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History | Geography | The 5 Kingdoms | Character Classes & Races | Magic | Creatures | Deities & Religion

Character Races & Classes

Glossary          Plot Hooks

Considerations for Standard OSRIC Character Classes

Over the long course of Beshian and Verméan history, the standard character classes have developed their own unique quirks and role-playing opportunities that players may wish to consider as they develop their character's attitudes, morals, and interactions with other characters and non-player personalities alike.

ClericThe Cleric

Clerics can be found most anywhere upon the continent and the surrounding islands where the Nine Gods and their courts are worshipped. Clerics will receive bonuses in combat when wielding the weapon of the deity and demigod (see the section on Verméan Pantheons). As a result of this weapon specialization, some clerics may even be allowed use of edged and bladed weapons (at the discretion of the GM).

The Druid

The ranks of druids are organized into five Orders. Each Order controls and protects a territory of the Verméan continent;

  • DruidCanutulahina; in shear numbers, this order of the Central Continent makes up nearly 50% of all druids encountered throughout the entire Verméan continent.
  • Domanus Imperium; this order governs the Isle dar de Xerksis. The smallest of the five Orders, the Domanus Imperium nevertheless wields great power in its struggles against the sprawling city-states of Merthyr and the Imperium Vallis.
  • Eddarrnonn it'an Tudur; this order tends the hot deserts in the Southern Continent. They are experts in extracting water from the dry regions, and their talents at locating and purifying water are greatly sought, and highly prized.
  • Edith Duer; the druids of this order tend the delicate ecosystems of the Omanthrid Archipelago. Often confused with the pirates and thieves of the island chain, druids in this order resort to pirate-like tactics in protecting the waters and tropical desert islands of the region.
  • Noes'Cennaleph; this order covers all the lands of the Northern Territories. Geographically, it covers the largest land mass, and so its druids are kept very busy throughout the region, and their numbers, while large, are spread thin across the land. Being the home of the traditional home of the Great Druid (located in the village of Usherwood), it also wields the greatest power.

The Druid School at Usherwood; Within the Druidic school at Usherwood (famous throughout the continent among druids and rangers alike), there are nine Initiates of the 8th Circle (10th level), who are the teachers at the school; three Initiates of the 9th Circle (11th level) who serve as Masters; and one Druid (12th level) who serves as the Head Master at the Druid School at Usherwood.

Druids (12th level druid); of the remaining eight druids of this experience level; one commands each of the Orders of Domanus Imperium, Edith Duer, and Noes'Cennaleph; two command the Order of Eddarrnonn it'an Tudur; and three command the Order of Canutulahina.

Archdruids (13th level druid); of the Archdruids; one resides in a dense copse of woods within the Chandril Forest; one directs efforts against the Imperium Vallis and Merthyr from a secret mountaintop retreat on Imperium Mons; one holds an oasis which wanders the shifting sands of the Tarl'a Desert.

The Great Druid (14th level druid); whence resides the one Great Druid is ever a secret, and made known only to the three Archdruids. Rumors say that the Great Druid is naught but a legend, invented to inspire the ranks of the druid followers. Others say the Great Druid is moved to Parad'yse Isle, in order to protect this highest of nature defenders. Still others claim that the Great Druid resides on lands yet unknown. Very few claim that the Great Druid wanders the continent under mortal skies as a simple man or woman of modest needs in order that they may witness the doings of the lesser druids without prejudice.

FighterThe Fighter

Fighters are found in all societies; great and small, human and demihuman. The ordinary fighter is akin to a mercenary, and hires out his skills for the right price. But even these 'lesser' skilled force of arms may have skills and abilities not accounted to the Paladin, or to the Ranger.

Fighters who declare a deity, or religious following, will benefit by the use of her deity's chosen weapon (see the section on Verméan Pantheons). Such fighters are considered knights of their religion, and have a somewhat higher respect by fellow members of their religious sect, and receive additional assistance when visiting temples dedicated to their god.

The Paladin

PaladinIt is from among the nobility in the city-state of Bodibeve that most paladins originate. And within Bodibeve, it is only the males who may apply to the state of paladinhood. Women may be considered for knighthood (see Fighter above), but may not apply for the House of Paladins (this restriction only applies to paladin candidates from Bodibeve). There are 23 noble families with the city (not including the ruling family). They are, in order of wealth (and thus, importance); Druisten, Tamia, Urcind, Urfeth, Alauna, Brude, Udrost, Wurgest, Giron, Gartnait, Budros, Decantae, Leo, Garthnach, Galanan, Tourlaine, Briduo, Uuradech, Volas, Bliesblituth, Garnard, Talorc, Gadbre. Of these families, Druisten, Brude, and Budros tend to be the most virulently open about their racist attitudes (see notes on Bodibeve in the Five Kingdoms section). And of the other families, Alauna, Giron, and Tourlaine tend to be the most accepting of other races. Though, these are rules of thumb. There are always exceptions within individual houses.

The paladin should always originate from a city large enough to support a sophisticated and well-provisioned training school for candidates, and a large Avitorian temple to promote the ideals that drive the paladin. Therefore, while it is noted here that most paladins will come from Bodibeve (also, due to its large lawful good population), paladins may come from any large city (with populations of 12,000 or greater) which has a substantial lawful good populace, and a noble class sufficient to propagate new candidates.

Paladin's warhorses; candidates seeking their warhorse must follow a strict regimen of prayer and ritual. To execute this edification, the candidate paladin must visit the tomb of Peter the equestrian (see the Legion of Purity in the Verméan Pantheons), which is hidden on the eastward-facing slopes of the Galan Heights, and meditate for at least 2 days undisturbed, during which time Peter the Equestrian will show the paladin where his warhorse can be found. However, they will not be shown what task must be overcome in order to retrieve the horse. During this period of meditation, the paladin will not eat, and will drink a mere eight ounces of water per day in ritual purification.

RangerThe Ranger

Rangers are frequently found in close alliance one of the 5 druid orders (see the section on Druids above). As with druids, rangers may select an Order with which to be associated (though this is not a requirement for rangers). Where a ranger has declared an alliance, she may call upon druid members of her Order for favors. Irregardless of alignment and deity, the base-chance that a ranger would successfully be able to convince a druid of her Order to perform a favor is 9% plus 5% per point of CHA. Therefore, a ranger with a CHA of 12 is 69% likely to successfully call a favor from a druid of his Order.

However, this is double-edged sword, as rangers may be (and frequently are) required to repay the favor in kind. Failure to comply would result in the banishment of the ranger from the Order, and place a bounty of his head.

