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jalapeno_dude Jan 24 '09 8:28pm

Olarune 19th, 994 YK (Free-form Eberron)
FlavorWhat if Siberys were to wake and look down upon the corpse of his sister? Where would his gaze wander? What would he perceive?

Would he spare a second glance for Xen'drik, where the civilization that lasted for tens of thousands of years has been gone for tens of thousands more? Could even his eyes pierce the veils of secrecy that have sprung up around Sarlona? Would his gaze linger on Argonnessen, where those who believe himself his offspring have retreated to contemplate the world from afar?

And could he comprehend the swarming riot of life that has sprung up in an eyeblink on Khorvaire? Would he wonder at the marks that mortals bear and think the doing of his siblings? Would he notice the war that has torn the continent apart for only a few months short of a century? Could he know that in east, south, and west whatever dominion the humans claimed has all but vanished?

Or would his eyes be caught by the gleam of light off marble, the alluring glow of happiness and prosperity even in the midst of war? Could even the Dragon Above tear his gaze away from Metrol?

Whether or not he can, soon he will be forced to turn his gaze away. For tomorrow, the city will burn--and as the smoke streams away so too will its inhabitants, forced to make for themselves new lives.
ExplanationEberron is an outstanding campaign setting; it's a pity that people use it only to run campaigns in.

Let me unpack that statement. The most interesting parts of Eberron, in my opinion, are its history and its politics. Both of these things, however, tend to get jettisoned or at least de-emphasized in the typical campaign. This is made hard to avoid by the very nature of D&D; when you're filling out a character sheet which focuses mainly on fighting, it's reasonable to expect that you're going to do mainly fighting.

I want to invert this expectation, and let people attempt intrigue and inquiry rather than expeditions to Xen'drik. There's a place in Eberron for swashbuckling and treasure-hunting; indeed, campaigns based on these can easily thrive. There's also a place for film noir and murder mysteries, and gritty campaigns also work well in Eberron.

What I'm saying, then, is that I don't really want to run a campaign, which is inevitably forced to subjugate digressions to the needs of the overplot, however epic. I want to explore those digressions and details.

I want interesting characters; I also want interesting players. I want characters who have goals; I want players who have the motivation to create new goals once the first set have been met. I want characters who aren't centered around combat (perhaps characters who have never fought; I want players who are interested in things beyond killing and looting. I want characters who inhabit the world around them; I want players who want to explore and create every last detail of that world. And I want it in Eberron.
PremiseThe campaign will start on the evening of Zor, Olarune 19th, 994 YK. All of the PCs will be in Metrol, though they won't necessarily know each other. When the Day of Mourning begins, all of the PCs will be temporarily thrown together to work to escape--and that will be my first and last act of railroading for the whole game. I don't much care if the PCs stick together after that--it's probable that at least a couple will, but I fully expect everyone to pursue their own agenda.
MechanicsAs I said above, I want to de-emphasize pointless combat in favor of roleplaying. Because of this, you have four choices:

1)Diceless. We roleplay everything out, and together we decide what succeeds and what fails based entirely on what best suits the narrative.

2)GURPS 4th Edition. If you want some way of quantifying your character's abilities, GURPS is a great way to do this that doesn't focus primarily on combat. I have some familiarity with GURPS, though I'm not entirely comfortable with it yet--but I'd like to learn. So if you go this route, I'd recommend that you know the system well enough to correct me when I screw up.

3)D&D 3.5. This is, after all, what Eberron was designed for, and I wouldn't be much of a DM if I couldn't handle it. If you're comfortable with this, go ahead and use it, but be aware that battle will be secondary.

4)Something else. If your application is compelling enough, I'm willing to try to learn whatever rules-light system you want, within reason.

A special note about D&D 4: a central premise of 4th Edition is that PCs are fundamentally special, and aren't equal to NPCs. Thus for instance whereas 3.5 statted out monsters and NPCs the same way it did PCs, 4th edition abandons this. That's all well and good for most campaigns, and I have nothing against 4th edition--but a central premise of this game is that your character is special because they work at it through their words and actions, not because they started out that way. So 4th edition is out for this game.
Character CreationNo matter which mechanical system you choose, what I care most about is your character concept. This can be best summed up by re-reading my statements in the "Explanation" section of this advertisement. I want your character to feel like part of Eberron, and I want them to have personality. If that's met, everything else is secondary.

