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Author Topic: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)  (Read 1312 times)

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Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« on: February 16, 2015, 02:11:31 AM »
A millennia ago, the ten billionth person was born. Humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings had ruled o'er the earth, driving out dragons and monstrous creatures from their domains until from sea to sea, until the world was without frontier. It ten thousand years, civilization had reached its' zenith. Arcane and divine magic provided for the people- feeding the masses, restoring the sick and providing for the poor. Such an age was unparalleled in history.

Then, magic began to fail. Acolyte clerics called in vain to the Gods- the TRUE Gods. But their cries went upon deaf ears. Wizards and sorcerers found themselves without pupils. No one had known how long this had persisted beneath notice- but every generation was less and less suited to uphold the great empires that their ancestors had built. Within a century, the first great famines had begun. For every three who survived, a fourth did not. Starvation and disease brought collapse to every nation. It was as if all the averted disasters of a world without magic was thrust upon us in an instant.

The period that followed was known as the Dark Times. There were wars. There were persecutions. There were the burning of books and heretics. Efforts were made to bring the magic back, but they all failed. When solutions were not forthcoming, madness and misery pervaded- until the innocent were sacrificed to feed hopeful delusions to the masses. Perhaps the insanity was part of this darkness that pervaded over everything. For my kind, the elves, we became less fertile and our lives were shortened. Few of us now remain. I fear time will end us all, leaving only Men and their Gods...

The dead did not remain as such. At first, widowed lovers and orphaned children welcomed the return of their loved ones. Disfigured and preserved, perhaps... but seemingly endowed with all the wits they had about them in life. Soon, thousands upon thousands rose from the dead... but in time, they all suffered the same fate- going mad or catatonic. Many were destroyed, while others simply became husks- content to lay wherever they were, untouched by the buzzards and the maggots, mute reminders of the world that was.

Then the Blight came. It is like far undeath, but worse. It grows and consumes everything in its path. Even now, the Great Forest spreads o'er the earth, corrupting everything in its path. To consume the flesh of a blighted animal, to inhale the vapors of black wood or to eat from its fruit... is to suffer the Blight's most peculiar sickness. Even the sky above seems blackened. Rainless clouds sweep over all. This shall be the end of us all- not the Lords of Men or undeath or anything else... but the slow corruption of everything- until the whole world is veiled in death.

Yet it did not end there.

For hundreds of years, it was known that 'Gods' and their apostles required a mortal host to live in our world. Unable to manifest their physical bodies into our dimension, they instead plunged into the minds of the weak and frail. But in these dark times, they grew stronger... possessing the best among us and bringing about the ruin of the fragile kingdoms and nations that had been rebuilt in the years following the Great Famines. Once again, we were set back.

In the past century, the world has come under their dominion. The Lords of Men, they call themselves. Gods, the people call them. Most do not know any better, and those who oppose them suffer most unspeakable horrors. The barriers are broken, and their apostles now freely travel to our world in their own hellish forms. This world is rife with them and their kin, the tieflings. A young race, perhaps, but one that has now eclipsed the dwarves and my own elvenkind in prominence. I suspect this is deliberate. The Lords of Men seek to outbreed humanity, by watering the family trees with their own fell blood.

Such is the state of our world now. In this twilight, it seems like everything will go away sooner or later. I have lived through much of this, owing to my kind's lifespan... things have only gotten worse for us sorry lot who remain. Yet... they used to call the early times the Age of Heroes, when men and women fought dragons. It must have been easy to be a hero back then... The people of Refuge today are hard. I have seen a village where they stack the bodies of dead demons outside their walls, where a widowed mother faced down an apostle with nothing but a dagger and the love she bore for her children. There are those who selflessly tread the blight, those who continue to push on even when everything seems lost. There is much evil and misery to be found in our world today, but never have there such heroes, even among the lowliest of men and women.

Offline FragarachZ

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 03:35:40 AM »
Sounds interesting, rather dark with a hint of Berserk I seem to feel about it. Eager to learn more of how you want to run this :)

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 07:28:47 AM »
 I'm of course interested.

