About the Game
Dungeons and Dragons: an interactive storytelling experience. I could put a lot of words towards defining this game, but I’ll let the current creative designer do that. The video will also give those of you who have played other editions of the game a good look at 4th edition.
While you’re at it, take a look at the second video on that page; it explains some of the tools that WotC (Wizards of the Coast) provides for subscribers to their DnD Insider monthly money grab venture. I personally have a subscription, but I’m not going to require that you do unless/until you want all the info at your fingertips.
There are a lot of useful things on the site that are only available for subscribers, but the most important one (the Character Builder) has a demo that, surprisingly, allows you to build characters. The demo allows character creation up to 3rd level. I am going to require that all of your characters are built and legal (as per the application’s definition) in the builder. Take a look at the video tour on the character builder page to see how it works.
The campaign is set in the world of Eberron, which has a kind of ether punk (as opposed to steam punk) feel to it. There is technology, but it’s all magic-based, including a monorail-type continental transport system, airships, arcane street lamps etc. The general feel of the environment is very pulp/noir with intrigue and mystery. The benefactor of the mission that you are on may actually belong to an evil cult with designs on world domination, but you wouldn’t know by looking at the kindly, elderly scholar, etc. etc.
Speaking of character flavor: For those of you who haven’t played or haven’t played in a while, my suggestion is to have some motivation for adventuring (Did the empire kill your aunt and uncle? Are you destined to play an important role in the Draconic Prophecy, the mysterious, driving force behind many of Eberron’s most powerful beings? Are you the best inquisitive in your city, think detective/Sherlock Holmes?) and to have some trait that would be memorable at the game table (Does your character stutter? Are they afraid of the dark? Do they speak in a nasally, superior voice to people they think are “lower” than them, which is everyone, of course?).
A good starting point for character conception is to think about a character in TV, movies or books (fantasy and non) that you’d like to model your character after (I’ve heard Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Conan the Barbarian). I guarantee that we can make a character that resembles your starting concept. Here’s a good article talking about this process. In regards to attribute selection, please use the point buy method rather than rolling stats. That way everyone starts out on an even footing.