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Nov

Obsidian Portal Campaign of the Month September 2017 – Profane Legacy

Welcome child, do come in. You are wise beyond your years you know; seeking out this holy place. For it is faith that keeps the wickedness of the world at bay. Without our faith, Ahlim would surely fall to barbarism and madness. That is why we must be ever-vigilant, furthering divine enlightenment, and staving off the evil that awaits us should we falter… our Profane Legacy – September’s Campaign of the Month! Now, take these holy texts and study them well. TheOriginator should arrive momentarily. Then the real training begins.

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To get things started, please tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do aside from gaming? Alter Egos? Where can we stalk you on the internet? Let us know if you feel so inclined!

I’m 22 years old and live in Canberra, Australia. I recently graduated from the Australian National University with my Bachelor’s degree. I also play Magic The Gathering in my spare time when I’m not running/planning D&D. I run several tumblr blogs, including canyouclarify, darksunvibes, and amultiversestory if you want to check them out.

So what was your introduction to Tabletop RPGs? When did you know that you were in this hobby for the long haul? Any particular favorites in terms of systems or settings?

I was introduced to Tabletop RPGs by Dark Heresy, a Warhammer 40k rpg, but only managed to play a session or two. After that I had what I would consider to be my ‘real’ introduction: The Lost Mines of Phandelver. I knew pretty early on in this D&D adventure that I was in for the long haul, the game was just so interesting and I loved my character (A Tiefling worshipper of Cthulhu). 5E is the only system of D&D I’m familiar with from actual play but my favourite officially published setting is Dark Sun. Dark Sun is just so unique and special, it is the setting against which I measure all others.

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Can you give us a quick rundown of the Profane Legacy campaign? How about the setting?

The campaign setting and the associated campaign first began to come about during a creative writing project in high-school. A hearty dose of Magic The Gathering, Video Games, and D&D lore turned it into what it is today. The campaign itself is very epic, very high-magic, and according to myself and my players, very complex. All the party members are angels and have saved the world on multiple occasions, most recently from Father Llymic, an Elder Evil. The game is very ‘heroic’ and the group have been making big changes in the world from a relatively low level. The party are all angels, and their coming together was prophecised before their births, so they’ve had a lot to live up to. They’ve had a number of recurring enemies since the campaign begun but the biggest would be Lady Midnight. Lady Midnight has now become the Dragon-God Tiamat, so she’s a bigger problem than ever!

 

The name Profane Legacy is based on the idea that no matter what part of the world, or what time in its history you play in, there’s a history of evil associated with it. Even at the dawn of the world evil had a subtle influence and the modern time is based on the bad things that have happened, and how good people resisted those things. The concept of Good in my world is heavily associated with religion, so Bad things must be ‘Profane’, hence the title. I myself am not religious but wanted to present a world where religion was a unifying, omnipresent force, but one that was ultimately beneficent. The meta-plot of the campaign setting was something I spent a lot of time on, inspired by the Dark Sun setting as I was. The Profane Legacy Setting is something I’d want to use again for other campaigns, probably in drastically different time periods, with different themes and villains.

According to your adventure log, you’re nearing session 100 in the campaign (Congratulations on that by the way, that’s awesome!). Any big plans for that first triple-digit session?

Our first triple digit session also happens to land just before Halloween so we’re having a 100th session/Halloween spooky sort of night! This will be the second Halloween-themed session we’ve had, but this time the party are heading to Demogorgon’s layer of The Abyss, which should be awesome.

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With a campaign that lengthy, have there been any trials or tribulations along the way? Periods of hiatus or burnout? How about the players? Is the troupe today the same as when the campaign started?

There have definitely been periods where the energy on both sides of the DM-screen (I don’t actually use a screen, but you understand my meaning) have flagged. However, I’m lucky to have invested, enthusiastic players who always find a reason to come back, or find a reason for me to come back. We’ve never had a hiatus of more than a few weeks because D&D is just too much fun and I love running it. I’m running for a large group, so balancing combat encounters can be difficult. Players may also figure out secrets long before they’re meant to (#dragons-in-the-feywild), but don’t fear, you can always come up with more secrets. Finding advice from other DMs online has been helpful, such as from Satine Phoenix, Matthew Colville, and the Power Score RPG blog. The player roster is unchanged but the adventuring party did gain a new member a while ago from A Deck of Many Things, which was a pleasant surprise. This character has become a valued member of the team and has risen quickly in experience.

