A World of Winds
Prime rule of character building: Build someone that can function inside a group without everyone else wanting to kill/exclude the character.
All new and replacement characters start with the XP of the group.
You’ll take full hitpoints for the first level and then roll for the rest.
Starting Point Buy for Attributes of 25.
Only the elemental and fey planes are accessible by default; and by extension, things like summons and languages from unavailable planes aren’t available without an in-story reason. Creatures that are supposed to be summoned with a celestial or infernal template still have that template, the in-world accepted explanation being it’s a magical manifestation of caster alignment.
- We’re working off the PRD as a base document; meaning the Core Rulebook, the Advanced Players Guide, Advanced Race Guide, Advanced Class Guide, Ultimate Combat, Ultimate Magic, and UItimate Equipment are legal sources.
- We are using Hero Points and Plot Twist Cards. Plot Twist Cards will use Hero Point rules as described in that link.
- Ultimate campaign rules are going to be included piecemeal. Illl let you know if it’s relevant.
- We aren’t using mythic rules.
Update: Gnomes, Changelings, and Northern Giants are now legal choices as well. Changelings are unaware of their heritage. Gnomes have been living in the Wildwood in a state of protection, relaxation, and revelry until events force the Fey Circle to take an interest in the outside world and allow interested parties to investigate. The giants are described on their own page.
Most playable races in this setting are considered different varieties of Humyn. Here’s a link to their in-universe backgrounds. Except for Orcs no longer being stupid-evil, the tendencies for each Kind line up closely with the tendencies for the races they’re based on. The Kinds are mechanically equivalent to the race they’re based on unless noted otherwise. The list of races is below in order of their standing in society (including the caste system). The links go to a page with stats on them, but some are modified with alternate racial traits as described below the list.
Nightborn (Orc) [For race-specific favored class bonuses, if one is not listed for orc, use the one for half-orc
Riverborn (Gillman) [The enchantment resistance’s weakness applies to hags, not aboleth. For race-specific favored class bonuses, if one is not listed for Gillmen, use the one for undine; if one is not listed for undine, use the one for gnome.]
You can pick different alternate racial traits from the Advanced Race Guide if you want. Some are already modified by default and some have restrictions as listed below:
- Earthborn have the Sky Sentinel and Surface Survivalist alternate racial traits by default. They do not have ancient grudges against orcs, elves, or giants. Therefore during character creation you can only switch out Sky Sentinel for Saltbeard or Wyrmscourged, as all other options imply hatred and grudges that don’t exist in this setting. Surface Survivalist can be changed as normal. They cannot take the Xenophobic trait.
- Moonchildren cannot take the Wary trait. The Drow-Magic related trait is reflavored as simply a different magic set. The Drow-Blooded Trait is reflavored as being born with an aspect of the Nightborn.
- Clayborn’s Adpoted Parentage is reflavored as ‘Parent of a different Kind’ if you want a mechanical effect to being born to parents of a different Kind.
- Nightborn cannot take the Feral trait
- Riverborn have the Riverfolk trait by default. You can choose to remove that alternate trait, but cannot take Simehunter or Throwback traits.
- Take two traits from Ultimate Campaign. No drawbacks.
- Traits should reflect your time spent as a refugee as described in the Thematic section below.
- Reflavor any religion traits with whatever Aspect or Small God you worship.
- Don’t select a racial trait, they don’t really fit the setting.
- Firearms aren’t in use, so no classes based on them are allowed.
- All core classes are allowed.
- All base classes from the advanced players guide are allowed with the exceptions of the gunslinger and the antipaladin.
- Talk to me about if you want to do a Summoner class. The plane-situation is a story aspect, but it’s workable.
- Any inquisitor characters are going to require a pro-party-unity backstory.
- Most archetypes are allowed and work as normal, with the exceptions of:
- The barbarian Hateful Rager archetype is not race-restricted.
- The bard Watersinger archtype is legal for Riverborn
- The druid Feral Child archetype is not race-restricted, but will require a discussion of how to fit the story.
- The druid Undine Adept archetype is available for Riverborn and receives woodland stride instead of amphibious at 2nd level.
- The paladin Holy Gun archetype is not allowed.
- The paladin Redeemer archetype is not race-restricted.
- The ranger Wave Warden archetype is available for Riverborn.
- Ninjas can take Rogue archetypes if it would be otherwise legal for them to do so.
- The wizard Spellslinger archetype isn’t allowed.
- The cavalier Order of the Cockatrice is going to need to be amended if anyone wants to choose it.
- The cavalier Musketeer archetype isn’t allowed.
