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treehouse 17th of August, 2012 10:17

Mediorum OOC Thread
Welcome, Mediorum players!

I am just now getting to this because I've been studying like a madman for a cert test and getting ready for an interview. By Tuesday I should be chillin', though.

Tentative Schedule

This weekend: Port over Campaign Information documents from Inceptum.

Next two weeks: Update all documents to reflect a timeline advancement of ~100 years. Post frameworks. Post all hacked rules that we are using in a separate thread with proper attributions.

First week of September: Post character creation rules.

Second week of September: Campaign begins.

A few details.
  • If Inceptum's Valeria was a Dark Ages world, Mediorum's is firmly in the Middle Ages. Wood and stone buildings are gradually replacing mud and thatch. A full class of artisans now thrives in the cities, though most humans are still subsistence farmers. Gunpowder has not yet been discovered. Feudal hierarchy is the norm, although Valeria also has a theocracy and an empire.
  • The age of sail has begun. Valeria has encountered other civilizations on the Sea of Lost Souls - some hostile, some friendly, and many open to trade. Port cities have sprung up along the coast as a result, and human civilization is enjoying what it considers to be a cultural and economic golden age.
  • A dogmatic rift has opened in the faith of Kharwan. Traditionally a god of pilgrims, the human deity has evolved as human civilization has progressed from a cluster of petty, warring city-states to stately kingdoms with codified laws. But there are many in the priesthood who argue that the old ways must not be forgotten. They remember that the humans came to this land because they were running from something, even if they don't quite remember what. These disputes among the faithful have occasionally turned violent.

I'm going to try very hard to keep up with this game. I think I've learned a lot over the years about what to do and what not to do when running a play-by-post (there is no such thing as a 'quick side quest', for example). I have some ideas for streamlining combat as well, one of which I'm shamelessly stealing from Black Plauge. I'll be incorporating a sound track when appropriate, and I'm getting the full Cartographer 3 suite next month to help bring up the quality level of my maps.

I'm really looking forward to getting started! Let me know if you have any questions.

Ergonomic Cat 17th of August, 2012 11:06

Did you pass your certs? Did it involve Retsin?

treehouse 17th of August, 2012 12:11

I had to google that...

Certs are ongoing with no end in sight, but I have been in 'cram mode' for the last two weeks. I'm going to give myself a break starting next week.

BigRedRod 18th of August, 2012 03:24

Woo. Is there more Inception wrap up coming?

treehouse 18th of August, 2012 03:29

Besides this? Yes, but it will be written out in the history/timeline of this game. I'm actually working on that right now.

zachol 21st of August, 2012 10:14

Yay, neat.
Gonna poke at stuff.

Not sure to put this, but I was considering playing some sort of noble character, like a minor baroness (baronetess?), who would be... I'm not really sure, something like "trying to secure trade agreements and/or treasure to prop up her failing barony, also generally avoiding going home because of unpleasant memories."
Her barony would be a tiny little thing to the northeast, part of Callevus. Uneven, rugged foothills and poor soil make the woods unattractive for logging. There've been several attempts to establish mines; for a time, an iron mine functioned well enough, but it was depleted quickly. Winters and the soil make farming difficult, etc.
I'm not sure why. I just spotted the "Noble Born" trait and it just struck me as an interesting idea.
Anyway, the point is I'm wondering what the political structure of Valeria is going to be like. The concept only works if there are numerous minor baronies, many of them failing or defunct, so saying "I'm a baron!" might get you a "so?" for a response.

e: The other idea would just be "she was in an army, it got destroyed and scattered," which would be neat as well, though that requires some kind of army fighting something. Are the city-states in open war?

Linklegacy77 22nd of August, 2012 11:44

Hrm, I was thinking of playing the servitor or guardian of a noble for a backstory, so zachol, how'd you like a servant/bodyguard?

It's either going to be that, or more of a wanderer.

zachol 22nd of August, 2012 12:51

Sure! I was going to give her a retainer because it wouldn't make much sense for her to be wandering around alone, but that works.
She doesn't really need a bodyguard, but maybe a knight? I'm still trying to work out the political structure; she serves under the current ruler(s?) of Callevus, and there isn't a clear division between "knight" and "baron." She'd be a "Rouva," female form of "Herra," which sort of means "Baron," but mostly just "Lord" or "Sir."
The idea is that some of the families retained really old titles from the old country. She styles herself "Rouva" because that's what her family always did. A handful of other houses in the northeastern area do the same. Noble titles tend to be a little weird, along with naming conventions, since it's the kind of thing that people retained from the old country without really knowing their meaning. Comparing ranks is often difficult because there often aren't clear equivalents, and in some cases the city-state that controls a territory doesn't have the same kind of structure. For example, Callevus doesn't really have noble ranks, since it's developed out of an ad-hoc plutocracy into something resembling the roman democracy (all "citizens" get a vote, but only rich people who own property are "citizens").

