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.