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Death is Broken [Egyptian Setting, RP-Heavy]

 
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Old Jul 12 '09, 7:34am
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Death is Broken [Egyptian Setting, RP-Heavy]

Death Is Broken - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e
Estimated Members Requested: 6

Much of the history of Egypt has been lost to time. Even more of it has been disregarded as the stuff of myth and legend. Once gods did walk among the people of the Nile, and it was their guidance, their power, their benevolence that made Egypt great, a shining jewel of civilization amidst the desert sands. This is a story of those times. It is a tale that begins with endings and ends with beginnings. It is a tale of success born from failure, victory born from defeat, life born from death. Most importantly, it is a tale I cannot tell alone, so... could I get a few volunteers from the audience?

Let me set the scene. There is strife among the gods. Only a few years have passed since Set betrayed and murdered his brother Osiris. In the time since Osiris's wife, Isis, has reassembled his body, restored him to life, and borne his son. This son, Horus, sprung fully formed and vengeful from his mother's womb, now wages war on Set. His father, meanwhile, has preserved the order of things by retiring to the underworld, and Anubis has ceded the throne of Aaru to him. Though the flames of divine battle threaten to consume Egypt, Duat rests in peace under its new master, at least as far as anyone living knows.

Meanwhile, Shepseskaf reigns in Memphis, and the pyramids at Giza stand as monumental reminders of the glory of his immediate forbears. Any man -- even one with divine blood -- would be hard-pressed to live up to such a legacy, and Shepseskaf doesn't seem able to stand up to the strain. Mirroring the unrest among the gods, much of his kingdom is only a hair's-breadth from open rebellion. The royal coffers, too, are running low... the pyramid being built in honor of Shepseskaf's recently deceased father, Menkaure, is miniscule in comparison with other pharaonic tombs at Giza, and rumors are beginning to spread that he has planned a more humble resting place for himself, not even a pyramid at all.

In the midst of all this turmoil several travelers stop to rest their weary bones in the city called Shedyet, where Sobek the crocodile god is worshipped... and that, my friends, is where you come in.


Warning:
An early encounter in this game will be planned to inflict a TPK on the party. Do not panic. This is all part of the game, a necessary step to set up your quest through the shattered afterlife, a surreal, dreamlike landscape seemingly populated by fragments of your characters' souls. If you're unwilling to die, this is not the game for you. If you're currently snickering about how you'll be able to beat the DM's planned TPK scenario, this is not the game for you. You have been duly warned.

Character Generation:
Your characters will start at level 6. Use a 28 point buy. Take 1/2 the die for HP. Use standard L6 WBL. All characters must be human. Some templated humans or human-derived races, such as lycanthropes or Elans, may be acceptable, but please ask before building a non-standard human character. Characters may draw classes, feats, spells, etc. from any official WotC material, but care must be taken to preserve an appropriately Egyptian flavor. Much can be done with proper fluff justification, but I reserve full veto rights.

Background:
Background is absolutely vital to your enjoyment of this game. After the deaths of your mortal forms the majority of the remainder of the game will explore your characters' inner conflicts made external. I'm not going to set any specific guidelines in stone... even two paragraphs might awe me if they were the right two paragraphs... but I would certainly appreciate an insight into your characters' insecurities and fears, hopes and dreams, friends and family, enemies and conflicts, past and present. You will not get into this game with a lazy background.

A Few Notes on Religion:
Most Egyptians honor the entire pantheon, though they will obviously show prejudices toward the gods more directly involved in their lives. In some cases this almost reaches the point of monotheism, as with the people of Shedyet's worship of Sobek, but true monotheism, and indeed true atheism, is nigh-impossible given the obvious presence of the gods in Egypt. Most divine casters can and will choose to select the entire pantheon as their patron, rather than an individual god, and clerics may take advantage of this to choose whatever combination of domains they desire, but such casters will lack a favored weapon. As a result, clerics honoring the pantheon as a whole may not take advantage of the War domain's granted power or similar abilities. Favored Souls are always chosen by singular deities, and may not draw strength from the pantheon as a whole. A character will be assumed to believe in the entire pantheon, whether or not s/he draws strength from the entire pantheon, unless his/her background indicates otherwise.

I will be using the favored weapons and granted domains presented in Sandstorm for the Egyptian pantheon, but I will not be assigning alignments to the gods. If you wish to choose a god not listed there as your primary deity, or if you lack access to Sandstorm and still wish to play a divine caster, PM me and we'll work something out.

