held aloft by strands of shifting power, and the magic radiating from the Ocean gives Quisquiliae one of the highest percentages of naturally magical inhabitants of any plane in the multiverse. In fact, finding a citizen without some small degree of magical power is hard indeed (maybe allow PCs to pick a number of 0th or 1st level spells equal to their Charisma modifier [minimum 1] and grant the ability to cast them 1/day each). This also gives Quisquiliae a somewhat sporadic field of magical interference. Sometimes spells work perfectly, but, in some areas, their effects are unpredictable at best. Some spells may magnify in power, devastating whole armies...but other may fizzle away to nothing, or even turn upon their masters...
    I hadn't considered the sort of side-affects that a huge amount of epic magic would have on the occupants and their descendants. Areas of iffy magic sound like a great plot element. Increasing the commonness of magic also removes the need for the setting to have lots of farmland to make sense, as more people would have access to Create Food and Water. I might knock it down to a level 2 Clr and Sor/Wiz spell.

    Which Way Home?: Quisquiliae, while mostly settled, is still not a universally stable place to live. Sometimes, for no discernible reason, inhabitants or even whole swaths of land will disappear as the landscape rearranges itself. Usually these sections return elsewhere, but sometimes they sink deep into the heart of the plane to meet with a fate still unknown. Theories are broad, ranging from utter destruction to a merging with the plane itself. And perhaps one of these is true...
    I had actually been planning on having the terrain my utterly nonsensical but relatively stable: as though everything had been glued together and stayed roughly in place. Shifts like that could be as common as, say, hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, but not as common as earthquakes in California. Substitute appropriate analogies for non-North American locales.

    The Dragons: Who better to deal with the troubles of Wizards? Or so they think. Or, rather, so they'd like us to think. Regardless, the dragons have come out in force, taking charge of chunks of the land and trying to bend the inhabitants to their rule. Some are successful, some are not. The extent to which they control the world, however, is sometimes frightening...rumors abound that the dragons have tapped into the heart of Quisquiliae, and that the strange disappearance and alterations of the landscape are in fact all moves in some strange and undecipherable game...
    I borrowed a copy of MMV. It's sparse on actual information, but Xorvintaal is played only by a minority of dragons. What if those that were grabbed were not "Xorvintaal Dragons" but rather took up a modified version to suit their need for entertainment?

    The Changing Sky: Like most planes, Quisquiliae has days and nights, although they are not entirely consistent. Some nights last for weeks on end, some for mere minutes. The effect is unpredictable, leaving long travel a dangerous prospect. After all, Quisquiliae is dangerous enough in broad daylight...
    Good idea. I was considering normal day/night cycles, but without sunrise or sunset: the sun just pops in and pops out.

    Give Me that Old Time Religion: The Gods have had enough of Quisquiliae. In fact, it's more than that...they simply have no power there. Divine magic does seep through the great magical rifts surrounding the plane, but it matters little the source or the focus: clerics of certain gods exist, to be certain, but a cleric of Pelor has just as much occult strength as a cleric of the wind, or a cleric of a wooden desk.
    That might interfere with a major metagame purpose of the world: that is, to allow any character concept whatsoever and have it function fine in the world. Still, the gods certainly don't see Quisquiliae as just another demiplane.

    As an aside, I was planning on the structure of the world to be a rough circle ringed with mountains. On the other side of them is a cliff that goes down, and down, and down. Grab a scroll of feather fall and see what's down there!

    Re: summoning: When you summon something, it stays for a bit, then vanishes as per the spell. That much, I think, should stay. They can't come from other planes for plot-related reasons: I want Quisquiliae to be utterly in the dark about things going on outside of their plane.

    EDIT: RE getting a game going: Within the next 24 hours. I just need 500 words of good fluff that communicate the setting to those unfamiliar, and I'm good to start recruiting. People here get first dibs.
    Last edited by Bulwer; 2009-03-06 at 04:20 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    I apologize, but the game is going to be put off a week or so. My Sunday-Thursday are going to be a road trip to Florida. I'll still be on sometimes, but not enough to run a good recruiting process or game. Those that have expressed interest can start working up character sheets, and I'll be around at least some Saturday.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Very intriguing, and the game also sounds like a blast (Hint: I'd love to join if the opportunity arises and my submission is good enough).

