From Fantasy book:
In low fantasy, and in fantasy based on folklore and fairy tales, point values below 100 often work well. An ordinary man thrown into adventure can be a 50-point character. In higher fantasy, characters built on 100-200 points work better; the added points can represent the Rank, Status, and Wealth of aristocrats, or the skills of veteran adventurers such as the heroes of sword and sorcery. In a dark fantasy setting, PCs may need the added points just for survival! Still higher point values are possible, but move the campaign to the level of epic, with heroes who can contend with the gods or challenge fate. This chapter assumes that the base for typical characters is 100 or 150 points, with up to 50 or 75 points in disadvantages.
Characters should have diverse but realistic skill sets. That is if you've been a baker's assistant your whole life, you're probably not an expert rider and swordsman, but you may have high manual dexterity, a good cooking skill, some herb lore, and perhaps be strong from lugging around bags of flour and making deliveries or such. In that example you may also be overweight for gorging on your own tasty sweet specialties.
There will need to be a reason the NPC Umgar will invite you on the first mission.
I expect role-playing, not just hack'n slash dice rolling. I will be awarding extra character points for playing your character and for good role-playing.
The starting location will be Ghaines.
You are likely a novice adventurer, or perhaps a veteran adventurer whose career is in decline. At 120 points you are not likely complete rookies. Possible character ideas would be former/current sailors or pirates from any of a multitude of places as Ghaines is near the coast, smiths or thugs from nearby Zareph, devout religious followers, wandering gypsys or mercenaries. Back stories are a bonus and often enhance the campaign. It's possible you are not an experienced adventurer, but then it would be unlikely that you have a 15 riding skill and a 18 broadsword skill, for example. Your points might be invested into trade skills or "book learning".
As you can see in the description of Ghaines, if you desire to be another race, it's possible, but most of the city is human.
Characters will have 120 points to start with and up to -30 points in disadvantages with an optional additional -10 points to be used specifically for Enemies, Reputation or Debt disadvantages, but these must be a tangible part of your back story and your character during role-play.
Characters will be illiterate by default. Being semi-literate (B p24) in the Common tongue will cost 1 pt, literate 2 pts.
- Characters will start with the TL3 starting wealth of $1000.00 which in Gurth recently has been one-thousand silver pieces. This can be modified by choosing the Wealth advantage or disadvantage accordingly. Clothing, weapons, armor and gear should be purchased at base cost in the Characters book from starting wealth. If you have $1000.00, you have nothing and are naked walking the streets of Gurth. A gold piece is ten silver pieces.
Specialized adventure gear and magical items from Dungeon Fantasy - Adventurers are fine. Magic items must be purchased with character points, at a cost of 1 point per $1000 cost.
* You may buy power stone(s) by spending 2 character points per power level, with a maximum of 15 power level total in all stones/items. Spending 20 points gets you a single 10 point powerstone, or two 5-point stones, etc.
Character outlines must be presented to the GM before the first session in order to be in the outset of the campaign.
Archdeacon Cecil Umgar, an elderly cleric of Sharif, the Peacekeeper has gathered a small group of youth whom he thinks fit to serve their city in an uncommon way. He brings you together to ask your aid in serving Sharif and keeping the peace. He assures you the best way to keep the peace within the 4 foot tall city wall is to go beyond that very wall and do good, but he will not send you blindly into the wilderness. He has specifics for you, but not until the others arrive...
The city of Ghaines lies on the main road between the great smithies of Zareph and the repopulating seaside city of Serenton. Ghaines is generally a quiet and safe city primarily populated with simple people who each serve their role to the community. There are fishermen who travel the two miles to the shore and fish the sea, there are farmers and ranchers who work the lands surrounding the city. There are cobblers who shoe the citizens butchers who prepare the pigs and sheep and cows, and smiths of various trades. Magic is a rarity in Ghaines, at least in the public eye. It is not unlikely that there are races other than human in Ghaines, but they are very likely limited. While there may be a family of dwarves or a lone dwarven smith, there will not be a clan.
