Into the Twisted City - Myth-Weavers


Into the Twisted City

 
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Old May 13 '19, 5:53pm
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Into the Twisted City

Into the Twisted City - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 5e

Zerzura was the world capital of magic. Originally just a center of learning, it grew in political and economic power until its influence overshadowed the entire continent.

Then, it was gone.

One day, a vast metropolis of white spires was nestled among the central mountains. The next, a barren crater with an ominous black orb hovering at its center.

Across the continent, crops were blighted, birds fell from the sky, two-headed animals were born, and seers woke screaming from nightmares. And since that night, children have started developing strange abilities that defy nature and even traditional understandings of magic. These "Spelltouched" children have been regarded as a sign from the gods, or perhaps a curse for the hubris of Zerzura, or just the madness of irresponsible wizards unleashed upon the world.

Beneath the surface of the orb in the crater, shadowy images of Zerzura's streets, plazas, and gateways are visible, gradually twisting, sometimes offering a tantalizing foothold to cross into the city. But all those who attempted entry returned afflicted with madness or deformed almost beyond recognition - if they returned at all. Then, in process of time it was discovered that the Spelltouched could cross into the orb and return unaffected.

Within the orb is...Zerzura, but a twisted and ruined version of it. The citizens are missing. Some of the monstrosities roaming the broken streets were captives of wizards' labs and meageries, but some are from...elsewhere. There are treasures waiting to be salvaged, and perhaps the key to what happened here sixteen years ago.


Into the Twisted City is a campaign of exploration, survival, magic, and fame. I'm borrowing from some principles from the West Marches style of campaign, but it isn't truly a West Marches game. It's more a multi-party sandbox, with options to rearrange parties between discrete adventures.

There are two major zones: Cliffside (the town) and Zerzura (the 'dungeon'). In Cliffside you cannot gain xp. There will be intrigue, scheming, shenanigans, roleplaying, and real plot progression in town, but you won't get character advancement from them except through downtime training. While in town you'll have to track your cost of living, and your level of lifestyle spending will have an effect on your ability to gain status and influence with certain factions. (Because Cliffside is effectively a frontier boomtown, the Aristocratic lifestyle is unavailable, even if you have the means for it.)

Within Zerzura is where the adventuring happens. Because of the survival themes of the game, we will actually use encumbrance rules, track arrows and rations within the dungeon. Trips into Zerzura will have player-defined goals and limited duration. Even the Spelltouched will eventually succumb to madness if they stay in Zerzura too long, so it's not possible to permanently 'resettle' the ruins or even 'live off the land' in an indefinite expedition.

Character death is expected acceptable. Usually I make an effort to make encounters level-appropriate and pull punches to avoid character death, but in this game, the gloves are off. Challenge A is Challenge A, the dice fall where they fall, and if you aren't smart enough to back off from a bad encounter, you're going home in a bag. I'm not usually going to go so far as to attack dying characters (except for especially malicious or cunning foes), but you might want to have a backup character in mind.

Maximum Slots: 12
Filled: 8
Application Deadline: n/a

I will accept player applications on a rolling basis. When I have at least 4 good applications, I'll start the campaign. I want to limit party size to 3-6 PCs, so as the group grows it will split into multiple parties.


DisclosureIn the past, I had a poor track record for following through on high-concept campaigns. I was an engineering student, with all the stress that entails, but it also turns out I was sort of lied to about requirements and my eligibility and (surprise!) floundering in classes for which I hadn't taken the prerequisites. Yeah. Fun. Anyway, I've dropped out and my mental health has improved markedly for it, so I don't anticipate those issues to get in the way this time.

Game Description:

Oops! A wizard divided by zero, and now the magical capital of the world is trapped in a non-Euclidean demiplane. Now somebody's got to go in an pillage all that cool stuff. Might as well be you, right?

__________________
Status: Slow suffering some RL drama, delayed posting

Last edited by foltor; May 24 '19 at 3:28am..
Working on a concept now.

Sweet!

Where can we roll for abilities? I have an idea I want to go with but am unsure if the ability scores will match the idea; here's hoping! I'll put a placeholder name for my go to character concept while I work on it; this will include editing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireinthedust View Post
Sweet!

Where can we roll for abilities? I have an idea I want to go with but am unsure if the ability scores will match the idea; here's hoping! I'll put a placeholder name for my go to character concept while I work on it; this will include editing.
I recommend starting an application thread with a placeholder for the full application as the first post, then replying to your own thread with your rolls like Dr. Jackal has done.

One of my pet projects over the years has been a game where characters are randomly generation, both for thematic and mechanic details. I'm so excited to see someone else running with a similar idea! I'll do my reading and try to have something up tonight! Great concept!

Thanks! Many parts of the dungeon will be randomly/procedurally generated, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foltor View Post
Thanks! Many parts of the dungeon will be randomly/procedurally generated, too.
Just hoping we also get some puzzle solving opportunities, too, please? I like the idea of figuring things out and the reason why they are there. Unless you mean like how “scenic dunnsmouth” is randomly generated in terms of location of sites and presence of the NPCs, but the ramifications are worked out from that and have complicated relationships and interactions as a result?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireinthedust View Post
Just hoping we also get some puzzle solving opportunities, too, please? I like the idea of figuring things out and the reason why they are there. Unless you mean like how “scenic dunnsmouth” is randomly generated in terms of location of sites and presence of the NPCs, but the ramifications are worked out from that and have complicated relationships and interactions as a result?
Oh, the plots are crafted by hand. I'm not familiar with scenic dunnsmouth, but a lot of environmental factors and monsters present will be populated via rolling, and then "why are they here?" and "how do they feel about being next to those guys?" will be figured out in traditional worldbuilding style.

Was excited about the potential here until my rolls came back pretty nasty. Would you allow point buy or an alternate method if rolls came back bad? Totally understand if that's a no-go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev73 View Post
Was excited about the potential here until my rolls came back pretty nasty. Would you allow point buy or an alternate method if rolls came back bad? Totally understand if that's a no-go.
Not to pick on you personally, because that is on the surface a reasonable question especially considering the culture and norms of MW, but this ad hasn't even been up for 24 hours and you're the third or fourth person to complain about "bad" rolls, so not to 'make an example of you' but I'm going to take this as an opportunity to make a loud public announcement on the subject. I'm not mad. I just want to be very, very clear.

IF YOU THINK PCs SHOULD BE SHIELDED FROM THE EFFECTS OF RANDOMNESS, THIS ISN'T THE CAMPAIGN FOR YOU.

I mean, why not just replace the d20 with 1d10+10 if you think 'average' should be the bottom of your range? Why bother with dice at all?

There are systems where you just say you do something awesome and lo, it comes to pass. There are D&D games where everyone is a level 1 demigod. I understand the appeal of those games. I like to play in and run that sort of game from time to time. This is not that sort of game.

If you're not into that, that's fine, no judgement on you as a person or as a player, but you're going to have a bad time in this game.







 

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