In designing the gameworld of Urth, for use with Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG (which is an upgraded version of 3.5 D&D), I had to exercise a great deal of discretion. The main problem wasn’t so much ‘what to include?’ but ‘what not to include?’ Given all that’s been added to an eternally growing RPG since the 1970’s, I had to trim stuff if I was ever going to write easily adaptable game rules for a whole world. Therefore, on the world of “Urth,” ‘simplicity’ necessarily became the watchword. There are no “Oriental Adventures” (or magical katanas) to be found for instance. Moreover, gameworld “facts” &/or “science” aims to keep things simple & straightforward. For example, in order to keep the number of half-breeds low, & halves-of-halves nonexistent on Urth (along with all attendant DM headaches), where ever the word “Half” appears, as with Half-Elf, all such progeny are born sterile; & therefore, for both natural & social reasons, represent a very tiny population. Similar reductions were made across the board, as long as I believed continuity would be maintained. Case in point, there are only 7 gods: Three are good; 3 evil; & one is neutral.
There was one other important change of direction, reminiscent of Gary Gygax’s very first novel (“Saga of Old City”), I had hoped to aim my gameworld in: Low Fantasy. In other words, just as here in the real world, addictive narcotics, power-hoarding rulers, child-prostitutes, & all the similar societal dregs that most any civilization must suffer are also found on Urth. Besides, low fantasy settings offer our heroes more obstacles to overcome; not to mention more adventure options in general.
As mentioned above, this ‘Urth’ booklet is constructed as an addition to The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, published by Paizo. Hereafter, references made to the Pathfinder ‘Core Rulebook’ will be abbreviated as ‘CR.’ References to The Pathfinder ‘Bestiary’ will be abbreviated as ‘B1,’ the ‘Bestiary 2’ as ‘B2,’ the ‘Bestiary 3’ as ‘B3,’ & the ‘Bestiary 4’ as ‘B4.’ The ‘Game Mastery Guide,’ ‘Advanced Players Guide,’ ‘Advanced Race Guide,’ & ‘Advanced Class Guide’ are abbreviated accordingly (i.e., ‘GMG,’ ‘APG,’ ‘ARG,’ & ‘ACG’). ‘Ultimate Equipment,’ ‘Ultimate Magic,’ & ‘Ultimate Combat,’ are denoted as such (i.e., ‘UE,’ ‘UM,’ & ‘UC’). The ‘Ultimate Campaign’ abbreviates to ‘Cam.’ And ‘Mythic Adventures’ is ‘MA.’
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The Urban Adventure (starting on pg.53)
As stated above, my preferred sword-&-sorcery subgenre is often referred to as “Low Fantasy.” This is not to be confused with “Low Magic,” although, for lack of coinage, from the player’s point-of-view, I suppose my idealized campaign nets characters few magic items in any event. In other words, even though I have little problem with Urth sporting even the most avant-garde magical items that the UE or MA has to offer; I nonetheless have a big problem with allowing the PCs enough capital to afford them anytime before 18th or 20th level. Nevertheless, like I say, Low Fantasy does not necessarily equal Low Magic.
So what is Low Fantasy? Many fine authors wrote novels envisioning it. Two of my favorites are Saga of Old City by the inimitable Gary Gygax & Sanctuary (i.e., the first three “Thieves’ World” short story collections) edited by Robert Lynn Asprin. Both of those books take on adult themes. Trust me: You really wouldn’t want your tween daughter reading them….especially the latter. But more importantly, they both mark the large metropolitan area as the exemplification of Low Fantasy. That is not an accident.
So in order for a PC or NPC to have grown up on the mean streets, one first needs streets….& lots of ‘em at that. But from a DM’s perspective, cities are really difficult to adequately bring to life. It’s a great deal easier to map out dungeon walls on the fly & throw monsters right out of the Bestiary at players than to conceptualize city-life intricacies our own world hasn’t seen for more than 500 years; & then add in all the ramifications of free-market magic-use to boot.
That doesn’t even get to the copious amounts time it takes to map out a free-standing structure, like a large tavern or wizard’s tower; as compared to the cursory free-hand sketch typical of a forest, highway, or cave encounter. And even once that’s done, prepackaged Bestiary monsters seldom betoken the populace. Therefore, the DM needs to take still more time peopling his metropolis with various humanoids of numerous class-levels; perhaps even taking the time to add on a template here-&-there. In short, creating a realistic “Low Fantasy” environment in general, & an unromantic large medieval city in particular, is an incredibly tall order.
As a result, even the most committed Low Fantasy devotee must take his players out of the city from time-to-time. Dungeon Mastering must not be a full time job. Besides, the word “Dungeon” appears in the title for a reason. (Yes I still use the term “DM” rather than “GM,” & I’ll never stop!) Moreover, many a large city itself features large (free-hand sketched) catacombs. Add to that a wharf quarter &/or a nearby temperate forest & the DM should be able to fudge things occasionally. For example, out on the open sea, only the ship need be mapped; & that map can likely be reused many times.
Even so, there is no question but that my vision of the best possible D&D setting necessitates copious amounts of work. (Yes, I know it’s now technically called “Pathfinder,” & hats off to Paizo for having the business acumen to realize that 4th edition D&D was a steaming pile of dogcrap; but I feel like I owe it to the father of it all, Mr. Gygax, to still refer to the game as “D&D” now-&-again.) Therefore, it is in this final section that I attempt to do some of that work for my fellow beleaguered DMs out there. I do so with the archetypical city where I base so much of my own campaign: Tricksterville Towne (or more often, just “Tricksterville”).
• Ruled by, “His Most Arcanic Dweomered Nimblefingers, Shar the 1st, Ennobled Guildmaster of Tricksterville & Prophet of Gord.” (He is a N male Human, & one of ‘The 7.’)
• Population: 58,000+. About a third are Human, & another third Hobbit. That last third comprises the most diverse multi-racial population in the known world. It’s not uncommon to see citizens that are Gnome, Orc, Goblin, Ratfolk, Catfolk, Drow, Hobgoblin, Satyr, Ogre, Kobold, Dandasuka, Centaur, Pixie, Tiefling, Atomie, Monaciello, Undine, Aasimar, Raktavarna, Grimple, Ratling, Thriae; even the odd Bogeyman & Udaeus. One-fifteenth are enslaved, the majority of which are Human or Hobbit (with the overwhelming majority of the Humans serving as sex-slaves & most Halfling slaves comprising other types of servants).
• Predominant Civic Alignment: Neutral.
• City-State Sanctioned Religion: Gord.
Tricksterville is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Hobbitlands.’ The main differences being, in the Hobbitlands themselves, slavery is illegal, & Halflings are the majority population. Second only to the ruler in importance, Tricksterville hosts Drawmij, Schoolmaster of Trickery College.
The Hobbitlands stretch from the edge of the Aglardagor Forest in the west, to the Loregrad Forest in the east, to the Dragonsteeth Mts in the north to the Arabelian occupied Harrowsward Peninsula & coast to the near south. As mentioned above, the Arabelians have been known to lay claims around these parts from time-to-time.
If far from the most moral city on Urth, Tricksterville is still nevertheless the most racially open-minded. She is also relatively religiously tolerant, in spite of the fact that only Gordianity is officially sustained. Indeed, there are more Isans than Gordians in Tricksterville; albeit, not at the centers-of-power. This diverse populace is what Tricksterville’s constancy stems from. She can draw on a vast pool of skills & abilities in her defense anytime some foreign power (like Aerabel, for instance) comes snooping around for a pretext to annex her.
Liberty is the watchword in Tricksterville. As a result, unlike most other “civilized” nations, Trickstervalites can walk around fully armed & armored without drawing undue attention. Similarly, there are few, if any, laws against narcotic intoxicants, gambling, prostitution, & similar social pathologies. Here again, this societal philosophy departs from the norm in almost all other big cities on Urth. In game terms, this social perspective means that, when inside the boundaries of Tricksterville, Goblin PCs suffer only a −2 penalty (rather than the usual −4) when making Diplomacy checks.
More-or-less at the city’s center, Tricksterville advertises one of the most beautiful promenades on Urth. This is an 800 foot long north-south running thoroughfare known to the world as “Elendil Boulevard.” The palace, & official seat of government, is at the far north end of Elendil Blvd. The far south end heralds what’s known as “The Trickstervalite Globe.” This large silvery-grey magical sphere is approximately 80 feet in diameter. Continuously throughout the day, starting from a little dot in the geographic location where the scene is currently taking place on Urth, & growing into a large circle-shaped panoramic motion picture, the globe showcases Urth’s outside scenery. The scenery is chosen at random, & each image lasts for about a minute. Adding to its wow-factor, there are also 3 invisible winding-banister-staircases ascending to an invisible railed-landing running all the way overtop the Trickstervalite Globe such that onlookers can easily see what’s happening at Urth’s most northerly latitudes. Spreading out from this central location, in wagon-wheel-spoke-fashion go Tricksterville’s most important arteries (like “Baron’s Way,” for instance). All-in-all, this amazing magical landmark is the envy of the world; & as one might expect, draws many a tourist to see it firsthand.
The Social Ladder
The city’s ruler, “Guildmaster Shar the First,” is the single most religiously & politically powerful Trickstervalite only on paper. A magically long-lived neutral-aligned human male, he enjoys exclusive access to the Miracle spell (CR pg.314), as the gods won’t even grant it to a divine caster not a member of “The Seven.” Shar was born in Ploheezopolis on the 20th of Scorchmont 1688. His life’s work & experiences are too extensive to adequately list here; but suffice it to say, he did lots & lots of stuff over the course of the past three centuries or so….some good….some bad.
In any event, it hardly makes much difference now-a-days since Shar is too powerful & too world-weary to concern himself with much of anything beyond the confines of his harem. While it may be a stretch to say Shar has lost all interest in the day-to-day apprehensions of his office, it’s not much of a stretch. For the most part, Shar only concerns himself with the carnal pleasures begotten of his 30-or-so concubines; & equally-as-often, opiate-induced bliss as well.
Resultantly, Drawmij & Tricksterville’s various other underbosses hold the real power. And while it may be true that Shar could, if he ever wanted to, put his foot down & commence calling every shot; he seldom expresses interest in doing so.
If Guildmaster Shar is Tricksterville’s de jure sovereign, Headmaster Drawmij is the city’s de facto czar. Like Shar, he’s a magically long-lived neutral-aligned human male (born 29 Springtide 1518 in Tricksterville). Also much like Shar, he is one of only 13 people who enjoy usage of the Wish (CR pg.370) spell. But unlike Shar, he maintains his hold on power with a vice-like grip. This is not to say Drawmij is above succumbing to base perversities. Quite often he enjoins his more attractive female students to earn their A’s the hard way. But the vast majority of Drawmij’s time & energy is spent governing Tricksterville in general, & administering his university, Trickery College, in particular.
Below Shar & Drawmij come the leaders of Tricksterville’s three major guilds: The Judges Guild, the Moneychangers Guild, & the Craftsmans Guild. These are headed-up by Morgoth Azazil (LE human female), Beric Kellhus (NE human male), & Anomondor Tattersail (LG human male), respectively. All other “minor” guilds are subsumed into one of the three majors. For instance, the Craftsmans Guild encompasses the Textiles Guild; the Printers Guild is controlled by the Judges Guild; & the Thieves Guild is a subsidiary of the Moneychangers Guild. While all 3 guilds enjoy a handsome power base, the marginally most powerful is the Judges Guild. This guild oversees most of the city’s legal business, tax-collection, official notarizations, & even quite often serves as arbiter for disputes between the other two major guilds. In effect, the Judges Guild can be thought of as the city’s governmental bureaucracy.
In game terms, the major guild leaders are extremely powerful people. Each is a 20th level character. And two-out-of-three (Morgoth & Beric) are considered notoriously ruthless. Any PC hoping to supplant them must be equally so.
The Trickstervalite Military Hierarchy
Military rank in Tricksterville resembles that of our own world, but is not an exact match (e.g., “lieutenant colonel” is a bit too esoteric a rank for that of a medievalesque society). Thus, with respect to soldiers, & starting on the bottom rung, we have Footman → Corporal → Sergeant → Lieutenant → Captain → Major → Colonel → Marshal. Any rank above Sergeant is commissioned. Any rank below Lieutenant is an enlistment. The vast majority of ranks below Corporal are conscripts. All relatively-young able-bodied males are subject to the draft; though Trickstervalites generally take a dim view of the Halflings’ marshal prowess. As a result of this discrimination, few ever stay on past their initial term of enlistment; meaning that one seldom sees a Halfling promoted past Footman.
As a general rule, one assumes that for any given rank there are roughly 2½ times as many members in the rank below. At the very bottom (i.e., Footman), this becomes about 20 times as many. Therefore, Tricksterville retains 1 Marshal, 2 Colonels, 5 Majors, 12 Captains, 30 Lieutenants, 75 Sergeants, about 200 Corporals, & approximately 4000 Footman. Thus, the city-state of Tricksterville maintains a standing army comprising about 7½ percent of its population. The army doubles as Trickserville’s police force.
This ponderous military expenditure is one of the two big reasons Tricksterville possesses no navy to speak of. The other reason she doesn’t bother building a fleet is because every time she tries the Aerabelites sink it anyway. As a result, the Tricksterville city fathers look to privateers to serve as their unofficial navy. The reader will note that this therefore becomes one way that the PCs might enmesh themselves into the affairs of state while still maintaining relative autonomy. Basically, all they’d need is a ship. Better still, as is the case with oligarchies the world over, the higher up the Trickstervalite social ladder the PCs climb, the louder their voice in government & the less they pay in taxes. Also, as is typical of elites, magisterial perks accrue to those commissioned officers who keep politicians in power. In any event, involving the PCs in statecraft often makes for juicy story lines.
