Minions of Evil

 
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Old Nov 11 '11, 12:25am
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Minions of Evil

Minions of Evil - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 4e
Ad Closes: Nov 20 '11
Estimated Members Requested: 5

Fifty miles north of the little town of Fallcrest lies the Winterbole Forest. It is a place of ancient power, a place where the very fabric of reality thins and where sometimes a traveler may wander unknowing beyond the borders of the natural worldÖ and into the Lands of Faerie.

In the Forest of Faerie, a happy traveler might encounter the Court of Stars, meeting beings of such stunning power and glory as defy description or indeed, even many a mundane imagination. Such a traveler might, if heís lucky, emerge from the woods one day older but wiser, teeming with stories of crystal castles and wondrous works of fey magic and art. A less-happy traveler might find a dryad, nymph, or satyr. In a such a case, our travelerís travels would be at an end, but he would at least know many a day of joyous frolicóbefore being consumed by his fey seducers. Less happy still are those whose travels are simply cut short by Faerieís wandering huntersóthe centaurs, firblogs, and wild elves of this mystical landóthough such a fate is common amongst the foolish or unknowing.

And yet, all of these fates are preferable by far to those whose wanderings take them into the depths of the forest. Such a trek is long and arduous, and such a traveler is perhaps to be forgiven if in his unthinking fatigue, he seeks a cave or cavern in which to rest and take refuge from the Feywildís many sudden storms. For the true dangers of Faerie lie in the dark places, in holes deep underground. And though they live far beneath the surface of the Forest, often these creatures of twilight emerge in at night to spread mischief and torment amongst their lesser surface cousins and kin.

And sometimes, oh TravelerÖ Sometimes they take souvenirs.

Sometimes they even take slaves.

***

Far beneath the Forest of Faerie lies Shaílai cavern. It is home to the city of Harrowhame, a subterranean settlement that knows no law beyond power and no respect beyond that born of intimidation. Though a mad fomorian named Bronner claims the title of king, in truth, the cityís noble houses are actually mini-states unto themselves, free to make war, peace, or trade according to their needs or whims. One such noble house is House Urbasano, a drow house of some stature amongst the ruling elites of Harrowhame. Like all the great powers of the city, Urbasano has its niche, dealing primarily in slaves and the regulation of other exotic trade. However, the House Matriarch is hardly exclusive. Urbansanos have been known to act as mercenaries, shake down merchants for protection money, and even smuggle contraband into the surface worldís more-lawful domainsóso long as the project is lucrative enough. Yes, the Urbasanos are an empire unto themselves, a mercantilist machine that thrives on pain and prejudice. Lust, greed, and hate.

It takes a Hell of a lot of back-breaking labor to keep the Urbasano machine moving.

And that, my friends, is where you come in.

Game Concept and Application BasicsYou are a slave.

You belong to House Urbasano, a house of noble drow in the famed fomorian settlement of Harrowhame, deep within the forgotten depths of the Feydark.

You will format your application as follows:
Name:

Race / Class / Theme:



Background: In your Background, you will include (at a minimum) how you became a slave and what kind of slave you are.

Personality and/or Appearance Notes: On these, please note that a party typically only has room for one dour, taciturn Ranger. In PbP, talkative, outgoing PCs are much easier to manage.

Finally, I donít need to see your Character Sheets yet. At his point, Iím much more interested in a compelling, well-rounded character concept. I personally hate the common fantasy trope of the lonely ranger with neither family nor emotional ties to the world. For me, Iíd MUCH rather see a character who has a family and a legitimate, vested interest in his or her future and legacy.

Notes on Start Level, Mechanics, Alignment, and Party Make-UpWe will start this game at Level 2. You will choose ONE Level 2 of Level 3 magic item (not armor) for your character. This item represents your sole wealth in the world, the one heirloom that youíve somehow managed to hide away from your evil drow masters.

With that said, weíre going to be using the Inherent Bonus system for this game, which is described on Page 138 of the DMG 2. Thus your heirloom magic item wonít provide an ATK or Damage bonus; it will merely provide whatever Property or Item Powers are associated with it.

By using this system, I can keep you poor without damaging the balance of the game.

You may take any Class/Feat/Power selections you want. I allow everything thatís legal and/or listed in the Compendium, and in addition to that, you can use my homebrewed Svirfneblin player race from the Myth-Weavers wiki if you want to. I have an Insider account and will look stuff up as necessary to make sure we have the latest rules.

I have no issue with Players who want to play Evil PCs. In fact, a well-played Chaotic Evil character is a joy to have in the party. With that said, however, a balanced party is a fun party. It would be interesting, at least to me, to see a Paladin of Kord, an Avenger of Lloth, and a straight-up Priest of Bahamut try to find common ground.

I would also like to see a diversity of power sources.

