last day (62 days later) » 

3:21 AM
Ahoy!
I have copypasta for you.
I do like that night of the Fey Moon.
I just realised something, too: I would like to use the approach that gods have very visible and direct contact with mortals. I also have a history tidbit that there is a hero of the humans from centuries ago who was a half-angel, and she rescued the city from some dire threat.
I'm just going to copy-paste my document in chunks. It will include some stuff relating only to my campaign.
Every season has a single holiday for each other season's god, and a week-long festival to the god of that particular season. The solstice or equinox of a season is dedicated to the opposite season, and the week-long festival begins or ends with the solstice/equinox.
There are also holidays for the major gods who are not associated with seasons (including the dark gods).
Arkhosia celebrates the days of Bahamut, into which are rolled the days of Erathis, Ioun, Kord, Pelor, and the Raven Queen. They do not keep the days of Corellon or Sehanine. This does mean they have more god-days than most
I could have it such that the City always has a Chosen One by their primary god: there is always a half-angel among them, and when the angel dies, a half-angel child is born.
Keywords/portfolios of major gods:
- Pelor. Sun, agriculture, time. Healing, anti-evil.
- Raven Queen. Death, fate. Shadowfell. Anti-Vecna, anti-undead.
- Sehanine. Trickery, love, moon, illusions. Feywild. Middle path, freedom.
- Corellon. Arcane magic, beauty, the arts, forests. Elves/fey, ancient art/magic, anti-Lolth, anti-orc.

- Bahamut. Justice, protection, nobility, honor. Metallic dragons, paladins, monarchs. Vigilance vs evil. Protect the weak, liberate the oppressed, defend just order.
@JonathanHobbs I discourage it. The Hands of the Gods Among Men are their priests and champions.
Don't overshadow the PC cleric.
3:24 AM
Fair enough I guess ;o
(or: the Fairy Nuff agrees)
I've often had players try to get out of tough things by praying to their god for a champion.
The typical response is "I sent you, didn't I? Get off your ass."
SUMMER - Pelor. 4-10 May through 3-10 Aug.
- (Corellon): Tiandra's Favor. Poems and plays about the beauty of the Summer Queen and her dealings with mortals.
- (Erathis): pioneers
- (Ioun): mental balance
- (Kord): Trial of Thews. Series of strength-based contests. Throwing, wrestling, climbing, etc.
- (Moradin): Master Day. Dedicated to master craftsmen.
- (Pelor) week-long festival: Heart's Harmony. Days of hospitality and reconciliation. Comes after the Pantomimes of Fate.
- (Raven Queen) summer solstice: The Pantomimes of Fate. A series of morality plays about destiny, traditionally don
So sure, a champion's great. But don't make them some Avatar of the God, His Mouthpiece and Hands on Earth.
Maybe the place always has a youth gifted with wisdom beyond his years, or the local priest frequently is able to perform miracles of... something appropriate, like crop growth or whatever.
FALL - Sehanine. 3-10 Aug through 5-10 Nov.
- (Corellon) fall equinox: Cavalcade of Leaves. Illusion-illustrated stories about the Gloaming Fey and their exploits among mortals. September 22.
- (Erathis): Week of Walls. Cities.
- (Ioun): games of mental skill
- (Kord): Reenactment of heroic sagas.
- (Moradin): Elder Day. Dedicated to showing respect for the leaders of family and community.
- (Pelor): Sunfall. The nights of harvest-time; village bonfires and feasting.
- (Raven Queen): Feast of Crows. Time of divination, on a new moon.
WINTER - Raven Queen. 5-10 Nov through 2-7 Feb.
- (Asmodeus): Pact Day. Remembering the Pact of Nine, and a good day to make new pacts.
- (Corellon): The Winter Hunt. A hunt through deep snow, honoring the Winter Fey but carefully never saying their names aloud.
- (Erathis): Dedicated to building defenses and fixing winter damage of all sorts.
- (Ioun): prophesy
- (Kord): Tales of Thunder. Declamation of the greatest storms and battles. A contest of story-telling.
