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  #91  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:49 AM
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Shoot! I know I am coming in a bit under the wire, but would you allow minor backstory connections to NPCs from the stream? I had the thought to create a Paladin trained by Kima in Vasselheim before being dispatched out into the world on a crusade of sorts.
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  #92  
Old 09-19-2018, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anea View Post
Shoot! I know I am coming in a bit under the wire, but would you allow minor backstory connections to NPCs from the stream? I had the thought to create a Paladin trained by Kima in Vasselheim before being dispatched out into the world on a crusade of sorts.
If you can come up with an interesting concept, sure, give it a shot!
Those connections are always fun, and can add quite a bit to the plot if done well
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Last edited by Jim Faindel; 09-20-2018 at 03:38 PM.
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  #93  
Old 09-19-2018, 01:22 PM
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Welp, I think Ash is done, pending additional feedback.
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Last edited by anamiac; 09-19-2018 at 01:22 PM.
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  #94  
Old 09-19-2018, 03:18 PM
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The Crusader
left-aligned image
Name: Bjorn Blackshield

Race: Mountain Dwarf

Class: Oath of VengeancePaladin of Bahamut

Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Background: Acolyte

Looks:

Bjorn is a stout dwarf with a grim black beard and ponytail, well muscled from years of training under the tutelage of Lady Kima of Vord. His skin is occasionally marred by scars of battles fought against fierce foes, but otherwise he keeps a very good hygiene regime for his skin and hair. He has steely blue eyes that glow with intense passion and the occasional hearty laugh. The dwarf's polished armor has been replaced with a more practical and far less ostentatious plate similar in style to the guards and mercenaries of Emon. While his equipment looks similar to any other set to the rest of the populace, a well trained soldier could see the upkeep and care he puts into maintenance of his personal effects. He is quite handsome, even the scars on his face and scalp adding to his allure as a man of action when its called for. His beard is decorated with three ornate brass bands, jewelry pieces he had crafted once he was accepted into the Temple of Bahamut. When thinking or bored, Bjorn will pull out some hard cheese or salted pork to snack on while he mulls over his thoughts.


Backstory:

Vox Machina is well remembered in the storied halls of Kraghammer, but few recall the origins of the traveler the now famous adventuring group had come to track. Lady Kima of Vord, renowned paladin of Bahamut, stayed at Bjorn's family inn during her time in the dwarven city and had left a lasting impact on him. He was intrigued with the adventuring life shared by Lady Kima's stories but lacked the will to pursue his dreams. It wasn't until the news of the final battle against Vecna across the sea had reached them that Bjorn finally found his call to action. Forsaking his faith in Moradin and his clan's inheritance, the young dwarf set off on a journey to discover a place for himself beyond the dull life he had in the mountains.

His journey finally brought him to Vasselheim and the doors of the Platinum Sanctuary where he was taken in as a new initiate. His martial prowess grew along with his ability to call forth the power of Bahamut, and so was given the opportunity to range out on a pilgrimage to right the wrongs of the forces of evil. At first his deeds and reports were well received within Bahamut's faithful, but soon Lady Kima and Highbearer Vord were troubled by the occasional ruthlessness employed by the wayward knight. While not necessarily evil, the deeds did raise an eyebrow among those in the upper echelons of the order. He was given a new assignment to aid the authorities within Emon, the Highbearer hoping that the city's more formal structure of justice would help guide Bjorn to more sensible administrations of judgement.

Bjorn sought to present himself to Guardian Tofor Brotoras and Arbiter Brom Goldhand upon arriving to the city, and while there was a bit of minor confusion at the gates to the Cloudtop District, he did eventually find the two members of the council and offered his services to them. He was appointed to the position of Special Adjudicator, overseeing the preliminary legal proceedings in many judgement cases throughout the city. Over the next few weeks he began to venture out with patrol parties to provide them with on the spot legal counsel and a strong swordarm in case they ran into trouble. He soon gained a reputation as harsh, but fair judge of a person's worth. There were even times that he spared or commuted the sentencing of lesser crimes if they lead to the capture of larger players in the criminal underworld. As he became accustomed to the factions within the city, he feared that a major move was being planned to usurp the council's power with those fears being realized with the devastation of the Alabaster Lyceum. He shared his concerns privately with a few of his comrades as they combed through the wreckage, sure in the knowledge that word of his nose for trouble would reach the proper ears within city.

Personality:

Bjorn has a generally calm disposition when he is around others, seeking to read and understand their motivations before acting or saying anything. Always inquisitive from a young age, he tends to ask a question that requires a long winded answer and listens for intently to the speaker, hoping to gain more knowledge or finding the lie amongst the noise if on the hunt. His calm demeanor melts away slowly as he drinks, becoming incredibly and sometimes even uncomfortably affectionate when plastered. Additionally, he does not like to spend gold, but prefers to trade items or favors for the things he needs. He once infamously offered to lay with a bartender in return for drinks for the evening, but alas she refused and the dwarf spent most of his money drinking in sorrow. The morning after he awoke from his drunken stupor to find his sack of gold returned to him as well as an outline of red lipstick on his cheek.

