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Ravenloft - Side Chat

Black_Out

Purveyor of Dark Delights
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393
#1
I was the warrior, I was good and just




Greetings to the out of character portion of the Ravenloft group play. Feel free to settle, introduce yourselves, and offer up any suggestions or questions that need answering as the group starts to take shape.
 

xanaphia

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#2
Hello! I am still trying to figure out my character, but I haven't gone much beyond a duelist/bard character. Thinking she'd be friendly, smooth-talker, whose silver tongue gets her into --and occasionally out of-- trouble.
 

Black_Out

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#3
A bard could be a very interesting concept to have in play considering that gypsy's are a fairly common theme to the setting of Barovia. Of course twin sisters are still an option that is certainly on the table, but I'll leave that to you and Touch to figure out. As for the story itself, I'm debating over how much backstory needs to be established. Should we play out things from around the moment that the sealed letter arrives, or simply handle that as some form of general introductory starting post and have the group already on the road to Barovia?
 
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#4
Hi! Found my way over here. Character is still up in the air a bit for me. But I'm working on it.

As for the starting point, it depends on how quickly you want to get to Barovia. Either option works. Pace wise it might be better to start from them being on the road. And have the sealed letter arrival and the coming together of the group be part of either the starting post or perhaps even flashbacks?
 

Black_Out

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#5
I think the being on the road option is probably best, better then spending to much time in a setting that won't hold much bearing in the scope of the story. I could certainly do a gloss over of the letters arrival and delivery and leave the details of that to be something explored by the players via flashbacks which would help establish the characters and why they are all together on this journey.
 

xanaphia

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#6
I agree that having the group together at the get go is a good starting point So either right before we get on the road or already en route.
 

Black_Out

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#7
I sort of think en route is a solid idea. Perhaps something along the lines of just getting ready to settle in for the night and establishing a camp after crossing paths with a sign that marks their destination being reached sometime on the morrow.
 

xavierrol

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#8
Hello All,

@Black_Out was kind enough to offer an invitation and I am eager to enter the discussion and planning. It was suggested I bring a knight type into the story which is easy enough for me to do. Other options might be a monk to add a more mystical element or conversely something of an artificer/weapon master type that uses more of his craft to create weapons or traps and such. I don't mind playing younger but I have something of a preference for playing older, mid-40s or so but not if it is a turn off for any of you. I am set on male so hopefully that will work for all of you as well.

As to starting out, I am again flexible but since I haven't written much with any of you, I wouldn't mind meeting you all on the road either and we get to know each other as the story progresses.
 

xanaphia

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#9
Age gaps don't bother me, and considering there is a major age gap between Strahd and Tatyana, it fits the narrative.
 

xavierrol

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#12
Ah, I am fairly ignorant of the source material and think I will probably keep it that way so as not to spoil any surprises. I love your bard concept and look forward to seeing it develop.

I will be tech limited this weekend so I won't be able to write much but will be back at it later Sunday. I can bounce ideas about with my phone but nothing too involved.
 

Black_Out

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#13
Welcome aboard @xavierrol For starters I'll do my best to establish the general theme and concept for this story. Roles as your aware are still sort of being ironed out although we are set with a F, F, M dynamic. Ideally at least one of the lucky ladies will take on the roll of an orphaned child who grew up far away from Barovia. That character (or both of the women) will be the recipient of a letter stating their claim to inherit a manor along with a tract of land as well as the family fortunes. All they need to do is travel to Barovia and meet with the clerk of records there to lay claim to it all. Only problem being not to many people know much about Barovia. It's an out of the way village buried in some unforgiving mountainous terrain that seems to produce no exports nor draw much in the way of trade to its gates. Most of the theories that revolve around why it is so isolated and seemingly self sufficient are attributed to the sheer volume of hostile wolves and other such beasts that border the land.

