The “OP” has been split into two posts, because this whole thing is too big to fit into one post. No, you don’t have to read everything to join; it’s quite a bit, after all.
You may already know from the "Looking for a Partner" thread that I am new to DMing and that Destro and I will both be DMing this adventure. The specifics for this campaign are below:
DM(s): Moozy, Destro Yersul
Players: 4-5, ECL 3
Races: Any standard except gnome
Classes: Any standard (including prestige classes from DMG 3.5, plus Runeforger)
Books allowed: 3.5 Core, Spell Compendium, MMII
Timeline for the world, which was crafted solely by Destro and I will take credit for none of this work:
Timeline of Tyrandara
The history of Tyrandara is marred by war. Empires have risen and fallen, and battles fought on many fronts. Currently the situation is mostly peaceful. Dates are marked on the current calendars differently for each race. Humans measure time before their rise and after their rise (BR and AR respectively), going from the fall of the Elves. Thus the difference between the Human and Elven calendar is superficia. Dwarves measure time from the beginning, being practical. Other races have mostly adopted the Elven calendar, seeing the fall of the Elves as a great opportunity.
On the following timeline, the Human and Elven calendar dates are marked by the Elven calendar. (Before fall, or BF, is the same as BR for the Humans. AF is the same as AR. Older Calendars may be found on which the Elven dates are marked BE and AE. For these the Rise of the elves will be marked, and it can be figured from there.) The Dwarven Calendar is the simplest, and measured from the point the dwarves originated at.
1325 BF: The World of Tyrandara comes into existence. At this point it is the shadow of another world, and has yet to shape itself.
1320 BF: Tyrandara splits from its parent world completely. It no longer mirrors it, and instead begins to develop on its own.
1300 BF: Tyrandara looks much as it currently does. The shadows of the creatures that occupy it begin to take on life.
1250 BF: The Eradin gain sentience and life. They Advance quickly, building cities where they will and when the need strikes.
1200 BF: Clockwork devices are discovered and quickly become standard use. Many workshops are constructed. The Savage Races begin to gain sentience.
1050 BF: The savage races gain life, one by one. The Orcs are first, and their furious attacks lay waste to Eradin cities to the North, amongst the great deserts.
1020 BF: The Dragons Awaken. Some are noble, while some are filled with greed. Most drive the savage races from the mountains, and claim them as their own. The others carve little domains for themselves where it pleases them, and allow no others to encroach upon their territory.
1000 BF: The Elves awaken. They begin the process of fighting off the savage races, and gain the ruins of several Eradin cities. From these they are able to piece together the secrets of basic artifice, which sets them on the road to building their own Empire.
999 BF: An Elvish war party discovers the ruins of another Eradin city. They come under attack and are forced to hide in the large belowground storerooms. While there they discover that one of the storerooms has collapsed and now leads into a natural cavern system. They are able to find their way through the caverns, using strange naturally phosphorescent rock they have discovered.
998 BF: The rocks are discovered by the population of the Elven city the war party belonged to. They believe they could be very useful. When it is mentioned that they were found in caverns work is begun on excavating a nearby area to discover more of these "glowstones". Before long the entire cities trade relies on the glowstones. Their industry becomes more and more focused on digging, and great tunnels are hollowed out beneath the city. These end up creeping, slowly and surely, towards the mountains.
990 BF: Rise of the Elven Empire. The Humans and Dwarves begin to gain sentience.
980 BF: A tunnel collapse traps much of an Elven workforce belowground. Efforts are made to rescue them, but turn up nothing but dead. It is assumed the same fate befell the entire workforce, and rescue attempts are abandoned. The Elven workforce, stranded, has only one way to go: Down. They find nothing but more glowstones and fungus. In desperation one eats several mushrooms, and discovers that they are edible.
979 BF: A huge natural cave system is found by the stranded workforce. They move into it, creating an under empire for themselves.
974 BF: The last of the digging tools used by the Elves in the caves breaks. They no longer have any way to reach the surface. Already they have begun to accustom themselves to the almost everpresent darkness, driven back only by glowstones, of which they have only a few. Mushroom farming is now the main activity.
970 BF / 0: The Dwarves awaken. They take an immediate liking to the mountains, and settle there. The Dragons are initially hostile, but the Dwarves strike a deal with them. The Dragons can have the outside; the skies and crags in which they make their lairs. The Dwarves may travel through this area, as may friends of the Dwarves, but may never settle there. The Dwarves themselves will dwell only underground.
950 BF / 20: Trade opens up between Dwarves and Elves. Humans awaken and settle where they can, out of sight and out of mind.
900 BF / 70: Gods first take notice of Tyrandara. Several visit, only to discover they cannot leave. Not even the Gods can use magic if there is none there to use...
890 BF / 80: The Gods have, at last, managed to open up the smallest of communications with the winds of magic. They begin the creation of nine sparks, one for each wind.
850 BF / 120: The Forging of the sparks is completed. They are bathed in the winds, connecting each spark to the wind that was chosen for it with a bond that will not break. Construction of Khazarim begins, as does construction of Athanitae. The Halflings awaken, and voluntarily join the Elven empire as workers.
849 BF / 121: The sparks are gifted to mortals, as they must be contained within a host in order to function properly. Nine sparks were made, and one is given to each race. Only the Gods know of this. Many Gods now leave, but some remain, intrigued by the developing world.
820 BF / 150: Khazarim completed. Davik, One of the Dwarves to work on its construction, discovers, while drunk, that he is able to move small things simply by willing it.
800 BF / 170: Athanitae completed, as are many lesser cities. One of these is Faedorn.
A long period of peace and prosperity follows. The might of the Elven empire and the determination of the Dwarves holds the other races at bay. Several other cities are built during this time. The Humans are able to defend themselves, and several of the ones in a particular tribe gain the ability to perform supernatural feats.
600 BF / 370: Magic has been discovered and developed fully by the Elves. Work has begun on classifying the different types of magic. Humans discovered by Elves, who believe themselves to be above the Humans. However, one particular Elf decides that Humans could be great allies to them, if they could be educated. He disguises himself and takes to the roads, searching for the Human tribe with the highest magical potential. This is Braemir the Scholar.
570 BF / 400: Braemir finally locates the Human tribe he is to teach. He would have found them sooner, but they were hidden deep within a forest that he had searched many times. They used magic warnings to hide early whenever someone came near, and so avoided him on his first two passes. He had had visions though, of finding them in that forest. When he did find them, he was taken to their leader, and explained his theory. The human leader, Locke Hlaine, agrees readily. Classification work on magic is completed.
565 BF / 405: A member of Locke's tribe, Delic No-name, is instructed in the use of magic. Delic was the only survivor of a tribe obliterated by gnolls, and couldn't remember anything but his first name when he was found.
555 BF / 415: Davik, surprisingly, is not yet dead. The other Dwarves grow suspicious of his seeming inability to age, and keep a close eye on him. He discovers their deception using his magical abilities, and decides to prove them wrong. Dwarves have long used runes as a way to ward places against evil and help a weapon strike true. Before this, they were nothing but superstition, and didn't affect anything in the slightest. Davik changed that. Magic was not for Dwarves, runes were for Dwarves, and by using his innate magic to empower runes he quickly became a master runesmith. He taught his craft to a few select Dwarves, and was surprised to discover that their runes worked almost as well as his. He had done something monumental. Every Rune he struck had empowered every similar rune that was or would ever be made. By himself, Davik had created the Runecraft. It is too bad alcohol loosens tongues, or he could have gone on this way forever. One day while drunk, he let slip the tale of moving objects by thinking they would move, and how he had been one of those who built Khazarim. He looked far too young for this and, as the Dwarves do not tolerate lies, he was exiled from Dwarven lands. He never got the chance to make any more runes and was killed by a hunting party of orcs. He was one of the Nine chosen to hold a spark. His spark, Enchantment, was passed to the Elves, as their Wizards were by far the most powerful currently in existence.
