Mahasharpa, Sahasra & Mindshadows: Tales of 1000 Cities (a Vedic Indian Fantasy Campaign Premise)


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The Exchange

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This may seem out of left field, but I have decided to dust off an old concept and have assembled a group to finally explore something long overdue.

As a gamer of Indian descent I have been extremely frustrated by the half-hazard treatment fantasy india and the Hindu religion/mythos has been treated with. Descriptions of Shiva as Chaotic Evil from a myopic western standpoint or grossly inaccurate interpretation of the pantheistic monotheism that is Hinduism, my own religion
do not help either.

What efforts that I -have- seen have been truly disappointing. It seems that the only attempts that have been made vary from downright insulting and offensive to overly-squeamish from not wanting to be categorized as the former. I mean, there is a huge difference from lampooning an existing religion and making a "Vedic Fantasy Setting" devoid of gods! (Cough Mahasharpa cough).

So finally I decided it was put-up or shut-up time. Which is to say, "If you don't like it, make a better one!"

So that is what I am doing.

I have scouted out the barren and undescribed subcontinent to the south of Kara-Tur in Aber Toril with the "Himaslya Mountain Range" as the general geographic location. A Campaign specific-barrier keeping external elements out will be a premise, thus explaining why previous influences do not effectively permeate nor discover this rich,
vibrant setting which will thus, due to anonymity have developed on its own .. until now.

For resources I am combining the web publication "Sahasra: Land of 1000 Cities" with the Arabian offering "Tales of the Caliphate Nights" and the Mahasharpa web enhancement for Oriental Adventures.

In addition I will be splicing in various elements such as Mindshadows from Green Ronin. As each of these generally depict only a handful of city-states at a time, this campaign will provide the whole picture of a Vedic Fantasy India Premise, essentially layering these attempts and rewriting them from a practicing Hindu's perspective.

The general premise will be a non-arcane setting devoid of all Arcane magic, with Incarnum, Psionics and Divine as well as Pact Magic and Naming filling the Occult Niches that Arcane Magic would otherwise take.

The Only base classes allowable will be Monk, Ranger, Thief and Priest.

Warriors will be replaced with Tome of Battle classes, and all six base psionic classes will be allowed.

The emphasis will be multiclassing and combining power sources to survive.

This posting is more of a place-holder as everything is still in development and I am looking to have a well-written, drawn-out thesis as a setting premise.

The campaign will be run in two parts, a "Prequel" with characters rising the ladder of power rapidly and going off to a then-inscrutable plot-laden destiny.

After this, the campaign will begin a 'second season' two-three generations later, with the settled descendants of the original party being brought together by threads of destiny.
Arcane magic, if introduced/allowed to enter the setting from outside of it, will be an immense source of power and conflict as a corruptive element a la Mask of the Red Death or World of Warcraft d20.

Let me know any reactions, this post will be quoted from the original but modified to better encompass my premise as my notes are streamlined and put into coherent form.

Category 1: Base Combat
Standard Classes & Variants
---------------------------
Ranger
Monk
Hexblade (Replace with Divine Magic until Arcane Magic invades Setting)

Tome of Battle
--------------
Crusader
Warblade
Swordsage

Category 2: Arcane And Sneak Replacements
Tome of Magic
---------------
Binders
Shadowcasters
Truenamers

Sneaks (In Addition to Rogue)
--------------------------------------------
Swashbuckler (switch to Scimitar, "Corsair")
Ninja ("Thuggee")
Scout

Category 3: Psionics
Expanded Psionic Handbook
--------------------
Psion
Psychic Warrior
Soulknife

Complete Psionic
--------------------
Ardent
Divine Mind
Lurk

Category 4: Incarnum & Divine
Magic of the Incarnum
---------------------
Incarnate
Soulborn
Totemist

Various Divine (In Addition to Priest)
--------------------------------------
Shaman
Shugenja
Mystic / Healer (fuse the two classes from Dragonlance & WoW d20)

Acceptable Races for Sahasra
Category 1: Standard & Variants
-----------------------------
Human
Dwarf (as Korobokoru "Vamannan")
Halfling
Frehmin - Kalashtar (Eberron) with the Frehmin template (Secrets of Pact Magic)

Category 2: Spirit Folk / Fae
-----------------------------
Banyan (Bamboo)
River
Mountain
Dusklings

Category 3: Beastfolk
-----------------------------
Vanara (Monkey-kin)
Balou (Bear-folk)
Jatayu (Vulture-folk)
Chooah (Ratfolk-Nezumi)
Molekin

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

This looks really neat. Are you going to allow any classes from the PH2 (Beguiler, Duskblade, Dragon Shaman, Knight) or Heroes of Horror (Archivist, Dread Necromancer)? What about Warlocks?

Are you going to create setting specific vestiges for Binders?

What kind of cosmology or cosmologies are you planning on using?


This sounds very interesting. I especially like the lack of arcane magic. Right now I am in 5 PBPs, though. If only I had seen this earlier...

Good luck with this. I am sure I will lurk on the campaign thread just to enjoy the story.

Just out of curiosity: Have you ever played Tekumel? It sounds like there are some similarities in terms of cultural inspiration.

The Exchange

SmiloDan wrote:

This looks really neat. Are you going to allow any classes from the PH2 (Beguiler, Duskblade, Dragon Shaman, Knight) or Heroes of Horror (Archivist, Dread Necromancer)? What about Warlocks?

Are you going to create setting specific vestiges for Binders?

What kind of cosmology or cosmologies are you planning on using?

Funny you should mention that. I am probably limiting the class makeup to the list posted above. Archivist may work, but strikes me as awfully renaissance europe/ravenloft and I am avoiding that culturally. As for Beguiler, Duskblade and Dread Necromancer, all are arcane, so that makes them instantaneously out. I may allow a hugely modified version of the Knights class, as the Greco-Macedonian influence on India culturally can be seen very strongly in the Argonaut-esque "Select Champions in single combat" motif in the Mahabharata.

As for Specialty vestiges, I have design notes on over a score of them for the setting as well as tapping both Secrets of Pact Magic and Villains of Pact Magic for further inspiration, and trolling here and Gleemax to flesh out the list.

On to Cosmologies. I loved the Great Wheel, but at least from the perspective of the Locals, it simply will not work. First and foremost applying very much a "White Wolf" style "Umbra" or spirit world. Probably using a modified version of Monte Cook's world of Darkness fused with the rules for the Telaran'rhiod from Wheel of Time and modified further with Nightmares and Dreamscapes rules from the Nightmare Lands boxed set from Ravenloft 2nd Edition.

As for the General Cosmology, I believe a "Wheel of Worlds" loosely based on the Great Wheel, but divided more on Philosophy rather than Religion. Hinduism does not implement a structure to our afterlife or spiritual world per se, as it seemlessly interacts with the rest of the natural world as an extension thereof. However the Olympus-style conceit is very present, as characters in the Mahabharata literally climb a mountain, one of them lasting physically until he bodily enters Heaven. This can be seen as one of the Archetypes behind the allusions used in D&D cosmology with Mt. Celestia.

I will probably use a greatly modified (for accuracy and theme) version of the Divine Realms as listed for the Hindu Deities, and then depict them in a similar fashion as 3.5 Forgotten Realms. However their will be a DEFINITE influence felt by the Astral, Ethereal and Shadow. I am tempted to lift elements from Exalted in how all of these tie in together with the Umbral Realms.

Once again, White Wolf seems to be my answer, sort of.

Bill Lumberg wrote:

This sounds very interesting. I especially like the lack of arcane magic. Right now I am in 5 PBPs, though. If only I had seen this earlier...

Good luck with this. I am sure I will lurk on the campaign thread just to enjoy the story.

Just out of curiosity: Have you ever played Tekumel? It sounds like there are some similarities in terms of cultural inspiration.

Great Stuff! I have indeed. However, more accurate to say that Tekumel was formed on the source material that I draw upon, as the original author was a South-Asian Studies professor.

The campaign will not so much be a PBeM as I actually have an in-person group in my local area. This is more of a journal and placeholder for my thoughts and people's reactions, as well as a Progress-Report until I get an independent website up and running.

I do hope I have put this in the right forum.

The Cast of Characters (as yet unnamed) for the Prequel are as follows

Player - Concept
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wes - A male Frehmin (human) Crusader devoted predominantly Vishnu, but in his Parsurama Incarnation as an Avatar of Divine Punishment and Retribution. Will probably be splicing in Truenaming and the Power of Words in that form.

I will be crafting a class for him to utilize the unique abilities together based off of the Dracolexi class and the use of Words of Creation and Dark Speech, seeing if I can bleach some of the polar divine holy/unholy flavor out of it and make it more about intent and how it's used. The goal will be to have something like the Bereft prestige class and something like the Jade Phoenix Mage, mixing Combat Manuvers with Creature lore to call forth an enemies weakness and thus better combat them.

Alvin - A male Vanara (monkeyfolk) Cloistered Priest of Vishnu. Elder in Years and with little actual physical combat ability in favor of spell domains and lore. He will be the moral and spiritual center of the group and will be taking levels in the Guru Prestige class (See Sahasra) down-the line to better assist his chosen flock with Mandalas, Sutras and specialty rituals.

Des - A female Spirit-folk Swordsage who will be splashing in Incarnum Blade levels early on to better accentuate the art of Chakravanti (Incarnum Users) and the ward of the Cleric. She was born out of wedlock and as a daughter of a Banyan Spiritfolk and a village apothecary, will face her share of small-minded prejudice from the very villagers she seeks to protect. An apprentice to a Witch-Born Binder Ranger named "Vijay-Bhai", ("Brother Victory") she will have an innate dislike for Arcane Magic and potentially even Psionics.

Clausel - A Chooah (Nezumi) Lurk which will splash Totemist and Umbral Stalker levels. Representing an alternative to a classic rogue, this sneak-thief will use mental arts and incarnum to duck out of the way of sight and better scrounge his meager living together. Definitely a champion for the peasantry and impoverished masses, if for no other reason than the bragging rights.

Fifth Member - TBD


Since you are going to include pact magic this thread might be worth looking at.

Link

It is a WoTC thread where readers contributed their own custom vestiges. Most have been critiqued by other readers and adjusted accodingly. However, I think most of them are still overpowered.

The Exchange

Bill,
Thanks for the link.

So we finished watching the Bollywood source materials for the campaign that I selected.

The best of which was the Period film "Asoka" starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor.

It was fantastic, but then I knew that from when I saw it back in 2001.

As for the link it was awesome but I am going to have to go through it with a fine toothed comb. However it did provide fodder for many ideas, thank you. I had stopped going to gleemax ever since they locked my id and then claimed it doesn't exist so I can't access all my subscribed threads there (grrrr!).

I finally received Green Ronin's "Mindshadows" in the mail... I have to say I was far from impressed. It is pretty quality wrappings, but the meat or "fluff" itself was foul. Which is to say, the same fictitious trappings for fear of giving offense, rather than an even semi-accurate description of the Hindu Pantheon or Indian "Mythology". That being said, they address this in the forward disclaimer, and it is a reasonable explanation.