So the idea is that this young lady, or identical twins if that's the route we go, are in need of some added protection for the journey. Ideally that's where your character would come in. Be he a sell sword, a mercenary, a personal friend, or whatever you all come to decide is probably fine by me. I'm also fine with the two women being competent in their own right if they choose to have their characters be in that mold. The only things I'm not looking for are skills or abilities that are predominately magical in nature. I would prefer to keep this as close to a low to zilch sort of magic feeling as possible and let the gothic feel of it have the main stage.
 

xanaphia

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#14
I put up a character sheet. She's not terribly fleshed out, because I tend to develop characters as I write them. I was thinking just Touch's character receives the letter, and we don't even know abotu each other until we meet, but we and still hashing out those details.
 

Black_Out

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393
#15
I read over it, that sounds fine and frankly far less stress for Strahd to deal with. Plus I think it's fairly natural to develop a character as you write them. Feel free to discuss things here though if you both are using PM's to line things up.
 

xavierrol

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#16
Espie sounds great, I'm glad to have another opportunity to write with you @xanaphia ! Almost as soon as I read your profile I thought of a possible character for myself. I'd like to throw the basics out here and should be able to do a more formal sheet on Sunday. My character would have joined one of the Sergovia family's caravans at a young age. Probably an ox driver or some other menial task that children did in the day. He grew up to become a driver then a guard. Over the years he worked his way into a position of trust for the family becoming more of a household guard. As Esperanza began to grow bolder, about ten years ago, he was given the task of keeping an eye on her. As much to try and protect the family name (and her marriage prospects) as the adopted daughter. Originally I thought maybe he trained her in sword work but he is a fighter, not a dualist, often reminding her that there are rules to dueling but not in fighting for your life. Xavier is somewhere between mid-40s and early 50's. He is still a formidable fighter but the years and scars have taken their toll.

Espie doesn't seem to have the down on her luck financial situation that would drive one to take such a risky venture into an obscure part of the world. I'm sure you can find other inspirations for her, such as curiosity about her biological family, escaping an arranged marriage, or simply for the thrill of it depending upon her temperament. Xavier would have his doubts about such a thing but wouldn't want to see her go off without his protection.

Xavier will be spiritual and traditional, some of Espie's activities would grate on him, but he is loyal to the family and has a certain fondness for her.

If this is too presumptious, please let me know and I can come up with something a bit more independent of your character.

I love the twin idea though I wouldn't presume to push someone into a character that doesn't work for them.
 

xanaphia

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#17
I am perfectly fine with that background for your character.

As for my character's motivations, I am going with the idea she's had dreams -- nightmares-- of Barovia her entire life, and taking this job is a chance to investigate her past. Perhaps even discover the truth behind her birth parents, and why they gave her away. Except the mystery only gets deeper once she meets (Touch's character)
 

Black_Out

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#18
One thing that we should probably iron out at least a little bit is the topic of faith and religion as it pertains to our story. I'm stuck on my phone for most of the day, so I'll just open the topic up to see what thoughts any of you might want to share until I get to hunker down at my computer later
 

xanaphia

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#19
I am a little curious about the wider world we are inhabiting. In the past, when I've run Ravenloft, it's its own realm, separate from others, and Barovia is own domain within it. But you seemed to be doing it a bit differently. Is the Morninglord a major deity here?

Espie would be well versed in religious lore and teachings, but not particularly devout.
 

Black_Out

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#20
The morning lord would probably be a fitting deity to focus on. So we'll let him fill the role of a God that the masses pay homage too. We can still include other deities but they'll be less prominent.

As for the domain of dreads place in all of this since I'm using the original module as inspiration and reference material there is no domain of dread to speak of...yet. Ravenloft, the original module was just a stand alone adventure when it was first conceived. Due to it's popularity of course TSR has to conjure up the whole Ravenloft universe. Our story will be taking place in that window of time before the domain of Ravenloft was formed, though perhaps the events of our story when it concludes might usher in that chain of events.
 
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#21
Sorry for being late on chiming in on this. It's been a busy week and it looks like I'm in quite a different time zone than you're rest of you. Hope that won't be a problem.

Xana and I were discussing the idea of the twins growing up separated. Neither one aware they actually have a twin. Both of them have had the same dreams/ nightmares.

I was thinking of my character being a con artist of some sort. She was never adopted and ended up making a life for herself grifting and swindling. Growing up alone, she's used to only relying on herself. She is very charming, and knows how to draw people in, but she's also selfish and manipulative. Everything she does is for herself, geared to surviving and coming out better at the other end, with little regard to others.

