I was looking through some of my things, the other day, and found a notebook filled with notes for a campaign I was working on a few months ago that, for various reasons, never even began. I thought that it would be a shame to let all that work go to waste, so I decided to try running a game here.
It takes place in kind of a homebrew setting that I had made for the game. It's not entirely complete, and parts of the world are still bare, but I feel that that won't be important unless that's where the players wish to go. The opening scenario and surrounding area are pretty fleshed out, so, I can extrapolate from there.
As for the type of game, I wouldn't call it a sandbox exactly, as there is an opening scenario and a few extra quests in said scenario that can be stumbled upon, but I'm more than happy to mold the campaign world to allow for things in a character's background, and using those in the campaign. The players are free to do whatever they wish in said world, so, I don't know, maybe it is a sandbox. This is the first game I'm running, so, bear with me.
I plan to post information about the starting scenario and things along those lines, but I'd like to talk about house rules and character creation first, in that order.
House RulesMost of my house rules are helpful towards players. I like to see creativity rewarded, and I hate when the mechanics get in the way of that. I'm not saying that I break every rule known to mankind, but I do break a couple, usually in the field of class balance. It's a well-known fact that there are classes that are much more powerful than other classes. I can't say I even that out completely, but I do try to help a little. In this vein:
The Knight class gains a good Fortitude save.
The Marshal class gains a full base attack bonus.
Rogues gain two extra skill points per level.
Spontaneous casters do not need to spend extra time applying metamagic to their spells.
These are just the examples I can think of. If you choose a weak class not mentioned here, I may or may not buff said class.
Besides that, I generally use ad hoc XP. If this is a problem for anyone, please let me know. I also guarantee that you will have at least the amount of wealth a character of your level should, sometimes more. Most of this will be in gold that you can use to buy your own gear, rather than having me drop gear on you that you may or may not want. I realize this is a sacrifice in reality, but a small amount of suspension of disbelief is called for.
Character CreationCharacter creation rules are fairly simple.
You will be starting at ECL 3, with standard wealth by level.
32 point buy, or, roll four dice, drop one, rerolling ones. I have no idea how to notate that.
Automatically accepted sources include:
Complete Series (No Frenzied Berserker or Hulking Hurler from Complete Warrior.)
Magic Item Compendium
Player's Handbook II
Other than that, ask and you shall generally receive. I'm pretty lenient, and I like creative characters that I haven't seen before. That said, no Tome of Battle. Psionics are fine, with the exception of the Ardent class, which is just silly. I'm fine with reflavoring classes and feats from other settings, so long as I'm able to look at them first.
With all that out of the way, the only thing left to talk about is the setting. Again, players are welcome to create their own mark upon the world.
The geography of Amtaria is fairly simplistic. The world is made up of three large continents, and one smaller continent. Of these, one of the large continents is widely unexplored. The ocean's currents are amazingly powerful, making nautical travel nigh on impossible, though this wasn't always the case, and is a fairly recent change in the world. Extremely large vessels are still able to sail, but even so, these vessels run a very high risk of shipwreck.
The smallest of the continents, Ny'mory, is strangely geographically diverse. Mountains encompass most of the shoreline, but there is one notable exception on the western point of the round continent, where a port town, Toteka, has been established. Though all cities and towns in Ny'mory are self-governed, they all pay fealty to the capitol, Diric.
Diric itself is a monarchy. The current king, Gabriel ran Tinnoth Diric II, is the youngest king in the history of Diric, at twenty-two winters. He took the throne after a short power vacuum, created when his father, the previous king, was assassinated. Gabriel and his elder brother, Sobin, each had the support of powerful nobles. After a quick power struggle, Gabriel had Sobin beheaded, and took the throne.
The so-called "capitol of crime", Toteka is haven to many criminals on the run from the Knights of Diric. While the knights do indeed have jurisdiction in Toteka, the relationship between the two largest cities on the continent is strained at best. Toteka is the center of trade on Ny'mory, and indeed, as Ny'mory is considered neutral, the world. Totekan merchants proudly declare that "if they don't have it, it doesn't exist".
