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RP: Winter's Valley-Chapter 1

mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
Winter's Valley-Chapter 1
Power Shift

It’s been 200 Winters since the Darkening.

Winter is merciless. Every year, She rains shards of sharpened ice rain from the sky, demanding blood from those without shelter as though a supplication to the gods. Winter banishes the sun, forbidding it to temper Her blistering ice. She hides the sun’s warmth with a veil of thick, breathless dust that chokes and grays out the landscape. Her fury is still but deadly.

Man knows little of how this world came to be. Some say that Winter has always hated him and has forever sought to smother him in Her blighted grip. Others say Winter murdered the gods and placed Herself above man as his new master. Still, others say that man angered the gods and they abandoned him to his well-deserved fate as Winter’s prey. Even more curious and unbelievable legends are spoken of in whispers. Such whispers are the mere pitiful whines of man to understand what has turned him into the skittish, desperate cry from the greatness that once was his.

For the shadows of his previous life do mar the valley. Ancient, enchanted ruins, adorned with the echoes of times past, serve as homes for Winter’s wicked servants. Her minions seek to steal the hard-earned resources accrued by man during his summer reprieve. They are enemies to all. Winter has infested certain men with her hunger, pitting him against rebuilding, against peace, against himself. Those men seek to take what they did not earn during summer. They are hardened, and thirsty for blood and bread.



  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
    edited April 2019
    Character background and personality:
    This is the most important part of your character. Don’t feel that you have to write it out like a biography, but I will want to know, via PM, the generalities based on pieces of the the world I have written.
    We will work together on writing it and making it fit into the world. You can talk about it in the main thread, but when you do I expect it to be communicated in character, like you are telling someone about yourself.
    If you are a villain, you may still choose to talk truthfully or deceptively about your character's personality and background. In fact, you can lie about yourself for any reason, just like in real life. But I want to know the truth about your character and why you lie so I can fit it into the story.

    There are many ways to die in Winter’s Valley. You can starve or die of thirst, or you can be killed by a monster or villain. This is one reason I have made character creation so simple, because making a new character can be such a pain in the neck if it’s a lot of work. If you are a party member, I’ll do my best to keep you alive based on your character’s preparation for the world out there.
    Don’t be afraid to run away from enemies! You aren’t committing an evil act by running away, you’re trying to survive out there.

    The main ways to die are:
    Elements (especially the cold)

    Combat will be a description of events and we won’t rely as much on hitpoints. Instead, I will use descriptions of your character’s physical wounds and general well-being to communicate to you how you’re doing. You won’t necessarily know how close to death you are down to the number. I may not even know myself.

    Feedback (special rule):
    Your character’s overall success will be determined by a secret method I have developed called the GM screen. Meaning I may "cheat," sometimes in your favor sometimes against, like a fickle gnome selecting his next favorite gem.

    “I, the Goddess Winter, am a fickle Goddess, and show my favor on only when I see fit, and otherwise rain havoc on all who know me.”

    In all honesty, the cheating thing is just an old DM joke. My goal here is to HAVE FUN! If you're not having fun, I expect you to tell me! I can't see your expression like in a normal tabletop game, so I have no clue what's going on in your head.

    Please, don't simmer or be upset if something I wrote bothers you or if the way the adventure is panning out doesn't please you. Because this is text, I have no tools of determining whether or not you're having fun other than your written text.

    I just want you to know that there isn't going to be an exact method of calculating victory like in tabletop or video games, so communication of both enjoyment and disappointment is key! I need your feedback!

