Dark Enterprise

DM: Gersh
Ruleset: 4e

This is the homepage for Gersh’s Dark Enterprise Campaign. More information to come.

The campaign will take place in The Northern Kingdoms. Start reading there for history and backstory.

Mechanics

  • Ruleset: 4e; nearly anything is allowed. BUT, your character MUST fit within the world and the story. So if you want to be a Shardmind Psion… you better give me a damn good reason why. Heroes of the Fallen Lands style characters are acceptable.
  • Background bonus: We’re going to do this a little differently. I want you guys to feel really invested in your characters and to have really good backstories for them. So instead of you picking your background bonus, we’ll come up with it together depending on your background.
  • Starting Level: 5 But I might change my mind. If I do, I’ll change my mind upward.
  • Stats are standard point-buy. Itemization is a level 4, 5, and 6 item of your choice + 840 gp. If the level changes, so will the itemization, so wait on that until the level is finalized.
  • Tools: We will be using MapTool for the game “board” (if you will) and either TeamSpeak, Skype or Ventrilo or Google Talk for voice chat. I haven’t figured that out yet.

Plot Hook

I’m going to be honest.

I don’t like the first twenty minutes of almost all D&D games, where 4-6 strangers meet up in a tavern, get a cryptic quest from a cryptic person, are openly hostile to each other for 5 minutes, then slightly nice for 5 minutes, and then best friends for the entire rest of the game. It feels wrong to me.

So, we’re going to play this a little differently.

The game starts in the dining room of Mayor Varien, the current ruler of Coronus, and he has a mission for you. Like his other rival rulers, Varien has put together a group of heroes that he can use to project power in places his regular army (or town guard, in this case) cannot. You are that group. You all know each other; you’ve all worked together before. As we build the party, you are free to define your relationships to each other at the outset as part of your backgrounds. Are any of you friends? Longtime friends? Rivals? Lovers? Do any of you dislike each other? You decide, and explore the ramifications of those relationships as the game progresses. These relationships can/should be hammered out in the Ambitions Forums prior to the game starting.

Also, if we’re discussing non-public information about your character (or things you don’t want the rest of the party to know about you yet), mark it in some way on the forums. Eventually, you all will have your own character page on the wiki here, and all public background information about you should be posted. (By public, I mean known to the party)

If one and maybe two of you wants to be a newcomer to the group, I will consider it, as that has the possibility to shake up existing relationships, which can be fun.

Background Knowledge: For each trained skill you have, you will receive a nugget of background information. This can be anything from uncommon knowledge about the The Northern Kingdoms to the local gossip around Coronus, but whatever it is, you can be sure it is not on this wiki, because it isn’t common knowledge. You will also get to make one skill check in one of your trained skills. Based on that check, you will get an additional piece of Background Knowledge that is not well known at all.

It’s up to you what you do with this information. Maybe you keep it in your back pocket for future reference, maybe you tell one or two members of the party about it. What I’d like to avoid is at the dinner with Varien, you all spill to each other about whatever secret knowledge you have. Not only is that not really in character for you all, but maybe some of the information you have should be discussed in front of him……… DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!

Tone

So, we have this big, shiny wiki that I’m spending way too much of my time putting content on. Once the game starts, there will be up-to-date pages for each NPC, PC, and major location in the game, plus recap posts about what happened during the game, blah, blah, blah.

This, I feel gives us the opportunity to have a game with a lot of subtlety and nuance. Ergo, the game is going to be role-play centric with a LOT of plot complexity, because you can always double-check something in mid-game. As a party, you will be dealing with Politics, Economics, Diplomacy with foreign entities, AND Skull-Bashing. You may be involved in the Economics of Diplomacy and the Politics of Skull-Bashing as well.

Having said that, there will be a lot of combat too, so you should make sure your characters are reasonably well optimized, and that you know how to kick-ass as a team.

The tone of the game I can only describe as Order of the Stick like. What I mean is that games, including this, should be fun, and you should have fun playing them. But the overall plot has a serious tone, and I’d like that to be taken seriously.

