Page 1 of 1

A Brief Summary of the Campaign

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 3:50 am
by Auril
We thought it would be useful to post some of the history of the campaign before the campaign debriefing session on Feb 12 at 3 PM Eastern.

About three and a half years ago, Miax decided he wanted RPQ to run an "end of the world" campaign. He started it with a story much like this

We added elements to that story (Noloth'e and Arex, and the farmer has a more active role), but the basic plot and the special effects are the same.

Miax's notion was to run one "calamity" a month, ending with a momentous battle. All of the RPQ gods (over the years, this included Miax, Iuz, Malar, Garl, Auril, Eilistraee, Lamruil, Rillifane, and Sehanine) started planning calamities.

Miax ran a long-term campaign, using the players who came together to form the guild Vermillion Shadow as core PCs. It involved a number of adventures, including events where Lord Piergeiron was possessed or replaced by a demon. This might have been his calamity, but we don't know for sure.

Iuz was focusing upon extreme weather, including sunspot activity, although further details are currently unavailable.

Rillifane's calamity involved recovering/rebuilding the Amulet of Oberon, which had gotten broken into several pieces. It was meant to rebuild 'Hammerwood', a ward against a coming darkness, Wervnod. The Amulet was recovered, though its use remained unexplored.

Lamruil's calamity involved disease and plague. Simple sessions involving different plagues infesting the Sedawi Village, the Village of Minthka, and the Forest of Mir were run, as were some sessions Lamruil ran himself.

Garl created the Praximus Prophesy, which was divided among the seven monoliths. He was also instrumental in reshaping the campaign, from successive yet overlapping 'calamities,' to its final form more accurately expressed as 'chapters,' and further defining the menace which was Auzorm'tvorl.

Malar had been working on a calamity involving a dozen rings of soul possession. Even initially, this was going to be one of the larger calamities, but grew to be more.

Briefly, mortals had to find 12 rings of soul possession. These did unpleasant things to the people that wore them for a long time. The 12 rings were to be brought together to prevent a calamity. But it was a trick. When the rings were brought together, and the magic ceremony conducted, Orcus, Prince of Demons, was reborn, his soul given strength by the sacrifice of the demon assassins which had been imprisoned in the rings. Orcus attacked those who had brought the rings, then fled and destroyed Bloodstone. He was finally defeated by a large number of heroes.

The earliest post on the RP-Q Discussion forum, by Guest (Malar, in this case) covers this last, cataclysmic event.

Auril had planned the creation of an elaborate golem to house a reborn Bane, including signs that he was returning and Cyrites pursuing the truth of such rumors. The need for resources led to Banites doing many different things, including kidnapping for ransom.

Eilistraee, working with the modified plan for the campaign, had been developing the Prism of Concordant Convergence plot and the release of Auzorm'tvorl.

At this point, the mud suffered its own cataclysmic event, and split. RPQ was now Auril and Eilistraee. We had all those interesting RP story-threads going on. Many players and imms had invested a great deal in these campaigns, so the Forgers and RPQ decided that they should continue. This was to be the top priority of RPQ, until the world had been saved. We thought it would take about four months to finish off. :(

We decided we should try to include as much as we could of all the previous storylines. This was perhaps an error, since instead of four months, it took us a year and a half to mostly wrap them up, and for much of that time there were three of us working on it, after we added Jergal.

As we worked with and defined Auzorm'tvorl, his potential as a god of decay and destruction that could destroy the world became more apparent. But if he could destroy the world, why didn't he do so immediately? He must be weak, must need some way to gain strength. So he would regain strength by inhabiting Auril's layered golem. Auzorm'tvorl possessed beings, and used them, as foreshadowed by the possession of Lord Piergeiron. Auzorm'tvorl escaped as the result of a trick, as foreshadowed by the rebirth of Orcus. In Auzorm'tvorl's case, the believed salvation of the world, the Prism, had been slowly corrupted to act counter to its purpose.

The escape of Auzorm'tvorl turned into a large number of events. The prism had to be found. The different forces had to be warned and gathered. We had introduced Tsakchanar, the Silver Dragon, during the rings and she became the guiding force behind trying to re-seal the prison and a focus for the goodrace roleplayers. We introduced Trobriand as her nemesis and as ally to the evilrace roleplayers, trying to get the prism before she did and all the while, he was being subverted by Auzorm'tvorl. Trobriand is a published FR character that we borrowed, which allowed us to introduce silversaans and thanatars to the mud, beings that prowl the depths of Undermountain today.

