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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Recruitment Threads --> New Campaign Setting/Altars & Archetypes
Parent thread: Stirrings in Kirkenheim - An Altars and Archetypes Adventure
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The Last to Post
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237 Posts

New Campaign Setting/Altars & Archetypes

The elves named the world Syonia.

In time before memory, two great magi faced each other in combat, each leading an army of brothers. The wars in the those days pitted elf against elf, human against human, and brother against brother. At the peak of their battle, nearing exhaustion, they each released a fantastic burst of magical energy at the other. As the forces collided, the world was ripped apart, leaving only the Rift.

In the ages that followed, humans wandered the world, searching in vain for a new home and finding only the wastes of the Broken Plains, covered in the bones and blood of the fallen.

At last, they crossed what became known as the Messerschniede Pass, the Knife-Edge in the mountains bordering a verdant land. They called the land after their leader, and it became known as Helmsgaard. The great city of Rhinehold was founded upon a lake, and humanity once again found their place in the world.

Welcome to Syonia! I'm in the midst of creating a world for a series of short stories (and possibly a whole game in and of itself), and I figured why not play around it in for a bit? The world itself is a bit darker than Tolkien's fantasy, but a bit lighter than Dragon Age (for those who video game).

I'm wanting to run what would be about a 3 adventure campaign using the Altars and Archetypes system. For those who are unfamiliar with it, google it and check it out, it's free and a pretty short read-through. Basically, it's rules-lite and freeform using a descriptive system instead of classes.

I'm not looking for people who are familiar with the system specifically, just people wanting to give the system and the world a try.

What I am looking for is 2-5 players and a mostly balanced party. If theres any interest, I'll post some more factoids about the world. BUT, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to shoot them at me.

EDIT: Also, the races and quirks of the world have a different spin than traditional games/media.

Elves, for example, are a people without a homeland. They are more akin to gypsies and are usually mistrusted, etc.

Magic is rare and something not to be trusted, though there are still practitioners out and about in the world.

There's more, but it's late and I need to try to combat my insomnia.

Posted on 2011-02-07 at 09:15:43.
Edited on 2011-02-07 at 09:22:59 by Fletch

RDI Fixture
Karma: 36/8
869 Posts


Never heard of the system before, but have a had a quick read. I've been spending some time on a game system trying to maximise the simplicity while also trying to cover all eventualities... that sounds like a cool idea.

Count me in, dude.

Posted on 2011-02-07 at 15:09:53.

The Last to Post
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Awesome! I'm also kicking around using AD&D 2e as a ruleset. The whole project's kinda in flux right now as I organize my notes lol.

Posted on 2011-02-07 at 16:18:41.

Angel Reincarnated
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1145 Posts


Hey Fletch,

I would be interested in taking a read at the A&A style, currently at work, so can't dedicate that much time to it right off the bad.

How frequently would we be expected to post? I work full time, and am already part of 3 games, so I would be aiming for a game with only a one post a week. I plan on setting it up where I can post to a different game 4 times a week. That gives me time to post in each game, and read up on the forums.

Let Me know.

Posted on 2011-02-07 at 16:43:47.

Karma: 138/3
1049 Posts

E & E -- Enclaves and Elves...

Sounds intriguing, Fletch.
I'd love to be apart of this, but I must admit I am not familiar with the A&A rules, nor D&D 2.0. I'm a 3.5 girl. *grins*
If you're willing to suffer through a little bit of "what rule is that?!?" from me, I'd be more then happy to go along this adventure!

Posted on 2011-02-07 at 21:18:28.
Edited on 2011-02-07 at 21:18:55 by Celeste

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I need a new game to be part of, so count me interested.

Posted on 2011-02-07 at 23:16:34.

The Last to Post
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237 Posts

Awesome possum.

cdnflirt - Likely, we'd be looking at one major post per week with me poking around in the interim as needed to keep things interesting So maybe from the player side, 2-3 posts or so per week? This can change if needed, however.

Celeste - I don't mind at all! I've just played around with the system a couple tiles, so I'm going to have to make sure everything's in order anyway, so no worries.

Aaaaaand, it looks like we've got a pretty good-sized party going! So here's some basic things you'd need to know about the setting to get a character up and running.

