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Iron Heroes Campaign

Iron Heroes Campaign

Hello, fellow 'Weavers.

I'm starting a new Iron Heroes table-top campaign for my younger brothers (21 and 19 years of age) and a few of their friends. They were really interested in playing in my setting, The World of
Rysylis, even though they are not too familiar with Iron Heroes. I want to build an epic campaign that will teach them both, the Iron Heroes system and Rysylis. Because of this, I want to keep the beginning very simple. They are not the type of players to build an elaborate background, so a group background or template might be best.

If you are interested in helping me build a campaign, you can find some more information about Rysylis on the WIKI.

Concept 1
Heroes begin the game as youths -- probably past coming-of-age -- who all live in the same village, and are somehow thrust into an adventure. Adventures of any kind are really looked down upon in the village, since it is not only dangerous for the adventurers, but it can also bring unwanted attention to the village. The PCs will be encouraged to pick a Profession skill during character creation, which will not only help them in the future, but will establish a background they can relate to.
Plot Hook
The game begins on the first day of the Winter season, which is celebrated by a feast. Rituals are observed in the belief that evil spirits must be kept away as the cold drives them from their grave-mounds. Unbeknownst to the PCs, the village leader had recently got into a dispute with a neighboring earl. The dispute was minor, but the village leader insulted the earl. On the night of the feast, the offended earl pays the village a visit. Either attacking them by surprise, or confronting the leader in a heated debate -- the earl demanding a tithe, with swords to back him up.

Either way, it'll probably come to blows. Which will bring us to the first combat encounter. The earl's men outnumber the villagers two to one, and will sack the town. The village leader, who had taken a liking to the PCs, tells them of a secret way out the city. He is severely injured and cannot follow. He might also give them his sword or something. This will force the PCs out into the wilderness and into an adventure. Which is right where I want them. No nagging plot line right now; nothing but exploration (and probably revenge).
Concept 2
The PCs begin as slaves on a merchant boat, bound for a distant port, when an autumn gale wrecks the ship. Being a slave gives them tons of possibilities for backgrounds, while also linking them together. It will also make them look over there shoulders wherever they go. I might start them off as 2nd or 3rd level adventurers for this idea, but I'm not sure. When the ship wrecks, they are of course the only survivors. Perhaps I'll leave one other slave alive who knows the area, or the slave master (so they'll have a moral quandary right up front).
Plot Hook
This was no normal storm, though, it was the work of the gods. Specifically, the Earda of the moon and dreams, Eala. When the boat wrecks, the PCs go unconscious. They find themselves in a misty hall, dark and empty. Before them is the shimmering goddess, Eala, resplendent in her feathered mantle and bare figure. She tells the PCs she has spared their life for a purpose that will remain unknown until the right time. She will neither give them protection, nor wholly abandon since others have been called for this purpose also. They will all be branded as slaves, but they will have their freedom "safely" on the mainland. Thus their adventure begins.
More coming soon. What are your thoughts so far? Suggestions? Links to resources? Anything helps! Thanks again.

I think this could be a lot of fun, and I would offer as a suggestion the shipwreck actually landing them on the mainland of North America. It would certainly offer a lot in the form of adventure, though as far as "loot" goes... I'm not so certain.

Originally Posted by Powderhorn View Post
I think this could be a lot of fun, and I would offer as a suggestion the shipwreck actually landing them on the mainland of North America. It would certainly offer a lot in the form of adventure, though as far as "loot" goes... I'm not so certain.
It's still an easy enough reference point for scale, customs and climate. Unless you already have all of that worked out.

Either way, my main concern with your shipwreck idea is how long would the players have to listen to you without being able to do anything? First on the ship, where I assume you will have at least some description going on about where they are, how they got there and that it feels like bad weather is moving in due to the ship heaving and moving in the water. Then you got the shipwreck itself, then waking up in the dream-sequence with the goddess, and then finally after that they wake up on land after the storm and is able to do something!

While it's an idea that can work on some players, I personally would be worried about boring them. And you'll have the added downside of them not having any money or equipment which can be confusing for new players. (On top of everythign else that is confusing.)