It is not required that Rangers declare an alliance to an Order. Where a ranger maintains no such alliance, they are seen as a rogue, and regarded as reckless by their brethren rangers, and also by any druids they may chance across. Such relationships may be strained, and the ranger would be viewed as having a CHA 2 points lower than the actual attribute score.

Magic UserThe Magic User

Magic-Users tend to be solitary figures throughout the continent, and are regarded with suspicion and trepidation in most circumstances. However, in larger civilizations — the Imperium Vallis in particular — magic use and research is a highly regarded skill, and it is to these communities that most human magic-using apprentices will come, seeking sponsorship into one of the various colleges of magic. All colleges require an official invitation by a member magic-user in order to be interviewed for possible acceptance into its ranks. In all colleges, acceptance is dependent upon the successful completion of a series of tests to determine the candidate's worthiness.

For the purposes of establishing player character status as a magic-user, it may be assumed that a first-level character has passed the aforementioned interview and testings appropriately. However, GM's may wish to devise actual tests of their own for the testing of new members. Where this is the case, consult the following list of colleges to determine an appropriate regimen.

Player character magic-users may declare a college with which to be associated. It is through this relationship that the magic-user generally acquires new spells to add to their spell books. Further, members of colleges may expect a better than average opportunity of gaining assistance when required from fellow collegiates. However, they may also expect prejudice from rival collegiates (this rivalry is more pronounced between certain colleges, which will be described hereafter). Though membership in a college is not required, it does provide the spell-casting character certain advantages (and disadvantages) according to the particular college selected.

It should here be noted that Sonneteer Magicians and Sonneteer Tricksters (see the section on Verméan Bards later in this section) are generally not accepted into any of the colleges (except where noted below), as they are seen as flighty and lacking the discipline and serious-mindedness required for magic study by true magic-users and illusionists.

Similarly, multi-classed magic-users and illusionists of any stripe are unlikely to be granted access to any of the colleges. Such individuals are usually educated by individual spell casters as apprentices, which in part serves to explain their interests and training in arts outside those of an arcane nature. This is to include Rangers, who may cast magic-user spells at higher levels of experience.

The colleges represented here are simply the largest and most famous. Many smaller colleges exist throughout the continent, those these are often of middling to insignificant power.

  • Charn'Xaas; the state-sponsored college of the Imperium Vallis, the most difficult to get into, and the most politically powerful. The college occupies a block of buildings that surround the Mage Council grand hall in the Imperium Vallis. It is reported that late at night strange visions, explosions, and noises surround the building complex. The alleys about the college are avoided by any who know of its reputation.
  • Entry into the Charn'Xaas is closely monitored, and generally limited to human members (though rarely an elf or half-elf is granted membership), though gnomish illusionists are not uncommon within this college's halls. The tests for entry into the Charn'Xaas are rumored to be deadly, since no 'rejected' member has ever been heard from to relate tales of the tests within.
    This college has members of both magic-user and illusionist classes. As such, it does not support a specific sphere of magic as do some of the other colleges. However, the Charn'Xass' power comes from its belief of its own superiority, not just over the other colleges of magic, but over all the inhabitants of the Verméan continent. Evil characters would see their position within the college as granting them their right to rule and dominate others (autocratically) through their magic, while goodly characters might see their position within the college as dictating their duty to rule others (benignly, perhaps) through their magic.
    Where a Charn'Xaas spell-caster is encountered, and their college made known, they will likely be seen as a domineering imperialist, irregardless of their stated purpose. However, they will also be regarded as highly intelligent (irregardless of an actual INT attribute).
    Political intrigue and jockeying for power amongst their ranks are the only things keeping this college from achieving their goals of actually controlling all the lands of Vermé.
    Members may be of any alignment.
  • Flosshilde College; a college of Bodibeve that is situated inside a great open hall. This college is closely associate with the House of Paladins. As such, most members of this college are lawfully good aligned, but members may also be lawful neutral, true neutral, and neutral good. However, only lawful good alignments will ever attain a position of leadership within the school.
  • Membership is always limited to only human candidates, however, this does not preclude human members to take demihuman apprentices. Therefore, while rare, it is not unheard of to see demihuman races (even the odd goblinesque half-orc) about the college's halls performing some errand for one of the college's members.
    Tests for membership into the Flosshilde College will always begin with vow of allegiance to the College, and its membership, irregardless of test outcome. This is executed with a devise which determines the candidate's honesty in taking the vow. Anyone determined to less than earnest in their vow, will be expelled from the college, and their continued citizenship in Bodibeve placed into doubt, as the Deans of the college report the individual to the House of Paladins.
    The tests themselves most typically center on the candidate's ability at casting protection spells, as magic-users from this college are typically used in support of paladin and knightly troops of the city-state.
    Only magic-users will ever be admitted into the Flosshilde College, as feats of illusion are seen either deceitful, or else viewed as parlour tricks for the amusement of lower-classes.
  • Nectonius Taixali; a powerful college located within Maglocvani. Second in power and influence only to the Charn'Xaas. It is rumored that even be allowed onto the grounds of the college (let alone, actually entering the buildings themselves) requires approval from the Dean Wizard, as well as from the Grand Visir of Maglocvani. To do so without such permission is to sign one's own death warrant.
    Any race capable of magic-use is allowed to petition for membership, and the college's ranks are open to both magic-users and illusionists. However, failure of the college's admissions tests leaves the candidate subject to possible public execution. This is done to protect the college's secrets. Upon failure of the tests, the candidate is allowed to make a plea for clemency to his sponsor and the college's regents. The plea must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the regents and the sponsor. If the plea is approved, the candidate becomes the bonded servant of the sponsor for a minimum of 20 years, the death of sponsor, or the death of the candidate (whichever occurs first).
    Should it pass that sponsor approves a failed candidate's plea, but the regents reject the plea, the failed candidate is put to death, and the sponsor has his membership in the college revoked, and they are banished from the territories of Maglocvani. Should a banished member reveal any secrets of the college, they will have a sizable bounty placed on their head.
    Membership of the Nectonius Taixali can be of any alignment with the exception of lawful good and lawful neutral. Candidates thusly aligned will never find a sponsor to represent them to the college's regents.
  • Nuir Lechrolk; a modest college (in power and prestige) of the Northern Territories, located in a remote citadel on Stacius Island. It is known for being the most open to non-spell casting folk. In fact, the Nui Lechrolk even has what might be termed "open house" days, during which those seeking entry may come to openly petition for a sponsor among the college's membership. Consequently, the Nuir Lechrolk has the largest membership body of any of the colleges.
  • A result of the college's open-door policy, is that it also supports the widest range of races and alignment classifications. It also allows both magic-users and illusionists with equal status.
    Among non-spell casting populations, members of the Nuir Lechrolk are likely to be welcomed with respect until their actions prove otherwise. Members of this college frequently are seen as the stereotypical wizard, wandering countryside, doing good deeds and entertaining folk with their minor spells of necromancy.
    However, because of this desire to make magic more 'mainstream', members of the Nuir Lechrolk are also seen as 'lesser' wizards by other colleges. Even colleges much smaller in size and esteem would regard the Nuir Lechrolk as the equivalent of trade school for common-place magicians.
    But, nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that because of their openness, the Nuir Lechrolk have come into far greater spell crafts and necromantic powers than any of the other colleges could possibly imagine. The difference is, the Nuir Lechrolk use these greater powers rarely, preferring to keep such powerful magics under tight restraint, lest they get out of control.
    The test of the Nuir Lechrolk pertain mostly to an individual's ability to control magic, and their desire for study, more than the acquisition of power. Even-temperedness and an ability to reason are the hallmark of the Nuir Lechrolk magician. For this reason, mages of this college are very likely to have higher than average WIS attribute scores than might be seen in other individuals (though this certainly is no requirement).
  • Shakila Laksha; a minor college of the Omanthrid Archipelago, headquartered on Vipoig Island.
  • Shakila Lakshan philosophy instructs its members in the teachings of illusion (to disguise one's true intent). Therefore, illusionists make up most of its membership, however, the odd magic-user is known to contribute to its membership roster.
    Humans predominate in this college. However, gnomes have been known to rise to very high ranks, despite any human prejudices which may (and do) exist within the college.
    The tests of the Shakila Lakshan, as can be assumed, rely greatly on the candidate's ability to weave tapestries of illusion. Generally, the tests will include several displays of various feats of minor illusion, and in identifying illusory elements among a collection of actual objects.
    Members may be of any alignment, though most typically, the membership at large is some variation of neutral.
    Magic-Users and Illusionists manipulate science to produce their spells' effects. As such, magic-users need not declare a deity if one is not desired.

