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Brave, New World

DF 5: There is Always Hope Or Kill 'Em All, Let Ender Sort 'Em Out

by Charles Dunwoody
Jan 04,2006

 

Brave New World

DF 5: Knickers and Necronomicons

By Charles Dunwoody

We were only able to game once in December so we didn't get to the big unveil and the introduction of the alternate material world to the PCs. We did, however, have a huge argument between players that hurt my head and caused me about two weeks of extra work to untangle.

I will have my revenge, however, in January. More about that next month.

This month, I'm going to cover two things. Some of my ideas on the world of Ender. And some of the alternate campaigns I considered while dreaming of ways to kill off my players' characters.

Setting: Warforged Empire in the World of Ender

I've decided that many of the daimyos in the world of Ender are psiforged, either psychic warriors or multiclassed psion/samurai. Rank and file soldiers are usually just samurai. The Lord of Blades has changed his name to Shogun and has a variety of psionic, martial, and artificer abilities.

Some warforged are also artificers and a few are clerics. The clerics take the domains Law and Mind and revere Ender like a saint, using him as an example of what happens if you trust non-forged. The do not have access to cure spells, instead gaining repair spells and the ability to spontaneously cast them.

Many changelings are ninjas or sorcerers. I'm not going to use the wu-jen, since the Complete Spell Compendium is out and it's geared toward PHB classes.

Shifters tend to be rangers or clerics with the animal and chaos domains. I see chaotic neutral nature priests serving a savage version of nature and tearing the enemies of the warforged apart with savage glee.

Kalashtar are psions mostly, with a few sorcerers or other classes in their ranks. They are forbidden from becoming psychic warriors.

And Now For Something Completely Different

I have a lot of ideas rolling around in my head that I can't currently use. I'm committed to the campaign of Darkness Falls and perhaps that means I should be committed, but I still come up with other campaigns I could play someday.

And let's be honest. Most GMs at one point or another convince themselves that starting over will lead to the perfect campaign. This time my players will create characters that both work together and fit into the campaign nicely. Each adventure will proceed flawlessly and without a hitch. I'll get the respect I deserve.

Yeah right.

Anyway, while I managed to talk myself down from the ledge and haven't gone through with any plans for committing some atrocities on the characters, I still like some of the alternate campaign ideas I came up with.

The Drow War

I really like the idea behind Mongoose Publishing's Ruins of the Dragon Lord. A boxed set for levels 1-20. Cool.

But the Drow War tops even the box set. Three massive tomes, each taking PCs up ten levels, finishing at 30th level. I don't know of any other company supporting a campaign that goes ten levels into Epic. Not even Paizo with its excellent Adventure Path series of module goes so far.

And the first book in the Drow War is well written. It is so far from a simple dungeon crawl that I don't have time to list all the roleplaying bits and twists and turns in it. It has a simple hook for the PCs, but the hook is elegant in my eyes. And it includes a whole world as background information!

I think the Drow War will be the series of adventure modules to beat in the years to come.

HARP

Gryphon World and Cyradon are excellent. Cyradon has all the trappings of high fantasy without much of the assorted baggage of D&D. Now, if ICE just made modules....

Air Eberron

PCs are adepts, aristocrats, experts, and warriors in Eberron flying an airship for profit as the possibility of war overshadows all. Sharn is their home city, but they travel wherever the gold is.

Dark Realms

PCs are archivists occultists, dread necromancers necromancers, hexblades sorcerers, rogues no sneak attack, get feats instead, scouts scoundrels, spirit shamans shamans, swashbucklers bravos, and warlocks adventuring in a world of Dark Renaissance. The gods are forgotten, gunpowder has made armor nearly obsolete, and arcane magic calls on dark power.

Powerful guilds control the monarchies of all realms with a monopoly on skilled artificers an NPC only class that make magic items. Some guilds even rule openly in some kingdoms. The PCs are freelances, independent operatives who take on quests to eliminate rival guild assets, steal magic items, kidnap skilled artificers, protect guild leaders, and perform other quests as need.

Freelances risk sanity and life working for the guilds, but most dream of finding the world's holy grail-an artifact of terrible power that will make those who find it nearly all powerful and rulers of their world. Meanwhile, realm fights realm in guild battles that result in horrible casualties, wealth and the decadence of a few fuels urban decay, and creatures of nightmare hunt the rural areas of the world.

Exalted 2nd Edition

Maybe someday I'll get on the rpg.net bandwagon and give Exalted a whirl. Heck, even Werewolf holds some interest for me.

Etherscope

Goodman Games and Malladin's Gate Press actually made an interesting D20 Modern setting. I know, I know pull the other leg right?

No really. Although the name sounds like an unpleasant instrument a doctor would use on a man just celebrating his 40th birthday, the idea behind Etherscope is really cool. I mean its got cyberpunk, Victorian corsets, and Cthulu-inspired horror.

Now I gotta go get my knickers and Necronomican and jack in, scope up, and explore the world of 1984 that never was.

What Comes Next

If you can't tell from the wandering diatribe that serves as this month's column, I need a rest at Arkham. But wait, there's more!

>From Ender's tomb I stab at thee quoted from a rare warforged bard, this quote is now a warforged curse directed toward an enemy.

The big unveil. Massive changes. Violent enemies laying dead at the PCs feet. More on the world creation of both Terra and Ender.

Plus I don't have to work on Monday.

May your adamantine joints never grow rusty or be boiled down and sold by your money-grubbing, rule-lawyering, meta-gaming PC enemies warforged
goodbye,
Charlie

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