As stated above, three NPCs occupy the top two military ranks. Marshal Feth Rulringar is at the top. Just underneath him are Colonels Proudfoot & Orstasher. On paper, the marshal takes his orders directly from Guildmaster Shar the 1st. In reality, however, he is almost always free to direct the army as he sees fit. Shar is, at best, something of an absentee landlord. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be a problem. But as it happens, Marshal Rulringar is as ruthless & sadistic as they come. So, as one might expect, he spends the vast majority of his time amassing personal wealth & power rather than superintending the army. This, of course, foments a deleterious effect on its training & morale.
Trickstervalite NPC Gallery
In the following are Trickstervalites both great & small. As stated above, the vast majority of Trickstervalites are considered zero-level characters (hereafter “ZLCs”). Those with character levels are almost always Fighters or Experts, with a few odd Rogues sprinkled in. The tables below, beginning with “A,” generate random Trickstervalite NPCs. These are followed with stats for those NPCs the PCs are most likely to encounter while campaigning in Tricksterville.
• Table A (d6 roll)
1, Human Male
2, Human Female
3, Hobbit Male
4, Hobbit Female
5, Reroll on Table B
6, Reroll on Table C
• Table B (d6 roll)
1, Dwarf Male
2, Dwarf Female
3, Orc Male
4, Orc Female
5, Goblin Male
6, Goblin Female
• Table C (d12 roll)
1, Elf Male
2, Elf Female
3, Gnome Male
4, Gnome Female
5, Hobgoblin Male
6, Hobgoblin Female
7, Ratfolk (B3 pg.231)
8, Kobold (B1 pg.183)
9, Drow (B1 pg.114)
10, Satyr (B1 pg.241)
11, Catfolk (B3 pg.47)
12, Reroll on Table D
• Table D (d12 roll)
1, Pixie (B1 pg.228)
2, Centaur (B1 pg.42)
3, Ogre (B1 pg.220)
4, Thriae Soldier (B3 pg.267)
5, Atomie (B3 pg.28)
6, Ratling (B4 pg.226)
7, Tiefling ([⅔] B1 pg.264) or Aasimar ([⅓] B1 pg.7)
8, Grimple ([⅔] B4 pg.142) or Monaciello ([⅓] B4 pg.144)
9, Dandasuka ([⅞] B3 pg.225) or Raktavarna ([⅛] B3 pg.229)
10, Undine (B2 pg.275)
11, Half-Orc (⅞) or Half-Elf (⅛)
12, Bogeyman ([⅔] B3 pg.42) or Udaeus ([⅓] B4 pg.267)
Trickstervalite Hoi Polloi
Human ZLC: N medium Human. Init +0; AC 10 (touch 10, flat-foot 10); Hit Points 4 (½ HD); Saves −1 Fort, +0 Ref, −1 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee / Ranged Dagger +0 (1d4 / 19-20 2 / 10ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +0/+0/10. Abilities: 10 Str, 10 Dex, 9 Con (−1), 10 Int, 9 Wis (−1), 9 Cha (−1). Feats: Skill Focus (Profession). Skills: Craft +1, Profession +3. 1 XP.
Hobbit ZLC: N small Halfling. Init +0; AC 11 (+1 size, touch 11, flat-foot 11); Hit Points 4 (½ HD); Saves −1 Fort, +0 Ref, +0 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee / Ranged Dagger +0 (1d3 / 19-20 2 / 10ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +0/−2/8. Abilities: 9 Str (−1), 10 Dex, 9 Con (−1), 10 Int, 10 Wis, 9 Cha (−1). Special Qualities: Lucky Escape Artist (roll 2 dice & take the better result in combat). Skills: Craft +1, Profession +1. 1 XP.
(Then the Angry Mob, which I've already provided elsewhere in these threads.)
Human Shopkeeper / Clerk: Expert 2; N medium Human. Init +0; AC 10 (touch 10, flat-foot 10); Hit Points 11 (2 HD); Saves +1 Fort, +0 Ref, +4 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee Club +1 (1d6 / 2); or Ranged Dagger +1 (1d4 / 19-20 2 / 10ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +1/+1/11. Abilities: 10 Str, 11 Dex, 12 Con (+1), 14 Int (+2), 13 Wis (+1), 13 Cha (+1). Feats: Alertness; Cosmopolitan ([APG pg.156] knows 2 add’l languages); Skill Focus (Craft & Profession). Skills: Appraise +7, Bluff +6, Craft +10, Diplomacy +6, Handle Animal +6, Perception +8, Perform +6, Profession +9, Ride +4, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +5, Swim +4. 10 XP.
Hobbit Shopkeeper / Clerk: Expert 2; N small Halfling. Init +1; AC 12 (+1 size, +1 dex, touch 12, flat-foot 11); Hit Points 11 (2 HD); Saves +1 Fort, +1 Ref, +4 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee Club +1 (1d4−1 / 2); or Ranged Dagger +3 (1d3−1 / 19-20 2 / 10ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +1/−1/10. Abilities: 9 Str (−1), 13 Dex (+1), 12 Con (+1), 14 Int (+2), 13 Wis (+1), 12 Cha (+1). Special Qualities & Feats: Lucky Escape Artist (roll 2 dice & take the better result in combat); Alertness; Cosmopolitan ([APG pg.156] knows 2 add’l languages); Skill Focus (Profession). Skills: Appraise +6, Bluff +5, Craft +7, Diplomacy +5, Escape Artist +6, Handle Animal +5, Intimidate +5, Perception +8, Perform +5, Profession +9, Ride +5, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +9. 10 XP.
Foreman: Expert 4; LN medium Human. Init +0; AC 10 (touch 10, flat-foot 10); Hit Points 22 (4 HD); Saves +2 Fort, +1 Ref, +6 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee Club +3 (1d6 / 2); or Ranged Dagger +3 (1d4 / 19-20 2 / 10ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +3/+3/13. Abilities: 11 Str, 11 Dex, 12 Con (+1), 14 Int (+2), 14 Wis (+2), 13 Cha (+1). Special Qualities: Failure is not an Option ([ex] 2d6). Feats: Alertness; Cosmopolitan ([APG pg.156] knows 2 add’l languages); Improvisation (ARG pg.77); Skill Focus (Craft & Profession). Skills: Acrobatics +2, Appraise +9, Bluff +8, Climb +2, Craft +12, Diplomacy +8, Disable Device +2, Disguise +3, Escape Artist +2, Fly +2, Handle Animal +8, Heal +4, Intimidate +3, Knowledge +4, Linguistics +4, Perception +11, Perform +8, Profession +12, Ride +7, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +7, Spellcraft +4, Stealth +2, Survival +4, Swim +2, Use Magic Device +3. 50 XP.
Hedge Wizard: Wizard 3 / Expert 2; N medium Human male. Init +2; AC 12 (+2 dex, touch 12, flat-foot 10); Hit Points 25 (5 HD); Saves +2 Fort, +3 Ref, +7 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee or Ranged +1 Returning Spear +3 or +5 (1d8+1 / 3 / 20ʹ [brace] [UE pgs. 17, 37, & 147] [8000gp]); BAB/CMB/CMD +2/+2/14. Abilities: 10 Str, 14 Dex (+2), 12 Con (+1), 17 Int (+3), 13 Wis (+1), 12 Cha (+1). Special Qualities: Arcane Builder ([UM pg.86] hedge wizard brews potions & scribes scrolls 25% faster than normal & with a +4, where appropriate, to the skill check [not added in below]). Feats: Alertness (assumes familiar is nearby, added in); Brew Potion; Craft Wondrous Item; Magical Aptitude; Prodigy (UM pg.154); Scribe Scroll. Skills: Appraise +14, Bluff +5, Craft (Brew) +13, Diplomacy +5, Knowledge (Arcana, the Planes, & Religion) +7, Profession (Bookkeeper) +11, Perception +7, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +6, Spellcraft +13, Use Magic Device +11. Spells Prepared: Cantrips: Detect Magic (CR pg.267), Detect Poison, Light, Read Magic. 1st Level: Comprehend Languages (CR pg.258), Identify (CR pg.299), Magic Missile (stand-act, 130,ʹ two missiles deal 1d4+1 dam). 2nd Level: Frigid Touch ([UM pg.221] stand-act, may be delivered by raven, 4d6 cold & staggered 1 rd [crit-hit staggers for 1 min]), Locate Object (CR pg.305).
The Hedge Wizard’s Raven Familiar: Arcane-bonded N tiny Magical Beast. Init +2; AC 16 (+2 size, +2 dex, +2 nat, touch 14, flat-foot 14); Hit Points 12 (1 HD); Saves +1 Fort, +4 Ref, +8 Will; Spd 10ʹ (fly 40ʹ). Melee Bite +6 (1d3−4 / 2); BAB/CMB/CMD +2/−4/8. Abilities: 2 Str (−4), 15 Dex (+2), 8 Con (−1), 7 Int (−2), 15 Wis (+2), 7 Cha (−2). Special Qualities & Feats: Deliver Touch Spells (su); Empathic Link (su); Improved Evasion (ex); Share Spells; Speak Brommon (su); Skill Focus (Perception); Weapon Finesse; Low-light vision. Skills: Fly +5, Perception +10. 1 XP.
Shipping Tycoon: Expert 10 / Rogue 1 (Pirate Archetype [UC pg.72]); N Human male. Init +2; AC 12 (+2 dex, touch 12, flat-foot 10); Hit Points 72 (11 HD); Saves +5 Fort, +11 Ref, +4 Will; Spd 35.ʹ Melee Masterwork Sword Cane +10/+5 (1d6 / 2 [UE pgs.18 & 38]); or Ranged Shortbow +9/+4 (1d6 / 3 / 60ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +7/+7/19. Abilities: 11 Str, 15 Dex (+2), 14 Con (+2), 16 Int (+3), 12 Wis (+1), 12 Cha (+1). Special Qualities: Failure is not an Option ([ex] 5d6); Bardic Knowledge (all the Tycoon’s Knowledge checks are considered untrained); Sneak Attack +1d6.
Feats: Alertness; Cosmopolitan ([APG pg.156] knows 2 add’l languages); Field Repair (UC pg.101); Fleet; Persuasive; Prodigy (Carpentry, Dockhand, Sailor, & Teamster); Sea Legs (UC pg.117); Skilled & Expert Driver (Land & Water [UC pgs.100 & 119] +4 driving checks [not added in below]); Sure Grasp ([UC pg.122] roll twice while climbing or making a Ref save to avoid falling & take the higher result); Weapon Finesse.
Skills: Acrobatics +11, Appraise +10, Bluff +8, Climb +9, Craft (Carpentry) +21, Diplomacy +18, Escape Artist +9, Handle Animal +8, Intimidate +18, Knowledge +8, Perception +18, Profession (Dockhand, Sailor, Teamster) +19, Ride +9, Sense Motive +18, Sleight of Hand +9, Spellcraft +10, Stealth +9, Survival +5, Swim +9, Use Magic Device +8.
Renowned Armorer: Expert 10 / Fighter 1; LN medium Dwarf male. Init +0; AC 16 (Masterwork Armored Coat [UE pg.10] & Masterwork Heavy Steel Shield, touch 10, flat-foot 16); SR 18; Hit Points 84 (11 HD); Saves +12 Fort (+2 vs poison), +3 Ref, +5 Will; Spd 20.ʹ Dwarfbond Hammer +15/+10 melee or +11/+6 ranged (1d8+6 / 3 / 20ʹ [UE pg.154] [+2, Returning]); BAB/CMB/CMD +8 / +12 / 22 (26 vs Bull Rush & Trip). Abilities: 18 Str (+4), 11 Dex, 16 Con (+3), 12 Int (+1), 14 Wis (+2), 9 Cha (−1). Special Qualities: Failure is not an Option ([ex] 5d6); Stonecunning; +4 AC vs Giants; +1 attack vs Orcs & Goblins; 60ʹ darkvision. Feats: Alertness; Breadth of Experience (APG pg.151); Craft Magic Arms & Armor; Craft Wondrous Item; Deceitful; Master Craftsman (Blacksmith & Bowyer/Fletcher); Persuasive; Prodigy (UM pg.154); Skill Focus (Blacksmith & Bowyer/Fletcher); Stone-Faced ([APG pg.170] +4 bonus to noncombat-related Bluff checks, & the Sense Motive DC to get a hunch about the Renowned Armorer increases from 20 to 25 [not added-in below]); Weapon Focus (Warhammer). Skills: Appraise +15, Bluff +17, Craft (Blacksmith & Bowyer/Fletcher) +27, Diplomacy +17, Disable Device +13, Disguise +1, Handle Animal +3, Intimidate +5, Knowledge (Engineering) +16, Knowledge (History, Local [the Hobbitlands], & Nobility) +8, Knowledge (all remaining) +3, Perception +20, Profession +4, Sense Motive +20, Survival +6.
