Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The History of Cadfor: An Account of the Years from the Fall of House Llud to the Present

The History of Cadfor: An Account of the Years from the Fall of House Llud to the Present
by Wulfsige sé Stærtractere
(Published 540 IR)

Most of the misfortunes of Cadfor over the last century can be traced to the whelming of Llydaw in 451 IR and the subsequent failure in 455 IR of the Great Houses to agree upon a new Emperor for the Naceadan-Rhadynnic Dual Empire. Once the Great Houses fell into war amongst themselves, the Freeholds were left to fend for themselves without the protective shield provided by the Sky Empire. During this time of chaos, all of the Freeholds suffered to some extent, from the persistent raids launched tribes of giants against Ersav and Melin, to the depredations of the Dark Prince endured by Ceniþ in the 530s, to the extended occupation of Nuþralia by Kivutar’s Polþian armies that was only ended a few scant years ago. Save for Loring, which still labors under the rule of the White Hand, few of the Freeholds suffered as much as Cadfor did under the heel of the Crimson Duke.

Though his origins are shrouded in such obscurity that his true name is unknown to history, the overlord known only as the Crimson Duke arrived in Cadfor in 469 IR with an army of giants, orcs, and ratmen raised from tribes in Elizon, the Hills of Brann-Galedd, and Crespor Mountains. Utterly devoted to Ishi, and wielding mighty arcane powers, the Crimson Duke treated the Ruby Sorcerer as his personal patron, and naturally he sought to emulate his demonic master. Emulating Ishi himself, the Crimson Duke enticed a myriad of evil creatures to his side by forging an alliance of the elemental deities Halpas, Iku-Tyrma, Khil, and Surtan as his following, even including the worshipper of Bål and Lug among the ranks of his armies. In an odd twist for a coalition that was so laden with giants and giant-friendly allies, Abonde’s priestesses were strangely absent from the Crimson Duke’s followers.

Some sages have speculated that Abonde’s absence was the result of jealousy expressed by the Crimson Duke’s consort Nakhtmoy, a dark and shadowy spider-demoness who served as his mistress of assassins. Some assert that the Crimson Duke simply did not recruit any of Abonde’s disciples into his armies out of deference for his fearsome consort, while others have expressed the belief that Nakhtmoy must have arranged for all of Abonde’s followers in the invading army to be murdered, while still others maintain that Abonde’s priestesses simply refused to rally to the Crimson Duke’s banner. No matter the reason, all agree that Nakhtmoy would brook no rivals to her mistress Gangyn, and not only was Abonde’s influence absent from the Crimson Duke’s armies, also apparently banned from his retinue were the followers of Kivutar, Ninkurra, Seþra, and even Tunar.

After a mere three years of war, the Crimson Duke had exhausted the armies of the wily and resourceful King Emyr Bane Tan of Cadfor, but only at the cost of extending his own forces dangerously close to the breaking point. That all changed in 472 IR when King Emyr was assassinated in his sleep, most likely by Nakhtmoy. Soon thereafter, a wave of assassinations resulted in the deaths of every one of King Emyr’s family, ending House Bane Tan. The Crimson Duke’s army soon crushed the remaining feeble forces of resistance in Cadfor and nearly forty years of brutal, iron-fisted rule began.

Befitting a devoted follower of the Soulblighter, the Crimson Duke was not content to merely conquer Cadfor. With one hand the Red Tyrant crushed the people of Cadfor, and with the other he waged war upon his neighbors. Almost as soon as he established his control over the kingdom, the Crimson Duke led his armies to war against Melin and Gwenarþ and when those campaigns went awry, he pushed into Elizon and tried to seize control of Loring in an effort to expand his dominions northwards. In Cadfor itself, the countryside was stripped bare and its industry and populace put to work fueling the Crimson Duke’s war machine. The youth of the nation were drafted into the Duke’s armies, or forced into labor battalions to craft and construct the materials of warfare to supply them. Many daughters were forced into a life as camp followers, servicing the needs of the Duke’s favored soldiers.

Those denizens of Cadfor who refused the Duke’s demands were killed. Some slaughtered outright by the partols of orcs and giants who roamed the land, others were simply found dead in their beds with their throats cut, killed by Nakhtmoy’s omnipresent network of spies and assassins. Fear ruled the land, as no one could be sure that their neighbor wasn’t secretly an agent working for the Crimson Duke who would turn you in for shirking your work or failing to pay your taxes or expressing disloyalty or even dissatisfaction. Though he was not the sole reason for the creation of the Freeholder’s Council, in 492 IR, the Crimson Duke’s depredations were certainly a significant motivating factor in convincing many of the Freehold kings to join.

After years of war and destruction, the first glimmers of hope for Cadfor shone through in 508 IR, although almost no one knew it at the time. The small village of Laragh in the foothills of the Crespor Mountains was the site of a minor dispute over tax collection that set a rebellion into motion. When four black orcs sought to collect what they claimed were unpaid taxes owed by the village blacksmith Osian, the exchange turned violent, and they killed him. According to legend, Osian’s apprentice Girion killed all four of the Duke’s tax collectors with his blacksmith’s hammer, and then fled into the wilderness as an outlaw.

For two years Girion lived in the mountains, coming down from the high passes to raid the Crimson Duke’s camps and strongholds. For two years Girion was able to confound and evade the Red Tyrant’s forces, and the tales of his exploits caused others to rally to his cause. In 510 IR, however, Nakhtmoy’s spies discovered that Girion had been secretly meeting with a farmer’s daughter named Siân, and soon the order was given to kill her family and capture her as bait. Even though Girion knew it was a trap, he could not leave his beloved in the hands of the crimson Duke, and he mounted a rescue of such epic daring that it is now recounted in song. Realizing that his presence in Cadfor was endangering those he cared for, Giron fled the country with Siân at his side, vowing to return one day.

In 520 IR, Girion made good upon his vow. In the intervening years, Girion and Siân had made names for themselves as sellswords and privateers and returned to their homeland as seasoned, battle-hardened veterans skilled in both physical and mystical combat. In their travels they had acquired several allies whose names have become famous: Wulfric, Elena, Heinrich, and Colwyn, all of whom joined the pair in their return to Cadfor. Leading this small band of allies and supported by a devoted retinue of followers, Girion launched a war to liberate his nation from the heel of the Crimson Duke.

Over the succeeding years, Giron’s rebellion grew from this tiny kernel to a full-fledged popular movement. Inspired by this former blacksmith’s apprentice and farmer’s daughter, the common-folk rallied to their cause. Girion forged alliances with the dwarves of the Haearn Hills, obtained support and troops from Melin and Gwenarth, and even recruited the aid of tribes of khulen from Elizon who had grown weary of the Crimson Duke’s attempts to bring them under his power.

