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Vhale Arkhan
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PostSubject: Party Brainstorm   Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:37 am

Well, I haven't come up with much but I am trying. I thought we could all just brainstorm some ideas out here so maybe someone could run with one if it sounds good. Anyway the initial idea I came up with for why our group of Pc's are adventuring together was that basically they are "orphans" of the goblinoid wars 90 years ago. Since then Fallcrest has been on a downward spiral. As children we all grew up around this area (my guy potentially is from Hammerfall) seeing our parents struggle, seeing the town fight its way to carve a niche just to survive. In our minds if only there were heroes and people of substance those 90 years ago Fallcrest would be on it's way to a glorious empire instead of just a small trading town along a deteriorating river route. We decided to become adventurers with the idea in mind that peopple like us can make a difference and can go out into the wilds and stop these goblinoid armies, or evil wizards, or whatever other threat may come. We don't adventure for monetary gains or personal power, we adventure as a service to our families and the people of the towns that we came from so that in the future they can flourish from our selfless deeds.

There is a lot of colorful language in there, and it's not a well put together idea it's just something to maybe start some other ideas. So far that's all I've been able to come up with. I just want something different than, "ok, we all randomly came together, we are mercenaries, lets go get paid for a job."
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:01 am

I think brainstorming is a good place to start. I'll throw out some random ideas that have occurred to me, some really simple and some rather complex. Many of these will be lame, but I thought it might be good to start out by casting a wide net.

1. We have all grown up listening to the colorful stories of Old Bard, the town's oldest resident, who tells tales of the glory days of old Nerath to anyone who will listen. As boyhood friends we made a club and called it the Knights of Nerath--after the old order of knights dedicated to freedom and justice--and made ourselves blood brothers. We all swore to serve the ideals of Nerath as the knights of old did, and to live and die in service to our people.

2. As children we all once went camping and got lost in the woods outside of Fallcrest. Coming upon a deserted vale, we found a ghostly light and followed it to a white tree. There a translucent spirit dressed in the dessicated garb of the old kings came to us and spoke a prophecy, calling us the "Knights of the Watch" and foretelling that we would "reclaim the bloody spear" and "sing again the slow songs of dawn." We have never been able to find the tree again, but still believe that some special destiny awaits.

3. One of us is the son of Lord Markelhay, and the rest of the party his guards, servants, bastard brothers, etc. Draco Markelhay, who claims to be the trueborn son of the (deceased) Antares Markelhay of Winterhaven, has recently asserted a claim to the rightful lordship of Fallcrest. Faren Markelhay has denied this claim, but Antares has been spending a great deal of gold to raise an army to the north, and may soon try to take the town by force, so it is up to us to stop it.

4. As a group of friends, we have always hated Timmen Longjaw, who we call Dim Tim, a local bully and braggart who works as a porter near the falls, and his gang of lackeys. We've all been in tavern brawls before, and the Fallcrest Guard has had to throw us in the lockup to prevent more serious violence. One night while we are all drinking at the Lucky Gnome Taphouse, Dim Tim dares us to do something, like visit a castle that local legend considers haunted (or whatever), and in a drunken haze we agree to do it.

5. The town is falling on hard times, and we have decided that what everyone needs is more money. So we dedicate ourselves to finding gold--not loot for ourselves, but gold mines in the mountains that can make everyone rich. This could lead to chasing legends about lost cities and such.

6. Fallcrest has been recently excited by rumors of a huge war between good and evil being fought in distant lands. We decide that we want a part of the action and resolve to go enlist with the good guys. Of course, we have no idea who the good guys are, or where we would need to go, so getting there is half the fun.

7. We are all members of the Fallcrest Guard, sworn by oath to protect the town and serve the Markelhay family. Something happens, like a murder or missing person, and we have to investigate.

8. Each of us have a crush on Melisander, the flame-haired beauty of Fallcrest, and all treat each other as rivals for her affection. Melisander is kind of a cock-tease, and has presented a challenge for anyone to complete and thereby win her favor. While starting out in competition, we end up needing to cooperate in order to do whatever it is.

