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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Call for D&D players! Let's roll more dice! [UPDATED!] (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Call for D&D players! Let's roll more dice! [UPDATED!]
FlyingCow
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::puts on fancy DM hat::

I mentioned the possibility of another ďplay by emailĒ dungeons and dragons campaign in another thread, and hereís the official call for players.

The world I am running is a new one, more along the ďdark fantasyĒ train of thought. It isnít so much the ďhigh fantasyĒ I understand Tom has been running, nor the ďLovecraftian horror fantasyĒ that Slash has been tormenting us with. There arenít castles or dragons, nor are there hordes of undead or lycanthropes.

The game will be set in a fantasy world of my own creation, something Iím currently working up as a d20 campaign setting supplement. Itíll start in a more familiar, comfortable D&D world, then branch out into the unknown. This PBEM campaign will be part playtest and part trial by fire for the new setting and system info, giving me insight into what I need to tweak and change.

Iím looking for a group of adventurers willing to strike out beyond the known. If youíre interested, please email me a basic personality and history of your character at RynDrythorn@aol.com. Those already involved with Slash or Tomís games are perfectly welcome to send in a character Ė though, those who are currently gameless will be given a bit more of an advantage, I hope you understand.

Keep the following in mind before you send your email:

Characters may be of any class or race found in the open source material for D&D 3.5 (excluding psions), and may be of any nonevil alignment. If you wish to take another race or whatnot from another book, please email me and ask if thatís cool before you go ahead with it. Iím looking for good stories and backstories, so make your initial pitch a good one. Donít worry so much about level and points and whatnot, though you can assume that your character is higher than second level (not sure where I want to start everyone yet).

Iím requiring a commitment from each player of one turn per day, Monday through Friday. We may have more turns per day depending on how quickly everyone responds, but Iím only asking for one. Take a look at www.sakeriver.com/game for an example of what Iím looking for in terms of players.

Please tailor your characters to incorporate the following basics about the start of the campaign:

Far into the countryside, east of the city of Abeson, there lies a frontier town called Segreda. Originally a mere trading outpost for farmers in the area, Segreda grew to a bustling hub of trade and communication, nestled between the dwarven mining town of Maignan in the north, the fishing community of Neelin in the south, and the fertile Caro plains to the east.

To the east of the Caro plains lies the uncharted wastes, marked by a wide sea of tall grasslands that seems to continue as far as the eye can see. The frontier has attracted adventurers of all types, each looking to make a name as an explorer or great frontiersman, or even as the leader of a small encampment or village. Rumors persist of lost cities in the grasslands, of legendary treasure, of mythical grass dragons and other monsters. Many who ventured out were never seen again, which only added an aura of danger to the myths and legends.

Two years ago, a group of explorers returned from the grasslands bearing news of a game-filled woodland area a monthís travel across the plains, and a large, fishable lake. Claiming rights of ownership of the land, the explorers, led by a ranger named Krell Daimyann, gathered a group of intrepid souls from Abeson and Segreda to set out and settle the new land. All told, a group of fifty men, women, and children set out to stake a claim to this new territory. Fifteen wagons, with several months of supplies, ventured forth Ė even luring Galidan Stormshield, the legendary fighter of the Kass Wars out of retirement for one final adventure.

A little over a year has passed without any word. Scouts were sent looking for the settlers, and they too disappeared. Some say the Caro plains are haunted, with the ghosts of the grasses swallowing those that trespass too far into their realm. Others claim that the region is in magical flux and any who enter too far are subject to chaotic, uncontrolled magical forces. Still others believe there is another civilization on the other side of the plains, one that has killed or taken the settlers captive, and may even surge across the plains to lay siege to the great city of Abeson.

Iím looking for a group of characters who would be willing to set off in search of this ill-fated group of settlers. Characters should have some reason for venturing into the unknown: familial connection to one or more of the lost people, a desire to explore, a need for adventure, or some other plot hook that draws your characterís eye into the vast expanse of the Caro grasslands.