Umgar has summoned you because he knows you for some reason (you can help define) and has reason to believe you will be of value on this mission.
I intend this to be a short campaign or series of one-offs, perhaps three or four sessions with the potential to continue with some/all characters if there is interest. I am planning on trying to level-up characters in a more D&D fashion. I know I’ve tried this before, but I have some new ideas and am sort of looking forward to stepping back a bit into the spell-slinging, sword-swinging of yore and a bit less of the politics of late. However, that being said, I occasionally have a tendency toward the grandiose, so there will likely be ties into something bigger. Don’t be surprised if some old faces and personalities pop up occasionally.
After a Relic
One evening after dinner, Archdeacon Umgar invited Selena and Anaxamander to his apartment, an unusual request. In his apartment, after pouring them each a glass of exotic and refreshing wine, possibly elven in nature he made his request. "“There is a growing threat. The minions of the great Sharif have told me thus; a shadow falls upon Ghaines and to ward it off, you must strike out. Much as I had too in my youth. I am now too old to be of any good out there, but you...you can make a difference. There is a relic that will help us light the path in the darkest hours....hummmmmm...light the path. Carry the torch. Huh huh huh...I almost forgot about it.”
Old Umgar turned and wandered deeper into his chambers moving aside stacks of books and brought before you a dark polished cherry box, a hands-width and height, but as long as a man’s arm. Setting the box upon the table before you he opened it and lifted something within wrapped in dark blue felt. The felt fell away revealing a corroded metal torch. He smiled as a young boy with his first balloon as he gazed upon the tarnished metal whose pale blotches are reminiscent of the cleric's hazy grey-green eyes, clouded with age.
The Archdeacon gave to the pair a map of an old mine, where he believes the relic lied, directions to the mine, the remainder of the strange wine and the torch, which he described as magical, burning with god's flame, brighter than any lantern and striking fear into demons and beings of the dark. There was some discussion of hiring a mercenary with sword and strength, should they encounter orcs or worse upon their quest. The Archdeacon agreed to seek such aid after the following morning's sermon.
The following morning Anaximander tied his pack of tools and kits as well as the large frame pack of Selena's to the back of Elmer, the churches old gray bushy mule. After they gathered some provisions from the pantry of the church and Anaximander bid farewell to the Archdeacon, they left to visit a bakery before embarking on their 10 mile trek.
As they left town, they passed a train of gypsy wagons setting up brightly colored tents on the edge of town and Anaximander told Selena of some of the oddities he recalled from the previous visit of the wandering entertainers.
On their trek past the sheep ranchers' eastward, they traded stories of Talathese and their pasts before reaching the lightning-struck tree three men wide, where they turned south off of the dusty road. Just as they saw the mine ahead, Anaximander because suspicious of the odd yipping he had heard around them. Moments later, Selena fell head-first into a pit trap, where she injured her arms. While she was pleading with Luna for healing, Anaximander climbed down to help her out. As they were exiting the pit, they were surrounded by small barking reptilian dog-men who tried to chase off Elmer and Anaximander while fighting with Selena.
After the majority of the 2-3 foot tall grunions were chased off, they had one whom Selena had stomped and tied, then healed with Luna's magic.
Anaximander gathered the gear that had fallen from Elmer's back and they wandered closer to the mine to rest beneath a wide-branched shady tree, where they sprung another trap without injury. Anaximander climbed into the tree to inspect the trap while Selena meditated and rested. Having eaten a hard-boiled egg and some salted pork and pickled figs, they tied their unconscious captive to a branch up in the tree and decided to inspect the mine for no more than an hour in order to get back to Ghaines shortly after night-fall. Anaximander had to circumvent another large pit trap in front of the mine before he peaked in while Selena tied and watered Elmer and donned her great pack.