- (Moradin): Hearth Day. Dedicated to family unity.
SPRING - Corellon. 2-7 Feb through 4-10 May.
- (Corellon) week-long festival: Carnival of Flowers. Dedicated to the Green Fey, praising Lord Oran for the new growth of spring through offerings of living flowers.
- (Erathis): Mending Monday. building
- (Ioun): Wisdom of Winter. share knowledge
- (Kord): Feats of bravery.
- (Moradin): Peak Day. Dedicated to mountains, the roots of the world. Often involves competitions to climb the highest thing around.
- (Pelor): Birth of the Sun. First day of planting. Some time in April, after last frost.
Rituals to consider:
- Many candles floating up to the sky
- weaving a humanoid figure out of natural materials. Burn it, or toss it into the sea.
-
That's all I got. As you can see, it's sketchy.
Feel free to ask questions.
[My ideas about the role of the gods is largely influenced by wanting to put the players front and center, but is codified by Lois McMaster Bujold's "Chalion" novels.]
That is pretty great. I just got up to the Liturgies of Letherna. Sounds like a time when people would also in particular pray for those lost during a hard winter.
@JonathanHobbs Exactly why it's at that time of year.
3:35 AM
This is neat. I am not going to use this, but I am going to create something like this!
Then in Spring you get the Death of Sorrow.
@JonathanHobbs I'd be flattered if you used my work, but it's much better for your campaign to make something your own.
One thing I did that you might want to take advantage of, on a broad scale:
The holy days are divine. Not national, not commemorative. This means any race, any village, anywhere in the world, will celebrate them if they revere that god in any way.
It's a unifying calendar.
Is that your canon or 4e canon?
All mine.
Everything up there except the list of keywords and portfolios associated with each gods is my own invention.
Rad okay. :)
You did put a lot of thought into it!
I used the keywords & portfolios to build the rest of it.
3:38 AM
I will probably have fewer holidays, but I like that.
Yeah, I went with all the gods I thought my PCs or their allied nations would be interested in.
@BESW Could you say a bit more about this particular bit?
Oh, re: humans and worship. To the best of my knowledge there is no human god in 4e (there's a lawful evil one in 3.5; he's very much a Nazi).
I think I will go with the approach of some humans just having some minor powers, rather than someone being the avatar of a god.
If the players are the main characters in our story (I always go back to RPGs as communal storytelling), then it's our job as DMs not to upstage them.
Unfortunately, in a world of gods and devils and monsters it's easy to be upstaged.
3:41 AM
Ah. Well I plan to pit them against a former hero who is an adventurer. I guess I will learn by that point how to not upstage them though.
I told you about the paladin/monk who went evil. He was an NPC. I kept him from upstaging the party by making his story a subset of theirs.
It wasn't about him; it was about what the PCs would do and how it shaped their story.
That's one reason that I like the PoL setting; it's more explicit that the PCs are The Guys.
And it's why my gods are not hands-off, but choose to work through mortal vessels.
Consider:
You've got more than a dozen gods, at least as many primordials; demons, devils, primal spirits; all with god-level power and all with their own agendas.
If any one of them starts throwing around actual god-like power to get their way, the multiverse is going to fall into another god-war.
Your PC cleric is the god's Hand in whatever situation he finds himself, because mortals are the gods' chosen tools. Chess is an apt metaphor.
The gods nudge circumstance and chance to arrange for things to turn out the way they want, and they send their paladins and clerics and so forth to help make sure it happens, to combat their enemies' machinations.
That's the party.
Doing God's Work.
If Pelor takes off the gloves, Asmodeus and Vecna get to do it too. So Pelor sends Bob the Cleric in his place.
Huh, alright. ;o
Is that what you were hoping for me to elaborate on?
Yes. :)
One of the players may well choose to play a character who worships no deity. I might leave it at that, or if they actually do somewhat represent a deity in their ideals, I may have that deity watch them and quietly influence them.