Anyway the point is she's just important enough to have knights.

Linklegacy77 22nd of August, 2012 13:01

Your knight it is then.

treehouse 23rd of August, 2012 03:03

This is probably a good time to talk about character creation.

I have a fairly modular overplot hashed out right now that should accommodate a variety of PC backgrounds, but it would be very cool if you guys could coordinate the 'how do we know each other' element of party building.

I want to start the campaign in the Free City of Corinport, so z's 'baroness fallen on hard times' works out really nicely. She could be in town with her few remaining retainers in search of resources and opportunities. That takes care of z and Link. What about the rest of you?

BigRedRod 23rd of August, 2012 04:06

I have a few vague thoughts about some kind of former child soldier. Some kind of very expensive and professional mercenary company that does slightly unethical things vis-a-vis taking orphans (or just stealing peasants) and making them into the perfect soldiers (which they can then hire out).

Possibly the organisation collapsed recently due to in-fighting and now there's factions and renegades and what not. So BigRedRod Jnr was one of those who cleared off (or was on a job when the problems started, realised he had no home to go to and is just trying to find his way in the world)

To me that says Man At Arms, although I'm not really enough of a fan of the rules to make the most of the wildcard feats (I have a feeling I might end up ignoring them).

Mercutio 23rd of August, 2012 04:06

My character could be a retainer as well. Weapon Master. I was thinking of a bravo who's an expert with a rapier. Think D'Artagnan meets Dread Pirate Roberts meets Arya Stark's dancing teacher Syrio Forel.

Mechanically, I'm probably looking at Expert Strike, Single Weapon Style, and Unerring Strike (depending on what level we start at).

Linklegacy77 23rd of August, 2012 06:00

I'm still set on playing an archer, I'm in the process of looking through the hack and thinking about what kind of focus I'd like to have as an archer.

As far as character personality, I'm thinking this character will be a bit arrogant and a bit of a show-off, but extremely loyal and focused as well.

zachol 23rd of August, 2012 09:40

The baronness (I'm having trouble figuring out a first name, but the last name and the name of the barony is Anhalde) had a fairly jerkass father. He was expecting a son, got a daughter, and his wife died in childbirth. He treated his daughter like a son, though more harshly, and had her go off to fight under Callevus in some sort of war. He died fairly recently (about a year ago?), and she returned to Anhalde to take up her position, then left to find resources.
She gets extremely angry about her father, would have a soft spot for child soldiers (she was sent into war younger than she should've, though not actually as a child), and is fiercely loyal to her people and her barony.

Combat-wise, she's a myrmidon, and works best as part of a group, taking advantage of any openings or distractions. She's had a lot of experience, fought in a lot of battles. She hates getting into fights, and tries to end them as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
She almost certainly spent some time fighting with Link's (and Mercutio's?) characters. Anhalde is supposed to field soldiers for Callevus; that's why her father sent her off (to "help fulfill her duty"), and Anhalde would've also sent other knights and footsmen that she would've fought with.

Mercutio 23rd of August, 2012 09:44

I think I'd like for the bravo to have been found along the way when she went off to fight under Callevus. He would have been sell-sword of some kind who felt protective of her as a youngster (he's probably only a few years older than her, but enough to make him feel a little bit superior) but found out that she didn't really need all that much help. He admired her for that, and decided to stick with her when she went back to Anhalde.

treehouse 23rd of August, 2012 11:05

All I'm going to say for now is that these all sound like really fun characters to weave plots and stories for. You guys are getting me excited.

zachol 23rd of August, 2012 12:28

Yay, neat.

I'm not sure where to peg her age at. Early to mid 20's? She was sent to war in her mid teens. She started as a pikesman (pikeswoman?), staying back a rank and helping to manage enemies from reach. Possibly staying between the center of the battle and Link's archer, sometimes acting as a shield for him if an enemy broke through. Gradually, as the war became more chaotic and they got into more unorthodox battles, she started to just be in the thick of it, keeping close to her fellow soldiers and relying on them, moving and fighting in unpredictable ways.
Her group picked up Merc's bravo around then. Their styles probably mesh well together, both relying a bit on openings and distractions, attacking when the enemy tries to focus on the other one,.

What level are we actually shooting for? I've been planning on 11+, kind of a veteran type. The group would be used to fighting pretty significant enemies, both elites and larger gangs of fighters.

treehouse 23rd of August, 2012 13:44

I need to put together some formal rules but the starting level will be 11th and we will use the standard point buy from Iron Heroes.

Linklegacy77 23rd of August, 2012 20:11

zachol, I'm thinking my character's family has probably been retainers of yours for generations, so my character has been with yours since they were children (milk brother and sister?)

zachol 23rd of August, 2012 20:54

Maybe a big brother sort of deal? She went into battle oddly young by anyone's standards. It would make sense to lead her by three or four years.
There wouldn't be very many children in her station in Anhalde, so they definitely would've been around each other often.

