Arbiters of Hope


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Game Information

Game Description

BackgroundA world of terror, an empire in flames. You are an Arbiter, created to save the failing Empire of Tennesar-Ceres from terrible invaders, insidious monsters and internal strife. The largest entity in the known world, the Empire is a vast continental power and has been for the past six hundred years. Besieged on all sides, by the relentless Kythera Confederation, the wicked subterreanean drow and torn apart by riots and famine, now it seems to be in the twilight of its era.

You are not a single being. In the Empire's direst hour, the bodies of six accomplished adventurers were joined, fused with the souls of six legendary champions of eons past, brought forth reluctantly from the sacred Hall of Heroes to save the world from darkness and despair once again. What resulted was neither man nor immortal legend, but beings with the wisdom and experience of two great paragons who must defy all odds and bring order, justice and strength back to the Empire.


Now I know this isn't too much information, but that's because the game literally starts at the instance of your creation. Your characters have had their minds traumatically merged and remember very little of either life. You remember the current body more than that of the ancient mind - you remember why you volunteered, some of your most memorable exploits, and one or two of the most important people to you, but they are distant memories with no emotional attachment to you now. Of the heroic legend whom you are now fused with, you remember naught but odd flashes of undiscernable images.

The game will be a level 10 gestalt game. Don't cream yourselves yet, there are a significant number of restrictions and changes in place - see below in character creation. While I don't mind optimising, the instant someone someone shows me a Frenzied Beserker charger that deals 98195831513 damage a turn is...well it's not a very good instant. Don't go overboard, for everyone's sake.

Character creationStarting level:10
Rolls: 4d6 and drop the lowest for stats, re-roll stats worse than 10. If you don't like your stats after you roll, you may opt for 32 point buy instead. HP is rolled for each level, max first, but if your rolls end up putting you under average, you get bumped up to average hit points.

Allowed Races: Core races and XPH races are an automatic yes. Any other race, especially those with LA >1 are to be passed by me first. LA and racial HD will take up one side of the gestalt, but the LA system is terrible so pass anything reasonable (i.e., not half-rapturan half-dragon feytouched assimars) by me first and I'll see if it fits in the campaign - if it does than I'll figure something out. Generally, that's non-monstrous races, but check with me if you think it's reasonable.

EDIT: 30-10-10.

After some deliberation, I've come to the conclusion I need to disable similar abilities stacking. Before, I had incorrectly assumed they didn't progress but that's only if they progress on the same level. I'll know it's rather annoying, but I'm going to disallow similar class features stacking, such as sneka attack, monk damage (from two different classes) bardic music and other similar features. This is to counteract certain feats that would enable them to stack. Bonus feats will remain the same as it is at the moment, and classes that progress it normally would be okay. Basically if you have something like this, bring it to my attention and we can work something out.

Gestalt: Now, 3.5e is inherently unbalanced. At mid to high levels, pretty much everything is skewed towards spellcasters. Gestalt simply compounds this issue, and thus spellcasters will be slightly nerfed. Any character that has a tier 1 or 2 as one half of their gestalt line skips their next gestalt level - in effect, for the next level they are treated as only a single progression. A player who decides to go full wizard for one half of their gestalt will end up looking like Wizard 10, XX 5. This restriction still applies when that character advances in a prestige class that also advances a tier 1 or 2 class in spellcasting levels.

Prestige classes, as per standard gestalt rules, cannot be taken on both sides at once.

The tiers are shown here:
http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?PHPSESSID=bc18425e5fa73d30e4a9a54889edf44e&topic=1002.0

Starting gold and equipment: You begin the campaign with nothing but the hairs on your back, but that's for background purposes - I'm not that cruel. You'll be given your equipment in due time.
You start off with 49,000GP worth of equipment, as is standard. You cannot spend more than 1/4 of this on a single item. Eliminate all remaining gold after you buy your equipment. Spellcasters start off with their spellbooks and spells known as standard for that level. Spontaneous casters and psionic characters start off with all their spells and power points exhausted, ToB maneuvers start expended, and prepared spellcasters have no spells prepared.
Characters with more than 6 levels in a full progression spellcasting class, or a ToB class, have their gold cut to 39,000. Characters with levels only tier 5 and below classes get 62,000GP as starting gold.

