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So, what is the world of Arland?

It's a fictional land that I created many years ago (long enough ago that 1st edition had all of 5 books then) to set my D&D Campaigns in. I've had many real life campaigns set there over the years, mostly short lived. Seemed like every time I got a group together, either my players or I soon ended up moving.  Over that time, through the various games, the conception of the world changed little.

The world has sat dormant for the last 8 years or so, as I have not been anywhere long enough to find a group to play with. A few years ago, I found my way to a RP centric irc network named

I'd been using/opering on different irc networks for years, but, oddly, I'd never really role played much on them. Oh, I had a little, mostly doing things like Mafia and Werewolf, but not much. As far as GMing, I'd only ever done one offs like werewolf.

Then in late February, it was suggested to me that I run a game of some sort. The idea was a little scary. The network had a ton of really good role players, and I hadn't GM'd anything ongoing in years.

I decided I wanted a group that was mostly new to irc role playing for a couple of reasons. First, it would make ME more comfortable not worrying about my skills as a GM being compared unfavorably to the great GM's on the network, and Second, it would make the two people I had in mind to recruit first more comfortable, as they had not RP'd on irc before.

My first thought for what game to run was Traveler. No one on the network was running a game like that, so it would be different and make me feel less pressure. The problems immediately popped up there, however.

The first one was that one of the people I'd recruited felt much more comfortable doing a middle ages or similar setting vs a game set in space.

The second was my feeling that a good traveler game really required maps and maybe even a scanner. While I figured I could manage that eventually, I wanted to actually get going without spending several months becoming proficient at things like that.

The third was my lack of access to scans/rtf/pdf of books relating to traveler.  It is really difficult to introduce people to a new game without having reading materials for them to understand what they are doing, and traveler seemed especially so to me.

Reluctantly, I decided to just stick with something tried and true. D&D. And not that bastardized 3rd and 4th edition stuff, but real D&D: 1st and 2nd edition.

I had rtf's of all the 2nd ed. stuff (Except the Book of the Drow)  that I could send to people, so that was a plus. It could be set in more of a medieval setting, which would make my players more comfortable, which was another plus, and well, was less dependant on maps and whatnot (though I still wanted to include some of that stuff later on).

Having decided on D&D, there was never any question of where to set the campaign.

I rummaged through my by box of old D&D stuff, and found my old, pencil drawn onto notebook paper map. The map held together by masking take that I had drawn when I was like 14 or 15.

I started recruiting players. I already had Eukara, who had RP'd on forums for years, and Rachel. I sorted through my aim contacts, and soon came up with Eliminator, who had been in Tony's game with me years ago, and Thorne, who I'd played text based war games with for years, though I'd never played RPG's with. I knew he'd played RPG's before from talking to him.

I really wanted someone that was both an old hand at D&D and at irc RP to help the others (and maybe me too) if they needed it, but I really didn't have anyone... till an offhand remark in the staff channel about how I was trying to get a game going on Tue/Thurs nights in the staff channel ended up with me getting Taros.

What kind of campaign we were going to end up with was still up in the air. I had an idea for an all female campaign for a while, and then one for an all thief campaign, but eventually abandoned both of those and just settled back into a traditional "low magic" campaign that I'd run in this world many times before. Council of elders putting together a traveling party to investigate some strange happenings in the world, etc...

And then, Taros and RPGServ provided a strange moment of inspiration:

[22:22] <+Taros> #ascores 1
[22:22] <RPGServ> [Ascores method I for Taros]
[22:22] <RPGServ> <Str: 7 Dex: 11 Con: 16 Int: 16 Wis: 17 Cha: 3>
[22:22] <+Taros> oO
[22:22] <~Dog|Tired> wtf
[22:22] <+Taros> ... 3 CHA..
[22:22] <+Taros> UGLY
[22:23] <~Dog|Tired> but wise...
[22:23] <+Taros> Yeah.
[22:23] <~Dog|Tired> I'd play that char in a heartbeat...
[22:23] <~Dog|Tired> it'd be fun
[22:23] <+Taros> the 3 CHA might be... interesting...
[22:24] <~Dog|Tired> 5 personality, 1 appearance !
[22:25] <+Taros> You would look so hideous, people would probably try to kill you on sight.
[22:25] <~Dog|Tired> I'm going to use that set of scores for someone.

For those of you who don't know, method I is the simple roll 3 six siders, and record the scores in order method. Getting 3 scores 16 or higher is rare... getting a 3 in combination with that is even rarer....

I just couldn't let a stat line like that go... so I started thinking what kind of character that would be... and after a couple of days thought on it, an idea began to form... an idea that completely changed the story of the campaign, and even modified the makeup of the world somewhat.

Now it was just a matter of getting characters for everyone...

Taros made a fighter character that might as well be part thief, Eukara was going to make a thief... but then RPGServ went bananas and generated 3 18's for her, and she decided to be a fighter thief... Rachel made a gnome professor, and Thorne made an Elven Ranger. "My" character was an elven priestess that might as well be part ranger. Eliminator... dropped out before we'd ever started.

I made the decision to start the group in two parties: The Main Group (the first 3 characters mentioned above) and the Elf Group, and I would bring the parties together after a couple of sessions... Well, we're hours into it now, and the groups still aren't together (though they will be soon I promise!) and on top of that, there's a 3rd player currently on his own working his way to the grand meeting as well.

In the next post, I'll list the important characters so far. I'll keep editing that as the game goes along. In the following posts will be the game logs... I have to say, I have some GREAT players, and I think you will all find the logs an interesting read.

Welcome to the World of Arland. I hope you enjoy your stay.
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June 2009

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