I’ll be setting a game in the March of Trollkeep, a territory of growing importance containing a single, little-known town with a storied castle. Trollkeep sits on the northern border of Thunis.
I don’t have much time for gaming until June 2013. I’ll probably start revving up in May. We’ll probably play at my house once a week, but I’m flexible. I’ll also run occasional one-off games set in Trollkeep, which are only indirectly related to the goings-on in the main campaign.
For the campaign, I’m looking for five players who fit these criteria:
- Enthusiastic about this setting (Difinia in general and Trollkeep specifically).
- Enthusiastic about using (or learning) the 13th Age rules.
- Able to dedicate oneself to a weekly game for about three or four months (June through September). We’ll probably play on a weeknight (Tuesdays?) from 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM. We’ll order dinner. If you miss one or two games, that’s okay. I’ll probably end up cancelling one or two myself, due to work and travel.
- Interested in serious play. I want to explore serious themes (see below) and I don’t want the game to get silly or campy.
- Interested in social and romantic role-play. The game will probably trend about 1/4 adventure and combat, 1/4 planning and discussion, 1/2 social stuff. The “social stuff” focuses on running the March. We’ll still be using dice and stuff for social stuff on top of the usual role-playing. Just don’t expect a dungeon.
- Comfortable with pre-generated characters that I make. I’ll let you customize them a bit.
The campaign has themes. This means you should build your characters with these themes in mind.
All of the characters have strong ties to Trollkeep. Have a powerful reason to love and protect Trollkeep.
All of the characters are brothers and sisters of the rightful heir of the March, but he’s off fighting a war and that leaves you in charge. Your mother was Trollkeep’s Marchioness, but she just died. Your father (the Markiz) is around, but he married into the family, so he doesn’t count. He’s now little more than noble baggage.
Marchioness is a strong title in Difinia. It doesn’t refer to the wife of a Marquis here. The male ruler of a March is a Marchion and his wife the Markiza.
The Marchioness is elven and she had many children before marrying the Markiz and a few after. Her husband is human, and he had a couple children by a previous wife (a noblewoman, now deceased, without claim to any land). The Marchioness loved her step-children but did not recognize them as heirs.
One player could take the role of loyal henchman, perhaps the Marchioness’s warden, marshal, or wizard who knows more than a little about the actual running of the March. Get the GM’s permission first.
Here are some names for characters for this campaign. Select one appropriate to your race and gender.
Trollkeep doesn’t have much. Here are the major resources:
- Troll Keep itself. A couple large towers, a half dozen small ones, walls, a bailey, a decent moat and drawbridge, and buildings inside and out.
- Trollkeep, the town. A growing town burgeoning with trade. Trollkeep is a convenient market stop on a major crossroads.
- Actual trolls. Due to a treaty signed hundreds of years ago, trolls are allowed to live in the March unmolested as long as they off private property (and out of town) and leave farms and livestock alone, they’re free to make a peaceful life in Trollkeep. Mostly, they follow the rules. Mostly.
- The March Road. A new road the Marchioness and her Warden trailblazed. It’s a few years old now, and it connects Thunis with its Dhoni neighbor, Aurius. It’s the March’s responsibility to keep the March Road clear of bandits and other problems.
- A small army. The Keep maintains 50 infantry and 15 archers, plus 4 captains and a Marshall over all of them. They mainly protect the Keep. The town and surrounding farms provide 500 able-bodied militia, if needed. The militia trains a couple times a year. It takes a day to mobilize all of them, but the town can scramble a hundred fighting men and women within a half hour.
- Allegiance to the Queen of Thunis. Well, the Marchioness swore allegiance before her death, and theoretically her son, the young Marchion should be swearing it. Allegiance means aid from the kingdom should the March need it. It also means sending grains and ores and other goods south to the capital (or a wagon full of silver and gold, if goods are not available).
- A large, beautiful temple. This is a temple dedicated to the Imperial Host, the official religion of the monarchy. There’s a halfway decent lay cleric there.
- Iron. There are many iron mines strewn about the March, and the town has a magical blasting furnace for smelting. These provide enough metal for the town’s needs, plus it’s the chief export. Hazias is a displaced dwarven smith who can make just about anything out of metal: tools, plows, weapons and armor. He’s very slow and meticulous when it comes to unusual items, which he’s delighted to make for folks in his free time, which is scant.
- Farms. Half of the March is covered in roll farmland. These grow wheat, barley, and oats. Crop rotation is the norm, and there are numerous sheep and other livestock grazing on (and fertilizing) a third of the fields at any given time. Livestock means meat and dairy products, too. Grains, of course, mean ale (beer is rarer, because hops is an import here). Trollkeep is also famous regionally for its excellent Perry.
- Forests. The other half of the March is wilderness, and much of it is covered in dense forest. The edges of the woods are new growth, and are often lumbered. The deep wood is untended and fairly dangerous.
If your character background introduces new and important resources to the town, talk it over with the GM. It’s perfectly reasonable for your wizard character to have founded a small arcanists college here; it would be an important landmark in the monarchy (and another reason to protect Trollkeep).
Things Trollkeep does not have (unless players introduce them):
- Powerful magic-using natives (wizards, sorcerers, clerics, etc.). If you want the temple to have a lead cleric with spellcasting ability, play that character.
- Icons — please don’t put any in the March.
- Lots of non-human or non-elven people. The populace is almost entirely human with a scattering of lower-noble elves and an occasional dwarf. Plus the trolls, which have a nomadic lifestyle and you can’t play one.