Greyhawk: Return to the Classic
I’m making some alterations to what people may traditionally understand about given mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons. These are mostly a scenic change and won’t effect game play drastically but will hopefully make the world more detailed and inclusive.
To better represent the physical tie magic has on the world any class that casts all of their spells (divine, arcane, etc), or anyone that spends all their psi-points will fall unconscious. This is to better represent that once you spend all this energy you are too supernaturally exhausted to continue. You will remain unconscious, unable to wake, until eight hours pass. Watch that spell count. Note: 0 level spells do not count in this total but I’m also not going to make you track your usage of them.
Don’t think you get off scot free from the above restriction; when a warlock uses their eldritch blast equal to their con score (not modifier) they become exhausted, do so again and they fall unconscious. In addition, I will require you to know whether your pact was with the fey or with Demons and how it came about. You don’t have to give me what the deal was or who it was with, I’ll come up with that, but whether you did it or if it was a curse, I mean “agreement,” upon your entire family line. Also there will be extreme social stigma attached to this class above almost all others that PCs can play. Think early Salem if people find out your a witch, I mean warlock, in most towns.
If you have ever played Exalted then you know what stunting is if not I will explain. If you describe your action “I lift my sword above my head, bring my shield up in a defensive position, and swing down using the full force of my arm and body across their torso.” I may choose to give you a +1 bonus on your attack roll. If you give me a really detailed description that involves really good cinematic language and I think you have done an exemplary job I may increase the bonus to +2 or +3. This will reduce some of the pressure of describing battles from me and thus I will reward your efforts. Important note you must be able to perform the description, if you want to hit them with your shield then you shield bash, if you want to jump across the table grab the chandelier and swing behind your enemy get ready to make a lot of different checks.
Bonus points for Journals and Excellent Role-play
Role-playing and journal bonuses are never given in the form of XP bonuses. Instead, bonus points are awarded. An in character journal or comparable hand-in/update on obsidian portal receives one bonus point. You can also earn bonus points by providing to the groups nourishment either through purchasing food or bringing something you made yourself. Additionally two bonus points for excellent role-play will be awarded each session, one awarded solely by me and one awarded by the group.
Bonus Points at Character Creation
|1||Create or find a Portrait for their character and post to Obsidian Portal.|
|2||Create and post their character stats to Obsidian Portal.|
|4||Create a minimum 1 page, character background…preferably longer.|
So, what are these bonus points good for?
|1||+1d6 on any non-damage die roll.|
|1||10ft of additional movement until end of the encounter.|
|2||Negate a critical threat against you must be done before the confirmation roll.|
|2||Reroll any single skill/combat roll (d20 attack, d8 damage, etc.)|
|3||Survive a killing blow, if you would die from an attack you may recieve the immediate benefits of a revivify.|
|1||1 bonus language (max one per level.)|
|1||1 bonus additional skill point (max. two per level)|
|3||Maximum on your HP roll on level up|
|3||+1 permanent bonus to a saving throw (only once per saving throw per character)|
|5||+1 permanent ability increase (only once per character per ability)|
|5||first bonus feat (only once per character.)|
|10||second through fourth bonus feats (limited to a max of four and only one may be purchased a level.)|
|X||interesting in game effects, this might be things to do with your character or subtle alterations to the universe; depending on what you want will depend on the price also how much you spend will determine how much of an effect we’re talking about. EG: “Evil guy’s plan to destroy the city is hampered” is your request. If you spend 2 points he might misplace the key he needs and be set back a day. If you spend 10, the key might have been stolen by one of his enemies and replaced by a trapped version. You could also ask for other boons (a pet dog, a magic item, etc.)|
I am significantly adjusting Paladins in my universe for those that have read The Deed of Paksenarrion you will notice a lot of that feel in here. I am removing Paladin as a base class instead I’m incorporating the Prestige Paladin out of Unearthed Arcana. The base code that defines a Paladin will remain unchanged, but don’t think of it as a set of rules imposed on your character by an outside force. Instead view the code as sort of the Gods check list for who they would want to make a Paladin, you don’t get to be a Paladin if you live by that code — you live by that code thus you become a Paladin. Also characters do not decided to go to Paladin school and become a Paladin it is only through direct intervention by a God that one becomes a Paladin (sorry no more Paladins of good). This does not mean that I will deny someone who wants to go into the prestige class it just means that it is going to surprise the character. One example is the sinner who becomes a saint. The criminal the sees the error of their ways, has a redefining experience and their God calls them to the light. Finally Paladins can emit a literal light that serves as a badge of their office, only Paladins can emit this light and no magical effect can recreate it.
I am also incorporating the Resurrection Mishaps rules from Heroes of Horror. It is just something else to give this part of the game a little flavor, also a small slap on the wrist for having died who said you could interrupt my story by going off and dying??? None of them are debilitating, some are even pretty cool, but they give you the idea that it isn’t a natural experiance to come back from the dead.
I’m going to adjust some of the major religions of this world so that it is easier for me to play them as different organizations with strong differences in their beliefs and more easily enact them. For example each faith will have its own sacred language that is a real world language that if you want you can look up and use. These are not the only religions but these are the primary ones so they are the ones I focused on.
Boccob: The Church of Boccob will be based off of Daoism the idea that all magic we cast is but a pale imitation of the true magic and that only Boccob himself is capable of casting true magic. The Dao that can be Daoed is not the eternal Dao…The magic that can be cast is not the true form of magic. Boccob will fill the role of Lao Tzu teaching of magic but only himself understanding it. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Bocian) this will be real life (Cantonese).