Pickpocket: Rogue 1 (Cutpurse Archetype [APG pg.132]); N small Halfling. Init +7; AC 14 (+1 size, +3 dex, touch 14, flat-foot 11); Hit Points 5 (1 HD); Saves +1 Fort, +5 Ref, −1 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee Sap −1 (1d4−1 / 2 / nonlethal); BAB/CMB/CMD +0/−2/11. Abilities: 9 Str (−1), 17 Dex (+3), 12 Con (+1), 14 Int (+2), 8 Wis (−1), 12 Cha (+1). Special Qualities & Feats: Lucky Escape Artist (roll 2 dice & take the better result in combat); Sneak Attack +1d6; Measure the Mark ([ex] target makes Perception check first, then, knowing the result, the pickpocket decides whether or not to attempt the snatch); Skill Focus (Sleight-of-Hand); Improved Initiative. Skills: Acrobatics +7, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Disable Device +7, Escape Artist +7, Local Knowledge (the Hobbitlands) +6, Perception +3, Sense Motive +3, Sleight-of-Hand +10, Stealth +7. 100 XP.
Bookie: Expert 4 / Rogue 1 (Charlatan Archetype [UC pg.72]); N small Halfling. Init +3; AC 14 (+1 size, +3 dex, touch 14, flat-foot 11); Hit Points 23 (5 HD); Saves +1 Fort, +5 Ref, +5 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee Brass Knuckles +4 (1d2 / 2); BAB/CMB/CMD +3/+2/15. Abilities: 10 Str, 16 Dex (+3), 11 Con, 16 Int (+3), 12 Wis (+1), 13 Cha (+1). Special Qualities & Feats: Lucky Escape Artist (roll 2 dice & take the better result in combat); Sneak Attack +1d6; Natural Born Liar ([ex] upon successfully deceiving a creature with a Bluff check, that same dupe suffers a −2 penalty vs the bookie’s Bluff checks for the next 24 hrs); Track ([CR pg.64] [ex] +2); Alertness; Deceitful; Persuasive; Prodigy (UM pg.154). Skills: Appraise +7, Bluff +13, Craft (Whitesmith) +13, Diplomacy +11, Disguise +7, Escape Artist +11, Intimidate +11, Local Knowledge (the Hobbitlands) +7, Perception +11, Profession (Gambler) +13, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +11, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +11, Survival +9. 135 XP.
Gangland Enforcer: Fighter 5; NE medium Human male. Init +2; AC 17 (+2 dex, Masterwork Chain Shirt, TWD, touch 12, flat-foot 14); Hit Points 43 (5 HD); Saves +6 Fort, +3 Ref, +1 Will (+1 vs fear); Spd 30.ʹ Dual-wielded Masterwork Kukris +9/+9 (1d4+6 / 18-20 2); BAB/CMB/CMD +5/+8/20. Abilities: 16 Str (+3), 15 Dex (+2), 14 Con (+2), 11 Int, 10 Wis, 12 Cha (+1). Special Qualities & Feats: Armor Training 1; Weapon Training 1 (Light Blades); Combat Reflexes; Double Slice; Toughness; Two-Weapon Defense; Two-Weapon Fighting; [Weapon Focus & Specialization (Kukri)]. Skills: Climb +9, Intimidate +9, Profession (Torturer) +8, Survival +4, Swim +9. 1200 XP.
Human Constable / Footman: Fighter 1; LN medium Human male. Init +0; AC 13 (Parade Studded Leather Armor [UE pgs.9 & 13], touch 10, flat-foot 13); Hit Points 10 (1 HD); Saves +3 Fort, +0 Ref, +0 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee Bill +2 (1d8+3 / 3 [UE pgs.18 & 24; brace, disarm, reach, +1 AC when fighting defensively]); or Ranged Shortbow +1 (1d6 / 3 / 60ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +1/+2/12. Abilities: 13 Str (+1), 10 Dex, 12 Con (+1), 10 Int, 10 Wis, 9 Cha (−1). Special Qualities & Feats: Power Attack (added in); Toughness; Weapon Focus (Bill). Skills: Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +5, Profession (Soldier / Constable) +4, Survival +4. 150 XP.
Hobbit Constable / Footman: Fighter 1; LN small Halfling male. Init +1; AC 15 (+1 size, +1 dex, Parade Studded Leather Armor [UE pgs.9 & 13], touch 12, flat-foot 12); Hit Points 7 (1 HD); Saves +3 Fort, +1 Ref, +0 Will; Spd 30.ʹ Melee Bill +2 (1d6 / 3 [UE pgs.18 & 24; brace, disarm, reach, +1 AC when fighting defensively]); or Ranged Shortbow +2 (1d4 / 3 / 60ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +1/+1/11. Abilities: 11 Str, 12 Dex (+1), 12 Con (+1), 10 Int, 10 Wis, 10 Cha. Special Qualities & Feats: Combat Reflexes; Weapon Focus (Bill). Skills: Diplomacy +2, Intimidate +6, Profession (Soldier / Constable) +4. 150 XP.
Corporal: Fighter 2; LN medium Human male. Init +0; AC 13 (Parade Studded Leather Armor [UE pgs.9 & 13], touch 10, flat-foot 13); Hit Points 16 (2 HD); Saves +4 Fort, +0 Ref, +0 Will (+1 vs fear); Spd 30.ʹ Melee Bill +4 (1d8+6 / 3 [UE pgs.18 & 24; brace, disarm, reach, +1 AC when fighting defensively]); or Ranged Shortbow +2 (1d6 / 3 / 60ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +2/+4/14. Abilities: 14 Str (+2), 10 Dex, 12 Con (+1), 10 Int, 10 Wis, 9 Cha (−1). Special Qualities & Feats: Cleave (if first attack hits, can make a 2nd attack against adjacent foe, but suffers −2 penalty to AC for 1 rd); Power Attack (added in); Toughness; Weapon Focus (Bill). Skills: Diplomacy +1, Intimidate +6, Profession (Soldier / Constable) +5, Survival +5. 400 XP.
Sergeant: Fighter 3; LN medium Human male. Init +0; AC 15 (Parade Studded Leather Armor [UE pgs.9 & 13], Heavy Steel Shield, touch 10, flat-foot 15); Hit Points 23 (3 HD); Saves +4 Fort, +1 Ref, +3 Will (+1 vs fear); Spd 30.ʹ Melee Longsword +5 (1d8+4 / 19-20 2); BAB/CMB/CMD +3/+5/15. Abilities: 14 Str (+2), 10 Dex, 12 Con (+1), 10 Int, 10 Wis, 10 Cha. Special Qualities & Feats: Armor Training 1; Cleave (if first attack hits, can make a 2nd attack against adjacent foe, but suffers −2 penalty to AC for 1 rd); Iron Will; Power Attack (added in); Toughness; Weapon Focus (Longsword). Skills: Diplomacy +2, Intimidate +8, Profession (Soldier / Constable) +6, Survival +6. 600 XP.
Lieutenant: Fighter 4; LN medium Human male. Init +0; AC 15 (Parade Studded Leather Armor [UE pgs.9 & 13], Heavy Steel Shield, touch 10, flat-foot 15); Hit Points 30 (4 HD); Saves +5 Fort, +1 Ref, +3 Will (+1 vs fear); Spd 30.ʹ Melee Masterwork Longsword +6 (1d8+8 / 19-20 2); BAB/CMB/CMD +4/+6/16. Abilities: 15 Str (+2), 11 Dex, 13 Con (+1), 10 Int, 10 Wis, 11 Cha. Special Qualities & Feats: Armor Training 1; Cleave (if first attack hits, can make a 2nd attack against adjacent foe, but suffers −2 penalty to AC for 1 rd); Iron Will; Power Attack (added in); Toughness; [Weapon Focus & Specialization (Longsword)]. Skills: Diplomacy +2, Intimidate +9, Profession (Soldier / Constable) +7, Survival +7. 800 XP.
Captain: Fighter 6; LN medium Human male. Init +2; AC 18 (+2 dex, Breastplate, touch 12, flat-foot 16); Hit Points 51 (6 HD); Saves +7 Fort, +4 Ref, +3 Will (+2 vs fear); Spd 20.ʹ Melee Masterwork Falchion +10/+5 (2d4+13 / 18-20 2); BAB/CMB/CMD +6/+9/21. Abilities: 16 Str (+3), 14 Dex (+2), 14 Con (+2), 10 Int, 12 Wis (+1), 12 Cha (+1). Special Qualities & Feats: Armor Training 1; Weapon Training 1 (Heavy Blades); Combat Reflexes; Disruptive (+4 to DC for defensive spellcasting within threatened area); Power Attack (added in); [Cleave & Great Cleave (as long as he keeps hitting he may make additional attacks against all foes within reach, but suffers −2 penalty to AC for 1 rd)]; Toughness; [Weapon Focus & Specialization (Falchion)]. Skills: Intimidate +7, Knowledge (Engineering) +5, Profession (Soldier / Constable) +10, Ride +4, Survival +7, Swim +5. 1600 XP.
Major: Fighter 11; LN medium Human male. Init +4; AC 23 (+4 dex, Full Plate Armor, touch 14, flat-foot 19); Hit Points 83 (11 HD); Saves +9 Fort, +7 Ref, +3 Will (+3 vs fear); Spd 20.ʹ Melee Dual-wielded Masterwork Shortswords +14/+14/+9/+4 (1d6+4 / 19-20 2); or Ranged Composite Longbow (the first 20 shots fire +1 Arrows [40gp / arrow]; added in; once these are gone, attack & dam lessen by 1) +15/+15/+10/+5 (1d8+14 / 3 / 110ʹ); BAB/CMB/CMD +11/+14/28. Abilities: 17 Str (+3), 19 Dex (+4), 14 Con (+2), 10 Int, 10 Wis, 10 Cha. Special Qualities: Armor Training 3; Weapon Training 2 (Bows); Weapon Training 1 (Light Blades). Feats: Combat Reflexes; Deadly Aim (added in); Double Slice; Far Shot; Point-Blank Shot (+1 attack & dam ≤ 30ʹ); Point-Blank Master ([APG pg.167] while using his longbow, the major provokes no AoO when threatened); Precise Shot; Improved Precise Shot (ignore all but total cover / concealment); Rapid Shot (added in); Two-Weapon Fighting; [Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, & Weapon Specialization (Longbow)]. Skills: Climb +7, Craft (Bowyer / Fletcher) +9, Profession (Soldier / Constable) +14, Ride +8, Survival +7, Swim +7. 9600 XP.
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Monsters on Urth (pg.39)
Paring Things Down
If there’s one thing I’ve endeavored that Urth be, it’s sensible. Therefore, I’ve looked to pare things down where I could. Since the early 1970s the D&D game has grown out of proportion with all rationality. How likely is it devils are strictly lawful? Who needs good-aligned lycanthropes like the werebear? And how much sense does it make to have multiple gods devoted just to dark elves?
Reason dictates that few ecological systems could long survive if every temperate forest sported its own ‘Mythic Jotund Troll’…. or even just the meat-&-potatoes version (B3 pg.272). Don’t get me wrong, as DM, it’s always cool to have a wide variety of critters to draw from. And, just as any DM worth his sand, I’m a big fan of sicking real mean badguys on my PCs. But at a certain point, if you need a Terrasque (B1 pg.262) on every street-corner just to wake them up, then it might be wiser to either A.) Retire their characters & start again from scratch; or B.) Transport their characters to some other plane where environmental considerations needn’t ever come into play….like maybe the lowest rung of Hell.
Resultantly, on Urth I eschew many if not most incarnations of the same critter. For example, all my more-or-less standard large living land-based dragons essentially follow the ‘Red Dragon’ template. Some may be good-aligned or have green scales, but they all still breathe fire; & otherwise assume the red dragon’s stats. The reader should note, however, my wiggle words: “Large,” “Living,” & “Land Based” …. Not to mention “More-or-Less Standard.” Thus, it’s fine, for example, to throw in a ‘Faerie Dragon’ (B3 pg.91) here or a ‘Clockwork Dragon’ (B4 pg.30) there; & even the B1 gives rules for animating a ‘Skeletal Dragon’ (pg.250) or bearing a ‘Half-Dragon’ (pg.170). And those options in no way preclude myriad dragon-like monsters like the Hydra or Wyvern.
With respect to evil outsiders, again I look to keep things simple. Therefore, I recommend that all demons, devils, daemons (B2 pg.62), & likeminded outsiders be any evil alignment as the DM sees fit. Usually this should be chaotic evil. But the campaign continuity must prevail.
The point is that Urth seeks to be a place that makes as much sense as possible, in spite of its necessarily fantastical nature. And that goes for most all supernatural beasts found there. (Again, note the wiggle words “found there.” There are still gobs of demonic monstrosities found on alternate planes.) But if you want a ‘Wererat’ (B1 pg.197) use ‘Ratfolk’ instead (ARG pg.150). The template below, permitting just one kind of were-creature on Urth, should elucidate my pursuit.
The Curse of Lycanthropy
On Urth, lycanthropy departs somewhat from that description given in the Bestiary, starting on pg.196. Most importantly, insofar as appearance goes, lycanthropes only evince two different forms; either that of the base creature (e.g., a human) or that of the hybrid (e.g., a large, hairy, clawed humanoid with a wolf’s head). The lycanthropic bite-attack only curses Humanoids sized medium, large, or small (Fort DC 15 negates). Some few Monstrous Humanoids & Fey can also become infected; but these are very rare. Outsiders are completely immune.
On the continent of Dhaan, there is only the ‘Werewolf.’ Werewolves typically look & act like the garden variety humanoids they usually appear as in the movies. Many, if not most, don’t know they “moonlight” as werewolves. But on the 1st of every month Luna is full. Furthermore, Etta is full on the 15th of every Snowmont, Sowersmont, Helios, & Reapingmont (c.f., pg.15). On those nights, from dusk until dawn, the werewolves of Urth are uncontrollably overcome by their curse. (For game purposes, this means the DM takes control of the player’s character.)
