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What's Going On

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1What's Going On Empty What's Going On on Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:12 pm

What's Going On? (6/1)

The forum is blank right now because I'm writing plot and world-building. That'll probably take me a few days to iron out. (I have a map, though!) I'll be posting world-building stuff over the week so people can acclimate to the setting. At that point, I figure character creation will start happening. Some ground assumptions you can be working with while you're waiting for more details:

- The campaign is D&D rules. I have 5e books but at least one of my players is a 3.5e whizz, so in practice it'll probably be a flexible combination of the two. (I.e., I'll make a ruling and then reverse myself if it makes a player miserable.) I'm a big softy as a DM and I want people to enjoy themselves, so I'm not going to be a hardass.

- PCs will start low level (1-2) so we can have the fun of leveling up several times before beating all the things. Plus, I like low level characters more from a story-telling perspective; something about the struggle of tiny people against a big uncaring world.

- You should probably make an adventuring class character (i.e., I prefer wizards and bards and swordpeople to bakers and carpenters), but it's okay if this is your first adventure or if your character is inexperienced. It's possible this adventure wasn't even their choice; they may have been assigned to this task by a mentor/master, or loaned/rented out as an indentured servant.

- Mechanics: This is a play-by-post situation, which means people post 2-3 times a day when they can. (As opposed to everyone scheduling to be present at X time on Y day for Z hours.) In practice, that means a lot of folks will check in over breakfast, or during a lunch break, or in the evenings when they get home from work. The onus is on the DM to keep up and make sure questions are answered, spell results are posted, etc. The format is meant to be low stress for players; we all have jobs and performance anxiety. If you need to duck out for a few days (surgery, etc.) just let the DM know and I'll set your character to "idle" in a way that doesn't cut them out of the plot or hurt them.

- It's 100% to ask the DM (or party members!) to summarize what the hell is going on if you've been away for a day or two, and come back to find yourself lost. (E.g., "When did the party vote to fight the dragon??") I am going to try to make a habit of posting "summaries" at the beginning of threads, because I know a plot can be tricky to follow over weeks of posts. If anyone feels moved to help compose these, they will earn my eternal love and, idk, one free "do-over" for a critical roll fail.

- Content: I'm pretty sure the forum has an "18 or older" restriction on registration, so please be 18+ years of age, and please make characters who are 18 or older. This is an "adult" game in the sense that I expect adult characters and situations may occur, though some details may be "handwaved" with a fade-to-black depending on player and DM comfort with a scene. Explicit scenes, should they occur, will need to occur off the forum (due to forum-host rules) over email. Again, I don't really plan for anything explicit to happen, but we say that right up until the players decide to seduce the catfish. (Meme joke.)

- Setting: The first adventure (i.e., the only one I've planned for at this time) will take place in the city of Bright-Light-on-the-Water (usually shortened to "Brilight" to locals). It's a sprawling medieval-esque metropolis of many thousands of people and a trading hub of vast importance on the southeastern coast of the kingdom. The city is walled and heavily defended, with slums lying in the shade of those walls and the rich living it up in the center of the city. There is a thriving underground black market which services thieves and pirates alike. There is also a mysterious plague in the city, which your character should be aware of and concerned about. (More details on that forthcoming.)

- The gods are real. The races in the 5e player handbook are present (human, elves, orcs, half-/quarter-races, halflings, tieflings, etc.) and available for play. Magic is relatively common in the setting; even if your character doesn't know magic themselves, they will have seen someone use a wand or magic device at least a few times in even the most sheltered life. The wilds outside the city are dangerous; there are farms slumped up against the outside walls, but going more than a few miles out of town is a gamble where a losing roll means bandits, goblins, or worse.

- Tone: I don't want to call the tone grimdark, because I feel like that would convey false despondency. Things are grim at the moment. What with the dangerous wilds and the plague which is spreading through the crowded city, the overall mood is subdued and slightly worried. The government is a thick and tangled bureaucracy which is very good at handling complex trade disputes between rich private parties, and very bad at responding quickly to a crisis. Corruption is also pretty rife, which is great if you're a thief or a pirate--or if you need their black market services--but less inspiring if you're a paladin, probably.

- Services: What is available to buy and trade in this trade city? Well, almost anything. Legally: Mundane and magical goods are available if you have enough coin. Sex work is legal and not systemically stigmatized, by which I mean the government and merchants and law all treat a sex worker the same as they would a carpenter, but some families may have their own personal hangups about sex and sexuality. Alcohol and recreational drugs are technically legal, though availability varies heavily due to supply line hiccups and piracy. Slavery is NOT legal, but indentured servitude is and it is possible to buy the debt of an indentured servant from their master. Servants have roughly the same citizen rights as non-servants; they're in debt, yes, but they can't be legally abused. A master may be compelled by the government to sell their servant, under certain legal circumstances.

