Legends of Mystara

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Legends of Mystara

Post by erian_7 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:44 pm

I have 4 spots for players interested in a combined Play-by-Post/BRPG hybrid campaign (by this, I mean that a lot of play will be handled on a forum, with twice monthly BRPG-hosted games using the client). This will be a d20 fantasy game (3.5 rule set, with some modifications--possible use of material I'm planning to sell so players would be credited as play testers). If you're familiar with either D&D 3.0/3.5 or d20 Modern you'll have no problems in my game.

This campaign will focus on the Grand Duchy of Karameikos in the Known World of Mystara, beginning in Threshold, on the 15th day of Yarthmont, in the year A.C. 1000. As a Player's Guide (40-50 pages in a Word doc; adapted from the Grand Duchy of Karameikos in Mystara for anyone familiar; cannot be posted publicly as it's derived from copyrighted material) will be provided covering the Duchy specifically and other Mystaran national in summary, players are encouraged to choose characters from or related to the Grand Duchy of Karameikos if they themselves are unfamiliar with Mystara. Other characters (a sorcerer from Alphatia or berserker from the Northern Reaches, for instance) can have fun exploring the area, but will be at a social disadvantage from not knowing the cultures. This option, actually, will be ideal for a player interested in this game that knows a lot about Mystara already.

For real-world reference, Karameikos would be very similar to medieval Poland/Eastern Europe (though located more in a Mediterranean climate), with the Thyatian imperials being somewhat Roman. Other nations have similar real-world inspiration (Alphatia is a combination of Chinese and Japanese, Ethengar is modeled after the Mongol Hordes of Ghengis Khan, Ylaruam is very "Arabian Nights" inspired, etc.).

Please note: I try to run games that are realistic while remaining fun for all involved. As such, I prefer PG-13 rated topics in general (language used only when appropriate to the character/situation, little overtly sexual issues, no heinously graphic gore, etc.).

The game will run the first and third Thursday of every month on BRPG, with in-between play handled in a Play-by-Post fashion (would host the PbP here for others to watch perhaps, if we can get an on-forum dice roller...). Time would be 8:00 PM Central, running for 3 hours.

I am currently accepting character proposals from dedicated players able to commit to the campaign. Use the Character Creation Guidelines listed below to create your character. Email your finished submission (in Word or Text format please) to me at eric_ang@bellsouth.net. We'll use the 3E Profiler to store final characters online.

I'm looking for creative, richly detailed characters that uniquely fit into the setting, and so the background and personal history of your character are the most important factor in the decision to accept a player. Players new to Mystara, and even to D&D 3.5, are welcome, but should make special effort to learn both the setting and the game mechanics.

That said, I'm looking forward to your submissions! If you have any questions, please email/PM me.
Last edited by erian_7 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:34 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Character Creation Guidelines

Post by erian_7 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:52 pm

The following shall be used for creation of all characters in the Sample Game.

Source Books
Primary Player Sources (all 3.5 edition)
Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, Monster Manual II, Monster Manual III

Secondary Sources - likely allowed, but ask first
Arms and Equipment Guide, all Complete¦ series, Deities and Demigods (feats only), Dungeon Master's Guide II, Epic Level Handbook (non-Epic feats only), Heroes of Battle, Heroes of Horror, Miniatures Handbook, all Races of¦ series, Spell Compendium*

*The Spell Compendium is the official source for a spell if also found in other source material.

Tertiary Sources - allowed only with special DM approval
Book of Exalted Deeds, Book of Vile Darkness, Draconomicon, Eberron (all books), Expanded Psionics Handbook, Fiend Folio, Forgotten Relams (all books), Frostburn, Ghostwalk, Libris Mortis, Lords of Madness, Magic of Incarnum, Manual of the Planes, Oriental Adventures, Planar Handbook, Sandstorm, Savage Species, Stormwrack, Unearthed Arcana, Weapons of Legacy

All sources use official errata posted by WotC.

Important Note on Source Material Usage:
Players require only access to the PHB. However, other sources must be ownedby the player to be used (the DM cannot provide copies of material from these sources for use).

Players may reference the core rules from teh System Reference Document v3.5 online when rule books are not available.

Ability Scores
All characters will be created using the Standard Point Buy method (DMG p. 169). Each character starts with 8 points in each Ability Score and may assign more points to each ability from a pool of 25 points as determined by the chart below.


Class, Race, and Region
The following races are available to all players as character options: Dwarf, Elf (Calarii), Gnome, Half-Elf (very rare in Mystara), Half-Orc (very rare and highly mistrusted), Human (Traladaran, Thyatian, or Mixed Blood), and Halfling. As the campaign progresses, higher ECL (effective character level) creatures will become available to play, such as Lizardfolk, Lupines, Rakasta, and Tortles. Players interested in other races (or regions if you're familiar with Mystara and want to play someone from, say, the empire of Thyatis or the Emirates of Ylaruam) should email/PM me privately with a proposal, including the region and story placement of this option in the campaign world.

The following Core classes are freely available to all players as character options: Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard. For the following classes, work with DM for appropriate background: Barbarian, Druid, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Sorcerer. The Paladin and Ranger, for instance, are handled as Prestige Classes, while the Sorcerer is generally available only to Alphatian characters (and may be replaced by an experiemental class).

Other Core classes may be available at player request. Players interested in alternate Core classes should email/PM me privately with a proposal, including the region and story placement of this option in the campaign world.

For character planning, all prestige classes listed in the DMG (or online here) are available for character use based on Region of Origin. Players that wish to use prestige classes from a valid secondary source should email the DM privately with a proposal, including the region and story placement of this option in the campaign world.

Skills and Feats
All skills listed in the PHB (or online here) may be taken by any character.