Other than lunar cycles, there are other ways a character might be forced into his hybrid form: If he becomes enraged, shapeshifting is automatic (e.g., using the ‘Rage’ class feature). It is also likely to occur if he takes physical damage (Will save with a DC equal to damage dealt). Other effronteries, like suffering nonlethal damage, being magically held, getting groped, or even just aggressive haggling might also do the trick. The DM must adjudicate these on a case-by-case basis.
Even when the base creature is outwardly his normal self (e.g., human), he still applies some properties of the affliction. At a minimum, he always adds the following template:
• ‘Challenge Rating’ as base creature +1.
• DR 5 / silver (CR pg.561)
• Fast Healing 1 (B1 pg.300)
• Scent (CR pg.564)
• +2 racial bonus to all hearing-based Perception checks.
When the werewolf is in hybrid form, he goes completely mad, divesting himself of all clothing, weaponry, & equipment. His alignment becomes chaotic evil. He immediately attacks any living creature large sized or smaller, except fellow lycanthropes (almost always meaning, in game terms, that the DM takes control of the character). He may only engage in melee combat with his bite & claw attacks (at his existing base attack bonus).
Somewhat like the barbarian’s ‘Rage’ class feature, a werewolf in hybrid form cannot use any Cha, Dex, or Int-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, & Intimidate); nor can he use any ability that requires patience or concentration; nor can he even communicate intelligibly. He thereafter remains in hybrid form until some existing combat is resolved, 12 hours elapse, or the next dawn arrives; whichever comes last. During this blood frenzy, he adds the following enhanced template:
• ‘Challenge Rating’ as base creature +2
• Shapechanger subtype
• +4 to Str. & Con
• Gain the appropriately sized Bite & Claw attacks (B1 pg.302). Note, claws are not infectious. A damage-inducing bite, however, does risk corrupting a fellow humanoid with the lycanthropic curse (Fort DC 15 negates)
• Gain, or supplement existing, ‘Natural Armor’ +4
• DR 10 / silver
• ‘Fast Healing’ based on revised Con score. For every 4 points of Con, Fast Healing increases by 1. Thus, with a Con between 1-4, Fast Healing is 1; a Con of 5-8, gives Fast Healing 2; & so on
• ‘Fast Movement’ of +10 feet
• +2 morale bonus to saves against Fear
• Gain the Improved Initiative (CR pg.127) & Multiattack feats (B1 pg.315)
• +2 racial bonus to all hearing-based Perception checks
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The Player Character Races (pg.4)
In my attempt to create a gameworld compatible with Paizo’s Pathfinder, while at the same time creating a simplified, yet still rich & gameworthy campaign setting, certain typical rules & applications had to be modified. These include some changes to Pathfinder’s racial descriptions. In general, the reader should defer to Pathfinder, except where noted in the following.
Insofar as changes to the book’s racial traits go, the reader should disregard the selection of languages since these too have been truncated (e.g., ‘Draconic,’ an Elven choice, alongside many other language options according to race listed by Pathfinder, do not exist on Urth; see the chapter on ‘Skills on Urth’). Moreover, the PC races have ability score caps here & there. These caps can never be exceeded via natural means, regardless of character level. All PC races have a maximum strength score; & the females of that race have their strength score capped at whatever value the male’s is, minus one (e.g., a human male’s max Str is 19, & a human female’s is 18). Most ability scores, however, have no cap. Thus, only the Dwarf, for instance, has a max Dex score (of 19).
On Urth, Wizards (as well as Specialist Wizards) require expensive formal training. Moreover, Magic Schools unabashedly practice racial & economic discrimination. As a result, only Human & Elven youngsters born to wealthy families are typically enrolled. A nonhuman or nonelf family hoping to send a child to a school of magic must bear, at the very least, the cost of exorbitantly inflated tuition; & the cacodoxical apprentice must brook hounding bigotry. In a similar vein, nonhuman Monks are unheard of; although this has nothing to do with familial capital & everything to do with race (see pages 14 & 26, below).
The Human is the most populous of all the races on Urth. Most have a whitish to bronze complexion. Humans have black, brown, blonde, or red hair. Their eyes are brown, hazel, green, or blue. Human males, but not females, are able to grow facial hair. They have an average male height of 5ʹ11.ʺ The females tend to be about 5ʺ shorter. Humans live to about 70 years old. There are over 4 million humans currently populating Urth.
The prevailing language spoken among Humans is called “Brommon” (also known as “The Common Tongue,” or simply “Common”). Brommon is considered to be the international trade language; & is thusly studied by a great many other races as well. What’s more, many non-human creatures, even dragons, speak Brommon as their native language. Less commonly spoken Human languages are Inazlunder & Abarri.
The majority of Humans live in the civilized nations of the so-called “Humanlands” (a.k.a., “The Eastern Lands” [Brommon speaking]), east of The Dwarfsgaard Range (& to include the so-called “Barbarian North” [Inazlunder speaking]) on the continent of Dhaan. Additionally, Humans are also found throughout the continent of Ares (especially along the northern edge of the Abarri Desert [Abarri speaking], in the city of Tradersport [Brommon] on the northeastern tip, & on the southern tip in the city of Pyrexia [Brommon & Tuvala speaking]); as well as on the northwestern half of the small continent of Aerabel (Brommon). Plenty more live in The Hobbitlands of south-central Dhaan (especially in Tricksterville) & on almost all the Eastern Ocean islands. Humans are even found in such strange & uncivilized places as the underground trading city of Darkenport (Brommon & Undercommon speaking) & in occupation of some of the Western Ocean islands (Freebooter’s Cove & beyond [Brommon]).
Humans are predominantly neutral in alignment. Only Humans may be Monks, representing the only racially restricted starting class. The Human has a max Str score of 19.
The Half-Elf is, as the name suggests, of mixed parentage. Tacitly welcome among the human nations, they are shunned among the elven peoples. In fact, the only reasonable hope a Half-Elf would ever have of being officially welcomed to visit the [Elven] Kingdom of Taurandune would be if he were arriving as a foreign dignitary of some kind or another. As a result, few, if any, Half-Elves ever learn to speak Edhellonde, the elven language.
Half-Elves are whitish in complexion, & may have any hair/eye color that would typically be exhibited by either parent. Unlike elves, Half-Elven males can grow facial hair. Average male height is 5ʹ10,ʺ with the females averaging about 3ʺ shorter. Their average lifespan is about 125 years. There are less than 300 Half-Elves on Urth, most of whom reside in Tricksterville. Half-Elves almost always grow-up in human lands, thus they generally speak Brommon.
Half-Elves are predominantly neutral good in alignment. Like all mixedbreeds, Half-Elves cannot produce children. Half-Elves have a max Str & Con of 18.
The Half-Orc is the most populous of the human subraces; indeed, the most populous of all mixedbreed beings on Urth with the exception of the mule. Half-Orcs find themselves more-often-than-not despised among humans. This is because most Half-Orcs are the product of brutal rapes perpetrated by Orcish tribes against human villagers in the Northern Lands (usually near the Orcshovel Hills). Unfortunately for the resultant Half-Orc offspring, they are not particularly welcome among the Orcish tribesmen either.
The Half-Orcish complexion is usually a pale green. They have black hair & eyes. Like humans, male Half-Orcs grow facial hair. The average male height is 6ʹ0,ʺ with the females coming in about 2ʺ shorter. The average lifespan of a Half-Orc is 60 years. The population of Half-Orcs is less than 500 on Urth. In over 99% of cases, a Half-Orc speaks only Brommon, & reads it not at all (although all PCs are considered literate).
Half-Orcs tend toward neutral evil alignment. As with all “half” types on Urth, they are sterile. Half-Orcs have a max Str of 20, a max Int of 17, & a max Cha of 15.
The Dwarf almost always hails from one of two Dwarven dominated mountain-kingdoms on Dhaan: Gildor & Morndin. Here they mine & trade, settling the majority of the Dwarfsgaard & Dragonsteeth mountain ranges. In common parlance, “Hill Dwarves” inhabit the northern two-thirds of the Dwarfsgaard range; & “Mountain Dwarves” populate eastern two-thirds of the Dragonsteeth range. These two Dwarven nations enjoy a nearly identical culture. Despite this, intermarriage is very rare between the two extended clans. Physiologically, there is no difference between a “Hill” & “Mountain” Dwarf, collectively called “White Dwarves.”
As their racial name suggests, Dwarven complexion is whitish. They have either black, brown, or red hair; & brown, blue, grayish-blue, or gray eyes. Dwarven adult males pride themselves on the decorousness of their long & full beards, often weaving in intricate braids &/or adding other adornments in hopes of making their beards appear even more becoming. Understandably, many interdwarven curses involve hoping a fellow dwarf’s beard falls out. Dwarven adult females can also grow facial hair, but are socially induced to remain clean-shaven. (On a side note, whenever dealing with other Dwarves, a clean-shaven male Dwarf, or a bearded female Dwarf, suffers a −1 penalty to all Diplomacy checks, as the former would be considered a “pansy” & the latter looked upon as “butch.”) The average male height is 4ʹ7.ʺ Female Dwarves are about 2ʺ shorter. Dwarves live to be about 150 years old.
The very oldest among Dwarves still know how to speak Iolar (or simply “Dwarven” to most non-dwarves). However, it is important to note that Iolar is a relatively dead language. Most younger Dwarves have never learned the tongue, opting for the more tradeworthy Brommon (“common”) instead. The population of White Dwarves from the Kingdom of Gildor is roughly 300,000; & those from the Kingdom of Morndin number around 325,000.
Dwarves are just as described in the CR pg.21, with notable exceptions: They are not as ‘Greedy,’ nor quite as ‘Hardy,’ on Urth. As a result, Dwarves gain no bonus to Appraise checks whatsoever; & their +2 bonus to saves extends only to being poisoned (& not to spells or spell-like abilities).
It behooves a player to decide if he wants his Dwarven character ever to be a spellcaster or not. This is because most Dwarves do still ward off spells; but only those who cannot cast them. This is because a Dwarf must forgo his natural magical impedance in order to cast them.
Therefore, if, on the one hand, a Dwarf cannot cast spells of any kind, he gains ‘Spell Resistance’ equal to 10 + half his character level (rounded-down) + his Con modifier (e.g., a 10th level Dwarf Fighter with a 16 Con enjoys SR 18). Even if his class would normally allow spellcasting, but the relevant ability is too low to sponsor them, he still gains this natural SR (e.g., a 5th level Dwarf Ranger with a Wisdom score of 10 or less still benefits from an SR).
It is important to note, however, that a Dwarven PC annuls his SR if he gains inherent spell usage of any kind. For instance, if he takes ranks in the ‘Use Magic Device’ skill or if he gains the Minor Magic (sp) Rogue Talent, then he at the same time nullifies his SR.
On the other hand, Dwarven spellcasters enjoy certain ‘Magic Enhancements’ (see ‘A,’ ‘B,’ & ‘C’ below).
A.) Only Dwarves have access to the ‘Rune’ clerical domain (even if the domain is chosen as a druid in lieu of gaining an animal companion). It is important to note, however, that Dwarves have the option of the Rune domain only if the deity in question allows domain spells. Similarly, only Dwarves gain access to the ‘Stone’ mystery Oracle class feature (APG pg.51).
B.) Dwarves cast the following spells as though one level higher: Binding Earth ([& Mass Binding Earth] ARG pg.149), Burrow (UM pg.210), Delay Poison (CR pg.265), Earth Glide (ARG pg.205), Expeditious Excavation (APG pg.220), Groundswell (ARG pg.19), Keen Edge (Axes Only; CR pg.303), Meld Into Stone (CR pg.312), Raging Rubble (ARG pg.149), Rampart (APG pg.237), Spike Stones (CR pg.348), Stone Call (APG pg.247), Stone Fist (APG pg.247), Stone Shape (CR pg.349), Stone Shield (ARG pg.149), Stone Tell (CR pg.349), & Wall of Stone (CR pg.367). The Dwarven caster level bonus applies to both arcane & divine magic; & stacks normally with feats.
C.) Dwarven Sorcerers & Wizards treat the spell Crafter’s Fortune (APG pg.213) as a (0-level) Cantrip. A Dwarf enchants up to 4 pebbles (rather than 3) when he casts Magic Stone (CR pg.310). All save DCs against the Earthquake spell (CR pg.275), when cast by a Dwarf, are 1 point higher. (Note, this racial Earthquake DC hike stacks with feats & other augmentations.) When casting Raise Dead (CR pg.329), Resurrection (CR pg.334), Temporary Resurrection (UM pg.243), & True Resurrection (CR pg.362), a Dwarf need only procure the spell’s material component (usually diamonds) ticketed at one-tenth the usual cost; & the material components for Stoneskin only set a Dwarven caster back by one-fifth the regular cost (50gp’s-worth of diamond dust instead of 250gp).
Fifth level Dwarven Paladins cannot receive Special Mounts; although they can still form a ‘Divine Bond’ with a weapon, as per the Pathfinder rule.
Dwarves are predominantly lawful neutral in alignment. Dwarves have a max Str & Dex of 19; & they have a max Int & Cha of 17.
The Elf (a.k.a., the “Surface Elf”) is the most populous of all the demihuman races. Despite their aloof & haughty natures, they do trade to a fair degree with the Hobbitlands & the human kingdoms of the east.