I just wish that publishers up until now weren't so squeamish and simply got some consultants on the religion and history to actually come up with something worthy of the name.

I mean, they didn't have this take with their biblical supplement "Testament" or "Glory of Rome" or their various other Mystic Vistas line.

In short, a textbook case on why my initiating this project becomes necessary.

I will be using Mindshadows, as there are some nuggets that make the greatly reduced price I paid for it a worthwhile expense . . . I'll be using it as a "bits" box.

The part about the Dwarves instituting the Caste system makes alot of sense and thus there are large parts of the metaplot that I will be lifting out directly.

The presence of the other fantasy races is something of a curveball however . . . I think I will deal with it thus:

The "Gold" Dwarves of the setting, the ones who were conquerors will be divinely attuned to Heaven and thus will fit well as Sahasra's take on the Vedic Mythos' Dwarves "The Ganas" (think Celestlial template Duergar and make their skin red).

The splinter offshoot that opposes the caste system, that in Mindshadows becomes gnomes will be redone as the Oriental Adventures' "Korobokoru" which in Vedic mythos will be called "Vammanan".

The presence of elves was offputting but their ties to the serpents/yuan ti makes them very attractive if I was to say, replace the word "elves" with Githyanki and Githzerai.

Then, their patron god Yig actually makes a reliable alternative to their typical former Illithid masters or the Lich queen. I can adopt the Cthullhu mythos a little to differentiate these Gith and separate them from the typical D&D metaplot.

As for halflings, replace their backstory/merge it with the social niche of the "Chooah" (Nezumi) in the setting.

So all in all, a productive find for all that I disagree with the Author's take on things ...

In short, yet another supplement I have to rewrite into the greater whole ... not as directly applicable as I hoped, but far less useless than I feared.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Vedic Dragon,
I have often felt Indian fantasy got the short end of the stick, if it got any attention at all. There exists a rich mythical tradition from which to draw a finely woven tapestry for a fantasy setting. I look forward to how you craft this setting. Please forgive my ignorance, but what is pantheistic monothiesm? Thank you.

The Exchange

ElyasRavenwood wrote:

Vedic Dragon,

I have often felt Indian fantasy got the short end of the stick, if it got any attention at all. There exists a rich mythical tradition from which to draw a finely woven tapestry for a fantasy setting. I look forward to how you craft this setting. Please forgive my ignorance, but what is pantheistic monothiesm? Thank you.

Elyas,

Glad you asked.

That's something of a typo. I MEANT to write "Pantheistic Monism"

Which is the worship of many aspects of one Divine Being.

Hinduism has several layers of interpretation, as there may be with any faith or Path of Enlightenment. Hence there is the Common Man's or Layman's "Literal Hinduism", which has sees no interpretive element and accepts the scriptures as-is.

Then there is a Higher mind "Philosophical" Hinduism, which can see the allergory and simile for what it is.

Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita and even beforehand Brahma in the Upanishads states that all the Gods are merely aspects or interpretations of Om, or Atman, the Supreme Being or Oversoul (depending on which scripture and interpretation you are following).

There are merely different trappings so we mortals of limited intellect can fathom something resembling their words and teachings.

Scarab Sages

Watching with this thread interest.

I dig the mythos but I am not as educated about it as I would like to be.

Silver Crusade

Keeping an eye on this one!

Are you going to re-envision the creatures that either pull from Indian belief and folklore(nagas, rakshasas) or were loosely based on it(mariliths(which pretty much just borrowed some visual cues IIRC), asuras?(these only took the name, didn't they?)). I'd be very interested in seeing what would be done with those.


Given the incredibly rich source material in the Vedas, I can't believe that a serious South Asian setting hasn't been done before now. Bravo, Dragon! I look forward to hearing more.

P.S. Make sure there's Soma!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Vedic Dragon, thank you for explaining Pantheistic monism for me. When I have been in India, I would often heard people exclaiming " oh my god". To me, this was a curious thing for a Hindu to say. I assumed that Hindus were polytheistic. I often wondered and occasionally asked, to which god they were appealing. My only reply was a sheepish "god". This puzzled me, because to me, there appeared to be many gods in India, lots of temples. Whenever we came to a new town with a temple, i often found it was dedicated to a different local deity. Anyways, thank you. This Pantheistic monism makes sense, they were all calling on the same god, who happened to have many "aspects" that were represented in many different temples. This is probably a crude understanding of things. I am also glad you mentioned the differences in interpretation, how some take holy texts literally, others take the texts metaphorically, and others as mythology. I am familiar in western american culture, and how some people take the 'bible" consisting of what christians call the old and new testament, literally, others metaphorically, and others as mythology. It makes sense that in other cultures people would have a similar spectrum of belief in relation to their religious texts. We are all human, equally capable of tremendous kindness and cruelty. Well I am rambling. again thank you for your thoughtfull answer.

The Exchange

fray wrote:

Watching with this thread interest.

I dig the mythos but I am not as educated about it as I would like to be.

Stay Tuned! I will be posting source-material links to educate the un-versed in Hindu culture including required reading, if you're interested. I would be eager to hear feedback and constructive critique on which of my posted sources are clear and concise in making the Hindu culture more accessible while still being thoroughly accurate.

Mikaze wrote:

Keeping an eye on this one!

Are you going to re-envision the creatures that either pull from Indian belief and folklore(nagas, rakshasas) or were loosely based on it(mariliths(which pretty much just borrowed some visual cues IIRC), asuras?(these only took the name, didn't they?)). I'd be very interested in seeing what would be done with those.

Keep watching Mikaze! Yes there will definitely be a "Classic Monsters re-imagined" for creature both natively from and clearly inspired by the Vedic Scriptures and Mythos. I am in debate about using Rakshasa as-is, and am contemplating scrapping them altogether as they are so clearly bastardized beyond recognition. I will probably use the synonymous "Asuras" in said capacity, and perhaps the Japanese Akuma, as there are similar roots of the latter in the Vedic culture.

There will definitely be an Indo-Arabic culture-clash in the post-prequel campaign, but I am wary of importing too many cross-cultural elements. I am trying to avoid any Species-based antagonism as much as possible because the vast majority of Vedic culture involved people of all races making good or bad choices, and I am trying to tell a deeper story than "slay the monster of the week" that typical D&D tends to revolve around for so many "exotic" campaigns. That being said, there will definitely be Nagas, Lillend (by a different name) and many many more, including aberrations.

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Given the incredibly rich source material in the Vedas, I can't believe that a serious South Asian setting hasn't been done before now. Bravo, Dragon! I look forward to hearing more.

P.S. Make sure there's Soma!

Definitely. Soma will be an important if-not-all-consuming resource, as will Am-russ (Mango pulp, which has a similar root and appearance to the Hellenic "Ambrosia")

ElyasRavenwood wrote:
Vedic Dragon, thank you for explaining Pantheistic monism for me. When I have been in India, I would often heard people exclaiming " oh my god". To me, this was a curious thing for a Hindu to say. I assumed that Hindus were polytheistic. I often wondered and occasionally asked, to which god they were appealing. My only reply was a sheepish "god". This puzzled me, because to me, there appeared to be many gods in India, lots of temples. Whenever we came to a new town with a temple, i often found it was dedicated to a different local deity. Anyways, thank you. This Pantheistic monism makes sense, they were all calling on the same god, who happened to have many "aspects" that were represented in many different temples. This is probably a crude understanding of things. I am also glad you mentioned the differences in interpretation, how some take holy texts literally, others take the texts metaphorically, and others as mythology. I am familiar in western american culture, and how some people take the 'bible" consisting of what christians call the old and new testament, literally, others metaphorically, and others as mythology. It makes sense that in other cultures people would have a similar spectrum of belief in relation to their religious texts. We are all human, equally capable of tremendous kindness and cruelty. Well I am rambling. again thank you for your thoughtfull answer.

Thank you for the very deep and thought out reply. I am glad I could provide insight and will continue to do so either in this thread or on a separate, related thread or blog.

I'll probably setup an email list and meetup group to continue this discussion in greater depth and with more input from various sides, for those who are interested.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
As a brief update we finally finished character creation.

It is looking like Incarnum and Psionics will be at the forefront of the campaign for the-most-part with potentially some Naming.

Our two front-line combatants will be Tome of Battle Classes that will be "splashing" into different power-sources down-the-line, one a Crusader-turned Bereft (Truename Magic) the other, a Sword-Sage turned Incarnum Blade.


Have you read Zelazny's Lord of Light or (I think) Isle of the Dead? Lord of Light is a particularly interesting take on the Indian pantheon cast in the genre of science fiction (and not what you might think if you haven't read the novel). But, you might find some ideas about psionics therein.

Please keep us posted on the progress of the develpment of this campaign. I am very interested in seeing how you meld it all together. I've tapped a couple of ideas for my campaign world, such as the concepts of Aspects and Incarnations, but nothing so elaborate as what you are attempting. I wish you great success. I wish I could play. :)

I have Asoka on DVD, but I can't recall if that's one that I've had a chance to watch. I picked of a few movies of that ilk a while back, and the ones I recall were decent.

The Exchange

das schwarze Auge wrote:

Have you read Zelazny's Lord of Light or (I think) Isle of the Dead? Lord of Light is a particularly interesting take on the Indian pantheon cast in the genre of science fiction (and not what you might think if you haven't read the novel). But, you might find some ideas about psionics therein.

Please keep us posted on the progress of the develpment of this campaign. I am very interested in seeing how you meld it all together. I've tapped a couple of ideas for my campaign world, such as the concepts of Aspects and Incarnations, but nothing so elaborate as what you are attempting. I wish you great success. I wish I could play. :)

I have Asoka on DVD, but I can't recall if that's one that I've had a chance to watch. I picked of a few movies of that ilk a while back, and the ones I recall were decent.

Can't say as I have, but I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the suggestions!

Hi all, back with a further update.

Will have a campaign website uploaded and current by end of first quarter '09. The Campaign has had a bit of a rocky interruption due to the Holiday Season. Regrettable, but understandable.

With attendance down, I have split the party in two and am continuing adventures with two of my players, Vaghari the Chooah (nezumi) Lurk and Shabhan Vikramitra the Vanara (Monkey-Person) Priest of Vishnu.

I am currently running the players through three concurrent adventures that I am altering on-the-fly to match the Setting. Ironically enough, new takes on lots of Classic 'fare:

They are currently involved in one Sahasra adventure, "The Spirit in the Spice Groves", which I have 'upped the Ante on, considering their involvement with an overall plotline for the fabled
Vanara city of Kishkinda.

