Cambria

Transitions

Well, I’m not going to beat around the bush at all. I’m considering halting the campaign. There is a lot of schedule conflicts and life changes coming in the near future to my players, and it seems easier for all involved to halt the campaign for the time being. Two of my players (husband and wife)are expecting their first child any day now, and the husband has recently gotten a job working graveyard shifts, so both of those would factor into their making the game sessions/being awake and aware enough to participate. Also, another of my players now has a job where he is in town for a week, then gone for 2 weeks. Also makes for interesting schedules.

So that left me with a single player that showed up to the game session last night. I was expecting other folks, but learned only later that they were under the impression that the session had been moved/canceled. A miscommunication, probably from my facebook post asking the players if another time would work better. No harm, no foul. My single player and I enjoyed some time building/painting some Warhammer minis.

I have the distinct advantage, however, of being able to tie up the storyline quite simply, and to set the stage for a return to the setting later. The point at which our last session ended leaves me with a good way to write a transition to the coming reboot.

What I’m going to do is utilize the WMD being constructed at KEynos. Originally assumed to be a powerful weapon, the device will now act as a conduit to send the consciousness of select individuals (the PCs) back to their bodies as they existed a month before the Pact invasion. No gear, no physical attributes, everyone goes back to level 1. However, the original PCs will still have the knowledge they gained in their journey beforehand. They will have a month to prepare, and try to prevent, the coming invasion.

A logical conclusion to the previous storyline, and fresh start for all of the PCs

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Update 9/30

Well, the group voted, and the majority ruled that the fight be taken to the Pact, and so they chose to man the line to the north, buying their allies time to build their mighty weapon. Joining the heroes was a human runepriest, a new character by a new player. Colton joined the group, seeking some gaming goodness after a long absence from D&D. The player spent their first session at the front shoring up the defenses, finishing a trenchline, and defeating the scouting platoon that encountered the line on the 3rd day.

In addition, I implemented a system for our absent players (Carl, Ian, and Guido) to still participate in the game, even though they cannot make it to the sessions. A brief study of western alchemy and herbal medicine gave me an idea for a potion-brewing mini-game. I created recipes for 4 potions, using 4 plants (seen here). Each plant has 3 parts, only one of which can be currently used to create a potion. The correct ingredient must then me prepared the right way, either as a tincture or an infusion. Each player gets to try 3 recipes per day, mailing me their experiments. It’s a quick way for some gaming fun, helps out the main group, and also helps our absentees stay involved.

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New and improved!

I’ve put up more background information for the setting, including NPC profiles, a few odds and ends (Herbs, Player Options, Trollkin, Sun Child), and posted a few puzzles on the Facebook group for some mid-week fun. The font creator (fontstruct.fontshop.com, if you’re interested) has come in really handy, as I now have a font for Xidel, Pact Battle Codes, and a yet-to-be-revealed SEEEKRET language.

As for the last few game sessions, things have progressed, though not as smoothly as I think everyone would have liked. Perhaps it was just getting back from the fair, but the first few sessions were a bit rough around the edges. I was a little on edge, and some personal issues with one of my players clouded my delivery of the game one particular night. The next session, I switched the tempo from the role-play centric game to a good meat grinder. The group got to slog through a few waves of undead, and rack up enough experience to level up.

I don’t mind combat, as it’s pretty easy to GM, if a little long. But I’m afraid to say that the big benefit for me when it comes to combat is that it doesn’t require much thought or participation on my part. If I’m not feeling particularly motivated, or having a bit of story-block, that’s usually when I’ll cobble together a night of face-pounding for my group. The players don’t seem to mind, but I know it shows.

On the other side, I’ll find myself quite involved with the story aspect, and encourage a good long role-play with the group. Ironically, those seem to be the sessions wherein a few of my players have the same condition that I do when I toss down heavy combat. Either tired from work, or just not feeling the story, I sometimes feel like I’m trying to pull story bits out of their clenched fists. There are nights where everything seems to mesh together well, and those are the nights that we all remember clearly for months to come. I can remember a few times where everyone was sad to leave the table, and waited in anticipation for the next week’s game. I’d like to have more of those.

