Sunday, February 28, 2010

Campaign Reference Notes


Allen of Meglan, Althus Ungrin, Armon Bistle, Barlow Greeley, Culaine (The One Tree), Dernhelm, Faren Goth, Fotzel and Titsel Rosen, Gnarlpaw, Inrikh, Kalen the Deathless, Lothere Maldread, Maukh, Melena (Lolth), Melian, Donald Millford, Pogo Proudfoot, Saloth Sar, Saully Vinkle, Silazar, Sildrach (the Leviathan), Jack Sparrow, Titania, Tom O'Daele, Urthel (Necrotil), Vatar


Deepwood, Dismal Gulch, Fallcrest, Gardmore Abbey, Loudwater, Sarem Dale, Ozimar's Dell, Zurich


Alethiometer (The Heart of the Sea), Black Sword, Circlet, Spire of Palastor, Dragon Book, Gnarlpaw's Fang, High Cleric's Diary, Motherfucker (Dwarven Axe), Shifting Tower


Champions of Fallcrest, Celestines, Conspiracy Beneath


Dernhelm (aka Allen of Meglan, Kallen the Deathless, and Jack Sparrow): The Raven King, King of Spades, Last of the Firstborn, Lord of Fenberis. The name Dernhelm means "Hidden Guardian"; he was supposed to be awakened at the first sign of any Celestial activity on Ao, but for some reason came back without his memory, and awakened only because someone tried to destroy his Kalen/Sparrow avatar. The names Allen and Kallen are both derived from the name of his kingdom of long ago, Callenmore. Elphaba, Rose and Tom O'Daele are all his children. There is another daughter, Snow, who may still be asleep somewhere. Of all the Celestines, Dernhelm has the smallest domain, which extends only as far as the tip of his sword, but within this he is supreme.

Althus Ungrin: Cleric of Kelemvor in the town of Loudwater.

Armon Bistle: Con man, thief, murderer, originally named Aerthan Brindle. Brindle defrauded and robbed the noble family of Tarathir, descended from Corman Tarathir, and adventurer of considerable renown. He obtained Gnarlpaw's Fang from the elderly druid Anthril Riktan, who guarded it and a cave sacred to the druids north of the High Forest. The location of the cave is detailed in his diary, along with his nefarious deeds and the exploitation of the lupine shape-shifters of Deepwood on the western border of the High Wood.

Faren Goth: A retired mage and sage, friend to the Fallcrest Champions, Tom O'Daele, the late Barlow Greeley, and the notorious Jack Sparrow. Goth has a mild case of Tangoor's Syndrome, caused by a spell that failed and partially melted his hand, which he uses to feel the Weave.

Barlow Greeley: Retired gnomish wizard and friend of Saully Vinkle, he had set up shop in the town of Ozimar's Dell, where he died about five years ago. Saully asked the party to investigate the town, because he found that his friend had taken a mysterious change for the worse, and the town gave him the creeps.

Culaine (The One Tree): Shapeshifter, Treelord, King of Diamonds. Second of the Firstborn, Culaine was born human, but was a shape shifter. A normal man in his early years, he set out into the wild and tried different forms, and eventually forgot his human past, becoming wilder and stranger. Asa shape shifter he was able to breed with many different species: producing offspring that were plants, humans, demi-humans, animal hybrids, werewolves, etc. Culaine has settled permanently into the form of the great tree, but some believe that his consciousness has spread to nearly every plant and wild creature in the world.

Fotzel and Titsel Rosen (Gepetto's parents): Fotzel is a low level gnome illusionist and scribe in the town of Zurich, to the southwest of the High Forest. He is a good friend of Saully Vinkle, a mid level gnomish wizard and sage, also in Zurich.

Gnarlpaw: A legendary lupine shape-shifter, whose fang the party now possesses. Gnarlpaw is considered by the druids to be a totem creature. Gnarlpaw is reputed to be the son of the Great Wolf, sometimes known as the Fenris Wolf, or, in children's tales, the Big Bad Wolf. Legend has it that the Big Bad Wolf still wanders the Spine of the World.

