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Old 10-14-2020, 02:11 PM
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Building a City of Light in a Dark Age

Deadline Reminder - Make sure to have your aps in and done by close of business (Evening Mountain Standard Time) tomorrow. One Day and Five Hours from now.

Check the list of aps on the first post to make sure I didn't somehow miss yours.

Could I get everyone to post something, even a quick "hi" so I can check folks are still around and still interested.

The actual choice will be made over the weekend.

Thanks for all the great aps guys!



Deadline for Apps, 23rd Oct

Game NameBuilding a City of Light in a Dark Age
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeCity-Building and Desperate Struggles as the World Falls Apart
FlavourThe Fall of Rome meets Dragon Age with a dash of Skyrim and perhaps a hint of Frostpunk
Plot Summary
DragonsfordDeep within the Spine of the World between the peaks of the Red Mountains and the Whitefangs, on the banks of the great Swanstead River from the Ochre to the Able, where the fresh waters from the south meet the cold frozen waves of the Autumn Sea along the deep crag of the Drakensmaw, at the very end of the Old North Road, the very bleeding edge of the Empire, sits the town of Dragonsford.

The town itself is a picturesque place, on the banks of a great river nestled in a wide rich verdant valley. Far from the roiling wars with other nations and far from the cut-throat politics and machinations of Emperors, Princes, Dukes, and Nobles in the gilded streets of the far-off Grand Imperial City. For the people here, life was good, despite the hardships and fierce winters and harsh cutting cold.

For the Empire though, Dragonsford was a perpetual disappointment, constantly failing to live up to its promise. Hundreds of years ago, the Empire settled these lands with great enthusiasm. It was hoped a town here could tap into the great wealth of the deepest peaks of the Spine. It was hoped a new pass could be discovered across the river, opening up a new route of trade with the Eastern rim of the Empire. Or that the river itself could prove navigable to the south, linking to the innermost heart of the Empire with its furthest fringes to the west. Or even that a great port could be built, providing new access to the north-most reaches of the Autumn Sea.

The mines and riches never materialized. The new pass was never found. The river itself proved too treacherous to ply. And the Drakensmaw proved too dangerous to sail. Even the ford itself across the river proved to be more of a trap than anything, with steep banks and turbulent flow the hoped easy crossing drowned and swept away more men than have ever crossed.

So settled the town's fate. Spurned and disappointed too often, the Empire simply gave up and turned its attentions elsewhere. Dragonsford was nothing but a small pleasant settlement and a slow trickle of taxes back to the Empires endless coffers.

But the Empire itself was an integral part of what kept Dragonsford prosperous. In the past, when the town had been threatened by great and terrible ancient dragons, armies of slaughtering undead, or the unstoppable tide of orc war hordes, it was always the Imperial Legion to stand as a bulwark and save the town from destruction. What, if anything, could protect Dragonsford if not the Empire.

 



The EmpireBut even here in a windswept and far-flung backwater, the decay of the once great Empire was evident. Imperial taxes grew ever higher, desperate leaders trying in vain to squeeze more gold from its citizens to pay for sorely needed troops on distant battlefields. The Old North Road, the only reliable link back to the larger Empire, had been steadily falling into a shambles of disrepair. Slowly, more and more men were drawn from the small Imperial garrison to reinforce more important lines taking losses, until only a few old token soldiers remained. Even here, news of the petty squabbles and cut-throat politics tearing the Imperial City apart reached ears weary of bleak news.

And then one night, all of a sudden like the bursting of a dam, it all gave way and fell apart. A lone tired messenger arrived up the long road from Pembina, his horse rode half to death. The Emperor was dead, not of old age but by a sword, and his two sons. The Grand Imperial City was ablaze, burnt down to ashen ruins. Millions lay dead.

And those most trusted of Imperial charges, who were expected to rise quickly to the Empire’s defense, to rise united against any threat, had instead turned on each other, fighting over who would rule the rubble.

The Empire itself had fallen.

 



The Rest of the WorldLands beyond the Empire had fared these last few decades no better.