The war was long and hard, and Girion’s forces suffered many setbacks and scored many victories, but they ever pushed the Crimson Duke’s forces back, liberating towns and villages one by one. These triumphs were not without cost- Girion suffered a personal loss in 529 IR when his eldest son Liam was killed at the Battle of Féarach Hill. In 531 IR, Girion seized Celliwig, wresting control of the city from the Crimson Duke after an eleven month siege, forcing his foe entirely out of the eastern and central parts of Cadfor.

Finally, in 533 IR, Girion scraped together every soldier he could muster and led his troops against the Crimson Duke’s amassed forces at the Battle of Bythwrdd Meadows. For this titanic battle, both Melin and Gwenarþ sent their own armies to aid Girion, and even Girion’s remaining son Padraig took to the field at his father’s side. The battle went badly for the allied army, and just when it seemed that the Crimson Duke’s companies of giants would overwhelm them, Ådon, Dallen, Mannan and the rest of the Conclave of Eight came to once and for all deal with the threat posed by the Crimson Duke and Nakhtmoy and turned the tide of battle and the Duke’s forces were scattered. Despite the victory, this was a day of sadness as Siân, Girion’s faithful spouse of more than two decades, was slain in the battle. Though his body was never found, the Crimson Duke was never seen after this day, and he presumably died on the field with his troops.

After his victory at the Battle of Bythwrdd Meadows, Girion laid siege to the Crimson Duke’s stronghold of Cær Colur, now the refuge of the vile Nakhtmoy. Within a year, the dread fortress fell and though they could not locate the demoness to banish her, the Conclave of Eight was able to trap her inside the network of tunnels that honeycombed the earth beneath its ruined walls. Seals of mystical power were placed on the place, imprisoning the elusive spider-demon within the complex.

Having driven the Crimson Duke and his armies from Cadfor, Girion was declared king of that nation in 534 IR. In that same year, King OEngus Lairdsonne of Melin and King Brann of Gwenarth sponsored Girion’s membership in the Freeholder’s Council, and he was admitted to that body in that same year. Girion chose a black crossed hammer and sickle on a silver field with a red border as the symbol of his house, and chose Lámh Casúr as his House name, becoming King Girion Lámh Casúr.

King Girion is closely allied with King Œngus Lairdsonne of the neighboring kingdom of Melin, and Girion's only living son Padraig was betrothed to Œngus' daughter Iarfhlaith in 535 IR , a union that would have united the two kingdoms in a mutually beneficial alliance. Unfortunately, in a sad turn of events Padraig vanished while campaigning against a goblinoid incursion in the Lloftmelin Mountains in 538 IR, and he is presumed dead. Girion’s only remaining heir is his thirteen year old daughter Andrella.

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Monday, September 21, 2020

A Brief History of Sakaþa, the Great King of the Lizardfolk

Excerpts from Brief History of Sakaþa, the Great King of the Lizardfolk
by Demetrios ap Varin
(Published 536 IR)

The Great King Sakaþa is an enigma, shrouded in myth and legend. Venerated by the lizardfolk of the Great Southern Swamp as their true and eternal leader and feared as a demonic figure of terror by all of the civilized peoples of Nuþralia, it is almost impossble to disinguish between fact and fiction concerning this creature. Among the lizardfolk, the legend of Sakaþa has taken on such epic proportions that virtually any deed one can conceive of has been atributed to him. Among the non-lizardfolk that live in Eor, the folk tales and stories told about him paint Sakaþa alternatively as a figure of ineffable terror who name should only be spoken in hushed whispers and a comical buffoon whose ineptitude is a suitable subject for mockery.

No one knows for certain where or when the dread creture known as Sakaþa was born, but it is reasonable to assume that it took place in the early part of the 4th century IR, presumably somewhere in the depths of the Great Southern Swamp. With the strength and stamina of the lizardfolk, but intelligence that rivaled even the most brilliant of men, Sakaþa quickly rose to a position of power and leadership among the tribes of the marshes, gaining such renown that his name appears in texts as early as 348 IR. Sakaþa proved to be a skilled arcanist, and he used his magical prowess to great effect, defeating his enemies with both the physical prowess of his troops and the arcane power of his wizardly abilities. In short order, Sakaþa ruled over a vast nation of scaled folk. Despite his successin taming his fellows, Sakaþa was clearly unsatisfied, aand all accounts provide the same reasons why: He had a larger than normal share of the greed, rapacity, and evil found among both the lizardfolk and men.

Sakaþa's ambitions likely would have gone unfulfilled had the lizardman not formed an alliance with a powerful sect of Belial’s church called the Cult of the Black Flame. The power wielded by the Cult's priests and the dark mysteries of Belial's power they commanded gave Sakaþa's armies a strength and vigor that was nigh-unstoppable. Within just a few years, Sakaþa came to be the supreme ruler of the lizardfolk and other denizens of the Great Southern Swamp, extending his hegemony over all who dwelled there and becoming a constant thorn in the side of his neighbors as raiding parties were frequently sent forth to plunder all those on his borders.

Following his conquest of the denizens of the swamp, Sakaþa decided that plundering his neighbors was not sufficient, and launched an invasion of Eor in 351 IR, and completing his conquest of the region by 356 IR, defeating King Comyn of Nuþralia’s army and killing the king in the process at the Battle of Ongal Hill. Once he seized control of Eor, Sakaþa enslaved the population and carried away vast riches to the Great Southern Swamp. In addition to his loyal lizardfolk and vast army of slaves, Sakaþa’s overflowing treasury enabled him to employ many powerful mercenaries in his service, further cementing his position as unquetioned ruler of both the Great Southern Swamp and Western Nuþralia.

After Sakaþa’s invasion of Eor, Nuþralia was in disarray, with the newly crowned King Cadwalandr unable to respond right away due to incursions by Ahaliat tribesmen and yet another invasion by seafaring raiders from Kysthjem and Langjord that not only overran much of the eastern half of the realm but also kept most of the Imperial fleet occupied for years. Fortunately for the young king, Sakaþa was strangely quiescent during this period, giving both the Nuþralian royal house and the Imperial Throne the time they needed to marshal their forces for a campaign to liberate the lands the Grat King of the Lizardfolk had seized.

