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Greetings all,

 

I've bee brainstorming this idea with a few folks around these parts. We don't have infinite space left for people to jump in, but we will need a lot of playtesters. If you really, really want to write a scenario and work with us on this, read the following, get involved and come up with a pitch. Without further talk, here's my novel: 

 

Greetings folks, I’m glad you’ve expressed interest. I think this will be very cool and a long time coming for the English community. Here’s what I have been thinking, and I’ll be adding in what Dan suggested as well. Please add your ideas and we’ll try to come to a fairly clear trajectory.

I want us to write a short(ish) campaign (5-8 scenarios) that puts the Overlord in the role of Thoth-Amon. We’re not going for total canon here, but we’ll try to be a faithful pastiche for the REH works. We could set it after the events of Hour of the Dragon when Conan is back on the throne of Aquilonia, but after Thoth-Amon has gotten his ring back. For years he’s built up Stygia’s empire, bolstering it with his sorcery and spreading their empire farther north. Let’s assume Hadrathus remains somewhat of an ally to Conan and helps keep an eye on sorcerous happenings. Perhaps through his study and travels he came upon the knowledge that Thoth-Amon seeks to secure some kind of relic, or several relics and with them, will have little trouble making his power absolute. This sort of echoes what happened in Hour of the Dragon, but with a bit more of a classic fantasy trope. I normally avoid this for Conan fare, but for the purposes of constructing a campaign with elements of progression, I think it works.

 

I want us to use the three big expansions (Stygia, Khitai, Nordheim) and mostly components available at retail (Core game, Crossbowmen, Yag, and the Witch Hunters). Below I will provide my basic framework which I think will help us include these.  I want to do this because I want the game to be inclusive to those who may have missed the KS but still want to jump onboard and be able to play a campaign. If you think this is too restrictive, let me know. We can offer stats for things from the King Pledge and they could proxy their own materials if necessary. Let’s say for example you want to use an equipment card from the King’s Pledge and it has an encumbrance of 3. You could simply write into your scenario for them to use a token that has ‘3’ written on it. Simple. Also, the King Materials are all provided on the Overlord.  

 

Which brings me to what I’m asking all of you for. We need writers. Many have already expressed interest. Great. But we also need play testers. We don’t all live in the same place and really need the commitment from one another to help test these out and make them the best they can be. Some have already proven their prowess when it comes to writing these. You all did great work for the scenario contest. So my hope is we can pool our efforts and make something a little bigger, a little bolder, and totally bad ass.

 

Here I present to you what I think could be our jumping off point. Again, let me know what you think and what you would change.

 

Scenario 1: this should serve as a catalyst for the events. My thoughts are it involves Hadrathus in Khitai. He’s learned that Thoth-Amon has sent sorcerous servants (maybe the Witch Hunters are reoccurring bad guys, like an evil party of heroes) and plan on getting up to something. Perhaps this isn’t yet about acquiring one of these relics, but getting the plans in motion, a ritual, recruiting other bad-assess. Something. Maybe the sorcerer from the khitai expansion. Either way, this will reveal to the players what the plot is about and launch the story. I envision Hadrathus working with the spirit of Yah Kosha in this one (sort of like how Conan was aided by that ghost in Phoenix on the sword or how Belit came back from the dead). I’m keeping this intentionally vague at this point.

 

Scenario 2: Perhaps this involves securing one of the relics, somewhere in the world. Use one of three three (six) expansion maps to represent that region. Introduce and use the Hero from the area expansion you’ve chosen.

Scenario 3: Perhaps this involves securing one of the relics, somewhere in the world. Use one of three (six) expansion maps to represent that region. Introduce and use the Hero from the area expansion you’ve chosen.

 

Scenario 4: Perhaps this involves securing one of the relics, somewhere in the world. Use one of three (six) expansion maps to represent that region. Introduce and use the Hero from the area expansion you’ve chosen.

