Author Topic: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde (or Red Hand of Doom)  (Read 2912 times)

Garryl

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Garryl, thanks for elaborating on the the campaign. You nailed pretty much everything I was wondering about.

My question on alignment was wondering how rigidly we followed it, how plastic it is, will we know if we're shifting.  I was thinking of a missionary char concept that encourages the common folk and seeks to subvert the lords of evil to the cause of good. Do angels fall? Do demons repent?

I know our campaign may not go that far and they're not the best classes, but I always thought it would be fun to play something like an Evangelist or Emissary of Barachiel.

Angels can become evil and demons can become good. It's rare as hens' teeth, but it happens. Heck, on the far side of the campaign setting (I really gotta get my notes in order on that), one of the major religions was formed by a group of angels and demons that made peace with each other and broke away from their eternal war.

As much as they are sentient beings, angels and demons still are, to some extent, physical embodiments of the concepts of good and evil. (Ditto for modrons and slaadi as physical embodiments of law and chaos, too, although that doesn't ever seem to come up as much.) It takes an awful lot to overcome that.

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My question on Diplomacy was more along the lines of, can I make the Balor Helpful with a sufficiently high check?

I've been focusing on maximizing Social skills and was just wondering if it's worth it.

Depends. If it's a Balor that just wants to kill you, spouting words at it isn't going to do anything, no matter how honeyed the words from your silver tongue are. But, if it's a Balor with some other motivations you can latch on to, and you know enough to figure out how to catch its attention before it's started mulching you, then there's a chance, yes. In other words, just going "I roll 92 for Diplomacy" isn't enough, you'll need to open the possibility for diplomacy first.

There isn't much in the way of diplomatic situations at the start of this module, but the second section has the potential for a bit of it, and the third section even more so. You're not going to diplomance the dungeon away, but the third section has diplomatic alternatives for almost about 30% of the encounters.

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Killing enemies is expedient. Sparing them and giving them a chance at redemption or at least at giving up a life of preying on others in that particular area is more noble, but could qualify as "stupid good" depending on how realistic we play. Could there be some kind of option for non-lethal victory that isn't horrifically burdensome in terms of dealing with captives and only occasionally results in us having to fight the same dudes again (which can make for some fun story options)?

If you can figure something out, sure. It's probably not going to be easy, especially in a world without the social infrastructure that our modern society has. Heroic medieval fantasy is still medieval fantasy.

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Team, are there certain themes that make you uncomfortable?  I tend to prefer the standard D&D module rated R violence, PG-13 sexuality. I know people can be sensitive about  religious/irreligious themes. Would playing an aasimar evangelisty true believer rub people the wrong way - this is of course assuming that he's got some tact? I thought it would be cool to try with the whole Luminous Order and Ebon Cabal thing.

As long as you don't start preaching to me IRL, we should be good. Something tells me that won't be an issue.

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One thing I'm sensitive about is violence toward children.  Please no graphic battles where we have to fight possessed kids or something.

Don't worry, we're in the same boat here. This is supposed to be heroic fantasy, not Lovecraft lite.

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I don't mean to make a big deal out of this stuff. It's just more fun for everyone if we have some kind understanding. Most of the time it's a non issue. It's just that I have played a lot of different games with a lot of different people...and sometimes it's weird...when with a little more communication it could be fun.

No problem. It's definitely good to clarify things if you're not sure everyone's on the same page.
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Stratovarius

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Killing enemies is expedient. Sparing them and giving them a chance at redemption or at least at giving up a life of preying on others in that particular area is more noble, but could qualify as "stupid good" depending on how realistic we play. Could there be some kind of option for non-lethal victory that isn't horrifically burdensome in terms of dealing with captives and only occasionally results in us having to fight the same dudes again (which can make for some fun story options)?

Team, are there certain themes that make you uncomfortable?  I tend to prefer the standard D&D module rated R violence, PG-13 sexuality. I know people can be sensitive about  religious/irreligious themes. Would playing an aasimar evangelisty true believer rub people the wrong way - this is of course assuming that he's got some tact? I thought it would be cool to try with the whole Luminous Order and Ebon Cabal thing.

One thing I'm sensitive about is violence toward children.  Please no graphic battles where we have to fight possessed kids or something.

I don't mean to make a big deal out of this stuff. It's just more fun for everyone if we have some kind understanding. Most of the time it's a non issue. It's just that I have played a lot of different games with a lot of different people...and sometimes it's weird...when with a little more communication it could be fun.

