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Noir

Game Proposal - Swords, Sorcery & Sandals

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Okay, due to an interest being shown in a swords and sorcery game as of late, and with some prodding, I am offering to run a game in a setting of my creation that has been developed and refined over several years.

 

The system I am still not sure about. Either D6 fantasy or, more likely, the basic 1st Ed L5R mechanics with some tweaking (not setting). Both are pretty simple and quick to pick up. I will post all you need for L5R mechanics if I go that route. I am also open to other suggestions as well.\

 

if there is interest, then I can post more about character generation.

 

I am looking for 3-5 players, though can go higher as long as people can post with some frequency.

 

 

 

Now some setting info...

 

- - - Praetea - - -

The major power and largest know kingdom is the Praetean Imperium or Empire of Praetea. Praetea is ruled by an Emperor with a senate representing the people and bringing matters to his attention, but with little power on its own. (Praetea is very heavily Ancient Greece/ Roman Empire in theme and appearance) It started as a center of learning and commerce, but after they were nearly conquered by an outside force, they decided that they would never let it happen again. From then on they set their minds and mercantile acumen to building, equipping and organizing an army. That army grew into the Praetean Legions, the most well organized, disciplined and equipped army in the know world. From there the Praeteans decided they would extend their protection to their neighbors. It began with good intentions, but soon it seemed that they felt every kingdom could use their 'protection'. Or perhaps they felt that if they ruled the world, there would be no outside threat to worry about?

Regardless, Praetea grew and grew. First they would send envoys to a kingdom offering them the privilege of joining the Empire, often with the ruler becoming the Praetean governor. Many kingdoms accepted because along with accepting Praetean rule came other benefits: the protection of the Praetean Legions, a chance at Praetean citizenship, better education and civic engineering and often general prosperity.  Those who refused discovered the might of the Praetean Legions first hand, conquering and installing their own Govenors and often drawing slaves from the populace.

Within the Empire there are citizens, subjects and slaves.

Citizens have special rights afforded to them, including the ability to own large amounts of lands and slaves. The majority of citizens live within Praetea proper, often owning holdings in the outlying parts of the Empire. Some of the nobility of kingdoms that willingly joined the Empire having attained citizenship as well. It is exceedingly rare for a non-human to gain citizenship, but it has been know to happen.

The majority of the free people within the Empire are subjects. They live under Praetean rule and law, and for the most part enjoy and support it. They are the majority of the small business owners, craftsmen and the typical townsfolk.

Slaves are usually drawn from conquered kingdoms or the occasional criminal. For the most part slaves are treated like servants with fairly comfortable lives of servitude. Other slaves live out their lives working massive farms or other hard labor jobs.

Gladiatorial games are the most popular diversion for the Praeteans. A gladiator (or gladiatrix) is often a slave, but some subjects and even citizens choose to compete in the arena either for wealth or sport (or both). The Praeteans find the idea of a free man fighting a slave in the arena rather appealing. On one hand you have a salve who has nothing to lose and therefore fights with every ounce of his spirit facing against a free man who made the choice to enter the arena and display his superior skill.

Praeteans are generally distrustful of magic (largely because they are not very good at it) due to it's wild and often uncontrollable nature (in their view). The Praeteans have become rather adept at fighting enemies bolstered by magic. The only area of magic that the Praeteans have had much success is in learning to counterspell and even that success is limited. Even Praetean clerics do not practice magic to speak of. As a general rule the Praeteans like to be self reliant and not have to ask for divine intervention.


- - - Lykans and Northmen - - -

To the north of Praetea the terrain becomes much more rough with foothills, mountains and most of all immense, thick, evergreen forests. In these lands the temperature drops and snow can be often be found, with some of the northern reaches being capped in snow year round. In these lands live the Lykans (in the Praetean tongue). They are wolfmen who live in tribes and thought to be the offspring of Lykanthropos, a Praetean sorcerer who dabbled too closely in some animistic magic and became a half-man/half-wolf, who was cast out to the northern forests. They are intelligent, but barbaric and seem to resist the Praetean ideal of civilization with almost a religious fervor. They Lykans do work metal, but eschew armor, and have a fondness for precious metals, especially silver. They live in semi-permanent villages so some trade with them is possible from time to time. They have adopted a form of coinage they wear, called hackmetal, in the form of crude, spiraling bracelets made of precious metals. When one must pay, they remove the bracelet and hack off a piece of the precious metal of appropriate value. After a short time all the little bits are melted back down and formed into a new hackmetal bracelet.