RP sample:

The wind had begun to pick up as Bjorn trudged up the mountain pass to the Shimmering Stone Inn, the last outpost before finally reaching the outer gates of Kraghammer's upper entrance. Every year he made his journey to his distant cousin's establishment for a visit and to relax from his time spent venturing into the wild lands of the south. No matter how cold the air became or how deep the snow piled up, the tenacious old paladin would make his way up the Cliffkeep Mountains just the same. He loved the cold, its bite reminding him of simpler times when he was a young lad growing up in the dregs of the mighty dwarven city. Few nobles would ever allow him to set foot within its hallowed halls now, but he came home anyway.

A hush fell across the room as he pushed open the door, dwarven and human eyes alike all trained on the old soldier who had just entered their presence. The corner of his mouth twitched up despite his wishes, glad to see so many patrons in attendance. Hildis has done well for herself. The number of regulars she has grows with each passing year. Kildrak, his cousin's husband and barkeep, had already prepared a mug of warm mead as soon as he saw the outline standing in the doorway. Ulfgar closed the door behind him and made his way to the bar, the whole room rotating their seats to stay focused on him. He sat down and looked Kildrak straight in the eye before asking his standard question. "Aye barkeep, I am not a dwarf of much gold or wealth. I wish to be drinking here a long while and would happily trade a trinket or favor in return for me mead." The smirk on Kildrak's face grew into a full grin. "Well perhaps you could share with us a story, old master. Provide a bit of entertainment and I shall keep your cup full."

There was a twinkle in the paladin's as he rotated around on his stool to face the now eager crowd. "Well then, does anyone have a specific request?" A little human girl began to walk up, rushed at first until she saw her father motion to slow down as she neared Bjorn. The old dwarf's smile grew as she approached, the smile of an father's pride in the bravery of his children. "Please sir, could you share the story of Bjorn the Fell-Handed, Paladin of Justice?" Bjorn gave her a playful wink before he continued. "Of course little one." His eyes swept across the crowd as leaned in to hear him speak. "It was a bright and sunny day when The Alabaster Lyceum was engulfed in flame..."

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Last edited by Anea; 09-23-2018 at 08:07 PM.
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  #95  
Old 09-19-2018, 05:27 PM
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The application for Salt is now complete.
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  #96  
Old 09-19-2018, 05:37 PM
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Thanks Jim for the review! I'll see if I can add a lil something that might make her a more attractive prospect to Seeker
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  #97  
Old 09-22-2018, 09:04 PM
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Jim thank you for your patience through all of this, I just exchanged the old character for a new one that should be a lot better!
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  #98  
Old 09-22-2018, 09:30 PM
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Name: Andrea "Drea" Sintklair

Race: Human

Class: Sorceress

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Backstory: At age 16, Drea and her best friend, Theresa, had left their homes to join with Vox Machina, and help however they could to destroy the last of the Chroma Conclave. They never made it close enough to try and impress them. After a year into their journey, Drea and Theresa were ambushed by a small group of bandits, lead by Jeremiah and Judith Greenleaf, a brother and sister duo who had convinced the group they were one with them in their wish to fight. Turned out that the Greenleaf's were in league with Raishan, worshiping the Green Dragon, and helping to eliminate any who showed any ability, along with interest, in fighting the rightful rule of their Dragon lords.



It was years before Drea found freedom from her tormentors. A small band of heroes had found the Greenleaf's lair, and was able to infiltrate it, killing most of the villains who lived within. Judith had been caught by surprise, mid-torture. Using her whip, she fought the heroes while yelling out for her brother to help. He never came, leaving her to fight on her own. She was able to kill one just before another gutted her. They left her tied to a marble post, as they continued on through the hideout, killing or driving out the last of the bandits.

Only then did they tend to her, and the other slaves, wounds. Drea was one of many rescued that day, but Theresa was not among the others. To this day, Drea doesn't know what had come of Theresa, and she fears Jeremiah returning to her. Although rescued from the physical tortures, the mental and emotional ones remained untreated, and Drea hid within herself. She was returned to her parents, who did their best to care for her. But they could only do so much, and it took many years for her to heal herself.

For the past couple years, Drea, now 28, has shown significant improvement. Not only in her mental awareness, but in her magic. It began with a bar brawl that spilled out into the market square. At first, Drea hid from the violence, watching from behind a fruit cart. The guards had not arrived yet, and the instigators began to spread their savagery to civilians who had nothing to do with the initial fight. When the guards did show up, the initial force was too small as yet to contain the violence. But they tried, as one of their number was sent away to call in further support.

