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Olarune 19th, 994 YK (Free-form Eberron)

 
Olarune 19th, 994 YK (Free-form Eberron)

FlavorWhat if Siberys were to wake and look down upon the corpse of his sister? Where would his gaze wander? What would he perceive?

Would he spare a second glance for Xen'drik, where the civilization that lasted for tens of thousands of years has been gone for tens of thousands more? Could even his eyes pierce the veils of secrecy that have sprung up around Sarlona? Would his gaze linger on Argonnessen, where those who believe himself his offspring have retreated to contemplate the world from afar?

And could he comprehend the swarming riot of life that has sprung up in an eyeblink on Khorvaire? Would he wonder at the marks that mortals bear and think the doing of his siblings? Would he notice the war that has torn the continent apart for only a few months short of a century? Could he know that in east, south, and west whatever dominion the humans claimed has all but vanished?

Or would his eyes be caught by the gleam of light off marble, the alluring glow of happiness and prosperity even in the midst of war? Could even the Dragon Above tear his gaze away from Metrol?

Whether or not he can, soon he will be forced to turn his gaze away. For tomorrow, the city will burn--and as the smoke streams away so too will its inhabitants, forced to make for themselves new lives.
ExplanationEberron is an outstanding campaign setting; it's a pity that people use it only to run campaigns in.

Let me unpack that statement. The most interesting parts of Eberron, in my opinion, are its history and its politics. Both of these things, however, tend to get jettisoned or at least de-emphasized in the typical campaign. This is made hard to avoid by the very nature of D&D; when you're filling out a character sheet which focuses mainly on fighting, it's reasonable to expect that you're going to do mainly fighting.

I want to invert this expectation, and let people attempt intrigue and inquiry rather than expeditions to Xen'drik. There's a place in Eberron for swashbuckling and treasure-hunting; indeed, campaigns based on these can easily thrive. There's also a place for film noir and murder mysteries, and gritty campaigns also work well in Eberron.

What I'm saying, then, is that I don't really want to run a campaign, which is inevitably forced to subjugate digressions to the needs of the overplot, however epic. I want to explore those digressions and details.

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. And I want it in Eberron.
PremiseThe campaign will start on the evening of Zor, Olarune 19th, 994 YK. All of the PCs will be in Metrol, though they won't necessarily know each other. When the Day of Mourning begins, all of the PCs will be temporarily thrown together to work to escape--and that will be my first and last act of railroading for the whole game. I don't much care if the PCs stick together after that--it's probable that at least a couple will, but I fully expect everyone to pursue their own agenda.
MechanicsAs I said above, I want to de-emphasize pointless combat in favor of roleplaying. Because of this, you have four choices:

1)Diceless. We roleplay everything out, and together we decide what succeeds and what fails based entirely on what best suits the narrative.

2)GURPS 4th Edition. If you want some way of quantifying your character's abilities, GURPS is a great way to do this that doesn't focus primarily on combat. I have some familiarity with GURPS, though I'm not entirely comfortable with it yet--but I'd like to learn. So if you go this route, I'd recommend that you know the system well enough to correct me when I screw up.

3)D&D 3.5. This is, after all, what Eberron was designed for, and I wouldn't be much of a DM if I couldn't handle it. If you're comfortable with this, go ahead and use it, but be aware that battle will be secondary.

4)Something else. If your application is compelling enough, I'm willing to try to learn whatever rules-light system you want, within reason.

A special note about D&D 4: a central premise of 4th Edition is that PCs are fundamentally special, and aren't equal to NPCs. Thus for instance whereas 3.5 statted out monsters and NPCs the same way it did PCs, 4th edition abandons this. That's all well and good for most campaigns, and I have nothing against 4th edition--but a central premise of this game is that your character is special because they work at it through their words and actions, not because they started out that way. So 4th edition is out for this game.
Character CreationNo matter which mechanical system you choose, what I care most about is your character concept. This can be best summed up by re-reading my statements in the "Explanation" section of this advertisement. I want your character to feel like part of Eberron, and I want them to have personality. If that's met, everything else is secondary.

GURPS: Go with whatever power limit you want, but keep in mind that the PCs I want are inhabitants of their world, not godlike beings who function outside of it. So I'd hope you'll voluntarily restrict yourself--part of the fun for me is building up your character from zero to hero (or villain, or criminal mastermind, or whatever), so if you must have a power level go with 100 points. If you're looking for mechanics for things like races and dragonmarks, hunt around in this thread and see if you can find anything that's helpful. Otherwise, we'll make it up as we go along.

