Prospective for New Games

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Talanall
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Prospective for New Games

With the impending Total Party Kill in the Cataclysm campaign that I DM, I guess that pretty soon it'll be time for me to think about replacing it. So here's the short list of games that I'm interested in running. Have a read, and sometime shortly I will call out to see who's interested in playing, as well as to find out which of these concepts is most interesting to the largest number of players.

Aureshan Saints: Reloaded

Start Level: 1st.
Setting: Auresh, Tolrea.
Description: Urban campaigning as a thieves' guild in the capitol of the Aureshan Empire. Shades of Ocean's Eleven, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, etc. There's potential for lots of political intrigue, replete with wheeling, dealing, and double-crossing. Cunning devices, nefarious traps, and clever forgeries will be the bane of your existence. Most of the time, combat will be something to avoid rather than a way of solving problems, although exceptions WILL exist. There'll be a plot, of sorts.
Character Generation: Pre-generated character lottery.


Immigrant Song

Start Level:4th.
Setting: Somewhere in Tolrea.
Description: Grab your sword and f—JOIN the horde! Carve out a new kingdom from the soft flanks of a decadent empire. Travel to exotic places! Meet interesting people! Kill them and take their possessions! Rule their lands with an iron fist! When the Warlord calls, will YOU answer him?!? Wilderness skills and a propensity to wade, screaming, into battle are a plus, but not an absolute requirement in the horde; there's room for sneaks, magi and assorted kinds of god-botherer, too. If we're being honest, you're likely to have a better lifestyle if you're something a bit more than the average grunt.
Character Generation: Point buy. SRD goblinoids only.


Whispers Underground

Start Level: 3rd.
Setting: The Greater Mereflow Valley, Tolrea, 30 years prior to the events of Ancestral Burdens.
Description: Players of the titanically long-running Ancestral Burdens campaign will be familiar with the gist of how this one goes: there is no real "plot." There are NPCs who are doing things, and who may ask you to do things (or not to do things). But basically, I will hammer-throw you into a steaming pile of wilderness, half-healed racial antagonism, and subtle political intrigue. You will flounder and make sense of it as best you can. Or not. I'm not your nanny, and for all I know you're just a pack of murderous hobos. Do with it what you will. There is no plot. Only Zuul.
Character Generation: Point buy.


The Argent Cyma

Start Level: 1st.
Setting: Floresta, Tolrea.
Description: The Aureshan Empire is infested with all sorts of secret societies both benevolent and malevolent, ranging from mages' cabals, to monopolistic economic cartels, to hidden cults. You are members of such a secret society. It is not a benevolent one; you are the bad guys.
Character Generation: Point buy. No good-aligned characters.


Of these, The Argent Cyma is sufficiently interesting to me personally that I may be interested in running it even if a majority of potential players would prefer something else. If there are at least four people who want to try playing a villainous campaign, I might be talked into doing that one on the side just because that kind of game is so starkly different from anything resembling a standard campaign.

Haliax
Haliax's picture

Screw it. Let’s get evil

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I'm probably down with almost anything.

Darker

First, I'll say that I will play in any of these games. However, I do have some strong preferences, so I'll outline those below.

1st place: Whispers Underground -- I like the setting and that I'll already be somewhat familiar with it. I also really like starting at 3rd level (vs. 1st), I have a really tough time getting into 1st level games. The sandbox style with lots of plot hooks also really appeals to me as well. In short, lots of stuff I like in a game without much to dislike.

2nd place: Immigrant Song -- I like the concept of this game, it feels like a pretty fresh idea and I've been playing a lot of Warcraft and Warhammer strategy games, so it appeals to me. I also like the starting level of 4th. It also reminds me of that comic where all the orcs play D&D.

3rd place (tie): Aureshan Saints: Reloaded -- I liked the concept of the original Aureshan Saints game, but it got to the point where I felt really underpowered and underprepared for the tasks that our characters got set up to do. I would have liked to have a few easier jobs at lower levels to get into the game and role before we got stuck up against demonic security guards. I liked my character (Sig), but in general, I dislike pregen characters and 1st level characters and in this, I got both. So this game if it's reloaded in exactly the same way wouldn't be my first or second choice.