Offline ExisD

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 10:30:58 AM »
I have no idea what class I might want, but I am really interested in this idea.

Online rikka

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2015, 11:25:00 AM »
Tentative interest for this. Waiting for the mechanics.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2015, 11:37:43 AM »
Yuss, Berserk is definitely an influence. As is the Souls series, Diablo, and most recently Darkest Dungeon. There's even a little bit from Legend of Legaia in it, an old post-apocalyptic JRPG. The thing that struck me about that game was that perseverance of ordinary people seemed to be a recurring theme. The world was covered in a mist that was full of monsters and zombie-like people whom the monsters attached themselves to. Half the towns you went to were either dungeons that needed to be liberated or places that managed to find some sort of way to hold back the mist (Tall walls, windmills which pushed it away, sealed caves, and a tower so high that the mist only went up half the floors.)

D&D 5e brings back the tiers of character level, which is something I really like. In this world, most commoners are likely around 5th level with PC classes. The PCs won't be peasants, of course. (Unless you want them to be) but I am considering starting anywhere from 6th to... eh, maybe 9th.

So, a village of about 40 people could probably take on most of the demons and devils in the monster manual with a few casualties. :p But then again, I do not think I will use those statblocks. I have yet to comb over all the books, but I like what I see so far and I have heard that creating monsters is very easy.

The last time I did this idea, it was with pathfinder and it fell apart for.. a number of reasons. :P I liked the concept for that game, though I don't mind exploring other themes in the world of Refuge. So I'll ask which of these might interest you;

An expedition into the heart of the Great Forest, composing a group of about six to a dozen PCs and NPCs. It is considered a suicide mission, and the forest is absolutely inhospitable... so your only social interaction will be with those you started the journey with... for however long they survive. But the biggest problem facing Refuge is the blight, which even the demons are absolutely terrified of. If nothing is done about it, eventually the whole world is going to become one giant evil forest.

The others are less thought out, as I didn't end up actually making any storyline off of them like the above... but the other ideas are;

Something to do with the Lords of Men. Either living in their domains as citizens and plotting to overthrow them from the inside, or trying to take them on from the outside (which would probably involve a Dragonage style 'forging an alliance' of people)

Something to do with undeath and maybe a bit further back in the timeline, to a point where a lot of demons ran human kingdoms behind the scenes, but they were not yet outright revealing themselves or passing through the dimensional barriers in physical form. The basic idea is that the PCs are given a hint about a group of previous adventurers, who were great heroes in their own right... but they eventually all split up. This would eventually lead them towards the source of the undead problem... ;)

All of these ideas are epic in nature, not necessarily in level. Each involves solving a core problem threatening the world. :P

Online rikka

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2015, 11:48:22 AM »
Whoa! 9th level! Color me interested, for now.  I pretty much like a straightforward plot, so I'd say I like the suicide  mission against the Blight.

Offline ExisD

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2015, 11:51:45 AM »
I'm in complete agreement with rikka here. Higher level + suicide missions are a lot of fun, and exactly what drew me to the first game.

Would this be a mundane classes run because I would want to do something similar to my character form last game because of how much fun she was. Probably tiefling warlock in this case.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 11:53:42 AM by ExisD »

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2015, 12:01:48 PM »
 I plan on rolling either a ranger rogue or a melee barbarian

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2015, 08:36:56 PM »
Seems like 9th level it is, then. :P

ExisD, I would say.. a refluffing of a spell-casting class like warlock or sorcerer or wizard could work. You'd be an alchemist that mechanically functions as the base class for the most part. I would say that spells couldn't have a range beyond 30 feet (as far as you could chuck a bottle, pretty much) and obviously things that couldn't really be the product of a concoction wouldn't be possible. IE; Call Lightning would not be appropriate, but Darkness could be refluffed as being an alchemical smoke-bomb. Cure Wounds or Contagion would be something you pour on somebody as a touch.

Some things about the core races, classes.

