Shadows of the Sword Coast
I'm planning on running a favorite campaign I've made in the Forgotten Realms, heavy on roleplaying and both character development and character interaction. Ultimately, I want interesting characters with hopes, dreams, fears, flaws, and if you want, even a fetish or two (you can feel free to use the Book of Erotic Fantasy or the Book of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge for inspiration). That will keep the game fresh and alive and keep us coming back for more.
As for the details of the game:Where?
Waterdeep, the largest port city on the Sword Coast. We won't stay there permanently, and the characters will have the ability and necessity (at times) to visit other cities, but we will start in Waterdeep.When?
1368 DR, ten years after the Time of Troubles, in the Year of the Banner, so your character will remember the Time of Troubles.Playable Races?
Human, half elf, gold elf, moon elf, tiefling, and aasimar. Character Ages?
Bear in mind the time it takes to become level 9 (or ECL 9) and to gain that amount of experience. Humans should be in their early 20s at minimum, and other races should be at equivalent ages. If your character is Middle Aged or older, don't forget to alter their stats accordingly. http://www.d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#tableAgingEffectsSourcebooks allowed?
PHB, DMG, Heroes of Horror, Libris Mortis, and any Forgotten Realms 3.5 sourcebook. Anything else, run it by me first and as long as it's reasonable and not game-breaking, I'll probably allow it. Any build is subject to veto at DM's discretion, but I'd only do that for powergaming or something game-breaking.Sourcebooks not allowed?
Unearthed Arcana (except for Cloistered Clerics and flaws).Starting level?
9th level (or an ECL of 9 if your race needs an ECL adjustment). That would put your characters at far enough advanced to have become comfortable in your skillsets, but just beginning to appear on important people's radar.Ability Scores?
We'll be using the point buy system with 34 points, as well as the extra point you get at level 4 and the one at level 8.Hit Points?
You get full hit points + CON for first level and then half of your hit dice + 1 + CON bonus for each level after that.Starting gold?
36,000gp. Spend it wisely, with no more than half of it (18,000gp) on any one item.Alignments?
Any non-evil alignment is allowed. You guys are the good guys. It's possible to have someone of evil alignment fighting on the side of the good guys, but I would need extremely good reasons to allow an evil character for this.Psionics?
At the moment, no. Sorry if you really like them.House Rules?
Read them! They may be important for how you design your character build.
Flaws and Traits?
1. When resting overnight, you recover (1+Con modifier)hp per level or 1hp per level, whichever is larger, if you have been damaged, up to your full hp. (Normally, the DnD 3.5 rules say that you get 1hp per night, or 2 for a full day's bed rest, but that penalizes those with high Constitution scores since they have more hitpoints to heal to get to their maximum. Those with higher Constitution scores should be faster healers, not slower healers. I think this makes things more fair, especially at lower levels when healing magic may be hard to come by.)
2. Short swords deal slashing damage or piercing, whichever is necessary to overcome the opponent's damage reduction. This is because the sword is light and easily maneuverable and able to be stabbed outward for piercing damage like a rapier or swung like a longsword for slashing damage.
3. Characters that are capable of turning undead may choose the effect they want to use, whether it is to repel them or to damage them, and may use either the rules from the Player's Handbook or Complete Divine, respectively, depending on which effect they would like to have. They may choose either effect each time they attempt to turn undead.
4. A natural 20 on an Attack Roll is a critical hit. There's no need for a critical threat roll on a natural 20. If the weapon has a larger range, such as 19-20, any d20 roll less than 20 does require a critical threat roll.
5. Some piercing or slashing weapons may be used to deal bludgeoning damage when used with a different technique than the conventional one, but at a -4 penalty on the Attack Roll (as an improvised weapon, since the weapon was not designed with inflicting that type of damage as its primary function). The damage of a slashing or piercing weapon used to inflict bashing damage (such as when a fighter uses the pommel of his longsword to bash in the skull of a zombie) is equivalent to a club of one size category smaller than the weapon used (so a longsword's pommel would deal the same damage as a small club, 1d4).
