Welcome to the city of Oathbond. Oathbond is a bustling city and center of commerce that sits at the heart of the Three Kingdoms. Geographically, Oathbond is situated at the northeast end of the large lake known as the Bloodspeace. Oathbond serves as both bustling trade port and fortress citadel guarding the Oaksflow River that continues eastward to the Brinespray Ocean.
The trade that flows between the great elven capital of Woodhaven in the north, the dwarven capital of Deepstone Keep to the west, and the human capital of Bayhead to the east, passes largely through Oathbond. The city serves as a symbol of the alliance that has kept the three great kingdoms strong allies for two millenia, ever since the end of the great Godsrift War that saw all the planes of existence thrown into chaos and resulted in the death or disappearance of many gods except for the seven of the Heptatheon and their seven counterparts of the Dark Council.
The Treaty of Oathbond, which created the formal charter of the city at the end of the Godsrift War, was a reflection by the people of the material plane in this area of this world to recognize the Treaty of Wyrms that was originally proposed and the germ of the peace negotiated first by Bahamut and Tiamat and then gradually adopted, amended, and ultimately signed by all the members of the Heptatheon and the Dark Council in an attempt to prevent all the planes of existence from being ripped apart by the ever more powerful magics that combatants on all sides were throwing around, either directly at their enemies or at proxy armies fighting with and across the planes.
Since its founding, Oathbond has been the site of Allied Councils that occur once a decade, where diplomats from Woodhaven, Deepstone Keep, and Bayhead meet to assess progress of common initiatives, renew and update trade and military agreements, review intelligence reports of developments concerning both opportunities and threats to the Three Kingdoms from outside events or forces, and to resolve any queries or disputes that may have arisen since the previous Council meeting concerning resources, commitments, exchange rates, and political movements within the three Allied kingdoms. Traditionally the three-month-long Allied Councils have been over two months of parties, festivals, and celebrations with just a few short days of cordial meetings, but in the last few hundred years, that has gradually been changing…
Additional Ancient History and Modern History for the game setting can be found on the forums in this thread under Looking For Players: https://storium.com/forums#/category/lfp/thread/ktc7d9
Oathbond Chronicles Game Play
Hello adventurers and story lovers! Right off the bat, this is a Storium game played with the mechanics and pacing of Storium, but following (as much as possible in such a setting) the rules of the Wizards of the Coast (tm) Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition (tm) Basic Rules set.
I am running this game for two reasons: the first is to see how feasible it is to translate a traditional tabletop RPG game experience to a setting like Storium; the second is to playtest a campaign setting I have been working on for my own homebrew D&D 5e (tm) game. I have chosen to adopt and use the D&D 5e (tm) Basic Rules set because these have been published as a free download by Wizards of the Coast (tm) so it does not require players to purchase any reference books or software to participate in the game, beyond any money you may have already given the fine folks at Storium.
Below are several sections for the benefit of players. The first is a series of links to free download resources for the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition (tm) materials published on the Wizards of the Coast (tm) web site. I’m pointing to these resources so there is no question we’re using FREE and LEGAL materials provided by the game publisher and we’re observing all proper copyright laws pertaining to these materials.
Below the links are a list of house rules I will institute for Storium since we all won’t be playing “in the moment” and all sitting down simultaneously to take our turns. We also won’t be able to verify or observe each others’ die rolls for attacks, saves, and ability checks since each player may be taking their turn on different days and almost certainly in different time zones. So I’ll do my best to keep track of anyone that seems to go on a tremendous “lucky” or “unlucky” streak and may invoke the occasional narrator’s request for a turn edit if it seems warranted.
Finally, since Storium Gamma release has arrived, we now have direct in-game communication between the narrator and each player in Storium. Because of that I can send each of you the long-winded Ancient History and Modern History of the Three Kingdoms campaign setting when you sign up to play. I wish the Player Background tab were active at this point, because I’d put it there and be done with it. But it’s not and that’s too bad for now.
Links to free published game resources:
I want to avoid pointing people to third party resource sites if we can avoid it. I’d recommend being sure your anti-virus and firewall software is up-to-date before downloading anything, even from the Wizards of the Coast (tm) links provided below, but I feel reluctant to point you to any other sites that may have less corporate controls and checks than the game publisher itself, both to avoid chances of copyright infringement and for trying to reduce the chances anyone will stumble upon malware.
D&D 5e (tm) Basic Rules (Printer Friendly): http://media.wizards.com/2014/downloads/dnd/PlayerDnDBasicRules_v0.2_PrintFriendly.pdf
D&D 5e (tm) Character Sheets (Printer Friendly): http://media.wizards.com/2014/downloads/dnd/5E_CHARACTERSHEETSV3.ZIP
Wizards of the Coast (tm) Dungeons & Dragons (tm) online dice roller: https://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm
Character Race/Class/Level:All characters will start the first scene of the game at Level 1 with zero XP. In terms of races and classes, I’ll ask everyone to restrict themselves (for now) to classes and races found in the Basic Rules I linked above. If we develop a core group of players that all eventually purchase additional resource books from Wizards of the Coast (tm) for the D&D 5e (tm) game system, then we can discuss expanding further. But for now I want to make the barrier to entry for this game as economically inexpensive as possible and put everyone on a level playing field, since there’s a bit of a time commitment already in downloading and reading through the rules.