The general premise is that the last Asura war (as I have taken to calling Rakshasa, as I find the D&D usage and bastardization too prevalent to get over myself, let alone my players) where Vishnu's Avatar Rama led the United Armies of Sahasra against the Lord of Lanka, Ravana. Kishkinda has fallen into dissaray with the descendants of Hanuman's royal line, including the current king, Bali, having fallen into a raving madness (think rabies crossed with the Tragic Greek Elements alluded to from Oedipus, Hercules or the Mad Steward Denethor of Rohan from LOTR). So the Adventure takes place in a far less serene backdrop than the published module suggests.

Simultaneously I have placed elements from the Star of Kolhapur module within the adventure, having the party attacked and spied upon by Thuggee cultists of Kali, as they pass the nearby area of Kolhapur in the Kingdom of Zubal (as represented in the Mahasharpa campaign, mixing and matching campaign geography). They decided to bypass the city as they are an urgent pilgrimage back to a shattered Ashram/Gurkhul (Think Jedi Praxeum crossed with Temple) from which Avish the Swordsage was the sole survivor.

Shabhan has been having visions of a Dark threat roosting there, poisoning any chance of the Last Bastion of Civilization that he sees in his visions, the Ashram and the Mountain, which draws the party North to the Himaslya Mountain Range (the Kara-Turian equivalent of the Himalayas).

So the party ventures north, meeting a group of celebrant travellers including a female Balou and a mysterious fortune-teller named "Nagini".

After receiving a 'gift from the travellers, a mysterious Orb which they later identify as one of the Artifacts known as "The Eyes of Nagaraj" (read: Seeing Stone of Denethor/Tir Palantir), they continue venturing north to a Remote Town which has lost most of its population due to mysterious raids by mythic creatures and Thuggee cultists alike.

This town lies at the foot of the Himaslya range and is immediately in the Shadow of Agni-Kai Peak, a mountain with an interesting penchant for combustive celestlial events whenever a comment passes overhead. There are rumors amongst the town of a party of adventurers that came through and stirred up trouble 7-8 years ago, including Surya's Father "Umcuraj" and Vijay-bhai (the NPC party Guide). Vijay-bhai
has no remembrance of this, but clearly he has been here before ... This village matches to the location as seen in Shabhan's visions and sets the stage for me starting to run altered versions of
"The Gates of Firestorm Peak", "Dragon Mountain" and "Fortress of the Yuan-Ti", depending on which path the adventurers choose.

The party has already engaged the setting's equivalent of Duergar, a race of red Dwarves known as "Ganas" (statted as Celestlial-template Duergar, as per Sahasra) who seem to have a mad on and are running lightning raids in a very uncharacteristically chaotic fashion!

They scale the peak with the Eye of Nagaraj constantly taunting Shabhan verbally and tempting Vaghari in his dreams. It's going to take more than the regular bribes of cheese to keep this rat on his leash ...

Meanwhile the Dwarves get more organized and ruthlessly efficient the closer the party ventures to the top of the mountain, where of course
they find the hollowed-out entrance to Agnikai Vault and from there, the heart of things.

This will set the stage for the Historical Dwarven Invasion (from Mindshadows) where the descendants or relatives of these combattants decide, based on how collosally the party screws up, that Humans can't be trusted to govern themselves and take over, imposing the rigidly enforced Caste System. (I believe this is meant to be modelled after the historical Aryan Invasion of the Dravidian Civilization, and I like it as a more of a reinforcement from this angle, with a very Dwarven interpretation of Hinduism, strict and unyielding).

But that's getting way WAAAY ahead of myself, and will be revealed in due time, as the fabled Naga (which I will be modelling after d20 L5R and Orochi from Magic: The Gathering's Kamigawa, rather than typical D&D), the Asuras and the Chooah (Nezumi/Skaven) have yet to tip their hands, let alone the Dark Mystical Force behind Arcane Magic invading the setting "Masque of the Red Death" style ... Which will probably queue a "Battle of 5 Armies, Vedic Style" Racial war as the Bestial madness plague has spread beyond the Vanara and will let me use an altered version of "The War of the Burning Sky".

More updates to come!

Scarab Sages

VedicDragon wrote:
das schwarze Auge wrote:

Have you read Zelazny's Lord of Light or (I think) Isle of the Dead? Lord of Light is a particularly interesting take on the Indian pantheon cast in the genre of science fiction (and not what you might think if you haven't read the novel). But, you might find some ideas about psionics therein.

Please keep us posted on the progress of the develpment of this campaign. I am very interested in seeing how you meld it all together. I've tapped a couple of ideas for my campaign world, such as the concepts of Aspects and Incarnations, but nothing so elaborate as what you are attempting. I wish you great success. I wish I could play. :)

I have Asoka on DVD, but I can't recall if that's one that I've had a chance to watch. I picked of a few movies of that ilk a while back, and the ones I recall were decent.

Can't say as I have, but I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the suggestions!

Hi all, back with a further update.

Will have a campaign website uploaded and current by end of first quarter '09. The Campaign has had a bit of a rocky interruption due to the Holiday Season. Regrettable, but understandable.

With attendance down, I have split the party in two and am continuing adventures with two of my players, Vaghari the Chooah (nezumi) Lurk and Shabhan Vikramitra the Vanara (Monkey-Person) Priest of Vishnu.

I am currently running the players through three concurrent adventures that I am altering on-the-fly to match the Setting. Ironically enough, new takes on lots of Classic 'fare:

They are currently involved in one Sahasra adventure, "The Spirit in the Spice Groves", which I have 'upped the Ante on, considering their involvement with an overall plotline for the fabled
Vanara city of Kishkinda.

The general premise is that the last Asura war (as I have taken to calling Rakshasa, as I find the D&D usage and bastardization too prevalent to get over myself, let alone my players) where Vishnu's Avatar Rama led the United Armies of Sahasra against the...

I have wanted to get more into the entie Vedic traditions, and what better way for a gamer to learn than interacting with a GM who knows. (I have come to believe in reincarnation, past lives and pantheistic monism makes perfect sense to me.)

I'd totally be up for a go at this PbP if there's still room.

The Exchange

Xaaon of Xen'Drik wrote:

...I have wanted to get more into the entie Vedic traditions, and what better way for a gamer to learn than interacting with a GM who knows. (I have come to believe in reincarnation, past lives and pantheistic monism makes perfect sense to me.)

I'd totally be up for a go at this PbP if there's still room.

Sorry but the attendance for this campaign is closed and it is (at least attempted) as a weekly in-person game... I appreciate the interest however. It's always gratifying to find support from any corner, and I might be able to get some sort of PBeM separate adventures together, but given my current scheduling craziness, it will be a while, to say the least. I have an upcoming business trip to India and between that and juggling course-work and gaming, it's been a doozy to say the least.

I might be hosting a monthly IM conference with potential contributors to discuss story & plot ideas, however. These will be logged and stored in "Director's Cut" notes that will be published on the website when I get it up and running. Other than that, we are debating using AIM/iChat to have a good friend of ours from upstate "Video-in" as I have a 17 inch laptop screen and built in webcam so he can effectively see and be seen/heard. It's a work in progress and we'll see if that suffices.

Thanks for the interest though! For your and others' edification, here's a revised and expanded synopsis of events thus far, including last night's game, from a strictly in-character perspective.
((All this, in just 5 sessions!!))

VedicDragon wrote:

Welcome to the Lands of Sahasra.

This Campaign is meant to be run as a standalone setting placed to the immediate south of Kara-Tur and East of Zakhara. The setting in question has been created as an inviolate and separate entity from the rest of Abeir-Toril and all other worlds from which it might be bridged to since the Primordial Age from when even the oldest of the Gods was relatively young in their divinity.

In this primordial time, there came the Vedas, striding forth from the cosmos amidst the Primordial Chaos and the nascent power of other
pantheons, and with them came a different viewpoint than those of the Aesir, the Olympians and the Anhur.

The Vedas sought to create a land and a people that bridged to all others in the cosmos, and yet, was separate from all. A haven and a sanctuary, for those peoples and humans that did not fit into the grand design of the others. As such, they took "samplings" from various regions with more divisive pantheons, Unther and Mulhorand, Zakhara before the coming of Hajama the Wise, and Taladas of Krynn, to name but a few. Reinvogorating them with an infusion of their power, the Vedas took these humans, and the beasts that they deemed aesthetically pleasing to them, and created the Chosen Born, the
races of Sahasra. They were swayed by the sinuous grace of the Serpents, and thus the Naga were included. The humble and amusing Chooah, ferocious when cornered, lovers of shiny things were included due to their fastidious humility and meek obeisance. It was prophesized by Brahma the Creator, that "Salvation will come, of the many times we and ours are threatened, not from the Wise or the Mighty, but the Meek".

The Peoples and beasts were assembled and a mighty ritual was enacted, one of the few times that all three patron deities of the Trimutri -
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, joined to call forth Durga Maa, the Female All-Goddess, and she forged a Barrier woven of Mental might, Naming, Chakra-Energy and Goddess-Force, a barrier that formed around the lands known as "Sahasra", to protect it from outside influences and all who would harm it. After much debate they determined that Arcane magic was a corruptive force so they would leave such fragile and chaotic power locked outside the confines of their safe haven,
redirecting all the Arcane force that would otherwise infest their garden with a rebounding force of complete abjuration and alteration, churning any arcane force directed from without back towards its wielder and magnifying it. They then buried the keys to this barrier, 12 arrows of Supernatural might, amidst their creation and distributed the locks, 12 Orbs of Seeing, as windows into the outside worlds.
The most important of these were given to the ruling dynasty of the Naga, the Orochi.

Unfortunately, the last of these seals was not fully in place when the enemies of the Vedas, the Asuras joined with the forces of the one mortal dissenter who allowed Ravana, the Asura Prime to whisper in his ear of forbidden things. Tvashtri was his name, and he is the sole arcane wielder that survived the raising of the barrier. However, as he lurked behind the scenes, he discovered the Asuras' agenda and fled into hiding, working towards his own devices and ineffable goals.

The Asuras charged the barrier and were able to slip through before the last seal was raised, making a profound impact on the world in question... the Gods and their mortal servants would have much work to do, weeding out these roots in their garden of joy and sanctuary.

Thus the seeds were sown for a destructive conflict which would be henceforth known as the Asura Wars. During several of these, Vishnu would take mortal form as an Avatar, forgoing the comforts of Heaven to wage war and inspire mortals to live and walk the path of
righteousness.

The Last Asura war involved a direct confrontation between the last Avatar of Vishnu, Rama of Ayodhaya, and the Asura Prime himself.
it was destructive and lasted for quite some time before the Asura Prime was allegedly slain. Rama settled and the rest of his exploits and the reunion with his wife and sons faded into obscurity. The pettiness of Man led brother to turn on brother and a brokenhearted Rama eventually walked into the sea and forsook his worldly life.
Luv and Kush, his sons, forged their own dynasty, as did the dynasties of Bharat, Shatrugan and Lakshman, but inevitably with the passing of a century their kingdom fell into disrepair and decadence, far from the ideals of their forbear. The fabled Kingdom of Mahanaga, afflicted with a curse after holding itself apart from the conflict, was shattered into the Seven Kingdoms. Each of these further divided into infighting, and as with Mahanaga, so to the rest of the remaining six regions of Sahasra.

