Considering Starting an Eberron Pathfinder game

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My players can put me through all sorts of surprises.  At the moment right now, my Atlantis Pathfinder game has stalled.  They defeated a lich they were all supposed to feel sorry for too easily.  So, i'm thinking of starting an Eberron Pathfinder game so I can learn from my past mistakes. 

I'm figuring on a campaign that will take place in Khorvaire, but move to Sarlona.

So, I hate to say this, but do any one have any cool ideas?  I always loved the idea of Lanharath (an Eberron official character) getting captured by the Inspired and put into one of their dungeons.  He calls out to one of his "brothers" in the Harath line to come and rescue him.  The twist?  His jailer is the good Dullora quori who is holding the Kalashtar for crimes commited against his "race." (Said quori is LAWFUL GOOD, thats the feeling I get out of Secrets of Sarlona). 

His brother ventures with his companions to Sarlona to rescue him and they have all sorts of adventures trying to get to him.  I figured that Lanharath will be this brother's Itachi but a more mellow Itachi-type.  (As an Atavist Lanharath is driven, but he won't kill the entire Harath line to "test his abilities.") 
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To cut you all off at the pass, I'm not DMing Fourth.  Fourth has problems I can't seem to reconcile to my style of gaming.  I tried to, but it turned out to be a complete mess. 
Author of Elementalism in Atlas Games' Occult Lore. DAZ 3D
I'm running a 4e Eberron game, and its a bloody blast....But, what "mistakes" do you want to learn from?

As for Sarlona, I have no ideas for how to adventure in it. Its far too....totalitarian for me.  

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Hm. I'll say that if you intend this to be a long-winded campaign that doesn't fall apart, telling your players what their goal is (or even what race they're allowed to play) is doomed to fail. For the same reason that starting a campaign with "You're all in the same prison: now you must escape together!" fails, because as soon as you reach a certain point, everyone realizes they have no real reason to work together anymore, and they all tug and pull in every direction.

What I normally do is run a simple adventure, something classy. Usually something very scripted, like Ravenloft or a number of short adventures I've written--but I leave room for them to do whatever they want, including deciding to do a different adventure somewhere else. But whichever adventure they do, by the time they get to the end, I've discovered all of their motivations--who's the greedy jerk, who has a secret backstory, who goes with the flow, etc. And by then, they've also developed attachments or hatreds of certain NPCs--doesn't matter if they end up liking Strahd or hating the goodly local lord, so long as they have an attachment.

With these two bits of knowledge, THEN I write the primary campaign's story. They have a visceral emotional reaction to the betrayal of the town seer in my little 'primer' adventure? Guess who's the main villain of the next story arc. And while the greedy jerk is teased by the prospect of a huge reward or valuable treasure held by the villain, I'll know to make the secret backstory intertwine with my story arc so that 100% of the players are interested.

If you want some ideas... Ravenloft is always extremely classy to run, if you can get a copy of either the old module to convert or the 3.5 conversion. A simple goblin seige on a town during the Last War could be interesting, or maybe a seer is tricking the party into doing evil deeds (since he knows if he sends the party to dungeon A, they'll set off trap B which releases demon C into the world). A simple murder mystery in Sharn. Maybe a simple dungeon delve for a goblin artifact.

And then I'd twist those adventures around to be more Eberrony, more tailored to the PCs, at the very end. In my campaigns, Ravenloft was actually in an alternate dimension along with Cyre, because the Mourning was just an industrial-scale teleport mishap. The party got ambushed in a graveyard by goblins, so the siege turned out to be because the goblins wanted a book of Dhakaan secrets in an old tomb in the town, that the party could then go to recover. The party REALLY adored the seer, because his betrayal was so alarming, so the seer was biased against the Silver Flame, who killed his sister while 'purging' a town of evil, so he needed to acquire a demon ally to attack a church and recover her corpse--and only the PCs know enough to stop him. The party became interested in demons while solving the mystery, so the murder mystery turned the party into a detective agency in a Call of Cthulhu-esque adventure about the Rhakshasa Overlords. The party showed interest in the goblin tribes and mentioned trying to unite/rule over them, so the goblin artifact turned out to be important for uniting the goblin tribes into one banner, and now the PCs have to decide which goblin to give it to--if any, and in either case, have to hide it from those who would steal it.

Anyway. I'm starting up a Pathfinder Eberron game myself after a long stint with 4E (and a longer stint with 3.5 Eberron :P ), and am working at converting the races/artificer over to the rules. I'll probably let the players roll up characters at the table, and since I know these guys enough to know it'll take them 45 minutes to an hour to finish writing up PCs, I'll spend that time learning what their races and classes are and converting a barebones adventure to match whatever nation/motivation I think would be best... and at the end of that barebones/improvised adventure, I'll start writing the OVERALL campaign arc.
What I did for my current campaign is...well, I planned on it being a long game, so I figured that I needed a prologue. This is where the party was brought together (by the expedient of everybody in the King of Fire using it as a hangout, when the owner asked them to do a favor for him). After a few sessions, and stumbling into conspiracy. After forging the group into a party by trying to kill them all on an airship crash, the prologue ended.