Kalen the Deathless (Dernhelm): A legendary master assassin of Calimport appearing some 35 years ago, mentioned in Saloth Sar's journal, said to carry a dagger called Raven's Claw (Allen of Meglan carries a dagger with the same name.) Apparently he disappeared some time ago, but the Assassin's Guild known as the Black Hand in Calimport believes he might be travelling as Jack Sparrow. Kalen is also said to be immune to the Black Bile, a 'moral poison' used by elite assassins dedicated the the death cult of Vatar.

span style="font-weight: bold;">Inrikh: The Prime Magus, Grand Master of Energies, King of Clubs, Fourth of the Firstborn. Inrikh invented all of the forms of magic than can be used by ordinary mortals, including the system of phrases and rotes for spell magic. Prior to Inrikh's inventions, magic was too dangerous and unpredictable to be used by any other than the Celestines. Even the gods rely on methods he discovered. The one notable exception to this is healing magic: although he extended existing methods, there is still little in the way of rote magic for this.

Lothere Maldread: An ambitious and treacherous nobleman who attained the position of Baron of Caenmore by murdering Darkstar's family. Darkstar escaped death only because Tom O'Daele, Darkstar's bard mentor, spotted Lothere's men loitering and laughing at the entrance of the family castle and dragged Darkstar away, realizing that it was already too late. It was O'Daele who spirited Darkstar out of the village of Whispering Heath and eventually to Fallcrest, joining up with Jebbedo and Jamkul on the way.

Maukh: Rogue Celestine, now extinct, At the instant Melian created the Circlet which powers the weave, Maukh was able to bind himself to it. The first three ages of magic (the Age of Monsters, the brief Age of Exile, and the Age of the Malifye Wars) were dominated by attempts to break this link drive out or destroy Maukh. Maukh is responsible for the creation of the Drow, Urthel's transformation into Necrotil, the presence of Vatar on Toril, and the existence of many of the evil creatures, entities, and planes. Banished by Melian at the end of the First Age, Maukh was able to establish partial control over Thangodin, the wielder of the Circlet, at the end of the Age of the Malifye Wars, but this proved to be a trap; Thangodin, a construct of war, expelled him in emobdied but limited form, and he was felled and destroyed by the Black Sword, and the Circlet was cleansed. Still, much of what followed in the history of Toril was set in motion by Maukh.

Melena (Lolth): Daughter of Titania, Mother of the Drow, Queen of Spades. Melena was kidnapped by Maukh when she was still a young girl. The kidnapping was covered up by creating a dead simulacrum, so that Melena was believed to have been killed by maraunding giants. Hidden in the Underdark and concealed with powerful magic from all divination, Melena was used as a brood mare by the Sectiva, with the purpose of creating immortal offspring which the Sectiva themselves could then possess. Melena's offspring were know as the Malifye, who inherited from the Sectiva their pale white skin, extreme allergy to sunlight, and a predilection for paranoid psychosis. Melena's character as Lolth, the God of the Malifye, was forced upon her by the character of the Malifye themselves during the first centuries after their appearance--and as Maukh's lieutenants in the destruction of Minbar, they became the epitome of evil. During the first three ages, D'Row was the Malifye term for those who blackend their skin with dyes of tatoos to survive exposure to the sun. It was only in the last century of the Fifth Age that all Malifye became known as Drow, when a powerful divine enchantment turned their skin black to prevent them from passing as normal elves. Though but insanity is still fairly common. During the Fourth Age a cure was found for the Malifye madness, and the Melena negotiated a peace with the Five Kingdoms. She returned to life on the surface, married Inrikh, and their offspring are now known as the Sun elves, as they have fair skin, eyes that tend towards blue and violet, and blond hair. The Sun Elves also inherited Inrikh's talent for magic, but the rumour that they share a common ancestry with the Drow has inclined them towards defensiveness and secrecy.