IC, it would definitely rub my PC the wrong way - he's seen far too much to really believe that there's redemption for those who go to war. The fact that there is "ultimate evil", as it were, in the form of demons and devils just confirms him in that belief. He's also very much on board with the whole killing aspect as a means to permanently reduce the wrong side.

OOC, as long as it's done right, I don't think it'll be a problem.

sirpercival

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I haven't worked out a full backstory yet (need to read a bit more of the campaign setting info), but Janks is proud, fiercely individual, and a bit reckless. He's in favor of the idea of redemption, but if evil things die along the way he's not going to lose too much sleep over it. However, he will debate philosophy until the end of time, especially re: dragons.

Garryl

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If you want to draw on anything in the setting outside of the the Valley of Obelisks, I finally got some of the greater worldbuilding stuff put together. Most of it's for the other continents on the planet, since the game I originally wrote this for (which used a different system entirely) was based there. You can use or ignore as much as you want, since the valleys are relatively isolated.

The game takes place in the Valley of Obelisks, located in the kingdom of Marrilach, located on the continent of Anshar on the planet Solak.



Anshar
Anshar is ringed by large mountain ranges, and most of the interior is divided into large valleys. The continent is inherently isolating, possibly accounting for why it has, by far, the greatest diversity of both species and cultures across all of Solak. It is not unheard of even in this day and age to find two adjacent valleys without any shared fauna, whose inhabitants speak entirely different languages.

The kingdom of Marrilach: One of the many kingdoms of Anshar. Marrilach consists of the three connected valleys through which the Marrilach River flows, from the Valley of Obelisks in the north-east, through the Sivar Lowlands, and finally into Elsir Vale in the south. The river keeps the three valleys connected, and trade both between them and with the kingdom's neighbors keeps them reasonably prosperous.

Dak-Tharsh: The primarily-goblinoid nation of Dak-Tharsh has a history of butting heads with its neighbors. The expansionist Dragon Party has been growing in popularity in recent years after the ruling Manticore Party refused to involve Dak-Tharsh in the Second Dawnstar War on Antares. This unstable political climate has made its neighbors uneasy.

Irim Dwegsho-in-exile: Once a mighty interstellar nation composing dozens of species across seven star systems, Irim Dwegsho was conquered by the Vandan Empire. Some three centuries or so ago, the survivors of Irim Dwegsho ended their decades-long trek across the stars and settled on Solak. In that time, much of their knowledge and technology was lost. While some remains, it pales in comparison to the stories told about the glorious homeworlds of old.

The Underdark: The Underdark is a network of natural caves and tunnel systems that criss-crosses beneath the surface of Anshar. Home to a bewildering variety of creatures and filled with twists, dead ends, and all manner of natural hazards, the Underdark is not a place to travel lightly. The only civilization to truly thrive in the Underdark is that of the drow, who connected the isolated valleys of Anshar in ages past as guides and traders. The past century or so has seen them become insular and xenophobic, however, and the shorter lived races have begun to forget the once-friendly face of a drow in the night.



Antares
The "mainland continent", all of the land of Antares has been claimed by one nation or another for roughly the past 300 years. The nations of Antares are still recovering from the aftermath of the Second Dawnstar War, which ended only last year. The last major war on Antares before that was the original Dawnstar Conflict 211 years ago. For two centuries, while border skirmishes occurred from time to time, no significant wars were fought. Most of any real fighting took place through political machinations and proxy wars among the various colonies on Arnos.

Eldrath: Once the largest naval power on Antares, Eldrath is situated at the closest point on the mainland to the continent of Arnos, directly across the Deserted Sea. When the sea's magic suddenly started swallowing ships beneath its waves, much of Eldrath's navy was lost and many of its colonies on Arnos were cut off from their patron nation. Eldrath never quite re-secured its original influence and power before the Second Dawnstar War, and it fell even further behind when Thrann's armies marched through it.

Menthyl Vare: Arguably the most powerful nation on Antares. Most Menthyl citizens have a relatively high quality of life compared to those of other nations. Magic is common in Menthyl Vare, and most of the educated members of the upper class can cast at least a few cantrips. The nation boasts the best magical college on the continent, bar none. Mages from across Antares come to study and research there.

Norion: Norion is a chain of islands off the south coast of Antares. While small, Norion accounted for almost a third of all colonies on Arnos before the Second Dawnstar Conflict. Norion's navy is very modest for an island nation of its size. However, it employs large numbers of privateers among its merchant fleets. Many a pirate has had the tables turned when attempting to plunder a merchanter flying Norion colors.