Mahasharpa, as Mahanaga was now known, was afflicted with border conflicts, wars of annexation, cessation and conquest. Anarchy and Dark Cultism rose, as did disease and famine. Finally, of late a weapon of disease was unearthed late in the century, unleashing a foaming madness known as "the Red Rage" across the lands, most notably amongst the Vanara and the other Beastfolk.

Our tale begins with the focus on a tiny village known as Pandhan, in the the Northern Bordern of the Kingdom of Gandharva. Shabhan Vikramitra is a Priest that has resided there since fleeing the Vanara lands at a young, young age. Having set up with a shrine in the northern forest outskirts of the village, Shabhan has devoted his life to the worship of Divine Vishnu the Preserver. His mentalist arts, though nascent, do give him the occassional prescient dream,
during one of which he "sees" a good friend of his, a Banyan Spirit folk named Gebhen Umcuraj, is direly wounded and in need of assistance. Seeing to his friend, "Baba Vikramitra" took him to nearby Pandhan village, where Umcuraj met, was tended by and eventually fell in love with the Herb-Woman Sati. She cared for him a great deal, but after his tending the wandering Spirit folk needed to return to his Banyan Grove ... but not before getting Sati with child. Nine months later their daughter Surya was born.

A mutual friend, a grizzled old veteran of the last Asura war named Vijay Singh or "Vijay-Bhai" as he was known, would take a hand in training and grooming young Surya to adulthood, training her in the arts of swordplay and tactics. Meantime, during a Flood, a Chooah colony was caught in the open and all drowned. Shabhan came just in time to save one youthful adolescent, who proceeded to look upon the sage as a parent, attaching to him fastidiously. Though he would wander over the years, the young ratling became used to the epithet "Vaghri!" being yelled at him, eventually taking the name "Vaghari".

Many years went by, and the Vanara Clan-Wars and border struggles between the Kingdoms got worse and worse as the Red Rage spread ... to the North, just outside the Himaslya Mountains was the Gurukhal-Ashram (School/Shrine) of the Gold Council's most reknowned warrior, the Maharishi Jawalal. His Monastery was beset by a weapon of the Asura Wars, a fabled "Unhallowed One". Nevertheless he and his prize Pupil Avish Hajari fought on, and barely managed to escape with their lives. They headed south on the backs of two Celestlial Rams, to consult with the closest colleague Jawalal had, Vikramitra the Priest. Heading south, they arrived in the village and sought succor, as the Priest had been called away to his Shrine. Taking refuge in Sati's hut, the Maharishi entered a deep healing trance and bade his pupil Avish to make appropriate contact with the Village Elder, a pompous landowner named "Bala Thakur".

Simultaneously to this, Vaghari had made his way into the village and was skulking about, seeking to thieve some of the sources of the delicious aromas assaulting his keen nose . . . opportunity
arose and fled quickly as he was first caught trying to steal the Maharishi's Samosa's from Sati's hut. Furious, Surya's mother pelted him with stones until he fled to the fountain, running off and hiding quickly in the local vegetation. Sneaking back, he infiltrated Bala Thakur's household, notably the kitchen, only to succumb to hunger and crash headlong in a dive, into a pot of a delicacy known as "Carrot Hulwa". Avish sprang into action, and after careening down the steps, staggered into the kitchen but was thwarted as Vaghari eluded capture with great speed and grace ... only to stop two blocks later and cradle his hard-won prize, gorging long enough to be struck unconscious.

In a keen display of bold storytelling, Vaghari managed to convince all listeners, save for the skeptical Sati that he had been commanded by a Witch of great power in a plot to assasinate the Thakur, but had resisted valiantly. After a meeting of all the greybeards of Pandhan, the Thakur commanded that an expedition be commissioned 'for the good of the village', and so Avish, Vijay-Bhai and Vaghari headed north, with the cunning Chooah attempting to lead them in circles at every turn...

They were joined in time by Vikramitra and the Maharishi whom had woken from their respective meditative trances, and decided to follow this unlikely band of heroes. They were being pursued by a malevolent
force that defied description but soon revealed itself to be the undead spirit of the Asura Prime's Brother, Indrajit. Indrajit sought revenge as aparently the Maharishi had tutored Lakshman in some combat
arts during their encounter 100 years ago which allowed the Ayodhyan prince to emerge triumphant and slay the Asura. However, this undead creature that Indrajit became was a different matter entirely and the
undead spirit devastated the entire party and grievously wounded both Vikramitra and the Maharishi before they were able to destroy it. Leaving a lasting curse on the Kshatriya Avish, the spirit passed with a wail of despair. The Maharishi spent the last of his energy healing both Shabhan and Avish before he was forced to retreat back to Pandhan to find a safe place to heal once more. He urged the remainder of his
company to continue on without him to Kishkinda and the source of his and Shabhan's visions, prophetic dreams of destruction that would lead them to their Ashram and finally to a fortress built into the fabled
Agnikai Peak, named after the fire god for the raging firestorm that swirled atop it. Shabhan has been having visions of a Dark threat roosting there, poisoning any chance of the Last Bastion of civilization that he sees in his visions, the Ashram and the Mountain, which draws the party North to the Himaslya Mountain Range to the North of the Kingdom of Zubal.

The company continued onwards and encountered a group of celebrant travellers including a female Balou and a mysterious fortune-teller named "Nagini". The Spokesman and Caravaneer, a man named Meher, had golden eyes and a rich, sepulchral voice and told them many a tale of the movements and military manuevers of the Northern Kingdom whilst regaling them with tales of the Old Kingdom of "Mahanagurh" (Home of the Might Serpents). Nagini had a private audience with Avish, where they spoke at great length, before she and Meher agreed to part with a rare and valuable gift to the travellers. Mentioning something about the prophecy, the celebrants entertained them late into the night... the Company awoke the following morning in open air, the Caravan having left. After receiving the gift from the travellers, a mysterious Orb which they later identify as one of the Artifacts known as "The Eyes of Nagaraj", they continue venturing north and happened upon a young woman named Razyia who appeared to be fleeing in great haste from a group of brigands. Avish, Vaghari and Vijay-Bhai rushed off to engage the bandits, whilst Shabhan attempted to tend to her wounds. However, it appeared to be a trap for any unwary pilgrims who were coming to celebrate the auspicious anniversary of Ram's victorious return to Ayodhaya, the first Centennial celebration of Deewali. The Thuggees, as they were revealed to be, got the drop on the companions, and while Avish made a good showing for a young apprentice, dispatching two of them, one was able to take him down hard with a quick-drawn Hunga-Munga (Whip-sword of flexible metal). Vaghari did his best as a solo-rogue to strike from the shadows but was relatively pinned down and unable to hide as two more thuggees assaulted him. Meanwhile, Shabhan was caught off gaurd as "Razyia" turned out to be the coarse, proud Kali priestess "World-Breaker Feringeea". She attempted to asphyxiate him with the traditional thuggee weapon, a weighted sash known as a 'roomal'. However, Shabhan was able, just barely, to overpower her and Vijay Bhai saved the other two from a gruesome death. Upon interrogation, Feringeea would
reveal that they were merely one of many cells of Thuggee in the area, answerable to one Guru Bhowanee Hamal. The litany of the slain Thuggee included Chowwee Dewan, Shaib Khan, Dulele Khan, Lalla Bhujun, Chutter Bhoje and Heera Sepahee. The kickers are named Dusrut Naig, Pall Tuppa, Ashraff Monga, Manoola Pawn, Chotee Daood, and Kehree Lodhee. A small boy, Bijan Nahil, eludes capture and runs to relay a report to the rest of the Thuggee. Very perturbed, the Party continues forwards with Feringeea in tow as a prisoner. A short time later, a retinue of ten soldiers accompanying Commander Singh Parah Sleeman of Kolhapur were dispatched and intercept the party. He strongly urges them
to come with him to Kolhapur as he intends to take Feringeea into custody, but the group consensus is to continue with their more pressing mission, despite the offer of reward and promise of further employment. The other members of this company identified themselves as the Shikari Lashkar Khan (ranger), Yogi Salabat Jang (monk), Singh Akbar Abbur (fighter), Brahmin Jumna Padras (fighter), Pundit Prabhut Bhabani (cleric) as well as Fakir Hunath Rao (Psion). Some of these being old companions of Vijay Singh and Singh Akbar Abbur being a distant relation, the company broke bread with the soldiers and exchanged stories before parting ways.

Further along, while Avish and Vijay Bhai were out hunting, the company encountered a Albino Bull-Elephant and his Rider, Mahut Prahesh, an old elephant cavalry-man. Prahesh had fallen on hard times, and has only recently found this prize whome he has named "Aranjit". Unfortunately, the elephant was in a Rut, sensing a female in heat nearby and went wild, wreaking much havoc and almost slaying the young adventurers before they were able to regain control of it. Prahesh was gravely wounded, and upon being healed, took it upon himself to provide service to repay his debt to Shabhan and Vaghari.

Rejoined by Vijay-Bhai and Avish, they resumed their travels, leading them to a Ghatt (wooden dockside) adjoining the Great Bahanis River. Prahesh suggested that the companions wait for a boat to come along and that they pay for passage, but the vast majority of the boats were going back south to Kolhapur for the Deewali celebration. Contemplating walking along the riverbank or crossing by other means proved impossible, for the 100-yard-wide river was very swift, and
Vaghari had flashbacks to his childhood memories of drowning. Then, they heard singing and tambourines clattering, the sounds of at least a dozen men in some kind of religious celebratory fervor. Four small barges came down the river from the north. Men dressed all in pinks and oranges stoodd in the barges, shaking their tambourines as they sang praises to Vishnu, god of mercy. These pilgrims saw the companions and called out to them, docking their barges at the bank for
mutual trade and gossiping. Led by one Pundit Gungaram Mistree, they docked their barges and shared food and sang songs. At one point tensions rose, as some kind of signal was made upon the phrase ("Let us now sing of Vishnu's light"), but in some strange twist of fate, the Orb of Nagaraj sent some sort of unnatural pulse of energy, and deeply perturbed, the pilgrims cordially but hurriedly departed.

The companions continued, finally arriving at the settlement of Longbridge, a remote town which has lost most of its population due to mysterious raids by mythic creatures and Thuggee cultists alike.