9. All of us, of various races and such, are orphans for various reasons. We were all raised as brothers by the saintly woman that everyone knew as Mother Iseult, who taught us all the value of honor and righteousness and raised us on stories of the ancient days when the world was full of light. She recently died of a wasting sickness, but not before making each of us swear to be the great men that she knows we all are, that she taught us to be, and to use our gifts to bring light back into the world.

10. We are childhood friends who have recently started our own porting business. Being young and stupid, we underestimated the power of the Porting Guild, which is slowly crushing us out of business. Without knowing what to do with ourselves, we are looking for something different, whether a new kind of business or some dramatic injection of adventure into our lives.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:55 am

I actually like a combination of Patrick's orphan idea, and of Matt's ideas 1 and 2

[Our PCs] are orphans...we have all grown up listening to the colorful stories of Old Bard, the [vale's] oldest resident, who [visits during annual festivals a couple times each year, telling] tales of the glory days of old Nerath to anyone who will listen. As boyhood friends (some younger, some older, maybe ages 5-15, depending upon race, etc) we made a club and called it the Knights of Nerath--after the old order of knights dedicated to freedom and justice--and made ourselves blood brothers. We all swore to serve the ideals of Nerath as the knights of old did, and to live and die in service to our people (though mostly, we meant to live and die in service of our brotherhood)...we all once went camping [without adults] and got lost in the woods outside of Fallcrest. Coming upon a deserted vale, we found a ghostly light and followed it to a white tree. There a translucent spirit dressed in the dessicated garb of the old kings came to us and spoke a prophecy, calling us the "Knights of the Watch" and foretelling that we would "reclaim the bloody spear" and "sing again the slow songs of dawn." We have never been able to find the tree again, but still believe that some special destiny awaits[, though we each have different ideas of what this destiny is will be].

Thoughts?
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PostSubject: My thoughts exactly   Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:12 am

That is creepy Troy I was thinking that exact thing. That sounds AWESOME!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:36 pm

More ideas:

11. We are all children of a wandering circus, a motley collection of various races that have formed a tight-knit family-like bond. The weird background of our parents accounts for our diverse skills and knowledge. We are motivated by nothing more than curiosity and a thirst for adventure.

12. We are all the sworn swords of Sir Aegon Dondarrion, a minor lord owning lands outside of Fallcrest. Dondarrion was an old man whose domain was only a shadow of its former self, and faced continual raids by orcs along the frontier. A particularly nasty chieftan named Blacktooth the Bloody actually laid siege to the castle, killing many of its defenders before being driven off. Dondarrion was one of the casualties of this attack, caught by an arrow in the chest. As he lay dying, he charged us, by our oaths of loyalty, to destroy Blacktooth the Bloody in vengeance.

13. We are employees of one of the local trading interests, which manages to scrape a living in these hard times but is hardly a thriving business. Our goal, both for our own wealth and the welfare of our company and community, is to reestablish the old trading routes that knit together the empire of Nerath and bring greater prosperity to all.

14. As children we would often play in the woods, pretending to be knights and orcs and always arguing about who would have to play which side. One day, one of us tripped over something--and discovered that it was a massive tooth the size of a forearm, surely from a dragon. As we looked at it in awe, the tooth flared with a bright green light and hung in the air of its own accord. A voice of immense booming power spoke out in cryptic verse:

The demon dark arises,
The Night King's crown is forged anew.
The Morning Sword is sundered,
The time has come to stand, and be true.


Then the light flared out and touched each of us in a different body part--one between the eyes, one in the mouth, one in the heart, one in the hands. Since then, the tooth has displayed no powers or radiates any magic. While everyone in Fallcrest thinks that the tooth is cool, no one believes our story but us.