Still hiding, Drea watched as one of the men grabbed a hold of a young woman, and looked about to break her face. Drea disappeared, in that moment, and Still Drea"Theresa" stepped out into the fracas. With a wave of her hand, and calling upon power she had thought long forgotten, Theresa cast Hold on the brute. She then turned her magic to firing two spells of Scorching Ray at others who had turned to terrorizing those not involved. When the reinforcements finally arrived, Theresa and the first responders had it mostly in hand. When she saw the other guards had arrived, the fire in Theresa's eyes dimmed, and meek Drea returned, immediately fleeing the battlefield.

But someone had taken notice, and reported her help to the local magistrate. It took some convincing, but they were eventually able to talk her into coming to work for them. With the help of a powerful and wise wizard, Drea has grown more confident in herself, and has relearned how to use her magic without need to change personalities. The people she works with have come to accept her, and work with her, no matter which personality is at the forefront, even 257.

Personality: Multiple.
  1. Drea: Drea's "Normal" is carefree and smiling. Well, not completely carefree, and not always smiling. But she's present, and usually positive and knowledgeable. She understands what is happening, and can contribute to the situation. She has a tendency to be meek, and only uses non-violent spells, even against non-living items.
  2. Andi: Andi is Drea's childhood nickname, so when she reverts to her childhood, this and Andrea are the only two names she responds to. Andrea will cause her to flinch away, as she believes that she's about to be scolded. Andi is happy and fascinated with all things new and shiny. She's easily distracted, and unless guided by a stern hand, can get into mischief. This is the personality Drea reverts to when she is frightened, or when her past is brought up.
  3. Theresa: Strong and confident, Theresa is a great ally. She's not afraid to state her opinion on things, but is also able to listen. And beware the enemy that incurs Theresa's wrath, because it is vicious. Theresa is protective of Drea and Andi, and usually comes out when either is in danger. She is everything Drea saw in her friend.
  4. 257: This was Drea's "name" when she was enslaved by the Greenleaf siblings. She is quiet, and dutifully follows orders. She is not the dominant personality, but she is the hardest to pull Drea out of. It is not always certain what will trip this wire. But it is becoming increasingly rare for it to come forward, as Drea gains more confidence in herself.

Looks: At 28 years of age, Drea's face still looks like she hasn't aged since she turned 18. She has thinning brunette hair, which barely cover scars all over her scalp. Some say her smile is the most disturbing though, nearly always happy. But the smile doesn't reach her eyes. Her eyes rarely smile, looking as if they are hiding the tears that she never sheds.

She wears long sleeves, to cover the scars that run along her arms, as well as those criss-crossing her back. But what marks her time in bondage most is the leather collar still locked around her neck. Others have tried to remove it, but she fights fiercely to keep it on.

RP sample: "You have to understand," the young woman says to the bartender as she awaits her mead. "I was a completely different person back then. But Assum had heard of me, he had heard of what I had gone through when I was a child."

The bartender looks to her, confused by this statement. It's only when he does, that he sees the wisdom in her eyes. She's not as young as he had first thought. He hands her the mead, then leans against the back wall to listen further.

"I think... I had thought he had taken pity upon me, and wanted to help me recover from what the Conclave had stolen from me." Drea inhales, and smiles. The smile reaches her eyes, though there is still sadness in them. A hand slowly reaches up, and shakily runs through her dark hair. The scars that were still easy to see have faded, due to magic, as well as time.

"But he didn't pity me. He never looked down upon me, and I never felt as if I was a victim, not in his eyes. I was a survivor, and stronger for it. And together with my friends, we proved to be the right choices for the job." she says with confidence. "It all started when..." she begins, starting the long story that will take her all over the city of Emos.
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Last edited by In the Mix; 09-23-2018 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Verdict: More detail needed... :)
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  #99  
Old 09-23-2018, 12:15 PM
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Fleshed Drea out, as requested.

If needed, I am fine with you choosing those you most want in the game, and asking them how they feel about my character joining them.