554 BF / 416: Adalnor Grathin, an Elven wizard highly versed in Enchantment spells, discovers that all his Enchantments have grown inexplicably stronger. Riellendir Vespe, an Elf battlemage, defeats a warhost of strangely twisted and warped goblins led by a highly mutated goblin of great size. The Transmutation spark from the goblin passes to him.
552 BF / 418: Other sparks come to light, and the knowledge of the sparks is given in a dream to those who have them by Ignis, who feels that the bearers of these gifts should know of it. The list of hosts is as follows:
550 BF / 420: Grothak Bloodhand slain by the Elf Iolis Tylei, spark passed on.
535 BF / 435: Magic becomes a combat sport, with people paying to see wizards fight beasts or other wizards. An Arena is constructed in Athanitae for the sole purpose of magical combat. Magic has also become a popular way to settle duels. Braemir leads an attack on a Lizardfolk cult in an attempt to stop a plague that befell Locke's tribe. During the engagement Delic No-name kills Hivis Scaleheart and inherits the Necromancy spark.
500 BF / 470: After a drawn-out war against encroaching Gnolls a joint force of Dwarves and Elves is victorious. Grond the Seer, adviser to the Gnoll warlord who ordered the invasion, barely escapes from the battle with his life. From this point on he asks the gods each morning if he will die that day, and often uses his magic to discover whether or not a course of action will go badly for him. Yeloa Lightfoot organizes a rebellion against the Elves. It is ignored.
498 BF / 472: Yeloa's rebellion reaches the Elven capitol and marches through the streets. All she asks for is fair working conditions for her people, but her cries fall on deaf ears. It comes to blows, and most of the rebels are killed early on. Yeloa herself is shot through the eye by an Elf sniper as she tries to escape. The Illusion spark passes to Sanyil Wasani.
490 BF / 480: Grug Hammerhand leads an army of ogres and giants against the Elves. He is successful at first, but is met with the full might of the Empire after taking two cities. He digs in and prepares for siege, but doesn't count on Locke Hlaine. The humans under Locke circle behind the city and enter in any way they can. Years in the forest have made them incredibly good at stealth, and they are able to reach Grug without a whisper. He is quickly killed, and his force is destroyed in the resulting confusion. Universal passes to the aged Braemir.
445 BF / 525: Grond the Seer travels to one of his focus-ponds, hidden under a cliff. He casts his daily spells and discovers that today is the day he will die. He also discovers that both leaving the pond and staying near it would result in negative outcomes. Faced with death and with nowhere to go Grond makes the decision that will cost him his life: He stands up. Thirty bows twang, and Grond falls, mortally wounded. He is finished off by Delic No-name, come to take revenge on the gnolls who destroyed his tribe. The Divination spark passes to Delic's close friend, Holtan Nodra.
400 BF / 570: Humans have settled, no longer nomadic. They remain unadvanced, depending on the Elves and Dwarves to make most of their equipment.
A second period of peace follows here. The Savage Races have been driven even further back. The Dragons are content to lie quiet and scheme, knowing they won't be attacked. Dwarf technology advances greatly in this time, with the construction of siege engines being perfected. The Elves who's ancestors were trapped in the tunnels have become the Deep Elves, and are dangerously Xenophobic. The Underway is begun and finished, linking all the Dwarven cities. The great Gates of Khazarim are constructed.
200 BF / 770: Birth of Maindri and Vairra Gilhael. The Arena makes a sudden spike in popularity. Dwarven digging teams come upon a cave system while mining a new vein of gold. Seeing nothing of value in the immediate area, and unsure of what may live down there, they hurriedly block the hole and leave the area.
180 BF / 790: Several of the Nine sparks change hosts. The tradition of using a title based on the spark carried is begun, Started by Delic No-name. He takes up the mantle of Necromancy in order to have an actual name.
170 BF / 800: The break in the wall is discovered by the Deep Elves. They begin the work of clearing of the passage by hand, wondering where it might lead. When the work is completed they find themselves on the lowest level of the Dwarf mines.
165 BF / 805: War has begun in earnest between the Dwarves and the Deep Elves, due to Deep Elf raids on stores to steal equipment and food. The Deep Elves, armed with Dwarven tools, are able to start up an industry of their own. They are soon outfitted with weapons and forges to make more weapons and equipment.
150 BF / 820: Training of Maindri and Vairra begins. Human technology advances again when the humans find a cache of Eradin magic and armour buried in a hidden vault. They are still nowhere near the Elves, but now use iron instead of bronze.
130 BF / 840: Vast Mithral deposits uncovered under Dragonspire. Construction of a new Dwarf city around these deposits begins.
100 BF / 870: Deep Elves and Dwarves have fought to a standstill, with neither side able to gain ground. The Dwarves begin a new project: One to help them win. Maindri and Vairra, having long since completed their magical training, become great wizards. Savias Gilhael is killed in an Arena challenge match, and his spark passes to Maindri.
96 BF / 874: Vairra begins the search for his own spark, so that he won't be overshadowed by his brother. He finds what he is looking for in Braemir the Scholar, who passes his spark on willingly, saying that he has become tired of living. He is the first and only person to ever give up their spark.
90 BF / 880: The Elven Empire is at the height of its power. Both Maindri and Vairra have mastered the powers of their sparks and begin their greatest work. The Planewarden spell is designed to safeguard the entirety of the Elven realm from violence. If completed, it will spell the end for the Savage races. The Dwarves complete the first of their siege engines, using its power to drive back the Deep Elves.
70 BF / 900: Great castles are raised in all the Elven cities by rich nobles. One particularly odd one is built by an eccentric Elf in Faedorn. It has Nine towers in a circle, each one taller than the last. Several more sparks change hands. The current state is this:
35 BF / 935: The sparks have remained as they are. The Dwarves have begun offering their war machines for sale, and many are purchased by Elf nobles as decoration for their city walls and as defense. Maindri stumbles upon one of the last hidden Eradin vaults while assisting with pushing a very large force of gnolls out of Elven lands. He uses the secrets contained within to help finish the Planewarden spell at an accelerated pace.
0 BF / 970: The casting of the Planewarden spell fails, annihilating half of Athanitae and creating the Waste. Iolis Tylei is the only Elf amongst the Nine to survive, being away from the capitol when the spell was cast. The Elves are defeated by a sudden onslaught by the Savage races. Without the help of the Elves the Dwarves are beset on all sides, and can do nothing but weather the storm. The Dragons have grown detached, and rarely come down from their lairs any more. The Elves flee into the forests, with many settling in the Darkwood. Some of the surviving Elves, fearing that their race could die out, take Human partners. The Humans rush to fill the gap left by the Elves, taking Faedorn as their capitol. The Nine rise to power almost immediately, taking the nine towered castle in Faedorn as their headquarters.
1 AF/ 971: With their power consolidated, the Nine turn to the task of running the city. The upper tunnel levels are cut off from the lower ones to serve as a sewer, and the watch is formed to keep order. Several outlying settlements are re-settled.
2 AF / 972: Expeditions are sent to the Waste to retrieve items of value that may have been left behind. None return. The College of Magic is founded, taking a small Manor house as its main building. A magic district slowly begins to grow around it.
3 AF / 973: Trade opened between the Dwarves and the fledgling Human Empire. Faedorn officially re-named Black Tower, after the nine towered building. The name never really sticks. Temples to the major Gods are opened within the city.
5 AF / 975: The current Nine have been virtually set in stone. None now live who are powerful enough to challenge them. Two sparks switch hands by mutual agreement: Iolis Tylei trades Evocation to Holtan Nodra in exchange for Divination. The custom of referring to the Nine only be their title begins in strength, with only Locke Hlaine not adopting it.
6 AF / 976: One expedition into the waste is met with mild success. A single person returns, quite mad, and unable to say anything but "Nine stones, and they fly! Nine stones, and they fly!" over and over. He brings back only two things: An ornate axe with a single eye decoration on the haft, and an empty scroll case made with an odd glassy black rock. Both are taken by the man who financed the expedition.
8 AF / 978: Faedorn is besieged by a combined force of gnolls, goblins and orcs. The city is only held by the might of the Nine and the Dwarven war machines, and is greatly damaged by the siege. The Nine use magic to hold it together, as the knowledge of its construction was lost with the Elves.
