Make a PC
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The Kingdom of Carolis
~ PC Creation ~
Make a level 3-4 PC. (Level will be determined by the player and GM. PCs not "normal" or of nobility will begin at a lower level than other PCs.). Use stats(5) with Sparkie, 3 times, and pick the result you like the most.
Make sure Alcar knows what you want to play. Discuss your idea with him (and other players, I hope). Bounce ideas around and see what works.
A few things to keep in mind:
One way or another, your PC will be joining a group of other adventurers. Loner-types are strongly discouraged, as are the kind of personality that makes others want you dead very quickly. (I have no problem with PCs killing other PCs, as a fair warning, as long as the reason is In Character and makes sense. (If you don't like another Player OOCly, leave it out of the damn game. If I think you're not, your PC dies instead, or as well.*)) Giving a detailed background means I have more to work with for your PC, and that's always a good thing.
There is no battle between Good and Evil happening. There won't be one. The characters are, of course, free to decide they are on the side of Good in a battle, but it is more a case of Us vs. Them than Good vs. Evil. The PCs are adventurers. Not heroes. They're just people.
There are some Monsters in underground areas, but they're rare and largely myth. Characters may have heard of some, but you don't know any facts about them, just legends.
The setting is not the middle ages. The cities are more renaissance than anything else, and the nobility are served by monorail trains that fly over the city and are build and designed by a reclusive order of techo-mages that few know about. (And no, a PC can't be one.) This being said, outside of the cities the technology level is basically the middle ages since that is what works. Farming is farming, as far as the farmer is concerned, and no fancy machines will do it better than a man and his ox. Guns are unknown outside the nobility, and aren't made. (They're considering dishonourable, and threaten the status quo. Stability is far more important than innovation.)
The rules are guidelines. The point of the game is to role-play, not roll-play. In line with that, if you have a PC idea that isn't "allowed" by the rules, it may be allowed anyway. Too often the game rules, in telling you what you can do, do a damn good job of saying what you can't, or making the idea in your head for your PC not possible. I never like that, so I have no problem with fudging things.
I don't use stuff like encumbrance, you don't need to either. (If things get silly, I'll let you know.) Speaking of rules, I'm not big into knowing each rule, and using it. If you recall someone, use it. Otherwise we wing it. The story being told is more important than the system we use to frame it.
Character backgrounds ARE MANDATORY. (Depending on how the game begins the PCs may be required to include some details for the GM to NPC friends and family.)
* This does not apply to Sparkie's vendetta against Sintaqx, which I have been informed will be quite interesting and involve a lot of bad die rolls.
With that out of the way, here's the (many) house rules for this game:
Doesn't exist. Spells used to detect it will only get the current rough idea of the PC, given current actions etc. (So, a PC killing a noble who is planning to murder people is good, but evil to the NPC cleric who thinks they just butchered someone, for example). Characters are people, not lines on a farcical diagram that doesn't encompass the diversity of one person, let alone many. You're not Good, or Evil, of Lawful, or Chaotic. You're people, being people.
We're going to go fast and loose with most rules. If someone knows a rule needed (say, Grappling), we use it. Otherwise, we (that being I) make something up, and we go with it. Combat will go quickly, or else. The only time I will use the rules to their extent is spells. You need to actually go out and get the components, and use them in each spell, and keep track of them. (It's the primary reason magic is damned rare.)
The GM is always right.
(b) If I'm wrong, show me where I'm wrong in the rules after the game - if it's really important. I detest nit picking of rules and rule-lawyering in general. (Rules lawyers are basically an advanced form of munchkin in 90% of cases.)
(c) If I agree, I'm right. If I disagree, I'm also right.
(d) If there is any confusion, see (a).
(e) If, after having seen (a) again, you are still confused, this may not be the game for you.
PC vs. PC interaction will be a matter of RP, role-playing. There won't be "I bluff him." *rolls* "Hah! I did it!" - the dice are there to supplement the game, not dictate results of Role-playing. (They will be used, of course, but mostly to show the direction the attempted bluff (or whatever) is going.) The GM is free to ignore or alter rolls according to whim, good RP, stupidity, or the colour of the walls.
The same applies in encounters with NPCs. If you want to use a skill on someone, you must use it, in character. If you can't, then tough.
In line with that, I wil seldom ask for Int, Wis, Cha checks and the like. I will assume you have picked a stat you can RP, and are RPing at that level.
Human. And, well, human. Carolis is a very racist place, and being anything other than human is a Bad Idea. Lycanthropes, undead, and the like do exist, but are matters of rumour and speculation rather than fact.
Okay, we'll list them in order. Keep in mind that PCs are invariably the exception to the rule, whatever the rule may be. (Some exceptions won't be allowed; talk to the GM.)