In 364 IR, Cadwalandr’s pleas for Imperial aid were finally answered, and High King Ghilchrist IV assembled a host that included knights from the Order of the Gauntlet, and forces contributed by House Gilfaethwy and House Llefelys. In an unexpected turn, King Cadwalandr was able to turn Håkon, one of the chieftains of the invading northmen, by promising him lands for Håkon's followers to settle upon, and thus was able to swell his own forces for the campaign. Over the next three years, the King Cadwalandr aided by the Imperial forces was able to reconquer most of what Sakaþa had seized a decade before.

Sakaþa was not a particularly wise or judicious ruler. It was this weakness that caused him to ride into battle at the head of his lizardfolk in the Battle of Vendare, where he was mortally wounded. Legend holds that it was Håkon himself who dealt the fatal blow upon the Lizard King, a story many consider dubious, but which Håkon's descendents consider to be iron clad fact. What is known is that Håkon was made Æorldorman of Vendare for the services he rendered to King Caldwalandr during the war. As for Sakaþa, his shattered army was scattered, but stories tell that a few loyal servants carried his dead and broken body from the field of battle and off into the Great Southern Swamp to a locale unknown to his enemies.


Since that day, Sakaþa’s name became a talisman of power among the lizardfolk of the Great Southern Swamp. Powerful tribal leaders often style themselves as the “New Sakaþa’, but none has ever been able to match his combination of power and cunning, and none was ever able to equal his glorious career. In time, it became de rigeur for the lizardfolk of the Great Southern Swamp to claim they were acting in Great King Sakaþa’s name, and invoking his name in their battle cries and curses. Fact turned to legend, and legend turned to myth, and over the years it became impossible to distinguish between the reality of Sakaþa’s life and the array of stories concerning heroic feats and exploits that were attributed to him in tall tales. Stories about Sakaþa’s acts have become a staple of tavern tales and songs even among the men living in the regions bordering the Great Southern Swamp, although he was almost always depicted as a villain in them.

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Monday, September 14, 2020

General Rules: Feats - Leadership

Leadership is a somewhat unique feat that allows a character to recruit a cohort and followers. This page details how I handle this feat.

Leadership [General] (from the Player's Handbook)
You are the sort of person others want to follow, and you have done some work attempting to recruit cohorts and followers.
  Prerequisite: Character level 6th+
  Benefit: You can attract loyal companions and devoted followers, subordinates who assist you. The level of your cohort and the number and level of your followers is determined by your leadership score. Note that there are different modifiers for your Leadership score with respect to cohorts and followers, so your Leadership score might be different for your cohort than it is for your followers.

Your cohorts and followers are generally loyal and reliable retainers. Unlike ordinary NPCs, who have their own agendas and objectives, cohorts and followers look to the character for direction and guidance. As a general rule, they will not betray you or deceive you unless they are severely mistreated, although in such cases they will usually simply abandon your service.

Cohorts and followers will expect that the character will provide for their basic needs including room, board, and any workspace, tools, or other specialized equipment needed to undertake the tasks you assign to them (this is, after all, one of the major reasons they have sought you out to serve as your retainers). So, for example, if you recruit a follower who is a blacksmith and ask him to craft materials for you, he will expect you to provide a forge with appropriate blacksmithing tools and raw materials needed to undertake the work. Failure to appropriately provide for your cohort and followers will be likely to negatively affect your Leadership Score.

Cohort: A character with Leadership may have a single cohort. In general, a player may design their desired cohort, subject to my approval. Cohorts should be built using the elite array of ability scores (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8), subject to applicable racial modifiers. The cohort may be any playable race and any allowable class. The cohort may be a multi-classed character if the player desires, and may take advantage of any of the options available to player characters. When the cohort enters the character's service, they will be equipped with equipment with a total value appropriate to an NPC of the cohort's level (see Table 4-23: NPC Gear Value on page 127 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). Any additional equipment must be provided by the player.

Under certain circumstances, I may allow a cohort to be a nonstandard race, or even an intelligent monstrous creature, such as a sphinx or a dragon. In those cases, apply the appropriate Level Adjustment to the cohorts class levels, or, if the cohort is a type of creature that does not have a listed Level Adjustment, the cohort's initial "level" will be their Challenge Rating. All such nonstandard cohorts must be approved by me in advance.

Your cohort is a loyal companion who will accompany your character on adventures. In general, you can control your cohort, although they will not undertake obviously suicidal or self-destructive actions. I reserve the right to assume control of the cohort if that becomes necessary.

Your cohort does not gain "experience". As your Leadership score goes up as you rise in level, your cohort will gain levels to match that allowed by your new Leadership score, although this is subject to the usual limitation that your cohort can never be higher level than two levels lower than your current character level.

Followers: A character with Leadership is able to attract followers if his Leadership Score is at least 10. Followers, like your cohort, may be designed by the player, subject to my approval. Followers should be built using the standard array of ability scores (11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10) or the nonelite array of ability scores (13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8) at your option. You may, if you wish switch back and forth between these two arrays for different followers. Followers can be any standard playable race, and may be adepts, commoners, experts, or warriors. When a follower enters the character's service, they will be equipped with equipment with a total value equal to the starting gear for a character of their class. Any additional equipment must be provided by the player.

Under certain circumstances, a follower may be of a nonstandard race if there is an appropriate character-driven reason for such followers to be attracted to the player character. All such followers will be typical members of their race and must be approved by me in advance.

Your followers are loyal aides, but generally will not be willing to accompany the character on adventures. Followers will be willing to work as craftsmen, work as personal aides, handle business tasks, act as couriers, travel with caravans and take care of your animals and wagons, and even defend your stronghold or, if necessary, go to war alongside you, but they will not delve into dungeons, enter a dragon's lair, or help you sack an evil temple. In general, a character may direct the actions of their followers, but they will not be willing to undertake unnecessarily dangerous, suicidal, or self-destructive actions. As with cohorts, I reserve the right to assume control of followers if necessary.

As with cohorts, your followers don't gain "experience". As your Leadership Score increases, you attract new followers and are eligible to retain higher level followers. When you become eligible for higher level followers, you may either advance a current follower to a higher level or recruit a new follower of the appropriate level.

Leadership Modifiers: A character's base leadership score is their character level + their Charisma modifier. Several factors can affect a character's Leadership score, causing it to vary from this base score. Your reputation from the point of view of the cohort or follower you are trying to attract raises of lowers your Leadership score.

Leader's ReputationModifier
Great renown+2
Fairness and generosity+1
Special power+1
Failure-1
Aloofness-1
Cruelty-2

Other modifiers may apply when the character tries to attract a cohort.