In addition to the Lykans, there are the Northmen. Nobody had seen or heard of a Northman until just over a century ago when the the massive (6'+, 180+ lbs typically), bearded men (viking inspired) just seemed to appear in the north. They warred with the Lykans (who they call Ulfmen) initially, but soon reached an understanding. Some Northmen possess rune magic, which they use to enchant items mostly, but some have been known to call upon more dynamic effects (such as a lightning bolt from the heavens). The Northmen also seem to live in semi-permanent communities with no king ruling over them all. Thus far, the Northmen have also refused all offers to join the Empire and seem content in the north, somehow surviving and occasionally raiding northern Praetean settlements.


- - - Orekhovo - - -

Orekhovo (often called Orcs for short and due to a guttural sound they sometimes make) are a tribal, nomadic, horse people (akin to the mongols). They wander, raid, and occasionally sell themselves as mercenaries. Orekhovo look like slightly brutish or savage humans with a slightly heavier build and a pair of tusks often keeping out from behind their lower lip with skintones in the ranking from olive to dark brown. Orekhovo have a natural affinity with animals and nature in general, making them excellent horsemen. Orekhovo possess a form of shamanistic magic, but do not often use it in battle. The Orekhovo represent a constant nuisance to the Praeteans, but due to their number and extreme mobility, the Praeteans have not been able to capture or eradicate them as of yet.

 

 

- - - Atanidare - - -

 

The Praetean expansion has met with setbacks and failures though. One of it so the south of Praetea, the City-state of Atanidare. Several years after politely refusing an invitation to join the Empire, the Praetean Legions marched on Atanidare. The people withdrew into the city and behind its massive, stone walls and battlements. The Praeteans laid siege to the walled city of Atanidare for nearly a decade, with Atanidare peacefully resisted, using their magic to repair and reinforce the walls.

 

Meanwhile, behind the walls the population was forced to deal with massive overcrowding and a shortage of food. They turned to the magic (some say with the help of the Apshan Sidhe) and through some of the greatest workings mankind has ever accomplished increased the size of the city within the walls. They did so by layering space upon space, so if an intersection one walks down a street from the east it will have different shops, buildings and so forth than if one turned onto the same street from west. This allowed them to increase the amount of space, have land for crops and even lakes for fishing and water.

 

After nearly a decade the Praeteans just could not breakthrough the walls nor starve out Atanidare. With a stalemate reached, both sides sued for peace. Atanidare, still refusing to join the Empire, agreed to a peace treat with Praetea, which the Praeteans used as an example of their kindness. The two nations are somewhat friendly now with trade between them.

 

So now behind the walls of the city of Atanidare is virtually an entire small nation. It also had the effect of making the city a near impossible maze to navigate for any but the locals (and they too get lost on occasion).  Visitors must hire a guide to simply navigate the city with any certainty. Ther use of magic in resisting Praetean aggression has earned the peaceful Atanidare a reputation as some of the best non-sidhe sorcerers in the known world.

 

 

- - - Nosuv - - -

 

Another failure of the Praeteans is the ancient city-state of Nosuv. The Praeteans were impressed with the city state as they approached, its borders made clear by massive, metal statues of warriors. The massive stonewalls of the city is graced with enormous metal statues of warriors as well. With a preference for independence, they refused the Praetean invitation and were soon marched on by the Praetean Legions. The the Praetean's horror, the metal statues were not statues at all, but enormous, metal golems. The golems laid waste to an entire Legion before the Praeteans could withdraw.