The Illusionist

IllusionistIn addition to suffering the optional requirements for the Magic Colleges described in the previous section, Illusionists are masters in the art of disguise and camouflage. This ability makes them highly desired by play productions as make-up artists. This ability allows the Illusionist to alter his appearance (or the appearance of others) to change sex, height (+/- 3 inches from the actual height), weight (-15 pounds, or +40 pounds from the actual weight), race (as long as it does not exceed height and weight restrictions), hair color, etc. The chance of success of pulling off a successful disguise is a base chance 20% + 6% per level, less the viewer's INT attribute (as a percentage), with a maximum chance for success of 90%. Therefore, a 5th level Illusionist donning a disguise to get past a palace guard who has a 12 INT, has a 38% chance of pulling the disguise off successfully (i.e., 20% + 30% (6% multiplied by his experience level) - 12% (the guard's INT) = 38%).

ThiefThieves and Assassins

Thieves and assassins are generally typical of those described elsewhere. The primary point to highlight here, is that it should be the professional goal of every thief and every assassin to travel one day to the Omanthrid Guilds, and there, become a member in good standing of one of the powerful guilds there, many of which are continental powers with branches in several cities and villages (refer to the section describing the Omanthrid Guilds for more information).

 

The Verméan Bard

BardThe Verméan Bard is treated as a collection of specialized sub-classes. These bardic specializations include; the Racaraide Bard, the Lorist Priest and Lorist Ovate, the Lyrist Veteran, the Sonneteer Magician and Sonneteer Trickster, and the Jongleur Magsman. Each of these having a highly specialized skill set unique unto themselves.

Racaraide Bard; or 'True Bard' as they would have themselves called. The racaraide bard is a true minstrel, travelling the countryside and plying his trade at any inn, tavern, or festival that would pay for the privilege. They do not set out on their to find adventure, adventure finds them.

Jongleur Magsman; this class of bard is often found entertaining in seedier inns and taverns in large cities. It is here that they can be compensated both through pay at the end of a hard evening, and also by picking the pockets of her audience through clever thiefly skills. The grandmaster of assassins (a campaign may have one or more) is a figure of legend and fear. These dark eminences usually live far from the cities, in remote and well-guarded locations—their fame is such that those who need their services will seek them out. To advance to 15th level, an assassin must find and kill one of the existing grandmasters.

Lorist Priest; these bards are devoted to a religious cause, sect, or deity. While not as skilled in the bardic arts as are the racaraide bards, their skills combined with those of the spell-casting and undead turning of a cleric can be a potent force to be reckoned with. A sub-class of the Lyrist Priest combines the skills of the racaraide bard with some skills from the druid class, and is called the Lorist Ovate.

Lyrist Veteran; most fighting forces of arms has a few unique individuals among their ranks who spend their time while not on duty entertaining their fellows. These armed minstrels can at times become the lyrist veteran, a deadly combination of fighter and bard.

Sonneteer Magician; this bardic class is typically found as court jesters where their ability to compose music and poetry, singing, and talented slight-of-hand tricks and minor cantrips are appreciated by court nobles, and rich merchants alike. A sub-class of the sonneteer magician combines the skills of the racaraide bard with some skills from the illusionist class, and is called the Sonneteer Trickster.

Bardic Abilities

All of the bardic sub-classes have the following specialized skill set, with varying degrees of effectiveness, which they wield through the use of two components; song (S), or poetry (P). Note that 'song' requires both singing and the playing of an instrument.

During any period of singing and instrument playing, the bard is defenseless against physical attacks. Therefore, any adjustment to armor gained through a high dexterity attribute is negated. Further, any successful attack against the bard immediately dispels the ability's effects. However, the bard may recite poetry while engaged in combat.

The likelihood of successfully using any of these abilities is noted in the sub-classes description. Creatures greater than the bard's number of hit die are permitted a saving throw if the bard's ability check is successful.

Charm (S); functions the same as the first-level magic-user spell of the same name, except as noted hereafter.

