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Beyond the Dead-Gray Mist (Diceless Eberron)

 
 
Old Jun 15 '12, 3:05am
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Beyond the Dead-Gray Mist (Diceless Eberron)

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TL/DR: If you're not willing to read this entire post you're probably not going to be interested in this game. Sorry!

Flavor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Oargev ir'Wynarn, Cyran Refugee Camp, Breland, Therendor 4th, 994 YK View Post
People of Cyre! Remnants of my dear homeland! I, Oargev, scion of the ir'Wynarn line, son of Mishann, Queen of Cyre, rightful ruler of Galifar, stand before you today, forced by the terrible events of the last weeks to grasp the mantle of leadership years, decades, before it should have been taken from my mother, your Queen.

Yet my pain is nothing compared to yours, remnants of Cyre. I have lost my mother, my wife, my family, in the cruel, inexplicable events of Olarune 20th, and I mourn for them, mourn for them with all my heart. But there are those among who have lost not only parents and spouses, but children. There are those among you who have lost not only family and friends, but entire towns, entire cities. And you mourn for them, we mourn for them, with all our hearts.

But Olarune 20th, this day, this terrible day, this Day of Mourning, did not rob us only of our families, our friends, our dwellings, our livelihoods. It robbed us of our nation. Of Cyre. And compared to this loss, all the other tragedies of this terrible, inexplicable day are as nothing. (No, not inexplicable, I swear to you, for something, someone caused this day, this Day of Mourning, and I, we, shall never rest until that force is brought to justice...)

For on Olarune 19th, in Cyre, people still died, mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, daughters and sons. But one fragile, wonderful, shining idea lived on; Cyre lived on, beloved, cherished Cyre. In Eston, in Kalazart, in wonderful, shining Metrol, Cyre lived on, gleaming brightly at the heart of Khorvaire. If the Dragon Above, mighty Siberys himself, were to wake and to look down upon the life-bearing corpse of his sister Eberron, he would not have been able, on Olarune 19th, to tear his gaze away from Cyre, wonderful, shining Cyre, beloved, cherished Cyre, Cyre, the Jewel of Galifar. Now, though--

Full disclosure: this paragraph (but not the rest of the speech) is taken from Five Nations, p. 77.
Weep, oh nations of Khorvaire, for the Jewel of Galifar is no more. You have finally completed what you started when you rejected the true and proper right of Mishann to ascend the throne of Galifar. With your jealousy and petty ambitions, you have brought this disaster on us all! Weep, my brothers and sisters, for our homes and our families have been eliminated in a foul and cowardly way. Do not let Cyre be forgotten! Do not let the Day of Mourning end! Not until we have discovered the villain. Not until we have made the villain face justice for this heinous crime. Not until Cyre’s children are once more safe and content within their homeland. Weep this day, my fellow Cyrans, and never forget. But tomorrow . . . tomorrow we begin to hunt down this villain, to demand justice, and to rebuild beloved, cherished Cyre. Tomorrow! Tomorrow we shall go home!
You were one of the members of the crowd that day, the beaten, bedraggled remnants of once-mighty Cyre. Afterwards, Prince Oargev himself sought you out, invited you to his tent. There, he admitted to you and a few others that he had not been entirely forthcoming in his speech. Not only was the Day of Mourning (as Oargev had called it) not inexplicable, Oargev believed he had found an explanation for it--not, yet, a means or a motive, but a perpetrator, one far too powerful to accuse directly. No, revenging Cyre would not be simple, nor easy, nor quick. But standing in his tent that day, Prince Oargev, along with you and a few others, took a solemn oath: that once a new Cyre rose out of the ashes of the old, you would kindle a pyre of revenge, and let the perpetrator take its place.
PremiseThe game will be structured like a TV series: it will be divided into discrete episodes which combine together to make an overarching goal. After a prologue (the "pilot", tentatively titled "Memories Beyond") of solo threads starting on Olarune 19th, 994 YK establishing how the players arrived at the future site of New Cyre in time for Oargev's speech, first season will cover the period from then up until the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold in 996 YK--episodes will more-or-less alternate between treaty negotiation sessions and more action-based stuff, such as expeditions into the Mournland. Additional seasons will cover similar or longer spans of time--fulfilling the oath of revenge may very well take decades. For the most part, players will act as a team, rather than splitting up--so all PCs will need to be able to handle both social interactions and more physical work, if not actually heavy combat.
MechanicsThe game will be diceless, so there won't actually be any mechanics. However, note that it will be on the simulationist side of things: I will track things like dates, travel times, etc., and I will probably insist that the players keep detailed accounting of their possessions (the better to take them away ), though this is open to discussion.

