The Carrion Crown: A DnD 4th Edition Conversion Campaign
Could the surrounding acre offer some offense only the storm could see, and so provoke it to withhold its draught? Mayhap Boles and I were the culprits, though I couldn’t recall any outrages in the past week that would have affronted the very weather. Yet there it was, the sound of rain all about, a torrent of drops invisible through the gloom. As I turned to speculate with Boles, my bone-dry palm outstretched as evidence, the investigator’s glare into the shadows sent a shudder through me. I’d seen the look all too often. “Not rain, Quintin.” He spoke steadily without turning. “Steps.” And like a devil summoned by its name, a thing of bone and rot and age old hunger pulled itself through the night’s veil. And it was not alone.
—Ailson Kindler, “Case of the Dreaming Dead”
Act 1: Haunting of Harrowstone
“When Harrowstone Prison burned to the ground, prisoners, guards, and a host of vicious madmen met a terrifying end. In the years since, the nearby town of Ravengro has shunned the fire-scarred ruins, telling tales of unquiet spirits that wander abandoned cellblocks. But when a mysterious evil disturbs Harrowstone’s tenuous spiritual balance, a ghostly prison riot commences that threatens to consume the nearby village in madness and flames. Can the adventurers discover the secrets of Harrowstone and quell a rebellion of the dead? Or will they be the spirit-prison’s next inmates? “
Tales are told throughout the mortal realm of shadowy figures that lurk in dark corners—stories recounted at children’s bedsides feature bestial creatures that come out only when the moon is right, and fireside legends speak of otherworldly beings beyond reckoning, whose very existence is more than the human mind can bear to know. These are the legends that explain where the blood of the family cow went, and why clerics spend so much time ensuring the proper Raven Queen rites are observed at gravesites throughout the realm. One can write them off as simple, scary stories in nations such as the Nentir Vale, but in Ustalav, everyone knows the truth of the things that go bump in the night. And for good reason...
Cursed and haunted, Ustalav rests upon the bones of the foul empire of the legendary lich-archmage known as the Whispering Tyrant. In the centuries since the undead conqueror’s defeat, the land has been resettled, but superstition and horror still lurk in the country’s shadows. The greatest evil sleeps in the ruin of Gallowspire. There, below the former court of the necromancer-king, lies the undying remains of the Whispering Tyrant himself, locked away by the magic of heroes and deities. Although bound within his prison-tomb, the lich-lord’s dreams still seep into the land, tainting minds and inspiring fanatics across Ustalav for centuries. However, one such nefarious cult has decided to act, placing the nation of Ustalav (and perhaps even the world) in terrible peril...
In the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, the horrors of the night become undeniably real as the PCs undertake a journey that will decide the future of a nation. Carrion Crown draws its inspiration from the yellowed pages of gothic horror literature and film. From this tradition of Dracula and Frankenstein, werewolves and zombies, undead wizards and cosmic horror, Paizo has devised a campaign fraught with lurking dread and nefarious villains, crafted to test characters’ bravery, wits, and skill.
This is a recruitment thread for a campaign of 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, for a party of six 1st level PCs
Anyone may post an application, but precedence
will be given to new as well as active
members and players, and players who have not played the Carrion Crown Adventure Path before. If you fit any of these criteria, please say so in your application post. In addition, anyone with experience as a DM and who would be willing to provide me with a little advice and guidance are particularly welcome.
This is a play by post game; character sheets on Myth-Weavers (if you already have a completed character sheet on Orokos, that’s fine too). Rolls on Invisible Castle (or once again, should IC throw a hissy fit, use of Orokos’s Dice roller is fine too). I, TiamatZ, will be the DM. PCs' minimum post requirement is the usual one per day. Habitual unexplained failures to post will result in your character being ejected from the campaign.
1 Leader, 1 Defender, 1 Controller, 1 Range Striker, 1 Melee Striker; OR Range Leader, Controller, Melee Striker, Melee Striker, Defender. The 6th spot will be chosen based on how outstanding the character concept is, so the more interesting the character, the greater the chance it has to get in
Please submit a level one character created with the 22 Point Buy system. Maximum submissions are one per person (so choose/design carefully).
