The legend of the smith Durgeddin the Black is well known in this region. In each of the small scattered towns you've passed though, you've heard stories of wondrous treasure hidden in the long-lost dwarven vaults and a pitiless war of vengeance between dwarf and orc a hundred years past.
Durgeddin was a master smith who forged blades of surprising quality and power. Centuries ago, Durgeddin's home was sacked by orcs. Durgeddin led the remnants of his clan to a new stronghold in the mountains north of Blasingdell and established a small, secret stronghold somewhere in the trackless wilderness.
From his hidden redoubt, he waged a decades-long vendetta against all orc-kind, until one day his enemies discovered his fortress and attacked it. Durgeddin and his followers perished, and much wealth was carried away by the conquering hordes. But it's said that the deepest and best-hidden vaults and armories escaped the looting, and that some of Durgeddin's extraordinary blades still wait in the darkness for a hand bold enough to claim one.
Legends of Aihrde is an epic fantasy campaign for 4 - 6 players using the Castles and Crusades system. Player Characters will be adventurers in a dangerous frontier region full of monsters and hidden treasure and home to the black citadel of Aufstrag.
An easy-to-learn yet challenging system that combines features of modern and OSR games. If you've played any edition of D&D, you can easily pick up Castles and Crusades through play. The rules are available for free for those who want to know more.
A custom, zero-to-hero rule that will help you take your characters from aspiring adventurers to mighty champions.
A setting true to the hobby's roots and rich in detail, history, and lore.
The freedom to explore whatever you'd like. While continuing storylines are available for players to follow, no central storyline exists. Engage with what you find interesting. Ignore the rest.
A living world where your character's choices can come back to haunt them. You might choose to ignore a storyline, but that doesn't always mean it will ignore you back.
Limitless adventure. Fight monsters, explore dungeons, get involved in the region's politics, pursue ancient mysteries, or try to carve your own stronghold out of the wilderness and become a Crusader Lord.
The Dungeons of Aufstrag. If you can find a way past its sealed and impregnable gates, you'll have the chance to plunder a megadungeon that promises danger and wealth beyond imagination. The darkest evil of the region is ready to greet all new visitors.
Things to Know Before You Apply
I'm aiming for a type of middle ground with this campaign. It isn't meant to be a hardcore OSR experience (for that, check out my Dungeon Crawl Classics games when they open up or my Rappan Athuk campaign if I ever get that going.) Instead, this is an epic fantasy campaign in the vein of books like The Wheel of Time, and the Riftwar Saga and video games like Baldur's Gate I and II, or Pillars of Eternity. It will probably feel a lot like a D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder Campaign in tone, but the system itself is different. See How Castles and Crusades is Different for more information.
Characters start out less powerful than in 5E or Pathfinder. Encounters aren't always balanced, and this is intentional. Working as a team with your companions will be critical. Sometimes you may have to retreat from a battle or even flee before the battle starts.
All that said, C&C is more forgiving than a system like Swords and Wizardry or Old School Essentials. The Death and Dying Rules are somewhere between AD&D and Third Edition, and characters can still get very powerful at higher levels. Those dragons aren't going to slay themselves, after all.
Note: Applications for this campaign are now closed, and the players have been accepted. Thank you to everyone who applied!
War is Brewing in the Sheldomar Valley
The year is 578, Common Year reckoning. It’s been nearly 70 years since the Ulek States have seen war. In 510 CY, after twelve bitter years of fighting, the dwarves of the Principality of Ulek—with help from its neighbors—succeeded in driving the orc and goblin menace out of the Lortmil Mountains. Since then, there's been decades of peace in the Sheldomar Valley.
But the goblins and orcs are getting restless. After spreading out across the Pomarj, east of the Lortmils, they conquered nearly all within its borders. Now they have turned their attention back to west, to reclaim the mountains that were once their own. In the southern foothills of Ulek Principality, raiding parties have become commonplace. Small bands of goblinoids have settled further north, with some reports of activity as far as the County of Ulek, though many locals insist the goblins never left in the first place.
