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Ghostwalk: Heroics by Torchlight

The Great Wheel turns…

On a World known as Oerth, in a land known as the Flanaess, a new age is about to begin. An age of unexpected changes, and unlikely heroes. An age of Men, and Elves, and Dwarves, who seize moments of glory. An age of heroes so great and villains so terrible, that the Gods themselves must take notice. An age of Orcs, and Goblins and Monsters, who rip each day from life’s teeth. An age in which the forsaken rise to power, and found an empire whose strength would shake the very foundations of the world.

In a time of uncertain allies, and dangerous enemies, the time to forge new legends is at hand.

Greyhawk

The Way of Things

This campaign emphasizes the themes of War, Politics, Survival, and High Adventure. I like to keep the action fast paced and just a little over the top. I like my stories, both personal and provincial, to be epic yet still believable. I like to challenge my players, and I love when my players challenge me back. So, when you come to my table, I ask you to ignite your imagination and bring your best. I always do.

Fantasy is a nearly all inclusive genre, and this is part of it’s charm, but “anything goes” games strain not only the suspension of disbelief, but also the hardworking DM. There are simply too many D&D rule books in publication to realistically allow them all into any one game. It’s only for these reasons, logistics and verisimilitude, that I limit the books from which my players may draw material to build their characters.

The following books fit into the central themes of this campaign, and may be referenced freely when creating or leveling a character in this campaign:

  • Player’s Handbook v3.5
  • Arms & Equipment Guide
  • Hero Builder’s Guidebook
  • Sword & Fist
  • Tome & Blood
  • Song & Silence
  • Defenders of the Faith
  • Masters of the Wild
  • Races of Destiny
  • Races of Stone
  • Races of the Wild

In addition to the books above, the following books may be referenced freely for detailing any land, keeps, cohorts, henchmen or other holdings or followers characters may acquire during the progress of this campaign:

  • Stronghold Builder’s Guidebook
  • Enemies & Allies
  • Savage Species
  • Greyhawk Gazetteer

Many of the books on this list are from the 3.0 rules, or early 3.5. It’s my opinion that the earlier 3rd edition books were better written, and the rules show evidence of having actually been play tested before being published. That said, I’m a firm believer in the “House Rule,” and I like to say “Yes” to my players as often as possible, so long as doing so doesn’t disrupt the fun of the game. If there’s a feat, spell, item or prestige class from a book not on this list that you simply MUST have to complete your character we can probably negotiate.

Courwood

Getting Started

I dislike standard arrays, but understand they expedite the character creation process. Players may choose to use the following array to create their characters: 16, 15, 13, 12, 10, 9. Players wishing to roll attributes randomly may do so, but only in my presence.

The bright lands

House Rules

Naturally, a few house rules will already be in play at the onset of the campaign. I try to limit these changes to what I believe are essential for maintaining the fun, or the theme of the campaign. Keep these rules in mind when creating and playing your characters.

Character Creation House Rules

I like to run a heroic campaign, so there are a few house rules for creating characters that will toughen them up for the trails ahead.

  1. If you are rolling your character’s attributes, roll 4d6 for attributes, as normal. Discard the lowest roll and total the remaining three numbers, as normal. When you have all 6 scores, you may opt to reroll ONE of those scores. You MUST keep the reroll, even if it is lower than your original roll. Assign your scores as desired.
  1. A 1st level character receives a maximum hit die worth of Hit Points and adds his/her Constitution score to their starting Hit Points, rather than applying their Constitution modifier. They may do this again upon reaching 10th, 20th and 30th character level. At any other level, they roll normally for hit points and factor their Constitution modifier.
  1. All characters start with maximum gold for their class. All characters begin play with one outfit, one weapon, and one of the following pieces of gear free of charge: A suit of light armor, a Mule, a familiar (Sorcerers and Wizards only), a masterwork holy symbol, a masterwork musical instrument, or a potion of Cure Light Wounds.

Racial House Rules

Many of the races have been altered to fit the themes of the campaign. Most of these changes are slight, but some of the races have changed substantially. Read carefully to spot the differences. In the case of Dwarves and Humans, no changes have been made, but their racial descriptions are here for the sake of completeness.