Melian: Mother of the First Born, Queen of Hearts, creator of the Weave and the Divine Order. Melian came to Ao with the Circlet and established the Weave, which ended the Poison Times and permitted both humanity and nature to recover. She established the city of Minbar ("First Home" in the old tongue), the capital of an empire that came to dominate what is now Faerune. Melian's armies defeated the Sectiva, but no one knew that Maukh had taught them how to possess others. When the first Malifye appeared, Melena pleaded for amnesty. But her children were doubly cursed by madness and possession, and they led an army of monsters upon Minbar. After the fall of Minbar, Melian raised the Spire of Palastor, which fixed the planes into their current configuration, established the roles of the gods, and removed herself and Maukh from the world, so that all further conflicts could only be waged by proxy. This permitted the exiles of Minbar to retake most of Faerune and establish the Five Kingdoms in the Third Age, which ended with the death of Maukh and Melian's departure from Faerune.

Donald Millford: First mentioned in Saloth Sar's journal, Donald Millford appears to be a curmudgeon and a wizard of considerable power--he killed all of Saloth Sar's men when they got too close to him. In future Waterdeep, Millford was a lich; killed by undead forces but not willing to give up the fight for the last holding of the living, he perservered against impossible odds, even against death.

Pogo Proudfoot: Semi-retired rogue and member of an epic level adventuring party, Pogo maintains a home in Fallcrest. Pogo made a considerable fortune finding and cracking drow caches in the Underdark--treasure troves hidden by drow nobles for retrieval in case of a sudden reversal of fortune (quite common in drow society). These caches tend to be heavily protected by traps and semi-intelligent defenders, and opening the final trove can take a rogue hours or even days of nerve-racking work. Pogo is not only well connected, but is inclined towards long term strategic planning. As his adventuring years wind to a close, Pogo is shifting his attention to cultivating and mentoring sages, adventurers, and other people in the know.

Saloth Sar: A sectiva--a nomadic spirit which jumped from body to body, and who claimed to be 15,000 years old, originating in the "time of the machines." Saloth Sar is a member of the "Conspiracy Beneath" and has a wide range of alliances, including Lothere Maldread. Saloth Sar mentioned--and hated--the sevilla, whom he claimed were once servants of the sectiva. Amongst the sevilla, the halflings were the farmers, the gnome the technicians, and the dwarves the stone cutters. Saloth Sar called the Alethiometer the "Ace of Diamonds" and suggested that Allen of Meglan was the "King of Spades." His journal is a wealth of information, but is coded and written in shorthand.

Saully Vinkle: Retired wizard and sage in the town of Zurich, his house is a huge library of books of lore. Amongst these was a copy of the Symbology of Auran, which refers to alethiometers, and mentions specifically the Heart of the Sea or Gem Alethiometer, detailing some of its powers and the symbology it uses.

Silazar: A huge ancient gold wyrm whose lair is in the Star Mounts. Silazar collects and sells magical items to bands of adventurers. He accepts new customers only by personal referral, vouched for by people he trusts. His wares are of unusually high quality, and he can often obtain special requests through contacts he has made over the centuries. He can also discern the powers, history, and makers of an item with a brief inspection. He served as one of Bahamut's escorts for almost a thousand years, and has a wide range of knowledges and crafts. If he doesn't know something, he can probably point you to someone who does.

Sildrach (The Leviathan): Wyrm of Adamant, Mother of all Dragonkind, First of the First Born, Queen of Diamonds. Sildrach was the first of Melian's children, and the only one who shared Melian's gift of creating new species of life. Sildrach employed this gift to create a wide variety of dragons under three main types: the Jeweled, the Metallics, and the Irridescents. But as both Melian and Sildrach understood that dragonkind might become a scourge if allowed to become too numerous, Melian proposed and Sildrach accepted the Draconic Code, which established rules of engagement in which mortals might challenge dragons to single combat and slay them. But Tiamat, Queen of the Irridescents, refused the Code, and Melian cursed her and her offspring, weakening them and stripping them of their glowing beauty. Tiamat rebelled, and took upon herself the heads of six of her fallen compatriots, and became the Queen of the evil Chromatics. The Chromatics themselves became a scourge, and though the Code is still in force, few seek to destroy any but Chromatics. Sildrach is so massive that when she walks on land she changes the geography of the world. She is responsible for the sinking of Minbar, which is now her home beneath the ocean.

Jack Sparrow: A pirate who, according to Saloth Sar, has claimed the name of a pirate long dead--a pirate who lived during the time of "the old regime", which alarmed Saloth Sar. According to reports from a guild in Calimport, Sparrow may be Kalen the Deathless, but Sparrow would seem to be too young, as Kalen is at least 60 years old.