15. One day a wizard shows up to our house. "Hi," he says, "how's it going. Say, I have this ring of power. It's an artifact of ultimate evil and has to be thrown in the fires of Mount Doom in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie, but I have a lot of laundry to do. Could you take care of that for me? Thanks, bro." Then he throws the ring and hits us in the eye, then poof--he's gone.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:00 pm

To 15. Ok we will take the ring. Wizard: "Here is my huge bird friend he will fly you to mount doom. Party: "Thanks!"
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:15 pm

I wanted to post a few more things from the DMG that might help in finding your place and background. So far I would say taking something regarding family in the area would be cool because this is a small community and it would be strange to see 5 orphans etc like Matthew had in one it is very likely that there is a minor lord or the like that may still be around. At the time when the area was being settled it talks about that land was offered to lords that basically laid claim and built up a keep or manor and whatnot. Many have fallen to ruin, also could be that one of the players has a deed or a claim to a lost manor or keep or barony or whatever and he is looking to renew it and will need to seek out the Lord Warden to get approval.

These are out of the DMG and ideas for classes and races:
Dragonborn:
No dragonborn are native to Fallcrest, but travelers occasionally pass through and take up work for a time, especially as bodyguards or caravan guards. The Halfmoon halflings, House Azaer, and the importer Naerumar have work available for a capable adventurer.

Dwarf:
A fair number of dwarves live in Fallcrest, so a dwarf character could easily be a native of the city—perhaps a relative of Teldorthan Irontooth. Ifnot, the nearest dwarven homeland is Hammerfast, a week’s travel distant. Merchants and crafters from Hammerfast travel to Fallcrest to trade or work, lodging in one of the local inns for a few weeks.

Eladrin:
Eladrin are not often seen in Fallcrest. Some of the old manors in the Moon Hills and the nearby parts of the Vale were once the homes of well-off eladrin families; a player character eladrin might hold the title to an abandoned estate a mile or two out of town.

Elf:
Elves are also scarce in Fallcrest, but a small number reside in and around the town. Ressilmae Starlight of the temple of Sehanine might be a relative
or an old friend of an elf character. Elves from outside Fallcrest might belong to the Woodsinger clan from the Harkenwold Forest.

Half-Elf:
A small number of half-elves reside in Fallcrest or the vicinity. Most are well-off farmers or herders living in the Moon Hills near the town; the
rest are expert artisans—jewelers, tailors, or woodworkers— in the town. A half-elf player character can be the child or relative of a Fallcrest family.

Halfling:
Halflings are the most numerous people in Fallcrest aside from humans, and they come from any walk of life. A Fallcrest native might be related to the Halfmoon family, the Ostermans of the Silver Unicorn, or the Thistletons of Fallcrest 209 Stables. Halflings descended from the traders who pass through Fallcrest can be members of the Swiftwater clan.

Human:
Most of Fallcrest’s people are human. Characters with rural backgrounds likely grew up on the farms in the nearby Moon Hills. Characters with an urban upbringing might be the children of well-off landowners such as the Kamroths, or ruffians and sellswords who had a hard childhood in Lowtown.

Tiefling:
Two tiefling families and a few individuals live and thrive in Fallcrest, including the Azaers and the Naerumars.

Classes
Cleric: Since there are temples of Erathis, Pelor, and Sehanine in town, a player character cleric devoted to one of these deities would naturally have allies and colleagues here.

Fighter: Fallcrest is a trading town, and merchants need bodyguards or caravan guards when they set out for distant towns. The Halfmoons or House Azaer might employ a fighter. Fighters from betteroff families might be retainers in the service of the Markelhays—young “court blades” who are a cut above the typical garrison guard.

Paladin: As with clerics, paladins devoted to Erathis, Pelor, or Sehanine have natural allies in the temples of Fallcrest. In addition, paladin characters might also be aspiring knights sworn to the service of the Markelhay family.

Ranger: Many of the countryside folk living around Fallcrest are foresters and hunters; a ranger character could easily belong to one of these families. Rangers who aren’t natives might hail from the Barony of Harkenwold or the remote village of Nenlast to the northeast.