As soon as I get a group together, Iíll email those people specifics about character creation and the like. For right now, though, Iím looking for solid character creation.

[ January 31, 2004, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: FlyingCow ]

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Tullaan
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Are prestige classes allowed?
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FlyingCow
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Well, seeing as I'm looking at starting characters out between level 3 and 5 (haven't decided that yet), that wouldn't really give you the prerequisites for any prestige classes I know of.

However, if, through game play, you would want to work toward one, I wouldn't have any problem with that, I don't think.

There will be some brand spankin' new prestige classes available a little later on during game play, as well, but that's a decent way into the campaign.

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Suneun
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Can you tell me what you mean by dark fantasy?

Hmm... I'll see if I can fit in a character to the storyline. Do you have anything else set-in-stone you'd like to share? God system, politics, stuff like that?

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Raia
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I don't know how! [Frown]
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FlyingCow
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Hmm.

Well, the game will start in a standard D&D world - at some point into the campaign, things will change dramatically, but that shouldn't affect your character creation decisions (so I'm not gonna tell ya... nyah, nyah [Taunt] ).

The basics of the region were established in the post above, but if you want to make your character from three cities over (exiled, on the run from the law, off to find your fortune), go to it. Sounds great to me. [Big Grin]

As far as gods, politics and whatnot, I'm pretty open. You can use pretty much whatever god you'd like (from the core rules, Forgotten Realms, whatever).. so clerics aren't limited by what's in the v3.5 rules, and if you want your rogue as part of some guild or another that's fine.

As far as Dark Fantasy... hmm. It's not sword and sorcery, for one thing. It's a little more visceral. There won't be epic journeys of heroism to vanquish the evil beast and save the day. Things aren't as cut and dry as all that. This is a campaign of survival in a harsh land, with unknown customs and totally foreign dangers. Think Harlan Ellison before you think Tolkein, and Moorcock before you think Lovecraft.

The lines between good and evil aren't so clearly drawn. I'm a White Wolf baby at heart, and my game will be more story and character driven than encounter-based. (Not to say there won't be plenty of encounters, just that they won't be so random). I think if you take a look at the archive for Slash's game, then take out the "evil god bent on creating hell on earth" aspect, you'd be getting close.

Oh, and looking back, it seems that Eduardo_Sauron started up a game back in November - does anyone know how that's going?

Edit: Can't believe I typed Harlan Ellison's name wrong. [Wall Bash]

[ January 26, 2004, 10:43 PM: Message edited by: FlyingCow ]

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Slash the Berzerker
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Yes.
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Human
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His game is dead. I know, I was in it. I'd love to be in this one!
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FlyingCow
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Ah. I see. Well, that's unfortunate.... [Frown]

But more players for me! [Evil Laugh]

Oh, I figured I'd link to the Open Source info, too, for any who may need it and don't have an easy link.

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Suneun
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thanks for the link. I half-heartedly looked for it, but then gave up when I realized I should be studying =)
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Raia
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FlyingCow: [Kiss]

Thanks for clearing up so many things for me!

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FlyingCow
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Aw, shucks. [Blushing]
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Bob the Lawyer
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I'm bumping this because I'm sure there must be more people interested that haven't read it yet.

I would play, but I don't think I have the time. I can barely get 1 turn off a day for Slash as it is.

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Suneun
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are you okay with newbies? I've done the MUD, FF, Ultima stuff, but never dice-rollin' sitting around a table yelling RPG.

can you tell me if either of these makes sense? halfling rogue-druid multiclass or halfling rogue-bard multiclass? like, is one of those really hard to play, or ridiculous, or something?

I'll write up a story today. Yesterday I was busy studying.

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Bokonon
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Suneun, that race/class combo is fairly archetypal in D&D circles [Smile] I would doubt that ruleset 3.5 would change that.