On an OOC level, players will have a fair amount of metagame control: as noted above, the players will even choose who their primary antagonist will be. Especially during the prologue threads, I may go further: for example, I may say things like "your character walks onto the lighting rail car. Describe who else is present."

Finally, note that all IC posts should be in present tense, unless noted otherwise.
ResourcesI welcome people new to Eberron, as long as they're willing to put some effort into learning the setting. Fortunately, this is very easy, at least for a diceless game; all of the published (3.5 era) lore is freely available, between the Dragonshards and the Grand History of Eberron. You need not have read these before you create the character, but I expect you to be willing to look things up when necessary.

Note that I will default to the 3.5 version of Eberron, as that's the version I know best: don't expect dragonborn or Feyspires. However, this shouldn't stop you from using this material in your application if you want to: I'll include the 4e elements in the game if they're important to any of the PCs.
PacingI don't want to exclude anyone from this game based on posting rate. With that said, you'll be able to participate most fully if you can post
i.e. this is your usual rate. You don't have to live up to it 52 weeks a year: I'm not going to kick you from the game if you go on vacation, have busy periods at work, etc.--but please notify me a week or so in advance if possible when this is happening.
regularly at least twice a week. It's probably best if you can post at a faster clip during the prologue thread, since you'll be the only one driving your character's story and I intend to end all of the threads at the same time. However, if this is an issue we can work something out--perhaps working out some of the narrative over Gchat, or leaving some of it aside to be worked out later.

I will endeavor to regularly post at least every 48 hours; my usual rate should be one round of posts per day.
Number of PlayersApparently when you leave this field blank in the new ad form, you get 1. This will not actually be a solo game: it's safe to say that there will be more than 3 players and less than 10, but I can't be more precise than that right now. (Note that asking whether this is, in fact, a solo game, is an excellent way to prove you haven't read the whole ad and make me much less likely to accept your application.)
Application ProcessFirst, my now-standard description of what I want in a player and in a PC:

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.


I don't expect your applications to be complete when first posted: instead, after you post an initial idea I will work with you to make the character more at home in Eberron, and to flesh out details of their past I can use to torment you with later. The best way to see what I'm looking for is to look at the ad for one of my previous games: since it was diceless, the best thing to look at is pink peril's application, posted here, and the sort of questions I asked and pp answered.

However, there are four necessary but not sufficient items I would like in your application by the deadline:

1. Where your character was on Olarune 19th, 994 YK (the day before the Day of Mourning).
2. A "day in the life," i.e. a more-or-less typical day for your character before the Mourning. I will probably use this to start your prologue thread, so you should probably make it at least somewhat interesting. See the descriptions by Crossroad, pink peril, Galedeep, and ShadowBright from my last advertisement for examples of the type of thing I'm looking for.
3. Why your character took the oath.
4. A possible explanation for the Mourning. This need not be what your character will believe after it occurs--in fact, it probably shouldn't be, since we'll play that out directly and since uncovering the nature of the Mourning will probably end up being a big plot point. This is more to make sure that you have a good enough grasp on Eberron that you can come up with something, and for my own selfish purposes.

Most of your application (points 3 and 4 above are an obvious exception) should pertain to your character before the Mourning. The Mourning itself should leave a big impression on your character (at least if they're actually in Cyre at the time), and it may alter your character's personality considerably. If that's the case, you should feel free to make some notes on what you think the effect of these changes will be, and we can work together in your prologue to justify them.

Applications may be private or public, I don't care, but note that the prologue posts will be public. I expect my players to be mature enough to separate IC from OOC knowledge--or, better yet, use their metagame knowledge to make the IC experience even more interesting. (I will give everyone private OOC threads, though.)