Also, just a general religious note, you may want to read up on the judging of the dead to see what your characters should be expecting after death.

A Note on Arcane Magic and Psionics:
In Egyptian culture, Heka was both the word for magic and the name of the god of magic. Also, all magic came from activating the power of the soul. As a result, divine magic, arcane magic, and psionics all blend somewhat when viewed from an Egyptian perspective. Invoking the power of the god of magic, working magic, or drawing on the inner strength of the soul... they're all just different ways of looking at the same action. A caster's mechanical build should have little bearing on how s/he sees him/herself. A Sorcerer could call himself a priest of Heka, or a Psion could call herself a wizard. It doesn't really matter.

A Question:
When you submit your application I would also appreciate it if each of you could vote yea or nay on whether or not to use the Sandstorm waste rules (heat effects, dehydration, fun stuff like that) in this game, and also tell me whether or not you have access to Sandstorm. If the majority vote yes on the rules, but not everyone has access to Sandstorm, I will post a summarized version of these effects for the benefit of those who can't get to the book, at least until WotC lawyer-snipers shoot me dead.

Deadline:
There isn't really one. As soon as I have enough applications that meet my expectations, recruitment will end. That could put the deadline as near as Tuesday or as far away as the end of next month, or even nearer or farther. It all depends on the response this gets.

Game Description:

Where does the soul go when the afterlife cannot take it? What will become of the world when death itself is shattered?


Last edited by Ascension; Jul 12 '09 at 8:33am..
Definitely interested, hope I'll have enough time to work on a character before the deadline (which is variable ).

On another note, how would waste effects work in the afterlife? or is there little difference between the underworld and the material world in this case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Illniyar View Post
On another note, how would waste effects work in the afterlife? or is there little difference between the underworld and the material world in this case?
The underworld will be highly variable. At times it will work like the material world, at times it... won't. In terms of waste effects, though, the same general conditions would apply and the same general defenses would protect you... at least usually. Since you'll already be dead, though, your primary concern will be the pain and discomfort, not the actual threat of death.

A note for everyone: Whether the party members know each other or not at the beginning of the game is up to you. You will find yourself forced into a group even if you're complete strangers simply by virtue of being the only outsiders in Shedyet, but you could be as close as a set of sextuplets. You're fully in control of your level of interconnectedness.

Name: Apophis Sun'Sora
Class: Swordsage - Weresnake
Sources: All 3.5e books in .OEF format; I'm more than happy to assist with character assistance.
Background:

Though Apophis was a god he had been raised from birth by mortals only to ascend his own black throne. Naming himself after the demon in which he so strongly resembled; more true than the pharaoh himself, was the youth a living god; but this was not always so. In fact the child was "cursed" with godhood; for he was once born mortal a feeble boy, sickly and unable to fend for himself; abandoned by his fleeing mother as the serpents of darkness crossed the land. But it was on that day that the boy received his curse. At four years he was ill able to carry himself the distance to Memphis, and none could support his weight; so instead he was left as a sacrifice unto the demon. It is unclear whether he was accepted or not as he yet lived, however it was true that in a spree of inhuman violence he was cast from his home having savagely bitten his elder brother and caused him to die of an intense and virulent poison.

The infection of lycanthropy caused him to age quickly, his grace influenced by the serpent allowed him to easily hunt his prey. And not always in shadow of fear. His looks were exotic, strong, and as a young man he found it easy enough to seduce or charm human prey into his chambers. Like most snakes, he too was cold blooded and preferred to spend long lazy days under the scorching desert sun. His thick scaly hide protected him from to great a harm of the rays, and he had become quite adept at controlling his form.

His serpentine mind demanded that he focus himself in the studies, and so he sought to perfect the pursuit of sword play. As he never truly fit in with humans he built his own "city" a temple to both himself, and whom he considered to be his father. Surrounding himself with serpents in whom he found he could command loyalty. It was in his cave that he took to the arts as well as swordplay, creating images of himself in the form of a serpent. And it was here he sent his call; for the serpents of darkness found him all too fitting a master. To make a living he typically performed tricks with a cobra, or selling his sculptures of limestone.