The Leader . . .Modifier
Has a familiar, special mount, or animal companion-2
Recruits a cohort of a different alignment-1
Caused the death of a cohort-2 1
1 Cumulative per cohort killed

Followers have different priorities from cohorts. When the character tries to attract a new follower, use any of the following modifiers that apply.

The Leader . . .Modifier
Has a stronghold, base of operations, guildhouse, or the like+2
Moves around a lot-1
Caused the death of other followers-1

Cohorts and Followers: Once a character's Leadership score is determined, the level of their cohort and the number of followers they can attract is determined according to the following table. If a character's Leadership score changes, their cohort and number of followers may be affected. As a character's Leadership score rises, their cohort will advance in level and more followers will come into their service. If a character's Leadership score falls, their cohort's advancement will stagnate, and followers may abandon the character.

LeadershipCohortNumber of Followers by Level
ScoreLevel1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
1 or lower-------
21st------
32nd------
43rd------
53rd------
64th------
75th------
85th------
96th------
107th5-----
117th6-----
128th8-----
139th101----
1410th151----
1510th2021---
1611th2521---
1712th30311--
1812th35311--
1913th404211-
2014th505321-
2115th6063211
2215th7574221
2316th9095321
2417th110116321
24 or higher17th135137422
Leadership Score: A character's base Leadership score equals his level plus any Charisma modifier. In order to take into account negative Charisma modifiers, this table allows for very low Leadership scores, but the character must still be 6th level or higher in order to gain the Leadership feat. Outside factors can affect a character's Leadership score, as detailed above.
Cohort Level: The character can attract a cohort of up to this level. Regardless of a character's Leadership score, he can only recruit a cohort who is two or more levels lower than himself. A 6th-level character with a +3 Charisma bonus, for example, can still only recruit a cohort of 4th level or lower. The cohort should be equipped with gear appropriate for its level.
Number of Followers by Level: The character can lead up to the indicated number of characters of each level.For example, a character with a Leadership score of 14 can lead up to fifteen 1st-level followers and one 2nd-level follower.

Replacing Cohorts and Followers: If you lose a cohort or followers, you can generally replace thrm, according to your current Leadership Score. I takes 1d4 months to recruit replacements. If you are to blame for the deaths of the cohort or followers, it takes extra time to replace them, up to a full year. Losing a cohort or followers can give you a reputation for failure, which would affect your Leadership score.

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Monday, August 31, 2020

House Rules - New Magic Rings

This is a listing of magic rings that may appear in my campaigns.

This list may use abbreviations to show what sourcebook the entries were drawn from. For guidance as to what sourcebooks these abbreviations reference, see my key to Sourcebook Abbreviations.

All of the material contained on this page and other pages of this blog is presented in accordance with the terms of the Open Game License.

Ring of Brief Blessing: (Magic Item Compendium) This silver ring has a clear crystal set into it which glows faintly with a holy light. A ring of brief blessing, which functions only if you are good-aligned, allows your attacks to pierce the defenses of evil foes. When you activate this ring as a swift action, choose a single melee weapon you hold (or your unarmed strike). Until the end of your turn, that weapon is considered both magic and good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming the damage reduction of an evil creature, as well as for the purpose of affecting incorporeal evil creatures. A ring of brief blessing functions once per day. Once it is activated, its glow fades. While wearing the ring you can expend a turn undead attempt as a standard action to recharge it, which restores its glow.

  Aura: Faint transmutation; Caster Level: 3rd; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, bless weapon; Cost: 1,000 shillings; Cost to Create: 500 shillings + 40 experience points. Weight: -.

Ring of Swimming: (Dungeon Master's Guide) This silver ring has a wave pattern etched into the band. It continually grants the wearer a +5 competence bonus on Swim checks.

  Aura: Faint transmutation; Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, creator must have 5 ranks in the Swim skill; Cost: 2,500 shillings; Cost to Create: 1,250 shillings + 100 experience points. Weight: -.

Stormfire Ring: (Magic Item Compendium) When you activate a stormfire ring, using a standard action to do so, it creates a færie fire effect of crackling lightning that lasts for 5 rounds. This effect functions as the spell, except that each creature affected takes 1d6 points of electricity damage each round for the duration. Using the ring on a creature that is already affected doesn't increase the damage dealt, bit it does extend the effect's duration. A stormfire ring functions five times per day. A druid can activate this item even while in wild shape.

  Aura: Strong evocation; Caster Level: 12th; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, færie fire, possession of a piece of the Raiment of the Stormwalker; Cost: 4,000 shillings; Cost to Create: 2,000 shillings + 160 experience points. Weight: -.

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

The History of the Rhadynnic-Naceadan Dual Empire

Excerpts from The History of the Rhadynnic-Naceadan Dual Empire
by Dillion pen’Llefelys
(Published 512 IR)

On the Founding of the Great Houses:

The records detailing the origins of the Great Houses, and their kingdoms they now rule are lost to us, destroyed by the ravages of time and the depredations of our enemies. Our legends hold that more than a thousand years before the founding of the Rhadynnic Sky Empire, Llud pen’Beli founded Great House Llud and assumed rule of Llydaw as gor'Brenin, a kingdom legends hold was established by his father Beli Mawr, the great legendary warrior-king and first Brenin-Mawr of the Rhadynn. As told in The Chronicles of the High Kings, authored by the historian Ymerawdwr Conall III, nine of Llud's ten siblings left Llydaw with their followers to establish their own Great Houses and becoming gor'Brenin of their own kingdoms. The ten Great Houses sometimes fought each other, and sometimes banded together. Legends speak of great wars against the fomor, partholan, and seelie, with the warriors of the ten houses emerging victorious.

The ancient tales speak of many dangers facing the splintered kingdoms of our forefathers, but none so terrible as the dread Hallitsijainen, whose power and evil still plague the free people of the world. For hundreds of years, the Kansattu sent their black-sailed ships throughout all of the Three Worlds, demanding tribute and any who refused to offer wealth and slaves to the Cold Lords were destroyed. Imperial records maintain that the first signs of true unity among the Great Houses came in 1109 YE when Brion, Dewintir, Dyved, Gwydon, and Llydaw banded together to form the Rhadynnic Confederation and together refused Hallitsijainen demands for tribute, a decision that was timed almost perfectly as the Cold Lords were weakened by the Leucadian struggle detailed in the epic poem Epikotos Leucadian1 and the subsequent exploits of the Geureciman General-King Rafaele as detailed in the Song of Rafaele2. Many ships and warbands were sent by the Hallitsijainen to punish the recalcitrant kingdoms, but they were defeated as the Great Houses allied against the common foe under the banner of the Golden Hawk. Within fifty years all of the Great Houses joined the Rhadynnic Confederation, and in 1161 the gor’Brenin of Llydaw was elected to be ruler of the Rhadynn as the first Brenin-Mawr since Beli Mawr. The High Kings set about using their mighty sky ships in coordination with the drake-empowered armies of the Great Houses to resist the Hallitisijainen, marshal great fleets against the Dekkulde islanders, and send their armies against the jattilainen and euroz of Elizon and elsewhere, even against the wild nomads of the At'viras Steppes.