Humans and Tieflings are the only common race. Everything else is considered uncommon and are generally not as fertile or longevitous as they once were.
Dwarves have largely gone into hiding underground after an alliance of all the goodly races was crushed by the possessed Duke of Lefure, who paved the way for the demonic scourge.
Elves remain above-ground, in small communities usually cloistered high up in the mountains. People assume they are still up there, but most people don't know for certain.
Wood Elves are teetering on the brink of extinction- they did not participate in any of the wars but have been stubbornly trying to keep to the blighted forests. They have become almost the subject of superstition, and like all things associated with the blight, are considered cursed and tainted.
No drow. ;)
Halflings are a little more common than their non-human brethren, mostly because they've clung to human lands. Still, there's not too many of them left. Most have settled down, the roads becoming much too dangerous. Others have made veritable rolling fortresses out of their caravans.
No dragonborn. ;)
Or gnomes. They are even more elusive and mythic than before.
Half-elves are relatively more common than their elven parents. But they're still few and far between.
No half-orcs. No orcs, for that matter. ;)

Tieflings. They might compose... 20% or so of the world population. But considering that there were next to nil 100 years ago, that is a huge growth spurt. They are the product of a deliberate attempt to muddle the gene pool of the surviving population so that the Lords of Men can control them better. While the original generation was most likely entirely the product of raping female humans, subsequent generations more and more often have either tiefling mothers and human fathers.... or both parents as tieflings. The demons breed them like rabbits, and will always prefer a human sperm donor to a human egg donor on the basis that they can more easily control a tiefling mother than a human one harboring a half-breed in her womb. This means that most tieflings today are born under the yoke of the Lords of Men. Still, many have escaped or are the product of several generations removed from the original rape.

The tieflings who live amongst humans are often mistrusted, even if they were born within that community. Among more irrational communities, they are usually the first scapegoat whenever something goes wrong. Tiefling strangers are almost always considered some sort of spy for the demons... which is often a very good assumption, as they are used for that purpose.

Barbarians cover a wide range of peoples. Most of the times, it does not describe a certain tribe or way of life, but how one merely fights in the face of adversity. A barbarian could be a town's man-at-arms who ferociously fights the demonic horde.

Bards are in fact very common. Their ability to make light of a bad situation and bring people together and liven their spirits is in fact very valued. Mechanically, they would not have any spell-casting. Or their spell-casting would be a form of alchemy that has limited effects.

Clerics are just about all gone. Magic still exists in some slight sliver, but it is unreliable. Divine magic even moreso. Even if someone was born with the gift for divine magic, the odds that they still believe the Gods exist is slim to none. Most people will say that the Lords of Men are gods and old pantheon has been completely forgotten or considered a false religion.

What few Druids that remain have become enigmatic and rare things. Most are half-mad, driven to insanity by the blight. Most are wood elves, reluctant to leave their thousand-year homes. There are few 'new' druids being initiated. Most nations on the edge of the Great Forest are completely deserted- that's how terrified of it people are.

Fighters are... well, fighters. ;)

Monks were pretty common in the East, but as the Great Forest has split the continent of Loth Carnon in half and the seas are pretty perilous, many people occasionally wonder if their far eastern brothers are doing any better... When the kingdoms of Kiampur and Sangkur fell to ruin at the spread of the Great Forest into the south, there was a mass exodus. Many died on the seas, while others landed in Lefure. Unbeknownst to them, already under the rule of the demon-possessed Duke who would later proclaim himself first of the Lords of Men.

Paladins are largely gone like their cleric brethren. The old knighthoods have long histories that were mostly expunged during the wars against the Duke of Lefure. Vaelor Roxaneis was already considered one of the last paladins alive when he died in combat against the Duke. He has since become undead and may be the last remaining paladin alive. He has made little effort to keep his tradition alive, as his own power has significantly waned.

Rangers are both valued and feared. The blight poses and immense risk to ordinary people. One false step can lead to infection and a gruesome death. Even the non-predatory animals there pose a threat. Most of the food in the forests is tainted... but to those who can tread the blight, to those who can forage that fraction of untainted food from those depths- their skills are invaluable. Still, most of them are considered... 'creepy' I mean, what sane person would willingly go into that abomination-filled wastland? Oh wait, that's all the PCs. ;)

Rogues and Fighters are probably among the most common classes. Both are different paths towards the same end- surviving. Many tieflings become rogues, trained as such to infiltrate human settlements or because their neighbors' prejudicial nature has made burglary easier than the straight and narrow path.

