Well we kicked off our D&D campaign last week using the 4th edition rules. Not a full house but enough for a quorum.

The campaign was set in Eberron and I guess I’m old-school enough to want to start the characters off at 1st level despite my earlier thoughts of possibly starting a level higher. One thing I’ve noticed in my games some of the most ineresting characters have been made with initially minimal or no background.

Our characters consisted of:

  • A drow bard originally hailing from X’endrix but who was effectively raised at Morgrave University.
  • A gnome warlock from Morgrave University, bit older than the other characters who has stumbled into a pact with dark powers.
  • A genasi (genie-like race) swordmage (for the player who was not present).
  • A dwarf wizard who responded to a call for adventurers from Morgrave University.

A few oddities came right out. The first was everyone in the group was an arcane spellcaster. And the other was the fairly common association with a university – a university renowned for its mediocre at best ethics when it comes to grave-robbing…

I tend to view the first session or two as something like a television pilot, with big opportunity for changing things. The player of the wizard lives in Connecticut and we connect him via webcam and Yahoo voice chat. He wasn’t all that happy with his wizard and is going to try out a half-elf surfer-dude paladin. (One concept of paladins being they do not choose the path but instead are called, leading to some unlikely folks answering the call). In the interests of keeping a “controller”-type character (someone who can to damage, albeit not a lot at once but to a lot of individual foes) the swordmage will most likely be recast as a wizard.

The first adventure was an expedition to the Mournland. I’ve not talked too much about Eberron. The best way to think of it is a low-magic potency, high-magic frequency world. It is not a world of archmages but rather one of people who use minor to medium levels of magic to accomplish everyday tasks – mass transport, espionage, detective work, etc. The main continent on Eberron, Khorvaire, was once ruled by the Five Kingdoms of Galifar – five distinct kingdoms ruled together. About a hundred years before the start of the game a civil war broke out over the rights of succession to the throne of Galifar. A century-long war of shifting alliances, massive national upheavals, and lots of death took place. Every side lost. Every nation lost territory – either to rivals or to indigineous groups which declared their independence int he war. And the nation of Cyre was destroyed in a magical apocalypse of unknown origin known as the Day of Mourning. Cyre is now known as the Mournland and is surrounded by a greyish mist. The area within is a dangerous place where the laws of physics and magic are not as universal as they are outside the Mournland.

Our heroes were sent to investigate a crypt dedicated to the Blood of Vol within the Mournland. The journey to the crypt allowed our first combat against ambushing elves from a nearby land. It also led to a bit of inraparty conflict that briefly led to an exchange of blows between two characters. GMs love that sort of stuff – “you guys sure you’re doing this?” I wound up cutitng it short in an in-game manner – a foe who had fled witnessed their infighting and doubled back in the hope of regaining some of his honor.

Despite that, we had a good time. I checked with the players involved the next day and they were all cool with each other, making the comnflict between the characters. I’d rather not that either but we’ll see. Next adventure will have tons and tons of zombies. All my zombie research will at last payoff…