The Dwarves, who’s sprawling underground Empires had once spanned the world and rivaled anything above, had long ago begun their own decent. The unchecked greed of ancient lines of high-born kin and houses had slowly corrupted the heart of every Dwarven palace and hall, rotting the core of each empire in turn. Until all that remained were thin spread crumbling ruins being picked over by increasingly distant noble houses to grow their own hoards of gold like dragons, leaving the cities of common dwarves to fall to deep horrors, starvation, and the steady grinding advance of time. At best, the great dwarven cities of old are nothing but shadows of their former selves, all their riches accumulated and concentrated and locked in deep secure vaults under a few still lavish palaces, surrounded by cavern after cavern of crumbling ruins and slums. At worst, nothing remains but empty rubble, picked clean like bleached bone under the desert sun and vulture’s beaks.

The High Elves, fell instead to their pride. While their great cities still mostly stand intact with great towering silver spires and sweeping gardens, they are none the less hollow in their hearts. The elven princes have turned increasingly to posturing and pomp, devoted to ever increasing their own standing to new dizzying heights. Elven traditions have been honed and refined, but also engraved rigidly onto their very hearts, leading them to decadence, confidence, and stagnation. The centuries sealed off, turned inwards, and devoted utterly to tradition, honour, and standing have finally started to take their toll. All while the princes in their palatial spires refuse to see any flaw in the perfection they have wrought over the eons.


House RulesAll Classes and Races are Allowed. Books, Players Handbook, Xanthars, and Vollos. However, the Empire and the town itself at the moment are mostly human. Dwarves aren't trusted, Elves are disliked, and Orcs are downright hated. Playing other races is welcomed but be prepared to be a fish out of water here. Halflings are more accepted, seen either as hard workers or lazy gluttons depending on the person. Gnomes tend to be seldom seen and mistaken for halflings. Other races will be even less welcomed than the orcs. No evil for the sake of evil characters, but you don't need to be wholly altruistic and could be more motivated by self interest.


Three slight rules.

Some spells will be restricted. Spells that are very powerful and could upset the game will have different rules. They will still be allowed but will function like 'super rituals' requiring weeks or perhaps months of preparation, tracking down ingredients and even the perfect place and time to cast. Examples would be things like any resurrection spells, spells that control weather, long distance teleportation and messages, and stuff like wishes. Smaller changes will be made to spells like identify and remove curse, requiring a day or two to prep. In exchange, these spells will be even more powerful, possibly lasting much longer. It will also be an option to use these methods to cast any other spell, increasing their power.

Hit points, this is going to be a dangerous and deadly game. Hit points will be average plus constitution, then halved.

Energy, working all day and night without sleep, some relaxation, and a good meal will tire you out. If you're unable to get any of these things, you will start to accrue penalties, mostly to your saves.



Additionally, to combat player loss and cover the wide range of skills, I will be taking on a large party. Will see how the applications shape up for the exact number, but I expect I could take as many as eight or more.


The GamePlayers will find themselves becoming leaders of the town, growing and protecting it. If you succeed, it will become a great city and a beckon of light in an increasingly darker world. Fail and it will be another ruin for the survivors to pick over.

In addition to the usual classes, I'm looking for players to fill one or two extra rolls for the leadership of the city. Very important, will be having one or two leaders of the people, one or two leaders of the soldiers, and one or two champions able to defeat great threats. Also important, characters knowledgeable and able to research matters of the arcane, celestial, natural, supernatural, alchemical, and so on. A spymaster or assassin could be very useful. You can play anything from a general to a hero, to a great mage, alchemist, astronomer, or even a smith, tinkerer, or horticulturalist. Everyone should plan to take on one or two extra skills. And I allow more specialized skills to better represent it.

Combat, the game isn't going to be combat focused. Instead it will focus more on planning and leadership. Characters won't have a lot of health and challenges will be difficult. Dragons and monsters will be brutal. Don't expect the dragon to play fair and land to fight you one on one. It will soar by, blast you with fire, and then circle far out of range until its ready to do it again. Instead, you should be prepared to fight a threat like this by luring it into a tight cavern where it can't fly and trapping it in, or getting a skilled ranger and learned expert on dragons to study their anatomy to figure out how to down it will a well placed shot to the wing muscle. Charging out to meet threats head on will result in costly battles.

In addition, you will be in command of a small militia, maybe one day a proper guard or army. Fights between them and other armies will be simplified down to a couple dice rolls based on numbers. Leaving you to fight the bosses commanding the enemy armies.

More prevalent will be other challenges and dangers threatening the city that will require problem solving, planning, and thought. Recourses will need to be devoted to building improvements or undertaking projects.