How far through the campaign would you estimate the group is at this point? Are there any spoiler-free hints you can give us of what’s to come?

Oh, they’re very close to the end now, less than a dozen sessions to go, I’d say. I initially thought the campaign would have ended by now but there’s just too much stuff to do!

 

In terms of spoilers, these all have a kernel of truth to them: A village of festive Halflings, an evil Kobold out for vengeance, A sparkly piece of armour that could save the world, and a very annoyed scorpion. I’ll let my players and the readers try to figure out what these mean.

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Turning now to inspiration, you provide a link to your Tumblr blog containing art pieces. Are there other materials that you use to keep the creative juices flowing? Anything you might recommend to people gearing up for a campaign of this sort?

Initially most of my inspiration came from art pieces and video games, which helped me conceive of locations and characters. Game series like The Elder Scrolls and Dragon Age were big inspirations early on. The art work of Peter Mohrbacher and Chris Rahn were particlarly influential in inspiring both the Gods and mortals of my campaign world. Lately though I’ve turned increasingly to real-life historical cultures as well as mythology. An interest in history and historical demographics does wonders for fleshing out a world. So, works of fiction, art, mythology, and history are my best suggestions for people looking to fuel their creativity. Also, my partner ArcaneHipster is an amazing inspiration and has helped throughout the campaign. Not everyone can have someone as great as her to help them, but the above tips should be helpful to all.

So what brought you to Obsidian Portal and how long have you been here? Is there a feature that you especially love or hate? Anything you’d like to see in the future?

I was initially introduced to it because a previous DM wanted to use it for a campaign they were running. For various reasons that didn’t happen but I was still intrigued by the site and periodically checked back. I’ve been using Obsidian Portal since September of 2016, so I’ve been here more than a year now!. I love the Campaign of the Month/Campaign of the Year system. It’s a great way to introduce visitors to the site (and long-time users) to the best that hard-working DMs and players have to offer.

 

A feature to search through campaigns for common threads across systems would be helpful. Say, a method of finding each Dark Sun-related campaign across multiple systems (2E, Pathfinder, 5E etc.). You’ve probably noticed I reference Dark Sun a lot, it’s just really good.

What would you say the biggest single highlight of the game has been for you so far?

There have been so many great moments I can only narrow it down to two: Sahri’s Nipple-Blades and Rey’s Dinosaur Fastball Special. The former was during our first Halloween session, when Sahri decided to use an unusual method for freeing herself from some Vine Blights. The latter was during a fight against a druid polymorphed into a dragon. Rey had a fire giant ally throw her at the dragon and she turned into a T-rex on the way.

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ArcaneHipster (Rey): Finding, having, loving, and caring for Gerald the griffin.

Richard230196 (The Spectre): My Mystic was fencing the group’s nemesis at the time high in the rafters, before she decided to run. After chasing her down, winning contested strength checks (with 8 strength) to block her for several turns to allow the party to catch up.

mouseEY (Sahri): So Sahri’s highlight of the campaign would be fighting the Thorn King, and the bro fist that made me take like 60 bludgeoning damage. And within that, then becoming the Angel of Fire.

LuciferousVegetables (Rakshasa): Ulfgar the Lovehammer.

aiden_schutterbug (Ghesh): My highlight was when the party went north to help the dwarves in the mass combat against vannakun and jubilex. More importantly for ghesh getting the stormblade back.

toxirose (Tsuki): My highlight of the game was when Tsuki finally got to meet the outsider.

And finally to wrap things up, give us the greatest lesson you have learned in your time spent as a GM.

I think the best lesson I’ve learned is to love doing it. Love crafting adventures, characters, worlds, and occasionally letting players destroy those things. If you love GMing your players will love the games you run.

Unfortunately, our time together has come to an end. I do hope you feel at least somewhat cleansed of your evils. If not, there’s always next month, when we bring you another featured campaign, and another chance at redemption. For now, I must bid you farewell. Remember to keep those nominations coming, and keep our User-led initiatives going strong. All the best.

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