Illegally: The black market provides access to stolen goods (magical, mundane, and consumable) and to services which are not legally allowed, such as thievery (for when your neighbor has something you covet), assassinations (for when you're tired of being stolen from by your neighbor), and weapons which a citizen might want to purchase with discretion rather than leaving behind a paper-trail. Your average thief or pirate, however, is more free-spirited entrepreneur than hardened assassin; a good many of the pirates joined their crews for a higher cut of profit than is given on government and private merchant vessels, or because they were blacklisted from reputable vessels for reasons which they will insist were unfair or politically motivated. Youngsters from the city slums romanticize pirates and thieves, and a very few famous ones are known and beloved by name.

- "Grimdark" Disclaimer: I may occasionally throw PCs into situations where something Bad has occurred or is occurring. I will try to warn for usual triggers [rape, fire, anything else a player asks me to warn for], and I will avoid some triggers entirely [for example: I don't kill children]. I will never kill a PC without talking to a player first; if you do horribly in combat and don't want to die, we'll work out a plot-based reason why you don't kick the bucket. I will not sexually assault a PC without permission, either. If NPCs are killed or assaulted, I will warn for it in-text.


So okay, Ana, that's enough world-building malarkey. Tell us about the plot and characters:

- The plot will be at least partly intrigue-based. That doesn't mean you have to roll up a clever bastard, but social skills will absolutely serve your character well. (My play-by-post games tend to be heavily social, in part because of the format and in part because of me.)

- There will be occasional combat, but fighting will not be common and players are generally encouraged to talk/think their way out of fights. (This is partly due to the play-by-post format; I promise you that none of you want multiple protracted multi-PC combat scenes, which can and do take days to close.)

- Your character should care, at least tangentially, about the mysterious plague (on which more details will be forthcoming). It's not unreasonable for them to have lost a friend or family member; the plague has been building for over a year now and most families know someone who has been affected. Even if they are a loner with no loved ones, they should be aware that the plague is affecting jobs, prices, and the availability of goods--alarming and inconvenient, so to speak. Your character will not start out sick with the plague, but if you want to roll up a hypochondriac who fears they're coming down with it, feel free.

- Oh by the way: Your character has recently died sometime within the last year. They were brought back to life at the city temple. This is a semi-rare occurrence and somewhat traumatic / life-changing for the target; resurrection spells do exist, but very few people can reliably afford them. If your character doesn't come from a rich family, or have a store of money to wipe out this debt, or have a rich patron / sugar daddy / best friend, then they will likely start the game in debt, or even as an indentured servant. This debt isn't something a priest can just waive out of the goodness of their heart--the spell itself consumes 1,000 gp worth of diamonds in the process. Be thinking about why you died, how you felt about dying, and why you were brought back. There will be more on this later.
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2What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:57 pm

Player asks, "Can my character have died from the plague?"

That's a good question! Yes, but now I need to do a world-building post on the plague which I meant to post later but here's a preview of what is to come?

The Mysterious Plague has two stages. The first stage afflicts the person with a thick malaise. Their dexterity plummets, they speak less, they sleep more, and they follow orders almost without question. The first wave of these people were believed to be (colloquially, not clinically) "depressed" or merely "lazy", but as the illness progressed and they became increasingly non-verbal, it was clear this was something serious.

During this first stage of the illness, the patient's overall health suffers. The immune system tanks and the patient is at risk for other diseases; there is currently cross-epidemics of flux and pox and other illnesses in the slums. (And, of course, this cross-contamination makes it harder to isolate how the Mysterious Plague behaves.)

The second stage of the plague occurs at the very end. The patient, who has been sleeping more and more every day, goes to sleep and doesn't awake. This final coma can last a few days or a few weeks depending on care and health, but nothing has been found which will wake or cure the patient. They die, either from the plague or from the body giving out on them. There are rumors of rich patients kept alive in comas for months through the infusion of daily clerical spells to keep their bodies working, but no one has been able to confirm these rumors.

Patients who die from the plague can be resurrected if they are resurrected within a day of their death. Those who are resurrected come back free of illness, which is true for all resurrections--the gods create a new and wholesome body from the shattered ruins of your old mortal frame. [Spell Mechanics: This is why you need a piece of a person for resurrection, but only a piece; a toe or finger will do. No, the gods will not resurrect two copies of the same person from two different toes; there's only one soul to call into the new body.]

If a patient is NOT resurrected within a day of their passing, their body rises as a member of the soulless undead. These creatures are not violent; they come back as silent, shambling bodies who seem entirely unaware of the world around them. As you can imagine, the social response to these creatures is highly varied, but the overall understanding of undead in this world is that the soul is not present, therefore this is not the person who died. Some factions in the city have taken to burning plague bodies; there is a government body being assembled with plans to collect any undead who have been kept by sentimental families. This is out of concern that the undead may become violent (as they usually are when encountered in the wild). The idea of government officials coming to collect the body of Aunt Josephine just because she died is a bit of a political powder keg.