1) It's low-magic. Basically wizards are very few and far-between. In the barebones of the setting, they're essentally totally concentrated on an island off the coast.

2) In this particular game, race is superficial. However, due to setting constraints, the base races are Human, Elf, and Dwarf. I'll post a little background on each further down.

3) Here's where it gets a little hinky. I'm toying with some house rules because I believe it'll make things a bit more streamlined as far as character creation and the crunchy bits are concerned.

4) Really #3 continued, but still. There are four groups; warrior, rogue, arcane, and divine. Start your character using one of those as a starting point. The first archetype will denote your character's job/class. The other two are your picks. The rulebook gives quite a few ideas close to the end, and remember - be specific! It gives the world flavor.

5) The arcane and divine groups get three spells each to start. Arcanists have an attack spell (Eldritch bolt, for the purposes of the game) and two minor spells. I'm posting up a character sheet with a sample character in this very post! Hoping it'll help

6) Divines get a heal spell and two minor divine spells. For inspiration, I just picked through the 2e spell list, honestly.

7) As far as equipment goes, you get the classic adventurer's kit (rope, spikes, etc.), and a personal item. If you're an arcanist, a divine, or rogue, you get a grimoire, reliquary, and toolkit as well. Warriors get two personal items. Also, pick a weapon and armor/clothing that would give your character some extra flavor.
*Note: Using personal items really for RP purposes. For example, a bard could carry a lute or a wizard could have a pipe.

Sample Character Sheet

Player: Fletch

Name: Johann Sebastian
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Age: 32

Archetype 1: Lorekeeper (d12)
Archetype 2: Wandering Scholar (d8 )
Archetype 3: Alchemist (d10)
Initiative: (d6)

HP: 10
AP: 1
XP: 0


1. Traveler's Kit
2. Grimoire
3. Portable Lab
1. Gnarled birch staff
1. Heirloom robes




Get them worked up and PMed to me, and I'll work on getting the Q&A thread up...probably tomorrowish.

Posted on 2011-02-08 at 07:16:14.
Edited on 2011-02-08 at 13:42:34 by Eol Fefalas

The Last to Post
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Flavorful things

Yeeeah, I figured I'd just add a post instead of topping the other one off. For your reference, a few notes about the world and where you're headed first.

Humans are one of the younger races of the world, and have the singular ability to be able to accomplish almost anything they set their minds to. A very diverse lot, they're still recovering from the wars that have torn much of Helmsgaard apart over the last few centuries. Perhaps in the future they will once again find greatness.

Common names: Georg, Hans, Liesel, Martin

Boisterous, jovial, and rough are just a few of the adjectives describing the hearty folk of the moutains. They love mead and strongs liquors, believing them to grant their already fearsome warriors even greater power. They care little for magic and roguery, preferring to face their foes head on. One of the myriad things dwarves take pride in is their hair. Females wear it dreadlocked, and males braid their thick beards. Both tend to adorn them with trinkets forges from the very ores they mine from their mountain keeps.

Creatures devoted to tradition and performance, they generally shy away from the more occult magics that once caused such strife across the world ages ago. When they do pursue it however, they are among the most tenacious and dedicated practitioners of the art. A perople without a homeland, they are nomadic gypsies and are widely mistrusted by other races of Helmsgaard, even though they are the elders of creation, and as they would have it, Stewards of Syonia.

Common names: Yvonne, Jacques, Celeste, Henri

A word about Kobolds
A few hundred years ago, a spinter group of kobolds broke away from their breathren and made peaceful contact with the other races, laying down their swords and spears. Now differentiated from the Feral Kobolds, the High Kobolds (as they're called), they make their homes in scattered and remote towns and are usually clustered into neighborhoods of like kind. Understanding the suspicion they were met with at first due to the destructive nature of the Ferals, with persistence they manage now to live side by side with Humans, Dwarves, and Elves alike. Normally quite shy, they are also practical jokers. Some of the pranks leave rumors around town for years to come. Though in society, they remain worshippers of their own Draconic gods. They most often end up as craftspeople, using Draconian magic to forge weapons and armor that rivals the finest crafstmanship in Helmsgaard.

Common names are taken from commonplace items or peculiar sounds the kobold makes in their native tongue.