Role-Play vs. Roll-Play, Skill Challenge Mechanics, Posting Rate, and DMing notesRole- vs. Roll-Play: This game will be about 50% combat, 25% Skills Challenges, and 25% role-playing/character-based vignettes. Youíll be doing some character-based creative writing between missions, telling us how your character spends his or her down-time, etc, and thatíll be competitive. Iíll grant bonus XP awards to the ones I really like, and Iíll be using your ideas as hooks for the game as we move forward.

For Skills Challenges, Iíll be using a hybrid version of the system that they use on Critical Hit. Which is to say that weíll roll initiative and go in orderóin our case, posting two at a time. This will allow me to develop the situation in accordance with your posts That keeps the Skills Challenge fluid. As with Critical Hit, youíll be allowed to use any skill you can justify, but youíll not be allowed to do the same thing twice in a row, and youíll not be allowed to do what the PC immediately before you just did.

Also, FYI: Skills Checks during combats in my games tend to be a good idea.

Posting Rate: I tend to post Game Posts once per day. And while I understand that real life oftentimes gets in the way, in general, Iíd like for you to check in with the game at least once daily. Life happens, I know. But the game also runs better when we all make an effort to stay involved, read each otherís posts, and generally work at it. I certainly work at it, and I want my players to work at it as well.

DMing: (or The Return of The Diogenes Society)
I sketched out maybe 2-3 levels of this game in my notebook. Past that, Iím not sure how long Iím gonna run it. Call it a year or maybe a year-and-a-half of PbP. My preference then, when we get to that point, would be for one of the other players to rotate into the DMís slot and either start over from scratch with a new game concept or else continue with the Minions of Evil concept using their own story/campaign ideas. We did something like this very successfully with a gaming group I was in called the Diogenes Society, and I know Iím not the only member of that society who misses it. Rotating DMs worked less well when I tried it with the Sellswords of Luskan, but that was mostly because our new DMís wife had a baby two weeks after he took over the game. Here, well, I hope to recruit at least a couple of talented Player/DMs to at least give the rotating-DMs concept a fighting chance at success. Weíll see how that goes.

Questions and Other Odds and EndsIíd like to thank the Sellswords of Luskan and the group from The Tears of Ioun for test-reading this game concept, asking questions, and generally helping me refine what I had in mind here. Hereís some of what they said:

Why canít I have armor as my heirloom item? If I play a paladin, itíll be really tough if I donít have that heavy plate armor.
You canít have armor as your heirloom because itís too big. The drow would find and confiscate it. That said, the Urbasanos have at least two armories, and if they think you need weapons or armor, they will equip you with whatever they think that you need. A clever character will probably be able to cobble together some platemail, even if all you have access to is the rusty crap in the slaveís armory.

Can I have a weapon for my heirloom item?
Yes. You will need to explain how you hide it, though.

If youíre going to use that Armory concept, you probably want to use the Inherent Bonus System, just to keep things fair.
An excellent point, and one that I adopted. Weíll be using a ton of consumables in this game as well.

You say that weíre going to be slaves. What exactly do you have in mind here?
When the game starts, there will be a series of hopefully very challenging combat encounters. I plan to kill PCs early and often. Essentially, by making you slaves, I can send you on suicide missions without having to worry about your haggling for super-high wages with your employers. Yeah, I couldíve executed the same concept with a thievesí guild or mercenary outfit, but that would have left you (theoretically) free to walk away, breaking the paradigm of the game. Thatís not what I want. I want to run the crazy crap that I plotted out in my notebook.

You plan to kill PCs ďearly and oftenĒ? Does that mean that Players whose PC is killed will have to re-start at an XP-disadvantage? ĎCause that would suck.
Death is no escape from the drow. You are their property, and they will not allow you so a easy a release. If you die, they will most-likely resurrect you, punish you, and then put you right back to work.

That said, if by chance, you do end up having to roll up a new Character, that character will start with the same XP as the group average.

Why the Feydark?
First, because Sellswords tends to skew towards the Shadowfell and the shadow power source. Weíve had a TON of undead, shadow, and infernal bad guys (i.e. Sharrans and devils). In this game, Iím gonna run some of the concepts that Iíve not been able to work into that game, including all the stuff I had plotted out for the Feywild but never got around to in the upper Heroic tier. And then, too, thereís a new Feywild sourcebook for players coming out next week. By setting this game in the Feywild, Iím hoping to see some innovative uses of some of the new source material. Finally, I just really like the drow. If you think of the Urbasanos as a powerful organized crime family, then youíll have the vibe Iím looking for here.


So there you have it. Sorry for the length of this post.

Iíll be taking applications until at least November 20th. Thatíll give some of you early adopters a chance to look through the Heroes of the Feywild and at least consider using one of the new races in this game.

If you have questions or comments, please post them below. Thanks!

Game Description:

Coming Soon...

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Sincerely,
DannoE

Danno's Lair: The World's Greatest Triathlon / Comic / D&D / Craft Beer blog!
I have read it all, and I love you for pimping Critical Hit, and am extremely interested. Can/Will have a full WIP application by 1200 EST tomarrow, and shall be mainly thinking of the character backgrounds. Though, as I never use anything but the hardcover books from before 4.5 came out (Yes, this is D&D 4.5, they just refused to call it a new edition when they brought out essentials), I am at a loss for what Themes are. I am aware of some of the power changes such as Bless now being a minor action instead of a Standard action so I shouldn't be totally out of the loop.