Go ahead and post applications in this thread, unless there's some rule against that now that I'm not aware of.

Please submit applications by 8 PM EST on the 22nd.

One last note: I will accept applications for Prince Oargev, but they will need to be exceptional, since having Oargev as a PC will significantly change the nature, or at least structure, of the game.
Applications

pink peril: Graece ir'Merat
Belul: Ali
Pumpkin31415: Taelin Phaloni
WhiteKnight777: Sebastian Nod
Silverkiss: Kormác Mondlicht
Karayan: Iskra ir'Siran
Havelock: Satros
RavenQueen: Valeriya ir'Rurik
Wizard of the Coat: Olivander Greybern d'Deneith
lasseram: Fargherat the Mourner
ShadowBright: Teela

Game Description:

Flavor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Oargev ir'Wynarn, Cyran Refugee Camp, Breland, Therendor 4th, 994 YK View Post
People of Cyre! Remnants of my dear homeland! I, Oargev, scion of the ir'Wynarn line, son of Mishann, Queen of Cyre, rightful ruler of Galifar, stand before you today, forced by the terrible events of the last weeks to grasp the mantle of leadership years, decades, before it should have been taken from my mother, your Queen.

Yet my pain is nothing compared to yours, remnants of Cyre. I have lost my mother, my wife, my family, in the cruel, inexplicable events of Olarune 20th, and I mourn for them, mourn for them with all my heart. But there are those among who have lost not only parents and spouses, but children. There are those among you who have lost not only family and friends, but entire towns, entire cities. And you mourn for them, we mourn for them, with all our hearts.

But Olarune 20th, this day, this terrible day, this Day of Mourning, did not rob us only of our families, our friends, our dwellings, our livelihoods. It robbed us of our nation. Of Cyre. And compared to this loss, all the other tragedies of this terrible, inexplicable day are as nothing. (No, not inexplicable, I swear to you, for something, someone caused this day, this Day of Mourning, and I, we, shall never rest until that force is brought to justice...)

For on Olarune 19th, in Cyre, people still died, mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, daughters and sons. But one fragile, wonderful, shining idea lived on; Cyre lived on, beloved, cherished Cyre. In Eston, in Kalazart, in wonderful, shining Metrol, Cyre lived on, gleaming brightly at the heart of Khorvaire. If the Dragon Above, mighty Siberys himself, were to wake and to look down upon the life-bearing corpse of his sister Eberron, he would not have been able, on Olarune 19th, to tear his gaze away from Cyre, wonderful, shining Cyre, beloved, cherished Cyre, Cyre, the Jewel of Galifar. Now, though--

Full disclosure: this paragraph (but not the rest of the speech) is taken from Five Nations, p. 77.
Weep, oh nations of Khorvaire, for the Jewel of Galifar is no more. You have finally completed what you started when you rejected the true and proper right of Mishann to ascend the throne of Galifar. With your jealousy and petty ambitions, you have brought this disaster on us all! Weep, my brothers and sisters, for our homes and our families have been eliminated in a foul and cowardly way. Do not let Cyre be forgotten! Do not let the Day of Mourning end! Not until we have discovered the villain. Not until we have made the villain face justice for this heinous crime. Not until Cyre’s children are once more safe and content within their homeland. Weep this day, my fellow Cyrans, and never forget. But tomorrow . . . tomorrow we begin to hunt down this villain, to demand justice, and to rebuild beloved, cherished Cyre. Tomorrow! Tomorrow we shall go home!
You were one of the members of the crowd that day, the beaten, bedraggled remnants of once-mighty Cyre. Afterwards, Prince Oargev himself sought you out, invited you to his tent. There, he admitted to you and a few others that he had not been entirely forthcoming in his speech. Not only was the Day of Mourning (as Oargev had called it) not inexplicable, Oargev believed he had found an explanation for it--not, yet, a means or a motive, but a perpetrator, one far too powerful to accuse directly. No, revenging Cyre would not be simple, nor easy, nor quick. But standing in his tent that day, Prince Oargev, along with you and a few others, took a solemn oath: that once a new Cyre rose out of the ashes of the old, you would kindle a pyre of revenge, and let the perpetrator take its place.
PremiseThe game will be structured like a TV series: it will be divided into discrete episodes which combine together to make an overarching goal. After a prologue (the "pilot", tentatively titled "Memories Beyond") of solo threads starting on Olarune 19th, 994 YK establishing how the players arrived at the future site of New Cyre in time for Oargev's speech, first season will cover the period from then up until the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold in 996 YK--episodes will more-or-less alternate between treaty negotiation sessions and more action-based stuff, such as expeditions into the Mournland. Additional seasons will cover similar or longer spans of time--fulfilling the oath of revenge may very well take decades. For the most part, players will act as a team, rather than splitting up--so all PCs will need to be able to handle both social interactions and more physical work, if not actually heavy combat.


