974 in Monalem (Steampunkish Theme)
974 in Monalem - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e
Estimated Members Requested: 1
I'll answer questions as I come across them.
This is a repost of a game I tried to run almost a year ago. Unfortunately, due to an accident, I was unable to even choose characters and start the game. For the people who applied, I apologize.
The year is 974. The continent of Monalem has undergone many changes in the last sixty years. The technological level of the world has increased in short order, mostly due to the creation of the steam engine, a wondrous machine that can power many different types of machinery cheaply and efficiently. When Choonad's councilmen, then overseeing only a small city, saw what could be accomplished through the use of nothing but technology, they poored money into new ideas, and in just a short time, primitive firearms came to be, and Choonad quickly expanded, taking control of many of its outlying regions through force of arms.
This is a D&D v3.5 game, set in a world where technology has progressed quite a bit compared to the average sword and sorcery setting. While technology as a whole has progressed, there are a few areas in particular that are important to the setting. In general, the technological level would be similar to the real world's Victorian Age. The game will most likely be equal parts roleplaying and combat. There will be a light plot to move the game along, but players are encouraged to add to the world and have a self-motivated character, as well.
The invention that started the Technological Revolution. The first steam engine was built in 914, by a poor gnome, named Fontin Nackle, living in an outlying region of Choonad. Fontin presented it to the council of Choonad, in hopes that they would buy the prototype from him and he could use the money to feed his family. Though the prototype could do little more than lift a somewhat heavy object, the councillers saw the future in this crude device, and immediately bought the prototype off of him, and requested that he move to Choonad to begin work on their payroll, perfecting the device.
Fontin was overjoyed, and immediately moved his family to Choonad, where he taught what he knew of engineering to a few humans, who he hired as his assistants. This team of engineers built a steam engine that generated enough power to operate heavy machinery. About a year later, the first factory was built, and mass-production of goods began to take place.
One of Fontin's disciples had the idea to use the steam engine to turn turbines, to generate electricity. Fontin, of course, saw the error in the plan in that it would be easier to turn said turbines with a water wheel.
Electricity is still cutting edge technology, and very, very few ideas incorporating it are even in the design stages. However, electric lights now line the streets of Choonad, and other areas that have embraced technology, such as Delemor.
Electric lights are only privately available to the richest of the rich, and even then, only in cities along a river, such as Choonad and Delemor. Cities that have electric lights generally have a much lower crime rate, as the light is brighter and harder to disable than an oil lantern.
Firearms have progressed quite a bit since the simple blunderbuss allowed Choonad to expand its territory, and they have become far more widespread, though not any less expensive. Owning a gun, while not a sign of
great wealth, generally shows that you are at least middle class, economically.
Firearms nowadays are lighter, faster to reload, and even more dangerous than they were. Choonad's military uses almost nothing but firearms, though most soldiers carry a secondary melee weapon, in case they run out of ammunition.
Another use of the steam engine is the railroad that has sprung up in the last fifteen years. The train allows people to travel from Delemor to Choonad to Reykim, or in reverse, with little fear of being waylaid. Though train tickets remain somewhat expensive, they are not completely out of reach of the lower class, so long as they don't expect to be occupying a private cabin, which are generally reserved for the rich.
Train robberies are rare, but not impossible. The stations employ guards, but very few armed guards actually ride the train from station to station, so robberies have taken place before.
The printing press has affected the world positively in many ways. Books are no longer a collector's item, and illiteracy is almost unheard of these days. In addition, it's given way to a press of a different kind, and newspapers are incredibly popular, especially in Choonad, where it is filled with the newest advances in science.
Magic and technology, while considered by many to be opposing forces in the world, do not have any adverse effects from working in tandem. Indeed, quite a few adventurers are toting about enchanted firearms, and even a wizard can recognize the advantages of a relaxing train ride if he can't teleport to his destination.
However, the wonder of technology and engineering has most certainly affected the number of practitioners of the arcane arts. Wizards take years to learn how to cast even the simplest cantrip, but a gun works for anyone who can afford to buy one and knows how to pull a trigger. Of course, both work best when the user is trained in its use. A powerful wizard is still someone to respect and fear, and even the father of technology, Fontin Nackle, would never claim to hold more power than a wizard who is well-learned in his art.
Religion, and by extension, divine casters, have felt almost no change in this time. A new deity, Iali, has risen to lesser deity status, his followers claiming he is the patron deity of technology and engineering. It is said that they struggled with membership until Fontin Nackle endorsed them, after which membership flourished. Iali grants access to the Craft, Law, Metal, and Knowledge domains. His favored weapon is the pistol. His teachings involve the idea of spreading technology to help people. His alignment is Lawful Neutral, but he does not accept evil clerics under any circumstances.
Boccob has fallen to the rank of intermediate deity, due to the number of magic users and worshippers decreasing. His clerics around the world have redoubled their efforts to spread magic, but it appears they are having trouble filling their ranks.
