For over five hundred years the Fae-haunted wilderness of the Great Northwest Expanse has stood unconquered, and largely unexplored. Though incredibly rich in natural resources, the Expanse – ranging from fog-shrouded moors in the south to Taiga and Glaciers in the North – has always been sparsely settled. Previous attempts to bring the area under the control of House Hargrave have all ended in disaster – whether from civil war or dragon’s fire. Now with the Great Wyrm Faener slain, the Hargraves will again get their chance to take the Expanse for themselves. When the official military expedition to the area disappears without a trace, however, the Hargraves decide to cut their losses and leave the exploration and eventual conquest of this great wilderness to a group of expendable rangers, second sons and mercenaries. That’s where you come in….
Unlike most campaigns, Northern Lights will be based around exploration rather than any sort of central overarching plotline. Characters will be given a royal writ entitling them to uphold the Queen’s justice, treat with independent settlements as emissaries of the throne and ultimately take back the wilderness in the Queen’s name. Player’s will be given a blank hex map at game start, and will explore it as they go along. There will be plenty of plot hooks, sub plots, conflicting factions and strange locations…but no one central plot. The game will not scale to the players; rather the game world will have some places that are more dangerous than others, and it is up to the players what risks they want to take. To those familiar with those games, the structure will be more like an open world game like Oblivion or Morrowind than like a traditional linear adventure like Final Fantasy.
The system we will be using is the Pathfinder RPG. Pathfinder is quite similar to 3.5 D&D, with some improvements. Complete rules can be found here: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/