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Introduction and Discussion

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I'm giving serious thought (i.e., I've already created the forum here) to an all-Arcane 4e campaign. I'm open to whoever would like to play, though I'd like to limit the size. Let me know what you think.

Requirements and expectations:

I'm looking for 3 or 4 PCs. Any races from PHB 1 or 2 are playable. All PCs will come from Arcane classes. I think an all-wizard group would be fun, but that's because I'm partial to them. I do think I'd like to stick to PHB 1 and 2 Arcane classes, though.

I'd like this game to be relatively fast-paced, with at least one update per player, per day. We'll probably also have pre-decided short breaks (some weekends, holidays, etc.) too, so no one feels like they're holding the game back.

I've mapped out the general outline of the campaign, and how I'd like to run it. I'm going to start by trying to do mostly homebrew adventures, though I'm sure I'll borrow heavily from some that exist already. Your feedback is welcome!
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Hedoni Midartis - Eladrin Wizard, Scales of War
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
I am, as always, interested in a new game. I've offered some other thoughts over e-mail, but I'll reiterate here that allowing all arcane classes would make life easier for you, since it's easier to design adventures for groups where all roles are covered.

Small hitch to that is the only arcane defender (and one of the two arcane leaders) are in campaign book and not PHB1/2. Bring your laptop with you Sunday, though, and I can install the full-fledged character builder on your system so you have access to material for the swordmage and artificier.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Location: Santa Ana, CA
I doubt highly you can install Character Builder on my Linux system =) That's why I still use the other sheets.

I'll see what everyone wants to play. Since I'd kinda like a 3 PC game anyway (though I'm open to 4), we'd likely be missing a role either way.
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Hedoni Midartis - Eladrin Wizard, Scales of War
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Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
You don't have a Windows environment on there at all? Crazy.

I'm perfectly happy to play a wizard, myself, but it might be more fun to allow some variety within the arcane angle.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
« Last edit by Gary on Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:08 pm. »
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Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 4627
I might be interested. Although, if so I think I would want to be a Changeling Sorceror (Changelings are in the Eberron Player's Guide). If there are 3 (or 4) others that want to play, I don't mind not being included.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Some Windows software will run under WINE, but typically the simpler, the better. I read up on Character Builder a while ago, and the requirements (specifically the .NET stuff) made me doubt VERY highly that it would run at all.

Josh, I might allow Changlings (I'm pretty up and up on Eberron, and have the Player's Guide). They look like a fun race, though really kinda a weird fit.
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Hedoni Midartis - Eladrin Wizard, Scales of War
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Posts: 5084
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Changelings are great fun for social/sneaky challenges, if you've got those in mind.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 4627
My idea is a sort of out of control (Wild) Sorc. Definitely heavy on the arcane.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
Administrator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 2639
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Here's the intro/history write-up I've been working on for a while. It'll give everyone a bit more idea what I'm thinking about for this campaign. The PCs would be a team as described in the last paragraph.

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At the dawn of his empire, Varis the Great battled forces, both internal and external, for control of all the lands between the Everice Mountains and the Great Crescent Sea. Even with his victory, however, the Emperor had no control over the gods or arcane powers, but he had dominion over the magical treasures of his people, and knew that for both his safety and theirs, many of these treasures were best kept under guard.

Emperor Varis chose the newly completed Wisenstone School for the task, knowing that even the most skilled guards in his keep were ill-suited for the job. He hoped also that the educational value of the items, both for research and teaching, would give the school more incentive to protect them.

Not knowing or trusting the whole of the faculty, however, he placed control of the storehouse in the hands of his friend and court magician Frederick the Wise, and tasked him with not only the storage of the items, but also the research into and careful recording of their powers. The Emperor also commanded his friend to use resources of the school and government as needed, but to keep the profile of his work as Guardian, as well as that of the collection, on a need-to-know basis.

Outliving the Emperor, Frederick the Wise took it upon himself to ensure that the Wisenstone School would always have the staff and facilities to house the growing collection of items. Powerful (and trusted) staff took on the role over the years, passing on their knowledge to new Guardians - sometimes staff, sometimes students - as they saw fit.

