Menzoberranzan: a Game of Houses - Sandbox

 
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Old Oct 25 '10, 8:55am
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Menzoberranzan: a Game of Houses - Sandbox

Menzoberranzan: A Game of Houses - Sandbox - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e
Ad Closes: Nov 6 '10
Estimated Members Requested: 25

The Underdark
Never does a star grace this land with a poet’s light of twinkling mysteries, nor does the sun send to here its rays of warmth and life. This is the Underdark, the secret world beneath the bustling surface of the Forgotten Realms, whose sky is a ceiling of heartless stone and whose walls show the gray blandness of death in the torchlight of the foolish surface-dwellers that stumble here. This is not their world, not the world of light. Most who come here uninvited do not return.

Those who do escape to the safety of their surface homes return changed. Their eyes have seen the shadows and the gloom, the inevitable doom of the Underdark.

Dark corridors meander throughout the dark realm in winding courses, connecting caverns great and small, with ceilings high and low. Mounds of stone as pointed as the teeth of a sleeping dragon leer down in silent threat or rise up to block the way of intruders.

There is a silence here, profound and foreboding, the crouched hush of a predator at work. Too often the only sound, the only reminder to travelers in the Underdark that they have not lost their sense of hearing altogether, is the distant and echoing drip of water, beating like the heart of a beast, slipping through the silent stones to the deep Underdark pools of chilled water. What lies beneath the onyx surface of these pools can only guess. What secrets await the brave, what horrors await the foolish, only the imagination can reveal – until the stillness is disturbed.

This is the Underdark.

* * * * *

There are pockets of life here, cities as great as many of those on the surface. Around any of the countless bends and turns in the gray stone, a traveler might stumble suddenly into the perimeter of such a city, a stark contrast to the emptiness of the corridors. These places are not havens, though; only the foolish traveler would assume so. They are the homes of the most evil races in all the Realms, most notably the duergar, the kuo-toa, and the drow.

In one such cavern, two miles wide and a thousand feet high, looms Menzoberranzan, a monument to the other worldly and ultimately – deadly grace that marks the race of drow elves. Menzoberranzan is not a large city by drow standards; only twenty thousand dark elves reside there. Where, in ages past, there had been an empty cavern of roughly shaped stalactites and stalagmites now stands artistry, row after row of carved castles thrumming in a quiet glow of magic. The city is perfection of form where not a stone has been left to its natural shape. This sense of order and control, however, is but a cruel façade, a deception hiding the chaos and vileness that rules the dark elves’ hearts. Like their cities, they are a beautiful, slender, and delicate people, with features sharp and haunting.

Yet the drow are the rulers of this unruled world, the deadliest of the deadly, and all other races take cautious note of their passing. Beauty itself pales at the end of a dark elf’s sword. The drow are the survivors, and this is the Underdark, the valley of death – the land of nameless nightmares. – R.A. Salvatore (Homeland)

~ * ~

Station: In all the world of the drow, there is no more important word. It is the calling of their – of our – religion, the incessant pulling of hungering heartstrings. Ambition overrides good sense and compassion is thrown away in its face, all in the name of Lolth, the Spider-Queen.

Ascension to power in drow society is a simple process of assassination. The Spider Queen is a deity of chaos, and she and her high priestesses, the true rulers of the drow world, do not look with ill favor upon ambitious individuals wielding poisoned daggers.

Of course, there are rules of behavior; every society must boast of these. To openly commit murder or wage war invites the pretense of justice, and penalties exacted in the name of drow justice are merciless. To stick the dagger in the back of a rival during the chaos of a larger battle or in the quiet shadows of an alley, however, is quite acceptable – even applauded. Investigation is not the forte of drow justice. No one cares enough to bother. –excerpt of an essay on Station by Drizzt Do’Urden (again, R.A. Salvatore; Homeland)

Game Description:

The Underdark
Never does a star grace this land with a poet’s light of twinkling mysteries, nor does the sun send to here its rays of warmth and life. This is the Underdark, the secret world beneath the bustling surface of the Forgotten Realms, whose sky is a ceiling of heartless stone and whose walls show the gray blandness of death in the torchlight of the foolish surface-dwellers that stumble here. This is not their world, not the world of light. Most who come here uninvited do not return.

Those who do escape to the safety of their surface homes return changed. Their eyes have seen the shadows and the gloom, the inevitable doom of the Underdark.

Dark corridors meander throughout the dark realm in winding courses, connecting caverns great and small, with ceilings high and low. Mounds of stone as pointed as the teeth of a sleeping dragon leer down in silent threat or rise up to block the way of intruders.