This town lies at the foot of the Himaslya range and is immediately in the Shadow of Agni-Kai Peak, a mountain with an interesting penchant for combustive celestlial events whenever a commet passes overhead. There are rumors amongst the townfolk of a party of adventurers that came through and stirred up trouble 7-8 years ago, including Surya's Father "Umcuraj" and Vijay-bhai (the NPC party Guide). Vijay-bhai has no remembrance of this, but clearly he has been here before ... This village matches to the location as seen in Shabhan's visions. The population is down to a total of 40 after predations by animal attacks, skyrocketting local violence as well as attacks of Thugee cultists. Feeling wary of the local inn, given the attrition rate and thuggee infestations, the company chose to take their rest in the local shrine, located in the forested outskirts of the town. However, upon arising the next morning, a giant stone fist had covered
where Avish had been sleeping and the company prepared to despair once more, panicking. However, Vaghari was able to sense the Maharishi's scent all about this occult working, so the party concluded that Avish was safe in the Maharishi's care. However, they did grow more suspect of sleeping out in the open air ...

Upon further interrogation, the innkeep recalled that the party of explorers from 8 years ago consisted of a Shikari named Vijay Singh, a Psion named Gebhen Umcuraj, a Vammanan Warrior named Yasmun, and a pair of twin Baladra (psychic warriors) named Bechara and Bhisma. Further investigations around town had proved fruitless, as the overwhelming resentment had led to villagers hurling stones at Vijay Bhai, who stoicly but furiously restrained his temper. Shortly thereafter, disaster struck as a raiding party of Ganas, mythical dwarven servants of the Gods, attacked the village screaming battlecries of "Retribution!". After repelling several raids with the townsfolk and barely surviving these predations, the companions concluded that the Dwarves must have come from Agnikai peak, given their footsteps and their direction of attack. Concluding that this was a scouting party for a potential invasion, the companions decided there was no time to lose and began scaling the mountain, seeking an entrance into its bowels ...

Whilst carrying their Ganas hostage, they happened upon a conflagration that night as the Comet passed overhead and the flames re-ignited further, revealing a series of passages that opened with air-pressure winding through them. Entering these, Shabhan and Vaghari fell afoul of the Ganas' first line of defense: Caltrops. Specifically, scorpion-poison covered, invisible caltrops. Recuperating slowly from the poison slowed them down, despite Prahesh's ingenuity in swinging his elephant goad back and forth to clear a passage. Continuing onwards led to a ten foot high spiked barrier which the Dwarves capered behind, invisible and giant-sized. The party engaged and managed to slay three before the fourth fled onwards to the next room. This process repeated itself again in the following ante-chamber with four more Ganas attacking with Polearms. Sorely wound, Vijay was taken out of the fight briefly and Shabhan struggled to keep up the punishment as Vaghari went into what looked like a berserk frenzy, viciously attacking in a foolhardy manner. This continued as they paused to catch their breath, having injured one of the four polearm wielders and slain the others. Leaving him for questioning, Prahesh had shattered his ankle with a very lucky swing of his elephant-goad. The Dwarf, Rukash by name, proceeded to babble about his master and seemed to be taken with some sort of fit as a strange, multicolored mist that seemed to provoke hallucinations wafted about ...

The party debated whether to continue for some time, at which point Rukash, in what seemed to be an insane fit, and ignored up until now by the company, suddenly enlargened and attempted to bring down the ceiling. Suceeding, the party was forced to push forwards, tumbling into the next room, and directly into a line of spear-wielding Ganas, who were waiting in lure. Vaghari attempted a tactical bluff of little consequence involving the harvested caltrops and poison from their previous kills... to little effect. In the following sortee' and Vijay-bhai, having lost patience, grabbed Vaghari and bull-rushed with him as the Chooah thrashed and foamed, catching the Ganas off-guard. Enraged anew, Vaghari and vijay bhai managed to get missed by all but
the last of the Dwarves, their commander. Doling out a crippling blow with all his might, he dropped Vijay bhai, but not before the Shikari (ranger) flung Vaghari directly into the dwarf's face. With an insane bit of luck, Vaghari not only survived the harrowing experience but managed to slay the commander in one crippling double-sneak attack through his eyes, puncturing the skull and slaying the giant-sized dwarf.

Aghast, and with a vicious, foaming mouthed Chooah hissing atop their commander's corpse, the remaining dwarves fled for their lives down the tunnel, giving the companions an opportunity to debate whether or not to continue, and to lick their wounds ...

The Exchange

On a separate but related note ....

Please see the following, all but my current/prospective players.
Alex, Wes, Alvin, Clausel, Frank, Des', that means skip this one!
All others, click away!

For nonplaying contributors only, please see the above hidden link and provide your input. I've hijacked and repurposed a separate but related thread for further plot development, am curious as to your input.

The Exchange

Fixing Truespeak and The Namer Base Class

A thread I've started to add some more flavor and receive community advice on "fixing" truenaming for the purpose of this campaign.

The Exchange

More updates coming, guys. Meantime the party has been split into two disparate groups, once being Vijay Pratap Singh (Vijay-Bhai), Vaghari Kachra and Shabhan Vikramitra; The Shikari (ranger), Nezumi Vagri(Lurk) and Yogi (Psion/Cleric), respectively.

The other group consists of Avish Hajari, Surya Chanda, and Pundit Gungaram Rajgopal Mistree; a Kshatriya (warrior-caste) crusader, a Shikari-trained Sword-sage and a "Priest of Vishnu" ... or so he claims.

I will be sparsing future updates at least for the next two weeks where certain things will be revealed as common knowledge to both groups. As such I have three scheduled sessions for this week for Group A and one for group B, which will be supplemented by future sessions next week- Hopefully enough to catch up Group B and reunite the party by either next Thursday or by the time I get back...

After which I fly out to India for business (more importantly, more source materials!!!)

Was wondering if any other Indians (NRI Non Resident Indians, or natives for that matter) knew if there was any local (to india) efforts like Virgin Comics' Indian Comics line (Ramayana 3392 AD, Sadhu, Snake Woman, Devi and India Authentic to name a few), but for d20 or RPG's in general? Just trying to make the laundry list of expenses and things I should pick up while there ...

Incidentally, since Virgin Comics is closed down (for now at any rate) I would highly recommend those books for those who are interested in some really rich Vedic-inspired storytelling with great art. Start hunting them down, as they are out of print!

I've seen half-whispered rumors of a Ramayana 3392 AD MMO from Sony and a Feature Film (either classical, modernized by Ashok Baker, or Chopra's 3392 AD take) but who knows how accurate those are and if those projects proceed currently ...

The Exchange

Liquid, Mandalay team for 'Ramayana 3392 AD' Film on Hollywood Reporter

Announcement: SOE, Virgin Comics to Develop Ramayan 3392 A.D. MMO

Wikipedia Article on Ramayana 3392 AD

Since this IP was a major source of inspiration for my current game, I thought I'd list some links in order to better distribute information on it for interested parties.

Of course, with the Publisher becoming defunct, who knows what the future is of the series, let alone spinoff products?

Silver Crusade

Damn, that's sad to hear about Virgin going out of business. My local bookstore just now started carrying their trades.

I swear, even when I try to stay away from the comic industry it manages to find me and depress me further over its downward spiral.

The Exchange

More Sad News: I am contemplating closing/canceling this game.

It's a shame because I have years worth of work and no small amount of monetary investment in it.

However, an inattentive and immature player base when it comes to time-management skills and honoring commitments makes me truly disheartened. In order to deal with these people on a regular basis I may have to cancel the game, as my vitriol over this has begun to bubble over. We have, for all the positivity I bring here in talking about this, made an apalling lack of progress according to my timetable, with running only 5 Sessions in 4 months (I'm not counting the one for Group B). This was with a tacit understanding that I am not going to go through all this trouble for anything less than a weekly affair. All parties committed to this freely, but save for one individual, none has consistently been able to honor said commitments with respect and maturity and instead there has been a large degree of snivelling and blame reallocation.

That being said, what's made matters worse is when I am going over the stipulations with my players and their responsibilities, one player has taken it upon themself to be an combination of defense-attorney and apologist for the transgressors, as if I needed a mitigating hand. This is an infuriating trend, and only suceeds in making the situation far worse.

I am probably going to either close shop over these issues, or laugh them off down the line as "growing pains" but at the moment, I can't help but feel my time and efforts are wasted and being disrespected by an ungrateful audience, supportive and enthusiastic though they be.

I may choose to begin anew with a fresh group, removing said apologist's cancerous influence. That will require a rigorous series of interviews and a 'vetting process. Any roleplayers in the Southwestern Connecticut area interested? As stated before, I've mixed feelings about PBeM and would instead be focused on getting a tabletop group in my area...

Reply back via email, as I am keeping this thread going in the hopes things turn around.

I can be reached at Monsoon.Rush@yahoo.com

P.S. As a notation: I am looking for mature, committed adults who value a time commitment and recognize that a failure to show without contact or with last-minute notification is a smack in the face not only to myself, but to my other players.

The Exchange

The Campaign continues despite disturbances.

Ironicly enough, the removal of one of the players under amicable circumstances for the repeated tardiness and absenteism has allowed me to fast-track a plotline I was going to let develop in time, making his character a potential campaign antagonist.

Am reuniting the two groups tonight and having the player put in a final appearance as the character/personality they remember before being completely subsumed by a darker, antagonistic persona.

Psychic trauma and the push and pull of various power sources and external forces on the character's psyche, plus his own greed, lead to a personality subversion as he linked mind with a Necrocarnate equivalent of a Crypt Thing and was further corrupted and overwhelmed by the telepathic exchange.

More to come, in far greater detail soon ...

The irony is that out of dire circumstances has come some truly conflicting, great plot.

Back to back sessions yesterday and today, as well as Tues-Wed-Thurs of next week planned, will be posting plot updates soon.

I will not be pressing the contract issue til after my return, but I am accepting and reviewing applicants to fill the missing campaign slots, as previously stated, pending an interview and vetting process.
Upon my return the contract WILL be implemented. See the attached link for development and discussion of said contract.

The Exchange

As a brief unrelated note, please see the Following. It appears Liquid Comics has bought out the old VIRGIN COMICS' Properties...

NEW YORK, NY, September 24, 2008 - Liquid Comics has completed the management buyout of Virgin Comics led by the founding management team of Gotham Chopra, Sharad Devarajan and Suresh Seetharaman. Liquid Comics will continue to develop innovative digital, film, animation, and gaming projects for its original character, stories and other properties.

Commenting on the change, Sharad Devarajan said, "Virgin Group has been a fantastic partner with whom to work and together we have established a strong foundation of great character properties and media partnerships.

We remain fully committed to continuing our mission to provide a home for innovative creators and storytellers across the world."

Virgin Group senior vice president of corporate development Dan Porter added, "The management team has a track record of great relationships with artists and media partners. Under this new ownership structure, the company is well positioned for future growth in the rapidly changing global comic space. As Virgin Group focuses on its core activities in North America, we wish them well in building their exciting business."

Founded in 2005, Virgin Comics is a character entertainment company that has forged partnerships with Warner Brothers, New Regency, Sony Online Entertainment, Sci Fi Channel, Studio 18, UTV and others. Under the new Liquid Comics name, the management team plans to proceed with a number of the projects previously announced as Virgin Comics and will make announcements shortly regarding those projects and the restructured launch dates.