On the Founding of the Rhadynnic-Naceadan Dual Sky Empire:

Although the records I have found do not give a complete picture, as closely as I have been able to determine, finding themselves both under threat from the Cold Lords, Brenin-Mawr Ghilchrist pen’Llud and Christobal Santiago, the Amparar of Oropais, formed an alliance in 1193 YE to unify their domains against this common foe. According to imperial records stored in the Council archives, in 1209 YE, Ghilchrist cemented this relationship by marrying Christobal’s only daughter Alejandra, and when Christobal died in 1211 YE he ascended to the throne of Oropais and was crowned Ymerawdwr Ghilchrist I. Ever after this, the standard of the empire was a two-headed golden hawk on a field of green, showing the union between the two great empires of the Rhadynn and the Naceadans. Ghilchrist I declared the year of his ascension to the throne of the dual monarchy to be a holiday year, and founded a new counting of years to be counted starting with that year as the “0” year and named the “Imperial Reckoning” or “IR”. In 2 IR, Ghilchrist issued his Atal Proclamation, or Prohibition Proclamation, a copy of which signed by the Ymerawdwr’s own hand can be found in the House Llefelys’ collection, in which he ordered all of his subject domains to cease paying tribute of any kind to the infernal and depraved Cold Lords.

On House Llud and the Imperial Faith:3

In their realm, House Llud promoted the holy faith the Lords of Heaven, and made it the faith of the nation, elevating the priests of the Holy Faiths to an honored place in their lands. In 1158 YE Brenin-Mawr Iain I founded the holy order devoted to Yng named the Milwr Awyr, also called the Warriors of the Sky, to guard the ten kingdoms from the depredations of the heathen Rodhar dragon raiders and godless Sjorover island pirates4. In 15 IR, Ymerawdwr Ghilchrist II granted the Milwr Tarian an Imperial Charter, an order of holy warriors devoted to Heim intended to serve as guardians for sacred places, monasteries, and temples. Upon his ascension to the throne in 126 IR, Ymerawdwr Kunagnos II issued his Eithrio Proclamation or the Exclusionary Proclamation in which he declared the worship of the Lords of Heaven the true faith of the Sky Empire, and specifically outlawed a list of cults condemned as demonic in nature5 and the worship of the vile power of the Ilkeastasisin. Those heathen faiths not mentioned in the document were still tolerated, but quite properly looked upon with disfavor.

In his first act upon ascending to the throne in 135 IR, Ymerawdwr Kunagnos III gave Imperial sanction to the Milwr Dwrn, a sect devoted to the Celestial Lord Forseti, to rule over and guard the land provinces of the Sky Empire. In that same year, Kunagnos III ceded Ranska to this order or holy warriors who henceforth directly ruled that land in the Ymerawdwr’s name, and under the laws of Heaven, until it was lost to the Hallitsijainen in 418 IR.

On the Crusades:

Few things more defined the reign of the Ymerawdwr’s than their enmity towards the cruel and unholy Kansattu Empire, a hatred driven to a crusading zeal by their alliance with the holy faiths of the Lords of Heaven. In 42 IR. Ymerawdwr Tamnais II launched the first Imperial crusade and conquered Saksa, claiming it as a foothold that he claimed would allow the conquest of all Ilkeas. Ymerawdwr Artur II continued these just and holy wars, seizing most of Ranska in 73 IR, and launching attacks into Kreikka before dying in glorious service to the gods on the field of battle, while Ymerawdwr Seain II completed the conquest, having assumed complete control of Ranska by 105 IR. After many more wars, Ymerawdwr Seain III conquered the province of Kreikka in 122 IR. The Ymerawdwrs built armies, fought great just and holy wars to press the Hallitsijainen, and the Sky Empire prospered for many years under the benevolent and protective eyes of Heaven, but the evils of the world, as is their nature, tirelessly worked to undo the work of the faithful and righteous.

In 391 IR, after years of war, the province of Kreikka was overwhelmed by heathen nomads, and was lost. Beginning in 402 IR. the Hallitsijainen began a campaign of corruption and depravity against the province of Ranska, engaging in a series of small wars, the records of which speak of terrible cruelty visited upon the good people of that land by the invading armies. By 412 IR, the weak-minded Ahaliat tribesmen in Kreikka were subverted by the corruption of the Hallitsijainen, and became subservient to the Kansattu Empire, allowing the terrible Verijuoma to rule over them, slavishly worshiping his power. Saksa soon fell apart into small territories ruled by disloyal Lesser Houses, who turned away from the just rule of the Ymerawdwrs and sought unholy alliances with the Cold Lords. Saksa completely disintegrated by 427 IR. Finally, in 418 IR. Ranska was invaded and conquered by the depraved Kreikkans and the cruel Hallitsijainen, the Milwr Dwrn were smashed, and Miesurmata and Herranoita became the lords of this realm. Proud and loyal subjects of the Ymerawdwrs and the remnants of the Milwr Dwrn fought on desperately against the invaders, some holding out for years, but eventually all were hunted down and destroyed.

On the Last Crusade and the Fall of House Llud:

In 427 IR. Ymerawdwr Cearnach VI was killed in battle during his failed campaign to try to retake Ranska. His son was crowned Ymerawdwr Cearnach VII, the boy-emperor, even though he was only eight years old at the time of his ascension. In this time of need, the Lords of Heaven sent the Arwr to the aid of the recently crowned Ymerawdwr bearing with him mystical artifacts of great power. In 434 IR. accompanied only by Nyniaw pen’Beli, the Arwr journeyed into the Kansattu Empire, and over the next several years stole or destroyed many objects of power that the Hallitsijainen valued greatly, and used the blade Kersyti to destroy the Hallitsijainen Susiherra and Sarviherttua and several of their most powerful and vile servants. Emboldened by the Arwr’s successes, Cearnach VII launched a great and holy crusade in 441 IR, seizing Pisekost and Varoastrov in 444 IR.