The threat of conflict is not limited to humanoids and the Sheldomar. Everywhere in the Flaeness, nations seem to be preparing for conflict. North of Celene, in Verbobonc, there are rumors that the Horde of Elemental Evil is regrouping, and starting to rebuild their fell temple. The Kingdom of Keoland, to the south, has expanded its navy to protect their southern coasts near Seaton and Saltmarsh from the Sea Princes’ increasing slave raids. Travelers returning from the Tilvanot Peninsula, on the other side of Azure Sea, speak in hushed tones about a new threat, a sect of crimson religious militarists who have spies as far afield as the Free City of Greyhawk. Perhaps most ominously, in the distant north, the Empire of Iuz and its allies are gathering forces, threatening to overrun Greyhawk, and the rest of the Flanaess.
Oerth is rife with change and danger, and it's prime pickings for fortune-seeking adventurers who want to carve out their legacy.
This campaign will be set in the world of Greyhawk, just a few years before the great Greyhawk Wars. If you’re not familiar with this setting, that’s okay. I’m still learning about it, myself. All relevant lore and material needed for the campaign will be provided in the Flanaess Compendium, and I will add more as we encounter it together.
I will be be using this campaign as a sort of laboratory. First and foremost, I want to learn Greyhawk. I’ve been reading about it on and off for the past few years, and I absolutely love its dark, gritty, political, sword-and-sorcery feel. I also want to start working with a few new home-brew rules I’ve created. The Variant & House Rules section will have more information on these rules, if you’re curious.
Our story will begin with four adventurers in Jurnre, the capital city of the County Palatine of Ulek. There will be a combination of home-brew elements and published material, from various sources. Much of the theme of this campaign will be about the possible return of the orc menace to the Sheldomar Valley. A remote, small village has requested the help of adventurers, and the party will be heading cross-country to aid them. Once there, we’ll have a proper dungeon crawl. After that, we’ll play things by ear as to whether or not to continue the campaign.
Applications for this campaign will close on Monday, September 4.
This campaign will be using a grittier, home-brewed, OSR-inspired version of D&D 5e. I’m aiming for immersion and plausibility, so the rule variants trend towards the realistic-lite, with plenty of room for creative solutions and improvising. This campaign won’t be a meat-grinder, but it's still best to be ready to roll a new character at a moment’s notice. Character actions will have believable consequences, and not all encounters will be balanced. Smart decisions are key, creative play is highly advised, and retreat is always an option.
If you’re curious about the details, please refer to the Variant & House Rules section.
This campaign is going to be dark, gritty, and fairly serious in tone. I’m picturing something along the lines of Tolkien’s later work, coupled with some foul language here and there. I will keep the subject matter in line with an R-rated movie, only with little-to-no sexual content. The increased difficulty of some of the rules will also make this a high-risk/high-reward campaign, so players should be willing to roll a new character if the dice suddenly turn against them.
All gameplay and dice-rolling will take place here, on Myth Weavers Baldr. I'm looking for players who are willing to engage at least 2-3 times a week with quality posts. More interaction and posting are definitely welcome. I absolutely love to read good role-playing, and I’ll participate as much as my NPCs will permit.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post them on the forum, or message me privately.
About the GM
My name is Aster, and I started playing RPGs way back in high school, when AD&D was in its second edition, and Palladium Books was churning out Rifts splatbooks like nobody’s business. My heart is in sci-fi/cyberpunk games such as Stars Without Number (I am a huge Kevin Crawford fan), Shadowrun (Only 1st and 3rd editions), Starfinder, Alien RPG, and Rifts (love the setting, loathe the system!) I tend to play more fantasy, however. I’ve run AD&D 1st, Savage Worlds, Palladium RPG, and I’ve played in a Pathfinder game or two. I’ve played and ran D&D 5e the most, however, because there’s just so much of it out there these days, and I do enjoy how quickly and smoothly it flows.
I’m big on immersion and plausibility in my games, and I love providing a little more challenge and tension than the average game. I feel that challenge is what creates good drama, and while I don't pull punches with the rules, I am rooting for the party to succeed against the dice every step of the way. I’m also more than a little obsessed with procedural generation, which means I use a lot of tables, and I often decide NPCs' actions based on the roll of a die. Nothing makes me happier as a GM than being surprised by my own campaign, or (even better) having players surprise me with creativity or lucky dice rolls of their own to navigate contingencies.
