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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

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    Default [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    So, my 3.5ed evil game is finally over; I got the villains that I wanted and so much more. Now that I have the baddies that I needed for my good campaign, I can finally start working on it.

    My second campaign is set in the same place, 500-or-so years after the evil one. I've got the various nations and factions in my head, and I'm just working out how half of a millennium has changed them, and the implications of just how the BBEGs factor in.

    Of course, I can't foresee everything, and that's where you Playgrounders fit in. With your assistance, I don't have to worry as much about a player asking, "If (event x) happened during (time period y), then why hasn't that had an effect on (event z)?"

    Provided that I've interested anyone, my next post will explain more about the campaign setting...
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2008-12-10 at 02:18 AM.
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    Some Stuff
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    Level
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    Epic level doesn't exist in my game. The rules for it are far too wonky, the monsters are a tad ridiculous, and frankly, I doubt the game will get that far. Also, higher levels should, in my opinion, be a much rarer thing than they normally are. Thus, just because there's a large city, that doesn't mean that you'll find a 17th-level caster, let alone the deity-scaring monstrosities that are epic characters.


    How Things Were During the Evil Campaign
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    The Locations
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    Evernight Island
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    Evernight Island is located in the Sea of Evernight, a large inland sea fed by the Mourning River. Long ago, some trait about the island drew undead to it, and soon there was a sizable population of them, especially vampires. An aspiring wizard by name of Seth Avaric managed to blanket the entire island and the sea surrounding it in a shroud of impenetrable darkness, and thus it was called Evernight. As a reward for his services, the vampires of Evernight constructed an obsidian tower for him to expand upon his craft and teach it to others. This tower became known as the Spire, and Seth became known as the Headmaster. The vampires of Evernight generally keep to themselves, finding it easier to get along with their neighboring nations by not feeding on them.

    Lunar Forests
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    The Lunar Forests developed over thousands of years in the lands north of Veria and east of Evernight. The name comes from the tribes of lycanthropes that are said to populate it, some folk even saying that the forest is where lycanthropy got its origins. These statements are true, and on the three nights of the full moon, the vast stretch of forest is thrown into chaos as the werebeasts battle for dominance. The creatures of the Lunar Forests do little in the manner of interaction with the other nations, largely preoccupied with their own infighting.

    Nacitav
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    Nacitav is a theocracy located to the west of Veria. They devote themselves to life, light, and goodness. They are violently opposed to that which is generally percieved as evil, such as necromancy and the undead. Knowing the full power wielded by Evernight, the Council of Secrets works to keep knowledge of Evernight a secret from its own people, as knowing of its existence would surely lead to war, which would surely lead to Nacitav's swift defeat. Since it is in everyone's best interests, the Council of Secrets has extended this conspiracy into Veria and Stisson.

    Stisson
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    Stisson follows the Golden Rule: whoever has the gold makes the rules. Located north of Evernight, Stisson is a nation that relies heavily on trade, sea travel, and well-maintained roads. Stisson is also the most racially-diverse nation on the continent, greeting any race with open arms, provided that their contribution to the economy is significant enough.

    Veria
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    Veria is a monarchy in the middle of the continent. Cities in Veria are generally ruled by nobles who are on good terms with the king. Veria does well due to secret trade with Evernight, although few outside the nobility know anything of the dark nation to the north. Veria's two biggest cities are Imperia, the capital, and Helmsdale, a hub whose roads lead to both Stisson and Nacitav.

    Other
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    The Iron Star
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    The Iron Star is a grey comet that streaks across the sky every five centuries or so. It stands out amongst many of the other celestial bodies because, for some strange reason, it is immune to divination magic. No caster has ever been able to glean information from it, and thus it remains a curiosity amongst those who observe it.

    The Conspiracy of Evernight
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    People don't know about Evernight. Simply put, it would cause far too much trouble to have the people know that there is an entire nation of undead monstrosities. Even worse, the people would know that their governments have been lying to them about its existence. So, those who do know about Evernight generally don't talk about it.


