Shadows and Silver - About

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Shadows and Silver - About

Post by Squatting Monk » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:35 pm

A silver thread runs throughout the shadows of our history, a single glimmer of light in the darkness. In despair there is hope. In suffering, solace.

Since I was young, I loved the earth. Her ebb and flow was my heartbeat, her seasons my life. I was there at her birth, and I am here at her death. What was is now gone, and soon there will be nothing left of me.

See, now! I tell you a mystery, for the world of men cannot comprehend the beauty that once was. In its youth, the world was fresh and full of color. The waters ran clear and the air was ambrosia. Now, all is lost. The greed of men has destroyed my love and left her a hollow shell. Gone is her color. Gone is her vibrancy. Gone is her youth. She is an old woman who clings to the hope that she may one day be made new.

In the rotting cities of men there is such despair and suffering, yet it cannot compare to the suffering of my love. Poverty and sickness mar man's life. But give a man money and he is rich. Give a man medicine and he is well. But who can give enough money to make my love rich? Who can give enough medicine to make her whole?

With his machines, man can tear down a mountain here and build one there. But what can his machines do to rebuild that which is lost? In her youth, her blood was the magic of the world, but men bled her dry to quench their thirst for power. Now her life fades, and still men struggle. What use is power when there is nothing to rule?

My love suffers. Yet in suffering there is solace. I am her comforter, and I will not leave her side until she is whole or fully spent.

-- Epilogue of The Book of Leaves (author unknown)
Most peristent worlds try to depict a romanticized medieval world, where life is simpler, where the sides are always good and evil, and where adventure is the spice of life.

Shadows & Silver is not your average persistent world. It's moved behind the old days of child-like innocence into something far darker and morally ambiguous. It's a place of despair rather than hope, of fear rather than courage, and complexity rather than simplicity. It's realistic, not because of any scripted systems in the module but because it sees the world as it is: an ugly, jumbled mess of fear, greed, and hatred that somehow manages to maintain a sort of order.

Just like the real world, though, that's not all there is. Humans are odd creatures, and even in the darkest times we manage to find hope. In fear we find courage. In greed, charity. In hatred, love. In ugliness, beauty. So while you'll find a wasteland wracked with wars, genocide, pollution, catastrophe, and poverty, you'll also find a cathartic testament to the human spirit.

Though players are welcome to enjoy adventuring, the emphasis is on role-play. But role-play in Shadows & Silver doesn't mean sitting around the fire swapping stories or acting out soap opera characters. Here, it means cooperatively telling a story in order to uncover essential truth about the human experience.

In short, it's about art.
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Re: Shadows and Silver - About

Post by Squatting Monk » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:42 pm

While Shadows & Silver is still in development, we've put up a website and [url=http://blog.shadowsandsilver..com]blog[/url] so you can see our progress.

What can you expect from the server once it goes online, though? Well, this is the place that most people start listing all the cool features their server has, but I prefer to think those that would play on Shadows & Silver are looking for a deep story and compelling role-play rather than an exhaustive list of features. Instead, we'll cover a few of the major points of the server:

What can I do on the server?
We want to give you more options than sitting in a tavern swapping stories until you decide to go kill something. We're putting a massive amount of effort into making a deep, detailed world. That means not only lovingly designed areas but countless storylines and plot hooks. You'll be able to fight monsters for a good reason, swap tales that are actually interesting, craft powerful items, and explore exotic lands, but you'll also be able to play any sort of character you can imagine. You can play the part of the daring adventurer seeking wealth and fame, but you can also be the beggar on the street, the grubby pickpocket, the tavern waitress, the no-nonsense federal agent, or the pompous bureaucrat. Our DMs will work with you to help you be part of the world and its ongoing stories. And who knows? Maybe you'll find adventure even when you're not looking for it.

Who does the server cater to?
We want Shadows & Silver to be open to all types of players, whether they prefer hack 'n' slash, role-play, or some mixture of the two. We enjoy role-playing, and we'll constantly promote it with DM interaction, story hooks, and support for character-driven plotlines. That doesn't mean you have to participate in them. There'll be plenty of places for those who enjoy thrilling combat, but we want to make role-play an equally exciting option.

Are there tons of rules on how to play?
No, we don't like being laden with rules any more than you do. We believe our players are mature people who love and respect the server, and those sorts of people regulate their own play better than we ever could. We ask only that players respect the server, the DMs, and their fellow players. There's a few things that should exclude, such as griefing, muling, etc. For specifics, refers to the rules thread (coming soon).

Do I have to fill out an application to play?
Certainly not! Applications are a way to exclude anyone who doesn't play just like the server admins. We don't want to exclude people; everyone should be able to play on Shadows & Silver as long as they follow the basic rule of respect.