Rogue: Members of groups such as the porters’ guild or the River Rats are natural associates of a player character rogue. Capable people are in high demand anywhere, and a rogue might also fit in as an agent of a merchant house such as the Halfmoons or the Azaers.

Warlock: The folk of Fallcrest regard warlocks as they do wizards—mysterious figures to be treated cautiously. Well-off merchants or nobles often retain a “house mage” to advise them in magical matters, so a warlock could easily work for the Markelhays, Amros Kamroth, or other wealthy individual.

Warlord: Like fighters or paladins, warlords might be attached to the Markelhay household. Those of lower stature can serve as sellswords or agents of merchant companies such as House Azaer.

Wizard: A player character wizard might be an apprentice to Nimozaran, of the Septarch’s Tower. Lady Markelhay is also a skilled mage and might take a wizard character into her confidence.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:02 pm

Quote :
Tiefling:
Two tiefling families and a few individuals live and thrive in Fallcrest, including the Azaers and the Naerumars.

You might have noticed my character's name: Amnon Azaer Smile I have one or two backgrounds posts coming soon that will described this relationship.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:30 am

Has there been any more thoughts on this? I was thinking should I pick something out or maybe pick out like 4 ideas and make a poll?
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:42 am

1, 2, and 14 work for me. They are all very heroic.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:13 pm

Personally I'm partial to 3 and 12. Probably because I've been rereading the Song of Ice and Fire series and I'm kind of keen on the whole feudal dynasty thing right now. Those might be difficult, since they sort of define not only where we've been but where the story is going. The ones that Jon mentioned are more vague and malleable. Also, I should mention that Dean has plenary powers to alter any of these in order to fit into his plans.

I should ask Dean: are there any ideas here that work particularly well for your purposes?
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:24 pm

I like number 12, because as part of my characters personal background, that fits a similar situation (Soon to come in the character development thread). So it would make sense for my character to participate in that, plus I just like the idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:33 pm

The combo of 1 and 2 is ok but I would cut the part about reclaiming the spear etc. I don't want something that the party is after to be tangible since I have my own storyline I want to run and not build around one in place etc.

I like 12 a lot but would say it would have to take out the part about killing the orc. I think a better fit would be that he died etc and you swore oaths to restore his name or the honor of his house etc. Maybe one of the PCs even took his name (or he took a special liking to them and adapted them into his family name to carry it on?). That way we start with an open ended goal not something predetermined. 12 would work well for what I have in mind, with those changes. I would also add that with his death the lordship was claimed by the Lord Warden because the family line was ended by blood (if a PC had taken his name etc it's not "official" and he would have to earn it)
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:41 pm

Ok, let's go with this then. Dean, perhaps you can suggest the oath that our characters took--something that would fit in with your planned storyline? It could even be a specific goal, so long as it fits with your scheme.

Also, who is the Lord Warden? Is that Markelhay?
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:20 pm

Svenn wrote:
Also, who is the Lord Warden? Is that Markelhay?

Yes, Faren Markelhay is the Lord Warden of Fallcrest.

Svenn wrote:
perhaps you can suggest the oath that our characters took


I had mentioned in my post
Dean wrote:
I think a better fit would be that he died etc and you swore oaths to restore his name or the honor of his house
The house would have fallen in stature as it was not able to defend itself.

Other ideas for oaths might be:
Swearing to hunt evil that is plaguing the land and defeat it (basically saying you want to be heros or good guys). You don't want to see more lords fall to indiscriminate evil/monster
Swearing to serve the Lord Warden as he would have become the new lord after he claimed the house/land of your previous lord (sorry I don't recall the name you used)
Swearing to hold lordship over your own area with ideals that were in line with your former lord's. Basically saying you want your own area or town or whatever kinda carrying on the legacy of your first lord.