I understand this is a broken character, and could, for some, be disruptive to their enjoyment.
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  #100  
Old 09-23-2018, 05:06 PM
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Friends, thanks for all the amazing characters you've shown me!
I will dedicate tomorrow to choosing the final task force, so take advantage of this lovely sunday to refine any points that may give your application an extra edge
Assum is gonna have his hands full dealing with you all!
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Old 09-23-2018, 05:19 PM
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Good luck everyone!
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  #102  
Old 09-24-2018, 03:28 PM
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After much difficult consideration, these are the investigators selected to join Seeker Assum's Task Force:

Player Name Race Class
Invictus Mycroft Holmes Human Variant Rogue
Kymrel Kytaran Finuthin High Elf Wizard
Ihinka Silvana Tinkerton Tiefling Gunslinger
nickostopholes Zhun Quadsun Human Fighter/Cleric
Xalnaga Elrohir Gildor, owner of “Guild Doors Inc. – Detective Agency” High Elf Rogue
Tyeal Valdur Ironpoint Hill Dwarf Bloodhunter
Classic Gamer Tomas Geldtree, a.k.a. Salt Human Cleric
Arthilian01 Adon Blackwing Human Paladin
anamiac Ashele Orome High Elf Fighter/Rogue
In the Mix Andrea "Drea" Sintklair Human Sorceress
   

I would like to thank everyone who submitted an app and contributed to make this story come alive. This world will be richer thanks to you.

To those not called upon this time I can only say "bide your time and hold out hope"

For the rest, there is already an open game folder with an OOC thread and a prologue, chapter 1 will commence in earnest by October 1st

See you at the headquarters, detectives
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Last edited by Jim Faindel; 09-24-2018 at 03:28 PM.
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  #103  
Old 08-22-2019, 05:30 PM
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New Game AdTHE UNDERBELLY OF TAL'DOREI
A NEW CAMPAIGN SET IN THE WORLD OF CRITICAL ROLE IS NOW RECRUITING


Story
The young republic is besieged by enemies within its own borders, as magic, treason and plot aim to bring down the council and return Tal'Dorei to the days of the empire. Quickly reacting to the civil unrest, the Clasp, its largest and most powerful criminal organization, storms the streets of the capital’s underbelly, fully aware that a thriving city is a profitable one.

At the heart of a country thrice destroyed, Emon still stands defiant as the first and largest bastion of humanity in the continent that now bears it's founder's name; a mere 15 years after enduring a war of conquest against a conclave of dragons and the nearly successful attempts of an arch-lich to ascend into godhood, the city now wakes to the cries of rebellion as new powers seek to take control of the fabled birthplace of heroes.

After years of tensions amongst the ruling factions, the uneasy peace suddenly came to an end during the graduation ceremony of the new mages from the capital's high sorcery academy, The Alabaster Lyceum, when a young man came unannounced and uninvited only to immolate himself in a magic explosion that destroyed half the precinct and claimed the lives of nearly all the graduates, their teachers, and of Planerider Ryn, a special guest from The Arcana Pansophical.

As the dark creeped in, once the ruins of the Lyceum had stopped smoldering and the ashes of the dead were cleared by the torrential rain, you finally got words from your higher-ups: the Clasp had been attacked as well. Someone targeted the sprawling tunnels and corridors of the undercity with a deadly explosion, much like the one above, dealing a massive blow to the information network and killing dozens of agents all at once. Because of this the Spirelings have gathered, deciding to send those loyal and eager to avenge their comrades under cover of night to strike back at their foes.

Whatever your motives, you’ve answered the call. Your objective: to find those responsible for the attack, bring the Clasp’s justice to them, and above all, restore the peace of the underworld so that business can resume. Will you work to grow the Clasp’s influence or take advantage of the chaos to further your own goals? Many paths will open before you within Emon’s underbelly, but be aware that taking the wrong one may lead to the fall of Tal’Dorei.


This game, meant for 6-10 PCs, will take place concurrently with our original, Post of the month for July 2019!award winning campaign: The Fall of Tal'Dorei, which is closing in on a year of play!

Both stories will move independently, but I expect them to intersect at several key points going forward.

Our focus here will be on how the Clasp, the largest thieves' guild in the continent, reacts to the terrorist attacks that shocked the capital city of Emon.

The original game-ad on the first page of this thread has and will continue to be updated for this new campaign, so make sure to give it a read before coming up with your character app. I am looking forward to starting this game on October 1st, or earlier if there is enough interest.

So don't bring your best suit and keep your backup around the corner, because this gangster story is gonna make you get your hands dirty.
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Last edited by Jim Faindel; 09-03-2019 at 04:40 AM.
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  #104  
Old 08-22-2019, 10:05 PM
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Game NameThe underbelly of Tal'Dorei - A Critical Role mafia adventure
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeSocial unrest, criminal activities and bloody rebellion within the city of Emon
FlavourPulp mafia work, from trope-filled to moderately serious at first, may grow darker later
Plot Summary
Story
The young republic is besieged by enemies within its own borders, as magic, treason and plot aim to bring down the council and return Tal'Dorei to the days of the empire. Quickly reacting to the civil unrest, the Clasp, its largest and most powerful criminal organization, storms the streets of the capital’s underbelly, fully aware that a thriving city is a profitable one.