 

After the 'battle', the Praeteans approached with an offering of peace and signed a treaty with Nosuv, stating that they respected Nosuv's strength and independence and therefore do not need Praetean protection, but are welcomed friends of the Empire. The two nations are somewhat friendly now with trade between them.

 

 

- - - Ruskova - - -

 

Praetean expansion to the vast forests and plains of the northeast as begun to find the edges of another empire, Ruskova. Information on the Ruskova (russian inspired) is limited at the moment, but it would seem they are a human dominated empire with Dwaur, Dain-Sidhe, Orekhovo and even some Lykans and Northmen living under their rule. The age of Praeteans expansion eastward may be over, or a new dawn of war may be on the horizon...

 

 

- - - Giant-Kin - - -

The Giant-Kin encompass a range of generally stout races, ranging from the various giants to Dwaur (dwarves) and Ni-dwaur (gnomes). They all seem to claim some form of ancient kinship, and as such aid one another when needed. Some even speculate that the Northmen may be some form of giant-kin

Giants come in various types and are rather rare, having largely withdrawn to the most impassible mountains or unforgiving forests. They range from 10'-20' usually, though some ancient stores tell of giants 60'+ tall. They are rather reclusive and have little dealings with other races aside from other giant-kin.

Dwaur are short (3'5"-5') stout race that live almost exclusively in the mountain ranges all over the known world within they 'keeps'. Each keep consists of a small fortress above ground where any trading with other races is typically done, and an expansive underground dwelling containing the town or city proper, all of the housing, quarters, workshop, halls, forges and so forth with each keep ruled by a Lord. When needed though, Keeps will band together to repulse greater threats and support one another.

Most keeps are built around a mine, a forge, or some natural resource or structure of importance. Occasionally a keep specializes in brewing the various ales, lagers and other strong drinks the dwaur prefer. There are even stories of dwaur keeps built in the foothills, near vasts forest where the dwaur cut timber and mill lumber, sometimes with the aid of the larger kin.

Most keeps maintain a sizable fighting force, the Stone Guard, with the rest of the population effectively being reserves as each dawur is typically expected to serve in the keep's Stone Guard for not less than ten years. To ensure their Stone Guard gain experience and become battle-hardened, the Lord often sends small units of them out into the world to work as small mercenary units. In this way they gain experience, make some coin, and gather more information on the ever-changing outside world.

Many keeps have a guildhouse of the Engineering Guild. The Engineering Guild is constantly working to advance dawur engineering and technology. They are composed of the finest masons, smiths, carpenters and engineers of the dwaur race (as well as many Ni-dwaur !)

Dwaur practice Forge Magic to make their incredible magic items, and to a less degree, elemental magic. Clerical magic is virtually unheard of among the dwaur as they worship ancestors and on rare occasional elemental forces.

Ni-dwaur are a small people (around 3' tall) who have a natural fascination for engineering, and to a much less degree, magic. They live with the dwaur in their keeps mostly, with the occasional settlement in the mountains or woods. The Ni-dwaur are generally good-natured people, but can be annoying with their inquisitiveness and excessive sense of humor. Many of them belong to the Engineering Guild and tend to specialize in the mechanical, especially clockwork devices.


- - - Sidhe and Dain-Sidhe - - -

The Sidhe look like attractive humans who are 2"-6" taller than the average human. It is said that the Sidhe are immortal and live until killed and unmatched masters of the arcane. Sidhe physically mature at roughly the same rate as humans, though once they reach an age somewhere in the rough human equivalent of 20-35 physically, they become ageless. It is difficult to gain much information about them though as few ever seem their lands, the three Sidhe Courts...

To the west, in the ocean it is said the Sidhe Court of Emmer inhabits a chain of islands (mediterranean inspired). All know the olive-skinned, Emmerian Sidhe are the best sailors in the known world and skilled merchants and negotiators. The Emmerian Sidhe are known for the magic of their Storm Maidens.