The Elvish complexion is whitish. They have either blonde, silver, or light brown hair; & either pale blue, grayish-blue, green, or (rarely) red eyes. Neither male Elves, nor females, can grow facial hair. The average height of a male Elf is 5ʹ10.ʺ Females stand about 3ʺ shorter. Their average lifespan is about 250 years. The Surface Elven race has a population of just over one million.
The vast majority of surface elves make their home in the vast Forest-Kingdom of Taurandune. Far more than anyplace else on Urth, Taurandinian culture stresses the paramountcy of education. As a result, Taurandinian Elves (a.k.a. “High Elves”) tend to be well read & multilingual. High Elves speak, read, & write fluent Brommon; as well as that of their own Elven language, Edhellonde. Also resultant their superior education, Elven PCs may adopt either Linguistics or any particular Knowledge discipline as a class skill. This choice is made at first level & cannot later be changed.
Elves are generally chaotic good in alignment. Elves have a max Str & Con of 17.
The Gnome is currently presenting much grief among the civilized nations recently, as Gnomish bands in hiding have been continuing on in their race toward a scientific tomorrow. This has caused great stir among the magic school headmasters, & likeminded notables, of prestigious cities such as Tharokin & Ploheezopolis. For quite-a-few years now the human magi of eastern Dhaan have been launching on-again-off-again assassination warfare upon the emblematic Gnomish leaders (i.e., the more educated &/or more famous Gnomes), with whispers of help (or at-least tacit approval) from the elven nation, Taurandune, in order to get them to give-up on scientific innovation. Defiant & undeterred, Gnomish engineering (or, perhaps, over-engineering) has been a staple of the craziest of new inventions; the weirdest tale of which being the so-called “dirigible.” They’re also said to have invented some type of submersible, which can never-the-less “sail” from place-to-place. These two examples are just the tip-of-the-iceberg, given the multitudinous innovations credited to, or at-least rumored as being possessed by, Gnomes.
A Gnomish PC would do well to remember that upon becoming a mid-level character (e.g., ~ 5th), if not beforehand, & almost without regard as to whether political influence was ever previously sought after or not, he might find himself to be considered de facto Gnomish leadership; at which point some pernicious mage might try to terrorize him into publicly denouncing science or else face threat of assassination.
Gnomes are whitish with light brown hair, & light brown, green, or blue eyes. Males, but not female Gnomes, are able to grow facial hair. Males stand an average 3ʹ6ʺ tall; females, 3ʹ2ʺ tall. Gnomes have an average lifespan of 100 years old. Their population is approximately 77,000. Gnomes speak Edhellonde. As the Gnomes have largely gone into dispersion, it is hard to find vast numbers of them in any one geographical location. However, it is well known that the Gnomes came from, & by all accounts still come from, the northwestern forests of Dhaan (such as the Faywood Forest & the Forsaken Forest). Pockets of Gnomish communities can be found in-&-around Tricksterville. Many Gnomes have also reportedly made it to Pyrexia, on the southernmost tip of the Aresian continent.
On Urth, the Gnome departs a bit from those racial traits given in the CR. A Gnomish PC should use the following racial traits instead:
• In accordance with the CR, Gnomes are still ‘Small’ sized, have a ‘Slow’ speed (20 ft. base), benefit from ‘Low-Light Vision,’ & enjoy certain gnomish ‘Weapon Familiarity.’ But beyond that, their traits depart from those given in the CR as follows.
• Knowledge (Engineering) & Stealth are always considered class skills for them. Moreover, all gnomes are academicians to one extent or another. As a result, a Gnome gains a +2 bonus on any single Knowledge skill into which he devotes at least 1 rank (PC’s choice).
• Gnomes with Charisma scores of 13 or higher may cast Invisibility (CR pg.301) as a spell-like ability once per day. This ‘Gnomish Invisibility’ is limited inasmuch as the duration is reduced to ‘1 round per level (D)’ & the range is always ‘Personal.’ But this power is otherwise treated as the spell of the same name, using the Gnome’s overall character level as commensurate with his caster level.
Fifth level Gnomish Paladins cannot receive Special Mounts; although they can still form a ‘Divine Bond’ with a weapon, as per the Pathfinder rule.
Gnomes are usually chaotic good in alignment. Gnomes have a max Str of 15.
The Halfling is also known as the “Hobbit.” What can be said of Halflings that hasn’t already been said? The Halfling race is the first known race to completely forsake its own language; & has, for many centuries now, spoken only common. The Hobbitlands are little but messengers of good tidings as the three she’s sandwiched between, the human, dwarven, & elven nations, look upon her with barely concealed contempt. “When yer a Hobbit,” say the Norgaarites, “yer nice to everyone.” Case-in-point: The island-continent seafaring (human) nation of Aerabel annexed the entire Harrowsward province of The Hobbitlands over a century ago; & those Halflings that still live there do so at the pleasure of the Aerabelites. There is, & long has been, a low-level resistance being waged against the Aerabelites in-&-around The Harrowsward; but given the relative cowardice of most Hobbits, the resistance, if persevering, has remained largely ineffectual.
Hobbits have a whitish complexion. Their hair & eyes are both light brown. While males can grow longish sideburns, compared to the females, neither sex can generally grow full beards &/or mustaches; although there are some rare Halfling males (less than 1%) who are able to grow facial hair. Both male & female Hobbits grow a pelt of hair on the tops of their feet, running from around the ankle to cover the toes. A great many Hobbits (if not PCs), tend to be on the paunchy side. As Melf the Archwizard (& Headmaster of ‘Wizard’s Island College’) once famously wrote in describing Halflings: “They are truly the tiny’st o’ the wee folk, yet good at gettin fat anyhow.” The average male height is 3ʹ3.ʺ The lady comes in at 3.ʹ Hobbits live about 80 years. Halfling population is 40,000. Besides Brommon, they have no language.
On Urth, the Halfing somewhat departs from those racial traits given in the CR. For instance, as opposed to what is written in Pathfinder, “fearless” is the last adjective that would ever be used to describe Halflings on Urth. PCs should use the following racial traits instead:
• In accordance with the CR, Halflings are still ‘Small’ sized & enjoy certain hobbit ‘Weapon Familiarity.’ But beyond that, their traits depart from those given in the CR.
• Though small, Halflings are nevertheless ‘Fleet of Foot.’ Thus, they enjoy a base speed of 30 feet.
• Halflings are ‘Ingratiating,’ almost to a fault. As a result, Diplomacy, Linguistics, & Perform are always considered class skills for them.
• Halflings are also renowned for making quite daring, or at-least providential, battlefield escapes. Reflecting such lucky getaways, whenever a Hobbit PC makes an Escape Artist check while engaged in combat, he may simultaneously roll 2 dice & select the better resultant die roll of the two. Note that this (2-dice) bonus not only applies to typical melee engagements, such as when grappling, but even applies to escaping the adverse effect of spells, such as Entangle, when engaged in combat. But this bonus is similarly limited by battle; & so this (2-dice) bonus would not apply if, for example, the Halfling PC were attempting to slip free of manacles, but was otherwise untroubled.
Fifth level Halfling Paladins cannot receive Special Mounts; although they can still form a ‘Divine Bond’ with a weapon, as per the Pathfinder rule.
Hobbits are usually neutral. Halflings have a max Str of 13, a max Int of 17, & a max Cha of 18.
The Goblin is the only nonstandard race I generally make available to the PCs. What can I say? I’m a weirdo. They are described extensively in Pathfinder’s ARG, starting on page 114.
Goblins are more-or-less ubiquitous in those less than civilized areas on the continent of Dhaan. Tribes can be found as often in murky swamps as in mountainous caves as in sylvan forests, especially as one travels further north. There are at-least a half-million Goblins on Urth; & they’re represented on every continent; but especially in colder climes. Goblins are generally detested everywhere; even by fellow goblinoid races like orcs & hobgoblins.
Goblins look nasty, both figuratively & literally. They have greenish-grey skin, red beady eyes, & slightly oversized heads sporting maws filled with razor-sharp teeth. Only female goblins seem to grow much head hair, which is always jet-black. Both males & females grow small coarse chin whiskers (males somewhat more than females); but otherwise grow little facial hair. Their average male & female heights are both 3ʹ4.ʺ And unlike those PC races listed above, female goblins are no less naturally strong than are their male counterparts. They live to be about 50.
On Urth, Goblins should use the following racial traits:
• In accordance with the ARG, they are ‘Goblinoid,’ ‘Small,’ ‘Fast’ (30 ft. base speed), & enjoy ‘Darkvision’ (60 ft.). But beyond that, their triats depart from those given in the ARG.
• Even where found in urban environments, Goblins are raised with little in the way of decent food. Thus, they can practically ‘Eat Anything.’ As a result, as long as they’re on dry land, they enjoy a +4 racial bonus to Survival checks made to forage for food, regardless of the [non-seaborne] environment. Moreover, they have a +4 bonus to saves made against becoming nauseated or sickened.
• As mentioned above, Goblins have a ‘Hard Head & Big Teeth.’ Thus, they gain a natural bite attack dealing 1d4 points of damage.
• Because they’re so universally despised, except when dealing with fellow Goblins, they suffer a −4 penalty to all Diplomacy checks.
Goblins are typically chaotic evil. They have a max Str of 15, a max Int of 17, & a max Cha of 13.
Maximum Ability Scores According to Player Character Race
As explained above, all races have certain maximum ability scores which remain in effect at any character level. For example, all races have a set maximum natural Strength score (& in almost all cases, the female’s max Str is 1 point less than whatever the male’s max Str score is). But as shown on the table below, not all ability scores have a maximum. Therefore, as a PC rises in level, he may make these unlimited ability scores however high. Never-the-less, no PC may begin the game with more than “18” (or less than “3”) in any given ability score. Additionally, also as seen above, some maximum scores are set below 18. A Half-Orc, for instance, can never have a natural Charisma score that exceeds 15 no matter how high his level. For quick reference, see the chart below (note, the table below defaults to the male):
(I didn't include the table, as these kind of computer-text-conversions are often quite wonky.)
The Starting Classes
In keeping with the overall aim at simplicity of gameplay, starting classes exclusively meant for NPCs do not exist on Urth. Therefore, on the one hand, as opposed to Pathfinder, there is no ‘Adept,’ ‘Aristocrat,’ ‘Commoner,’ or ‘Warrior’ class. On the other hand, the ‘Expert’ is found on Urth, & is also available to the PC as a starting class (see below). While most other Pathfinder base adventuring classes are included in the following, there were five I forbade. These are the Bard, Cavalier, Gunslinger, Ninja, & Samurai. Additionally, whenever a PC selects the ‘Draconic’ bloodline power (e.g., sorcerers & bloodragers), only the ‘Red Dragon’ may be emulated.
NPCs essential to the storyline of an adventure, but never meant as combatants (like the barkeep that clues-in the PCs as to the whereabouts of the troll-shaman’s secret lair), are treated as “zero-level characters” (see below for more on these). Most other NPCs (like the castle guards standing the rampart) are treated as low level Fighters or Experts (99% take on 1st level). Otherwise, the NPC’s aggregate ability scores should be used to adjust for power relative to the PCs (i.e., the PCs, “Our Heroes,” would naturally have a greater number of summed ability score points [80 at 1st level] than would the vast majority of NPCs [seldom higher than 70 at 1st level]).
While I do strongly suggest that the DM prohibit PCs from playing evilly-aligned characters, & thus explicitly evil character classes (such as the Antipaladin), this is merely a recommendation rather than a hard-&-fast rule. While there are certain in-game circumstances why an evil PC might well be warranted, even beneficial, these are few & far between. After-all, if the PC is evil, then, whatever else his motivations, he must ultimately be self-serving. Therefore, assuming the character is played according to this declared fell venality, it must inevitably cost the rest of the party blood & treasure needlessly. Moreover, a PC of evil alignment, again, if played accordingly, would almost certainly have an annoyingly antagonistic outlook. For the DM to sit idly by while his players are constantly being tripped-up by the inimical character hardly seems fair.
As a rule of thumb, I advise that PCs be permitted no starting gold, no weapons or armor, & naught but the most essential of equipment (like a spellbook or lockpicks), if that, upon beginning their adventuring careers. The rationale behind this might be because the PCs have been made to serve as slaves, even gladiators, by some amoral nation (like Kurtulmak or Norgaar); or impressed as sailors by some decadent colonizer (like Aerabel); or have just recently finished their terms of service as conscripts; or have been imprisoned; or are just very, very poor. There are five reasons why I recommend impoverished 1st level PCs: A.) It spurs the PCs to be industrious. B.) It speeds up initial gameplay in general & fosters good role-playing in particular. C.) It impels the PCs to avoid being wasteful, instead taking careful measure of what gear they gain, as well as its most efficacious utility, as the campaign unfolds. D.) Teamwork necessarily becomes essential to success. E.) As adventuring continues, the PCs are inspired to value the treasure they have earned, literally having gone from rags to riches.
As a result, by the end of the very first adventure, the warrior PC has found two or three mundane weapons (say, for example, a battleaxe, a dagger, & a shortbow) & maybe a large wooden shield; the cleric-type has obtained a weapon (e.g., a warhammer), a wooden shield, a canon, & a wooden holy symbol; the thief-type has gotten his hands on a shortsword & dagger, lockpicks, & maybe a climbing kit; the bard, a shortbow & maybe a cheap musical instrument; & the wizard gets hold of a spellbook.
The Alchemist is just as described in the APG, starting on pg.26, with 1 minor addition: Absorbing Touch is now considered a 2nd, rather than a 3rd, level extract; & one can internalize magic items (see below).