Last edited by jalapeno_dude; Jun 22 '12 at 10:41pm.. Reason: added applications
Question: are the Dragonmarks restricted to the House's race? I believe there is such a restriction in 3.5, but not in 4e; I was thinking of having a human character with the Mark of Healing, so I want to know if it is a valid concept before putting much work into it.

Roughly where is the Cyran refugee camp located - very close to the Brelish/Cyran border? Further down in Breland or also rather near the Thranish border?

Edit: Nevermind, I missed New Cyre on the map the first time


////////////

So I had this one idea, started to read a bit, got more ideas, read a bit more, in short, this is what I ended up with:


I was just thinking - Given how many of us will probably have lost spouses/children/etc, this party is going to be as much support group as anything.

Actually I was hoping Ali's partner survived, that's why I made her a member of the navy. If any of the Cyre army survives one would have to assume it would be the navy. Is that acceptable JD?

Hey JD, for the record, my submission's name is Taelin Phaloni. Fern is the name of her theme . Sorry for the confusion

Wow, lots of posts. I'm glad this is getting a lot of interest!
@WhiteKnight777I have no problem in principle with a character who interacts with dreams--as you note, it fits well into Eberron, and there's a lot of fun Dal Quor-related overplot to play with. I also tend to enjoy writing dream sequences--see, e.g., this thread from a previous game of mine.

However, I have some reservations. The idea of the entire party spending time in the Realm of Dreams doesn't really appeal to me--at least for the first couple of seasons, I want the more mundane elements of the setting--the politics, logistics, etc.--to take precedence over the more fantastic ones.

So: here is what I propose. First, the character shouldn't have these abilities before the Day of Mourning--they should develop as a result of the events on that day (though of course there can/should be heavy foreshadowing in the character background), and at least at the beginning they should be almost entirely uncontrollable. Perhaps at first the character will think he/she is going mad, or that the dreamscape he/she inhabits is actually the transformed Cyre. Only after they escape the Mournland will he/she begin to realize the truth.

Second, dream exploration can be the character's shtick. I don't mind if each PC has certain roles--e.g. one could be an assassin, and they will naturally carry out assassinations by themselves. In the same way, your character can do the dream thing on his/her own. (You'll have to convince me on the manipulation thing--I'm leery of repeating Inception, and I plan on heavily emphasizing your point #3.)

Third, as you've already pointed out, the character will need to have a lot more depth/personality/details than just the dreaming thing. Just as an assassin character will spend most of the time not assassinating people, this character wil spend most of the time not dreaming.

How does that sound?
@Wizard of the CoatAs you've already realized, the Mourning is on Olarune 20th, twelve days before Oargev's speech. Forge of War is unfortunately not the best-edited supplement in existence--I'd suggest reading "mid-994" as "mid-Zarantyr, 994", which fits better with the text, anyway.
@BelulExcellent! Your changes have taken what was already a very well-realized character and made them into one who is significantly more three-dimensional: I can already imagine a lot of potential plots/adventure for this Ali. I especially like Ali's prejudice, and they way you've subtly integrated it into the existing vignettes--given the events of the Mourning, I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with this.