Dragons, and other sentient, long-lived creatures such as giants, have taken little notice of technology. Dragons especially view it as just the latest fad that the 'smoothskins' are playing with, as the Technological Revolution has been going on for such a short amount of time in their eyes. However, some have accepted that the world may begin to change, when simple humans have access to weapons that could pierce even a dragon's mighty hide. Rumor even has it that there is a dragon who takes humanoid form to help advance technology, but of course, proving such a story is an exercise in madness.
Although one might believe that swordsmanship and archery would fall to the wayside as "outdated", in light of the development of firearms, such is not the case. Firearms are not always appropriate for adventurering in tight caverns, or for guards simply trying to subdue a criminal. There are also plenty of people, both adventurers and not, that simply distrust technology, and would rather depend on their tried and true blades and arrows. Doing so is generally not looked down on or considered "backwards" in any way.
Delemor (Republic) - Delemor is an independent city-state on the bank of the same river that Choonad is. It is one of two cities with electric lighting, the other being Choonad. Indeed, many of Delemor's citizens believe that Delemor should swear allegiance to Choonad, and gain the protection of their military. However, there are a number of arcance casters living in Delemor who would like nothing less than for their home city to be at the beck and call of a "council of magic-hating bastards". These spellcasters believe that they should, instead, join the monarchy of Surar, and keep to the old ways as best as possible. However, even these wizards can see the wealth and morale that is being created for the citizens of their fine home by the train station that was set up by Choonad.
Delemor is run by a council of five members, who are democratically elected. One must be a citizen to vote for a councilman, and there is a miniscule voting fee that is used to pay the ballot-counters. Currently, three councilmen want to join Choonad, and two want to join Surar. However, for such a serious decision, the people of Delemor demand the decision be unanimous, which is seeming more and more impossible as time goes by. In the meantime, Delemor citizens are more than content being wooed by both Choonad and Surar.
The population of Delemor is mostly human, though other races are certainly welcome.
Choonad (Republic) - Choonad is called the heart of the Technological Revolution, and for good reason. It is here that Fontin Nackle, the proclaimed 'father of technology', works with many assistants and colleagues to invent new devices to make people's lives easier. It was the first city to have electric lights, and is still the only city to have multiple factories. In addition, they are one of three places to have a train station, and half of all profits from the trains are paid to Nackle's laboratory. Rumor has it they are working on a flying machine, but such rumors are difficult to prove or disprove.
Choonad is run by a council of seven members, each of which has a term of three years, and then appoints a successor. Choonad claims it has too many citizens to count votes from each of them, which is why they appoint successors, but many critics claim that it's simply because they want to keep the power in the hands of humans.
Choonad's population is extremely mixed, with most races blending together quite seamlessly. Humans are the most numerous, but the next numerous would be goblins, if they were counted as citizens. Choonad's numerous factories are run by goblin slaves, as the factory equipment is still extremely dangerous. Indeed, many people say that you can tell if a goblin is free or a slave by seeing how many fingers he has. This has created quite a stir, politically, as many orcs and half-orcs know that it could just as easily been them being forced to work on horrible machines, and even many humans say that slavery in any form is unjust. Unfortunately, their complaints tend to fall on deaf, uncaring ears.
Surar (Monarchy) - Surar is a large nation, the largest still clinging to the old ways. Magic is a strong force in Surar, and technology is all but outlawed. Surar is named for its capital city, and is run by King Gabriel ran Tinnith III, the youngest king ever to have sat upon the throne. It was his decree that the vast, almost unending chains of feudalism that were choking the common people of the land be broken, and commoners be allowed to own land. This has, of course, made him extremely unpopular among the noble class, who have been stripped of their titles and are now just wealthy citizens.
Surar's king spends much of his time attempting to woo the city Delemor to pay taxes to Surar in exchange for protection of their city. He has sent many gifts, but Delemor, for now, seems comfortable sitting on the fence between Surar and Choonad.
Himmos (Tribal) - A small ogre tribe living to the north of Delemor, ruled by a powerful human earth priest. Few know his name, and none know his objective or reason for living with ogres. However, only twelve years after he came to power there, half-ogres began to come to Delemor, looking to trade for supplies to bring back to the Himmos tribe. Thus far, they have been peaceful, but they insist that nobody enter their domain uninvited, and Delemor's councilmen are wondering what they're up to.
Reykim (Magocracy) - Reykim is a small nation, with but one major city, which has the last train station. Reykim is newly allied to Surar. Reykim has a tiny population, mostly due to their rules that every citizen must be able to use magic of some sort. Few people know what actually goes on in Reykim, as most non-spellcasters are denied entrance at all, and the few they allow in to trade are generally too frightened to speak of what they saw.
Reykim is a magocracy, in that the most powerful spellcasters usually exert their power to force lesser spellcasters to swear fealty to them. The nation's actual policies come from a being who calls itself the Magelord, though none have actually seen the Magelord's face and lived to tell the tale. Rumor has it that the Magelord is an ancient lich.
The Northern Lands - Rumored to be where the elves retreated to when Choonad's steam engines hungered for lumber, but little else is known. Exploration parties generally get lost, and when they do return, they don't even remember leaving, much less how they got back or what they saw.
