Well met adventurer!
It’s been some times since I have seen the likes of you around these parts, why don’t ye sit down and have a cold pint of rich brown ale and take a load off those weary feet?
Where to Begin?
No campaign is successful without the heroes that walk the land and traverse the sea of Terrak. In fact legend tells that the last great band of adventurers to take up the call failed ultimately in their goal, resulting in the devastation of the homelands for many. With an eye towards adventure, and a glance or two over a tome of knowledge, even the most nervous can one day become the noble conqueror of Shipwreck Path and its isles of booty. However, one must start somewhere.
Here is a quick step by step guide, it is by no means the only way to character completion, and is not a replacement for the Player’s Handbook:
- Start by downloading and printing out (or use the form fillable pdf) a character sheet, Found here: DnD 5th Edition Character Sheet. A great way to use this resource is to open it with google chrome, and save it to your google drive, that way you will have access to it from your smartphone at any time! These files are in a .ZIP format, and are best used on a computer, for a mobile friendly version please inquire and I can help.
- I’d say it’s probably best to pick your race first, any of the basic races in the Players Handbook will do, or any in the The Tales of Terrak: Player Campaign Setting will get you started, just be sure to read the information thoroughly.
- When you have picked a race, it’s probably best to move onto your class, once again the previously indicated are your best bet resource wise to find what you are looking for. I recommend going with what sounds fun at first, don’t worry about making an epic character just quite yet.
- Now, after reading the Player Campaign Setting and the The Tales of Terrak: Isle of Refuge, it is a good idea to put to paper or in a text editor a basic background for your character. It does not need to be long, but that is always appreciated, it does not need to be overly complicated or dramatic. This is a perfect opportunity to flex your imagination, have fun with it. Make sure to hit up the DM (Dungeon Master aka yours truly) for ideas!
- Roll Stats for your character by rolling 4 of the 6 sided dice (4d6) and disregarding the lowest roll. Write down or record in some way your rolls, do this a total of six times. You now have the basis by which your characters combat and abilities will be determined.
- Spend some time looking over weapons and armor, have fun creating your characters look, the Player’s Handbook and my supplementary documents are just a starting point, let your imagination take it to the next level. Document what you are wearing / wielding on your character sheet and in your background.
- Fill out as much as you can in the Character sheet using the Players Handbook and other resources I have provided. It will take some effort, but you can do it!
- Take a moment to think in detail about how you want to perform / play as this character. Good questions to ask yourself are: What is your driving purpose? Are you in some way a part of your character? Where do you see your character at level 5, level 10? What gets you excited about your character? Why are you here? What do you want out of this game? What does your character sound like? What does she look like? What is her personality traits? Does she fall into any stereotypes? Do you have some aim at making or proving a point with your character? Answering questions like these can help drive the game in a much more focused manner, and helps the DM tailor to your specific wants.
- Rinse and Repeat several times, making multiple characters is fun! and can help in case your initial character dies to speed up the wait period between adventures.
Types of Dice:
d4 is a 4 sided die
d6 is a typical six sided die
d8 is an eight sided die
d10 is a ten sided die
d12 is a twelve sided die
d20 is a twenty sided die
Percentile die are 2 different 10 sided die
All are pictured below: You will need one full set, or a digital dice rolling app. If something asks you to roll 4d4, that means to roll 4 of the four sided dice.
Its Time for Battle!
A basic combat description:
Combat in DND tends to be the focus of many campaigns, which is great fun; however, it also severly limits the platforms ability to be a rewarding challenge. The tales of Terrak: Isle of Refuge is not a combat focused endeavor, though it can be tailored as such depending on the actions of the players.
Typically combat is portrayed on a table top with 1″ squares for reference to scale. A small or medium creature takes one square, a large creature takes 4. Allies of a player or npc may pass through a shared square if allowed, while an enemy will never allow you to pass through their square. There are 3 dimensions to battle as some creatures fly or swim or burrow.
