Realm Lords

How Do I get to 1st Level?
a deeper explanation of how one becomes an adventurer

So how do you get to 1st Level?

The Realms have been established with a strict code and body of laws that outlaw any form of armed aggression or show of force. There are no garrisons or standing armies in the cities and towns that dot the landscape, yet there are still fighting men, swordsmen and other martial characters.

How is this possible?

I’m going to post my thoughts and I want the rest of the players (or those that read this) to make comments, provide feedback, offer suggestions and help make this background make the campaign more enjoyable.

Order must still be maintained, and people being people, will find ways to disrupt the harmony of others, bring harm to themselves or simply act out of malice or spite. Throw in alcohol or recreational substances and things will get out of hand. Someone has to step in to take control or to use force if necessary.

This duty is filled by members of a city or town’s volunteer garrison, militia or constabulary.

But hold on! If there is no military to speak of, in any shape or form, then how do these men and women learn to defend themselves?

Humanoids are by nature competitive and violent by nature. They constantly pit themselves against one another or against other creatures to test their strength or skill or simply for amusement.

Schools and training grounds are open to all who want to learn a variety of armed and unarmed fighting techniques. These schools regularly submit prime candidates for the Call to Adventure, as well as granting those who attend them a marketable skill they can use to gain employment in any city or town throughout the Realms.

In addition, the training facilities that dot the Realms have also given rise to a flourishing ‘sports’ culture – that is there are any number of arenas and sporting events that attract those who wish to try their skills or to compete for prizes and glory.

Also, since the inclination to war, fight and compete is so ingrained and necessary to the lives and existence of the Realms inhabitants, The Realm Lords use their avatars and heralds to root out any hint of rebellion or organized gathering of armed forces – legends abound about the chosen few who are selected to become Wardens – those mystical beings who travel the land and mete out punishment, retribution and justice for crimes, acts of violence and murder.

There are a few classes or professions which are not open to all – and only open to those who are chosen or born to them.

Clerics and Paladins are both classes that require some form of church or religious schooling. While the paladin is a character that is driven by an individual’s faith, regardless of what religious affiliation they belong to – the cleric is a character that dedicates his/her life to a particular deity.

Hence, both of these characters need to have formal tutoring in a monastery or church.

Warlords are required (in the Realm Lords campaign) to be of noble birth.

Mages and Warlocks must attend a formal School in order to learn their trades. These schools are just as competitive, if not more so, than the fighting schools that teach the martial arts. Wizards, Mages and Warlocks are a jealous breed by nature, and all have a strong sense of place and will. Their power comes from within themselves, so naturally they all have over developed egos. :)

Now I know that there are holes in this, but none that won’t be taken care of by developing the background of the characters in the game and by fleshing out the training facilities, guilds, schools and “how I learned my profession” business on a player-by-player basis.

I hope that Realm Lords will be a “living” campaign, one that changes and grows as the players and I uncover more and more of what lies within.

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What the Realms Look Like

I’ve been musing a bit over the look of the ‘world’ and have found a few images that – for me – capture the grandeur and spectacle of what I want Realm Lords to be about.

 
Here are a few shots of what I envision the first view of the approach to the Gharfang Deeps would look to a group of first time adventurers.



   

 

Now, if those don't give you an impression of majesty and adventure, I don't know what will…

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What is the goal of Real Lords?
Fun is the Whole of the Law

What is the goal of Realm Lords?

What exactly are we going to be doing with this campaign?

Well, first and foremost – we're simply going to have fun. In the past we've explored epic stories and events. Realm Lords may have a sense of the epic about it, but at this point in time, there is no over-arching plot/storyline or grand quest structure. Realm lords is simply an open world – anything can happen.

What Realm lords hopes to recapture is what we all remember from the first time we played the D&D game – a sense of wonder and excitementthat kept us playing for hours on end.

 

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The World of Realm Lords
And Thus was the Wolrd Made

Realm Lords is the title of a D&D 4th Edition campaign setting. All of the game play rules for this version of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game apply to the campaign setting: character stats, creature stats, combat, magic, saving throws, etc.

The world of Realm Lords is a very ancient one, one that has seen the rise and fall of a number of powerful civilizations and cultures. These civilizations span a number of races and cultures that are both familiar and unfamiliar, built around the designated ‘official’ races set down in the 4th Edition rule set. These races include: humans, elves, dwarves and half-elf, tieflings and dragonborn.

Millennia ago, a cataclysmic war destroyed almost all of the civilized nations of the world. It was a conflict so devastating that the populations of the world were decimated almost to the point of extinction – when the fighting was finally done, those who had survived were left to battle against rampant sickness, disease, famine and drought; the death toll turned the world into a mass graveyard.

Barbarism and chaos took root and spread. It took decades for those who lived through these horrific times to band together and begin to recreate the communities, towns and cities of their civilizations.

The destructive energies released during the many conflicts that raged across the face of the world roused the sleeping gods and they finally took pity upon the many races of the earth.

To insure that the races and creatures survived, they divided the world into twelve separate realms, each separated by a great misty barrier. Each of these twelve realms was placed under the care of an arbiter or custodian – powerful, semi-divine beings known as Realm Lords. Each Realm Lord was given the task of shaping and nurturing their particular realm; they were to watch over and protect their realms.  

The only mandate the Realm Lords were given was that war was not to be tolerated, that any conflict that arose between nations or cities must be settled by single combat between champions. And War between the Realms was strictly forbidden, punishable by total annihilation.

As the world was suffering through its last death throes from a catastrophic period of war, the gods lifted up a number of mortals and altered them, accelerating their evolution and granting them supernatural power. Or so the legends state… the true origin of the Realm Lords and how they came into being is a mystery as yet unsolved.

The Realm Lords are mysterious entities, tasked many millennia ago by the gods with the stewardship of Realms. There is one Realm Lord for each Realm. As of this writing, the Realms number 12, but there are surely many others yet to be discovered. Many of the barriers that separate the Realms are not fully explored…

Realm Lords have the ability of creation and manifestation; to craft and shape the land and creatures that inhabit their Realm. This power includes many disciplines, including: metaphysical and physical states of being; mythology, zoology, topography, etc. Anything and everything that might have to do with building and maintaining a biosphere… the Realm Lord is the quasi-divine caretaker of their individual domain. As they are god-like, the Realm Lords are essentially immortal…but they are not truly gods. They can suffer injury and even death.

For just over ten thousand years, these Realm Lords have been reshaping their worlds. After the Cataclysm they began to slowly rebuild their realms, molding them into vibrant, habitable landscapes. The healing and reshaping magicks they have at their disposal are not instantaneous however, especially when dealing with shaping of the land.
Earlier attempts to do things at a more accelerated pace resulted in catastrophe and several lost Realms, due to anomalies and mutative side effects caused by the enormous output of magickal energies.

Each Realm Lord has little contact with the others (they may not even be aware the others exist, though this is unlikely) and each Realm has been created to the particular and singular vision of each Realm Lord; and this has generated great vagaries in the general look and environmental make-up of each of the Realms.

This is not as wide-ranging as it may sound, as each Realm Lord has drawn upon his or her previous worldview or experience to help guide them in their creation. As a result, journeying through the various landscapes and territories of the various Realms will elicit a sense of familiarity from place to place – for the most part, the landscape, flora and fauna types will seem natural and Earth-like, generally appearing like the countryside of Central or Eastern Europe (though some areas will evoke a sense of the rocky deserts of Africa and Afghanistan or forests and mountains of Eastern China or Japan).

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