3rd place (tie): The Argent Cyma -- I don't think I mind being non-good... I don't think many of my characters have been good aligned anyway. However, again, starting at 1st level really urks me. This would be bumped up to 2nd place if the starting level were 3rd to 4th, but as a 1st level start, its not going to be very high. That being said, I'll still likely play in the game, even if its "on the side," I just won't enjoy it as much until we get a bit higher in level.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The 4th-level start in Immigrant Song is specifically to facilitate the availability of bugbears as a racial choice, because they have 3 HD and are a +1 LA on top of that.

Whispers Underground is at 3rd because that's the level I started Ancestral Burdens. I'm not expecting a repeat of AB, because that's not terribly likely in a randomized sandbox kind of game. But Whispers is the "safe" option, in the sense that it's a known quantity that is designed to do the same basic things in the same basic way as its spiritual predecessor. From the player's perspective, I think it's probably the closest thing to a known quantity out of these options.

I'll be pleased to run any of these, obviously. I'd have to be a special kind of masochist to propose a game I don't want to run.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I'm interested in all of them, with some caveats.

1) Low level play tends to be uninteresting to me. When many characters can casually die in a single die roll (such as falling 10 feet), that's not super heroic.

2) I'm not super interested in pregens.

Everything else looks fun.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

The Argent Cyma. All day. I'll play a character that will make Cole, Gideon, and Dalvar look like Care Bears.

Not many DMs can handle evil parties. I think you can Tal so that would be interesting to me.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

It looks virtually certain that one way or another, I will run The Argent Cyma. I've already had three people chime in with that one as their first choice, and a couple of others are making noises along the lines of, "It's not my favorite, but I'd still play in it." I'm delighted, because I've wanted to run something like this for a very long time.

Aureshan Saints: Reloaded is solidly in last place; it's only on the board at all because Fixxxer voted "no preference." Second place currently is a tie between Whispers Underground and Immigrant Song.

But DDMW and MinusInnocence haven't spoken up yet so the balance could change. Unless they both express a rampant yearning to play Aureshan Saints, I think it's safe to assume we just won't be playing that one. Of course they could do just that, but I'll be a little surprised if it happens.

It seems more likely to me that either The Argent Cyma will be our game, or that I will run it in addition to one of the current second-place offerings.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I get the distinct feeling that the Argent Cyma is Tal's malicious attempt to forge a real-world cult of personality to do his nefarious bidding.

I'm in.

For my second choice, I'd play Immigrant Song.

I'm not a fan of pre-generated characters, so I'd decline to play Aureshan Saints: Reloaded, and as a current player in Ancestral Burdens, I'm not keen to play in a game that is so similar conceptually.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay, so here's the situation.

I have nine interested players (unless Mallon decides that he wants to cut back and just play Oskav). That's a really big group, and it's a touch larger than I'm really comfortable having all in one party.

We'll get his vote on this, and then I'll let you guys know which two campaigns look like they're going to be the top two. The Argent Cyma is undoubtedly going to be one of them at this point. And Aureshan Saints definitely isn't going to be one of them.

Once I know what the second-string option is going to be, we'll talk about who's going to play which campaign. It looks like I have a core of four or five people whose reaction to The Argent Cyma is strongly and immediately positive, and another group of about four or five who'd be willing if that was the only thing on offer, but would just as soon do Immigrant Song or Whispers Underground.

So I'm probably going to have to ask people to choose one campaign that they'd rather play.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Argent Cyma would be my first choice. I can hold back, if needed, on the other games.

Talanall
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Noted. @MinusInnocence, what are your preferences on this?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I dig Immigrant Song a LOT.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Thank you.

With that in mind, I know what people want. Immigrant Song and The Argent Cyma are tied for first, so that's what I'm going to run.

We have nine players and two games. I'd really prefer to have less than seven per game, minimum four per game. Does anyone have strong preferences to play one or another of these?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

I guess I prefer Immigrant Song first and then The Argent Cyma second, but the prospect of not playing in both makes me feel like I'll miss out. So if room is limited, I'll just play in Immigrant Song, otherwise, I'll do both.