    Some ideas to ponder at your leisure:

    The Terrain: Is it normal? That seems unlikely. I envision dense rain forests next to bubbling lakes of magma, while in the distance the Northern Lights dance across a vast tundra. Bits and pieces of every imaginable terrain slammed together haphazardly, creating a unique and challenging landscape. Islands float in the sky, vast underground rivers surge through sweeping caves...the whole place unpredictable and diverse. Imagine adventuring in a icy cavern only to turn a corner and find yourself on the brink of an enormous jungle.

    A Bit of Everything: The culture of this world should reflect its strange composition. With races pulled from everywhere in the multiverse, cultures mix and normal cultural lines blur. Mindflayers may live in harmony with Orcs and Gnomes, while high in the mountains the Dwarves burrow through the stone alongside Delvers and Trolls. There would be to few inhabitants for traditional rivalries to stand strong...maybe the PCs might defend a town of Goblins and Halflings from a Elven raid, or put an army of Deva to the sword for crimes against the Drow. Traditions, food, architecture...all would draw from the combined knowledge of the civilization. Cunningly carved dwarven stonework might be connected with spider-silk bridges woven by the Ettins, or the dripping palaces of the Illithids might sit high in the trees, hanging from platforms grown from the tree itself, a sure sign of Elven handiwork. Names are varied and unusual--language has begun to mix, and the normal racial distinctions are shifting. Monstrous abominations walk around with human names, and Elven children are christened with the nigh-unpronounceable names of the darkest demons. Alignments have become almost meaningless; good demons and terrible angels are all possible, their once fought-for causes abandoned in light of this new world. Change the expected, and the PCs will come to the realization that this is much more than your standard fantasy fare.

    Wizards...More Trouble Than They're Worth: Being jammed together from magical residue and chunks of other assorted planes, Quisquiliae has a very high amount of background magic. This sea of arcane power, called the Unseen Ocean is a constant presence on Quisquiliae, giving it a strange, otherworldly nature. Islands float on this sea, held aloft by strands of shifting power, and the magic radiating from the Ocean gives Quisquiliae one of the highest percentages of naturally magical inhabitants of any plane in the multiverse. In fact, finding a citizen without some small degree of magical power is hard indeed (maybe allow PCs to pick a number of 0th or 1st level spells equal to their Charisma modifier [minimum 1] and grant the ability to cast them 1/day each). This also gives Quisquiliae a somewhat sporadic field of magical interference. Sometimes spells work perfectly, but, in some areas, their effects are unpredictable at best. Some spells may magnify in power, devastating whole armies...but other may fizzle away to nothing, or even turn upon their masters...

    Which Way Home?: Quisquiliae, while mostly settled, is still not a universally stable place to live. Sometimes, for no discernible reason, inhabitants or even whole swaths of land will disappear as the landscape rearranges itself. Usually these sections return elsewhere, but sometimes they sink deep into the heart of the plane to meet with a fate still unknown. Theories are broad, ranging from utter destruction to a merging with the plane itself. And perhaps one of these is true...

    The Dragons: Who better to deal with the troubles of Wizards? Or so they think. Or, rather, so they'd like us to think. Regardless, the dragons have come out in force, taking charge of chunks of the land and trying to bend the inhabitants to their rule. Some are successful, some are not. The extent to which they control the world, however, is sometimes frightening...rumors abound that the dragons have tapped into the heart of Quisquiliae, and that the strange disappearance and alterations of the landscape are in fact all moves in some strange and undecipherable game...

    The Changing Sky: Like most planes, Quisquiliae has days and nights, although they are not entirely consistent. Some nights last for weeks on end, some for mere minutes. The effect is unpredictable, leaving long travel a dangerous prospect. After all, Quisquiliae is dangerous enough in broad daylight...

    Give Me that Old Time Religion: The Gods have had enough of Quisquiliae. In fact, it's more than that...they simply have no power there. Divine magic does seep through the great magical rifts surrounding the plane, but it matters little the source or the focus: clerics of certain gods exist, to be certain, but a cleric of Pelor has just as much occult strength as a cleric of the wind, or a cleric of a wooden desk.


