The Dragon's Village 2017

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Lazybones
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The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Lazybones » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:21 pm

Player Guide

Welcome to The Dragon’s Village (TDV). This module is situated in a custom Asian setting of my own creation. The setting contains an amalgam of Japanese and Chinese elements. I must preface these comments by noting that I am not an expert in these cultures by any means, although I did teach the history of both regions back in my days as a history instructor. However, I think you will find adventuring in this setting to be an interesting variation from the more “traditional” Neverwinter Nights settings.

This module relies upon hak packs to integrate the new content that makes this setting unique. You will need to download and extract the following hak files into your NWN/HAK directory to play:

The Community Expansion Pack (CEP), latest version (same one we’ve been using). In case you need to get it again it’s at https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... -23-cep-24.

Coulisfu’s Oriental Haks. These haks include:

Oriental Rural Tileset v.3
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... l-rural-v3

Oriental Interiors 1.1
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... riors-v-11

Oriental Doors 1.0
https://neverwintervault.org/project/nw ... ding-doors

The Setting

The Dragon’s Village is set in and around a tiny village in a remote region. While nominally under the sovereignty of one of the great noble lords that rule this land under the leadership of a feudal Emperor, in practice the humble people of this settlement live their lives in relative isolation. Twice a year the agent of the lord comes to the village, to collect taxes and dispense justice, and traveling merchants and peddlers sometimes visit, but most of the time the villagers’ world is their neighbors and the land from which they extract a sparse existence.

The village is adjoined by an ancient holy place, the Monastery of the Four Paths, where monks and shugenja holy men seek esoteric truths. A wizard, or wu jen, is known to live in a tower on the edge of the Forest of Na to the south. The villagers avoid this forest and the deeper Wood of Secrets to the northeast, for both are places of mystery and spiritual power, best left undisturbed. A tribe of lion-men are known to dwell in the latter forest, but they do not bother the villagers, so they are content to return the favor.

It is a humble place, but it is also a place with its own slice of history and significance. The village draws its name from its most famous product, a man who left his rural origins to fight in the armies of the great lords, rising through talent and determination until he drew the notice of the Emperor. The man, whose name has been forgotten to time, is now known only by the name he took in his service as the Emperor’s most skilled general: the Dragon. The man who had begun life as a peasant rose to the status of a great lord, his name entered in the Book of the Hundred Families. When he finally died, at the conclusion of a long and victorious campaign, his final testament asked only that he be entombed not in the great and hallowed halls of the honored dead in the Palace City of the Emperor, but in the humble surroundings of his homeland. This was centuries ago. To the villagers of today, the Tomb of the Dragon is just another local landmark that holds ancient secrets best left undisturbed.

It is a world of constant struggle to survive, but also a world of magic and wonders.

Character Creation Guide

This module uses some variant rules for character creation. Characters should be created according to the following guidelines; if you have other ideas or questions please feel free to contact the DM. Players that enter the server with characters in violation of these guidelines will be asked to create a new character.