House rules: I have quite an extensive list of changes. A lot of these won't affect most people, but it's changes that I've basically thought were balancing while playing past campaigns.

Classes

- Variant classes, if taken, replace the base class. You cannot multiclass into the base class if you take the variant. Variant classes count as the base class when calculating multiclass penalties.
- Prestige classes and base classes never have alignment restrictions. The exception is paladin, which uses the Unearthed Arcana variants, and the blackguard prestige class, which is restricted to evil.
- The druid ability of Wild Shape now lasts on a min/level basis instead of hour/level.
- Sorcerers gain +4 skill points per level, instead of +2, with quadruple that amount at 1st level. Sorcerers also gain Eschew Materials at level 1 as a bonus feat.
- The Lion Totem variant of the barbarian from Complete Champion now reads: "You can make an extra attack when charging at -5 BAB."
- Ectopic Adepts from Complete Psionic have their 5th level class ability amended. Double Creation now reads: "Once per day, you may pay an extra 4 power points to instantly manifest a second Astral Construct power after manifesting Astral Construct. It functions as if the power had been quickened, and counts towards the number of quickened spells per round."
- Soulknives now have full BAB progression. A half-giant soulknife manifests a Large mind blade, as do all creatures with similar abilities. Mind blades shaped by the Shape Mind Blade class feature also stay shaped until you shape it to another form.
- Invisible Blades no longer have Far Shot and Point Blank Shot as requirements for entry.
- Thrallherds no longer gain thralls or believers. They gain full manifesting levels instead.
- Ur-priest is not to be used.

Feats:

- Leadership and all cohort related feats cannot be taken.
- Divine Metamagic: Spells using the Divine Metamagic feat must pay an extra turn attempt. Divine Metamagic cannot be applied to Persistent Spell.
- Natural Spell only can be used with spells of 3rd level or lower. The feat can be taken multiple times, each time increasing the level of spells that can be cast while wild shaped, with level 6 and below at the second feat, and 9th and below at the third.
- Leap Attack now reads: "You may make a jump action as part of a charge. If you jump at least 10 feet and land in a square threatening the foe you count as charging that foe. This ability does not work if you jump over the foe.
- Improved Buckler Defense now provides a -2 to shield AC for that buckler if a hand wielding the buckler is used to attack, instead of retaining the shield AC. Your shield bonus for the buckler can never be reduced under 1 through this way.
- A destroyed psicrystal reforms in one week. Essentially, you regain the feat psicrystal affinity after one week, replacing your old psicrystal.

Equipment:

- Belts of Healing can only affect one target for a maximum of 10 charges per day. Any successive charges used are wasted.
- Adamantine is now increased to 10000 gp per weapon. It now ignores half of the target's armour bonus to AC, rounding down. For example, a suit of full plate armour would only provide a +4 AC bonus against an adamantine weapon. This does not apply against adamantine armour, which retains its normal armour value.

Weapons and Armour

- Wounding is now a +3 enhancement bonus.
- Implacable is now a +2 enhancement bonus.
- Aptitude cannot be bought.
- Animated cannot be bought.

Magic-Psionics Transparency:

Full magic-psionics transparency will be utilised.

Combat:

- Automatic misses need to pass a DC 10 Reflex save instead of a Dexterity check to avoid dropping their weapon.
- Creatures of the Earth subtype, such as Earth Elementals, are immune to petrification.

Spells and Powers:

- The spell limited wish and the power bend reality both require one week of research in which at least 12 hours must be spent per day studying the spell or meditating for the power. At the end of the week, the caster/manifester must sacrifice 2000 experience points and make a DC 24 spellcraft or psicraft check, depending on if it's limited wish or bend reality. If the check passes then the spell or power is successfully learned, but if it fails then the experience points are wasted and the person must begin the process again.
- The spells wish and miracle and the power reality revision cannot be learned through ordinary means, and can only be added to your spells known or powers known if you hold the spell limited wish for wish and bend reality for reality revision.
Miracle does not suffer from this final restriction.
- To cancel etherealness or any related abilities - that is, to return to the Material Plane - is a standard action.
- Empathic transfer, hostile is now a 5th level power, and costs 9 power points.
- Mantle of the icy soul (Frostburn) and mantle of the fiery spirit (Sandstorm) do not stack - subtypes gained by these spells override one another.
- The power shatter mind blank now can be augmented. For every power point you spend augmenting the power, its save DC increases by 1.
- The variant rules of the polymorph sub-school will be used.
- Greater Teleports of any kind are not allowed, and all teleports that travel further than ten miles will have the intrinsic miss chance. Any distance of beyond two miles per caster level has a miss chance equivalent to ‘viewed once.’ On target for viewed once is 1-54, and off target is 55-88.
- The power psychic reformation is not allowed.
- Might Wallop, Greater is changed to 1 round/level duration.

