Reins of Darkness

FAQ

Compiled answers to questions received via e-mail and not covered elsewhere

1—Character Creation

  1. Roll 4d6 and take the 3 highest for ability scores. Roll 6 times and assign how you want.
  2. Favored Classes follow the Pathfinder model:
    • The first class a character takes is his favored class, regardless of any specific classes listed in your race entry.
    • You are never penalized for multi-classing.
    • Each level you take in a favored class grants +1 hit point or +1 skill point.
  3. Choose a class, race, feat(s), and skills as normal (see the Main Page for detailed lists of available classes, races, skills, and feats.
    • The Feat list has already been corrected for prerequisites and only lists the relevant version of each feat.
  4. Each character starts with the normal rolled starting gold for their class. If not specified, roll 5d4 x10 gp. Any equipment in any of the allowed books is fair game.
    • Any leftover cash is converted to “value points” (a VP is any trade good worth roughly 1 week of subsistence level food or 1 gp equivalent, but this may be in any form: gems, hacksilver, food, spices, whatever…since the Dark Lord’s government does not mint official currency). Your buying power is the same…
  5. Ponies start with a Heroic Path (from the Midnight Campaign Setting), to make up for their weakness relative to the other races. Non-ponies will gain access to Heroic Paths as a reward for completing quests. Non-pony characters are free to change their Heroic Paths as new ones are made available.

2—Traits, Bonus Feats, etc.

  1. Free Feat! According to Arcana Unearthed all characters start with a bonus Ceremonial or Talent feat, in addition to the normal feats gained by leveling, bonus feats from your race, or bonus feats from your class.
  2. Feat Progression: As in Pathfinder, characters gain 1 feat every odd level (1, 3, 5, etc.)
  3. No Pathfinder Traits. They are not actually part of the Core Rulebook and do not appear in any of the materials we are using.

3—Experience

Screw it.

Experience is the most annoying and disassociated rule in D&D, so lets try something different. Characters level based on completing quests. It is entirely up to them how they complete those quests. No more tracking CRs or ELs for encounters, or worrying if you have the right number of encounters. PCs should feel free to sneak, diplomacize, bypass, or otherwise avoid encounters to their hearts content. Just get the job done and you will be rewarded.

4—Alternative Combat Incentive

Quothe PFairfield – “The PCs should be rewarded for kicking a$$.”

Many of the combat encounters in this game will be above the PCs level (as figured in traditional 3.0+ versions of D&D). Like older (2e or earlier) versions of D&D, death should be an expected result from getting in a fight. That said, if you do succeed, good for you.

While all encounters may have the normal treasure drops (i.e. any gear the opponents had), any encounter where the PCs win against overwhelming odds (i.e. route an army of orcs that had them outnumbered 10-to-1 when the battle started) will result in each PC getting to roll once on the GIANT RANDOM MAGIC ITEM TABLES in volume 4 of the Encyclopedia Magica. It is up to the GM what qualifies as “overwhelming odds” and this rule hopefully won’t come into play more than once per level (though awesome PCs are free to prove me wrong.

Hey, rolling multiple d1000s is just more fun right?

5-Other Rewards: Hero Points

In addition to treasure, levels, and heroic paths, characters may also earn Hero Points.

Sometimes, a character commits a selfless act or a brave deed that one can only call “heroic.” In such a case, the DM should award the character a hero point. A witch that jumps down into a pit full of vipers to heal a dying friend, even though he knows he’ll take damage from the fall and risks death from the snake’s venom, is a real hero. Hero points are a reward for that kind of valiant action. Hero points can be used at the player’s discretion to perform amazing—often otherwise impossible—actions.

The most important thing to remember about hero points is that awarding them to PCs, or not awarding them, is totally up to the DM. Some characters may never earn even a single hero point, while others, over the course of the campaign, may earn many. The DM is encouraged to be parsimonious with them.

Characters with the Born Hero talent (see Chapter Five) should, if they act at all appropriately, earn at least 1 hero point per level. Still, the exact rewards are up to the DM. A character should never earn a hero point performing an action in which he uses a hero point.

6-Truenames

Several of the books we are using have options related to the use of Truenames. Clarifications on those interactions will be added here as needed.

  1. Characters that take a bonus Talent feat at 1st level (rather than a bonus Ceremonial feat) are “Unbound” or “unnamed”. These characters have no Truename. They are immune to Truename magic (both beneficial and harmful) and may never take Ceremonial feats. Attempts to learn the Truename of these characters automatically fails.
  2. Truenames can be learned according to the rules in the Tome of Magic, or through use of the 6th-level spell Learn Truename from Arcana Unearthed.
  3. Characters (other than Truenamers) do not automatically know their own Truename.

7-Races

  1. Erenlanders get 8 extra skill points at 1st level and 2 extra skill points per level thereafter. Yes, that’s right 8 extra skill points at 1st level.
  2. Erenlanders also get 1 rank in a Craft or Profession skill of their choice, and that skill is a class skill (rather than 4 extra ranks in the skill).
  3. Yes, the races in the Midnight Campaign Setting are 2x as powerful as those appearing elsewhere.
    • Simple fix: Double all numerical bonuses—stat bonuses, skill bonuses, combat bonuses, etc. (excluding size bonuses) and double the number of uses per day of any spell-like abilities for all races appearing in Arcana Unearthed.
    • Ponies gain 2 secondary hoof attacks as natural weapons and have their choice of any Heroic Path at the beginning of their careers.

8—Creating Characters Above 1st level

  1. As above. Roll starting cash for each level (i.e. a 2nd level Witch starts with 10d4 x10 gp). You are free to purchase magic items from the available sources at the listed prices.
    • The party should acquire more then enough magic items left over from the old societies and the servants of the dark to support and equip new characters as they come in.

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