 

Scenario 5: The final showdown with Thoth Amon on the streets of Khemi (Stygia exterior map) This is debateable. Maybe we want the last scenario dependent on what happened in the other scenarios so there are two possibilities (in which case we’d produce 6 main scenarios). Maybe the second option involves Thoth taking the fight to Aquilonia.

 

Now, we can add filler adventures throughout should more people express interest in writing these. This is just my loose structure. What exact things go in there is up to the designer.

 

Progression:

It wouldn’t be a very fun campaign if there wasn’t some kind of progression. All scenarios should involve 4 Heroes. I like the idea of not assigning the progression to a particular Hero. I want you to have the freedom to use the heroes you wish for each scenario and maybe we provide a few substitution suggestions.  Rather, I’d like to see the progression take a few forms. One would be the expendable bonus gem aspect. The Heroes acquire a pool of bonus gems they can use throughout. They are one time uses. We’d also need to make sure this doesn’t get out of hand. The Overlord would get these too.  I’d also like to see equipment that can be carried over. Now this is tricky because we don’t want writers too restricted or having to juggle too many things. My thoughts are writers are in charge of the weapons and armor of each scenario, but explosive orbs, life potions and custom items (that we write the descriptions for) are carried over from one scenario to the next. We can write in whatever kinds of boons we like. But it will be important that the overlord and heroes both get these. We could also allow for the sides to gain allies. Heroes could collect a few extras based on winning a scenario, same for the Overlord. It wouldn’t whack the balance out too badly to have this slight edge. Finally, I think right before the final scenario is played, we allow the players to boost their stats slightly. Maybe it’s just an extra point limit on their attack dice or adding a re-roll symbol to manipulate or something. Perhaps Thoth gets to do this by adding extra wounds and boosting the hell out of his stats to keep balance with the heroes. Maybe he has a little coven of the witch hunters and they all get boosted like the heroes do. If we leave that kind of ‘levelling’ until the last scenario, but still allow them to gain other progressive elements along the way, we can have the middle 3 scenarios able to be played in whatever order the players choose. So scenario one is played first (not optional). The final scenario is played last (obviously) but all the other scenarios can be played in varying order. Hell, some could be optional altogether.

So those are my starting point thoughts. Sorry to drop the whole of the Nemedian Chronicles in your laps, but let me know what you think, what you want to do, and lay down your ideas. I’ll leave you all with this little quote from Taurus:

 

“Conan, I like your grit. I never shared an adventure with anyone, but by Bel, we’ll attempt this together if you’re willing.”

 

@Primeval@drmauric@Ken @Neil Amswych

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I will write one. If it it's open I may be daring enough to take the first one...

I definately like the progression not being tied to specific Heroes but rather like you said a boon or bonus or upgrade for the final battle. Maybe gaining one time use gems after each scenario is a good reward for winning a particular scenario.

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I like the idea of two final battles based on whether the heroes succeed in their mission or not. If they succeed, they take the fight to the streets of Khemi (with the boat map - two maps feels more epic). In this case, the heroes have access to a weapon or magical protection that will help them.

If they fail, the fight takes place closer to home, and the heroes do not have access to the weapon/magical protection.  

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1 hour ago, drmauric said:

I will write one. If it it's open I may be daring enough to take the first one...

I definately like the progression not being tied to specific Heroes but rather like you said a boon or bonus or upgrade for the final battle. Maybe gaining one time use gems after each scenario is a good reward for winning a particular scenario.

 

Dan, if you're hot to trot on the first, then I say go for it. 

 

53 minutes ago, Ken said:

I like the idea of two final battles based on whether the heroes succeed in their mission or not. If they succeed, they take the fight to the streets of Khemi (with the boat map - two maps feels more epic). In this case, the heroes have access to a weapon or magical protection that will help them.

If they fail, the fight takes place closer to home, and the heroes do not have access to the weapon/magical protection.  

 

Ken, I love the idea of using the two maps to make it truly epic. Perhaps Conan himself will only be used in the final scenario? 

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@drmauric @Ken If I may, I'd like to secure one of the Nordheim maps. I've got a little idea about Thoth perhaps drawing the Frost Giants from their plane or what have you. Plus, I've been painting that set and this will motivate me to keep moving. 