Well, the title of this post is “NEW AND IMPROVED!” so I guess I’d best get to delivering that. The PCs are currently returning from an old cathedral that is being converted into a forward staging ground for a second Resistance base. When they return to HQ, they will find the council divided. One half of the council will want to push the war to the north, and drive the enemy before them. the other half will advise patience, as their new Sun Children allies are working on an arcane weapon to disable the Pact with greater effectiveness (Magical WMD, if you will). The players will get to decide, and have to decide as a group, whether they will head to the front lines and take the war to the Pact, or whether to stay and help the research and construction of a large-scale weapon.

Speaking in meta, the front will offer more combat, though usually against waves of weaker foes. The front will allow a bit of grinding, as well as access to the Blacktooth city at Korat’s tooth. Choosing the path of the WMD will have PCs engaging in research, and expidiitions to other Xidel ruins in the region, as they gather information and components. This path will pit the heroes against foes far more capable than a Pact platoon, though in fewer numbers. The rewards for this path would be a bit more exotic than what they would find in the goblin armories, but much more difficult to acquire.

Whichever path is chosen, the heroes will once again enter a locked state, meaning that players cannot switch characters/classes between sessions. I’m quite lenient with character switches when its a plausible explanation, but during missions, I don’t allow it. makes for bad story :P

Either way, come Sunday, the PCs will have to make a choice that will decide the flow of the Pact War in Cambria.

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META: Chronomancy

Sooo, Chronomancy is a beast. Come to the conclusion that is too big for a single theme, too OP for a class of its own. I was considering making it a school of magic, the setup that they did for Wizards in the Essentials expansion. But, I also want to let more than one just one class use the effects. At this point, I’m thinking 4 themes, one for each class role. Leaders, Defenders, Strikers, and Controllers. They’ll be utilities mostly, buffing self or allies whilst hindering enemies.

Some examples of the new powers/effects (Bounced ideas back and forth at work with Kenny, gotta give credit where it’s most certainly due). These are all rough form, and will be edited, formed into standard power stat blocks at a later date.

Existing Powers Note: this is the quick and dirty list, pretty much just listing off effects.

  • Encounter- Chronomancy, Teleportation
    Move Action Personal
    Effect: You teleport up to 3 squares.
    Special: You may use this power twice per encounter, but only once per round.
  • Daily- Chronomancy
    Move Action Personal
    Effect: You shift up to twice your normal speed
  • Daily- Chronomancy
    Minor Action Personal
    Effect: Until the end of the encounter, you may take one extra minor action per turn.
  • Daily- Chronomancy
    Standard Action Personal
    Effect: At the end of your current turn, take another turn. At the end of that turn, roll a D6. If a 6 is rolled, immediately take a 3rd turn.
  • Encounter- Chronomancy
    Move Action Personal
    Effect: you ignore all solid difficult and dangerous terrain. If you end your movement in said terrain, you will be affected by said terrain starting on your next turn.
  • Encounter- Chronomancy
    Minor Action Range 5
    Target: One creature
    Effect: Target creature is slowed until the end of your next turn.
  • Encounter- Chronomancy
    Minor Action Personal
    Effect: You become insubstantial until the end of your next turn.
  • Daily- Chronomancy
    Standard Action Range 10
    Target: One creature
    Attack: Intelligence vs. Will
    Effect: Until the end of the encounter, target creature loses either any minor, interrupt, or reaction powers it may have.
  • Encounter- Chronomancy, Teleportation
    Minor Action Personal
    Effect: You cease to exist and can take no actions until the end of your next turn. You have no line of sight and line of effect to any creature or object, and no creature or object has line of sight or line of effect to you. At the end of your next turn, you reappear in a square of choice within 3 squares of the square you left.
  • Encounter- Chronomancy, Teleportation
    Standard Action Personal
    Effect: Target creature ceases to exist and can take no actions until the end of your next turn. It has line of sight and line of effect to no creature or object, and no creature or object has line of sight or line of effect to it. At the end of your next turn, target creature reappears in a square of choice within 3 squares of the square it left.

NEW STUFF!