  • Common Races
  • Humans
    •Medium: As Medium creatures, humans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    •Human base land speed is 30 feet.
    •1 extra feat at 1st level.
    •4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level.
    •Automatic Language: Common. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Speak Language skill.
    •Favored Class: Any.
  • Dwarves
    •+ 2 Constitution, – 2 Charisma.
    •Medium: As Medium creatures, dwarves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    •Dwarf base land speed is 20 feet. However, dwarves can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).
    •Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and dwarves can function just fine with no light at all.
    •Stonecunning: This ability grants a dwarf a + 2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn’t stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a dwarf can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A dwarf can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up.
    •Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves may treat dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgroshes as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
    •Stability: A dwarf gains a + 4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
    •+ 2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.
    •+ 1 racial bonus on attack rolls against orcs and goblinoids.
    •+ 4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal.
    •Automatic Languages: Common and Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon.
    •Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass dwarf’s fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing
  • Elves
    •+ 2 Dexterity, – 2 Constitution.
    •Medium: As Medium creatures, elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    •Elf base land speed is 30 feet.
    •Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a + 2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects.
    •Low-Light Vision: An elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    •Weapon Proficiency: Elves receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for the longsword, shortsword, longbow (including composite longbow), and shortbow (including composite shortbow) as bonus feats.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. An elf who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it.
    •+ 1 racial bonus on attack rolls with bows and swords.
    •Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Sylvan.
    •Favored Class: Ranger. A multiclass elf’s Ranger class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing
  • Gnomes
    •+ 2 Constitution, – 2 Strength.
    •Small: As a Small creature, a gnome gains a + 1 size bonus to Armor Class, a + 1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a + 4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
    •Gnome base land speed is 20 feet.
    •Low-Light Vision: A gnome can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    •Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes may treat gnome hooked hammers as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions.
    •Add + 1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusion spells cast by gnomes. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects.
    •+ 1 racial bonus on attack rolls against kobolds and goblinoids.
    •+ 4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on Listen checks.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on Craft (alchemy) checks.
    •Automatic Languages: Common and Gnome. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, and Orc. In addition, a gnome can speak with a burrowing mammal (a badger, fox, rabbit, or the like, see below). This ability is innate to gnomes. See the speak with animals spell description.
    •Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—speak with animals (burrowing mammal only, duration 1 minute). A gnome with a Charisma score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation. Caster level 1st; save DC 10 + gnome’s Cha modifier + spell level.
    •Favored Class: Sorcerer. A multiclass gnome’s Wizard class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty.
  • Halflings
    •+ 2 Dexterity, – 2 Strength.
    •Small: As a Small creature, a halfling gains a + 1 size bonus to Armor Class, a + 1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a + 4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
    •Halfling base land speed is 20 feet.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, Move Silently and Tumble checks.
    •+ 1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
    •+ 2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear: This bonus stacks with the halfling’s + 1 bonus on saving throws in general.
    •+ 1 racial bonus on attack rolls with thrown weapons and slings.
    •Automatic Languages: Common and Halfling. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, and Orc.
    •Favored Class: Bard. A multiclass Halfling’s Bard class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing
  • Half-Elves
    + + 1 Dex,, – 1 Con
    •Medium: As Medium creatures, half-elves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    •Half-elf base land speed is 30 feet.
    •Immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects, and a + 2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.
    •Low-Light Vision: A half-elf can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    •+ 1 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks.
    •Elven Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-elf is considered an elf.
    •Automatic Languages: Common and Elven. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic).
    •Favored Class: Ranger and Any other. When determining whether a multiclass half-elf takes an experience point penalty, her Ranger class levels, and the level of her highest-level class do not count.
  • Half-Orcs
    + 2 Strength, – 2 Intelligence, – 2 Charisma.
    A half-orc’s starting Intelligence score is always at least 3. If this adjustment would lower the character’s score to 1 or 2, his score is nevertheless 3.
    •Medium: As Medium creatures, half-orcs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    •Half-orc base land speed is 30 feet.
    •Darkvision: Half-orcs (and orcs) can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and half-orcs can function just fine with no light at all.
    •+ 1 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, and Swim checks.
    •+ 2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks.
    •Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-orc is considered an orc.
    •Automatic Languages: Common and Orc. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, and Abyssal.
    •Favored Class: Barbarian and Any other. When determining whether a multiclass half-orc takes an experience point penalty, her Barbarian class levels, and the level of her highest-level class do not count.