10 AF / 980: What remains of the Halfling race seeks refuge in Faedorn. A town is built exactly halfway between the Dwarf and Human capitols. It is named Alinse by Divination, in memory of a lost friend. The Crossroads Tavern is built right in the middle.
13 AF / 983: The church of Aera founds an order of Paladins to assist with keeping the law in Faedorn.
20 AF / 990: The Mist Reavers are founded. Dedicated to rooting out corruptness, they strike from the shadows, killing seemingly indiscriminately. In truth they kill only those they deem corrupt. Unfortunately, this encompasses a large portion of the watch. They retreat below the second tunnel level, hiding their HQ in amongst the catacombs.
35 AF / 1005: The Dwarves are strung out, their numbers dwindling slowly but surely. Even with the Humans, their empire is too big to maintain, and they are too proud to let go. The Deep Elves open up several new exits from their cavern city.
50 AF / 1020: Delicate balance of stability achieved. The Dwarves are reinforced by humans, as well as the re-emergence of the Dragons.
67 AF / 1037: The orcs march, united under the banner of the Bloodmoon. Several villages are sacked before the orcs are wiped out to a man by an unknown event. The only known fact is that they appeared to have been killed by common work tools. How any villagers could stand up to the orcs is a mystery.
75 AF / 1045: Elves discovered to be living in the Darkwood. Until now, it was thought by all but the Elves that the Deep Elves were the last remaining Elven civilization.
85 AF / 1055: The magic raging across the Waste has died down enough that expeditions are met with success more often than not. The occasional expedition still gets lost though.
90 AF / 1060: Present Day. Faedorn, which is under human control, has a branch of paladins that keep the law within the city, though the leaders are those with sparks. A group called the Mist Reavers looks to overtake the government, though they are not evil.
The races and gods specifics for the world:
On the Gods
The Tyrandaran Pantheon is composed entirely of the Gods that stayed after creating the Nine sparks. There are fewer Gods than other worlds, generally speaking, but there are still enough to inhabit the outer planes with one God to each plane. Planes further removed from the material do not always have gods, but they are notoriously hard to get to.
Aera: Goddess of Air, Healing and Righteousness, Aera is Lawful Good. Her titles include Lifegiver, Stormdriver and The Benevolent Watcher. Aera believes that the corrupt should answer for their crimes, but is willing to forgive the truly repentant. She is the most cool-headed of the gods, and is slow to wrath. It was Aera who first had the idea of creating the Sparks. The domains she is associated with are Air, Good, Healing and Protection. Her favoured weapon is the Longbow.
Ignis: God of Fire, War and Bringing Light to Dark Places, Ignis is Chaotic Good. His titles include The Flame of Battle, The Warbringer and Illuminator. Ignis loves the martial aspect of war, believing that each person should have their own individual fighting style. Though generally agreeable, Ignis is quick to anger. The domains he is associated with are Fire, War, Chaos and Wrath. His favoured weapon is the Warhammer.
Silex: Silex is the Lawful Neutral god of Earth, Travel and Metalwork. His titles include The Forger, The Walker and Shield Bearer. Silex believes in standing firm in the face of opposition and striving to meet any challenge. He himself is steady as a rock, and everything he does is done with care and precision. The Domains he is associated with are Earth, Travel, Courage and Metal. His favoured weapon is the Mace
Aquis: Aquis, the goddess of Water, Knowledge and Fate, is Chaotic Neutral. Her titles include The Uncaring Architect, Fatespinner and Enigma. Of all the gods, Aquis is the least concerned with the affairs of mortals, which is ironic, given her part in them. She loves to spend time learning things and then wasting time trying to understand them. She knows more than she lets on, and never tells anyone anything more than they need to know. The domains she is associated with are Water, Ocean, Knowledge and Fate. Her favoured weapon is the trident.
These are the gods with more limited portfolios, often dealing with one specific thing.
Messor: The god of Death, Messor is Neutral. His title is The Reaper. Messor’s job is to collect the souls of the fallen and take them to be judged. He is a cynical god, and doesn’t much like his job. The domains he is associated with are Balance, Death and Deathbound. His favoured Weapon is the Scythe.
Chronos: The god of Time, Chronos is Lawful Neutral. His title is The Timekeeper. He monitors the passage of time and makes sure it is being observed. The only way to annoy him is to find a way to cheat time itself, as this throws off his calculations. The domains he is associated with are Time, Celerity and Fate. His favoured weapon is the Quarterstaff.
Libris: Libris, the goddess of information, is Lawful Neutral. Her title is The Bookkeeper. She maintains stores of knowledge and facts. It amuses her to place obscure or lost information in places where people are sure to find it, though when they find it is of no concern to her. The domains she is associated with are Knowledge, Oracle and Rune. Her favoured weapon is the rapier.
Efflix: Efflix, god of destruction, is Chaotic Evil. His title is The Destructor. He revels in chaos and destruction, often causing pain and damage for no reason. It is because of this that most of the world’s problems get blamed on him, whether truthfully or untruthfully. The domains he is associated with are Destruction, Wrath and Chaos. His favoured weapon is the flail.
Econtra: Econtra, god of balance, is Neutral. Her title is Balance Keeper. She enjoys making sure that everything is equal, advocating creation and destruction in equal measure. The domains she is associated with are Balance, Destruction and Creation. Her favoured weapon is the Quarterstaff.
The Dwarves are a proud race, and have every right to be proud. They are the finest smiths to be found anywhere, producing items of the highest quality. They are the only race other than the Elves able to produce masterwork quality items, and they do so more often. As such, most magical armour and weapons are originally of Dwarf make. The Dwarves seldom go above ground, preferring to exist only underground. Despite, or perhaps because of, this, trade with the Humans and Elves is frequent. The Dwarves provide ore and some finished items in exchange for food, leather, and other goods unobtainable in their underground cities. They love gold, and will trade for that as well if it is offered. They will even sell their weapons and armour for it, going so far as to tailor suits to the individual paying for it. It helps that they love to work with metal and stone almost as much as they love gold.
The Dwarven cities are all constructed in hollowed out caves or mountains with ventilation shafts dug through to the outside. Their greatest city, Khazarim, was built inside Demontooth peak, tallest in the range of mountains to the north. All their cities are connected by the Underway, a great highway carved out of the earth over many years. Unfortunately, their position in the mountains sees them under siege from all fronts, attacked by orcs and goblins from the north, Deep Elves from below, and Gnolls from the west. The east is only safe because it borders the ocean. Thus far the Dwarves have been able to stand on all fronts, but lately the attacks have increased. Several Dwarven cities have suffered heavy losses, and are barely able to defend themselves. Another attack too soon could take them.
The Dwarves are masters of artifice, and are the only ones to build good siege engines. Orcs have been known to use crude catapults, but that is the extent of non-Dwarven knowledge. Humans greatly prize Dwarf-made siege engines, and Faedorn has bought several from them. The Dwarves guard the knowledge of their construction jealously, and no non-dwarf has ever been allowed into the Dwarven workshops.
Dwarves are extremely distrustful of magic, and never use it. Dwarf Wizards do not exist, and Dwarf sorcerers, unwilling to use the power thrust upon them, retreat into a self imposed exile. Dwarves know that others will willingly use magic though, and have developed various ways to counteract it. One is their natural resistance to magic, and the other is runes. Runes are mostly defensive, and are never used by themselves for attack. Runes can be placed on weapons or armour, bestowing their power upon the item on which they are placed. Dwarven Runeforgers are highly respected by the Dwarves for their use of this highest and most difficult craft.
The armies of the Dwarves are highly defensive and exceptionally well trained, using shield walls and war machines to create an impenetrable barrier upon which enemy armies will break. Dwarven cities are often built in a tiered fashion to assist this, with war machines and crossbowmen taking the upper levels, while the rank and file troopers hold the bottom level. Though these tactics make the Dwarven cities nigh impossible to take, there are unfortunately too few Dwarves for this to work much longer. Flying creatures wreak havoc on Dwarven lines, assaulting the upper tiers where they warriors can’t get them. The Dwarves have had to rely more and more upon their war machines and Runeforgers to hold off attacks. Though proud and independent, there isn’t a single city that would refuse an offer of help if it was given.
