The Powers Unveiled
The Darkness is approximately 300 miles north to south, by 300 miles east to west. It is underground in an unknown location, but somehow the seasons and weather conditions are simulated here perfectly. Many assume by magical means. It consists of four walled off areas. While at first glance the walls see superfluous, closer examination reveals that the walls are made up of a strange gray marble like substance laced with adamantine and covered in arcane runes. Likely their purpose lies closer to some form of circle of protection.
The central area is the hub and has the feel of a populous and thriving city. The second ring is dedicated to agriculture, providing all of the farms needed to provide for the people. The third ring is more like the outlying suburbs of a prospering city. The final and fourth ring is what gave this “land” the name The Darkness.
An entirely rural area, few people manage to eek out an existence here or even bother. For most never survive. The legends and myths speak of a dark form that appears out of nowhere claiming those foolish enough to lay foot in this area. The Black Guard never venture forth into this area.
In the central hub there is the Office of Duty, a name which has lead many children down a fit of laughter. It is here that prospects willing to train to become adventurers or specialize in a craft come to learn. They are tested for aptitudes, given advice and options, and then ultimately allowed to pursue the path of their choice.
The government is entirely self-sufficient providing its own city officials. Only levelers are allowed to become a city official and only after being gone for over ten years. All non-levelers are only allowed Staff positions. The economy is run in as near perfect of a Socialist experiment as you could imagine. All standards, and comforts, of living are provided. The standard crimes are met with summary but fair judgement as you’d expect in any kingdom except for three.
For murder you are sent to The Graveyard where you spend eternity being tortured by Hextech Wracks overseen by the Black Guard. For theft you lose one entire limb. If caught stealing a second time you are sent to the Graveyard. If you do not perform your assigned duties and responsibilities to contribute to the community you are put to death. Crime is nearly non-existent in The Darkness.
Citizens can also apply for The Test at any time. This runs adventurers through a series of power leveling experiments meant to test and expose citizens to the dangers in the rest of the world. Most craftsmen however level on their own through their trade craft and then simply apply to leave the city. No levelers are ever allowed to stay in the city. Once it is determined they are a leveler they must leave the city and may never return until ten years have passed. Those that do return never speak of where they went, or what they saw. There is no crime or punishment for not leaving because the Black Guard have never allowed anyone to remain. Non-levelers are allowed to remain in The Darkness for their natural life span.
The Party on Day 1
This is your home and where you have lived for the past 3 years, the past 50, or anywhere inbetween. That’s entirely up to you. All characters come here at the age of 12 escorted by the Black Guard and you have no memory of anything that happened to you before this time in your life.
The city is nuanced and has many different player races, but humans are the most populous of course. There are also very interesting subdivisions that replicate modern day times and fantasy times as well. There is a cluster of Elven Tree Homes in the agriculture ring where many elves live. But there is also “Elf Town” in the central hub where mainly elves live in a small area about the size of the French Quarter.
All backgrounds except for Sailor and Noble are allowed. Obviously the main “goal” is to get out of The Darkness and the game picks up on Day 1 waking up in the Tavern before they head down for The Test. The party will be formed with NPC’s for Day 1’s Test. It is common for prospects to be formed with a new party of people they have never met before. So you all may choose whether you all are friends or strangers. It’s entirely up to you.
Please do not overly work on your background history too much. Try to keep it to about 2 paragraphs or so. When you leave The Darkness the major world history opens up to you and you will have more information on where you really may have come from.
Some house rules will exist since reading the DMG and Monsters. Everyone always has magic weapons in our games so certain creatures’ resistances will improve. For example, Werewolves will have Resistance to all weapons not silvered including magical ones. I’m tired of Damage Resistance not mattering anymore.
Also Druids of the Moon (Shifters) will be house ruled in some manner to get rid of the temp hp. If someone plays it I’ll look at how we have to balance it, otherwise I’m not dealing with it for now.