Races & Classes
Since this world isn't Greyhawk, the races and classes will need some work, so this section I'll be going through the races and classes and giving you the fluff and crunch edits. I would very much like your feedback about anything you think is over/underpowered or needs changes for any reason.
One of the things that I forgot to mention in the previous post was about the races. In this world, the Old Races (elves, gnomes, dwarves, halflings, and any other nonhuman race) are (or are at least thought to be) extinct. The humans of the world have not had contact with the Old Races for thousands of years; the last contact with any nonhuman race is ancient history, shrouded with legend. Some don't even believe in the old races, thinking them but myths.
But the Old Races do exist, and there are those alive to prove it. The blood of the Old Races runs in the veins of some gifted few, whose ancestry runs back to one of the Old Races. These few gain some powers from their blood, powers normal people don't have.
Apply one of the following templates to your character at first level. You cannot change your racial heritage later on, so make sure your decision is final.
Read the original post here
You are shorter and stouter than most people you know. You are tougher than your friends can stand up to much punishment. However, you are often surly and aloof and act coldly towards strangers, but you are a true friend to those that are close to you.
+1 Constitution, -1 Charisma
Darkvision 30 ft: Unlike many humans you have the amazing ability to see in the dark.
+2 to avoid being bull rushed or tripped while standing on the ground
+1 on saving throws against poison
+1 bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects
You are graceful and impressive, with sharp features and a striking figure. However beautiful you may be, you are still arrogant and are slow to make friends. When given a task, however, you are relentless and precise, and will get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Low Light Vision: Even in areas of low light, you can see twice as far as you normally can.
+1 Dexterity, -1 Constitution
+3 against sleep spells and effects and a +2 bonus against enchantment spells
+1 bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot
You are short and jovial, finding humor where others can't. You are also known for your inquisitive nature and curious personality. You will stop at nothing to answer a question, no matter how far it will take you.
+1 Constitution, -1 Strength
+2 racial bonus against illusions
+1 DC to illusion spells*
+2 bonus on Listen
+2 bonus on Craft (alchemy)
*In this particular campaign world, arcane magic is hated and feared. Though a gnome has this power that is potentially able to be unlocked, it is unlikely that he would use it because of this.
You are short, but surprisingly social, getting along well with most everyone in town. You are known for settling disputes and quarrels, and are generally considered a lighthearted fellow.
+1 Dexterity, -1 Strength
+1 on Climb, Jump, Listen, and Move Silently checks
+1 on all saving throws
+1 on saving throws against fear
You are strong and aggressive, but are somewhat crude and dense. You are well known for your strength in battle, but not very well liked. You are also very impulsive and have a primal instinct to fight when you are insulted.
+1 Strength, -1 Intelligence, -1 Charisma
Darkvision 30 ft: Unlike many humans you have the amazing ability to see in the dark.
For the classes to better fit into my world, I've rewritten some of the fluff and crunch for them. Currently, I'm only working with core classes, but I might expand this later on.
Barbarians are known for their aggressive nature and uncouthness. Their weapons are their only friends barbarians need, and with them they wade into combat with animal ferocity.
Barbarians are not wholly common across the world. They live primarily in the plains in the south of the continent, isolated from society. They rarely can get metal weapons, but when they are able to obtain one, they are a great prize, indeed. Barbarians are extremely distrustful of outsiders and will usually kill those from the outside on sight.
Barbarians are usually the most skilled warriors in a tribe, anlernd no tribe has more than two, Few tribes even have one. If a tribe does have a barbarian, they are usually the chieftain of the tribe, a post only obtained through single combat.
Barbarians no longer gain Common as a language and instead gain their tribal language (see Demographics post, coming out in a couple of days) and can never spend skill points to become literate.
Because bards do not fit well with this world, they have been removed. If you can offer me a reason why bards have magic, I would be quite happy to replace them in the system (see Arcane Magic below).
Clerics are the most pious members of the church, the holiest of men. They are regarded with great respect, for their divine powers come from the very god who created man. They are the purest of souls in the church and gain their powers at their birth. At a very young age, their powers become evident, and the child is inducted into and raised by the church.
All clerics eventually rise to becoming a hierophant (of which there are seven) and potentially be elected into the position of Holy Sovereign, the holiest man of the church (the equivalent pope).
The church hiearchy, however, is mostly not filled with righteous and spiritual leaders like clerics. Many of those in the church break many pledges they made upon entry to the church. One in the church, clerics included, must always be wary of those that stay in the shadows. Cloak and dagger is certainly not uncommon amongst "holy men".
All clerics must be lawful good and cannot prepare inflict spells (any other evocation is fine, but not inflict). Also, any spell that can bring back from the dead (i.e., raise dead, resurrection, true resurrection
) is removed from game.