At the heart of a country thrice destroyed, Emon still stands defiant as the first and largest bastion of humanity in the continent that now bears it's founder's name; a mere 15 years after enduring a war of conquest against a conclave of dragons and the nearly successful attempts of an arch-lich to ascend into godhood, the city now wakes to the cries of rebellion as new powers seek to take control of the fabled birthplace of heroes.

After years of tensions amongst the ruling factions, the uneasy peace suddenly came to an end during the graduation ceremony of the new mages from the capital's high sorcery academy, The Alabaster Lyceum, when a young man came unannounced and uninvited only to immolate himself in a magic explosion that destroyed half the precinct and claimed the lives of nearly all the graduates, their teachers, and of Planerider Ryn, a special guest from The Arcana Pansophical.

On the dead of the night, once the ruins of the Lyceum had stopped smoldering and the ashes of the dead were cleared by the torrential rain, you finally got words from your higher-ups: the Clasp had been attacked as well. Someone targeted the underway tunnels and corridors of the undercity with a deadly explosion, much like the one above, dealing a massive blow to the information network and killing dozens of agents all at once. Because of this the Spirelings have gathered, deciding to send those loyal and eager to avenge their comrades by strike back at their foes.

Whatever your motives, you’ve answered the call. Your objective: to find those responsible for the attack, bring the Clasp’s justice to them, and above all, restore the peace of the underworld so that business can resume. Will you work to grow the Clasp’s influence or take advantage of the chaos to further your own goals? Many paths will open before you within Emon’s underbelly, but be aware that taking the wrong one may lead to the fall of Tal’Dorei.


SettingThis 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons games takes place on the official Tal'Dorei campaign setting published by Matthew Mercer, Dungeon Master from the famous Critical Role twitch series, roughly 15 years after the end of their first campaign. While it isn't necessary for the players to have seen, or even know about the events of Critical Role, it is expected that their characters would be familiar with the impact of Vox Machina in the world, their heroic status and adventures across the continent, specially their defeat of the Chroma Conclave, and the Arch-Lich Vecna. I will add in the following space some spoiler tags containing a summary of these events for those unfamiliar with the source material.

 

 

 

right-aligned image




















































Emon, the City of Fellowship
Metropolis • Population: 287,550 (68% Human, 7% Dwarven, 6% Elven, 19% Other)


The cultural heart of human civilization on this continent, and as the republic’s capital, Emon is a nexus of politics, justice, business, industry, and education within the realm.
Encircled by 60-foot-high walls that stretch from the eastern fields to the western shore, Emon is accessible only through its heavily-patrolled gates and by skyship, the denizens of the city are generally well protected from outside attackers and sieges. A well-trained force of guards known as the Arms of Emon enforces the laws of the land from the Military District. Dense farms and farm communities surround the northeastern boundary of the city, while large slums cap the northern and southern landscape outside of the city walls.

In recent years, an influx of refugees, survivors from the dragons' devastations, have flooded into the city, wildly expanding the northern slums and crowding the ports while the city tries it's hardest to aid those in need without compromising the lives of its residents. Given the direct and fundamental aid of the gods during these conflicts, as well as the desperate need of the people that fell through the cracks of society and had to rely on faith when all else crumbled around them, religion has come to the forefront of society in ways not seen since the gods walked the realms, with several deities that had fallen from the people's mind for generations suddenly receiving several thousands of new followers. The deities that seem to have gained the most prominence from their previous obscurity were The Matron of Ravens, goddess of death and blood, The Everlight, goddess of compassion and redemption, and The Knowing Mistress, goddess of knowledge and arcana. Here is a list of the main deities of this world:

 


Within the city walls, several factions fight for power, cooperating or conflicting with each other as their interest align and clash. As a member of Seeker Assum's Special Task Force, it is in your best interest to keep close tabs on their members, goals and movements across the city, else you find yourself outwitted and outmaneuvered. Here is the information available to you regarding the most relevant ones at the moment:
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The Council of Tal'Dorei

For centuries, the council was composed by an assembly of scholars, generals and philosophers to govern at the side of the emperor. A little over 16 years ago, Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei II publically ended the monarchy and passed power over to the council, his last will being instated after his death at the hands of the Chroma Conclave, once the dragon menace was defeated and peace could return to the land, more than ever in need of strong leadership. The council has evolved to now oversee all major functions of government under their banner throughout Tal'Dorei, with each council member assigned a domain of responsibility.

 

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The Arcana Pansophical

Yurek Windkeeper, high enchanter of Syngorn and a well-respected arcanist, reached out to the realm's most trusted and capable mages, and together they formed a private society called the Arcana Pansophical. The chief priority of these powerful arcane specialists is to maintain the "Truth of Magic", a strict code enacted to never again allow the rampant misuse of magic seen in the Age of Arcanum. General members are referred to as "Guides", while the higher circle of members who deal in judgment and oversight are called "Makers". At least one member is established at each place of arcane learning. Membership is largely kept secret unless out of necessity, though the existence of the order is relatively common knowledge. Anyone found to be practicing magic in the realm is logged and checked up on routinely, as misuse of magic is grounds for arrest, judgment by the Makers, and punishment outside of the local law.
 