    Next up: the PCs, and how they changed things!
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2008-12-10 at 03:53 AM.
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    The PCs
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    Jamben Milner
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    Jamben Milner is a cruel, calculating human Dread Necromancer. He was born in Nacitav, but when he found out about the Evernight Conspiracy, he shunned Nacitav and traveled to Evernight, where the Headmaster learned of him. Seeing his potential, the Headmaster made Jamben a student of the Spire and taught him for five years.

    Jaren
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    Jaren is an elf from Stisson. Fascinated with the death deity, Jaren was brought into a cult of Nerull, where they buried him alive for his initiation as a Cleric. Having survived that, Jaren is all too eager to please Nerull to show his devotion.

    Triel
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    Triel is the daughter of a priestess of Lolth. Triel, however, did not have the drow's usual penchant for cruelty, instead being a tad on the submissive side. She eventually abandoned the Underdark, simply not feeling at home anymore. She is a Rogue.

    Malnar
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    Malnar is a Shifter from the Lunar Forests. He is a little more civilized than your average Barbarian. Malnar considers himself a "professional problem-solver," and is more than willing to solve your problems... with his flaming greataxe.


    The Campaign
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    First Session
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    The PCs met in Stisson, in the city of Endena. Jamben visited the city as part of his plan to see the world and gain power; Jaren was told by his superiors to visit Endena and wipe out a cult devoted to Orcus; Triel emerged from the Underdark in the city of Endena, and the conspiring fates led them to one another. The party wiped out the cult with extreme prejudice, and actually gathered fame for their deed, being lauded as heroes. The PCs later discovered a dragon dwelling beneath the city. The party killed the dragon, furthering their fame, and hatched its eggs. The baby dragons took a liking to Jamben, and he began raising them in secret with the intent of using them to further his purposes. The party also ended up adopting a goblin baby. Yeah, I know.


    Second Session
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    Some time later, a merchant that was on good terms with Jamben decided to offer them some work. He needed a group to accompany a wagon full of supplies over to a frontier town. The party accepted and headed east. They discovered, however, that the town had been besieged by vicious plant monsters at the command of an evil druid. They made a deal with the townspeople, promising to slay the monsters and the druid in exchange for their money. The townspeople hastily agreed, and the party ventured into the forest. They managed to find out from a briarvex that the druid was no longer alive, having been slain by one of his own recruits. The PCs make a deal with the briarvex to double-cross the townsfolk in exchange for a larger sum than the people in town had given them. The briarvex obliges, and soon the townspeople are slaughtered.


    Third Session
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    A month or so after that, the party makes its way back to Endena and meets Malnar, who had just drifted into town. After a run-in with a survivor from the cult of Orcus, the party realizes just how useful Malnar is to their cause, and they recruit him as well. At this point, Jaren begins researching planar magic to help him get closer to Nerull.


    Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Sessions
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    Perhaps a week or so after this, the party (sans Jaren, who has traveled south) is recruited by a druid named Grey Natura, who seeks an artifact known as the Staff of Inevitable Dawn. She intends to wield its power to banish the darkness over Evernight. Her only lead is a necromancer by the name of Slimph Landarin. The name rings a bell with Jamben, since he and Slimph were once classmates. The party visits Slimph Landarin to learn of the location of the Staff. Slimph tells them that it lies to the south, "at the bottom of Helmsdale."

    Grey is disgusted when she finds out that the "heroes" she hired behave so despicably, and attempts to abandon them in the middle of the night when the PCs inadverdently summoned Orcus. The party decides that things would be best for them if they beat her to Helmsdale and obtained the Staff.

    Along the way, the party reencounters Jaren. Quickly explaining their predicament to him, they get him to join them in their efforts. They decide to take a shortcut on a barge across the Sea of Evernight. They also free an imprisoned Glabrezu, who grants them a wish in return. Remembering the urgency of their predicament, Jamben wishes that they were in Helmsdale.

    Finally in Helmsdale, the party realizes that Grey Natura has already beaten them there, and has hired a new team of adventurers to aid her in getting the Staff. They make their way down the catacombs beneath the city, killing the other adventuring party along the way, and then get to the Staff. They summon up Orcus once more, this time intentionally, to give him the Staff, since he is most certainly powerful enough to deal with it. Orcus disappears with the Staff of Inevitable Dawn, but its removal proves to have disastrous consequences. All of the dead in Helmsdale begin to reanimate as zombies. The party escapes into the planes with Jaren, and Helmsdale is quickly destroyed.