Those are just some ideas off the top of my head, I am assuming in these that the party kinda wants to be heroic and noble and good and all that so they would have very noble goals.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:24 pm

In my opinion, those all sound like ways that we would start out an actuall campaign, not so much any sort of party background. I mean, if we were to chose that stuff, why did WE take the oaths? What is so special about us in particular and why us as a group? In other words, we still haven't determined why we are a group in the first place. Despite that, I don't think my dude would agree to any of those oaths, unless he agreed to them in a lying sort of way just to remain a part of the group that will supposedly "lead him to his father", which actaully might work.

Really, I'm perfectly fine with the whole childhood friend idea (orphans or not), which is really pretty cool in my opinion because it is both open and yet very cohesive, and it could still be applied to the whole oath scenario, should we decide to go with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:39 pm

Amnon wrote:
In my opinion, those all sound like ways that we would start out an actuall campaign, not so much any sort of party background. I mean, if we were to chose that stuff, why did WE take the oaths? What is so special about us in particular and why us as a group? In other words, we still haven't determined why we are a group in the first place.
Any suggestions?

I agree with your general assessment, but I was trying to come up with something that would give our group a bit of a story-related spin (as everyone said they enjoyed with Doomcock). Childhood friends makes sense, but it's kind of bland, isn't it?

Maybe it would be worth figuring out why all these people are friends in the first place. After all, Amnon sounds like a bit of a jerk. Razz And possibly an evil one. Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:14 pm

I am very excited to see Amon in action, from what I read he does sound a bit on the evil side, and of course a warlock and a paladin have to be in the same party together, right! haha. ANyway, I like a lot of the common numbers together. I enjoy 1 ,2 12 and 14. If I can remember them all right hopefully this will be less confusing. I like the ones with the very vague prophecies because I really liked the idea that potentially all 5 of us are adventuring together towards this one common goal but in reality we could each easily interpret that in different ways making for varied story lines in the future. Even "the bloody spear" could mean many things. My Dwarf paladin(as yet is unnamed but made) would interpret that the bloody spear is in the hands of one of the goblinoid leaders of the area and needs to be taken from him and that band of goblins wiped out. I would see this because one main reason he is adventuring is because his grandfather who taught him the ways of Pelor and The BRotherhood was a part of the goblin war some 90 years ago and long story short(in this thread) that is mainly his reason for adventuring and trying to rid the world of evil

I agree with troy though that really this has turned into why our campaign started, which is totally cool, but right now we don't have any reasons for being a party.

Being in service to one of the local lords was an idea I think someone mentioned earlier. I haven't worked on that part yet but being in service to a local lord would defintiely fit with him.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:35 pm

Quote :
Maybe it would be worth figuring out why all these people are friends in the first place.

I agree completely

Quote :
After all, Amnon sounds like a bit of a jerk. And possibly an evil one.

True, and that does complicate things. Though, more percisely, his demeanor is standoffish and detached, perhaps overly witty on an especially good day, which could certainly be interpreted as being a jerk. When it comes down to it, he cares about only a few things, though the order is not as clear-cut as this list appears: himself, his father, the group, ... ... everything else. I suppose I haven't worked that out yet completely, but my general assumption is that he sort of "fell into the crowd" that this group represents, perhaps because of similar interests (like kids in D&D playing a D&D version of D&D, maybe D&T for Death & Taxes or something), and so he is not nearly as much of a jerk to the group as he is to everything else, and so for whatever reason the group also values him somehow. Perhaps the group sees through his detached nature and sees that he is not such a bad guy in the end (which is yet to be detrmined, really. Smile ), I dunno.

EDIT: This is for those of you that know Keith...
LOL ... you know what ... I just re-read this again and I realized this pretty well summarizes the way Keith always fit in with our circle of friends.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:39 pm

Amnon wrote:
Quote :
Maybe it would be worth figuring out why all these people are friends in the first place.