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Believe it or not, I am interested in the Stygia final battle. I have an idea for an event tile that allows Thoth to take control of a hero through something like Mind Control. The overlord could then spend gems 1 for 1 to use that hero's gems to take actions. This could help offset any buffs the heroes carry over from previous scenarios, but there would be limitations (no self harm, no using of communal gems, etc.). Perhaps if there is a reward from previous encounters (a ring or amulet or something), anyone carrying said item is immune from the mind control. 

If the final battle is already claimed, I could take Khitai and use my idea with Shuang Mian.

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Just to be clear, we are limiting the heroes to: Conan, Hadrathus, Shevatas, Belit, Shintu, Niord, and Ikhmet, correct? 

 

Edit: Just remembered Yogah of Yag.

Edited by Ken

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57 minutes ago, Ken said:

Believe it or not, I am interested in the Stygia final battle. I have an idea for an event tile that allows Thoth to take control of a hero through something like Mind Control. The overlord could then spend gems 1 for 1 to use that hero's gems to take actions. This could help offset any buffs the heroes carry over from previous scenarios, but there would be limitations (no self harm, no using of communal gems, etc.). Perhaps if there is a reward from previous encounters (a ring or amulet or something), anyone carrying said item is immune from the mind control. 

If the final battle is already claimed, I could take Khitai and use my idea with Shuang Mian.

 

That sounds great. Nobody has claimed that yet. I'll post some general thoughts on progression below. check those out. 

 

53 minutes ago, Ken said:

Just to be clear, we are limiting the heroes to: Conan, Hadrathus, Shevatas, Belit, Shintu, Niord, and Ikhmet, correct? 

 

Edit: Just remembered Yogah of Yag.

 That's the idea, but we could allow for substitutes from the King Pledge/stretch goals. As long as the stats and skills of the sub character are relatively close, we could pop those into the suggestions. I'd argue we could allow the King exclusive Heroes too because they are available for printing from the Overlord already. 

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so, @drmauric @Neil Amswych, @Ken Here are a few thoughts on how we proceed. 

 

We should each create a short pitch for how we envision our scenarios ( vague story, Heroes, Overlord Units)

 

Next, we should decide where the scenario lies in the order. Sounds like Dan's is first, and Ken's is last. I'm thinking about the whole non linear thing and am wondering if it's even worth it. It may complicate the planning process in ways we don't yet see. perhaps we should scrap that just go for a linear order. Thoughts on that? 

 

Progression. We should have some idea of the what each scenario will offer in terms of carryover. We want to be careful with equipment and spells. But as long as we know what is coming, those writing scenarios after your own, will know what is to come. Perhaps this is another reason we go for a linear order. I think designers should be in charge of the equipment load out of their own scenario, but there may be some things that can be brought over from the previous one (such as life potions etc and artifacts we create).

 

As for the extra gems and gem pools. some quick thoughts: There should be a limit. neither side should be able to pool more than, say, 5. If you horde too many it could break a scenario instantly. So use em or lose em or have a max number you can save up. If there are 4 Heroes per scenario, and say they can earn 4 gems per scenario, it should be possible for the Overlord to also earn 4 during each scenario. We also need to make it so that each side gets something, but that those who do certain things well or win get a little more. Make sense? 

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Santa Fe in da house!

 

I would really like to see lots of differing heroes. Instead of subbing, I’m wondering if we could bring in something that hasn’t appeared before - when a character is taken out of battle they’re replaced with the next hero in the predetermined queue. So it’s the forces of good but not necessarily anyone in particular. If the heroes run out of characters, they can’t bring in any more. (It would have to be a healthy list, say 6 possible new party members for 8 adventures). King Exclusive heroes plus expansion heroes. Doing it like this gives some flexibility to players while allowing us some control over playtesting balance. So if in one adventure your Shevatas dies, next adventure you can be Taurus. In fact, a replacement tree could easily be written to enable some balance. I’ll show you what I mean later.