6. The damage from multiple sources of the celestial brilliance spell do not stack.
You may take a maximum of 2 flaws and a maximum of 1 trait, and they must affect your character and be roleplayed accordingly.Regional/Background Bonus Feats?
You may take ONE regional or background bonus feat in addition to any other feats you have.Character Backgrounds?
They need to be somewhat consistent with your character class. For instance, a cleric or paladin should have a background that includes his or her training in the religious rituals and the church of his or her deity. A wizard should have a background that includes who taught him, where he learned the Art, and how he felt about studying ancient tomes for weeks on end. A rogue could have a background as a tavern-dancer (clothed or unclothed), cut-purse, lady-of-the-evening, or any of the myriad tasks a rogue can perform for money. I think we all get the point. Furthermore,
at 9th level, your character has had some adventures, may have run with a guild related to their profession (which may not necessarily be their character class; you could easily have a fighter who worked as a bouncer, plumber, mason, carpenter, a shipwright, or a city guard when he needed a steady income or a wizard who worked as a librarian, bookbinder, historian, herbalist, magic item store clerk, etc.), may have run with an adventuring party (with potential plot hooks, romantic liasons between adventurers with potential torches carried for former lovers or romantic liasons that resulted in relationships that are still alive and may have led to your character starting a family!), or may have lived and worked at a temple for their entire lives (and would have made friendships, enemies, and perhaps romantic liasons among the others at the temple or frequent visitors.). Your backstory should take into consideration that you're making a level 9 (or ECL 9) character with a lot of experience.Sexual Backgrounds/Preferences?
You don't have to share it on the character sheet if you don't want to, but at least let me know via PM what your character's sexual orientation or preference is (It's DnD, so race as well as gender preference; does he like female elves? Does she have a thing for dwarves? Etc.), whether they have been intimate with another person in the past (your character would interact differently in some situations depending on whether he or she is a virgin, moderately sexually experienced, or very sexually experienced), any fetishes they may have (the Book of Erotic Fantasy and Book of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge have some decent ideas), and anything else you think may be relevant, especially if it is relevant to how your character would act around NPCs (Example: Your male elf ranger has a thing for large breasted, brunette, human females and is revived after a hunt turned deadly by a large breasted, brunette, human female druid). Does your character have a regular romantic partner or partners? Has your character ever had children, and with whom? If your character is female, does she use nararoot
(a form of herbal female birth control that lasts between 1 and 2 weeks per dose, with one dose costing about 2sp)? If your character is male, does he use cassil
(a form of male herbal birth control that makes a man infertile, though not impotent, for about a week per dose, but is more expensive than nararoot at 1gp per dose)? Does he or she use magical forms of birth control, such as a spell that renders someone infertile for a specific period of time (there are some in BoEF and BoUCK) and if so, how does he or she have access to this magic? Does your character have other sexual kinks? Is he or she an exhibitionist or a voyeur?Deities?
In the Forgotten Realms, the gods exist and there's no doubt about it. They can exert control over the elements, weather, biology, luck, and virtually every aspect of mortal or immortal life if properly encouraged. Nearly every character will have a patron deity that they feel either drawn to or feel that they can relate to the most. Clerics and paladins would feel this even more intensely, having been personally "called" by a deity into service, almost always at a young age. It's moderately well-known that those with no patron deities will be plastered into Kelemvor's Wall of the Faithless when their soul reaches his city after death, and that the only way to avoid this is to have a patron deity that the individual remains on reasonably good terms with. Consider the type of deity your character would follow, and his or her deity may have varying levels of influence on the backstory of the character. Consider how the same spells granted by different deities may appear different stylistically (a magic missile
granted to a cleric of Bane may appear as a glowing, gauntleted fist hurtling toward your enemies, while the same spell granted to a cleric of Tymora may look like large, golden coins pelting the target, and the same spell granted to a cleric of Nobanion may appear as lions' heads hurtling toward the enemy and biting down when they strike. The damage wouldn't change, but there's no reason the flavor text can't make things more interesting.Divine Healing?