In my mind, gods are not omnipotent, omniscient beings in D&D. They're astonishingly power, ancient beings with great insight through long experience, and their positions as objects of worship attracts FORCE to them in great quantities, to the point that they can allot it to their priests and paladins.
@JonathanHobbs In D&D, very few people worship just one deity. You pray to one for good weather, another for luck on a journey, another for a safe childbirth, and yet another to make the paint peel on your annoying neighbor's fence.
3:50 AM
Hahaha. Alright then
Some consider themselves to have a particular deity that's in line with their birth or beliefs, but they don't ignore the others.
That makes sense
A character who disregards all the gods is unusual but there's actually a 4e background for it. Maybe he's angry at them, or wants to be self-sufficient and considers all that prayer to be weakness.
I strongly encourage you to pick a god who watches over him and arranges for him to be helpful to the god's cause anyway.
Don't be an ass, though. Some players want to do that with their PCs as a statement of personal ideology and that's not something to poke at.
Yeah it is probably a personal ideology thing.
Okay, then just leave it.
If you think you can do it with a very light touch, have him be watched over by a god whose teachings he resembles.
3:55 AM
I am an atheist too (not the sort that says "there is no god!!", just the sort that says "there might be one and it would be neat if there was but I am not going to subscribe to one") and being atheist is not a big deal here. Religion very rarely comes up, nobody is preachy, etc.
So it is not like it might be in the US, with him trying to make a statement.
Sounds technically agnostic, but labels are pretty much useless in individual cases when talking about faith.
Agnosticism is actually a second axis, not a state of belief on its own. Gnosticism at its utmost is absolute certainty that your beliefs are absolutely factually correct, and agnosticism at its utmost is the total acknowledgement that you pretty much have no idea what is really the case and that you could be totally wrong, but this is what you believe.
So I am an agnostic atheist.
Likewise, theists in the US are very often intensely gnostic.
You've certainly done your homework.
That was more a discovery than a research effort.
Well, terminology-wise.
4:00 AM
I suppose getting to understand fully what gnosticism/agnosticism meant was research though!
Anyway, I may leave it, but I know his actual reason for not picking a god.
He picks true neutral and no god, because he feels like picking any alignment or god would just put limitations on his courses of action, and he wants to feel free to do whatever he wants.
My response to this is that I'm actually going to do something my friend is doing for her upcoming Pathfinder campaign: I am going to ask my players to describe their characters to me, without mentioning their class or alignment.
Don't say they are a Fighter, say they are a soldier or warrior, etc
So for this player, I want him to first consider who his character is. And then I will talk to him and say "oh hey, so your player sounds like he's lawful good" - I want to work from character to alignment and god (if any), so that he doesn't see it as a restriction on what he can do, such as a descriptor of what he's doing anyway.
@JonathanHobbs Brava, brava, bravissima!
The greatest talent of any DM is social engineering and you've got it.
Good plan then?
Hooray!
Also by the way, there is actually some 4e fluff relevant to your ex-Paladin: paladins in 4e canonically do not lose their powers by breaking a code of conduct. Are you aware of this?
@JonathanHobbs My ex-paladin was in a 3.5 campaign, and in those days paladins lost their powers at the drop of a hat.
4:06 AM
So much as a descriptior of what he's doing anyway*
Ah right.
Are you aware of how things currently go?
Yes, and I like it.
The 3.5 alignment system is silly and needlessly limiting, but so firmly embedded in the mechanics of the system I could never figure out how to remove it.
4e alignment is no less silly, but mechanically ignorable.
Rad. I like it too. Someone once here suggested that if a paladin betrays their god, their powers will twist and they'll become a Paladin of Slaughter or Tyranny without realising it - but I might not even do that, and just let their order hunt them down.
@JonathanHobbs Either's interesting. Depends on how political you want to get; remember, an order can't be too powerful or it negates the PCs' role.
Perhaps instead of hunting him down, he finds that he's ostracized in nearly every town.
But he should have many opportunities to repent (three?) before that happens.
