Kingdom Under Siege
First page of a tattered journal:
"...The Border Princes have never been the most hospitable of regions but now, with orcs pillaging the countryside, skaven infiltrating cities, life has never been more difficult. War isn't good for normal people. Never was. Lives lost. Families broken. Rampaging poverty and disease. It was a time of strife, when brother fought brother for a piece of bread. But this is not a story of suffering and hunger and death.
It is a tale of a group that decided to cry out against fate, rather than bow their heads and succumb. It is a story of a band of individuals that would have never worked together in time of peace. It is a testament of how a motley band rises to the challenge of heroic feats - because they have to.
It is a story of times when the die of fate are cast by the gods, when the gods watch, interfere and cheat..."
FEW CHANGES IN THE SETTING
If you have gold, you are rich. I mean it. One gold crown will be enough to sleep, eat and sparingly drink in an average tavern/pub/guesthouse for a MONTH. Don't get me started on precious stones. Oooooft. All prices have been reworked to reflect that
1 gc(golden crown) = 20ss(silver shillings) = 400cp (copper pence)
DEITIES & RELIGION
There will be a few new deities to choose from. Oh, and try and not piss them off. They are fickle and vengeful, but sometimes will grant you boons. Boons are granted to people who follow the tenets of their faith, make offerings and pray.
CHANGES IN GAMEPLAY MECHANICS
Just forget what you learned from the books, apart from the d100 rolls. Forget the professions - know who you want your character to be:
Warriors / Fighters : They are limited by weapon proficiencies, but there are "maneouvers" that expand them quite nicely. They are for warriors what magic spells are for spellcasters
Thieves / Assassins : They are considerably more badass and will have the skills / equipment to f*ck people up badly. Stealth, poisons, bombs, smokescreens, disguises - what have you.
Priests : They have considerable sway over people of their religion and are limited spellcasters. Warrior priests are not uncommon.
Spellcasters : Please consider them mainly as mobile artillery in a fight - kind of glass cannons.
Anything in between is cool as long as you have an idea...
Alvinion: Alvinion is a flying castle, which one can enter through a portal located in a rock outcropping smack in the middle of the Border Princes. Beware they, who try to come in uninvited. It is ruled by consensus by six lords (one of which is Lord Keldon von Richthoffen, while the others' identities remain unknown), residing mostly in the six towers of the castle. It is sparsely populated with individuals hand-picked and invited to live and work there. There are no taxes per se, but everyone has to contribute where needed. All residents are subject to 2 laws: that the lords' word is law, and everyone is to show respect to everyone else (if at least for the fact that offending a lord can and will end in any of the following: flogging, torture, execution or what is called Deathjump)
Lord Keldon von Richthoffen: One of the six lords of Alvinion (more commonly known as The Goddamn Flying Castle). Skilled in the art of warfare, politics and subterfuge. He holds absolute power in the castle, unless contested by any of the other lords (whose identities are currently unknown). Sometimes introduces himself as The Corporal - the rank with which he ended regular military service years ago. Has a particular dislike of mages and elves (one named Len in particular) - the source of which seem to stem from past experiences rather than common racial bias (he IS biased now). He is the face of Alvinion in "foreign" relations as well as recruitment. It has recently been revealed by The Storyteller that he keeps his religious beliefs and practices to himself.
Thagrim Ironbeard: The resident blacksmith and quartermaster. Known for his short (even for a dwarf) temper, fondness of mechanical contraptions and drink. Oh and as most Dwarves he dislikes elves.
Shila: The resident healer. She keeps a decent library of tomes on medicine, biology, chemistry and monsters. Also runs the infirmary. She seems a bit cold and lacking in bedside manner, but no-one doubts her skill.
Wilhelm Tratter: Resident carpenter and woodworker. Mostly keeps to himself in his workshop.
"Mage": There is a resident mage in the castle.
"Marius von Bohenwald": Merchant who turned out to be a Witchhunter, inconveniencing players at one point. I has become apparent later on, that he is, in fact, leader of an Assassins' Guild cell, and has since been employed by the lords of Alvinion.
The Storyteller: A man in his 50s, with greying hair. He travels and trades real stories, one for one. He seems to have an uncanny ability to see through deception and lies. When asked for a story, he reads from The Book of Proverbs, which he carries on his person at all times. He claims to have met an elf named Len many years ago (more than his age would suggest), as well as a man named Keldon.
The Free Company of Nuln: A six man strong mercenary band, rumored to be around since a century and a half ago. They never take on new members. The only exception being when one of them dies or retires, they find someone looking alike and train him to join. They are led by a man named Aaron Gallowglass, who rides a giant wolf into combat. There are some dwarves who claim to have met the men 150 years ago during The Great Siege of Karak and claim they are the same people still. It is obviously rubbish, since no human lives that long, but dwarves kind of forget that (and since the men claiming this are short, bearded and carry axes - no one tells them that).