-Bok

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Bob the Lawyer
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There really isn't anything hard to play or foolish. I once had a Ranger/Rogue/Sorcerer/Druid (long story). What I'd recommend you do is think of the kind of personality you want to play. That makes much more of an impact than anything else. Think about that person's history, how did they get to be that way? Do that for a few seconds and what class that person should be will probably jump out at you.
Really, the personality of your character will have a much bigger impact on how fun you find the game than the class or race will.

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Suneun
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Bob, yeah. I'm definitely leaning towards rogue because all my favorite characters are rogue-bent.

Then I could see doing either the bard or the druid background. Bard might be easier to write, but I hate singing [Wink]

I guess I'll sit on it for a while. In an e-mail RPG, who does the dice rolling? DM?

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Scott R
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Keep me on the email list-- I'm always up for a good read. . .
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saxon75
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Mmmm... This sounds fun, and I think I could commit to one post per day. Let's see if I have time to work up a character sketch. I've been wanting to branch out a bit. Garyth is fun, but I play fighters way too often.
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Tresopax
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Hmmm... I didn't realize there were so many RPGs secretly lurking under Hatrack...

[ January 27, 2004, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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Bokonon
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I'd love to join, using my idea for Slash's campaign in this one (sort of a comic relief character), but alas, I have no time [Frown]

-Bok

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FlyingCow
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Well, I currently have two character sketches in my inbox, and a couple others that I've been told are coming. I can only imagine there are others I don't know about.

I'm thinking I'll give until this weekend for the character ideas to come in, let's say Saturday, and then I'll start up character creation with those folks by email on Monday.

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FlyingCow
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::shameless bump to advertize for more players::

Are you guys writing up characters, or is there just this little interest?

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Suneun
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d'you get mine? e-mail went out the window yesterday because of novarg, but you should have gotten it after a while...
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FlyingCow
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Yes, I did, though I didn't get it until this afternoon cuz it got caught in the junkmail folder of my other email addy.

I use RynDrythorn@aol.com for rpg email, for those who are still planning on sending in a character.

Right now I have three people who have sent characters (saxon75, Tullaan, Suneun), one who has said he will (Slash), and two who have said they're interested (Human and a non-hatrack friend of mine).

And two in the observation booth (Raia and ScottR) so far.

Anyone else?

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Gottmorder
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I'll join up, you've got a seasoned D&D player here. Are we allowing character templates?
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Derrell
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I'm interested but it's been a long time since I've played D&D. I'm interested in a Ranger character. Does the link you provided have info on character classes?

What equipment will I need. I've got the dice. Where do i find Character sheets? Help!

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FlyingCow
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Gottmorder, my gut says no on that one. Let's keep it simple. None of the Templates in the Monster Manual, for instance, are at all appropriate for this campaign, and I can't really think of any that would be.

If you wanted to play an Aasimar, I might be willing to consider it, but not a Half-Celestial Template as found in the Monster Manual.

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Gottmorder
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Well, I was thinking half-dragon or half-celestial. What if I started at level 1? I'd have an effective level of 4 I think and I'd level up slower than the rest.
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Maccabeus
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Couldja put me on the list? I am considering it, but I don't have any characters and will take a little time to make one.

*ponders trying to import some characters designed for Mage, for kicks*

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FlyingCow
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If you want the celestial twinge to your character, you can try the Aasimar route, but you'd even need to justify that and play it up a *lot* in your backstory. They're descended from Celestials, but a lot less unbalancing to a game than the Half-Celestial Template.

They still have a level adjustment of +1, so if everyone were starting at 3, for instance, you'd start at 2. But a Half-Celestial is a little ridiculous when it comes to the bonuses conferred on Ability scores, immunities and whatnot.

So, no Half-Celestials. Also, no magical items and weapons hidden under every rock. I'm trying to make it about *roleplaying* more than *rolling dice*. Your character should be cool because of how well you craft it and play it, not because of how high its stats are.

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FlyingCow
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Okay, if it helps anyone out at all, I've decided to start characters out at Level 4.
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eslaine
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Well, I would be interested in that. The last time I played, the Arduin Grimoire was the lastest thing. Then I spund off into Rune Quest.