There is a silence here, profound and foreboding, the crouched hush of a predator at work. Too often the only sound, the only reminder to travelers in the Underdark that they have not lost their sense of hearing altogether, is the distant and echoing drip of water, beating like the heart of a beast, slipping through the silent stones to the deep Underdark pools of chilled water. What lies beneath the onyx surface of these pools can only guess. What secrets await the brave, what horrors await the foolish, only the imagination can reveal – until the stillness is disturbed.

This is the Underdark.

* * * * *

There are pockets of life here, cities as great as many of those on the surface. Around any of the countless bends and turns in the gray stone, a traveler might stumble suddenly into the perimeter of such a city, a stark contrast to the emptiness of the corridors. These places are not havens, though; only the foolish traveler would assume so. They are the homes of the most evil races in all the Realms, most notably the duergar, the kuo-toa, and the drow.

In one such cavern, two miles wide and a thousand feet high, looms Menzoberranzan, a monument to the other worldly and ultimately – deadly grace that marks the race of drow elves. Menzoberranzan is not a large city by drow standards; only twenty thousand dark elves reside there. Where, in ages past, there had been an empty cavern of roughly shaped stalactites and stalagmites now stands artistry, row after row of carved castles thrumming in a quiet glow of magic. The city is perfection of form where not a stone has been left to its natural shape. This sense of order and control, however, is but a cruel façade, a deception hiding the chaos and vileness that rules the dark elves’ hearts. Like their cities, they are a beautiful, slender, and delicate people, with features sharp and haunting.

Yet the drow are the rulers of this unruled world, the deadliest of the deadly, and all other races take cautious note of their passing. Beauty itself pales at the end of a dark elf’s sword. The drow are the survivors, and this is the Underdark, the valley of death – the land of nameless nightmares. – R.A. Salvatore (Homeland)

~ * ~

Station: In all the world of the drow, there is no more important word. It is the calling of their – of our – religion, the incessant pulling of hungering heartstrings. Ambition overrides good sense and compassion is thrown away in its face, all in the name of Lolth, the Spider-Queen.

Ascension to power in drow society is a simple process of assassination. The Spider Queen is a deity of chaos, and she and her high priestesses, the true rulers of the drow world, do not look with ill favor upon ambitious individuals wielding poisoned daggers.

Of course, there are rules of behavior; every society must boast of these. To openly commit murder or wage war invites the pretense of justice, and penalties exacted in the name of drow justice are merciless. To stick the dagger in the back of a rival during the chaos of a larger battle or in the quiet shadows of an alley, however, is quite acceptable – even applauded. Investigation is not the forte of drow justice. No one cares enough to bother. –excerpt of an essay on Station by Drizzt Do’Urden (again, R.A. Salvatore; Homeland)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

D&D 3.5+; Gestalt lvl 12 - 15; Forgotten Realms; Applications due: November 6th
Sheets:
not required until a week after selection

This campaign is set in Menzoberranzan in the year 709 DR. It is a story of the struggles of Noble Houses. It is a story of dark elves in their native habitat. It is, hopefully, the story of intrigue and backstabbery. This campaign is 100% open to PvP.

I am looking for three to five Drow Houses, including one male-run Mercenary Guild. Each House will have a Matron, and up to four other players taking vital roles, Such as House Wizard, House Assassin, Weapon Master, and a couple of other priestesses, within the house.

Matrons are, in a way, Sub-DMs. They will be responsible for coming up with missions for their minions to go on. These may include patrols out in the outskirts of the city, raids on other houses, etc. Matrons usually act from the shadows, but in the event of a House War or other major happening, may come out and lead their house. Naturally, I am the final arbiter of rules disputes. In recognition to the additional work a Matron-Player will be undertaking, Matrons start out at two levels higher than everybody else. It is good to be the Queen. The Ruling Council will occasionally call for a surface raid, which will involve members of each house conducting, well, a surface raid.

There is a metaplot (or three) that may eventually be discovered that may become a major focus of the campaign. Initially, however, this campaign is “Sandbox”. Be proactive in the goals of your characters and the goals of your house. Also, this campaign exists in the same multi-verse as my other Campaign and PCs are expected to be in the same ballpark of power level. There may be a cross-over event, but not likely any time soon. Cameos may happen.