Wisenstone's grand vault remained secure until The Forth War, when the school was overrun by invading Dragonborn, serving as an enemy stronghold until it was liberated at the end of the fighting. The Guardian Artimus, on returning to the ransacked school, found most of the vault emptied, its magic items stolen by the dragonborn invaders. Much of the collection was found in the years immediately following the war, either in the possession of captured enemy nobility or when shady merchants attempted to sell the notable items.

Following the invasion and theft during the war (and taking the ransacking very personally), Artimus greatly increased the magical security of their vault, and enlisted teams of mages to recover the still-lost inventory. These teams, while not a secret, work quietly as not to raise suspicion about magical items still missing, and to keep the general knowledge of the collection as mysterious as possible to the people of Varinia.
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Hedoni Midartis - Eladrin Wizard, Scales of War
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The idea of all arcane characters sounds really fun! Might be challenging with lots of R.I.P., but definitely fun. So, it sounds like warlock, wizard, bard, sorcerer, and swordmage are options, with possibly artificer added on. I've actually been pondering a wizard build for a while now, so that would be my pick if it's okay to join. I think the 1 post per day minimum sounds great too.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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I am interested, as well, with the caveat being that I will be out of the country from Oct. 30 until Nov. 18. If that would still work, let me know. If not, no hard feelings.
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Dungeon Master - The Dark Campaign
Sir Muurak - Mul Cavalier 14, Scales of War
Demuriath - Revenant Assassin 5, Points of Light
Kurvilis - Gnome Mage 4, Eberron
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 4627
It could be interesting to do a delve-like campaign and it might fit with your concept. We could have many players that have characters that are part of this group and 3 or 4 at a time are chosen for a specific mission. Then, if someone is going to be gone or unavailable for a significant portion of an adventure (or want a break or whatever), someone else could fill in. You could have the caveat that each player only gets one PC at a time (until the previous one dies or is retired for a significant period of time). Not trying to push you in a certain direction, but just a suggestion for the game.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Location: Santa Ana, CA
Artificers would actually work pretty well (story-wise) in this campaign, thought I'm stiff iffy about allowing Swordmages, for similar reasons (and because I like the idea of a melee-limited group, DM-wise and storywise). Part of the inspiration for the campaign was me thinking that wizards were one of the few classes that could adventure on their own, hence the arcane focus. Selfishly, it'd also make rules lookup very easy =)

I won't be running this campaign as a delve, though I'm open to having PCs come in or leave or needed. One of my other inspirations is having long-term characters and continuity, which I think the delves is missing. =)
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Hedoni Midartis - Eladrin Wizard, Scales of War
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Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I think the story you've come up with sounds like a lot of fun and a great way always having more to do, since there can always be more items to recover.

I'd go for any of wizard, sorcerer, artificer, bard, or swordmage.

Yeah, I just said no more warlocks. ;)

Seriously, having played so much of Salazar, I'm not interested in any more warlocks. I'd actually also probably not do a sorcerer, since Salazar will hopefully be one of those at some point.

Wizards, artificers, bards, and swordmages all have really cool angles I'd enjoy exploring.

Interesting thing to consider - Wizards, Artificers, and Swordmages use Int as their main stat. Bards, Sorcerers, and (half of) Warlocks use Charisma as their main stat. This could be a good group for skill challenges. :)
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Administrator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 2639
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Thanks! I've borrowed heavily from a few sci-fi stories, but I think it's a good idea for a campaign. I even have a few nice potential twists and turns for the long term, if that comes to pass.