Do I have to memorize a library full of lore before I create a character?
No, though we'll make such information available should you choose to do so. We're designing the module so new players are quickly introduced to the basic lore and the primary conflicts in the world. If you don't have any clue what sort of character you want to play, that's okay. If you do want to brush up on the lore or what characters from a particular area might know, there'll be a few brief threads on the forums to give you a head start.

What is the magic level of the world?
Shadows & Silver has a low magic level, meaning you won't find anything beyond +3 as loot. DM events for high-level characters may involve items with higher enchantments, but those will be plot items only. While the magic level is low, characters will be able to find or craft a wide variety of magical items, so you'll have lots smaller tools rather than a few powerful tools.

Is there a level cap?
We're still discussing this, but the current thought is to allow the engine maximum. Does that mean we'll have a ton of level 40 characters running around the server? No. Because of the nature of our XP system, combat and quest XP slow to a crawl after about level 15. While characters will still be able to gain XP from RP and DM events, the likelihood of getting to level 17 or higher is low, so those characters will be rare. Still, it's possible, and achieving high levels will be a badge of dedication to RPing that character; we won't limit such dedication with artificial level caps.

How do you deal with death?
Characters who die are dead. As in dead dead. Does that mean permadeath? No. Shadows & Silver is going to have a forgiving bleed system, so you'll have a good chance for recovery unless you really got in over your head. In addition, you'll have a small chance of miraculous recovery. A healer working quickly can pull a soul back into a body and revive it before the soul continues to the afterlife. Once a soul makes the journey beyond the gate of death and into the afterlife, however, there's no coming back. At least, that's what the Church of the Archons tells people.

What about resting restrictions?
We don't like placing restrictions on people for the sake of restrctions, and we certainly don't want to justify such a thing by saying it's "realistic". However, being able to rest and return to full health whenever you like does take some of the immersion out of the game. We've come to a compromise: players can take a short rest between encounters, allowing them to regain some health and ability uses. A full rest (representative of 8 hours of sleep) returns players to full health, but can only be done in designated safe zones (in the wild, you can make a safe zone by building a campfire). We'll post further details in another thread.

Do I have to keep track of hunger, thirst, or tiredness?
Not unless you want to. Again, we don't like forcing restrictions on people, and there's few things more aggravating than interrupting your RP to find something to eat. There is food present in the game, but rather than being a requirement, it's an extra. Eating and drinking allows you to be able to take more short rests (think of it as a bit of extra energy to get you through the day), and some items have additional bonuses when you consume them. Not eating or drinking will not kill your character or give any penalties.

Are there any alignment restrictions?
Again, we don't want to make restrictions for the sake of restrictions. You can play any alignment you please. Just please role-play it accordingly. Also, remember that being evil does not give you a license to slaughter anyone you please; if you want to role-play a criminal, be prepared to role-play facing justice as well. Shadows & Silver does not have a good vs. evil struggle, and there's no reason good and evil characters cannot adventure together if they so choose. There's no way to detect a person's alignment, and there's no reason you should ever need to.

What about class restrictions?
No class is forbidden, though all prestige classes have RP requirements before they can be taken. You can meet these requirements via scripted quests with a class trainer (most factions have a few class trainers to help you) or through DM quests. We also won't have multi-classing restrictions. If you can find a way to role-play it, it's fair game. We're also not going to beat you over the head with our own philosophy on how specific classes should be played. We'll give pointers and ideals, but these are simply tips to help your character fit into the world, so take what you like and go from there.

What races can I play?
Currently, we're allowing only the basic seven races: Human, Elf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc (rebranded as Orcs), Gnome (rebranded as Goblins), Dwarf, and Halfling. We may allow other races in the future, but these are the most common in the world, so we'll focus on them for now.

What about sub-races? Can I play a drow, a half-devil, or a [insert over-powered munchkin subrace here]?
No, mostly since those races don't exist in Shadows & Silver. Well, not the way you may imagine. Drow aren't evil, spider-worshipping bad-asses (or angsty, dual-scimitar-wielding outcasts), devils don't tend to interbreed with humans, and so on. We do have subraces, though they'll likely be only cosmetically different from their normal cousins.

We'll add to this list as time goes on. If there's a question you'd like to see answered here, PM me.
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Re: Shadows and Silver - About

Post by Squatting Monk » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:45 pm

This post will give a brief rundown of some of the lore of Shadows & Silver. This post will be short and sweet, not because there's not more information than this swimming in our heads, but because we don't want you to have to read pages upon pages of lore in order to get into the game. We intend for the world to be very immersive, and should be able to learn whatever you need about the world very quickly just by playing. Still, you want to know what to expect before you get inside, so here you go:

The Setting
Shadows & Silver centers around the city of Midport, a coastal trading and manufacturing city in the Confederation of Adun. The region of Adunay is constantly in turmoil, and decades of continuous war, political upheaval, and plague have devastated the land and populace. Midport is a bleak place. Its skies are clouded with the smog of industry, its water is polluted by the run-off of alchemical warfare, and the vast majority of its people live hungry and destitute. Corporations and what's left of the old nobility scramble to hold on to whatever they can in wake of demonstrations, strikes, and slave revolts. Crime is... well, let's just say even the city guards are criminals.

