Campaign Information and House Rules
Shelzar Campaign Information and house rules
Religion, Alignment, races and classes
- Every character will be recruited into a local crime guild. Some alignments simply will not work. This is a very structured guild so chaotic types need to be able to fit in – if you are a wild card or a loose cannon the guild will eliminate you.. Neutrals and Lawfuls are primarily found in the guild. No characters of good alignment.
- Races: All races in the Scarredlands race appendix are allowed, except those with a level adjustment higher than 1.
Exotic races like Dark elves (LA +1), gnomes or Terali (a race of feline humanoids) will need a background explaining how/why they are in Shelzar.
Keep in mind that the Scarred Lands have racial characteristics for each race that differ slightly from that listed in the PHB – for instance Halflings receive a +2 to hit with slings or thrown weapons rather than the +1 listed in the PHB, and a dwarf receives a small number of spells that they can cast innately, similar to a gnome’s starting spell capabilities. And each non-human race has two classes to choose from when determining their favored class.
A few monstrous races could work provided they do not have HD greater than one or a level adjustment greater than +1. A few that would work are: goblin, hobgoblin and orc.
- Classes: Because the campaign centers around a crime guild in a city of 100,000 druids are not likely to be involved, though unique ideas can alter this. Classes that must be good (paladins) will not be allowed. Clerics or other classes that belong to other organizations (their church) need to demonstrate that they do not place such loyalties above the guild.
- Statistics: Roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die; roll until your first stat is at least a 15, then make the rest of your rolls. Roll 7 stats and drop the lowest.
- The Leadership feat: Seems ideal for this campaign. Available for all characters, cohorts will be selected from trusted contacts you have made. If you think you will want a certain type of cohort you should begin recruiting him during your lower levels.
- Feats from outside sources: I may loosen my restrictions on source books concerning feats, but still have some guidelines.
o Only core feats and Scarredlands feats that I have approved.
- Item Creation feats: I will not allow for characters other than the character who has this feat to burn XP in the making of a magical item. What I will allow are special materials to help reduce the xp cost. I have no tried and true system for this so player initiative and creativity will come into play a bit. For materials that fit the item being made I may reduce the XP cost for such items anywhere from say 5 to 20%. IF a character is making an item that requires a spell that character cannot cast then he needs someone else to cast that spell for him every day during the crafting of that item.
- Scarred Lands feats: In each of the various class guide books for the Scarred Lands there are feats geared toward the type of classes each book covers. However any character can take feats from any book so long as they meet the prerequisites for said feat. Beyond general feats there are more specific feats in most of these books geared specifically to individual classes or types of character, I’ll give brief descriptions of these.
o Martial Arts feats: Found in the players guide to paladins and monks; these feats are available to any character who meets the requirements – obviously improved unarmed combat is a prerequisite for just about all of these, but other than that they are not hard to obtain. The feats are excellent for helping to make a martial artist without having to make a monk. Unlike other feats martial arts feats require training with an instructor before the feat can be taken. Primarily monks teach these feats, but in larger cities it is likely that a non-monk can be found to teach these.
o Paragon Feats: Found in the player’s guide to paladins and monks; these feats go beyond martial arts feats and represent a monk’s oneness of body and mind. These feats are available only to monks.
o Virtue feats: Found in the player’s guide to paladins and monks: These feats apply to holy warriors of the gods who are faithful to the highest ideals. They are only open to paladins.
o Terrain feats: Found in the player’s guide to rangers & rogues. Grant bonuses to travel in various terrains. These feats are available only to characters with at least one level in ranger.
o Scion Feats: Found in the player’s guide to wizards, sorcerers & bards. Scion feats represent a caster who has some manner of magic in his blood, generally from a supernatural ancestor. These feats are available only to sorcerers.
o Tradition feats: Found in player’s guide to wizards, sorcerers & bards. These feats represent new options and innovations in bardic music. They are available only to bards.
