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Small Men in a Big World
A party of halflings sets out to rescue their kidnapped kinsfolk
The small village of Heawold is neither big nor special in any particular way. Whilst not prosperous the halflings who call it home are a generally very content lot. They live their lives busy producing fine wine and food that they enjoy as often as possible and occasionally trade to the dwarves of Nuledzar and the Goblins of Gorbul Town.
The dale they live in is quite safely tucked in between the Mountains to the North and West where little bar dwarves and the occasional grumpy giant live, the crowded trees of Ewnham forest to the East - the domain of Goblins but the have been peaceful for many years, and the cold broken tundra and forests to the south where very little bar tall and ancient trees grow and only the occasional bear roams.
However last night the village was raided. Sengo the sentry was struck from behind and sent tumbling out of his watch tower. The two nurseries-schools were entered and some sort of drugged rag was used on the inhabitants whilst they slept to keep them that way. All of the children around the ages of seven to fifteen and two of the nurses were taken.
Only those children whose turn it was to stay with their parents and those few in the small hospital remained safe.
A small party of villagers sets off to find and return the missing children and the two nurses. None has any illusions about the world outside the village being anything other than scary, unfriendly and outright dangerous. The furthest any of the villagers has been is to the dwarven city of Nuledzarís outer gate or to the edge of the Ewnham forest to trade.
No worries. You got till end of next week as I'm still going to force myself to invite at max half the party thus week to stick with what I said earlier. Re your proposed background, similar issue in that characters without an obvious and strong connection/driving force behind this mission are not going to be first choice. If you can strengthen that connection it'd help the party dynamics.
Not using rules for party conflict, ie no dice rolling. Part of the reason why I want each to share a similar overreaching goal - ie rescue those stolen - is that it allows conflict without breaking the party. But just verbal, halflings don't resort to violence with each other. Happy for you to argue over best way to proceed as long as characters always put getting the job done before having to have things their own way.
Cyco: Thanks for the input. At this point, my character does not have a strong connection to the missing children/nurses, seeing that she has made efforts to avoid them for the past few years when in Heawold. However, I feel that my character does have a strong personal/internal driving force to join the party and help the children.
For years, since the death of her child, my character has internalized her pain and grief, hiding away in her woodland cottage. This has hurt her relationship with the townsfolk, some who have come to call her Badger, because of her nasty attitude (she was formerly nicknamed Bunny, as she was sweet and pleasant).
After turning away Adan, my character finally had to face the truth about herself. Before she believed that she was only jealous of the other mothers and hurt by their gossip (no doubt, she was to blame for some of it). But with the news of the missing children, she felt happy, because the other mothers would now feel her pain. This feeling was short lived and followed by tremendous shame as she had to admit that she had been living with hate in her heart for the past few years. What had she become? Her child had been taken by illness, but these children were taken by something worse; the unknown. And what would become of them?
My character knows that she will face an uphill battle when dealing with the townfolk for her actions (or lack thereof). It frightens her and gives her horrible anxiety, but that is Badger, the weak. She needs to find the children to make things right. Not only for the townfolk of Heawold, but also for herself. Among those missing children is Bunny. There is still hope.
I hope I have made it clearer that my character is in a life or death struggle for herself. There are two sides to her; Badger and Bunny. Right now, she stands somewhere in between. Her struggle is internal. She must fight who she has become to be who she was before. Not only is helping to find the children the right thing to do, but it will offer a chance for the townfolk of Heawold to see her in a new (but, old) light.
Fair enough. I've seen inter-party conflict go a bit haywire, particularly with mixed parties, orc barbarian and gnome mage for example, orc grapples and pounds on mage because he doesn't like magic without consent. This is very bad, even if its somewhat in character. I've seen this sort of "well its what my character would do" ruin many a good game.
The general rules I've seen work similar to what you're saying: verbal only unless both agree to a contest. Examples that I've seen are things like an arm wrestle, boxing match, bow competition... I've seen extreme all out brawls, but all was agreed upon ic and/or ooc and usually between good ooc friends.
Online its trickier, because there has to be a certain level of trust between players and you don't know what somebody may be offended by. Social roles tend to be really annoying PC vs PC and rarely work as they limit RP, except in the odd agreed upon contest intimidate vs intimidate staring contest or who can catch the waitresses eye first contest... inter-PC bluff and diplomacy rolls get a big thumbs down.
Anyway, I went on way longer than I thought I would there... back to the giants...
Here's a question I have while pondering backstory parts. I saw the part about a dwarf alliance, but if there was mention of other race encounters besides them and goblins, I missed it. Is it possible for other races to have come through the village while traveling or something similar? Or are they so far out of the way that it'd be all but impossible?