    And so on. I think this idea has a lot of promise (although for some reason I see it as an unstable world that is, in many respects, an enemy in its own right). Consider this an offer of help/ideas/critique in whatever way is needed.

    -The Djinn
    That would have to be one of the most awesome campaign settings ever.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Oh hey, if there's still space, I'd certainly like to join the crazy. This kind of setting sounds like it'd be a blast to play.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    You know you're doing something wrong when your work causes people to try to figure out the plural of Deus Ex Machina.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulwer View Post
    Good idea. That effect, though, would vary greatly by species. Goblins would adjust quickly because they have had many generations in which to do so, but a certain percentage of elves will remember their original home, and may retain old prejudices. Also, some groups may have maintained a breeding population independent of the main centers of people, and be similar to their more mundane cousins.
    True. Personally, if I ran this setting, I'd set it further than 500 years, just to mix it up more, but this is a valid point.


    I hadn't considered the sort of side-affects that a huge amount of epic magic would have on the occupants and their descendants. Areas of iffy magic sound like a great plot element. Increasing the commonness of magic also removes the need for the setting to have lots of farmland to make sense, as more people would have access to Create Food and Water. I might knock it down to a level 2 Clr and Sor/Wiz spell.
    Knock it down to level 2? I was saying 0 or 1, wasn't I? I think a 2nd level spell might be a bit to potent at low levels...


    I had actually been planning on having the terrain my utterly nonsensical but relatively stable: as though everything had been glued together and stayed roughly in place. Shifts like that could be as common as, say, hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, but not as common as earthquakes in California. Substitute appropriate analogies for non-North American locales.
    For major shifts, definitely. It's not there to happen all the time, but it's a great tool to have in the bag...especially when the party plans to stop at a certain town on their trek through the wilderness...

    I do like the unstable aspect though...keep people on their toes, and show them that this isn't just a world to allow any sort of adventure; it's a ****ing scary place, just as worthy of fear and respect as it is interesting to adventure in. It makes the world seem more real, in a way...not just like a place to put adventurers into just for the sake of having varied adventures.


    I borrowed a copy of MMV. It's sparse on actual information, but Xorvintaal is played only by a minority of dragons. What if those that were grabbed were not "Xorvintaal Dragons" but rather took up a modified version to suit their need for entertainment?
    I wasn't even thinking of Xorvintaal. It was a rumor for DMs to latch onto at their leisure...I feel it removes some of the mystery if we know what the dragons are doing.


    Good idea. I was considering normal day/night cycles, but without sunrise or sunset: the sun just pops in and pops out.
    I like combining both ideas...there's no warning of evening, it's just suddenly black...and you can never predict when it will happen. Maybe some nights are completely dark; no moon, no light...just blackness.


    That might interfere with a major metagame purpose of the world: that is, to allow any character concept whatsoever and have it function fine in the world. Still, the gods certainly don't see Quisquiliae as just another demiplane.
    Interfere with a metagame purpose? How so? You can still play whatever you want...it's just that the physical presence of the gods isn't there. An Avatar of Pelor is an avatar of Pelor because his belief that he is draws divine power to him, not because of anything Pelor actually has a hand in. Gives a reason why they don't just tear the place apart and send everything back where it belongs. Besides, I personally see Quisquiliae as less of a religious place...fewer (if any) large organized religions, and instead a bunch of small cults or individuals with whatever beliefs they can cling to in this hostile place.

    But that's just me. I love fighting up through the oppressive darkness, and I feel that's what Quisquiliae needs to separate it from just another high-fantasy game where anything is a possibility. With just a strange terrain and reason for existence, it becomes (to my mind) just another Greyhawk, only with more variety for where your adventure takes place. I'd like to turn it into a very distinct world, and, for once, produce an extremely high-fantasy world that is still as gritty, dark, and foreboding as the wastelands of Eberron. The world itself becomes a character in such a place; no one remembers the generic fantasy city, but, from my writings above, I'm (at least) getting a very comprehensive view of my idea of Quisquiliae, and I'm loving it.


