"The Dark War" Setting/Metaplot


  • Admin [DM]

    Hey guys. Our current setting on the server is the dark war, in which many of you know, there is a deep plot with the shadovar. King Azoun V has mobilized the war forces in the North (Stonelands) and is putting the pressure on the Thultanthar.

    My question is this... Our module does not currently support in game means to pursue the war, nor the shadovar. What are our current feelings for the remainder of V5? Are you guys enjoying this plot? Should we shift to something that is more eagerly pursued through means offered in the module? I want your guys thoughts; Constructive comments please, this is a no negativity environment!


  • Admin [DM]

    Thanks for the quick reply Joe; I appreciate the ideas. What I'm more looking for though, as opposed to end game scenarios, is ideas for a change of course for the next few months for V5, if the player base deems it appropriate. Again, I really want to hear what all of you think. Do not be afraid to share your opinions, please, even if you do not comment often.


  • Admin [DM]

    Sure JoeK, you are right there; But as a DM, I want to create scenarios where I don't always have to be online for you to pursue means for our metaplots. That means that no DM has to be overseeing, and yet you can still be including other players and making them feel like they're a part of the importance of what PCs are pursuing on the server- The sad truth is that with our Shadovar war, we have no means to pursue it.


  • Storyteller [DM]

    I'd put Shadovar NPCs in the Anuaroch map. Maybe scouts in the Stonelands/Tilverton.

    People obviously are interested in it since people have been doing things to try and influence it.

    It just needs less DM reliance to do things to influence it



  • Slight change. A plot is a plot is a plot, and I don't think anything is wrong with the dark war. Thing is, nobody will get involved with a plot unless 1 of 2 things happen.

    1. It's so mind blowingly awesome that I MUST join it ASAP!

    2. In the case of meta-plots, it actually effects the vast majority of our players and their concepts, forcing players and the meta-plot together.

    Don't get the wrong idea of force. That doesn't mean a player -must- pursue the meta-plot or else, it means the plot is so big that it effects everyone's lives.

    For example, a dragon arises and terrorizes the local area. Yeah it might take a DM emote ones or twice, but now everyone who goes to the swamp, eastway, or the mountains will be paranoid if not for a few weeks.

    Or, a giant undead army and a powerful necromancer emerges. He completes a curse that terrorizes the country side, so now undead creatures are spawning in all of the outside areas. In order to keep the city safe the wizards have set up barriers at the gates that are powered by skeleton knuckles. The adventurers are the only ones strong enough to venture out and collect those items and they bring them back to the wards. They drop them off and the wards keep track. If the PCs as a whole fail to upkeep the wards, the DMs could hold an event where undead break into the city.

    Whatever the case, the meta-plot needs to effect you even at home. Something happening hundreds of miles away isn't going to be on the top of anyone's list.


  • Admin [DM]

    Frankly, based on our current metaplot, I would support a good group shadovar app with levels and loot included.



  • @bowser said in "The Dark War" Setting/Metaplot:

    Frankly, based on our current metaplot, I would support a good group shadovar app with levels and loot included.

    Again though, unless they are siegeing the city with an army, it won't bother anyone except PD PCs.

    Half of the concepts we have, have to do with old town, and because of the way the server is, old town is basically barriered from outside forces. They're an inside problem that's surrounded by the city of arabel and cormyr.


  • Storyteller [DM]

    That said there's nothing to stop people playing Shadovar supporters/spies with no app needed.

    Pretty sure Puffy was trying to run some Shar based stuff around the war and Tilverton but didn't get much interest



  • I did not read everyone elses comments, but here are my own.
    I like the plot, but I have NO clue how to pursue it IG atm. I got a plot hook from Puffy which was neat, but overall the entry level into the plot is fairly high.
    My suggestion, based on how we did these things in the past, would be:
    • Take inspiration from the Stoneland Campaign run by Division by Zero. He made a lot of war quests there, and kept track on who did what.
    • Open up a few more areas in the desert, and throw in some Shadovar Spawn (Do try and remember that quantity is better than quality, so less CR 12 / 16 spawn, and more CR 5 or 6 spawn.)
    • Create a spawn template, and change the 1-5 stoneland quests spawns to shadovar soldiers + (the desert defense spawn). That way, you can fight them from level 1-10, using scripted quests. Throw in the spawn templates into other quests as well, so everything from the Gypsy Quest to Shaman Mask can have shadovar spawn. Shadovar spies in Cormyr, oh no!
    In short, what we lack atm, is the opportunity to pursue this metaplot outside shopping list PC plots, or PC request DM quests. IMO, throw shadovar into the CARES Spawn, so that people can go hunt shadovar soldiers instead of Owlbears.

    Beyond this, I would plan 5 quests or so, from now and the next 1,5 month, that spread across time zones, that will be announced in advance, for people to jump on board. But aside from that, I would spice the scripted setting with shadovar, and see how players take that ball and run with it.



  • @bowser Dont tempt me Frodo Baggins!



