Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pre-Adventure Adventures

As Kate mentioned yesterday I've been getting a group together in order to play a very well known campaign. I'll be using a lot of fan material from the BI site to supplement the written modules. Dan White's Herbalism article will help flesh out one of the PCs, and his Von Tribble's Emporium might get a visit too. I also plan to run one of the scenarios on days when the whole group can't make it, meaning that we can keep regular play going but that everyone will be familiar with the campaign's metaplot. I'll choose these as appropriate, but I have already worked out some apt points where Masquerade of Horrors, The Eye of the Tiger, The Bigger they Are... and Noblesse Oblige could get a well deserved airing. The Three Feathers could also get a visit too.

I think one of the most neglected, yet rewarding aspects of character creation is giving them a history. Randomly generating a group and having them "all meet up in a tavern" leaves me cold. I also wanted to take advantage of some of the relationships between PCs and NPCs which are implicit in the campaign, and help the PCs realise that NPCs are living personalities as well.

With this in mind the following history has been created to help the party gel:


Heinrich Klein was born in Averland yet had always been attracted by stories about life at sea. He travelled to Tilea as an adolescent hoping to join one of the many mercenary companies who travel on voyages to the distant lands of the Old World. Instead he was press-ganged into one of the many pirate crews who scour the Tilean ports looking for fresh meat. He served terms on many vessels and on the dangerous pirate-run island of Sartosa. Earning his freedom after many years with the Sartosan buccaneers he returned to the Empire and hooked up with Alexa Drull, a young Nordlander who lived by smuggling wine along the Talabec from Altdorf to Talabheim.

Alexa and Heinrich worked together on the Talabec, using a contact of hers in Altdorf named Josef Quartjin to procure fine wines to take to Talabheim tax free. Unfortunately for Alexa the rough treatment her little boat has taken during repeated hurried attempts to hide it from the eyes of the law has taken its toll, and the vessel has sunk some way from the town of Garndorf. Short of cash and without a vessel the two have made their way to the town in the search of some kind of employment, whether legal or not.


Some time ago Alcar tired of the strictures of life in the Laurelorn forest. Approaching his mid-nineties he felt it was time to see more of life outside and so left his community to explore the lands of men (having been given the warning those who leave the enclave receive about never revealing details of his birthplace to outsiders). He travelled to Middenheim first, but found the city cold and grey for his liking. He decided to make his way to Altdorf, and got as far as Delberz before running out of money. He struggled to make ends meet until he formed a friendship with a thief, one Rolf Hurtsis. Rolf taught Alcar that life in Empire is harsh; hunger, disease, violence and exploitation by the rich are ineluctable problems for the poor. Faced with this world view Alcar became cynical, and became a criminal himself. This went well until Rolf began to act erratically, was caught and jailed. Though Rolf managed to spring the jail he disappeared from Delberz. Alcar began to feel that, as an Elven thief, he was somewhat conspicuous, and set off to Altdorf once more.

Unused to the lands of men however he became somewhat lost, ending up on the road to Talabheim rather than Altdorf. He met a travelling tradesman, an herbalist named Hans Gottried, who was travelling to Altdorf to deal in his wares. For companionship and safety the two travelled together and have struck up something of a friendship on the long road to Altdorf.

Whilst passing through Ahlenhof the pair met up with Kurt Heidel. The youngest son of a successful burgher in the town all the best careers in business, clergy and the military had been taken by his elder siblings. Bored and doted on as the youngest son of a loving mother he had been using her generosity to fund a slightly unhealthy gambling habit. He has racked up some considerable debts and following the recent death of his mother he has been cut off from the family funds. Staying in Ahlenhof is certain to result in damage to limbs if not his life so he is looking for a quick way to leave the town, make some money and then try his hand in a larger city somewhere. Preferably somewhere he can lay low for a while.


Gideon Funter has spent the last 20 years struggling to learn the elementary lessons of cryptoclastic thaumaturgy at the grey college in Altdorf. His teacher, a Master Wizard called Heironymus Scheer, has decided his apprenticeship is almost at an end, and has sent him out in the world to learn about the practical applications of magic and has given him a mission to gather information on the Chaos cults of the Empire, with a particular warning to “beware the schemes of the Red Crown”. Masquerading as a scholar of the classics (until he gets his lisence he'll have to be very careful about who he reveals his powers to) Gideon has made his way from Altdorf to Garndof where a trail he has been following has run out.

Rumours in the town are buzzing of an expedition being organized in Altdorf – a noble is recruiting people to accompany him on a dangerous trip to the Grey Mountains, and he is paying an exceptional rate of 10s a day! The six adventurers gather about a noticeboard in town that people say carries details of the expedition, but only Gideon and Kurt can read it...

So that's the starting party. The first session tomorrow night sees them attempt to achieve the seemingly simple mission of obtaining a coach trip...

- Dave Allen


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you sank my boat!

5:41 pm  

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