The mountain ranges that encompass the Dwarven realm stretch from North of Faedorn to the West of Faedorn. It is actually faster and safer to go west by traveling North first, provided the Dwarves allow passage on the Underway. The vast deserts in between Faedorn and the mountains to the west are the main reason for this, filled as they are with dangers of all varieties. Maps of them are impossible to make, as they constantly shift from the wind and tunneling of subterranean creatures. The few stable and constant areas in the desert are plateaus of stone, reaching to the bedrock and thus unmovable by non-magical means.
The Dwarves of Tyrandara are similar to the Dwarves of other worlds, with the following exceptions:
- No dodge bonus to AC against giants.
- Can learn Elven as a bonus language. Many dwarves still remember the time when Elves ruled.
- Save against spells and Spell like abilities increased to +3
- Increase Darkvision range to 90ft.
- Automatically gain proficiency with tower shields, as they are a key part of a favoured Dwarf tactic.
- Light Sensitivity: dazzled in bright sunlight or a daylight spell. Dwarves rarely go above ground and are accustomed to the dim lighting of their cities.
The favoured Dwarf deities are Ignis, God of Fire, and Silex, God of Earth. Dwarven Clerics tend to prefer Silex over Ignis. Notably amongst clerics, Dwarves take no credit at all for the “magic” they use. They claim it is entirely the work of the gods, and they are but messengers.
The Elves once controlled a massive empire, stretching across almost the entire continent. They built it upon magic, and by magic it was meant to be sustained. The spell failed, and in an instant they were scattered, nearly destroyed. The Elves that remain are still just as competent at woodwork and metalwork, though much of their magical knowledge was lost. They are now a reclusive people, hiding in the forests that the humans first lived in. They trade mostly with Dwarves, though they almost never leave their forest homes. Trade with humans is less frequent, though it still takes place. Elves also possess the ability to make masterwork equipment, though they apply it to bows and other ranged weapons almost exclusively.
Elves no longer have any real cities. There simply aren’t enough of them anymore. Most, if not all, of their villages are simple wooden buildings suspended in the larger trees. Only the smallest of communities do not have any defensive fortifications. Stockades are common, as are reinforced buildings. They live in the great forests, sharing the space only with animals. All the humans have moved on, and they permit none of the savage races to persist once found across their borders. They disapprove of close range combat, simply because there aren’t enough of them left. If they can kill something before it gets close enough to kill them, so much the better. This is one of the reasons they do not assist the Dwarves, as tunnels do not lend themselves well to long range combat.
Since the failure of the Planewarden spell the Elves have taken a very pragmatic view of magic. They still use it, and are quite adept in its use, but they no longer dream of a magic fuelled future, driven by arcane might. They now use it less for combat and flashy displays, and more for utilitarian purposes. They believe that the humans should learn from their mistakes, and are quite verbal about this view whenever a human wizard seeks to learn from them.
A few of the Elves believe that they are a dying race. That they will not survive for long, because there aren’t enough of them to perpetuate the species. Some of these few have married humans, due to their relatively similar physiologies. The result was half-Elves, who are not very common. They are looked on with mixed feelings, especially by the older Elves. Many of the younger Elves see half-Elves as a hope, however small, that their race might survive. The Elves used to look on the humans, and many other races for that matter, as inferior. They now see that this was misguided, as they were just as fallible as the other races.
The Elves have no army. They, in fact, have no military at all. All Elves are trained in the use of the bow and crossbow, and the magically adept pursue that field. Any sustained attack could wipe the entire race out quite easily. Fortunately, the Elven communities are spread out enough that no sustained attack could target them all at once. Most flying creatures are of no concern to the Elves, who are concealed from view by the thick canopy of leaves that disguises their homes.
The Great Forests, home of the Elves, grow East of Faedorn. They border the mountains in some places, and are also almost entirely North of the city. Only a small portion of them juts out between Faedorn and the sea. The Elves like to hide within the deepest parts of the woods, as far as possible from the forest borders.
The Elves of Tyrandara are similar to the Elves of other worlds, with the following exceptions.
- Lose Proficiency with longsword.
- Favoured Class: Ranger
- Superior Low-Light Vision: Elves Can see four times as far as Humans in starlight, moonlight, torchlight and similar conditions of low illumination.
- Can learn Dwarven as a bonus language
- +2 Racial Bonus on Spellcraft checks.
The favoured Elf Deities are Aera, Goddess of Air, and Aquis, Goddess of Water. The few Elven clerics there are prefer Aquis, as her love of knowledge appeals to them.
The Deep Elves are Elves that got trapped underground, and found a way to survive. They are extremely xenophobic, and will attack anything that isn’t a Deep Elf. They are characterized by extremely pale skin and hair, having been unable to see the sun for years upon years.
Humans have taken over a small portion of the old Elven empire, taking one of the lesser cities as their capitol. This is Faedorn, and it is currently the strongest aboveground city. They leave the elves alone, for the most part, but are on good terms with the Dwarves. Their primary export is leather and wood, things the Dwarves use to manufacture basic equipment. Almost all of the human technology is borrowed, whether it was left behind by the Elves, purchased from the Dwarves or found in lost Eradin caches. As such almost all their cities are a patchwork of different cultures, though humans are still the majority inhabitants.
Human cities come in two varieties: The kind with great stone walls and metal gates, built by the Elves at the height of their power, and those made of wood, with the houses roofed in straw, bark, or whatever is available. Their capitol was chosen for its position, being near to the Dwarves and far from the Waste. The Elves are not hated, but they aren’t feared either. They simply are, and the Humans trade with them or leave them be as the situation allows.
Unfortunately, humans lack the knowledge or ability to make anything beyond the simplest designs. They couldn’t repair their cities without magic if the walls were damaged, and are unable to produce masterwork equipment. They make up for this with a talent in other fields, and are the most adaptable race.
Humans love magic. They are the second most accomplished at using it, the first being the less numerous elves. The college of Magic in Faedorn was established to train wizards, who view theirs as the best path. Sorcerors are generally looked up to for their abilities, though wizards tend to get annoyed that they don’t have to work for their power. One of the things humans can’t understand about Dwarves is the distrust they hold for anything magical in nature. The more adventurous wizards often go searching for elves, seeking to learn arcane secrets from them. The VERY adventurous ones brave the Waste, sifting through the detritus in an effort to find knowledge of lost spells or rituals. Wizards are also the keepers of any human libraries that may exist, delighting in the study of old tomes and volumes.
The human armies are fairly well trained, though they come nowhere near the skill of the Dwarves. Their strength is mostly in numbers, though small units of elite soldiers are also common. On the defensive they stay behind their city walls, loosing volleys of arrows at the enemy lines. On offense a favoured tactic is to strike at night, though they first provide a noisy distraction in any direction they aren’t coming from. They have aided the Dwarves in the past and will do so again in the future.
The human realm extends in a circle from Faedorn, obstructed by terrain only. The great forests, unpatrollable as they are, are one such deterrent. The others are the Waste to the south, the desert to the west, the ocean to the east, and the northern mountains. The humans are, in effect, very much boxed in.
Humans in Tyrandara are no different from humans anywhere else.
The Halflings originally worked for the Elves, before the fall of the empire. They were cooks, butlers and maids, doing pretty much anything the Elves didn’t want to. They were paid well for their work, but ultimately the got fed up with the whole mess. After all, it was their ancestors who made the agreement with the elves, not them. They revolted. The revolt was, ultimately, unsuccessful. The Halflings fled from the Elves, making their way across the seas in stolen ships. Years later, they have settled on a chain of islands, and are now the finest shipwrights to be found anywhere. They trade exclusively with Humans, having no wish to deal with Elves and no method to deal with Dwarves.
Halflings have no cities, as such. They have villages and one or two fortified strongholds, but they remain a mostly nomadic race. Finding any given Halfling can be a real headache, as they have a tendency to move around between villages a lot. The only enemies they have are the Sahuagin, who frequently attack shipping routes and convoys. Fortunately Sahuagin are not amphibious, and are unable to lay siege to the Halflings with any efficiency.