I shall be a wizard so that once I hit high enough level I can just planeshift away! Ha! jk though.

I am loving this concept something fierce! You can bet money on me posting an application.

I got a question about the setting. The setting is the Core setting as described in the DMG 1, complete with the town of Fallcrest. Harrowhame is described briefly in the Manual of the Planes, but I am, of course, having to invent most of it from whole cloth because it's not much of a description.

About themes: I know they're new. I've not played with them much, either, which is why I wanted to use them now. That said, there's a workaround there with the multi-class feats, and I expect it'll work at least reasonably well.

BTW, please drop your applications in this thread.

Thanks!

Looks awesome, DannoE. I wish I had time to put together an app for you. I'm sure you'll get some quality players before you know it.

Good Gaming!

I really like this! I also don't really know what themes are though. I'm pretty certain I'll be applying!

Application WIP



Shouldn't I be in the same clothes you found me in? I've had them this entire time!


Character Background
Marril grew up in Fallcrest just before the events of the Keep on the Shadowfell and lived a haflway decent life before she fell in with some not so decent folk. When she was about 10 years old she had found that she had some talent in the use of the hand crossbow during a fair that year, as did several others. After the fair, she was approached by a pair of men and asked if she'd like to further her talents and, as is natural for a 10 year old, she accepted.

For several years she trained secretly with a group that had no name honing her stealth and crossbow skills and when she turned 16, just after the events of Thunderspire Keep, she became a full fledged member. For two more years she worked with the Orginization and as she turned 18 she was assigned a job to enter the Feywilds and make contact with one of their "unique" contacts and seal a deal that they had made. And as it turned out, she was the 'object' that was to seal the deal. She was stripped of everything she owned except for a gold choker that she wore, which her Mistress's of the house use to signify her status as slave-assassin.

After a LONG year, filled with having to assassinate drow nobles of rival houses, ensure the loyalty of some of the more rebelious slaves and shadowing of visitors to the city, she had managed to blackmail, trade favors and do some honest to god theiving to get her old outfit back, piece by piece. Now it's time to see if her Mistress's actually care how she is garbed so long as she manages to get her jobs done quickly, and quietly.


Description
Marril stands at five feet five inches tall with LONG brown hair tied back in a ponytail with a pink bow and has 'bright?' brown eyes.
She is generally better dressed then the other slaves wearing a palewhite shirt, with a dark purple 'jacket' over it, a pair of soft cotton pants and a pair of jet-black shoes. She also wears a golden choker as a sign of her servitude (A disguised amulet of health).

Personality
Marril, dispite being a slave, is upbeat an eager, knowing that this is most likely her last stop so she is willing to make the best out of it. Her pleasant nature easily makes her friends among the other slaves, and a few simpethetic male drow as they are usually treated as no better than slaves half the time anyways, though it annoys the crap out of the Mistress's of the house. Her evident skills in stealth and assassinations have netted her jobs that, even though they are risky, are a lot less risky then ones the other slaves are forced into, such as gladiators.

One thing she is know to say is "If today is the best we have, then lets work to make tomarrow slightly better so we have something worth looking foreward too." Though atleast one priestess of Lolth has warned the 'Head Mistress', as she calls her, that Marril might eventually instigate open rebellion among the slaves with such talk, they have been largely ignored because the other slaves work harder, hoping that the next day will be atleast slightly better.


Character Direction?
She is built as the cunning sneak rogue from Martial Power 2 with the Silent Shot style feats and stealth focus, making her extra sneaky. Her disguised amulet of health grants her resist 5 poison, not that it helps against saves against poison... damn drow posion and your unconsious evil-ness! She is getting the Fleeting ghost at*will utility power and hope to evetually get the Chameleon and Shadow stride at*will utility powers if we make it to 10th level.

In the D&D 4th edition Underdark book in page 22 it gives the GM an interesting option to make players ,who weren't origially, into Drow from their normal race, while retaining all their normal racials and gaining the Lolth touched drow racial feature. So I'm hoping to weasel that, or for the DM to offer it, in future RP situations, should escape be truely futile. But I am fairly certain that I'll eventually become sneaky enough that I could just walk out the front door with a sign that says "Welp, it's been fun, but it's time for me to go!" and still not be noticed.

This is all assuming she continues to survive and stays in the Mistress's good graces.

So, how do you like my WIP.

I like putting a lot of work into my characters, and took a little less the 3 hours to boot!

It's always nice to have an upbeat and cheerful girl in a setting like this. Someone has to keep moral high! I plan on running the "Hunting Hound" angle. Being a Ranger, your best niche as a slave would be the expendable blood hound.

Also, how do you keep split your application into boxes like that? I always liked the look but I never figured out how to do it myself.




 

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