Heartened by the success granted by the Lords of Heaven, Cearnach VII landed his fleets on Jaotuli Island in 446 IR. quickly destroying its garrison, and laid siege to Pelkonnoitus in the same year. Not content with these successes, in 449 IR, filled with the might of the Lords of Heaven, Cearnach VII moved his grand imperial army from Pelkonnoitus up the Taikajulma River to directly attack Iltorni. In the siege of the dark tower, the Arwr was killed in combat with Murskilta who was destroyed at the same instant. After a year of siege, Ymerawdwr Cearnach VII, the last member of House Llud, was killed on the field of battle before the gates of Iltorni, leaving no heir. The Kansattu forces attacked the ring of besiegers around Iltorni during the depths of winter from within and without, crushing them in battle. The once proud armies of the Sky Empire were smashed by the Kansattu legions and their ships burned on the cold beaches of Ilkeas.

On the Whelming of Llydaw and the Fall of the Rhadynnic-Naceadan Dual Empire:

After Cearnach VII’s death, the infernal Hallitsijainen summoned their vile powers in a great enchantment to smash Llydaw, which they whelmed under the sea, leaving scattered islets where the landmass of the great island of the Ymerawdwrs once stood. From that point forward, Llydaw has been known as Llœgyr, the Lost Land. In 455 IR the remaining Great Houses met to elect a new Brenin-Mawr to lead them, but the just claim made by House Llefelys of Alwyr, was contested by demands made by House Amæthon of Brion, and House Arianrhod of Crœsfan, which prevented the Houses from agreeing upon a single successor. In a great parallel tragedy, the death of Cearnach VII, ended the dynastic succession of the Amparars, throwing the Naceadan nation of Oropais into chaos. Because of the treachery of Houses Amæthon and Arianrhod, wars have begun as those false claimants have sought to displace the valid claim of House Llefelys.

To the dismay of all righteous men everywhere, after the fall of the Ymerawdwrs the churches of the Lords of Heaven have found the holy message of the true Gods difficult to spread, as many lacking in stoutness of heart attributed the extinction of their most ardent mortal advocates as a sign of their disfavor, or, more heretically, their impotence. In Oropais, many of the weak in spirit have turned to the infernal treason of Arrioism as the advocates of that heresy postulate the destruction of Llydaw to be a sign of the disfavor of heaven. In 487 IR the Arrioist church illegally seized the imperial holdings of the Amparar of Oropais, trumping up the Writ of Oropais as a justification. Many others turn away from Heaven’s path and take refuge in the long-discarded faith of the y’Grym, a heathen faith foolishly and readily embraced by House Amæthon and House Gwydion.

Cursed by the infernal powers, our people suffered a further insult, when in 494 IR, the great dragon sire Mahthildin descended upon Carmathen and destroyed all those remaining there to claim as his own the holy treasures of the Sky Empire and the holy relics of the Lords of Heaven. In 504 IR, calling the sinking of Llydaw and the assault of Mahthildin signs of the displeasure of Heaven, the Fielidor of Arrio publicly called upon our people to set aside the true faith in the Lords of Heaven and embrace his apostasy, a plea all right thinking people rejected as obviously heretical.



1 A detailed review of records from the remaining Imperial archives now located in the Council libraries leads me to the conclusion that the events detailed in the Epikotos Leucadian took place during the reign of gor’Brenin Fionn I of House Alwyr at some point between the years 995 YE and 1005 YE.

2 Although the Song of Rafaele is somewhat vague in its attention to details such as exact dates, correlating the poem with other sources leads me to conclude that Rafaele’s exploits took place at some point between 1050 YE and 1150 YE.

3 No record exists of an Imperial charter being granted to the Milwr Llwon, also known as the Order of Oaths. Scholars have speculated that the founding of and sanction granted to the holy order of warriors devoted to Tiwas predates the Sky Empire, and may have been instrumental in legitimizing the ascension of the Ymerawdwrs.

4 In 492 IR House Llefelys ceded the island of Lleyn to the Milwr Awyr to replace the ports lost to them when Llydaw was destroyed.

5 The cults listed include cults devoted to (among others) Abonde, Bål, Belial, Darmas, Gangyn, Halpas, Iku-Tyrma, Ishi, Kalma, Khil, Kivutar, Lug, Ninkurra, Oxoßi, Seþra, Sirchade, Surtan, Tunar, Tuni, and Vaßatar. In addition, the document banned worship of the faiths promoted by the Hallitsijainen, specifically banning the Verituska cult. These denominations are known as the Eithrio Cults.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

House Rules - Exotic Armor

Exotic Armor

This is a list of exotic armors that do not appear in the Player's Handbook, but that I use in my campaigns. All of these armors and shields require the user to take either the Exotic Armor Proficiency or Exotic Shield Proficiency feat to gain the full benefit of these armors and shields. As exotic armors get added to my ongoing campaigns, I will add more to this listing. These armors have been adapted from Dawnforge: Crucible of Legend, and Hammer & Helm: A Guidebook to Dwarves.

This list uses several abbreviations to show what sourcebook the entries were drawn from. For guidance as to what sourcebooks these abbreviations reference, see my key to Sourcebook Abbreviations.

All of the material contained on this page and other pages of this blog is presented in accordance with the terms of the Open Game License.

Armor
Light Armor
Cost
Armor/Shield
Bonus
Max Dex
Bonus
Armor Check
Penalty
Arcane Spell
Failure
Weight1
Medium Armor
Cost
Armor/Shield
Bonus
Max Dex
Bonus
Armor Check
Penalty
Arcane Spell
Failure
Weight1
Heavy Armor
Cost
Armor/Shield
Bonus
Max Dex
Bonus
Armor Check
Penalty
Arcane Spell
Failure
Weight1
Shields
Cost
Armor/Shield
Bonus
Max Dex
Bonus
Armor Check
Penalty
Arcane Spell
Failure
Weight
Breaker Shield
20 shillings
+2
-
-3
15%
15 lbs.

Armor Descriptions

Breaker Shield: A breaker shield is a devious invention favored by orcs that causes their opponent;s weapons to shatter or snap when they hit it. This large shield is covered with jagged metal or specially carved wooden fins that can trap and break weapons. Any time a character using a breaker shield takes a total defense action, he can attempt to sunder an attacking opponent's weapon as an attack of opportunity. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the opponent's attack misses by less than the total armor Class bonus provided by the total defense action and the breaker shield, then the character may attempt to sunder their opponent's weapon.

Only Medium and smaller weapons can be sundered by a breaker shield. Only proficient users can use the special ability of a breaker shield, which requires the Exotic Shield Proficiency.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

House Rules - New Magic Armor and Shield Special Abilities

Armor and shields may have special abilities, such as acid resistance or fortification. Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify defensive bonuses (except where specifically noted). A single shield or suit of armor cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalent) higher than +10. A suit of armor or shield with a special ability must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

This list uses several abbreviations to show what sourcebook the entries were drawn from. For guidance as to what sourcebooks these abbreviations reference, see my key to Sourcebook Abbreviations.