Halflings have become master shipwrights. All of the ships and boats currently in use are Halfling-make, save a few old relics of past times. Humans have been known to try their hands at ship building, though never with much success. Unlike the Dwarves, Halflings are happy to teach anyone who wishes to learn from them. It’s not all because they’re a generally friendly people though. It’s also partly due to the fact that they like being better at something than everyone else.
Halflings are no better or worse at using magic than most humans. A few have taken up wizardly studies, though most of the magically inclined are sorcerers. One of their favourite things to do is learn a bunch of commonly used spells and then prevent anyone else from getting them to work. Most also add spells useful at sea to their repertoires, as almost all Halflings serve on a ship at some point in their lives.
Halflings have no standing army. They have no need to maintain a military force, as their one enemy is unable to attack their homes. For shipboard security they often hire Human mercenaries or guards. This does lead to most Halfling ships being built normally sized, in order to accommodate their taller friends.
The island chain the Halflings live on is East of Faedorn and across a stretch of ocean, one or two days sailing for any half-decent ship. Shipping routes mostly go around Sahuagin territory, though there are few captains who wouldn’t cut across in order to save time and money. The rivalry with the Sahuagin has only grown because of this.
The Halflings of Tyrandara are similar to Halflings of other worlds, with the following exceptions:
- Remove Elven as a bonus language
- Always treat Profession: Sailor and Craft: Shipbuilding as class skills
- +2 Racial bonus to Concentration checks
- No bonus to thrown weapons
- Ignore half the penalties for inclement weather
Halflings do not prefer any deity above others. Instead they offer prayers to the deity most closely associated with the region they’re about to travel through. Aquis, as goddess of water, is commonly chosen, as is Silex.
Places of note in Tyrandara:
Once the capital of the Elven Empire, Faedorn (Called Black Tower in Common) is now the Human’s greatest city. It is home to the wizard’s college and the Cornerstone of Worlds, Headquarters of the Nine. The city has remained unchanged from the time of the Empire, except in select places where it has been rebuilt after a siege. Human technology is much simpler than Elven technology, and as a result the repairs are cruder than the original work.
Magic is used to maintain everything within the city. If not for magic the city would quickly collapse, unable to support itself. Secret organizations run rampant, all those in power fearing to lose it, and all those without it aiming to gain it. The largest of these is the Mist Reavers, a surprisingly well organized group based in the ancient tunnels beneath the city.
The tunnels were constructed before Faedorn, the product of a civilization long dead. They are survived by the network of catacombs leading deep underground, and populated by all manner of strange creatures. Mainly because of these creatures most of the tunnel entrances have been sealed of entirely, blocked in with stones and rubble. Some remain unfound or have been reopened, and the citizens of Faedorn make sure to lock their doors and windows and never stay out after dark.
Dark things prowl the streets during the night. Some come up from the tunnels, some are spawned in the city itself, and some cross the planar boundaries to hunt in richer grounds. Despite this the city has survived under the watchful eyes of the Nine. There is nowhere they don’t see, and none who cross them are safe. It is a testament to the Mist Reavers capabilities that they have survived this long, frustrating all attempts to find them within the labyrinth catacombs.
The shops and stalls in the city offer a variety of goods and services, though none as high quality as those of other races. Being an entirely human city many of the goods are of low quality, though they are the best in human lands. Fortune tellers and mystics are everywhere, though the ones actually able to give any useful information are rare, and reside in the seedier areas rather than the crowded markets. Food and clothing are in plentiful supply, as they are some of the few things Humans are able to acquire without trade.
The magic district is home to the College of Magic, the only teaching facility for the arcane arts that Humans are able to maintain. Potions, wands, and various other items can be found here, though they are prohibitively expensive. The College dominates the area. The building is a holdover from the time of the Elves, like the rest of the city. It was originally the home of a particularily paranoid Elven noble, repurposed when the Humans took over. Secret doors and passages are everywhere within the college. Despite being the best and only magical school in existence, the abilities taught there are rudimentary. Linguistics are one of the main focuses, as Elven texts form the basis of all magical knowledge. The small library maintains a collection of original Elven writings on magic, which are required study for all students. None of the originals are permitted to be removed from the library, though a number of copies have been made which are available. Many simple spells are taught in an effort to improve the quality of life for the city. Some have been devised entirely by the staff, though these are seldom successful and often end catastrophically when their use is attempted. Fortunately magic flows easily here, due to its proximity to the Cornerstone.
The Cornerstone of Worlds is home to the Nine, the group of wizards who rule over the city. They are immortal, and easily the most powerful mages within a large radius of the city. They are heard little and seen less, ruling from the shadows with an iron fist. Any who get close to their power are quickly and quietly eliminated. The College is actually one of their webs, meant to snare any unwary hopefuls they think could be a threat. Those with less aptitude are allowed to complete their training, as it is vital for the cities continued survival that there always be magic users to maintain it. The Cornerstone itself is an imposing structure. It too was a leftover of the civilization that built the catacombs. It is one of a kind, unable to be repaired if damaged, unable to be rebuilt if destroyed. Not even the Elves in the height of their power could have constructed it, or even know its purpose.
Various churches propagate throughout the city as well, some of which have always been that way since the city was constructed. The people of Faedorn worship the same pantheon as the rest of the Humans in the world, particularly venerating Aera, goddess of Air, Health and Light. The other three major deities are commonly worshiped, as well as some of the lesser ones. Several churches are actually cults to dark gods, hiding behind a façade of benevolence.
Faedorn maintains the highest concentration of Human troops anywhere, with a standing army of around four hundred. A smaller force of fifty upholds the law within the city, though their jurisdiction only extends as far as the walls. The Watch, as they are called, do not have enough men to patrol the entire city, so as a rule only the richer sectors benefit from their “protection.” In truth there are few on the Watch who would not look the other way as soon as a few coins happened to fall into their pockets. One of them is Jared, a hard-bitten relentless man who takes pride in his work and has never let anyone get away without a chase. Most criminals have learned that it is far easier to wait until he is in another part of the city before trying anything than it is to try and escape him if they get caught.
Fettan Brasmere (LN Human Wizard/Loremaster): Headmaster at college of magic. Specializes in Enchantment because he finds it a good way to keep the students under control. Friendly enough, if you know the right people. Generally regarded as THE person to go to for information about old texts and tomes. Spends too much time reading.
Ulat “Shorty” Kendross (CG Human Commoner): Bartender and Innkeeper at the Dancing Dragon. Huge man, probably has some orc blood, though that was likely a while ago. Very outspoken, and not afraid to voice his opinion. Doesn’t miss much either.
Ferro "Backlash" Gregoro (CG Human Rogue): Messenger to the Paladins of the Church of Aera and the Nine of Faedorn. Friends with Shorty Kendross, and often stops at the DD to hear rumors from the locals.
Daejac Varden (CN Human Warrior/Rogue): Rival to Shorty Kendross, Daejac owns the Bottle and Blade. Disreputable sort. Knows more than he should. Takes a cut of all profits from the gambling hall in the basement, as well as organizing the pit fights. Shifty sort, Ex-military. Don’t make him mad.
Jacen Blackblade (N Human Expert): Owner of Blackblade’s Smithing, Jacen is one of the best Armour and Weapon smiths in the city, which isn’t saying much. Still, he takes pride in it, and charges extra if he thinks he can get away with it. Jacen is, at heart, a businessman. He is out to make money, and nothing more. Has one son, lives above his shop.
Braten Blackblade (NG Human Commoner): Son of Jacen, Braten is learning to be a smith under his father. Spends extra time making sure all his work is the best he can do. This doesn’t please Jacen. Frequently deals with customers, because he’s afraid his father might scare them away.
Fasya Strane (LG Human Cleric): High Priest of Aera at Faedorn’s temple. Mostly benevolent, but has no tolerance for brigands or thieves. Never refuses to heal someone though, provided they make a donation to the temple.