Contact:
press@liquidcomics.com

Read it all here


This is some great stuff! Vedic Dragon even if your campaign doesn't go the way you want please keep throwing out ideas and advice! Many of us have Indian themed regions in our campaign home worlds and would like to know how to improve them.

Just wondered if you had the chance to take a look at what James Wyatt created for a setting when Oriental Adventures first hit the shelves some odd years back? He designed a small default setting with a Indian theme (I don't know how close he got to getting the cultural theme correct but it looked great!). It was almost as if the Book of Five Rings setting was done in India if I remember correctly.

Also, without trying to be insensitive (culturally or otherwise) how is cast best handled in such a setting?

When you ran your adventures in the setting what levels are the PCs? From your description it sounded mid to high level.

The Exchange

Jib wrote:
This is some great stuff! Vedic Dragon even if your campaign doesn't go the way you want please keep throwing out ideas and advice! Many of us have Indian themed regions in our campaign home worlds and would like to know how to improve them.

My pleasure ... it is my hope to compile all my notes and eventually publish a "proper" india themed setting. Maybe I'll make it a free offering considering I have based it on other 3rd party published material. Or mayhaps I will reinvent and "go deeper", changing names, et al.

Jib wrote:
Just wondered if you had the chance to take a look at what James Wyatt created for a setting when Oriental Adventures first hit the shelves some odd years back? He designed a small default setting with a Indian theme (I don't know how close he got to getting the cultural theme correct but it looked great!). It was almost as if the Book of Five Rings setting was done in India if I remember correctly.

I have indeed based a loose amount of work on this. You are thinking of the Mahasharpa web enhancement. Peep earlier posts and even the thread title!

Jib wrote:
Also, without trying to be insensitive (culturally or otherwise) how is cast best handled in such a setting?

No at all! While it has no place in the modern world, the caste system was a very active part of societal roles and separating power strata on an elitest scale. Think a more secular version of European Social classes. You can play with them or exclude them. I would recommend the Mindshadows publication by Green Ronin, which has a very usefull sidebar on the same and variable usage thereof.

Jib wrote:
When you ran your adventures in the setting what levels are the PCs? From your description it sounded mid to high level.

Ironically enough, save for an 5th level cleric everyone started at level 1, and went from 1 - 5. I froze the XP of the PC cleric until the party caught up.

I had some higher level NPC's in an out with the participants. "Maharishi Jawalal" "Shikari Vijay Pratap Singh" etc.

The thing to remember is I was challenging the PC's and forcing them to think on their feet, throwing them against MUCH higher level challenges, to account for their bizarre and varied power spread.

Book of 9 Swords, Incarnum, Psionics, Pact Magic... Things that the usual D&D CR's don't account for. Best way to handle is to gauge on the fly and modify accordingly. Using Sahasra' campaign's notes for "Ganas" and added celestlial template to Duergar. Then applied them in the role that Mindshadows created for the historical Dwarven empire of their setting, invading and restructuring as per the Mughal Empirium did in historical india around the time of Emperor Akbar. (See the Bollywood movie Jodhaa-Akbar for a quasi-historical dramatization of this movement ... or in short, think our equivalent of the Jade Emperor from China)

Finally, apply to the adventure "Gates of Firestorm Peak".

Hence, "The Perils of Agnikai Mountain". :-P Yes, if you want to analyze the root it could be said I plagiarized Avatar: The Last Airbender. Until one realizes the basis of the very name of the show is rooted in Hinduism as well as "Agnikai" with Agni being the Hindu god of fire. :-P

It's amazing what a little rewriting and cultural infusion on a pan-societal backdrop can do. Especially when recreating historical events in a fantasy backdrop. I will be rewriting alot of the plot and changing the cast up, but am planning on resuming running in 2 weeks or so...

The Exchange

Campaign has resumed running regularly for the past 3-4 weeks.

We had a bit of a rocky start, let me tell you. Recent professional gains and personal upsets have led to 90% attrition of the original player base, with only one of the original players remaining. That being said, necessity being the mother of much creativity and innovation, please allow me to introduce the new lineup.

Alvin - The sole remaining member of the Original Party, still playing his Vanara Priest Shabhan Vikramitra, retconned to be devoted to Lakshmi, Goddess of Learning and Patron of the Arts.

Raven - Stepping into the role of "Usha Devnagr", Surya's mother and "herbwoman and healer" of Pandhan village. Having noticed her daughter's recent dissappearance, she has decided to join the fray and resumed adventuring for the first time in 20 years ... re-engaging in the practice of Pact Magic, as it has been long since she practiced her craft as a "Spirit Binder". Along with her constant companion, the Dog-Demon Haran (Naberius), she has joined the band of adventurers new and old.

Steve - an old friend of mine whose scheduling openned up, he has stepped into the role of Wes's character (Avish Hajari's) brother, Abhirath Hajari. Also a student of the Martial School and Ashram run by Maharishi Jawalal, his growing concern for his missing brother and recent discovery of the carnage at the Ashram drags him into events of great import

Frank - Joining us remotely, my good friend from upstate CT, Frank is slipping into an NPC role for me, with XP frozen until the party catches up. Having researched the part and based the character on his personality, he is a perfect fit for the Ganas Psion "Birbal", advisor to Emperor Akkabar. A diplomatic envoy to human civilization, he seeks to mitigate the political and visceral damage that the antics of the Emperor's Mad brother, Araungzeb, have caused. Currently tangling with the spirit of a Dead Naga empress sharing his consciousness, the roleplay has been both surreal and extremely amusing, for all its grim content.

So by using a combination of preexisting NPC's engaged into PC status a la Marvel's take on "The New X-Men" when Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus are brought into the fray ... but with more of the "Deadly Genesis" plotline, with many being existing NPC's whom the party has met or is related to.

What follows is as much of the preexisting recap. I have 5 more sessions to transcribe, but this brings us a long ways forwards in the plot.

Spoiler:

VedicDragon wrote:


The party, consisting of Shabhan Vikramitra, Vaghari, Vijay Bhai and the elephant-herder continued deeper from the outer complex. Vaghari led the way deeper, blades drawn and jaws dripping. Using his scent ability, he was able to find nothing of note ... until becoming ensnared by a particularly vicious pit-trap.

Vijay Bhai was unfortunately unable to detect this trap, and thus Vaghari tumbled down through a gravel-covered piece of tarp, and falling, was impaled on a particularly vicious spike. Nearly slain by the spike, Vaghari screamed and fell unconscious from his grievous injuries. Shabhan and Vijay were kept wary as well as other traps were revealed but did not manage to fall to them.

Shabhan used a light spell to illuminate Vaghari's fallen body, and sees him impaled on blades of a strange, unknown and resonantly unnatural material which shimmered with a strange purple-iridescense. Misdiagnosing the grievousness of their companion's injuries, Vijay-Bhai still voted against attempting to lasso the Chooah.
So it was that Shabhan began the climb down ... only to slip and take some scraping damage from these strange blades, which were revealed to be anarchic in nature, shifting and changing forms.

Upon closer examination, Shabhan was able to discern that Vaghari was able to avoid being -directly- impaled by the massive pile of bodies. In a surge of sudden strength, the Aging Cleric healed Vaghari while simultaneously wrenching his comrade's form off the blades.

As if to add insult to injury, the Orb thrummed with power and the words "use me" came into the cleric's mind. A dialogue ensued where the orb's spirit revealed the unnatural effects of the poisonous and taint-inducing metals that had sliced them.

The material was revealed to be from outside the cosmos entirely, from parts "elsewhere". Hauling himself and Vaghari up with Vijay Bhai's assistance and rope... but unfortunately an unfortunate slip endangered both the Chooah and the Vanara Cleric, as they both fell backwards.

Eventually extricating themselves after taking further damage, the Orb finally sensed a weak moment and pulsed anew, and the strange anarchic blades retracted greatly. Psionic energy poured out over the cleric and the rogue, lifting Vaghari and circling his form. The voice claimed the rat would be under its protection from now on, and debated the merits of pushing the Chooah's capacity for psionics and cleansing them of the taint of the strange foreign substance, despite Vijay-bhai's protestations of "Witchcraft!"

Puddles of liquid substance poured out of Vikramitra's and Vaghari's wounds ... and as discomfitted as Vijay Bhai was, Shabhan was able to talk him down ... despite the mockery of the Orb's feminine, now audible voice.

A green jewel formed on Vaghari's brow, swirling with energies not unlike the 'Orbs. Upon further questioning, the Spirit revealed that Vaghari's jewel is a channel into his mind that "she" could access.
The Taint being more than just poison, the spirit asserted. "I decided to augment him, pray I don't augment him further. I have done the best I can to make do with the stunted clay I am working with"

Threats were traded regarding the potential for turning Vaghari towards evil ends, which the spirit flatly denied.
The Spirit as a good faith gesture, identified itself as Sati Nagarajaiah, the last Ranie (Queen) of the Maha-Naga Imperium. She intimated that someone had been unlocking forbidden things in what was formost stronghold. Nagini the dancer was revealed to be Nagarajaiah's Granddaughter.

Further exposition uncovered Tvashtri as having a hand in or being related to the forces at work, witchcraft both unnatural and most foul. The Spirit gave Shabhan a history lesson on the involvement of Tvashtri and the powers he wielded when last he took part in the creation of the barrier.

The Orb revealed that a corrupted Spirit-folk Air Shugenja named Madeira who was seduced by power while examining the mysteries of the dark arts. During Nagarajaiah's Grandmother's reign, she was put to sleep to prevent an unmaking and widespread destruction of "Bhumi" or the known world. Madeira had become a Void Disciple amongst other things... and renamed herself Mathreia ("Mother of Monsters"). Having delved into many a bizarre and forbidden power both part of and beyond the creation of the barrier, she had begun to delve into the very things the Nagah had been so careful to lock away ... and thus became a force to be stopped. Nagel had been instrumental in assembling a party to dispatch this threat 8-10 years ago, as “Madhreia”, the mother of monsters, had begun warping the fabric of space and time itself in an attempt to reorder creation and open the barrier to dark forces. A party of companions had been assembled ... inclusive of Vijay-Bhai. However, what fate had befallen that company was still shrouded to the mists of time ...

The Former Empress continued to school both Vijay-Bhai and Shabhan Vikramitra and then bade them continue onwards. Vaghari regaining consciousness, albeit with little apparent effects from all the tampering.

The little rat-man proceeded to hyperventilate and cowered from the "nasty steel". His vocabulary unincreased in the slightest,
the aggravating Chooah continued in his usual antics. Continuing onwards the party found an alcove with a series of tunnels, a stone door, and a boulder which had clearly crushed a body with a skeletal hand protruding from behind it. Entering the corridor and heading to the right, a 20' by 20' chamber with three combatants, a stone table with a vessell and three large flagons were illuminated. Getting the drop on these dwarves, the party advanced only to have Vaghari
stumble and stub his toe, biting his lip to keep from squeaking. Only alerting the closer two, who managed to miss the companions, save for Vaghari.