Iberius: Officially split between the Holy Iberian Monarchy and the Unholy Iberian Republic, the two countries are for all practical purposes one and the same, two sides of the same coin. Both nations, known collectively as Iberius, are united as theocratic nations following Iber. Iber preaches the importance of opposites and how they are necessary for the continuity of existence. The religion was founded, so the texts say, by a group of angels and demons who realized both the futility and necessity of their eternal divine war, and turned towards the planet of Solak to spread their newfound understanding. Both parts of Iberius follow these tenets, and as such, even though they claim to be separate nations, they work as closely with each other as would two branches of the same government.

Tanar: Tanar was built from an amalgamation of laguz clans. Tanar was suffered among the most losses of all countries involved in the the original Dawnstar Conflict, when they were invaded by Dylandt. In the Second Dawnstar War, Tanar sent its forces to the forefront of the fighting against Thrann, despite the empire not directly invading Tanar until later in the war.

Dylandt: 211 years ago, Dylandt's armies invaded Tanar, sparking the war known as the Dawnstar Conflict that eventually enveloped nearly half of Antares. Their immortal Scriveners proved instrumental to their success in the war, even though they were ultimately defeated. Dylandt never recovered from its loss in the original Dawnstar Conflict, and it only fared worse after its failed alliance with the Thrann Empire during the Second Dawnstar War.



Arnos
This continent has only been settled within the last 400 years. Its extensive natural resources enticed most of the nations on Antares and the other civilized continents to colonize Arnos. It lies to the west of Antares, directly across the Deserted Sea.

Thrann Empire: 3 years ago, one of the colonies on Arnos decided to declare independence. Calling itself the Thrann Empire, its armies grew strong and swept across the entirety of Arnos in the opening salvos of the Second Dawnstar War. Unsatisfied, Thrann then turned its sights to the nations of Antares, invading Eldrath, Menthyl Vare, and Dylandt. Thrann was ultimately defeated, but the two continents are still recovering.

The Turak Desert: While much of Arnos is temperate and filled with life, Turak is an arid desert. The mountain chains that bracket it on the east and west hold back most of the rainclouds, and the still-active volcanoes among them periodically spew ash and magma across the edges of the desert, leaving no place safe for permanent civilization, yet providing nourishing soil for the desert plants that regrow afterwards. Despite the harsh conditions, several tribes of nomads eke out a life upon the sands, following the oases of rich plant life that spring up in the volcanoes' wake.

Unsettled Lands: Deep in Arnos, creatures of myth and legend still stir. Some places unclaimed by civilization stay unclaimed for good reason. Here there be dragons, and worse.

Karrius: The Karrius valley houses ancient ruins have existed upon Arnos for longer than recorded history. The ruins' walls are covered in mysterious writings, only a fraction of which has yet been translated. No creatures live within the valley, and few traps that were ever set within the ruins still function. Despite this, it is extremely dangerous to explore Karrius at length. Each nightfall, all beings that have ever been within the valley for a full week of their lives disappear, never to be seen again. Not even the greatest sages who have studied the valley for their lifetimes yet know what happens to these poor, lost souls.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 03:45:40 PM by Garryl »
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Stratovarius

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Dak-Tharsh: The primarily-goblinoid nation of Dak-Tharsh has a history of butting heads with its neighbors. The expansionist Dragon Party has been growing in popularity in recent years after the ruling Manticore Party refused to involve Dak-Tharsh in the Second Dawnstar War on Antares. This unstable political climate has made its neighbors uneasy.

And now I want to play a goblin again.

Garryl

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Dak-Tharsh: The primarily-goblinoid nation of Dak-Tharsh has a history of butting heads with its neighbors. The expansionist Dragon Party has been growing in popularity in recent years after the ruling Manticore Party refused to involve Dak-Tharsh in the Second Dawnstar War on Antares. This unstable political climate has made its neighbors uneasy.

And now I want to play a goblin again.

It's still on the table. Just find a link with strongheart halfling stats if you want to refluff the race like you were talking about before.
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Garryl

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Since everyone seems to have made the transition except me, would it be more convenient if we moved this thread over to the new/old boards?
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Stratovarius

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Up to you, but things are pretty settled there. It is just MMX on a new host, give or take a few updates.

sirpercival

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Since everyone seems to have made the transition except me, would it be more convenient if we moved this thread over to the new/old boards?
Sounds good to me.

Garryl

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If it's settled, then might as well. I had read something about changing how the sub-boards were being handled.

New thread on the new/old boards.
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