The Royal Eyes


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Game Information

Game Description

"The Royal Eyes are watching."

A common saying in the court of Aundair, few understand just how significant a warning the statement is. The Royal Eyes serve Queen Aurala as her eyes and ears - and if need be, her weapon. Few know the organization exists; even fewer know just how much reach and influence it has.

The Royal Eyes includes spies, soldiers, scouts, and assassins. However, when a situation becomes critical, time is of the essence, and failure is not an option, Queen Aurala calls upon the special forces known as the Wraiths. As some of the best-trained and best-equipped units under her command, they are the secret heroes of Aundair.


The inspiration for this game came from Mongoose Publishing's Wraith Recon. I didn't like the included setting, but I think the basic concept works well in Eberron.

Concept:
Instead of the usual 'heroes for hire' style game, the party will be a group of patriots who serve the queen as a type of special forces unit. Backed up by some of the most advanced magic ever developed, the Wraith Squad engages and eliminates problems before they can develop into public threats. Though their existence can never be acknowledged, they are some of the greatest heroes their nation has ever known.

The Wraiths are well-equipped for combat, but they are equally as adept in defusing political threats or conducting acts of espionage. A Wraith must be prepared for any eventuality they may come across during a mission.

Character Creation:

  • The party will consist of 5 members - one of each role, plus a wild card to round out any holes in the group's abilities (a ranged striker if the other members are melee, for example).
  • Characters start at Level 1.
  • Characters will be created using the standard 22 point system.
  • Any WotC-published source is acceptable (including MP2, which is not in the Compendium as of this posting).
  • Due to the concept, characters MUST be unflinchingly loyal to Aundair above any other patron. This would have been thoroughly tested before recruitment, so there can be no 'turncoat' or double agent intentions included in a background. This would most likely require being a citizen of Aundair, but if another origin can be designed that includes the loyalty requirement, I'll accept it.
  • MIN-MAXING IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. I'm not looking to kill player characters; I'm more interested in the story. Characters should be specialized in their chosen role, but also have enough flexibility that they can at least be competent in other activities. I find trick ponies to be incredibly boring.
  • Don't bother with equipment. As agents of the crown, equipment will be procured at the start of each mission.
Quote:
A clarification/decision about character creation.

I'm interested more in getting good writers than I am getting good characters. That said, I do want to see a character sheet so I at least get a hint at your character building philosophy. I also don't want people building characters based on whatever strategy they think will get them picked.

Because of this, I'm adding a couple of points (I did claim the right to work out kinks!):
1) The character you provide is important, but is not the end all and be all of your selection. If Defender Submission #23 really blows me away with his background, but I already selected a defender who equally blew me away, I may offer #23 a spot in the game conditional to providing a different character. In other words, I will consider the character you submit to be your preference, but will not absolutely lock you in to playing it.

2) If I do pick your submitted character, the exact build you provided is NOT locked in. Once the party is selected, I'll allow the players to confer and tweak their characters to make a better whole. This won't allow for changes in race or class, but class features, feats, and skills will be allowed to be rebuilt. This will represent the Eyes recruiting the perfect individual skill sets to form a team.
Gameplay:

Quote:
NOTE: Given concerns about the combat method I posted, I'm willing to leave the choice up to the players once the game starts. This isn't freeform narrative because I want to have some defined way to resolve conflict. 4E was chosen because that's the system I currently work in and have the best tools for. In the past, I've had issues with combat slowing the story to a crawl, and that was inevitably when people started disappearing. Thus, the system I posted here.

However, once I have players I'll take a poll. If most people want to control the combat themselves, then we'll go that way. If they want the game to move along and have me control it, then I'll stick with my original plan.
This will be a mostly narrative game; when combat is called for, I will simulate several turns at a time with my own equipment in accordance with player instructions and tactics. Because of this, we will be using the D&D 4th Edition rules. You will not need to be innately familiar with the rules in order to be a player, as the player emphasis will be on the story while I handle the rules off-stage. The purpose of this is to prevent the game from bogging down in combat, so the focus remains on the story.

Essentially, when an encounter begins, I will present a tactical map. I'll ask each player for their character's actions ("I'm going to run towards that gap and try to hold off the enemy advance." or "I'm going to stay in the treeline and try to pick off stragglers while remaining hidden." for example). Then I'll consult each player's general tactics ("Fighter Joe blows his encounter powers as quickly as possible, then uses at-wills to clean up." or "Wizard Jane holds her big guns in reserve until the situation develops, then selects spells as appropriate to the immediate danger."). I'll play out a round or two, possibly more, until I feel the situation has changed enough to solicit the players for any change in their activities.

The map will be posted for round-by-round replay of what happened, accompanied by a narrative description of the action. Then the cycle starts again until the encounter ends.

Disclaimers:
This will be my first attempt at running a game on this site, so please bear with me as I try to work out the kinks.

I'm perfectly open to player feedback, so if there's any issues once the game starts feel free to bring them up.

If I see enough interest, and things go well with the first squad's first mission or two, I may solicit for a second squad. We'll have to see, so there's no promises there.

Any questions before signing up, feel free to ask and I'll try to explain.

I'm going to tentatively select Feb 28 as the last day to submit a character for the game. I'll make my selections on March 1.

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