It is an Age of Change
The continent of Lavra has, for the entirety of its written history, been mostly dominated by the strength of the Saurian empire born from its western coast called Isruntia that soon dominated the entire coast and had established a strong foothold deep into the continent. A tense peace had been established between Isruntia and the Romians to the north, the Vungics of the East, and the Turchians of the Southeast.
This peace was fairly recently broken 45 years ago after a team of 6 adventurers, now called the Legends, destroyed the apex of Isruntian power in the central foothills and mountains of Lavra and founded a new society in the center of the continent, the League of Kendall. In a perpetual state of war between Kendall and Isruntia, the other societies in Lavra now deal with the ramifications of a more-weakened, but still dominating Isruntian empire and the formation of a new civilization at all of their borders.
The world is a state of uncertainty, and that uncertainty will only grow as the gods, both major and minor, have their own agendas, and powerful institutions take advantage of the uncertainty to try to form the world in their image.
You, the Players
You are a 15th-level adventurer who, for one reason or another, has found themselves in the Sultanate, with details on exactly where and how to be hashed out when we discuss your character.
The current party composition: Great Old One Blade Pact Warlock 15, Master of Arms Fighter 15, Dreams Druid 14/Knowledge Cleric 1, Jotun Runekeeper 15.
Races, Cultures, and Nations
If you are native to Isruntia, you are probably either a human, yuan-ti pureblood. Other races exist here in small concentrations, especially other lizardlike races. Yuan-ti will have a natural affinity for the state of Isruntia and Saurian culture, which values the comfort of natural hierarchy.
If you are native to what is now the League of Kendall territory, you’ll be very comfortable living in rolling foothills and steep slopes, and this area is home mostly to humans, gnomes, halflings, and kor, although most races can be found here. You will have grown up in an individualistic culture.
If you are native to the Ehirbyan Sultanate, you are probably a human or another magic-shapen race, like Genasi, Aetherborn, Khenra, Kalashtar, or Aasimar. Warforged constructs are a fairly common sight here. You will have grown up in a culture that highly values community.
If you are native to the Vungu Khanate, you are probably a human or an elf. Other races that exist here in these vast open plains and grasslands are Leonin, Aarakocra, Gith, Tabaxi, and Loxodon. You come from a competitive culture where fairness is prized above all else.
If you are native to Corsodu, you are in previously Isruntic territory that got separated from Isruntia by Kendall’s formation and then overwhelmed by the latent Romian and Elladan cultures there in a revolution 30 years ago. You are probably a dwarf, human, or a yuan-ti pureblood
If you are native to the Batogardian Federation or Borviari, you come from the cold hills and mountains, tundra, and glaciers, and are probably a human, dwarf, goliath, genasi, or tiefling. You have grown up in an environment of radical honesty and openness.
If you are native to the Duchy of Alheteza, you have lived your whole life on the coast and sea. Your roots have prized adventure and improving oneself, and you are probably human, kenku, dragonborn, or gith. Merfolk and Tortles are not an uncommon sight.
How to say:
Isruntian Empire (Is-run-chi-un)
League of Kendall (Ken-dull)
Republic of Corsodu (Core-so-dew)
Batogardian Federation (Bat-oh-guard-ee-an)
Vungu Khanate (Vun-jew)
Ehirbyan Sultanate (A-err-buy-yan)
Duchy of Alheteza (All-let-eza)
What to Expect
We will be using Roll20 for play and Discord for communication, organization, out-of-session roleplay, and questions.
This will be an inclusive game. No racism/sexism/transphobia will be tolerated outside of the game. There will be a 2-3 hour meeting with me where we'll create and discuss your character, as well as game expectations, and then you'll be jumping straight into a session. Hopefully this will allow everyone to feel comfortable and excited to do sessions!
Player freedom is important, and I will try not to railroad. The difficulty of encounters is going to be high.
Feats and Multiclassing are allowed, but must be justified within the game. Discuss with me if you intend on multiclassing. Some feats may be earned outside of level progression with a certain amount of training.
We will use a square grid.
A homebrewed version of flanking will be used, the details of which are included on the House Rules page.
We will use the EXP system.
When you roll for HP, you may reroll ones. The average value for this is actually the same as taking the average value. It then becomes up to you how much risk you want to take on.
Published Material Used
I intend to borrow from all currently published 5E material. You do not need to own any books to play. When determining what races/classes etc are available to you, consult the balance changes linked under the Balance Changes section.
Creating a Character
When rolling stats for a new character, you must use the point buy method, with the following alterations:
- You have 29 instead of 27 available points
- You can buy a 16 as your maximum purchasable attribute.
I recommend the following website for playing around with point buy: D&D 5e Point Buy Calculator.
To change the rules, go to the 'Custom Rules' tabs, then change the red circled fields in the image below to a 29 and 16 respectively. Make no other changes, then go back to the 'Calculator' tab to get your ability scores.
You may gain a feat at level 1 at the cost of giving up your racial +2 bonus. For example an elf, with their +2/+1 bonus would be able to gain a feat but only gain a +1 to any stat.
You may choose starting equipment listed in the class or choose to do a gold buy option listed in the variant page.
You may use any background in published material except for the backgrounds from Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos. You may also customize one for yourself, picking two skill proficiencies and coming up with an appropriately niche ability to go alongside.