In the Storium cards for character creation, I added three cards that reference the D&D 5e (tm) Player’s Handbook. These are for Nature (background) Weakness (flaw) and Subplot (bond). If you have the D&D 5e (tm) PHB, feel free to use that to add some flavor variety to the party. You could also use these cards to create a completely original Nature, Weakness, and Subplot, subject to approval (it would have to make sense for the setting of the game and the background you create).
Dice Rolls:I’ll ask everyone (including myself) to use the link to the online Dice Roller to roll their dice. Some players may not have physical dice, and if we all use the same Dice Roller then we’ll all be subject to the same random number generation equally.
Experience Awards and Inspiration:I’ll award experience at the end of encounters for the whole team–everyone who fully participated in the encounter (missing no more than one turn) will receive an equal share of experience. Additionally, I’ll award “Inspiration” resource cards to players who do a particularly good job of role-playing or turn description both during encounters and in non-combat scenes. Each character can have one “Inspiration” card at a time per character level, and can either cash them in on a roll of their own or give them to another character whose turn may be important to the whole party. “Inspiration” is a mechanic straight out of D&D 5e (tm) that allows a player “Advantage” (a second d20 roll, and the player gets to choose the highest result) on a single attack roll, saving throw, or ability check. You won’t be able to stack multiple “Inspiration” cards on a single roll, but higher level characters can spend more than one “Inspiration” card per turn on separate rolls if they have them available (e.g., one on an attack roll and another on a saving throw to break the effect of a harmful magical spell or condition).
Roleplay:At its best, Dungeons and Dragons (tm) has always been more about collaborative storytelling and social interaction than hacking and slashing with mighty weapons, pointing and booming with magical effects, or accumulating masses of fictional wealth, power, or magical loot. The dice rolls add a certain random element to the game, but the most important thing for our purposes in this Storium game will be the description of the actions your characters take and not the mechanical results of those actions.
So feel free to describe the look, sound, or tactile (temperature, force, or physical sensation) of any spells or class abilities you use, and don’t be too constrained by the suggested descriptions in the rule book. You can run with those if you like, but you can make your “magic missiles” have different color, sound, or other descriptive effects as long as it doesn’t change the mechanical effect described in the rules. And you can give your mighty warrior or dour cleric a catch phrase or battlecry (e.g., Dr. McCoy’s famous, “Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a [insert profession here]” from the original Star Trek series in the 1960s). Give your armor or weapon some custom design treatment or special history to go with your character background, but understand that won’t have any mechanical effect on its ability to hit an enemy or protect you. These things just may make the game more fun for you and the other players, and provide opportunities for interaction between players.
Gender Roleplay:A core ideal behind Storium is that you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. That’s also always been true in D&D (tm), but over the years I’ve found that sometimes I need to impose a rule at the table that players restrict themselves to their real-life gender identity and romantic orientation. It’s a rule I won’t enforce in this game from the start, but I’ll tell you why I use it and ask that we abide by its spirit, or I may have to ask someone to leave the game if it causes problems.
It sometimes happens that players in a table-top RPG choose to play a different gender or romantic orientation as a means of making a caricature or wildly exaggerated and unrealistic character. The classic example is the socially awkward male player who plays a female character that looks like a popular Hollywood actress and behaves like a female porn star when the camera is on. To me that kind of thing is just childish and a bit offensive, and I won’t accept it. By the same token, it’s the 21st century and I will defend any player’s right to be free from harassment or bullying for playing their character with the gender identification and romantic orientation that best reflects the player’s own personal feelings.
I can’t remember if Storium forces players to identify themselves as male or female, and I don’t really care for the purposes of this game. But just be respectful of other players in terms of the boundaries they choose for their character. Don’t try to force another character into any romantic situations with yours regardless of how your character feels toward theirs. Feel free to use the comments section or trade email addresses with other players if you want to explore the possibility of your character and theirs forming any sort of romantic bond. If you both consent and agree on the parameters, I say go for it. And please let me know if you’ve expressed discomfort to another player for how their character has made advances to yours and they keep at it. I want all players to make each other feel welcome in this game, and that means your right to play your character how you want ends at the point it makes another player uncomfortable continuing in the game. Period.
For my part, to be fair to everyone and remain agnostic about whether players are male or female, if your character wants to have romantic fun with any NPC I control, any of that will happen off screen and in your imagination, and will strictly be based on your ability to persuade the NPC with dice rolls of your ability checks and a random roll on my part to determine if the NPC in question swings from that side of the plate in the first place. I just want to avoid the situation where individual players feel either singled out or left out if it feels like the narrator does a lot more flirting or interaction with a certain character.
NSFW Spectrum and Rating:In character generation, I’ll ask each player to submit an NSFW preference (PG or full NSFW) and their real-life age bracket (17 or under; 18 or over). If we have any minors in the game, I’ll try to enforce a PG rating on the game just to be sure nobody has to deal with the potential of another player’s angry parents.