Combat typically takes 4 basic forms:
Melee combat is any that takes place within reach (a medium creature such as a human has reach to an adjacent 5′ square) of a player, npc (non-player character) or monster. Melee is often utilized by fighters, barbarians, swashbucklers and Buccaneers as their main source of dealing damage.
Ranged combat is any that is targeted at a non adjacent square, which means a minimum of 5′ away. Magic, weapons, abilities and creatures have ranged attacks.
Mounted combat takes place on a rideable creature or creation. The speed of the mount is used in place of the players, and the mount has if trained some melee or rarely ranged abilities.
Squad combat is where players, npc’s or enemies work together in a combined effort to maximize damage output and minimizing each individuals risk of taking damage. This is difficult to perform but is possible.
The Isle of Refuge is exactly the environment to stretch your role playing muscle. The world is custom crafted to allow for intense customization based highly upon the players decisions, reactions and actions. The campaign will start with ample amount of deliberation and description in order to help the players adjust to the game.
Role playing is where the player interacts with other players and the DM as though they are the character. Acting techniques, voices and dramatics are appreciated but not necessary here. Meta-gaming is where players discuss what only their characters would know amongst one another outside of their character role playing. Meta gaming will be tolerated at the initial start of the campaign, then the players will be encouraged to roleplay the situations in order to add depth and flow to the campaign.
It is highly recommended that players take notes of their adventures in order to remember what happens between periods of play.
Traditionally in DnD campaigns players are rewarded XP in order to level their characters. This has proven to be a bad method of player reward, and will not be instituted in this play set. Instead the DM will reward levels when appropriate. Players can expect a myriad of rewards in the campaign.
What to expect:
Players should expect several hours of time to elapse in real time for the gaming session. There will be moments that are irritating or annoying which will be out of the control of the DM, please bring a helpful team building attitude to the event. Players that try to seperate from the group will not typically fare well on the Isle. Please bring water and snacks for yourself. The first meeting will most likely be a lot of technical and schemantic work as we build characters. Please help players that are new to the game. The campaign will start off and continue in an intense manner for your characters, it is recommended that when building your character great care is taken to adequately equip and prepare, or else you may find yourselves in a bad spot. There is no sugar coating the danger that your characters will face.
With that said, let’s move onto the initial meeting…
Meeting #1 June 23rd 2017
Please try to have a few characters created by this time, or at the least have an idea on what you would like to play.
Comment below what you have built, and I will look over it in order to help where I can. Feel free to ask any question or even post a background if you have one already.
How the Story Begins…
Your character should be on the Isle of Refuge, with a background establishing some idea of what they do, who they relate with and what they are trying to do before the campaign starts. All characters must be level 1.
If you are playing a class that has a nautical theme (sea-farer, buccaneer, Swashbuckler etc…) please add the following to your characters background reworded to fit your character:
One quite un-eventful day of class appropriate sea themed work, you happen across what from a distance appears to be a floating glass bottle. Upon closer examination, it is exactly that, only corked and containing an old, crumbling piece of paper that reads: “Though darkness claims sight, Hope persists Despite; Where ocean meets stone, There shines a light; I of old legend, stand alone.” What does this mean?
If you are playing a land-lubber, please add the following in your own words to the background of your character:
It has been one hell of a long hard day, and nothing sounds better than a cold dark ale to soothe the aches and pains of life for the common folk on the Isle. As you press your way through a small crowd to enter a local gastro-pub, you notice that someone seems to have exchanged an object on your belt for an unfamiliar vial. Upon opening it, you see there is a small piece of hastily written on parchment reading: “Though darkness claims sight, Hope persists Despite; Where ocean meets stone, There shines a light; I of old legend, stand alone.” What does this mean?
From here, you are tempted to decipher the meaning of the riddle, in order to do so, it will take time and some degree of intelligence.