    More Ideas:
    Spoiler
    Show

    The Dead Veil: Two facts are known. One: the souls of the dead travel to other planes upon the destruction of their mortal forms. Two: planar travel is impossible on Quisquiliae. This creates a huge paradox, and is what is responsible for the creation of the Dead Veil. The Dead Veil is what exists beyond the Twisted Edge (the mountains surrounding the plane of Quisquiliae); a constantly expanding mist composed of the spirits of the departed, forever stuck in eternal limbo between death and the afterlife. Sometimes a soul will rise above the Edge and the departed shade will begin to walk the surface of Quisquiliae again, but most remain forever circling the plane, memories and emotions slowly fading away. Few mortals have ever looked upon the Dead Veil and walked away with their mind intact.

    I'm Sailing Away, Set a Course for the Unseen Sea: The Unseen Sea; invisible, powerful, utilitarian. And what better way to navigate it than by ship? Wyrdships, massive structures fitted with Leyways (circular rings fitted with magically resonant stones, designed to catch and ride currents of arcane power), sail effortlessly through the skies of Quisquiliae. The size and shape of these structures varies greatly; some look like the ships of olden days and other planes, which some resemble nothing more than flying cities or towers.

    The Doldrums: Wyrdships have their own hazards. Magical storms wrack the Unseen Sea, throwing power around wildly, but skilled captains can easily overcome such deadly obstacles. The Doldrums, however, are another matter entirely. Seagoing vessels, when the wind dies, remain stationary, often starving the crew. Wyrdships have a much worse time. When the arcane undulation of the Unseen Sea ceases within an area, Wyrdships plummet downward, no longer held aloft by the source of their power. When this occurs, almost nothing can stay the inevitable descent.
    Last edited by Djinn_in_Tonic; 2009-03-07 at 01:58 PM.

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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    OK, if we start working on character sheets, what level, what classes, what races, and what other things should we worry about?

    Also, I had an interesting idea. When Quisquiliae got snatched out of the Great Wheel, it also messed up the time continuum between it and the GW. Therefore, although most snatched creatures and features landed on Quisquiliae in the first ten years or so, occasionally things, alive or not, fall from the sky, or appear out of the oceans, or etc.

    Another idea, probably less takeable by you, is an alive, constantly adding to itself massive cave system under the whole world. As I said, more setting-specific.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    This sounds like a seriously awesome setting!

    I´d love to join up in a game for this, but I´ve never played D&D, so I don´t know if you´d want a newbie .


    More ideas for the setting... Hmmm... I can´t think of anything specific right now, but I do believe there is a need for a couple of secret organizations and a conspiracy or three.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    The Dead Veil: Two facts are known. One: the souls of the dead travel to other planes upon the destruction of their mortal forms. Two: planar travel is impossible on Quisquiliae. This creates a huge paradox, and is what is responsible for the creation of the Dead Veil. The Dead Veil is what exists beyond the Twisted Edge (the mountains surrounding the plane of Quisquiliae); a constantly expanding mist composed of the spirits of the departed, forever stuck in eternal limbo between death and the afterlife. Sometimes a soul will rise above the Edge and the departed shade will begin to walk the surface of Quisquiliae again, but most remain forever circling the plane, memories and emotions slowly fading away. Few mortals have ever looked upon the Dead Veil and walked away with their mind intact.
    An interesting idea, and it could cause the "birth" of some rather interesting unique monsters.

    But how would this work with resurrection and the like? If someone were to stay dead in the Veil for long enough for it to start affecting their soul severely, would this have effects on them were they to be brought back to life?

    That said, all of this sounds uncomprehensibly awesome as a setting.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by LordZarth View Post
    OK, if we start working on character sheets, what level, what classes, what races, and what other things should we worry about?
    Probably nothing yet...he said it would be a week or so before we'd know any specifics.

    Also, I had an interesting idea. When Quisquiliae got snatched out of the Great Wheel, it also messed up the time continuum between it and the GW. Therefore, although most snatched creatures and features landed on Quisquiliae in the first ten years or so, occasionally things, alive or not, fall from the sky, or appear out of the oceans, or etc.
    Hmmm...possible, but I rather dislike the idea of things still finding their way though. After all, planar travel is impossible, and those appearances would be portals to other planes. But then again this is just my opinion.

