To those born in the last few decades, Larnust is all there is. It's a small demiplane, barely 100 square miles. There are legends that at one time, it connected to many other worlds, but no one has entered or left in more than a century, and amongst those who were alive from that time, there seems to be no agreement as to what exactly happened, or why everyone is now trapped here.
Some say it no longer matters. A group of necromancers is growing in power, and many think there simply aren't enough left to oppose them. They already control one of the 3 known towns in this world, and many believe they are planning a second assault very soon.Towns and other locations in this world:
Greta – The largest remaining town, Greta has a population of nearly 3000 – the majority of the living inhabitants of this world. Forward and The Champions of Order each have their headquarters here, and each is far more powerful than the official leaders of the town. They just might be able to fend off the coming attacks... if a civil war doesn't destroy both first. Though primary a human and elven town, roughly 10% of the population is made up of more than 10 other races.
Riverside – Built along the Larnust River, Riverside was once the trade hub of the world. That was when the river was still usable. Today, it has only some of its former glory, and many are looking to move to Greta. The race mix is similar to Greta, but with 15% other rather than 10%. The total population is 500 and dropping.
Source – Once a prosperous town, Source fell years ago to Worldpath, a group of necromancers. Most of the current residents are undead. Worldpath wants to conquer the world unsurprisingly, but those who have studied them have found some of their actions... odd. Whether this is due to poor leadership and conflict within the ranks, or a secret, ulterior goal is the source of much debate. A few spy attempts have been made, but they simply resulted in the necromancers adding a few extra undead to their army. Why the odd name of Source? There are dozens of legends surrounding the name, but no one knows for sure.
Larnust River – Once the peaceful river that divided the world, it is now taken over by three insane elementals that kill any who attempt to cross. A single, magically shielded bridge is now believed to be the only safe crossing point. Unfortunately... that bridge leads straight to Source.
Isle of Knowledge – Located in the middle of the river, this island once held (and might still hold) an order of mages working on secret research. With the conflict in the rest of the world, paired with the impassibility of river, few attempt to visit the island.
Cave of Mana – The name pretty accurately explains the purpose. A crystal formation within the cave can be used to run many forms of powerful magic. However, it recharges slowly, and the best use of this cave is constantly argued over by the factions of Greta and Riverside. For now, a relatively peaceful time-sharing truce has been signed, but it may not last.
Vault Cave – Believed to be the treasure hoard of a forgotten adventuring team, the cave could well contain powerful adventuring gear, lost artifacts, piles of gold... or nothing at all. No one's figured out how to enter the place... or if they have, they certainly aren't sharing the secret.
Larnust Forest – Larnust Forest comprises approximately 40% of the world, yet few venture there, and little reliable information exists, other than the fact that those who do are likely to be killed by ogres or lizardmen. With no known safe way to even enter the forest on the other side of the river, most agree it's best to just leave it alone.Major (known) organizations in this world:
Champions of Order: A clerical organization that worships Larn, creator and namesake of this world. They believe Larn has sealed off the plane until its populace have completed a sacred mission. They often provide for the people of Greta, but they also consider any attempt at escaping the plane to be blasphemy. Many see them as a good, but misguided organization, although few will express such opinions publicly. They have their own set of laws, which they try to vigorously enforce... but Forward usually stops them. Their leader is Enia Larntouched, High Priestess of The Grand Temple of Larn, the organization's large headquarters. Those not inducted into to the Champions are forbidden from entering the temple. Enia claims to be in constant, direct communication with Larn, and to receive her authority directly from that diety. The Champions are heavily armed, and rarely directly opposed by any group but Forward. In an effort to get the people of Greta on their side, the Champions are known to provide healing services and magical repairs. According to this religion, it is when the task of altering the plane fully to Larn's vision is completed that powers will be granted to all those who played a major role in the process, and exits to other worlds will be revealed.
Forward: Forward is a group that takes a very different view of the demiplane. To them, this world is little more than an oversized trap, and one that the remaining residents need to work together to escape – moving forward to something better. Forward favors extremely unconventional tactics, and has been known to field defense forces consisting almost entirely of constructs. Their leader is Nilly Fixitall, a man known to be weird even by gnomish standards. Unlike the Champions, Forward publishes no laws, but will still attempt to attack those they feel threaten the security of the town – although few fit that description besides The Champions and the occasional wandering undead. Forward is known to provide the residents of Greta with gadgets, assistance, and even weapons. The fact that their leader is often seen around the town also makes them appear to be the far less secretive group.
