Friday, September 19, 2014

Campaign Pitch #3 - Crusaders and Sorcery
When the Third Imperium tumbled into ruin, the chivalric orders who supported the Imperitor were blamed for the fall, and many were forced to flee the lands of the old Imperium and into exile. Some boarded ship and, trusting in the grace of Velas, sailed for the legendary south, to seek atonement and new lands to conquer and rule. And so they did, their fleets landing on the northern shores of the fabled southern continent, Azaria. The cities of the Pearl Coast fell quickly to the crusaders, and the northerners pushed inland over the mountains and across the plateau of Styria. There they stopped, their advance halted at the city of Kel Hazza by a vast sea of sand, the Great Thooz Desert.
The crusaders settled down to rule their conquered lands and peoples, and more refugees and fortune seekers from the north joined them as rumors spread of their success.  Many ended up in the melting pot of Kel Hazaa, and listened to the wild tales of the desert related by turbaned men in the shadows of bustleing souks. Tales of savage cults who sacrifice humans to their foul beast gods, of ancient civilizations buried in the sands, of mysterious realms across the vast expanse of desert, of dark sorcery and cruel kings, and the siren call of legendary riches beyond the dreams of men.


This campaign is set in the same world as Westmist, but some 250 years earlier than that campaign. It's part sword and sorcery, and part chivalry and crusade. Think Conan with the Knights Templer bolted on. Outremer meets Hyborian Koth and Zamora [go ahead, Google them. I'll wait]. All players characters start as new arrivals from the north. In keeping with the sword and sorcery feel, the campaign will be demihuman and humanoid light. No orcs, goblins, kobolds, or other 1HD humanoid cannon fodder. Players may take elves, dwarves, and halflings from the north as characters, but there are no 'indiginous' groups of these demihumans in the southern lands. At least not that you know of ...

The campaign starts out in the city of Kel Hazza. This is going to be a “sandbox” type campaign. unlike Westmist/Stonehell there isn't going to be one obvious place to start. You'll have lots of options to go do what you want. I expect it will be typically dungeon or city centered for the first bit, but ultimately I see it becoming more about heading out across the desert and exploring whatever can be found. Want to explore old tombs? Sure. Hire out as caravan guards and see where you end up? You bet. Follow-up on rumors of lost cities in the desert? Lead the way. Take on the local bandit king? More power to you. Become the local bandit king? Fill your boots. Play the lawful good paladin and right the wrongs of the world under the banner of your god in heathen lands? Do it. Wander where you will, and find adventure where you will.

Inspiration? Read a couple of Conan stories (No, don't watch the movies. read Tower of the Elephant or The Slithering Shadow or Red Nails). Anything about the Crusades. The movie Kingdom of Heaven is  decent background; it gives a feel for the the uneasy mix of cultures, and for the visuals.

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