Criticals hurt, regardless of confirmation. On a critical THREAT, your base damage die/dice are maxed. On a critical CONFIRMATION, your additional dice are rolled and added to the previous (maxed) total. Thus if your base damage is 1d6+2...
On a critical threat roll, your damage is 6+2
On a successful confirmation, your damage is 6+2+1d6+2
The cumulative effects of experiencing horrific events adds up, manifesting in all sorts of mental issues - from insomnia to insanity. You will have an opportunity to avoid these effects through a series of Will or Fort saves. If you manage to amass 8 Horror points – you have been driven irretrievably insane and you become an NPC. Consider this a warning about the importance of the CON and WIS stats. Also, know that you can reduce your Horror Point total by taking ‘down-time’ - that means you decompress in a place of safety for a period of days to process and shake off all the horrors you have witnessed.
Spontaneous Casters gain their stat bonus to both the number of spells cast per day AND the number of spells known.
Channeling both heals and damages at the same time. Be warned - channeling to damage is not as effective as you might hope in Mylhaven.
Drinking a potion can be done as either a MOVE action or a STAND action. In either case, it draws AoOs as normal.
You can cast range 'Personal' spells on others as a full round action (for spells with a casting time of 1 Standard Action or less).
Second Wind Second Wind is a character's opportunity to bind wounds, recuperate, and rally him/herself to fight on despite injury, fatigue, and despair.
Frequency: 1/Day per 2 CL (2/Day @ 3rd, 3/Day @ 5th)
Time: Several Minutes out of combat
Effect: Regain HPs = 1d8 + CL + CON bonus
Limits: You must be conscious, stable (not suffering a bleed effect), and not subject to an on-going morale-eroding effect (Shaken, Frightened, etc.) Second Wind cannot be applied or transferred to another character.
Heal: Treat Deadly Wounds (changes)
TDW allows characters to assist one another in the healing process after grievous injuries.
Frequency: 2/Day and never more than once per battle
Time: 20 minutes
Cost: 1 use from Healer's kit or -2 penalty on the roll vs the DC
Gods come and Gods go - along with their devotees. This has been the story of Miir since the beginning that no scholar knows. Once, long ago, before Miir had her name, it must have been an ocean world, littered with thousands of small islands. How else can scholars explain finding ancient seashells high up mountain-sides? Who were the people of these islands and who were their Gods? None can say. But after them came the Shaudran and a vast super-continent was raised from the ocean depths to give them a homeland. They called it Miir and, in their arrogance, named the whole world after it as well. The Shaudran flourished and few corners of the continent were free of their touch. They excelled at magic that few sorcerers today can even understand. They slipped between the cracks in the world and journeyed across the dimensions. From their forays, they brought back races to serve them. Highest among these were the elves. But many races there were. Some died out while others flourished, bred, and interbred... until we have the races we know today. But that is another story.
The Shaudran, the shadow-casters, ruled and all others served. But the elves - closest to their masters - hungered for more though they had no means to take what they desired. They waited and planned as only the long-lived elves could do. In the end, as their empire aged, the Shaudran overthrew themselves. Practicing fell magics to achieve a goal no scholar has yet deciphered, the Shaudran vanished from the face of Miir overnight. All that remained were some of their buildings - unnaturally aged and all but turned to dust. But there were a few buildings - a precious few - that now seem ageless. They stand perfect and immune to time - as if caught in amber - even today, after more than 10,000 years. The Shaudran Gods vanished along with their worshippers, some by choice and others by struggle for...
Into the vacuum, stepped the elves. Using the lesser magics they had gleaned from their masters, they raised their own Gods high... and brought all the other races low in so doing. While the Shaudran were content with servants, the elves created slaves... lest they be supplanted as had the Shaudran. The elven plans came to fruition. The Shaudran lore and records that could be found, were collected and secured or destroyed. And the long-lived elves re-wrote history, insisting across generations of the short-lived races, that the elves had overthrown the Shaudran and 'liberated' Miir. Lies became historical 'fact'. No evidence was left to refute it and no scholar of a lesser race was allowed to delve too deeply.
