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5E [INTEREST CHECK] The Curse of Amberstar

THE CURSE OF AMBERSTAR

The once proud Duchy of Wellington fell to a terrible curse… All because of the dreadful Amberstar.

The Amberstar, gift of the new gods, fell from the skies many years ago. It found shelter within Mount Amberilan, resting in silence for years. One day, it sent forth it’s Teraphins. These messengers of the young gods blessed the land of Wellington and it’s offspring, granting them wisdom and power through strange magics and crafting secrets. In exchange, the Teraphins only requested the sacrifice of rare riches found in the deepest recesses of the earth. “The sacrifice shall be taken to the Teraphim Sanctum”, they said, “By your hands, and your hands alone, and only by your hands shall it be unearthed”. As the years passed, the Dukes would find the strange riches and take them to the steel tower the Teraphim had built to honor the new gods. In exchange, Wellington would receive wisdom and protection.

Soon enough, Wellington was noticed by other nations. Envy and pride played their parts, and soon Wellington was under attack. The Teraphim gave them magic weapons of great, terrible power, and Wellington survived. Around it, nothing stood, though. Broken nations begged mercy, which Wellington offered in exchange of servitude. So terrible was the power wielded by the Dukes that vast areas became scorched and burned to cinders, never recovering.

In time, servitude turned into slavery. Wellington began campaigning further and further, taking riches from other lands and forcing slaves to dig the earth for the sacred alloys in their stead. Such practices brought down the wrath of the young gods, and the Teraphim placed an ultimatum upon Wellington: either they repented from their wicked ways, humbling themselves once more and relieving their slaves of their burden, or the Teraphim would take action against the Dukes and their people.

Wellington didn’t listen. Instead, it gathered its army and tried to invade the Teraphim Sanctum in search of their benefactors, bent to destroy them. The sanctum opened, it’s recesses in silence. The men entered, rage blinding their actions.

No one knows how the battle really went. No one survived. All that is known is that the place was covered in blood when it ended. From that day on, the Teraphim Sanctum became a cursed, forbidden place. But that is not all. Enraged by Wellington’s actions, the Amberstar rose! It flew high into the skies, roaring like the dragons of ancient legends, only to strike the heart of the Duchy… The star sacrificed itself, exploding in a huge cloud of light and dark, rising like a flower and obliterating everything in its path. When it was over, the heart of the Duchy was no more. There were only ashes and bones. Castles, houses, cities, all was in ruins. The fields died, the woods withered, and around the heart of the Duchy, everything became sick. The Amberstar had cursed Wellington, and the land was dying, along with its people.

Now, Duke Conrad, 24th of the Wellington lineage, wants to save his people of the monstrous curse that plagues them. He calls for all heroes willing to brave the cursed recesses of Teraphim Sanctum and Mount Amberilan, breaking the silence and seeking a way to lift the curse.
INTEREST CHECK: this is my third – and last, for the time being – game. This is the main theme: a fantasy world is suddenly discovered by otherworldly, technologically-advanced, forces (thinking about a mix between Darkover and Spelljammer. Sort of…). I don’t want to give too much away.

STYLE: dungeon-crawling, open to players’ decisions (actually, dependent on them). At first, I’d keep it simple. In the future, depending on how it goes, we might thing of a larger campaign. But this one would be about the exploration of Teraphim Sanctum and Mount Amberilan. A big dungeon, if you will. With some twists, of course.

SYSTEM: D&D 5th (I wanna take a stab at this one, and this is one of the reasons I’d propose it to be a dungeon crawler; it would allow for rule studying and strategic gameplay). At first, any races available, as well as classes, would be acceptable.

STARTING LEVEL: it would begin at mid-level. Probably 5th or 6th, maybe a bit more. Characters must start as known adventurers, at least. The aim would be to go high as the story progresses. Real high.

If there’s any interest, answer to this thread. In case anyone wants to see how I DM, please take a look at Crowns of Ice and Tideruler of Maran. Notice that the style would be fairly different (faster pace, distinct planning, possibly shorter posts on my end).
 
Cool! Thanks for the interest! And nice to meet you! :)

It's fun to consider all variables applied to this idea... Served to show me D&D's real range as far as playing an open story goes!
 

hafrogman

Villager
I'm looking at returning to PbP after a long absence, and this looks pretty interesting.
A few questions:
1) Related to industrygothica's above, what kind of timeframe since the ill-fated invasion of Teraphim Sanctum and the subsequent explosion?
2) What kind of technology level is around? Is there anything left over from the weapons and gifts given to Wellington?
3) What is the political climate? Have slaves been released? Have neighboring countries re-asserted themselves?
 
What's the approximate time span between now and when the Amderstar fell? Are we talking centuries or millennia?
1) Related to industrygothica's above, what kind of timeframe since the ill-fated invasion of Teraphim Sanctum and the subsequent explosion?
We're talking around three centuries (give or take) since the fall and a few decades since the conflagration and the 'curse'.