If your character has an intelligence of 12 or higher please read the following excerpt, if not move onto the area with your characters corresponding intelligence score:
You are able after a short period of time to decipher the cryptic message you found / received. It is a lighthouse! Now the only difficulty is figuring out which one.
In addition, If your unquestionably brilliant character has a wisdom of 13 or higher, if it is not please progress to the next wisdom indicator that corresponds with your score:
Suddenly the realization blasts into your frame of thought! of course, it is too obvious, the riddle refers to the the oldest light house on the isle of refuge, located to the far north east of the island, where the constant dark fog has claimed the lives of many sailors. a cold shiver drives down your spine… what could this mean?
Otherwise if your wisdom is less than 13:
You spend weeks traversing the Isle of Refuge, taking in the sights and sounds of each lighthouse you come across, most are small, and kept operating by members of the same clan of bitter, weather worn Dwarves who seem utterly disinterested in your plight. Eventually one lets on that the cryptic riddle is obviously referring to the old lighthouse on the far north east of the island, and that even his idiotic brother would have known that… Dwarves!
If your character has an intelligence of 9 to 11:
What is obviously a riddle is not obvious in its meaning, you take some time in attempting to decipher its meaning, and after hours of pouring over the note you come to realize that it may refer to a lighthouse, or maybe a really lonely dude standing on a rock near the ocean holding a light. Determined to get a second opinion you decide to take your findings to a friend / relative / relation of yours who out of sympathy and compassion explains how it is clearly referring to the legend of the Grey Light house on the far North East of the Isle. Perhaps you should check it out?
If your character has an intelligence of less than 9:
The small piece of paper with hard to read writing has you feeling a bit irritated, why would some person standing on a rock near the ocean holding a light send you a letter bragging about it… without the decency to say hi or with whom it was from in the first place. You storm across your room, pacing frantically, your heated obsession with this quandary igniting your temper to a boiling point. Of course you could hold a light that’s brighter, even higher even longer perhaps… but where to find this person, how else would you beat them at their own game?
If your exceedingly “brilliant” character wishing to challenge said stranger has a wisdom of 12 or higher please continue, or else skip below to your corresponding wisdom score.
Despite your anger fueled tirade, eventually you calm down enough to seek the counsel of an elder. She chuckles politely over your endeavor and explains in a soothing voice that you are indeed being challenged, but its not by whom that the riddle refers to, but by what. In her recollection it seems like the challenge is offered by none other than some old light house. Being aged quite well, she offers a short tale on the legend of an old grey lighthouse engulfed in fog on the North East side of the Isle. Without delay you make haste…
If your “smarty pants” character has an Wisdom score less than 12:
You immediately grab your favorite torch and make way for the nearest rock strewn sea shore. Once there you find the tallest, largest rock and climb to the top, igniting the torch and displaying it proudly above you, arm outstretched to its fullest, a beaming grin of satisfaction over taking your face… This is easy! Hours go by, and your arm is quaking, stinging in pain, but your pride wont let you let up so easily. You notice a small crowd of people have gathered, curious to your current practice. Eventually you hear one of the louder idiots proclaim as to what a beautiful piece of performing art this is. You grow increasingly angry with this conclusion. You are no piece of art! Dropping the torch and storming down the rock you confront the patron, yelling at the top of your voice “I am no art pal!” shoving the small piece of parchment with the riddle into his face. “I am trying to beat this guy!” The art enthusiast takes the riddle and after a quick glance chuckles loudly. “You buffoon! This is no challenge… this is a riddle, and a poorly written one at that… seems to me to refer to the old fog enshrouded lighthouse on Shipwreck Point, the farthest North East part of the Isle.” The patron and other watchers within hearing distance burst out in laughter. Perhaps your only respite would be to go there and seek peace.
For one of the above reasons you find yourself at Shipwreck Point, staring down from the cliffs at the fog engulfed banks where a lonely, yellow light makes circles warning of the dangers of the rocky shore…
This is where your adventure begins!
