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[D&D 3.5] City of Shadows
#1
"Something was not right in Istivin... More than a few speculated in private that it seemed that the taint of war had brought a touch of the Abyss..."
Living Greyhawk Gazetteer

I'm looking for a four to six brave souls to investigate rumors of a dark presence in Istivin, capital city of the March of Sterich.

Quote:Sterich is a country with a troubled past* — a past steeped in blood and violence. Despite its grim history, Sterich is also one of the oldest civilizations of the Flanaess. It existed as a vassal state of Keoland several centuries before the crowning of the first overking in Rauxes. As the capital of Sterich, Istivin has been at the heart of the nation’s troubles throughout.


Unfortunately for Istivin’s current inhabitants, the city seems to have inherited a double portion of misfortune of late. Istivin is in a state of paranoia inspired by feuding nobles in the day and enforced by something dark and unexplainable in the night. Fights break out, deadly accidents occur, people go mad, and citizens disappear with increasing regularity. The streets stand deserted after dark and watch patrols are scarce, rarely responding to cries for help. It doesn’t take newcomers to the city long to realize that Istivin is a broken place.

The ruler of Istivin, Marquis Querchard, is missing, gone now four years. His wife, Marchioness Resbin Dren Emondav, stepped in to fill her missing husband’s shoes. This no-nonsense woman has attempted to take the city by a tight rein to end the current crisis. She is intelligent, though lacking in imagination, and sees the absolute rule of law as the answer to Istivin’s troubles, yet she fears the madness lurking in Istivin’s alleys as much as anyone. To this end, she remains holed up in Krelont Keep issuing decrees to battle the parasitic gentry plaguing the city by day and the unknown terrors of the night. The city watch does what it can during the day to enforce her edicts, but their resolve is weakening rapidly. The city’s current edicts include laws barring the entry of all unauthorized personnel into Krelont Keep and the military citadels of the city to prevent sabotage. Strangers and citizens alike are rudely rebuffed by contingents of heavily armed guards stationed at the entrances to these buildings. Individuals caught impersonating nobles of Sterich or Keoland face short trials and quick executions. Those caught inciting violence through word or deed face long sentences in the city gaols. Anyone suspected of succumbing to madness can be arrested and detained indefinitely for "the safety of the March"; what defines "madness" is left dangerously vague. An unofficial curfew of nightfall is rarely enforced. Istivin is not a despotic, tyrannical city, but to the uninitiated it may appear that way.


*Some of you may remember Sterich from Gary Gygax's legendary "GDQ" series of modules that included the classic Against the GiantsVault of the Drow, and Queen of he Demonweb Pits adventures. City of Shadows is, like the G- and D-series, an arc of three linked adventures. It could be considered a pseudo-sequel to those modules, and it references their events from time to time, but you don't actually need knowledge of them to play. If you're familiar with them, you may recognize a few fun Easter eggs here and there, though.

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5
Level 11 -- you can expect to advance to roughly level 13.
Books: PHB, PHB2 and DMG, plus anything in the "Complete" series that's not tied to a specific setting is definitely okay. Material from other books is probably fine too, but ask first. The only thing I'm likely to say no to is stuff that introduces entirely new systems that vastly change the game (psionics, etc). Want to play a goblin? We can talk about it. Want to take Vow of Poverty? We can talk about it.
Races: I'd like at least half of the group to be human. Besides that, any of the PHB races are fine. Anything else, ask first.
Classes: Early on, it won't matter a whole lot, but a good mix is always nice to have. Later... let's just say you'll want a strong offense and a good healer. My rule on level-dipping and prestige classes is "don't abuse it" -- other than that, use your blocks to build what you want.
Alignments: I'm not strictly disallowing characters with evil alignments. I am strictly disallowing characters that, for whatever reason, are disruptive to the group and/or ridiculous caricatures. You can play evil -- if you can be trusted to play evil like a mature adult.
Ability Scores: Use the "elite array" -- 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8, placed however you want. Don't forget about your improvements from 4th and 8th level!

It's worth mentioning that I won't be using initiative here -- it slows things down more than I'd like. Instead a "round" will just be the time between GM posts (usually 2-3 days). Things happen in the order in which they're posted. So feats like Improved Initiative probably aren't something you'll want to look at too hard. There may end up being a couple of other house rules, too, but nothing too complicated.
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#2
Nothing? Not even a nibble? Well, alrighty then, guess I'll chuck my hat in the ring.

I'll have to dig through my boxes for my old 3.5 stuff, but I shouldn't have any problems getting something put together.
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#3
That's one!

Yeah, I'm a little surprised this hasn't seen more traffic, but, you know, weekend. Maybe things will pick up once everybody is back at work bored out of their skulls again. I'll give it a few more days. Hopefully there's enough interest to move forward.
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#4
I'd be down for this.
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#5
Pow! That's two. Surely there's at least one more brave soul out there willing to risk life and limb in pursuit of Adventure?
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#6
Just to jump in here real quick.  With two players if you guys want to start the game up, you can go ahead and ask for the thread with two players.   We just like you to have four because in lends to the longevity of the game.

Just to bear in mind though,  we don't keep unfinished games like plothook.  Only finished ones get Archived. So if the game dies and its not finished, it just gets deleted.
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#7
Thanks, Spiral. That's good to know.

However, I think the bare minimum I'd want to have here is three people not counting myself, preferably four or five. Even with three I'd likely have to tweak some things to give the players a chance -- the climaxes of the second and third modules are tough! (Plus, yeah, the longevity thing. More players = less of a crisis if one goes AWOL.) If there isn't more interest in the next couple of days, I'll likely backburner this campaign and come up with something else instead. I can always try again later, maybe even convert it to a shinier-but-similar system like Pathfinder or 5e to make it a little more appealing to these kids today with their video games and their rock and roll music.

That said, I'm not giving up just yet. So if anyone is reading this who hasn't already posted in the thread, and you're interested in playing, speak up! There's still time to jump in.
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#8
Just a quick update on this one:

It's been over a week since anyone responded to this thread, but I'd still like to run this if I can get one or two more people added to the party. With interest in this particular adventure apparently being pretty low, though, I'm also moving on and prepping a new campaign using a different system. That's not to say this one is dead in the water, I'm just not going to let slow or nonexistent recruitment in one game prevent me from running others, is all.

If anyone else wants to join this, we can definitely still get things moving here.
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#9
Just spotted this, and I'm game. I miss all those old Dungeon magazine proto-Adventure Path stuff, and this is a good one.
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#10
And that's three! Welcome aboard, Zarthrax!

Assuming @ Ramen and @Helmslock are still in, we can get started! I'll get the forum requested right away!

There's still room for more if anybody else wants in, but if we only end up with the three, that's completely workable. I'll likely give you all a capable-but-not-as-capable-as-the-player-characters support NPC (bard? healer? aristocrat? depends on what you all decide to make, but they'll definitely be less impressive than the stars of the show) to round out the group and help provide exposition.
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A gaming group started in late 2005 when several members (from all over the world) came together on a long-running forum website called Plothook.net (formally known as Highmoon.net). Several games transformed from a by-the-book format to highly modified versions that became new hybrid systems with completely custom rules and abilities. Ten years later, these faithful players wanted to secure their work and their stories, becoming the basis of these forums.