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new land!

...Put me down for Immigrant Song.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Now I feel bad for not having a plan to include seafaring adventure.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Haliax
Haliax's picture

I can be ok with immigrant song. Cyma intrigues me more but the level one thing rubs me raw too. I can live with it but I only want to play in one game at a time since I’m new

Talanall
Talanall's picture

So which am I putting you down for?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Is an evil alignment available in Immigrant Song? If so, win, win.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

If someone asks me for a character concept that I consider incompatible with a request that someone else made first, then I use a first come, first served approach. That can go in more than one direction; if someone asks me for a paladin and someone else asks later for evil, I refuse. If someone asks for evil and I'm later asked for a paladin, I refuse.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I like both Immigrant Song and The Argent Cyma. I'll happily play in either or both of these games, so feel free to use me to balance the scales by putting me down wherever there's space.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Talanall wrote:

If someone asks me for a character concept that I consider incompatible with a request that someone else made first, then I use a first come, first served approach. That can go in more than one direction; if someone asks me for a paladin and someone else asks later for evil, I refuse. If someone asks for evil and I'm later asked for a paladin, I refuse.


Sweet. Too early to request to play a Lawful Evil Fire Variant Druid/Monk Hobgoblin? Work towards Fire Heart.

If I appear eager and excited it is because I am.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The fire variant is a no, unless you want to take a +2 LA instead of the standard hobgoblin's +1 LA (the +2 Int is really a big deal). Otherwise that's completely acceptable. Does this mean you're more interested in Immigrant Song, now?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

If I can get an evil aligned PC in before someone wants to roll with a LG Paladin then, yeah IS, checks both boxes for me. If that is a no go then IS takes a backseat to AC.

I'll pass on the Fire Variant, too high of a cost. Would all variants be an additional +1 LA? Asking for a friend.

Darker

Unless I've missed a more suitable race for a highly skilled martial EVIL character, I plan on playing an orc using a combo of fighter and barbarian levels. Might add in a level of ranger in the mix if the party lacks anyone with the wilderness/survival skillset and the added benefit of being able to use a selection of wands would be pretty nice.

Also may consider a paladin if the Paladin Variants: Freedom, Slaughter, And Tyranny are allowed.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I'm happy to fill a needed role in any and all campaigns. Let me know what we need.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Darker wrote:

Unless I've missed a more suitable race for a highly skilled martial EVIL character, I plan on playing an orc using a combo of fighter and barbarian levels. Might add in a level of ranger in the mix if the party lacks anyone with the wilderness/survival skillset and the added benefit of being able to use a selection of wands would be pretty nice.

Immigrant Song is goblinoids only, if this was meant for that campaign. Orcs aren't a valid racial choice at this time. If it's meant for the Argent Cyma, then it's a valid choice, but you may regret it, because you'll probably be the only orc in a city of ~13,000, and the prevailing culture is low-key racist to the detriment of orcs.

Quote:

Also may consider a paladin if the Paladin Variants: Freedom, Slaughter, And Tyranny are allowed.

I might be talked around to the Paladin of Tyranny variant.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Board Rider wrote:

If I can get an evil aligned PC in before someone wants to roll with a LG Paladin then, yeah IS, checks both boxes for me. If that is a no go then IS takes a backseat to AC.

I'll pass on the Fire Variant, too high of a cost. Would all variants be an additional +1 LA? Asking for a friend.

There is an air variant goblin, I think. If you want that, you can pursue it without a level adjustment.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Ah, so we are limited to goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears? How about blues?

I’m assuming we have to take the humanoid levels if we are going with the latter 2 races, so playing a bugbear would mean not having a class, right?

Are there any other acceptable races?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

You can (potentially) play any Humanoid with the (Goblinoid) subtype that is to be found in the SRD. I'm willing to discuss racial choices that fall within that fairly broad set of criteria, including variant races, psionics, etc. As demonstrated by my recent chatter with Board Rider, I may not allow something to go forward exactly as written. But anything that counts as a goblinoid and is to be found at www.d20srd.org/index.htm is potentially on the table and is open for discussion.

