campaign (D&D 3ed) run (and created) by NickJohnson
The world is entirely custom-built, an obsession from Nick's mind that took form Summer 2001. The premise for the campaign is that all sorts of truly unfortunate stuff are happening to this unbelievably complex world, and the players (most of whom grew up in the same village together) go off to do whatever they bloody well feel like doing.
May 9, 2002: The Caladanian Cycle has ended. On the battlefields of the West, the champion of the void has fallen, and the Seekers of Ancient Mysteries are scattered. Creation has been destroyed and reborn. The dark elves have returned to the world of men. And of the nine who once gathered to quest the land, only two remain: Belman, and Kes.
A DMs confession:
The campaign was not started to be an epic. I wanted to run a player driven plot where the characters would be the initial impetus for any eventual plot. Ie, some recurring villain would only be a villain because of PC action and not because of pre-determined DM choice. The players, however, proved incompetent at choosing direction, so it slowly evolved into an epic. This is not to say i knew how it was going to end when this trend became apparent. I didn't. I knew who was going to die (or more appropriately, which character would definitely not die) well before i knew how everything would be resolved. I just kept developing the story in a direction that seemed logical from the current situations. I knew nothing significant more than a week ahead of time, which allowed me to adapt to every development because even i didnt know where i was going. That it turned out so well pleased me greatly, even if it became more like storytelling than D+D at the end. I guess it hard to call it my campaign cause its really everyone who was involved's campaign. I was merely the director, rolling with the punches and hurrying to make sure the lighting came on when it should though there was no cue until moments before. I guess in my mind thats what all roleplaying should be about, telling the story, and the job of the DM is not to create the story, but to provide impetus for the story and to make sure that all the props and supporting characters are there so the story can be carried to completion. Note that i didn't even play the one truly important NPC (Olivia), Lori did.
The obsession lives on, albeit not developing as fast as it was. Maybe when i have a campaign again i'll post updates about whats going on. In the meantime, there are more stories from this campaign that could be told. Bard, your task is unfulfilled. Muse, where is your inspiration? Your servants slumber. Surely there are more voices that can be raised to join the chorus below.
That better not be the chorus to WeRideOutOfWivesTales :P
- I sure hope not. --BelmanWallace?
Songs of Caladania:
WeRideOutOfClivesdale: The "theme song" of the campaign, courtesy of the the party's bard. It's the Clivesdale Callsign! Bwah!
WeRideOutOfWivesTales: Drinking song based on the above.
RootsOfGraceAndBeauty: Written by WillShipley and StephGrush, with late-night insanity assistance from NickJohnson, the tale that follows tells of the Dark-Elven caverns, and the wonders found within.
QueensSacrifice: StephGrush and WillShipley are responsible for this character-piece, bringing the choices and sacrifices of each member of the party into the light of song.
EndOfJourneys: And so they came to the end of their journeys; but their deeds shall ever be told. A euolgy for seven of the nine companions.
- RobAdams (plays Jeb, the fighter with the big sword)
- May 1st, 2002: Jeb has fallen in battle, slaying and slain by the mighty Orc general Gulthark. Long will his sacrifice be sung.
- NateCappallo (Khaz Moen, the cleric from the Northlands. Don't ask about his shadow)
- May 9th, 2002: Khaz Moen died in the clutches of a dragon, dying as he lived: to preserve the lives of his compatriots by offering his own.
- DanCicio (Sir Gregory Ellmore, the holy paladin.)
- Did we mention that magic is religous taboo in this world? Did we also mention that 80% of the party casts spells? This should be interesting . . .
- And did we mention that Sir Gregory has joined the ranks of spellcasters?
- And it should also be mentioned that Sir Gregory is dead. His body may be drained of all life force, but his final blow completely destroyed the champion of the Void. He has been welcomed into the pantheon of Word (order).
- StephGrush (Kes, the ranger/rogue, with interesting social pastimes. implies everything)
- May 9th, 2002: Kes lives, having borne the new Form (creation) within her. She will travel to the capitol, to do what she can to aid the dark elves and Ellen.