See below, under ‘The Paladin.’
The Arcanist is just as described in the ACG, starting on pg.X. Like the Wizard, the Arcanist is considered to have attained a college education (see Wizard, below).
The Barbarian on Urth is exactly as described by Pathfinder. The exemplified Barbarian speaks Inazlunder & hails from northeastern Dhaan. These are collectively called “Inazlundish Barbarians” (often derisively referred to as “Axewaggers”). The Sentry Hills, the Goblinseye Marsh, the northern Dwarfsgaard Range, the Drybones Forest, Battleaxe Fields, the Frozen Hills, the Unforgiving Mts., the Snowflake Mts., some of the more isolated islands in-&-around the Burning Cold Sea, & both Shield Ranges all keep various tribes of Inazlundish Barbarians. In addition to all the other humanoid Barbarians inhabiting NE Dhaan (such as orcs, hobgoblins, ogres, & the like), Inazlundish Barbarians comprise clannish humans & dwarves.
Yet another Barbarian cluster of predominantly human tribes are mutually known as “The Abarri Nomads” (sneeringly referred to as “Camelfancies” or “Camelprancers”). The Abarri roam the northernmost edge of Ares, from the northwestern-most tip of the Hellfurnace range to Tradersport. Abarri is both the name of the language they speak as well as the desert they inhabit (although they rarely stray south of the northern quarter of the Abarri Desert, given the much more hospitable living conditions found along the coast). A smattering of hobbits can be found interspersed among the northeastern human tribes, especially as one nears Tradersport.
“Wild Elves” in the Thonfain & Faywood Forests, physiologically identical to the majority surface elves which populate Taurandune, are nevertheless of far more truculent temperament than are their more progressive brethren. Some few gnomish Barbarian tribes can be found scattered throughout these western forests as well.
Finally, the Aresian jungles cloak a panoply of humanoid Barbarian tribes (like kobolds & gnolls). In fact, the continent of Ares is a veritable Barbarian factory.
Barbarians, by definition, reside outside most settled borders (with the exceptions of the northern third of Gildor & Norgaar, the more isolated parts of the Island Confederation, as well as the westernmost quarter of Kurtulmak). Consequently, a Barbarian’s homeland is often of greater importance to gameplay storyline.
See below, under ‘The Skald.’
The Bloodrager is just as described in the ACG, starting on pg.X. A Bloodrager’s homeland should be among those listed above, in the Barbarian’s entry.
The Brawler is just as described in the ACG, starting on pg.X, except that he may not be of any lawful alignment.
The Cleric on Urth exalts Isa; & is therefore either LG, NG, or LN. See below, under ‘The Confessor.’
(The Confessor is given elsewhere in these threads.)
See above, under ‘The Confessor.’
(The Expert is also provided elsewhere in these threads.)
The Fighter is exactly as described in the CR, starting on pg.55. Speaking to its ubiquity, almost all noteworthy NPCs on Urth are members of this character class or are “Experts” (as above).
Hunters revere either Agathi (NG) or Krom (NE). Therefore, in accordance with the “one step” rule, an Agathite Hunter can be of either LG, NG, CG, or N alignment. And a Kromnian Hunter can be of either N, LE, NE, or CE alignment. The Hunter is otherwise as described in the ACG, starting on pg.X.
See above, under ‘The Confessor.’
The Investigator is as described in the ACG, starting on pg.X, with two modifications: An Investigator may not be of CE alignment. And Absorbing Touch is now a 2nd level extract (see below).
The Magus is as described in the UM, starting on pg.9.
The “Minion” on Urth essentially follows those precepts laid out for the cleric (c.f., CR pg.38). He serves Eosforos; & is therefore either CN, NE, or CE. See above, under ‘The Confessor.’
The Monk is exactly as described in the CR, starting on pg.56. All Monks hail from a mysterious lone monastery, simply called “The Presidio,” on the steep-mountainous Isle of Irdu in the northeastern Island Confederation. Here, upon taking vows of submission & poverty, Monks are trained as such. Only humans are ever permitted inside this imposing monastery. As a result, the Monk is the only class on Urth that is restricted to one race; not because other races lack the ability, but because they’re religiously denied the training.
A Monk PC is considered to have completed his formal training by the time he begins his adventuring career. As such, he is no longer obliged to hold to vows of any kind (as long as he maintains his lawful alignment, of course).
See above, under ‘The Confessor.’
The Paladin is as described in the CR, starting on pg.61. Paladins venerate Isa (LG). Conversely, there is also his chaotic evil counterpart, in service to Eosforos (CE), called the “Antipaladin.” The Antipaladin class is described in the APG, starting on pg.118.
The Ranger is just as described in the CR, starting on pg.64. The Ranger may apotheosize any one of the seven gods or goddesses he chooses.
The Rogue is described in the CR, starting on pg.67. But on Urth, Rogues are somewhat more archetypical. A Rogue may not be of any lawful alignment. In addition to those itemized in the CR, & as long as he wears nothing heavier than light armor, the Rogue also gains the following class features:
• Proficiency with the Sword Cane (UE pgs.18 & 38).
• At 1st level, either the ‘Fleet’ (CR pg.124), ‘Improved Initiative’ (CR pg.127), or ‘Run’ (CR pg.132) bonus feat; PC’s choice.
• At 4th level, either the ‘Shadow Strike’ (APG pg.169) feat; or one of the 3 bonus feats given above that he hasn’t yet selected.
• ‘Light Steps,’ at 7th level, as per the ‘Ninja’ class feature of the same name (UC pg.16).
• As long as he’s using a bladed weapon from the Rogue’s proficiency list ([CR pg.68] e.g., dagger, hand-crossbow, rapier, sword-cane, etc.), he enjoys ‘Always a Chance,’ at 11th level, as per the mythic path ability of the same name (MA pg.20).
• If he has an Intelligence score of at-least 12, at 20th level he gains Invisibility (CR pg.301), as a spell-like power, at will.
See above, under ‘The Confessor.’
There is no ‘Bard,’ per se, on Urth. They’re just too damned wimpy. Instead, there is ‘The Skald,’ as described in the ACG, starting on pg.X.
The Slayer is as described in the ACG, starting on pg.X with one notable restriction: A Slayer may not be of LG alignment.
The Sorcerer is just as described in the CR, starting on pg.70.
The Summoner is just as described in the APG, starting on pg.54.
The Swashbuckler is as described in the ACG, starting on pg.X.
See above, under ‘The Confessor.’
The Witch is as described in the APG, starting on pg.65, with two notable restrictions: a Witch must be female, & she must be of some chaotic alignment.
The Wizard is described in the CR, starting on pg.77. On Urth, Wizards, Arcanists, & Monks are the only classes automatically considered to have already gone to school for a few years…& with respect to Wizards & Arcanists, who have little use for impoverishing vows, this schooling signals no small amount of familial wealth.
It is important to note that, without benefit of a bribe amounting to a king’s ransom, Colleges of Magic don’t accept students with less than a 14 intelligence; & the average Int score at any given School of Magic is at-least two points above that. Therefore, even in the Elvish Kingdom of Taurandune, almost all apprentice Wizards & Arcanists represent the very smartest children from the very richest families.
Arcanist & Wizard PCs, to include Universalists, are all assumed to have graduated from one of the following Colleges of Magic:
• Abjuration Academy at Ploheezopolis.
• Conjuration University at Aspeisteis.
• Divination University Endowborough.
• Enchantment University at Romendar (given its location, almost all graduates are elvish).
• Westrourke College of Evocation.
• Trickery College (Illusion) at Tricksterville (the only one gnomes don’t have too much trouble getting into).
• Necromantic Arts College at Darkenport.
• Transmutation College at Tharokin.
• Wizenhall Academy of Eraraxia.
The Zero-Level Character
Prior to beginning his adventuring career, a PC is a “Zero-Level Character” (hereafter referred to as a “ZLC”). Of course, children, & almost all adolescents, are ZLCs. Most other NPCs are ZLCs as well. For purposes of simplicity, ZLCs are generalized in the following. Just as his title suggests, a ZLC has no levels in any starting character class, a BAB of zero, base saves of zero, & no armor or shield. A ZLC usually carries a dagger to the extent he carries any weapons at all.
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It’s Yer Birthday (pg.20)
All characters have an age & a birthdate. For this to be recorded, it is important to show the calendar.
The Calendar of Urth dates back to the first day of the first month of the fall of Babel. The calendar consists of a 24 hour day, a 6-day week, a 30-day month (with 5 weeks in a month), 12 months to a year, & 360 days in a year. The current year is 2,000 AB. “AB” stands for “After Babel.” “BB” stands for “Before Babel.” The twin moons of Urth also help to keep track of time.
There are, of course, four seasons on Urth. The first season is winter. The first day of winter, known as the “winter equinox,” always falls on the first day of the first month of the year. This month is called “Frostmont.” Then comes “Snowmont” & “Icemont.” The first day of the fourth month of the year is the “spring equinox.” This month is called “Drizzlemont.” Then comes “Sowersmont” & “Springtide.” The first day of the 7th month is the “summer equinox.” This month is called “Brightmont.” Then comes “Helios” & “Scorchmont.” The first day of the 10th month is the “autumn equinox.” This month is called “Tenmont.” Then comes “Reapingmont.” Finally comes the month of “Eveningtide,” with the last day of the year being on the 30th of that month.
As stated above, there are 6 days in a week on Urth. The first day is generally considered to be a day of rest, & is thus called “Loungeday.” The next five days are also known as the “standard work week.” They are: “Laborday,” “Thirday,” “Middleday,” “Waterday,” & “Gatherday.” Therefore, the first day of the year is always on Loungeday, the first day of Frostmont. Similarly, the last day of any given year is always Gatherday on the 30th of Eveningtide.
A typical calendar, which can be used for any given month, is shown below:
Loungeday Laborday Thirday Middleday Waterday Gatherday
Week 1 1* 2 3 4 5 6
Week 2 7 8 9 10 11 12
Week 3 13 14 15** 16 17 18
Week 4 19 20 21 22 23 24
Week 5 25 26 27 28 29 30
*Luna is full. ** On the 2nd, 5th, 8th, & 11th month Etta is full.
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Skills on Urth (pg.21)
Most skills, as given in Pathfinder’s CR, are fairly self-explanatory. But there are some few which require either fine-tuning or adaptation to a particular gameworld. These are covered in the following:
As explained in the CR pg.91, this skill is used to create a sellable object; & each Craft skill must be bought separately.
If you are making an object to look as though it is something else (such as a compass disguised as a piece of jewelry), & if you have 5 or more ranks in Disguise, you gain a +2 synergy bonus when trying to imbue the disguised object with a high Perception DC to determine its true function (the DM will adjudicate this based on your ranks in Craft, as well as the time, tools, & the materials available to you).
On Urth, the following various Craft skills are available to players:
• Blacksmith (All metal objects, including Weapons & Armor).
• Bowyer / Fletcher (Manufacture Bows, Crossbows, Arrows, Bolts, & the like).
• Brew (Ale, Wine, Spirits, Potions, Poisons, or Narcotics).
• Carpentry (Build Cottages, Taverns, Furniture, serve as a Hooper [barrel-maker], a Cooper [cask/bucket-maker], a Wainwright [wagon-maker], a Shipwright [ship builder]). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Engineering) you gain a +2 synergy bonus to Craft (Carpentry) when building ships & wooden structures.
• Gears / Traps (Build Mechanical Traps, Clocks, & the like). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Engineering) you gain a +2 synergy bonus to most Craft (Gear/Trap) checks.
• Locksmith (Build & Repair Locks). If you have 5 ranks in Locksmithing you gain a +2 synergy bonus to Disable Device checks when attempting to Open Locks.
• Paint / Sculpt (Paint Works of Art, Carve life-like Statues, Pen Calligraphy, as well as Enamel / Engrave Weapons & Armor).
• Potter / Glassblower (Make Pots, Tableware, Glass, Vases, Spectacles, Magnifying Glasses, & Telescopes).
• Stonemason (Erect Stone Buildings & Fortifications, Make Bricks, & Set Rudimentary Stone Traps). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Engineering) you gain a +2 synergy bonus to most Craft (Stonemason) checks.
• Tan (All Leather Items, such as Boots, Leather Armor, & Slings).
• Whitesmith (Meld & Bejewel Precious [i.e., soft] Metals [Gold, Silver, etc.], Cut Gemstones, Carve Bone, Mint Coins, & the like).
Knowledge, Local (Int; Trained Only)
All fields of study for this skill, as explained in the CR on pg.99, are fairly straightforward; with the notable exception of “Knowledge (Local).” Local Knowledge must, by definition, be subdivided further still into various regional localities on Urth. Thus, a PC can gain ranks in any of the following selections:
• Local Knowledge (Aerabel)
• Local Knowledge (Aragost)
• Local Knowledge (the Barbarian Lands)
• Local Knowledge (Darkenport)
• Local Knowledge (Endor)
• Local Knowledge (Evghennia)
• Local Knowledge (Freebooter’s Cove, Tradersport, & Northern Ares)
• Local Knowledge (Gildor & Morndin)
• Local Knowledge (the Hobbitlands)
• Local Knowledge (the Island Confederation)
• Local Knowledge (Kurtulmak)
• Local Knowledge (Pyrexia & Southern Ares)
• Local Knowledge (Taurandune)
Linguistics (Int; Trained Only)
On Urth, “Brommon” is considered the ‘International Trade Language,’ & as a result is also called “Common” (or sometimes “The Common Tongue”). Brommon is spoken by almost all of the surface humanoid races to some degree of proficiency or another. In fact, even if a particular creature usually speaks some other language, if it is of at least moderate intelligence, it almost certainly speaks Brommon as well; & many creatures speak nothing but Brommon. All PCs are assumed to be able to speak Brommon. All PCs are also assumed to be literate (i.e., able to read & write) in any language they can speak. Any language not listed in the following (e.g., Draconic) is, at best, argot on Urth.
