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Topics - Laurent MEKKA

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Gaming Tales / New One-shot in alternative khoras
« on: October 11, 2018, 07:31:22 AM »
Today we'll try 13th age RPG.
It's a variant D20 game (like D&D) but with a bit of narrative stuff.
There's "icons" that are shakers & movers of the world and important characters. PCs need to determine their relationship with some icons and it affects the game (at the start of each session, your roll 1d6 per relationship and if you roll a 6, the followers of the icon (or anything else related to it) will give you something benefical. If you roll a 5, something benefical BUT with a disadvantage.

So, this is a non-canon Khoras where a Cataclysm destroying the two moons has also "shaken" reality, mixing for an instant the material plane with elemental planes, hell, heaven, and all the other planes. Parts of the world changed, a lot of outsiders now live in Khoras and civilisation was hurt, even destroyed in places. Demons rules some places and have enslaved humanity, some places are still connected to elemental planes and have become colder, hotter, earther (lol) or airer (...)...
50 years later, Arkalia is not a great country anymore. Only Strathon and 2 other cities are Arkalia, with an useless king and the power behind the throne, Jon Tenral, that turned the Knighly Barrinor cult into something more cruel and more like an inquisition. "New" Arkalia is safe from monstrer but not from inquisitors and injustice.

The game will start in Stirling (again !). Malcolm Teroth is undead (but players don't know). He rejected Barrinor for Kael, in order to fight harder against the enemies of Stirling.
His son, first Knight, is still faithful to Barrinor. The place is now haunted, because of the influence of the negative energy plane and a witch that came back from the dead. Sadie Lone (from my old campaign... it's like American Horror Story, new setting, same actors..). Second threath, a demon that rallied a saurian tribe after having tamed Black Claw (from my old campaign...), a young black dragon venerated by the saurians.

As the game is "supposed" (we'll see :) ) to be only a one-shot scenario and not a campaign, I chose to make only 7 Icons (right from google translate...)
Heroic icons
Queen Erelicia Syntha (Queen of Cyrell's Elves) [Guardian of Nature in Exile]
Queen Erelicia Syntha fights the demons that infest the Cyrell wood. She fled the capital and runs the operations remotely, moving in secret. She has developed a gift for military strategy and alone is able to establish a defense and reconquest plan at the level of her entire nation and beyond. She is a target for demons, who, if they managed to eliminate it, would greatly disrupt Cyrell's defense.

Dorian 1st, the Unbreakable (Sovereign of the Underground Kingdoms - Ulkran) [Purifier of the Underworld]
In the underground world of Ulkran, the Dwarves reigned as masters. Until they are invaded by aberrations that literally dock their caverns with caverns that seem, like vessels, able to move in the earth's crust. But it is without counting on the courage and tenacity of the dwarves who have practically won this war, even if there are pockets controlled by aberrations and there are regularly new assaults. Dorian needs allies on the surface, and to recover the relics stolen from the dwarves to put an end to the invasion.

(desert wizard, relic guardian) [Protector of the Irenni Legacy]
Morlokk knows, Morlokk sees. And Morlokk is convinced that to cleanse the world and that every being, every thing, every place finds its place in its original plane of existence, it needs the relics and knowledge of the now extinct Irenni civilization. Each artifact, each legend, is one step closer to its goal. War is not a lasting solution. Put everything back in its place, if.

Ambiguous icons
Great Bishop Jon Tenral (supreme religious authority of the Church of Barrinor) [Turned the worship of Barrinor into inquisition, the power behind the throne that runs Arkalia]
Jon Tenral had to overcome a great crisis, when his King did not rise to the height, when the precepts of his God bridled the noblest knights, in a fight against unscrupulous and immoral enemies. The power behind the throne, the man of the shadow, that's what he's become. And it is only he has rewritten the word of his god, his precepts. Harder, harsher, less chivalrous. The new cult of Barrinor seen by Jon Tenral purifies (with the hammer of war) at the slightest supposition that the innocent can become evil. And all those who do not worship Barrinor can become evil.
He is the one and only responsible for the reunification of Strathon, Newcastle and Corrington, the new great nation of Arkalia, free, relatively safe and strong, although for some, it is a lesser evil of living oppressed by his peers that tortured by demons.

