For the Love of the Game is basically a kind of throwback to the days of my childhood playing First Edition D&D. Playing characters towards a concept, rather than a build. Telling a story, rather than just refereeing combat. Fun over rules.
The premise centers around a diverse group of characters, brought together by circumstance, and thrust into an ever-widening situation that threatens much more than just their lives.It has been sixty-five years since the Great War ravaged the land. An age of peace has come, and ushered in unprecedented prosperity. People of all races live together in harmony, for the first time in centuries. High atop the massive keep of Caer Drogos, High King Draeghar rules the human lands. Various lesser Kings pay him tribute, and keep his peace. In the Mountains, the dwarves work wonders every day, having finally beaten back their ancient enemy, the drow. Immense halls that house craftsmen and smiths are busy day and night, fashioning tools and trinkets that fetch a great price in the outside world. Skilled bugbear hunters roam the northern tundra, living off the cold snowmelt, and the elk their unerring arrows bring down. The Forest of Urellion, home of the Elf King Gandrian, is a peaceful, beautiful place, where the denizens of the forest dwell in harmony with the world around them. On the Karngoth Plains, nomadic tribes of orcs follow great herds of horses, living off the land, taking from it no more than they give.
Magic, long despised after its role in the Great War, is making a comeback. Wise masters teach from ancient texts at seven mage academies throughout the lands. If magic is to be trusted again, then it can only be shared with those who have earned that trust. Students study for long years before they are taught their first spell, and many who apply are deemed unworthy for training. Where once there was a mage to be seen on almost every corner, they are a rarity in these times, the few who excel at spellcraft often choosing to remain in the academies, teaching those who come seeking knowledge. More come every year, for the lure of power is not easily denied. Many who come do not pass the tests, and are sent away, crestfallen. But the ones who are judged worthy... well, they make miracles.
It is a time of introspection and searching, as well. Great temples soar to unimaginable heights, housing acolytes who seek to serve the people, through service to god. These houses of healing and teaching are beacons to the weary traveler, and treasure troves to those who seek enlightenment. Fraternal paladinic orders bring together members of different faiths, forging bonds of brotherhood in all that seek to battle evil, wherever they may find it. The various churches of the realms enjoy unprecedented popularity and strength, many having turned to faith when confronted by the horrors wrought by magic during the war. But this, like all things, comes at a price. The churches have grown to massive proportions, the power and influence of the heavens spread, perhaps too thinly, over their many followers.
It is an age of peace, and of brotherhood.
But out of the distant past of this idyllic world, a long-forgotten evil bides its time, choosing its moment to stretch out its hand once more, and change the face of the world of men...