All of the material contained on this page and other pages of this blog is presented in accordance with the terms of the Open Game License.

Daylight Ward: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Armor and shields with this special ability grant creatures with light sensitivity the ability to ignore the negative effects of sunlight and daylight spells.
  Aura: Moderate abjuration; Caster Level: 2nd; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, endure sunlight; Cost: +1 bonus.

Fleet: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Fleet armor is built using the very lightest materials and processes available. It also incorporates ingenious springs and roller to move the wearer quickly along the ground. A creature in fleet armor increases its base speed by +10 feet. Only light armor may be imbued with this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, expeditious retreat; Cost: +1 bonus.

Grudge: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Grudge armor and shields excel at defending against one type of creature. Against the designated foe, their effective enhancement bonus is +3 better than normal. To randomly determine a designated foe, roll on the following table:

d%Designated Foe
01 - 05Aberrations
06 - 13Animals
14 - 20Constructs
21 - 25Dragons
26 - 30Elementals
31 - 35Fæy
36 - 40Giants
41 - 45Magical Beasts
46 - 50Monstrous Humanoids
51 - 53Oozes
54 - 58Outsiders, Chaotic
59 - 65Outsiders, Evil
66 - 70Outsiders, Good
71 - 75Outsiders, Lawful
76 - 77Plants
78 - 85Shapechangers
86 - 92Undead
93 - 94Vermin
95 - 00Humanoid (choose subtype)

  Aura: Moderate conjuration; Caster Level: 11th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, summon monster I; Cost: +2 bonus.

Horselord: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) This armor is built for mounted combat and includes spurs and intricate systems of rings to tie the wearer to a mount. It grants a +10 circumstance bonus on Ride checks. Only light and medium armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 2nd; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must have at least 8 ranks in Ride; Cost: +1 bonus.

Pack Mule: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Armor with this special ability is designed balance as much weight as possible on the hips, allowing its wearer to carry far more weight than normal. A wearer of pack mule armor suffers no encumbrance penalty for carrying a medium load, and incurs only the normal penalty for a medium load while carrying a heavy load. The wearer's maximum load is unchanged. Only armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate evocation; Caster Level: 8th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, divine power; Market Price: +2 bonus.

Ram: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Ram armor is specially reinforced along the joints and buttressed with heavy struts that run along the wearer's back and shoulders. it also includes various handles and grips on the back. The wearer gains a +8 competence bonus on Strength checks made to break open doors and the armor's construction allows a second person to aid the attempt, adding another +2 circumstance bonus to the check if successful. Opponents who attempt to grapple the wearer also gain a +2 circumstance bonus on the grapple check from the many handholds on this armor. Only medium or heavy armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate evocation; Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, force ram; Market Price: +1 bonus.

Seeming: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Armor of seeming is a favorite of assassins and burglars alike. Once per day, with a command word, the wearer can instantly disguise himself as with the spell alter self as if cast by a 6th level caster (1 hour duration). Only armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, alter self; Market Price: +2 bonus.

Tailored: (Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-Orcs) Tailored armor must be built for a particular creature. When worn by the intended wearer, its armor check penalty is 1 better than that of masterwork armor (thus, +1 tailored hide would have an armor check penalty of -1). A suit of tailored armor worn by anyone other than its intended wearer does not confer this benefit, and actually worsens the armor check penalty by 1 - just as if the armor were not masterwork. Only armor may have this special ability.
  Aura: Moderate transmutation; Caster Level: 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must have at least 8 ranks in Craft (Armorsmithing); Market Price: +1 bonus.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Campaign Design - Base Classes: Rogue

Rogue
(from the Player's Handbook as modified by the Player's Guide to Rangers and Rogues)

Rogues have little in common with one another. Some are stealthy thieves. Others are silver-tongued tricksters. Still others are scouts, infiltrators, spies, diplomats, or thugs. What they do share is versatility, adaptability, and resourcefulness. In general, rogues are skilled at getting what others don't want them to get: Entrance into a locked treasure vault, safe passage past a deadly trap, secret battle plans, a guard's trust, or some random person's pocket money.

Abilities: Dexterity provides extra protection for the lightly armored rogue. dexterity, Intelligence, and Wisdom are important for may of the rogue's skills. A high Intelligence score gives the rogue extra skill points which can be used to expand her repertoire.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d6.
Luck Die: d10.

Class Skills
  • Skill List: The rogue's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft: Any (all skills taken individually)(Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge: Local (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform: Any (all skills taken individually)(Cha), Profession: Any (all skills taken individually)(Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

  • Note: Because the Three Worlds campaign uses the Skills by Character house rule, the list of class skills given here is only included for the sake of completeness, and is not used by characters in the campaign setting.

  • Skill Points at 1st Level: (8 + Intelligence modifier) x 4.

  • Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Intelligence modifier.
Class Features
  • Base Attack Bonus: Average. A rogue gains +¾ base attack bonus per class level.

  • Base Fortitude Save Bonus: Poor. A rogue gains a +⅓ base Fortitude save bonus per class level.

  • Base Reflex Save Bonus: Good. A rogue gains a +2½ base Reflex save bonus at first level, and an additional +½ base Reflex save bonus per class level.

  • Base Will Save Bonus: Poor. A rogue gains a +⅓ base Will save bonus per class level.

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Rogues are proficient with all simple weapons plus the composite shortbow, hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword, and with light armor, but not with shields.

  • Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

    The rogue’s attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

    Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

    With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.

    A rogue can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

  • Trapfinding (Ex): A rogue can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and she can use Disable Device to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A scout who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.

  • Evasion (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a scout can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Reflex save. At 2nd level or higher, if a rogue makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.

  • Trap Sense (Ex): At 3rd level, a rogue gains an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger from traps, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.

    Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

  • Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a rogue can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class if immobilized. If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

  • Improved Uncanny Dodge: A rogue of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked. This defense denies another rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

  • Special Abilities: On attaining 10th level, and at every three levels thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th), a rogue gains a special ability of her choice from among the following options.

    • Crippling Strike (Ex): A rogue with this ability can sneak attack opponents with such precision that her blows weaken and hamper them. An opponent damaged by one of her sneak attacks also takes 2 points of Strength damage. Ability points lost to damage return on their own at the rate of 1 point per day for each damaged ability.

