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Initial Campaign Proposal
- Tagline: Class is out… permanently. Welcome to the school of hard knocks.
- Who: The characters all begin as students or low-level staff who have survived the near-total destruction of their college of magic. Almost all the professors are dead, and the buildings demolished: who caused the disaster, how, and why, are mysteries to be revealed as the campaign progresses.
- When and Where: It's our Europe in the 1400s... well, not really. A feudalistic society is still struggling with the emergence of a middle class and the opening of new frontiers of knowledge. But the Italian peninsula is dominated by haughty elves squatting amongst the remains of their ancient empire. Frankland is a human realm, as is Albion (except for the diminuitive Dawn Folk, pushed ever westward by their larger overlords) and northern Iberia. Dwarven raiders from the northlands once raided the coasts, but now live in settlements among the mountains stretching from Iberia to Wallachia. To the east, the Orc Khan rules his steppe-dwelling brethren, some of whom still raid the lands of the West. The bickering Allemagnies are a collection of small states peopled by many races, both full-bloods and half-bloods. And around the briny lakes of the Great Rift to the south squat the tent-cities of the primitive Saurians. Great zeppelins powered by clockwork engineering and elemental magic fly above the Rift, and ships driven by spell and sail ply the oceans, drawing all nations together in an increasing volume of trade. Ever since the daring recovery of the tablets of Hermes Trismegistus from distant Aegypt, from under the very noses of the Rakashan Empire, academies of magic have sprung up around Europa... what, now, will become of yours?
- Why: The initial goal of the campaign will be survival, as the adventurers recover from the disaster and try to regain a stable footing. Obviously, it will soon shift into a long arc of discovery, as the characters investigate the origins of the attack or accident, but the survivors will always need friends and supplies. The shattered academy will remain a rough base of operations, spawning expeditions within and around it, sometimes to distant locations, in a "sandbox" style of campaign. Regular challenges will include combat, social encounters, and problem-solving, sometimes in urban and sometimes in wilderness areas. The swashbuckling/cinematic-action level is medium-high: think of this as Harry Potter meets Jericho.
- How: Characters may be of any race from the Fantasy Companion, though Rakashans and Saurians will be held in suspicion by most Europan communities. Since we begin in a school of magic, odder character concepts might also be entertained (a classroom golem? a free-willed former familiar? an intelligent lab experiment?). As surviving students/staff of the Academie magique de Toulouse, each character receives one free starting Edge — which will be Arcane Background (Magic) unless arranged otherwise with the gamemaster — and a free d4 in Knowledge (Arcana). Religion is present in the setting, though the gods are generally non-interventionist and this continent lacks our history's wars of religion. Racial pantheons are Greco-Roman (elvish), Norse (dwarven), Celtic (Dawn Folk), Slavic (orcish), and animistic (Saurian), though the gods accept all worshippers. Rakashans worship a Bast who overthrew the rest of the Egyptian pantheon. As the muddled result of interbreeding by all the other hominid races combined (Dawn-dwarf-elf-orc mixes!), humans have no racial pantheon, but may follow any of the gods. Black-powder weapons and cannon do exist, and serve as tools of war along with alchemical engineering and summoning.