Lead

Jan 21 12 5:33 PM

Tags : :

Preface:
Forgive my impertinence, being a newbie and posting this and all, but I just couldn't resist when I saw that this forum was empty. Keep in mind I've never played the MMORPG, and so my Outlands lore stems solely from Warcraft 3, The Frozen Throne, and the Warcraft/World of Warcraft RPG books (such as Shadows & Light), so forgive me any mistakes I make, alright?


Why Run an Outland Campaign?
As the only other world detailed in the Warcraft canon, the ruins of Draenor are a great alternative to explore. Because of the many portals created by Ner'zhul that eventually tore it apart, and its close physical proximity to the Twisting Nether, Outland makes an excellent waystop for planewalking campaigns. Because of its historical importance to the setting, it's good for campaigns that want to delve into the history of the Horde and the Alliance. Finally, Outland's barren nature and hostile population make it an excellent setting for grim, gritty, struggle-for-survival themed campaigns.


General Notes on an Outland Campaign
Outland is not a place for the weak. A dying world even before Ner'zhul's catastrophic magical disaster tore it into pieces, Outland is directly exposed to the Twisting Nether and the many demons that flock it, and the sentients who survive on it are grim, hardbitten, toughened survivors of the First, Second or Third Wars, or even beyond that.

This abundance of inherently high Challenge Rating opponents (the Burning Legion) and invokedly high Challenge Rating opponents (the high-level survivors means it is probably best for a party of adventurers playing in an Outlands campaign to be over 10th level, and some might argue that level 14 or higher as a minimum is best. Despite that, low level play is possible. However, in such a campaign, a DM must take into account that challenges should be evaded or outthought, rather than outfought, and plot his games accordingly. Award full XP for non-combat solutions, and the heroes will grow tough enough to go toe-to-toe with Outland's natives soon enough. Learn fast or die fast, that is the law of Outland.


General Outland Campaign Plots
"Shadows & Light" for the Warcraft RPG line contains a number of potential plots to use as the basis for an Outland campaign; here are a couple more.

* "Secrets of the Past": A Horde or Alliance party (or even a mixed party) could come to Outland to seek out information lost with Draenor's explosion. Key information about Sargaeras or the Burning Legion, lost lore from the Orcs' shamanic past, powerful rituals and other things may still remain amongst the ruins of Outland.

* "Bring Our Boys Home": An Alliance party may come to Outland to seek out the final fate of Khadgar and the many heroes and warriors who accompanied him on their doomed mission. If any of them survive, these hardened warriors could be a vital resource in the Alliance's ongoing struggles against the Scourge, the Horde and even itself - few people would be better suited for the population to rally themselves around than Khadgar or any other mighty hero who may have arisen in the ranks of the lost soldiers.

* "Heal Outland": Whilst the Horde has settled in Kalimdor, Draenor is the birthplace of Orcs and Ogres alike. The Horde may send a party of mighty warriors to Outland to see if perhaps the devastation could be reversed somehow, a powerful symbol for the Horde's own future.

* "Court the Blood Elves and/or Naga": Both the Horde and the Alliance need all the allies they can get. Kael'thas's Blood Elves and Lady Vashj's Naga both represent powerful races that could tip the balance of power in favor of a party's own faction. The tricky part, of course, is attempting diplomacy when one race regards the Alliance with bitterness and the Horde with hatred, the other race regards all others as inferior, and both submit to the leadership of Illidan, the demonic and half-crazed Night Elf reviled by both factions as "The Betrayer".
** An interesting variant for this would be for the party to be representatives of one of the independent (or technically so) races - Nerubians, Centaurs, Forest Trolls, Satyrs, etc - seeking to win their race admission into Illidan's "alliance".

* "Assassinate Illidan": This is primarily a campaign for the Alliance, but the Horde also has reasons to want Illidan dead.

* "Escape Outland": As members of the Old Horde, Khadgar's Expedition, or even both, the party is searching Outland for a functional portal to lead them to Azeroth - or even another hospitable world, if it comes to that.

* "Gateway to the Multiverse": The many portals that Ner'zhul opened means that Outland is a waypoint for the greater multiverse beyond Azeroth. This most grandoise campaign sees the party seeking to chart the many portals that survived the sundering and exploring the worlds that lie beyond them, in search of new allies to crush their enemies - or, if worst comes to the worst, as refuges to flee the Scourge from.
** An alternate version of this would be for the party to be comprised of off-worlders, either from one other campaign setting or many, who stumbled through a portal to Outland and may, from there, reach to the alien world of Azeroth.