Appearance: The word striking applies to Apophis' looks. In human form he retains the features of a snake, wide eyes, strong cheek bones, a prominent jaw; truly handsome applies. He adorns himself in snakeskin claiming the feel is more natural to him. Though most do not understand why the irony in that statement is true, those who would call him friend can see the humor. He is strong built, and retains enough tone to remain quick, and the word hardly describes his lithe agility. He has a propensity to wear thick soot on his eyes, and paint his finger nails black, giving his bronze complexion a very sinister look. As well as adorning himself in tattoos of serpents. He tends to wear a circlet of gold about his head for no other reason than it's regal appeal and has little respect for the pharaoh or his laws. It would ill suit him and likely shorten his life were he not such a misanthropic hermit. When in his hybrid form however his appearance takes on a very different look. Green and gray scales mottle his frame long fangs hang from his lips, and black claws adorn his fingers. A terrifying sight to behold, one that inspires great fear, and great awe. As with any man who considers themselves a god, he sought only the finest in food, in women, and in wine. And though being a beautiful being in either form, his propensity to view lesser beings as food gives him a rather cold demeanor.

Personality & Motivation: There is one great fear that motivates Apophis, in a world where he is the only one of his kind; his loneliness consumes him. This causes him to form unhealthy attachments with people who show kindness unto him. He tends to come off as needy and a touch sycophantic. And while he has in him the capacity for great good, his self serving nature leads him to act irrationally on occasion as he feels he is deserved of better than the cut that has been given him. He has few if any moral compunctions about killing, and will kill to ensure his survival, or the betterment of his position.

He hates the pharaoh for claiming godhood that does not belong to a mere human, and seeks to kill the false god on his very throne and take the throne for himself.

His lifestyle as a lush gives him the motivation of greed and wanderlust, his self seeking nature seeks to garner tales of his glory. He attempts to surround himself with servants that laud him.

A
night
day in the life:


Sweat glistened across gray green scales, mottled to provide excellent camouflage against the night. A beast, more serpent than man dragged a sack full of something putrid through the empty city streets. Two stark green eyes glowed upon his head, but much taller and further apart than any normal man. Slender forked tongue worked it's way across two thick and dark lips. It tasted the air, no human was near enough to disturb him whilst he completed his misdeed. Unfortunately the temple guard had been increased, but such humans were easily frightened into fleeing, or beaten into unconsciousness. Were it a priest he would have taken pleasure in killing the servant of his hated enemy, but the guard he tasted was simply a sentry loyal to all. Grabbing the unsuspecting human from behind about the throat, Apophis gave a vicious throw and heard the man crunch against the wall. Likely he had broken something in the man but not killed him.

Taking a moment to ensure the human was unconscious by sprinkling essence of poppy under his nose. It was then that the dirty work began. His clawed fingers easily found grooves in the limestone statues of Sobek that flanked the entrance to the temple, and in no time he had defaced them and strapped a corpse of the sacred crocodile unto each. The corpses were bloated, leaking, and a garish purple that suggested poisoning. Two holes punctured the relatively perfect hides of the creatures in the shape of an adders mouth, and an enormous one at that. And climbing down from the defaced statue he reached into a skin containing a mix of blood and his own poison and drew a large sinuous hieroglyph of a snake, crossing itself repeatedly written in almost calligraphic script beneath. "I am Apophis; enemy of Ra!" He cleansed his hands upon the cloth of the guard and shifted his form into that of a massive serpent. Sliding into the high priests chamber and inside the bed sheets it was time to watch, and wait. Soon his meal would come to him; soon Shedyet would resound with the cry of mourning. And the fear of the serpent god.


Is incarnum allowed, or even ToB? I'm very interested in the idea, and I will get a character idea up as soon as I can get some solid Egypt culture research done and the time to write it, I just want classes okay'd before I start.

As I said, anything goes as long as you can justify it. I'm actually quite fond of ToB in particular, and games like this are what Desert Wind was made for.

Name:
Means Moonsnake
Aapep the Sandstrider
Race: Nomadic Human
Class: Desert Ranger- Sand storm



Hmmm might also relook at feats ToB Desert Wind Posibilities

Then Azurin Swordsage (will do the whole attuned to souls aspect for most of his life), aiming for Bloodclaw Master and Master of the Nine.

Alternative to that I want to ask about a monk remake I've read + Swordsage going into Shadow Sun Ninja.

Posting for interest, hopefully will get a sheet up later.

Question: What abou the worship of Akhenaton? Has that already come to pass and been quashed or is it part of the future still?




 

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