Trobriand served a further purpose of stirring up some interactions between some of the players. He formed alliances with some evilrace characters, and rivalry with some others. Meanwhile, the Tvorlites were following their own mandate, and conducting experiments in what flesh would best suit their needs for one of the construct forms, the Flesh golem. They raided the elven settlement of Larallyn, and then a short while later raided the trading town of Ardn'ir. From each of these they took prisoners, and notes found at the scene gave a fragmented account experiments of the Tvorlites, who at that time still thought of themselves as Banites. When they were satisfied with their research concerning flesh golems, they expanded their investigations into the crafting of stone golems, leading to a session held at Hill's Edge.

In time, Trobriand was slain after Auzorm'tvorl was freed. He had made a nuisance of himself, and some players negotiated what turned out to be a costly bargain with Halaster. The Mad Mage penned his former apprentice in the halls of Undermountain and together evilrace and goodrace groups hunted down the wizard and slew him. Trobriand's spirit escaped the usual price for failing Auzorm'tvorl, however, and later came to be of benefit to the Heroes during their final assault upon Auzorm'tvorl himself.

The monoliths became the warning of the events that might occur, events that would occur if Auzorm'tvorl was successful. We kept the Prophecy, and added the visions and Noloth'e, to more clearly show the threat and how serious it was.

Dragons were allies in the original story, and to defeat such a powerful threat, surely they would return. The chariot tactic used in the original story hadn't worked, so the dragons became mounts.

All of those developments didn't happen immediately. But in the first few months of Toril2, we saw ways to put most of the pieces together.

The most important missing piece was protecting the people who attacked Auzorm'tvorl, what came to be called the Strike Force. If Auzorm'tvorl possessed people, what was to prevent him from possessing those that came to fight him? We'd gotten ourselves into that problem – nothing required Auzorm'tvorl to possess other beings – but the notion was too wonderfully gruesome, and it fit too well with previous stories, to discard. We could have protected the Strike Force using some mighty, previously unknown magic spell. But that sort of thing works badly for RPQ, because then we'd have to deal with the existence of such a spell later on. (And deux ex machine is bad storytelling, even if it does literally describe us.)

Some sort of guardian angel is almost as bad a device. Unless they are clearly temporary. Unless they would have a reason to guard the Strike Force for this and only this event. So the spirits of the ancient heroes, sworn to destroy Auzorm'tvorl were born. And we had an Amulet to use, so maybe that could be what enabled them to come back.

In order to add an air of prophetic destiny into the story, we conceived of The Three. We assigned each one a specific aspect to represent, and sought out players who's RP suited those aspects. Magical creation, spirit vision, and one to bear the burden. Once we had our players, we were able to flesh out their roles with assorted RP sessions.

There were RP sessions involving Krelg and Miplit to free an instructor for the Weaver, a bargain with Kang for thugs to attack the monoliths, and then a personal sacrifice required from players to restore the monoliths to something like their original condition. Our Geomancer Zhoanest was fully introduced at this time, though he didn't work out to the degree we had wanted. He may be back in the future.

We also brought in Tzxvu as the Smith, a magically bound kobold who'd been imbued with the knowledge to craft the golem. Tzxvu had a great deal of info available, but his limited vocabulary made questioning him difficult. He was underutilized as an information source, although the Strike Force was successful anyway. As with many of our NPC's, you may see him around in the future in one form or another.

The sage on the northern peak was much sought after for information, and a source of hours of amusement for us. But once it became apparent that players' questioning abilities were getting too finely honed, the sage needed to retreat. He may come out of retreat someday, but for now, he'll return to his practice of speaking only to those who have another reason for visiting.

After that, it was just a matter of getting everything done. Seven layers of the host, with different strengths and vulnerabilities, and two or three different procs per layer. 30 artifact weapons with perhaps 100 different procs total. 30 spirits, each with their own personality and background, each with three pieces of dialogue. The dragons were the easiest, in that they only needed a description, but we wanted them to be "real" so we had to base each dragon description around a personality, too. Some of these personalities were exhibited during riding lessons. Putting together the fight on the mountain was the easiest. Putting together the starting zonelet for the finale was made easier by the fact that all the room descriptions are intentionally the same. But it involves a large number of procs, too, including one or two you may not have noticed.

Why so much? Because if it's an epic, end of the world fight, you're going to need something serious. Artifact weapons and assistance from dragons show just how serious this is. Especially with Shevarash's new dragon code going in the week before. That wasn't part of our plans, but it made the players and their dragon mounts tremendously powerful.

We wanted players to see how powerful they were with their artifacts and dragons, so we set up fights with many tough mobs that they could tear through (yes, those were regular silversaans and thanatars, and you did tear through 3 or 4 silversaans and a dozen thanatars in about 3 minutes). But the spam from those fights is incredible, and we wanted to give the players a chance to actually enjoy their own artifact and dragon, so the first zonelet gave you all a chance to solo a few things, like a level 57 demon.

It was always planned for the dragons to leave for the final fight (that departure is part of what got skipped during the finale), both because of dramatic tension but also because if Auzorm'tvorl were to have a chance against 30 dragons, he would have had to be strong enough to kill all the PCs in one round. What fun would that be?

