Bramble Butterfoot, Halfling Ranger Level 1

Bramble Butterfoot, Halfling Ranger Level 1
Hit Points: 18/18 Body Points: 20/20 Experience Points: 5 Experience Base: 28
Stats STR 10; DEX 15(+2); MIND 13(+1); CHA 10
Saves FORT +3; REFLEX +5; WILL+3 PRESENCE +2 (+4 to save vs magical effects)
Armor Class 15; Shortbow +6 to hit, 1d6+3; Dagger +2 to hit, 1d4+1
Rangers are expert at wilderness tracking and survival and good at moving quietly and hiding in cover in the wilderness.
Current Money: 2gp

Calix, Human Cleric Level 1

Calix, Human Cleric Level 1
Alignment: Neutral Scoundrel Hit Points: 16/16 Body Points: 20/20 Experience Points: 5 Experience Base: 20
Stats STR 10; DEX 18 (+3); MIND 17 (+2); CHA 16 (+2)
Saves FORT +3; REFLEX +5; WILL +5; PRESENCE +4
Armor Class 16; Light Mace +1 to hit 1d6 dmg
Can cast divine spells and have the Turn Undead and
Smite special Abilities.
Current Money: 5 gp

Sarhan Soth, Gnome Thief Level 1

Sarhan Soth, Gnome Thief Level 1
Alignment: Neutral Trickster Hit Points: 16/16 Body Points: 20/20 Experience Points: 5 Experience Base: 24
Stats STR 10; DEX 14 (+1); MIND 11; CHA 9
Saves FORT +3 REFLEX +6 WILL +3 PRESENCE +3; +4 to save vs poison
Armor Class 13; Dagger +1 to hit, 1d4+1
They have the Sneak Attack special ability, which adds the Thief's class level to the damage of his first attack, if he successfully sneaks up on a foe. Thieves are experts at urban
survival as well as picking pockets, hiding, sneaking, and other
tasks associated with theft.
Current Money: 5gp

Rathman, Elf Magic-User Level 1

Rathman, Elf Magic-User Level 1
Hit Points: 22/22 Body Points: 20/20 Experience Points: 5 Experience Base: 37
Stats: STR 16 (+2); DEX 8; MIND 16 (+2); CHA 8
Saves: FORT +3; REFLEX +1; WILL +5; PRESENCE +1
Armor Class 10; Dagger +3 to hit, 1d4+2 dmg
Spellbook: Read Magic, Sleep, Feather Fall, Hold Portal, Identify.
Current Money: 5gp

Gault, Human Fighter 1

Gault, Human Fighter Level 1

Alignment: Guardedly Neutral. Hit Points: 24/24 Body Points: 20/20 Experience Points: 5 Experience Base: 20
Stats: STR 16 (+2); DEX 13 (+1); MIND 11; CHA 13 (+1)

Saves: FORT +8; REFLEX +5 WILL +4; PRESENCE +5

Armor Class 15 (heavy shield, leather armor, dex bonus); Throwing Axe +3 to hit, 1d6+1 dmg; Spear +4 to hit, 1d6+3 dmg

Current Money: 5gp

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Ill Omen

Excellent writing thus far, friends, thank you. We shall continue on this posting.

Rathman: The three boys all perk up at your words, and rush over to you. Their attention is split between you and the cart of fireworks, but thus far they keep their hands to themselves.

Sarhan: When you return to your family table amidst the festivities, you notice your eldest daughter, Messa, is no longer her usually cheery self. A grim, almost fearful look has overcome her, and her eyes are distant with worry. She has long had the gift of foresight; never knowing exactly what events would come in the future, but having a general feeling for things that have not yet come to pass.

Calix: You see Gault leading a wild-looking halfling into town through the North Gate. The halfling looks a bit weary but uninjured. The guards along the walls are much more active now. One of them has rushed past you towards Lower Fallcrest and the Market Square in quite a hurry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Setting the Stage; Game On!

We are about ready to begin, I believe.

It is the sixth day of the Summer Festival in Fallcrest, and as evening draws close, most residents have made their way to the Market Green (26) on the lower side of town, where a great bonfire is being prepared, and the ale has already started flowing. The people of Fallcrest are in good spirits; there has not been a monster raid since the last Festival, and this year's harvest looks to be plentiful. The Lucky Gnome Taphouse (28) is doing a brisk business, which is pouring over onto the Market Green. While much of the lower side of Fallcrest remains in ruins, there has been some rebuilding lately.

Bramble Butterfoot: you have literally just gotten to Fallcrest after seeing your family slaughtered by gnolls. You followed the River Nen south to Fallcrest, where you hear the sounds of a great celebration.

