Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Character creation process for Reclaming Khazad-dûm

What this campaign is all about

The year is 15 of the Fourth age, we are in Erebor. The prophecy is that King Thorin III Stonehelm's heir will be Durin VII: the last Dwarven King before the decline of the race of Khazâd. Thorin III is determined to reclaim the heart of Middle-Earth on time for the ascension of his (still to be born) heir.

You are to play the role of members of the extended Royal Family. The King is an impulsive and overconfident ruler with a poor knack for details. It is clear to the PCs that reclaiming Khazad-dûm is bound to fail if the King can't be saved from his fury and all of the infighting within the royal circle.

What can possibly go wrong?

A lot of things. Here is a possible list:
  1. Can sound decisions be made amid the tension between the "princes" and the Erebor dwarves?
  2. How will the elves of Lorien react to Thorin III stirring the hornet's nest once more? After all, the East-gate is in their backyard.
  3. The bridge of Khazad-dûm was trashed, how do we get in now?
  4. How much of it can we hold?
  5. What happen if you leave evil dwell for 2000 years in your old mountain home?
  6. The Balrog is dead right? Who said so? 
  7. How much work will it take before Khazad-dûm can sustain itself.
  8. If we do, who shall trade with us? The elves of Eregion are long gone, there is no road to Gondor.
  9. They dug too deep, how do we plug that hole?

Making Characters


The characters will be built from their biography: with skill levels and attributes that makes sense. Expect characters with a good balance of combat and non-combat skills around 250 points. We're not aiming for a certain point target, however. Members of the Royal Family are not attached to any specific military units: they are advisors and "go getters".

Step 1 - Pick a dwarf lineage

There are three main factions within the Royal Family:
  1. Gray mountain dwarves (Erebor) : Related mainly to the lines of Balin and Dwalin. At odds with the Iron Hill dwarves since the passing of Thorin II Oakenshield. [Status 2]
  2. Iron Hills dwarves : The King, his elderly uncle Bain and the King's cousins. [Status 3]
  3. Aglarond dwarves : Sent by Lord Gimly to help out. relative to the lines of Oin and Gloin. Outsiders in the King's retinue. [Status 2]
Here is a genealogy of the direct lines. Potential PCs are shown in white (click to zoom).

Step 2 - Pick an age bracket

Young dwarves between 30 and 70 years old would be considered as apprentices. They would not bear much weight in the court. [Social Stigma (immature)]
The King's nephews are between 70-110 years old. They were at their prime during the War of the ring 15 years ago. They would have been very young when the battle of the five armies occurred (92 years ago). 

The King and his generation are between 120-160 years old (the King is 166 y.o.). This generation fought to regain Erebor, but grew either in exile of in the Iron hills. 

The King's great uncles are between 140-200. The oldest would have been teenagers for the sacking of Dale and Erebor (183 years ago). [One aging threshold

Elderly dwarves, great-great uncles of the King, They can be as old as 250 y.o. The oldest could have participate in the battle of Azanulbizar the last battle for Moria between Azog's orcs and Dwarves. [Two aging threshold, Social Regards (venerated)]

Step 3 - Iteratively, let's figure out who you are

  • Long tasks and kingdom building will be done mostly by post. You don't have to be a party member for all sessions.
  • Aim to bring a good balance of skills: the play style will vary a lot from dungeon exploration, politics, engineering, large scale operations.
  • Get in touch with +Christian Blouin to get invited in the Campaign's private community.

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