I agree completely
I'm open to ideas.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:25 pm

I think the orphan idea doesn't quite work too well in my mind. Unless there is some serious reason why an orphanage would have such a collection of random races. (Eladrin, Dwarf, DB, whatever else you guys are)

Maybe an explanation of why we are a tight-knit group would be something like this:

There was some reason why Sir Aegon Dondarrion was hailed by the citizens of Fallcrest. Maybe instead of a minor lord, he was more of a political and loved leader, a defender of either Fallcrest or some other province close to it. Not being swayed by bribes and threats of other leaders he maintained a disciplined and righteous community.(Maybe a local evil force, like the orc, had persuaded other lords in the area to lay down their swords against him)

Each of us from our travels winded up either being taken in, helped, or supported by Sir Aegon Dondarrion himself. Since we'd be viewed as heroic characters, maybe he put extra-emphasis on supporting whatever our cause happened to be at that time. Through his sincerity and honor to the people of Fallcrest, we have devoted our manpower to help defend Dondarrion against the leading orc chieftain (or whatever villain) from future attacks. After spending a considerable amount of time with the people in the area, we begin to be known the Defenders of Fallcrest (or someother locale).

Then you can put in the part about the defenses not holding against the onslaught of villainous forces, and Dondarrion falling in battle. Our oaths in defending his life and countryside must be upheld as we attempt to track down the villain (a possible side-plot).

That seems plausible, as long as it can be fit into what Dean already has planned. It could be a sup-plot leading to a much larger problem, or simply a task to get us started on our campaign.
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:14 pm

Troy, I agree completely with you. Keith was the kind of person that seemed to be really cool and to be a genuinely good guy to his friends, but was basically an ass or misinterpreted to those outside of the clique. I can see in this way how potentially selfish or personal views could be seen as negative, but we view them as ok
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PostSubject: @ Zac   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:22 pm

Wow I have to say I read Zac's explanation of his idea and I am very impressed. I think that is a believable reason to be together and something that at the same time is just a little bit more heroic than normal life. Also, this still allows for personal back story as to how we got there and in the service of the lord in the first place. I'm very excited guys I have to tell you. I offcially made my guy tonight and have hatched pretty much all the personality and character traits I can for now and I am very happy and excited, I was a little dissapointed that paladins could only worship one god but i guess it makes sense...
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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:37 pm

Kyden wrote:
I think the orphan idea doesn't quite work too well in my mind. Unless there is some serious reason why an orphanage would have such a collection of random races. (Eladrin, Dwarf, DB, whatever else you guys are)

Maybe an explanation of why we are a tight-knit group would be something like this:

There was some reason why Sir Aegon Dondarrion was hailed by the citizens of Fallcrest. Maybe instead of a minor lord, he was more of a political and loved leader, a defender of either Fallcrest or some other province close to it. Not being swayed by bribes and threats of other leaders he maintained a disciplined and righteous community.(Maybe a local evil force, like the orc, had persuaded other lords in the area to lay down their swords against him)

Each of us from our travels winded up either being taken in, helped, or supported by Sir Aegon Dondarrion himself. Since we'd be viewed as heroic characters, maybe he put extra-emphasis on supporting whatever our cause happened to be at that time. Through his sincerity and honor to the people of Fallcrest, we have devoted our manpower to help defend Dondarrion against the leading orc chieftain (or whatever villain) from future attacks. After spending a considerable amount of time with the people in the area, we begin to be known the Defenders of Fallcrest (or someother locale).

Then you can put in the part about the defenses not holding against the onslaught of villainous forces, and Dondarrion falling in battle. Our oaths in defending his life and countryside must be upheld as we attempt to track down the villain (a possible side-plot).

That seems plausible, as long as it can be fit into what Dean already has planned. It could be a sup-plot leading to a much larger problem, or simply a task to get us started on our campaign.


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PostSubject: Re: Party Brainstorm   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:40 pm

Kane wrote:
I was a little dissapointed that paladins could only worship one god but i guess it makes sense...

I think it would be crazy cool to see a polytheistic Pally, I would say if you wanted to do that I would easily allow it but the second feat wouldn't give effect etc. Unless you meant you wanted two gods for 2 feats, then....fuck you
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