Vurai Bodikur, mayor of the Free City of Ithell (Protector of the City of Splendor, young scholar elf) [Think only of the interests of his city to the detriment of others]
Ithell, the City of Splendors, the Mecca of culture and the arts. Now, an impenetrable vault, neither by men, nor by demons, nor by any other creature. An Eden in a destroyed world. And Vurai will do everything to keep things that way. Even if it is done at the price of the rest of the civilization. It is said that he made a pact with the underworld to protect his city. It is said that he sold the rest of humanity to protect his city. That does not prevent, that sometimes one finds his agents in defenders of the humanity on the other end of the world. Guilt?

Bad icons
The Seven Lords of Dread (High Priests of Barulda) [Dream of a Undead World]
The seven high priests of Barulda, neither quite alive, nor quite dead, were able to revel in the destruction of humanity, the awakening of the dead, the influence of the world of the dead on that of the living . Demons and other arrivals from other plans are both an obstacle and a playground. If they were able to convert them to their pleasures of torture and self-mutilation, they could certainly create a paradise...

Queen Sillar, the Merciless (Demonic Majesty, Queen of Shadows, Eastern Scourge, Light-Bane of Light - Duthelm) [Wants to see the world crumble in chaos and blood to reshape it in her image]
Queen Sillar wanted to see the world burn, humble men and conquer the entire planet with her troops of orcs, ogres and goblins. But the Cataclysm has changed its plans. Chaos is now his enemy. Or a beast to tame. Allies to find, new victims to enslave. Collaborate with the strong, eliminate the weak. Then conquer the world.

General Discussion and Questions / Barrinor cult and rangers
« on: October 06, 2018, 11:44:51 PM »
Another question in Arkalia. Stirling in particular !
There's rangers around the town but on the Barrinor's page : "Ranged weapons are shunned as they are a craven’s weapon."
How is it compatible ? Are rangers worshipping another god ? How worshippers of Barrinor see them ? They protect the town against dangers from the Trackless Mire, are they seen as coward by the knights and most of Stirling people because they use bows ?

General Discussion and Questions / Ogres in Arkalia
« on: September 04, 2018, 06:10:47 AM »
Arkalia : Ogres 1%
Strathon : Ogres 1%

Orc and goblyns and not counted in the population of nations, but still present ("They frequently assist travelers, convey messages, arrest bandits, find lost children and protect farms from orc raids and worse. " / Stirling).

What about the ogres ? Their description talk about villages but they seem to live in "human" cities, with elves, grums...
I imagine both can be possible, depending of where they are.

In Arkalia, how are things ?
Are all ogres "integrated" with humans ? Are they seen like "primitive" or "lower than humans" people ? Do they have villages ?

Please, tease us !!  8)

Gaming Tales / My campaign in Stirling
« on: December 31, 2014, 08:35:09 AM »
I have the luck to be the DM of a pathfinder campaign in Khoras.
Both of my players came to work on the expansion in the swamps (see stirling page on the site :) ) and the third is a the magic student of Akyron. (I also have 4 others players, that played once each, but I'll make it short).

It started with a very young dragon eating cows and hiding in a old bandit cave now used by goblyns, before entering in stirling when they came to sleep to the goodway inn.
They made it escape to the trackless mire with a lot of luck and because the dragon was very young (and they killed all the goblyns).
It made them a little bit famous in stirling as "Dragon slayers"... and some had a bad opinion about them because of a polemic about goblyns (cruel monsters or poor people with feeling escaping Duthelm and living in poverty ?).

After that, because of their little renown, the chief of the guards asked them for help with a series of murder where a Sayune circus in towns these days was accused for the murders.
They resolved the affair, that was smugglers in town that used the circus as a black sheep for murdering the people that made their business hard.