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The Claret Orders

Hundreds of years ago, a fell power exerted its dark will over Wildemount, corrupting its outlying townships and spreading chaos among its people. Undeath washed over grave sites like a plague, shadowed beasts stalked the midnight woods, and the influence of fiends befouled even Wildemount’s purest souls. In the eleventh hour, a priest of the Matron of Ravens named Trence Orman prayed for a way to protect his flock. The Matron’s inspiration came in the form of long-hidden knowledge: the secrets to blood magic. Taking his gifts, Trence trained his most trusted warriors in these techniques, giving a portion of their humanity in exchange for the power to defend their people. This marked the origin of the Claret Orders, and the first Blood Clerics and Blood Hunters.

The Claret Orders work in relative secrecy, as the nature of their abilities are largely misunderstood and often lead to persecution. Their numbers are small, as the price is great and the Orders only accept those strong of heart with little to lose. Small sects of the Orders have ventured West to wander the lands of Tal’Dorei in recent years, keeping out of the public eye and remaining vigilant to the signs of familiar darkness undermining the region. The Creed of the Claret Orders asks its followers to commit their lives to the hunt of entities and creatures that threaten the sanctity of life and joy. While the sacrifice is great, the reward is the continued existence of purity and good in the world. The Orders strive to protect those who cannot protect themselves from the shadows, taking no credit for their deeds or reward for their services, beyond the means to live and travel.

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The Clasp

Built upon the ruins of the first Thieves' Guild founded under the first emperor, The Clasp is a very well established secret organization consisting of thieves, fences, assassins, saboteurs, spies, and smugglers. Based largely in and under Emon through a network of subterranean tunnels, they run smaller outfits in Westrunn, Stilben, and Kymal. Members are branded with the guild's symbol on their mid back, signifying allegiance and commitment. The Clasp operates like a business-minded crime family, celebrating loyalty and truth to one's word over most other merits. A member pays their debts, keep their promises, and always seeks opportunities for the betterment of the Clasp. Leaders of a Clasp territory are titled Spirelings, and they oversee assigned elements of the organization's functions.

While the immediate assumption is that The Clasp is merely interested in profit at any cost, they also wish to preserve the function and prosperity of civilization, as it is well known that a thriving city is a profitable one, and thus an enemy of civilization is an enemy of The Clasp. They, however, also understand that conflict breeds a healthy economy, and have occasionally kindled the flames of unrest to keep things tense and profitable. The names of those within the Clasp's high ranks, as well as their Spirelings within Emon, are unknown to the general authority, and those known by Seeker Assum have long since been found dead within the city sewers.

You have worked your way up the ranks for some time now, proving yourself time and time again, remaining loyal to your Spiriling and comrades, and carving a small piece of the underbelly for yourself. You’ve also earned quite a reputation in the process, and if you play your cards right during this crisis, you may climb from copper rank to silver, or even electron after all is said and done.

 

 

Many other factions raise and fall from prominence as the city keeps growing, who knows what new players may join this complicated game still?


Gameplay
Play style

So, after having you read through all that, what exactly is the DM looking for out of this game?

The focus of this story is in recovering control of the city’s underworld, working both with the law and around it to find those responsible for the attacks, all the while trying to make a profit on the side.

The intention is to have a game where skill usage, role-playing, coordination and planning are of equal if not sometimes larger importance than combat and puzzle solving.

Reading carefully, specially within the lines, learning to ask the right questions and anticipate the npc's plans by being at the right place at the right time will get you much further ahead here than in most other games.

That's not to say that combat will be discouraged, you'll actually have to fight for your life more often than any non-fiction mobster (this here being a D&D game after all), but I do like to clarify from the get-go that you should expect to be pursuing a drug-dealer through a crowded market street more often than hunting a troll through the swamp.

In any case, I am looking to play out this adventure as a way to explore in depth a setting I've come to love through quite a different lens from what I am used to. I've been DMing Tal'Dorei games for over two years, and I have grown quite comfortable with its places, faces and lore, so it was about time I changed the formula, and where better to do so than on the very same forums where I learned to play D&D in the first place?

Besides, this game will run alongside my original Emon campaign, that being a story based around a detective force working for the council to restore peace in the city, and which you will be crossing paths with throughout your adventure.