Cody “Mad” Karrde (CN Half-Elf Sorceror): Proprietor of Wild Karrde’s Emporium. Sells all manner of things, some of which he makes himself. No refunds, no guarantees. Disguises himself to look more human. Touch off in the head, came out of the Waste. Keeps his magical abilities secret. 40% chance he will have any given object in stock, 20% if magic. Over enthusiastic. Always promises to restock, never gets around to it. Sometimes finances expeditions to find something specific for wealthy customers. Has been known to have the occasional minor artifact or part of one, though where he gets them from is a mystery (1% chance).
Jared Teron (LG Human Fighter): Captain of the Watch, because he figured no-one else could do the job properly. Relentless in pursuit of crime, flawless record. Bitter due to corruption on the Watch.
The Waste is a vast expanse of blasted land, far to the south of Faedorn. It was created just before the fall of the Elven Empire, and was possibly the cause of the fall. Only the Elves know the answer, and they keep quiet, as a rule. The ruins of their greatest cities lie deep within the Waste, their riches forgotten or plundered. Ancient guardians remain there still, faithfully guarding their charge for eternity. All of the remaining ones are constructs or similar creatures, mostly because the Waste claimed all the living ones for itself. Undead horrors walk the land, slaying all they come across and leaving their bodies where they fall. But such is the dread power of the Waste that the dead rise to fight again, joining the hordes of other unfortunates to suffer the same fate.
The event that caused the Waste to form was, as could be guessed, a magical cataclysm. The Elves had, at that time, great power. Their empire stretched across the land, and Faedorn was one of the lesser cities. There was trade with the Dwarves and peace with other races that knew they could not match the might of the Elves. Humans were still in a tribal state, though they worked unceasingly to rise above that, desiring the power the Elves held. It was at this time that two of the greatest Elven mages to ever live, Maindri and Vairra Gilhael, sought to permanently ward the center of the Elven Empire against all forms of attack. Together they created the Planewarden spell, designed to block and divert any attacks against the Elves to places where they could do no harm. It was an extremely powerful and difficult spell, but they believed that together they would be able to handle its casting. They were mistaken. When they tried to cast the spell the energies involved proved too much for even them. They tried to bring it under control, but this only served to further unbalance it. Three days and nights they fought against their creation alone, and with each passing hour it grew in intensity. After the twin mages were spent it could no longer be contained. It devoured their minds and bodies, adding the power they wielded to its own, but that proved to be too much, even for it. For Maindri and Vairra had been members of the Nine, conduits to the winds of magic. When the Planewarden spell absorbed them it also absorbed their spark, giving it access to two extremely strong magical forces. All that energy in one place, combined with its already unstable nature, caused the spell to detonate. For one second, time stopped. The spell exploded outward from the tower in which it was caste, shattering building walls and flash-disintegrating anything less sturdy. Thousands died in an instant. The detonation of the Planewarden spell obliterated half of the Elven capitol and cast the rest down in ruins. From there it spread outward. It was visible to the secondary cities for a full week before it even reached them. Nothing could outrun it though, and any without a magical method of escape were killed as they fled. Thirteen cities were destroyed in total, almost all of their inhabitants destroyed by one spell and two Wizards.
Once the destruction had ended some of the Elves to escape trickled back, emerging from extradimensional hiding spaces or returning in whatever way they could. They were horrified by what they saw. Their once-great empire was reduced to a shadow of its former power. And the longer they stayed, walking amongst the ruins of their former homes, the more they came to realize that the effects of the spell had not all vanished, as was previously thought. Magical travel became more and more difficult, blocked by interference from the leftover spell Energy. Some were developing strange symptoms, dropping dead without warning. The Elves who stayed were quickly overcome by a combination of restless dead risen to walk again, the looters coming to claim a share of what they didn’t own and the strange plague that affected everyone differently up till the moment they died. The looters and robbers fared no better. And worst of all, to the Elves, the sparks of Maindri and Vairra had been lost in the explosion, scattered to be gifted to any number of potential hosts. They avoid the Waste now, fearing even to mention it. None persist there but walking dead, ageless guardians, and the few brave fools who dare to enter in search of riches…
The Waste is an evil location, drenched with the blood of thousands and saturated with dangerous magical energy. It follows the rules for Taint, mentioned later. In addition, the following effects come into play, holdovers from the Planewarden spell.
• Permanent Dimensional Lock, a result of magic interfering with other magic. This effect can be suppressed, but not removed, by a successful Dispel Check against DC 30. (It would be higher, but over time even this magic has weakened. It has, however, now achieved stability, and will not weaken any further) Similarly, Mordenkainen’s Disjunction suppresses the effect within its area as if the dispel check had been passed. Suppresion lasts for d3 rounds in the case of Dispel Magic, d6 rounds for Greater Dispel Magic, and 2d6 minutes for Disjunction.
• Permanent Wild Magic Zone extending 3 miles from the source of the Planewarden spell. This is also the center of the crater that encompasses half the ruined capitol.
• Several Illusions of times past. These function as Permanent Major Images.
• A variety of warping effects on the land. In some areas this is more pronounced, with the ground shifting visibly instead of slowly. In these areas it is easy to become lost and disoriented (-4 to survival checks made to find a path), but there are no other effects.
A prestige class, The Runeforger, again by Destro:
The Runeforger Prestige Class.
Table: The Runeforger
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Runeforging, Battlesmith
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Empowering Rune 2/day
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Superheat, Heat Resistance
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Runebinding
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Runepower Increase 1
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Improved Runeforging
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Runic Talismans
8th +6 +6 +2 +6 Runepower Increase 2
9th +6 +6 +3 +6 Aura of the Forge
10th +7 +7 +3 +7 Forgemaster
The Runeforger is a dwarf craftsman of exceptional skill. He binds the power of runes into weapons and armour, creates runic wards, and forges runes to use in battle. Though runes are magical in every way and are affected normally as if magical, most dwarves have a general dislike of magic and insist that runes are not magical. He is mostly defensive in nature, enhancing his allies and demoralizing his enemies. Runeforgers work tirelessly in the Dwarven workshops, creating and maintaining equipment for the Dwarf armies. Runeforgers are highly protective of their secrets though, guarding the knowledge of how to use runes from curious eyes.
Most Runeforgers were fighters or clerics before they learned how to bind runes, though any class could gain the ability.
NPC Runeforgers are found in Dwarven cities. They are almost always busy with some project or another, as their skills are highly valued by both Humans and Dwarves. They never say no to another project though, so long as the asker is able to pay.
Hit Die: d8
To qualify to become a Runeforger, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Craft (Armoursmithing) 5, Craft (Weaponsmithing) 5
The character must have in their possession the knowledge of how to create and bind at least one rune.
The Runeforger's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Spot (Wis)
Skill Points at Each Level
2 + Int modifier
The following are class features of the Runeforger.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency
The Runeforger gains proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, as well as with all forms of armour.
Runeforgers, as their name suggests, gain the ability to forge runes at level one. This allows them to use runes in battle, as well as to bind them to weapons and armour.
Runeforgers are used to working in the middle of battles, moving around their forge constantly in order to avoid attack. Runeforgers never provoke attacks of opportunity when forging a rune.
At 2nd level a Runeforger gains the ability to bolster his allies by striking a rune carved into his anvil. All friendly characters within 30ft of the Runeforger when he uses this ability gain a +2 bonus to all attack rolls and saving throws. This bonus lasts for 1 round per level of the Runeforger.
At 3rd level a Runeforger gains the ability to channel heat through his hammer. He can therefore forge runes, weapons and armour without the aid of a heat source. In game terms, he no longer takes a penalty for attempting craft checks for metal items using improvised tools.
After being near open flames for so long, a Runeforger develops a resistance to heat and heat based attacks. They get a +3 bonus on Fortitude saves to resist the effects of heat and fire resistance 1.
At 4th level a Runeforger gains the ability to bind runes into a physical form of their own. These runes are activated when broken instead of being activated immediately as they are forged. Any given Runeforger can prepare no more than 5 bound runes at any given time. Bound runes have no sale value. If a Runeforger attempts to bind a 6th rune, the oldest unused bound rune he has made crumbles to dust.