Character Races

While there are many strange and unusual races of creatures present in this setting, demi-human races are much rarer here than in the Forgotten Realms. There are five races eligible for player selection during character creation:
  • Humans: the standard race of this setting.
  • Half-Elves: pureblooded elves are known as the “spirit folk” in this setting. They live in wild, isolated areas far from “civilized” human settlement, and are a mystery to most humans. Pureblooded elves are not permitted as a player character race, but players may play a mixed-breed human with some spirit folk ancestry. It is said by some that in past centuries there was greater contact between the two races, resulting in bloodlines that have some admixture of the two races. They appear to be humans at casual observation, but some have hints of their blended heritage, such as oddly colored eyes or slightly altered features.
  • Builders (dwarves): also known as “stone people”, the Builders are a rare but important race in this setting. They spend most of their time in their communities deep underground, although some will occasionally head up to the surface for a period of wandering, selling their exceptional skill with stone and metal. Some Builder communities have arrangements with the powerful noble families of the land, completing construction projects for them in exchange for gifts of other goods that they take back to their tunnels. Builders are typically taciturn and stoic; the stereotype of the raucous, ale-swilling, foul-mouthed dwarf does not apply in this setting. Also, unlike most standard dwarves, Builders quite frequently have little or no facial hair (though you may certain choose a facial model with a long beard if you wish). Most Builders found aboveground are fighters, monks, or shungenja. Players who wish to play a builder character should select a gray or dark brown skin color.
  • Fey-Touched (gnomes, halflings): the power of the fey infuses the natural world of this setting. While most of the fey treat little with the lives of common humans, there are many stories (especially in rural areas) of fey who develop a fascination with human beings. Occasionally the fey will kidnap a man or woman for a time, bringing them back to their community for as little as an hour or as long as a decade. No one is sure what happens during these abductions, as those taken return with no memory of them, but one result of these events are the half-human, half-fey offspring that occasionally appear. These “fey-touched” are uncommon in the countryside and almost unheard of in towns and cities, for the simpler folk that live in the rural regions are much more likely to perceive (and be perceived by) the fey. Most fey-touched have little contact with their fey heritage; the fey seem willing to forget about these children soon after their birth, and leave them to their human parents to raise. The way that these unusual people are treated varies on the community; most in rural communities are treated with at least cautious respect, lest the local fey become angry and retaliate with tricks and magic. The fey-touched are likely to experience more racism in towns and cities, where there are fewer dealings with the fey in general. There are two sorts of fey-touched.
  • Gnomes: Those individuals with the blood of the natural spirits of the land or the water in their veins are commonly referred to as the “earthfey”. These are represented by NWN gnomes.
  • Halflings: In contrast to the earthfey, the “anaima” often have the flighty personalities of the winds and the flame from which they are descended, and are represented by NWN halflings.
Non-player races that you may encounter in this game include the fey (noted above, and inclusive of many specific races of creatures), wemics (sometimes called “lion-men”), and various monstrous humanoid races (collectively referred to by most humans as “beastmen”). There are also many varieties of natural spirits that take various forms, some benign, some malignant and very dangerous.

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Lazybones
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Lazybones » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:27 pm

Character Classes

All of the base classes, with the exception of the paladin (which is an NPC class in this setting), are available as starting character choices. While characters will not be likely to reach high enough level to select a prestige class in this module, the later modules in the series will allow players to reach 12th level or higher. The following prestige classes are not available for selection by players without express permission from the DM: assassin, blackguard, pale master.

The following classes have slight variations from the standard rules:
  • Cleric: known as shugenja in this setting. Priests in this setting are animists, worshipping elemental spirits present in the world around them. There are four primary disciplines open to cleric characters upon creation:
    Order of the Four Winds (air)
    Order of the Raging Flame (fire)
    Order of the Eternal Earth (earth)
    Order of the Thousand Rivers (water)
    All clerics must choose their first domain based upon the element that they worship (air, fire, earth, or water). Each of the four orders has a related area of influence which may be chosen as a second domain; however, this second choice is not mandatory. These allied domains are: air—trickery; fire—destruction; earth—protection; water—healing. Thus a shugenja character of the Order of the Four Winds must choose “air” as his/her first domain, and may choose trickery as the second, or another domain of the player’s choosing.
  • Druid: known as shaman in this setting. Alternatively, a player may elect to play a war shaman, which is a cleric character with the animal and plant domains. Both characters worship collectively the living spirits of the natural world.
  • Wizard: known as wu jen in this setting. Most wizards in this setting are specialist mages (although this is not required), and many also take on an elemental focus (i.e. specializing in one of the four elements in their spell selections and personal theme). The foci often reflect the personality and demeanor of the wu jen (i.e. fire being aggressive and predictable, earth being solid and dependable, and so on). Many wu jen do not develop this specialty until well into their careers, and spend their younger years seeking out the focus that suits them, so a player character wizard (starting as an apprentice here) can role-play the search for an appropriate personal focus in the course of play.
Character Backgrounds

Players are encouraged to develop character backgrounds that place them within the rural setting of the module. Here are some suggestions that you can use when developing your character’s background story. I have tried to give various options when appropriate so that you can tailor your character to your particular interest, and of course you may add details as you see fit to flesh out the basic story. Feel free to include details in your background; if possible, some of them may be integrated into the setting before the start of play. If you have other ideas for a good background, please feel free to contact the DM so that he has the opportunity to develop your story within the module.

