Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Not the kind with cardstock and pawns. Mostly play by post Mafia so far.

Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Adelene » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:00 pm

Bluelantern wrote:
Adelene wrote:
Urpriest wrote:Incidentally, I could see an interesting dynamic there with Lurkerforged: the older, resentful "free" 'forged versus the new shiny "loyal" 'forged.


Lurkers don't actually come in resentful flavor? But yes, if there's multiple 'forged in the party she's definitely going to take a particular interest in the others, and loyalist vs. subversive is going to be interesting thing to watch. ^^


How would Lurker react to a cleric that was mildly-agnostic (pun not intended) over warforged personhood?


Along the lines of 'you're wrong, you're obviously wrong, but I'm not going to argue with you about it unless you try to argue with me about it.'

PlainDealingVillain wrote:World backstory can change, but the prototype warforged were of the 'large and very dangerous but dumb' variety rather than 'small and hopefully harmless'. Warforged scouts (the small ones) were late inventions, but that's more due to vagaries of which sourcebook they were in more than actual in-world reason, probably. Unless they are just too small for the giants to have invented them.


Hmmm. Those don't seem to be early warforged, despite the name; they seem to be a kind of golem whose design contributed to the designs of actual warforged. I don't think that conflicts significantly.

For Lurker in particular, what I'm envisioning is that she's a one-off, or close to it; the earliest rounds of warforged training seem like they were more about stress testing than actually trying to get a functional soldier (burying them alive? really?), and then Lurker was made in the first wave of the phase after that, where they had a decent grasp on what not to do but didn't really know what to do yet - they knew they were going to have to give her a bit more freedom than the previous ones, in order to see what she'd do with her shiny new free will under various circumstances, and they knew they weren't going to get a functional soldier for their efforts; maybe they didn't know how to make a properly effective warforged in a small size, yet, but since she wasn't going to be a properly effective warforged anyway for other reasons, that didn't matter so much.

Further thoughts:
  • She has what I've been thinking of as an older brother - another warforged kept by the same person. the brother came out of it - or rather, didn't - somewhat worse off than she did; he still exists, which implies that he ended up more useful than not, but as a part of the 'figure out what breaks warforged' contingent, he's definitely got some issues. He was in Cyre on the Day of Mourning, and one of her goals in going to the mournlands is to see if she can find him.
  • Most warforged are specifically conditioned to be terrified of death; she missed this. her first exposure to the concept was not the standard 'be damaged to the point of deactivation and then healed, and then be told traumatizing things in the wake of that shock'; it was seeing someone die while she was off with the kobolds. She still doesn't /like/ it, but it's much less personal for her and was presented as a natural thing.
  • She wasn't trained to be warlike as such; to the degree that they knew what they were doing with training her at the time, she was just trained to be docile.
  • She did leave the kobolds on her own; this may actually have been her first significant decision as a person. Her basic instructions were to never attack anyone; she was with the kobolds as a sort of solo mission test run, she'd been instructed to go and observe them and come back under some conditions slightly less obviously prone to resulting in her staying with them forever than 'when you run out of things to learn'. The kobolds got into a fight with somebody, and asked her to help them fight, resulting in a conflict between two of her orders, which she had to decide what to do about, and her decision was to leave rather than fight.
  • Her driving emotion is curiosity; she's significantly better at dealing with people than most 'forged are, and part of that is age and talent but most of it is just that she cares more and therefore pays better attention.
  • For downtime activities, she draws, of course, and she plays a board game equivalent of solitaire that she invented - it looks kind of like mancala. She also does some kind of crafting that allows her to repair other 'forged.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Tamien » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:14 pm

Based on jalapeno's pitch post and followup, I am pretty sure we aren't going into the Mournlands? like... at the start of the campaign, they don't *exist* yet - they're still Cyre. We're going to Xen'drik, and then returning to Khorvaire to discover that the Day of Mourning happened while we were gone. At which point maybe we will visit the Mournlands, but I think that's pretty up in the air? Like, we will be trying to figure out what happened, for sure, but I'm unclear whether that actually means "go there"??
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Adelene » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:23 pm

Ah. I hadn't seen the followup. At some point I need to go through and actually read the thread; I might have time over the weekend.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:49 pm

Where can I go where humans are in the local majority and there's an opportunity for a recent ancestor to have ditched rich/noble connections to have a quiet unassuming life with a less prosperous partner?