D&D: Again, go with whatever level you want (no gestalt, though). Game balance will be provided by the fact that we're roleplaying, not rollplaying. Thus I don't care if one of you is 1st level and one is 10th. In the spirit of what I said above, though, characters just starting out will be looked upon most favorably by me. So I'd recommend 1st or 2nd level, and anything past 4th level will have to be really intriguing. Similarly, you're free to assign attributes as you see fit--but please nothing much above 18 before racial adjustments, and those who intentionally limit themselves will be looked upon favorably. Add a number of cross-class skills equal to your wisdom modifier to your class skill list. Oh, and one last thing--double your number of skill points. Skills are good.
Acceptable Source MaterialAll of the Eberron books, obviously, both for flavor and crunch. I have everything else D&D 3.5, and I own or can borrow all of the GURPS 4th books. For any other wacky system, please provide me a link to the rules somewhere on the internet.
ResourcesI welcome people new to Eberron, as long as they're willing to put some effor into learning the setting. The articles here are a decent starting points, as is the Wikipedia article. In addition, the Grand History of Eberron, a freely available fan-made document, contains everything you'll ever need to know about Eberron, though it's best as a reference rather than an introduction.
PacingAs we'll be in solo threads most of the time, as fast as you want to go. I'd like to achieve one post per day at least, but that's not entirely necessary.
Application ProcessI'm not going to provide a recommended format for the application. Give me whatever it takes. Thinking about what I might want is a sign that you have some minimum level of commitment to this game.

But there are two things that I want from you in addition to whatever else you want to provide. First, I want a reason why your character is in Metrol the day before the Mourning. Second, for my own selfish purposes I want a possible explanation for the Mourning. This can be what your character believes (or will believe in a few days), or it can be something you yourself have dreamed up. Who knows, maybe one of your explanations is actually true!

Applications will be due on Friday, 1/30, at 8 PM EST. You don't have to have everything perfectly worked out by then, but I'll only take into account what's been posted or PMed when I decide who to accept.

Speaking of accepting people, I'd love to accept everyone who proves that they're interested by submitting a good application. But the demands of RL mean that I can't spend all of my waking hours running this game (just most of them ). So I'll probably accept 4-6 players at first, certainly no more than 8.


I realize this advertisement is incoherent, but most of what you need should be in there. For guidance, consult the Explanation section first, see the planning thread here, and realize that the answer to most mechanical questions will be "whatever works best for your character concept."

Enjoy!

Applications

lasseram: <censored>, D&D 3.5
Jomonkey527: Armstead, D&D 3.5
Chryson: Gypsy, D&D 3.5
Crossroad: Baelonn d'Cannith, diceless
pink peril: Sabriel D'Cannith, diceless
Galedeep: Estrick Tiberiun Gennet, GURPS
ShadowBright: Teela, D&D 3.5
koipond: <censored>, ?
Sarcastro: <censored>, ?

Galedeep, see my feedback on Google Talk (if anyone else wants to chat, my email address is my name minus the underscore at gmail.com).

Private feedback for ShadowBright:

Private feedback for lasseram:

@Jomonkey: Thanks for writing the scene up. It's very helpful in getting to know the character. (On an unrelated note, I'm going to have to get you to work on bolding speech, italicizing thoughts, and breaking up your paragraphs; right now they make my eyes bleed a little ) I'd like to know how Armstead acquired his rogue skills, or at least where he got the impetus to start developing them; it doesn't seem like the type of thing he would have learned from his parents.

@pink peril: We've already discussed most of these changes via PM, and I'm happy with them. The mention of Pylas Talaear, though, intrigues me--Aerenal doesn't seem like the type of place non-elves generally retire to. Is there a story behind that? Also, I await your contribution to the Great Pile of Conspiracy Theories about The Mourning.

@Sharp_Claw: I'd urge you to at least post a concept. Working out the details can always be done after the deadline.

@Thumb_Blighter: Sorry to hear that.

@Crossroad: I see you've started working on your app. I'm withholding comment until you post that it's finished, unless you ask otherwise.

Speaking of deadlines, everyone has just about 46 hours left to post their applications. I'd urge you to post them earlier so you can get at least one round of feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalapeno_dude View Post

Private feedback for ShadowBright:

Private response.