Examples: Vice, Scythe, Amulet, Fark


Example Jobs

Warden - Enforcer of the laws of the land, these errant warriors travel the land, battling those who would wrong others. Masters of martial weaponry, they are revered by the commoner and feared by the outlaw.

Bard - Travelling minstrels earning their pay though prose or song, Some turn to lives of adventure, acoompanying adventurers and recording, with at least a bit of truth, the heroic deeds of derring-do they are witness to. A few have a little outlawry in them, and are able to ply others through song as well as through their lockpicks...

Lorekeeper - Student of the arcane and wanderer in search of knowledge, the Lorekeeper is also the primary historian for Helmsgaard. Each year, they return to the city of Rhinehold to share information and set to recording what they find. While not wizards, they do dabble in the occult, but this only adds to their repetoire as adventurers and makes them welcome party members.

Friar - Travelling priests of the Light, these men and women wander the kingdom providing aid and charity to others in need. Even though they're sometimes looked upon as perhaps too pious, even fanatics for their religion, they are nonetheless quite skilled adventurers. Some are said to be as quick with a quarterstaff as with their healing prowess.


Oh, the places you'll go...

A small mining community nestled beneath the Highcrag mountain range, Kirkengard is mostly quiet, save for the boisterous miners, traders, and gypies that work and wander nearby. The local watering hole, Das Zwei Hunds, is known for its golden mead as much as for its peculiar owner, Ivanst. This is where you've all ended up. And it's where your story begins...


Cheers! And if anyone has questions, post them here or PM me until I get the Q&A set up.

***A Couple More Notes***

Keep in mind I was half asleep when typing this up, so if I made any glaring errors, or something doesn't make sense, let me know.

Also, if there's interest, I've been tinkering with the system and have some advanced rules worked up that would work swimmingly (fingers crossed) in a campaign. Right now, though, let's just have fun and get to know the system.

Night, all.

Posted on 2011-02-08 at 07:38:57.
Edited on 2011-02-08 at 07:49:23 by Fletch

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
RDI Staff
Karma: 462/28
8482 Posts

Very interesting...

... I can't commit to playing right now, unfortunately (I'm having a hard enough time keeping up with the games I've already got), but I do like the sounds of this whole thing and will certainly be lurking.

Best of luck, Fletch... and awesome job laying things out... +1!

Posted on 2011-02-08 at 13:41:59.

The Last to Post
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Pshaw, you're too kind

Thanks Eol, you're more than welcome to lurk about!

And we've tentatively got two characters in, the Q&A will be up later today or tomorrow, and we've still got room for a couple more intrepid souls!

Posted on 2011-02-08 at 20:11:57.

The Last to Post
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237 Posts

For those about to rock

Just a friendly reminder: For those of you seeking games, this one has another couple spots open, and the rules are free!

Going to get the Q&A thread up and running soonish, and go from there. If you need to know anything about the system, drop me a PM.

And, for those of you interested, I'm working on getting some things about the setting up and going as well. World maps, notes on jobs and races, miscellania, recipes...who knows.

Oh, and if anyone likes what they see and want to drop me a line with helpful hints or ideas, I'm totally open to that as well.

For now, night, Dragonites.

Posted on 2011-02-10 at 08:16:07.

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168 Posts


Well I have been reading stories on here the last couple days trying to see if I could play here and saw this post and wondered since it is sort of a freeform with 'rules-lite' as you put it. Might you consider giving me a go at a character? I have played D&D years ago but mostly I have been doing Freeform Live Chat RP the last few years.

Let me know and I will see what I can come up with and for now I will continue reading. Thanks!


Posted on 2011-02-10 at 11:52:46.

The Last to Post
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But of course!

Look over the setting notes, I've got an example character there, and that should help explain character creation if you get stuck. Any other questions, just drop me a PM.

Posted on 2011-02-11 at 00:28:57.

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168 Posts


Count me in. I have downloaded the A&A rules. You werent kidding about Rules Light

I will PM you my character tomorrow maybe. If I have questions I will PM you



Posted on 2011-02-11 at 01:00:47.

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I must withdraw. I guess I don't understand this enough. Good luck though it sounds like it will be fun.

Posted on 2011-02-11 at 16:29:30.

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