21 September 2007

Rolling up in Anuru

Looks like we may have two new players for our campaign!

In honour of this auspicious occasion, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the process of rolling up a new PC in Anuru. In order to ensure I don’t miss anything vital, I’ve decided to structure this segment along the lines of the “character creation” page in the Players Handbook (aka PHB), page 6. Here goes.

(1) Check with your Dungeon Master for house rules or campaign standards

Here are the ones that are relevant to you right now:

- we use D&D version 3.5 rules

- the “campaign world”, Anuru, has a very specific cosmology, theology and geography that differ considerably from the standard D&D worlds (Greyhawk, Eberron, etc.)

- no psionics. Not ever.

- we use the 1/60th miniatures on a 1” grid for combat

- in terms of party balance, we already have the following:

Breygon (Half-Elf Ranger 9)
Gwendilyne (Halfling Rogue 9)
Lyra (Hiarsk, i.e. hereditary half-elf, Rogue 1 / Sorceress 7)
Bjorn (Human Fighter 2 / Cleric 6)
Joraz (Human Monk 8)

So the party does not have either a dedicated meat-shield, a dedicated divine spellcaster, a dedicated arcane spellcaster, or any of the odd sourcebook classes. If anyone goes with a Dread Pirate, be advised – I accept only one “Arrrrrhhh!!!” per level, per gaming session.

(Party photo here)

- NOTE: if you want to skip all the hard stuff, you can just take a 7th level NPC from the appropriate section in the DMG (pp. 112-128), assigning your own rolled ability scores and the appropriate racial modifications, and using the equipment listed.

(2) Roll ability scores

- character creation is by rolling six x 4d6, rerolling 1’s, and arranging as desired

- take full HP for the first level; after that, they’re rolled. You can never roll lower on your HP roll than your constitution bonus, if any (so if you have a 17 Con, you can never roll lower than 3 on your HP dice)

(3) Choose your class and race

- classes are as per the PHB 3.5. I’m willing to consider classes from any of the other D&D sourcebooks, just check with me first, as some of the classes are too specialized (e.g., Warlocks), and some don’t fit into an “adventuring motivation” campaign (e.g., Druids).

- races are as per the PHB 3.5, with modifications as per the chart below. Note that age categories differ considerably in Anuru, and there are many sub-species of each of the major PC races. I’m not averse to “monster races”, but check with me for appropriateness, playability and Equivalent Character Level penalties.

- some races are rare (noted with an asterisk in the chart at right). Check with me before choosing one of these as your backstory and class choice may be affected. Races marked with a ** are very rare; you need my permission before choosing one of these.
NO Illumians ("Races of Destiny"). They're superhyperglobalmega-cheesy.

(4) Assign and adjust ability scores

- as per the PHB 3.5 rules

(5) Review the starting packages in the PHB

- yeah, if you feel like it.
- new PCs roll up at 1 level below the lowest PC currently in the party. That means you roll up at 7th level (or any multiclass combination that equals 7)

(6) Record racial and class features

- these are as per the PHB and other sourcebooks, with the exceptions noted in the chart above
- don’t forget the +1 to one ability score you got at 4th level

(7) Select skills

- All PHB and sourcebook skills are allowable

- Don't forget the extra skills you may get according to my "racial options" chart

(8) Select feats

- All PHB and sourcebook feats are allowable

- Don't forget the extra feats you may get according to my "racial options" chart

(9) Select equipment

- All PHB and sourcebook equipment is allowable
- starting gear value is 7200 gp (DMG table 4-23, p. 127). All gear in the PHB, DMG and sourcebooks is allowable, with the following exception: no single item worth more than 4000 gp is permitted; no item of more than +1 magical bonus is permitted.

(10) Record numbers

- fill out your character sheet. The 3.5 character sheets can be found here.

(11) Details, details

- Alignment: the party currently consists of CG, LN and CN. No evil PCs, and I would prefer no more CN. If you insist on CN, be advised that I accept the “undecidedly amoral” CN PC, but not the “psychotically unpredictable” CN PC. If you need an idea of how I view alignments, here it is:

- Gender: Don’t care. But I expect solid role-playing.

Okay, there are a whole BUNCH of other details. Much of what you need to know is already available on this blog. For example:

- the Ancient History of Anuru is on the blog in 5 parts: One, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Read it; it plays a big role in the campaign.

- the relationship between gods and mortals is described here.

- the continent of Erutrei, where the action is currently taking place, can be found here. The PCs are presently adventuring along the Stjerneflade, a major river running from the mountains in the north, to the coast in the south, of Storland, the central of three Grand Duchies in the southeastern monarchy of Zare.

- a brief outline of the party, as it stands at present, is here.

- my special rules for spellcasters can be found here. These represent my biggest break from the D&D rules; wizards and clerics don’t need to “prepare” spells. That always struck me as a crock. If you know a spell, and you have the power, you can cast it. Wizards are “knowledge PCs”, and know more spells; sorcerers are “power PCs”, and can cast more spells. If you're a spellcaster, read this section in detail; if not, don't bother. Incidentally, if you're going to be a divine spellcaster, choose your patron diety carefully; as you'll note from the chart in that section, not all dieties can provide their clerics with the full range of divine spells

- about those gods and immortals…I’m gradually putting up the relevant information, especially if you’re thinking about running a religious characters or divine spellcaster. Briefly put, there are two Forces, light (Ana) and dark (Uru); and 14 Powers: seven of the Light, called the Anari, and seven of the Dark, called the Uruqua. So far I’ve put up the info on the first of the Anari; I’m still working on the material for the last two. Once they’re done I’ll put up the Uruqua. Eventually I will put together my own version of the "Dieties and Demigods", complete with art (that I have co-opted from people with actual talent), and give each player a full-colour copy.

Those I have completed so far can be found here, along with their Greater and Lesser Servants, and their various Avatars:

Bræa (Goddess of good and light, no major religions)

Tîan (Goddess of justice, no major religions)

Vara (Goddess of mercy and healing, some major, some minor religions)

Hara (God of the Elves and magic, some major, some minor religions); Hara’s Avatars can be found here

Esu (God of Men and battle, some major, some minor religions)

- and finally, there are a couple of special classes and Prestige classes that are peculiar to my campaign. Those I have posted about so far include:

The Priests of the Healing Hand

The Knights of Tîan
There are a few other campaign-specific prestige classes, but I haven't gotten them formatted or posted yet. Note that these are provided for information only; some of them would be very difficult to play as PCs (the Hand Priests, for example, are great healer/boosters, but are forbidden by the vows from doing lethal damage)

* * * * *

Okay, that’s about enough background information to go on for now. New players, call me when you get a chance; otherwise, we’ll see you next game night! In the meantime, take a stab at what you think you might want to play.