Forums
Guides
Features
Media
Zelda Wiki
Patreon
    A Race of Pawns OOC
    • The memory of Dwarves is long. Impressive life spans, a predilection to honour tradition, and the tendency for Dwarven royals to occasionally be born with the memories of a multitude of past lives ensure that the stout folk can tell the story of the world a hundred thousand years back: a feat to put Gods to shame.

      The Dwarves remember mining, as it had been eons ago. They remember that, for age after age, great empires of man and dragonborn and tiefling and even elf-kind had lusted after the wealth of the mountains and the people of the mountains had obliged their lust. They remember growing rich - in the measure of the world - for gains in trade but also rich in culture and pride for the scope and majesty of their industry.

      They remember enough to know, with certainty, that the mountains are nearly empty. That the world is old, and well used up. That the ambitions of "great" people to reclaim the glories of millennia past are dross. That they'll pull these last bits of coal and copper from the earth and perhaps five thousand years hence there will simply be no more. That that will be the end of the dwarves, and perhaps of all things.

      Still they mine. Because they are Dwarves, and five thousand years is still a little time.

      A little time.
      ***

      Oh hey folks, good to see you here.

      This is a pilot project: an attempt at play-by-post Dungeons and Dragons on Zelda Universe. We're looking to identify, specifically, what works and what doesn't playing in this format with a focus on a couple of possible gains.

      The first benefit to hope after is freeform scheduling. One of the biggest deterrents to many of our forum members playing DnD seems to be the inability to join a 4+ hour Skype call every week, especially if they're in an unusual timezone. Play-by-post alleviates that concern, with the caveat that it now becomes possible for the game to stall entirely if a player cannot find time to make a post. We'll be exploring strategies to motivate and maintain reasonable levels of activity from everyone involved.

      The second benefit is the option for tight technical play. Certain complicated rules interactions and game components are often glossed over at the table for the sake of the overall flow of a live game. The slower pace of a play-by-post game allows us to hew more closely to the rules as written and - hopefully - thereby create a richer simulation of a fantasy world and provide more engaging problem-solving opportunities.

      I'm actively recruiting players who would be interested in exploring these sorts of options - I've already seen a welcome show of interest in the DMG thread - and asking interested parties to make an "official" commitment here. I'm looking for 4-5 PCs, and reserving discretion to ask people to sit this one out if I don't think they'll fit the group dynamic/goals. Really don't expect to have to use that, but it's worth noting. I'd also love to open this thread up to general chatter from curious parties and other "spectators". Once we have a full group we can be sure will work well together we can launch into the process of character creation. In the meanwhile, some campaign details follow.

      Setting
      Cosmologically speaking, we're going to go with a rather classic dying earth approach. Recorded history is long, naming hundreds of different globe-spanning empires, many with millenia-long lifespans, which have all ultimately collapsed and faded away. Pre-history seems even longer, and by all indication not even a single immortal remembers the first civilization. Both the will and the means to build great nations have largely been tapped, resulting in a Points of Light style setting: a stable, enduring dark age without large scale political manoeuvring.

      More specifically, we'll be playing in a fictionalized version of the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the approximately 700 km stretch between Jasper National Park and the Flathead National Forest. We'll begin in a Dwarven mining settlement located along a version of the Elk River near the Crowsnest Pass, simply because this is an area whose geography I understand very well and - I think - which lends itself to a wilderness-focused campaign.

      The intended tone is pulpy low fantasy, with a style more similar to Gene Wolf, Jack Vance, or Robert E Howard than Tolkien or Martin or Mercer or <<your Shonen Jump Mangaka of Choice>>. Non-combat interactions with NPCs are far more likely to be tense-but-honest stand offs with weapons barred than they are to friendly negotiations, underhanded political dealings, or bombastic affairs where everyone shouts their character motivations at each other.

      Characters
      Players will have unfettered access to the PHB and Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and to the non-setting specific material in The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide and the Elemental Evil Player's Companion. Unearthed Arcana material is negotiable, but will almost certainly not be allowed for multiclass characters.