The elves re-made the continent in their image. Crumbling Shaudran roads were allowed to collapse, isolating communities of the lesser races. Elves, skilled at moving through woods, had no need for roads that only eased the burdens of the other races. The wild areas grew. Even among their own kind, the elves built a culture of servitude. Highest among them were the Grey Elves, those that had directly served the Shaudran in their fortresses and had stolen their magical knowledge. Below them the Wood and other elves - those that had managed Shaudran lands far and wide. Long did the Grey Elves rule - oppressing and isolating the other races and treating their own kind little better. They sewed distrust among the lesser races, expanding their web of lies with tales of atrocities, painting themselves as the benign leaders keeping the other races from bloody war.
But change was in the wind as the Elven empire itself aged. Deep in the Eastern part of the continent, an area not under the thumb of the elves, a very different power was rising. It was a foreign culture of humans and an assortment of odd races that lived amicably. It was a culture of honor and a warrior tradition tied to some mystical figures of the past - Children of the Dragon, they called themselves. And when the ever-expanding elves crossed this culture, they were unprepared for the result. The Dragon people went to war with the ferocity of fire ants. They crushed the elven troops and accepted the surrender of their conscripted forces. They freed vast swathes of land from the elves, unintentionally liberating the races that had long been enslaved. The breath of freedom, once enjoyed, was not forgotten. Having soundly defeated the Elves, the Dragon's Children returned to their time-honored lands - sure that they would not have to fight this enemy again. And they were right. The elves would very soon have an insurrection with which to contend. The message of the elves' weakness, the desire for freedom, and the hope that combined strength would allow the weaker races to overcome their masters after long servitude... was a clarion call across Western Miir. It was a bell that couldn't be un-rung. The enslaved races organized and, eventually, rebelled. The rebellion was a pogrom nearly genocidal in scope. The elves were all but wiped out. Only a few thousand escaped northward - to the furthest reaches of the continent - protected by the wild, trackless, and difficult terrain. There the Grey Elves remain to this day, not daring to emerge, knowing that they will be slain on sight. The 'lesser' members of their species, Wood Elves and the like, move cautiously among the other races - sticking to the deep forests and more tolerant regions. But old hatreds die hard and everywhere an Elf goes he must expect hard looks, hard words, and possibly hard actions. But that is a fact, all men know.
The world did not change overnight. After the downfall of the Elves, the distrust of others that the Elves had sewn into each race, bore fruit...and the rebels squabbled among themselves and found it safer to trust only their own kind. Races formed States, fought, and fell apart. Warfare and skirmishes plagued the land, soaking it in blood. Scholars call this the Era of Warring States. And it may have continued to the present day were it not for several larger threats - the strange demons that poured from gates that sprung up across the continent and the return of the Dragon's Children culminating in the Scythe War. Threats from without trumped all internal disputes. The States rallied to repel the invaders and found enough common ground to band together.
Birth is a painful process. The birth of what we now call 'The Realm' was no exception... and it was only possible by the providential intervention of he who became the Absent Emperor. To this day, no man is more shrouded in myth and legend. Some say he was once a lowly thief, scoundrel, and assassin finding a home in the floating city - Conundrum. Some say that he is a necromancer, if not one of the undead himself. Others believe that he was God-sent even in his infamy. Whatever the truth, we know that he forged the Realm into what it is - an economic empire, delicately balanced among competing interests. Each of the 44 states, called Demenses, are self-ruled and represented by a Regent in the Council. Based in Crux, the City of a Thousand Spires, the Council meets to seek economic advantage over others while ensuring that the business of the Realm continues unabated. As every school-child knows, the power and excesses of the Regents are utterly curtailed by the 15 Edicts of the Emperor. Only by appealing directly to the Emperor or by assuming his title (by sitting the Throne), can the Edicts be changed. So the Emperor's eternal absence from Court makes these rules inviolate as no exceptions can be made. Of course, there are those who, in a feat of hubris, attempt to take his mantle by mounting the Empty Throne. Long are the tales of how, despite ridiculous precautions, any man who dares the Throne dies horribly. Longer still are the tales of adventurers and assassins who attempt to challenge the Emperor himself... somehow learning the location of the secret Summer Palace where it is said the Emperor awaits. For it is widely believed that only by slaying the Emperor and sitting his identical Throne in the Summer Palace, is it possible to then sit the Empty Throne in Crux and become the Emperor. But these stories are mere speculation. All that can be said with certainty is that since the Emperor vacated the Empty Throne some 300 years ago, no one sitting it has lived for more than a few moments. Thus is the power of the Emperor proved eternal. Long may his Empty Throne remain so.
