About DM Doomed Hero
1) The Climb.
2) The Beam.
3) The Rope.
4) The Doors.
5) The Gauntlet.
6) The Gap.
7) The Wall
8) The Pit.
9) The Pendulum.
10) The Ward
11) The Gate
Arch hangs in the void of Limbo, a city without a home. The whole city was transported from its homeworld by magic and ended up lost in a howling void. The unstable dimensional travel created a ring of unstable planar breaches which constantly open and close gates to other worlds. Door Street, as it has become called, is Arch's most famous, and most important feature.
These planar gates have become the city's lifeline. Through the gates the adventurous citizens of Arch explore the multiverse and bring back important resources for the city.
The city is ruled by a Council made up of representatives from the Noble Houses, and Guilds.
The geography of the city is essentially divided into layers. The Noble houses have the surface of the city, the dwarves have the ground below. The dragons have a large cavern below the dwarven hold, and the elves have the sky above.
The Four Guilds run the day to day operations of the city. They are the gears that keep the whole machine running.
The Forge: Responsible for industrial endeavors, manufacturing, education, and training. The Forge handles everything from Education to Civic Engineering. The Forge's primary concern is making sure the city has enough space to house all its citizens. The design of the Homespires are the Forge's answer to overpopulation issues. The dangerous, but extremely efficient Arch Undercity is the Forge's solution to public sanitation. The legendary Arch Academy is the Forge's crown jewel. The Forge is a collective of futurists, all trying to predict and prepare for the next big problem.
The Temple: Responsible for city defense planning, military preparation and promoting social welfare. The temple concerns itself with protecting the city in all ways, be it physical or spiritual. Arch's Holidays (which are really just city-wide disaster simulations) come from the great minds at the Temple Warcollege. The Temple grounds themselves house the Godstone. The Orphanage, which is the Elementary School version of the Academy, is run by the Temple. Pragmatism and generosity are the Temple's two guiding principals.
The Guard: Where the Temple protects the city from external threats, the Guard protect the city from internal threats. Due to the complexities created by Door Street, the Guard definitely has it's hands full.
The Tower: Responsible for research and application of magics, processing and compiling information regarding other planes, studying unknown artifacts and magical items, cataloging the city's history, and maintaining the city's ecosystem. In addition, the tower is responsible for maintaining the Harbinger and detecting anyone attempting to uncover anything about Arch's homeworld or the Enemy. Such information is given the highest priority and passed to the Census immediately.
House Caine : Dedicated to the idea that everything you need to succeed is built right into your body, House Caine preaches a dogma of self reliance and uncompromising discipline.
House Calister : Graceful combatants known for their scathing wit and lightning fast reflexes.
House Creed : House Creed has the amusing reputation of being a large group of isolationist loners. Really, they run the full gamut of social types, but have a tendency to be well suited to exploration or scouting, traditionally single person jobs. Highly adaptable, this house prides itself on its' reputation as survivors. Their skills in animal husbandry are second to none.
House Drake : House Drake has always been more than Human. Their blood runs hot with magic, and their ties to their draconic heritage is strong. They tend to have many of the personality traits associated with Dragons, often without the power to back it up. This often leads young members of House Drake to dangerous and painful life lessons. Scions of house Drake often have odd physical characteristics, such as slitted eyes or hairless bodies. Exposure to the draconic magics commonly worked by house Drake can cause abrupt changes in their appearance as they are taught their house abilities. House Drake rarely sponsors or accepts petitioners that cannot spontaneously cast spells or have obvious draconic heritage.
House Fell : Known for their specialized armor crafting, and defensive training as well as their incredible willpower and resilience. This House has mastered the unenviable art of absorbing punishment and enduring the unendurable.
House Kale : Known for their headstrong impulsiveness and their knack for turning whatever is at hand into the proper tools for the task. Their resourcefulness and adaptability are legendary. Many consider them walking good luck charms.
House Locke : Masters of getting what they want, it's been said that House Locke's words should be "...Sure, but it'll cost ya..." With their knack for being unobserved and their reputation for cunning, House Locke's sons and daughters make wonderful allies and vicious enemies.
House Raxus : Feared for their recklessness and powerful command of the weather. House Raxus is a dysfunctional family. Their unpredictable nature and their unbridled power make for a volatile combination.
House Sever : Members of House Sever carry a rich family legacy of trust and respect. These traits are embodied in the blades they all carry. House Sever believes that edged weapons are superior to other weapons. They are harder to make, require more dedication and effort to care for, and have the most potential to harm those who wield them sloppily, therefore edged weapons require a higher level of dedication, skill and care to wield. To house Sever, this speaks volumes about those that master them. It is for these reasons that every member of House Sever is trained in their use. Most carry weapons of deep personal significance.
House Shepard : House Shepard is rumored to be able to read minds. They have a knack for deciphering riddles and picking up on subtle interactions among individuals. Known for their pragmatism and skepticism, this house believes that knowledge is the key to power, but unlike most knowledge seeking philosophies whose followers tend to become isolationist bookworms or introspective truth seekers, the dogma of house Shepard is to pay attention to your surroundings to learn truth. Scions of house Shepard lean toward societal roles regarding investigation and exploration, but are well suited to any task they undertake due to their ability to quickly understand the situations they find themselves in.
