The Skyfire Ascendance
The Skyfire Ascendance
Below you will hopefully find all of the information you need from me to get your character started. Once you’re ready, or if you have a question, get into contact with your DM and chat about it. All characters need to be cleared with the DM (that is, me) before play can begin.
This campaign is built on having fun, and serious roleplay. Your character is a real character, whether you play her as a serious knight or a wannabe jester. And, if you can’t make it to a scheduled session, let your DM know ahead of time (as far in advance as you can). The DM is not looking for a treatise with each character; that is a ridiculous thing to expect, and far more than I am willing write for most of my own characters. But, a background, a birthplace, and other assorted and sundry things will be necessary.
The campaign takes place in SW Faerun, specifically in and around the sands of Calimshan. Well, what used to be Calimshan — now, the genasi followers of exiled Memnon and Calim fight each other on a constant basis, and are aggressive toward their neighbors. Tethyr has already lost valuable territory to the Memnites, and the WeavePasha worries over how he will defend the city of Almraiven and its people. Countless people, including the humans that originally ruled Calimshan, have been enslaved by the genasi; Almraiven, as the last free city, nervously maintains a defense as scouts, diplomats, and spies desperately seek information and alliances.
While the whole of the story isn’t being given away, it can safely be said that much of the heroic tier will be taking place in and around Calimshan. Your characters will be starting in Almraiven, so they will need a good reason for being there. I would caution against creating a character who is native to Almraiven (elsewhere in Calimshan should be fine), as that could pull the story in certain ways that would not make for a good experience.
If it’s in an official WotC book, it’s playable. However, I would caution against taking certain races, for some very good reasons.
1) Genasi: As should be obvious, the genasi are playing the villains.
2) Warforged: As it stands, there isn’t much of a place for the warforged in FR. Sure, anyone can be from anywhere for nearly any reason. But, finding a home for a living, thinking automaton when most people are unsure (at best) about magic is tough, and there are better options available for a big bruiser.
3) Drow: If you don’t know why drow are a pain for the DM and for the party in FR, you can’t play a drow. If you do know why, then you can see why I caution against them. Drow are a solidly evil race, and even the unaligned and good ones are a tiresome bunch.
4) Mul & Thri-kreen: These two are races that are particular to Dark Sun. Personally, I love Dark Sun, but these two just don’t have much of a place in FR. Racism is pretty common, even in mixed communities of elves, humans, and dwarves. And, as much as I love the thri-kreen, I can’t in all honesty just drop them in the desert and say, “Have at it, kids.”
Heaven help us all if everyone plays a striker. With a small group of people, doubling up on roles leaves weak spot, and that can bring the party down rather fast. No class is out-of-bounds, though there are a few suggestions I would like to make.
1) The Cleric Bullet: I don’t know how long you’ve been playing, or where you played D&D in the past, but there used to be a common term in my groups of yore (we’re talking 2nd and 3rd Ed, here) called, “biting the cleric bullet.” The idea is simple: nobody wanted to play the party healer, because no one wanted to be stuck casting healing spells every turn so that everyone else can have fun and kill the orcs.
This is still a very common theme — everybody wants to play the strikers who run around and kill things. It sure is fun, but it sure leaves the party lacking for support. In truth, the center of the party is the one who is supposed to last the longest, and that’s either the leader or the defender. It isn’t about limelight; rather, it is about making sure the game runs smoothly, and that is a shared burden. I don’t mind having two controllers (but, not two wizards — come on, now) or two strikers or whatever. I DO mind seeing someone not enjoying him or herself because the ranger is, yet again, in the dragon’s grill while every other party member is scrambling to get another Help Wanted poster up.
2) Orc & Pie: If you can’t come up what you want to play class-wise, consider the following scenario, and send me a message. You are in a 10×10×10 room with a pie on a table, and an orc between you and the pie. How do you get the pie?
3) Divine & Arcane Magic: In FR, especially Faerun, divine magic and choice of deity are important matters. The gods are palpable, and they interact with the world on a rare, but tangible basis. Unlike Eberron, where the gods are treated similar to our world, or Athas, where the gods are silent, Forgotten Realms has deities that take an active interest in the world. Anyone who has studied Greek cosmology and myth should see a familiar trend. In short, your choice of deity is important, and nearly everybody worships somebody.
