So I am putting together the bits and pieces to make an RtD. It'll be far simpler to run than either Destiny or Fantasy, using a regular D6 with six players and with far less numbers in the background, which should hopefully make it a lot easier to run than most of my past projects. It'll be a fantasy game, but in a completely different universe than Fantasy - there'll be no Elemental Lords here, or at least they'll be nothing like Alaris and any of the others.
So, without further adieu, I give you...
You are a great hero hailing from the lands of the kingdom of Alarandis, a land where the grass grows as green as emeralds upon the rolling hills and where the high mountains and the low forests have no lack of wealth for the people to exploit. The sons and daughters of Alarandis, called Alarandisians, are said to be descended from a band of people who sailed across the seven seas and stumbled upon the land that would become their home, and have always been known as a hardworking and formidable people, with as much an aptitude for steel as they do for sorcery...and such things helped them in the great war, a war where the entire realm was stake. The neighbouring realms had grown jealous of their fertile lands and coveted their riches, sowing rumors that the great sorcerer-lord of Alarandis, King Arslan Randeere, had dabbled with perverted and forbidden magic and all other things foul...and soon, they called their banners, gathered their levies and marched to war to take by force what they could not get by any other means.
Chaos and carnage consumed the land as the kingdom was invaded by all sides but the ocean that had given rise to their realm, but the Alarandisians were determined to not go down without a fight. With powerful magics, vast armies and mighty fortresses they fought against their foes, and there you were. As generals, as knights and wizards, as its greatest champions you valiantly defended your beloved homeland, leading her armies again and again.
But it was not enough. The armies of Alarandis were crushed, her cities sacked and her fortresses conquered. Castles that had stood for a thousand years were reduced to rubble, just as bloodlines that had stretched from the realm's earliest days were put to an end by arrow and axe.
And somewhere along the lines, you died.
Your lifeless body was taken back to the capital, Aranda, and buried beneath the king's own fortress alongside all the other greatest heroes of the realm, one of the last few things the realm would manage before it fell completely. With enemies closing in on all sides and defeat certain, the king used the greatest of his magics to forge a mighty crystal, the Soulstone, stored deep within the castle's crypts, it was hoped by the king that it could resurrect all of the realm's fallen fighters for another battle, another chance to win the bloody conflict...and though Arslan fought ferociously, even he was finally felled by a sword through the heart at the foot of his own throne, scores of men dead at his feet, though his body mysteriously disappeared not long after.
But even as the invaders celebrated their conquest, taking the spoils of war from the now defenceless and broken Alarandisian peoples, Arslan's final plan was already underway, for the Soulstone...lived. Meticulously planned magics began to carry out their long work, but Arslan's dream of an army rising from the dead as the victor's bickered over the spoils never came to be...and the years ticked by as you lay in your tomb, maintained by the Soulstone's energy just as the king himself was.
Centuries passed as the lands of the fallen kingdom were traded and fought over, Alarandis becoming nothing more than a distant memory, a footnote in the pages of history...but at long last, the Soulstone's work was done. "And you live again, my risen champions. Though the dreamless sleep may have taken our memories and the years rusted away our weapons and arms, I know in my core, my eternal and undying soul, that you are still the champions that you once were. Our realm, our Alarandis, is gone, forgotten, and we are all that remains...and I hope all that is necessary, for we have a great duty; to see our lands restored to their former glory and to see our enemies vanquished. Should we succeed, however, it will live again, just as you and I do now...should we fail, we shall be forever consigned to history and forgotten.""But you have slumbered for a long time, my friends. Allow me but a moment to refresh your memories...and, perhaps, to lessen the shock of what has happened to you."
Character Design"Some of you had been knights and warriors in life, some of you rogues and assassins, others wizards and sorcerers. I have forgotten almost as much as you, but I know all of you were heroes. The flames of who we were still burn in our unbeating hearts, and the Soulstone has preserved it as best as it could just as it preserved you...this will take some time to explain, still, we have all the time in the world..."
Rather than the game having a variety of different races such as elves and dwarves and different classes, instead, you choose a single type of undead from the list below when creating your character. Each character comes with a pack of starting abilities and some basic equipment, and all of them have a unique play style, whether that be a specialty for frontline fighting or infiltration instead...and not only do they have unique strengths, but weaknesses that enemies will try and exploit, too, according to their own knowledge.
The Death Knight
is the most basic form of the undead, a knight or lord who has been bound to the Soulstone and brought back to life, and have no advanced mechanics to cover. However, that is not to say that they can do everything; a Death Knight is capable of mild sorcery and occasional sneaking, certainly, but their greatest moment is in a fight, as they wield the heaviest armor, carry the heaviest weapons and have a deadly proficiency with all weapons. Beneath the steel plate they wear as if it were a second skin they have the body of a mortal man, made stronger by magic and immune to all disease, and at a glance they would appear to be alive and well...even still, closer inspection would reveal that something is not "quite right" with them to any who still live, as their flesh is cold and pale, their hair grey and their eyes are often an unnatural shade of blue or violet, too. If that were not enough, most animals can sense who and what they are, and will have a quick reaction - dogs will bark, cats will flee, horses will whinny and struggle.
