The World at Large
Characters in this campaign are going to be handled a bit differently than we’re used to. From the get go, we’re going to focus on your character’s place in the world, what defines him beyond his skillset and profession.
But before all that, there are a few mechanical restrictions I want to establish early. This is going to be a humans-only campaign, with no fantastic races. Feel free to question me about that if you want my explanation. Regarding classes, the monk, alchemist, summoner and witch are all out for one reason or another, along with anything beyond the Core Rulebook or Advanced Player’s Guide. If you want to utilize any material (including classes) not from the CR, make sure you have that material readily available whether in print or on somebody’s tablet. Expect to start at level four.
Now, about you.
For hundreds of years, the vast and storied land of Portong has been the center of the world. Saints, kings and conquerors have called its mountains and prairies home, and nowhere is more steeped in rich history and culture. In the twin-river valley at its center, two-hundred-fifty miles up the Jayat river from the ancient city of Dthan, the County of Culuhparon lies upon a lofty plateau.
You are a courtier and retainer to Yudolan Ensorair, the count. But why are you in his court? Consider three likely reasons:
1. You are a personal adviser to the count, such as the Chief of Defense or of the Guard, the Master of Mint, Chief Justice, etc.
2. You are a member of the royal house of Ensorair, likely a close relative to the count. Yudolan would be happy to invite his second-cousin-once-removed to share in his life of luxury.
3. Possibly the most attractive option, you are an equair: the lowest class of nobility. Similar to medieval knights, equairs are the primary landholders in Portong, with about 60 square miles of farmable land leased in tenure from his liege.
The primary benefit of holding the rank of equair is the tax revenue generated from your fief, and a levy of approximately one hundred conscripted soldiers at your disposal. In return, you must provide your liege, Count Yudolan, with a percentage of your tax haul and soldiers. Additionally, equairs are the elite horsemen in a noble’s army. You would be expected to posses proper arms and armor, a destrier (heavy warhorse), and the appropriate knowledge and skills to be part of the most feared unit on the battlefield: the heavy cavalry.
Last year, a vicious plague swept through Culuhparon, killing dozens of nobles and hundreds of commoners. In the wake of the disease, new councilors were appointed en masse, and a new generation of equairs inherited the fiefs from their fathers. Did the plague give you the position you hold now?
It is also important to consider your place in a royal family. All members of the aristocracy are members of a great house. Family relations can be critical for your prosperity. Some local powerful families include:
-Enzorair, of the counties Culuhparon and Enzorel
-Jayat, of the counties Kharest and Soretra, rival of Enzorair
-Great-Zjollem, of Zjollem county, allied by marriage to Culuhparon
-Great-Flask of Forektina duchy
-Aldo, vassal to Dyodthyo
-Belmonte, nearly extinct
And finally, I’m going to introduce one little new requirement. Each player character must have at least one genuine connection, relationship or personal history with another player character, and these connections must chain together to involve everyone. Ultimately it will be a “six degrees of separation” scenario. A few players have already started building this web, and it would be fantastic to have it spread to encompass everyone. Connecting your characters will be up to you. It wouldn’t be right to have me mediating the entire process.
In the end, don’t be afraid to get ambitious with crafting a character. Fun campaigns are built on a vivid cast. Because of how drop-in-drop-out this campaign is likely to be, characters with a strong personal agenda will flourish. I encourage you to have goals of your own completely unrelated to any existing “plot” in the game. Choose your own path and run with it.