The environment is dangerous. Very dangerous. That’s intentional because danger unites. PCs have to work together or perish. They also have to think and pick their battles — since they can go anywhere, there is nothing stopping them from strolling into areas that will wipe them out. If they just strap on their swords and charge everything they see they are going to be rolling up new characters. Players learn to observe their environment and adapt — when they find owlbear tracks in the woods they give the area a wide berth (at least until they gain a few levels). When they stumble into the lair of a terrifying hydra they retreat and round up a huge posse to hunt it down.
1.) Planning and Scheduling – Players control
– The GM must be available to play on the requested day
– Players plan where where they are going and inform the GM at least 3 days in advance (allowing preparation of anything that’s missing.)
– The GM may veto any plan deemed boring and unworthy of a session.
– Unless otherwise agreed on, all sessions must be self contained excursions – i.e. sessions start in town and are expected to end back in town. *Failure to close the excursion by the end of the session will incur steep penalties. (Loss of significant XP, accumulation of disadvantages, etc.) *
– There are no adventures in town. Adventure is in the wilderness
– Players must elect a cartographer and must make/use their own map
– Players must elect a scribe to record their deeds each week.
– Encounters are tuned to the environment, not the players.
– Retreat is always an option.
Historians say it has been 50 generations since the apocalypse. Details of that long-forgotten age, including the fall, are sketchy and it is rare to find two academics who agree on more than a few points.
Here are the known facts:
- Our section of the world, the homeland, encompasses a group of 4 islands.
- Written history does not extend back to the fall. After the cataclysm, it took generations before the surviving/emerging governments re-stabilized – this time is known as the reconstruction. The time before the reconstruction is full of murky details, outrageous legends, and likely half-truths.
- All 4 islands have been relatively prosperous since the re-stabilization. Famine has not afflicted the homeland in recorded memory.
- There are no supernatural beasts in the homeland. Fairy tales, horror stories, and legends state that fantastical creatures were once common place.
- Magic exists in the world but remains rare and rudimentary. The feats of our arcane colleges are dimmed by legends of what was possible before the fall.
- A distant shore has been observable from the north western portion of the homeland coastline – it appears there is an oceanic channel separating the homeland from these distant shores.
- The distant shore is obscured by mists more often than not. Magical divination has never been able to penetrate the mists.
- Sailors report that the waters are safe for a couple of miles out to sea, but that there are horrors in the deeps that attack any ships that travel too far from our home shores. Every few years, during particularly clear days, a sailor will try to sail to the far shore – coastline observers tell tales of the mists returning and enshrouding the distant ships. The following days are often punctuated by wreckage washing back up on shore. No one has ever made it to the far shore and returned.
Legend vs Reality:
The gods once took a direct hand in the worlds events and their existence was once common knowledge. There are no credible divine interactions since the fall – those claiming visitations are deemed madmen by the general populace, however several civilized/good gods are still worshipped in the homeland.
Divine power was once a source of great magic but has disappeared from the world.
Arcane magic was once ubiquitous in the world and the source of wondrous feats. Current magical knowledge would be classified as little more than hedge wizards by most worlds standards.
Recent Developments – The Year in Review:
- Last year a famine struck the homeland, the first such famine since the reconstruction.
- New rumours emerging that the churches reacquired clerics and the ability to use divine powers.
- A small section of the far shore has remained clear of the mists for months. Clerics say it is a divine intervention and the opportunity to explore the distant shore must not be squandered.