#3 The Fourfold Bridge
Reply #3 on: August 03, 2004, 02:57:31 PM
In the years prior to the Wars of Cleansing, the mystics of the Four Peoples forsaw troublesome times to come; their tribes would fight several long and bitter wars, killing hundreds of thousands, razing entire cities, and leaving deep feelings of hatred and mistrust that would make peace impossible. Hoping to avert the wars, the mystics gathered at Lake Tabriz and using their magical powers, raised an island in the middle of the lake and on that island, built the Temple of Peace -- a testament to the unity of the Four Peoples and a place where their leaders and diplomats could come to end their conflicts.
Unfortunately, the mystics could not finish their temple in time. The Wars of Cleansing began and the mystics vanished. No one knows what happened to them. Some say that they faded away when faced with the great sadness of their failure. Others think they died struggling to complete their temple. A few think they are still on Tabriz Island, waiting for someone to wake them.
Today, the temple lies ruined on Tabriz island. Four elaborately constructed bridges link the island to the mainland, one for each of the Four Peoples. The Temple of Peace has never been used as a meeting place for the Four Peoples as they all consider it to be a place of misfortune. However, in recent months, a small religious order has settled on the island. The Order of the Unfinished Peace consists of monks and scholars from each of the tribes. These monks worship the mystics that gave their lives on this island and they seek and end to all conflicts.
One of the most notable members of this upstart religion is none other than Arathane Illtide, heir to the Elvin Throne. When Arathane's father, Rellen Illtide, learned of his defection, he was furious, and traveled to Tabriz to personally retrieve his son. While he crossed the Elven Bridge to reach the island, Rellen was confronted by a group of monks. He drew his sword to kill the monks and the power of the bridge struck him down. Up until that moment, no one knew of the enchantments placed on the bridge by the mystics: once you set foot on the bridge, you are bound by the laws of peace.
Once word of Rellen Illtide's demise spreads, what will happen? The Four Peoples currently shun one another, not trusting the others enough to meet. If the Fourfold Bridge can guarantee a peaceful meeting, will it bring the tribes together? What if a fugitive from justice came to the island seeking asylum? Must you cross the bridges to come under the sway of the laws of peace? What if an assassin were to swim across the lake to attack his island-bound quarry?
Hopefully, the Fourfold Bridge gives you a few ideas to use in your own game. Go to Comment
In any case, my death tolerance changes considerably based on the setting and campaign. We are currently playing a superhero game in which the characters will probably never die, but they certainly cannot "easily succeed against the challenges thrown against them." In the case of my game, I just wrote death out of the rules. When you reach 0 hit points, you are defeated and your fate is left up in the air. Usually, it means you are knocked unconscious, but it could mean that your secret base is falling in around you and you are engulfed in an explosion never to be seen again... until issue 42.
On the other hand, in most of my Runebearer games are pretty a pretty solid 4.2. I tell my players that no dice will be fudged and that there are things they might meet in the course of the game that are more powerful than they are. Essentially, the assumptions that player characters won't die, or that they will never face anything they cannot defeat in straight on combat are tossed out the window.
I tried this as an experiment a couple years back, thinking that no one would like it. I was wrong. My players took to it immediately. Suddenly, every combat was dangerous. I found that my players became a little more thoughtful and careful. Most importantly, they seemed to be having more fun and getting more excitement out of fights.
Overall, this is a very interesting and pretty accurate scale. Go to Comment
Well, one thing to realize is that in my world, all weapons tend to gain powers from their legends and from the deeds and desires of their users. The causal relationship is a little vague, so I don't know whether Sophia's desire to hide the weapon gave it that power, or whether the fact that she managed to hide it gave it the power. Nonetheless, the power comes from that story.
Borakki are a cross between Vikings and 8' tall Scotsmen that herd giant ants. I could post a more detailed description, but there is no category for race or species, so where would it go? Go to Comment
A race would go to Ideas? Yikes. Most of the ideas are very small. I don't think it would be polite to spam the ideas section with 2-3 pages of race information. I suppose I could post somewhere on the forums.
What about a 'criminal' society with distinct laws - for stealing, the larger the value of something stolen, the less punishment the courageous thief recieves (but must return it of course). For this pirates(?) caught petty thieves deserve to be punished harshly. If you take, you better take a lot.