To the east, far into an ancient forest, it is said sits the Sidhe Court of Torren. The Torrenian Sidhe are fair of skin with blonde, auburn and brunette hair (celtic inspired). The borders of their court are guarded by the Sidhe Wardens, master woodsmen and rangers. archers, herbalists and friend of the beasts, capable of vanishing into the forest. It is said their Ecomancers can turn the beasts, and the very forest itself against their enemies.

To the south, deep in the desert it is said the Sidhe Court of Apsha with its massive stone structures (egyptian inspired) sits concealed by a combination of illusionary and spatial magics. The Apshan Sidhe tend to be of varying darker skin tones with dark hair that is usually shaved bald. Of all the courts, the Apshans are said to be the most skilled at the arcane arts.

Due to their lifespans, the Sidhe are undisputed masters of magic, using it even construction, resulting in structures that would be impossible otherwise. Magic is so common among them that they even have what they call Petty Magic. The sidhe have mastered spell permanence, resulting in the most well known form sidhe petty magic (or magic in general) called "The Evers". Through use of The Evers, sidhe blades are made ever-sharp, their edges never needing sharpening. Sidhe clothing is often made ever-clean, ensuring that accidental spills and dust from travels will not soil the fine sidhe textiles.  The Apshan Sidhe (and some Emmerians) wear ever-cool clothing and carry ever-cool and ever-fresh waterskins, ensuring a fresh, cool drink. Sidhe rain wear is often ever-dry and ever-clean. The application of The Evers is almost limitless and so common that most sidhe to not even pay it any mind.

It is believed that the Sidhe reproduce very slowly along themselves, but it is known that the union between a sidhe and a human are often successful, resulting in a child of mixed species called a Dain-Sidhe by the Sidhe (or sometimes the term "Elf" is used in a semi-derogatory fashion by humans). Dain-Sidhe are one to three inches above average human height and tend to be barely slighter of build and possess slightly pointed ears.

Sidhe often become enamoured with humans and the passion they possess. This often results in the birth of a illegitimate dain-sidhe child. Sidhe parents often offer to take the dain-sidhe child back to their courts and raise them there, giving them a much better life. Dain-Sidhe may also reproduce among themselves, but fertility rates are said to be low. A dain-sidhe breeds with a human, the child is almost always human.

The majority of dain-sidhe (80%+) live as part of the sidhe courts and as such the dain-sidhe make up the majority of the population of the sidhe courts (75-90%) where they serve and assist the sidhe. In fact, most outsiders mistake the dain-sidhe for the actual sidhe since they are far more common (and noticeable).

The sidhe are ruled by a High Queen who travels from court to court with her royal entourage, staying for decades at a time before moving on to the next Court.

 

The Sidhe love life and pursue peace. They worked to get the various nations on the same monetary system. Coins may vary, but the value is the same with the same amount of precious metals. This aloe eased trade and cooperation between nations. In addition the sidhe offer an advisor to the Emperors, Kings and so forth of the world, hoping to help guide them on a more peaceful path. As such, they are often frustrated with Praetea. The sidhe see that the Praeteans has good intention in the beginning, and still do to a degree, but dislike how comfortable they have become with war.

 

It is said that the Sidhe and the Dwaur populated most of the world when man was still an infant race until something led to a devastating war and afterward each withdrew from the world largely and watched the rise of Man. If that is true, it seems little grudge is held as Sidhe and Dwaur seems to get along (for the most part) well enough when they meet, often finding more kinship with each other than many other races.

 

 

- - - Others - - -

 

Other races populate the world as well, though often in smaller numbers or coming from far away lands.

 

A variety of intelligent humanoid animal species exist, thought to the result of earlier experiments by Lykanthropos or other sorcerers. Savage lizardmen in the swamps and deserts, small bat-men occasioanlly seen in the mountains, foxmen from the forest and so forth. (there is plenty of room for other ideas too).

 

To the northwest, across the water, it is said the ancient human kingdom of Iperomia can be found, rumored to be nearly the rivals of the Sidhe in the arts of magic.

 

Many other smaller kingdoms exist, either as provinces of the Empire now or as nations that were not, or have not yet been, conquered by the Praeteans There is plenty of wiggle room of other ideas and suggestions.