Time drips slowly from the moss-laden trees of Mylhaven - particularly at night. Then, the minutes drag into hours, taking on the thickness of sap, dropping with the agonizing slowness of a failing heartbeat. Night in Mylhaven seems to last a very long time and the first hint of twilight chases timid daylight from the skies. Perhaps it is a peculiar effect of the terrain - the overhanging and oppressive vault of evergreens and lichens practically chokes the dusky sunlight.
Born on the mountains' heights, streams carve tortured gullies through the unending jagged planes of stone, slicing the meager valleys that the Demense's inhabitants cling to for their hard-scrabble existence. Bordered by coastline, winds off the ocean howl along the valleys, shriek through the gaps in the stones of the heights, and whisper menacingly among the endless trees. Then there is the fog... It doesn't appear every night but few people could name a night where it hasn't stalked through village, hedgerow, or streambed. It sighs down from the heights, coils through the forests like a serpent, insinuates itself into village and thorp like a bad rumor, and lays a clammy, grave-touched hand on every living being it crosses. The mist is so present and so intimate, Mylhavians have names for it: the Old Man, Night's Father, or - most commonly - Mr. Grey.
Mylhavians are like the land - solid, tough, and implacable. Their lives exist between dawn and dusk where they scratch their existence from subsistence farming, hunting, some lumber, mining, and collecting rare plants - the odd mushrooms, funguses, and lichens that thrive in the wake of Mr. Grey's forays across the land. When the sun touches the horizon, rural Mylhavians seek the solace of their hearths, homes, and their sturdy barred doors. More than fog stalks the night in the mountains and valleys. Lonely howls punctuate the night as wolves looks for easy meals. Other, more stealthy creatures also hunt the darkness and fill the stories told by Myhavians through the long hours of the night. No village lacks tales of Granekks and Rock Trolls snatching the unwary from Mr. Grey's cold embrace.
While they aren't talkative with most strangers, Mylhavians keep their ears open for word brought from afar by travelling troubadours and merchants. It is a wonder to them how so many people concern themselves with the politics of the Realm. For the average Mylhavian, the next meal is far more of a concern. And yet, the whispers intrigue them - particularly as it touches on the rulership of their Demense. The silky hand that controls the fate of all Mylhavians is that of Lady Severia Cross, Baroness of Mylhaven at Land's End. Or, as she is known to the rest of the world, the Dark Lady of Mylhaven. She rules from Artuum, the fortress-city constructed by no human hands, near the coast.
Were they not so busy scratching their lives from the hills, Mylhavians might wonder how their ruler has managed to retain their independence in relative peace among their dangerous neighbors. To the south is Yvor - a Demense ruled and populated by twisted giants whose only talent is their skill at working the wool from their endless flocks of sheep. They are voracious meat-eaters but dare not touch their flocks, so rumors say, which gives rise to the belief that the Yvorians snatch their 'game' from the poor villages and towns that border their lands. Flanking them is Zedispur, a Demense all but overrun with undead, if the legends are true. Sharing the waters North of Mylhaven is Vir-Az, ruled by a set of 'Merchant-Princes' - little more than pirates and privateers. And yet none of these 'neighbors' threaten the sovereignty of Mylhaven. Mylhavians imagine it is the value of their exotic minerals and rare metals - mined along the mountain heights under the Baroness' watchful eyes - that keeps their neighbors in check. Eyes on economics and the stability of the Realm, many believe the Council would not appreciate any stoppage in the flow of minerals and metals from Mylhaven - particularly gold, silver, mithril, adamant... and the living minerals such as Corborundrum.