For most gamers, Gen Con conjures up images of the holy grail of gaming: like minded hobbyists who play all your favorite games, the wondrous dealerâ€™s hall, the costume contest, and a host of other things. For campaign staff however, Gen Con Indy means meetings. For your Living Forgotten Realms (LFR) staff things were no different, especially since we come from all over the world and the chances for face to face meetings are extremely rare. Gen Con Indy 2010 was extremely productive for us and I have pages of notes to share with you over the next few weeks about the VERY exciting changes we will be bringing you in order to develop and improve LFR. Please check back every Monday for more thrilling information.Â This week, I would like to talk specifically about adventures in 2011 for LFR; with an emphasis on the new story areas.
Â New Content!
As we have previously announced, the current regions and the majority of their plots will be wrapping up by the end of 2010. The twelve regions will be replaced with five story areas. One of the story areas will be a sort of â€śhome baseâ€ť for the PCs which we will further develop with community support including the possibility of organizations your PC might join. This story area will also have more adventures than the others. The other four story areas will focus on a specific plot which in some cases spans the borders of individual countries. A story area will release all of the adventures for that year simultaneously, so you can play a whole story area at once if you are so inclined.
In addition to the story areas, we will have a number of other offerings. Excursions, which are similar in some ways to the current COREs, will have a focus on new authors and will not be as strongly as connected to other adventures as the adventures from story areas. Excursions are likely to emphasize on heroic tier play. We have also nailed down the Epic plotline (which is, in effect, its own story area) and also have made plans for exciting content that includes old favorites such as convention specials or adventuring company (ADCP) adventures as well as new or greatly expanded content models such as a larger number of adapted adventures and the possibility of two hour, first level only, introductory adventures intended to help old players introduce new players to LFR play while still allowing you time to make characters and teach some rules in the length of a normal convention slot.
LFR fans will also be happy to hear that we are expanding the number of level bands that will be able to play many of adventures. While we are not doing away with level bands, we are expecting that most adventures will cover play throughout an entire tier. So while PCs of different levels bands will not be able to sit at the same table, each adventure will contain sufficient information for parties of every level band in the tier that adventure is written for to play. This will give you many more opportunities for you to experience stories with your favorite character! We will also be significantly overhauling the treasure and experience point systems used by the campaign, but these changes will be discussed in a future post.
Â New Stories!
For the first time, we are prepared to give you a glimpse into the five new story areas that will be the settings for the majority of LFR adventures in 2011. Expect more announcements on this blog to give you even more information over upcoming weeks, and it is quite likely that their names will change.
The Rise of Elturgard: Return to the story begun with the Battle Interactive and Specials of last winterâ€™s DDXP with the Rise of Eltrugard. The ashes of Elturel and the trade of Scornubel will provide your PC with a home base from which to deal with the vast threat of the Plagueland, while trying to rebuild following the events of A Paladinâ€™s Plague. This story area will have eight adventures in 2011 with two released each quarter and will largely focus on heroic tier play. The opportunity for the critical events decided by play to affect the next quarterâ€™s releases will be high. I will be discussing how we will be handling critical events using public play and how we are doing away with adventure questions in a future post.
Sands of Calimshan: The sands of the Calimshan and the surrounding areas hide plots of slavery, dark dealings in the arena, and feuding jinn. This story area will have three adventures in 2011 and will focus on heroic tier play.
Fight Against Shadow: The tendrils of Netheril are vast and far reaching and in this story area your PC will fight against the tyranny of the Shades of Netheril. This story area will have three adventures in 2011 and will focus on paragon tier play.
Streets of Waterdeep: The City of Splendors that we all know and love will take a new turn with this story area offering three adventures in 2011 focusing on paragon tier play.
Steel Skies of Returned Abeir: Revisit the lands made famous by the first MINI-campaign in a land full of secret cults, dashing pirates and covetous dragons. This story area will have three adventures in 2011 and will focus on paragon tier play.
Â New Epic Adventures!
We have worked out a truly epic plotline that will be integrating some of the events happening in the novels line into our plane spanning story while at the same time allowing the critical events determined by the LFR players to direct the future story. It contains some truly epic enemies and allies and has unexpected twists and turns that you would expect for this tier. The exact plotline is a topic for a future post, but I will tell you that each adventure will be a three round adventure released for a specific level and completing that adventure will advance your character to the next level. There will be ten adventures with the first epic level adventure for 21st-level characters being premiered at DDXP 2011 and the finale currently planned to premier at DDXP 2013. Given the longer three round nature of these adventures and limited audience due to their higher level, epic adventures will not premier at other large conventions such as Origins or Gen Con, but should be readily available for local conventions or home play.
Â Soon we will be telling you more about the new campaign staff and some of the other big changes. I hope you are as excited as the campaign staff is about these many changes and I hope you continue to visit this groupâ€™s blog readily to find out even more!