Our only higher priority than working on the finale was keeping RPQ going on the mud. And by our instructions, (almost) everything we did had to help finish up, or at least be a part of, the campaign. So we ran events to make and seal alliances, with members of the Strike Force visiting Queen Amlaruil, or with Dlavizz sending supplies to Gloomhaven and Ixarkon. The Tvorlites were trying to form alliances, too, sending parties to Skerttd-Gul and Griffon's Nest. Carrying forged messages, so that if those parties were intercepted, suspicion would be raised within the Alliance.

Auzorm'tvorl sent out missionaries, to raise armies and supply them, so that he could attack various cities. Similiarly, Lord Piergeiron and Dlavizz, who could raise their own armies, needed supplies for their army. So caravans were sent out, on both sides, to be guarded or to raid. A Tvorlite base was raided.

Dragons were awoken, and sent out to practice riding skills. The idea was not, as some thought, that mortals needed the practice being riders, but more that the dragons needed practice being mounts. They aren't used to carrying people on their backs. In their teeth, maybe...

Players initiated several things that we incorporated. We hadn't planned that people would want Tzxvu to make them things, but they did, so we did at least a dozen events around that. There was another player-initiated side quest that involved Tzxvu which ran for half a dozen small events.

Players sought information about golem construction, and Ingisa was discovered. She was used in a number of large events. As it turned out, she wasn't very knowledgeable, so Dlavizz mostly ended up using her as a distraction, a lure for the Tvorlites. With the death of Auzorm'tvorl, Sultstryncrorath was able to break the combination of poison and curse that kept her paralyzed. You may see her in the future. After all, she'll want the rest of the books in that series of dreadful romance novels she reads. Plus, the seven books on golem crafting that she mentioned are out there, somewhere. Of course, her husband Inalin is not at all pleased with the lack of protection she received, so he may be difficult to deal with.

Ingisa and her books isn't even the major story left unresolved. That honor goes to the destruction of Bloodstone, and rebuilding a city there will be the focus of our next long-term campaign. Our city won't be Bloodstone, since that should be in a different spot. But a new city will be built, and we'll run a campaign to build it. That will be open to all levels of players, and it's not going to take three and a half years to finish!

We will need to take adequate time to prepare that campaign, so it won't begin immediately. But in the meantime, watch for intrigue and the development of other plots, including some not mentioned here...


Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:39 am
by Jhorr
Amazing how I and many others missed 100% of that over the past 3.5 years.

I'll be honest, the quest sphere activites seem exclusive unless you get in on the ground floor somehow.

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:18 am
by Ambar
I was "in" during the destruction of Bloodstoneand final Orcus stuff, but the rest got too long and drawn out for me and I sorta lost interest ..

I LOVE RP .... I used my drow enchanter as my rp char, Nilan was her brother, and I had SO much planned in the way of stories, etc .. but .. yeah it just got too much for me ..

can't wait to see the new Bloodstone tho, and I hope "Malar"'s visions for it come to light

maybe Nilan's "sister" will come out of hiding again for it :)

from what I heard of the final battle this time, it was fabulous and all the rpers were overwhelmed with rl emotion

how many of the RPQ staff had rl issues with their spouses over this stuff? Curious, I'm sure it took LOTS of personal time

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:19 am
by Cirath
We had people joining in pretty regularly up until the last couple of weeks. You don't have to get in on the ground floor, you just have to put a little effort into it. Think of it as inflicting yourself on others, it works for me.

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:13 pm
by Lilira
Huh, I'd only been involved the last few months. There was more than enough trouble for me to get into, eh Cirath? *grin*

Anyway, the final battle was extremely overwhelming, I sat in my chair freezing the whole time, even though the thermostat was set up a little high. As a few of my friends know, that's the true test.

Looking forward to seeing what pops out next.

Thanks again RPQ.

Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:11 am
by Deshana
there are always opportunities for people to get involved, sometimes all it takes is noticing something not behaving the way it normally would (desh is still nervous around mounts, plants talk, animals was never her skill)

reading aurils summary made me realize i acctually have most of it stored in my mind in deshanas taleweaver form... I abandoned the title due to too many headaches.

however shes always good for a tale.

Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 3:45 am
by Ticarios
The idea of RPQ being exclusive is only in the minds of people who have already made up their minds about the sphere and the activities, or have given it close to -no- chance. Attending one event that didn't go well never constitutes enough experience to call judgement.

I got involved with two lowbies chars (~20 or so levels), one midlevel (~35) and finally Artikerus, who was involved from 30-46 levels.

There is no reason -anybody- else could not have gotten involved.