A Stars Without Number campaign in an alternative history of the Terran Mandate.
"Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come."
~ Revelation 18:10a
The Terran Mandate, a TL4 civilization, is the planetary government of Terra, additionally administering the dozen or so colonies scattered throughout the solar system. Life offworld is difficult with no faster-than-light travel or communication, no artificial gravity, and no psychics to speak of. The approximately 13.2 billion inhabitants of the homeworld live free, relatively peaceful lives where their basic human rights are protected by a liberal, laws-based government. Terra is just a few short generations away from enjoying post-scarcity, with the creation of true AI, portable fusion, genetic medicine, advanced robotics, and nano-fabrication already enabling feats previously dreamed of in science fiction. It's not uncommon for a person from this era to live about 150 years. The future could not look any brighter for humanity.
But things are about to get a lot darker.
Somewhere in Northern, irradiated Greenland, a madman plays with forces mankind was not meant to manipulate. Piercing the metadimensions was akin to jamming a needle into a balloon, except the balloon was reality and the resulting pop was cosmic in scale. In an instant, the psychic backlash killed two-thirds of humanity on the spot, their brains burned out by metadimensional energies. Many that survived were driven stark raving mad. The lucky ones found their civilization in ruins, buildings crumbled, infrastructure and communications gone, and contact with the off world colonies lost.
The 20 years that followed the Scream, as the event is now known, were a time of utter upheaval for Terra. Children were born with the deadly Metadimensional Extroversion Syndrome, alien flora and fauna appeared from Elsewhere, surface terrain was either reshaped or replaced entirely, and the artificial intelligences that made Mandate civilization possible had their minds corrupted into twisted facsimiles of their former purposes, enslaving and terrorizing humanity.
But after all that, the beating heart of humanity begins to thrum again.
Today, some 80 years after the Scream, people are no longer worried about their day-to-day survival as they were before. Instead of being focused inward, they're beginning to look outward to the brave, new world they need to re-tame. Free people today live in sheltered Enclaves scattered across the globe. These are usually independent settlements with varying levels of defense and infrastructure rebuilt, often with familiar pre-Mandate era names. Most, however, are sequestered in the city ruins, where mad machine intelligences hold sway. Tech from the Terran Mandate is available for all who have the will to scavenge it, and people can and do grow up in parts of the world that resemble (mostly) functional, approximations of life before the Scream--albeit with a bit of a techy frontiersman's twist to it. If humanity came that close to paradise once, it can certainly do it again. It just needs to shake off the consequence of the last attempt. Doing that's going to take the blood, sweat, and tears of exceptional people who can think further ahead than their next meal.
But then again...hasn't it always been that way?
"The Earth belongs to the living, not the dead."
~ Thomas Jefferson
The Game Themes: Exploration/Rediscovery & Man vs. Machine
Alas, Babylon is a sandbox game using the Stars Without Number Revised Edition ruleset, which you can find for free [ HERE ]. Despite the post-apocalyptic trappings, I don't actually intend for hard survival to be big parts of the campaign. Instead, humanity is more concerned with discovering and understanding the new ecology of the world and winning its freedom from powerful, insane AIs left over from the Mandate. It's a game about exploration and rebuilding. There's a sense of determination that humanity will find a way re-tame the planet, even though it will take a few more generations to do it.
My intention is to create a shared world, where the setting provides a skeleton for players to insert their own ideas without too much fear of upsetting an overprotective GM. So as such, it's incumbent upon you as a player to be invested in being creative and accommodating of others' creativity. The game won't go anywhere if your character isn't somewhat self-winding. You'll need to provide an impetus for your character to go forth and interact with the world. It's my job to take the various story threads the players craft, tie them together, and give them tension.
I'll be using Discord to facilitate table talk, announcements, and general group communication. If you are selected as a player I will send you an invitation that will give you access.
Most rules will be used as written. Major exceptions are with ability score generation via point-buy, ability modifiers, and skill points upon level up. A modification to ammunition encumbrance should make for a bit less bookkeeping. See the character creation thread for explanations of these changes and more.
Make a post [ HERE ] with your character, named after him/her. I'm happy to change the title if you need it.
Character creation rules in detail can be found [ HERE ].