Yes, the order will definitely give them some leniency, but I am not going to negate the PC's role just by having some other paladins. This is a large world, adventurers are few. There may not be nobody else for the job in the world, but there will be nobody else right here. There may be only a dozen full-fledged paladins total alive, and two or three reserved as the inquisition, who will be the hunters - but they may only be level 2 or 3.
Nice.
4:14 AM
More than enough to deal with most paladins, but this guy wouldn't be most paladins.
And he'll probably have backup.
I'm thinking about your setting, and that if it were mine (which it isn't) I'd be inclined to make it kinda Mouse Guardy.
I have no idea what you mean by that!
I know Mouseguard is a thing, but that's it
You've got these humans who have established a peaceful relationship with elves and set up a little spark of civilization in the wilderness. Probably have to fight off marauding gnolls pretty frequently. Maybe make that "keep the light of civilization burning" thing surface as a theme; perhaps it's why the humans aren't more interested in talking to the elves about conservation.
Makes humans less clearly 'bad guys' and gives some moral depth to the situation.
Oh. Yeah I am definitely giving moral depth. One of the players wants the campaign to have moral choices which don't have one side being right and the other wrong - both are right, in their own ways.
Mouse Guard is about exactly that, but with mice: they've built a tiny civilization where they can live without fear, but some brave few have to defy their mousey natures to keep it that way. They are the Mouse Guard, patrolling the borders and fighting so their loved ones don't have to.
4:19 AM
That's cute. :)
It's surprisingly gritty!
...but yes. cute.
Okay, I can see that working.
That's a good way to think about things.
I did (or do?) plan for the humans to be at conflict with the elves over resources like trees and crystals which the humans and elves can't both use in the same way, but which both need.
Really play up the precious, precarious nature of any civilization here.
Humans have had exactly two nations larger than nation-states in the history of the world.
One of them was built on pacts with the devil, and one of them was really more of a human-led group effort on the part of most of the major races.
*larger than city-states, sorry.
Hm. Points of Light answers how I can have my human city be remote (it should be , that is just how things work in points of light!) but there are actually two other civilisations.
One existed quite far away from the current city, and they coexisted until its ruler made a deal with Vecna and turned the entirety of his people into an undead army.
The other was the one that was embroiled in war, that the people who originally built this current city were fleeing from.
How long ago did these people come here?
4:25 AM
A thousand years.
Maybe closer to five hundred now.
If you want to merge it with some vague canon, the Second Human Empire of Nerath was at its height about 500 years prior to the modern setting, at which point it was attacked by armies of gnolls led by a demon.
The gnolls eventually destroyed Nerath, and perhaps your people fled in the first attacks.
That sounds fine! :)
(Nerath may have fallen as recently as a hundred years ago; the canon is contradictory.)
Where is it mentioned?
Ah, I found a mention of it on DMG page 18
198*
The PHBs 1 and 2 mention it in the racial profiles of humans, half-elves, and shifters.
A History of the 4e World, with citations.
Take the dates with a grain of salt.
4:33 AM
Oh boy, thankyhou
thank you*
My headcanon Nerath is very different, so better that I don't try to talk about it much or I'll confuse you.
(It's the source of all things Eberron in my campaigns; a magipunk wonderland congruous with the real-world Renaissance.)
...that grapple question on the site now is one I hated in 3.5. The grapple rules are complicated enough without adding poorly worded exceptions.
First they get to attack you. Then you make a special attack against them. If successful you make a different special attack. If successful, you and your target get a handful of conditions imposed. Future grapple attempts have different procedures depending on who won the previous attempt...
):
that is why I don't miss it
My very last 3.5 campaign had a grapple goliath who could grab things three times his size, juggle them for massive damage, and drop them anywhere he wanted, twice per turn.
The only way we found to break him more was to cast a spell that gave him four more arms.
....so we did.
4:52 AM
LOL.
That is great.
Hey. :) I need to go and do things.
Thanks for your help and this talk!
Ta!
My pleasure, you've got a great campaign and I wish I could be in it.
Thanks a lot :)
I'll make it even better and have stories to tell. ;o
Bye for now!
^^

  last day (62 days later) »