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MoonHunter Sayeth 20180608


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Setting: Keymen of The Elder Stones

Fifteen generations ago, a grander throne held these lands. Their nobles used magic to rule and had for generations. They installed keystones around the Empire's Lands to make magic easier and safer for all. Ours was the first - thus they are The Elder Stones. By the records, it seems a golden time of prosperity.

Then some of the nobles used magic to live forever. This became a problem when The Emperor/ He of the Throne opted to become undying. A few of the nobles tried to seize power away from him - for themselves or for the good of the Empire it is hard to say. These "Nobles of the Mountains' Claws" grabbed the uncapped power of the nodes in the mountains and with their extra powers attempted to seize The Dragon Scale Throne.

They created The Darkmen to fight first the Empire's Armies (and then their "alleged" allies). They used demons and pact spirits for aide. They used gates and rifts to move about. Some even created hellpits for easy access of power. The battles went on and on.

They took control of many of The Keystones around The Empire and in truth took the Throne from the corrupt leader, replacing it with a council of their own (less corrupt) nobles.

Then the Keystone of The Elder Stones (what we call them) broke. The first hyclone, a mystical storm of warping and mutation, swept across the Empire... and without noble magic protecting it, it was just lands.

The Elder Stone keystone was capped, but the cost was great. A few who pretended to be nobles, but were really just evil wizards or liches, came into the mountains to take what power and knowledge they could. We of the Eastern Doms took the battle to them before they could "make mischief" or unleash any more hyclones.

The other hyclones did occur, ravaging The lands of the Dragon Scale Throne Empire and all presume the rest of the world. It left nothing untouched and most powers and crowns in the lands and Doms broken and discarded. Monster roam about, created by chaotic whisps of magic left behind by hyclones. The Floating Islands exist because of them as well. All the flavor of darkfolk, beastfolk, and lightfolk exist as people and creatures were changed.

It has been twelve generations since the Elder Stones were capped. Things are stabilizing, as the worst of it has burned itself out.

Still, we remain vigilant.

We are The Keymen of The Elder Stones.

The Keyman are a Dom Crown Order for users of the mystic arts. We are mystic armsmen for the civilized lands of The Doms. We mystics and our thralls (fighter bodyguards) that protects the people of Doms from the Dark Things that still inhabit the mountains to The North and East. Occasionally a monster slithers down the passes. Some Darkmen still living in the Mountains raid our lands. The occasional demon emerges from a rift. These are things that some strong arms can not easily dispatch. The Keymen stop these monsters and occasionally strike against hellpits and dark nodes in the mountains. (We also keep an eye out for a would be dark wizard or liches).

We monitor and balance the Elder Stones, keeping its power under lock and key, less its powers spin out of control again and another hyclone (a mystical storm of warping and mutation) emerges.

We are joined in our task by the various Armsmen and Knights of the Dom Lords. We ensure order (i.e. no random magics) and as much justice as we can in The Doms.

--- -0- ---

I do not run psuedo-european fantasy chronicles very often. Okay, other than a couple one shots with the Scouts, I haven't run a psuedo-european chronicle since TFT in the early to mid 80s. Mostly I do Nipponese Fantasy or Urban Fantasy. That is what makes this one stick out.

This chronicle blurb was inspired by a post in the mystical orders thread. This one stuck in my head. It was a rare traditional fantasy piece, rather than my usual urban fantasy. I expanded it in under an hour (while at work) to be a real chronicle blurb, including a bit of history, context, and things you should expect in a fantasy chronicle. (I think if I pushed it as a chronicle, I might make the blurb smaller with less pre-history, but that is just a random musing.)

I like this one for a number of reasons
  • This one does not have a quest. Ever since Tolkien, The Quest has become the core meme of most fantasies. While it could have a major story arc (obviously a wizard is hiding secretly in the mountains and has found "power". They will slowly be a major threat to the keystones), this is mostly an episodic chronicle. I see it as a TV show/ anime episode metaphor. (Short arcs might work as well.)
  • It does have the broken golden age meme, another fantasy staple. I tainted "the past was better meme" here, but it does give us a lot of material to work with.
  • We have defined roles: Wizard/ Magic using PCs, Fighter or Fighter variations as their body guards. Nobles/ Knights are an option. There could be "companions" from other types (Princesses, woodsmen, rogues, scholars, peasant warriors, and so on). Some could be in the field character, others could be "back in the castle" people.
  • I have Dark Folk (which I see as orcs/ trolls) which are not innately evil, they just tend to work for them. I mentioned Beast Folk (obviously cat people, dog people, hawk people) and light folk (humans? Human variations? Elf substitute?). Other than Dark Folk, I reserve the other ones for either player creation or the need for my plots. (I am sure someone will want to be a Dark Folk on our side, so I better make them PC compatible.)
  • While this could be run with D&D, I see the need for a different kind of magic system to keep magic using flexible. Something with power points and spell skills would be ideal (BRP, GURPs, Hero, etc), so these systems or a heavily modified D20 family system.
  • We have defined goals. As members of the Orders they have jobs and responsibilities. No random wandering. There should be some freedom in actions rather than "direct orders to do things". But we reserve the right to pull rank from time to time.
  • There is a lot of space for personal plot lines to keep it interesting for each character.
  • There is plenty of space for subplots, small story arcs, single missions, and extended missions. This chronicle has a lot of options for longevity - plenty of seasons we can run without getting stale.
  • Outside the normal map is "there" and useful for pulling interesting bits from, but does not normally impact the chronicle (Thus less work for the GM, basing it on need or character bits).
  • This chronicle does best with a lot of PC input or creativity. You really should do bit collection and chronicle creation the MoonHunter Way.
Most of these are really good design considerations. Other ones a good design considerations for my style of play. Find what works for you, provides you direction but options, and play with that.

This is a good chronicle all around. It has a good setting, a solid character framework, and many options for plot lines. It has defined, but open goals. (Consider it a direction.) Backstory for the setting and the characters to dig into. Hyclones are f/x set piece to have changed the world anyway the chronicle needs. We have foreshadowing of potential Big Bads. We can run it as an episode or as a "special movie". (You can have plots or just throw a monster of the week at them.) It is a good simple chronicle with some unpredictable/ different bits.
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