A few steps down into the mine, another trap was sprung, sending a few steps sliding, rolling and cascading down into the darkness. Upon Selena's arrival, they lit the magical torch which blazed heatlessly with a white-blue flame. Anaximander also put on his leather helmet fitted with a number of apparati including a focused beam lantern and goggles. With light, the pair crept slowly and carefully down into the mine, springing traps ahead of them with a long dead-fall branch.
In an ancient wrought-iron cell in below, Anaximander found old dusty bones which as he approached rose before his eyes and reached out at him, before scraping and squeezing through the bars to chase him. That was until Selena approached with the torch of Umgar's, the light of which seemed to frighten the animated bones back into a corner. Anaximander quickly lost interest in the bones, lacking an obvious scientific explanation and began probing the surrounding walls, while Selena spoke with a spirit asking her to leave the skeleton be. It also told her that the chief of the beasts in the mine wanted them out. She asked about the armored steel door she'd seen in her meditations, but the spirit of the miner had moved on.
The duo pushed deeper into the mine, eventually finding a large partially collapsed quarry room where Anaximander tripped another pit trap and was surrounded by spear-wielding beast men while Selena cautiously followed. After more of the mine-dwellers came forth with some more walking dead, one with bone and feather ornament came forth and barked orders to the others as Anaximander got to standing and fidgeted with something in his prosthetic arm.
Moments later, after a shake of his femur and tooth rattle/club, Selena was speaking their language, much to the confusion of Anaximander. The Lord of the mine told her to leave and Selena mentioned that they were only after a relic behind a metal door. Lord Tossellok claimed the door could not be opened and whatever was within was he and his people's, not to be taken by human brigands and thieves. After a bit of parley, it was agreed that Selena would trade Elmer and some tools for a relic from beyond the door once she opened the door. Unable to open the door, she requested that Anaximander join her and help her, as he had her tools in his pack. Grotak, the chieftain's armored companion was sent to retrieve Anaximander. Moments later, he was inspecting and studying the door. After Anaximander spent some time pouring over his notes and manuals,
lord Tossellok enchanted him so they could speak. Tossellok urged him to get the door open and get out, and not to steal from them as that would result in their death and them serving him as the other skeletons and zombies of the mine, former bandits.
Anaximander fashioned a bomb to blow apart one of the locks on the door, quickly opened with his steel file and using his two powerful magnets opened the other lock, once he knew how the mechanism worked. Within they found chests of coins, a silver chalice full of uncut gems, bags of ore and a silver helm, golden medallion and a silver axe. Tossellok told them to take their relic and leave, but they did not know which to take. Selena meditated on it, seeking guidance from her diety. In her vision she saw a flashing reflection of a red-bearded man wearing the helm and medallion, fighting long-furred long-toothed beasts ravaging him tooth and claw. She quickly realized her vision was from the warriors own eyes, as she saw the axe spraying blood from it's razor edge as the full moon reflected in the pale blade before her vision ended. She said they should take all three items back to Umgar. With some negotiating, Tossellok entrusted Anaximander with a small chest of platinum coins and the three items, warranting that they take Grotak back with them and send him safely returning with a mule, mining tools and whatever Grotak deemed a fair trade for the axe.
So it was as they left the unabandoned mine.
The shroud of night was welcome as you quickly ushered the proud Grotak into Ghaines. Arriving into town hours past dark you awoke the groggy Archdeacon Umgar. His face lit up at the report of your exploits and you were surprised to hear him speak to the small beastly warrior in the language of barks and growls from the mine.
The Archdeacon was impressed as you displayed for him the relics you removed from the vault of the mine. He took them to have them to have them identified and find out how they would be of service helping the almighty Sharif cleanse the land and restore peace and balance Ghaines.
The following day, Cecil put Anaxamander to work repairing a fence at the back of the garden seemingly broken by a beast as it chased one of the local bunnies into its hole beneath the roots of great fire-needle tree. ‘Mander noticed that some of the roots of the 88 foot-tall tree were rent and slashed by the beast, age old bark and hardened wood scared by claws of some ravenous pest. He shook his head and went to work.