The Kinds don’t have separate languages. That means no Elven, Orc, Halfing, or Dwarven. There’s also no common. The languages are based on the nations and their history. Your characters all start with Tasmin. Characters who start with a high intelligence score can take choose to take any of the Humyn languages on the continent or Aquan (common among Riverborn), Draconic (language of the Wyrmlings), Sylvan, Terran, Ignan, or Auran. Weird languages may end up being backstory hooks. Someone taught you, after all.
Look under the linguistics skill for a description of languages. The chart below breaks down the Humyn languages and what they’re reminiscent of for naming purposes.
If their backstory has them ending up with the Kromus Clans it might make sense for them to but Olar with an Int bonus language or linguistics skill point, or it might make sense to have ‘never learned the language’ as a good reason for leaving.
|Language||Spoken in||Fantasy Funhouse Mirror of|
|Highspeak||Highland Holdings, Lowlands||English|
|Tharan||Antharos, Kingdom of Kalathos||High Fantasy Elflike|
|Tasmin||Tasmin Empire, Selisia||Arabic|
Everything you pick for race/class/archetype is going to reflect how the world interacts with you. If you’re a cleric/oracle/witch, expect mystic forces to keep requesting your involvement and get testy if you don’t. If you’re a fighter/barbarian people are going to expect you to fight/smash and challenge your rep if you look soft. If you’re a sorcerer, your bloodline ancestry will probably become relevant. And so on.
Additionally, one of the triggers for earning Hero Points is playing in accordance with your Class/Archetype. Your class/archetype is supposed to portray not simply your character’s job, but their central driving focus. Someone with a pacifist bent wouldn’t be a fighter. Someone who dislikes all animals wouldn’t be a druid. Someone with no sense of subtlety wouldn’t be a rogue (unless with a thug archetype). Someone with no self-discipline wouldn’t be a monk (unless with the drunken master archetype). Your class/archetype is a statement about who your character is, so playing in accordance with that deserves a reward for good roleplaying.
When you fled with or family or more relevant social group, you headed south. Some refugees went to the nearest Tasmin city of Tarran, but others expected life there to be problematic and fled further to the territory of the Kromus Clans. The story will open with you being offered a chance to go back, so your backstory needs to have a reason to say yes.
If your group fled to Tarran, most of the high-caste refugees with you would have been able to integrate, albeit with difficulty and reduced influence. Low caste members would be frozen out of most employment opportunities, turning to crime, begging, and irregular menial labor. The Empire is teetering on the brink of crumbling thanks to the storm over Bessel, and the refugees make a good target for the city’s governor to blame for the problems the city is suffering.
If your group fled to the Kromus Clans (which doesn’t recognize caste), you would have been adopted into a clan as thralls, having come begging with no assets to provide for yourself. This makes you one step better than a slave. You are ‘owned’ by the clan, don’t own property yourself, have to respect full members, and can be told what to do by people with authority. But, it’s feasible that you’d be allowed to pursue your interests if they’ll benefit the clan and won’t put you in a position of authority over a clan member. Your children will be full members of the clan, although age-of-majority cultural differences prevent you from being recognized as such. Some refugees tried to fit into the society for the sake of their children. Others went outlaw.
The bare minimum I need from you as a backstory is:
- Which location did your refugee group go to?
- What was your role in society there?
- For Tarran the defaults are criminal, beggar, or drudge.
- For the Kromus Clans the defaults are thrall or outlaw.
- I’m open to other suggestions, but it has to drive a desire to leave.
- Are there any friends, family, or enemies you want to define rather than me defining for you?
And one meta question
- What do you want your character’s role in the adventure to be?
- Crafty plotter?
- Bold leader?
- Fearless berserker?
- Greedy looter?
- Glory seeker?
- Loyal ally?
Your character will certainly go beyond those roles, but giving me your main focus up front will help keep me from trying to fit you into an inward-focused support role when you really want to be the trailblazing adventurer.
Here’s some elements to expect from the campaign that you may (or may not) want to take into consideration while building your character:
- This starts off as quest campaign; there’s a lot of traveling from Point A to Point B to solve X problem.
- Fast Track XP gain.
- There’s going to be a heavy focus on specific NPCs and your relationships with them.
- Most NPCs are going to be capped at lvl 3.
- The impact of what is essentially superheros living in mundane society is going to be a theme.
- While where you go in the campaign is going to be impacted by your actions, there’s like to be a variety of terrain; more desert, urban, and mountain than anything else. There will be a good likelihood of water and forest as well.
- The most common enemies are likely to be other humanoids, but there will be a good chance to encounter most other types, depending on what choices you make. You can expect to see at least a few elementals. Fey will probably be the rarest enemy type unless you take actions in the campaign to go looking for that kind of trouble.