A successful charm lasts only so long as the bard remains playing and singing. Upon a successful charm, the bard may then insert simple suggestions into the composition to the affected individuals. Example commands might be; "leave room", "sit down", "open door", etc. The victim may only execute one such command at a time. Complex commands will cause the individual to become confused and their actions will become unpredictable. The victim will not execute commands which would be opposed to their normal actions. For instance, a paladin will not perform an act of chaos nor of evil. Such a command would dispel the enchantment, and release the victim from the bard's charm. A command to die would cause the victim to faint unconscious for 1d4 turns. Creatures and persons of less than Low intelligence will be unable to follow any commands, but will simply regard the bard as friendly. The charm will not affect any creature of less than Low intelligence.

The charm takes 2 full rounds of song to take effect.

Upon ceasing the bard's song, the enchantment will be broken, and the victim freed of the charm effects within 1d4 rounds.

Friendship (S or P); functions the same as the first-level magic-user spell of the same name, except as noted below.

While the bard cannot command the crowd to take a specific action as in charm, they will follow him, and seek to be as close to his presence as possible. The bard could then lead the affected creatures as the Pied Piper, causing the affected crowd to follow him with rapt attention. Note however, that this cannot be used, for example, to cause a crowd to walk off a cliff, or into a pool of flame (for to do so would surely cause the individuals in the crowd to harm themselves). But the crowd might climb (where they are capable and not afraid of heights), or they might walk into a river (where they are capable and can swim), etc. However, any attack against, or movement upon, an affected individual will dispel the effects of the friendship on that individual creature.

Should they fail in their friendship attempt, all creatures within the area of effect (including those ordinarily friendly with the bard) will instead view the bard as irritating, and will be at great unease in the bard's presence. This effect will last 2d4 turns.

The friendship takes 2 full rounds of song or 3 full rounds of poetry to take effect.

Upon ceasing the bard's song or poem, the enchantment will be broken, and the victim freed of the charm effects within 1d4 rounds.

Decipher Legend (N/A); indicates a bard's ability to determine an object's history. The bard must be able to hold the object to be deciphered in his or her hands in order to perform this ability. The ability may not be applied any living thing, or object that cannot be held by the bard. A successful application of the ability will reveal purported properties of the item, but not reveal actual properties. So, while a bard employing a successful decipher legend might be able to say that a sword is said to have "enormous fighting prowess," it will not reveal it's specific combat properties.

If a bard fails in his attempt to decipher legend on any particular item, he may wait a period of time and attempt to perform decipher legend upon it again. Each subsequent attempt lowers the probability of successfully executing this ability. After a failed attempt, the bard must wait a minimum of 6 turns before attempting again. Each failed attempt will lower the chance of success by -10%.

Know Item (N/A); functions the same as the first-level magic-user spell identify, except as noted below.

If a bard fails in her attempt to know an item, she may wait a period of time and attempt to perform know item upon it again. Each subsequent attempt lowers the probability of successfully executing this ability. After a failed attempt, the bard must wait a minimum of 6 turns before attempting again. Each failed attempt will lower the chance of success by -10%.

Decipher Writings (N/A); books and tomes of knowledge are a bard's bread and butter, as well as their passion. As such, all bards have the ability to interpret written mortal languages (but this does not extend to magical runes and wards). Even little known or undiscovered writings may release their codes to the bard's intellect.

If a bard fails in his attempt to decipher writings, he may wait a period of time and attempt to the decipher writings again. Each subsequent attempt lowers the probability of successfully executing this ability. After a failed attempt, the bard must wait a minimum of 6 turns before attempting again. Each failed attempt will lower the chance of success by -5%.

Boost Morale (S); at 4th level, the bard gains the ability to boost the morale of close companions. While the bard sings and plays, those friendly to her gain a +1 TH bonus in combat. Boost morale also impacts unfriendlies in that they receive a -1 "to hit" penalty in combat during the bard's song. The maximum range for this effect is 40 feet plus 10 feet per level to a maximum of 100 feet.

The bard's song also disrupts the effects of audial-based attacks (i.e., harpies, banshees, etc.), and any enemy spell-casters attempting to cast a spell with a verbal component must save vs. spell, or have their own spell attempt ruined before it can be cast if they are within hearing range of the bard's song.

Upon ceasing the bard's song, the enchantment will be broken, and all effects will end within 1d4 rounds.

Inspire Greatness (P); at 6th level, a bard may use poetics to inspire a number of creatures equal to or less than his own hit die to greater ability. As the bard gains levels, so too does the number of creatures he can so effect. Therefore, a 10th level bard my inspire a single 10 hit die creature, or 10 one hit die creatures. The creatures to be inspired must be within 60 feet of the bard, must be able to hear the bard clearly, and must be able to understand the language the bard is speaking. It takes one full round for the bard's poetics to take effect, and any disruption of the bard during this time ruins the attempt. The duration of the inspire greatness is twice the length of time the bard spends reciting his poetry, to a maximum of 6 turns (1 hour).

Those inspired to greatness will benefit from any one of the following effects, as determined by the bard prior to beginning the poetry;

  • Raise attribute; the bard may raise one attribute of the individual or selected group of creatures by 1–2 points (even should it exceed racial maximums) for the duration of the poem's effects.
  • Increase armor; the bard may improve the armor rating of the individual or selected group of creatures by 1d4 points for the duration of the poem's effects.
  • Battle superiority; the bard may improve the chances of success in battle of the individual or selected group of creatures by increasing the amount of damage they will inflict by 1d4 at each successful hit for the duration of the poem's effects.
  • Professional mastery; the bard may raise the individual's or selected group of creatures' experience level abilities to the next higher level for the duration of the poem's effects.

The inspire greatness ability takes 2 full rounds of singing and playing to take affect. The bard may effect only one of the inspire greatness abilities upon an individual at a time. The bard may inspire greatness upon the same individual but once in a 24-hour period.

Bardic Instruments

Verméan Bards must always carry with them the instrument of their specialization with which they may play their music, and weave their enchantments. This instrument may be any deemed appropriate by the GM. Some suggestions might be; harp, lute, cittern, bandore, mandolin, and lyre. The GM should feel free to allow whatever instruments they deem appropriate. However, the instrument must be one that permits the bard to sing while playing (i.e., woodwind instruments wouldn't allow the execution of some bardic abilities, since that would preclude the bard from singing and playing at the same time).

Whatever the instrument chosen, it must be small enough for the Bard to be able to carry it on his or her person. Further, the Bard may only learn and master a single instrument for every three levels of experience. For example; a first level bard declares a harp for his instrument. He may play only this instrument while using his bardic skills until such a time as he gains the fourth level of experience. At such point, he may specify an additional instrument.