    Another idea, probably less takeable by you, is an alive, constantly adding to itself massive cave system under the whole world. As I said, more setting-specific.
    I had envisioned underground caverns/oceans/etc, as I like the idea of an inconstant world. Alive, though, I don't agree with...that seems a bit off to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrus
    More ideas for the setting... Hmmm... I can´t think of anything specific right now, but I do believe there is a need for a couple of secret organizations and a conspiracy or three.
    Not yet (again, just my opinion)...we don't know enough about the culture/politics to plan such things in-depth. I suspect we'll get there soon though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Atelm View Post
    An interesting idea, and it could cause the "birth" of some rather interesting unique monsters.

    But how would this work with resurrection and the like? If someone were to stay dead in the Veil for long enough for it to start affecting their soul severely, would this have effects on them were they to be brought back to life?

    That said, all of this sounds uncomprehensibly awesome as a setting.
    Resurrection would work normally, although it's possible that other spirits could "cling" to a departing soul, and be pulled into the world again, or even into the host's body (causing a split personality or something similiar). Even if it works perfectly, the soul might have been driven mad by the experience. And yes...being in the Veil long enough would cause the soul to lose memories, knowledge, awareness, and other such things. It's a complete degradation of the spirit...and it adds to the grim feeling I'm trying to inspire in the world. Death should be feared, not just an inconvenience.

    A NOTE TO BULWER:

    If it seems like I'm high-jacking your campaign world and twisting it to far from what you've envisioned, feel free to halt my progress...I tend to run with ideas when they're presented to me, and I hope I'm not ruining your concepts.
    Last edited by Djinn_in_Tonic; 2009-03-07 at 04:51 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Hmmm...possible, but I rather dislike the idea of things still finding their way though. After all, planar travel is impossible, and those appearances would be portals to other planes. But then again this is just my opinion.
    No--for the arrivals, it would seem that they had only just been snatched. It wouldn't be that they found a portal to Quisquiliae.

    I had envisioned underground caverns/oceans/etc, as I like the idea of an inconstant world. Alive, though, I don't agree with...that seems a bit off to me.
    Alive as in constantly adding to itself. Not as in sentient.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by LordZarth View Post
    No--for the arrivals, it would seem that they had only just been snatched. It wouldn't be that they found a portal to Quisquiliae.
    Ah. That makes more sense. I'd still prefer this to be limited to non-living matter or a plot device rather than an intrinsic part of the world itself. Such events would be, in my mind, the incredibly rare exception rather than the rule. Keep such a thing for when it really, really adds to the plot...random things falling out of the skies is a little to comic for me. But again, it's just my opinion, which may be completely incorrect. And it's not a bad idea at all...I just don't happen to agree.

    Sorry if I come off as rude...I really don't mean to.

    Alive as in constantly adding to itself. Not as in sentient.
    Ah. Then I agree. Hence why I posited the "shifting terrain" idea...I like the idea of a fluid, malleable plane where such tunnels might expand or contract at a moment's notice.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Ah. That makes more sense. I'd still prefer this to be limited to non-living matter or a plot device rather than an intrinsic part of the world itself. Such events would be, in my mind, the incredibly rare exception rather than the rule. Keep such a thing for when it really, really adds to the plot...random things falling out of the skies is a little to comic for me. But again, it's just my opinion, which may be completely incorrect. And it's not a bad idea at all...I just don't happen to agree.
    Hmm... you seem to be articulating the ideas I didn't fully flesh out for myself :)

    Yes, I didn't think of it as an 'ordinary' occurrence, but also not 'incredibly rare'. I suppose when I thought of it, it would be as a plot device.


    Ah. Then I agree. Hence why I posited the "shifting terrain" idea...I like the idea of a fluid, malleable plane where such tunnels might expand or contract at a moment's notice.
    Yes. Although the tunnel you were currently in might not change, if you turn around it might not lead to where you came from...

    Possibly a plot point or device; certainly a way to travel thousands of miles very quickly. IE, if you could somehow navigate "The Labyrinth", it would be VERY useful for you.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    I'm sorry that I'm fading for a few days just as this is taking off.

    Re setting suggestions: Keep tham coming, but nothing's 'canon' yet. No matter how bizarre a setting is, most people will still treat it as "normal." With some mystery about that happens after death, they're no worse off than we are. With some natural disasters, they've got the same lot as some folks on Earth. they'd adjust, and live normal lives. The arcane specifics wouldn't matter much.