Core hobgoblins are a +1 LA race, but they don't have racial Hit Dice. You'd play one as a 3rd-level character for ECL 4. A bugbear has three racial Hit Dice and a +1 LA, so yes, you would start play without having a class if you play a bugbear. I set start level to 4th specifically in order to allow them to be playable for this campaign. Bugbears are proficient with simple weapons, light armor, and shields, and they have pretty decent racial skills. I'm pretty sure that Dafyd is planning to play one, and advance him as a martial combatant.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Air goblin rogue/soulknife?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

That's a valid race/class combination, yes. I feel like you guys are going, "Is he serious? This is really unlike him. Maybe he's had a stroke and he thinks he's using different words than he's actually using. He never lets us do anything weird, and now it's like he's declaring open season. Is it a trap??"

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Not I said the fly. But I think its a good idea to clear ideas with the DM before delving too deep into a concept. Hence my question on the fire variant. Also, I imagine some players are excited for something new after a TPK.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

All of these are 3.5?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Yes. If all of these had fallen flat, I might have come back with a couple of offerings in D20 Modern.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Cool. SRD only races/classes, or are some supplements allowed?

Darker

Well, I'll take advantage of that stroke.

I'm thinking either a martially incline hobgoblin with some combo of fighter/barbarian/evil paladin/ranger levels. I'm really going to miss the first concept that was going to use an orcish double axe, but this will be cool too. OR an air goblin archer that might have levels in rogue, ranger or even savage bard.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Cronono wrote:

Cool. SRD only races/classes, or are some supplements allowed?

SRD-only for races, unless you find something in https://www.dndarchive.com/content/world-tolrea that you think you can sell me on. Material from the linked campaign setting is generally acceptable in terms of gear, feats, cleric domains, etc.

Classes are SRD-only, unless someone wants to play the homebrew shaman that I'm still playtesting. Doing so comes with the standard disclaimer that it's a work in progress that is subject to tweaking and retcon without much notice from me, not friendly to beginners to 3.5, etc.

It's my general policy that I don't allow other outside supplements except on a very strict case-by-case basis. As a rule I need to have ready access to a copy of the requested supplement. If you ask for something from a supplement, expect me to vet any individual item/spell/feat/(prestige) class/etc. The more non-Core, non-setting stuff is already in play, the stricter I tend to be when approached for requests for other exotica. Power creep is a thing.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Darker wrote:

Well, I'll take advantage of that stroke.

I'm thinking either a martially incline hobgoblin with some combo of fighter/barbarian/evil paladin/ranger levels. I'm really going to miss the first concept that was going to use an orcish double axe, but this will be cool too. OR an air goblin archer that might have levels in rogue, ranger or even savage bard.

These are both valid choices. If you decide you want some kind of evil paladin variant, we'll have to talk in more detail.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Darker wrote:

Well, I'll take advantage of that stroke.

I'm thinking either a martially incline hobgoblin with some combo of fighter/barbarian/evil paladin/ranger levels. I'm really going to miss the first concept that was going to use an orcish double axe, but this will be cool too. OR an air goblin archer that might have levels in rogue, ranger or even savage bard.

If you decide on an air goblin would you condsider buddying up? I am planning on wilderness rogue/soulknife so I am sure we can come up with something.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

For The Argent Cyma, which type of cult are we members of? Do we know how we were recruited? I would posit that having 2 or 3 levels would give us a background that would make us desirable to the cult, but if we're playing teenagers being recruited by the evil Foot Clan of Ninja to vex the Turtles, I can buy into that. Levels would justify more backstory so I could get my mustache twirling on properly.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I have some flexibility on the sort of organization you'll be members of. For now, I'd prefer to just leave it at "malevolent secret society." It's not necessarily a cult, except in the strictest, most etymologically reductive sense of the term, as something which is hidden.

A lot of "secret societies" in the Tolrea setting are really just groups of merchants who're inventing excuses to have drunken orgies, or else they're like the Masons and are involved in charity work and networking. Most, even these harmless and somewhat banal ones, also have at least a token religious element to them. Blahblahblah, "'fertility' rites." Yada yada yada, "do good in secret so the Goddess will reward you in public."