Irrash is a small village towards the southeast end of Ny'mory. It is primarily a farming village, the so-called "breadbasket" of Ny'mory. Recently, a band of inventors has set up shop. The group is mainly gnomish, but at least one human and one goblin are also involved. Their goal is to create equipment, either technological or magical, to make agriculture easier on the world.
To the east of Ny'mory lies Daia, a large continent primarily covered in grasslands and forests. There are two large nations of importance, and several lesser ones. Kimil is a peaceful, patriarchal monarchy. It is the home of the Watchers, an organization detailed under the Organizations tab. Denilsa is a theocracy, run by the head priest of Heironeous. The two nations have a strong alliance, and present a united front against all outsiders.
Kimil's capitol, named for its nation, is one of the largest cities in Amtaria. It is the only city that has inter-district portals, set up two hundred years ago by a mage whose name has been lost to time. The city, as a whole, exports very little, though it has some of the finest craftsmen known to the world. Most of the city's income comes from taxing merchants.
Kimil's thieves' guild is one of the strongest in the world, and it's rumored that they plan to expand to other parts of the world. The guildmaster, Venya, is an older woman, and it's said that she was once a royal caretaker, the nurse who took care of the current king, Aldo Sidrothna IV. She is a cold, hard woman, who is said to have become the guildmaster by murdering the previous guildmaster with nothing but her hands.
The city of Valarinth is actually newly renamed. The city was called Rintar, named after the hero of the town, only a month ago. The monthly martial tournament draws many adventurers seeking to prove their skill or be hired by the local nobles as bodyguards. The nobles of the area encourage this, and gamble on the tournament as well. The winner of the tournament is generally only granted a small cash prize, and the chance to come back for the annual tournament, which has much grander prizes.
The city is also famous for having a fairly large underground, responsible for the creation and distribution of a drug called Terran Brandy. A small amount of the drug can greatly increase the powers of a spellcaster for a short time. How it is manufactured is a closely guarded secret.
West of Ny'mory lies Aslis, a continent overrun with tyranny. Though there is no official nation, all Aslins bow their heads to the priests of Hextor, whose influence there is immense. Under construction.
The Watchers are an organization, originally based in Kimil, dedicated to the safety of roads and travel. All Watchers worship Fharlanghn, but not all Watchers are priests. The Watchers patrol the roads of both Kimil and Denilsa quite often, though they are free to pursue other goals as well.
Each Watcher carries a darkwood staff, with notches to symbolize their rank within the organization. The staff is both a symbol, and, to a Watcher, an effective weapon.
Fans of the Forgotten Realms setting will remember the Magister, the one mage whose job it is to spread and teach magic. Amtaria has something similar, though, only one deity controls who the Magister is. Boccob generally chooses a Magister based on true creativity, not power alone. The chosen spellcaster usually works closely with Boccob's high priestess, Selenia.
A Magister is chosen when the current Magister dies, or retires from the position. However, one year ago, the Magister died, and no Magister has been named. Selenia has doubled her efforts as high priestess, and is attempting to fill both roles, but is starting to fail at both. Even she, who is rumored to commune with Boccob directly, is unable to comment on the lack of a Magister.
The Knights are a peacekeeping organization in Ny'mora, rooted specifically in Diric. Though nobility is a very important thing in Diric, it can be earned, through service to the Knights. If three consecutive generations of men from the same family line serve in the Knights of Diric, the fourth generation will be considered nobility.
The Knights are trained in various types of combat, from mounted combat to archery. Many favor two-handed weapons, but this is not a necessity nor is it frowned upon to deviate from this norm.
Okay, that's it for now. I ask that you have backgrounds, but they don't need to be impossibly large works of fiction. All I ask is that your character has some reason for being in Valarinth, because that's where the opening scenario is taking place. If you wish to entwine your backgrounds, that's perfectly alright.
Any questions should be posted here for now. I'll be choosing applicants on Tuesday, November 17th. Having a character sheet done by then will greatly help your chances.
Any questions or comments, either post here or PM me.