Post RateI'd like to try something different with posting rates. I'd like to try and get a near daily posting rate in conversations. Posts here can be short and quick, to keep things moving. But big chunky mechanics posts in combat and such can be every other day or three days. If you can't commit to posting something small almost daily at least occasionally, maybe consider making a character who will be more of a loner, hermit, or shut-in. If you want to play something more of a diplomat or talker or something, please be able to post more often.


ApplicationName:
Race:
Class:
Role: (For the City, what will you provide, leadership, knowledge, healing, crafting, ext)
Description: (Briefly)
Background: (Have you recently arrived in town or have you lived here your whole life. What brings you here. What elevates you to the position of possibly entering the leadership of the city)
Motivation: (What motivates you, what drives you. Why is your character willing to take on the herculean task of guiding the town in a dark time. Are you driven by a need to help and improve the city, or are you more self serving wanting personal fame, power, and wealth. Can be secret to me if you like.)
Goal: (What would be a long term goal for your character. Do they want to be in the history books, have statues of themselves. Or do they quest for secret knowledge or the completion of some great project. Again can be secret.)
Allegiance: (Who does your character owe allegiance to. One of the Empire's noble families or one of the elves and dwarves, a good or darker god, family, neighbours in the town itself, or just yourself. Can be secret.)


-EDIT-

The JobSo a more concrete list of some jobs that I see being useful for the game and the city.

First off, your character will still have a class and should be able to be at least helpful in a regular adventure party. But by no means do they have to be an adventurer or focused on combat. Your character could spend most or all of their time in town, managing the civil aspects of the town, or conducting research or providing a service. Also, characters who can do two or more of these helpful jobs would be great. And some of these jobs could use more than one character to fill them.

Some examples of what I'm thinking are below. These are just examples. Feel free to take these ideas or use them as a starting point for something of your own, or come up with something altogether different.

Leadership (These for sure could use a couple)
-Leader of the People, be it a charismatic sorcerer, a knight who addresses the people, or a talkative bard. The people of the city will need leadership.
-Military Commander, the militia and later the troops will need guidance and strategy on the battlefield. Defenses and patrols will need to be organized.

Magic and other Knowledge, the city will be facing threats that cannot simply be fought. Someone should be able to research, study, and plan out rituals and create solutions. Maybe your character doesn't start with a particular skill but is able to find rare texts and study them for the knowledge that is needed. Even bardic knowledge could come in handy.
-Arcane Magic, be able to combat ancient spells curses and evil, counteract cults and dark magic
-Divine Magic, be able to combat dark gods, old evils
-Alchemy, be able to help cure afflictions and illnesses, seek remedies and make tonics and potions,
-Nature, be able to identify threats from the wilderness around and hunt down great beasts, as well as tending plants and crops, combatting blights, pests
-Planes, be able to counteract threats not from this world (angels, gods, demons, devils)
-Secondary, not required but could come up and be built around
-Astronomy, will be built into the magic, divine, and plannar parts of the world
-Underdark, nature for the depths under the mountains, the caverns and dwarven tunnels
-Weather and Navigation, just getting around and knowing when the seasons will change or when rain will come will be very helpful
-Survival, will be critical for the survival of the whole town
-Undead, like other knowledge, being able to combat possible threats
-Geology, locating new mines, fertile soil, and rock for quarry would be very helpful

Physical Skills
-Scouting, tracking, and mapping, much of the surrounding mountains are still unexplored wilderness, full of future riches and lurking threats
-Bardic performance, religious guidance, being peoples friend, just being able to keep peoples spirits up will help in dark times
-Rogues, subterfuge will be important for attack and defense, enemies with plans can be countered if they're stolen, killing an enemy quietly in the night is easier than on the battlefield, and once the city makes enemies they will realize this too
-Diplomacy, the city doesn't need to be alone. Much of the Empire still exists even if divided and beaten, elves, dwarves, and other races inhabit the world beyond its boarders
-Warrior Champion, there will be threats that make it through all other preparations. When all is said and done, someone still needs to slay the dragon or the orc swordsmaster warlord.