  • An alternative would be to recruit spies among the current adventuring population instead. Make the pay off significant, and I am certain some will do it.



  • What O'louth said is brilliant. Also, Scripted caravans to Poison Water Inn! We already have a system and scripts to do it, just need someone on the other side to rewire it.



  • Won't lie, it seems less like a plot and more like a 'background story that is happening off screen" right now. If it comes on screen, that's great; if it stays off screen that's also fine with me. I got from talking to Puffy it was always meant to just be 'background' with some in-game occurrences affecting Arabel, but not centered on the setting.



  • I have been active in pushing the plot, though I don't have the hours of playtime that I would like. Mostly pushing weapon development/supply/and some strike team stuff for interested PCs to participate in, based on their characters



  • @mr-moloch said in "The Dark War" Setting/Metaplot:

    Won't lie, it seems less like a plot and more like a 'background story that is happening off screen" right now. If it comes on screen, that's great; if it stays off screen that's also fine with me. I got from talking to Puffy it was always meant to just be 'background' with some in-game occurrences affecting Arabel, but not centered on the setting.

    This is exactly what this is. Wars outside of Arabel/Cormyr are just background with very little a PC can do to affect them. I never pay attention to them as none of my PCs would ever care, save for mercenary work etc.

    If a war involved a dragon army and her lizard minions invading, then yeah, I'm all for it 1000%. Shadovar who cares.



    • The war is at the peak and the forces of Cormyr and Shadavor are against each other in the main battle, This one has to be won
    • No supplies that can be spared or army to govern the area around Arabel
    • Taxes has been raised from Noble houses and coffers of Arabel
    • A Large portion of the area has been taken over by Shadovar "called chickens neck", this is of strategic importance both to gain control over Arabel and is also crucial for Shadovor to have an upper hand the main battle against Cormyr
    • Reliance on Good aligned Adventurers to keep Arabel safe, get the strategic location back into Cormyr's domain to win the main war
    • Nobles houses are strained for funding & Purple Dragons are only for namesake
    • Evil aligned will take this wonderful opportunity to weaken Arabel, Align with Shadovor so that they retain and even infiltrate Arabel and its power base
    • Powers in Old town can take this opportunity to spread chaos and profit from it
    • A conflict between evil and good pc's that will determine the fate of the main war

  • Admin [DM]

    It was never meant to be a metaplot, more a background setting thing as Khammy and Moloch said. Most of my actions been based of players pushing their ideas forward and me going along with it. But tbh it was never meant to be well.. mostly me but that's sadly what has happened 😛



  • @shonmann said in "The Dark War" Setting/Metaplot:

    • Evil aligned will take this wonderful opportunity to weaken Arabel, Align with Shadovor so that they retain and even infiltrate Arabel and its power base
    • Powers in Old town can take this opportunity to spread chaos and profit from it
    • A conflict between evil and good pc's that will determine the fate of the main war

    Evil aligned adventurers would need a fantastically good reason to align themselves with the shadovar (any amount of gold wouldn't cut it). Those less subtle characters with no bluff, would essentially be signing their own death warrants.



  • As it seems to have been meant as a background story more than a plot, the real question would be do we keep it as background and focus plots elsewhere (as the bulk of Cormyr's defenses are in the desert, the rest of the land is left weaken and it is up to the remaining forces, the noble houses and the adventurers to protect the land) or do we want to become a full on war plot (à la stoneland, which can get DM heavy. Though I am sure we can come up with plenty of DMless paths, like dmless dungeons where you can free some slaves, kill shadovars and gather artefacts and knowledge to kill those powerful creepy flying worms pokes at a phaerimm)

    I guess I am good with either, perhaps we can keep it mostly background with some "side quests" those interested can do to help the war effort. (supply runs, gathering allies, root out spies, take out the enemy's allies, etc) Rest of the plots happen in Cormyr and people have to defend the country while the troops are all busy north and what not. (gang wars, those pesky lizards and barbarians in the swamps, pirates! HAR!, etc.)

    If we go full on war, the dm team will need to build areas for the war and add in what is needed to the module.
    If we go partial (like we can help the war effort but from our side of the border), we should have mostly all we need already. Just add in some shadovars o the spawns as it was suggested, and hide some things in the module here and there to learn how to help the war from this side.



  • @theminionofarabel said in "The Dark War" Setting/Metaplot:

    As it seems to have been meant as a background story more than a plot, the real question would be do we keep it as background and focus plots elsewhere (as the bulk of Cormyr's defenses are in the desert, the rest of the land is left weaken and it is up to the remaining forces, the noble houses and the adventurers to protect the land) or do we want to become a full on war plot (à la stoneland, which can get DM heavy. Though I am sure we can come up with plenty of DMless paths, like dmless dungeons where you can free some slaves, kill shadovars and gather artefacts and knowledge to kill those powerful creepy flying worms pokes at a phaerimm)

    This. Just add either some store that will buy weapons/armors for dirt cheap - even if plot or marked as stolen - and add some cool exploration areas. Also, Bhaliir's caravan system.