The year is 837 since the Great Flood. From his high-walled capital, cruel Prince Horace Bar-astan drives his growing empire with an iron fist, levying crushing taxes and conscripting men and women by the thousands to fuel the fires of conquest. His aim is nothing less than to subjugate the other princes of the Crimson Veldt and be hailed as king of the world.
In the streets of Astangard, life is hard and the tax collectors harder. While no official tax rates are published, it is generally accepted that paying half is getting off easy. Corruption is rampant, and the tax squads are known to demand a little extra to line their pockets. Those who will not--or cannot--pay are conscripted on the spot.
You are one of the lucky ones to have been spared the whips and the forced marches, the blood-drenched charges and slaughter-filled stands. For now.
Some people, of course, seem to have managed to avoid both the army and the taxes. But they aren't just the wealthy nobles you'd expect; many are just ordinary tradesmen, even some farmers, who all seem to have much more in the way of houses, food, or clothes than their peers. Curiosity gets the better of you one day as one of your well-off neighbors walks past you in the marketplace near dusk, heading for the seedy side of town. Keeping a safe distance, you follow them to a dark alley near the northern wall, around the back side of a fishmonger's warehouse. There, illuminated by the light of a single torch, is a reinforced wooden door underneath a hand-painted sign reading, "Odd Jobs". Your neighbor quietly opens the door and slips inside.
Is this their secret to success? You have little chance to ponder before the sound of a passing patrol sends you scrambling for cover. You worm your way among the piles of refuse in the alley, your nostrils twitching at the pungent smells of rotting fish guts. Best not to be questioned by the Prince's Guard about your presence in an area rife with crime.
After waiting ten heart-pounding minutes for the guards to leave, you consider your options. You can go home and slave away until you are forced into the army, or you can take your chances that your first step through the door might be your last.
[Game Type and Setting]
This is a D&D 3.5 game set in a standard home-brewed medieval fantasy. Magic is common but distrusted by many due to the fact that most powerful wizards, sorcerers, and clerics are in the employ of Prince Bar-astan. Also, most magical artifacts are valuable and have been taken by the tax squads as payment.
I (Mordae) am the only GM at this time. I have about 18 years of GM experience with pen-and-paper games, plus about 10 years running a role-playing MUD. This is my first shot at PbP GMing but I think I can hold my own :) (I know, I know... famous last words...)
Players run "odd jobs" for a shadowy gangland taskmaster in the medieval city of Astangard. Those who play by his rules have opportunities for greatness (or at least a little peace and prosperity), but inherent in the calling is a high degree of personal risk.
The game will involve a substantial amount of role playing, some hack-and-slash, and a little bit of (sometimes complex) puzzle solving.
Applications will be accepted until we have 4-5 players (4 would be ideal, assuming the balance of character classes is right). I have one player (an old pen-and-paper friend) who has asked for a skill-type character; other than that, the board is open.
Characters should be created at XL1 with a point buy of 28 and maximum die roll for hit points. All classes (except druid) and all races are acceptable; multi-classing is allowed (assuming your character survives long enough to level up). All alignments are acceptable, but I reserve the right to reject TN or CN unless you really know how to play it. All equipment and funds will be provided by the scenario.
[Acceptable Source Material]
Core and PHB II are acceptable. Other rules (prestige classes, feats, etc.) will be considered on a case basis.
I'll personally be using http://www.d20srd.org for convenience.
[Any additional information or requirements]
I would like to see a one to two paragraph background story that describes the character (particularly description and point-of-view/motivation) and their family members (at least their names, ages and occupations). All characters start in or near the large city of Astangard.