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:33 pm
by kanenan
i've ben trying to RP here for quite sometime, have amny many logs with nilan, teflor et al.. lots, i always seem to get in to 8 hour rp things, then i am dropped like a needle, hey, whatever the hell was my donated pcorpse for? it was flagged moveable, but i never found out WTF it was used for.

little things like this ( ie XP LOSS ) keep me from RPing anymore, becasue yes, it is an exclusive group.

dont ask me to die for your sick entertainment anymore, i'll be out in the woods, helping noobs instead, extracting far more pleasure than trying to frustratingly gain some kind of rp reward.

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:57 pm
by Cirath
I am a bit confused, Kane. Are you saying that because you died and lost some exp, that the RP folks were out to get you? Do you feel the same way when you die in a zone? (I would bet my life your response is "No, because I have a chance for getting eq in a zone.") I honestly dont know what death you are refering to, so I can't really defend either side.

As for being "dropped like a needle," I assume you mean you weren't informed of every single RP event afterward. The thing is, none of us were. We all had to read RP news and take responsibility for showing up and inserting ourselves in the story. Just because you have the flag on doesnt mean you instantly are a part of the action. It takes effort on your part as well.

Finally, I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't RP for a reward. I RP because it is infinitely more entertaining than zoning or any of the alternatives. Anyone RPing for a reward is barking up the wrong tree, because if you dont enjoy the work required, then you are just making yourself miserable for the possibility of words on a screen.

But maybe thats just me. Feel free to point out just how wrong I am.

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:07 pm
by moritheil
kanenan wrote:i've ben trying to RP here for quite sometime, have amny many logs with nilan, teflor et al.. lots, i always seem to get in to 8 hour rp things, then i am dropped like a needle, hey, whatever the hell was my donated pcorpse for? it was flagged moveable, but i never found out WTF it was used for.

little things like this ( ie XP LOSS ) keep me from RPing anymore, becasue yes, it is an exclusive group.

dont ask me to die for your sick entertainment anymore, i'll be out in the woods, helping noobs instead, extracting far more pleasure than trying to frustratingly gain some kind of rp reward.

Because Sonon is the epitome of elitism?

You won't die for others anymore? :(

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:50 pm
by Auril
Kanenan, it was delivered to Amlaruil, who didn't know what else to do with it, so she gave it a proper Elven funeral.

This is why I asked you specifically if you were positive that it was okay to use that corpse, and suggested that you could wait until such a day as one failed to be ressurected and donate that one for RP purposes.

If you still have issue with it, contact me.


Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:55 am
by kanenan
thanks auril, thats all i wanted to hear.

1> i have been trying to get somewhere with the rp action for over 4 yrs.
2> i am not involved nor do i involve myself for items, the RP is the fun part.
3> i was hounded for that corpse, which i did donate and yes auril i remeber what you asked me, the point being it took until now to hear oocly what happened with it, 3 months ago.
4> i turn my flag on/off as appropriate.
5> its really frustrating to go out and seek the rp, then it just dies. all the hours spent, wasted.
6> rpnews.. how often i forget thats out there.

7> when i zone i never claim, and i have died god knows how many times, with a big wide grinned smile. don't misread my words for zoning on an rp thread.

8> everyone poke smot!!!

(thanks auril, and just now, nilan (esp for putting yourself in a very dangerous predicament)

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:21 am
by Sonon
moritheil wrote:
Because Sonon is the epitome of elitism?

And you use me as an example why?

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:41 pm
by teflor the ranger
Sonon wrote:
moritheil wrote:
Because Sonon is the epitome of elitism?

And you use me as an example why?

'cause your name is easy to type. It's a joke sono *ruffle*

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:29 pm
by moritheil
Sonon wrote:
moritheil wrote:
Because Sonon is the epitome of elitism?

And you use me as an example why?

Because you're a shining example of a non-elitist who will play with anybody. At least, you were when I last met you.

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:16 am
by Sonon
well yeah thats true lol well there is only one person i won't play with but i won't mention names cause that would be rude

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:11 pm
by Yayaril

Ythera has been rebuilding Bloodstone almost non-stop for the last 2 RL years (whatever that adds up to in game years), so here is my list of things I want included in the ciity:

1. The city is a magocracy, run mostly by the liches who contributed the work, but also with many officials who are either high level mages or priests of evil gods.

2. The prime labor force is undead. They do the tilling of the fields, the porting, the building, the woodcutting, the other menial chores that require little to no thought. These basic undead (skeletons and zombies), are directed by more intelligent incorporeal undead, with the artisan workforce consisting of raised intelligent corporeal undead at the command of the magocracy.

3. The prime defense forces of the city are undead as well, with bone golems guarding the gates and patrolling packs of vicious undead creatures keeping the Law. Punishment for breaking the law is usually impressment into the military or the city's labor force, where upon the perpetrator is dragged before the magocracy and transformed into something more useful.