Verméan Bards may attempt using an instrument not of her specialization. However, to do so will cause all attempts at using skills requiring the song component to be made at a -20% penalty.

Bardic Followers

Verméan Bards of all specializations are loners, and will not attract a body of followers. However, once attaining 10th level, they may build a stronghold. This stronghold will always have an auditorium or open-air amphitheatre. Such a stronghold will always be located in or near a village or city large enough to support it. The bard will attract a body of 3d6 '0' level humans who will serve the bard as housekeepers, butlers, drivers, stage crew, and backup performers so long as the bard is able to pay them on a regular basis. Such pay will be the equivalent 3% of the bard's income from performances (to a minimum pay of 5 gp each per month). The race of each servant attracted by the bard will vary depending on the race of the bard;

Dwarf; dwarven 01-75, elven 76-78, gnomish 79-82, halfling 83-90, half-elven 91-94, human 95-00
Elf; dwarven 01-03, elven 04-50, gnomish 51-53, halfling 54-56, half-elven 57-70, human 71-00
Gnome; dwarven 01-03, elven 04-06, gnomish 07-70, halfling 71-80, half-elven 81-83, human 84-00
Halfling; dwarven 01-03, elven 04-06, gnomish 07-15, halfling 16-80, half-elven 81-83, human 84-00
Half-elf; dwarven 01-03, elven 04-17, gnomish 18-20, halfling 21-24, half-elven 25-70, human 71-00
Human; dwarven 01-03, elven 04-15, gnomish 16-20, halfling 21-30, half-elven 31-40, half-orc 41, human 42-95, dragon hordling 96-00
Dragon Hordling; human 01-30, dragon hordling 31-00

Racaraide Bard

This variant of bardic study regards itself as the one 'true bard' profession. The men and women and who follow this path in life are poets, playwrights, singers, and dancers, and engage in all forms of public entertainment. They are frequently artistic and engage in painting, drawing, and sculpture during their free time. They see beauty in everything around them. They are typically employed as jesters, balladeers, court entertainers, and personal poets and artists to those who can afford their talents.

Because they specialize in singing, music, and poetry, the racaraide bard does not cast spells, and is not a specialist in combat. In combat, they may use any sword or sword-like weapon which may be wielded with one hand. They may also use clubs or club-like weapons, light crossbows, short bows, slings, and darts. The racaraide bard may not use shields of any type, and are limited to using padded, leather, studded leather, or ring mail armor. They may use any magic items usable by fighters and thieves.

The Lorist Priest Character
Minimum Scores:Str 12, Dex 12, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 15
Hit Die Type:d4 (max 11)
Alignment:Any
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:Padded, leather, studded leather, ring mail (shields are not permitted)
Weapons Permitted:Any single-handed sword or sword-like weapon, club, dart, mace, morning star, short bow, and sling
Weapon Proficiencies:2 + 1 every 4 levels
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-3
Weapon Specialization:N/A

Lorist Priest

The lorist priest is the product of time spent in temples and monasteries. Typically, this character is employed by a specific temple or monastery, and during their period of musical training, they have also been trained in the clerical arts. They will frequently be found in the chorus and otherwise providing music and singing arrangements within the temple.

Through their clerical training, the lorist priest is also able to cast limited cleric spells, and also through their playing and singing to turn undead as a cleric two levels below the lorist priest's level (i.e., a third-level lorist priest would be able to turn undead through playing and singing as would a first-level cleric).

Spell-casting by the lorist priest will always require singing and playing (on those spells with a verbal component), or poetry reciting (on those spells without a verbal component). However, because a lorist priest is summoning her divine spell through song and poem, no material component will ever be required in the casting of the spell. Lorist priest spells are selected from the cleric's spell lists.

The Lorist Priest Character
Minimum Scores:Str 9, Dex 9, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 12
Hit Die Type:d8 (max 10)
Alignment:Any
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:Any except plate (shields are not permitted)
Weapons Permitted:Blunt only—club, flail, hammer, mace, oil, staff; clerics may hurl hammers, clubs, or oil, but may not employ other missile weapons
Weapon Proficiencies:2 + 1 every 4 levels
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-3
Weapon Specialization:N/A

Lorist Ovate

The lorist ovate is as attuned to nature as are their druid and ranger cousins. They have been raised among the peoples who pay homage to the land around them, and their music and singing reflect this upbringing.

Through their druids' training, the lorist ovate is also able to cast limited druid spells.

As with druids, the lorist ovate must be true (absolute) neutral.

As with the lorist priest, spell-casting by the lorist ovate will always require singing and playing (on those spells with a verbal component), or the reciting of poetry (on those spells without a verbal component). However, because a lorist ovate is summoning her divine powers through song and poem, no material component will be required in the casting of the spell, and so they do not have the requirement to maintain holly, oak leaves, or mistletoe in their supplies as do druids. Lorist ovate spells are selected from the druid's spell lists.

The Lorist Ovate Character
Minimum Scores:Str 9, Dex 9, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 15
Hit Die Type:d8 (max 10)
Alignment:Neutral
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:Leather only, wooden shields only
Weapons Permitted:Club, dagger, dart, hammer, oil, scimitar, sling, spear, staff
Weapon Proficiencies:2 + 1 every 3 levels
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-4
Weapon Specialization:N/A

Lyrist Veteran

The lyrist veteran is a man of arms who exists in the ranks of his fellow soldiers and has become a man skilled in raising the morale of his brothers in arms. Generally highly regarded by his contemporaries, the lyrist veteran is unparalleled when it comes to encouraging fighting men and women to ever greater deeds.

The Lyrist Veteran Character
Minimum Scores:Str 9, Dex 9, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 12
Hit Die Type:d10 (max 10)
Alignment:Any
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:Any
Weapons Permitted:Any
Weapon Proficiencies:4 + 1 every 2 levels
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-3
Weapon Specialization:N/A

Sonneteer Magician

The sonneteer magician is not only adept in the performing arts, but also in performing some limited spell-casting.

Like magic-users, the sonneteer magician must always carry a spell-book and memorize their daily selection of spells. And like the lorist priest, a sonneteer magician's spells must always be accompanied by singing and playing (where a verbal component is required), or accompanied with the reciting of poetry (where no verbal component is required for the magic-user equivalent). However, because a sonneteer magician is summoning his magic through song and poem, no material component will be required in the casting of any listed spell. Sonneteer magician spells are selected from the magic-user's spell lists.

Due to the Sonneteer Magician's advanced intellect, they also have a heightened ability to inspire greatness in their companions (see Advanced Abilities).