Calix: This happened today:

Father Quinlaven has asked you to walk with him after morning services. "Calix, I was granted a vision last night," he begins, his old deep voice slow with age and deliberation. "It seems the gods have a greater purpose for you than remaining here. I know, I find it hard to believe myself, young man, but these are dark and dangerous times we find ourselves in, and the gods work in mysterious ways. 

"You must leave this temple, Calix. Have faith and trust in Corellon to guide you through the darkness you will surely encounter. Gather your things and go. Oh, and take this," he says, opening his robes and brandishing a heavy mace, adorned on each blunt face of the business end with the Star of Corellon. "It has been many moons since I have had to wield it, but it served me well when the orcs were rampaging across the Vale.

"I fear the orcs are gathering again in the Stonemarch Mountains, to the west. Normally the tribes of darkness bicker and fight amongst themselves, but when a strong enough leader can impose his will on the clans, they can be rallied under a single banner. You must not allow this to happen, Calix."

Father Quinlaven hands you the mace. 

DM note: this is just a normal mace, although of exceptional quality and sentimental value.

Sarhan Soth: You are in the Market Green, enjoying the festival with your friends and family.

Rathman: Your teacher, the old human hedge-wizard Tauster, has given you the most important job in town. You are in charge of the fireworks. A cart stacked full of them sits near the cliff on the upper side of town, just above (15) on the map.

Gault: You drew the short straw and are stuck with guard duty, walking the wall for the evening.

Okay, I know I just served up Calix a big fat plot sandwich, but it was one of those things that I just started writing yesterday and it seemed like it would be perfect. So there ya go. I'll try to make sure everybody gets some, as the storyline progresses and more NPCs are added to the mix through play.

Also, if anyone has ideas for NPC relatives or friends, shoot me an email and we can get that sorted out and added to the mix somehow. The more you put into your character, the more I can give back. I'm all about you guys helping me build this world as the game progresses. It's ours, not mine, and I have very little set in stone about any of it at the moment.

Calix and Rathman still need starting equipment, and Rathman needs to select the spells in his book, as well as his "signature spell".

Monday, October 24, 2011


PCs must take time to hone their skills and train themselves to gain the benefits of a new level. This requires one uninterrupted week per level. This time may be reduced by finding a trainer of the same class and greater level (payment is negotiable), but will always take at least one week. 


1 week is seven days, and for ease of use, we will use Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday.
Each month is exactly four weeks.

New Year's Festival, 1 week
Rebirth Festival, 1 week
Summer Festival, 1 week
Harvest Festival, 1 week

The moon cycles from new to full once per year, with the new moon occuring during the month of Darkmoon and the full moon during the month of Fullmoon.

Years are not numbered, but instead each year is given a name. This is the Year of the Starfall, so named for the meteor showers that fell during the New Year's Festival. Sometimes years are not named until the middle of the summer, or even the next year. It makes little difference in the day-to-day lives of the people of Fallcrest.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Almost ready...

Just as a heads up for my players, we are very close to being ready to get the ball rolling on this game. I will probably be making some changes to the blog interface to make it work as good as possible for everyone involved.

I will generally be using my iPhone to run the game, so that is certainly effecting how I set things up for ease of use on my end. So, to my players, are you all generally using a proper web browser on a computer to post, or are some of you using mobile internet devices? Any suggestions on how I can set this up for ease of functionality?

I am also still working on setting up the hex-map for exploring the surrounding area. I have the map to base it on, but, having a rather slow desktop at the moment, am a bit stymied on how to easily set it up. I don't have access to any fancy image editors, either, nor would I have the technical skills to make it look very good. For the moment, my plan is to keep track of where you all are at on my personal map and just be very descriptive as I interpret it for you. The same process will probably apply for dungeon areas, although these may be easier to adjust and post for you guys using a simple program like Paint.

Thanks a lot, guys. Like I said, I hope to get this started in the next few days. Please bear with me as I get things sorted out to make this work well. I imagine I'll be changing some things as we go and figure out just what works well and what doesn't.

Map of Fallcrest

This is a map of Fallcrest, courtesy of WotC. I will be filling in the details as the game progresses, and will edit this post as information is made available. Obviously, as most of the characters grew up in Fallcrest, a good deal of information should be available from the beginning, and I'll try to get the basics up here shortly.

Better hi-res version of map here.

5: North Gate, also known as the Knight's Gate, for the fully-armored knights that are sculpted into the wall on either side of the portcullis, on the outside. 

The walls around Fallcrest are twenty feet tall, with a tower every hundred yards or so. 

10: Temple of the Gods: Fallcrest's house of worship. Most of the gods have a small chamber for worship, and the buildings in the immediate area house a number of acolytes. 

26: Market Green, a large open space in Lower Fallcrest, where once a week a farmer's market goes up. The area is also used for Festival celebrations and any other large gatherings. 

