A couple of days ago I came up with the idea of Rime Tower. I started basically from a blank sheet of paper, some dice, and a small (mmm… about six-inch) stack of RPG books and went looking for ideas.
I ended up with a rough idea of what I was going to build– Rime Tower, a tower of ice where a band of divine champions… does something. At least some of them having flying mounts of a type not yet determined, they probably have some abilities relating to the sun and to winter and cold. I have identified a number of other potential entities to consider and questions to answer, including:
- Obsidian Spire, and the followers of the Sunlord there
- The Sunlord himself
- Smaller bastions of the orders of Rime Tower and Obsidian Spire.
- What kind of opponents do they face?
- What precise goals?
- Prestige classes (or talents, in Echelon).
- What kinds of mounts do they use? I feel like I don’t want a ‘normal’ or ‘common’ flying mount.
- What other affiliations and associations do they have? Check other terrain types, climates.
In short, while I now have an idea where I’m going, I’ve got a fair bit of work ahead of me.
Refining the Idea
First, part of this had no particular structure or process or technique behind it. After I wrote the Inspiration post I went to bed and slept. Then got up and went to work. Somewhere between going to sleep and getting to work I had the following things gel for me. My head has been in Echelon d20 space for a while, so some of the concepts I’ll be working will with be expressed in Echelon terms.
- ‘Divine Champion’ (because of the Good manifestations) is a place to start, but I specifically wasn’t interested in clerics, and probably not paladins. However, considering this location is based in the mountains, surrounded by snow and other outdoor hardship, it was a short step to consider rangers. Given that in D&D before 3e rangers were expected to be good, this looks like a good fit thematically. I’ll probably want to adjust things somewhat, but thinking ‘ranger’ should help keep me on track. Even though Echelon levels normally align pretty well with D&D 3.x levels, I am going to shift to five-level tiers to better-align with ranger abilities.
- Basic characters (Echelon levels 1-4, D&D 3.x NPC classes, AD&D ‘0-level’) would be able to survive, though it would probably be somewhat difficult and uncomfortable.
- Expert characters (Echelon levels 5-8, D&D 3.x PC classes level 1-5) would be inconvenienced but still pretty capable. This gives them some advantage over those not trained to survive here.
- Heroic characters (Echelon levels 9-12, D&D 3.x PC classes level 6-10) are well-adapted to local conditions and not particularly impeded by them. This gives them a fair bit of advantage over those not so acclimated.
- Master characters (Echelon levels 13-16, D&D 3.x PC classes level 11-15) use local conditions to their advantage (even more than letting opponents be hindered while they are not, Masters of Rime Tower actually call upon the power of the land to their benefit).
- Champion characters (Echelon levels 17-20, D&D 3.x PC classes level 16-20) actually embody the local area and the powers there.
- Legendary characters (Echelon levels 21-24, D&D 3.x PC classes level 21-25)… I’m not entirely sure, really, how to describe the relationship between the characters and the land. I haven’t thought this far ahead.
- I didn’t really think about it at first, but I like the idea of Rime Tower being a group protecting against incursion from the warm lands. I like the Obsidian Spire idea, but I think they are too far away to be direct adversaries (and too obvious, being close to the opposite in several ways). It might be an interesting idea to have Rime Tower and the Obsidian Spire joined by a mutual enemy, though, even if they are not actually allied. Right now I’m leaning toward the warm lands being between the cold lands and the hot lands, and not really friendly with either.
- Why don’t they get along? Need to figure this one out.
- Ignore the Obsidian Spire for now
- Associated bastions:
- Largest: probably stone keeps with supporting town.
- Medium: probably fortified (with stockade) hunting lodge/manor house with supporting village.
- Smallest: fortified hunting lodges, more or less, probably no supporting settlement.
- Various caches with useful goods for emergency use.
- Range of control and influence: however far you can see from a couple miles above sea level (about 125 miles, according to a quick web check), if there aren’t obstructions to vision. While there probably are some (smaller mountains, forest, and so on) it should still be possible to see signal towers and signal fires under good conditions, so I’ll go with a nominal range of control of about 125 miles.
- Glare (Light)
- Strength of the Righteous (Good)
- Weakness of the Vile (Good)
- Snow (Cold)
- Freezing Conditions (Cold)
- Elemental Ascendancy (Cold/Air).
I think the manifestations are going to be in part in those who are associated with Rime Tower, rather than the Tower directly.
I’m going to have to cut the implementation down somewhat from what I had planned, mostly because I really don’t have time to implement fully if this is going to go up tomorrow morning. However, I’ll describe the shape of the bits I don’t have time for.