...*brain goes click*

Actually, if one of this StevenChainsaw's parents was a noble who ran away with a commoner and the commoner was dragonmarked and possibly hiding from their attached House, this fits Sefton's parenting backstory of "noble girl who ran away with an apostate mage" really really well, and is a pretty good setup for the StevenChainsaw to turn out with an aberrant dragonmark. *checks dragonmarks list* If daddy wasn't aberrant himself, he was probably Cannith.

Sounds good! To answer your question, there are a bunch of places that could work: at minimum the Five Nations (minus maybe Thrane), the Eldeen Reaches, or Q'barra could work (the latter two would specifically be the place the noble ran away to, not came from). Would need to know a little more about temperament of the parents to recommend something specific. If you want the quiet unassuming life part to continue up to the present day of the campaign, I recommend Breland or Q'barra. If you want the q.a.l. to have been disrupted by the War, I recommend Karrnath or the Eldeen Reaches (you could also get Cyre to work). If you want the q.a.l. to have been disrupted in a way that caused massive personal trauma, I recommend the part of Breland that became Droaam. If you want said trauma to be in the future rather than the past, I recommend Cyre (which you should also pick if you want to emphasize the Cannith part).

What religions have to say about dragonmarks and the aberrant marks?
Everyone in polite society agrees that aberrant marks are bad, though that's mostly for historical reasons rather than religious prohibitions. The Silver Flame might feel a little more strongly about them, since they have a thing about purity and have done things like purging lycanthropy relatively recently. If you want a religion which is pro-aberrant marks, I can dig around in Faiths of Eberron to try to find something, but you'll probably be best off with a cult of the Dragon Below.

I have had further ideas about Indiana Gnomes; I think he is really, really sick of gnome politics and is an expeditioning academic because it is the best option that keeps him mostly away from gnomish power struggles while still bringing an acceptable level of honor and secrets (which are the same thing, in Zilargo) to his family.
Sounds good. Thoughts on what type of academic? If you want him to get swept up into gnomish power struggles against his will I can recommend a couple of disciplines... ;)

and I am playing with the idea of a gnome mage. It's quite possible if the mission is a collaboration of houses that she got volunteered to get her out of somebody's hair, and didn't fight it too hard because she was Bored Of Politics.
Are you thinking she'll be in Sivis? If not, there are plenty of other possiblities, e.g. elemental binding.

Just wondering - do we have an artificer in the party? I feel like if the story is going to involve the depths of Xen'drik and a strange, prototype warforged, then we definitely need someone who is at least somewhat of an Expert
This seems like a good idea. Seems like it could work with either PDV's or atheistcanuck's concepts, if either/both of your are interested.

Speaking of dynamics, what does religion have to say about Warforged? Specifically, I want to know what my cleric should think about her smoll-robot teammates.
The nature of warforged is a Big Question, and is seeming likely to be one of the themes of the campaign in general, so let me go into some detail. First off, in D&D 3.5 terms warforged are "living constructs". This means, in particular:
-Warforged appear as sentient and sapient as humans or elves do. They have minds, and are vulnerable to mind-affecting spells and abilities. And, like members of other races, individual warforged have unique personalities; even warforged created at the same time in the same creation forge are not identical. (The vast majority of warforged have been indoctrinated to a greater or lesser extent, but this is not inherent to their construction--it was a matter of instruction, upbringing, and culture, or occasionally the aforementioned mind-altering magic.)
-Warforged are essentially non-biological: they need not eat, sleep, or breathe, they do not become nauseous or exhausted, and they do not suffer from poison or disease. On the flip side, their bodies do not heal and they do not reproduce.
-Despite this, warforged have a "life force." They are affected by magical spells which cause damage directly, as well as necromantic spells which drain life more directly. They can be healed or cured by the spells of clerics, though such spells are less efficient than arcane methods designed to repair them directly (in D&D 3.5 terms, warforged get half healing from a cleric's cure light wounds but full healing from an artificer's repair light damage). Finally, warforged can be raised from the dead under the same circumstances that other races can (I am open to discussion about changing this from canon or leaving it unresolved as of the beginning of the campaign, though).
-Like some members of other races, some warforged can wield either arcane or divine magic.
-Warforged do not develop dragonmarks (or at least have not been observed to do so yet).

Sociologically things are more complicated. Warforged look different, often menacing; they generally look obviously mechanical and unnatural or uncanny; they're genuinely new; they're associated almost entirely with the War; and the warforged themselves have generally not been socialized to attempt to fit in with polite society, or even to consider themselves as members of such.