The sonneteer magician must maintain a composition book in order to study their spells daily, just as a magic-user must study a spell book.

The Sonneteer Magician Character
Minimum Scores:Str 12, Dex 12, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 15
Hit Die Type:d4 (max 11)
Alignment:Any
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:Padded, leather, studded leather, ring mail (shields are not permitted)
Weapons Permitted:Any single-handed sword or sword-like weapon, club, dart, mace, morning star, short bow, and sling
Weapon Proficiencies:2 + 1 every 4 levels
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-3
Weapon Specialization:N/A

Sonneteer Trickster

As with the sonneteer magician, a sonneteer trickster's magic flows from her instrument. However, she must carry with her and study each day from her composition book for the spells to be used the following day. As with other spell-casting bards, a verbal component in a spell indicates the sonneteer trickster must sing and play to cast the spell, while a spell indicating no verbal component requires the reciting of poetry. Song and poetry eliminates the need to carry any material component for their spell casting. Sonneteer trickster spells are selected from the illusionist's spell lists.

In addition to their spell casting, sonneteer tricksters are masters in the art of disguise and camouflage. This ability makes them highly desired by play productions as make-up artists.

The Sonneteer Trickster Character
Minimum Scores:Str 12, Dex 12, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 15
Hit Die Type:d4 (max 11)
Alignment:Any
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:Padded, leather, studded leather, ring mail (shields are not permitted)
Weapons Permitted:Any single-handed sword or sword-like weapon, club, dart, mace, morning star, short bow, and sling
Weapon Proficiencies:2 + 1 every 4 levels
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-3
Weapon Specialization:N/A

Jongleur Magsman

The jongleur magsman is a mischievous combination of skills. They are most typically encountered as street performers and in gypsy caravans. Aside from their bardic abilities, the jongleur magsman also engages effectively as a thief, performing all thiefly functions at two levels below their actual level, gaining their thieving skills at the 3rd level, and performing at the first level in their thief skills. Magsmen do not gain the ability to inflict extra damage for a successful back stab as do ordinary thieves. They may use those weapons, armors, and magic items usable by thieves.

The Jongleur Magsman Character
Minimum Scores:Str 12, Dex 12, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 15
Hit Die Type:d4 (max 11)
Alignment:Any non-good
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:Padded, leather, studded leather, ring mail (shields are not permitted)
Weapons Permitted:Any single-handed sword or sword-like weapon, club, dart, mace, morning star, short bow, and sling
Weapon Proficiencies:2 + 1 every 4 levels
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-3
Weapon Specialization:N/A

Jack-of-All-Trades

Throughout the history of fantasy roleplaying games, there have existed archetypical character classes. Most familiarly, these have been the cleric, fighter, magic-user, and thief. But occaisionally, the GM may find he has a player who desires to create a character with an individualized skill set; a personality unique among the "ordinary" mortals that make up the population of the adventuring world. Characters whose skill set is as unique as their persona, and just as carefully nurtured by the player over the course of a lifetime — both in-game and out-of-game.

MonkThis type of individual prides herself on her insatiable thirst for knowledge in all aspects of her life. It is this ceaseless quest for knowledge, unending curiosity, and questioning of the status-quo that motivates her. Altruistic missions for the better good of society play a secondary role to that of the exploration of the world about her.

To qualify, the character must have the minimum attribute scores to meet each of the classes desired to be within the individual's expansive skill set (referred to as his portfolio). When the character begins his career as a Jack-of-All-Trades (JoAT), he must declare a minimum of three professions (player character classes) within the portfolio. Professions may be added to the portfolio at any time the character advances to the next experience level, however, the character must always begin a new profession at the first level of experience according to the tables located hereafter. All alignment restrictions as defined by individual player character classes apply to the JoAT's portfolio. For example, a character who has declared paladin as one of the classes within his portfolio, cannot include druid, thief, or assassin as the alignment requirements for these classes will act in opposition to the tenants of the lawful good alignment required of the paladin class.

The JoAT allows the player to develop a character with the option to include those skills and special talents from each of the following classes; assassin, cleric, druid, fighter, illusionist, paladin, ranger, and thief. Talents from the Verméan Monk (detailed hereafter) have also been included.

The JoAT character does not attract a body of followers. However, upon attaining the 9th level of experience, the JoAT character will attract a single apprentice. This NPC can be of any single class appearing within the character's portfolio (excluding; druid, paladin, monk, and JoAT), and will always be human. The apprentice will have an experience of 1d4+2. This apprentice will be supremely dedicated to the JoAT, and will serve for life, even without compensation. However, any act of betrayal — real or perceived — will cause the apprentice to leave the JoAT's employ, and the JoAT will never again attract another. Similarly, the JoAT will not attract another apprentice upon the original apprentice's death.

The Jack-of-All-Trades character must be human. This is due to a human's unique desire for expansive knowledge, as well as a general inability to focus his attentions on a single passion or interest over the course of a lifetime.

The Jack-of-All-Trades Character
Minimum Scores:Int 16 plus all minimum ability scores for each class to be in the portfolio
Hit Die Type:d8 (max 10)
Alignment:Any except where limited otherwise by the portfolio classes
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:Any except where limited otherwise by the portfolio classes
Weapons Permitted:Any except where limited otherwise by the portfolio classes
Weapon Proficiencies:According to the portfolio classes
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-3
Weapon Specialization:According to the portfolio classes

Verméan Monk

The Verméan monk character class is devoted to perfection of body, and control and solitude of the mind. The monk seeks to maintain control and balance of the mind and body at all times.

The monk will always prefer hand-to-hand combat instead of fighting with imperfect man made objects when possible. However, the monk is not adverse to use of manufactured weapons when necessary.