I really can't afford to purchase the current rules for character generation, though. Can you supply character stats and etcetera from an outline? I realize after it starts, it will just be a matter of descisions on my part, as all of the rolling and tables are on your end.

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Noemon
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I'm definitely interested Matt. When I have time today I'll write up some stuff for the character I'm thinking of playing, but I'm envisioning a kind of Mongolesq, barbarian horselord type from a nomadic culture, someone who has basically spent his life surviving in relatively harsh environments. How does that sound for the campaign you're wanting to run?
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Bokonon
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I would like to add that if anyone wanted to start a Mage group (preferably in the 2nd Edition setting, but Revised rules are better), I'd be first in line!

*Dying to play Mage*

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eslaine
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Looking last night, the only thing I could find for RPG's that I possess is Cyberpunk but that's complete, at least.

Total body replacements okay?

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msquared
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I am also interested even though I have never played 3.5 ed. I played alot of 2ed.

I have e-mailed you. I look forward to hearing back from you.

msquared

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Bob the Lawyer
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*sigh*

Making characters is just so much fun. But I really shouldn't. But but but... I haven't played a fighter-type in so long. Makes me want to make some sort of a dwarf with a need for some liquid courage.

Ack!

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Bokonon
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2E is the Devil, the Devil I say! [Wink]

I like the 3E rules, actually. Much more streamlined.

-Bok

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Noemon
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Okay Matt, I've sent you some background on my character. Let me know what you think (or if you don't receive it).
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Bob_Scopatz
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I'd like to play, but I've never done it before.

Could someone e-mail me what a character profile would look like?

And are there any links to basic rules online or do I have to go buy a book???

bscopatz@data-nexus.com

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Noemon
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Well Bob, I've never done a play by mail campaign before, and I've never been asked by a DM to write up a background story for my character. I've just generally developed my characters by talking to the DM about it. In lieu of that, I just wrote up a long, meandering half story thing that I sent to Matt. No idea if its' what he's really looking for, but if you'd like I'll mail it to you too.
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msquared
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Could you send me one too? I have never really had to do this either. I would like to get an idea of what he is looking for.

msquared

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Bob the Lawyer
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Firstly:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35

there's the rules if any of you feel like perusing them. Right now I'd just look at the races and classes. Worry about ability scores later.

Secondly, is the thread where Slash announced his new game around? Because Scott posted his character back story on it.

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Slash the Berzerker
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Ok guys, here is what someone building a game needs, and doesn't need:

Bad:

Can I play a half dragon? I think that would be cool.

(Power gamers are generally greeted with suspicion in a serious game)

Bad:

Fred, Male fighter
Str: 18
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Dex: 10
Con: 13
Chr: 7

(Yeah, that's great that you rolled some stats up for yourself, and that you want to be a fighter, but who the hell are you?)

Good:

Bartly Bathbottom is a halfling rogue from the city of Cortho. He specializes in catburglary among the city's wealthy inhabitants. He is plain looking and plain spoken, and uses this to pass mostly unnoticed while gathering information and sizing up the next big score. He has so far dodged having to join any of the guilds, but his rich hauls have led to increasing attention from them.

He will want to join this quest, because his only brother, Berkly, went with the original group of pioneers. He is deeply concerned about his only living family member's fate. In order to join, he will pretend to be a halfling archer instead of a rogue.

(Now the DM has an idea what the character is like, he knows you have a brother who is lost, he knows what your background is. In other words, he can make your backstory part of the plot. He can build from your beginning. That's what a good DM wants.)

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Noemon
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Here's what I've sent Matt for my character's backstory. It kind of meanders around a bit, becauses I was writing it at work while I was busy doing some other stuff. I came up with a bunch of pseudo-mongol type clans, and I have no idea whether they'll fit into his gameworld or not, even as backstory. If not I'll be more than willing to change it for him.