Snarling at him, the dwarves attempted to intimidate him ... but a strange occurrence overwhelmed Vaghari. A strange, wan green light enveloped his blades as the Chooah snarled in an uncharacteristic display of bravery and viciousness. A beam of similar energy blasted the Dwarves from the Orb, even as Vijay Bhai snapped his bow-string.

Their growth and invisibility powers impaired, the staggered and shaken dwarves were confronted with a charging Vanara Cleric ... who failed utterly to hit them. Turning on him, the Dwarves engaged in another round of equal ineptitude, missing him and Vaghari terribly.

Making a screech that sounds like a Drowning cat, Vaghari charged them and finished one off, and it appears to drain some vaporous energy from the fallen enemy, draining intellectual and psionic power.
After some extremely messy combat of traded misses, Vijay bhai finally was encouraged to engage and finish off two by himself.
The remaining Ganas (Dwarf) was revealed to be under a compulsion, vomitting up some writhing slithering mass which were revealed to be a controlling force on all the Ganas... as was seen in grotesque implantations and amidst their smashed skulls earlier.
The dwarf urged them flee and save themselves .. The little creatures were beyond unnatural, squealing and hissing in a vicious display. The dwarf gagged as yet another emerged ... these creatures resonated even more unnaturally than the spikes. Vaghari proceeded to pontificate "I am the rat KING!" but upon encouragement left with the others, snarling a whisper "Another time!".

Returning to the previous room, further investigation revealed the corpse buried under said boulder to be a former companion of Vijay-Bhai's. The lapel pin the figure sported displayed a crest of the "Warcaller" tribe. Initialled to one "Dadhak Warcaller". Gathering Dadhak's belongings 235 Silver, 346 gold, three gems worth 100 gp each. A ring and the sword "Thakkiya", the priest solemenly Handed the sword over to Vijay Bhai, who began to grieve for his half-remembered companion. Dadhak Warcaller was apparently
one of Nagel's original companions.

One of Nagel Umcooraj (Surya's father)'s original companions. A pouch enclosed revealed a scroll written in Nagel's hands.

"The Void-Crafter has reached the font of her power under the firestorm. When next the Vast Gate opens, Madeira may claim once more those unclean powers which drive men mad. This Vast Gate is the source of her power, reaching into a realm so alien to ours that the denizens of that realm may defy the laws of reality itself.

The only way to end this threat is to kill her and refocus this gate to another location, using the three crystal components which we so arduosly gathered from the face of the world. The first obstacle to be overcome is the Ganas. She has duped many unwitting Nivashan (DM Note: Ancient History Skill Check revealed this to be the ruling dynasty of the Ganas)soldiers into serving her."

Having a tunnel and a far-door yet to explore the party proceeded to lift the boulder off the body and carried it with them, presumably to perform appropriate last rights upon the corpse. The continued down to the far door and after some careful trap-detection, entered. 30' to the South there was another door. As they entered this enclosed space, the previous door slammed shut and murky water began to pour in, filling the 10' by 10' corridor of smooth stone rapidly.

As Vijay Bhai advised a retreat back to the previous door, Vaghari flashed back to his past where his family drowned and proceeded to have a relapse of his Aquaphobia, scrabbling at the walls frantically and shouting "I hate Water!!" Shabhan grabbed his tail, which only seemed to anger the possesed rat-man further, as the Chooah turned on him with glowing green eyes snarling viciously "Let ... go... of my tail! I am not a Ratling, I am Vaghari!!" The Priest informed the creature that they did not have time for his hysterics and foolishness, an insult that the creature seemed to resent greatly as his eyes narrowed and he grudgingly acknowledged the logic.

After some great efforts cooperatively, and due in no small part to Vaghari's increased strength and viciousness, they were able to open the previous door and slipped back into the room whence they came.
The door shut with a stony cold finality behind them, echoing throughout the fort the "CRACK"ing sound of their narrowly missed demise.

The party continued down through the last available avenue, the tunnel. It led to a 30' High rough cavern, the floor littered with the bones of many creatures, some humanoid and some monstrous. Most of the bones are charred and scorched and the unmistakeable charnel smell
of decay wafted powerfully through the area. The chamber, carved into the bedrock, continues off to the Southeast, but a flickering light washes over the floor from around that corner, reminiscent of firelight.
The party attempted to stealthily sneak around said corner... Vaghari and Shabhan taking the lead. Vaghari chuckled "Yes ... Sneak" .. moving forward, only to return and report "Just a bunch of large bones". "Did you see a source of the firelight?" asked the priest, to which Vaghari stoicly reported "No".

They continued round the bend, and the Chooah's words were belied as the soft red glow switched to a roaring bright blue blaze filling the ribcages of each of these giant skeletons, as they rise up, animated!
Vikramitra suggested the group rush past the Bones as they are animating ... Stoicly, the party proceeded unafraid. However, the creatures did manage to get a few swings in, but feebly missed the entirety of their attacks. Unnerved, the company fled, thoroughly aware that the azure flames were deeply unnatural. Similar to "Unhallowed", these were animated by Chakra magic, perverted and twisted to darker purposes. The door being too small for their foes, the party continued, even as the monsters howled and clawed, tearing through the walls behind them.

Proceeding onwards in terror at a dead-run, they were bushwacked as a blurred figure tackled Vaghari from the shadows! A crypt like odor pervading the pile of oily brackish rags, skeletal features barely visible save for two baleful glowing red eyes ... the figure clamped its claws over Vaghari's face. Vijay Bhai readied his bow, but the creature was too quick, turned, clutching Vijay Bhai as well, and peeled back Vijay-Bhai's eyelids. Affixing all of them with some strange form of gaze-attack, the room proceeded to go black as far the companions were concerned .... disappearing as the glowing red eyes gazed at them from a (mostly) clean, soot-darkened skull ...

Their vision resumed as they seemed to have been mystically transported or warped to a teetering ledge. Barely keeping their footing from this random transportation, Vijay and Vikramitra continued to battle for the life of their companion. The Undead creature fought back. A large open chamber built into the wall in front of them, they scrabbled for purchase as behind them yawned a huge gap, and a wall seemed to loom high, running in either direction.
Behind them, nothing but open air... A promenade appeared to be behind them, swarming with Ganas... some with patrols riding huge, bat-like steeds. A bustling, booming cty seemed to expand outwards in a 140' by 80' cavern. A carved stone-city as masterfully crafted by sophisticated hands ... a large open-air Bazaar where dozens upon countless dozens of tent-like structures are arranged into neat rows. Ganas milled between the tents bartering over strange and bizarre merchandise. A stream of shadows obscures much over the 10' wide stone ledge upon which they stood. Ganas riding those giant batlike mounts patrol the ledge, observing the shoppers at the Bazaar. This is broken up by a series of regular alcoves, inclusive of the one the party was huddling in while fighting this strange un-dead crypt-creature.

The Cleric leapt forward, brandishing his walking stick at the corpse-thing, but missing. Vaghari slashes at it, the knives doing no damage, but the energy they trail fizzed and popped against the creatures bones. The Energy started to twist and morph, Vaghari's jewel and
said energy turning a brackish oily-black. He hisses "You are mine!!" and stabs a blade up through its throat, dropping it to one knee. Vaghari places a forepaw across the creature's face, clutching its sternum. "I own you!!".

Vijay bhai, moving to intercept and drawing Thakkia had a moment of revelation followed by vertigo, and Shabhan was forced to catch the off-balance Shikari lest he fall to the teeming Bazaar below them!
Unable to keep his footing, the two of them start to pitch back towards the opening...

Vijay Bhai tucked and rolled, shielding Vikramitra the Priest from the fall, and taking the brunt of the damage, fell unconscious.

The Exchange

The Campaign has proceeded Swimmingly well for the last 3 months or so.

As such, have begun to incorporate additional players who will be joining me remotely from Middletown, CT.

I will be recompiling a log from the entirety of the campaign, start to finish, within the next few weeks. Certain discrepancies and ret-cons will be incorporated to make a seemless storyline.

Future campaign will be broken off into a separate plot-arc.

In addition to this, am finally getting of my keister to publish a website via my dot mac account which will be a login oriented resource for players or fans to see the video and audio content as well as a compiled "Campaign Handbook" so all may observe the changes and evolution of this world as it grows richer and more diverse.

For my observers, be patient! And explosion of content is forthcoming.

On a separate but related note, I have emailed the staff of ConnectiCon if they are in need of Game-Masters and sent them a link to this thread.

We will see, but I may be running a one-shot set within this world at the upcoming ConnectiCon '09.

Hopefully I will see some of you there!

The Exchange

Further Developments:

School Semesters, Shifting Workschedules and Childbirth have wrought open havoc on the campaign schedule, but we have definitive dates of resumption and have decided to fill the time productively.

I have been spending exhorbitant amounts of effort creating and refining the "moral compass" of the game far and above the alignment system whilst incorporating elements of White Wolf's "Paths of Morality" "Dharmas" from Kindred of the East, refashioned and retooled to accurately reflect the disparate philosophies (not to be confused with religion) of the various denizens of the Vedic Fantasy Setting.

These will be extrapolated and listed shortly as well as their "Heirarchy of Karmic Transgression". The governance will be tied to a "Karma Wheel" the filling of which in either direction will earn positive and negative Karmic points. Holding and Building of "Negative Karma" for your Dharmic Path will result in Curses, Banes and various Negative Karmic (Incarnum-Soulmeld aka "Cursed Item") manifestations. Burning through it will be an option, but at a cost of positive Karma.

Filled Positive Karma due to a variable Reknown System (based on your Dharmic Path) will result in "Karmic Points" (think Action/Force/Inspiration Points) which are interchangeable with Luck Points to a certain degree, but obviously will require Luck feats to fully tap the versatility. This is representative of being "Beloved by Fate".

Meantime we have done a great deal of System Mechanic Development from the "Rune-Namer" a Gestalt of Runethane, Truenamer and the Illumian Racial template with bonus Glyph Feats ... Louis Agresta and SmiloDan have some dynamite ideas linked to that thread..
CHECK IT OUT HERE

A ton of Vedic Indian Spirts grabbed out of Vedic Cosmology or adapted from the Book Secrets of Pact Magic and Tome of Magic (Aka Naberius the Hellhound becomes the Spirit of the Hound-Asura "Masan"). I have also included a pseudo Hengeyokai/Rokugani take on Spirits a la their d20 offering "Fortunes and Winds" and am adapting Binding checks for Spiritualists and other Divine characters from Iron Heroes. The explanation will be a more benevolent version of "Umbral Bleed-through" from various parallel sources (it's not a new concept, dating back to the Chinese, Indian and Arabic myths from which all these works and mine draw inspiration).

