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4E Campaign Plot

 
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Dndungeoneer
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:49 pm    Post subject: 4E Campaign Plot Reply with quote

Ok, so I'm starting my 4E campaign up soon enough and I thought I'd share my plot with you all to get some advice and criticisms.

Time: I'm setting the time period as after the Greyhawk War and after the Great Kingdom has fragmented.

Place: The Player Characters will start in a town/city somewhere in the disputed region between Ahlissa and the Northern Kingdom.

Plot: The town/city will be attacked by the forces of the Northern Kingdom, sparking full-scale war between the two nations, but so much happens that it is difficult to discern who truly struck the first blow.

One Player Character is one of the few remaining Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom, the rest having been killed or fled from the "justice" of Ahlissa and the Northern Kingdom. He is in hiding, masquerading as a mercenary as the story begins and the town/city is attacked by the Northern Kingdom. He leads the party out of the massacre, heading towards safety. (What/Where that safety is has yet to be determined.)

Characters: I decided to assign my players their race/class combinations and then as the campaign unfolds they will learn more and more about Flanaess and the World of Greyhawk as we go. No one in the party knows anything about the Greyhawk setting.

The party is as follows:
Human Knight (Fighter)
Human Rogue
Human Cleric of Lydia
Elf Wizard
Half-Elf Ranger

All comments are welcome.

Cheers,
Dndungeoneer
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smillan_31
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks good. I like the background for the Knight Protector. The only thing is to make sure you have as interesting of a background for the other players or help them come up with something. It's an interesting mix.
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AtomicPope
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Criticism - I'm against assigning races and classes to players as it interferes with creativity and flexibility. Since no one knows about the Greyhawk setting then why not ask the players what character they have in mind and help them create a Greyhawk character? 4E allows for all Wizard parties and other unusual party combinations that were kewl in concept but didn't work in previous editions. There's nothing in the plot that demands any players be anything specific. The "one remaining Knight Protector" could end up as an NPC if one of the players didn't want to play a Knight (Paladin or Fighter). A PC as a Knight doesn't seem manditory at this point.

Suggestion the First - The breakup of the Great Kingdom during the Wars allows for a great political upheaval. It would be easy to hook players through loss. I've ran games where the PCs would adventure just outside of town and meet/befriend townies. They'd rid caves and woods of monsters to the delight of the townies. The townies would hint at trouble brewing in far away lands. One day when the PCs return from a cave or dungeon they'll find their beloved town destroyed. I've done this sort of thing before, allowing the NPCs to grow on the players, develop friendships, only to raze the town to the ground while the PCs are away. This usually occurs after a level or two of adventuring so it's a little unexpected. It will allow them to experience Greyhawk before the Wars.

Suggestion the Last - The current arrangement has predetermined the PCs and their actions. If the PCs don't know about Greyhawk then you'll be leading them around by their noses. You've already planned out their reactions to events. Why not let them discover that their in the middle of a Warzone? If they're new to Greyhawk then they won't know what's safe. If their backgrounds and level of involvement isn't predetermined then there will be no need to take control of their actions. Just create a dangerous setting, allowing the PCs to be PCs and the DM to be NPCs. The twain should never mix.
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Dndungeoneer
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments so far. I will have a talk with my group and see if anyone is distressed by their class/race. I know these players extremely well, so I think I've pegged what they would like to play, but I'll make sure all is well.

As for the PC Knight, the player has agreed full heartedly to the idea. He will be, at first, kind of a guide for the rest of the party, leading them out of whatever chaos they land themselves in. Soon enough, however, the PC Knight will be just another member of the party as the events of the campaign sweep the party away.

I just thought of the whole let them lose something they get used to idea and I think this is a marvelous idea!

I agree with allowing the PCs to discover Greyhawk and react to those discoveries. That's how I usually play, and they will have the chance to do what they want, but caught between war parties from the Northern Kingdom and battle groups from Ahlissa they'll have no choice but to get the heck out of Dodge.
_________________
<div><em>The Great Kingdom will rise again, and tyrants like you will have no place there!<br />
<br />-Last words of an unknown Knight Protector of the Great Kingdom before being summarily executed.</em></div>
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PaulN6
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 4E you can disconnect the class 'description' from the class itself. Class is more a case of combat style and group role in 4e. Some of the classes are pidgeonholed - such as Bard = leader but clerics can be split between the various divine classes, various arcane classes are open to a wizard-style character etc.

So if your knight player wants to try being a leader, he could be a warlord, while the cleric of Lydia might prefer to be an invoker (controller) or maybe a hybrid bard/divine class or multiclass bard (since Lydia is goddess of music and being a bard opens up bardonly rituals). The 'ranger' might fancy being a seeker (controller).