28: The Lucky Gnome Taphouse, a bit of a rough n tumble pub, owned by an older gnome named Drewfet. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Character Sheet Format

This is the (preliminary) format I will be using to display everyone's character. I've already filled this out for The Bane, Jake, Joe Nelson, and Tenkar, and will be posting them on the sidebar (and keeping them updated) for ease of play.

Hit Points:
Body Points:
Experience Points:
Experience Base:
Stats Saves
Armor Class
Physical Combat Bonus (PCB)
Magical Combat Bonus (MCB)
Melee Attack Bonus=PCB+STR
Ranged Attack Bonus=PCB+DEX
Magic Attack Bonus=MCB+MIND
Weapon to hit and damage
Class Abilities
Race Abilities
Current Items:
Current Money:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ok, looks like our table is full, and I don't think we could have a more well-rounded group. 

We have Rude Jester, playing Gault, a human fighter. 

Joe Nelson, playing Calix, a human cleric. 

Jake Strait, playing Sarhan Soth, a gnome thief. 

The Bane, playing Bramble Butterfoot, a halfling ranger. 

And Tenkar, playing Rathman, an elf magic-user. 

Expectations: I see this as a slow-moving game, especially as we all get the hang of the ruleset. I would like to see a rate of a comment per day from each player. If we're waiting on someone and it's been a day or two, I'll shoot them an email, and if you've dropped off the edge of the world and have no contact after another day or two, I'll have your character slaughtered (or suffer some other horrible fate) in a most brutal fashion and your spot at the table will be taken by someone on the waiting list. Obviously, if you need a break or won't be able to participate for a week or month or something, I'll be happy to work with you, as long as lines of communication are open. 

There were a few questions about chargen in the comments, which I'll answer here. 

I don't have a standardized character sheet yet, but it seems you guys have done a pretty good job putting that together yourselves. 

We will use max hit points at 1st level, and we will be using the Body Points rules (though not the optional rules that cause fighters to gain body points and magic-users to lose them as they level-up). 

You add your Physical Combat Bonus (PCB) with your Strength Bonus to get your overall modifier for Melee Attacks. Add your PCB to your Dex Bonus to get your overall modifier for Ranged Attacks. The Magical Combat Bonus will be used very rarely, if at all. I can really only see it being used in, for example, the case of a fighter picking up and trying to use a Wand of Magic Missile.  

Caltrops can most certainly be used as traps, and generally stepping on a caltrop would cause 1d4 damage and significantly reduce one's movement rate. 

Feel free to take one of the packs as your standard starting equipment. 

@Tenkar: I'll need to take another gander at the magic rules to figure out your spellbook, but I'll let you know soon how we'll deal with that. 

I should have this blog more fully set-up in the next few days to allow for ease of play, and then we'll get rolling. Any suggestions or comments are always welcome and encouraged! Thanks guys!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Pantheon

There are numerous gods that are understood by the people of Fallcrest and the Nentir Vale to exist, and they each have varying degrees of influence in the lives of mortals.

This is the same pantheon as is described in the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Rules Compendium.

These are the gods and goddesses commonly worshiped by humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, and are primarily good or unaligned in nature.

Avandra (Good) Goddess of change, luck, trade and travel.
Bahamut (Lawful Good) God of justice, honor, nobility and protection.
Corellon (Unaligned) God of arcane magic, spring, beauty and the arts. Revered by the elves.
Erathis (Unaligned) God of civilization, invention, and law.
Ioun (Unaligned) Goddess of knowledge and prophecy.
Kord (Unaligned) God of storms, strength and battle.
Melora (Unaligned) Goddess of wilderness and the sea.
Moradin (Lawful Good) God of creation, artisans, and family. Revered by the dwarves.
Pelor (Good) God of the sun, summer, agriculture and time.
The Raven Queen (Unaligned) Goddess of death, fate, and winter.
Sehanine (Unaligned) Goddess trickery, the moon, love, and autumn.

The evil gods are: Asmodeus, Bane, Gruumsh, Lolth, Tharizdun, Tiamat, Torog, Vecna, and Zehir. There are also a few Primordials that are worshiped by (usually) evil humanoids. More details about these gods will undoubtedly be revealed as the campaign progresses.

In Fallcrest, there is a single temple, where there are shrines to all of the good and unaligned gods listed above. Most people pray to several of the gods, as opposed to revering a single one.

Clerics in this world can be a devotee of a single god, or they can be a servant of the entire pantheon, such as the Keeper of the Temple, Lady Allowen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Character Generation

Character Generation

Yes, it's that time. Go to the rpglibrary's secure dice page here

And program it to roll 4d6, dropping the lowest die, 4 times. Those results will be your four attributes, Strength, Dexterity, Mind and Charisma. Arrange to taste. Select class and race. Name your character. You are all from the town of Fallcrest in the Nentir Vale. I will be happy to work with you to come up with an appropriate background and some NPCs around town to relate you to. 