If you choose a background that has your character growing up as a resident of the village, you may receive additional information from the DM about the various personalities living there. Also, players selecting certain classes will receive a supplement to this handout from the DM with additional information known to him/her at the start of play.

Due to the mood of this adventure, and the nature of the setting, having a “noble” background isn’t really desired. You don’t have to be the scion of manure handlers, but something modest that allows the characters to identify with the people they will encounter in this setting may be more appropriate.
  • Cleric/Monk: there is a centuries-old monastery near the Dragon’s Village, known as the Monastery of the Four Paths. This character may have trained at the monastery, pursuing inner truths and undergoing training before being sent out into the world to do good/find your purpose/improve your skills.
  • Barbarian/Ranger/Druid: your earliest memories are of hunts in the forest, stalking prey as you darted among the mighty trees that were your friends. You were raised by the wemic tribe in the Wood of Secrets. All your life you were aware of being different, but it was not until you neared adulthood that you learned of your origins: you are an orphan, abandoned in the wood and rescued by the lion-men to be trained in the free and wild way of living within the great forest. Upon reaching adulthood, you were summoned by the elder of the tribe, who encouraged you to go out into the wider world, to find your way... and come to understand the secret of who and what you are.
  • Fighter: there are numerous possibilities for the background of the fighter character. You may be the son of an old widower who lived in a tiny shack on the outskirts of the village for decades, spending his elder years quietly working the land after a youth spent fighting in the many wars between the lords of the realm. In this case, you received instruction in the martial skills from your father before his recent death. Alternatively, you may have come to the village as a mercenary caravan guard; or perhaps you served in the army of the local lord, but was dismissed for some infraction and now must seek a new path on your own. Remember that in this setting fighting skill is generally not common among the lower classes, so this may set you apart from the majority of normal people. You are far from the martial elite who serve as close retainers of powerful lords; such glories are only open to members of the noble classes, and not to those of more humble birth such as yourself.
  • Rogue: can implement part of the fighter origin above, or can be a naer-do-well from the capital, who has fled to the countryside to avoid punishment for a crime. Alternatively the rogue can be a resident of the village, who has always been a rascal sort, drawing the disfavor of the village elders and common farmers whose outlook on life tends to be rather conservative. There is a small camp in the bamboo grove near the village, where an individual without standing, wealth, or family may choose to dwell.
  • Wizard/Sorcerer: you were an apprentice to the local wu jen Wang Yen, who for decades has dwelt within a solitary tower situated on the fringes of the Forest of Na. He was a fair master, though demanding and mysterious, and often he would command you to go forth on an errand, retreating to a room on the top floor which you were never allowed to enter. On the fifth anniversary of your entering service with him he summoned you without warning and told you to go out into the world, to hone your skills in the never-ending trial that is life.
  • Bard: bard characters have a fair amount of flexibility in their origins. The bard can have his/her origins in one of the famous bardic colleges in the distant capital, having left for one reason or another (see the Fighter and Rogue backgrounds above), or you can be a simple wanderer, picking up skills to pay your way in the various towns and villages you pass though.
  • Builder (dwarf, any class): dwarves are unusual in this setting, and thus require some special attention beyond the suggestions provided above. A builder monk or shegenja may be a student from the monastery, but a builder fighter isn’t likely to be a native of the village. Those builders that do leave their underground homes are often participating in a custom of spending some years in their youth traveling the world, putting their skills to use where they are needed, and earning items in trade that can be brought back to their tunnels. Thus a builder encountered in the Dragon’s Village may be such a traveler, and his/her appearance may be a notable event in and of itself.
  • Fey-Touched (gnome/halfling, any class): unlike dwarves, the fey-touched may indeed be natives of the village, but their background requires some specific tweaking as well. The fey-touched are likewise rare, if not unheard of; you should develop some details about your ancestry using the comments under “Character Races” provided above.
Starting Wealth and Opportunities

The area in and around the Dragon’s Village is rural and poor, and characters begin their careers in fairly modest circumstances. Upon entering the server, characters begin with very basic gear (the exact allotment is determined by their class) and a few coins.

