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Forgotten Realms Campaign - The Shadow of Madness

   
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Old Dec 6 '18, 10:57am
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Forgotten Realms Campaign - The Shadow of Madness

The Shadow of Madness - Forum
Pathfinder



The Path to Safety

The month of Merpenoth, or Leaffall, 2046 DR. You find yourself camped out on the northern banks of the River Chionthar, in a large caravan heading west. Nearly a hundred wagons are scattered throughout the makeshift camp, and for every one there are five more people traveling by foot or horseback. Many of them journey laden with packs, clothes disheveled, while others wear rags and beg for a share of the more fortunate's meals. Some are clearly deserters, who stick close to one another, wearing poor and broken armor, sigils ripped from their equipment. A few are merchants, guards protecting their wagons while they barter with the refugees, all but robbing them of coin. One or two with knights and servants even bear noble insignia on their clothing, although their houses have clearly seen better days.

Most seek to escape the war to the east, as the merchant domain of Amn lays siege to the Dragonlands, their mercenaries burning fields, ships, and homes alike. Little better then bandits, the sellsword armies spare no one and nothing. The Kingdom of Swords and Baldur's Gate don't seem much safer these days, but what could be worse then the battlefield? The caravan moves slowly, yet there is safety in numbers. Cutthroats and outlaws don't dare attack such a large group, instead quietly joining them before robbing who they can while families sleep. The pitiful prayers of clerics, begging the silent gods for their protection go unanswered, and rumor has sprouted in the camp that a disease has begun to spread. But Baldur's Gate grows closer by the day, and the warm, welcoming safety of its walls may yet keep hope alive. . . .


The City of Baldur's Gate


Character Creation

Characters will begin the game at level 1 with 30 point buy or the 5d6 method. An ability score cannot exceed 18 at character creation, even with racial bonuses. The house rules will make this a high power campaign, somewhere between regular progression and gestalt style with potential to become far stronger than either.

For more details on how to create a character, please read the d20pfsrd character creation outline.

For specific details on character creation for this game and the rules to use for this, see the Character Creation rules here.

If you would like to apply, please post your character application here.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me or to make a post with your question in the Rules and Questions section of the game forum here.



Important Info

There will be a few resources that will help you along the way, and give you a better understanding of the setting.
  • Any of the stickied threads in the Rules and Questions forum - A basic understanding the homebrew additions and the pathfinder rulesets will be essential in gameplay and your character's progression.
  • Recent History - It's important to understand the recent history of the area when creating your character, and how things have changed in the years since the Second Sundering.
  • D20pfsrd - Most of the rules we'll be using and any information on the pathfinder system you need can be found here.
  • The Forgotten Realms Wiki - While some of it will be 'outdated' for the game, a lot of information about the general aspects of the setting can be found here.


Game Description:

The Forgotten Realms, a place of magic, monsters, and myths. Since the Second Sundering, the world of Toril had calmed and settled, falling into an uneasy peace. With the gods falling quiet, mortal-kind has been left to its own devices as the years have passed. Legends have faded into myths, and the heroes that gave them breath have all but been forgotten, their stories the subject of historians and scholars. For centuries, the world turned and time passed with little interference from the gods.

Our story begins in a world changed from the Era of Mortals, where war was waged not in the name of gods, but in the name of kings and emperors, warriors and wizards. The campaign will begin in the year 2046 DR, centuries after the Second Sundering, along the northern banks of the River Chionthar. The Dragonlands of Cormyr, Sembia, and the Dalelands have been attacked by the Merchant Domain of Amn, and displaced commoners, deserters, merchants, and nobles alike. A caravan of hundreds travel towards the City of Baldur's Gate, staying together to avoid danger, hoping either to escape from the war or grab for the power vacancy in the broken Kingdom of Swords.

Because of changes to the world in the centuries that have passed, (and because I prefer it,) Pathfinder will be used instead of D&D5e. I am hoping for this to be a long game, for your character to progress from the 1st to the 20th level, the inclusion of Kingdom Building rules if your characters make choices that lead to it, and a general freedom of your characters to interact with the overarching story in the way they deem fit. In short, I intend for this to be a Sandbox Game set in The Forgotten Realms, with a story along with it to tie everything together.

