Eberron is a world which has interested and entertained me since its release. I’ve tried (exhaustively) to get a game going in this setting and delve into its many mysteries… and this time, dadgummit, we are going to do it!
Dreams of a Better Age will be a 4th Edition Eberron game starting at 1st level. It will begin in Sharn as our player characters are brought into the orbits and machinations of the various power groups of the world. You might forestall or spark the next War, end the reign of the daughters of Sora Kell, cure the Mournland, or help/hinder one or all of the dragonmarked houses in their quests for power and profit. You may find yourselves flying on dragon-back to gaze down on the great Prophecy written on the world or sliding into the depths Khyber to face the Mad Ones Who Lie Beneath.
There is an underlying plot to this game, a reason to my rambling, but the scenarios and players in this plot aren’t quite set yet. Before I let all of the important things congeal, I want input from you. Eberron is not a world that is hurting for antagonistic beings and organizations… and even in the mundane political turmoil between the Five Nations, fascinating intrigue can be found. I want to explore it all, you see. I feel we have time to really tackle all sorts of things, which is why I want your input. Part of your application will be “What do you want to do in this game?” Please pay attention to this section of the application; I really would like to know. If none of the people I accept care about the Dragonmarked houses, I’ll deemphasize them, instead adding a subplot about the Aerenai, the Karrnathi, or one of the many other power groups of Eberron. If half the party makes inquisitives and the other half makes politicians, I won’t send everyone to Xen’Drik… at least not for too long. The sorts of characters you make will influence the game we end up doing. If you want lots of exploring and not too much political intrigue, we can do that. If you want lots of intrigue and not much combat, I can do that too (GLADLY).
We’re all in it together and we’re all supposed to have fun.
To that end, there’s something else I want your input on from the get-go. If anyone has any house rules that seem particularly well suited for 4e PbP, or any clever or interesting ways of handling combat in this system, I would love to hear them (preferably in the OOC Thread in the Game Forum, to avoid cluttering the GA). 4e is a VERY tactical combat system and that can cause a lot of complications and quagmires during PbP play… if anyone’s got something that seems to work, I’d love to at least take a look. By this I mean, house rules, mapping programs, map hosting websites, etc.
This game will begin in Sharn, the City of Towers. Your character may have spent all of his life in the City, or have this be their first time coming. Heck, the first day of the adventure could be the character's first time in the City... and what a first day that will be.
I don’t really need to tell you all what you need to put in an application: Appearance, Personality, Background, etc. It’s all fairly standard at this point. I’d love some sort of fiction, even if it’s just a character quote to get a feel for their personality. For Background, I don’t require a novel, concise but information-filled is good. Sometimes the Tolkien bug bites, I understand, so if it has got to be long try not to bore me. Oh, and don’t forget the part where you tell me what YOU, as the player, want to see/do during this game.
Style is important, both in terms of catching interest general presentation. Spell carefully! This is a text-based medium; if reading your words makes me mad then perhaps you might want to take up water coloring.
Since I won’t go too deeply into the specifics of the format, I’ll opine a bit on the sorts of things I want.
I want characters with ties to Eberron; characters who I can fit into the world. Getting a horde of name-less, history-less, character-less Fighters sort of defeats the purpose of an Eberron game, I think.
Up until two years ago, there was a war raging that’d been going on for more than three generations. Your character must (Not as a rules requirement, but as a logical one) have some sort of connection to that war, whether he fought in it or didn’t. Is your character a member of a dragonmarked house? Does he have family ties to the houses? Is he Brelish? Cyran? Does he mark Other on the Sivis Census? What’s his Religion? Has he seen or experienced anything unique, important, or dangerous?
Keep the History and flavor of the setting in mind when you’re crafting, this is what I am saying.
If you have no idea what any of that meant, perhaps do a bit of Eberron research, or, heck, just ask.
While I know it’s a bit much to ask to believe that all the players will not know anything about the various secrets of Eberron beyond the info given in the Player’s Guide, I would appreciate if your characters didn’t appear knowing the setting’s big secrets! Those are supposed to be Epic Reveals!
After reading submissions I’m going to give everyone a bunch of questions to answer as part of a “Phase II” for this game announcement thread. It’ll help all parties get properly acquainted with the character submissions.
Once your character is plotted, a stat block is going to be necessary. The stat block isn’t necessary at the beginning, but when you make one I prefer one that is pretty like this:
And when I say I “prefer” it, I mean, “Take notes.”
Character Creation Guidelines
Level: 1 – I plan to be quite liberal with XP awards. Stat Generation and Gold: Standard as in the PHB Acceptable Races:
Player’s Guide to Eberron Races, and Gnomes, Goblins, Half-Orcs, Orcs, and Shifters. Acceptable Classes: PHB, PHB II, Artificer, and Swordmage. Acceptable Sources: All released, non-digital books. I’m banning Dragon magazine as the number of options available in the published materials is more than expansive enough. Any and all Non-Core Powers, Feats, Equipment, etc, need book references.
This game announcement will run for three weeks, until January 23, 2009. At that time I will select five players. Please, do be prepared to meet that deadline.
Lore Sources: This is just to let you all know what sources I will be using for the crafting of the Eberron that’ll be center-stage for this game. I have read and absorbed the following 3.5e books: The Eberron Campaign Setting, and Races of Eberron. I have also absorbed the two 4e Eberron books: Eberron Campaign Guide and Player’s Guide. I am aware that there are various books (some of which I have) that go into detail on some of the more mysterious parts of the world – Dragons of Eberron, Secrets of Xen’Drik, Secrets of Sarlona, The Last War, etc. I’ve read some of them, but haven’t really absorbed them into my conception of Eberron; therefore don’t consider anything they say canon for this game. Likewise, I have read none of the novels and am entirely unaware of their contents. Give those no mind!
There will be an official list of House Rules in the Game Forum. So far there are none, and any House Rules I implement I'm going to first mark as Proposals to get feedback on. Specifically I have a series of rules regarding the mostly underused Rituals of 4e and the Dragonmark feats under consideration.