After that, the chief of the guards (embarassed...) came to them again because there was a rumor about a sort of rogue goblyns guild in the sewers that was being created...
It would be bad for his reputation to send his men to kill everyone and he knows the two outsiders have no problem dealing with goblyns.. so..
But they were asked to choose someone to join them, either the new Barrinor cleric (a grum addicted to battle spice and willing to destroy all undead, bored by the life in a church) or his bodyguard, an half-ogre.
Turios the half-ogre was chosen and became the firt NPC in the party !
They found a little goblyn dressed as a girl (goblyns are asexuals in my campaign) and captured her after the tried to steal from them.
They were menacing at the start but soon they became nicer as they started to understand her, and she helped them to find a way inside the sewers.
Welcome Kittie the Goblyn, the second NPC !
Let's make it short, they searched the sewers, and were shocked to find that the chief of the goblyns was a talking skeleton.
As every movie bad guy, he need to talk to much before fighting, and explained he was Heppe Lone, the husband of Sadie Lone, a Stirling woman that got into necromancy when he died (she wanted to bring him back). They are both back and seek revenge agains Stirling that banished her wife into the Trackless mire.
She sent him to the sewers to sewers to gather the goblyns for an assault from inside when time will come.
He got beaten but one of the 2 PC has gotten ill after being bitten by a vargouille (Heppe has 2 pet vargouilles).
(In fact my player's wife was pregnant and he couldn't play anymore for a while...)
They had to go to Akyron's tower to tell him about the skeletton (because it's very uncommon to see such a thing !), and he told them the same story about Sadie Lone, that happened 20 years ago.
Rumors of disappearance of the site of the Stirling expansion into the swamps made Akyron asking for the healthly PC to investigate there, as he was already registered as a worker. Akyron's student joined him, taking the identity of the ill PC, also registered.

Malcolm Teroth, the mayor of Stirling wanted them to blame a solitary ogre living in the swamps, to kill him and come back with his body, so the work can restart quickly (the workers on the site stopped working after 23 of them disappeared..). They didn't do that and found out that the workers were abducted by saurians.
They found the prison in a cave in the swamps... Killed all the saurians and captured the Kobold that was enslaved by them and used as a cook, Madkax. He was also skilled at poison making and told to the team that it was planned by "the masters" to use his poison to poison Stirling. One of "the masters" arrived, it was a sort of intelligent, armored and powerful ghoul. They barely beat it.
But it was too late, once back in town, they couldn't enter, Stirling was in quarantine, many people dying inside.

To be continued's already too long !

Role Playing Discussion / D20 new rules for Khoras
« on: October 04, 2014, 06:30:29 AM »
I'm playing my campaign in Khoras with Pathfinder and I'd like to make my own Khoras D20 OGL rules set (after a few tries with microlite ou 100% from scratch), and for now it's my best attempt :D

Here's a few changes from DD3.5 and Pathfinder that comes in my rules, please criticize !


Arcane Magic :
No "vancian" magic system.
Spells are launched with points.
Each mage has an orichalcum artefact (wand or something else...) with a few points.
It can be used to launch spells, then, you use your vitality points (HP is split in "Vitality Points" and "Wounds Points").
Level 0 spells are at-will and free.

Divine Magic :
Clerics and other similar classes have "Faith points" that are used to launch spells.
They do not replenish when you rest.
There's 3 way to regain lost points :
- Prayer : Once a day, regain 1 point.
- Offering to the god : once a day, regain 50%
- Sacrifice : once a day, regain 100%

For example, for Barrinor :
- Prayer => A 10 minutes prayer, alone in a room
- Offering => 100gp to a Barrinor Temple
- Sacrifice => The cleric must be the one that kill an enemy (chaotic or evil)  with a hammer (ie. the attack that take the hp of the enemy to 0) and dedicate his strike to Barrinor by shouting "For Barrinor !" while striking.

Are the god real and actually helping, is it just self-confidence and the gods doesn't exist or it's self confidence because even the gods exists, they don't care ? Everything is possible...

Skill System

I won't use classical DD skill system but instead the 13th age (a rpg made by designers of DD4 and that is something like a 3.5 / 4 hybrid but with gridless combat and some "indie rpg" rules) skill system known as Backgrounds.

You choose a few backgrounds to your character and assign points to it.
When a background is relevant to a skill check, you use your bonus and that's it.

Example : "Child of the Avarian mountains +2" give you +2 for skill checks about climbing, survival in the mountains, knowledge of the geography or history of Avar and whatever would be logical and claimed by the player.
It's interesting because the player have to be more involved in the character and not only the numbers. What a "Sage of the Pirate Isles" should be good at ?

Nation of birth

Each character has to decide where he is born.
He gains a free background, like "Child of the Avarian Mountain" or "Innate magic of Corvenia" with a +2 bonus et sometimes something more.
Example :
Innate Magic of Corvenia
Natives from Corvenia learn two of the following cantrips of their choice: light, mage hand, prestidigitation, and read magic. They gain also the backgrond Innate magic of Corvenia +2 and know fauna, history, politics and culture of the country.