 

 

- - - Money - - -

 

Money falls on the standard scale for most fantasy game:

 

1 gold = 10 silver = 100 copper = 1,000 bits

 

The copper "bit" is common for petty transactions

 

Larger coins exist, but usually only see use by merchant houses and the extremely wealthy.

 

 

- - - Weapons & Armor - - -

 

In this age, aside from various forms or leather and hard leather armor, the most common forms of armor are Scale, Lamellar, Laminar. Chainmail is a rare thing, breastplates exist. Full plate does exist as well but is almost unheard of except for the rare, wealthy Praetean noble leading troops into battle or the most elite Dwaur heavy infantry. Many wear no armor of piecemeal armor together to balance protection, comfort and mobility. As such the most common form of protection is a stout shield and/or a good helmet. Bronze is still a common metal used for armor manufacture with steel being reserved for the production of blades.

 

Swords of various designs are common (thought tend more toward the short sword side) as well as knives and daggers. The club, mace, axe, hammer and pick are also in use.

 

For ranged attack, slings, javelins and bows are common.

 

Other exotic rare and/or exotic weapons exist as well.

 

The Dwaur prefer axes, hammers and picks, generally eschewing the sword as it is made only for killing others, where as the axe, hammer and pick are tools with other uses (and which the typical dwarf is more familiar with). For ranged attacks the Dwaur use a (fairly) recent invention (by Dwaur standards) of the Engineering Guild, the crossbow.

 

The Sidhe (and Dain-Sidhe) melee fight primarily with spears and after that they use a weapon that is midway between a sword and spear with a sword blade but a much longer handle allowing for more control and reach. As a last resort often a sidhe will draw his sword. For ranged attacks they are masters of the bow, having created various designs of longbow, shortbow and the feared Sidhe Warbow.

 

 

- - - Magic - - -

 

Magic exists, but it is not as common, well understood or trusted as in most settings (Like D&D in general). Magic can be powerful, but difficult to control, as such, it is often feared and misunderstood. Too many tales of spells and magical experiments gone wrong exist for many to have much faith it in. Humans, by and large, have little magic (with some exceptions) due to a lack of talent and time while the Dwaur have specialized magic and Sidhe are the masters of magic.

 

Some cultures and races have specialized forms of magic, such as the Dwaur Forgemage, the Northman Runekeeper, the Orekhovo Shaman and the Sidhe Ecomancer to name a few. Again, there is room to work.

 

Clerical magic, for the most part, is very rare and/or limited. That is not to say that there are no clerics and that people do not have religion, which most do, they simply try to take care of matters on their own instead of troubling their god(s) with their petty needs.

 

 

 

Feel free to ask question. I in no way fleshed out everything with this post, but just wanted too give a better idea of the setting and feel. (i.e. more ancient world that knights of europe)

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I confess, sword and sorcery is something I like, not sure that either of those systems appeal much though.

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Then suggest something else. Hehe.

 

Though I always care more about the game than the system. I have endured utterly terrible systems for great games.

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D6 is at my disposal, but I do not have L5R (which edition?)

Either way, I'm going with a Torrenian Sidhe who's spent the last few centuries among the mortals. She loves the idea of adventuring but has to check in with the forest court every once in a while. Every time she comes back (a few decades) things look totally different!

She has great command of Sidhe magic and uses human weapons. They're fun. She has an aversion to armor and prefers her ever clothing that keeps her warm and protected.

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Well.. mutants and masterminds is one possibility, and gives a lot of freedom in terms of character creation but Numinara could also work, with a few changes, a Nano could easily changed to a sort of mage,  but BESM could also work.

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D6 is at my disposal, but I do not have L5R (which edition?)

Either way, I'm going with a Torrenian Sidhe who's spent the last few centuries among the mortals. She loves the idea of adventuring but has to check in with the forest court every once in a while. Every time she comes back (a few decades) things look totally different!

She has great command of Sidhe magic and uses human weapons. They're fun. She has an aversion to armor and prefers her ever clothing that keeps her warm and protected.