Their starting abilities are: Chivalry
: Though the vows of knighthood might have been sworn so long ago and perhaps even forgotten by the passages of time, you have maintained enough of your memories to know the tell tale signs of another highborn warrior, allowing you to read their body language and thus predict who they will target next and what they are planning to do. In addition these memories also shape your posture, stance and mannerisms, making it clear to all that you were of high birth - an eternally useful thing, as many merchants and heralds can be better "swayed" by the presence of a knight of noble birth than they can a mere mercenary. Dualist
: Untold years of hard earned experience in tournament melee's and on the battlefield allow you to see the openings that appear whenever an opponent launches an attack, allowing you to immediately counter - for every attack you take, you deal another in return, regardless of whether the hit struck you or not.Assault
: A truly skilled warrior knows that it is possible to carry from one attack to the next in a smooth flow from one target to the next, dispatching one opponent only to rush to the next to do so again, with the understanding that a frontal assault can be as good as, if not better, than defense. By sacrificing your defensive roll - any blows targetted at you will thus strike directly against armor - you may select three enemies to attack; should the first enemy die or be crippled, you will immediately proceed to the next target with an additional combat die and again for the final target.
Their starting equipment is:
A full array of old and rusty bracers, greaves, helm and breastplate, giving two armor protection die on all parts of the champion's body.
A choice between either a one handed weapon or a two handed one: A melee weapon of the Death Knight's choice - a mace, an axe or a sword. All one handers provide two offensive die, whilst the two handers provide four offensive die, but naturally forbid the possibility of anything in the offhand.
If the Death Knight chose a one hander, then they have the choice of taking either a shield or a parrying dagger - the former provides a straight two die for a block chance, whilst the second only has one die for a block chance but provides an additional offensive die in exchange, meaning that a one handed fighter would have three attack rolls rather than two.
Their weaknesses are simple, but not obvious at a first glance; having sworn their vows of knighthood inside a church so long ago, they have been made particularly vulnerable to holy attacks and to religious objects in general, even more so than regular undead. "A Death Knight...a knight reborn in their own death. You had been my sword and my hand, a part of a shield with which we tried to defend our homes. Though you may have fallen on it once before, champion, there is still no place better suited for you than the battlefield, and nothing you are better at than fighting. You were the bane of our enemies...and what was shall be again."
Phylacteries"The Soulstone...even in life I barely understood its power, its ways, but in death I know even less. What I do know is that we might never die, so long as the Soulstone may receive us. At close ranges, a few dozen miles perhaps, it needs no assistance in recovering our spirits whenever we fall, and we will rise again at its location within a few minutes...but past that distance it needs assistance, lest you pass onto the Heavens when you fall rather than back to it. For this, we have our phylacteries, which function as a sort of "path" for our essences to travel through. They are bound to the Soulstone and allow you to travel the world without issue...and should you fall, you will rise anew at their location instead of at the Soulstone. Your phylacteries are your lives, my champions. Guard them well.""With you now having a basic understanding of their role and function, I can begin explaining the more...complex side of them. But to begin, there are three basic types."Active Phylacteries
are the most basic kind; they are an object to which a champion's soul is bound, a relic unique to them. Placed in a location far away from harm, they will quickly resurrect the champion to whom they are bound and have capable defenses - though they will not be able to slay a group of men prepared for a fight, they will be able to resist a modest attack and defend themselves if need be, making it possible for them to stop any man who has merely stumble upon it. A common phylactery might be a particularly large crystal or a pearl, a book, or a vial containing the champion's blood, and is best placed somewhere off the beaten track but near enough to allow a quick return to action for the champion. "Ah, an all rounder. It has no particular strengths, but no particular weaknesses either, so you have little to worry about if you choose to leave it in one place for any long amount of time."Silent Phylacteries
differ from their active brethren in that they sacrifice their defensive capabilities for camouflage - they will instead change their appearance to match that of the objects around them, so as to better blend in, and are almost undetectable by magical means. As such, they can be difficult to locate for anyone attempting to slay the bound champion, but once they are found they are utterly defenseless and fragile, too, so they cannot take much damage, if any, still, they will alert the champion if someone is getting close to uncovering the phylactery, and are best placed in somewhere busy, like perhaps a market stall where it can best blend in, or a storeroom where it can go unnoticed. "A fine choice for any urban environment, still, this is best used by one who knows they have a safe place to hide it for a long time without it being disturbed. A rogue's phylactery, or an infiltrator's."Angered Phylacteries
are the most dangerous to use, both for the bound champion and any who think themselves capable of destroying them, and the reason for this is simple. An Angered Phylactery lacks any offensive attacks or camouflage capabilities, but instead provides direct
support to the one to whom it is bound, such as additional armor, sensory capabilities and attacks, so long as they are carrying the phylactery. In addition, they can take perhaps more damage than the champion who wields them, so only a direct and focused attack against them can break the heavy protections placed upon the phylactery...and if that were not enough, they provide rapid resurrection right where the wielder fell. An Angered Phylactery lives for frontline combat, as its wielder must do to get the biggest benefit from its powers, and they appear most often as a treasured amulet or other piece of jewelry. "Any who choose such a phylactery gamble whenever they fight, but the rewards are as great as the risk. Quick resurrection is theirs, as is a wide variety of ways for it to...assist the wearer. This is how my own is, so that I might best protect the Soulstone itself from harm.""Do not worry, champions, you will not be instantly struck down should your phylactery be lost - instead, you lose your ability to rise again. Merely return to the Soulstone with the shards of the first phylactery and it should be easy enough to restore it to a working condition...still, to die without a phylactery and away from the Soulstone is to die a final death. Stay vigilant, my champions, and you shall never have to fear a return to the dreamless sleep."