Note that martial weapons are expensive and difficult to come by in this area, and exotics even more so. Many weapons are made of bronze or cheap iron; steel weapons are usually only possessed by members of the nobility and can cost many hundreds of gold pieces. Heavy armors are likewise uncommon. Keep this in mind when making your initial feat selections.

There are various merchants available in the setting, both in the village and in the nearby areas.

Naming Conventions

The module primarily uses Chinese names in the Pinyin style of romanization (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin). Note that you do not have to select a “real” Asian name for your character (you can make anything up), but you should consider these conventions when selecting a character name:
  • Chinese names typically have the family name or surname first, with a given name/personal name second (essentially the reverse of the western style). There’s an interesting resource on Chinese surnames at http://www.yutopian.com/names/. Another interesting reference, specifically aimed at gamers, is located at http://www.jiawen.net/Chinesenames.html.
  • Asian names often have meaning, and a Google search can easily turn up lists that contain translations of common Asian names. If you want to take a name that has a particular meaning, you can either use the Asian name or its English translation in naming your character (for example, if your character’s name is Lei Ying, you can either use that or “Thunder Eagle” in play). If your name does have a significant meaning, be sure to let the other players know what it is.
  • Often heroes in Chinese stories are referenced by a nickname that reflects some personal trait. One of the heroes in Barry Hughart’s novel Bridge of Birds, for example, is called “Number Ten Ox” by his fellow villagers, due to his strength (and the fact the he comes from a large family).
  • You should avoid names that may be correct in Chinese but are funny in English (like “Wong Wei”).
  • Japanese, Vietnamese, or other Asian-style names are perfectly fine, since this setting contains an amalgam of Asian elements.

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Lazybones
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Lazybones » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:32 pm

The Dragon's Village campaign should begin in October or November 2017. Feel free to use this thread for discussion, planning ideas, or sharing portrait files. When we begin the new campaign we'll use this thread for weekly in-character posting.

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Vanya Mia
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Vanya Mia » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:34 pm

I am tempted to play my part bear, part Disney princess, complete bimbo druid, who should (annoy everyone) fit in with the outline, unless anyone stops me.

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Karvon
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Karvon » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:57 am

I have a few options I'm kicking around and will settle on one to flesh out the team once the others have decided on what to play.

1) Hobbit cleric/rogue - combat medic-scout
2) Human fighter/rogue - ronin sorta guy or gal.
3) Dwarven fighter/rogue - warrior mechanic/merchant
4) Wemic (halforc?) barbarian/rogue - nonhuman Conan (LB would have to sign off on this option obviously:) )
5) Human monk/rogue - monk spy/agent
Last edited by Karvon on Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

Shadani
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Shadani » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:14 am

My first thought was something along the lines of a trickster-y druid, but I may shift that into a ranger/rogueish type. Alternatively, I'm also liking the idea of a somewhat naive, sheltered monk (or possibly cleric).

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Gulfwulf
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Gulfwulf » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:57 pm

I'm thinking (all human except for the dwarf):
  1. Dwarven monk <-this is the one I'm currently leaning towards
  2. Ranger
  3. Sorcerer
  4. Fighter (like Karv's ronin idea.)
Since Shad and Karv mentioned two characters I've been thinking about (the fighter and ranger), I'll either go with the monk or the sorcerer depending on what Mirg and Top pick.

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Karvon
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Karvon » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:41 am

...yeah I like rogues :)

I'm not wedded to any one option in particular, so don't be afraid to play something you want; I'll simply switch to one of the other options. I added a monk to my list above.

Topato
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Topato » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:14 am

I'd quite like to play a monk/cleric, if it's not reserved! Will the kama be hard to find? since its usually a farming implement.

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Karvon
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Re: The Dragon's Village 2017

Post by Karvon » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:22 am

Here's a list of what folks are leaning towards so far; I'll edit this as it narrows down.

VM - Druid
Kar - Fighter, Barbarian or Monk combo'ed with Rogue.
Shad - Druid, Ranger/Rogue, Monk or Cleric
GW - Sorcerer
Top - Monk/Cleric
Mirg - ???
SA - Fighter
Last edited by Karvon on Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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