There are a few houserules that will be implemented. I outlined them on my other blog, a Pack of Gnolls, and I am reposting them here for ease of use. 

Microlite74 Extended Edition, Sully's Houserules 

The following Houserules will be in effect for my upcoming Microlite74 Play-By-Blog game, which is still recruiting players. If you are interested in joining this game, email me at sully33 at gmail dawt com. 

Races: all the races offered seem pretty well true to the source material. One thing, however, immediately jumped out at me, and that was Gnomes getting a +1 to both Strength and Dexterity. Dexterity I agree with, as they are a small and nimble people, but Strength just doesn't make a lick of sense to me, so we'll change that to a +1 to the Mind attribute instead. 

I may also cook up a few of the 4E races, such as Tieflings and Dragonborn, down the line. 

Classes: all the classes are solid, but I will only be allowing the "Standard" classes to start (Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, Thief, Cleric, Druid, Magic-User, Illusionist), while the "Optional" classes (Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Monk, Mystic, Sorcerer and Warlord) will have to be "unlocked" through the course of player exploration in the campaign. 

Alignment: The Microlite74 alignment system is pretty vague: Light, Dark, or Neutral. I prefer more colorful terms to express a characters alignment, such as "Neutral Hedonistic" or "Chaotic Ugly". Alignment is really more just guidelines for role-playing anyway. Any magic item that has alignment requirements will be adjudicated on the fly based on an individual character's history in the campaign to date. 

Virtues and Vices: I think this is a nice little role-playing tool to go along with alignment. I crossed out the line containing "Determined" and "Hidebound" and then numbered the chart down from 1-20 so it could easily be rolled on with a D20 for randomness, if desired. 

The different Battle Stances just won't get used, except for "Full Defense", which will be an option as an action in combat. It grants a bonus to Armor Class in exchange for not attacking that round. 

Special Combat Situations: the only thing that jumped off the page as ripe for abuse here is the "Knockout Blow", which as written allows a character to make an attack that stuns the target for a number of rounds equal to how much the AC was beaten by (and more for Thieves!). This is something that I think should be included in with Combat Tricks and Stunts, so that's where it will go. Alternatively, I'm the kind of DM that will allow players to knockout an opponent instead of killing them outright when HP are dropped to zero (except in the case of a critical hit). 

Setting the Stage

"The Empire? My grandfather told me about the Nerathi Empire, many years ago. Imperial knights cleared the monsters from this valley, some three hundred years ago, and brought their families, workers, and farmers and settled this valley. Towns sprung up from the Dawnforge Mountains to the Cairngorn Peaks, and we traded with the dwarves of Hammerfast and the elves of the Harkenwood.

"Alas, the Empire crumbled, as Empires are wont to do, and this valley was left to its own devices. And we were not prepared for the return of the orcs and gnolls. It has been but sixty years since the hordes swept across this land, leaving destruction and death everywhere they went. You can still see the stain they left here. Had it not been for the deeds of a few great heroes, we'd all be slaves or worse. As it is now, the world outside Fallcrest is a very dangerous place."

Fallcrest is a town located at the intersection of the old King's Road and the River Nen, in the middle of the Nentir Vale. The King's Road runs east to west across the Vale, though much of it has fallen into disrepair. The River Nen flows from Lake Wintermist and Lake Nen in the north, southwest into the Witchlight Fens. To the southeast is Harken Forest. Mountains border the Vale on the east and west, and deep dark of Winterbole Forest comprises the Vale's northern boundaries. 

Fallcrest is cut off and has not had communication or trade with other towns in the Vale since the monstrous hordes swept across the land. Little is known about the outside world; it is far too dangerous to venture far past the town's meager walls. The town guard is vigilant over their borders, however, and the townspeople are quick to take up arms when bands of goblins or other monstrous humanoids are spotted, though it has been about three or four months since the last incursion. 

Some 1500 souls reside in and around Fallcrest. Our PCs are amongst their number, and have been listening to tales of heroes and monsters for all their young lives. Surely, in the many ruins of the old empire, there must be great treasure! At the very least, monsters make life dangerous here, and the people who call the Nentir Vale home are in need of a generation of heroes! 

DM's Note: I'll be using a heavily modified version of 4th Edition D&D's Nentir Vale setting as the starting adventure area for this campaign. I'm going to liberally steal the fluff from my many 4E sourcebooks, because really, I might as well put it all to use, right? Also, I'm terrible at coming up with fantasy names that evoke a proper feel for the setting. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Welcome to the Ruins of Empire! This is a play-by-blog D&D game utilizing the Microlite74 Extended ruleset. Over the next few days I will be adding a lot more to this blog, including some background on the campaign setting, guidelines on how the game will be run, houserules, and other various bits and pieces. I'll probably be changing the layout around quite a bit, so don't be surprised if the place doesn't look the same the next time you come back to visit!