    How would you guys feel about rolling up level 3 characters? I'll be on as much as possible to answer questions, and people who are interested in building this setting up can be the first to play in it.

    Spoiler
    Show
    • 1. What game system are you running (D&D, Call of Cthulu, Palladium, GURPS, etc.), and if applicable what edition (Original, Classic, Revised, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 10th, etc.)?
      D&D 3.5.
    • 2. What 'type' or variant of game will it be (i.e. "Shadow Chasers" or "Agents of Psi" for d20 Modern)? What is the setting for the game (eg. historic period, published or homebrewed campaign setting, alternate reality, modern world, etc.)?
      Homebrew high fantasy world. See below.
    • 3. How many Players are you looking for? Will you be taking alternates, and if so, how many?
      4-5 players, 2 alternates.
    • 4. What's the gaming medium (OOTS, chat, e-mail etc.)?
      OOTS forums.
    • 5. What is the characters' starting status (i.e. experience level)?
      3rd level.
    • 6. How much gold or other starting funds will the characters begin with?
      WBL- 2700GP.
    • 7. Are there any particular character classes, professions, orders, etc. that you want... or do not want? What are your rules on 'prestige' and/or homebrewed classes?
      No particular limits, but it'd be nice to have a blend of party roles. Of course, if it doesn't work out that way, that's fine too.
    • 8. What races, subraces, species, etc. are allowed for your game? Will you allow homebrewed races or species? 'Prestige' races or species?
      One of the main purposes of this setting is that it can accomodate anything. Homebrew/Dragon Mag: ask me first, but expect a yes unless it's serious cheese. Nothing too absurd: White Dragonspawn comes to mind.
    • 9. By what method should players generate their attributes/ability scores and Hit Points?
      Seven scores, 5d6b3, pick the 6 best. If they really suck, you can re-roll. If they're just slightly subpar, you can do 32-point buy at your option.
    • 10. Does your game use alignment? What are your restrictions, if so?
      Characters will be in service of established authority, but chaotic is fine as long as it's sensible. The usual caveats about characters that can engage in some team play apply. Paladins do not have Stick Up Ass(Su) as a class feature, and they won't fall as a result of the actions of others, unless they actually allow something evil and preventable to happen. If you want to play an exalted character, be prepared to stick to it, though.
    • 11. Do you allow multi-classing, or have any particular rules in regards to it?
      No multiclass experience penalty.
    • 12. Will you be doing all of the die rolling during the course of the game? Will die rolls be altered, or left to the honor system? If players can make die rolls, which ones do they make, how should they make the rolls, and how should they report them?
      Rolls go in a spoiler in the IC thread. Followups like critical confirmations go in the OOC thread with a note.
    • 13. Are there any homebrewed or optional/variant rules that your Players should know about? If so, list and explain them, or provide relevant links to learn about these new rules.
      The Dodge feat provides a +1 Dodge bonus to AC. Bards can be lawful.
    • 14. Is a character background required? If so, how big? Are you looking for anything in particular (i.e. the backgrounds all ending up with the characters in the same city)?
      Your character must have at least a paragraph of backstory. More is good. You must have a clear idea of your character's morals, motivations, and behaviours. Try to give me a hook or two. Also, you should wind up in the city of Deepcave, and not just in a "wanders into town" kind of way. You should have done something interesting in that city.
    • 15. Does your game involve a lot of hack & slash, puzzle solving, roleplaying, or a combination of the above?
      Depends on player and character interest. They will certainly be options to talk or fight or your way past most things, but some encounters will demand a certain approach.
    • 16. Are your Players restricted to particular rulebooks and supplements, or will you be allowing access to non-standard material? What sources can Players use for their characters?
      Anything you want, but for Dragon Mag stuff, ask first. 2 flaws, 2 traits if you want them. Homebrew is on a case-by-case basis, but assume it's okay.



    Those are the questions suggested for all PbP games, and I had that done beforehand.

    Thanks for being so interested, guys.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Quisquiliae: A Wizard Did It (campaign setting)

    For homebrew classes...how's THIS look?

    Not that I can't play something normal...but I like that class.

    Anyway, more ideas to come.

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