Barbarians: Barbarians are rare, unless from the desert. This is because most people who can learn to fight get trained as actual fighters by the Baron of their barony. Barbarians tend to be self-taught and thought of as lesser compared to fighters or rangers. (And how a barbarian manages to get ahold of weapons, let alone learn to use them, is an important part for background if playing one from Carolis proper.) Aside from that, they're just people.
Bards: Bards are among the rare travellers in the world and tend to trade information for information wherever they go and be welcomed almost anywhere. By ancient right, a Bard can sing about anything and not fear reprisals. In practise, this isn't strictly true, of course. Bards rarely do magic, because few bards know they can, and few of those ever pass it on to anyone else. (In other words, most bard spells tend to be subtle things and only work when they're singing, humming, and the like. Playing an instrument counts as the material component for their spells.) Females can become bard, since some young men object to being castrated to preserve their singing voice.
Clerics don't exist.
Druids are uncommon, and most tend to be loners and wandering healers helping the sick and the poor. Most are known for their knowledge of herbs and the natural world and few people know they can work magic. Druids believe in various Elemental spirits they call upon, and also the Rule of 3 (Ever mind the Rule of Three / Three times what thou givest returns to thee / This lesson well, thou must learn / Thee only gets what thou dost earn!). This means druids are more likely to do good than evil, and they believe that the world itself is alive, and aware of them and grants them their powers. As far as in known, no druid does sacred dances to the moon sky-clad.
Fighters are common, and trained by the Baron himself, or by his loyal knights. Most villages have 1 or more knights living in them. Fighters are generally obliged to their baron for weapons and armour and earn it back by becoming nights, or fighting in feuds or doing favours for the Baron. All fighters are male; teaching females how to is considered stupid and a waste of time. (Not that they can't fight, but that their energies are better put elsewhere.)
Monks are considered another kind of fighter, and trained accordingly. They're less common than regular fighters, and their use of hands over weapons is generally laughed at, up until you're alone with one, both unarmed, and being attacked. Most Barons have at least 3 monks in their Barony, and their train new ones, and general fighting techniques, to any man interested.
Paladins don't exist either.
Rangers are considered scouts and trackers, for the most part, and are trained by other rangers who notice their interest in tracks and following others. (Most rangers replace species enemy with another Barony due to the lack of other species around.)
Rogues are very common, and accept females. (They get out of crimes easier, sometimes.)
Sorcerers are fairly rare. Magic is inborn for them and usually manifests during a moment of stress for the first time, causing a lot of weirdness to ensue. As wizards guard their secrets jealously, sorcerers rarely learn what components can be used for their spells. On the plus side, sorcerers can use HP for material components (1 per level of the spell; HP spent for spells returns in an hour, unless one is dead. (The rumours that is does return and makes sorcerers undead is just a rumour, of course). They also get d6 for HP and don't have to choose what spells to cast each day. Most people hate and fear them.
Wizards are almost always the children of nobility (bastards are common). They're loyal to their family, and the Dukedom they're under, and the Academy. This is a large mansion with "rooms" in most large baronies and all cities. Wizards seldom ever multi-class and most spend their lives trying to make permanent magical items like legends claim are possible and learning new magic. Few wizards really pay much attention to politics since their goals are magical power, not temporal power. A few wizards travel, but they are very rare, and one needs to return to the Academy to learn new spells. In other words, a wizards spellbook will contain a certain number of spells, only up to the level they could cast when they left to travel. Levelling means nothing spells wise (well, excepting being able to learn more of the spells in your current spellbook) until you go to the Academy to be tested for your new aptitude. Wizards only know their capacity to hold spells increases when they know they're "out" but try another spell and it works.
Multi-classing is possible, but only with DM permission.
If you want more details on any of the classes, ask me and I'll do a quick write up or explain in msg. For example, if no one wants to be a druid, I'm not going to spend the time writing them up. (I call this the Ios Lesson :p)
Hah. None. None at all. Basic clothing, food and the like is free, and assumed. Weapons, armour, thief picks, and the like must be explained in the PCs background, or be "owed" to the local Baron. (The latter is the most common method, and buying off weapons and armour and the like is generally only the cost of a few favours or small quest.) Wizards, of course, have their supplies paid for by their family.
The other method is having a father or mother of the class, and getting their things now that they've settled down for a home life (or after they died).
Note: This isn't meant to make PCs suck. It's a simple reality of living in a barter system. You don't have money, per se, for the most part. (Keep track of unspent "gold" though; this will be assumed as favours others owe you, or you can trade in on. Trading favours with other people is quite common).
As the PCs are going to travel, finding a way to get ahold of real coin is a necessity, pretty much. The local Barons will have some, of course.
As usual, this is mandatory. The more detail given, the better I can work your PC into meta--plots, the world, and the like. The less given, the more of your background and past I will invent. Consider yourself warned :)
Any comments or questions should be msged or memoed to me. If need be, I'll add or clarify things.