Sorcerers and Wizards are just about all gone. People believe they existed at one point, sure... but now a days they exist only in cultural memory.

Warlocks are often tieflings or devil worshippers, granted their powers by the Lords of Men themselves. Archfey warlocks are much like druids, considered mad and repulsive. Great Old One warlocks are rare, but they exist. They draw their power from... somewhere. Not even the warlocks themselves know where this power comes from.

So, as you can tell.. Magic simply doesn't exist except in very rare circumstances. Most of those circumstances are also derived from the fiends themselves. How to implement this mechanically, I am not sure. For the moment don't get too attached to the idea of playing a spell caster or having magic items.

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2015, 12:23:44 PM »

 Here's the start of my gal. She's a courier, someone who runs messages, items, and people between settlements.

Offline ExisD

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2015, 06:40:34 PM »
I'm still looking through everything, but here's what I have so far:

A former soldier of the fiendish armies who deserted and has been running from those who would drag her back.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2015, 12:11:47 AM »
Is that pronounced like 'Min-kay' or 'Mink'? :P

This shall be an interesting party, I think. While I would like a lot of PCs like last time, I also feel that was part of the problem. Then again, it seemed like most of the problem wasn't how many people we had but who we had.. as there seemed to be a lot of.. conflict between everyone. x_x

Offline ExisD

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2015, 12:51:49 AM »
Mink I think....

I can't remember the pronunciation text from the random name generator I use for characters.

Also, should I advance her to level 9? I did 6 at first because I didn't know where in the spread we'd be and it's easier to level up than level down.

Offline CeruleanSerenity

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2015, 02:48:47 AM »
I might possibly be interested in this, depending on the details and how it develops... I don't have much free time at the moment, but I'll be keeping an eye on this.

Online rikka

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2015, 06:06:05 AM »
My character Ange who is part of a isolated village which strives in surviving the dark and dangerous times.

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2015, 09:25:13 AM »
 So we have a rogue, warlock, and barbarian so far. Now we just need a healer and we have a semi-traditional 4-person party :P

Offline ExisD

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2015, 09:51:23 AM »
Does 5e have a non-magical healer? I didn't think it did going by what classes were there, but I could imagine ranger having some healing.

Offline ShadowFox89

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2015, 09:55:30 AM »
 It doesn't. Ranger doesn't really have much, nor do paladins. They can heal, but not well, often, and not without giving up their usefulness in combat.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2015, 10:11:41 AM »
Well, I believe strongly that crunch matches the fluff. Though I came up with the setting for 3.5, I think it adapts better to 5e. Having very little healing aside from rest is thematically appropriate. At the end of an eight hour rest, you recover all hit points anyway. In the middle of battle, though... well, you can use Wisdom(medicine) to stabilize a dying character. ;) It would also have a bunch of applications fluff-wise as well.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2015, 02:35:33 PM »
My inclination for this is to change the plot from the Expedition to something else, likely the one involving the Lords of Men.

Mostly because I kind of made the expedition with a lot of players in mind, and I feel like even the story was based around that. So the new idea would be based around some catalyzing event like a great demonic army being mobilized to invade the remaining survivor's strongholds.

Online rikka

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2015, 03:58:11 PM »
So is this still on? :)

Offline ExisD

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2015, 04:56:39 PM »
I think that new idea might fit my character more than the first one so that sounds good to me.

Offline schnookums

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2015, 04:44:19 PM »
I thought I had posted here...obviously not though. I'm interested as well if you'd have me.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Gauging Interest; Refuge Redux (D&D 5e)
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2015, 09:49:50 PM »
Hmm. I might just postpone this a bit. I wanted to run a 5e game, but I think Refuge is not the best setting for it... instead, you ought to look at this.

It's much more light-hearted, I think. ;)