Submission should include the standard stuff:
IC background motivation:
- A link to the sheet (Myth Weavers or Orokos)
- The character's name
- A picture of your character (optional; for token creation purposes)
- Personality traits, mannerisms and appearances.
- Your ties to the story (see IC Background Motivation)
- The CB summary stuff.
- And lastly, I want to know your availability to post here in the forums, as well as what DnD 4th ed. PBP games you play (or DM) here.
While the Carrion Crown Adventure Path takes place exclusively in the haunted nation of Ustalav, the campaign does not require (or even assume) that the PCs be natives of that land. Each PC is summoned at the start of the adventure to the town of Ravengro in the rural county of Canterwall from elsewhere in Ustalav or in the mortal realm (an example would be the far-off nation of the Nentir Vale). Thus, PCs of any nationality or concept can work within the constraints of the Adventure Path. No matter what your PC’s background is, adventure and intrigue await when you arrive in Ravengro for the funeral of the recently deceased Professor Petros Lorrimor, famed scholar, explorer, and teacher.
It is required to provide a character with a connection to the late Professor Lorrimor—one close enough to justify his naming of your character in his will— whether they are native to another part of Ustalav, or from a distant part of the world where they met him by chance in his many travels. Professor Lorrimor is a more open-minded and adventurous scholar, having made friends with many people and races from all walks of life, and has practically visited most of the known world in search of treasure, artefacts and more (think of him as a regular Indiana Jones if you will) throughout his long career. As such, PCs could have many reasons for attending his funeral. Whether you were a teacher’s pet, inspired by him (or his studies) in your youth, whether you were a subject of his studies or even making up for past promises or were on a simple payroll to be a simple bodyguard in his travels, it’s up to you to decide how the Professor thought you important to be in his will.
For your character, pretty much any official DnD 4th edition material is acceptable (supplement books, Dragon articles, etc.), except with regards to the race and class (see Character Backgrounds and Feats section below). Be prepared to post technical info if I request it.
Note about alignment:
I am lax about alignment- there is no need to mark something on the sheet unless you want to. Evil characters are allowed on the condition that they have well thought-out background/goals and have a strong reason to work with a team, as well as reason to follow the party. No backstabbing the party, no killing the shopkeeper because you felt like it, and most importantly of all, don’t be a griefer
; everyone’s here to have fun, but I will throw out anyone that tries to ruin everyone else’s experience.
Also no cheesy builds please
Deadline is February 17th 18:00 PM (Early Evening; GMT+0 time). Expect the game to begin sometime in the following week (Monday February 20th).
Plans for the Campaign
To ease myself into the DM's seat, I intend to start the campaign by playing through CC Act 1 first. What happens next will be determined by how the game went. As we are playing CC, I'm slowly trying to convert the other acts of the AP to 4th ed. If it was a great success, then we’ll continue with CC Act 2: The Trial of the Beast.
Character Backgrounds and feats:
As with much of the known realm, Ustalav is a nation inhabited primarily by humans, but that doesn’t exclude members of other races from participating in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. The capital city, Caliphas, is conveniently located on the banks of Lake Encarthan, allowing unhindered trade to bring nonhumans into Caliphas’s port, and from there into the heart of Ustalav. Trade aside, the rich and dark history of Ustalav is lure enough for the adventurous and curious among all the civilized races of the Inner Sea. Furthermore, Professor Lorrimor was more open-minded than many of his fellow countrymen, and counted members of all races among his friends and colleagues. Basically most races are allowed, though monstrous (e.g. Minotaurs, gnolls, kobolds etc.) and ‘otherwordly’ (i.e. githzerai, shardmind, wilden etc.) are viewed with more suspicion and concern to the average Ustalav citizen. It doesn’t mean you can’t play one; you’ll just have to sell your character concept even more to convince me to (potentially) choose him/her/it. In addition, Bloodline races (e.g. Dhamphir and Vistani) are also allowed.
All classes are acceptable (even the Heroes of Shadow), with the exception of Hybrids.