I’m in the 18 or over category, and I’d be lying if I said that my two favorite TV series were anything other than the HBO dramas Game of Thrones and True Detective. So if everyone is OK with NSFW, we can go “full Westeros” on the language, violence, and romance between consenting characters. And on the extreme off-chance that some celebrity who is a minor joins our game (e.g., a Maisie Williams, a David Mazouz, or a Camren Bicondova) then it gets an automatic “My Little Pony” rating on language, romance, and violence–mainly for the sheer irony of it… By putting that in writing, of course, I’ve guaranteed we won’t have that situation.
Character Generation:Choose a race and a class first, since this will help determine how you want to distribute your ability scores. We’re going to use a format known as “heroic” character generation. This is where you roll 2d6 for each of the six primary stats (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma) and then add 6 to the result. This guarantees nobody will wind up with a super underpowered character (technically it’s possible to have all scores be 8s but that would be just as unlikely as having all scores be 18s). Once you have the six results, distribute them across the abilities in a way that makes sense for the class/race combination you are playing and the character concept you want to build. Also be sure to check the Basic Rules you downloaded to see any racial bonus or penalties to ability scores that you receive.
Character Sheets:I’ve provided a link to some .zip files from Wizards of the Coast (tm) for official D&D 5e (tm) character sheets. These sheets are in PDF format, and there are a number of downloadable tools and utilities (some built in to operating systems like Windows 8) that will let you edit form-fillable PDFs or print them to a new PDF file. I’m hoping we can use these sheets to keep an electronic version of your character sheets that can be shared with the narrator (me) for reference. If it becomes a real headache or technical challenge for anyone, we can let you simply send me an email with all of the relevant stats each time you level up.
Saves, Attacks, Defenses, Spellcasting, and Resistances:One drawback to putting dice rolling mechanics of a table-top RPG into a game like Storium could be the lag time between probability dice rolls (d20 attack and save rolls, as well as the effects of special defenses and resistances). Normally in a table-top game a player or the narrator would roll for an attack or call for a Saving Throw and the other party would announce if the attack hits or the Saving Throw succeeds right away before damage is rolled or effects happen. To avoid players having to wait to see if their attack hits a monster or NPC, I will put key information like the Armor Class, Saving Throws, and Spellcasting DC for enemies you face in their character cards. That way when you write your turn you can determine with the dice roller if an attack hits or a spell takes effect. Likewise, I’ll have all the character information from each player to determine if an attack or spell cast by the opponent hits a player without having to wait for them to log into the game and post a response to determine if a simple hit or effect takes place.
Initiative and Turn Timing:For those familiar with table-top RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons (tm), normally when there are encounters or combats, every player and each group of NPC monsters rolls a d20 to set initiative order, then play goes around the table in that order from highest to lowest. With the mechanics of a game like Storium, some players may have much more or much less time to come online and make a move during the week, so I don’t want to bog down scenes waiting three days for the next initiative in the order to post a move, and then having to wait for the next person to have some time off to get to theirs. That would make the game very slow.
So for the first couple of scenes, I will propose that each turn lasts a maximum of one week from the time I post it (if everyone moves in the first couple of days, we’ll move to the next turn), and that at the top of each turn I will make a “high-low” roll on behalf of each group of NPCs or monsters the party is facing or fighting. A high roll means that NPC or monster group moves at the beginning of the turn; a low roll means that NPC or monster group moves a few days later. Players, in the mean time, can just log in and make their moves when they have the time during the week. If it helps you with the feel of a traditional table-top RPG combat, use the Dice Roller to make an initiative check and then judge if that means you’d act near the beginning or closer to the end of the turn, but I won’t require that. Remember to follow the downloaded game rules to determine the extent of your allowed actions during a single turn (round) of combat.
Finally, if a full week elapses and a player fails to post a turn, we’ll move on to the next turn and presume that character was incapacitated for some reason during that round of the action. If we get to a point where a player misses 3 turns in a row, I’ll have to strongly consider removing that player from the game and opening invitations for a new player to be added at the end of the encounter (it may mean adjusting opponents on the fly if the party is suddenly smaller due to player abandonment during a fight, but I’ll have to decide that on the state of the battlefield should that happen).
After two full combats, I’ll use the comments section of the Storium game to take everyone’s pulse on how this initiative system and turn pacing is working, and we’ll see if everyone would prefer to set a hard initiative order–the change would have to be unanimous and depend largely on how much time players have to devote to the game based on work, school, relationships, and other social/volunteer commitments they may have offline and outside the game.
Milestones:The D&D 5e (tm) Dungeon Master’s Guide provides an optional rule for “milestones” that I’m going to invoke for this game. According to the basic rules, there are certain things that recharge for characters only after a “short rest” or a “long rest” (two game mechanics). I’m going to say that every two combats the party has triggers a milestone, and that means each character can choose ONE of the following to recharge without having to take the in-game time for a short rest or a long rest:
That’s it. Yeah, that’s probably enough; we’ll handle any additional background you need for your character through the direct two-way communication channel during the Character creation process.
Hosted and narrated by:
Gallibond Boondoggle (Gallibond)
Scenes played: 4
License: Community License