      Characters will be built at first level, but in order to encourage activity - especially in the game's early stages - there will be a flat reward of 30 XP per post, assuming the post contributes substantively to the game's progression. Accordingly, you can expect early level advancement to be *rapid*.

      I'm not putting any demands on characterization or background, except to say that each PC should be comfortable enough in a rural/boreal setting that they can justify remaining there despite opportunities which would casually arise to leave for the open plains to the east or the more fertile lakelands to the west AND each should have some reason to want to explore the local wilds (which, at the very least, are conveniently filled with the precious relics of long-fallen empires).

      Please focus on a putting together a complete character inventory, down to every last item owned, clothing included. I promise I'm going to try to make these details *matter*, and I'd love it if the players had some fun with this stuff, beyond just taking a standard adventurer's kit.

      It would be so *so* appreciated if I saw some immediate signs that you're willing to work together as a party and negotiate on characterization and group dynamics. We don't really have time - in a play by post campaign - for an awkward, introductory "getting to know each other" phase. I want to place a real premium on cooperative getting-to-know-each-other in this initial OOC thread.

      Game Process
      The following is subject to change, but I expect the game to proceed as follows:

      Free Form gameplay

      When the party is *not* moving in initiative order any player is free to post in-character at any time, with any *reasonable* amount of content. I am personally committing to post between the hours of 10 AM and 12 PM UTC every week day in order to resolve any outstanding checks and progress the narrative. Beyond this, I'll be posting when and how I can. During this period:

      *Each post which substantially advances the narrative in some way, especially in showing the agency of your character, will earn 30 flat XP.
      *Each meaningful chat log recorded between two or more players or between a player and the DM will earn each participant a flat 30 XP and inspiration at my discretion.

      My hope with this is to encourage each player to post at least three days a week, and to find time to interact with other players more directly at least two or three times a month. I don't expect posts in this style to often go far beyond a few hundred words - and in fact I imagine why all might quickly burn out if they did. If we're regularly posting more than 1000 words per day as a party and starting to feel that as a strain we can re-evaluate down the line. The last thing I want is players not reading each others' posts. That's the beginning of the end, I think.

      Players should be more willing than they would be at a table to fill in environmental details in their posts. Assuming no one abuses the power, I'm going to be generally OK with players taking control of friendly NPCs or non-threatening abiotic factors in order to write their posts. Just, ya know, do what the story requires. Also, this is play-by-post, not necessarily play-by-essay. I want players to feel free to include multimedia of any kind in the story development: pictures, recorded soundbites, back-ground music. It's all very much welcome. The goal is to keep things fresh and lively as much as possible, so that we all stay engaged.

      Structured gameplay

      During combat encounters and skill challenges we'll be keying off initiative order. These are choke points, where poor scheduling could mean an encounter takes 2 weeks to resolve while pleasant coincidences could get it down in an afternoon. There's really nothing we *can* do here to maintain steady activity except ask people to be reasonable about taking their turn as quickly as possible, when called on to do so.

      What I generally *hope* will be possible is that, for any given initiative order, we are able to identify a rhythm for post-and-response that lets us complete a full run through the initiative order every two days. I look forward to the challenge of trying to schedule this the first time ^^

      Again, players should be more willing to describe the factors around their combat actions than they would be at the table. If you want to dictate what the goblin's face looks like as your barbarian charges it down by all means feel free. If you want to detail the nature of the rock face your scaling and tell me exactly *why* it's a DC 15 climb by all means feel free. This is the kind of thing that's going to keep us awake during extended periods of turn taking.

      During structured gameplay we'll be using online dice rollers and map-making tools which are fairly straight-forward, if a little "old school". I don't imagine this will give anyone any trouble, but asked if you're concerned.

      ---

      “Yours is a race of pawns,” Tzadkiel told me. “You move forward only, unless we move you back to begin the game again."
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens

      The post was edited 5 times, last by Foo ().