Prepare yourselves for trials and tribulations. This will not be for the feight of heart, for even the relative safety of the isle of refuge is quickly becoming engulfed in darkness. Will you stand up to the encroaching evils, standing tall as a bastion of the light? Or will you bend and twist the darkness to your will? Your decisions, choices and actions have dire ramifications this time. The fate of all terraks free folk rests in your hands…
Meeting #2 Friday June 30th
Overview of Group Status:
It all started with a simple piece of paper…
Time has passed in the land of Terrak, and with it many lives has been spent in order to try and balance the powers at be. Strangely enough, defying the awesome power of destruction that has layed claim to much of Terrak, there seems to be some force at work in defiance.
Deep thought was the name of the game as a strange message, by one means or another, found its way to the members of a rather odd assortment of adventurers. Hailing from a myriad of back grounds, each with her or his own intricate story eventually found a means to decipher the mysterious message. A lighthouse, far to the northeast of the Isle beckoned them all.
While some found this information with ease, yet others found themselves traversing the wrong side of the Isle, often to be pointed the right direction by a grumble of irritated, semi related dwarf light house wardens.
The trek was long an difficult, even by sea there were unexpected challenges, with unfortunate fortunes playing into the hands of the oddest of rich, wealthy and slovenly tieflings ever encountered. Yet, despite the trials and tribulations each member found themselves, at different times and from different means at the bitter, seemingly uninhabitable lighthouse of lore. Where stone and ocean fight an endless battle for domination under the constant guise of slate grey fog, the tower rose with unadorned grave over the onslaught, a bleak orange light spinning desperately to warn of the scene below.
The tower would take them, each one of them, into its grasp, and endless eternity of grey. Waking up would prove the most odd aspect of their journey. Surrounded, only inches away, stood tall corpses of what would later be revealed as the failed groups of adventurers past. The bodies crumbling with each touch as the group, baffled, was at a loss with how to respond to the situation, only to have a strange voice break through the tension…
Waken my friends, your strength returns, as will your minds in time…
The old goblin rises to his feet, slowly achingly with careful movements. Then, with a sudden movement exceptionally fast for his aged condition he begins swirling, his fingers burning red, he weaves a scene around him as he voice breaks the silence.
This world is not as it has always been, nor does it have to be as it has become. For millennia I have stood tall over this age, as life took hold from the stone, from which it came.
An image appears from the dance of flame, emerging from his lit fingers, at first quite fuzzy and hard to make out the image grows larger.
Once this world was sterile of what is now life, great creations of stone, fire and metal walked slithered and poured from the core. Ever in flux, ever in agony and torment. Great wars fought over control of the precious stones that sprung them into existence.
In the flames a great scene of battle plays out, creatures of fire, metal and rock throw themselves upon one another. With a great wave of force, fire overwhelms stone, their hisses and pops of pain release in an almost human scream of agony. The fire triumphant, fails to notice the burgeoning crack underneath it, where without warning a great quake opens the earth and swallows the fire. Metal, desperate to help its ally fire drives itself, an oozing popping liquid into the pit to stones delight. Closing its great maw of stone. The image of a dead spinning blackened rock is all that is left.
For what seemed an eternity the metal and fire, caught within the confines of stone, plotted and planned. Metal, deceived by stone, and beholden to fire resided in shame, while fire, determined to have revenge began to dance, to spin and swirl around metal. The force of fires dance caught up the great stone grave, and it too began to spin, as the two forces played equally against one another. Leaving metal alone, to sulk in the core of the world. The forces of fire and stone would rip open the surface of the world however, spewing forth super heated stone and belching flames on the surface, where once stone lorded alone, great battles of ancient powers were once again trumpeted, there seemed no end to the constant foray.
The goblin swirls around quickly, the image of battle is quickly changed by his movements, as he manipulates his hands through the scene, it once again returns to a scarred, burnt spinning globe.