Post rate

I would ask players to keep a constant, quality focused, weekly posting rate. Why this particular rate? Because I’ve got a job that prevents me from returning to the daily writing sessions I used to enjoy, because I’ll be checking in on both this and the original game to make sure timelines and events line-up correctly each week, and because that way we can dive-in on the minutia of the fantasy city life with more freedom.

Consider this to be the minimum rate, with those more interested in fluid roleplaying being free to post to their heart’s content between DM updates.

Why is that important? Because due to the nature of the story, keeping track of time will be a crucial part. After a week of posting, hopefully with every player having advanced the plot in some way, the clock will tick as the day passes by. So if your gangsters want to keep on top of their game, they've got to use their time and resources wisely.

Be out of the loop for too long, and risk not only falling behind on the thread, but missing out on several opportunities and allowing your opposition to further their plans unchecked.

TL;DR: Recommended posting speed of 1 per week, which if you fail to meet won't get you kicked out, but might get you killed.

And while we are at it, let me clarify: as a DM, I am a storyteller first and foremost, and I am not above taking control of a character if the player suddenly leaves the Crossing or simply goes offline for more than a week without letting us know in advance. Characters from players that left the first game have already been integrated as NPCs in the campaign, so consider that when going into this. If anything, it should serve as consolation that your PC’s story will reach a conclusion, even if you have to stop writing it.

Expectations

I am looking to start out roughly by October 1st unless the game fills far too quickly (which I highly doubted before, but was pleasingly surprised by the first time around), with a group of 6-10 players committed to take back the streets.

I intend this game to quickly become entwined with our detective campaign, adding an interesting level of nuance to the development of the plot and the interaction with factions and particular npcs only possible by doubling the number of PC inputs.

Why such a large group? Because we'll be playing almost entirely within the largest city of this setting, so unlike my mentor DMs used to tell me so often that the words follow me like a song, this time around you should split the party, else there won't be enough hours in the day for your characters to investigate all the points of interest and daily happenings before it's too late.

The other reason is because I expect there to be more than one character deaths, as your enemies will be quite dangerous and you'll have to actively work against them, so expect poison, kidnapping attempts, rival thugs and killers targeting you, and overall having to keep your guard up and your mouth closed around those you track down, as these foes have no reason to stop stabbing in the dark while you've still got death saving throws.

Other than that, my only request of the players is to expect a pulpy tone rather than a melodramatic one. Think godfather-inspired mafia movies with poorly recorded audio and a ton of soul. A well placed one-liner or inner monologue may not be mandatory, but it sure will be appreciated and depending on quality even rewarded. The tropier the better.

You know what? I lied (I'll be doing that quite a bit through the campaign). I do have another request: do not try to bring the quiet loner with a bad temper kinda character to this here digital table. It's just not fun to play with and honestly much of this game will depend on how well the players manage to communicate important information and trust each other, so please don't

Proper application

The App format everyone likes so much in this site
  • Name: Go wild, codenames, nicknames, or at least something vaguely pronounceable. Or just call yourself Sonny Corleone or Bonnie Parker, that's always an option.
  • Race: All core races plus Goliaths, Genasis and the setting-specific Ravenites.
  • Role: Which Spireling do you serve (from those listed in the section about the Clasp), and what is your particular line of work within the organization.
  • Class: Core classes plus Matt Mercer's published Gunslingers and Blood Hunters. Multiclass allowed. No rangers nor druids allowed though. (Seriously, you should really just play a rogue or warlock instead)
  • Alignment: What can I say? I guess I am just old-school, but I like to make alignments actually matter in my games, as well as question them. No lawful allowed!
  • Backstory: A couple paragraphs is enough, bonus points if you narrate it like a noir novel. Mechanically, any officially published one is fine
  • Personality: What can your fellow players expect from interacting with you?
  • Looks: A decently sized picture will do, but a written description sure would be nice.
  • RP sample: Think I am the hard-boiled detective that finally cornered you many years after the fact, demanding to know why did your capo trust you into the Clasp on the first place, and why did you join the hunt for the attackers? Hope you can answer this in character!


All characters will be created at level 5 with 27 points point-buy, but don't go filling a character sheet just yet.
All characters will be proficient in the intimidation skill from the start, even if their class and background would not normally allow it. (Free skills for all!) They will also all know thieves’ cant.
All characters will start the game with an additional feat, from whatever officially published source you can find for this edition (which does not include UA).
Everyone will start with 100 gold, 1 common and 2 uncommon magic items of their choice, as well as a contact within one specific group of interest of your choice within the city.



Also:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Faindel View Post
Those of you who have already completed their apps and received some feedback, please start tackling the following points. Completing them is necessary in order to start the game, but is no guarantee you'll be selected. You may provide this info either openly or through secret tags directed at me.