Knowledge (geography) and Knowledge (local) skills must be taken by region, e.g. Knowledge (geography: Karameikos). No more than 2 ranks can be put into Knowledge (geography) for a non-Known World region (such as Alphatia, Sind, etc.) and this knowledge represents book learning only.

All feats listed in the PHB (or online here) may be taken by any character. Players interested in other feats should email/PM me privately with a proposal, including the region and story placement of this option in the campaign world.

All characters will use Weapon Groups rather than the three standard weapon feats of Simple, Martial, and Exotic

Characters begin the campaign with maximum starting gold for their character class. Characters may freely purchase items listed in the PHB Chapter 7 (or online here). Players interested in purchasing equipment from the Arms and Equipment Guide or other valid secondary sources should email/PM me privately with a proposal, including the region and story placement of this option in the campaign world.

Optional Rules
I've always felt that Combat Facing was lacking in the standard d20 system. As such and as I believe BRPG will make this much easier to track, we'll use the alternate rules presented in Unearthed Arcana.

I've never liked Material Components in the game. I do, however, like some of the tactical options they present (stealing a component to shut down a caster). Thus, I use an item called a Spell Center to replace the need for inexpensive material components. A wizard can construct a full set of Spell Centers for the standard cost of a spell component pouch. There is a separate Spell Center item for each School of magic, so a caster may potentially have to switch out items to cast different spells. All Sorcerers gain the Eschew Material Components feat for free and do not require inexpensive material components.

I use the rules for Reputation, Honor, Taint, and Sanity from Unearthed Arcana, but do so "behind the scenes" so players don't generally have to worry about it.

Some players like the increased depth that a system of Flaws and Advantages can give to characters. I allow such systems, generally preferring the Traits and Flaws found in Unearthed Arcana or, for those seeking even greater depth, I use The Book of Distinctions and Drawbacks by Cryptosnark Games If you wish to use these options (and you own the book for the latter--if you don't and you like this type of system, buy it!), you are free to do so. Note, however, that I enforce the negative aspects of Flaws and Traits. Of course, I do the same for players that think having a 6 Charisma isn't a problem...

We may try out other options--Armor as Damage Reduction, a level-based Defense Bonus, alternate hit point/damage systems, tying Charisma to certain saves (based on it representing a characters strength of self, can be used to resist mind-control for instance), etc. to see how they'd work. In particular I have two new mechanics, an alternate skill-based magic system and a single Core class (current class features become feats) that I'd like to try in comparison to the standard system.
Last edited by erian_7 on Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:56 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Story Intro

Post by erian_7 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:54 pm

The Grand Duchy of Karameikos - An Overview
Karameikos, a very young nation in a very old land, lies on the southern coast of the continent of Brun on the planet Mystara, in a region its inhabitants call the Known World. As kingdoms go, it is a small one. A rider on a fast horse can travel from Karameikos capital, Specularum, to its westernmost settlement at Fort Doom in a day, to its easternmost village of Rugalov in a day and a half, and to Dukes Road Keep in the Altan Tepes Mountains to the north in two days.

In many ways Karameikos still exists as a frontier nation cut out of an ancient wilderness. Uninhabited forest covers a great majority of the duchy”uninhabited, that is, by humans. A population of elves, humanoids, and monstrous creatures thrive within its borders. Further, these wildlands cover the ruins of ancient kingdoms and buried cities, the lairs of fell beasts.

Humans have always lived in the land now called Karameikos. The earliest known people, the Traldar, were a traditional, rural folk. The descendants of the Traldar, the Traladarans, were conquered over 100 years ago by their neighbor, the empire of Thyatis.

Karameikos has had but a single ruler, Duke Stefan Karameikos III, ruling in the name of the Thyatian Emperor. He seeks to unite the native Traladarans and Thyatians into a single unified nation, taking the best of both groups to forge one identity for all. Traditionalists in both camps resist him, which often makes the Royal Court of Karameikos as dangerous as the wildlands.

Specularum, the capital of the nation, is the sole major community in Karameikos and houses the royal court. It is also the home of competing thieves guilds, secret plots, and hidden dangers. The most civilized star in the Karameikan crown can be as deadly to the unwary as the smallest village crouched in the shadow of marauding orcs.

This, then, is Karameikos”a dark, forested kingdom on the frontier; a nation torn by its own origins; a country built upon the ruins of lost empires, a land of secrets, danger, and treachery.

Recent History
Today, the Grand Duchy is still growing into that nation”it is still young, with its two halves of the population (Traladaran and Thyatian) largely unmixed and its interior mostly uncivilized. But it is growing stronger day by day, and most of the nations of the continent have representatives in Karameikos, a sign of the nations growing international importance.
In the three decades following Duke Stefans arrival in Specularum, trade continued to flourish. Logging enterprises based out of villages such as Threshold and Kelvin provided significant revenue to the duchy. Specularum began housing ambassadors from many of the civilized nations of the world, particularly those that wished to engage in ongoing trade with Karameikos. Stefan founded a Magicians Guild in Specularum, which quickly became a center of learning.

The duke, no economist or merchant himself, was generally a good judge of character and relied upon the advice of intelligent and impartial ministers and friends when deciding policy, arranging trade and state relations, and settling disputes. When the dukes own common sense was not enough to solve a problem, he used the brains and experience of those who could provide a solution. His personal charisma and reputation for fairness began to endear him to the populace, Thyatians and Traladarans alike.

Today, the Thyatians and the Traladarans in the nation still view one another with some distrust; each group keeps to their own language at home, but call themselves Karameikan to foreigners. In addition, there is a new generation growing up that has tended to reject the racial differences of its elders “ Stefan calls these young people his œNew Karameikans.
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