Though the two rivals fought valiantly, and wrestled for control for endless eternity, they could not sustain the conflict. Stone, exhausted and spent of what little energy it had crashed down, making a flat, pock-marked with cratered surface. While fire slithered below, to once again find itself reunited with its old friend metal, now no more than a slowly spinning globule of its once great self. Fire warmed and comforted its friend, never forgetting the bonds of friendship, together again, they waited, and plotted their return. Yet… quite the unexpected happened.
With yet another perfectly executed spin, a single tip of an outstretched finger began to glow a brilliant white, spinning slowly around the seemingly dead orb below.
A ball of the purest water had found its way to Terrak, attracted from quite some distance from the great calamity of war. As it gazed upon the burnt remains of the surface, tears began to fall, swirling down onto the rock, sizzling and evaporating into the nothingness. Stone was awakened by the cooling touch, reinvigorated by its cool touch, inspired by the beauty of water. With great defiance, calling forth its last bits of energy, stone reached towards the heavens, gathering great peaks of stone and earth. Water seeing this outstretched act of compassion cooled the rock, running down its sides and making great pools at the base of the formidable mountains. Stone and water would find unity, a passion of understanding and cooperation, of pure love and admiration.
The room glows dark, and eerie silence plays over the scene, the old goblin sits once more, audibly relieved to be done with the exercise. Head lowered, his great white cloak hiding his face, making him look of an old worn stone, he speaks with a slower, deeper voice.
There are those jealous of this match, of the beauty between stone and water. From the depths and bowels of Terrak, twisting and slithering sounds of a wicked plot millennia in the making took shape. Finding their own voices, of vile creatures, terrifying demons and horrish nightmares. Born of the jealousy, twisted by their malice creators, ever jealous of the peace and serenity of the upper world.
The goblin looks up, tears pouring from hos worn face, a look of desperate sorrow blazes from his eyes.
I’m sorry to bring you here, to do this to you, but it is the only way, one… last… chance…
The goblin weakly stand, tears etching slight paths down his weathered face. Hastily he speaks again.
Terrak is not what you remember it being now, Millennia have gone and I have waited fro you to truly awake, and now I can rest, yet no rest will come for you. If indeed you are the Heroes of Terrak, three challenges await.
As his voice trails off, the sounds of grinding stone roars over the room, as 3 passages bathed in warm orange light appear.
Survive all three, and the motions to put the past back where it belongs will be in place, fail and you too will be returned to dust, as all have before you.
The goblin raises a bony hand, dust falling from it.
The goblin slowly begins to drift apart, within seconds becoming no more than a pile of grey dust on the floor.
3 trials awaited the heroes of now, amongst the halls of their befallen kin they had to chose their fate, or in this case gallivant into a random orange lighted entryway. The other side showed
What Comes Next:
The old goblin, Glint as he revealed to you all now, seems to have finally a moment to spend with you all. After the completion of the first two trials, it appears that he has stabilized, for the moment. You may ask him anything you desire before proceeding into the final challenge. Take this opportunity to come up with questions or ideas to present to him, it may be of your interest to investigate this obscure character thoroughly. He will be more than willing it seems to answer whatever questions you put before him.
The third trial, is not as easy as the first two and will require teamwork.
Prepare yourselves for the final of three trial of heroes. For failure is not an option, those wishing to see or make a change in the world must take the final step into the light…
The Battle for Terrak, has only just begun.
Meeting #3 Friday July 7th
Something that neither is, nor, is not. Something always, yet not quite apparent to those in search of it. What one moment appears to be the hope, a dream, a chance… when only and where only promises of betterment are turned, twisted, disfigured into a means to better the evil lurking right out in the open…
With the 3rd trial completed, the truth became a twisted, amorphous entity in the form of an old goblin, one eager to prove himself to the dark lords at work all over Terrak, since its very creation. The ensuing fight was long, odd in that what should have seemed an aged goblin, barely able to carry the burden of his watch, burned the flames and molten metal ingots of the Lords of Fire and Steel. Betrayed!