Crafting, there is a whole city to be built
-Smithing, character could become a great smith of worldwide renown
-Masonry and carpentry, great cities are made of great buildings, and the forested mountains will provide material
-Engineering, design, and architecture, true great buildings must be sculpted
-Fortresses and defenses, to survive and thrive through the dark age, the city will need walls, watchtowers, and all manner of defense
-Surveying and infrastructure, even more than the buildings, a city can live or die on its roads, bridges, water supply, and drainage
-Magic, great works of enchantment could be crafted, be they magical items, or whole works, building sized magical powers


The CityAn idea of how the game will go in the long run as long as the city survives. As Dragonsford sits, it is a small town just content to survive.

First, survival, there will need to be food on the table, water in the pots, and a roof over everyones head. To be powerful, the town will need to grow. This means providing all those things for more and more and attracting new folks to the fledgling city as a safe place in turbulent times.

Second, prosperity, the city won't get rich on basic survival. Material wealth needs to be generated. Mines, quarries, but also growing rare and profitable crops, and crafting exotic goods. Not to mention opening up trade and safe routes of travel to other places.

Third, development, the city will need to be built. Defenses, but also great works will be required. Eventually the city could be a grand one of palaces, huge impervious fortifications, and cathedrals.


Challenges faced. Along the way the city will be tested. Anything is on the table. Any great monster or huge army could attack, anything from the monster manual is fair game. As is any sort of magical disaster, terrible curses, dark rituals, awakening gods, and any sort of biblical plague could befall the city. And finally natural disasters from floods and drought to locusts and illnesses.


Applications
PlayerNameRaceClassRoleLink
spireSharvanaHumanSorcerer/Divine SoulHealing/Magic/Local Knowledgelink
spireThe HawkHumanRogueDeception/Disguiselink
Sarge67Gardain Stone-CrackerDwarfRanger/ArtificerScout/Engineerlink
ThofedCaptain Faustus HermaHumanPaladinMilitary Leaderlink
mushroomsliceElyara FitzwardenHalflingRogueInfo Broker/Spymasterlink
HereticHusbandMolin LundstromHumanFighterDiplomatlink
justsujoyLoharc ImansiHumanWizardMagic Support and Researchlink
triedtherestHasim del-MidasHumanArtificerCrafting/Alchemy/Survivallink
triedtherestFriar Bertram BellowsHalflingClericHealer/Alchemist/Spirituallink
GhrimmConstable Sabyan BlackmoorHumanRogueMarshal/Dectectivelink
jemmusLothien of BlackacreHalf-ElfDruidAnimals/Plants/Nature/Scoutinglink
HalcyonRhysEilar ScrubHumanRogue/MonkSpy/Scoutlink
HalcyonRhysLucio FreemarkHumanRanger/RogueScout/Guardlink
FerdyMercival AmbroseHumanPaladinSpiritual/Defenderlink
theclaytsterBluey WhitetopGnomeBardSurveyor/Entertainmentlink
PreacherwolfTenebris SineOrcWarlockMagic/Spycraft/Scoutinglink
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Last edited by Code H; 10-22-2020 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:28 PM
Sarge67 Sarge67 is offline
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What level are you planning to start people at?
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:30 PM
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This sounds very interesting. Are characters starting at level 1 with normal starting equipment?
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:32 PM
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Ah sorry I always forget something. I'm thinking starting at level 3 or 5 but with normal starting equipment.
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:48 PM
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Once Admin fixes my issues with my account; I'm in. I'll work on an Engineer since there appears to be a lot of building stuff to get this settlement going.
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:36 PM
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Are Artificers allowed?
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:51 PM
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Hey! Love the sound of this, seems like a more 'macro' way of playing 5e that could suit the P-b-P format.
Have a few ideas for a halfling herbalist/healer type, will try get an app ready over the next couple days.
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:56 PM
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Hey tiredtherest yeh I can probably allow artificers but reserve the right to lock more powerful abilities behind longer prep times like for the magic.
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:15 PM
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Mushroom slice, yeh thanks. My experience with php has been slowly refining a game to try and find something that will work well. Hoping this time its the magic formula.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:23 PM
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Name: Sharvana
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Race: Human
Class: Sorcerer, Divine Soul
Role: Healing, utility (magic), local knowledge
Description:
Sharvana is a rock; she isn't very pretty and doesn't budge after making a decision. She will meet your gaze with her piercing eyes, and knows just which questions to ask to get to the root of a problem. She distrusts outsiders (to a fault), and it is not uncommon to see her shooing one out with a broom. She truly enjoys her daily routine, and will do anything to help Dragonsford survive.