A listing of Urth’s modern languages follow:
• Abarri (Spoken by the Abarri-Nomads of the northern Abarri Desert).
• Abyssal & Infernal (Spoken by demons, devils, & similar evil outsiders). Note that these 2 languages are so similar as to be counted together (kind of like Spanish & Portuguese). For game purposes, any PC that knows one is assumed to understand the other.
• Aquan (Spoken by merfolk, nixies, sahuagin, & similar aquatic creatures).
• Auran (Spoken by kenku, sylphs, tengus, & similar aerial creatures).
• Brommon (or “Common”; Spoken pretty-much everywhere).
• Celestial (Spoken by good outsiders, like angels).
• Druidic (Spoken by Druids of Agathi & Shamans of Krom).
• Edhellonde (or “Sylvan”; Spoken by surface elves, gnomes, & almost all fey).
• Inazlunder (Spoken in Kurtulmak & the Barbarian Lands).
• Kittrie (or “Undercommon”; spoken by drow, duergar, svirfneblin, & similar underdark races). Note that the drow have developed a sign-language version of undercommon as well.
• Tuvala (Principally spoken on the continent of Ares, especially in the southern jungle regions, by the denizens living there such as lizardfolk, rakshasa, kobolds, & the like).
In the following are Urth’s ancient languages.
• Evghennian (At one time the spoken language of the very formidable Evghennian Empire, this human language has been dead since around 0 AB).
• Iolar (or “Dwarven”; this racial language, if not yet already dead, is certainly on life-support). Only the very oldest of dwarves still know how to speak Iolar to any degree at all.
• Old Edhellonde (or “Ancient Elvish”; out of use since around 500 AB). This is the root fey language, & therefore the progenitor of modern Edhellonde & Kittrie.
As is the case here in the real world, some languages share alphabets. Also, as is the case here, various alphabets often appear quite different from one another. For game simplicity, all alphabets on Urth are written in horizontal lines, utilizing individual phonetic characters (i.e., there is no syllabary, as with Japanese); & all are read from left to right, & from top to bottom.
• Brommon (or “Common”) historically employed regular Roman letters as with English, German, French, Spanish, & myriad other European-based modern languages. Additionally, since certain other languages on Urth never developed written alphabets of their own, these too eventually adopted the most tradeworthy characters on Urth. Thus, as of about 1500 AB, written Abarri, Tuvala, Aquan, & Auran all began utilizing “The ‘Common’ [i.e., Roman] Alphabet.”
• Celestial characters mirror Hebrew:
א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ך ל מ ם נ ן ס ע פ ף צ ץ ק ר ש ת
• Abyssal & Infernal characters mirror Arabic:
أ ب ت ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك ل م ن ه و ي
• Evghennian & Druidic characters mimic the Greek alphabet:
A B Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω
α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω
• Edhellonde, Kittrie (or “Undercommon”), & Old Edhellonde characters mirror Tamil:
அ ஆ இ ஈ உ ஊ எ ஏ ஐ ஒ ஓ ஔ க ங ச ஞ ட ண த ந ப ம ய ர ல வ ள ழ ற ன ஜ ஷ ஸ ஹ ஸ்ரீ
• Iolar (or “Dwarven”) & Inazlunder characters mimic the Cyrillic alphabet (i.e., Russian):
А Б В Г Д Е Ё Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я
а б в г д е ё ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я
The perform skill, as defined in the CR (pg.102), is too narrowly defined, in my opinion, for utile playability. Therefore, I have broadened it to subsume only three general categories. PCs may take ranks in either A.) Perform [Vocalize], B.) Perform [Musical Instruments]; or C.) Perform [Dynamism]. These are better defined below:
• Vocalize includes oration, singing, humming, whistling, acting, politicking, ridicule, sarcasm, implying/accusing, & joke-telling.
• Musical Instruments equates to all string, wind, & percussion instruments. This is the only subset of the three that is considered a ‘trained only’ perform skill.
• Dynamism includes dancing, ballet, burlesque, slapstick-buffoonery, pantomine, professional-wrestling, & gladiatorial-signature-moves.
Profession (Wis; Trained Only)
As explained in the CR pg.103, the Profession skill typically represents a service-industry job (like barrister or sailor). As with Craft, Knowledge, & Perform, each Profession skill must be bought separately.
• Athlete (Compete in Sporting Events). If you have 5 or more ranks in Acrobatics you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Barber / Bathhouse Worker (Groom Hair &/or Bathe Folks).
• Barrister / Herald / Politician (Practice Law, Hawk Wares, Trumpet VIPs, or Orate). If you have 5 or more ranks in Diplomacy or Knowledge (Nobility) or Perform (Vocalize) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Bookkeeper (Serve as an Accountant, Clerk, Scribe, or Ambassador). If you have 5 or more ranks in Linguistics you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Butcher / Headsman (work in an abattoir or execute folks). You may add half your ranks in this profession to the Fort DC a victim must make in order to survive a ‘coup de grace’ (CR pg.197).
• Cartographer (Survey & Map-Out Terrain). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Geography) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Chef / Baker (Cook Stuff). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Nature) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Dockhand / Warehouseman (Store Stuff).
• Farmer (Grow Food). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Nature) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Fisherman (Net Fish). If you have 5 or more ranks in Survival you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Gambler (Compete in Games of Chance). If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Innkeeper / Barkeep (Run a Tavern or Inn).
• Interrogator / Turnkey / Torturer (Grill folks, figuratively & literally). If you have 5 or more ranks in Intimidate, you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Lanternbearer (Serve as Urban Guide). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Local) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Lumberjack (Cut down Trees).
• Miller (Ground Wheat into Flour).
• Miner (Tap Metal Veins). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Dungeoneering) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Moneychanger / Pawnbroker (Exchange Valuables). If you have 5 or more ranks in Appraise you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Prostitute / Courtesan (Serve as a Paramour). If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Rancher / Shepherd / Beekeeper (Herd Animals). If you have 5 or more ranks in Handle Animal you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Sailor (Coxswain a Ship). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Geography) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Scientist / Mathematician / Siege-Engineer (Direct the Construction of Large & Fantastic Things [e.g. trebuchets, golems, hot-air balloons, & submersibles]). If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Engineering) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Soldier / Constable (Maintain Order). If you have 5 or more ranks in Sense Motive you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as a Constable. If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (History) you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as a Soldier.
• Tailor (Weave Clothes).
• Tattoo-Artist / Piercer (Modify Bodies [e.g., a ‘skin pocket’ or ‘living spellbook’]).
• Teamster / Stableboy (Drive Teams). If you have 5 or more ranks in Handle Animal you gain a +2 synergy bonus when attempting to earn income as such.
• Trash-Collector (Sweep Chimneys, Keep Graves, Manage City Sewers, etc.).
• Writer / Printer / Composer (Author Books / Newspapers, Create Musical Compositions, Write Plays, etc.)
(I included the "Sleight of Hand" entry elsewhere in these threads.)
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The Economic Laws on Urth (pg.34)
On Urth, prices are given in the standard gold coin, called “The Golden Pennon” or, more often, the “Gold Piece,” (gp). Due to strict conglomeration of the Wish & Miracle spells (see ‘The 13 Archmages & the 7 Hierophants’ below), the number of coins on Urth is relatively inelastic, giving them real value. Although temporary illusions have certainly been known to fool shopkeepers, tangible precious metals & stones cannot easily be magically created. Thus, the Law of Supply & Demand functions normally on Urth.
Fifty coins of any type weigh 1 pound. The smallest denomination is the copper piece, commonly called the “Drab.” 10 Copper Drabs = 1 silver piece, known as the “Crown.” 10 Silver Crowns = 1 gold piece, or “gp,” called the “Pennon.” 10 Golden Pennons = 1 platinum piece, called the “Laird.” The Kingdoms of Aerabel, Aragost, Endor, Gildor, Kurtulmak, Morndin, Norgaar, & Taurandune all produce their own coins, gold & otherwise. These differently produced coins, never-the-less, all still conform to the abovementioned uniform specifications. They only differ in the various national visages that appear on them. In other words, a “Platinum Laird” minted in Aragost is just as valuable as a “Platinum Laird” coined in Kurtulmak to the average merchant in Westrourke. Although, if a character had a preponderance of currency minted from some particular place, that would certainly be an indication that serious time was spent there.
Coins are not the only way to store wealth. There are also myriad gems. Unlike coins, precious stones are not standardized; & so must be appraised on a case-by-case basis.
As is the case here in the real world, the freer the markets the wealthier the people. This is because autocratic governments exact confiscatory taxation & otherwise curtail wealth creation. That same go-getter who would most likely prosper in the normative free economy, is, by virtue of his capital, an implicit threat to the typical despot. So unless his enterprise is directly controlled by the state, it won’t be long before the successful entrepreneur finds himself imprisoned or worse. Indeed, dictators often disappear impresarios even when they graciously submit to tyrannical governance. And it’s tough to get (or stay) rich in jail. Therefore, since societal weltanschauungs, either for good or ill, run up & down the economic ladder, the median wage on Urth fluctuates from place-to-place.
The base median wage is 1 Silver Crown per (8-hour) day’s work. In sui juris places like Aragost, (non-colonial) Aerabel, Endor, the Hobbitlands (& Tricksterville), & the Island Confederation, the daily wage doubles (2sp). In subjugated states like Darkenport, Kurtulmak, & Norgaar, wages halve (5cp per day). Everywhere else (e.g., Aerabelian Colonies & Evghennia), the median wage equals the base (1sp a day).
The Banking System of Urth
Banks on Urth work pretty-much as they do here in the real world. The typical saver invests some coin. He is issued a ‘Promissory Note’ in return. Banks pay savers interest for leaving money at the bank for lengthy periods of time. Saving-deposits from myriad investors are amassed into a large pool of capital. The bank then loans back out 90 to 95 percent of this money to folks wishing to borrow for business ventures of their own. The borrower agrees to repay the bank the amount he borrowed, plus interest. The difference in what a bank pays out to its savers & what it collects as interest on loans comprises its profit margin, or lack thereof. Barring a run on the bank, this system works well; essentially increasing the overall amount of capital available to a given population center.
Since banks depend on amassing savings pools, the more savers in a society, the more banks. But as pointed-out in the section on ‘Economic Laws’ above, national economies often suffer from a nation-state’s level of political domination. In other words, if more than 99% of a given population are living hand-to-mouth, they have little societal wealth to save in banks to begin with. Case in point: Tricksterville, the most libertine city on Dhaan, subsumes eight banks inside her city limits (or roughly one bank for every 7300 Trickstervalites). By contrast, in the most oppressive nation-state on the surface of Dhaan, the Orcish Empire of Kurtulmak, there’s a total of three banks in the entire country (one in each of her 3 major cities); & all 3 of these state-run of course (at best, 1 bank per 180,000).
Most banks issue ‘Promissory Notes.’ Powerful dweomers are often employed to mitigate against the counterfeiting of these. They are normally delineated in 10-power order of magnitude gold piece increments (i.e., the 10gp Note, the 100gp Note, the 1000gp Note, & so on).
Banks ordinarily circulate one of two different types of promissory notes; those that garner interest & those that don’t. A non-interest-bearing promissory note is seldom personalized unless it amounts to a considerable sum (e.g., 1000+gp). These can be traded in at the bank at any time for the represented value in gold or platinum coinage.
An interest-bearing promissory note is almost always magically personalized. And since spells aren’t cheap, these notes tend to be for very large amounts of coin (1000+gp). The date it ‘Matures’ will also be given on the promissory note. This interest rate increases as the time period the coin is left in the bank extends. Most designate maturity one year from the date of issuance, at which time the note is redeemable for an extra 5%.
Since market forces can often be volatile, maturity durations almost never stretch past 20 years. In other words, if some bank went under, the promissory notes it circulated obviously became worthless at the same time. However, there are a few banks, especially in the elfin & dwarven kingdoms, that have been around for hundreds of years. So if somebody was in the market for a very long-term maturation (with an analogously respectable interest accrual), it is to these kingdoms he would most likely go.
Privately owned banks on Dhaan are usually conducted either by some money-changers’ guild, as is most often the case in ‘the Humanlands of the East,’ or by some long-established banking family (or clan), as is customarily the case west of the Dwarfsgaard Range. Thus, esteem for a demihuman banking family’s surname inextricably entwines itself with institution prolongation. But in the Humanlands, where guildmasters run the show, there is scant appreciation for familial continuity. As a result, eastern private banks fold more often than do their demihuman-managed counterparts; but (of those that sustain) they also tend to have higher rates of return.
The Laws of Urth
As the old saying goes, “Everything’s legal….Until you get caught.” Urth is no different. No nation on Urth could be called a “democracy” in the way Americans understand the word. Yet, as one might expect, not all polities suffer the lash to the same extent. Nonetheless, laws on Urth are surprisingly similar from one country to the next. It’s in their level of enforcement & punishment that laws often vastly differ. Moreover, few laws are codified. It’s easier for authorities to punish folks arbitrarily that way. For game purposes, whatever the infraction, the PCs will likely be hauled before a judge of some-kind or another; & considered guilty until proven innocent (& often not even then).
