Friday, December 21, 2018

Factions of the Artifice Saga

There are four "organizations" at play during the time of the Shadow of the Artifice Masters campaign.  Players will have the hance to perform deeds on behalf of these factions--and earning renown with them will affect opportunities available to the players later in the campaign.  From a fantasy perspective, the groups are all military orders; and earning renown is akin to advancing in ranks of knighthood.
I wanted to add other factions based on the source material, such as the Disciples of Zor or the Children of the Shadow--but these factions would not have been active at the time of the Sentinels campaign.

Bonus Renown

Characters may begin play with bonus points of renown in particular factions, in particular situations:
  • Invid characters begin play with 1 point of renown with the Invid Horde
  • Micronian characters begin play with 1 point of renown with the Artifice Expeditionary Company
  • Sentinel characters begin play with 1 point of renown with the Sentinel Alliance
  • Warlocks with an archfey patron (the Faerie Queen or Goblin King) begin play with 1 point of renown with the Invid Horde
  • Warlocks with the undying patron (the Artifice Elders) begin play with 1 point of renown with the Artifice Masters.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Classes of the Artifice Saga

While certain classes are a better fit for the Artifice Saga--in part because of story, and in part because of the races--all D&D classes will have a place.  The intent is to preserve the campaign as a fantasy, despite its sci-fi inspirational origin.

While particular sub-classes will be associated with particular cultures, all options will be available to all characters because of the melting-pot atmosphere of Tiresia. As all characters will begin at 1st level, and most sub-classes are chosen after that, there is plenty of time to be exposed to cultural archetypes other than one's own.

Image result for robotech rand dream

Thursday, November 29, 2018

In the Shadow of the Artifice Masters

So, I've recently had a crazy idea.  My brother and I have been huge fans of Robotech for decades.  We have played various RPGs throughout the timeline of the story, as well as our own alternate timelines.  We have used both Palladium's Robotech RPG and FASA's Battletech.  One part of the story we've kept trying to play through, but never really did so successfully, is the "Robotech II: The Sentinels."  There are several versions of the story, some of which overlap:  OVA, comics, novels, and RPG.  Some depth was even added to that story in the sequel "Robotech: Shadow Chronicles."

A variety of new races are added to the setting, and the story is progressively episodic.  So, I figured why not re-interpret The Sentinels as high fantasy adventure.  In the Shadow of the Artifice Masters is a 5th edition D&D adventure-campaign (similar to the official adventures released for the edition) covering the common elements of the Sentinels story, allowing for player-character acts to effect the course of events.

Adventure Setting

In the Shadow of the Artifice Masters takes place on the continent of Fantoma, sometimes also called the "Old World."  This continent is the homeland of elves, orcs, goblinoids, and a handful of other races.  It is here that the conflicts of the Artifice Wars began between the elves of Tirol and the proto-goblinoids of Optera.

Another continent exists far to the west, about 2 months sail away.  This "New World" is Micronia--home to humans, halflings, dwarves, and gnomes.  It was "discovered" by the rebellious disciples of the high elf artificer Zor.  These disciples were pursued by an orc armada, which would only prove to pull the Micronians into the Artifice Wars.

Planes of Monvesia: Astral Companions

Just as the Ethereal Plane exists as two transitive planes in Monvesia, so does the Astral Plane.  Uniting them as a "companion" pair is Vaynon, the Dominion of the Far Wandering Star--a plane that exists simultaneously in these planes and the Material Plane. In this setting, these Astral Companions are the planes of thought (conscious and subconscious) and the planes of fantasy (dream and nightmare).
Generally speaking, spells and creatures that make use of the Astral Plane do so through the analog of the Dreaming.  Should a spell effect be destructive (ie. maddening), however, or a creature malignant, then the analog of Limbo is used.  For each unique instance, if it is necessary to know which Astral Plane is used, this is at the DM's discretion.
It is here that the Taint takes physical form as a writhing, inky purple mass that shimmers, pulses, and continually grows.  As the home of the HMDJVNW, Limbo is the ultimate plane of the Taint's origin; though it has long since spread into the Dreaming and even Vaynon.  Many psionicists, students of psychic power and mystic arts, believe that Vaynon has been completely consumed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Monvesia RetCon: Updates

The new planar cosmology of Monvesia is falling into place; new names and identities for the world at large are expanding the scope of the setting.  The following posts have received substantial updates:

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Gazetteer: Dragon Island

Orvemondt is the Material Plane of the Monvesia campaign setting.  Its northern hemisphere is dominated by a single continent.  Both the vanara and the elves call this landmass Dragon Island, in reference to the ancient beings that were once the dominant life form:  Tirakantivu in the vanaran language, or Lohikäärmettä in the elvish.

Dragon Island is divided by natural features into three sub-continents:  Prace, Raviq, and Henjal.  Each of these embodies a classic adventure setting of fantasy gaming.  Prace is home to quasi-European cultures and quintessential gaming races (human, elf, dwarf, etc.).  Raviq is home to desert civilizations built along fertile rivers, a style of play sometimes called "Arabian adventures."  In Henjal, honor, powers of the mind, and the art of hand-to-hand combat are central to its cultures, mimicking the "Oriental adventures" of past editions.

Polar projection of Orvemondt showing
Dragon Island in the northern hemisphere.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Gazetteer: Culture Regions of Prace

The subcontinent of Prace is the "known world" of Monvesia.  Over the centuries, several peoples have carved out their "own" territory here.  Often, these territories overlap; and in several cases, once-great territories have been severely diminished.  Originally, only the dwarves, elves, and rakasta (and, possibly, firbolgs) were native to Prace.  Gnomes and halflings developed from these earlier raes; while humans, goliaths, lizardfolk, and vanara migrated into the land of the Great River and beyond.  Today, Prace is a culturally dense subcontinent.

Human Regions: Monvesia

The humans of Monvesia can be roughly divided into six cultural groups, each with its own common langauge.