Players may choose general backgrounds (like those from the PHB 2 and Power books etc.) ONLY! NO Forgotten Realms! NO Eberron! NO Scales of War! ‘Nuff said.
Themes are allowed though. You can even reflavour a Dark Sun theme to fit your character if you want...
Players retain their 100gp, but gain the adventurer’s kit absolutely FREE.
Lastly, when designing your character, choose ONE of the following feats absolutely free:
Regarding Religion (Divine Characters):
- Weapon/Implement Expertise (you can only choose one or the other)
- Weapon/Implement Focus (you can only choose one or the other)
- Proficiency with a Weapon (Martial Only)
- A Domain Feat of your chosen Deity (Divine Only)
- Superior Implement Training (Arcane Only)
- A Tribal Feat of your choice (Primal Only)
- An Augment Feat of your choice (Psionic Only; Psionic Power book)
For the sake of convenience, I’ll be lax regarding the choice of deities. As such, I’ll allow PCs to choose deities their character wants to worship (from the Point of Light, Forgotten realms, Eberron books and Dragon articles though). Only once the players have been chosen will I establish the divine hierarchy for the adventure path. This way, players can play whatever gods they want to worship or favourites at the start. As such, do note that the gods chosen won’t necessarily be the same gods as their canon counterparts (e.g. one player can worship Forgotten Realms’ god of the dead Kelemvor rubbing shoulders with another player who worships Eberron’s god of luck, Olladra, with another following the teachings of the Point of Light’s god of war, Bane; it would just be assumed these gods have long since existed in the same realm.). However, their alignment and commands/strictures/behaviours as stated in the respective books remain virtually the same (for example, Kelemvor still abhors the undead).
You can choose any god provided it exists in the Point of Light, Eberron and Forgotten Realms books, or the Dragon Articles.
Edit: All characters are required to have first names and last names. Come on people, be creative
I’ve also added an overview regarding Ustalav, in case some of you would want to base your character in this nation steeped in horror (spoilered to keep it short)...
The Immortal Principality of Ustalav lies on the northern shore of Lake Encarthan, a grim bastion of civilization amid the barbarian north, where a harsh landscape and a history rich in tragedies inspire a wary population with skepticism, religious devotion, and superstition. A conglomeration of loosely affiliated counties, each run by feuding nobles vying for power and influence, Ustalav is a pitiful shell of its former glory, before it was subjugated to centuries of slavery at the hands of the Whispering Tyrant’s undead armies. While the nation’s upper classes struggle to compete with the very nations that abandoned them to fend for themselves after the Whispering Tyrant’s defeat, the average Ustalavic citizen has it much worse.
Hundreds of years of subjugation and the residual horrors that plague the countryside have left the people of Ustalav suspicious of magic, religion, foreigners, and their fellow citizens. Beyond their eccentric and insular qualities, Ustalavs often have a dour worldview. They resign themselves to lives of suffering, seeing nothing in their people’s history to suggest there is any hope for a better life. Despite the physical and psychological strains upon its populace, Ustalav nevertheless fosters extremely hardy and tenacious stock: men and women who firmly believe that no matter how bad it gets, history shows it could always be worse.
Although Ustalav has little to offer its rural peasants, inhabitants of its many metropolitan cities fare somewhat better, and the centers of learning and culture they provide draw trade and travelers from throughout the mortal realm. The capital, Caliphas, stands on the banks of Lake Encarthan, and its fog-shrouded streets host some of the nation’s most esteemed centers of trade and academia. In the north, the city of Karcau boasts a thriving culture of music, theater, and other fine arts, and its opulent architecture rivals the excess of even the most exotic Taldan palace. Meanwhile, Ustalav’s northwestern counties have broken from aristocratic rule and formed their own local, democratic government without nobles, calling themselves the Palatinates and providing a glimmer of hope for the downtrodden people of provincial Ustalav.
It is here, in the Immortal Principality, that the Carrion Crown Adventure Path takes place, and as you travel through the various counties, your character will rise from a simple pallbearer to the potential savior of the nation. As internally varied as a nation can be, Ustalav is your new home, and the possibilities for fame, fortune, and influence are as thick as the fog that creeps across the windy moors at night.