The_Midnight_Court.jpg

Alternative Allowable Races

  • Planetouched Races
  • Aasimars
    Aasimar characters possess the following racial traits.
    •+ 2 Wisdom, + 2 Charisma.
    •Medium size.
    •An aasimar’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    •Darkvision: Aasimars can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
    •Racial Skills: Aasimars have a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks.
    •Racial Feats: An aasimar gains feats according to its class levels.
    •Special Attacks (Sp): An aasimar can use Bless once per day as a 1st-level caster or a caster of his class levels, whichever is higher.
    •Special Qualities: Resistance to cold 5 and electricity 5.
    •Automatic Languages: Common, Celestial. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Sylvan.
    •Favored Class: Cleric. A multiclass Aasimar’s Cleric class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing
  • Tieflings
    Tiefling characters possess the following racial traits.
    •+ 2 Intelligence, + 2 Charisma.
    •Medium size.
    •A tiefling’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    •Darkvision out to 60 feet.
    •Racial Skills: Tieflings have a + 2 racial bonus on Bluff and Intimidate checks.
    •Racial Feats: A tiefling gains feats according to its class levels.
    •Special Attacks (Sp): A tiefling can use Bane once per day as a 1st-level caster or a caster of his class levels, whichever is higher.
    •Special Qualities: Resistance to cold 5 and fire 5.
    •Automatic Languages: Common, Infernal. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Orc.
    •Favored Class: Sorcerer. A multiclass Tieflings Sorcerer class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing

Class House Rules

  • Barbarian
    Barbarian’s receive the Dodge feat for free at 1st level.
  • Bard
    Bards receive the Skill Focus: Perform Feat for free at 1st level.
  • Cleric
    Clerics receive the Skill Focus: Religion Feat for free at 1st level.
  • Druid
    Druids receive the Skill Focus: Handle Animal Feat for free at 1st level.
  • Fighter
    Fighters receive the Toughness Feat for free at 1st level.
  • Monk
    Monks receive the Run Feat for free at 1st level.
  • Paladin
    Paladin’s receive the Mounted Combat Feat for free at 1st level.
  • Ranger
    Rangers receive the Skill Focus: Survival for free at 1st level.
  • Rogue
    Rogues receive the Dodge feat for free at 1st level.
  • Sorcerer
    Sorcerer’s receive the Eschew Materials Feat for free at 1st level.
  • Wizard
    Wizards receive the Spell Mastery Feat for free at 1st level.

Other House Rules

  • Variant Classes
    Multi-classing is a useful tool for creating a character more versatile than your average adventurer. It can also help to bring a character in line with our vision of what they should be like, in the event that a single class does not encompass all the abilities we imagine that character should have. Multi-classing has its limits however, and sometimes it’s inefficient or even impossible to achieve the desired character by using character classes as they are printed. This is why I allow players to tweak existing character classes and create custom variant classes. The purpose of this house rule is not to allow exploitative ability combinations or simply to allow a single class to behave as a multi-class and circumvent experience point penalties. Only if multi-classing cannot achieve the desired result is this variant allowed, and I, the DM, always have final say over what custom classes are ultimately allowed.

Variant Classes

A few examples of approved variant classes follow.

Warlord (Barbarian Variant)
Battle Cry: Once per encounter a Warlord may utter an inspiring battle cry. Allies who can hear the Warlord (including himself) gain +10 feet of movement speed for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s Charisma modifier. This is a mind affecting ability. – This Ability Replaces Fast Movement

Defensive Stance: +2 Strength, +4 Constitution, +2 morale bonus on all saves, +4 dodge bonus to AC. Defensive stances for 3 rounds plus the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. – This Ability Replaces Rage

Commanding Presence: Allies within 15 feet of the Warlord receive a +1 morale bonus to initiative. This bonus increases by +1 every 3 class levels. The range of this ability increases by 5 feet every class level. Commanding Presence is a mind-affecting ability. – This Ability Replaces Trap Sense