~ * ~

Details
Level: 12 to 15: Houseless members start at 12th. Some few may be selected by a Matron to fill out "her" ranks and will start at 13th. New Matrons (if any) will start at 15th. With activity comes advancement.
Gestalt: LA / Racial HD allowed on one side. Fractional BAB / Saves.
Rule 11: Pre-mod Stats ranging from 7 to 18. You may have no more than two odds. And your total stat mods = 11. Example: Str 18, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 17.
Alignments: Any,
Materials: XPH, Core, Tomes (links below in Spoiler), Forgotten Realms line, ToM, ToB: Bo9S, Completes, Races of, Libris Mortis, Lords of Madness,
On a case by case basis
Eberron line, Pathfinder, Trailblazer, most WotC books. All builds must be approved, regardless of source materials.
HP: Average +1 (+con) for each
Including 1st. I am done with random stats and HP in my games
level. To avoid confusion: d4: 3.5 (per level; keep track of your fractions, they add up); d6: 4.5; d8: 5.5; d10: 6.5; d12: 7.5
Races: Drow, Fey’ri, and Draegloth. Others may be allowed on a case by case basis. Still, this is a drow-centric campaign. I expect to see drow-centric applications. Interesting combat-slaves are the purview of Cohorts and Matron ran NPCs.
Classes: A staggering array of classes (base and PrC) available.
Drow Paragon: gives +1 level of cleric or wizard for each level (instead of just at 1st and 3rd).
Banned: Truenamer.
Feats: Everybody gains a
In addition to the standard feats at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, etc. And in addition to any other bonus feats you are entitled to by classes, templates, etc
Bonus Feat per level. Regional (FR) Feats may only be taken at level 1. You may have up to two Regional Feats, don’t worry about meeting region requirements. You may only select a Tome Feat using your standard feat progression, with the exception of classes that give Tome Feats. No flaws or traits allowed.
Cohorts and Spawn: Rule 9 (as R11, but less so), Gestalt. Spawn are restricted by level as a Cohort.
Followers: Elite Array (before racial mods: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8); non-gestalt; Core PC classes.
Skills: no distinction between class and non-class skills. No synergies.



Applications!
House / Matron, Everybody else

__________________
Head GM: City of Doors
Co-Running (advisory position): A House to call Home

Last edited by Drowbane; Oct 25 '10 at 9:05am..
Yay...I was not looking forward to having to keep the spider caster in my head for a couple weeks...he is creepy

Did you decide on the free LA for people or are we just sucking up the Drow LA on one side of the build?

I will set up Application Threads shortly.

From the Game Ad

Noble House: House Nizzre (means "lightning")
Matron: Veldri Nizzre (Veldri_Nizzre)

Noble House: House Melrahel (unsure of any translation)
Matron: Chess'albraste Melrahel (Maxwell)

Noble House: open
Matron: open (could be you!)

Mercenary Band: L'Jiala'in Velve (the Laughing Blades)
Guild Master: ??? (Chronic's friend, or if he doesn't show up an NPC or also played by ChronicLunacy)
Second in Command: Zirbilin Nirrinath (ChronicLunacy)

~ * ~

I will be rolling dice to check House Rank within the city. No starting house will be higher than 15th, however. And while not all Houses are obsessed with promotion, many (most?) are.

L'Jiala'in Velve stands outside of the House Ranking. If is largely a home for displaced Nobles and promising commoners. It operates with the blessing of the Ruling Council (a privilege for which it pays handsomely). The only "house" likely to accept non-drow.
I'd like to add a bit about L'Jiala'in Velve. In keeping with the translation ("The Laughing Blade"), the members of the mercenary guild tend to wear stylized theatre masks depicting a laughing face when they're on duty. This allows them to walk the city freely, lead double-lives, and even infiltrate the city's noble houses without immediately being recognized. These masks are magic items that act the same way a drow house insignia does, with varying effects individual to the wearer.
ChronicLunacy

I just finished the last book resurrection of war of the spider queen tonight, this is like a godsend, completely interested.

Who wants to work to create a house right outside ruling counsel looking to take over the 8th counsel seat or something like that? I'd like to play second or third daughter to have people to plot against both in house and outside house.

LaRoche: Amusingly enough, I am on the early chapters of Dissolution (3rd time reading the series).

Dandy: you can submit for both. I just put up the App-links. If selected as a Matron, you can have your subordinate as a Cohort.

posting intrest.. I was thinking of House Princess (First or second daughter to matron) any of PC houses will do actually.

Okay, either of the houses want my gish-ish crossbow-slinger?

EDIT: Could a male Ranger exist, drawing on the innate magic of the Underdark (the Underdark drowns in magic, let's face it), without offending Lolth or her female left hands?




 

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