Tom O'Daele: Darkstar's bardic mentor, a travelling minstrel who seems to seek out trouble so that he has stories to tell. Usually on the run, often drunk, and always entertaining, O'Daele assembled Darkstar, Jebbedo, and Jamkul and introduced them to Elphaba and Brother Cyril in Fallcrest, where his good friend Pogo Proudfoot lives.

Titania: Mother and Queen of the Elves, Third of the Firstborn, Queen of Clubs. Titania is the mother of all the Elven Gods, including Melena. As there were only humans in the world when she first appeared, the fathers of all her children were human, but all descendants within five generations of Titania are considered pure elves even when only one parent is elven. All direct descendants of Titania who have no other Celestial Blood are Moon or High Elves. Elves who share the blood of Chulain are Wood or Wild Elves, Elves who are also descended from Inrikh are Sun Elves, and those born of the rape of Melena by the Sectiva are Drow. Titania is second only to Inrikh in her command of magic, hence her designation as the Queen of Clubs. She is also sometimes known as the Queen of Dreams because of the elven talent for going without sleep by dreaming while awake (the Drow go mad because they lose their ability to dream as they grow older--a curse of their Sectiva heritage.)

Urthel (Necrotil): Fifth of the Firstborn, King of Hearts, Prime Necromancer. Urthel's designaton of King of Hearts is somewhat questionable; although he was supposed to do for life magic what Inrikh did for the rest of magic, he grew jealous of Inrikh and turned his talent for life magic into a weapon. Indeed, until the Fourth Age, when Inrikh modified the Code of Divinity in order to expand the effects of life magic, healing was considered a branch of necromancy. Urthel's pursuit of necromancy transformed him into a being of pure negative energy and unfathomable evil known as Necrotil. He invented the malevolent practice of seeding--sending undead into peaceful towns to turn the entire populace in to ravening monsters who then spread to neighbouring towns, with intent of producing a blight. Although Necrotil made alliances with certain Drow houses, Lolth opposed him at every turn, fearing that he might make the Malifye into an army of undead. Necrotil was banished to a part of the outer planes so distant that it was expected that it would take him millions, or even billions of years to return. His return at this time is rather suspicious, and it is believed that he was summoned by someone in Toril or the near planes.

Vatar: A Celstine, and a god of a very old cult that has been recently revived. The cult is extremely puritanical and misogynistic. The tower on the island by Fallcrest was once occupied by the cult, who used it as an abbey-prison. It has also seen a revival in Calimshan. However, since Celestines cannot be gods, it remains an open question as to who provides clerics of Vatar their spells--during the Third Age, followers of Vatar had no clerical spells. It now seems likely that these spells are provided by Bane.


A village at the southwest edge of the High Forest, about four hours walk from Zurich. Many of the townsfolk are shapeshifters, who can take werewolf forms but who are not diseased. This is the town where the party fought Armon Bistle and found Gnarlpaw's Fang.

Dismal Gulch: A village (not much more than a camp) of brutal bandits south of the high forest, one day east of Silazar's lair and about ten miles south of Sarem Vale. Saloth Sar's journal listed them as allies, but the village has been wiped out.

Fallcrest: A sleepy rural town, home base to the party and Pogo Proudfoot. It provides the name of Pogo's Party, the Champions of Fallcrest.

Gardmore Abbey: A ruined abbey, beneath which is the crypt where the Company of the Road fought a series of demons trying to claim the Heart of the Sea. The High Priest of the Abbey gave the Heart of the Sea to the Company on the condition that they would keep it safe, and told Brother Cyril that he would be restored as a Paladin when he recovered the Black Sword.

Loudwater: A town placed at the edge of a large waterfall, built by a dwarven architect for elves, Loudwater is quite beautiful but under threat from clerics of Bane in nearby Llorkh. Loudwater is lead by Lord Duncan Fethgar and his wife Kenera. The party also met Althus Ungrin, cleric of Kelemvor, and Brother Cyril gave him enough money to found his own temple.