Encounter Powers

  • Immediate Interrupt- An ally making an opportunity attack against an enemy makes two attacks against that enemy instead.
  • Immediate Interrupt- Trigger: You take damage. Effect: Damage is not taken at the present time. Rather, you take the damage at the end of your next turn.
  • Target ally may move up to two times their normal speed, and gain +2 to defenses vs. opportunity attacks

Daily Powers

  • Increase one creatures Initiative score by 5 for the rest of the encounter.
  • Decrease one creatures Initiative score by 5 for the rest of the encounter.
  • Until end of the encounter, once per turn you may make a basic melee or basic ranged attack against a single enemy as a free action.
  • Immediate Reaction- Trigger: an ally expends an encounter power. Effect: The power recharges at the start of the ally’s next turn.
  • (Here’s the doozy) Close Burst 2: Creates a zone where time is slowed for those not adept at the manipulation of time. All creatures within the zone count as being both slowed and weakened. Any creature possessing an ability with the Chronomancy keyword is immune to these effects. Minor Action: The zone persists

WIP powers/Ideas

  • Adjusting entire party’s Initiative score, effectively helping the party to collectively outscore enemies.
  • “Until end of the encounter, all powers are reduced to minor actions instead of standard actions” (Pretty much God mode for any DPS)
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Tales of the Beginning

Gather around children, and I will tell you a tale of the Beginning…

This is the story of Corran, the archer of the night sky, and how he first met Rika, who held the scale of heaven.

Corran was one of the Old Folk, the Sky People. His bow would sing through the stars as he hunted for game for his cook-fire. He was a good hunter, and his belly was never empty.

One day, Corran was striding along the plains in the Sky Realm, and he heard a great roar. He paused, and the roar came again. Corran moved through the tall grasses towards the noise, putting an arrow to his bow. He heard the roar again, and came to a vast clearing in the grass.

In the clearing was a huge beast! Its legs were like trees, and its body was as big as a small hill! Great dark scales covered its body, and and a halo of flame surrounded its head. The beast roared, and a great spout of fire shot from its mouth towards a figure on the ground below.

Corran had never seen a beast so vast in all of his hunts, and was amazed the its ability to bring fire from within. He quickly loosed his arrow towards the beast, already nocking another.
The arrow sailed through the sky, its aim swift and true! The arrow hit the beast on its side, but did not go deep enough to kill. The beast now roared once more, but this time turning towards Corran with its great flame. Corran was clever, and had already run from the spot of the first arrow.

As he ran, Corran heard a shout! The figure that the beast had been attacking now stood and called to Corran. He turned his path, and ran to the person standing there.

Corran was in awe! He was a brave hunter, and had never been slow to share his words, but the beauty of the woman before him took all his words away. Her hair was long and dark, and her face was kind and strong. She held in her hands a large disc, that shifted colors as one looked at it.

“I am Rika,” said she, “and my shield will protect us from the beasts fire.”

“I am Corran,” said he, “and my arrows will kill the beast for our cook-fire”

And so Corran took his place behind Rika, and raised his bow. Whenever the beast would cast its fire upon them, they would duck behind the great shield. Whenever the beast would roar its fury, Corran would let his arrows fly, piercing the beast with dozens of wounds. The hunt continueed like this until dusk, when the beast gave one last great gout of flame, then fell to the earth, silent and still.

Corran and Rika approached the body of the beast, and began cutting it down for the journey back to Corran’s tribe. Within the gullet of the beast, they dug out a great jewel, the size of Corran’s two fists held together. The jewel was red and orange, and flickering with the light of a fiery blaze.

“The jewel contains the fire and fury of the beast,” said Rika.

“The fires of the beast were mighty,” said Corran, “And the people of the Below Lands have no fires to cook from.”

“The jewel holds too great a fire for the Below Lands,” said Rika. “The fire from the jewel would consume all, and leave nothing behind.”

So Corran took the great jewel in his hands, and with his great strength, dashed the jewel on the rocks at his feet. Again and again he threw it, until at last, the jewel shattered!

Each piece of the jewel contained a bit of the great fire, and Corran gathered them all in his hands. With a great throw, he cast all the pieces towards the Below Lands. One by one, there arose lights in the night of the Below Lands, as the folk there found their tents and caves suddenly brightened by the fires now residing in their camps.

Corran and Rika took the meat of the great beast to Corran’s tribe, where they were feasted and given gifts of furs and food. In time, Corran took Rika to be his wife, and he became the chief of his tribe.

The ARCHER and the SHIELD are two of the constellations visible in Cambria’s night sky. This tale is one of the many that tell of the origins of the world, and the folk that once lived in those times.

