Sunday, August 24, 2008

Shards of the Malachite Throne II

The Cassandrian Campaign

The following will be a varied assortment of house-rules, tweaks, and general set-up for the next AD&D game I run. Proceed, worthy reader, at your own risk...

Set in and among the battered successor states of the once-mighty Cassandrian Empire and its dark rival, the Satrapies of Pyrithia. Whilst the Cassandrian states are a motley collection of sometimes warring kingdoms, most of Pyrithia has been consumed by some terrible magic unleashed in the last days of conflict, leaving behind only the Smoking Plains and the sinister Theocracy of Suthrek, whose vile sorcerer-priests scheme endlessly to gain dominion over the world.

Classes will consist of the following classes and sub-classes:

Barbarian (revised)
Cavalier (revised)

CLERIC (revised)
Ecclesiast (new)
Shaman (new

Illusionist (revised)
Necromancer (new)

Assassin (revised)
Monk (revised)
Rake (new)

Those classes left un-noted remain the same as presented in the First Edition PHB, those noted as revised will have several alterations made from their official descriptions which I will detail in further installments, those noted as new are of mine own make and will be presented in their entirety in the future. For now, it is sufficient to say that the barbarian and cavalier will be strongly revised from their UA appearances, the cleric will have slightly lesser spell-casting prowess, more akin to that of the BECMI cleric, the ecclesiast is a less combat, more spell-casting oriented version of the cleric, the shaman is a tribal spell-caster, capable of both cures and curses and knowledgeable in the ways of the wild, the illusionist will see revisions in the types and kinds of magical items they might use and be overall lifted to the more valued level that their harsh entry requirements would seem to indicate, the necromancer is normally a wicked sort of magic-user, given to the raising of the dead, either to extort some secret knowledge or to command their rotting corpses to fight on his behalf, the assassin will see certain tweaks of a yet undefined nature, the monk will receive a full overhaul, again making its worth more in line with its prerequisites, and the rake is a minor spell-caster, chiefly of the enchantment and divinatory nature, confidence trickster and opportunist.

Standard PC races are: human, elf, dwarf, half elf, half orc, and penguin (found in Fight On!, issue 2).

Optional PC races are: half dwarf (more commonly known as 'derro') and orc, but due to these races foul habits and dire reputations, they should not normally be allowed. However, some players enjoy the unusual and enjoyment can be had even when the odds are stacked heavily against the PC.

Humans are found throughout the successor states and provide the bulk of the population. Those hailing from Suthrek will be of paler skin and more inclined to partake of the sorcerous arts.

Elves are found scattered in small, tribal, bands on the multiplicity of islands that comprise the Isles of Jade, directly south of the bulk of the successor states.

Half elves are typically found in the port cities of humanity, but some dwell in the tribes of their elven parent.

Dwarves once toiled in the mighty Norholt Mountains, but the devastaions that created the Smoking Plains afflicted the proud dwarven workshops as well. Earthquake and poisonous vapours - vapours that even affected the stout dwarves - levelled workshop after workshop, causing the dwarven people to flee to the lesser, but more stable, Elcanthran Peaks.

Half orcs are a questionable assortment of dubious characters. No one origin can detail their spawning and, in many cases, it is best not to ask...

Penguins are a chaotic race of waterfowl tricksters, included mainly because it amuses me, but partially because, having once read of them, it was impossible not to use them.

Next time: Weapon proficiencies, their care and feeding. Also multi-classing, racial traits, and the like.

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