Maneuvers:

- Iron heart surge can only be used once per hour and once per encounter and cannot be recharged. It only affects conditions that aren't purely physical - it will affect stunned, dazed or if you're under the effects of a spell, but it won't affect non-magical conditions such as prone, grappled, blind, dazzled or deaf. Below is a list of what it affects.

Immobilized (if by spell)
Stunned
Paralyzed
Dazed
Fatigued (returns after the encounter)
Exhausted (returns after the encounter)
Nauseated
Sickened
Shaken
Frightened
Panicked
Deafened (if by spell)
Confused (if by spell
Cowering
Staggered (not if HP is 0)

Miscellaneous:

- Untyped bonuses that allow the use of one ability modifier on rolls never stack with each other - for example, adding Dexterity modifiers to damage through Shadow Blade never stacks with the Corsair's ability to do the same. This also applies for abilities - the Paladin's Divine Grace class feature and Arcane Resistance from Hexblade don't stack, for example.
- Character retraining and rebuilding from PHBII is not allowed.
- The Complete Psionic amendments to the following should be discounted: damage reduction to metacreativity spells, for example crystal shard; astral construct; empathic transfer, hostile, which reverts back to the Expanded Psionics Handbook with the modifications above, but keeps the area augment wording from Complete Psionic. The following rules from Complete Psionic overwrite the rules in Expanded Psionics Handbook: psionic dimension door; energy missile and energy stun; soulknife psychic strike charging for twin shortsword mindblades; manifesting powers from stones with your own points.


In regards to game mechanics, depending on the situation the game may not follow the rules as written, though generally I'll try to avoid this to avoid inconsistency, but occasionally it just has to be done for the sake of logic and game balance.

Allowed sources:

3.5:

Frostburn
Sandstorm
Stormwrack
Book of Exalted Deeds
Book of Vile Darkness
Complete Adventurer
Complete Arcane
Complete Champion
Complete Divine
Complete Mage
Complete Psionic
Complete Scoundrel
Complete Warrior
Draconomicon
Dragon Magic
Drow of the Underdark
Dungeon Master's Guide
Dungeon Master's Guide 2
Dungeonscape
Elder Evils
Exemplars of Evil
Expanded Psionics Handbook
Fiendish Codex I
Fiendish Codex II
Heroes of Battle
Heroes of Horror
Libris Mortis
Lords of Madness
Magic Items Compendium
Magic of Incarnum
Miniatures Handbook
Monster Manual (I-V)
Planar Handbook
Player's Handbook
Player's Handbook 2
Races Books (Destiny, Eberron, Stone, Dragon, Wild)
Tome of Battle
Tome of Magic
Unearthed Arcana

3.0

Manual of the Planes

If you're using anything from the MMs, let me know first.

Application process
Applications close November 10, GMT +10.

The layout for applications should be as thus:
Name:
Race:
Classes:
Personality and description
Background

The only restriction I'll place here is no evil characters. They won't fit. Furthermore, both side hero and adventurer must share the same race.
Now background matters a great deal to me, but because of the duality of your personas each applicant will be required to write two backgrounds. Fear not, you don't have to write pages and pages - two paragraphs will or so will do, but if you want to write a longer one I will read it. It'll give me a taste of your writing style, if nothing else. In terms of personality, you can be quite liberal but the merge has instilled in everyone some sort of sense of duty.

Things you should include in your background:
- Why you volunteered for the fusion. Whether it's patriotism, glory-seeking or a promise of an imperial pardon, you need to elaborate.
- A brief history of the dead hero. Include their exploits, their capabilities and of course, their heroic death.
- A note; your characters were not expecting to lose their memory.


The game will be a mix of RP and combat. Combat won't be too common, but the ones which take place will be dynamic and extremely challenging. I hope everyone will have a good time.

I'm really looking forward to DMing for everyone.

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