Ok I will work on my posting skills. Along those lines I added and OOC text to help give some background as to where his rogue skills began to develop.

"Well now," the portly man sitting next to me on the road started, "The Host are all wonderful, in their own way, but there's just somethin' about being in the service of Olladra that actually makes it worth the while, you understandin' me?" I nodded, not really understanding but I figured it was safer than asking him another question. He seemed to like to talk, and probably wouldn't appreciate the interruption. "I mean you've got the light ones and the bright ones and ... the whatever the others do, but I know it's good -- don't needin' to be telling a poor soul like me that -- but Olladra certain tops 'em all out. She's the focus of food, drink and lots and lots of merriment, something that this poor, poor world surely needs in these dark, dark times." I nodded again, amazed by the fact that I don't think he has managed to breathe so far and he wasn't stopping yet. "The name is Ralen Dafir, friar of Olladra. Been serving her feastiness for the past ten years. Travelling around the place making sure that those who eat are merry"

He reached out and shook my hand, it was a pause in the conversation, a pause from all the verbal waves hitting me in the face. I could only mumble a "D'nir, pleasure." before he took a deep breath and continued.

"D'nir, wonderful name that. Possibly from the tropical fruit that was recently discovered deep in the heart of Xendrik maybe? Don't worry too much about that, I was just thinking about wanting to try one of those and the fact that your name is the same -- though it could be similar -- gave me a little bit of a pause." That was a lie, I thought to myself, he's not stopping for anything, "Though I'm heading on this lightning rail to try to get to Cyre as quickly as possible. I heard that they've been hit pretty hard by this war and need some sort of levity, and what better than Olladra's representative, her travelling mouthpiece, to handle it. Now, I don't need to be around the fancy, fancy too much -- you know -- I'm far better suited to try to help those that can't really help themselves out." He reached into his
A very small bag that teleports any money donated to it directly to a coffer held where he's going. Ralen can change it depending on what monestary he's heading to
pouch and pulled a small bag that jingled slightly, "Would you mind supportin' the little ones? I'm sure that anything you could provide would help feed their little hungry mouths. A crust of bread, or some small bits of meat would go a long way, as far as your coin could take it."

I reached into my belt pocket and opened it up, I mindlessly reached in and grabbed some coins and threw them in the pouch. I realize now that I didn't even check to see what types of coins I threw at him, it was a mindless payment for a mind boggling display of conversation.

He let the coins jingle slightly in the bag and then put it away before he continued, "Thank ya kindly D'nir, never hurts to give a little bit before it hurts -- iffin you know what I be saying, you know. Not that I only do things with the little ones, no I don't mind taking a turn with those of the higher classes. They too need moments of joy in their lives, little bits and pieces of real happiness under the shadow of these terrible times, it is Olladra's calling - you know. I'm sure most of them have lost a family member to this insane war that's been going on for too long over a land that's too destroyed to be of any real use to anyone. Though thankfully the Houses have been doing a good enough job to keep the damage on stuff that they own to a minimum, even the mightiest of nations think twice about tackling the combined might of the 12 dragons. That's been a dreadful blessing all these many long year. I'm quite sure that if they would all just sit down to dinner together, a great feast given in everyone's honor they could work out their differences. Nothing sedates the soul and moves forth co-operation like food, especially if you don't have to cook it or clean up afterwards."

He laughed as if he expected me to get the joke. I think I did, but I don't quite remember. All I could focus on was his lips that continued to move despite the fact that he was no longer talking. Or maybe I just assumed that because I was so used to seeing them move, so used to the sound coming out of his mouth that I believed that they were moving. It didn't really matter. My stop came up and I nodded to him as a way of saying good bye when he said to me, "Good luck to you sir, and may the blessin' of Olladra be with ye. Goodness knows it's hard enough for me to not to hide her blessin' on me." He laughed whole heartedly and I made my way out of the compartment and onto the station platform.

I did hope that he had a good trip to Cyre, it was always difficult to travel with the war going on. I felt my stomach rumble, all his talk of food had that effect on me so I stopped by a grabbed an apple from a fruit seller close to the station. I bite into it right away, and then I realized I knew exactly what Ralen had meant.

Private feedback for ShadowBright:

@Jomonkey: Thanks for the information. What happened to Zazu?

Private feedback for lasseram:

Private feedback for koipond:

Private feedback for Sarcastro:

@Everyone: You have less than 19 hours until the deadline. Get those apps in!




 

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