At 5th level the Runeforger's Empowering Rune abilty increases to provide a +4 bonus instead of +2. Alternatively the Runeforger can gain the Wasting Rune ability. Wasting Rune is usable 2/day and bestows a -2 penalty on all attack rolls, damage rolls and saving throws made by any enemy within 30ft of the Runeforger at the time of its use. These penalties last for 1 round per level of the Runeforger.
At 6th level the Runeforger adds a +3 bonus to his craft rolls made to forge runes.
At 7th level the Runeforger gains the ability to bind weapon or armour runes onto small talismans. Only one of each type (weapon or armour) of talisman may be worn by the Runeforger at any time. While worn these talismans add the power of their own rune to any weapon or armour the Runeforger wears or wields.
Runepower Increase 2
At 8th level the Runeforger may increase the bonus or penalty bestowed by Empowering Rune or Wasting Rune by a further + or – 2. Note that this makes it possible to have Empowering Rune give +6 if Wasting Rune is not taken.
Aura of the Forge
At 9th level the Runeforger gains an aura of intense heat that radiates out 10ft from his position. This Aura saps the strength of those nearby. Anyone who comes within range of the aura must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + Number of Runeforger levels the Runeforger has + Runeforger's Con modifier) or become Fatigued. If it passes it cannot be affected by the same Runeforger's aura for 24 hours. The Aura can be suppressed or resumed as a free action.
At level 10 the Runeforger gains the ability to create a Master Rune. A Master Rune combines the abilities of any three weapon OR armour runes into a single rune, effectively allowing the application of three runes on one item. However, an item with a Master Rune cannot be enchanted, or the strain of holding that much power destroys the item. Similar runes used in the creation of a Master Rune do not stack.
Runes on Equipment
The Dwarves, distrustful of magic, have developed runes to augment their weapons and armour instead of using magic. Crafted by the Runeforgers, Runes can be added to any weapon or suit of armour that doesn’t already have one attached to it. Once a Rune is added, it can never be removed. A number of different runes exist, all with a separate effect. Rune effects stack with any effects granted by enchantments, though runeforged items are naturally resistant to magical effects, and as such any further enchantments cost an extra 25%.
Weapon Enhancements Effect Market Price
Rune of Accuracy +1 to hit
Rune of Accuracy, Greater +2 to hit
Rune of Striking +1 to hit and damage
Rune of Striking, Greater +2 to hit and damage
Rune of the Forge Adds 2d6 flame damage
Rune of the Storm Adds 2d6 electricity damage
Rune of Guarding Weapon gives shield bonus to AC
Rune of Reduction Reduces Armour bonus of target by half
Rune of Battle +4 hit and damage, Bane effect on target
As previously stated, no item may have more than one rune on it. In order to be eligible to receive a rune an item must be of masterwork quality. The cost of the masterwork quality has been included in the cost of the Rune.
Armour Enhancements Effect Market Price
Rune of Defense +1 to AC
Rune of Defense, Greater +3 to AC
Rune of Shielding +2 shield bonus to AC, deflects magic
Rune of Sturdiness +5 to hardness, +2 to AC
Rune of Shifting 30% displacement miss chance
Rune of Resistance +2 to all saving throws
Rune of Return Reflects d6 of damage taken to attacker
Rune of Revenge Reflects 25% of damage taken to attacker
Rune of the Bastion +4 con, +2 str, -4 dex, when unmoving
Market prices for runes are as yet undecided.
Class & Feat Changes (again Destro’s, though he had some help this time):
Unless otherwise noted, all abilities are (Ex)
- Add Poison use to the list of abilities a rogue can take at 10th level.
- At level 14, remove the penalty for using Disable Device and Open Lock without a set of thieves’ tools.
- At level 20, Disable Device checks take half as long as normal.
- Gain two extra skill points per level, usable only for knowledge skills.
Assassin (prestige class):
- Change “Any Evil” Alignment requirement to “Any non-good”.
- Remove Kill requirement for class entry.
- Add class entry requirement of seeking out and actually finding an assassin’s guild.
- Special monk weapons receive a damage progression one die lower than normal unarmed damage for the monk wielding them. This die can never be reduced below normal for a weapon of that size.
- Monks receive full base attack bonus progression
- No penalty for multiclassing once the monk reaches 5th level
- New Monk weapon: Bladed Nunchaku
Bladed Nunchaku: Cost – 3gp; Dmg (s) – 1d4; Dmg (m) – 1d6; Crit Range – 19-20/x2; Weight – 2lbs; Type – B&S; Special: The bladed nunchaku is a special monk weapon. This designation gives a monk wielding a bladed nunchaku special options. With a bladed nunchaku, you get a +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails).
For purposes of weapon proficiency and similar feats, a bladed nunchaku is treated as if it was nunchaku. Thus, if you have Weapon Focus (Nunchaku), that feat applies both to nunchaku and bladed nunchaku.
- Lose Illiteracy
- Choose two Exotic weapons to gain proficiency with
- (Su) Sorcerers draw their power directly from the winds of magic. Early on, they begin to develop a connection with one particular aspect of magic. At 2nd level, choose a school of magic. From now on, all spells of that school cast by the sorcerer are cast at +1 caster level. The chosen school can never be changed.
- Starting at 4th level, a Bard may reroll one perform check per day
- Starting at 3rd level, a fighter gets a bonus to some aspect of his ability checks that makes him a better warrior. The fighter gains an additional bonus at 5th level and every two fighter levels thereafter (7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th). The bonus must be drawn from the following list.
+1 bonus on Strength checks to break or burst items.
+1 bonus on Dexterity checks to avoid falling when damaged while balancing or moving quickly across difficult surfaces.
+1 bonus on Constitution checks to continue running and to avoid nonlethal damage from a forced march.
- Replace Detect Evil at will with continual “disturbance in the force” sense. To clarify: A paladin always knows when something nearby is different than it should be. This translates as a sense of foreboding or “wrong-ness.” Pinpointing the feeling is next to impossible for most paladins (sense motive DC 35)
- At 7th level the paladin gains a +1 bonus to sense motive. This bonus increases by 1 at 8th level and every two levels afterwards. (10th, 12th and so on…))
For starters, Feats use a non-standard progression. Instead of 1 feat/3 levels, a character gains one feat every odd level. The Character progression Table for feats is thus changed to this:
Character Level Feats
1 New Feat
3 New Feat
5 New Feat
7 New Feat
9 New Feat
11 New Feat
13 New Feat
15 New Feat
17 New Feat
19 New Feat
What follows is a list of new feats created specifically for this campaign, as well as tweaks to old feats that were underpowered.
Two-Weapon Fighting [General]
You can fight with a weapon in each hand. You can make one extra attack each round with the second weapon.
Prerequisite: Dex 15.
Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6. See the Two-Weapon Fighting special attack. For every iterative attack you gain with your primary weapon as a result of having a high base attack bonus, you gain an additional attack with your off-hand weapon, suffering an additional -5 penalty for every off-hand attack after the first.
Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a -6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a -10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light the penalties are reduced by 2 each. (An unarmed strike is always considered light.)
Special: A 2nd-level ranger who has chosen the two-weapon combat style is treated as having Two-Weapon Fighting, even if he does not have the prerequisite for it, but only when he is wearing light or no armor.
A fighter may select Two-Weapon Fighting as one of his fighter bonus feats.
Two-Weapon Defense [General]
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: While fighting with two weapons or a double weapon, you gain a +1 shield bonus to AC. For every iterative attack you gain with your primary weapon as a result of having a high base attack bonus, this shield bonus increases by 1.
While fighting defensively or using the total defense action, the shield bonus provided by this feat doubles.
Special: A fighter may select Two-Weapon Defense as one of his fighter bonus feats.
You are ambidextrous; you can use both hands equally well.
Prerequisites: Dex 17, Str 15
Benefit: You have no off-hand. Put another way, you have two primary hands. When fighting with two weapons, reduce your attack penalties by 2 for each light weapon you are wielding. This reduction in penalties can never result in a bonus to attack rolls.