* "Colonise": The party are the vanguard or otherwise part of a great expedition seeking to conquer and colonise Outland. Perhaps they hope to make it a base from which to begin launching strikes against the Burning Legion, or maybe it represents the last bastion of hope for survival against a revived and strengthened Scourge.


Outland Natives
It's entirely possible to put together a party comprised partially or solely of Outland's residents, which are comprised of a mixture of Draenor natives, survivors from Khadgar's doomed expedition beyond the Dark Portal, and members of Illidan's exodus. Below are listed the races and classes appropriate to Outland native PCs.

Orc: Even with the death of Mannoroth, freeing the Orcs of their racial bloodlust, many Outland Orcs are still corrupted, either because they have sworn allegiance to a demonic master, exposure to the energies of the Twisting Nether, or their own usage of Warlock magics. The vast majority of Outland Orcs will have either the Fel template or at least one level in the Felsworn prestige class. Outland Orcs should also make use of the optional Orc racial class in the Horde Player's Guide.

Ogre: Having originated on Draenor alongside their Orc masters, it should be of no surprise that many of these tough, hardy, brutal behemoths still survive even in Outland.
Use Creature Class in Horde Player's Guide

Ogre Mage: Speak to your DM before playing one of these characters. Ogre Magi were created on Azeroth by Ner'zhul, and no official information exists as to whether or not any of them fled back through the Dark Portal before Draenor was torn apart. Thusly, it is up to the DM to decide if any Outland Ogre Magi exist.
Use Creature Class in Horde Player's Guide

Mok'Nathal: Draenor is the birthplace of these Orc/Ogre crossbreeds, and the current situation in Outland means that the intermingling needed to spawn new Mok'nathals is more likely now than it was in the past.

Draenei: Broken One or Lost One only. A number of small Draenei settlements survived not only the Orc massacres of their kind, but even Draenor's sundering into Outland - but all who survived were twisted and warped into the degenerates known as Broken Ones and Lost Ones.

Human: Humans native to Outland are all survivors of Khadgar's Expedition, or else born to survivors of that expedition.

Half-Elf: The ties of the Alliance bind the Human and High Elf survivors together for mutual protection and survival, so it's only natural that the birth of half-breeds is quite likely in Outland.

Half-Orc: These half-breeds are extremely rare, and most likely to be spawned by revenge-fuelled interspecies rape, though a rare few may have come about because of unusual alliances between isolated tribes of Orcs and bands of Human survivors.

Dwarf: Ironforge or Wildhammer only. Both of these races accompanied Khadgar's Expedition to Draenor and continue to fight alongside their human allies to this day.

Gnome: Few of these industrious tinkers and arcanists were brought to fight the Horde on Draenor, but at DM discretion some of them may have survived and thusly are playable.

Elf, High: DM's discretion is recommended before playing this race. Whilst the High Elves of Khadgar's Expedition travelled beyond the Dark Portal before the Third War and the fall of Quel'thalas, their time away from the now-ruined Sunwell and constant exposure to the Twisting Nether may have warped them all into Blood Elves.

Elf, Blood: Blood Elves are predominantly the survivors of Quel'Thalas, having followed Illidan into Outland at the behest of their prince, Kael'thas. At the DM's discretion, any High Elves who survived Khadgar's Expedition may have instead transformed into Blood Elves.

Naga: These aquatic serpentine creatures are servitors of Lady Vashj and followed her into Outland. Allied with Kael'thas's Blood Elves, the Naga serve Illidan as well.

Arcanist: Arcanists are well-represented amongst the natives of Outland. Humans and High Elves are invariably Mages, whilst Orcs are invariably Warlocks. Blood Elves and Naga are equally likely to be Mages or Warlocks. Necromancy is a very undeveloped study in Outland, but some of it was taught to the Orcs before the creation of the Scourge; the sole Outlander practitioners of necromancer are "Necrolytes", dual-pathed Arcanists (Warlock/Necromancer) who typically have 2 or 3 levels in Warlock for each level they have in Necromancer. Given the time that has passed since the shattering of Draenor, survivors of Khadgar's Expedition taking up the path of the Warlock or Necrolyte are possible, though unlikely.

Barbarian/Warrior/Hunter/Scout/Rogue: These are all highly prominent amongst the assorted races of Outland.

Healer: Only Priests are present in Outland, and then solely amongst the Human, High Elf, Blood Elf and Naga population. At the GM's discretion, though, there may also be Aquatic variant Shamans and Druids amongst the Naga.

Tinker: Predominantly Ironforge Dwarves or Gnomes, though some Humans may have also taken to the craft.