PLANESCAPE - Intrigue

Nordom

Explorer
Any interest in a Planescape play-by post Campaign? I've been cooking one up in my head for a long, long time.

Here's what I have in mind, please let me know if anyone's interested:

Atmosphere and Themes: Mystery, Drama, Dark Humor, Planar Exploration, Character development.

Playing Style: Role-Play and Creative Problem-Solving. As adventurers of Low-Mid level (commencing at level 5 and progressing to level 13), you won't necessarily be the central figures in the grand tapestry of the multiverse. Instead, you'll be pawns in a larger, more intricate game, surrounded by powerful forces manipulating events around you.

- Show, Don't Tell:
Telling Example: Jade is a Tiefling rogue. She has red skin, horns on her forehead, and a long, pointy tail. She has mastered the art of stealth and is skilled in picking locks and disarming traps. She's always on the lookout for her next heist and loves collecting shiny trinkets. She's a loner by nature and doesn't trust easily.

Showing Example:
In the dimly lit tavern, a figure slips out of the shadows and gracefully moves between the tables. With crimson skin glinting in the faint candlelight, Jade's tiefling heritage is unmistakable. Her dark eyes, filled with a mix of mischief and intelligence, study the room as her curved horns subtly catch the gleam of light.

Every movement she makes is fluid and calculated, her tail coiling and uncoiling like a viper behind her. As she leans against the wall, her fingers instinctively trace the edges of a lockpick set, concealed beneath her dark cloak. Jade exudes an air of confidence, the kind that comes from countless successful heists. Despite her isolated nature, her ears perk up when she overhears rumors of valuable artifacts or well-guarded vaults. The thrill of the next daring escapade sparks a faint glint of excitement in her eyes, and her fingers unconsciously drum on the pommel of a concealed dagger.

-A lot of the campaign and plot arcs involve mystery. The goal is to explore and avoid basing your entire investigation on a roll: Instead of "I roll an Insight check to make sure she isn't lying" try "
"I closely examine her body language as she mentions his whereabouts, keeping an eye on her facial expressions and the minute twitches in her hands. Does she seem nervous, fidgety, or does she meet my gaze directly with confidence?"

By taking this approach, you elevate the storytelling and character development. You can then use the gathered observations to guide your decisions and shape the narrative. This method of investigation rewards players for their creativity and engagement. I am going to try hard to promotes thoughtful interactions with NPCs, encouraging you to interact with them as fully realized and memorable characters rather than mere quest-givers. As the campaign unfolds, the characters will find themselves drawn into elaborate murder mysteries, political intrigues, and enigmatic puzzles. In each scenario, they must exercise their observational skills and analytical minds to piece together the clues.

Another example, during a murder mystery investigation:

Instead of: "I roll a perception check to note anything out of order with the murder scene and those present," try: "I examine the crime scene with keen eyes, searching for any hidden details. I take note of the placement of the victim's body, the angles of the wounds, and whether there are any signs of a struggle. I speak with witnesses, watching for any inconsistencies in their testimonies and attempting to gauge their reactions to my questions."

CONSEQUENCES: I have general plot arcs in my head that I want to put into writing and create WITH you, not despite you. I do not have the end in mind, and I'm not married to any outcome. I want to set the stage and collaborate on the outcome. Did you figure out who the murderer was, and decide to go kill her instead of turning her into the authorities? Be prepared to be hunted for vigilantism. Did you not quite figure out who the murderer was but decided to frame someone else? Don't be so shocked when their allies start hunting you. There will be surprises and plot twists, but I want you to create some of your own!

Player Character Requirements and Restrictions: I am looking for 4 players to play in an ongoing campaign. Any base Player's Handbook race and class. Alignment must NOT be 'Good.' No need to worry about party balance ( yes, you can have 5 mages in the party). The part of your character I'd like you to spend the most time during creation is the backstory. The backstory must have the following components -

1) A deep, dark secret. Examples include framing someone for murder, or actually murdering someone. Stole an ancient family heirloom from a family of bloodthirsty aristocrats in the Lady's Ward. Is a Wererat, and a member of the Undersigil collective. Has a second personality which is that of a serial killer. Avoid the mild things like: beats up beggars and steals their jink.
2) The presence of a special item (no modifier bonus) that has a story unique to the character
3) Motives/ambitions of the character, as well as personal strengths/weaknesses
4) Brief information about 1 good friend and 1 enemy that the character has made through their travels.
5) What faction the character is in and why.

A note about evil characters - they are not stupid. A Chaotic Evil character in this campaign should not be the Chaotic Evil that rages at everything in sight. Instead, a more insidious type of evil and chaos is preferred - the slow flames burn best.

Combat: Usually optional, can be avoided via creativity. Additionally, will reward outside the box thinking during combat. Instead of fighting some githyanki in one area, then going further in at the area to fight more githyanki, will present numerous options and would also love characters to come up with their own. For example, reanimating the corpse of a fallen githyanki, putting a delayed blast fireball focused on his head, and walking him into the next area, kidnapping an NPC to use as a bargaining chip to get the with to leave you alone, using one of the player characters as bait to infiltrate the gith cell, and communicate inside information, etc.

Locales: Most of the time will be spent in Sigil. Some time in Gatetowns and/or Outer Planes. A small amount of time on a Spelljammer and Prime world. Focus is to go deep, and not necessarily wide. When visiting different planes, I will encourage the 'mood' of the plane be reflected in your character both mechanistically and non-mechanistically. For example if the party were to visit the Grey Wastes, a feeling of gloom and depression would permeate through the recesses of everyone's minds, and a -2 modifier to Intelligence and Wisdom saving throws is applied as long as the group is in that Plane.

Required books?: None, you can use The Hypertext d20 SRD (5e d20 System Reference Document) :: 5e.d20srd.org Players Handbook would be wonderful, if you have it.

Post rate: 1 post every 2 days minimum- barring unusual circumstances. I find that slower posting rates fizzle out quickly, and I'm very serious about making this last and enjoyable.
 

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