Please excuse any misspellings, shifts in tense, and that kind of this. Again, I was writing it while being almost constantly interrupted by work.

quote:
Here's the character sketch I'm coming up with for my AD&D Character. His background is intentionally byzantine. Let me know what you think.

Buchek--Human (or possibly half orc) Barbarian (possibly Barbarian/Ranger, if you'd allow it).

Bouchek was born a noble of the Cushat, one of the larger of the many nomadic horse peoples of the grasslands. Although ethnically a single people, the grassland nomads divide themselves into hundreds of clans, and have existed for centuries in a perpetually shifting state of war with one another, with alliances between clans being made and broken all too frequently. The clans typically look down on settled people, historically seeing them as weak, dirt grubbing peasents to be raided with impunity. With the rise of more powerful states on the edges of their territory, however, some clans have been hired by the settled people, either to attack other states, or to protect them from other nomad clans.

Bouchek's mother, Sortani, a member of the Tshvek clan, had been given to his father, Chauth, leader of the Cushat, to cement an alliance between the Cushat and the Tshvek. Disturbed by what they saw as a dangerous concentration of power, the closest landed state hired several of the smaller, unaffiliated tribes, the Kelpek, Antarat, and Reptshvek, to make war on the Cushat-Tshvek. In one of their initial raids, Sortani was captured, and forced briefly into concubiniage to the leader the Kelpek. Although recaptured after only a few weeks, and reinstated to her position of first wife to Chauth, when she gave birth to Bouchek nine months after her capture, there was some doubt as to Bouchek's true parentage, which cast his eventual succession to leader of the Cushat in doubt.

After the war between the Cushat-Tshvek and the Kelpek alliance had ended, Chauth brought the Cushat-Tshvek into alliance with one of the landed peoples at war with the state that had originally hired the Kelpek alliance to fight the Cushat-Tshvek. Buchek's uncle, Tossuc, claiming that Chauth was polluting the Cushat by associating with landed people, led a group of disaffected Cushat in rebellion against Chauth. Chauth was killed, and Sortani fled into the grasslands with only the possessions she could carry, Bouchek, and his younger siblings.

Bouchek, adept even in his extreme youth at woodcraft, archery, the use of lassos, and the other skills of his clan, took upon himself the responsibility of feeding, sheltering, and protecting his small clan. After catching and killing two scouts that his uncle sent after them, gaining their mounts and equipment for himself and his family, Bouchek and his mother were able to provide fairly well for his siblings. Successfully evading his uncle's other scouts, Bouchek and his mother led the family across the grasslands. For six years they managed to survive on the edges of the Haunted Lands, the less hospitable regions of the grasslands where even the clans rarely ventured for fear of the ghosts said to wander the region. Here Bouchek continued to hone his survival skills, becoming more adept with ropes, archery, bowmaking, tracking, hunting and the like, occasionally leading his siblings in raids on clans that made their way too deep into this border territory Bouchek had come to think of as his own.

One night, Sortani had a vivid dream about a place, a game filled woodland across the plains, near a large lake. Believing this to be a vision given to her by the Tshvek gods, she announced that the family had been instructed to find this place, and that she and Bouchek would lead the family there. They set out, her guiding them in the direction of this land, both Bouchek and she protecting and providing for the rest of the family. As they headed deeper into the Haunted Lands, a firece storm blew up, the sky turning a dangerous, twilight green, the clouds churning in slow circles overhead. Torrential rains, powerful winds, and lightning strikes soon began to pound the ground around the family, and Bouchek sought vainly for a place for the family to camp.

The last thing he remembered was a blinding flare of light. When Bouchek came to consciousness, his face and the palms of his hands were badly burned, although his senses seemed to be intact. Dimly aware of something heavy in his mouth, he spat, ejecting a coin from beneath his tongue. Looking down at his armor, he saw that funerary patterns have been incised in is breast, and the stinging in his unburned cheek told him that it had been tatooed with the same design. To his left had been arrayed his weapons, and to his right had been placed several skins of water, and several packets of food, torn and scattered by various animals. At his feet his mare lay, several days dead from the smell of her.