o Cabalist feat: Found in players guide to wizards, sorcerers & bards. Available only to wizards. This feat grants a wizard the ability to augment certain types of spells through arcane holy texts. The deity that the text represents indicates the type of spells that can be augmented. This feat is only available to wizards, and wizards generally must belong to a cabal dedicated to one of the gods. With the cabalist feat a wizard can choose as many cabalist secrets as 1 + int. modifier. A wizard need not learn secrets only from his chosen deity, but he cannot learn secrets from gods of opposing alignments to his or his god’s alignment. Augmenting a spell through a cabalistic text adds a verbal and material (the holy text) component to the spell and increases the casting time to one round.
o Totem feats: Found in the player’s guide to fighters & barbarians: Represents individuals who have adopted a particular spirit totem (or been adopted by a totem spirit). Generally this usually applies to those who come from barbaric or tribal cultures where animal spirits are revered. One can still worship a god and revere animal spirits, this is not highly uncommon among the clergy of Tanil. While these feats are most likely to be taken from characters from such cultures, it is not a prerequisite, as it is not unheard of for individuals to develop a reverence for an animal spirit later in life even if it is not a part of his culture. Totem feats require that the initiate undergo some manner of ritual ordeal to prove your worthiness to the totem spirit. All totems have taboos, things that upset the totem spirit. If a character breaks the spirit’s taboo he loses all benefits from the feat until some manner of contrition rite is performed or quest undertaken. If your character is not from a culture that uses totem feats then he cannot start at first level with a totem feat.
o Familiar feats: Found in the Strange Lands source book. Represent ways in which a character can improve her familiar or improve her own abilities through her familiar. Obviously all familiar feats require that you have a familiar (though some can apply to special mounts or animal companions). Also, many of the familiar feats require that your character is a channeler (described below).
o Prestige classes allowed: Need to be taken from the Core books or from a Scarredlands source book.
o Prestige Classes will no longer be automatic. If your character wants to become a Vigil of Vesh then you’re going to have to seek them out and earn the trust of the Vigils and/or the people of influence in Vesh. If this isn’t done then I won’t be letting you just slap a prestige class onto your sheet just because you’ve met the number requirements. Remember, certain organizations who teach Prestige classes might not work with a member of your guild, or your guild leaders might not want you fraternizing with other organizations.
o I won’t be restricting the number of prestige classes a character takes, but PCs or organizations that conflict might bar you from taking levels in a class you might want. You still need to be trained or accepted into an organization to gain entrance into a second prestige class.
o Most prestige classes stem from various organizations, even if they’re not organized organizations. Whether you want to play an Oracle of Hedrada or a Rage-witch sorcerer, you still need to have trained or studied the groups in question to learn their secrets.
o I’m still more than happy to let people invent their own prestige classes. Obviously I’ll be working with you on that and will have final say on what is or isn’t allowed, but if there’s some sort of character concept you want to play and can’t find anything that fits it, then by all means, let’s do your own.
o Regardless of prestige class requirements I will not allow a character to get a prestige class before 6th level.
- If you’re playing a spell caster then read up on the magic section of the PHB as I plan on using some of the over-looked rules they have there. Here are some things you should be aware of if you choose to play a caster.
- Arcane spell caster:
o Rest: Arcane casters need their eight hours, nothing new about that, but keep in mind that this rest needs to be uninterrupted, the caster must refrain from “movement, combat, spellcasting, skill use, or any other fairly demanding physical or mental task during the rest period… each interruption adds 1 hour to the total amount of time she has to rest to clear her mind.” (PHB pg. 178)
o Recent casting limit/rest interruptions: “When she prepares spells for the coming day, all the spells she has cast within the last 8 hours count against her daily limit.” So if your camp is attacked by wolves during the night and the wizard launches two magic missiles she will have to get one extra hour of rest (for having her rest interrupted) and she would have two first level spell slots unavailable in the morning when she would have normally sat down to memorize her spells (a 1 hour process). If the wizard and party wanted to they could rest a full 8 hours from the time the wolves attacked and the wizard would then have those two 1st level spell slots available once again. This rule applies for sorcerers and bards also – spells cast within the last eight hours count against their daily number of spells for the following day.
o Preparation Environment: Wizards, bards and sorcerers must have enough peace, quiet and comfort to concentrate on preparing spells. Some things that will ruin that: Inclement weather, or any damage or failed saving throw that befalls the wizard during prep-time. It’s a good idea to have some sort of shelter in case bad weather rolls in.