Greta Town Hall: A mayor (inherited position) supposedly rules the town, but is almost completely powerless. While neither The Champions of Order nor Forward ever attempt to actually take over this building, no one believes that the mayor is anything more than a figurehead... if even that. He's an elf named Lernal of Greta... not that anyone cares.
Redcoin: Redcoin is a group of smugglers who many say pre-date Larnust itself. They have a knack for acquiring all sorts of things, and are believed to know many forgotten routes through the demiplane. While considered by some to be little more than a well-connected thieves' guild, others have accused them of trying to take over Larnust, or even being in league with the necromancers. Some have also noticed their operations taking a darker turn in recent months, with at least a few murders likely linked to the group.
Worldpath: Worldpath is a group of necromancers with a strange name, and unknown goals. While there is little doubt they intend to conquer the world, those who have studied them find their actions inconsistent with that being their only goal. Ren Edger, their leader, is a powerful human necromancer. No one is sure what he looks like, as few survive a meeting.
The Council of Riverside: The 10 largest landholders in Riverside each either sit on this council, or appoint a proxy to serve in their stead. All laws and judgements in Riverside are passed by this body. Unsurprisingly, all the factions of Greta have an interest in the actions of the council, and are believed to use diplomacy, bribes, threats, and virtually every other type of influence to affect their decisions. The current head councilor is a Srell named Len Hammermore. This results from the fact that the Riverside Craftsmen Guild currently owns the largest chunk of Riverside, and he is the present guildmaster.
Ogres & Lizardmen: They exist, in the inaccessible forest, somewhere, and that's about as much as most know about them.Major people in the world:
Enia Larntouched – She carries the lengthy title High Priestess of The Grand Temple of Larn, and is the leader of the Champions of Order in Greta. She never leaves the Grand Temple, and so few know what she looks like – even her race isn't known for certain. She regularly releases edicts condemning Forward in general, and Nilly Fixitall specifically, and accuses them of dooming the plane by opposing its creator. Public opinion of her tends to be strongly polarized, depending mainly of course, on whether one accepts or rejects her religion. Is she truly the voice of the creator of the plane? Is she a leader trying to save her people, although perhaps lying about her connections? Is she merely a misguided zealot? ...or does she have far more sinister plans? No one knows for sure.
Nilly Fixitall – The charismatic leader of Forward, this gnome is known to work tirelessly to produce all sorts of new devices and constructs to aid the town and its people. Unlike Enia, Nilly is often seen in town at night, is quite willing to discuss many of his plans with the people of Greta, and claims to keep very little secret beyond specific tactics to resist Enia and the necromancers. He does virtually all of his work at night, and is also only seen in town at night. He claims this is simply because the necromancers always attack under cover of darkness, and keeping a night schedule makes him much more prepared for direct combat with the undead – something he's quite famously skilled at. Enia, on the other hand, claims this is a merely a cover to hide his more secretive activities, including connections to Redcoin. The Champions have a 1000 plat bounty on him, but the one person who tried to claim it got his head delivered to the Grand Temple the next day. He is known to absolutely loathe Enia, but then this is no surprise given the circumstances. Is he a champion of the people, leading them to a glorious future, albeit in a rather unconventional manner? He certainly seems to be building the army to do it with. Is he perhaps more interested in gaining power? He certainly doesn't seem to back down from opportunities to gain influence. Does he perhaps have far more nefarious plans, which simply haven't been revealed yet? His organization most clearly is not transparent. He is in short, arguably even more of an enigma than his archrival Enia.
Len Hammermore – The current leader of Riverside is more interested in his guild than his town, and does not deny this fact. That being said, he's generally a respected leader known to usually look out for the welfare of his town, and for a Srell, surprisingly skilled in politics... which is very important with so many other factions eager to rule from the shadows. Many say that's all you really need to know. Others point out that it wouldn't be hard to remove him from power, and several groups should be quite eager to do so, yet there hasn't been a single attempt on his life in the last 10 years. Surely, there must have been some backroom deals...