Across Adunay, things are even worse. The land is tainted and few places still contain arable land. Plague ravages vast swaths of land, and much water is undrinkable. Border disputes with Salicia to the south and the ongoing war with the orc nations to the north mean continual battles on Adunean soil. Adunay is quickly becoming a wasteland, and the Confederation is throwing up its hands in despair.

Throughout all of this, the Church of the Archons attempts to maintain order. A continent-spanning organization, the Church claims authority over the affairs of men as the last followers of the ancient who created the world in aeons past. But whatever divine power they wielded in those mythical days has since gone cold; instead, its clerics wield the alchemy that has proven so destructive in the past century of war. They have maintained control through brute force and political intrigues for centuries, but that control is beginning to break down as people realize the Archons are not returning to rescue them from what is surely the end of days.

In the east, a giant has fallen. The many nations of Nerath, bound together by religious fervor, have crumbled. Their campaign against the Confederation forty years ago ended in disaster when the Church sacked their cities and drove their people into the wilderness. Civilization is now but a memory in those vast wastes. But, increasingly, those seeking a bit of freedom and relief from the dangers of Adunay flee to that old land to stake claims and make their homes. Colonization of Nerath is not without dangers, however. The land is strange, and terrible creatures roam the wastes. It is a cutthroat land now, with no laws except the survival of the strong and crafty.

Recent History
The histories of Adunay depend greatly upon who is telling them. They are cloudy, and have many discrepancies. Doubtless, this is due to the constant war and disaster, but many suspect the Church of meddling to maintain its position of power. Whatever, the case, people are sure of the events they lived through.

Forty years ago came the invasion of the Nerathim, those zealots from the eastern wastes. They laid siege to Achalon, most glorious of the Adunean city-states. Urged by the Church, the states set aside their squabbles to create a coalition to drive out the Nerathim and, after years of bloody fighting, they beat them back to their lands and destroyed them utterly. No one can really say for sure how a ragtag group of squabbling rabble like the Aduneans managed to break the multi-million-man siege of Achalon, let alone push them back to their homelands and crush them. It was probably strength in numbers and good ol' Adunean ingenuity, though.

Believing that, the states decided to make their coalition permanent, an overarching Confederation that governed all the states as one nation. with strength in unity, they believed, they would conquer the Plain themselves. It worked for a year or so, but then tensions started to flair.

Burdea, a state in Upper Adunay that suffered heavily in the war with Nerath, tried to leave the coalition rather than submit to the rule of the new Confederation government. Claiming Burdea was sovereign over its own affairs, Major General Alexei Graudyn led his troops in storming Fort Lussk, a Confederation stronghold. He was hailed as a folk hero and continued his raids against Confederation forts for fourteen months. When Burdean Prime Minister Hendrick Chatham, fearing Graudyn's political aspirations, had him arrested and hanged for treason without a trial, Burdea plunged into civil war. The Confederation leapt at the chance to crush the vulnerable republic. All that remains of its cities are the blackened husks of buildings, and most of its people live in refugee camps throughout Adunay.

In the wake of the War of Burdean Sovereignty, the Confederation was weakened by the infighting of states and the old nobility that tried to keep itself in power. Nineteen years ago, several of the craftier states banded together and chose the Krunag prince Adlai Surestov as their leader, claiming he was a descendant of Arcos the Great, founder of the old Adunean Empire back in the golden days of Adunay.

Adlai supplemented his army with orcs, ogres, and other sub-human beasts from the northern mountains, and their vicious attack on an already weakened Adunay was relatively unchallenged. Within a year he had crossed the Carradin mountains and stormed Achalon, crowning himself Arcos IX. The Confederation was devastated at Achalon, and sufficiently weakened that Adlai pressed his advantage and invaded Lower Adunay. His orcish soldiers yielded him victory after victory until the Church stepped in with its alchemists. The war was terrible, as the blackened husks of many cities throughout the Adun River Valley demonstrate.

Adlai was removed from his throne and beheaded seven years ago, and his death is now memorialized as the holiday Kingsblood Day. With his death, the Confederation once again re-established itself and, after a brief interlude of peace, began an invasion of Krunag to punish those northern beasts for the havok they had wreaked on Adunay.

Today, the Confederation, bankrupted by a costly war and out-of-control inflation, is trying to maintain its unity by colonizing the wastes of Nerath. This is creating tensions with Salicia, which has its own interests in that land, and with talk of a new war the states are once again beginning to squabble. There's rumors that some are trying to crown a new emperor, and it's only a matter of time before the next civil war breaks out.
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