The Murksong Renaissance
The Times, They Are A-Changing
It is the 1324th year of the Kurlmic Era. The kingdom of Kurdor is evolving. Gone are the days when the power you held was determined by how ‘blessed’ your blood is, when spellcasting sycophants could rule a hamlet under threat of destruction. Technology has something new to offer, and the people rejoice: Guns. Now firepower is available to all with the money to spend, and business is booming.
It’s been 20 years since adventurers armed with the first rifles stopped a wicked cult from assassinating the Good King Gregor V, and Kurdor has changed much. There’s a new paradigm of gunpowder and steam, machines and mechanics. Caldrin City, the capital of Murksong Island and the business capital of the world, now rivals the size of The Crown, its factories and exotic exports dominating the market. Good men and women flock from all over to take part in this explosion of industry. Gold and silver miners, scholars, adventurers and criminals alike see a new future in the “Steam City”, and arrive by the boatload.
But the Steam City is a vicious place, and many who make it to Caldrin find that it is not at all what they’d hoped for.
Run by a corrupt class of politicians whose power is wielded by the highest bidder, and weighed down by the speed of its own growth, much of Caldrin has turned into an urban nightmare, rife with disease, crime, and fear. Local factories billow black smoke into the air, and even the once beautiful Cazé district, home to some of the most noble families in the kingdom, now has an air of decay about it. The homeless and desperate immigrants struggle to survive amidst the city’s filth, beaten and humiliated by the brutish and incompetent guards, and thieve’s guild membership is skyrocketing. The chaotic underworld of Caldrin has a deadly reputation, and some say it’s only a matter of time until it engulfs the rest of the city.
Welcome to my New Campaign!
It’s been a while since I’ve run a D&D game, and I figured that, shit, it’s about time to start turning those ol’ world-building gears. For those of you that’ve played in my games before, you probably know that I’m not the most…organized person. And I don’t like that. So this time around, I’m going to do things a wee bit differently.
In an attempt to avoid ‘special snowflake syndrome’ and the population of this game with uninteresting, flawless ‘Mary Sue’ characters, I will be compiling a pool of (hopefully) interesting and unique characters with backstories, quirks, and cultural attributes relevant to the world of The Murksong Renaissance. For any player that chooses one of these characters instead of coming up with their own, I will give an in-game bonus to, in the form of a magic item, attribute, ability, or some other such nonsense. Players that still wish to come up with their own are certainly free to do so, and the bonuses granted to other players will not be so great as to deeply upset the balance of the group. The bonuses are there to encourage, not to punish.
I will be compiling the rough outlines of several different adventures at once, to hopefully allow for more flexible gameplay and to keep from ‘railroading’ players down one plotline to its eventual conclusion. Because doing this is going to require an awful lot of preparation on my part, it may be some time before I feel comfortable opening the game up to begin play. As it stands I will be using this site as a database and personal resource until more of the story has been roughly uncovered and more people have expressed an interest in playing.
Hopefully the calendar here on this site will help us out with the scheduling, but the last time I ran a game it was a borderline nightmare. The people involved had complicated work and school schedules and the only night we could find that worked consistently still ended up with half of the players being sleep deprived, which leads to an ancy and uncomfortable vibe during play. With luck, this time around, a night can be agreed upon in which we’ll all have plenty of time to rest and enjoy the night: It’s a game, not an obligation.
For the record, my work schedule is almost exclusively Monday, Thursday, and Friday nights, from 10 PM to 6 AM. If you can work around THAT then you’re probably in good shape.
The presence of firearms in this campaign is going to alter gameplay quite a bit, I think. I want to preserve most of the classic RPG experience of hit points and attacking and defending and all of that, but at the same time I want the power of guns to be significant. So when I say guns are going to be in this campaign, whatever rules we end up using need to be HARSH. I want people to go down if they get shot. I want people dead if they get shot in the head. There will still be magical revival and all of that, and there’s absolutely no harm in rolling up a new character if something like a gunshot to the head happens to be in your character’s future, but I do want the gravity of this fact to be at the forefront of your minds when you’re making/picking a character, and when you’re actually in combat; use cover!
The Renaissance Has Arrived
I’m looking forward to a nice, long, satisfying campaign. Godspeed!