Life in Waterdeep can be exciting. There’s always something going on. To many, it’s a playground. To you, however, it’s nothing special. It’s your home and has been the whole of your ordinary life. During the day, you work to put food on the table, and an exciting evening consists of a few drinks at a local pub with some friends. You have dreams, sure. You see those adventurers strutting around town with their fancy weapons and touting their exciting tales of danger and mystery, and it interests you. How did they get started? How would you get started? Well, for the past few months, you have been keeping a secret. In your spare time, you’ve been training. Whether it be sword or bow or magic, you’ve been expanding your horizons. Now, the question remains: How do you get started?
Like someone has been reading your mind, a notice appears on the wall next to the door of your pub:
The notice contains a date, a time and a location, which is the Rusty Nail pub in the Castle Ward.
You dismiss the advertisement at first. Sure, you’ve been practicing, but you’ve got a normal life. You don’t have time to run off and defeat monsters or save those in distress, right? But the message weighs on your mind. You think about it at work. You think about it at night. When you’re at your usual pub, your eyes keep straying to the notice. The day before the date on the notice, you finally decide to at least go to the Rusty Nail to find out more about the job. You have this equipment you’ve purchased, so it will feel less like a waste of money if you actually pretend you’re using it.
The next day, you make your excuses to whomever you need to and make your way to the Castle Ward at the right time. It’s easy to find the Rusty Nail. It’s surprisingly easy. The outside of the pub is non-descript. You pass buildings like this one every day and pay them no mind. But this one caught your attention immediately. In fact, you’re pretty sure you knew it was the Rusty Nail even before the saw the small sign beside the front door. But that’s not possible, right?
You enter through the front door and find yourself in a dimly lit room with just two tables and a small bar on the back wall. Five unique individuals are sitting at one of the tables. When you enter, the five look up at you, then avert their eyes. Despite the availability of the empty table, you sit down in the last empty chair at the table the five are sitting at. No one speaks. No one looks surprised.
A couple of heartbeats later, a voice comes from beside the table. Everyone looks around to see a gray-haired elf standing there. He is dressed in smart robes of crimson and silver. On his head is a short, but pointy hat. It is also crimson and silver. His face is aglow with a warm smile. It makes you smile. “Thank you for coming,” he says in his smooth voice, staring straight at you and ignoring the others. “I’m so excited that you have answered my notice. You have exactly the skills I’m looking for.” He extends an arm toward the bar. “Will you please follow me to the bar?” You stand, as do the rest of the individuals at your table, and follow the elf the short distance to the bar. You and the other five line up behind the bar, looking at the elf. He continues to smile, standing at one end of the counter. Extending his arm once again, he indicates the long mirror hung behind the bar. “Please, take a look at yourselves. You’re perfect.” You look into the mirror, first examining your own face, then letting your eyes travel down the line to the faces of the other five as well. “Perfect,” the elf says again.
Then, there is darkness.
I’m looking for five players to join me in an idea I’ve concocted. I have planned for this campaign to only contain combat — no roleplay. The game will consist of one battle per level. We — for I will be playing with you — will be fighting ourselves. The six Level 1 characters we create (primaries) will fight the same six Level 1 characters (copies). After this battle, everyone will level up to Level 2 and fight the same Level 2 characters. The changes you make to your character will be mirrored in its copy. (At the end of every battle, all the copies will be deleted, and once all the changes have been made to the primaries, they will each be duplicated to create the copies.) Two to three to four and up to Level 20. At least, that’s the goal. The battles will be evenly matched. It will be a test in using a character’s abilities the best way.
How are the characters controlled? I will be the DM, and, ultimately, I will have the final say in disputes or when a decision needs to be made. However, at the beginning of every battle, the copies will be divvied up randomly among all the players instead of me controlling all the copies. Each player (and me) will control their primary and someone else’s copy. No player will have control of both their primary and its copy.
At the start of each battle, once ownership is assigned, each player will take control of the character sheet for the copy they have been assigned. It will be up to them to keep up with HP, spell slots, etc.
As I said, this is an idea, so if I find any of the mechanics cheapen the game (or make it too difficult), I reserve the right to change the rules. Ultimately, my goal is to have fun. Sound interesting to you?
Critical Role Content is the only source that should be turned on.
Advancement Type: Milestone
Hit Point Type: Fixed
Allowed: Aasimar, Dragonborn, Dwarf, Elf, Firbolg, Genasi, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Halfling, Human, Tabaxi, Tiefling, and Triton — and any of their official variations
If you choose Human Variant, you may choose any official feat.
Everyone will start out at Level 1. You will be allowed to multiclass.
Use either Standard Array or Point Buy.
Any official background is acceptable.
Start with Equipment (not Gold). You will likely only need weapons and armor, but sometimes people get creative with other pieces of equipment, so I’m not going to discourage you from having other items in your inventory. You may sell/purchase equipment with your remaining gold during character creation if you wish. For instance, if you get leather armor with your starting equipment, but you can sell enough of your starting equipment to have 35 gold on hand, you can sell the leather back for 10 gold and buy studded leather for 45. This is the only time you will receive a 100% trade-in rate.
There’s no real reason to create a backstory, choose characteristics, or any of that. I’m normally a big advocate for flushing out a character, but with there not being any roleplay in this campaign (as far as I’m planning), all of that is unnecessary. Play the character’s actions like you’d want to and not how the character would play. You’re playing as you with these abilities. Same with the copy. You’re playing as you with those abilities.
Please Play the Game
It would be easy to play in a way where the copies are wimps and the primaries stomp them. But what’s the fun in that? How will you really know your character’s power if its foes don’t fight back? I hope those who express an interest in joining the campaign will join it planning to play your hardest with both characters they control for each battle.
How to Apply
If you’re interested, post below that you’re sending me a PM and then actually apply through PM. You don’t need to go to the trouble of creating your character if you don’t want to, but I do want to know what class you will pick. I’ll be researching each applicant a little to see how long they’ve been playing, how often they post, and what kind of player they are. But the class you choose will almost assuredly play a part in the selection process as well.
Feel free to research me as a DM. I’m DMing three campaigns right now: Echoes of the Past, Chapter One, and Seldom Spring. Not every DM is for every player, and I’d hate for you to get started and then decide I bug you in some way and drop out.
I will take applications through the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 29 (I’m in EST). I’d like to let everyone know that night if they've been chosen. This is going be a crazy week, though, so I’m not swearing to it — just planning on it.