Curse of the Black Pearls
A DnD 4E Campaign set in the Lhazaar Principalities of Eberron.
This piece of awesome Eberron art by Wayne Reynolds might be a rather prophetic image.
So this is the recruitment thread for my PbP game Curse of the Black Pearls. Here are the starting details before I get into the delicious nitty gritty.Starting Level
: We start at level 1
. I heavily considered paragon tier, but I like to build up to that level of complexity instead of just jumping into it. It also lets me get more of an idea of your characters personalities and tailor the campaign more mechanically by starting from level 1. At the same time I'm not sure what level I'll eventually go towards with this game - it's somewhat of an experiment from me I'll concede.Allowed Options
: Most everything is fine in this game - Eberron is a great setting because it really supports playing almost any kind of character. I have no problem with any whacky races, classes or similar in this game. Noting that like any other campaign I run, I tend to have pretty difficult and dramatic combat encounters (even if they will take a while over PbP!). Bear in mind that character death is always a looming possibility: But don't be afraid to try something if you think it would be awesome/interesting. Just be aware that these two classes on the extremely low end of the power scale like the original Assassin (not the executioner, who is decent people) and the Binder should probably be avoided. Everything else is okay though.
You are allowed an Eberron themed background, or any general background you wish and one of the new themes released in Dragon last month. Bear in mind that I have houseruled some of these themes to work differently: You can read my changes here
. My houserules in general are in the OP of either of my maptools game threads
. Incidentally you score MAJOR points (see below) for having an animal master theme + parrot. Just saying.
You'll all start at level 1 and have 100 GP in equipment.
With regards to item rarity, you can buy and make common or uncommon items in Eberron. Uncommon items are still hard to obtain though: You cannot buy or readily make more than a handful (1-3) of these easily before the much rarer components required to produce them run out. Otherwise you'll be able to make or buy equipment you want - though you might have to find the right seedy market to buy it.
I would hope for at least 1 post a day in general, except maybe on weekends - especially because on Friday/Saturday US time is when I run my two other games (So I might be rather distracted on those days especially).Concept
: The is a piracy campaign based in the Lhazaar Principalities in Eberron. There will be a great deal of stabbing things, exploring the high seas, avoiding backstabbing pirates and dealing with the various political factions. Due to the nature of the campaign being on the high seas, certain natural consequences mechanically occur from it as well.
1) Expect to get wet. You're on a ship for a good chunk of this game
. I heavily recommend having athletics trained. This isn't a deal breaker, but I'm just telling you that it can make your life *really* hard if you aren't trained in it. At the same time the roleplaying possibilities here for someone who cannot swim are immense!
2) Heavy Armor isn't that great in this campaign. Lots of water combined with brutal armor check penalties is a bad combination. If you're not trained in athletics AND wearing heavy armor - oh boy! Noting that it won't always be a detriment, but you can expect that certain encounters will be a lot harder for you in heavy armor! This isn't again a "Pick this and not get into the game" thing, but just a general recommendation so you know
what you're getting into first.
3) Underwater combat will get some deserved explanation a little later on, but suffice to say I don't use a true 3D system (as it's a nightmare to do that) but it is *considerably* dangerous even without that. Especially if you didn't believe in training athletics. You did train that though didn't you? Oh yeah, did I mention anywhere you should expect to get wet?
Maybe I should have. I will elaborate on the mechanics of how I run combat underwater a bit later.Recommended Viewing/Reading
: Personally I liked Mel Odom's Forgotten Realms Rising Tide
trilogy. While it's not the best ever thing in the world, it's good inspiration for a piracy campaign and gives some life to the various sea critters that you might meet (albeit there are quite a few differences in interpretation between Eberron and FR - EG Sahuagin).The Pirates of the Caribbean movies
are also on the recommended viewing list if you haven't watched them already. The absurd stunts, some of their battles, the multiple backstabbings and the Kraken attack are all a solid basis for the feel/theme of this campaign.Applications
: I will be choosing applicants based on a points system and how well they adhere to the general requirements below. Firstly if you need to read up on Eberron, I recommend the Eberron Player's Guide. Failing that, I recommend reading this Eberron Wiki page on the Lhazaar Principalities
and particularly this page on the Last War
This game starts on a merchant ship called the Crimson Wave, which is returning to Regalport and is known to be carrying cargo "important" to Prince Rygar of the Seadragon Principality. For this reason while it is only a standard merchant ship, it is heavily defended and there is quite an air of tension aboard - particularly over rumors of a sinister ancient sarcophagus being a part of the ships cargo.
