Keep on the Shadowfell is, at long last, complete. Last night, the group fought their way through foul undead into the chamber where Kalarel was in the middle of summoning some great evil, perhaps even Orcus himself, through a portal. With great effort, the group dispatched the vile priest in the nick of time and saved the day.
As the Keep on the Shadowfell drifts from view, the quiet hamlet of Mossmantle approaches. It’s time, at long last, to start our next campaign!
I went over it previously, but I’ll mention it briefly again just in case. This campaign is going to follow a much different model than we’re used to as of late. Basically, it’s a “sandbox” game, meaning that there’s no overarching plot and expected conclusion. It’s an old-fashioned sort of D&D game where you will basically be exploring the countryside near the town of Mossmantle and what dungeons lie within it’s shadowy woods. Your motivations are entirely your own, and you are encouraged to be as simple or as complex with them as you please. Anything from a treasure hunter seeking the lost amulet of the Gatekeeper Athul’chek to a landed knight looking for his missing sister. As I mentioned in the comments of the linked post, I really want to encourage the idea that you can do whatever you want with this campaign.
Here’s the basics:
- Sessions will be scheduled by the players. If you want to play, you have to email everyone and see who’s available, then set a date/time and be ready to play then. The only requirement is that this is scheduled in advance, to give people time to respond, and to give me time to be free as well. If you don’t take the initiative, then we don’t play. Outside of sessions, you are welcome to blue book as much as you like. This will enable you to really explore the town itself and your character’s downtime. But that doesn’t mean that each session with everyone must be consumed by adventure and that alone: if you guys want to spend a session exploring town or whatever, that’s fine too. The pace is your own.
- Because I despise level disparity more than anything else, experience will be a shared pool. If someone gets a roleplaying reward, everyone benefits. If some players clear a mine, everyone benefits. I know this can be a bit unfair when someone’s not present and still gets XP, but that’s a downside that (in my opinion) is greatly outweighed by the benefits. I will keep track of the XP meter and will simply email you all (or tell you if we’re in a session) that you’ve leveled up. I’m not certain, but I’ve kinda toyed with the old-fashioned idea that you can only attain levels when you go back to town to rest, but I don’t think I’ll go that route.
- There is no plot. While there are stories to be told and histories to be learned, and NPCs have motivations and desires that will cause certain things to happen; there is no expected route. You’re encouraged to do whatever you like. If you feel that you’d like to join the bandit king Sutger and his band, then that’s fine too. I’m very curious to see where the game goes and what it’ll look like by level 30. 😉
- We will likely have an introductory session where the characters can do a “meet and greet” and get settled into the town of Mossmantle. If people are native to the town, let me know and I can give you some details ahead of time via email. This’ll give us a chance to find out what’s in the area and what you guys might like to explore. We may even have enough time in the first session to do a dungeon or something.
- Encounters will only be somewhat scaled. There will be things out there that you cannot handle and could easily wipe the group. Be careful! Pick your battles when you can and know when to run. I will be remorseless. There is no plot, so characters can easily be replaced.
- 4e suggests that characters should have magic items tailored to them. This won’t happen in this game. I will be placing magic items at random. If you find something useless to all of you, then so be it.
- The game will be semi-realtime. If possible, each session will start on the same day in the campaign as real life. This means that time will pass relatively quickly compared to our other games and it means that seasons will pass as they do in real life. This may very well change the dynamic of encounters or dungeons.
Characters will be starting at 1st level, using the default point buy. Monster Manual races in the back of the book are available, including the slightly more detailed versions on the Wizards’ site. Please ask before choosing one of these, though. The Genasi and Swordmage from the Forgotten Realms Player’s guide are available. Adventurer’s Vault is also available for use (it’s got some mundane items in it).
The town of Mossmantle is a little hamlet in the north eastern Eldeen Reaches under the protection of the Wardens of the Wood, who came to protect the town after Aundair left the region. It’s a sleepy town, though sometimes it has trouble with bandits or other, less friendly, druid sects like the Children of Winter or the Ashbound.
That about covers it for now. Feel free to discuss character ideas, adventuring company ideas (if you want to make things official-like), and whatever else springs to mind. I look forward to starting!