Obviously, if everybody is new to 4e then keeping it simple might be better and the mix of roles you have described looks pretty sound.
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Dndungeoneer
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. That is one of the nice things about 4E in regards to class and label. They are all seasoned 4E players, so I'll see if their are any concerns.
_________________
<div><em>The Great Kingdom will rise again, and tyrants like you will have no place there!<br />
<br />-Last words of an unknown Knight Protector of the Great Kingdom before being summarily executed.</em></div>
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AtomicPope
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulN6 wrote:
In 4E you can disconnect the class 'description' from the class itself. Class is more a case of combat style and group role in 4e. Some of the classes are pidgeonholed - such as Bard = leader but clerics can be split between the various divine classes, various arcane classes are open to a wizard-style character etc.

So if your knight player wants to try being a leader, he could be a warlord, while the cleric of Lydia might prefer to be an invoker (controller) or maybe a hybrid bard/divine class or multiclass bard (since Lydia is goddess of music and being a bard opens up bardonly rituals). The 'ranger' might fancy being a seeker (controller).

Obviously, if everybody is new to 4e then keeping it simple might be better and the mix of roles you have described looks pretty sound.

This.

PaulN6 hit the nail on the head. A Sorcerer in 4E can be a battle wizard who focused on Spell Mastery to remove the chance of spell book loss. As PaulN6 said it's about style and ability. Granted, the classes are exclusive like in 1E but since D&D has grown so much it's easier to say, "I'm an Enchanter" when in fact you're Bard who uses a wand.

If the PC wants to be "The Last Knight" then you're much better off for the game as a whole. But if I could make another suggestion...

Suggestion the Next - I played in a game where my Fighter was the leader of a mercenary expeditionary group to Xendrik (Eberron). His goal was to challenge himself. He believed that a glorious death in battle would allow him to live forever in Shavarrath (sp?). When I was 9th Level I died saving the party from a TPK in an epic fight that never should have occurred (it was against a CR17 Firegiant/Construct). When they tried to raise me I refused. Why should I come back? Because my character was so central to the game my death caused the games collapse. It wasn't intentional or spiteful but it was perfect for my character, part of the written background. The other PCs agreed and even tried to convince the DM that raising me would go against my character. The DM was adamant that I be raised because I was the focus of the campaign. In short, he put all of his eggs in one basket and stepped on it not knowing the consequences.

Having a PC as the focus of the game is good but you need to reel the other players in more. Defenders die because they're in the thick of it. Being the Last Knight is a great story but shouldn't be the metaplot. The metaplot should be the PCs as a whole, something they can accomplish together. I'm not saying that was your intention but as a long time DM myself it's easy to focus on a single player (the proactive player) the waste your freetime on others. But giving others the chance brings about pleasant surprises and enriches the players' goals as a group. "I helped you recover the Great Seal for your noble family. Now it's your turn to help me." In the end both of their goals should lead them closer to greater accomplishments that could not be acheived without each other. The knight then helps the rogue find the Blazing Emerald and kill its guardian. The wizard borrows and uses the Blazing Emerald as a focus for a spell to end a Fiend's control over the land/king/etc. Together their goals have freed a troubled land giving the Wizard a place for his tower, the Knight a Castle, and the Rogue with fame and fortune.

Granted, this is very simplistic but often necessary give advanced players a reason for being together. Other than simply being the only PCs in the game Laughing
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PaulN6
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh heh - I'd have used divine intervention to force your PC back to 'life' as a revenant - a new version of the old PC compelled by some mysterious force to fulfil his - I mean the DM's - destiny!

Although I probably wouldn't do it straight away - I'd let the plot rumble on for a bit with a new PC.
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Dndungeoneer
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone in the group is pretty sound on their class/race combinations. I've asked for everyone to give me a little information on their character so that I can start tying the rest of them into the story as well.
_________________
<div><em>The Great Kingdom will rise again, and tyrants like you will have no place there!<br />
<br />-Last words of an unknown Knight Protector of the Great Kingdom before being summarily executed.</em></div>
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AtomicPope
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dndungeoneer wrote:
Everyone in the group is pretty sound on their class/race combinations. I've asked for everyone to give me a little information on their character so that I can start tying the rest of them into the story as well.

Kewl.

Now the trick is to turn those characters into Greyhawk characters. An Eladrin Wizard would be from Lendore Ilses or Celene (grey elves), rather than just an Eladrin Wizard. Read them the Lore of Greyhawk pertaining to their race and class so they'll better get a feel for the world. The more background they give you, the richer your story (and it will be easier to craft a story as well).

Good gaming!
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PaulN6
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunndi is closer to the Great Kingdom for Eladrin/grey elves.
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