The Peril of Peldranor
System Information: The campaign began under the 4th edition rules, though our seasoned group of players became very quickly disillusioned with the system version. By the end of our first two sessions, we’d had enough, and the campaign was over-hauled and redrawn back into good ole 3.5 … We took some features of 4th ed we liked with us – single HP minions and the interchangability of certain stats for providing mods for saves, which removed the need for some unnecessary feats. So what we have is a kind of 3.7 edition of our own creation.
The Setting: The town, created in 4th edition, was founded by missionaries of Pelor against the banks of the River Rauvin above the High Forest. The idealists were surprisingly tenacious, but the town was destroyed in the latest orc uprising, which had seen the death of King Obould Many-Arrows at the hands of the “mithril pirate” Seamus Flintlock, but not before the orcs had laid waste to much of Sundabar. Refugees from Sundabar found themselves at the ruins of this forgotten settlement and restored it. The name “Peldranor” was derived from the gods of the founders and restorers, Pelor and Avandra. After the campaign was re-drafted for our “3.7” system, the source of the town’s name was simply made obscure and unknown.
The Premise: Rather than wandering heroes, the campaign focuses on residents of Peldranor and the politics therein. Each character has a vocation; though they have all been corrupted to evil, they must maintain the guise of at least Neutrality, lest the townsfolk suspect their beloved heroes. The entire goal of the players is to change the town around them, to manipulate and to corrupt, until it becomes a place wherein they no longer need any such pretenses. The trick is to fly under the radar of nearby authorities and paladins and wandering adventurers who are all ready and willing to dispose of evil and take its stuff.
The Fall: We began with yet another orc uprising, their newest King possessed of uncanny intellect and strategic knowledge that rivals any trained general of the North. The heroes of the campaign were forged in the fires of this battle; pressed to near defeat, a deserpate cleric looking for anything that might help unleashed an ancient evil within the catacombs of the church – the spirit of Gargauth, Tenth Lord of the Nine, a being so evil even Asmodeus cast him from the Hells. Gargauth immediately sensed the children of Gruumsh, and enraged, he dominated our heroes and filled them with his power and corruption and sent them raging into the teeth of the enemy. With losses suddenly mounting on the wrong side, the orcs pulled out. The town of course saw only our heroes flying into to certain doom, prying victory from its gnashing maw. They had no idea what plans their “guardians” had in store for this fair town.
Progression: With so much to do inside an entire town, the core party members soon attracted others to their cause; as each new player joined the table, it was the duty of the core players to corrupt these newcomers to their way of thinking. The game ultimately accrued a staggering (and auspiciously evil) 13 players, ranging from solo missions to 8 players gaming at any one time. As the game took on a life of its own, sessions became more random, with different groups sitting down to play at various times, and the actions and consequencese of each group would be felt by the other. For many sessions, only dice and character sheets were used, without a central table, and there were even a handful of sessions wherein not one single intiative roll took place. The level of roleplaying and storytelling among the group had ascended to a point at which even combat wombats were still excited, despite the lack of combat. Other sessions were, by contrast, purely devoted to proper dungeon crawling.
On Hiatus: After roughly 8 months of play, the heroes succeeded in their primary goal. They had corrupted the town and drawn the will of the people unto theirs, using this uprising to depose the former rulers and establish themselves as the town’s paragons. A fully detailed story of the Peril of Peldranor: The Fall will be available soon. Work on part two, The Ascent, has begun, and it will focus on Peldranor’s larger role as a town of the Savage Frontier. The uprising and installation of new management has attracted the attention of Sundabar and Silverymoon. Priests of Cyric hunt the artifacts of Gargauth and the Harpers already hold deep suspicions of Peldranor’s new rulers. Faced with cultists, spies, wandering adventurers, civil scrutiny and zealous paladins, can our heroes hold their new bastion of evil against the tides of good (and other evils)? Will Peldranor become a peril unto its enemies? Or shall it perish before its dark glory is fully realized? Stay tuned.