Arcane matters are not exactly everyday. When a wizard comes to town, the community questions why, and there is always an element of distrust, and generally quite a lot of it. Even famous wizards might not be known in other lands, as information only travels as far as interest and horses can take it. But, you can bet that someone who displays magical talent is going to be of interest to those around her. It isn’t that no one knows about arcane magic. Simply put, most people have little experience with it, and those that do can only rarely call it a positive one.
4) Psionics: Forgotten Realms is not a psionic-heavy world. In fact, unless you eat brains in deep caverns, you’ve probably never even experienced or seen psionics, let alone anyone in your family or your circle of friends. That doesn’t mean you can’t play a psionic character. However, it does mean that you will need to take that rarity into account, especially in how you present it to the world around you. Do you cover it up as some weird, wizardly art from a foreign land? Is it some curse from coming into contact with the infected? Are you frank about your mental powers, despite the dangers that will likely bring you? The choice is yours, but the answer is important.
Ability Scores & Equipment
The array we’re using for characters is a high-powered array, designed to give everyone the same numbers, and to allow me (the DM) to throw more stuff at you. The scores are as follows: 18, 17, 15, 14, 12, & 10. Set them however you see fit.
As for equipment, everyone gets the standard 100 gp, and a free adventurer’s kit. You can also pick up a free 1st level magic item, and two 2nd level magic items.
As we’re looking for a semi-serious game, I expect serious back stories. Not serious as in writing up genealogy documents and short stories. Serious as in a short history that has been well thought out, as well as your various connections in the world. What is especially important is whether or not you guys, the PCs, know each other or not, and how you know each other if you do. If you need help, I can email you a document that a friend of mine uses called the 10 Minutes Background (or, you can google it). Send me a message or an email, and I’ll be happy to discuss anything about your character that you want.
Homebrew, House Rules, & the 2nd Level Rule
I run my games with some house rules, which I’ll detail as they come up, since I can’t really remember most off of the top of my head. I can, however, detail the following.
1)Critical Failures: Any natural 1 rolled on a d20 roll constitutes a critical failure. This should be familiar to most, if not all, of you. For those who do not know, a critical failure is a bit of bad juju that happens to affect your roll. Each one is detailed/flavored as it’s rolled, but they uniformly indicate a miss. Opposite of a critical hit.
2)Initiative Rolls: Rolling a natural 20 on your initiative roll gives you an extra minor action during the first round. Rolling a natural 1 on your initiative roll costs you your minor action during the first round.
3)Potions of Healing: A potion of healing does not cost you a healing surge, and gives you back either the listed amount of hit points, or your healing surge value, whichever is greater.
I also have a ton of homebrewed material that needs testing. However, for a long campaign, I am taking a stand against using homebrewed races and classes. If you are interested in playing one of my homebrewed thingamabobs, then just ask, and I can show it to you. But, I likely won’t allow it in play, if only because I want a stable, fun campaign for all of us, and changing this and that at every turn isn’t conducive to that end.
Up until 2nd level, you can make any changes to your character that you feel you need to. If you think your goliath would be better suited to you as a halfling, then he becomes fun-sized. Playing as yet another striker isn’t keeping the party abreast of its challenges, and you want to make something different? Go ahead — your sorcerer is now a swordmage, or a paladin, or a seeker, or whatever. Once the party reaches 2nd level, your character’s race and class are locked in, as are any details of his or her backstory.
The last thing I have to tell you is this: play what you want to play. If it turns out that everybody wants to play a striker (don’t get any ideas), then, I guess we’ll have a party full of strikers. Don’t get too attached, because healing is hard to come by in a lot of places, and is expensive where you can find it. If you really, really, really wanted to play a drow, then, that’s okay, too. But, if it turns out to be Drizz’t 2.0, you will see why they call me Dom of the Night Unending. Heart attacks are swift killers, my friend. Swift, and silent.
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