Sarem Dale: A rural village surrounded by farmsteads peopled by civilized hobgoblins. The hobgoblins here look almost human, and have black skin rather than the common blue-grey skin of feral hobgoblins. The village is hidden by thick hedges of bramble created by the Druids. Saloth Sar mentions the place in his journal, and wonders whether the people there are 'Manakrill'.

Ozimar's Dell: A small town nestled in the hills near Stone Bridge, whose population is comprised of halflings and humans with a few gnomes. This was the base of Saloth Sar, and is the base for Darkstar's followers.

Whispering Heath: A quiet agricultural village to the northwest of the Great Forest, the birth place and family home of Darkstar. The castle here is now occupied by Lothere Maldread, Darkstar's nemesis and murderer of his family.

Zurich A gnomish town of about eight hundred people to the south west of the High Forest. This is Gepetto's home town.


Alethiometer (The Heart of the Sea): So named because it features at its center a large blue saphire. The Heart of the Sea can be used to cast low level spells, act as a material component to higher level spells, create any thaumaturgical or homing circle, and can answer any question posed by someone skillful enough to master its symbols. The Heart of the Sea is mentioned in the book entitled The Symbology of Auran, which provides guidance on its chief powers. These are: 1) minor magical powers engaged by the center dial; 2) the location of people and objects by asking a question; 3) answers to questions, using the center, middle, and third dial in succession, and 4) the creation of thaumaturgical circles, capable of trapping or summoning supernatural creatures, using the dials from outward to innermost in succession. Phrasing questions requires a skill check, rather than guessing using the symbols.

Black Sword: Little is known of this weapon, because although there are many swords that are black, this appears to refer to a single weapon feared even by the gods because it makes the wielder supreme in martial challenges--but no one now living appears to have ever seen it. Donald Millford, a lich in future Waterdeep, told the party that the Black Sword is called Morlachris, and is sometimes known as the Ace of Spades. According to Millford, when used against an avatar, the Black Sword does not merely banish the god or extraplanar being, but slays it outright, everywhere--and phylacteries are of no use against it. He also said that the sword is resistant to scrying, because one of its chief powers is to render the wielder and all nearby allies invisible to scrying.

Dragon Book: The high cleric's diary makes a mention of this book, entitled the Book of the Wyrm of Adamant. The book is reported to mention a horn composed of two parts: a large curved main body as tall as a man, and a small jewelled mouthpiece, as well as many other mythical objects and creatures.

Gnarlpaw's Fang: When activated, this gives the holder the physical powers of Gnarlpaw, a werewolf lord.

High Cleric's Diary: Found by the party in the upper level of Gardmore Abbey, this details the history of the Abbey and the battles fought mainly over two artifacts: The Heart of the Sea and the mouthpiece to the great horn.

Motherfucker (Dwarven Axe): A dwarven heirloom of renown, whose special properties only work in the hands of a dwarf. A Dwarven paladin in Gardmore abbey entrusted the party with this on the condition it be returned to the dwarves. Elphaba's father has taken this to Mithril Hall, and has promised to give credit to the party for its recovery.

Shifting Tower: A tower which appeared in the courtyard at Ozimar's Dell and bore the party to Waterdeep in the future. The tower is octogonal, about 25 feet wide and 60 feet high, but is much larger on the inside. The tower was keyed to the Alethiometer. The party used it to rescue over 1000 people from the future Waterdeep, but on the morning after their return to Ozimar's Dell, the tower had vanished. It seems that the tower may have been sent by someone else, perhaps a powerful ally from some other time.


Champions of Fallcrest: The party to which Pogo Proudfoot belongs. It includes Duke John of Waylan, the paladin, Brother Doriel, the Cleric, Sir Alastair, the rangerl, and Sir Haldane, the wizard. Tom O'Daele sometimes joins as a bard, though he often solos. The party is epic level: Saloth Sar considered them very dangerous. Many of these appear to hold high positions in the court of Waterdeep.

Celestines: Melian and her children (known as the First Born): Sildrach, Culaine, Titania, Inrikh, Urthel, and Dernhelm. All have played major roles in the Ages of Magic--indeed, there would be no magic without them. Now, to save Toril, the Celestines must all be awakened to deal with the Urthel (Necrotil) and his allies, to prevent the destruction of the world.