 

I love the external Khitai map so I’d like to plan an adventure on that if possible. If Ken has that, though, I’d love to take Stygia.

 

As I posted on FB, I’d like to see the intermediate adventures not just be to retrieve things because that loses interest quickly. Putting villains/items out of action so they can’t be used in a final ritual could be part of that. Removing sacrificial virgins (!) to a safe hideout could be another. Basically, more than Harry Potter horcruxes.

 

@MattJohn how open do you want this development to be? I find FB groups a great place to regularly discuss things.

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@Neil Amswych

 

I think the running list of characters and replacing with other heroes would make for a good rules option, but I want this to be inclusive to those who don't have all the materials from the KS. It gets very tricky, though, when you start to make it too open as the testing has to be quite heavy if you want to make sure it's fair for both sides but also allow so many combinations of skills and stats. It can be okay, but it takes a lot of thought. I tried to keep my campaigns open like that for the Modiphius book but had to abandon the idea because of too many variables. it's possible but tough. 

 

As I said on Facebook, the scenario itself does not have to have 'retrieve' the item' as an objective. It's just a starting point. Thoth Amon needs a reason for being there, is all. Or we need some rationale for setting it there. Based on a win the winning side gets something out of it. it doesn't matter to me what that is.  A relic is just an example. If you write in a better idea for the scenario to take place there, that's up to you. Just make sure to let everyone else know what is potentially gained from it. See my last comment for how to frame your 'pitch' , as it were. 

 

We could open a Facebook group, but this running record here is working for me at the moment. Depends what others want. The problem with facebook posts is that they get buried. This one keeps them cumulative in a way. Everyone should be reading every post made here, I think. That way we are all on the same page.  and that might be tougher to do in Facebook, but I'm game for whatever you all want. 

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One question to ask ourselves is how many extras are we putting in this campaign? What I mean is that we are already expecting the players have bought every expansion box of Nordheim, Stygia and Khitai. That’s $150 buy-in for the campaign. If we add Yogah and Crossbowmen etc we’re asking for a significant buy-in which may exclude certain players.

 

So, if we assume the boxed sets can we perhaps provide optional adventures for those who have more? “If you own Crossbowmen go to adventure 8, if not go to 9.” It’s more work for us but it makes the campaign more inclusive.

 

Ultimately, I think the writers and playtesters may need some initial top-down guidance in terms of “use these maps, these heroes and these minions/lieutenants/monsters.”

Edited by Neil Amswych

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17 minutes ago, Neil Amswych said:

One question to ask ourselves is how many extras are we putting in this campaign? What I mean is that we are already expecting the players have bought every expansion box of Nordheim, Stygia and Khitai. That’s $150 buy-in for the campaign. If we add Yogah and Crossbowmen etc we’re asking for a significant buy-in which may exclude certain players.

 

So, if we assume the boxed sets can we perhaps provide optional adventures for those who have more? “If you own Crossbowmen go to adventure 8, if not go to 9.” It’s more work for us but it makes the campaign more inclusive.

@NeilAmswych 

This is a valid and considerate thought. Unfortunately any choice we make is going to exclude some or include others. I think if we come up with useful substitution suggestions, like use Bossoian Archers instead of Crossbowmen, we can alleviate some of that. But ultimately someone is going to miss out because they decided not to purchase one item or another. But that shouldn't  limit our use of those items in question.  Like, maybe I am going to use the Witch Hunters, I'm not going to be able to come up with a suggestion for those who don't own them, unfortunately, it is what it is. :(

 

Edited by drmauric
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I was envisioning Conan, Hadrathus, Shintu and Ikhmet infiltrating Khemi to disrupt a meeting between Thoth (who is in the city) and Shuang Mian (who is arriving by boat). If the two sorcerers can meet, they can finish whatever evil ritual they have been planning and thus win the campaign.

 

Each sorcerer will have their own guards, plus perhaps the outer dark demon to provide some extra mobility. As I said earlier, if relics are awarded in earlier scenarios, these can protect the hero or heroes carrying them from the special event (which may or may not be the aforementioned mind control power).