House Rules and Homebrew
We will be using these changes. These are based off of Treantmonk's changes found here, but also contain lots of other changes, comprehensive or small. The GMbinder does not contain all available classes, subclasses, and spells, as some are originally from other creators. To access these options you must be a part of our table, which is when I'll share a google drive with you containing everything. These changes are a revision of most classes/subclasses; pretty much everything has been changed at least a little bit. These changes are intended to bring underpowered setups up to par with the better options available, and to provide new and interesting alternative options for experienced players. Some rules have also been changed. Feats are overhauled entirely.
Some other notable changes to the mechanics of play, not a comprehensive list, not involving classes/feats, etc, are listed below.
Criticals deal the max damage on the die + another roll (so a crit on a 3d10 attack would be 30+3d10)
An attack roll's bonus to hit is determined by taking the difference in the creatures' degrees of freedom. Degrees of freedom are determined through the amount of principal directions a character can move in that are either unoccupied or occupied by friendly creatures. This is conceptualized as the difference in ability to manuever, dodge, weave, and find weaknesses. This only applies to melee combat, ranged attacks do not benefit from this.
- Two creatures are dueling in an open field. Neither can fly, so their degrees of freedom are each 3. Because there is no difference, there are no flanking bonuses.
- One creature is fighting a creature that is backed into a wall. One creature has 3 degrees of freedom while the other has two, so the creature attacking the one backed into the wall gains a +1 to attack rolls.
- One creature that can fly is being surrounded on four sides, but not above, by hostile creatures. The flying creature has 1 degree of freedom, the attacking creatures that can’t fly have 3 degrees of freedom, so the attacking creatures get +2 to attack rolls.
Vulnerability adds damage die same as a crit does in the base game. Ex. Fireball on creature vulnerable to fire does 16d6. Vulnerability to a d8 rapier attack with a 16 Dex would increase from 1d8+3 to 2d8+3.
Advantage/Disadvantage can stack. Each source of advantage represents a +1 on the following table, and each source of disadvantage represents a -1. Getting a zero represents a normal roll. This can apply to attack rolls and saving throws. This system is one that I am playtesting and may change.
|Best of two rolls
|Best of two rolls with +2 to hit, +1 Critical range
|Best of two rolls with +5 to hit, +2 Critical range
|Automatic Hit. Make an attack roll, +4 Critical range.
|Worst of two rolls
|Worst of two rolls with -2 to hit
|Worst of two rolls with -5 to hit
Saving Throws and Ability Checks
|Best of two rolls
|Best of two rolls, +2 to roll
|Best of two rolls, +5 to roll
|Worst of two rolls
|Worst of two rolls, -2 to roll
|Worst of two rolls, -5 to roll
We'll be using a modification to encumbrance rules, where you can carry weight up to 10 times your Strength score with no penalty. If you carry between 10 and 15 times your Strength score, your speed is halved. You cannot carry more than 15 times your strength score in weight.
Each increase in size above medium doubles the amount you can carry by these calculations.
You can learn proficiencies and feat options outside of level progression and class/race abilities. If you spend a cumulative 100 hours in-game practicing or studying a skill or tool, you gain proficiency. If you spend a cumulative 300 hours practicing a feat option, you can gain that feat option. You can gain Expertise in a skill by spending a cumulative 300 hours practicing a skill or tool you have proficiency in.
If a character has a proficiency or feat option, they can mentor another character in that skill, tool, or feat option. They can then combine their cumulative hours, which are given towards the mentee. The mentor can then apply half their mentor hours to either gaining Expertise in the skill/tool or an appropriate feat option. For example, a mentor could mentor a mentee in Arcana for 50 hours to apply a total of 100 hours towards the mentee's skill, while applying 25 hours towards Arcana expertise or maybe the Studied feat option.
Short Rests take 10 minutes, but you can only gain the benefits of a short rest twice before you have to take a long rest. Spells like catnap have been altered accordingly, check the balance changes page for details.
When I remember to give it out, Inspiration can be used for more than just rerolls. It's meant to give you a cool moment; maybe you want your fighter to attempt to make a flurry of attacks to get to a near-dead party member that maybe requires one more attack than the fighter has left? Maybe you're a wild magic sorcerer and you want to reroll the result from the Wild Magic Surge Table? Ask during session, and if it sounds reasonable, I'll probably say yes.
Coming back from the dead is harsh. If you drop to 0 hit points, coming back up results in a level of exhaustion.
Spells that bring creatures back from the dead have been reworked as well, and will not automatically succeed, and involve something of a process. Look at spells like revivify and raise dead in the balance changes document to see how these spells work.
I've found and changed a lot of spells. When you see a spell on the spell list and are adding it to Roll20, check the pages for Spells to see if it is altered at all. A good example is cure wounds, which heals 2d6 + spellcasting mod instead of 1d8 + spellcasting mod. In addition, many cantrips now scale with increasing level when they previously didn't, like in the case of shape water or minor illusion.
You can only help a creature with a skill check if you yourself are at least proficient in the skill.
Two-weapon fighting has been reworked. Instead of using a bonus action, an offhand attack instead is made as part of the Attack action. Check the balance changes PHB rules changes for details.
We will be using the OneDND playtest exhaustion rules, where exhaustion level is just a flat reduction to all ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, etc.