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Ramblins Pt. 2 (META)

Next bit of metagame bits here…The party has finished with the Temple of the sun Children, and have boarded the airship Seraph, and are on their way back to the Cambrian mainland.

It took longer than I expected to finish off this part of the story, but after delays and distractions, we’re finally moving on. The next portion of the campaign, which I have titled “Flight of the Seraph” will comprise of both the flight back to the mainland resistance (newly set up in the ruins of Keynos) the tasks of resupply and reconnaissance, and the outbound flight towards their next destination, in order to strike a major blow against the invading Pact army.

For the flight back, I wanted to do something a little special. The group has worked hard to get where they are, without much in the way of material wealth to show for it. They’ve also been through a series of grueling fights, some of which can take up an entire night’s session. Long story short, they need a break. something fun. I’ve been able to do some entertaining one-shots and side stories on the nights where I didn’t have a full group, but this will be a nice treat for the entire group.

They’ve all just leveled up to level 7, and I think I’ll go easy on them and give then a nice chunk of the experience they need to get to level 8. And they’ll get to blow stuff up.

Looks like the PCs get to man the cannons of the Seraph.

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Just some ramblings (META)
metagame

This is not an in-game post, just some basic thoughts on the campaign. Forgive me if I ramble a bit, just wanted to make some notes here.

As my players have discovered recently, I’ve been having a lot of fun creating the Xidel written language, and encoding messages left by the long dead race. With the addition of the nice stationary paper, I can create a rather nice prop. Fancy paper covered in mysterious glyphs? Yes please.

I am thoroughly enjoying the written language, and using a bit of creative theft (Thank you Stargate), developed a pronunciation guide for each one of the glyphs. so the 270 angle, the 45-120 angle with a dot in it, and the 90-180 angle glyphs (A-N-D, respectively) can now be pronounced as NGA TAL RTU.

I have already made up a list of Orc Glyphs from then the party was running with a tribe of orcs for a bit as well.

I think that language, symbols, cryptology, and science will play a large part in this campaign. I had a rather complex encryption (the variable substitution, as I called it) that I used at one point, and it may make a return.

One thing that the PCs have not yet encountered are Xidel/Fallen arcane runeforms. These are unique as they function as both a written language, but also have a practical arcane use. Think Fullmetal Alchemist, if parts of the various transmutation circles were used as a code between alchemists to communicate. I’m trying to remember what little I can recall from my high school electronic classes, as I’d like runeforms to be somewhat equivalent to circuits in some cases. Some runeforms can function as storage units for arcane energies (capacitors), some can regulate the power within (transformers), etc. It’s a work in progress, and I doubt the PCs will run accross too many Runeforms until at least mid-paragon tier.

Another bit of language that I’d like to see in play (This should come in useful for the Keynos/Circle bits of the campaign) is Thieves Cant. An Argot (secret language) designed to hide messages in plain sight, thieves cant has a rich real world history, and is something I toyed around with a few years back. WotC, conveniently enough, ended up publishing an article in this month’s Dragon magazine going over the basics of Cant, and providing a lexicon (which I believe comes from one of the real world cant dictionaries)

My last bit of oddity on thus subject comes from my revamping of Xidelian math. I decided that I wanted the Xielian mathematical system to be based off of 8, instead of 10. Sounds easy enough, right? I thought so too until i put it into practice here and there. It actually became challenging to translate (for me anways), when I realized that I had essentially deleted 9 as a single digit number, and the basic grouping number (10) was suddenly in the mid “teens” of my system. Suffice to say, after a rather ironic self inflicted headache, I got the kinks fogured out, and even assigned the numbers their own pronunciation.

1- OSA
2- ORI
3- ISH
4- IKI
5- TEM
6- ISE
7- UNE
8- ITO (Group)

the formatting of grouped numbers gave me some trouble as well (I was never much good at standard math, much less math of my own twisted devising) but I got the basics down

group plus one (standard math 9)
OSA ITO OSA (one group plus one)

2 groups plus 3 (standard math 19)
ORI ITO ISH

Weird, right? No idea as of yet how I’ll work this into the game, but it would be fun to watch the confusion on the players faces for a bit. I cut them a lot of slack in combat, so the least they can do is brain sweat a little for my amusement :P

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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