o Spell selection and preparation: A wizard can choose to leave some of her spell slots empty at the time that she memorizes the bulk of her spells. These empty slots can be filled at a later time but require a minimum of 15 minutes of study under good conditions. The time can be altered if more than a few spells are being memorized at this later time. A sorcerer or bard requires only 15 minutes of concentration to fill their allotted spell slots for the day.
o Spell Slots: A spellcaster always has the option to fill a higher level spell slot with a lower level spell.
o Arcane Magical writings: Another person’s magical writings (spellbooks/scrolls) remains incomprehensible to even the most powerful wizard until she takes time to study and decipher it. To decipher an arcane writing the character must make a spellcraft check (DC 20 + spell level). If the skill check fails the character can not attempt to decipher that spell until the next day. Read magic automatically deciphers a spell. If the person who wrote the spell is on hand then deciphering is also automatic.
o Scribing into spell book, spells copied from another spellbook or scroll: First step is to decipher the magical writing. Next, she must spend a day studying the spell. At the end of the day she makes a spellcraft check DC 15 + spell level. If the check succeeds then the wizard understands the spell and can copy it in her book. If the check fails then the wizard cannot learn that spell until she gains another rank in spellcraft.
o Writing a new spell into a book: The process takes 24 hours regardless of spell level. Materials and cost: Materials cost 100 gp per page. A spell takes up one page of the spell book per spell level (1 page for a 0 level spell).
- Divine casters:
o Time of day: A spellcaster chooses what time of day he regains his spells, but does not require a period of rest before being able to pray for these spells. “If some event prevents a character from praying at the proper time, he must do so as soon as possible. If the character does not stop to pray for spells at the first opportunity, he must wait until the next day to prepare spells.” (PHB pg. 179)
o Spell selection and preparation: The time required to prepare spells is the same as a wizard (1 hour), and also requires a peaceful environment. Like wizards, a divine caster does not need to fill all of his spell slots at once, he may opt to memorize empty spots later in the day, though he cannot re-fill empty slots from spells he has already cast that day.
o Spell slots: A divine caster can fill a higher level spell slot with a lower level spell. If it is a domain spell slot then he must fill it with a lower level domain spell.
o Recent casting limits: “As with arcane spells, at the time of preparation, any spells cast within the previous eight hours count against the number of spells that can be prepared.” (PHB pg. 180)
o For Scarredlands deities they do not list a time when clerics can pray for spells, so I will allow player character clerics to choose for themselves what time of day/night their clerics regain spells, unless they seem un-realistic, for example I can’t see a cleric of Madriel re-gaining spells at midnight.
- The “Channeler” option: A channeler is a spellcaster whose familiar channels arcane power, thereby increasing the caster’s own magical prowess. It is an option that must be decided upon as soon as a character gets his first familiar. A spellcaster who takes the “channeler” option gains the following benefits and restrictions as long as she possesses a living familiar:
o As long as the caster’s familiar is within 5 feet, the caster’s spells of a certain school are considered +1 caster level in all respects. Certain schools can not be chosen unless a caster has an improved familiar through a feat.
o As long as the caster’s familiar is within 5 feet the caster does not generate “arcane heat” it is channeled harmlessly through the familiar.
o The caster may purchase feats with the “channeler” prerequisite.
o The character is considered one level higher than his current sorcerer or wizard level for determining the familiar’s special abilities.
o If the familiar moves more than 100 feet away from the caster he loses the +1 caster level granted by the familiar’s presence and he further suffers a -1 affective caster level on all spells cast.
o Should the familiar die the channeler loses twice the number of xp as normal.
- If a creature rolls a natural one on its saving throw against the spell’s effect, an exposed item is harmed (PHB pg. 177). I’ll be enforcing that, so if you fail a saving throw with a natural one I need to know, it could harm your gear. The same applies to the bad guys of course.
Before the campaign will begin I expect from the players:
- A copy of their 1st level character sheet.
- A character background and history.
- The player’s presence on this campaign Web site.
- A character, complete with picture, symbol or logo, in the OP’s character section. The “character” should have a description, including race, age, gender, height, weight, hair color, eye color, typical clothing and weaponry.
- A willingness to participate in the campaign, including forum discussions and adventure logs here on the Obsidian Portal.