Lords of Chaos
Welcome to Lords of Chaos. This campaign is set in a fantasy world where magic is real, monsters and gods walk the earth, and small groups of adventurers travel the planet affecting events large and small. The purpose of this campaign is to have fun through roleplaying these adventurers in their quest for power, glory, and fame. The information that follows is designed to give you some basic background information so you can better understand the world around you.
Players will start with a character that they build using a point system and experience points. There are no character classes, per se, but players can design their characters around certain combat and non-combat skills according to their vision. Players gain experience through interaction with their environment. Experience points are awarded for overcoming adversity through combat, diplomacy, problem solving, etc. These points are not necessarily distributed evenly among the group of players. Exceptional roleplaying and character development will be rewarded with extra experience points. Experience points allow the player’s character to grow and take on even bigger challenges. There are no declared character alignments- characters may act within the limits (or lack thereof) set by their player- and will be judged accordingly.
Gods- There are very few atheists on Earth. Gods and their minions do fight for power and control. There are stories of humanoids who have grown powerful enough to become demi-gods, and many tales of the struggles of the gods for our benefit or detriment. Some believe we would be better off without the gods but who would be foolish enough to not want their protection? Others have philosophized that the gods are merely creatures like ourselves, although more powerful, but such things are rarely muttered by sane beings. The gods rarely confront each other directly and therefore use others to carry out their will when possible. Characters can get noticed by the gods, for good or bad, and can sometimes curry favor through their actions. Divine intervention is not unheard of, although it will usually occur indirectly, through spells, magic items, or minions.
Technology and Magic- The use of magic has retarded the growth of technology as we think of it. Why use a cannon when they explode with great regularity and kill their crew, and refuse to place the cannonball on target when they do work? Why not just hire a Necromancer? Who needs surgeons when a Curate can heal almost any disease or cure any wound? Magic is the technology of this world, and those in power would generally prefer to keep it that way. Occasionally characters may run into exotic technologies but they will be rare and usually incomprehensible.
Politics- Most countries are run through some form of highly centralized power (usually Monarchies, Theocracies, or Oligarchies). The feudal system is very common, with complicated alliances, loyalties, etc. Most of the current rulers clawed their way to the top (or had ancestors do it for them) and are highly motivated to stay there. Some areas are relatively stable while others are in constant turmoil as individuals vie for power and domination. Upsetting powerful individuals can be very hazardous to ones health, especially in a world where money can often buy “justice”.
Adventuring- While out on their quests, adventurers will run into many situations. It is important to understand that some of these encounters may not be winnable. Toppling governments is not something most characters have the power to even contemplate. Powerful creatures or gods are usually best avoided, bribed, or befriended. Do not attack something just because you assume the Gamemaster wouldn’t put it there if you couldn’t beat it! There are also allies that will be encountered, some that are not humanoid, so attacking first and asking questions later will almost guarantee the eventual failure of the party. As a last resort, surrender may sometimes be the best option. The characters may offer information, ransom (which is quite common in some areas), services, or whatever it takes to save their hides. Few intelligent beings will kill someone if they have more to gain by sparing them.
Crime- The characters live in a violent world. However, rules do exist and some areas have strong laws and law enforcement. Killing of humans, dwarves, elves and other “civilized” races is generally not allowed unless self-defense can be proved. Other humanoid races usually fall under the same protection while conducting business in cities or along major roadways. Races such as Orcs, who have been perennially at war with most of the civilized species (although they can be found conducting “legitimate” business), can usually be attacked if found roaming the countryside or in desolate areas without too many questions being asked. It is generally wise to know the lay of the land and the local customs before ambushing locals, even if they are hated enemies. Also note that if a group of adventurers (strangers) moves into an area and residents start ending up dead, or the crime rate suddenly jumps, there will probably be repercussions. Remember that the people of a particular area are used to working together for mutual protection and are usually suspicious by nature (they are survivors) and not likely to sit back and tolerate trouble.