Conspiracy Beneath: A group to which Saloth Sar belonged and was a high ranking member of, but which he never gave more than the first letters of its members. In the future Waterdeep, the leaders of the resistance fill in these names: L is Lolth, B is Bane, U is Umberlee, and G is Grumsch. N and V are Necrotil and Vatar--two figures who do not figure on any list of Gods, and yet, according to the future defenders of Waterdeep, it is they who have seized nearly all of the divine portfolios. The Consipiracy is full of intrigue, with many of the members (some of the others of which were sectiva) intending to betray other members. In the future Waterdeep, Grumsch, Bane, and Lolth are dead, as are most of the good gods.

House Rules

Initiative: Since both quick thinking and quick movement contribute to initiative, both Dexterity and Intelligence will now contribute to initiative bonuses.

Stat Increases: Stat increases will now use the 4th Ed schedule: +1 to two stats at every level ending with 4 or 8, and +1 to all at 11th and 21st.

Feat swapping at levels: You may swap out one feat that you rarely use when you go up a level.

Movement: Diagonals count as a single square. Players may move freely through other player's squares provided they do not end their turn there.

Turn Structure: Turns consist of Free, Move, and Standard actions. Full attacks take a full round, but Free actions may be taken at any time, even out of initiative.

Marking: Fighters will be able to mark anyone within range of their melee weapon, one person at a time. Movement or attack against anyone other than the fighter gives the fighter an attack of opportunity. If the fighter hits, movement is stopped, attacks are made at -2, and casters must make a concentration check to get the spell off.

Attack Of Opportunity with Shield: If a character uses a shield for an attack of opportunity, a successful hit stops the opponent in their tracks.

Ritual Casting: A wizard may cast a spell directly out of his or her spell book even if the spell is not prepared for that day, taking one minute per level of the spell. This cannot be done under threat; noisy or distracting environments will require one concentration check per minute.

Spell Save DC Enhancements: Casters now add +1 for every 4 levels to the save DC for all spells. There are also now Wands, Globes, Daggers, etc which will add to your spell save DC, but these are VERY rare, artifact rank items.

Passive Perception and Insight: Players have a chance to notice something without rolling. Passive checks are used to avoid notifying the players that there is something to check.

Tactics Skill: Fighters and Paladins gain the Tactics skill as a class skill, which gives them a chance to identify the most dangerous opponent, spot ambush situations, and figure out where the greatest threat is likely to be.

Encumbrance: According to the current encumbrance rules, a person of average strength would not be able to walk down the street at a normal pace wearing winter clothes and carrying a bag of groceries. This is ridiculous. Clothing, armor, and items carried on your belt that way less than 5 lbs only contribute half of their weight to encumbrance. Items carried in your hands or strapped to your back contribute full encumbrance.

New Rules

Bonus Cantrips: All casters gain one bonus 0 level spell for each bonus spell of any level that their main stat entitles them to, when they reach a level capable of using the bonus spell.

Weapon Specializations: Weapons will be grouped together for weapons specialization, rather than being a single weapon, as in the D20SRD

Castling: Two characters within movement range of each other may exchange places on whichever initiative comes last, provided that neither move beforehand.

Druidic Shapeshifting: In the Pathfinder rules, Druids keep their own stats when shape shifting, plus a bonus. This leads to the absurdity of creatures that are not even strong enough to breath, let alone stand up. When Wizards cast the spells given as reference points, they gain the bonuses described, and so they have to be careful, but Druids gain the full strength of the creature, regardless of their own strength. This is the advantage of being a Druid. Druids are limited only by the type and size of creature, but cannot assume the form of a creature whose CR is higher than their level.

Open Ended Rules: The problem with adhering tightly to the rule system is that everything the rules do not expressly permit, they prohibit (this is my main objection to rules lawyering--it becomes a straight-jacket for the players.) If you want to do something that is not covered in the rules, say what you want to do, and I'll work out a probability. You could trip someone with your staff, throw sand in his eyes, bluff him into giving you a flat footed attach, knock him back over a step, etc. There are many things that you can do that are not in the rules.