But she's been down on her luck lately, so the letter will present a great a opportunity to her.
 

Black_Out

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#22
Since the trio of characters are starting to take shape I figured it would be a good idea to gloss over the city where it all begins along with some very basic history as it concerns the separated twins and general knowledge of Barovia. We'll start off with the city, which we'll call Krotice.

Krotice is a large coastal settlement with a heavy amount of trade coming by land and sea into the city. It's a hard place to eke out a living, but Espie's adoptive family have established themselves over the years and provided her with a stable life style. While not the richest, they have a nice house, and while not the most influential of people, the family name is respected and they've been to known to mingle with the elite. The Morning Lord who is known as Lathander is the predominant god not only in Krotice, but throughout the region in general. A secondary temple exists to the Fates and Furies, a conglomeration of spirits that a handful of sailors, merchants, and gypsy's pay homage to. With all of the trade that comes through Krotice it's one of the easier places to acquire goods that typically aren't available elsewhere so long as you have the coin to afford it. Or slippery enough fingers to get away with it. Life on the streets is rough in Krotice and the poorer districts see a higher rate of crime due to the lack of steady patrols through those districts of Krotice.

Very little is known about the village of Barovia. Espie has probably heard the most about it, and even those tidbits don't amount to much. Rumor has it that along the main road that runs to the east and feeds into a few smaller fishing and hunting villages one can find an overgrown but still serviceable trail along the edges of the Svalich woods. It's marked by a stone gargoyle that once held a sign post, but that marker has long since rotted away. Follow that lost road and you'll come to Barovia, or so the gypsy's have been known to claim. Some merchants have sent small groups there in the past, but few have returned, and those that did spoke of packs of vicious wolves waylaying their caravans. So it's been years since anyone has made any known efforts to brave the road beyond the occasional bands of gypsy's that keep to themselves, mostly. Rumor is that the Barovian's are a lot like the gypsy's, quiet and proud, but talkative when drunk, and seemingly fine with toiling out their own existence in relative obscurity.

As for the twins and how they came to be in Krotice and be separated my thought was they delivered to an orphanage in Krotice while they were still infants. Who brought them there, and why remains a mystery as the orphanage fell to flames during the course of some infamous fire that swept through a few blocks back when the girls were still infants. Any records were lost, and Espie was fortunate enough to be adopted into her situation almost immediately after the fire. Touch's character wasn't so lucky, she was separated from her sister while they were still to young to really form any substantial memories of each other. She flitted about from orphanage to orphanage, and finally was just kicked to the curb when she was in her teenage years.

So that's some of my initial thoughts on some of those topics and I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks or may want to add or alter?
 

xavierrol

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#23
I'm very impressed with both character concepts and looking forward to writing. The setting sounds great, unless you prefer I do some research on the source material, I am going to go with what you tell us.

I'm not sure how critical deieties and religion are, my characters tend to be monotheistic. What are generally referred to as gods are either superstition or some powerful magical creatures. There are demons and such but only one God.
 

Black_Out

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#24
I think coming in blind is probably a good thing, so I wouldn't bother doing any research. As for religions and such how big a part they play are in the hands of the characters themselves to decide. Your outlook towards religion is probably spot on with most of the common people. The Morning Lord is viewed as the one god, and the others are just after thoughts to most, save for the small flocks that believe in their existence.
 

Black_Out

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#25
I'm going to go ahead and work on a starting post for the story today since I have ample time on my hands. It will be a generalized post that's meant to set up the group somewhere along the winding road that cuts through the woods towards Barovia. I realize we only have one character posted at the moment, and I don't intend to place any pressure to get the other two presented until your ready, but any simple details that you could maybe provide me with might be helpful as I work through the opener. I'm looking for simple things like names, and also if your crew was traveling on foot, or with a wagon, horses, donkeys, and etc since due to Espie's connections it's completely possible that she could of acquired a modest team of draft animals to ease the burden of their travels.

Feel free to chime in with any thoughts as I don't intend to slap the reply down until later today as I'd like to give everyone an opportunity to touch base with me before hand.
 
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