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For the Empress!

For the Empress! is a War campaign for D&D 4E, loosely based on the Forgotten Realms world.

The World

The world, Amu’un, has a distinctly Western feel to it (imagine pre-industrial-revolution Europe if there were more people, monsters, magic and larger/more-active armies). Though there’s a touch of eastern and scandinavian thrown in for good measure.

Map

TBD. A possibility is to completely abuse the Forgotten Realms campaign map and “set” this campaign as being far in the future or past. With slightly different names, etc…

Calendar

The Roman Calendar is used for this campaign. Time will matter somewhat as the change in seasons affects the environment, in more ways than just through rain, snow, heat or cold. Humanoids tend to be less active during the winter months and more active during the summer months. Fights/skirmishes/wars are therefore more common during the summer, and most monsters tend to take advantage of the lulls in activity during the winter months to perform risky tasks, such as giving birth.

The “world” being played upon in this campaign is really just a rather large continent. Very little of that continent is able to escape the snow in winters, the flooding of spring and the blistering heat of summer.

Civilizations

The various civilizations, city-states, races and classes living within those areas. Many of these won’t be standard civilizations. For example, there’s likely going to be an undead civilization consisting of non-evil intelligent undead. They’ll be a lot like liches, but without the phylacteries.

Monsters

A list of the various monsters that exist within the world and any changes from the Monstrous manual. For example, younger dragons will likely be less powerful. In general they’ll be more social, have far less treasure, and they’ll be found in relatively large groups. A few older dragons will be “heads” of these “families”, and the truly ancient dragons will be much closer to their Monstrous Manual descriptions; Loners who hoard treasure, power and knowledge.

The Gods

The Gods of Amu’un are borrowed directly from the Forgotten Realms Pantheon. Their names, roles and ability bonuses are identical, but their persona’s are not. The Gods of Amu’un are very active within the world, often making their presence known directly to the mortals within the world. The Gods can be killed and mortals as powerful as the Val’Sharess can kill a God with only a small amount of assistance.

The Role of the Player Characters

The Val’Sharess is expanding her Empire, the Empire of the PCs, very rapidly. She commands over 500,000 troops an incredibly large cadre of war-wizards, and a menagerie of monsters and demons. Her army is a professional standing army. There are conscripts within the army, but the majority of it consists of volunteers who are either sympathetic to her aims or who have fallen prey to one of the Empress’ many propaganda campaigns.

Each Company (about 100 people) within the Val’Sharess’ Army has a miss-matched squad consisting of, at a minimum, a healer, war-wizard, man-at-arms, assassin and demolitions expert. These squads are known as the Gatecrashers. The task of the Gatecrashers is to infiltrate a city, weeks in advance of the main body, and foment chaos and dissent, allowing the Empress’ Armies to swoop in, secure the city with a minimum of fighting and casualties, and rescue the citizens of that city from the corruption that plagues them. The Player Characters rapidly become part of this self-sufficient squad and are tasked with increasingly difficult quests, on behalf of the Empress.

Some of the more common tasks given to Gatecrashers are:
  • Identification of the key players for any given city:
    • Those persons who rule the city (not necessarily one of the nobles)
    • Those persons who are likely to sway the course of a battle (ie. Heroes and powerful casters)
    • Those persons who are likely to rally the defenders of a city and mitigate the effects of the chaos sown by the Gatecrashers
  • Assassination of those key players by
    • The squad themselves
    • Identification of members of the assassins guild and the creation of contracts with them (A standard tactic by the Empress. She offers 100,000g per contract and has never failed to honor the contracts made.)
  • Demolition of
    • Key infrastructure. If the destruction of that key infrastructure is likely to hinder defense of the city.
    • Main intersections and public gathering places. To make travel through the city more difficult and to sew chaos just prior to the assault of the city.

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For the Empress! Exaltus