Welcome to the Sandbox
The sandbox is a player driven, open world campaign for Crimson Exodus using the Fantasy Dice rules. A session can be organised by the GM (aka DM, story-guide, overlord) or an ad-hoc group of the players forming a party, and games will be run mostly online, but face-to-face offline sessions might be geographically possible at times or happen at conventions. Everyone is welcome to join and you can do so by requesting to join this campaign or introducing yourself on the campaign forum before or after you have created your character (or concept).
There is a lot of good advise and suggestions in this wiki about how we will make this player driven, open world sandbox work, but the most important thing is to have fun, be creative, contribute and be nice to each other. Read-on intrepid adventurer!
Player Driven Sessions
While the GM may suggest scenarious, plot hooks and adventures the main idea is for you the players to get together and plan a session. Just form up a party, tell the GM what you’re planning and agree on a time that suits all the participants and off you go.
Forming a Party
The forum is your voice and the calendar is your ally. The forum is the place to talk both in and out of character about what you want to do and where you want to go (as well as bragging about where you have been and what you have done). There will be rumours which can spark interest, you may spot something on the map you wish to explore or perhaps you have some other idea or ambition. Talk about it and share your ideas, hopes, fears and dreams with the other players and GM.
If you can drum up enough interest to get a party together you’re about to set out on an adventure. If there is not enough interest, another idea seems more interesting or nobody can make it then don’t worry. Someone may come along and join up with you later, or some of your ideas may filter into another adventure in which you participate. Meanwhile you might have other adventure ideas, or perhaps one of the adventures being planned in another discussion interests you.
Time and Adventure Plans
Once you have an interested party it is usually a good idea to create a separate forum thread and find a time and date suitable for everyone – especially the GM! Once a date is found the GM will add it to the calendar and if any participants cannot make it they need to post on the forum (or email the GM) as soon as possible so adjustments can be made or a new date can be scheduled. Please make the game a priority, but if you really can’t make it we will understand – just make sure you tell us.
It is also important to give the GM a good idea of where you plan to travel and what you hope to achieve so that he can plan the adventure accordingly. You may deviate from your plans as events unfold and take you on a different course, but the GM may have to ask to take a break or even re-schedule the game if your choices take you into uncharted territories. So don’t be afraid to change your plans to follow opportunities (the GM might have expected it may happen), but don’t be surprised if the GM requests more time to prepare.
You may be able and willing to join every single adventure or only want to join occasionally when you have time or the goal of the adventure interest you. Either is perfectly fine and you can always participate in the banter on the forum and read adventure logs even if you don’t get out much yourself.
Jolly cooperation is the name of the game, but there may of course be friendly rivalry between adventuring parties. However, players are encouraged to mingle and join different groups to get to know everyone and the golden rule is to always be nice and inclusive with other players (even if your character is an ass, you don’t need to be).
In the safety of Artus Keep on the outcropping known as the dragon’s arse or down in the village of Irum’s Crossing there will be plenty of NPCs to offer services, rumours, news and warnings, but play will generally be focused in the lands beyond and NPCs from the keep or village will typically not take part in the adventure. House Artus is too poor and weakened by war to spare any men-at-arms and no mercenary is likely to come along unless that mercenary is a player. You may of course call upon allies when appropriate, and there may be times when NPCs do accompany you on an adventure for some reason, but don’t plan adventures which rely on a lot of NPC involvement unless this has been discussed and agreed in the forums with the GM and all the involved players.
Players are free to create any number of characters, but players are normally only allowed to play one character per session and only that character will have the chance to earn experience, gain loot, wealth, fame, friends, enemies, battle scars and everything else that an adventure entails.
The campaign, forum discussions and calendar with scheduled adventures is all organised from this obsidian portal website. You are encouraged to visit the forum frequently and participate in discussions and start new ones.
Game sessions will be run using either the Fantasy Dice ruleset for the virtual tabletop software Fantasy Grounds II or a combination of the Fantasy Dice Game Organiser for dice rolling and in-character chat and Google Hangouts for all other communication.
The primary mode of communication is always text based (even in Google Hangouts), but if participants are able and willing there is an option to use voice or video chat in Google Hangouts.
Everyone who wants to play must create a character. If you own Fantasy Dice or Crimson Exodus simply follow the character creation rules and the character creation guide – note that the Crimson Exodus skills of Perception and Psychology are no longer used (the Sight attribute is used for perception, and if you want to be a good judge of character make it a talent).
If you do not know how to create a character the GM or another player can help you create one. This will typically involve some forth and back communication on the forum or by e-mail where you provide the ideas for the character and choose among the options provided to you, and reject or approve suggestions for your character’s stats.
All characters must be created online and made public so others can see it. When you join a party for an adventure you should change the “Game” at the top of the character sheet to match the name of the new game created for that adventure (this causes the character sheet to appear to everyone in that session).
If you wish to create your character offline before filling in the online character sheet you can download the character sheets.
An account of every adventure is written by one or more players and added to the Adventure Log. Make sure you read it to keep up on what is going on, and if you enjoy writing the log then make sure you volunteer. The log can be written in any style the writer likes and may be full of creative flair or a strict factual account of events, but in either case should not be too long and a summary of events rather than a blow-by-blow account.
The maps in the maps section will be updated at times to mark what the players have discovered and reflect changes as history unfolds. Although the game is player driven there may be world events such as wars, rebellions, plagues, famine, dragon sightings and the rise and fall of kingdoms which may make it on the map.
As a player you may also want to add things to the map from your journeys or speculations from rumours and such. To do so simply copy the map, make your changes and submit it to the GM for approval. If approved the shared map is updated, otherwise a reason will be given. Anyone artistically talented is very welcome to add to and improve upon the map.
Living Evolving World
The world will change as you explore it – or even if you don’t. You may visit an outpost reported by another adventure party to friendly only to find it under siege. If you encounter a challenge that is too hard it is advisable to flee or surrender, and although triggers give your character some safety from sudden death you do not have plot immunity – you have been warned. Tread cautiously. You can always come back in the future. Perhaps when you are stronger or with a bigger party if you can recruit enough players.
As you explore and take on challenges your actions will affect the world and may shape future events, but events may also happen independently of player actions. Even so you as the players are always the focus of the story – even if not always the movers and shakers of events.
The tavern and the great hall are the two main starting points and where you go for some in-character chatting, bragging and planning of future endeavours between sessions. These places are safe harbours from where journeys start and not where adventures unfold.
If you are a foreigner or of common birth the tavern in the village of Irum’s Crossing is where you will find fellow adventurers with tales of dangers and opportunities, and where villagers and regular patrons share rumours and news from near and far.
If you are of better birth then you will meet with your peers in the great hall of Artus Keep to discuss important matters, study maps and receive heralds and ambassadors.
It is entirely possible for nobility and commoners to set out on a journey together. Those of noble birth often have need of such men as mercenaries, soldiers and scouts, and with the right incentives even a thief may tempt an ambitious young lord to work together. The division is not meant to be a hinderance to getting a party together, but merely to inject a bit of opportunity for roleplaying and realism into the world.