Friday, March 23, 2012

Savage Swords of Impiltur ? - Session Zero

The final recap for this week is the first session of the new D&D campaign. This is the grown-up game so no apprentices in this one. It's a 4th edition campaign. But before that, some background...

The Setting: Impiltur in the Forgotten Realms, an out-of-the-main-area country known for its paladins and one not over-documented in the lore. This is using the post-Spellplague 4E version of the Realms.

The Concept: Each character is either part of or associated with/working for one of the major noble families of the kingdom. The last king disappeared after the Spellplague 80-odd years ago and a council of paladins has ruled the place with varying levels of success ever since.

The Mechanics, straight from the email:

  •  Begin at 4th level
  • Races: The most common are humans, halflings, & dwarves, with some elves. Those common to the area include PHB 1 & 2 races, PHB 3 & FR Guide are less common but still welcome
  • Classes: PHB 1-2-3 + Essentials + FR Guide + Neverwinter + the Artificer from Eberron + All power books, player's guides, Dragon mags, and Heroes of Whatever - find something you really like! Knights, Cavaliers, Paladins, Blackguards, and Warlords will all be very flavorful
  • Backgrounds: FR or regular backgrounds are fine.
  • Themes: If you can make a Neverwinter theme fit your concept, go for it. The dark sun themes really don't fit well but if you think you have an angle on one send me an email.
  • Magic: Begin with a lvl 5, a 4, a 3, a 2, and a lvl 1 item. You can trade any of them for a potion of healing if you would prefer. These are gifts from your family and trainers as you have not been adventuring before now. Try to make them fit your background and theme. Beyond that you have standard starting money. You can take cash instead of an item if you'd rather have money in your pocket.
  • Other gear: Mordenkainen's Emporium added a lot of cool regular old-school gear like caltrops and holy water back into the game. Be sure and look that stuff over. 
  • Deities: Torm, Torm, and more Torm. Most others welcome but not dominant.
Since this might conceivably, possibly be my last 4E campaign (Hey, "Next" might really knock my socks off) I decided to use some the resources within easy reach and so the Nentir Vale area from the DMG is now in Impiltur and for the first adventure we are starting in Fallcrest. It's not a perfect fit but hey, that Spellplague-thing really messed things up - who knows how accurate these maps from a pre-industrial society really are? Forest, mountains, it'll fit in there somewhere. This is not the last familiar area that will appear in this game.

Turning my players loose for character creation is usually a bad idea and this time proved to be no exception. We ended up with:
  • A Shifter Paladin
  • A Genasi Warlord
  • A Dwarf Cleric*
  • A Dwarf Warden
  • An Elf Bow Ranger
  • ...and a Drow Vampire (played by Lady Blacksteel**)
So yeah, serves me right for opening the door to this kind of thing. Not a single human in the party. At least they can't complain about sub-optimal race and class options when they get TPK'd.

So much for my visions of this...

On the bright side we picked up a new player, a friend of one of my existing players and new to tabletop gaming. We'll see if he has a taste for this kind of thing.

I do have an outline for this campaign, fairly detailed for Heroic and fairly solid for Paragon and Epic - hopefully this one will last long enough to see some of my planned fun. They already know that Orcus and Tiamat will be major opposing players in the region so they aren't totally in the dark. A lot of this will be playing through published material, though not necessarily published for this edition of D&D.

Next time: Session #1!

* he's dual-wielding waraxes so he's not as mundane as this might appear

**I can't believe this kind of thing could be going on right under my nose, in my own house!


Jeremy said...

It's classic! You got a Paladin (his face might be a little weird but the armor can hide that), a dwarf with at least one axe, a dwarf with a hammer, an elf with a bow....

Ok, so you've got a drow. It's FR. It happens. Her last name can be LeFay or something and you can make it all sinister and Arthurian. Still savable!

All very natural, straight out of a webcomic. Don't even have anything weird like some strange goliath or shardmind or wait, what's the warlord?

Some kinda weird planar genasi thavian with an outrageous accent??? What dick brought THAT to the table!? Sheesh. Ah well, Realms are a weird place. Just ask the crew of the Sea Sprite.

Blacksteel said...

Finally, a sensible person! You should join our group and help cut out some of this nonsense!