Theiadel (Clan) - A clan of low dwarves, who mostly survive by trading for food with money that they acquire by forging parts for steam engines and factory machinery. Being low dwarves, they were deemed unfit to build their home in a mountain, and instead burrowed deep underground. The population is tiny, perhaps sixty at most, and the clan is often called inbred by those wishing to anger the dwarves.
In truth, they are not entirely wrong. The family lines in the clan are no strangers to inbreeding, and even only two centuries after being banished and named low dwarves, the clan is on the brink of extinction. Still, dwarven pride and honor forces them to push on and refuse to beg for forgiveness from the high dwarves.
Saenthash (Dragon) - A dragon-ruled territory of reptillian creatures. It is mostly uncivilized, and unfriendly with almost all other nations. The occasional half-dragon, kobold, or lizardman occasionally leaves and settles in other lands, but this is extremely rare. These travelers tell stories of an ancient red dragon that rules the land with absolutely no challengers.
Elves have almost entirely sworn off contact with humans, and gone into hiding. The mass deforestation of the world to fuel the fires of human factories angered most elven leaders, though a good number have moved into human civilizations and live among them. Elves who claim to be from the new elven kingdoms are generally druids, and spend their time trying to undo the deforestation that man caused.
Half-elves largely live among their human relatives, and feel more kinship with them than with their aloof elven relatives.
Dwarves are split into two groups, high and low, though the differences are not physical. High dwarves are considered to still have their honor, as decreed by a group of representatives from each of the three major high dwarf clans. They live in the mountains to the northeast, and are very rarely seen outside their mountain homes.
Low dwarves, on the other hand, are disgraced dwarves, considered to be unworthy to make their homes in the mountains. Such clans generally either blend in with a human society, losing their dwarven identity slowly, or set up a society of their own, where they eventually die out, due to inbreeding and lack of new genetic material. However, low dwarves will almost never ask for forgiveness, even knowing their fates and those of their descendants, considering it to be weak and undwarfish.
Gnomes are perhaps one of the most diverse races, as their work in both engineering and in magic is widely recognized. In Choonad, gnomes are clamoring for Fontin Nackle to be made a councilman, but humans fear the political power he might wield, and are likely to pass him over for a human. In addition to blending into human societies, gnomes supposedly have their own kingdom somewhere, by the unfortunate name of Gnomehome. Many gnomes proclaim the beauty of the land, but none can ever seem to give directions to the place.
Goblins have mostly been enslaved by humans, and generally work in factories in Choonad. There are free goblins in human societies, but they are almost always viewed with suspicion and distaste. Since factory machinery is generally unsafe, it's easy to tell free goblins from enslaved ones by the number of injuries enslaved goblins generally have.
There are also wild goblins that cling to the old ways, but their raiding has all but ended, now that humans have firearms with long ranges. The last raid on a major civilization was twenty years ago, and half the raiding party was dropped before they even reached the gates of the city.
Orcs and half-orcs, surprisingly, have been folded into many human societies, where they either take up jobs where they can use their brute force to their advantage, or eke out a living doing less legal work. Full orcs tend to be protective of their half-orc brethren, and more than one human has died for bullying his or her half-orc spawn. In addition, half-orcs are less likely to be spawned by way of force, as orcs are actually an accepted part of society, and there is little shame in a low class woman marrying an orc man who has a job.
Many employers, however, still refuse to hire those with orcish blood, claiming that they can't trust that the 'barbarians won't lose control and kill someone'.
As with goblins, there are still tribal orcs, but even they have moved on and grasped technology. An orc raiding party is just as likely to be carrying rifles as axes, and clerics of Gruumsh have stated that He approves of the direction these tribals are taking, but that the traitors that are subservient to humans must be slain.
Okay, if you've read all of that, and somehow, you still want to play in this game, here are the rules for character applications.
Character CreationCharacter creation rules are fairly simple.
You will be starting at ECL 5, with standard wealth by level.
32 point buy.
Automatically accepted sources include: Core
Complete Series (No Frenzied Berserker or Hulking Hurler from Complete Warrior.)
Magic Item Compendium
Player's Handbook II
Tome of Battle
Gunmage class from Iron Kingdoms
Also, some quick house rules.
We will be using the firearms rules from Iron Kingdoms. I realize that's not really a house rule, but I'm just letting you know.
If said firearm says it takes 1 standard action to reload, Rapid Reload will drop it to a free action, to make iterative attacks possible. Otherwise, what would be the point?
Bullets will be standardized for sanity's sake, and will cost 3g/20, for the player's sake.
The monk class is not permitted. This is because the monk class is awful, and I would not inflict your monk upon a party.
Other than that, ask and you shall generally receive. I'm pretty lenient, and I like creative characters that I haven't seen before. That said, Psionics are fine, but they are reflavored as arcane magic. Mechanically, exactly the same, but you're a sorcerer who casts different spells ingame. I'm fine with reflavoring classes and feats from other settings, so long as I'm able to look at them first.
Your application must be readable. I'm not your English teacher, but still, if you type like this is an instant message, I will instantly form a negative opinion of you. I know that's rude of me to say, but that's how I feel. Sorry.
Feel free to add to the world in your application, as this is by no means every location in the world. In fact, this is only one continent, but as far as the beginning of the game is concerned, this is the known world.