The Vermé Monk possesses the following skills at various levels of her career;

Climb Walls; the thief-like ability to scale sheer walls and surfaces

Hide in Shadows; the monk is effectively invisible until he makes an attack or moves from the shadows

Move Quietly; the thief-like ability to move with unnatural silence

Mind Over Body; a monk's ability to control her body through meditation grants +1 saving throws

Unarmed Combat; as a monk progresses in levels, this skill improves, inflicting more damage and gaining numbers of attacks

Unarmored Defense; a monk is skilled at using his body for defense as well as attack

Deflect Normal Missiles; the ability to deflect normal, non-magical missiles from striking her body

Fast Movement; movement rate increases beyond that normally allowed to other members of his race

Body Temple; +1 to all saving throws vs. disease and poison

Feign Death; lower his vital bodily functions such as to appear dead

Quick Healing; the monk's body heals faster than of other mortal beings through meditation and rest

Quiet Mind; the monk's mind becomes resistant to spells and spell-like abilities that affect the conscious mind

Body Disruption; this attack can be used but once per day, and the monk must indicate whether they are striking to stun or slay

The Verméan Monk Character
Minimum Scores:Str 9, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 6
Hit Die Type:d6 (max 21)
Alignment:Any lawful
Experience bonus:None
Armor/Shield Permitted:None
Weapons Permitted:dagger, dart, javelin, scimitar, spear, staff, sling
Weapon Proficiencies:2 + 1 every 4 levels
Penalty to hit for non-proficiency:-3
Weapon Specialization:N/A

Considerations for Standard PC Races

The folk of the Verméan continent are compromised of all those listed in the PHB and also the OSRIC SRD. This section details how each of the basic races are treated and regarded in the lands of the Usherwood Adventurescampaign setting. Additionally, a three new character races and two new character classes are introduced later in this section.

Dwarves

DwarfDwarves are one of the races of non-magical Yyrch. Dwarves are hardy souls who thrive on struggle, hardship, and battle.

Player character dwarves may come in any of the sub-races as prescribed in the PHB or OSRIC SRD, or as defined by the GM in any individual campaign.

Racial affinities; follow those prescribed in the PHB and OSRIC SRD. Additionally, dwarves hold a strong hatred for any bloodstrain of Dragon Hordling. Dragon Hordlings who worship Avitori may be tolerated in rare individuals.

Character classes; the dwarf character may be of any class prescribed within the PHB and OSRIC SRD. Additionally, dwarves may also perform as four of the Verméan Bard sub-classes (described hereaafter); Racaraide Bard (8th level max.), Lorist Priest (6th level max.), Lyrist Veteran (10th level max.), or Jongleur Magsman (10th level max.).

Geographic occurrences; dwarves occur in several large clans throughout the tallest mountain ranges, south of the Mines of Echteleone and north Crandall Peak. A reclusive clan is rumored to maintain an enormous secret complex of caves within the north arm of the Lysianassa Mountain Range, from which they hold a vigil over the activities of Khizha Peak. A small clan populates the dominant mountain of the Usher Arm Peninsula, beneath Arnegelius Peak.

Elves

ElfElves are an offshoot of the first race of Man from the days before the Coming of the Nine. Humans would say that elves—also called Il'cris—are the second race of Besh. Elves claim they are the 'improved' original race, and that humankind is the castoff lesser strain of their common bloodline.

The truth of the matter is, the elven races share common physiological and ancestral roots with humans, only their histories differ by virtue of their historical divine patronage. As a result of this common bloodline, only humans may interbreed with elves to produce half-elves.

Elven sub-races fall along the lines of those prescribed within the MM[1], and the MMII; aquatic (en'wameryn), gray (il'cris), high (en'cris), wild (en'delfth), wood (il'beren), valley (en'maren). Each of these sub-races retains unique characteristics that GM's and players alike are encouraged to carry forward into the game;

  • Aquatic (en'wameryn); the origins of the en'wameryn place the race of the aquatic elf being driven from mortals lands during the Third Dragon war. The largest community of aquatic elves exists in the deep waters of the Sea dar de Imperium, southeast of the Usher Arm Peninsula, though smaller communities can be located all around the coastline of the continent, save those in the colder regions of the Northern Territories. PC aquatic elves will have great difficulty if separated from salt waters for too long. Though they are perfectly capable of breathing above water, their skin will dry out from the lack of moisture, salt, and other marine-based minerals. But the obvious advantage for the PC is their ability to maneuver and breathe under water.
  • Dark (ir'thelar); the ir'thelar are a mean, spiteful race of evil elf. These thoroughly hateful creatures were driven from the sunlit surface world many hundreds of years ago. Even their continued existance is the stuff of legend. No known communities are recorded in any contemporary census. Elves of this blood-line cannot be player characters, unless otherwise allowed by individual GM's.
  • Gray (il'cris); the gray elf is a direct descendent of the original sibling race of Man, known as the il'cris. These peoples are regal and majestic, and harbour a great love of artistry in all things they create. Full-blooded gray elves retain the true gift of immortality. Though gray elves will succumb to disease and injury, they will not die as a result of old age. However, as a result of this longevity, il'cris reach a point in their lifetime where they feel the 'sea-longing', which is a irresistible desire to return across the sea. Their destination is ultimately unknown, though rumor among the mortal races is that they return to their legendary homeland; the kingdom of Kahl'vaed on Parad'yse Isle. The gray elf is very aware of their own superiority over other elven races, and will pointedly remind others of their higher standing. Gray elves do not as a rule get along well with wild elves, whom they regard as dangerously unpredictable, and offensively uncouth.
  • High (en'cris); the high elf is a generic conceptualization of all the elven races (excluding the aquatic elf). These are the most commonly encountered elven sub-races when used as a PC.
  • Wild (en'delft); the en'delft are cousins with the il'beren; the wood elves. This strain of the elven races is the most chaotic, bordering on chaotic neutral alignments. Many of the en'delft, in fact, pay hommage to Bolc; patron deity of chaotic neutral beings.
  • Wood (il'beren); il'beren are only slightly more civilized than are the en'delft. The wood elves regard trees as the supreme beings upon the mortal world, and their entire civilization revolves around this belief.
  • Valley (en'maren); the en'maren valley elves are closely related to the high elven blood line. The principal differences between the valley and the high elves is in their attitude towards the other races; the en'maren get along better with halflings than do high elves, but not as well with humans.

Racial affinities; follow those prescribed in the PHB and OSRIC SRD, with the exception that all elves view halflings with goodwill. Additionally, elves hold a strong antipathy for any bloodstrain of Dragon Hordling. Dragon Hordlings who worship Orvvite are greeted with tolerance.

Character classes; the elf character may be of any class prescribed within the PHB and OSRIC SRD. Additionally, elves may also perform as five of the Verméan Bard sub-classes; Racaraide Bard (unlimited), Lorist Priest (5th level max.), Lyrist Veteran (unlimited), Sonneteer Magician (8th level max.), or Jongleur Magsman (unlimited).

Geographic occurrences; small populations of elves can be found throughout the continent, generally located within expansive groves of dense woodland. The larger communities are known to occur on the Usher Arm Peninsula, within the Thaelmarthir Wood; in the Central Continent within the Khizha Plateau and the Greylo Plateau; and on the Isle dar de Xerksis within the Caracatus Forest. An enormous city-state of elves is said to exist on Logh Ghug Island within the Alvitimos Isles.