A character portrait is mandatory, but I have done my best to provide a useful character image gallery for you to use (or not) at your discretion. At the very least it serves as a visual guide. You can find that [ HERE ].
You'll want to read up on the setting [ HERE ]. Character creation involves contributing your own ideas to the sandbox, which I hope will make you feel invested in it more.
"There are dark shadows on the Earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast."
~ Charles Dickens
I have been playing in and GMing table top RPGs since 1997. I am not a perfect GM, so I do make mistakes. Having been a member on the site for several years now, I have seen both good and bad examples of how it is done here. (With any luck, I'll manage to be one of the better GMs...) I think my posting history speaks for itself, so feel free to do your homework on me to your satisfaction.
This is my first time running a Stars Without Number game on the GM side of the screen, but I expect we can work out any bugs that may happen.
I have tried to be as explicit and thorough as I can so that this is as smooth a process as possible for you. To that end, I took the time to write up some policies and expectations from me you may wish to know about in the future. Hopefully, they will preemptively answer some common questions I have seen on game recruitment threads. You can find those [ HERE ].
I am looking for 4-6 (depending upon quality of application) players who are dedicated to a long term game that are proactive in their posting, easy to get along with, and overflowing with creativeness. Applications close on ZZZZZZ.
Yes, I will accept a new player to the system. I believe a prospective player with a strong character concept that ties in well with the setting will not have to worry overly much system mastery or optimization. It is far, far more important that you create an interesting person to roleplay.
Any other questions or comments feel free ask, and I will be more than happy to assist.
Cheers, and best of luck to you all.
Credit for the title goes to Pat Frank's novel of the same name. If you're going to appropriate, do it from the classics.
Dungeon of Graves is a merciless Swords and Wizardry campaign in four parts, each centered on progressively deeper levels of the megadungeon Rappan Athuk.
In Part One, your band of veteran delvers will embark on a perilous quest to locate and destroy the Upper Temple of Orcus. Make no mistake; this will not be an easy task.
With a sprawling map and dozens of interconnected levels, Rappan Athuk is one of the most complex and dangerous dungeons ever created. Even if, by some miracle, your party survives to see the last level, your prize will almost assuredly be destruction at the hands of Orcus himself.
This is not a campaign for the faint of heart. It is one for veteran players who are looking for a challenge in the best traditions of the OSR. To enter the Dungeon of Graves is to invade the very lair of the Prince of Undeath. Yet, if you would test yourself against the deadliest monsters and the most fiendish traps, and seek treasures others dare not,Rappan Athuk awaits.
MÖRK BORG is a game within the OSR--Old School Renaissance. It is a depressive, overbearing, manic, crazed thrashing against the End of the World. However, unlike most OSR games, this one is rules-light. MÖRK BORG also seems to not overly care about the idea of balance once gameplay begins. In this sense, it is much like Dungeon Crawl Classics, in the idea that balance comes from randomness.
This game will focus on dark themes and could be triggering for some folk. While they will stay within the boundaries of the site guidelines, and faded-to-black when necessary, they will not be shied away from. Embrace your demons, ride the darkness, and see where we end up.
Many years ago, this part of the Realms of Man was ruled by a magic-user named Cyre, a man of great and mysterious powers. He ruled the lands from his mighty castle Stormshelm high in the northern foothills, sheltered by the crags of the Misty Mountains.
Cyre died after a long and peaceful rule, with no heir or successor to his fortune. Yet his enigmatic power seemed to stretch beyond the grave, for no one dared stake claim to his estate, and few dared even venture near the crumbling ruins of his citadel.
Now, centuries later, the outline of the broken towers can still be seen on a clear day from the edge of Mick's Bend, a farming village upstream from the garrison town of Threshold. The "Benders" trade on the legend, variously telling of hauntings, packs of wild dogs, and other such dangers along with copious treasure and magical artifacts ripe for the plucking, a destination at once forbidding and alluring. The lone inn is named the Wizard's Walk, and coin flows as freely as mead when Cyre's riches are the topic of the bard's nightly offering.
Every now and again, bands of adventurers come to the Wizard's Walk, but few have chosen to walk the path, and none have come back heavy-laden with riches. Perhaps you will be the lucky ones?