The Plot Thickens

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A blog for our campaign

For those wondering I created this Obsidian Portal back in 2016 when I began writing my Post Game comments/rules reviews, and was looking for a way of better structuring those posts.

I started playing around with the features here, so ‘As Faerûn turned’ became The Plot Thickens.
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You found a crumpled Map
You find yourself in an field west of a white house...

I have updated the interactive map. The previous hand drawn map that you’d be able to purchase, is now an item. It is the part of the world that is common knowledge to the people of your society anyway. We will start things off somewhere in the green zone.

I picture this planet as being a little smaller than Earth, with a similar rotations, though the polar angle is only approx. 10°, compared to Earth’s 23.4°. Your home continent is approx. 4,200 miles from top to bottom. The equator is about 120 miles South of the larger island off the South coast.

There are a number of large, mostly uncharted, islands off the North West edge of the map. And locals from the North have claimed that during Summer they occasionally see mountainous islands of ice sailing in the distance off the coast.

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In the Beginning
A brief history of the world, part 1

In the beginning there were elves, they lived idyllically, advancing slowly as they felt no need to rush. It is believed there were also dwarves, but as the elves were above, the staid, meticulous dwarves were like their inverse below, the dwarves are said to have been born working.

Eventually they encounter each other in the foothills of the dwarven mountain home. They formed an enterprising partnership, the elves provided, what the dwarves considered to be exotic food stuffs (fruits, vegetables, herbs, and meats), leather, and wooden goods, as well as raw wood, in exchange supplying metals (copper, iron, silver, and gold), stone, and gems. Both races were changed by their encounters.

The elves began a journey of learning, at first from the dwarves teaching them smithing, and working with stone. But their thirst went further, they began to extend their primitive rituals, forming the basis of modern magic. Their realisation they were not alone set some onto a more basic journey of discovery. The dwarves in turn learned from the elves the power of the arts (music, carving for aesthetics, painting, dancing), finding time for fun, and eventually magic.

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Soon after
A brief history of the world, part 2

This one I’m only giving the summary of the synopsis.

I posted a creation story, and the titles of some significant historical events with a brief description of their possible meaning. Feel free to interpret your own different meaning, or add to it, however you are inspired. Preferably framed from your PC’s, or PC’s races, point of view.

A little additional house keeping first, I am winding back on the “Elven Madness”, not because I don’t think it could be cool, but because it is harsh singling them out, and because the Madness rule as is are annoying, and under-defined. The Sanity/Madness rules will still be in play for every one, and I will investigate possible alternate Madness effects before they are needed.


Over the next century the Elves advanced quickly, exploring and experimenting with their newly developed magic. They created portals to other planes of existence, and discovered beings beyond their imagination, and unfortunately, some beyond their comprehension. Since the Conflagration planar magic has been taboo for the Elves

Some of the many discoveries the Elves made were Halflings, Gnomes, and Humans.

They also discovered Orcs, once encountered they infected the land like a disease, looting, raping, and pillaging. The civilised races would mount counter offensives, and the Orcs would withdraw, for a time, but later return in greater numbers. One time the elves sought the shelter of the forest, but the ravening horde set it ablaze. Many Elves perished. Pushed to the brink, some say the Elves went mad, driven by blood-lust they gathered en masse and stalked the Orcs to a brute, every single one, male, female, and child were slain. No Orc has been seen since.

When Goblins were encountered, a similar fate was expected for them, but the Dwarves and Humans intervened, instead the majority were enslaved, put to work in Dwarven mines, and aiding in the construction of Human cities.

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The Renaissance
Don't all blow yourselves up at once.

My only experience with the time period has been from the Assassin’s Creed II games. So as a basis for our campaign I am making use of my AD&D ® 2 nd Ed DMG Rules Supplement Creative Campaigning, the section on a Renaissance Campaign is as follows:

Overview: The Renaissance (ca. 1400-1600) is an especially rich period for adventure gaming. Although the period is slightly more modern than the typical AD&D ® campaign, there are no restrictions to classes or magic.

Despite the enlightenment (or “rebirth”) suggested by the term Renaissance, the period is a dark one in many ways. While science, literature, and the arts flourish in the Italian peninsula, bitter wars, both civil and religious, rage across Europe; political repression of all types victimizes entire nations; and the superstitions of the dark ages hold on grimly, even under the harsh light of modern logic and rationality.

As the Renaissance is gaining momentum in Italy, the bloody Wars of the Roses rage in England. Italy sees its share of religious wars, Papal successions, and the vicious decadence of ruling nobles causing widespread suffering.

All the same, during this period, reason and science make steady gains. Gunpowder revolutionizes warfare. Great works of art are created, and many universities and other centers of learning are founded. Science continues to make inroads against superstition. The middle class—merchants, craftsmen, and artists—develops, and many new experiments in social and political freedoms arise to challenge the unquestioned authority of governments and churches.

Weapons and Equipment. Handgonne (early 1400’s): This unwieldy weapon is both inaccurate and dangerous. Handgonnes take a full turn to load, require a burning match or cord to light, and have disadvantage on Attack rolls.

If you roll a 1 or 2 on either dice, the handgonne has misfired, and the firer suffers 1d8 damage. The handgonne is also fouled, and takes 30 minutes to clear, at the end off which you must make an Intelligence check, if you fail the weapon is too damaged and requires repairs using smith’s tools.

Damage for the handgonne is 1d10 (Variant rule, on a 10 result you roll damage again, adding the result. On a result of 10 you roll again, but if you roll 10 again the weapon also explodes, everyone within 5’ of you must make a Dexterity save. Those that failure take the 30 damage also, half as much damage on a successful save.)

Cost is 250 gp, with 3 gp for 10 bullets, and another 35 gp for a powder horn (water-resistant) with enough gunpowder for 30 shots.

I might add in a Dex check when loading also. Handling gunpowder one handed with a burning cord in the other hand, or in your mouth, sounds like fun.

Is this what you all had in mind?

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