    Post edited by mashedtaters on
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
    edited April 2019

    Character Stat Block:
    Your character stat block, which will be developed via PM with me, that you share with me only , should look something like this:
    Name: Kepper Smalltoe
    Race: Halfling
    Role: Non-Party Plot NPC
    Alignment: Neutral
    Stats: Str 8, Con 9, Dex 13, Int 14, Wis 9, Cha 12

    Backstory, Description, Personality:
    Kepper lives in the farmland outside of Astorwind. He has been a shepherd his whole life, and is very familiar with all kinds of animal husbandry. Kepper cares deeply about his wife and children and would do anything to protect them. He served as an assistant waterboy in the Astorwind Patrol when he was younger, but now that he has aged a few years he’s not sure his old battlewounds can take the strain if push came to shove. Thus, when he was approached by the halfling underground, he turned it down. He was tempted, but doubts he could do much to help them, and he doesn’t believe the risk is worth it anyway. Despite that, he won’t betray them. Best to keep his head down and his nose clean. That’s the best way to keep food on his table and the Astorwind soldiers off his back.

    Implementation of Character Stat Block:
    The way you implement the character’s backstory and personality in the main thread might look something like this.
    My post:
    A newly promoted soldier captain with a mocking grin and all the arrogance of early-given authority breaks off from the patrol marching down the road. Stomping through the Smalltoe garden with irreverence, he steps up to Kepper with his hand set threateningly on his sword. “You there!” he says with a menacing grin. “Don’t you know who I am?”

    Your post (you can speak in 1st or 3rd person, it doesn’t matter):
    “Aye, I do sir,” says Kepper, keeping his head down in subservience. He shifts his feet at the dirt and refuses to make eye-contact.

    My post:
    “And who am I?” says the guard angrily. He draws his sword and points it at Kepper’s heart.

    Your post:
    “You’re the only reason I am safe enough to grow food to feed my family,” says Kepper, his heart racing. He looks at his family in fear.

    My post:
    The guard sneers with contempt. “AND??” he yells.

    Your post:
    “And I’d hope you’d do me the honor of accepting this meager offering of food from my family’s table,” he says timidly. With a heavy limp, Kepper walks over to the basket laid out by his wife and pulls out a dried hock of lamb. “I’m always prepared to give to the patrol, I am. I used to be in the patrol myself, you know, sir, and I certainly am grateful for the sacrifices you make on our behalf.”

    My post:
    The guard takes the lamb hock and bites into it hungrily. “Hmph,” he says placated. “Well, just don’t you forget your place. I hear there’s some sort of uprising or something. As a former patrolman—well, at least half a patrolman—I’m sure you know your duty to keep us apprised if you hear anything?”

    Your post:
    “Yes, sir, I will certainly speak of it to you if I hear anything,” says Kepper with a relieved nod.

    And you have basically communicated the description of your character (his limp and backstory) and shown his personality without outright putting the stat block into the game. He was able to convince the guard to leave him alone (charisma) and think his way out of a potentially bad situation (intelligence). However, he wasn't quite wise enough to think of a way to turn the situation to his advantage (wisdom).

    Post edited by mashedtaters on
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,610
    @Arvia , I recommend checking out this thread and this sub-forum. :)

  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,496
    @Arvia , I recommend checking out this thread and this sub-forum. :)

    You were right, @BelgarathMTH, there are too many sub-forums here.
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    There've been some really fun rp threads here. Its worth checking out from time to time.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
    edited May 2019
    Now that some character concepts have been created and stat blocks have been submitted to me, we can begin the game. It's not too late to join! If you want to join, send me a PM and we can work out a stat block.

    A few guidelines:
    Feel free to describe your character's appearance, actions, and personality in your posts. However, when talking about history or background or world setting, please write as though you ARE your character speaking about it it to the other players.
    For example:
    Perhaps we have decided that you are a poor peasant working the fields named Jeb. You could describe your character's dirty clothes and his thick peasant accent. He could speak about how worried he is about the field while he's away on this adventure.
    Each of you players have been given unique information about the setting that your character knows. You are free to share this information with the group as though you are IN CHARACTER. You can add embellishments, be creative, or even outright lie about it. If you make stuff up and get creative, I may consider making what your character says as legitimate parts of the story. If you intentionally lie, just send me a PM so we can work that into the story.
    Please do not post as a player until I have tagged you in the thread. I will tag you after 2 conditions are met:
    1.You have sent me a PM requesting to join the game.
    2. I have sent you a PM confirming that I have received your stat block and I will introduce your character to the story.
    If you have any practical or in-game questions, feel free to ask! You can either PM me or ask questions in spoilers. I will either answer by PMing you or posting in spoilers.
    If your CHARACTER wants to know something about his surroundings, you can just ask in the main thread something like, "What does Jeb (or what do I) see and hear?" and I will describe it to you.

