Introduction and What's Different

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The introduction of 4e D&D came with a rush of inspiration, as a new style of presentation, art direction, and gameplay were introduced. The idea of a ‘points of light’ campaign was especially popular; a new take on the classic D&D campaign world in which, instead of battling the occasional evil that pops up to trouble civilized lands, safety becomes an exception rather than a rule. In a less populated, less united world, the actions of players carry more weight. Out of that pool of inspiration, I rewrote huge portions of my campaign world.

Conflict and intrigue are everywhere, and nothing is black and white as in the campaigns of the old days. Time has passed since the golden ages where mystical elves traipsed through pristine woodlands alongside stalwart dwarves, guiding righteous men to slay the scourge of the fairy kingdom. The world has grown more dark than light, and the results of your endeavors may bring peace to some; just don’t expect to be able to save them all. It may be that like many exceptional people, your characters will decide that saving themselves is rewarding enough.

The campaign will be run in an episodic style, with each session intended to start and end at a certain fitting point in the story. It’s intended to make a regular D&D session manageable from week to week without too much between-session effort, as well as ease the difficulty of remembering details and events in the event of a long gap between play. Emphasis will be placed on the narrative; the total of your stats will be far less important than how your character contributes to the story.

My goal for this campaign is to span a year or more of weekly or bi-monthly play, to maintain a pace that keeps things from getting stale, and above all, to make this worth the time, both mine and yours.

What’s Different? (short version):

- A level of technology bordering on the renaissance; industrialization, clockwork, firearms, and very basic steam power.

- Religious tension between the old faith ( a classic D&D pantheon), and the Aeonic Order, a powerful new monotheist religion.

- A measure of well-founded fear and intimidation concerning arcane magic, to the point that its practitioners must conceal themselves. There is also significant danger in spellcasting itself…

- A complicated political structure that invites intrigue from within the empire and without.

- A darker twist on some of the usual D&D fare; the forests and glades of the world are scarred and angry.

- The Elves became extinct centuries ago; Halflings were forced from their rural origins; Dwarves suffered a catastrophe that forced them underground for generations; hulking lizardmen now live among men, along with tieflings, the result of residual demonic influence in ages past; half-orcs are all but unheard of within Avencian borders… and men have simply become mired in their own ambitions.

- Arcane magic is too great a vulnerability to be controlled by the untrained, even if talented. The sorceror class is not available.

- Three new classes, representing the lower-magic and overall tone of the campaign, have been added; the Alchemist, the Oracle, and the Inquisitor, all found in the Pathfinder Advanced PHB.

Campaign Tone:

I want the campaign to feel like a living world. Though I believe the PC’s should always be the center of their own story, the world will go on. Political and personal intrigue will feature prominently, as will religious conflict, the machinations of demons, and freeform exploration. A darker atmosphere and moral quandary will be mainstays, but I intend to use the episodic nature of the campaign to inject variety into the location and nature of each session.

Introduction and What's Different

Age of Ascension Grimstead