I think skill challenges will work pretty darn well for this group - the challenge for me is making them hard but fun. I also really like the aspect of our play where we determine things through our knowledge checks during encounters, so I'm going to try to work a lot of that into the game.
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Hedoni Midartis - Eladrin Wizard, Scales of War
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Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 3164
I have a pretty nifty halfling wild sorcerer I would love to use, though I would have to adjust it slightly to account for no meat shields. =) Just let me know if the timing would be ok.
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Dungeon Master - The Dark Campaign
Sir Muurak - Mul Cavalier 14, Scales of War
Demuriath - Revenant Assassin 5, Points of Light
Kurvilis - Gnome Mage 4, Eberron
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 7786
Here's the wizard build I was talking about. Maybe it will help others choose characters of their own (assuming it's okay for me to play), knowing that this one is very non-melee and non-mega damage oriented, although he's got lots of friends to call upon. To give you an idea of how he works, he essentially could start a battle by conjuring an astral wasp. After that, the arcane reserves feat adds 2 damage to all at-wills for the rest of the encounter. He conjures a storm pillar one turn and then uses phantom bolt to slide enemies near the storm pillar the next turn. The storm pillars are also great for funnelling enemies aside if they want to avoid them. Thunderwave is his "melee" power when necessary. His rituals are mostly additional summoning effects. His actual summoning daily power (fire warrior) can fly around doing 1d8+6 fire damage in melee as a standard action (with tome of binding). Comments/suggestions welcome.

PS: I updated the summary below with a background from PHB2 and with ritual components purchased. Newest update changed the ability scores, a learned skill, and the second daily memorized. Thunderwave will only push 1 square now, but summonings will have more HP and do more damage.
The main premise of this character is that he's extremely book-wise, but a bit bumbling and clumsy in the field. He grew up in a desert climate and began learning about summoning of fire and wind elementals (djinni) at a very young age, even to the extent of learning their tongue, although it wasn't until his academy years that he fully learned Primordial. Don't have much else on background yet and am hesitant to spend too much effort since our party of only arcane characters is likely to be wiped out super fast! ;)

Alfred Sartanius, level 1
Human, Wizard
Build: Summoner Wizard
Arcane Implement Mastery: Tome of Binding
Background: Geography - Desert (+2 to Nature)
Languages: Common, Primordial

User posted image

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 18, Wis 13, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 10.


AC: 14 Fort: 14 Reflex: 15 Will: 14
HP: 26 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Nature +8, Arcana +9, Dungeoneering +6, History +9, Religion +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Endurance +3, Heal +1, Insight +1, Intimidate, Perception +1, Stealth, Streetwise, Thievery, Athletics -1

FEATS
Wizard: Ritual Caster
Human: Arcane Reserves
Level 1: Implement Expertise (Tome)

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Phantom Bolt
Wizard at-will 1: Thunderwave
Wizard at-will 1: Storm Pillar
Wizard encounter 1: Astral Wasp
Wizard daily 1: Summon Fire Warrior
Wizard daily 1 Spellbook: Grease

ITEMS
Spellbook, Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing), Dagger, Implement, Tome, Adventurer's Kit, Residuum (45 gp worth of components), ceramic hand focus (25 gp), 6 gp left in pocket
RITUALS
Comprehend Language, Create Campsite, Unseen Servant
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
« Last edit by Viktor on Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:10 am. »
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Looks pretty cool, Viktor. The summoning bit helps flesh out the party some with additional temporary bodies to divert and distract enemies.

I've still got several ideas bouncing around my head. I hope to have it narrowed down some by this evening so I can post a reasonable number of ideas for feedback.

So, it looks like, assuming all who've posted play what they're saying:

Viktor - Human summoner wizard
Josh - Changeling wild sorcerer
Jon - Halfling wild sorcerer
Gary - still deciding

Two wild sorcerers would make for a lot of random chaos. :) The three disclosed characters cover the striker and controller roles, and leave leader and defender unfilled (although the defender being covered at all depends on what Mike decides on the swordmage).

As I mentioned, I'm definitely not playing a warlock or sorcerer, so I'll be avoiding the striker role, but ideas for all four of the other arcane classes are still percolating.

Mike, what are your thoughts on multi-classing to non-arcane classes? Any thoughts on hybrid characters (with both hybrid classes being arcane)?

EDIT: Good question on the backgrounds, Viktor. I'm in favor of allowing PHB2 and similar backgrounds (choice of +2 to a skill, making a skill a class skill, or knowing a language), but it's obviously Mike's call.