Linklegacy77 23rd of August, 2012 20:56

Sure, that sounds pretty good.

With regards to gunpowder, let me know if you decide to go with it, as explosive arrows would be pretty cool =p.

Darius 23rd of August, 2012 22:46

I was originally thinking man-at-arms but now that you've said "Free City of Corinport" I am going to change that to thief or harrier. A native of Corinport and a man of his own morals.

zachol 25th of August, 2012 00:21

The skeleton is up. She's Sigrid, or "Sig" or "Siri" if you want to irritate her.

Also going to do a writeup on Callevus (it's like Rome only smaller and on a lake).
And, if it's not totally a stupid, a bit on the organization "The Laughing Darkness," a group of assassins with a focus on poisons and anatomy and a peculiar sort of incomprehensible private cant. Hmm I wonder where they came from.

e: Quick update with what I had. Still need to finish out skills and do feats. Some numbers might be off.

treehouse 25th of August, 2012 00:36

Very good - it sounds like you already have this handled somewhat, but keep a basic feudal hierarchy in Callevus. I had intended for Tyrenos to be the Romanesque empire, but it's possible that some of that culture bled over to Callevus while the latter kept its basic political structure intact.

The feudal model we're going with will be fairly close to the historical one. Peasants/serfs/peons are mostly subsistence farmers who pay taxes to a noble in exchange for protection (in times of peace, protection from the noble's bored men-at-arms). They make up the vast majority of the population in Valeria. Above these are the artisans, who tend to live in urban centers and drive the craft and trade of nations. The artisan class is roughly equivalent in status to the bureaucrat class, which manages the laws and regulations of the land at the behest of the nobility (think petty functionaries, judges, marshals, and so on). Above these are the nobility, which (depending on the nation) may consist of multiple tiers; in such a case, each noble will swear fealty to a noble in the next tier up, until they reach the top of the pyramid and crown a king (or equivalent). Typically, only nobility can own land. They are technically subject to the laws of the land but in practice get away with murder, literally.

The names of each feudal unit can and should vary from one region to the next.

Apart from this structure are the clergy of the Faith, who wield significant power in almost every nation. They have their own power structure that I have not defined yet but will closely model the Catholic Church because duh.

I'm trying to decide how I want to handle knighthood. I had a good writeup on it in Inceptum and I might just port it over with some modifications.

zachol 25th of August, 2012 01:03

Callevus basically has two layers going on - "Citizens," which are the people who actually own "land" on the lake, and other people. All citizens are equal, all citizens get a vote, but there are only something like two hundred (?) citizens, and they group themselves into a hierarchy anyway.
Anyone who doesn't own property on the lake, regardless of how impressive their holdings are elsewhere, is an "other." Anhalde owns a bit of the city on the lake, for example, and Sigrid is a citizen, but the fact that she doesn't live within Callevus hurts her position. You need to attend in person to vote, so those who live elsewhere and manage land in person end up not counting, even if they happen to own property.
Callevan citizens are almost all landowners, since living in Callevus is expensive, and there's shit all you can do to make money there. A few Citizens make their living catering to the rich in Callevus, but they're equivalent to courtesans.
There is a pyramid, but it's literally "who has the most money and is also the most popular," differing from other states only in that nobody in Callevus seriously claims they're important because they come from a certain family. Anyone can become a citizen, all they have to do is build a boat, chisel out some granite columns, sink them into the lakebed, and mount the boat on the columns (this is an expensive and difficult process and everyone will laugh at the new person for years and years).
All of this is on account of the original founding of Callevus--some rich asshole built a boat and anchored it in the middle of the lake, and other rich assholes added on to it, until eventually it turned into this ridiculous massive permanent structure full of insane rich assholes. Nobody ever actually wrote up a constitution or anything, they just voted on what to do, because that's what the first two assholes agreed on.

All the land surrounding Callevus still has a very traditional structure, although any noble who wants to have a say is also a citizen. Callevus is important because it's in a central location along the river and controls trade. It was founded fairly long after all the other cities.
There was a town called Callevus before, though now the shore around the lake is just called "the ring," and the nobles have all folded into being citizens. Most retain their titles and use them when dealing with the outside world. Occasionally one or the the other starts a revolution and has to get smacked down. All of the votes have to do with the city, primarily tax rates and whether to recognize new additions. Individual landowners are expected to deal with their own land on their own.
From a certain point of view, Callevus is really just the city, and all the lands surrounding it are a collection of disorganized untiered nobles, most of whom happen to live in Callevus and also call themselves citizens. This is how people from outside Callevus tend to think of it, because the alternative is sort of distressing and confusing.

So, outside of Callevus, Sigrid is Baroness Anhalde of Callevus. Within Callevus, she's Citizen Sigrid, the person who owns that shitty barren plot of land way northeast.

e: Actually Callevus is pretty much fantasy Amsterdam.

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