    • If you have access to the Tome of Foes then by all means. I've only just flipped through it once but I trust that it's all good until proven otherwise ^_^
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • I'm definitely interested, and I think due to the establishment of dnd and our dm this will be more successful than what i've taken part in in the past.
      I think this works much better around my schedule too - a 20 minute post here or 5 minutes there during breaks in work or before i leave or during chores or w/e works much better than finding 4 consecutive hours cause those don't exist lol. I'm hoping a 4 hour commitment is a similar ideal here (obviously accomodating to changes in pace, structured/unstructured gameplay and such)

      tbh I kinda wanna design a character anyway cause i'm already having fun designing one for this setting
    • @Ruki

      Short answer: According to the PHB!

      Long answer: Foremostly, I want to make sure people get use to using the Orokos dice roller right from the start with character generation. I haven't actually set up a campaign page yet because I'm waiting on a fully established roster and hoping (as stated in the OP) that there's some conversation between players towards establishing a cohesive party before any formal character building begins.

      But to answer the question directly, stats will be determined according to any of the PHB methods (with my personal recommendation that players take the standard stat array - 15,14,13,12,10,8 - and save no mercy for people who try 4d6drop and com up short) and gold determined according to class.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens

      Post by Sami Nornal ().

      This post was deleted by the author themselves ().
    • Point buy - with the caveats in the PHB - is entirely fine (so six base scores totalling 72 points with no one score above 15 or below 8).

      Keith: the nearest ocean is about 600 Km to the west. On that coast, west and just south of our position, a river delta opens into an impressive natural harbour on an enormous strait (the strait itself separating a lush temperate-rainforest island from the main continent). That harbour has been host to any number of impressive cities over the millennia; perhaps, in times long past, even being the political center of the entire world.

      Nothing so impressive could possibly stand there now, but you have complete freedom in defining what form of society exactly currently exists in this region and on the previously mentioned island (provided no one else wants to collaborate).

      From the delta, you'd need to cross a region of somewhat younger mountains to enter the lakelands - our fictionalized Okanagon valley - where you'd find a few self-sufficient agricultural communities and a *lot* of monstrous humanoid bands. Goblins, orcs, gnolls, the works. A good guide or a great map could take you into the mountains to cover the last 200 km to our position.

      Alternatively, with favourable winds, masterful sailing, and an impeccable sense of direction you could take a 1-man river sloop from the delta 80% of the way to our location. You'd have to have abandoned the boat to make the final trek.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Foo ().

    • I really appreciate the interest Rebs! But unfortunately, yeah, we are certainly tentatively "full" with Ruki, boxes, Napstablook, Keith, Sami, and Sturs.

      So let's get rocking!

      The campaign page is now up at Orokos. I really recommend that everyone try a test roll and make sure it ends up on the public leger, properly stamped with your account name and the roll description. Once you know it's working for you, you can begin using it for character construction.

      As characters start coming together, please be thorough in your builds. We're working with first level characters - there's not a ton of work to do but I want to be able to comfortably "lock in" these characters before we begin play. For convenience and as a general indication of the detail I'm looking for, here's a sample character in plaintext format. You don't have to echo this format if it's not convenient foy you, but it points at all the boxes you do need to tick.

      Display Spoiler

      Kumena
      Merfolk Druid 3/Wizard 2

      Abilities (Generated 4d6k3)
      Str: 8
      Dex: 9
      Con: 10
      Int: 13
      Wis: 20 (18 + 2 racial)
      Cha: 14 (13 + 1 racial)

      Proficiency: +3
      HP: 26 [8 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 4]
      AC: 15 [14 -1 +2] or 13 without shield
      Init: + 1 (Uses Int)
      Saving Throws: Wisdom, Intelligence
      Move Speed: 30, 30 (swim)