House Solar : It is said that somewhere in the past, one of the lords of House Solar was highly blessed by a god of light and entrusted with holding back the forces of darkness. This attitude and outlook still permeates the house's beliefs to this day.
House Stark : Easily the most feared of the Houses, Starks believe that life's greatest weaknesses come from life itself, and that those weaknesses can be both overcome and exploited. House Stark has a family tradition of elaborate tattoos, which are often enchanted.
House Voss : Some people naturally fall into leadership positions, being innately trustworthy and easily relied upon. House Voss seems to be full of these sorts. Surprisingly enough, even when others are running the show, most members of the house seem perfectly willing to follow orders. The Voss family is well known for being able to adapt well to any sort of structured environment.
Dwarves : Master craftsmen and merchants with a keen eye for an opportunity to make money. Many are very adept at creating incredible crafts for a fraction of the normal time and cost.
Elves : Have developed the ability to create and manipulate glassteel and enhance the life force of others. They also possess a ritual for the granting of wings.
Voss' Break Down
Soul of Glass
General House Rules:
--Small Changes, because Martials deserve nice things--
Combat Maneuvers Do Not Provoke. In addition, all maneuvers can be attempted in place of an attack. All characters with a BaB of +1 or better count as having all "improved combat maneuver" feats for the purposes of feat qualifications. (note that this does not grant the usual bonuses to those maneuvers. Just the not provoking part. If you want combat maneuver bonuses you'll have to pay for them.)
Reposition and Bull Rush are for shoving people off cliffs or into campfires. The caveat about not being able to move people into danger with these maneuvers is removed.
Any creature with an Intelligence of 3 or higher receives Combat Expertise as a bonus feat at +1 BaB. Defending yourself with a weapon is instinctive and should not be taxed mechanically. You're already taking a penalty to do it. That's enough of a trade off.
Improved Unarmed Strike is a Martial Weapon Proficiency. Anyone trained in all martial weapons knows how to punch someone.
Dervish Dance is Weapon Specific, but can be used with any Finesse-able weapon. Think of this like Weapon Focus. Pick a weapon when you chose the feat. You get Dex to damage with that weapon.
Proficiency with Exotic Weapons cost a Trait. Because none of them are worth a feat, but they are cool and I like to see them used more often.
Spears of all kinds may be used in one hand while weilding a shield by a character proficient in Martial Weapons. Because history.
Characters have a number of Attacks of Opportunity each round equal to the number of attacks granted by their BaB. More skilled martial characters should be better at exploiting combat opportunities. Combat Reflexes adds AoOs equal to a character's Dex modifier to their number of AoOs a round.
Characters have a number of Five Foot Steps each round equal to the number of attacks granted by their BaB. Mobility in combat is important. Nobody likes aborting attacks because they killed their enemy on the first swing.
Reach Weapons do not use the ranged weapon Cover rules. Attacking from behind other people is what polearms are designed to do. A character shouldn't have to invest in archery feats (improved precise shot) in order to use a polearm the way they are designed to be used.
Reach Weapons use the 3.5 Diagonal exception. Normally, pole arms do not threaten on diagonals, unless you are a large creature. Ignoring this little artifact of the grid makes pole arms more functional.
Armor Spikes, Spiked Gauntlets, Bite attacks and other weapons that do not need to be employed in hands allow a character to threaten squares adjacent to them, even if they have attacked with a Reach weapon that round.
Light Weapons can be drawn as a Free action. Treat them as ammunition. If drawing an arrow is a non-action, so is drawing a knife. Pistols count as Light weapons for the purposes of drawing.
-- Fun Changes--
Spells don't Fizzle. Anyone that fails a concentration check doesn't simply lose the spell. Instead, the Scroll Mishaps rules will be consulted to see what happens to the magical energy when it is interrupted.
Size Matters: Creatures that are bigger than you might move you if they hit you. Slam or Bludgeoning attacks from a creature one size category larger than their target or any melee attack from a creature two or more size categories larger initiate a Bull Rush as a free action after a successful hit (regardless of damage dealt). This bull rush is not automatically directed by the attacker, and uses the Grenade scatter rules to determine which direction the target is moved. Any result that would indicate the target is moved toward the creature instead moves the target straight back away from them. If you get hit by something four or more times your mass, expect to go flying.
Drawing Objects From Pouches: Any adventurer worth his salt knows that sometimes it's handy to have things like caltrops, tanglefood bags or potions as accessible as possible. As such, bandoleers and pouches are treated exactly like (and cost the same as) Wrist Sheathes or Spring Loaded Wrist Sheathes. A typical belt can hold up to six of them. With a belt and two bandoleers an adventurer could have as many as 20 ready pouches. This rule exists mostly because the system for retrieving small objects is total b$!@*&@%.