A brief introduction to my campaign setting The Realm of Legends and the world of Colona.
Colona is a hybrid of Gothic Fantasy with some Steam Punk fantasy mixed in to create a fun and unique adventure. Unlike other Gothic Fantasy settings, Horror is not the basic element of the setting. The goal is only to provide players with an abundance of mysterious worlds, dark beings, undead creatures, and forbidden lore to discover. It is not designed to scare or pit players against nigh unbeatable dark lords. However make no mistake the villains are the ones in control. With that said generally things are not so grim overall.
Much like current day political leaders, not all are considered “evil” but they all do some manner of shady dealings behind closed doors but still try to improve life for the people, and for the most part they succeed. While others are considerably more sinister openly making packs with dark gods and consider their populace weak or even insignificant. In the end, everyone gets what they deserve eventually.
In the average Steam Punk world, it is a place where technology and social advances milieu the standard fantasy setting (except maybe in Eberron). Colona strikes a balance between both. The world contains technology slightly higher than typical fantasy worlds (such as Forgotten Realms), including some firearms. This technology to produce firearms is not available in most lands and is often restricted by rulers in the lands that can produce them. Because of this, swords, crossbows, and other weapons found in a variety of fantasy settings are always more prominent but firearms will always be present in the background.
Magic has its place in the world too. However unlike other staple fantasy settings, magic is only occasionally a major element. Magic is far less encountered here than in the average fantasy setting. Magic-Users are rare and tend to guard arcane secrets almost jealously. Magic schools are unheard of, and of those that exist usually are either in secret or are recruiting grounds for insular groups. It is not so rare that people think magic is just superstition, most just never encounter anything magical in their lives. However the ones who encounter it and study it tend to be at best obsessed and at worst wicked.
The combination of rarity and the almost dark tone magic sets makes it alien and unknown to the populace. Even though the average commoner will never encounter any magic themselves, it does not stop them from being afraid of its influence or anyone known who is a sorcerer, wizard, or even a warlock. Those known to be a magic-user often expect to be encountered with suspicion, fear, and even perhaps hatred from anyone they encounter.
Heroes in Colona walk a lonely and dangerous road. Heroes need to keep their hearts pure and their minds focused or risk being weakened by the villainy who will stop at nothing to foment doubt and take every opportunity to gain sway over those who fight against it. If you are such a hero then welcome to the world of Colona!
WHAT PLAYERS NEED TO KNOW BEFORE PLAYING
This is a Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition game. Materials from other campaign specific settings (such as Forgotten Realms for example) are allowed but material based off of campaign specific regions or factions will have to be altered to fit in my setting. For example a player could not be a "Harper" in my world but they could be part of another similar faction found in my setting.
The game setting is a home brewed campaign setting. A brief synopsis is posted above with more details to follow in future blogs.
I am currently looking for the game to be no more than six players. I currently have two very reliable players I will accept any wishing to play. If more players regularly play, the player group size could be expanded.
Originally, I have stated that the games will be run on OpenRPG or Traipse for now. This has changed. The NEW Virtual Tabletop that will be used is RP Tools. This is a Java client that does not require installation. If Wizards of the Coast produces an official virtual table top before the game is scheduled to start, I will be using that instead of OpenRPG. If you have tokens or pictures of your character you would like to use for the game maps, please use a 60 px per square scale format. If you cannot create a token one will be made for you.
The players will begin the campaign at level 1. To generate ability scores, all players will use either the point buy found in the Players Handbook (the D&D Insider character builder point buy is acceptable also) or any of the standard arrays found in the Players Handbook (again the character builder arrays for D&D insider are also acceptable).
All character classes, races, professions, orders, etc. are allowed from other settings but may require minor tweaking to the background (not the mechanics) in order to fit my campaign setting. Home brewed classes and races from other games (Such as the Arcai for example from Esper's Legendscape setting) may be allowed if approved by the DM and ALL other party members before play. All non-standard races (any race not found in the Player's Handbook I, II, or III) must be approved by ALL the players as well as the DM.
Alignment is used in all my games, evil is frowned upon but not restricted. However players must function as a group regardless of alignment (The evil thief does not need to kill the group but can make back alley deals and use the group to further his advancement and status for example). I do not care if the group is composed of a Lawful Good Paladin, a Evil Infernal Warlock, an Unaligned Priestess of The Raven Queen, a synical Chaotic Evil Magic-User, and a Good aligned prank loving Gnome Bard who refuses to wear pants; as long as they work together and do not ruin the game for each other. This is why all character concepts, races, and classes are discussed and approved by ALL players before it will be allowed in play.
The die rolls during the game will be used using the OpenRPG dice rollers in open chat. For character creation the honor system is used. If I can't trust my players and they cannot trust me then we do not need to play together at the same virtual table. Most die rolls will be asked by the DM for a player to make such as “Make a Perception check to see if you find a secret door” or a player will declare their actions before they make the roll such as “I search the door for traps”. Try to announce your actions before you make them or if you forget to say what it is your roll was for. Always tell the group when you are finished your actions for your turn.
Character backgrounds are not required but will be encouraged for character specific quests, magical items, and unique XP rewards. The background does not have to include meeting other players or knowing them, but feel free to converse with other players to make a unique creative character origin.
The game does have hack & slash combat, however using your head is always better than using your sword. Finding a creatures weakness via gathering information from the local populace or delving into ancient tomes might reward the players with unique and easier combat options than just charging in and attacking. Not all encounters are hack & slash. Some will require investigating and thinking to finish an encounter without combat but there will be combat to keep everyone happy. There are not too many puzzles encounters but expect to see at least one in any given adventure. These puzzles will hold valuable rewards if solved. There are also “hidden” rewards for players who think outside the box as well. This reward falls closely with role playing rewards. Staying in character and helping to keep the party focus on track is enough to earn a basic role playing reward. There is something for just about every playing style in my game.
Players are not restricted to just the rulebooks for game use. However the sources they use must be approved ALL players and they must be able to supply information from those sources (such as information about an encounter power or item power for example). Material from Dragon and Dungeon magazines are approved but issue and page number references must be given.
If you have any other questions about my game feel free to ask.
If you would like to know more about Esper's setting, go to www.youtube.com/user/repsesper
Thank you for reading and I hope you all enjoy the game.