Witchblade (Bard Variant)
Blade Magic: Once per day per Witchblade level, a Witchblade can use his Blade Magic to produce magical affects on those around him. – This Ability Replaces Bardic Music

  • Disbelief: Intimidate check to save vs illusions, patterns, or glamours.
  • Mesmerize: Exactly as Fascinate, but vision based
  • Incite Cowardice: -1 vs charm & fear, -1 on attack and damage rolls
  • Incite Fear: as Fear spell
  • Histeria: As Confusion but non-verbal.
  • Incite Terror: 2d10 subdual damage, -2 on attack rolls, -1 on Will saves
  • Sever Spells: as break enchantment
  • Incite Horror: -4 on saving throws, and -4 to AC.
  • Mass Histeria: As Confusion except affects 1 creature/level within 30 feet of eachother.

Forbidden Knowledge: This ability functions exactly as the Bardic Knowledge ability, except it only applies to Arcane or Combat related subjects such as: spells, weapons, magic items, the planes, religion, wizard schools, famous spell casters or warriors, outsiders, magical beasts, dragons, fighting styles, knighthoods, & wars. No mundane or general knowledge outside of the realms of magic or combat may be discovered by the use of this ability.

Warlord (Barbarian Variant)
Battle Cry: Once per encounter a Warlord may utter an inspiring battle cry. Allies who can hear the Warlord (including himself) gain +10 feet of movement speed for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s Charisma modifier. This is a mind affecting ability. – This Ability Replaces Fast Movement

Defensive Stance: +2 Strength, +4 Constitution, +2 morale bonus on all saves, +4 dodge bonus to AC. Defensive stances for 3 rounds plus the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. – This Ability Replaces Rage

Commanding Presence: Allies within 15 feet of the Warlord receive a +1 morale bonus to initiative. This bonus increases by +1 every 3 class levels. The range of this ability increases by 5 feet every class level. Commanding Presence is a mind-affecting ability. – This Ability Replaces Trap Sense

Witchblade (Bard Variant)
Blade Magic: Once per day per Witchblade level, a Witchblade can use his Blade Magic to produce magical affects on those around him. – This Ability Replaces Bardic Music

  • Disbelief: Intimidate check to save vs illusions, patterns, or glamours.
  • Mesmerize: Exactly as Fascinate, but vision based
  • Incite Cowardice: -1 vs charm & fear, -1 on attack and damage rolls
  • Incite Fear: as Fear spell
  • Histeria: As Confusion but non-verbal.
  • Incite Terror: 2d10 subdual damage, -2 on attack rolls, -1 on Will saves
  • Sever Spells: as break enchantment
  • Incite Horror: -4 on saving throws, and -4 to AC.
  • Mass Histeria: As Confusion except affects 1 creature/level within 30 feet of eachother.

Forbidden Knowledge: This ability functions exactly as the Bardic Knowledge ability, except it only applies to Arcane or Combat related subjects such as: spells, weapons, magic items, the planes, religion, wizard schools, famous spell casters or warriors, outsiders, magical beasts, dragons, fighting styles, knighthoods, & wars. No mundane or general knowledge outside of the realms of magic or combat may be discovered by the use of this ability.

Warlock (Cleric Variant)
Blood Pact
Diabolic Tutor

Witch (Druid Variant)
Magical Beast Totem
Fey Shape

Mentalist(Monk Variant)
Killing Thought (telekinetic unarmed strike)

Warden (Paladin Variant)
Animal Companion
Balancing Aura
Smite Aberrations
Detect Magic
Dispel Magic
Ranger Spells

Inquisitor (Ranger Variant)
Enemy of the Faith
Immortal Technique (Cloak & Dagger or Double Cross [two cross bows])
Mount
Paladin Spells

Anytime a Rogue gains the sneak attack ability, he may choose to gain only 1 extra point of damage on a sneak attack and one of the following feats instead: Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Diligent, Investigator, Negotiator, Nimble Fingers, Persuasive, or Stealthy.

Dungeons & Dragons: Ghostwalk