Houserules

Many of you know my houserules from when we played D&D on pen and paper, but as I remember them, I’ll list them here.

  • Due to restrictions with MapTool, ties go to the attacker, just the way the game says they should.
  • Skill Checks, Automatic: Natural 20 and Natural 1 is not automatic success or failure.
  • Skill Checks, Assisting: To assist someone else in making a skill check, your check must be at least half the DC. If you get that, you give the primary check a +2 bonus. (Example: PC A is trying to climb up a wall. PC B has climbed to the top and secured a rope. DC for the Athletics check to climb is 15. PC B rolls Athletics to help by actively pulling on the rope and helping PC A up: he rolls a 10. PC A gets a +2 bonus on their check)
  • Skill Checks, Knowledge: Over the course of the game, you will be able to make “Local Knowledge” checks in specific categories using your trained skills (trained only). Each skill has a particular type of knowledge associated with it. For example, the Religion skill (whether you’re trained or untrained) reflects your knowledge of Deities and Religions in the world. If you are trained in Religion, you can use it to make Knowledge checks about Jovus and the The Joint Mission of Celevar. The skill table is located here
  • Skill Checks, Detect Magic: Detect Magic is an ability allowed by any character trained in Arcana. This will allow you to… Detect Magic. It does not matter whether the magic is Divine, Arcane, or Primal. You cannot detect Divine Magic with a Religion check. It’s only Arcana.
  • Skill Checks, Passive: I will assume you are always making Passive Perception and Insight Checks, and will tell you what you see accordingly. There is no such thing as Passive Dungeoneering or Passive Athletics. All Knowledge Checks are Free Actions.
  • Monster Knowledge: This technically isn’t a houserule, but it’s good reference. Each type of monster has an associated Knowledge skill. If you want info on the monster, you can make a knowledge check as a free action (assuming you can see the enemy in question). Please reference the Skill Table.
  • Due to the fact that I no longer have a D&D Insider Subscription, I need all powers and feats (especially ones that aren’t in the builder) written out on your character sheets, and I might need the same for some items. This is important for creating the tokens that we’ll be using in combat.
  • Sometimes we will be on hexes. Sometimes we will be on squares. Diagonal movement on squares is ignored (1 square is 1 square, any direction).
  • Enemy health: I will give you indications as to the health of an enemy in the following way:
“Uninjured” Has not been damaged.
“Barely Injured” 75% < HP < 100%
“Injured” 50% < HP < 75%
“Bloodied” 10% < HP < 50%
“Near Death” HP < 10%
  • Nonlethal damage. If you would like to deal nonlethal damage to an enemy, you may choose to do so when you make your attack roll. If you do, take a -2 penalty to the attack roll. If cumulative nonlethal damage dealt to the enemy exceeds their bloodied value, the enemy is dazed until the end of the encounter or until healed. If nonlethal damage exceeds current hit points, and nonlethal damage exceeds lethal damage done, the enemy is knocked unconscious. If nonlethal damage exceeds current hit points and nonlethal damage is less than lethal damage done, the enemy is dead.
  • Sprinting: Consumes Standard, Move, and Minor Actions, move 3x your movement, and grant combat advantage until the end of your next turn.
  • The Statute of Limitations on Forgotten Actions and bonuses is one turn.
  • Critical Failure. Due to some math of MapTool being hidden, there is no Critical Failure in this campaign. Which makes me kind of sad.
  • You may submit to the DM a list of any items you would like. This dramatically increases the chance of you finding them. You can be as general as “Something that increases my damage” and as specific as “Dawn Warrior Starleather +4, Level 20 Chest Item”. You can let me know by email, private message on the Ambitions forums, or making a note on your character sheet. Verbal discussions are fine, but something in writing will help you get it later ;-)

Characters

Player Character Race Class Option
Palena Keidra Human Warlord Inspiring
ZGuy Raven Shade Assassin Night Stalker
IrishMagician Gareth Human Monk Centered Breath
Nivek Viscal Eladrin Swordmage Shielding

Story

See Dark Enterprise Story

Dark Enterprise

Ambitions LordGersh