Selena was tasked with laundry, then preparing an afternoon sup for the three of them and two guests. Archdeacon Umgar said a Baron Zho, a friend from his youth, would be joining them. The Archdeacon seemed unusually excited about this visit from a friend he hasn’t seen for over five years, and then it was only in passing.
While gathering goods for the meal, Selena’s curiosity carried her to the edge of town where she watched for a short time as the immense brightly colored tents of the carnival were hoisted up and a great patchwork baloon framed in great bones was inflated by small green men with pointed ears and long noses who could only be goblins.
The Search for Louise
Selena an interesting dinner of turnip and beet soup followed by Shepard's pie where she had replaced the traditional meat base with a chocolate pudding.
She and Anaximander and the Archdeacon waited for some time past the scheduled time sent on the invitation before eating. After the meal, Anaximander suggested some wine from the cellar, Umgar agreed on a drink, although requested a strong scotch. Umgar was visibly upset by the absent visitors and drank to his sorrows while telling Anaximander of his youth with the Baron Zho, former rogue now ring-master of the travelling carnival and cirque.
Sometime after dark, Selena stepped out front to check the road for lost visitors before she began doing the dishes and cleaning up the dinner. She ignored the man and woman approaching, despite their elaborate black and red garb.
Baron Zho and his accomplice, one gypsy fortune-teller named Olivia arrived shortly after dark and ate some of the cold food and joined the Archdeacon Umgar for a drink before revealing that the Baron was actually tracking and hunting a great beast from the south.
Through some conversation it was discovered that Louise, the baker's daughter was recently missing and that some beast had torn through the fence behind the church, surely chasing a hare beneath the craggy roots of an immense red-needled tree. Olivia peered into her crystal ball and prophesied that the incidents were linked and the girl had little time. The Baron asked to see the breach and to look for tracks. Tracks were found.
The party broke in route to the Baker's apartment above the Red Rooster bakery. Selena and the Baron quizzed the baker and his wife to learn that she was seeing a fisherman's son. The group then sought out the boy and found his father who told them of a location he often camps in the woods just south of town.
They gathered Olivia's wagon and rode south of town as the night grew darker and the clouds began to drip.
Finding the campsite, a shredded and blood spattered mess, the parties' blood chilled as they searched for bodies by the light of Olivia's lantern. Selena examined a nearby lightning-struck tree while the others pontificated there next move.
In a flash of lightning, a silhouette, not man nor beast was seen in the distance. All but Anaximander gave chase. Anaximander readied himself with wolves-bane and holy symbol, then went about constructing a perimeter about the camp site to notify him and the others if it was again molested.
After the ground-shaking thunder as the lightning flashed again the three hunters were confronted by a howling red-furred beast. It leaped at Selena first, then at Olivia, but Selena knocked her out of the way and popped the creatures snarling snout with her shield just before Olivia fired a silver-tipped arrow through the beast's breast, putting it on the ground. As the Baron prepared to behead the were-wolf, it transformed from beast to girl...Louise, the baker's daughter.
Anaximander setup something of a lean-to to keep the pouring rain off of them as they saw to the girl's wounds, mostly via Selena channeling the healing magics of Luna. Once Loise's breath became steady, they all returned to the wagon and back into Ghaines just before dawn. After dropping the girl off at the church, The Baron and Olivia bid farewell and left hastily, promising to return later.
Umgar saw to it that Louise was nestled safely in the bed across the room from Selena's and the party retired with the old man praying over the pale girl.
Umgar has been caring for Louise for the last few days. During that time, Anaximander has mended the fence behind the church, Selene has aided Umgar in his work by running errands such as delivering messages, ringing the bells at the church and gathering Umgar supplies to care for the afflicted girl. Earlier this day, Anaximander saw an amazing flying machine in the distance, circling about the town.
During this time, the carnival has recently began afternoon matinees for young children and evening events. The Baron has been tracking as best he can the where-abouts of the beast he yet seeks, recently having the goblins Tezub and Sprokit assist him with their flying machine and far-seeing apparatus.