He staggered to his feet, his head ringing, vertigo threatening to force him back down to the ground, and looked around himself. He was alone. Flies buzzed about the black blood clotting his mare's throat, marking where her throat had been slit. With a groan, Bouchek allowed himself to collapse back onto the ground. They'd thought he was dead. His only guess was that he'd been struck by lightning, and had appeared dead. They'd dressed and equipped him for the afterlife, provided his ghost with a steed by sacrificing his mare, and left his body to rot on this ghost haunted plain. There was no sign of them now, and the intensity of the horse's corruption implied that they'd left long enough ago that it would be nearly impossible to track them.

Still, he had to try.

He staggered up, gathered the possessions they'd left him, stowed them in the saddle bags he unbuckled from his mare, and began casting about for any sign of their spoor. An hour later, shaking with hunger, fatigue and frustration, Bouchek stopped. It was as though they'd vanished. There was no sign of them at all, no indication at all of the direction they'd headed. Still, he knew their destination; Sortani wouldn't give up on leading them to the land she'd seen in her dreams. To find them, he would have to find that land.

First, though, it would be necessary to heal. He was in no condition to begin such a journey now.

****

Okay, I'd better get back to work, so I'll just shorten this by saying that Bouchek takes care of himself, tending his wounds, subsisting first on the remains of the food his family left him, then, when stronger, on animals he succeeds in trapping. When he is healthy enough he sets out, eventually finding his way into settled lands, always seeking information about this wooded area by a lake somewhere in the grasslands. He spends the next 4 years or so seeking information, always honing his skills, and finally finding his way into your story.

He's a relatively short, wiry man, stronger than you might think from looking at him. He's skilled in unarmed combat, archery, the use of a lasso, horseback riding, trapping, tracking, and the like. He carries and is able to use a short sword (possibly a scimitar) reasonably well, and possibly throwing daggers as well.

What do you think? Would this character fit into your campaign? I'd be willing to tweak the backstory however you'd like. What class do you think he'd be? It seems to me like he'd be something between a barbarian and a ranger, but I'm open to suggestion.


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FlyingCow
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Slash has hit it on the head. (And Noemon's done some head hitting too, which a barbarian tends to have an affinity for).

Something Slash mentioned on AIM, if he'll allow me to misquote him, was something along the lines of it not being what your character has or can do, but how you play it.

A run of the mill human cleric can kick all kinds of butt if it's got an interesting backstory and good ties to the plot (re: Cadfael on www.sakeriver.com/game). A good player can make a standard "halfling rogue" or "dwarven fighter" or "half elf ranger" character awesome... without relying on gimmicks.

Many D&D players are consumed with stats and "stuff", knowing how to crunch numbers, seeking experience points from kills, trying to get the next magic weapon, etc. I'm more from the White Wolf school of roleplaying, where RPing is about character development, using your character as a playing piece in a complex fantasy world where "good" and "evil" aren't so cut and dry and your decisions have consequences.

So, having an idea of where your character is coming from gives me a good idea of where it's likely to go.

Plus, I'm a writer at heart, so I'm a sucker for a good story. [Big Grin]

[ January 30, 2004, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: FlyingCow ]

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eslaine
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Thanks, I'll get busy on that tonight.

Thank you too, Slash!

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Bob_Scopatz
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I'll try to send something tonight too.

Are there some other just bad or too gimmicky things to worry about?

I mean, if the character has amnesia but flashes of knowing or understanding. Is it okay if the person is from an alien race or from the future but stuck in Middle Earth or something?

Would being a tree be too dumb?

(NOTE, no ego involvement in the above, I'm just trying to see what the limits of reasonableness are. For my first time, I probably will try to work with something a little more standard just so I can get help along the way.)

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Noemon
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Be a gnome Bob. I could see you playing a really kick-ass gnomish inventor type.
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