In addition today we are setting up the Boardgame "Arabian Nights" that I picked up at a recent Convention. We will in the future be loosely applying this to a Generic Blend of PFRPG's Qadira, AEG's The Legend of the Burning Sands, and TSR's Al-Qadim in order to make a truly Rich and Diverse backdrop. This will then be the atmospheric events in Birthright Style "Nation-turns" which will govern and shape the setting further in a unique and differing perspective, separating it from the (initial) source material and infuse more of the proto-zoroastrian and pre-Islamic myths of Djinn and their own Cultural Entities (Dahak, the Elamite, Western Semitic, and various other deities/pantheons, and the Role of the True Asuras. A combination of Politics, Opportunism, Religious Zealotry and Expansionism will cause the Invasion, with more than a little manipulation from Shadow Factions on both Sides of the Great Knot (My Interim name for the multi-disciplinary Supernatural Field Separating the Indian Setting from the Surrounding World). This, combined with the building events within the campaign will begin "The Fraying Times" as the Mystical Threads that make up the very "Fabric" of the Setting's Isolation will be torn Asunder and for the Second time in that Land's history, External Invaders will Shape their Destiny. (lots of exciting work in progress there)

Finally, I have fleshed out my Setting's Gestalted "Healer" (Combine Dragonlance Mystic with WoW d20 and Miniature's Handbook Healer spell lists/abilities), "Warlord" (Miniature's Handbook Marshal plus Dragonlance Campaign's Noble) and "Shaman" (Spirit Shaman, OA Shaman and Iron Heroes' Spiritualist Classes) classes. I list more details for them under the name "MonsoonRush" HERE

I have also recieved a massive outpouring of advice and data that I am compiling, which will of course be creditted, such as Tequila Sunrise's Hero Points to Incarnum for Non-Incarnum Characters ... which I may reverse Engineer and break down into my Karmic system.

Thank you all who have been contributors. I have not forgotten you and will surely list you as sources when I begin a proper treatise on the setting. That being said, furious storm of writing ensues as I try to draw up requisite I.P. documentation for my original work and creations, transcribe transcripts of the roleplaying sessions, juggle varying schedules and simulataneously commission artwork for the campaign principles.

I met a slew of artists at ConnectiCon and have already contacted several to the effect of incorporating into their works on a collaborative basis or commissioning them to create site content outside of my own humble graphic artist offerings as "inspiration" for future commissioned work.

I anticipate the Campaign Website will be up and running smoothly by November, with additional content and video (or audio) feeds supplemented by appropriate musical tracks by year-end.

The Exchange

A Sanskrit Name Resource with Translated Meanings:

http://www.behindthename.com/nmc/ind.php

The Exchange

I think this is long overdue for a thread Reboot. I will be posting a revised and expanded synopsis and clarification before the end of October. At that point I will request this be retitled to "Vedic Fantasy Gaming and other Genre Resources". The title of the new setting's Thread will be "Rajahs & Rakshasa - a Indo-Arabic Fantasy Setting"

As an additional note: Devashard is getting it's own movie!

Good stuff!
Here's the Official Site
Read more about the "World of Bhumi here

Let me state that Devashard is its own Intellectual Property and aside from common cultural and inspirational roots has little else to do with my Vedic Fantasy Setting.

The Exchange

A Further update on the Campaign.
Am losing one player and regaining another. It's a challenge considering the scenario of "Revolving Door Attendance" rears its ugly head anew, but there it is. I am choosing to see this as an opportunity as opposed to the intensely aggravating disservice to myself and the endeavor that it obviously is.

To whit, I am in the market for another player. So if you are in the White Plains, NY or Southwestern CT area (Stamford, Greenwich, Norwalk) and have an interest in what you have read here, please please do not hesitate to contact me. I am in the market for a player who is not going to be a recurring problem or "Suddenly MIA" when it comes to a weekly commitment. Please contact me at the following thread:

A Separate Thread I have Made as to avoid clutter here

VedicDragon wrote:
VedicDragon wrote:

Please see the attached link for background

I will be posting more separately here. Am looking for mature, motivated individuals in my local area who can respect time commitments and the fact that all participants are sacrificing EXTREMELY limited spare time for this endeavor.

There will be an interview and rigorous vetting process, as I/we are not looking to waste time with individuals that do not meet certain standards of mature appreciation and "common sense" for scheduling and contact.

Game runs on a weekly basis.

Please email me at Monsoon.Rush@yahoo.com if interested.

Anyone?? Bueller? Ferris Bueller?

I found the original request archived. Please forgive the breach of forum etiquette in reposting, but am going to clarify my needs as a fresh request.

I am in need of an experienced player who can make and keep a mature time commitment and is reasonably "together" so life issues do not suddenly sandbag their involvement.

East Asian studies or a background in Nonstereotypical Asian Cultures (aka skipping the Japanese "Spaghetti Samurai" chic for an actual depth-of-knowledge) would be recommended but is not required. A desire to learn, a basic rudimentary understanding of the region, a flexibility of mind and a rigidity of honoring one's commitments is what I am looking for.

I will be having "interviews" with local players over the next two weeks, and hopefully have the new prospect(s) integrated by the third, at the absolute latest. This campaign (in this incarnation anyways) is anticipated to run until Christmas '09.

I am hopefully expecting to hear from gainfully employed individuals whose "life issues" are not going to become my problems.

The Exchange

Wow... did I scare everyone off? Feel free to post responses gang ... I won't bite, I swear!


Hey - whatever happened to your campaign? Are you still running it? I just recently stumbled across this thread, but took great interest. I'd love to hear more.

The Exchange

Well, I have definitely got an update.
The Campaign (at least for the current story-arch) had its final session yesterday. This was a 9 hour event with an additional 6-7 hours of pregame preparatory time for myself and a couple other players, which was the culmination of a 3-year long plot-line that was begun back in 2007.

Originally the "arch" was supposed to be a quick, 6 month long endeavor on the outside. However various schedule conflicts, player attrition and requisite "reboot" as well as a HOST of user-generated plot expanded it outwards continually until it just became a BEHEMOTH of converging plot-lines.

Many of the ideas I had for a separate campaign entirely (Eberron-Ptolus) and a sequel became incorporated in to the primary.

Future development remains on the horizon and an opportunity for surviving characters to utilize an "alternate" playstyle given the highly epic adaptive level-of-play at 30th+ level. I am considering "altering" the Arabian Nights board game and incorporating it for a Birthright-style series of "Nation Turns" with epic characters utilizing armies and lesser (read new characters or players) agents in order to deal with the more profound ramifications and further expand the setting.

I have fallen -hideously- behind in my transcription duties from the session recordings, and am contemplating outsourcing it, as my last recorded transcription ended at session 7 about a year or two ago. We ended last night with Session 50.

I remain optimistic that many if not all of the players will return for the above "Epilogue Wrap-up" and may even join me for a tournament-play level event at Connecticon, wherein I can invite a more "cinematic" take on things, complete with fleshed out armies from Leadership, Epic Leadership and Rulership feats having been taken. This would allow each of the surviving characters, now divided or representing different "factions" to groom new sets of champions from entire parties or regiments of potential newcomers.

I do not anticipate my temporary hiatus to last more than til this July/August with some errant preparatory work in the meantime so I will be able to offer this "tournament level" style of play during the convention.

The Final Encounter involved a variety of plot points including Juggernauts/Walkers from Sanskrit Myth being revealed in an Exalted/DragonMech-esque way, as well as the true nature of the Akashic Record, links between the Aryan Races of India and Norse/Germanic Origins and their mythos, and the purpose/evolution of Dragons in my setting and the relationship between them and the Naga Dynasty that ruled, as seen through the eyes of Nagarajjaiah Orochia, the last Naga Empress. The conflict expanded to include Moonfolk-Fae, their connections to the Spirit World, and the invasion of 5 major LoveCraftian Mythos "Outer Gods" leading factions of followers and cults and hordes of Aberrations which seek to invade the setting.

"The Fist of the Void" descends from the Far Realm, impacting the moon and carrying with it hordes and hordes of Aberrant Semidivine "Great Beasts", along with fleets of Fey Ships from the MoonFolk Army, and their previously enslaved cousins of the Gith-Sharai. The Incursion begins, with 7 Armies assembled outside of AgniKai peak, warring for dominance and refuge (The Dwarves, the Asura, the Devas, the Naga/Yuan Ti, the Rakshasa/Fey and their deviant experiments, the former Catfolk/"Bhageera" who become what bastardization is known as D&D Rakshasa and finally the Human Rajahs, along withe invading host of Hordesmen) as the Setting is infiltrated from Above, from Below, and Within, with coastal attacks of Deep One Cults lead by Aboleths and Beholders governing scores of Sahaugin, Kuo Toa, Yuan Ti Aberrations and Tritons.

The Cephalocalypse has begun, in the background of a Xeno-Evolutionary Insurrection.
Meanwhile, in the Depths of Agna-kai Peak, the 5 Xeno-Avatars (Lovecraftian Entities) have Taken Form and Begin to Empower their generals, unopposed by any save the Party. Sacrifice and Bitter Combat ensues, with Brother Fighting Brother, Father and Daughter Fighting Wife and Mother, for the sake of not just this world, but Creation itself. All this, as the Gossamer Curtain (the Veil that hides this setting in "DreamTime" from the rest of the "world" or worlds . . . (picture it as the pseudo Indian Region of Forgotten Realms, or your own setting of choice, for example) tears and as such, the setting returns to real-time as a demiplane collides with it and overlays with the 'realm, thus making the mystical barrier visible as the setting joins the existing world in "RealTime".

This paves the way for future invasion(s) by my own adapted versions of Temüjin and Tamerlane with intent of conquest and dominance, but also to enforce a better stability and infrastructure . . . But those are tales for another Chronicle.

I will attempt to get it all down on paper at some point, as an adaption of this is fuel for an attempted book or published campaign setting. But a brief "reader's digest" version will be loaded up here in timeline form or as a campaign anecdotal journal, much in the style of my previous summaries.

Hopefully I will see some of you interested parties at ConnectiCon 2010.

The Exchange

I have been dusting off this property for a revamp and 'expansion' as well as advancing the timeline towards incorporating a post-industrial revolution "steampunk" feel.

Please stay tuned to my nascent production company's facebook fan page for future details on the evolution of this product.

Here it is! Please feel free to click and 'like'!!!

The Exchange

You can also follow progress at http://www.steam-funk.com
For those of you who may be still interested in this product. Please contact me directly. I intend to be playtesting at ConnectiCon and TempleCon in the near future, once the product leaves R&D.

I am seeking input, playtesters and designers at this juncture.

As an addendum:
I have begun a private Facebook group that will be a 'testing ground'/open forum for a number of my gaming ideas including a further development and solicitation of input on this project. If any of the extremely helpful people who've commented on or followed this thread would like to come forwards and join it, I would be most delighted to accept your application to provide further feedback as this product continues to evolve.

Please identify yourself by chatting me with your handle from this thread when you do so.

Thanks & Regards.

My Closed-Group Discussion on FaceBook as Fodder for my 'Blog

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