1.-Start working on your character sheet, 27 point buy, adding 100 gold, an extra feat, the intimidation skill, and the thieves' cant language on top of anything your class, race and background may allow you. We'll be rolling hp once the selection has taken place, but I trust you could already fill out the rest of the format.

2.-Choose which magic items you wish to start with, and also inform me of any equipment you may wish to acquire with your starting gold. Assume half the price listed on the PHB for any non-magical items you pick up, as a perk of working for the Clasp.

3.-Describe the one (1) contact from outside the Clasp you wish to have. I'd need to know which faction, organization or guild they belong to, what is their disposition towards both it and the Clasp, and what kind of relationship you have with them. You may provide a name, but if you don't, I'll assign you a named npc. You may not specify the rank or charge of your contact, but depending of your character's role, Spireling, and charisma modifier (yes, you read that right), you may get access to some particularly high echelons of the system. Once this is determined, you may write something about how you became acquainted, which would in turn impact the way I RP these characters.

4.-Ask for clarification regarding any doubts you may still have about your character, the setting or the play-style. This is also the time to ask for favors and allowances (limited to one (1) per person), such as permission to use a specific homebrewed spell or item; ask if you can combine different aspects, either mechanical or themathic of your background, class, race, etc.; or request to set up npcs of your own design as family and friends, as well as side-businesses and personal projects like training and crafting.

5.-Finally, if you have a fixed place of residency and/or a business, please choose a spot in the city's map where it will be (roughly) located. You may provide an address and as much detail of its surroundings as you wish, else I will be filling in the gaps.

Personal Homebrew

Rapid Quaffing: From the start of the game we'll change the time required to pull free and quaff a potion from one action to one bonus action. Administering a potion to an unconscious character will still require an action. NPCs will also benefit from this effect.

Spelldrivers: Upon reaching 8th level, all spellcasters gain the ability to cast up to 2 spells in a turn, given that one is an action and the other a bonus action, and only one of the spells is of level 3 or higher, while the other could be level 1, 2 or a cantrip.

The Fading Spirit: Resurrection magic does not automatically return the recipient to life, but instead allows for the party to come together for a resurrection challenge in which up to 3 members can offer to contribute to the ritual via skill checks. The DM will ask each to make a skill check based on their chosen form of contribution, with the DC of the check adjusting to how helpful/impactful/plausible the DM feels the contribution would be, from praying to the deity of the fallen comrade to employing experimental, highly dangerous medications, to even loudly demanding the soul of the fallen to return from the aether.

Class variants: Clerics gain access to the blood domain, Barbarians to the path of the juggernaut, Monks to the cobalt soul tradition and sorcerers to the runechild origin, as they are described in the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.

Proper attributes: Players may choose to use either charisma or strength for intimidation checks, as well as either intelligence or wisdom for history, nature, religion, and medicine checks.

In case anyone wishes to play a Ravenite, here are their specs:

Should your character be born from the toil and history of the Ravenite clans, make these adjustments in place of the base Dragonborn traits. Age and Alignment remain the same as base dragonborn:
• You are 1-2 ft. taller than the average dragonborn, and in average 30-50 lbs. heavier. You also lack a tail and a breathe weapon.
• Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1 and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
• Damage Resistance. You have resistance to non-magical slashing damage, as well as the element associated with your scale colour.
• Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.


Parting advice

Please do consider that due to the nature of pbp, it is neither practical nor enjoyable to rp long and fluid back and forth conversations, so if you want to talk with someone, being as precise as possible will always be more efficient, as you will only get so many answers. Same when searching a room or looking for someone in a crowd; while much will depend on the luck of the dice, the DCs you'll face may vary wildly depending on your approach.

While not something I will force on you, it would really be important for the group to keep either a log of their separate discoveries, or a full-on agenda of the city's schedule, trying to maximize efficiency in covering all the important angles of any given event and occurrence. You may end up kicking yourselves else ways, when you find out you all missed the Grand Poobah's birthday party because of poor planning.

I also have to state that I am not a native English speaker, and am prone to use strange conjugations, misspell a word here and there, or even redact sentences like an outright monkey from time to time, so in doubt, always ask and point out where I've written something funny, it may turn out that instead of a character talking in code they were only suffering a case of bad editing, so better to be safe and sorry. (That was a joke, I think.) That is something important to note because in mystery games, information is key!

So good note-checking, a nice memory, or at least decent skills searching through conversations in past posts will really be useful.

In any case I will actively be answering any question that may arise during the application process, so don't be afraid to prod the DM. (Just be sure to bring your 10-ft pole to do so!)

 


Once again, we are looking for a large group, 6-10 players, so please keep those applications coming!
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Last edited by Jim Faindel; 09-06-2019 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:47 PM
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Last edited by Aurius; 09-04-2019 at 11:39 PM. Reason: Finished Backstory// completed application 30/8
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