General Discussion and Questions / Golconda and religion ?
« on: July 22, 2014, 05:59:57 AM »
Just a question, the Golconda is an order of monk women, but, what are their views on religion ?
Does the order worship one god ?

This question could apply to other organisations I suppose... (like the Sar'shang Brotherhood)

General Discussion and Questions / Dumb idea
« on: July 20, 2014, 10:51:06 AM »
I'm trying to do a gritty and realistic version of Khoras for my players where everything is explained (or explainable :p ).
I'm trying to fit and explain why there could be so many "magical" creatures and monsters in a fantasy world like Khoras (or Faerun or whatever...), so, for example, Goblyns that could attack PCs in Duthelm are actually vicious and evil, but in more civilized and peaceful countries, if you meet Goblyns in a cave, it's just that they fled from a life of misery and violence and hoped to find a peaceful land where they'll be welcome.
And in fact, they're feared and hated and are forced to live outside of civilisation (still better than living in a place where their families would be killed and raped by evil goblyns or whatever...
So they're in Ithria like the Roms are in France for example... and it become not so easy to decide what to do when villagers say they are stolen and are afraid to be attacked and you find you in front of families of goblyns with women and children...

SO !
There's so many creatures from other planes in the monster manuals of D&D and bestiaries of Pathfinder I'd love to see in Khoras but donc like the idea that everyone just magically call them to our plane, or that they travel between planes easily for hunting or whatever...

My surely dumb idea would be that the sundering hurted the complete order of the universe (locally) and merged and mixed some parts of planes.
So you could find elementals because they're lost and stuck in our plane, maybe the Xorians could be there because of it too...
Since the sundering happened a long time ago, it could explain whole established colonies of "fairy" hidden in a forest for example...
It could explain "portals" between planes because some places merged and a place could be both in our plane and in another.

And, in my version of the "cosmology", there's parallel universes, an unlimited number of it.
The nearest "parallel universe" of us would be an universe where only a small detail is changed.
And so, the "plane of fire" is just a very different universe, where the "small detail" that was different from ours is something changed in the rules of physics.
The only planes that are not "parallel" would be the dark plane (something like a corrupted copy of our plane - think to dark silent hill after the siren ring) and the ethereal plane (with "ghosts", think about silent hill with the fog).

Don't know what to think about it, if it's a good idea or not.

EDIT : Engine changed to Neverwinter Nights 1 instead of Neverwinter Nights 2 !!

Since years, I wanted to make a module for a game with a Khoras setting. A few years ago, I started a module for neverwinter nights happening in the Trackless Mire (and Stirling and Bogtown) but gave up after a crash disk...

Now I'm planning to do a module for NWN2 both big and reasonably doable. Thanks to Storm of Zehir, an expansion pack I'll be able to make a complete worldmap of Khoras and for example, when you arrive on a city and click on it, a menu appears to visit all important places (and festivals depending on the date...) so no need to map entire massive cities but only zones of interest.
At first I wanted to map everything and divide by 100 the population counts (ie Strathon would have 720 people, all in the game) but I think the task is too big and would put the project to the big list of unfinished projects announced on the Internet :)

I'm starting by Strathon. It could be a first module and I'll expand on it after that.
I have recensed 23 canon characters and I'm creating them in the editor, detailing their background, adding dialogues and quests...
I'll start mapping when everything on Strathon is planned.

Any suggestions or ideas will be welcome !

General Discussion and Questions / Questions about Strathon
« on: February 23, 2010, 02:13:07 AM »
Hello all, I'm a Khoras fan since years, I'm trying to plan a Khoras module for NeverWinter Nights 2 (I'll make another topic later about it) so after a few mails with David I decided to post some questions here.

On the Strathon pages, it is said that :
1. The High Guard is being disbanded. This is only the tip of a much larger issue... a major conflict has arisen between the King and the Church. The King is disbanding the High Guard as the first step in a major political shift of power.
2. Production of the arms and armor used by the High Guard is being moved from Stirling to Bronzedale.

Do we know more ? Why is there a conflict between the Church and the King even if "King Hosric is a staunch supporter of both the church and the High Guard. As a prince, he was a member of that elite group and the King recalls fondly his days as a knight." ?
Are both facts related ? (the conflict with the church and the move of the production of arms and armors).

Could this be related to the "Silver Hammer" adventure idea (the hammer is stolen and the city is closed by the guards until it is recovered) ?

I'd like to hear David about it and what the others thinks !

Thanks in advance !

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