1) I need some background information in this game, to help me establish the world and figure out how you fit into the plot (potentially). Firstly, What did you do during the last war
? Were you a pirate? Did you fight in any nations navy? That sort of concept. Secondly, Why are you in the Lhazaar Principalities?
. Thirdly, What is your reason for being aboard the Crimson Wave?
You can have any other background details beyond that to your liking. If the game goes long enough, there will be sailing over quite a bit of Eberron - not just the Lhazaar Principalities. So details in other places are not just more flavor, it's directly encouraged.
2) You can be any alignment with the general rule of "Don't be a dick". I would avoid chaotic evil as an alignment in general as I can't see that fitting well into the game. Being morally ambiguous is basically a trait that is inherent to Eberron and solid in a piracy based campaign.
3) The points system
. So I mentioned this above, but I'm quite keen for this game to be open to people who seem to fail to get into PbPs regularly or are DMing games but can't play themselves. As such, there is a points system in place, with a couple of obvious bonuses below:
Not playing in any DnD games (PbP, Maptools or IRL) on this forum or elsewhere? +50 points.
DMing a game but not playing in any DnD games? +50 points (got to give some props to my fellow DMs)
So right there you can get a good chunk of points just for being a new player/not having another game currently. Believe me, in this context 50 points is a *lot* and will be a huge advantage. Noting that if you're playing in one of my two maptools games already, sorry to say but I probably will be taking mostly new people. Nothing against the awesome people I do play with currently, but you're already getting some DnD as it is!
Before moving on, this is an important campaign specific thing as it's going to come up often: Underwater Combat.
Having learned hard lessons the first time I tried doing these combats, for simplicity there isn't any "true" 3D. This is just a pain to work out, confuses me and confuses the players on a regular basis. Instead I've split a battle underwater into three distinct "planes" instead of using a true 3D movement system for simplicity (and because it just seems to play better).Surface
: This is self explanatory, but this is the surface of the water and usually where things like your boat will be. This area lets you breathe and may be subject to a weather based terrain effect.Pelagic Zone
: This is basically a fancy way of saying the water in between the surface and the sea floor (also not close to the shore either). This is the "middle" zone in any underwater combat and is basically devoid of terrain (but it can posses currents, as an example hazard).Sea Floor
: This is self explanatory, this is the bottom of the ocean!
In addition bear in mind the rules for suffocation and dying while fighting underwater. You won't die terribly fast - as you take damage equal to your level and not your HS value now (which makes this a lot easier to balance). Bear in mind though that any weapon that isn't a spear or crossbow takes a -2 penalty underwater. If you are using a fire keyword attack, that also takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls. A flaming sword will end up with a -4 penalty, so I wouldn't recommend many builds based around fire damage. On the other hand, lightning and thunder based attacks gain bonuses. Lightning attacks deal an additional +2 damage per tier underwater (+2/+4/+6). A burst or blast with the thunder keyword has its burst size increased by 1 underwater. These are additionals house rules on top of the usual penalties, because I felt just having penalties was too punishing while not having any bonuses to certain things didn't make sense. So bear these mechanics in mind!Time
: You will have probably 2 weeks to apply and then I'll spend a few days deciding upon the party. Any questions just throw them into the thread. During the application process I'll endeavor to respond to people builds and such with various suggestions/comments. Otherwise good luck!
Edit: You can submit up to three characters, but they have to be different roles.