Next week, in THE SHADOW OF THRONEHOLD...... 

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
Actually, because of recent events today, this thread should be retitled:

"I'm considering on starting a

 DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION EBERRON CAMPAIGN!!
Author of Elementalism in Atlas Games' Occult Lore. DAZ 3D
Heh, you might want to hold off on that until we get enough stuff for it to actually be, you know, playable. ;)

But now if you want to start up a Mutants & Masterminds 2e Eberron game, I'll be happy to help with the conversion.
One of these days, I want to run a short-arc campaign that sets up the players as agents of the Thousand Eyes dealing with the Horned Shadow and Heirs of Ohr Kaluun... or for that matter as Edgewalkers protecting the people of Riedra from extradimensional terrors, Akiak killers, and those fiend-touched Kalashtar.

It's unfortunate that the current playtest materials are limited in scope; the earlier cycles provided much more detail to work with and a solid foundation for building new material. As is, it's clear some things have change, but not clear what they've changed into, making it difficult to proceed with a conversion. But good luck if you jump in, Elton.

Hm. I'll say that if you intend this to be a long-winded campaign that doesn't fall apart, telling your players what their goal is (or even what race they're allowed to play) is doomed to fail. 


I don't know. I've frequently run campaigns around themed parties. Typically, it's the war story the players as a special forces unit from a particular nation, fighting together for a few adventures before shifting to the present day. I've been wanting to run a campaign in which the party is based around a member of the Boromar Clan who gets his first piece of territory - so you have the heir, his chief enforcer, bodyguard, sorcerous backup, etc.

With that said, that sort of thing requires absolute buy-in from the party. If they aren't interested and can't think of a character that works within those parameters, I won't force them to play. And for those who do play, I don't tell them what their character WANTS. Yes, in a war story, you obviously share a few basic goals: you're fighting for your nation (but why?) and you want to survive. But it's up to the player to decide how their character fits in that framework. WHY did they join the army? What are their long term aspirations and motivations? At that point, it's my job to figure out how, down the road, the Blood of Vol paladin who wants vengeance on Kaius but who will eventually go after Erandis will find common cause with the Lyrandar warlock. Through the war they will save each other's lives; they'll learn they can trust one another; they'll realize that the others are the powerful allies that they'll need to achieve their goals. I just need to make sure to keep the tension high enough that they never stop moving - that they always feel some sense of progress towards their personal goals, even when pursuing those of an ally.

But ideally, the goal of those early adventures is to forge a bond. Looking to Firefly, ideally you end up as Mal and Zoe. Yes, I want to bring down Kaius and you're worried about the Lords of Dust, but we've been through the war together - I want you at my side, whatever challenges we face.
Heh, you might want to hold off on that until we get enough stuff for it to actually be, you know, playable. ;)

But now if you want to start up a Mutants & Masterminds 2e Eberron game, I'll be happy to help with the conversion.

Oh, I love to wait but my players want to play Shadowrun instead. 
Author of Elementalism in Atlas Games' Occult Lore. DAZ 3D
Have to agree with Keith on the long themed campaigns. My players love them, but it is they who pick them at the start of the campaign and that player investment is needed for it to work ;)
... but it is they who pick them at the start of the campaign and that player investment is needed for it to work ;)


Certainly. In case my post wasn't clear, I certainly believe that the players have to be interested in the theme or it won't work, and they have to have room to develop their own motivations within the theme. Sometimes I'll suggest a theme and see if people are interested (as with the Boromar idea); sometimes I've had someone else suggest a theme (such as the all-changeling Mission Impossible style game). And I also run campaigns WITHOUT themes, with the story evolving over time as you suggest, dieffenbachj. But I've had a lot of fun with themed campaigns.
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Oh I've always had lots of fun with theme campaigns. But they've always been the party's idea, not mine. One time they were all detectives in a Call of Cthulhu-like story. Another time they were all dwarves.

Any time I have an idea that the party reluctantly goes along with, it ends in shambles as they get distracted, go in an alternate direction, or just spring apart because each character's goals aren't united.

Any time I have an idea that the party reluctantly goes along with, it ends in shambles as they get distracted, go in an alternate direction, or just spring apart because each character's goals aren't united.


Absolutely... with the key word being "reluctantly." If the party isn't outright excited about the idea, then you've got problems. In my opinion, a good campaign is like reading your favorite novel, except YOU'RE one of the main characters and you decide what happens. If it's a novel you wouldn't want to read in the first place, there's bound to be problems.