      Armor: Scale Mail, Wooden Shield
      Weapon: Spear [+1 melee or +1 range (20/60), 1d6-1/1d8-1 versatile damage]
      Tools: Codebook
      Background: Faction Agent
      Skills: Deception (Merfolk), Persuasion (Merfolk), Perception (Druid), Nature* (Druid), Insight (Background), History* (Background) [*2x Proficiency]
      Languages: Common, Merfolk, Druidic, Primordial (Merfolk), Elvish (Background), Kara-Tur Trade Tongue (Background)
      Alignment: LN

      Amphibious trait - Can breathe air and water
      Wild Shape - Twice per SR, max CR 1/4, no fly or swim speed, up to 1 hour
      Druid Circle - Circle of the Land (Coast)
      Natural Recovery - One first level spell slot recovered after a short rest
      Arcane Recovery - One first level spell slot recovered after a short rest
      Arcane Tradition - Lore Master
      Ritual Casting (Wizard and Druid)
      Spell secrets - Swap acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, radiant thunder at will and/or saves once per SR.

      Equipment: Blah Blah Blah
      Total weight carried: XXX

      Backstory beats: Blah Blah Blah

      Ideal: Blah Blah Blah

      Bond: Blah Blah Blah

      Trait: Blah Blah Blah

      Flaw: Blah Blah Blah

      Appearance: Blah Blah Blah

      Cantrips:
      Light (Wizard)
      Minor Illusion (Wizard)
      Message (Wizard)
      Magic Stone (Druid)
      Gust(Druid)
      Guidance (Druid)
      Shape Water (Druid, Circle Bonus)
      Thunderclap (Druid, Racial Bonus)

      Multiclass caster level: 5
      Multiclass spell slots: 4/3/2

      Total Druid Spells to Prep: 8 + 2 circle
      Max base level for Druid Spells: 2
      DC for Druid spell saves: 16

      Wizard Spells to Prep: 3
      Total spells in Spell Book: 8
      DC for Wizard Spells Saves: 12

      Spell book:
      Fog Cloud
      Detect Good and Evil
      Disguise Self
      Find Familiar (Ritual)
      Detect Magic (Ritual)
      Purify Food and Drink (Ritual)
      Tenser’s Floating Disk (Ritual)
      Comprehend Languages (Ritual)

      ---

      Familiar: Illapa

      Celestial Crab
      Tiny beast
      Str: 2
      Dex: 11
      Con: 10
      Int: 1
      Wis: 8
      Cha 2

      AC: 11
      HP: 2
      Speed 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
      Skills: Stealth +2
      Blindsight 30 ft., Passive Perception 9
      The crab can breathe air and water

      ---

      Panther
      Medium Beast
      Str: 14
      Dex: 15
      Con: 10
      Int: 13
      Wis: 20 (18 +2 racial)
      Cha: 14 (13 +1 racial)

      Proficiency: +3
      HP: 13 (3d8)
      AC: 13
      Init: +2
      Saving Throws: Wisdom, Intelligence
      Move Speed: 50, 40 climb

      If the panther moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the panther can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.

      Claw: +5 melee, 1d4 +2 slashing damage
      Bite: +5 melee, 1d6+2 piercing damage

      Skills: Deception (Merfolk), Persuasion (Merfolk), Perception (Druid), Nature (Druid), Insight (Background), History (Background), Stealth [+7] (Panther)
      Advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens
    • ... I have no idea how to roll anything more complex than a die plus a modifier on that thing lol


      Also!

      Some questions!

      Where does this game fall in terms of narrative vs simulation vs game side of things?

      Related, what sort of challenges can we expect? Or, in more practical terms, if I make a charrie that is, say, a god-tier skill monkey who doesn't know what a sword does, or an ultimate fighting machine who's good at murder and nothing else, how much am I handicapping myself?

      Also, where does the campaign fall in terms of serious versus silly?

      Also, where would people in the setting pick up their class skills? Where would an aspiring wizard learn magic, or an aspiring bard learn their stories and music, or an aspiring monk train?