Because druids do not fit well with this world, they have been removed. If you can offer me a reason why druids have magic, I'd be more than willing to put them back.
Fluff: Fighters are the elite warriors in society, trained in the use of manny weapons. Most fighters are trained by an elite weaponsmaster for several years, more often than not at a fighter's college of some kind.
Fighter's colleges can be found in most any small town, but the best colleges are found in large cities and metropolises. Many towns with fighter colleges will pay your tuition for three years (the average amount of time it takes to graduate) for serving five or six years on the city watch.
Fighters are the most common player class in the world (which doesn't mean their common at all).
Because fighters have mastered a large repertoire of weapons, at first level they may choose any two weapons they are not proficient with to gain proficiency in.
Monks do not fit into the world and will not be available to take.
Right below clerics on the church hierarchy are paladins, the church's holiest knights. Righteous warriors deeply connected to their god, paladins are made, not born. Every time a paladin dies, a new one is chosen to take his place. A council of the remaining 11 paladins decide to choose one of the warriors of the church to name as a paladin. The council is held in secret and the paladin is unveiled in a great ceremony where the Holy Sovereign blesses the new knight and sends him on his first quest for the church. During the ceremony, the god of the church (who I have not yet named) gives the paladin his powers.
Paladins have the same abilities as they do in the Player's Handbook.
Expert trackers, trappers, and hunters, rangers are loners, sole guides of the wilderness. They usually keep to themselves and sometimes offer their services to those in a town on the edge of the wilderness. Rangers often explore places where others dare not go and can lead anyone where they want to go. The wild is their turf and they reign supreme on it.
Crunch: I want a spell-less ranger with some non-magical abilities that would compensate for their loss of spells. Can anyone find me a good variant?
Rogues can range from anything from crime lords to assassins, and are more common in this world then most. A rogue is a specialist in breaking the law and not getting caught, and are extremely versatile in what they do. Assassins are commonly in business, usually by priests to assassinate their rivals within the church.
As I said previously, arcane magic is a rare and hated gift that few can master. Arcane magic has been outlawed by the church as being demonic and wholly evil, and some is, but some isn't.
Because bards are supposed to be great spinners of tales rather than great finders of knowledge, I didn't see them as applicable in this world. If you disagree, and you can find a way that bards could work, please tell me. I would love to include them if I could.
Sorcerers gain their powers through powerful bloodlines that ran in their family. Fey, demonic, and aberration are the most common types of bloodlines, but bloodlines of genies and dragons are also possible. Bloodlines do not last forever, and after ten or twelve generations will run out, but some last longer than others. The draconic bloodline is the longest-lasting bloodline, which can last for up to twenty or thirty generations, but is perhaps the rarest bloodline of all. Besides their magic, sorcerers gain no powers from their bloodlines.
Not all sorcerers want the powers they have, and some never know at all.
Sorcerers can no longer gain a familiar.
Wizards are much less common than sorcerers across the world, because unlike sorcerers, wizards want their powers. Wizards pursue arcane knowledge to gain their powers, choosing either to follow demonic knowledge or the knowledge given by the Old Races. The Old Races, elves and gnomes in particular, were great masters of magic, bending it to their will without help from fiends, and could use it to do amazing things. Demons, on the other hand, were one of the three sole providers of magic in the world (the elven god Arcturus and the Gnomish god Garl being the other two) and gave it freely to humans, only to corrupt and destroy. Many turn to demonic knowledge rather than that of the Old Races, as it is much more readily available. However, those that know the corrupting influence of the demons dare not to even open the pages of their wicked tomes.
Wizards no longer gain a familiar.
Also, school specialization has been completely ripped down and written anew. Now, wizards must specialize in either the knowledge of the demons (Demonic Lore) or the knowledge of the Old Races (Forgotten Lore).
If you choose Demonic Lore, you can only cast spells from the following schools and subschools. However, you gain one extra spell known each level, chosen from the following schools. The schools and subschools are: Conjuration (calling and summoning subschools), Enchantment (all subschools), Evocation, Illusion (phantasm and shadow subschools), Necromancy and Transmutation.
If you choose Forgotten Lore, you can only cast spells from the following schools and subschools. However, you gain one extra known spell st each level, chosen from the following schools. The schools and subschools are: Abjuration, Conjuration (creation and teleportation), Divination, Enchantment (charm), Evocation, Illusion (figment, glamer, pattern), and Transmutation.
So what did you think? Overpowered? Underpowered? If the spellcasters come across as underpowered, it's probably because they are. As I said before, I wanted to give the melee classes more, and I seem to have done that, partly by weakening the arcane classes.
Sorry for the long post with crunchy statistics, but there shouldn't be too many more of those. The next post will be short, sweet, and to the point. I'll probably post the whole thing tomorrow and not have to edit it in chunks like I had to with this post. Next up: Magic.