    Post edited by mashedtaters on
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
    edited May 2019
    For several days now, a feeling of impending dread has hung around Astorwind. Spoken of in whispers among the peasants and the soldiers, this as of yet unidentified anticipation has settled in the bowels of each citizen.

    Instead of settling into the incoming harvest preparations, activity among the soldiers has increased. The common man has little knowledge of what goes on beyond the borders of Astorwind, but there is no doubt that every expedition beyond them is dangerous.

    The castle halls are dark and chill in the closing summer season. The sun is clouded over by the first incoming streaks of black dust. The dust swirls around the corridors, mirroring the stressful whispers of its inhabitants.

    Through the black swirling dust struts the heir-apparent, Casak, his cruel face twisted into a sarcastic grin. On either side of him strut his most trusted bodyguards. They never question their liege, silent and steadfast as the grave. Casak grins to himself. “They should like this,” he says gloatingly to his bodyguards. As ever, they do not answer.

    Their aim is one particular tower kept a bit homier and warm than the rest of the castle...

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
    Hey, welcome to the first scene!
    As the story progresses, I may (or may not) give your character a one or two line sentence called a DM insight. A DM insight may tell you something about your surroundings that you are especially likely to know, like a spot check or a knowledge check; or it could say something about an NPC based on your history and familiarity with that NPC; or perhaps give you special information based on your class, race, stats, player status.

    What you do with that information is entirely up to you, however...

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,251
    Colden halts his thought a second on that last remark..

    "What have you done, why do you have peasant blood on your clothes? And what is this Declaration the King implore me to write? Give me the details so I may record them. Remember what I have taught you, details matter."
    Tried to teach you at least.. Colden thinks to himself. What happened to that young boy I trained, what happened to his innocence? This damned winter corrodes even the best of us.. in us.. perhaps even myself?

    Colden picks up a notebook and his feather pen and pulls his chair closer to the couch and sits down facing Carak. He opens a blank page and wet the quill pen with his tongue, revealing how ink over years seem to have miscolored it. An old habit done unconsciously.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
    edited May 2019
    As though realizing he had displayed a moment of weakness, he suddenly straightens. He looks askance at his former tutor, and for a moment his face softens.

    “Master Colden...” he whispers. Then, he clears his throat, and his sarcastic, pampered facade returns.

    “As far as the details of this official declaration nonsense, father told them to me, but I hardly care enough to remember them. Something about, I’m sure, the drivel you usually write...

    “‘By Royal Decree Henceforth on this Day from the Therefore and Heretofore and Whatfors and Whathaveyous...’ Just make up something, and I’m sure it will sound impressive enough as it usually does to the illiterate in the village. They’ll understand well enough once we start hauling their men off to shove weapons in their hands.”

    He turns to the door. “I’m afraid I have other pressing business to attend to before the draft. It is to take place within the next hour or so. Did I not say that? Dear me, it must have slipped my mind. If you have any questions, see father. I shall muster the garrison and see you in the village.”

    And with that, he and his bodyguards leave, closing the door behind them.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    "'Blood of the peasants? And they call me an animal."

    *Lagrord walks over to the nearest chair and slumps into it. He is quiet for some time."
    His name is Lagrord, btw. For some reason, I never established that, whoops. Its pronounced "Lagger Ord"

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