From time to time you have been given books to read and so you know that your life is not normal. You cannot recall any parents but you have a sizeable family. The trainers do not love you, they are what you have instead of parents, they reward you when you can go through the dark unseen and unheard, they reward you when you can snatch the coins from the statue covered in fishhooks and bells and not be noticed, they reward you with better food, access to books and the chance to have your own room, your own bed. They punish your failures, those being intolerable. They have shown brutality that haunts your dreams still, failure deserves a crippling or a maiming, insolence courts death. They are strict beyond bearing and just as it seemed that you would snap from the strain you were taken aside. Now you are old enough to be trusted with higher arts, greater mysteries of the order – whether it has a name you have not been told it. Your own name is unknown to you; you have always been called “student”. Now you are told that you are old enough and skilled enough for promotion. They move you from the barracks with the other children to a cell of your own. You are provided with whatever materials you require in pursuit of your interests. A love of learning, curiosity about the world outside, history, science even thaumaturgy are not barred from your inquiry – indeed every interest is promoted. You still train at a grueling pace and still the trainers treat you harshly, but now it is colored with respect. Their expectations grow as you do. You are joined to others of the same unspoken rank as you – and given what amounts to a name – Primatus, Secundus, Tertius, Quaternarius, Quintillus, Sextus, Septimus – and you are told that you are now a Bond and that your Master will be the Hangman – one of the trainers – now given a name like your. You never see the Hangman’s face, he is hooded and masked but you know him by the sound of his cane on the stone of your home and the depth & luster of his voice. He is not compassionate but he is not cruel. He is patient and demanding. Know him by the intricately carved cane that he walks with, made from the leg-bone of some creature with a leg as long as a man. The Hangman Allows you to peer from the windows when he thinks you are old enough and capable enough to bear the sight of the world outside. It is a white world in contrast with the blackness of your upbringing. Conical mountain peaks wreathed in snow & glorious turquoise glaciers are all arrayed below you – your home is at the peak of the earth, a high point of the world. Your mind is trained against the world though you do not understand this training and do not remember much of it. In the end it is decided that you are capable. Your training is sufficient and you are to be tested. You descend the mountain for the first time feeling a terrible freedom and the weight of the sky upon you. You are taken to a wagon which is drawn away. You ride for days and your are blindfolded. You know better than to speak or ask questions. At last the wagon stops. The Hangman looks you over and speaks. “There is a house just outside. Go into it, be unseen, within the house is a treasure, seek it – it is a jewel of great beauty carved into the shape of a rose. Take it and it return here undetected. Kill anyone who sees you and let none know your name or your numbers. And with that you begin.
Welcome to D&D Stealth.
Here’s the rules:
Ability Scores - A special method of communal rolling is used to create ability scores – you are stuck with the members of your band and they are stuck with you.
Player Resource List-
Your Imagination should be right at the top. I’ll let you do anything that isn’t especially silly.
Hide & Move Silently are combined into Stealth
Listen & Spot are combined into Perception
Disable Device & Open Lock are combined to the new skill Mechanics
The Skill Meditation is available to players
Meditation allows you to enter a trancelike state rather than sleep. You gain specific benefits based on the DC you can achieve with a check. Meditation is based on Wisdom.
DC 14 – You need only half the normal amount of sleep
DC 16 – You recover HP at twice the normal rate
DC 20 – You can meditate on a subject and gain a +2 insight bonus on a skill check when you resume wakefulness.
Ancillary Skills –
Characters gain 6 skill points per level – not multiplied or modified by a statistic. These ancillary points are used to buy Profession, Craft & Knowledge skill ranks as well as language skills. You must spend one of your ancillary skill points to be literate. You may spend you normal skill points on ancillary skills but these are all considered to be cross class skills for the purpose of maximum ranks. You never roll dice to determine these skills you are considered to always be taking a 10 on any of these ancillary skills.
Character Class/Build –
All characters are built from the same skeleton. Full Base Attack Bonus – 2 good saves & bonus feats at every even level. You also get d10 hd & 8 skill points per level & choose 10 skills to be class skills. You also gain any 10 class abilities of your choice – which will be assigned a level progression by the DM. Characters gain a bonus to their AC equal to their character level. All characters begin the campaign at level 3 with max HP.
Weapon Focus/Specialization. Weapon Focus is different in this campaign.
Requirements – BAB +1
Benefit – You gain a +1 to all attack and damage rolls with a specific weapon. Whenever you gain additional attacks from having a high BAB the bonus to damage increases by an additional +1. You can forgo the bonus to damage to gain a parry bonus of +2 to your AC.
New Feat -
Requirement – BAB +2/ Shield Proficiency/ Two Weapon Fighting
Benefit – You add your Dexterity bonus to the AC bonus a shield provides, the total of this bonus is your shield bonus. (Your DEX bonus still applies to your AC normally- this feat allows you to double it).
Make it up!
You can make up a feat or class ability.
Armor Absorbs Damage –
Armor listed in the PHB has its AC modifier halved. Half of the AC modifier counts as DR instead. For example. A chain shirt provides +4 AC in the PHB but under these rules it grants +2 AC and DR /2. Shields are affected in the same way and all the DR gained from armor stacks with any natural DR you gain.
None. There are no alignments.
Healing, Hit Points and Crippling & Wounds-
Magical healing is hard to come by in this campaign. Characters heal naturally during rest. They recover their HD + their Con Bonus in HP per rest period. Meditation can alter this rate & a successful Heal check made at 10 + the damage will double the rate of healing (d&d doubling so triple with meditation etc…).
In addition to HP characters have Wound Points. A character’s wound points are equal to their Constitution score. Instead of dropping below 0 HP – characters take wounds & remain conscious after falling below 0 HP. Each wound taken represents a catastrophic injury that imposes a -10’ move penalty and a cumulative -1 penalty on all checks. For example – Septimus has 15 HP left and 10 Wound points. He receives an attack that deals 18 points of damage. He remains conscious but suffers a -3 penalty on all checks and has his movement rate reduced by –30’. Wounds are difficult to recover from. It takes 1 week to recover 1 WP – which is reduced to 4 days with a successful Heal check DC 15, further reduced to 2 days with a meditation check.
Critical Hits & Wounds.
Critical Hits do not double or triple damage but apply instead directly to Wound Points. Any Armor DR is doubled against this damage (since armor is intended to protect vital areas). For example Sixtus takes a critical hit that deals 10 points of damage. He has armor that provides DR 4 normally – against this attack it provides 8 points - so he suffers 2 wounds and takes a -2 penalty on all rolls.
You gain a number of Quest points equal to your character level + a bonus based on Roleplay and story hooks. You can spend a Quest Point to do any of the following:
1 – Roll 4d6 instead of d20 on any d20 roll
2- Emulate a feat that you meet the prerequisites for.
3 – meet one prerequisite for a feat (combined with 2 above)
4 – You can use a quest point to gain another standard action in a round
5 – You can spend 2 Quest points to negate up to 5 points of damage.
You do not refresh Quest points – you gain 1 at every level and are awarded more for good RP & achieving story goals.
Spellcasting, Magic & Religion
These are treated specially in this campaign. If you want to play a magically adept character please PM me for details. No character starts this campaign with any religious training.