At the time of this writing, the first D&D game for this campaign has already occurred (and will be posted later on).
Dar na Theria is a world of my own design that I’ve been working on now for the better part of the last eleven years, originally started with the assistance of my wife, and developed over time into a larger world. Eventually, this world will be the one that my future novels will be based on, but for now I’m happy to use it as a testing ground for 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons.
Right now, I have five players; we’ve had one replacement already (one player suddenly decided at the last minute and DURING A GAME SESSION that he was no longer interested in playing grrrrrrrrrrr), and I hold out hope that the game will continue smoothly at this point. The game is being played online via Skype, every other Sunday (and possibly moving to a weekly schedule – I’m still on the fence about this), and this is our first game together aside from World of Warcraft. The characters have started at level one, and consist of:
Shayla, an Elf Shaman
Kevara Bloodbane, a Dragonborn Warlock
Lazan Silvershaper, a Halfling Druid
Dorn Deckard, a Human Fighter
Caelissa, a Halfling Rogue
In this campaign, I am also using a few tools that were introduced to me over the years by various DMs and GMs who were my friends and mentors throughout many games. The first is a group storytelling technique originally taught to me by an old D&D DM in my high school days (which was later a part of the 4th edition DMG – however, I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t introduced to WOTC by my friend) that allows the players to influence the world based on their imagination as well as mine. The second is a technique I learned at the hands of a Shadowrun GM in college (which coincidentally, was also mentioned in the 4e DMG… okay, that’s kinda creepy) called Ties and Conflicts. Essentially, this means that as a better (and frankly, easier) way to get the characters to work together in the beginning without having to go through the hassle of “you all meet at an inn,” is by letting the group work together and come up with the reasons they’re already together. These come in the form of ties (where each character has one tie to another that forms a bond of friendship) as well as a conflict (something that they are conflicted with about another character; it could even be the same one who they have a tie with!), and these reasons allow for story options and good roleplay. The last technique was brought to my attention by a good friend who introduced me to Eberron; and this is called Evil Overlords. Evil Overlords can also be found on the web at www.treasuretables.org, and is a great resource if you have a lot of friends who aren’t interested in playing the game, but are creative and might be willing to play the role of a major faction that moves and shapes the politics of the world you run. I’ll touch more on this later, but right now it’s a little much to try to explain in this introduction.
Going forward, you might see blocked off text like this. In this case, it’s me divulging some out-of-game information, like missing players for the week, or side notes where I can fill in some backstory or talk about interesting occurrences that you otherwise wouldn’t know about. If you’re an avid tabletop gamer or MMO roleplayer, you can treat this portion as OOC info. If you’re not and don’t know what that means, trust me, it doesn’t really matter.
The game itself is a heroic campaign; this means that the player characters are significantly better than your average NPC, and they’re expected to perform some pretty heroic deeds. It’s not unusual in campaigns like this to see a character with scores of all 15s or better, especially with the way I allow the players to generate character scores. Having heroic characters also allows me to front-load many encounters as a test to see if I’m going too easy or too hard on the players, or if the encounters are just right. It also makes for some pretty epic battles.
I’m also a fan of High Fantasy. I like dragons, magic weapons, legendary locations, artifacts, fantastic races, and manipulative forces. I like whimsical gods, and really evil bad guys. While the characters start out with the most meager equipment, you can safely bet that by the time this entire campaign is all said and done, our players will be powerful (and probably nearly godlike), decked out in some very impressive weaponry and armor, and toting more than a few fantastic magic items.
Assuming they live that long. (insert evil smile)
Anyway, I hope that you enjoy following along with the adventures of our players, and a tour through the realm of Dar na Theria.