    Seventh Session
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    After five years of adventuring on the Outer Planes, the party is again reformed when Jamben requests their aid in taking over the Spire. The PCs travel to Evernight, where they begin working out a plan for doing so. Jamben begins creating shock troops to assault the Spire with as a distraction while the party hunts for the Headmaster's phylactery. However, the party learns soon after that the Headmaster has foreseen their plan and has taken countermeasures against his phylactery being taken so easily. They eventually manage to defeat the Headmaster, and seal his phylactery inside a Grisgol.


    Now, to actually work out how all of this affects everything else...
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    Think of how much things changed in the New World between 1500 and 2000. You went from natives seeing a little bit of European activity to all the natives killed or put in reservations, then released and given the crumbs of a special citizenship. You went from the world just getting into gunpowder to the danger that a rogue state could fire nuclear missiles across the ice cap and kill entire cities. People had ships that could barely traverse the ocean to flying to the moon and maintaining a manned space station. Most people were barely literate and communication was at the speedof a horse, to much of the world is connected by radio waves and a sattelite-supported global Internet. One used to be able to buy a book if one were wealthy, to the poorest able to buy 5 used books for an hours' wage and access so many public domain titles that it's physically impossible to read them all in one lifetime.

    This on an entire two continents, from the northernmost icy reaches to the almost-arctic south.

    That said, advancement is swiftest where advancement has occurred. Human progress has never been faster than it is now, and with some hiccups the progression extends into the past with slower progress found the further back you look.

    Take the year 600 AD. Not so much changed in England between 600 and 1100. I mean, things surely did change, but when you compare it to the changes felt from 1500 to 2000 it's like a blip in the cultural spectrum. And just what societal advancements happened in New Guinea between 1,000 BC and 500 BC? Probably virtually nothing.

    So I would first off say that the places with the least cultural and technological advancement would change the least in 500 years, and the ones with the greatest cultural and technological level (considering magic here as technology) would advance the fastest.

    This would be a good time to start introducing gunpowder. If you do another 500-year leap you can go from black powder and ball to sealed cartridge bullets and automatic weapons and early tanks. The next leap could result in futuristic stuff that works a lot like magic does, like early Star Trek technology. Who knows what the next leap would be - probably more like a weird mecha anime or Firefly.

    Anyway, point is you can make a lot change or just a little. But anything that existed before has a solid chance of being gone, replaced by something else, including countries. Only very important buildings that were built of stone and restored every century or so would have a chance of still standing. Ruins would be more poignant to the players since they remembered last weekend this dungeon was a bustling city. Small organizations probably disappeared into the mists of history, or became major social movements. No good way to tell.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tacoma View Post
    So I would first off say that the places with the least cultural and technological advancement would change the least in 500 years, and the ones with the greatest cultural and technological level (considering magic here as technology) would advance the fastest.
    I was actually intending on a regression of technology and magic, at least for Veria, Stisson, and Nacitav. The Lunar Forest are already pretty low on the technological scale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tacoma View Post
    Ruins would be more poignant to the players since they remembered last weekend this dungeon was a bustling city.
    Very much so.
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    So then I'd look to the fall of Rome as your example. Over the next 200 years these countries spread outward conquering the barbarians around them, stretched too thin, and suffered from internal strife and (I can't think of the word for becoming culturally weak. Sounds like a color).

    So you have long networks of roads, walls and towns that don't have nearly enough people in them out in the middle of nowhere, and barbarians who all have certain cultural traits and customs picked up from the overall empires.

    Probably throw in drought and plague, things like that work best when the players don't have a chance to fix them right away with a little magic.

    I wouldn't add much deforestation or desertification since this is pre-industrial. But change some regions and consider what effect the change would have. Like Petra, Jordan.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    Well, I'm still working on my upcoming game, and I've been thinking about the later levels a lot.