 

Obviously, this could change depending on earlier scenarios, but it's my initial idea.  

 

 

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By the way, if any of my ideas seem way too ambitious, please don’t be afraid to say. I have a tendency to do that! 

 

Speaking of ambitious ideas, there’s a way to create something that doesn’t require ownership of every boxed set. Let’s say I own only Khitai, Fred in New York owns only Nordheim and Terry in England owns only Stygia. They could each run missions in their own area and team up with the results. Then they each play final scenarios based on the core set so they can all complete the campaign in their own location. Now, I appreciate that’s a totally different way of running a campaign and may not be for now, but it’s at least a very fun idea. 

 

Back to earth, though, sequels very often have good guys having to team up with bad guys to defeat an even greater evil (eg Blade II, Terminator 2, etc). It would be nice for us to have some way that a traditional villain could be a hero somehow, especially since we have the hero sheets for them from the KS. Again, though, that’s an accessibility thing because I don’t know if the retail core set has those things.

 

Still, just spitballing ideas right now.

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22 minutes ago, Ken said:

I was envisioning Conan, Hadrathus, Shintu and Ikhmet infiltrating Khemi to disrupt a meeting between Thoth (who is in the city) and Shuang Mian (who is arriving by boat).

 

 

I like this idea a lot and it can inform other scenarios. For example, if I’m doing Stygia I’m already envisioning a 2-part get off the boat into the dock to find the secret entrance to the temple, and then flip the map once you get in. But if the Temple entrance is guarded by Foo Dogs, you wouldn’t normally see them in Stygia and that’s kind of the point to make it interesting. 

 

The other thing your your idea brings up to me is about permanent and local heroes. I know Matt said he wanted people to be able to sub heroes in, but another possibility is to have permanent heroes like Conan and Hadrathus and then local heroes who can be more flexible. So some players get the benefits of leveling up while others get the benefits of playing different heroes, which is fun in a different way. That’s not subbing heroes which means it’s easier to playtest but it does mean that there’s some variance as well. So, for example, when Conan and Hadrathus head to Nordheim, they’re joined by Niord (local hero) and a choice of one other hero from a short list, but when they go to Stygia they leave Niord behind because he doesn’t like sand.

Edited by Neil Amswych

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@MattJohn I agree about the gems. There should be a limit, use them or lose them.  Maybe winner gets 4 gems, loser gets 2 gems.


I'm thinking for my first scenario using the Khitai Tower. Hadrathus has been doing some mystical research and comes to the conclusion that Thoth Amon is a serious threat. He needs to get the message to Conan. Meanwhile Thoth Amon sends his Assasins  (Witch Hunters?)to prevent the news from getting out too soon. Ikmet, the renegade Assasin gets a warning to Belit and her guards mere hours before Thoth Amon's minions strike. No time to prepare defenses, the Heroes must fight for their lives and get the message out of the Tower and into Conan's hands. Hadrathus has also summoned a powerful Guardian to aid in his escape, Yogah of Yag.
 

Edited by drmauric
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25 minutes ago, drmauric said:

@NeilAmswych 

This is a valid and considerate thought. Unfortunately any choice we make is going to exclude some or include others. I think if we come up with useful substitution suggestions, like use Bossoian Archers instead of Crossbowmen, we can alleviate some of that. But ultimately someone is going to miss out because they decided not to purchase one item or another. But that shouldn't  limit our use of those items in question.  Like, maybe I am going to use the Witch Hunters, I'm not going to be able to come up with a suggestion for those who don't own them, unfortunately, it is what it is. :(

 

 

I'm with Dan on this. We can provide those substitutions. I did exactly that in the Modiphius book. Also, as far as tiles go, people can proxy those. Hero sheets can't as they aren't included in the scenarios, but the stats for tiles are. 

@Ken I think that's a great Idea. 

