A few more details:
- Starting level of 5, with free Versatile Expertise. Any WotC material, including Essentials, will be allowed. Just keep in mind I'm using DnD mostly as a mechanical backbone for the story, so please be willing to accept drastic butcherings, reshufflings, or alterations of existing lore. I'm creating a lot of house rules for this game as more and more folks want to really go wild on the reflavoring. However, I've tried my best to keep things pretty fair along the way, so you'll not be at a disadvantage if you don't have the sourcebooks, or want to go with a more down-to-earth approach to character creation.
- You may reflavor any Bow or Crossbow as a Firearm by adding the High Crit and Misfire properties. Misfire deals 1[W] to the user on a natural 1.
- The following races will not likely be eligible for players: Deva, Gith-Zerai, Shardmind, and Wilden. I discourage the re-fluffing of races that I've excluded, but highly encourage the refluffing of classes, feats, powers, and items. Please see the section on Abyss-Touched creatures for information on Shifters, Changelings, Genasi, and Shadar-Kai.
- A new INT-based skill called "Engineering" will be used to handle all checks that require expertise in technological devices. Just as you don't need to have Arcana to use Magic Items, you don't necessarily need the skill to use items and armor with a more techy flavor to them. Beyond that, please see the entry below on all Engineering details.
Ways to obtain the skill:
- Use your Background to open it up as a Class Skill, and train in it as a regular skill.
- You may sacrifice Training (regardless of how or when it was obtained) in any Int-based Knowledge skill. For example, if you take a multiclass feat that provides training in Arcana, you may take Engineering instead.
- Any character with the ability to perform Alchemy will receive the Engineering skill at no further cost. Alchemists also have access to any "Ritual Caster" ritual with the Creation keyword, allowing them to make "Enchanted Items" and automata. They may also use Engineering as their rolls in these fields.
- Any feature (Feat, Racial Bonus, Item) that grants a bonus to an Int-Based knowledge skill may be repurposed to add a bonus to Engineering instead.
- You may also take the homebrewed feat Gadgeteer. The feat gives you training in Engineering, and allows you to roll 3 d10's. The results will grant you three gadgets that perform the same effect as the Wild Talents on Page 81 of Dark Sun.
- Training in Engineering is a prerequisite to the Mad Science Feat. Mad Science allows you to choose two out of the three benefits below:
~ Gain 3 Wild Talents of your choice.
~ Gain training in Alchemy and Creation Rituals, with the ability to substitute Arcana rolls with Engineering.
~ Use the Defiling action as per Dark Sun (Pg 80)
Besides knowledge checks, the Engineering Skill may be used in place of Arcana, History, or Religion rolls for the purposes of any "Skill Power", such as Arcane Mutterings, Arcane Senses, Studied Casting, etc. Characters trained in Engineering skill will also be able to append and embed Component items to their armor that would normally require the "Warforged" race property, such as Armbows or Delver's Light. Much like how Arcane characters can use Arcana as a perception roll to detect magical energy, Engineers may use their skill as a perception roll for traps and hidden doors.
- Engineering will factor somewhat into airship combat, but they will not be the be-all-end-all skill. Airship encounters will be run more like holistic skill challenges, with prompts for characters to contribute bonuses to each other's actions (a high Int character can draft a firing solution for a high Dex character to use to aim a cannon, for example.) Traits useful for helmsmen will be Reflex defense, Bluff, and Nature. First mates and lookouts will want Insight, Perception, and History, to reflect a knowledge of aerial tactics and maneuvers. Gunners will want Athletics or Thievery depending on whether they want to fire larger guns, or smaller, more precise ones. They will also want Nature to judge how wind and weather factor into their shots. Engineers will be useful in analyzing an enemy ship's weak point, as well as performing repairs on damaged sections of the player ship.
Exposure to the forces of the Maelstrom and the Abyss can have extreme effects on creatures, to the point of turning them into something beyond recognition. It is also a source of great power. In order to unlock some of Eversky's more supernatural options, you must have been in contact with the shadow power of the abyss at some point. How far did you go for power, and how did it change you?
Keep in mind that you did not have to personally visit the Abyss to gain these effects. Whether you were exposed to Shadow Crystal radiation, were reanimated with Maelstrom Essence, injected with Element Zero, drank some Death Juice, or whatever gimmick you'd like to use to explain how you got it, you still suffer the curse. On the other hand, your power need not necessarily come from the physical mark itself. Rather, the mark could be a physical symptom of something that happened internally. The point though, is that there is a mark, or maybe a collection of physical traits rather than a single "brand", by which others might spot you as different.
Maelstrom Marked - You may take the Feat "Mark of Shadow" in order to unlock the Assassin Class
Abyss Marked - You may take an Aberrant Dragonmark in order to unlock the Assassin Class, the Changeling and Shifter Race, and automatically gain the Dark Talents benefit.
