Shadows over the Inner Sea
Centuries ago, the Aberrations Wars tore the land apart. The South was saved through the combined might of the Higher Circle of Wizards and the Elder Seers of the Elven Council. By erecting a colossal Shimmering Wall, they prevented the Aberrations from approaching the South. Alas, the Lands of Kaneth were lost to the Horrors, while the fate of the Northern lands remained unknown for decades. Years passed. Memories of the Horrors faded. The sons and daughters of southern lords, eager for fame and lands to call their own, began to form companies to cross the Inner Sea and explore the Northern Coast. After many trials and misfortunes, the Northern Kingdoms were born out of an unforgiving land, and prosperous trade was established between the North and the South.
While an uneasy peace now exists between the Inner Sea states, conflicts abound. In the South, noble families, prince merchants and guilds conspire to amass greater wealth and power. Trade between the two coasts has become more dangerous with the rise of a new, ferocious pirate-king. Meanwhile, the Northern Kingdoms continually fight for their very survival, with few in the South understanding the plights of Northerners.
Perils abound in these troubled times. The land calls for heroes. Adventures await the bold. Will you answer the call?
I have been GMing on and off since the mid-1980s – I have done AD&D 1st, 2nd and 3rd Ed, and then went into hibernation during D&D 4th Ed. I have also played a bit of Star Wars, GURPS, Savage World, Vampire, and Shadow Run over the years.
I enjoy character development, world building, and interactive storylines. I like to mix exploration, social interaction, and combat. My sessions tend to vary and adapt based on what the group responds to. I use rules as a guide, but will adjust with house rules or make something on the fly if it enhances the story.
About the Campaign
This campaign will use an episode format, ran bi-weekly (see below for details). This provides some flexibility for players who may need to take a hiatus from the game due to work or studies by having clear breaks in the storyline, and the opportunity for a player to invite a friend to join the group for a few sessions.
We will use D&D 5th Edition. A brief campaign guide is available for players to familiarize you with the game world and allow you to create a character that is well integrated into the region. Do not expect everything in the PHB to be available or as described. The region and organizations will continue to be fleshed out as we see which plot lines the group decides to pursue, and those interested will be able to contribute to this effort.
The region is divided in five areas:
- The Elven Cities
- The Southern Cities
- The Northern Kingdoms
- The Islands of the Inner Sea
- The Lost Lands of Kaneth
There campaign will start on a ship bound for the Northern Kingdoms. Each character will have a purpose for being on the ship, and some PCs may know each other. We will flesh this out during game character creation.
There are several plot lines that will be presented to the group through adventure hooks – you choose which leads to follow, and decide where to go from there. Sub-plots will also emerge based on the Player Character’s background and personal goals. Some of the plot lines left unexplored by the group will evolve, and the PCs will likely hear news of these events. While the campaign itself is about the story of the PCs, these additional plot lines are intended to provide the feel of a living, evolving world surrounding the PCs. Your decisions will have an impact on some of the major events in the Region, and how your adventures evolve, based on who your PCs help, the enemies they make, and the stones they leave unturned.
I prefer having a session as a group to create PCs. However, this can be preceded by e-mail exchanges to discuss initial character concepts, backgrounds, personalities, and motives. I like to ensure a character is well connected to the world, and will help you adjust the initial concept to ensure your character fits well with both the party and the region. I treat character creation as an iterative process, where we exchange ideas and provide feedback until you have a character that you are excited to play and that fits well in the campaign.
Please do not provide characters with pre-generated stats, detailed storylines or from other campaigns / game worlds. I have found in the past that trying to play a PC from another campaign tends to be frustrating for both the player and the GM.
How Do I Run Games?
I like to run bi-weekly episodic games, from 4-6 hours in length. We will adjust the schedule based on the group’s availability and preferences. Each episode will have a distinct start and finish, and will typically take 1-3 game sessions to play out. An episode may focus on a main plot line, be an independent adventure, or be focused on a sub-plot that focuses more on one or a few PCs.
There may be in-game time lapses of days, weeks or months between episodes, in which case some e-mail exchanges may take place to discuss what your PCs do during their free time to flesh out their background and the new skills they develop beyond assigning points.
I encourage players to commit to the sessions for an entire episode as much as possible. If someone needs to take a break from the game, it is better done at the start of an episode, as it is easier to insert a PC later on in the episode, than to make the character “disappear” half way through the story in an unlikely location.