Would you mind if I offered up a 3rd, but similar suggestion?

Instead of having them on a slave ship, start them off after having just gotten captured (being kept in cages or just bound with ropes, compared to the shackles and chains that'd be used on a slave ship). Maybe they were traveling between one town or another or something, they got ambushed by monstrous humanoids (orcs, hob-goblins, whatever) and captured. While they are out-numbered their captors mainly have basic equipment, and they're put the groups equipment in a box or chest for later use/selling and stashed away whatever cash the group had. Now they can try to break free on their own, if they don't (or if they fail) you can have them saved a little while later (a day or two in-game time?) by, oh, say mercenaries who's been hired to hunt down these slavers? The group gets free and gets their gear back, and possibly owes a debt of gratitude to whoever saved them. (Meaning they could possibly be willing to do some work for whatever organization was responsible for their release.)

It would obviously require some ironing out, but I'm just throwing the idea out there.

Thanks for the feedback! I think that's a great idea, Nikita. I think you're absolutely right about the long intro. I think what I'll do is start with the dream sequence. At the end of her whole speech thing, she'll turn into the misty form that is cool and refreshing, while she's whispering, "wake up, my heroes." When they do wake up, it's to a slaver urinating on them, mocking them, "wake up!" Knowing my players, they'll freakin' laugh so hard, but still be so pissed off.

I wouldn't have them escape the slaver pens. This way you could introduce your setting on a smaller scale. Without reading the setting world, I read a little bit about Iron Heroes awhile back and from what I imagined, it seemed that a bit more evolved in certain fluencies such as the watch, guns, clocks and an overall industrial age/feel to it. Reminscent of New York when people all over the world were flocking to America. Reminds me of the movie, Gangs of New York. Heck even getting gritty such as thieves guilds vying for something or some reason that the Gangs want the players for. Mixed in a tumultuous web of deceit and lies, there would be plenty of options for a Urbanesque feel to the game.

Concept 2 idea is my favorite.

Great idea to start with. I would have the slavers that imprisoned the players attacked by another raiding party. Somehow in the confusion, the players must find ways to escape. Here's a couple off the top of my head:
1) Maybe the fight occurs close enough to land for them to escape/swim to shore stealthily enough during the fight?
2) Maybe they can take advantage of the confusion to free the other slaves to fight for them, taking control of the ship(s)?
3) Maybe they get captured by the new group and these guys have different plans for them?
4) Maybe they help their captors instead and get freed/get set on a different path than slavery for being so useful?

This is all provided they find a way to get free from their bonds/cells, which I'm sure they'll try and could manage, but if they just fail massively, maybe their captors (Especially that slavemaster, if he helps them escape to save his own hide) would also have their own reasons to free the slaves, especially if:
1) The slaves could be good fodder.
2) The slaves could provide a distraction.
3) Some of the slaves could prove to be decent fighters.

Either way I'm sure you'll rock it and that guy that pissed on them will probably pay dearly for it.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I've decided to go a slightly different route for the start of the game. I want to slow things down, and try to let the players have slightly more control at the outsmart.

I'm on the iPhone right now, so in brief: the PCs will start on the first day of Winter (a concept I've been wanting to execute). They awaken drowsily from their king's smoky mead hall. He tells them certain traditions must be upheld, including a hunt in which a boar must be killed, it's head put on a spear outside the hall.

After a bite to eat, they head out on horseback to an ancient wood on the king's land. After some searching, they come to a glade, where a large human-like creature is bent over a boar. The large creature, noticing the PCs, abandons the boar for fresher meats. As it turns out, the creature is a troll from the northern reaches, and has no reason to be this far south. With men injured and/or killed, the warriors head back to the mead hall empty-handed. An ill omen.

That night, the king tells the PCs that his sister had sent a messenger begging for his aid in a matter between her kingdom, and a rival's. They have to travel through many lands to get there, encountering many strange and dangerous things. I may include the slaver idea on the trip out there, or on the way home. Once they arrive to help their king's sister, they will have to try and handle the escalating relations between two rivals.

Methinks I recognize this plot... Sort of...


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