2) What kind of technology level is around? Is there anything left over from the weapons and gifts given to Wellington?
Well, the tech level is tricky. Politics are handled under a feudal system. Advancement has happened through restricted groups, affecting mostly health (Wellingtons have great longevity, for example), production (hydroponics and advanced husbandry techniques) and, as a consequence, economics (inclined towards slavery, luxuries trade and knowledge, both magic and mundane). Most areas within Wellington (or the few areas that remain standing) are served by solid irrigation and aqueduct systems, as well as distinct forms of energy production (dedicated to maintain hydroponics and water purification services, mostly). Military tech is dependent on remnants from the Teraphim, mostly controlled by the Wellingtons (even though some can be obtained through deals with local guilds and black market).

So, it would be possible to build characters with high-tech items, treated as magic items or regular weapons with distinct stats, according to players' needs.

As for the rest of the world, the medieval fantasy pattern would still apply. The idea would be to roleplay the results of the first advent of technology, so that adaptative barrier could be eroded during gameplay.

There's more, but I'll post if you guys decide to get this going, so as not to bug you with excessive details! :)

3) What is the political climate? Have slaves been released? Have neighboring countries re-asserted themselves?
Shady practices made slaves absolutely necessary. Since the disease still runs around, Wellington faces it's decadence. One city remains as a standing bastion, strong and undefeatable to anyone's knowledge. The other nations have grown once more. Some depend on Wellington's food reserves. Others use magic as means of survival. Others yet were capable to force Wellington to release enslaved compatriots, rebuilding their former power to an extent. This would be the place for players to build their character backgrounds, creating freely their origins, nations and relations, so I'd rather leave it as a general guideline.

As for IR, these are times of troubled peace. No one bears the power to fight, but no one is willing to leave past grudges behind. The secrets of Wellington and the Sanctum are still sought out with great desire, since they might tip the delicate balance of nations and guarantee future dominance.

I love fantasy politics! :D
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Seems like a great idea, and I'd love to join!

I'll think about the kind of character would best fit. Apart from the core races, how do you feel about Volo races and SCAG options?
 
You can bring any templates in, but for setting-driven builds I'd only ask that you create a distinct story to make them fit into the world when you bring them in. Feel free to use them!

Enviado de meu GT-I9505 usando Tapatalk
 

Shayuri

Villager
Would something like the Warforged from the Eberron Unearthed Arcana be acceptable? Perhaps some old torn-up relic from long ago...

Hmm...
 
Would something like the Warforged from the Eberron Unearthed Arcana be acceptable?
Acceptable? No,it would be very welcome!

Part of the setting depends on how common - or secret - automation is. A Warforged would be at least a treasure, if not a necessity, for anyone seeking to expand technology in a world thus far timid on the field.
 

Shayuri

Villager
Arr...since warforged have a trait where they shut down instead of bleeding out when they're at 0 HP, if I remember right...a damaged warforged could theoretically be repaired enough to function after many years of inaction.

I'm thinking the character begins with very little understanding of the world, or itself...essentially a 'cold reboot,' losing everything beyond the basic ability to move and speak.

Still mulling class, but I like the idea of using the magic rules to approximate built-in technology. Energy blasts and defensive effects and so on.

An eldritch knight would be a possibility, for example.
 
Still mulling class, but I like the idea of using the magic rules to approximate built-in technology. Energy blasts and defensive effects and so on.

An eldritch knight would be a possibility, for example.
Sounds consistent and interesting!

What would you like from us at this point?
Well, race, class and a general idea of character's origins, as well as the reasons that led to join the exploring party. Two lines will suffice. After that, sheets, of course. :)
 

hafrogman

Villager
Yttrian.png
Well, for a while I've been looking for an opportunity to play the picture above, which in part led to my question about technology. Mechanically I'd probably just call it a crossbow, but that's just details.

Thinking about an elf fighter.
A young elf slave was taken along on the ill-fated expedition to the sanctum as a porter. He escaped from captivity before they reached their destination, liberating supplies and equipment from the army as he left. After securing his freedom, he tracked the army, planning a rescue of his fellow captives (including his own family). But finding only the army's savaged remains, he fled into the wilderness. Now, decades later he is a seasoned warrior who hears word an expedition to Teraphim Sanctum, and seeks to join under false pretenses. He wants to return to face his own demons and, if possible, discover the truth of his family's fate and the disaster that struck the army that day.
 

Shayuri

Villager
You know, I have this weird idea of making the character a Pact of the Blade warlock.

But that might not work too well with the existing Patrons. The idea would be he's not really a 'warlock' but we'd use the existing warlock mechanics to describe the character's abilities. But the existing warlock patrons have abilities that are a bit odd for a machine.

Maybe stick with the eldritch knight. Hurm.
 

hafrogman

Villager
You know, I have this weird idea of making the character a Pact of the Blade warlock.

But that might not work too well with the existing Patrons. The idea would be he's not really a 'warlock' but we'd use the existing warlock mechanics to describe the character's abilities. But the existing warlock patrons have abilities that are a bit odd for a machine.
Depending on how Archon Basileus feels about the UA, the Seeker patron might make an interesting choice. Less of a patron and more of a program? You were programmed to travel and amass information for return to a central intelligence (That no long exists? Or does it?)

https://media.wizards.com/2016/dnd/downloads/UA Non-Divine Faithful SFG.pdf
 
I think I'd like to go outside my typical wheelhouse and go wizard this time. Maybe a gnome from the desecrated woods surrounding the area. Probably a necromancer. Might take a couple levels of druid just to make things interesting. What's the starting level?


-IG
 

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