The Dwarven Pantheon: The dwarven pantheon will be based off of the teachings of Confucianism. It will have a heavy accentunation of ancestor worship and the understanding that your places in society being part of the predetermined order of things. Moradin will still be the head of the pantheon filling the role both of confucius and the emperor in Chinese society. When the wind blows the grass must bend, the emperor is the wind and we are the grass. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Mordanian) this will be real life (Mandarin).
The Elven Pantheon: Zen Buddhism in order for you to be released from suffering you must lose attachment. The gods of the Pantheon are the bodisafa who will stay until all elves and drow have finally found eternal release from suffering. Loth embraced greed and selfishness and was cursed by Corellon to prevent her from tainting all the elves. This is why elves don’t go anywhere for their first one hundred years because they spend this time learning how to resist the greed of humanity. Even after this time, travel is not encouraged (Queen NAME has actually forbidden her subjects from leaving elven lands or outsiders from entering) but some feel the only way to rid the young for their lust of the outside world is to let them experience it. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Corellian) this will be real life (Japanese).
The Gnomish Pantheon: Will emulate the Greek pantheon, with the exception of the removal of the Titans; fun loving while also trying, with stories to emulate proper living. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Glertian) this will be real life (Turkish).
The Halfling Pantheon: The Halfling religion will emulate the practices and faith of the Quakers. They will be peaceful people whose primary goal is to not get involved with the outside world, think the Shire from Lord of the Rings. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Yondalian) this will be real life (Spanish).
Heironeous: I have decided to base the faith of Heironeous off of the Eastern Orthodox Church; this does not mean that they were once joined with the church of Pelor. The Heironeian faith advocates the training of peasants to defend themselves. This makes the faith very unpopular in some kingdoms. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Heironian) this will be real life (Greek).
Kord: Originally started out as a cautionary tale for young dwarves who would leave the caves, it soon back fired. The story of Kord is that he was once a dwarf who refused to live by Moradin’s command and fought too much. Moradin declared that if would behave so much like a man then Moradin would cast him out of the caves and make him into a man. The warning was don’t be like Kord or leave the caves or Moradin will curse you to. However this just gave rebellious young dwarves an outlet. He has become very popular amongst rebellious Dwarves and Halflings who seek to live outside their peoples traditions. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Kordian) this will be real life (German).
The Orcish Pnatheon: The orcish pantheon will mirror the real world Norse pantheon with Corellon filling in much of the role of Loki having defeated Grumsh through cowardice and trickery and being destined to bring about ragnorock. Grumsh will primarily fill in the role of Odin as a wise and cunning leader. Hey it’s their pantheon leave them alone. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Grumshian) this will be real life (Norse).
Pelor: I am basing the church of Pelor off of two real world faiths. In organization and structure it will be modeled very closely off of the Roman Catholic Church. In regard to practices and rituals it will be based very closely off of the Islamic faith meaning Clerics that means you have to pray five times a day. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Pelorian) this will be real life (Latin).
Rao: Will be based off of Mahiannah Buddhism. The rituals and temples being modeled after Tibetan Buddhism, this religion came about because of a human adaptation of the religion of the Elves. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Raoian) this will be real life (Indian).
Saint Cuthbert: Will be based off of the Jewish faith. According to the church of Saint Cuthbert he was once a mortal man who ascended to godhood upon his death. Cuthbert was the first Paladin in the lands of Oerth. He was not a servant of any one god, though he did pay homage to many of them, he was a servant of good directly. According to legend he was once a farmer who led his people from tyranny. Their practices and traditions had been stripped from them as foolish and they were being forced to follow their more “civilized” masters’ traditions. When Cuthbert freed them he reinstated the old ways, thus the church does not worship him or follow his teachings exactly but instead the old ways and traditions. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (St. Cuthbertian) this will be real life (Hebrew).
The Trinity: Because these three make very little since in regards to any real world religion I am making them into a trinity The Mother, Father, and Son. They will be, along with St. Cuthbert and Palor, the primary religion of the peasant class. Most select one of the trinity to serve as their patron, but respect and pay worship to the collective. It is not unusual to start your in young life worshiping Olidammara, as you reach middle age focus on Fharlanghn, and at the end as a grandparent keep the hearth warm from afar as Ehlonna.
Ehlonna: The All Mother who tends to the woods and blesses the farms. She protects the wooded areas and demands small sacrifices for a reminder of piety and the great superiority of nature. She is the wife of Fharlanghn eternally waiting for the wanderer’s return. She is also the Mother of Olidammara sending her son to the cities to teach those who have lost sight of nature. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Ehlonnian) this will be real life (Navaho).
Fharlanghn: The Distant Father who must travel to see to the needs of his family. He is the patron of travelers, shipwrights and any who must leave their families to provide for them. He is also the patron of absent love being forced to be separated from his wife, Ehlonna, and son, Olidammara. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Farlanian) this will be real life (Swahili).
Olidammara: The Absent Son seeks to synthesis his mother’s and father’s lessons buy bringing nature into the cities through many varied means including music. He befriends all sorts and is very popular amongst Gnomes and Halflings that have left their traditional worlds. Oldiammara encourages his worshipers to forge their own paths not to fall for the trap of lease resistance. For sacred language of the faith clerics, paladins, priests and all active members of the church will have the Language: Celestial (Olidammarian) this will be real life (Russian).