These facts are a truth, and while you are all allowed your own opinion, you are not to your own facts. The facts stand:
- Terrak is not free of the danger of the legions of goblins, though now more apparent than ever are the masters pulling their strings.
- The Isle of Refuge is not that, indeed nowhere appears to be a sanctuary for the fire burn deep below in Terrak herself.
- The Group has proven itself, to no minor degree, as the prophetic heroes of Terrak, the mantle weighs burden over each in its own unique way.
Surviving the trials and encounter with Glint, the band of wary, beaten adventurers now faces the toughest challenge of all: Where to next? Rumors abound over the Isle, as their usually are, and perhaps some of them would proffer the riches sought by some. While others, perhaps seeking the wealth and comfort in fame may seek great adventure, at a perilous cost, or not… the dice decides the fate of these few.
Now, you must come to agree upon where to go, what to do next. The Lavish, sprawling underground labyrinths of the Thrii-Kreen are by far the closest civilization to the remains of the now devoured lighthouse, yet will they find the peace and comfort they need there? Or perhaps some other locale, more distant yet more comfortable cries out to be destined as their port of call. The decision is theirs, and theirs alone.
Some voices do carry far, and with them come stories, rumors, gossip and tales…
- Dragons? There haven’t been dragons in Terrak in Ages! Yet, supposed sightings are on the rise, especially to the North West.
- The Lost Treasure of Old Grey Scales has been uncovered in Baledun!
- There are rumors from the sea-faring folk of a war being fought beneath the waves, far to the north of the Isle.
- The Guardian of Terrak has returned.
- The Thrii-Kreen have been fortifying and isolating themselves in recent months… what do they know that others do not?
- The Rhakshasa have been actively migrating out of their territorial homelands en-masse.
- There have been fewer and fewer sightings of Wilden north of their peninsular home, yet the smoke from their enclave seems to have become thick and choking.
- Sightings of a flying ship careered by gnomes have been popping up all over the Isle.
- The Tieflings report that their have been under siege from a mysterious foe…
- The few adventurers brave enough to venture to Terrak Minor have returned telling tales of life returning to the great human capitol that once was… Ratchet Town.
- The dwarves have set into motion the means of sending an exploration expedition to Terrak Major in search of, amongst other great rumored treasures, their long lost homelands.
- A group of Traveling Misntrals / bards has been caravaning around the Isle, their songs tell of weary times and terrible fates.
- The Goblins have returned to Terrak Minor
- Pirate Activity has been unusually active nearer and nearer the Isle.
- A team of multi-faction adventurers set of to navigate some of the smaller, unknown islands near the Isle has not reported back in some time.
- A single stone, engraved in a mysterious nature, was discovered among the flotsam and jetsam of a long lost expedition to the west, across the uncharted ocean. Its holder boasts of proof of a great civilization on the other side…
- Orcs are banding together across Terrak Minor and laying claim to what spoils are left of the Great Goblin War.
- A cavern has been uncovered by Gnomish engineers that may lead to the depths of the Underdark.
- A boastful human has declared himself the finest archer in all the land, dares anyone to prove him otherwise.
- Goliaths are mining deep into the Mountains of central Terrak, rumor tells of an odd find of great significance that may tie Goliaths into one of the origin species of the planet itself.
- To the Southwest of the Isle, sailors tell tale of an isle, where great standing turtle-people clad in armor, wielding fine weapons and harnessing the sea herself have assaulted nearing craft.
These are but some of the adventures that await…
Yet… one must not forget… Terrak is not free of its Evil, and until now, no great heroes have stood to challenge that.
Perhaps now is the time for great change…
Only you can decide, and decide together you must!
For the Isle of Chelonia Expansion please click the following link:
The Tales of Terrak: Isle of Refuge Players Companion