I am a lover of flavor text to make otherwise routine actions more interesting for the other players. When making a character capable of divine healing, how might they go about that differently for the different gods and goddesses? A priest or druid of Chauntea might provide divine healing by rubbing soil on the wound as well as praying and casting the spell. A priestess of Loviatar may ask for her goddess to heal someone's wounds by whipping a willing volunteer (nonlethal damage) and then healing the equivalent amount of damage that the volunteer received. A priestess of Sharess may heal through or during sex acts. The healing a priest of Mystra provides may look like engulfing the wound in harmless blue fire which dissipates, leaving the wound healed once it's gone. Be creative with your flavor text, and if you'd like a suggestion for potential flavor text for your character or you think your idea may be going overboard, ask me! I'd be happy to make suggestions. (Of course, those don't apply to divine healing during a battle, which would be done quickly, but the flavor text there could be written after the battle, when the cleric could perform the sacrament that he or she uses to thank the deity for the magic that he or she was granted for healing.)Moral Shortcomings?
Although there are no stats for these, unless your character is entirely selfless they will have a limit to their moral uprightness, assuming they are Good rather than Neutral. Consider (and let me know via PM!) what your character would be willing to do to achieve their goals, protect their loved ones, gain more power, etc. What vices do they have (gambling, booze, prostitutes, etc.)? What would tempt them to turn their back on their party, on their families, or on their deity? For many of those, your character may never be tempted to those depths, but let your answer reflect (among other things), your character's personality and alignment. This will help to make your character feel more real and much more interesting. Hopes, Dreams, Wishes, and Fears? Via a PM (not publicly)
, tell me what your character's hopes, dreams, wishes, and their fears are, and what YOUR hopes, dreams, and wishes for your character are, since they may not be the same. Concerning fears, take into consideration any family they may have, potential loneliness of the adventuring life (is your character afraid they'll never find a soul mate?), and any traumatic experiences they may have had that still haunt their nightmares. A Skillpoint Variant You May Want To Use:
At character creation, the player may select up to two cross-class skills from his or her original class (the character class before multiclassing) and make them class-skills, as long as he or she selects the same number of class-skills from the original class to make cross-class skills. Essentially, if you want to change the flavor of your class, you can take two skills that would be cross-class and make them class (for the purposes of spending skill points) as long as you turn two class skills into cross-class. The only penalty is that those skills that you made cross-class cannot be made class skills again unless you multiclass into a class where they are cross-class. Make sure you mention this in your character sheet to prevent confusion.Should I Choose A Class That's Already Been Chosen?
Absolutely! Nobody has 'dibs' on any class, first of all, and I'd be happy to have a party with more than one character of the same class! I want quality characters above all else. If someone else has chosen the class you wanted to use, use it anyway. You won't be bumping them out of their spot in the party or making me choose between you. If you are having fun with the character class you wanted to use, then you are more likely to stay and continue to have fun here and less likely to get burned out.Clerics and Paladins:
Remember that gods and goddesses have specific times of the day when they expect their clerics to pray for their spells. I'll let you know when your deity expects you to pray depending on which deity you choose to follow. Some also include rituals and religious holidays that you are expected to know and participate in as a cleric, and I'll let you know about those as well, or if you have Faiths and Pantheons, you can read about them yourself.Now, what do you need to know about the story to make characters?
I don't want to give too much away, obviously, but I can tell you that your characters need to be proficient in battling the undead, both corporeal and incorporeal, but also in battling living opponents as well. Additionally, they will be hired by the City Watch (as sort of private contractors), so it would help if they have had positive interactions with someone on the City Watch so that their skills make them the ideal choices for the job the City Watch has for them. Additionally, your character can be from virtually anywhere in Faerun as long as they have a reason for being in Waterdeep and have been there before to establish a reputation there for themselves.What's happened in the story so far?
This game has played for several months (before its hiatus) and the adventures have taken the party from finding and dispatching with a storage room full of wights in the sewers of Waterdeep to doing battle with a vampiress on the rooftops of the city while a nearby inn burned, and finally it culminated in a brief "battle" between one party member and a sorceress of some sort who then escaped. Your character will meet up with them in a tavern after this battle and join their party. At the moment, there are a few remaining party members, which are balanced pretty well between magic and combat, so you can create any type of character you'd like.
If I've forgotten anything, please feel free to ask about it. So is anyone interested?