So, one's attitude on warforged depends on which of these things are most important. I'd think that most anti-warforged prejudice stems from the sociological things considered above, some of which is due to their non-biological nature. As a theological matter, I'd guess that the fact that warforged can be raised from the dead, and the fact that they can wield divine magic, would convince the scholars of most religions that they had personhood (at least to the same extent as, say, goblins); whether that has propagated out to a typical priest or typical devout laity is doubtful, though. I'd guess that the most hostile to warforged would be certain druidic cults and a subset of the Silver Flame which care about "purity" and "naturalness." I can see members of the Blood of Vol going either way; either it's a commendable attempt to remove some of mankind's weaknesses or a misguided, inevitably doomed attempt to seek immortality without becoming undead.

Based on jalapeno's pitch post and followup, I am pretty sure we aren't going into the Mournlands? like... at the start of the campaign, they don't *exist* yet - they're still Cyre. We're going to Xen'drik, and then returning to Khorvaire to discover that the Day of Mourning happened while we were gone. At which point maybe we will visit the Mournlands, but I think that's pretty up in the air? Like, we will be trying to figure out what happened, for sure, but I'm unclear whether that actually means "go there"??

I think there's a very good chance y'all will end up there at some point, but that depends on how things play out, and in any case won't happen for a while.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Urpriest » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:32 am

To give a bit more detail to some of what jalapeno_dude said, high level characters are very rare in Eberron, so there aren't a lot of people with the capability of raising warforged from the dead, let alone people who have actually done it. So yeah, a cleric could easily be ignorant of that possibility.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:52 am

OKay, how's this work:

Mama is the somewhat sheltered youngest daughter of a not particularly interesting noble family in Majority Human Country A. Daddy is a totally normal and definitely not dragonmarked artificer who certainly isn't on the run from Cannith or anything. They meet, fall in love, and run away to Majority Human Country B (Eldeen Reaches?), where they build a quiet life together and have a kid or three. Daddy dies early on, under mysterious circumstances that may or may not be related to how on the run from Cannith he isn't; Mama continues raising the kid(s) alone. Disruption occurs, in a way that either kills off the rest of the family, or at minimum separates StevenChainsaw from them in such a way that he is not willing or able to find them again. Now he's wandering the continent trying to stay out of trouble and looking for work doing what he does best: violence.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby PlainDealingVillain » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:26 pm

I'm tempted to suggest Country B be Karrnath instead, exclusively because in Karrnath, there is a form citizens sign that includes a checkbox for "Yes, I wish to serve my country after death by donating my body to the skeletal brigades" / "No, I do not wish to express my patriotism after death" and having S/C's parents show up on a battlefield, while unlikely, could be great.

jalapeno_dude wrote:
I have had further ideas about Indiana Gnomes; I think he is really, really sick of gnome politics and is an expeditioning academic because it is the best option that keeps him mostly away from gnomish power struggles while still bringing an acceptable level of honor and secrets (which are the same thing, in Zilargo) to his family.
Sounds good. Thoughts on what type of academic? If you want him to get swept up into gnomish power struggles against his will I can recommend a couple of disciplines... ;)

Just wondering - do we have an artificer in the party? I feel like if the story is going to involve the depths of Xen'drik and a strange, prototype warforged, then we definitely need someone who is at least somewhat of an Expert
This seems like a good idea. Seems like it could work with either PDV's or atheistcanuck's concepts, if either/both of your are interested.


I think he's specifically specialized in whatever would involve interesting field research in Xen'Drik. Time-consuming fieldwork. As often as possible. And if he has wizard levels, Illusion is one of his banned schools. But I will totally take suggestions even if they don't quite fit into that.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:33 pm

What's a banned school?
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:56 pm

Kappa wrote:What's a banned school?

See http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/sorce ... ialization. Wizardry - the sort of arcane magic that involves academic study of magic, spellbooks, familiars, etc. - as depicted by D&D involves dividing up spells into a number of different schools of magic. A wizard may specialize in one of these schools at the expense of giving up others.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby atheistcanuck » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:05 am

I'm tempted to make my gnome (tentatively first named Ameline due to name attractor) an abjuration specialist wizard with evocation and necromancy as banned schools. But it would probably be better to just have her informally tend towards abjuration spells, so as not to give up the wizard staple evocation spells entirely.

Assuming I go the wizard route. I would be willing to play an artificer.
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