Being what it is, this game will also have a heavy focus on the passage of time. The choices the characters make, what they do and do not influence, and where their path leads them will have consequences - good or bad - on the world around them. Jobs they do not take or leads they do not pursue will expire, be completed by others, or be lost entirely, and these choices will effect encounters further on in the game. This is in an attempt to make the world feel as alive as possible, and often you will need to decide which problem or opportunity you want to pursue, if any at all.

There are several homebrew rules I'll be allowing you to make use of, and as such all classes and third party classes will be allowed if they make sense within the world. You are welcome to try and bring homebrew classes, feats, etc. if you so wish, though I reserve the right to deny them if I don't believe they fit or otherwise. The game will also feature the fullest extent of the pathfinder ruleset I can manage to use, so if you're unsure about something simply ask.

For this game, I would appreciate players to have discord. I would like for the posting to move at a fast pace, and the use of discord will allow players to notify each other when it is their turn to post, or message myself directly if they have a question. Most if not all of the gameplay and rolls will take place on Mythweavers, however some things like battle maps may be included on the discord for ease of access in certain situations.

Lastly, and most importantly, this will be a very roleplay heavy game. Players are expected to be decent writers and to describe all of their characters actions as though telling a story. Simple combats will be entirely text based, with players free to make use of the environment as they see fit, and bonuses may be awarded based on a players description of their actions. Complex combats will make use of a map, but players will still be encouraged to roleplay these scenes heavily. If a scene requires a lot of interaction between two characters, I would prefer that the players discuss whats happening out of character in the discord and write the scene cooperatively before posting, so as to keep things moving quickly.

Your legend begins here, the question is how you want it to unfold...


Last edited by ShockHelix; Dec 6 '18 at 1:32pm..
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This is just some idle lore curiosity on my part, but is there a lore reason the vast majority of people are fleeing towards the Sword Coast? Given the angles involved of an Amnish invasion out of Amn and the Dragon Coast, Sembia and the Dalelands at least seem they'd more be fleeing into The Vast or the Moonsea regions (assuming Dalelanders couldn't take refuge with Cormanthyr, which seems to be implied). Fleeing towards the Sword Coast puts them basically directly in the path of the invasion, instead of away from it. To say nothing of the massive distances involved (for Cormyr too, though there's no other direction for them, unless you count Anauroch).

Speaking of Anauroch, have the Shades succeeded, even in part, with shifting it back towards arable/non-desert land?

As far as Anauroch is concerned, not really. There's a few more Oasis and towns out there now, but it's still a desert.

Now for the Amnish invasion, this requires a little more information on the Amnish invasion strategy and the current state of the war. Some of that you can find in the 'Current Events' section of the forum, but this picture should illustrate the general idea of what's happening.

Amn's attack came swift and sudden, a lot of people were unable to escape via boats as the mercenaries hit a lot of the port towns at once. In this year, while not 'fully' under control of Cormyr and the like, cities like Westgate are considered to be a part of the 'Dragonlands' that I mention in the Current Events.

Here's a rudimentary view of how this scenario played out.




So, to kind of give you an idea of how this played out, Amn's mercenary forces initially hit the port towns and secured the southern side of the The Dragonmere, (Red X's) while the main forces of Amn's offensive army moved up from the southwest (Black arrows).

Not all the refugees fled towards baldur's gate. Some fled across the Dragonmere before Amn had full control of it. Others went east and south. Some stopped along the way, but in any case, some of those displaced by the war consolidated into caravans heading in different directions.

The particular Caravan you begin in (represented by the 'You are here') consists of people heading west (represented by the blue lines). During all of this, Amn's forces have taken full control of the Dragonmere, and are using their mercenary fleet to prevent water based trade with Cormyr.

At this point, it doesn't seem like they can even hope to take over Cormyr, the Dalelands, or Sembia, (A.k.a The Dragonlands) and beyond minor skirmishes they haven't tried to. Instead they've been fortifying their hold on the Dragon Coast. This does seem like a strange and poor military strategy on their part, especially because the entirety of the Sword Coast is essentially leaderless right now and would be significantly easier to take.

Ah, that'd make sense. I'd been under the impression after reading the Recent History section that the invasion was being successfully prosecuted, rather than basically bogged down along a front. I can definitely see people probably wanting to flee to the Heartlands rather than the more issue-ridden NW if the route's safer than I initially imagined.

'Safe' is relative, and to be perfectly honest I wouldn't use that term to describe anything in the world right now







 

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