The Leader of Redcoin – No one has a clue who this is actually is... or even if it is in fact one person, but everyone wants to know. While Redcoin doesn't wield the kind of power that The Champions and Forward do, they very much can tip the balance in favor of one side, and aren't at all afraid to point this out. What is their true motivation? Who leads them, and what does he want? Is this truly just an unusually well-organized band of smugglers, or is there far more to the group than that?
Ren Edger – He's the leader of Worldpath. Unlike the other leaders, there's no question of whether he's good or evil, nor is there a question of whether he wants to conquer the world. Yet, instead of the crushing army of undead everyone has been expecting, he's sent small forces... looking for something or someone. Does he have secret dealings with the other factions in this world... or perhaps a few specific individuals? Does his battle plan require him to acquire something? Is it all just a ruse to keep the defenders from all staying in the same place? Does he have another, unknown goal or goals? Does he not rule his group as tightly as most think? For such a seemingly straightforward villian, he has everyone guessing as to what he's going to do next... and why.
The start of the campaign:
Len Hammermore has been looking for adventurers for a short mission. He's made it clear that he wants ones with minimal political involvement, and has sought you out over far more experienced warriors for this reason. You have been asked to tell no one of this mission, for the sake of Riverside, but have been given no explanation as to why. The letter you received has made it clear that you can reject the mission without consequence if you so choose, both with or without learning of its details (please don't
), but he assures you that the mission is short, you will be well-compensated for its completion, it should take no more than a few hours, and it is important for the people of Riverside.
Please write a backstory explaining your character. It doesn't have to be huge – a few paragraphs is fine... but anything that establishes your basic character concept, goals, etc, makes it much easier to adapt the campaign to the characters in it. If you need more info on something, or need me to create something to make your character work, please let me know.Character creation details:
Starting Level: 3
Starting Gold: 2000, no more than half spendable on a single item
Allowed races: Standards (human, elf, dwarf, gnome, half-elf, halfling, half-orc), Whitecloud races, and probably others. If you want to play something else (or even have me create something else), let me know what you want, and I can probably make it work (or make it period in the case of a new race/class/whatever).
If you don't have anything that can open a Word document, Open Office is free.
Allowed classes: No psionics, and generally nothing from The Complete Twink series (I'll make exceptions for some of the more sane ones), but pretty much everything else is fine. If in doubt, ask.
Stat generation: Point buy 30
This means all stats start at 8, and the total cost to increase a stat is as follows:
Apply racial bonuses AFTER assigning base stats.
If you choose to take a stat below 8, each point under grants a bonus point, but nothing below 6 please unless you have a good (fits your character concept) reason for it.
Feats: Everyone starts with 1 bonus feat, in addition to the normal ones for level 1 and 3, and any others you get from classes, races, etc.
Skills: Everyone begins with 4 extra skill points at level 1, and 1 per level after that. This means you start with 6 extra points. The caps do NOT change. (This will give you one extra maxed skill, or allow you to dabble in a few without spending from your normal pool.)
Mana system: Instead of using spell slots, a mana system will be used:
1. Non-casting classes receive 2 mana/level.
2. Casting classes receive their normal spell slots converted to mana, in addition to the 2 everyone gets. Once you pick your classes, I'll figure out the table so you don't have to keep calculating it.
3. Bonus spell slots for your casting stat are likewise converted into bonus mana.
4. Domain spells use a seperate mana pool, but do still use mana.
5. Since the mana system greatly underemphasizes the sorcerer's main advantage, sorcerers receive X2 mana instead of the X1.5 that a direct conversion would result in.
6. Spells are still prepared in advance, but of course there's no limit to what can be prepped other than your mana total.
7. Metamagic abilities that increase the level of a spell increase the mana cost appropriately. Note however that they DON'T actually increase the level of the spell, and this allows for some very powerful effects – for instance, maximizing something long before that should be possible. Of course, the enemies can, and will, use this too.
8. Some magic items can activate effects with mana instead of pre-set charges (hence the mana on non-casters.)
Other unusual mechanics: They're coming, but it doesn't make sense to start with them. That's all I'll say for now.