SECOND EDIT: Human wizard is actually one of my ideas, Viktor. But if I went that way, it'd still be different than yours, as I'd either go for the staff wizard and lots of defensive/close powers, or the tome of readiness and aim for more of a "ready for anything" concept.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
« Last edit by Gary on Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:22 pm. »
Administrator
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Hadn't even considered backgrounds, but PHB2 backgrounds aren't absurd, so maybe.

I have no problem with the multiclass feat - what do you mean by "hybrid" characters?

Since none of you see that set on it, we'll do this campaign without swordmages - more than anything, I want to see how a non-melee group can do (I suspect it can do as well or better than a mixed group or all-melee group).

I'm not sure on timetables for the campaign, yet - I think I'll run some test encounters with Gary first to get the feel for DMing. Jon, I do think we'd start before you're back, but if you'd really like to play, we can either delay, or you could come in at level 2.
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Hedoni Midartis - Eladrin Wizard, Scales of War
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Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I was actually considering a swordmage. I'm really enjoying the one I'm playing in the delve. Although I wouldn't necessarily play the same character in this game. A gnome shielding swordmage who cracks jokes about how ineffective his foes are when his aegis dulls their attacks sounds fun. :)

You're free to run the game however you like, of course. But it is easier to build adventures around a balanced party, especially for a new DM. (Although if we have four PC's and two wild sorcerers we're going to miss a role somewhere, of course.)

Hybrid characters are going to be in PHB3 and are currently in the character builder as a playtest version. Basically, it's much more of an even split between two classes than multiclassing. You take powers from each class and get some of the features of each class. I was contemplating that gnome being a swordmage/bard to give us some cover at each of the defender and leader roles, for example.

Of course, I reserve the right to play another idea entirely should it strike my fancy. :)
_______________
Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 4627
My character basically has arcane power bursting out of him. Instead of his hands, the magic will more likely burst forth from his chest. And when the power explodes out, his form will shift shapes at random (I'll roll a d10 or d20 that will decide his new shape). He will be taking powers of the Chromatic Orb (random effects) and Chaos Bolt (50/50 chance of hitting another target after each hit) variety. He will be played as a character with a decent heart, but always on edge because of the arcane ready to come out.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
Administrator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 2639
Location: Santa Ana, CA
That's really awesome - it fits well with the story (arcane power is known and common, but "hero" level magic is rare and often a spectacle).

Gary, I think I'm gonna say ixnay on the ybridhays. They sound interesting, but I I'll keep this game purer. I'm still of two minds about Swordmages - we'll talk about it =)
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Hedoni Midartis - Eladrin Wizard, Scales of War
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 3164
I don't think 2 wild sorcerers are necessary. Given this makeup, if Gary plays a swordmage, maybe I will bring back the prescient bard I was throwing around for a while. If not, a dragonborn dragon sorcerer would help on the front lines a bit.

Mike, I am fine with either delaying, or having Gary or someone play my character for the week or two while I am gone. (Or having my character come in later.)
_______________
Dungeon Master - The Dark Campaign
Sir Muurak - Mul Cavalier 14, Scales of War
Demuriath - Revenant Assassin 5, Points of Light
Kurvilis - Gnome Mage 4, Eberron
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I was also toying with artificer ideas, if you want to use the swordmage you had created for the other game, Jon. I'm good with swordmage or artificer. All pending Mike's decision on swordmages, of course.

No problems on no hybrids, Mike, I had a hunch. And they are actually still in playtest form.
_______________
Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
Moderator
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 3164
In the foolish optimism that the FR game will actually go at some point in time, I will hold off on recycling Zetheryin. If you use a swordmage, I will play a bard, so we have a bit of healing. If you use an artificer, I will play a dragon sorcerer, I think.
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Dungeon Master - The Dark Campaign
Sir Muurak - Mul Cavalier 14, Scales of War
Demuriath - Revenant Assassin 5, Points of Light
Kurvilis - Gnome Mage 4, Eberron

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