The Scroungers setting provides a number of unique options for character creation, including new feats, alterations of certain skills and modifications of the character’s starting wealth. These options are detailed below and allow players to create characters that are unique to the Scrounger’s setting.
In addition to the feat (or feats) normally selected at first level, a character in the Scroungers setting must select a regional feat from the list presented later in this book. These feats represent skills developed during the character’s upbringing in a specific physical or cultural region of Stha Lui and usually provide small, circumstantial, useful bonuses. For example, a character that grew up in the dense forests of Genzland might have developed a strong understanding for the forest and would be an ideal candidate for the Woodsman regional feat. Similarly, a sea dwarf from Qileka would have spent his childhood on board a ship and would qualify for the Sailor’s Blood or Born Marine feats.
Unlike many traditional fantasy worlds, there is no language in the Scroungers setting that is widespread enough to be considered “Common.” The various groups that populate the continent of Stha Lui speak different languages derived from their ancestral languages before the Torrent. To be sure, there has been mixing of languages, vocabulary exchanges have occurred and a widespread trade pidgin has developed, but a continent-wide language suitable for complex conversation does not exist on Stha Lui.
Each character created in the Scroungers setting who originated on or near the continent of Stha Lui knows two automatic languages: the major language of their home region and Trade Pidgin. As usual, a character with a high Intelligence score at first level can learn one additional language for every point of her Intelligence bonus. The languages of Stha Lui are explained in greater detail under the Speak Language skill entry and in the racial and cultural descriptions presented in this book.
If, for some reason, a character originated from a location other than Stha Lui and its surrounding islands, this character only knows one automatic language, usually a racial or regional language. She can learn Trade Pidgin as detailed in the Speak Language skill.
Though Trade Pidgin developed more-or-less organically as dictated by the needs of commerce in Stha Lui’s multilingual society, in racially- and culturally-heterogenous areas like Home, it has become somewhat more comprehensive and nuanced, capable of expressing more complicated ideas. It still lacks the vocabulary necessary for technical discussions, academic debates, religious explorations, and similar subjects, but has come to be used for more than just trade.
Given Stha Lui’s linguistic diversity and close confines, DMs might consider allowing players to select Trade Pidigin plus two additional regional languages at character creation. This is especially appropriate for characters whose places of origin is urban and racially- and culturally-diverse, like the Home Territory or coastal regions of Aadipura, Śetaig, and Qileka.
Wealth by Level
Because resources are so scarce in Stha Lui, PC’s at any given level will have access to fewer resources and less wealth than normal. The following table details approximately how much wealth a character should have at a given level.
1st|~100 gp|11th|33,000 gp
2nd|450 gp|12th|44,000 gp
3rd|1350 gp|13th|55,000 gp
4th|2700 gp|14th|75,000 gp
5th|4500 gp|15th|100,000 gp
6th|6500 gp|16th|130,000 gp
7th|8500 gp|17th|170,000 gp
8th|13,000 gp|18th|220,000 gp
9th|18,000 gp|19th|290,000 gp
10th|24,500 gp|20th|380,000 gp[/table]
Even with this reduced level of character wealth, DM’s should be careful to refrain from giving PC’s too much currency. The following are a few guidelines to help DM’s determine what treasure to award and in what amounts.
- The very existence of a wealth-by-level table lends itself to the even distribution of wealth over time. However, the values presented above are just benchmarks. DM’s should feel encouraged to distribute wealth unevenly over the course of the campaign, especially in a game where the PC’s take the role of scroungers. A lean period followed by a lucky break is very much within the realm of possibility for such an enterprise.
- The majority of the wealth a PC possesses should be in the form of vital equipment (weapons, armor and other items that enhance his or her ability to function as a PC), while free cash should be relatively scarce and purchasing basic supplies should be a relatively major transaction. DM’s are encouraged to provide valuable magic and mundane items instead of hordes of coins. Some new types of items are introduced in this book as a way of replacing cash while still allowing PC’s to customize their equipment.
- Only the wealthiest of merchants in the largest cities should have the cash on hand to purchase even the least expensive magic items from PC’s. Only the largest and most prosperous cities, especially those that cater to scrounger teams, should have the sort of “Ye Olde Magic Shoppe” economy that prevails in other settings.
- On that note, encourage players to seek out and exploit barter economies where goods or services are traded directly for other goods and services instead of dealing in cash.
- Powerful magic items should be rare and one-of-a-kind. PC’s who possess one of these items should either find it as an ancient relic of a lost civilization or have it custom crafted by a powerful (and thus well-known) caster.
DM’s should feel free to exceed the above suggested wealth-by-level limits but only in item form or as major windfalls (representing “the job of a lifetime” or other major influx of cash). As stated above, cash should be rare and DM’s should feel comfortable with PC’s fluctuating between impoverished and wealthy.
Information about setting-specific modifications to the skill system is available here
A list of new feats for the Scroungers setting, including regional feats, can be found here