GURPS: Go with whatever power limit you want, but keep in mind that the PCs I want are inhabitants of their world, not godlike beings who function outside of it. So I'd hope you'll voluntarily restrict yourself--part of the fun for me is building up your character from zero to hero (or villain, or criminal mastermind, or whatever), so if you must have a power level go with 100 points. If you're looking for mechanics for things like races and dragonmarks, hunt around in this thread and see if you can find anything that's helpful. Otherwise, we'll make it up as we go along.

D&D: Again, go with whatever level you want (no gestalt, though). Game balance will be provided by the fact that we're roleplaying, not rollplaying. Thus I don't care if one of you is 1st level and one is 10th. In the spirit of what I said above, though, characters just starting out will be looked upon most favorably by me. So I'd recommend 1st or 2nd level, and anything past 4th level will have to be really intriguing. Similarly, you're free to assign attributes as you see fit--but please nothing much above 18 before racial adjustments, and those who intentionally limit themselves will be looked upon favorably. Add a number of cross-class skills equal to your wisdom modifier to your class skill list. Oh, and one last thing--double your number of skill points. Skills are good.
Acceptable Source MaterialAll of the Eberron books, obviously, both for flavor and crunch. I have everything else D&D 3.5, and I own or can borrow all of the GURPS 4th books. For any other wacky system, please provide me a link to the rules somewhere on the internet.
ResourcesI welcome people new to Eberron, as long as they're willing to put some effor into learning the setting. The articles here are a decent starting points, as is the Wikipedia article. In addition, the Grand History of Eberron, a freely available fan-made document, contains everything you'll ever need to know about Eberron, though it's best as a reference rather than an introduction.
PacingAs we'll be in solo threads most of the time, as fast as you want to go. I'd like to achieve one post per day at least, but that's not entirely necessary.
Application ProcessI'm not going to provide a recommended format for the application. Give me whatever it takes. Thinking about what I might want is a sign that you have some minimum level of commitment to this game.

But there are two things that I want from you in addition to whatever else you want to provide. First, I want a reason why your character is in Metrol the day before the Mourning. Second, for my own selfish purposes I want a possible explanation for the Mourning. This can be what your character believes (or will believe in a few days), or it can be something you yourself have dreamed up. Who knows, maybe one of your explanations is actually true!

Applications will be due on Friday, 1/30, at 8 PM EST. You don't have to have everything perfectly worked out by then, but I'll only take into account what's been posted or PMed when I decide who to accept.

Speaking of accepting people, I'd love to accept everyone who proves that they're interested by submitting a good application. But the demands of RL mean that I can't spend all of my waking hours running this game (just most of them ;)). So I'll probably accept 4-6 players at first, certainly no more than 8.

I realize this advertisement is incoherent, but most of what you need should be in there. For guidance, consult the Explanation section first, see the planning thread here, and realize that the answer to most mechanical questions will be "whatever works best for your character concept."



lasseram: <censored>, D&D 3.5
Jomonkey527: Armstead, D&D 3.5
Chryson: Gypsy, D&D 3.5
Crossroad: Baelonn d'Cannith, diceless
pink peril: Sabriel D'Cannith, diceless
Galedeep: Estrick Tiberiun Gennet, GURPS
ShadowBright: Teela, D&D 3.5
koipond: <censored>, ?
Sarcastro: <censored>, ?

lasseram Jan 24 '09 8:35pm

WOHOOOOOOOOOO! I'm so up for this, but I think perhaps the deadline is a bit harsh as Friday 1/23-09 is yesterday.
(At least in my part of the World...)
I'll take my chances and apply nonetheless.

edit: Expect a 3.5 whisper gnome beguiler any time soon.

jalapeno_dude Jan 24 '09 8:36pm


Originally Posted by lasseram (Post 1623257)
WOHOOOOOOOOOO! I'm so up for this, but I think perhaps the deadline is a bit harsh as Friday 1/23-09 is yesterday.
(At least in my part of the World...)
I'll take my chances and apply nonetheless. ;)

I meant 1/30. Oops. :p

C-K Jan 24 '09 8:42pm

I'm up for this one as well as I love role play over roll play and haven't had the opportunity to play on that is totally narrative based. Let me break open my books and will see what I come up with. It's 3.5 for me but I'd welcome help to learn GURPS as I like what I've heard about it in the planning thread.