How does that affect my backstory?

- If you died from the plague, unless you were in the first wave when it started months ago, you would be reasonably certain to either come back as undead or burned to ash. You might have arranged for your own resurrection ahead of time (if you could afford it), or you might be surprised by whatever benefactor called you back from the astral plane.

- [TW: Suicide] If you contracted the plague prior to your death, you may have tried to take your life via mundane means rather than come back as undead. Suffers who die prior to the coma, either through suicide or the flux, do not come back as undead.

- A note about resurrection, from the Dungeon Master's Guide: A soul can't be returned to life if it doesn't wish to be. A soul knows the name, alignment, and patron deity of the character attempting to revive it and might refuse to return on that basis. Your character chose to return to life when given the offer, and your character should remember their death and their choice to return. They can regret that choice in retrospect, but they did make a choice.
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3What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:14 pm

Player asks, "Do I have to randomly roll my character stats?"

Oh gods, no. I wouldn't do that to you. You can set your starting stats to whatever you want, within reason. (Don't make them all 20, ok?) Here's an Attribute Point Buy Calculator that seems legit? I think? It's been awhile since I had to roll one up without a computer telling me what to do.
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4What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:11 pm

Am I mis remembering or was there a post about the gods that had some word building stuff on it like what is and isn't legal what gods exist?
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5What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:22 pm

Here it is!

ETA: and there's now a longer post up about the gods here.
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6What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:19 pm

Cheers lovely just need to fill in some gaps of my character stuff
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7What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:06 pm

What's Going On: An Update (6/10)

- The world-building stuff is mostly up at this stage? I don't have plans to post more, so if there's any gaps I've left or questions that need answering, ask me! :)

- Folks are posting their characters in the character forum, so that's the current "stage of play" as it were.

- People who get their characters up early are doing some light "pre-gaming" to dip their toes into the format and "meet" other characters they have pre-game ties to.

- I've disabled ads for members, so if you're logged in you shouldn't see an ad. If you do see an ad, you may be viewing the forum as a guest. (It cost more to disabled ads for guests and I figure most people will stay logged in, so.)
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8What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:59 pm

What's Going On: An Update (6/13)

- World-Building. Shy of a "Currency" post I need to put up, I very definitely have all the world-building up that we need for a game start. I think. I said I would need "two weeks" to world-build and I think I nailed it.

- Character Posts. Now we're in the "everyone put your character up" phase, so we need to get Thimblewick's brother's page up when Will gets a web connection again.

- Character Sheets. I have character sheets from Sithani and Glen, but I think I don't have one for my bard and my wizard and my cleric, which would be nice to have because... I need to know your spell lists.

- Contacts. I need to put up Contacts for Ellowyn and Thimblewick. (Thimblewick's contact will be shared with her brother.)

- Players. We definitely have a full deck now, I think. Wizard, bard, cleric, warlock, ranger, and meatshield, I believe. Griffin is still talking with a friend re: whether she wants to join, and I might have one more on the hook, but in both cases they'll have help to spin up a character quickish and I don't think it'll delay Game Start.

- Game Start. Let's try to tentatively aim for 6/21 as a game start day? At that point we should have:

* Character Posts up for everyone.
* Character Sheets in the DM's hands.
* Folks ready to show up to the Feytower as ordered.

By "aim for 6/21 as a game start day", I don't mean "take that day off work and be at the computer", I just mean "those bullet points above are done and I can start posting WELCOME TO FEYTOWER threads".
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9What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:09 pm


Thank you all so much for being so welcoming and friendly! And thanks Ana for all your efforts in world-building and scene writing. I love this world and I can't wait to spend time in it.

IN THAT SAME VEIN, I know we all have stuff going on, but if all of the stuff goes up sooner, will we just get started? Or is 6/21 the start date one way or the other? It's totally cool either way, I'm just mostly asking because I'm absurdly excited to hang out with all the cool characters these fine folks have made in the awesome world Ana designed. 😁

Sent from Topic'it App
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10What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:16 pm

Okay wait so that's June 21st im fairly certain ana's got surgery the 19th but Griffin is co dming as far as I'm aware so I'm not sure.
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11What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:00 pm

Whoa hey now, Griffin is running a single npc and has admin access in case there's a fire to put out and Ana's not available, let's not get ahead of ourselves!
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12What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:05 pm

LOL, I think I mentioned we've co-DM'd before in a way that made it sound like you're co-DM on this one. My bad, sorry. ;)

(Definitely NOT a plot to stage an 'accident', promote you to DM, and show up with my OC baby all charted out. Never.)
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13What's Going On Empty Re: What's Going On on Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:15 pm

That's my bad I am tired and things get mixed up.
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