Normal: You have one primary hand and one off-hand.
Special: A 6th level ranger who has selected the two-weapon combat style is treated as having Ambidexterity, even if he does not have the prerequisites for it, but only when he is wearing light or no armor.
Improved Sneak Attack [General]
You have become adept at picking out the vital spots on enemies.
Prerequisites: Dex 16, Spot 7 ranks, Ability to Sneak Attack
Benefit: You are able to sneak attack creatures normally immune to sneak attacks by taking a -2 penalty to hit.
Normal: Creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected by a sneak attack.
Special: This feat does not eliminate the critical hit immunity. It merely allows sneak attack to function against creatures which possess it.
Cheap Shot [General]
You take your time when fighting; striking only once your enemy is distracted.
Prerequisites: Dexterity 13, Combat Expertise
Benefit: When an enemy you are fighting is flanked you may use a touch attack in order to deal subdual damage equal to 5 plus your Strength modifier. Alternatively you may gain an additional +2 to hit against the flanked enemy. This stacks with the normal flanking bonus.
I'd be interested...though it would probably help if I had a character ready. I could do it as soon as I get home I suppose.
This looks pretty cool. I'll give it a shot, but I'd like to wait and see what kind of characters are going to be made for it by others.
Okay, I take that back. I've got an idea, and I'd like to start thinking about making an evil cleric focused on making undead.
I don't see any alignment requirements... I do wonder if we are using normal starting gold (2,700 GP, right?) and what kind of ability score generation we'll use.
When I've run games in the past I've used 28 point buy. I'm assuming standard gold will be used, and alignment is open as far as I know.
Just make sure you have some way to fool the paladins. They don't like evil people very much.
Hey Moozy, could I get confirmation on that?
Avoiding the paladins is the most fun part!
I, personally, would love to see this. I think it would be awesome.
Playing evil is fun, and you do it exceptionally well.
I've already got this really creepy, interesting and yet possibly not evil explanation for my character to give about their undead servants.
Standard gold, minimum exp for level, choose your alignment at your own risk...
As for point buy? I always thought 28 was a tad low. Let's go for 32, unless Destro disagrees.
Okay, there is one thing I'd really really really like to do, and actually I think it will, if anything, lower the power level of my character (by stabbing one of the strengths of a cleric in the face). Unfortunately, it is from a non core book (Unearthed Arcana).
I'd like to use the Spontaneous Divine Caster variant. Yeah, I'd be able to spontaneously cast, but I'd also lose the ability to know all the spells in the PHB AND the Spell Compendium, which you have to admit is quite a large and nice amount.
I just find spontaneous casters so much easier to deal with...
I know what you mean, but I think that's a little much... but anyway, it's fine by me, as long as Destro has Unearthed Arcana. I don't, so...
Well, it IS on d20srd.org.
Which is what I linked to. I mean, it has all the information.
That's an interesting idea. Especially with your master of undead concept. I'd be willing to give it a shot.
Plus it'll add an extra level of "might not be evil" to your character. I say go for it.
Okay, teaser time. There's not enough interest in this, and after some advice from Vael, it's time to give away some info. I can't say much, because of course I don't want to spoil the game...
Like all great stories in the history of the multiverse, this one begins in a tavern. There will be plenty of intrigue; it won't be just hack-'n'-slash. Your characters will become intwined in the politics of Faedorn and also the history of Tyrandara itself. And who knows? Maybe when this is over, if you enjoy this campaign, we can continue your story.
I'm presently on the road, but would like to take part. I should be able to do something Sunday night.
Okay, we have 3 potentials so far, and we only need 4-5. It's pretty much first come first serve, guys, so if you have any interest please post here! We don't mind if you back out later.
I've pretty much got my character created.
Ok I have decided that I am interested, I will work on a character now. Also I still stink at point buy rules. 32 right? Could someone tell how much each stat costs, that would be great.
I'm working up an elf rogue at the moment; maybe a follower of Messor headed into Assassin. What are the guidelines for starting equipment and HP?
They said GP was standard, so 2,700.
I'm not sure on HP, but, just for rough guidelines, I'd assume take max HP for first level, then an average roll on the second two levels. It is what I did.
I've always preferred taking average rolls over rolling...
I'll probably shoot for Heirophant, but mostly straight cleric.
Cleric, and Rogue huh. Well I stink at being a spell caster, I guess I'll go meatsheild.
Hit Points: Max at level 1, average level 2+
El J and Vael - your sheets look fine so far, but I'm going to have to look up some of those spells, Vael. Unearthed Arcana, correct?
They'd be in the spell compedium. Unearthed Arcana has no spells in it.
Okay, is Spell Compendium on SRD? If not, poor Destro has to use his home copy...
Destro will have to use his copy, though I could give a summary of each one.
I'm definitely still tweaking stuff with my character, but just in case anybody knows...what are the rules for creating poisons? I'd guess Craft (poison) is the relevant skill, but does anybody know if there are rules for things like DC, cost, and time?
Not in the core. I've got DC's in another book, and it does use standard craft rules except for one thing: progress is measured in GP.
Yeah, maybe it was in A&E guide or something. Anyway, it's something I might want to explore. Lochriss is more-or-less done now, having turned from a stabby rogue into a shooty rogue.
That said, if someone else would really prefer the rogue slot I could do arcane. I'd kinda rather not do meatshield again since I'm already doing that in Chili's campaign.
Is there any information you can offer about the campaign setting, that might help us think about character backgrounds and such?
Well uh, there is that mass of information in the first post.
Well uh, there is that mass of information in the first post.
Indeed. Not to mention the second post.
Grumbly...I'd have my little monk up, but this blasted Palm Pilot I'm stuck with is incapable of going to the areas to put up my sheet!
I'll try to snag a computer as quick like as I can...
Well uh, there is that mass of information in the first post.
Yes, but I mean something more specific; is the campaign set in Faedorn itself? Is it going to be an urban campaign, and is there anything else we need to know (current events? plots? uhm...weather?) before getting underway?
El J, to answer you:
No, you are not starting in Faedorn. Here's the teaser I put up (it's near the bottom of the first page):
Like all great stories in the history of the multiverse, this one begins in a tavern. There will be plenty of intrigue; it won't be just hack-'n'-slash. Your characters will become intwined in the politics of Faedorn and also the history of Tyrandara itself. And who knows? Maybe when this is over, if you enjoy this campaign, we can continue your story.
And if you want specifics on plots/current events, you know that The Nine (those with the sparks, if you've read Tyrandara's timeline) of Faedorn are recruiting. You also know that the Night Watch of Faedorn are having a bit of trouble, and even the paladins of the Church of Aera are getting grumpy. You have also heard of the Mist Reavers, a mysterious (but still good-aligned) group who supposedly lives under Faedorn, who seeks to undermine its "corrupt" government.
There aren't (m)any other large cities, so that's about all I can give you.
For a second their I thought I saw the "Church of Aesa" and a shiver ran down my spine. Close call.
McBish, DeBunny, Vael, El J: when you're finished with your sheets and backstory and everything (or if you have questions, please post/PM. You can drop out at any time if you decide you don't want to go through with it.
Still recruiting! First post says 4-5, so we could use one more.
Just needs to make that story and get to buying equipment.
Are you full out yet?
You can still join. We've got four (none of which are completely finished yet), and we want 4-5, so...
Ok, with Helgraf that'd be five people, so once everyone has their character sheets, we can get this show on the road.
Okay, I have a basic background sketched in for Lochriss, but not knowing the campaign world all that well it's hard to go a lot further; if the DMs want or need more detail and have some suggestions I'd be eager to hear them.
Okay, I have my raw stats ready, and I believe I know my character's personality... but I'll probably improv background as I go, just to make it fit in with what I don't know.
You guys now know about just as much as I do about the world itself... perhaps you just haven't read all of the information that's up there. If you want more, you'll have to ask Destro.
Right, my character is ready to go.
'Cept the backround which I'm still tweaking....
But he's playable at any rate.
Alright! If we get one or two more characters we can start this off. Feel free to PM/AIM me if you've got any questions about the World.