Mixed in, you also have cells of revolutionaries, gangsters, cultists, and other dangerous or evil characters like that. It's not always very easy to tell them apart if you're a new recruit, because there's sometimes an inner circle of true initiates and a larger group of dues-paying members who're just in it for a way to have their name discreetly associated with some kind of charitable endeavor, or as an excuse to dress up in fancy clothes, do some drugs and take turns spooging all over a nubile young women once a month. They may not have any idea that they're underwriting something more significant.

I'm hoping that later tonight, I will be able to post something more detailed about the general setting for The Argent Cyma, which I hope will assist people in generating character ideas. I've got some high-level plotlines in the works for this campaign, but they're broad outlines that I expect to adapt to fit circumstances, so there'll be a certain amount of give-and-take as we get closer to a campaign start.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I don't know what campaign still has space, but I would be interested in a Goblin shaman for Immigrant Song and I have a couple of evil ideas for that game.

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

I'll be working on a TN Bugbear for Immigrant Song, and if he ever gains a level, it'll be either a level of fighter or barbarian, for planning purposes.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Right now, it is looking like I have rough character concepts, or at least a reasonably clear statement of preference for the following people for the following campaigns:

@Board Rider: Immigrant Song (character).
@Dafyd: Immigrant Song (character).
@Darker: Immigrant Song (character).
@Fixxxer: Immigrant Song (character, but no preference and also has ideas about TAC).
@Cronono: Immigrant Song (character, but no preference and also has ideas about TAC).
@MinusInnocence: Immigrant Song (preference).
@Obsidian_Spoon: The Argent Cyma (preference).

@Haliax has sent thoroughly mixed signals about his preferences, to the effect that he prefers The Argent Cyma but doesn't want to start at first level, and doesn't prefer Immigrant Song, but likes not starting at first level. And so he guesses he can live with either. And he's not used to this group or this format, so he would prefer to play one or the other, not both.

So I'm assigning him to The Argent Cyma, because five people have already presented me with rough ideas for Immigrant Song, a sixth has unambiguously said that he likes it best, and that's really the upper limit of what I really want to have running in a single campaign.

@deadDMwalking apparently is moving towards The Argent Cyma, or at least he's asking questions about it. I'm going to treat that as an expression of preference. Sucker.

As a side note, if Board Rider wants a druid/monk, he'd need to be LN, because druids have to have a neutral component to their alignment, and monks have to be lawful. So if he wants to play an evil character it's not going to be a druid/monk.

That gives me a six-man group for Immigrant Song, so I'm going to say that one's full now, unless someone decides he'd rather duck out and play in The Argent Cyma instead.

Fixxxer has stated plainly that he's into The Argent Cyma and would happily play in both campaigns, so I'm pleased to have him. That gives me a four-man party for that campaign: Spoons, Fixxx, Haliax, and DDMW. I have up to two more seats, if any of you are thirsty to join a secret society.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

I want a seat at the Argent Cyma game. Despite posting about a goblinoid PC, AC is my preference.

I still want to play in Immigrant Song, and will gladly play in both games, but I understand if I cannot play in both.

As a side note the monk/druid idea has been aced. Air variant goblin wilderness rogue/soulknife is the plan for Immigrant Song (if I can remain in that group).

Argent Cyma will probably be a cleric or druid. Race undetermined but most likely a human or half elf.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I'll take the last seat for Argent Cyma too.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

My first post in this thread was Argent Cyma as my first choice. It was pretty clear that Immigrant Song was gonna be full up.

For characters, I'm thinking of maybe making an incestuous real estate developer with a bad habit of stiffing the people who work for him and inherited his wealth with bad hair. It's like this idea is already fully formed in my head, but I don't know where it comes from. Oh, and probably human.

Darker

I want a seat! I said I wanted both! I want to play a human thug fight variant.

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

If there's a spot in a second game anywhere on the forum, so not just one of yours, Tal, I'm interested in being part of a second game besides just Cyma. I'd be part of a Immigrant if spot opened. Any other openings?

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