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[Interest/Discussion] Running the 4e D&D Setting with PbtA (Freebooters on the Frontier)

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
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VoidDrifter has just summarized an interesting Dragon article in their Let's Read of Setting Lore for the Nentir Vale. It's on Rahesh, a city of necromancers:



In the article, Rahesh is destroyed by volcanic activity, but I'm intrigued. This could be an interesting seed for the game. If Rahesh still exists, but has been isolationistic and not nearly as expansionistic as described above, I could see the PC party being a group of envoys from this city reaching out into the planar community.
This is much more interesting to me than Astrazalian. I'll have to write about it more later when I'm not on my phone.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
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This is great stuff! I’ve always liked the Exalted fluff about lands where the dead and the living coexist, but there it’s all tainted by the Deathlords in the background.
 

Dromio

Registered User
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I miss Dragon and Dungeon.

That is a compelling setting! I love the idea of the whole thing being a ruse, and the city simply retreating from common (or uncommon) knowledge. There's so much there! And by operating on a planar scale they don't expose their existence to those local countries that just don't get it.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
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Oh, that’s cool it’s kind of the Wakanda of Nentir Vale, with the world’s highest standard of living but nobody can come visit.
 

UnknownCorrespondent

Grumpy Old Man
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I will withdraw. I'm not up to contributing anything insightful or deep on the subjects at hand. By the time I get off work I'm too frazzled to be constructive.
 

Atlictoatl

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I'm thinking that Rahesh is in a dimensional pocket, with Crossings to the mundane plane and Shadowfell. Each Crossing is in a well-defended mountainous area, as described in the article. The Underdark and the Shadowdark also have entrances in their respective planes not far from the Crossings.

Planar travelers do visit here, but it's relatively isolationistic. There's likely some raw materials, crafted items, or knowledge that have value in the broader cosmos, so some trade happens within its borders.

The arcanists of Rahesh specialize in necromancy, conjuration (especially summonings), and...

http://orokos.com/roll/726506: 1d6 5

... illusion magic.

Vecna, the Raven Queen, and Erathis are the gods most recognized in Rahesh. Ioun has a very small influence, in the aspect of the preservation of knowledge and its study, but Vecna is the dominant religion and secrets abound within Rahesh. Lolth has also gained some small influence, predominantly through travelers and trade with the Underdark.

To the Raheshi, ancestral knowledge is so important that key figures are made immortal through undeath, either in corporeal or spirit form. Families live with their undead relatives, and many families are led by the unliving. The separation between 'living' and 'unliving' holds little meaning in this society; every living thing will one day die, and if their contribution was meaningful enough, or their vital work is unfinished, they will continue to contribute to Reheshi society as an unliving citizen. Those whose work is 'finished' will often be reanimated to serve society as an undying soldier or servant. It's unusual in Raheshi society for the living to be in a subservient position, though some may apprentice themselves to the lofty. When there are ample undead citizens to perform the menial tasks of servants and the soldiery, the living are freed to discover their great personal contribution to society. In this way Rahesh is very much a meritocracy.

~*~

I'm looking through Open Grave and Scarred Lands: Hollowfaust for additional info and ideas.
 

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
Validated User
VoidDrifter has just summarized an interesting Dragon article in their Let's Read of Setting Lore for the Nentir Vale. It's on Rahesh, a city of necromancers:

In the article, Rahesh is destroyed by volcanic activity, but I'm intrigued. This could be an interesting seed for the game. If Rahesh still exists, but has been isolationistic and not nearly as expansionistic as described above, I could see the PC party being a group of envoys from this city reaching out into the planar community.
I miss Dragon and Dungeon.

That is a compelling setting! I love the idea of the whole thing being a ruse, and the city simply retreating from common (or uncommon) knowledge. There's so much there! And by operating on a planar scale they don't expose their existence to those local countries that just don't get it.
I definitely think there's some promise for something like this. With the way that a intact (or scarred, but not destroyed) Rahesh would be positioned in the world, I think it might be an ideal base of operations for a group of "paragon tier" characters, with one foot firmly in the mundane world or Prime and another dealing with the great powers from beyond this plane or beyond the gates of Death. There's threads pulling the city in both directions and there would likely be factions within doing the same, along with those desiring further isolation or otherwise complicating things.

While I'm thinking about the undead and demons in context with Dungeon World derivatives, I'm also drawn to Brendan Conway's wonderfully evocative The Last Days of Anglekite. It's got some great compendium classes that I think could be looted for custom moves along with some magic items that might fit well with this theme.
 

Atlictoatl

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I will withdraw. I'm not up to contributing anything insightful or deep on the subjects at hand. By the time I get off work I'm too frazzled to be constructive.
Understood. You're welcome to reconsider when we get closer to launching the game and start making characters.
 

Atlictoatl

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While I'm thinking about the undead and demons in context with Dungeon World derivatives, I'm also drawn to Brendan Conway's wonderfully evocative The Last Days of Anglekite.
I'm unfamiliar with it. Can you say more about how it relates here?
 

Atlictoatl

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A Few of the Necromantic Guilds of Raheshi
(from or inspired by Hollowfaust, City of Necromancers)
  • Anatomist's Guild - focused on the science of the body and the processes of life and death. Use spells to supplement mundane medical practices. Highly accomplished physicians, sought-after throughout the planes.
  • Animator's Concordium - focused on the magical revivification of dead tissue. A civic-minded society of engineers, technicians, and some artists. Their enemy is rot and decay, which can spread beyond the dead to affect the living. Mantain warehouses of the deceased for later animation.
  • Caretakers - focused with an almost religious zeal on the caretaking of the physical structures and ancient traditions of Raheshi
  • Chorus of the Banshee - focused on undying spirits and the science of the discorporeal; includes performers who perform the chants of the dead
  • Disciples of the Abyss - students of death magic, hunters of monstrous undead entities deemed irredeemable, often conjurers who maintain dangerous pacts
  • Readers of Cracked Bones - a sect of divinatory necromancers, who parse information and knowledge from the dead and their remains
  • Soul Eaters - focused on fear, terror, ancient compacts, and soul magic
 
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