One request: in the "Lies and Truth" section, I'd like you to be a little more precise in specifying geographic details, since they will be important in the game. I'd especially like you to specify in what nation Ali was born, and where Ali attended school in the guise of the dead boy. In addition, I'd like you to add a few sentences on to what extent the war (which, remember, has been going on for a century) affected the wanderings of Ali and her father. Once you make these additions, feel free to move on to question 3).

Re Samara surviving: your logic is reasonable. We'll have to see what happens in the course of play.

Oh, one last thing: in the last couple of paragraphs of the vignette Jenkins seems to be suffering some gender confusion.
@RavenQueenI'm reluctant to extend the deadline, since I'd like to start the prologues and get to the main game in a reasonable timeframe. As long as the character concept and the connection to Eberron are there by Friday night, though, I'm okay with filling in the details after the deadline.
@SilverkissWe'll be using the 3.5 canon on this: I will be restricting dragonmarks to the race (and the bloodlines) of the relevant house. You're welcome to submit a character with an aberrant mark with similar abilities, but you'll need to deal with the complications.
@Pumpkin31415You've done a very good job of giving me a snapshot of Taelin as she is now. You write very confidently, and that plus the interesting supporting characters you've created make me confident that you won't have any trouble handling this sort of game. I'm impressed.

I think the next step is to go beyond the snapshot. Could you give me a sketch of Taelin's biography thus far? I'm interested, to start with, in where she grew up, what kind of upbringing she had, how she first became famous, and why she decided to go on expeditions/why she decided to work for Cyran intelligence (and in which order those decisions were taken). Once I have preliminary answers to these questions we can work on filling in more of the details.

P.S. Re your post above: yeah, I just noticed and fixed that in the processing of writing this. It's a good song.
@HavelockI'd like you to think carefully about your choice of an Umbragen drow, as opposed to the other cultures (Vulkoor or Sulatar). As the Grand History of Eberron notes (p. 421), the Umbragen are closest to the standard drow found in e.g. the Forgotten Realms. There are certainly interesting aspects of their culture, but if you chose them because they essentially live in the Underdark and are envisioning something like Drizzt then you're going to have difficulty making the character feel like an Eberron native. I don't necessarily want to discourage drow characters, but the outline of the character you've sketched make it sound like after the Mourning the character won't really have any motivations/things they care strongly about, which makes it a lot harder to give them interesting character development.

Oh yes, I had forgotten about Aberrant Dragonmarks, they actually fit better with the character than a straight Dragonmark!

Another question, what are your thoughts on a born-werewolf character? And if you allow it, what would be the
I've read in one source that natural-born werewolves can control their changes, while in another source it says that they always change on a Full Moon, but it was unclear if it was referring only to infected werewolves or to natural-born as well
specifics of the change, etc? Also, would a werewolf be able to speak in werewolf form?

jalapeno_dude: Thanks for the response! I agree with your points, and I want to emphasize that the whole dreamwalking thing isn't intended to be my character's sole province, or even his primary one - it's just an idea I think is neat, but because it's kind of unorthodox, I wanted to run it by you first.

An interesting way for it to emerge might be for the character to experience a particularly vivid dream of arriving home to his family - only to watch the Day of Mourning unfold, helpless to stop it...

On the other hand, that might also be a bit cliche'd. Perhaps I shall come up with something else.

As for how a dreaming experience would work... well, as I noted, my influences are much more Lovecraft/Gaiman with a sprinkling of Moorcock than they are Christopher Nolan. Inception was a fine film, but not quite how I imagine the Dreaming. The way I envision it currently, the character wouldn't be so much able to directly control his dreams as he would be: A) Aware that he was dreaming and be able to react appropriately and B) Aware of how dream-logic and the metaphysics of Dal-Quor operate. Perhaps he has an understanding of the supernatural geography of the plane - how to find the stable dream-nodes where patterns in the collected superconciousness of the sentient races have impressed themselves, forming cities and vistas and fragments of lands long lost - and more that never were. Or perhaps he figures out how to crawl into someone's mindscape and pilfer precious memories.

But as you say, all of this should be an interesting sidenote rather than the meat of the character, if it's not what you want to focus on. I'll be getting a full app up shortly, and you can see if you like it.





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