    Jamben Milner, now a Spellstitched Evolved Lich, Second Headmaster of the Spire, intends to finally break the Evernight Conspiracy in a very major way: by invasion. One of his generals, Jaden Caine (Evolved Death Knight Fighter/Rogue/Blackguard), will be leading an army of undead against Nacitav.

    So, now I'm actually working on this army, and frankly, I've only got a handful of ideas for how to actually go about this.

    One of the monsters that I'd like to see some use out of is the Corpse Gatherer from Monster Manual II. It's a massive undead tank with a double-strength desecrate aura around it, and when destroyed, turns into a mini-horde of zombies.

    Another monster to get some use might be the Hulking Corpse, from Libris Mortis. These large brutes would surround the Corpse Gatherers, benefitting from the desecrating aura.

    One creature that'd make things even more interesting would be the Deadborn Vulture. It's a giant, ridable bird with a breath attack, and when it dies, it instantly reanimates as a zombie. Would make an excellent mount for initiates of the Spire to cast from.

    Any other awesome undead to recommend? Strategies, tactics, tips?
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    I've always liked loved the Fiend Folio's Hullathoin--tentacles, claws, very large, covered in poisonous boils, constantly surrounded by vampire spawn and clouds of hellish locusts, et cetera. It's almost certainly way too high level, under any circumstances, but I feel this strange compulsion to pimp this corpse-drake wherever I possibly can.

    I'll activate my brain tomorrow, see if I can give some real advice.
    Last edited by Inyssius Tor; 2009-01-05 at 03:48 AM.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    On a side note, one of my players is taking a college class in military tactics. Yeah.
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Post Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    What level are your characters? You said that Veria owes some success to secret trade with Evernight; what do they actually trade? What for?

    Obviously not crops, since an everlasting shroud of darkness does not make for wonderful agricultural industries... magic items exported from Evernight? Human blood to feed the native vampires? Corpses?

    Would Evernight's imports and exports change as a preparation for war (we need still-warm roc eggs, sort of thing)?

    Any other wars in the interim? I should think there would at least be a few. Nacitav is a theocracy, and to uneducated me that suggests aggression on their part. And how might they be affected by being ruled over by a secret conspiracy that disagrees with their belief for hundreds of years? Has that conspiracy attracted any attention, or drifted at all ideology-wise?

    The Lunar Forests, on the other hand, are an obvious target. Tacoma mentioned "conquering the barbarians around them", and that pretty much means the Forests. Speaking of which... what is their culture? Are all the Lunar indigenes lycanthropic?
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Working on my next campaign...

    Quote Originally Posted by Inyssius Tor View Post
    What level are your characters?
    We'll be starting it low level, probably around three or so. I'm probably gonna wait for the whole "undead army" thing 'til they're at least level ten.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inyssius Tor View Post
    You said that Veria owes some success to secret trade with Evernight; what do they actually trade?

    ...magic items exported from Evernight?
    Right on the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inyssius Tor View Post
    Would Evernight's imports and exports change as a preparation for war (we need still-warm roc eggs, sort of thing)?
    Probably. At least, that's what I've got planned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inyssius Tor View Post
    And how might they be affected by being ruled over by a secret conspiracy that disagrees with their belief for hundreds of years?
    I imagine that it'd make them pretty upset; one more reason for the conspiracy to keep everything secret.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inyssius Tor View Post
    Has that conspiracy attracted any attention, or drifted at all ideology-wise?
    Well, they've also begun to demonize the use of arcane magic, since Jamben Milner has a tendency to take interest in arcane casters over divine ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inyssius Tor View Post
    The Lunar Forests, on the other hand, are an obvious target. Tacoma mentioned "conquering the barbarians around them", and that pretty much means the Forests. Speaking of which... what is their culture?
    Well, because of the competition between the different groups, individual power is glorified. "Natural" lycanthropes are generally viewed as more respectable than afflicted ones, and those without lycanthropy at all have to try very hard to get any recognition, especially in the more "evil" tribes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inyssius Tor View Post
    Are all the Lunar indigenes lycanthropic?
    No, but most of them have something to do with the moon. For instance, two of the groups are ruled by Lunar Ravagers, from Monster Manual III.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 2009-01-12 at 09:36 PM.
    It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of... unsavory character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favors promptly.. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Toreador avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

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