Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Campaign: Explanation

As I mentioned before, I'm a full-time nontraditional college student. That means, in a nutshell, that I don't have enough time to worry about the fact that I'm too old to be in college. One thing that I can't help but do is mine my classes for RPG ideas. The following is my brief pitch for what this campaign is going to be about. I'm not going to bother calling out all the historic and literary references that inspired these ideas, except in the broadest sense. They should, for the most part, be readily apparent, as I'm not trying to write the great American novel here, just tap into the same fertile ground that has inspired fantasy RPGs since their creation.

What follows is my stream-of-consciousness thoughts on the campaign. While I do have rules to back most of this up, that will have to wait for a future post. 

Basic Premise
The campaign takes place in Brynland, a snowy land of war-like tribes who live on the outskirts of the Ludal Empire. A generation ago, King Reinfried I, called Reinfried the Great, used his superior military cunning to greatly expand his holdings, and Valdland represents the far northern border of that expansion.

Reinfried's successor and current King of Ludal, Reinfried II, has found his father's empire difficult to maintain. A series of costly rebellions, plus war in the south, have combined to largely drain the royal treasury. In these economic conditions, a remote place like Valdland, populated by armed and belligerent peoples, might be the first place to slip from King Reinfried's control, if not for a very unique location: The Valley of the Last Battle.

The Ludal people follow a monotheistic faith that worships Telnos of the Eternal Flame. The Telnins (as they call themselves) believe that this valley, which rests in the very heart of Valdland, will one day be the location of the final apocalyptic battle between Law and Chaos that will decide the fate of the world. The valley is currently controlled by an alarming collection of monstrous humanoids, who themselves hold the site to be sacred. Thus, King Reinfried II, at the church's urging, has called for able-bodied members of the faith to take up arms and help secure the Valley of the Last Battle in the name of their god. Though only a brave few have taken up this call, Reinfried hopes the campaign will help refill his coffers and bolster the spirit of his ailing empire.

A few local Valdlanders have joined the Ludal campaign as well. While they don't share the Ludalian religion, their own local traditions also hold the valley to be an important location; it is the supposed final resting place of the first Valdic King, the legendary Ulfrith the Wise. That the caves are also supposedly filled with lost treasures is no small incentive to the more adventerous-minded Valdlanders, either.

PC Options
The PCs have a choice; they can run local Valdlanders or outsiders from the Ludal Empire. There are also dwarves, and I haven't decided on whether elves or halflings will be an option.

Auslanders (foreigners) are humans who have come to Valdland on King Reinfried's Campaign. They have access to heavier armor (plate is not readily available in Valdland, so the locals are not trained in its use). Auslanders may be fighters, magic-users, clerics, or thieves and use the standard rules.
Valdlanders (locals) are humans local to the campaign area, and have their own motives for taking on the valley. Valdland has been under Ludal control for 40 years and, while there is some resentment, the local lord is a fair and honorable ruler who has earned the Valdlanders' begrudging respect.

Valdlander fighters can't use heavy armor, but they are extraordinarily skilled with the use of shields and spears. They don't have clerics, but instead may choose to be a gothi, a cleric-variant that uses rune-magic and cannot turn undead. Although they may become magic-users, doing so marks them as a bit of an outcast, since magic of that sort is an export from Ludal.

Dwarves: The dwarves have a somewhat removed relationship from both Ludal and Valdland characters. They have their own settlement, many miles away in the Diamond Peaks, but maintain a strong trade presence in Valdland. The dwarves are master craftsmen and represent the only reliable source of plate armor, as well as a variety of quality weapons and other expensive goods in the area. While their are a few dwarves willing to brave the dangers of the Valley of the Last Battle, their motivations remain a mystery.

No comments:

Post a Comment