Crown and Cowardice is my Seventh original campaign. Unlike prior campaigns, which share worlds, Crown and Cowardice is based in the fictional country of Reim, which is in neither of my prior worlds. Additionally it grants the players more freedom than normal as it starts out as a 'finding riches' story but eventually bows into an overarching story with appropriate hooks that are more player-centered. New concepts that I will be using to give more freedom are a hex-based exploration map, I will also be using new software programs to put the world together with maps. Doing this will allow me to handle things like Food/Water and Weight more easily. Additionally this campaign does not focus on a good, evil or neutral aligned quest, since everyone has their own reasons for wanting or needing treasure, and surviving. However, I don't condone bullying, so I'd like the players to find some common ground for their characters to at least attempt to work with each other. I will of course give incentive for this since when the main story starts to kick in, focus will be on your group as a whole.
Towers have been appearing throughout the kingdom seemingly out of mid-air, their shadows have appeared over villages, forests, mountains, lakes, and even the capitol city of Leamwick, each has a portal at its base which seems to allow one to enter, however very few have entered have been seen again, and those who have survived whatever harrowing fate lies within, don't wish to speak about it. Recently - according to the rumors - in a kingdom to the north one of these towers collapsed after a surviver managed to explore it and it came to the ears of a local Lord that said surviver is now as rich as a king.
The noble, Lord Charon, has since put out posters advertising employment for warriors and magicians alike to help him conquer a local Tower that appeared near the City of Rostland. Whether or not he intends to share whatever riches lie within these towers is up for debate, but he is certainly paying a rather high initial wage for any who might assist him.
Of course, he is not the only noble whose imagination was captured by these towers. So it is very likely that there will be competition for the untold treasures within these enigmatic structures.
The bigger question is of course shadowing over the smallfolk of the Kingdom of Reim; Why are these towers appearing? What or Who are calling them into existence - the gods? some evil conjuror? - but most of all; what is their purpose? It seems the only way to know for sure is explore them. Hopefully, there are answers within.
This campaign is designed for 4-6 characters of 1st level, and will be weekly on sundays from 4pm PST to 8pm PST.
Characters can equip a number of dungeon artifacts depending on their Charisma score (see below) and can activate the dungeon artifact for a buff for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + their Constitution modifier. See Dungeon Artifacts for more details.
|Charisma Score||Max. Equipped Dungeon Artifacts|
Additionally the player equipped with a dungeon artifact can grant an alternate but equally powerful form of the buff to their allies by making their allies a Household Vassal; this allows characters without a high Constitution or Charisma to benefit from dungeon artifacts as well.
A player equipped with a dungeon artifact can have a number of household vassals equal to their Charisma modifier, and the benefits of the alternate buff last a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + the vassal's Constitution modifier.
Once a character is selected as a household vassal they cannot become another player's household vassal without first severing their connection to their original benefactor. Once you sever your connection to a benefactor you cannot make a new connection for 24 hours per rank of the original benefactor's dungeon artifact.
If player A makes player B a household vassal and player B has their own dungeon artifact, their own dungeon artifact buff cannot stack with the buff granted to them as a household vassal, but the rounds per day for activating a househole vassal power and a dungeon artifact power are cumulative, meaning if you run out of rounds for your own artifact you can still gain benefits from your household benefactor if they still have rounds to give.
The world map is a hex-based map and travelling from one hex to another takes one day by default. Meaning each individual step requires one food ration and one water ration per player. see Food/Water for more information. This is also influenced by the average encumberance of the party exponentially. See Weight for more information.
Each hex has a chance of an encounter or other event as well.
Magical equipment and items are very rare, this is made up by the use of dungeon artifacts. Weapons and Armor with enchantments other than Enhancement Bonuses are unable to be purchased except under rare occasions and events; they can be crafted however if a player has the right feats and spells, but the crafting cost is 1.5x as high as normal since they cannot be bought otherwise.
Wondrous Items can be bought but only at certain merchants and only what they have listed in stock. But they are more expensive than usual Towers have wondrous items in abundance though to make up for this.
Worry not as dungeon artifact powers and household vassal buffs more than make up for this. This decision was made to make dungeon artifacts more desirable.
Certain skills unlock powerful analytical tools to the players at certain ranks automatically without a check. For example at 5 ranks of Knowledge (planes) you can identify the affinity of minor towers without the need to roll a d20; and at 5 ranks of Knowledge (dungeoneering) you can know exactly how many floors a minor dungeon might have without ever entering it so you know just how many supplies you need to bring along with you.