    • Defensive Roll (Ex): The rogue can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than she otherwise would. Once per day, when she would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the rogue can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the rogue must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, she takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, she takes full damage. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll - if she is denied her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, she can’t use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the rogue’s evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.

    • Dirty Fighting (Ex): The rogue is skilled at distracting, unnerving, deceiving, and otherwise upsetting her opponent with dishonorable fighting techniques that once per day she may choose to do any one of the following: Automatically succeed on a single attack roll, cause her opponent to fail a single attack roll, make a sine attack roll and then move away from the opponent, treating the square the action starts in as not threatened, or perform a single sneak attack even while the opponent is not flanked and retains his full Dexterity bonus.

    • Honed Senses (Ex): The rogue notices that others miss. once per day, the rogue may choose to use his honed senses on any one of the following skills: Appraise, Gather Information, Knowledge, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, or Spot skill checks, as well as all attempt to save against illusions. The rogue is considered to have rolled a 20 for this roll. The rogue may not use this ability after he has already rolled and failed.

    • Improved Defensive Roll (Ex): This ability is similar to defensive roll, except that instead of half damage, the rogue takes no damage at all. Since all rogues with this ability are required to already have defensive roll, they may now make two defensive rolls per day - one for zero damage and one for half damage. Prerequisite: Defensive Roll.

    • Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the rogue still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

    • Improved Slippery Mind (Ex): if a rogue with improved slippery mind is affected by any enchantment cast by a spellcaster whose caster level is less than half the character's rogue levels, the rogue succeeds automatically at her saving throw. The effects of the slippery mind special ability still apply to the enchantments of higher level casters. Prerequisites: Slippery Mind.

    • Inconspicuousness (Ex): The rogue is difficult to notice unless he is actively trying to attract attention. Unless the rogue is choosing to stand out, or unless others are specifically searching for him, the rogue is considered at all times to be hiding. The DC to spot a rogue with the inconspicuousness special ability is the rogue's Dexterity modifier + his ranks in Hide. Characters purposefully searching for the rogue see him normally, unless of course, the rogue is actively hiding. In addition, any time a spellcaster wishes to target the rogue with a Divination spell, she must first succeed a a Concentration check with a DC equal to the rogue's Intelligence modifier + his ranks in Hide.

    • Intuition (Ex): Once per session, the player of a rogue character may privately ask the DM a single in-character yes or no question. The DM must answer the question truthfully, and the player may then use this information as an in-character "hunch". This question cannot pertain to things that are randomly determined, since the DM cannot possibly know the answer in advance, but all other in-character yes or no questions are acceptable. if the question cannot be answered as it is phrased, the player may ask another until an answerable question is found.

    • Lódur's Luck (Su): The rogue is inordinately lucky - most of the time. Once per day, the rogue may turn a single unsuccessful roll into a 20. This ability may be used on any roll that required a d20. Lódur's Luck can be used to confirm a critical hit, but if used as a regular attack roll it does not create a critical threat. For every three times this ability is used, the DM may choose to turn one of the rogue's successful rolls into a 1. The DM may not use this ability on a natural 20.

    • Opportunist (Ex): Once per round, the rogue can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the rogue’s attack of opportunity for that round. Even a rogue with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

    • Roguish Charm (Ex): The rogue is very likable, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Once per day, she may choose to perform any one of the following two near-magical effects:

      First, the rogue may tell a single brief lie to one person and have it be believed unquestioningly until the rogue leaves the victim's line of sight for more than a minute. The lie must be believable to a sane person - "the sky is green" will not work, but "of course I didn't steal the jewel" would work on anyone who had not witnessed the incident directly. The lie cannot be longer than a single simple sentence.

      Second, the rogue may talk someone into doing her a favor. This task must take less than 30 minutes to perform, and cannot directly endanger the victim or his loved ones in any way. Asking to borrow money is a good example, but requesting someone to hold off angry guards is not - unless the person is so powerful in personal ability or authority that turning back the guards poses no threat whatsoever.

      These abilities can only be used on sentient creatures with whom the rogue shares a common language. They can only be used on one person at a time. Characters with higher Hit Dice than the rogue's class level may make a Will save at a DC of 10 + the rogue's Charisma modifier +the rogue's ranks in an appropriate skill (usually Bluff for the first and Diplomacy for the second). Those who make their saves are fully aware of the rogue's attempt to manipulate them. These abilities can never work on the same person twice, and the rogue must always be within the target's line of sight to attempt either ability.

    • Search Mastery (Ex): The rogue is highly proficient at finding things. In fact, the rogue is so adept that he always finds something interesting on a roll of 20 or more, whenever he looks. Naturally, what the rogue finds will not always be what he was looking for- especially if he is searching in the wrong room - but it will be interesting in some way. DMs are encouraged to use this in whatever manner best fits the game. Rogues may find coins or jewelry, clues and plot devices for this or future sessions, buts of local gossip, things of no interest to the rogue personally, but useful to some other member of the party, or anything else useful or worthy of comment. Often the information or items a rogue finds in this manner may seem irrelevant at the time and only turn out to be interesting much later on in the campaign. Coins are a good fall-back if this ability ever threatens to slow down the game, but DMs should try to make this ability as interesting and diverse as they can. Prerequisite: Search 10+ ranks.

    • Skill Mastery (Ex): The rogue becomes so certain in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. Upon gaining this ability, she selects a number of skills equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. A rogue may gain this special ability multiple times, selecting additional skills for it to apply to each time.

    • Skilled Opportunist (Ex): This functions identically to the opportunist special ability, except that the rogue may use it as many times in a round as she has attacks of opportunity. Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes, Opportunist.

    • Slippery Mind (Ex): This ability represents the rogue’s ability to wriggle free from magical effects that would otherwise control or compel her. If a rogue with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She gets only this one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.

    • Feat: A rogue may gain a bonus feat in place of a special ability. The rogue must meet all of the prerequisites for the selected feat as normal.
Rogue
LevelSpecial
1thSneak attack (+1d6), trapfinding
2ndEvasion
3rdSneak attack (+2d6), trap sense +1
4thUncanny dodge
5thSneak attack (+3d6)
6thTrap sense +2
7thSneak attack (+4d6)
8thImproved uncanny dodge
9thSneak attack (+5d6), trap sense +3
10thSpecial ability
11thSneak attack (+6d6)
12thTrap sense +4
13thSneak attack (+7d6), special ability
14th-
15thSneak attack (+8d6), trap sense +5
16thSpecial ability
17thSneak attack (+9d6)
18thTrap sense +6
19thSneak attack (+10d6), special ability
20th-

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