Background:
Sharvana loves Dragonsford, and Dragonsford loves her. She has lived her all her life, caring for the citizens and feeling their spirits. As a little child, her parents traveled here with dreams of prosperity and happiness, but those dreams were crushed. Dragonsford isn't exactly a prosperous location.

Her mother got sick, and due to the lack of health care in Dragonsford, she died. Her father continued to raise her until he also died (due to old age). She now runs an apothecary, where she treats ailments and heartaches.

Motivation: Sharvana will do anything to protect her town.
Goal: She wants her shop, The Dragonspell to grow in prestige and renown.
Allegiance: She is aligned with the town and its citizens. She despises the Empire for leaving it to rot.

Last edited by spire; 10-20-2020 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:13 AM
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Interesting concept.

I'm thinking of an Imperial Wizard or General who loses everything to the death of the Emperor and comes to Dragonsford to fulfill someones last wishes and finds a new reason for living in rebuilding the town.

Maybe a human or a half elf (ears points cut) disguised as a human.

----------------------------------------------------

Regarding the flow of the game, do we (the PCs) do everything together or are we given separate threads with separate tasks and maybe meet once a while to meet and discuss progress.

-------------------------------------------------------

BTW I am - in general - bad with rules but try to make up with role-playing. I have played lots of pbp so I am quite comfortable with the system.

I am okay with posting a couple of lines everyday but nice descriptive posts (>500 words) would be mostly once or twice a week. I hope that's okay.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:22 AM
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Yeh that all sounds good justsujoy. The character concept and posting rate, and the rules vs role play focus all are perfect.

And yes there will be separate threads. There will be a general thread for things happening in public around town. Then probably another for official orders and stuff. And then finally there will be threads for characters to conduct business in secret and also separate threads for groups or characters that travel outside the city for any reasons.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Code H View Post
Yeh that all sounds good justsujoy. The character concept and posting rate, and the rules vs role play focus all are perfect.

And yes there will be separate threads. There will be a general thread for things happening in public around town. Then probably another for official orders and stuff. And then finally there will be threads for characters to conduct business in secret and also separate threads for groups or characters that travel outside the city for any reasons.
Kewl! expect a detailed write-up in about 10-12 hours.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:16 AM
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Since we already have someone wanting to play an artificer and in the name of diversity. I'm moving away from the Engineer and going to a Mountaineer/Pathfinder.

"You may not trust me, you may not like me, but look around at your city. You need me."



Name: Gardain Stone-Cracker
Race: Mountain Dwarf
Class: Ranger 2 (Hunter)/Bard 1 (Mountaineer/Mason/Merchant)

Role: Scout, Merchant, and Engineer. Establishing and securing new routes (mountains) for trade routes. Assessing and upgrading city defenses and creating safe haven networks within nearby mountains.

right-aligned image


Description: Gardain stands 4'9" with a barrel chest and thick stumpy arms. His skin is a pale-hue with green eyes and Red hair. He has braided his beard with gems weaved into the strands. He wears a simple leather armor with two mining picks for weapons hanging from the loops of his trousers. Gardain has two bandoleers which attached to mason and mining tools.

Background: I traveled to the settlement following the news that the Imperial City fell. My knowledge of neighboring communities allowed me to provide a wagon full of food and chemical supplies for healers. During my travel to the settlement, several weaknesses in the engineering and security were discovered. Gardain also discovered signs of the presence of major threats nearby which would require an experienced tracker to hunt down. The Dwarf likes a level of structure when dealing with situations like this, he will push for meetings to discuss ideas and coordinate plans.

Motivation: Gardain has a two fold motivation, one being selfish. With the immense number of mountains, the dwarf intends to be the first to assess and claim the rights to promising metal and gemstone veins for clan Stone-Cracker. If the veins prove to be worth the venture, he will invite his clan to migrate here and work the mountains. The second of Gardain's motivations is to help the settlement recover from the fall of it's Empire.

Goal: Establish a stone quarry and mining operations for Clan Stone-Cracker. Gardain also intends to create safer travel routes connecting into networks from within the mountain chain. He intends to connect networks leading away from Dragonsford

Allegiance: Clan Stone Cracker
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Last edited by Sarge67; 10-23-2020 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:57 AM
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I'm not 100% sure on the Artificer, it was just one of several ideas for a character that I have. If you want to go for an engineer type then go for it!
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