Miata Jan 24 '09 8:42pm

I do have a question, just to clarify things a bit. Since the players won't be forced to work as a group, and the game in itself seems pretty freeform, we can apply in whatever system we want right?

So from my understanding that does mean every player picks the system he or she wants to play in individually, and the game will be run in different systems at the same time, is that correct?

jalapeno_dude Jan 24 '09 8:49pm

@Miata: That is correct. The game will be run in different systems at the same time. Obviously that has game balance issues, but as I'm not really worried about game balance that shouldn't be a problem.

@everyone: I've made an addition to the character creation guidelines for 3.5, to deal with the problem of fighters not being able to take interesting skills, etc.

Miata Jan 24 '09 9:18pm

Now that sounds most interesting.

It brings up another question tho. I am new to the Eberron setting and need to read up on it first, but I already have an idea for a character concept. I'm thinking about playing a character aspiring to be a master thief. Aspiring as in currently still being level 1 and therefore still being relatively new to her "craft".

I was thinking about basing the character concept around the D&D 3.5 Ninja class, which does provide some cool non combat skills and abilities that would be perfect for stealth and burglary (like the ability to turn invisible for example, or some bonuses to skills like jump, climb etc.) The question is: Do oriental classes like the Ninja work in Eberron, and would you allow it in your game?

JohnnyJohn Jan 24 '09 9:18pm

I'll probably play a Thuranni Urban Ranger that intends on becoming a Shadow Hunter. His ultimate agenda in life would be to reunite the fractured elven houses. Would that be something that suits your wants J-D or would you prefer something else entirely?

jalapeno_dude Jan 24 '09 9:38pm


I was thinking about basing the character concept around the D&D 3.5 Ninja class, which does provide some cool non combat skills and abilities that would be perfect for stealth and burglary (like the ability to turn invisible for example, or some bonuses to skills like like jump, climb etc.) The question is: Do oriental classes like the Ninja work in Eberron, and would you allow it in your game?
In theory, Eberron is supposed to contain absolutely everything that's in any official 3.5 sourcebook. In practice, this isn't always true, but it works for the Ninja.

The Player's Guide to Eberron (p.81) gives two possibilities for ninjas. First, it states that the Dhakaani Empire (an ancient empire of goblins and hobgoblins overthrown 5,000 years ago by the extraplanar invasion of the Daelkyr) had a ninja tradition. If you want to emphasize the oriental aspect, you'd probably want to go this route.

If you're interested in the stealth and burglary more than the oriental flavor, though, ninjas are also associated with the Mark of Shadow, a dragonmark which provides stealth-related abilities. The Mark is associated with the elven Houses of Phiarlan and Thuranni, organizations concerned with spying and intelligence-gathering (though in theory, they're the "Entertainer's Guild") who split in 972 YK. If you go that route, you could choose to join one of the houses, which gives you a built-in role in the world and motivation. Or you could choose to be a freelancer or go-between between the two sides.

So the answer is yes, I would most certainly allow it. If you want more information on Thuranni and Phiarlan , see p.152-4, p.348-51, p.354-56 of the free Grand History of Eberron linked to above. More information on the Dhakaani is on p.36-9, 40-43 for history, and p.146-151 for the state of goblins and hobgoblins in the setting's present.

EDIT: Just saw JohnnyJohn's post. If both of you were accepted, somehow I think you'd cross paths a lot. :p But to answer your question, that could certainly be interesting. Write something up.

lasseram Jan 24 '09 10:15pm

Elath d'Sivis
application for JP's eyes only. ;)

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