- SteveHaas (plays Ellen, the sociopathic druid)
- May 9th, 2002: Ellen survives, in a way. She is locked beneath the earth in suspended animation, waiting for the time when she can be found and freed.
- ClayHambrick (Algernon the mage, not named after the mouse thank-you-very-much though he has a cat familiar named Bunbury)
- May 9th, 2002: Algernon was destroyed . . . by Ethan, under compulsion from a trusted source. Another death to be laid at Olivia's feet.
- Hey, now. It was a charm effect, not a compulsion. Ethan didn't exactly like Algernon, either... ^_^
- LoriThomas (Jeb's sister, Emily, the rogue/bard. She's magiphobic. She's also a latent magician. Whoops!)
- May 1st, 2002: Emily has joined her brother, helplessly struck down by an insidious traitor. Her death will be avenged -- and Ethan will be without a companion when justice is again served.
- WillShipley (Belman Wallace, the bard, he of the low hit points and lower sense)
- May 9th, 2002: Belman lives. Out of the five friends who originally ventured forth from Clivesdale, only he returns. His travels will take him far, telling the story of his fallen companions and the coming of wonder to the world.
- JeffBrenion (Ethan Longwood the archer; with, if possible, lower sense than Belman.)
- Ethan is a textbook example of the difficulties inherent in an LDR . . . especially one being concurrently played by a certain evil, twisted player *cough*LoriThomas*cough*. However, he is still a competent member of the team, and deserves a lot more respect than he is getting right now. Especially from certain bards who put too much stock in their Intimidate skill. And certain rogues, of both bardic and rangeric (is that a word?) persuasions. And possibly Bunbury. Lousy snooty cat, thinks it can boss me around...
- Whoops! Who introduced Ethan to the secret of Wiki?! Oh wait, I did :) --WillShipley
- Update: Well, Ethan no longer has to worry about the joys of an LDR, as the NPC in question has decided to come along with the party. In related news, NickJohnson has increased his rate of evil beard stroking to an alarming degree.
- Another Update: Well, Ethan certainly no longer has to worry about the joys of an LDR, because as soon as the party catches up with said NPC, she's going to pay for the death she's caused.
- Better hope Ethan doesn't catch up first... he'd have to choose sides, and it's kind of doubtful which side he'd actually end up on. Possibly a third side, at right angles to the first two.
- And a Final Note: In the most beautiful, tragic moment of the campaign's final days, Ethan was sacrificed in the ritual that destroyed creation--by his love, Olivia. Yet his final words destroyed her resolve, and she later betrayed her masters and saved what remained of the party. At present: she lives.
- I'm rather happy with the way it turned out, actually. I think that I had the best death of the whole party... and it was a lot more symbolic than I had expected, too. Although if anyone tries to take down Olivia, Ethan's gonna have to haunt them. Or something. He's not bitter about the whole being sacrificed to a god of darkness thing. ^_^
Interesting facts about the land of Caladania:
- Traditional unit of currency: That would be a base-16 currency system, with coins of even more various denominations. And what's the first thing we do? We go to another nation, with an entirely different standard of currency! arg.
- Traditional unit of distance: MilesPhaekers
"Do I still feel the effects of Tongues?" --WillShipley
Nate: "Is Olivia going to be an NPC?"
DM: "Yes, looks like it."
Nate: "Good, because I'm looking for some interaction with that character."
"He examines the rod . . . Oh, come on, why else do you think wizards take on apprentices?"
LizzieKadison: "I've heard this type of conversation before: Mommmm, can Christy come over for dinner tonight?"
Will: "Except that in this case, it's like inviting in the Secretary of State"
LizzieKadison: "Mommm, can Margaret Allbright . . . I mean . . ."
DM: "About noon, a woman rides into town . . ."
Clay: "A woman? Is she naked?"
Clay: "Well, you said a woman rode into town. What was I supposed to think?"
DM: "She turns her horse and passes out to the North, beyond the farms."
Steph: "She passes out? Is she drunk?"