Abyss Scarred - You may take the Spellscar Multiclass Feat as per the Forgotten Realms PHB (pg 41). Rephrase all mentions of the Spellscar to the "Abyss". You will take a penalty to defenses against creatures powered by the Abyss, and be able to sense them as well. This option unlocks Shifters, Shadar-Kai, Genasi, Revenants, and Changelings as player characters, and the Assassin class. You may choose Dark Talents as your Spellscarred "Trait", instead of three choices in the guide.
Roll 3 d10's. You gain 3 Wild Talents according to the chart on the Dark Sun Campaign Guide (pg 81). You also gain the ability to Dark Talents: Defile, as per Dark Sun (Pg 80).
Note that the more extreme your aberration, the more apprehensive people will act towards you on sight. Most folk will actively call for the imprisonment of a loose Shadar-Kai or Genasi, and those with arcane senses will be able to detect an Abyss Scar with a decent roll. Changelings and Shifters will face fairly significant discrimination if they don't maintain high bluff checks, but it's quite possible for a Changeling to hide his darker features pretty well, and Shifters will just have to make sure they don't accidentally Enrage (which might be accomplished by an enemy Intimidate or Bluff roll). A Maelstrom Mark will require a higher Arcana or Perception roll to detect, but it can still hinder negotiations if discovered.
Taking the first Multiclass Feat works as written. Once you've taken a Multiclass Feat, you may pick up the Novice Power, Acolyte Power, and Adept Power feats once each at no cost, provided you meet the level prerequisites. This way, you have one free power swap at level 4, 8, and 10. If you want to Swap even more than that, you'll have to dump your feats the old school way to get a second helping of Novice Power.
Taking a Theme from Dark Sun works like this: A Theme, for all intents and purposes, counts as the one Multiclass path that you can pursue. You must take a Feat to gain it. You gain the first power in the Theme as the initial benefit for taking the Feat (this, I feel, is equivalent to other Multiclass feats which usually give you a free skill, and some random bonus, or Encounter power). From then on, you may only perform Power Swaps as you would be allowed through the Novice, Acolyte, and Adept Power Swap Feats. In other words, contrary to what the Dark Sun PHB says, you may not swap Class and Theme powers willy-nilly. You'll receive Novice, Acolyte, and Adept Power Swap Feats for free at levels 4, 8, and 10, just as the Multiclass folks, but if you want to swap more than that, you'll have to dump another Feat for a second helping Power Swap.
For those of you without the source books for Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, or Eberron, send me a PM and I'll let you know more about the Dragonmarks, Wild Talents, Spellscar, and "Defiling" features in the source books. Unfortunately, Themes are a bit more intricate, and I can't really help you with them if you don't have the source book. I'd rather not put up a big dump of published information on the game ad. Obviously, any d10 roll for the random Wild Talents can be rerolled in case the character already has it, or if the Talent performs effectively the same function as a power the character already has (Telekinetic Grasp if you already have Mage Hand).
Archetype: Give me a quick one-phrase/sentence concept of your character. If you're reflavoring a traditional DnD class, what would you call your new creation? TvTropes links are optional.
Potential Classes: List the classes you'd like to play, in order of preference. Statblocks need not be finalized until your character is accepted, but I'd prefer not to have to accept players based on the mechanical roles that the party needs. If you're confident in your concept, or you think your character only really fits one class, you're welcome to commit to a single class right now. I'm not going to assign you a class either way. Just keep in mind that being a bit more flexible might put you over the top in the selection is really close between you, and someone with your same class who is willing to play their character with different mechanics.
Description: What your character looks like. What do people first notice about him or her?
Background: Where is your character from, and what events, people, or ideas have influenced his or her development?
Personality: This should be pretty detailed. The game hinges on your interactions and also your own moral choices. In particular, ask yourself the following questions (these are by no means exclusive):
*What are your character’s defining virtues and vices? (I don’t care about D&D’s alignment system here.)
*Their likes and dislikes?
*Their moral limits?
*What makes them angry?
*If your character had godlike power what would they change? How would they change?
*What is justice for your character?
*Do they have a code of some sort?
*How do they react under stress?
*What do they respect in others?
*What do they expect from themselves?
Friends: Describe at least one NPC who is a friend to your character. What do they do? How are they like?
Enemies: Describe at least one person your character dislikes; a rival, a wronged party, or just someone who rubs you the wrong way. Why do the two dislike one another?
Signifigant Others: Odds are you have one (or at least a crush of some sort if your character is really young). Describe them. How is your relationship?
Family: Describe your family. Maybe you have children of your own, and you almost certainly have siblings. What is your relationship with your family?
If you are planning to reflavor your character, provide a write-up of what you'd like to change. The length of this section pretty much depends on just how wild you're planning to get.
Finally, answer these questions: “Why would your character want to join up with the Boreal Consortium for this mission? Did you seek out Boreal himself, or have you done something to get his attention?”
OPTIONAL: Do you have a piece of inspirational art or a song you connect with your character?
Please post your finished, or close-to-finished applications in the
game forums. Relevant Material:
section should give a pretty thorough explanation of the setting we'll be playing with.
thread may contain some additional insight, if you want to scrounge through past posts.