 

 

Any Sidhe PC would probably be young (under 100) and thus would probably not have a great command of Sidhe magic. That is not to say she could not know magic, but her proficiency would not be called "a great command". Heh.

 

 

 

Well.. mutants and masterminds is one possibility, and gives a lot of freedom in terms of character creation but Numinara could also work, with a few changes, a Nano could easily changed to a sort of mage,  but BESM could also work.

 

Unfortunately, I am only vaguely familiar with M&M (never even did combat), and do not know the other systems at all.

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Fair enough then.. of the two, I actually have D6 fantasy, but if you prefer to use L5R, I'll give it a chance.

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I've played L5R before, but it seems like you'd be doing quite a bit of work to fit something as open as this into that system.

Never heard of this D6 you mention.

Honestly, this setting you've created seems perfect for a homebrew D&D world or perhaps even Arcanis, lessened magic notwithstanding. 

 

I find myself interested by the way you have re-skinned much of the real world, even if I don't end up playing I may just watch the game progress.  These Praeteans embody everything I've always despised about Imperialist hubris and I'd be interested to see what trouble they'd get themselves into (All empires fall ;) ).  And the Atanidari seem like they have built themselves an entire pocket dimension like Brigadoon or the Imaskari from Faerun.

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There's quote coming to mind when I see northwomen like this.  Something having to do with John Snow perhaps?

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Okay. Since there is interest I will post a rules primer and character creation stuff shortly (tonight or this weekend most likely).

 

And keep in mind, that list of nations is not all inclusive by any means. I just wanted to give the flavor and cover the major points.

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Wow! Nice!

 

I am like 99% done with rules and CharGen stuff. Should be posting today/tonight.

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Presently thinking the following as Sidhe Warden, I rather like her look, and the huge lynx is cool.

Half_Elf_Girl_by_kerembeyit.jpg

Alternatively.. this is possible, though I'm not sure about the magic bow22-archer-elf-elves-illustrations-artwor

or this.. same thought about the arrows now...

004a56aa146f57d439924ffa980eb43b.jpg

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So, selected the middle picture above..  A sidhe warden, a lady of the wilderness, friend to every animal, tender of every plant, a woman with incredible talent with bow and with animal in the wild, her parents were both ecomancers, but she didn't quite possess the gift.. but she's a number of unusual gifts anyway, she's much closer to the nature then most, and some of her talents are inner gifts of a sort many humans mistake for Ecomancy, much to her irritation.

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A brooding giant of a man. From a distance, you can be forgiven for mistaking him for a Northman, but up close his dominant Praetan ancestry becomes apparent. Clad in oft-mended legion armor, his glower is one of impersonal, almost professional hatred.

 

post-3463-0-69382700-1434505066_thumb.jp

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Hm, is this a homebrew system?

 

 

Edit: Ah...i see.  this is classic L5R...

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It is 1st ed L5r with some stuff from later editions and some tweaks of my own.

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So right now we are looking at...


Sidhe Ecomancer - Chel Malliath (Beautiful Dreamer)

Sidhe Warden - Siobhan Rowan (Krul)

Northwoman Shieldmaiden (Warrior) - Torny Ericsdottir (Nina)

Praetean Berzerker - Nashael Damaskos (Rubio)

 

and most likely..
 

Dwaur Stoneguard - Fimrin Steelbasher

And possibly..

Atanidari Rogue - TBNL (Jer)

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Just checking where everybody is at. I would like to start on or around the 4th of July (give or take). It's a goal, but not set in stone.

 

I know Krul, Nina and Pseudo are done.

BD is finishing up the last few little things as I write this.

I think Jer is done, but not positive.

I am not sure about Rubio though..

 

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Oh, I'm still in. Sorry, a few things caught up with me that character generation had to jump on the back burner. I'll get back on to it.

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No worries. I am just trying to get an idea of where everybody is and if people need help, have questions or the like. I know sometimes the last few things with a character seems like they take the longest. Hehe.

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Sorry. between BD's accident and my bit of writer's block, things were delayed. Will be starting this week though!.

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