 

@Neil Amswych, I love your ambitious thinking, but I am here to bring you down to earth. Haha. I would say the sky is the limit if you were a lone wolf. But since we're currently 4 minds working together, we should stay grounded and stick to a plan. 

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3 minutes ago, drmauric said:


@MattJohn I agree about the gems. There should be a limit, use them or lose them.  Maybe winner gets 4 gems, loser gets 2 gems.


I'm thinking for my first scenario using the Khitai Tower. Hadrathus has been doing some mystical research and comes to the conclusion that Thoth Amon is a serious threat. He needs to get the message to Conan. Meanwhile Thoth Amon sends his Assasins to prevent the news from getting out too soon. Ikmet, the renegade Assasin gets a warning to Belit and her guards mere hours before Thoth Amon's minions strike. No time to prepare defenses, the Heroes must fight for their lives and get the message out of the Tower and into Conan's hands. Hadrathus has also summoned a powerful Guardian to aid in his escape, Yogah of Yag.
 

 

I think this is a great starting point. The only thing I would switch is Belit. She would be long dead by this time. I know we have a limit on our available heroes, but use the ones from the King Exclusive as well, as those sheets are available on the this very site. Except N'gora, he'd be dead too. So as of now our available Heroes are: Amra Conan, Valeria, Hadrathus, Zelata, Yag Kosha, Inkmet, Niord, and Shentu. Other than Shentu and Inkmet (who are non canon) all the other Heroes mentioned (except Yag but we have a plan for him) are all alive as far as we know. Yes, this is limiting, but the Howard fans will appreciate it, I think. I'll try my best to guide you through any canon issues. Again, we don't need to go this route, but I think many will appreciate it. That's still a nice pool of Heroes to use. Thoughts? The other idea is we use Heroes who according to canon would be dead, but we just rename them in the scenario text. @Primeval will appreciate my trying to stick close to Howard. 

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Feels like somthing would be missing if we didn't start this adventure at Ye Olde Inn... because no good story starts with drinking tea... :)  Just sayin'...

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Here are the King files from which people could proxy Hero sheets. And if there's a Hero you really want to use, I'm not saying 'no'. I'm just trying to keep it focused on the mentioned materials. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, drmauric said:


@MattJohn I agree about the gems. There should be a limit, use them or lose them.  Maybe winner gets 4 gems, loser gets 2 gems.


I'm thinking for my first scenario using the Khitai Tower. Hadrathus has been doing some mystical research and comes to the conclusion that Thoth Amon is a serious threat. He needs to get the message to Conan. Meanwhile Thoth Amon sends his Assasins  (Witch Hunters?)to prevent the news from getting out too soon. Ikmet, the renegade Assasin gets a warning to Belit and her guards mere hours before Thoth Amon's minions strike. No time to prepare defenses, the Heroes must fight for their lives and get the message out of the Tower and into Conan's hands. Hadrathus has also summoned a powerful Guardian to aid in his escape, Yogah of Yag.
 

 

Stygian Assassins make much more sense here, as much as I know you want to use the Witch Hunters. It also helps point to the Stygia map for the next adventure.

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1 minute ago, drmauric said:

Feels like somthing would be missing if we didn't start this adventure at Ye Olde Inn... because no good story starts with drinking tea... :)  Just sayin'...

It could be cool if Hadrathus was attacked an Inn by the Stygian Guards from the Stygia set. They could be like acoloytes from Thoth Amon or something. We're still very early in the planning stages, so we aren't stuck on any one thing. 

 

@drmauric @Ken @Neil Amswych @Primeval let's give it this week to sort out our ideas and make our pitches after that time. gives you time to ponder. then I can assemble these ideas and try to put a more cohesive framework together so we have a real plan and can actually start writing these things. I just don't want anyone to get too far ahead at this moment, if things need to change. also gives others time to jump on board. cool? 

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1 minute ago, Neil Amswych said:

 

Stygian Assassins make much more sense here, as much as I know you want to use the Witch Hunters. It also helps point to the Stygia map for the next adventure.

Excellent point. I do like the idea of the reoccurring Witch Hunters... maybe another time.

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