Normally, the more tyrannical the government, the more fervent the application of law. The most libertine places on Urth are the Hobbitlands & Tricksterville. A few other places are de facto, if still not de jure, latitudinarian. For instance, bureaucrats are sparse (especially in provincial regions) in Norgaar, the Island Confederation, & the Aerabelian Colonies. As a result, law enforcement in those regions is often spotty, due either to apathy, lack of resources, or both. However, Aragost, Evghennia, Endor, Taurandune, Gildor, Morndin, Kurtulmak, & (the home island of) Aerabel all retain sufficiently large & well organized administrative states to judicially preponderate. Darkenport is a pernicious miscellany, even though she maintains plenty of enforcers. On the whole, adjudications in Darkenport depend heavily on the accused’s wherewithal to bribe his way out of trouble.
Freedom of Speech; & The Right to Keep & Bear Arms
As one might expect of a medievalesque world, liberty is generally stifled. Thus the whole concept of “Rights,” as understood by an American, are laughable. Except in the Hobbitlands & Tricksterville, all nations have weapon (&/or spell component) injunctions; & of course, publicly criticizing the government is everywhere considered “Sedition.” Most weapons, & many spell components, are cost prohibitive for the average serf. Resultantly, only military personnel & the wealthy seem to have many arms to keep or bear in the first place.
More often than not, carrying a quarterstaff or sheathed dagger in public is inconsequential. As for more overtly lethal stuff, if the PCs play their cards right, they can often pass for commissioned members of the military. And if disguise doesn’t work, the PCs can frequently just grease the right palms in order to keep their weapons / spell-components. But the PCs cannot expect to incentivize permission to publicly denounce some king or ruler at any price.
There are some notable exceptions to the ‘dagger / quarterstaff rule of thumb.’ Any non-elf (including Drow & Half-Elves) will automatically be considered “a hostile” when carrying a weapon into the Elfin Kingdom of Taurandune….& likely end-up pin-cushion-ized. Humans & demihumans are prohibited from having any weapon in Kurtulmak. And non-dwarves are forbade weapons in the Dwarven Kingdoms.
Penalties for weapon violations vary from ‘excess property’ seizure, to banishment, to flaying, to imprisonment, to enslavement. Sedition is considered a ‘Crime Against the State.’ See below for more on that.
By & large, it is illegal to kill a member of a nation’s predominant race (even if the killer is also of that race) without a very good reason. The punishment for murder is everywhere execution. Humans & Half-Elves are both considered “human” for legal purposes; but Half-Orcs get no such consideration. Of course, in the Orcish Empire of Kurtulmak, if the killer is human or demihuman, he’s executed no matter his reason.
Possession of lockpicks, other thievery paraphernalia, & stealing in general, violates the law everywhere. If the owner of a set of lockpicks is apprenticed to a locksmith, or has some other good reason for owning such equipage, he might beat the rap.
Depending on what (if anything) was stolen, as well as other aggravating factors (like knocking granny down as you grabbed her purse), punishments for thievery vary from branding, to the stocks, to flaying, to imprisonment, to loss of the offending hand. In Kurtulmak, & other predominantly evil population centers, the punishment is death.
Blasphemy & Apostasy
As noted above (in the section on ‘the Nations of Urth’), states usually sanction certain religions. Thus, almost by definition, worshipping a god not on the approved list is typically considered ‘Blasphemy.’ Resigning a state-sanctioned religion for that of an unauthorized one is considered ‘Apostasy.’ The penalty for one caught worshipping, or bearing the symbol of, a criminal religion varies widely from one nation to the next. In places like Aragost, it’s almost always banishment. In places like Aerabel, one is normally sold into slavery or flayed. In places like Darkenport, it’s death.
Sadly, & again as one might expect with a medievalesque world, rape is commonly considered no big deal….at least not in the legal sense. Granted, someone’s angry brother might stalk & kill the rapist. But, as a general rule, the authorities won’t bother bringing a rapist to heel unless the offense also qualifies as ‘a crime against the state.’ In other words, on Urth, a badguy routinely skates as long as he doesn’t rape some rich baroness.
Unless already enslaved, the Orcs of Kurtulmak mostly proscribe humans & demihumans from being within the nation’s borders. The same rule generally holds true for Drow cities. Only the power of coin will temporarily set this legality aside. In other words, aside from the obvious commodity that is the healthy slave, apartheid states also might allow an outsider in for purposes of lucrative trade. The usual penalty is flaying, followed by banishment….or, of course, enslavement.
The Elfin & Dwarven Kingdoms are also quasi-apartheid states. But they’re far less brutal in the enforcement thereof. Nevertheless, it seldom takes an outsider long to learn he’s unwelcome in Taurandune, Gildor, or Morndin.
Gambling, Prostitution, & Trafficking in Narcotics
While these activities are often looked down upon with varying degrees of opprobrium, they are seldom codified as illegal. Even child prostitution is often sat still for on Urth. And that, of course, where our heroic PCs come in to save the day.
Crimes Against the State
All nations have laws against treason, espionage, military desertion, & sedition. These are convenient “catch-all” laws that the DM might employ against the PCs anytime he feels they might have upset the ruler or the ruling class of a nation. Of course, depending on the campaign, the PCs might actually be guilty of spying or treason. And as one might expect, ticking-off a local ruler can be quite unhealthy.
Random Encounters & Bad Weather
Monsters fought as part of an adventure are anything but random. But what about those PCs might run across as part of everyday life? What about inclement weather? Even great wizards must occasionally deal with the proverbial splinter in the paw. Thus, a system is needed for randomizing problematic situations PCs are assumed to confront from time-to-time as they do stuff like travelling to & from the latest evil cave of horrors.
There are two basic types of occurrences: Bad weather & badguys. The chances of running into either vary depending on the environment the PCs find themselves in. For instance, rainstorms are seldom a problem in the underdark, but your chances of running into feral beasts there greatly increase.
For ease of play, I recommend ignoring typical episodes of rain or snow. A DM can only split hairs so finely before it seems like rainy days are all he’s concerned with. Rather, I recommend assuming at least one ‘Powerful Storm’ (CR pg.438), in whichever outdoor region the PCs happen to be, per month (a month is 30 days; c.f., pg.15). Much of the time, this won’t be a problem. Sturdy shelter is relatively easy to find, especially in towns & cities. But there are times & places it can be quite a pickle. Sailing a ship through a hurricane or traversing a frozen tundra through a blizzard are two such examples.
On the 1st of every month, the DM (if he suspects the PCs will be outside a lot) should roll 1d20+5. This gives us the day inclement weather begins (i.e., any day between the 6th & 25th). To find the time it begins, use the 24-hour clock. First roll the d2 for “AM” or “PM.” Then roll the d12 to find the time. (Thus, technically, there is a chance it’ll begin at midnight on the next day.) Finally, the length of time turbulent weather continues on for must be determined. Roll for the length of time the storm lasts. Pathfinder makes recommendations (CR pg.437). But I’d keep it simple: Other than tornadoes, a ‘Powerful Storm’ lasts 8d6 hours.
While almost anyone can notice a darkening sky as it happens, & suspect a cloudburst is on the horizon, a PC with ranks in Knowledge (Nature) ought to be given 24 hours’ notice if he succeeds on a DC 15 check. The DM might also allow magical portents on a case-by-case basis.
Of course, region on Dhaan matters. Tornadoes are rare. They form inside less than 6% of rainstorms (“snake-eyes” or “boxcars” on the 2d6); & even then only in the Hobbitlands (or the Abarri Desert on Ares), & only in the spring months (“Drizzlemont,” “Sowersmont,” & “Springtide”). Blizzards occur in the winter months (“Frostmont,” “Snowmont,” & “Icemont”) anywhere above the 30th parallel. Above the 50th parallel, there are also blizzards in “Eveningtide” & “Drizzlemont.” (See the CR pg.442 for exposure to cold weather.) The rest of the time Dhaanians endure thunderstorms, with the occasional hail.
Any other major natural event (like a volcano or an earthquake), while, strictly-speaking, just as arbitrary as a powerful storm, is far too juicy as writing material not to be encompassed into its own stand-alone adventure.
Haphazard encounters with monsters are less indiscriminate. Locality plays a much larger hand than it does with weather. The DM should assign these chances on a day-by-day basis; using the 24-hour clock method described above. Usually, odds are relatively low that PCs will run into anything worse than game-animals on any given day. But they go up as the party puts itself in increasingly perilous zones. The DM must assign these odds.
Typically “safe” domains, where one might reasonably expect very few nasty monsters per square mile, only risk brushes with danger on less than 3 percent of (24-hour) days (e.g., inside city walls, on well patrolled highways, & out on the open sea). In other words, given the places PCs spend the majority of their time (like in big cities), they randomly encounter someone or something problematic every 36 days (“snake eyes” on the 2d6).
Conversely however, the DM might determine spending much time in other places quite menacing (e.g., ancient battlefields, spooky forests, graveyards, & the underdark). Here, odds go as high as two-thirds. The DM might even decide to make two d12 rolls per day (one for “AM” & one for “PM”), although I wouldn’t recommend it. It seems to me that if the PCs find themselves in a cavernous tomb, they’re there for some not-so-random reason to begin with.
The 13 Archmages & The 7 Hierophants (pg.40)
‘The 13’ & ‘The 7’ represent the most powerful people on Urth. They are practically immortal & invincible.
Varying stats might be applied to them in harmony with the needs of a given campaign. But I would recommend that they all be considered “Mythic,” as per MA; & that none of them have fewer than 30 total class levels. Indeed, I recommend they fall between 40th & 50th character level. The reader should consider 20 levels of some core spellcasting class, like Evoker (CR pg.81); another 10 to 20 levels of some other core class (say, Alchemist, e.g. [APG pg.26]); up to 10 prestige class levels (there’s some pretty good ones starting on pg.384 in the CR); & of course all ten ‘Mythic Tiers.’ Moreover, the DM should feel free to modify as he sees fit. For instance, he might decide to add some template, like the ‘Divine Guardian’ (B4 pg.60), in lieu of a class level or two. And that doesn’t even get into the magical items, lair protections, &/or enhancements they almost certainly enjoy. Suffice it to say, the sky’s the limit as long as these guys end-up real tough hombres.
The Thirteen Archmages are the only known possessors of the Wish spell. They guard this spell vehemently. As a rule they try to kill anyone who expresses too much of an interest in this spell, particularly those arcane casters of sufficient level to cast it. The great mages are also the headmasters of the various schools of magic. They are all human, except Nystul, who is elven. They are all male except Tasha. Moreover, in-spite of the fact that all but one are human, they are all at least 300 years old & average about 500.
Much like The 13 Archmages, The Seven Hierophants are well known, & often extremely long lived, leaders of their respective faiths. Each one is the leader of the religion that most reveres one of the seven gods. As with the 13 Archmages, the 7 Hierophants all are in a ‘spell club.’ Their jealously guarded spell is called ‘Miracle.’
1.) Bigby, Headmaster at Westrourke College of Evocation.
2.) Drawmij, Headmaster of Trickery College (Illusion) at Tricksterville.
3.) Evard, Headmaster of Conjuration University at Aspeisteis.
4.) Leomund the Floating, a shut-in at a castle on a floating cloud.
5.) Melf, Headmaster of Wizard’s Island College at Seedywick.
6.) Mordenkainen, Headmaster of Transmutation College at Tharokin.
7.) Nystul, King of Taurandune (the elf nation) & Headmaster of Enchantment University at Romendar.
8.) Otiluke, Headmaster of Necromantic Arts College at Darkenport.
9.) Otto, officially known as “His Most Grim and Terrible Might, The Wizard-King Otto of Everholt, Overlord of the North!” Guess what he does for a living?
10.) Rary, Headmaster of Divination University Endowborough.
11.) Serten, Headmaster of Abjuration Academy at Ploheezopolis.
12.) Tasha, Headmaster of Wizenhall Academy of Eraraxia.
13.) Tenser, a shut-in in an ominous-looking castle on the Island of Telangra.
1.) His Most Holy Piety, Hardstone the 3rd, Archbishop of Eraraxia & All Isa’s Beauty. LG male human.
2.) Her Benevolent Gaze, Amalleigha the 7th, Mother of the Goldenhaired, Daughter of Agathi. She’s a NG female elf, & ministers from ‘The Sacred Grove,’ 50 miles south of Romendar.
3.) His Most Worldly Understanding, Trehar the 2nd, Solonarre’s Begotten of Ploheezopolis. He is a CG male human.
4.) His Most Arcanic Dweomered Nimblefingers, Shar the 1st, Ennobled Guildmaster of Tricksterville & Prophet of Gord. He is a N male human.
5.) Her Ultimate Authority, Asinda the 6th of Ezenfeld, Lolth’s Empress. She is a LE female drow.
6.) Hell’s Voice, The “26th” Dark Prince of Eosforos, Director of Darkenport, a CE male dwarf.
7.) His Everchopping Axe, Ragnar the 5th, Krom’s Chosen. NE male half-orc, at ‘Krom’s Keep’ in the northern Unforgiving Mountains, in the Western Barbarian Lands.
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I know I'd be playing a sorcerer just so those idiot wizards couldn't look down their noses at me. And I could get Wish.
Crafting feats available? Because they become hugely more valuable here.
Note that zero level NPC's can't even take a rank in their own profession. That's pretty silly.
|Chris Lambertz Paizo Glitterati Robot|