First of all, for certain people who might be glaring at me, don't worry, I am still interested in the game ideas that we haven't actually got rolling yet. It's just that my "thinking stuff up" has been nagging at this idea for a bit. With this I can finally either drop it, deciding "not enough interest" or mark it down as something to start, then officially hold it off until I finish getting those other games going. So don't worry, Moth, Lovelynice. Still interested :)
Now, for the gist of this:
For those who don't know, the Blood War is a little thing that is happening in most D&D settings, and if the PCs are lucky they never go there. The Demons and Devils are having a little tizzy, by which I mean "are engaged in an eternal struggle, neither side ever actually winning, as infinite souls are sent to their deaths".
This tends to happen on the plane right between the Nine Hells of Baator and the Abyss: Hades. Here is my idea:
The players are all part of a unit - either side, it doesn't matter. They might have their own relationships amongst themselves, with varying opinions of each other - respect, dominance, rivalry, love, lust, friendship, trust...
At some point, things will go pear-shaped. Maybe you'll all find yourselves with an opportunity to actually escape onto the Prime, where you won't need to fight for your lives. Maybe a previously undiscovered demi-plane or city will be found and you'll be able to set up a place of your own, and have an interesting "Lower Plane city development, political and occasional military game".
Now, the Blood War itself is a really fierce thing. It'll start with you guys having an NPC commander who you could team up on and beat if you wanted to - just so you don't think I'm waving a godlike NPC around. You'd probably have some large overarching goal such as "Claim this larval farm.", which would be divided up into smaller objectives. Basically, instead of hacking through a million encounters (Diablo style, but even more boring!), there'd be bits of "Quick, move move move!", finding ways to get ahead without combat, a couple of skirmishes, a little strategy... with your actions affecting the morale of the other troops.
Until things go pea-shaped, that is. When that happens, it'll largely be character-driven, with me throwing wrenches in. Quests will still be available, even if you can't just go fetch them from the local pub.
So be aware that there will be violent combat. I'm not going to go heavy on the descriptions of exposed entrails, "Saving Private Ryan" made me queasy. But death and explosions will be surrounding you guys. The idea will be for the characters to feel under pressure for a while. But perhaps you'll form relationships with the NPCs, too. Heck, what if everyone is trapped underground by a large explosion, with some enemy NPCs? Do you kill them, work out a non-violence deal until you can escape together, assert your dominance, try to get along, play a children's card game with them?
The game system will be D&D 3.5, however there are some houserules I'll be using.
1. You're all fiends in this Blood War. We'll be using the Fiendish classes from http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=646241
to create the characters. You can take any combinations of levels in "True Fiend", "Fiendish Brute" and "Conduit of the Lower Planes", and can use these to either mimic existing fiend types (example: Extra Arms x2, Constricting Fiend and Large Fiend make a Marilith), or be something unique.
The game will start at level 5, and your first 3 levels must be chosen from the above, in any combination. After that, you can keep going, or branch out to regular classes. We will not be using Multiclass XP Penalties, so don't worry.
Though it is, being war, likely to be Heavy, I'll leave that up to player interest. Let me know what you're after in a game like this!
The base races used, for adding those classes to, are as follows:
Human: Yep, regular human. Bonus feat, bonus skill points etc. You'll become an Outsider however. This is sort of a run-of-the-mill standard fiend, for easy modification.
Aasimar: I know, it says they're part-Celestial. Just think of these as "The pretty fiends". No Level Adjustment, I'm so nice.
Tiefling: No Level Adjustment, and they lose the penalty to Charisma. They're likely the sneakier fiend types, like Babau.
Spiker: (From the Planar Handbook), most likely related to the Hamatula (Spine Devils). Gain the Outsider type.
Diabolus: (From the Dragon Comendium), no Level Adjustment, likely to be related to bruiser/scary fiends.
Bladelings: (From the Fiend Folio), these keep their Level Adjustment +1, and are similar to Spikers.
If there's another Planetouched, no hit-dice thing you have your heart set on, ask me and I might allow it.
Feel free to change the appearance. Really, you probably should.
It'd be preferable if the players were all of the same type (Demon or Devil), but I could create two smaller groups, one of each (depending on interest I suppose). Not sure how many players I'm looking for at the moment. For the record, it's not first-come-first-serve. It'll be based on which ideas I like the best, and which players show interest that I think I like the style of - some players just get automatic preference with me, because I like them.
Also, if Demons are chosen, there's a Dicefreaks option, Ravages, that I'll allow, to a degree. If Devils are chosen, I'll think of some similar benefit, maybe a structured rank-based thing, where medals awarded, trophies collected and souls harvested all net you benefits.
Other classes, prestige classes and feats by K can also be chosen, and as this is war, everyone can choose one of the two to receive for free: Weapon Finesse or Power Attack.
Some of K's other things:http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=681572http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?p=9483435
Talk to me about the various sourcebooks you want to use. I'm flexible.
I'll be honest: You'll probably gain a number of levels fairly quickly. I also don't actually mind powerful characters, as long as no single character outshines his or her peers. So if you're all really tricked out, it's still fine. Expect there to be additional rewards for things not related to stabbing people in the face, too. So don't feel bad if your main skills are in getting contracts signed, for instance. Just try to be *passable* at a couple of things. With fiendish classes, that's pretty easy, they're designed to be passable at everything and fantastic at one or two things.
So, let's see what kind of interest we have.