Gnomes

GnomeGnomish history begins in the era shortly following the creation of the dwarves by Verda'an. The gnomish peoples relate how their demigod — Durl Bomboff — created the first gnome-man and first gnome-woman from two gem stones; the gnome-man from an emerald, the gnome-woman from a ruby. To this day, gnomish peoples prize these stones above all others.

Player character gnomes may come in any of the sub-races as prescribed in the PHB or OSRIC SRD, or as prescribed by the GM in any individual campaign.

Racial affinities; follow those prescribed in the PHB and OSRIC SRD. Additionally, gnomes hold a strong hatred for any chromatic bloodstrain of Dragon Hordling, and semi-sympathetic antipathy for any metallic bloodstrain of Dragon Hordling. However, Dragon Hordlings of any bloodline who worship Avitori are greeted with tolerance.

Character classes; the gnome character may be of any class prescribed with the PHB and OSRIC SRD. Additionally, gnomes may also perform as five of the Verméan Bard sub-classes; Racaraide Bard (unlimited), Lorist Priest (6th level max.), Lyrist Veteran (10th level), Sonneteer Trickster (8th level max.), or Jongleur Magsman (unlimited).

Geographic occurrences; gnomes are probably the rarest of the major demihuman civilizations. There are only three known major communities of gnomes known to exist on the continent; Fioonghula on the Usher Arm Peninsula, Speo on the Isle dar de Xerksis, and Everbung in Angel Pass below Crandall Keep. Smaller communities are thought to exist throughout the Central Continent hidden deep in dense woodlands, though none have ever been found.

Halflings

HalflingHalflings come in three sub-races; harfoots, stouts, and tallfellows. Save their physical differences, the three strains of halflings are generally similar, and for the most part, get along very well with one another.

Harfoots are the shortest of three races of halfling, standing at just 3 ft-tall in the average individual. Being small and nimble, the harfoots make excellent thieves (or, 'borrowers of lost items' as they prefer to justify it).

Stouts are of middling stature, topping out near 3-1/2 ft-tall, but never growing beyond 4' tall. The stout folk are frequently found as bards, playing the more folksie inns and taverns throughout the Northern Territories and northern regions of the Central Continent.

Tallfellows are easily distinguished from the harfoots and stouts as they stand on average at 4-1/2 ft-tall, with rare individuals nearing 5 ft, and are generally slimmer than either the harfoots or the stouts. In such individuals, if it were not for their large hairy feet, they would very nearly pass for very short humans. These halflings are more likely to engage in adventurous journeys than would either the harfoots or the stouts. They perform well as fighters, and sometimes can even ride horses in very unique individuals.

It is recorded that all three strains of halfling share an unknown common ancestral race.

Racial affinities; follow those prescribed in the PHB and OSRIC SRD. Additionally, halflings view any chromatic bloodstrain of Dragon Hordling with antipathy, and sympathetic tolerance for any metallic bloodstrain of Dragon Hordling. However, Dragon Hordlings of any bloodline who worship Avitori are greeted with goodwill.

Character classes; the halfling character may be of any class prescribed within the PHB and OSRIC SRD. Additionally, halflings may also perform as four of the Verméan Bard sub-classes; Racaraide Bard (unlimited), Lorist Ovate (6th level max.), Lyrist Veteran (8th level), or Jongleur Magsman (unlimited).

Geographic occurrences; halflings are found living in small communities generally within several days' ride from major human settlements of goodly alignments. This is due to the fact that halflings will do much trading and commerce with humans. Halfling communities will always be located within rich farm lands, where thinly forested woodlands are nearby. The largest and best known halfling settlement is North Ridge located on the Usher Arm Peninsula.

Half Elves

Half ElfHalf-elves are the inter-breeding of human (including all detailed sub-races), and an allowed player character race of the elven people. Therefore, it is possible to have nubian-sylvan half-elf, oriental-grey half-elf, european-high half-elf combinations. However, the traits and skills of all half-elven individuals remain identical. Half-elf combinations should not occur with sea elves and dark (drow) elves (unless your individual campaign rules allow such to happen).

Due to genetic incompatibilities between elves and other demihuman races, off-spring of non-human races (such as orc, dwarf, etc.) do not survive more than a few years, and so player-characters of such bondings will never occur. However, some very rare individuals may occur as NPC's.

Half-elves across the continent are generally seen as low-class bastard children within both elven and human communities as a rule. Regarded as flighty by their human kin, and uncouth and unsophisticated by their elven relations, half-elves generally have a hard time fitting in with either society for long periods of time. For this reason, half-elves, over the long period of their extended lives, tend to migrate into informal nomadic tribes. These tribes develop strong familial bonds, and unless a high crime is committed, once a half-elf is admitted into any particular tribe, they become a welcome member for the remainder of their days. Occasionally, a human or full-blooded elf may be invited to become adopted by a tribe of half-elves. Such an honor is rare, but to be greatly prized, for the half-elves are among the most loyal companions once a bond has been established.

Joining a half-elf tribe, first requires a member of the tribe (usually this would be an elder member, though in most tribes, any individual able to speak on the candidate's behalf would suffice) presenting you to the tribal elders as a candidate. Further, admission always requires a ritual, and sometimes a non-lethal (yet still challenging) task to be performed by the candidate.

The more well-known tribes are;

  • Northern Territories; Yggdrasil, Stargazer, Goldenrod, Rosenmadder, Naughtenborne
  • Central Continent; Cannabau'djal, Cano'ba,
  • Southern Continent; Ran'hsar, Jadmar, Desertflower
  • Omanthrid Guilds; Correlthian, Brightsail, Seapeony

This represents only a partial listing of the tribes that exist. The aforementioned are simply the most active, (in)famous, or largest of the known tribes.

Racial affinities; follow those prescribed in the PHB. Additionally, half-elves view any chromatic bloodstrain of Dragon Hordling with hatred, and tolerance for any metallic bloodstrain of Dragon Hordling.

Character classes; the half-elf character may be of any class prescribed within the PHB and OSRIC SRD. Additionally, half-elves may also perform as six of the Verméan Bard sub-classes; Racaraide Bard (unlimited), Lorist Priest (5th level), Lorist Ovate (unlimited), Lyrist Veteran (unlimited), Sonneteer Magician (6th level), or Jongleur Magsman (unlimited).

Geographic occurrences; being nomadic, half-elves are found everywhere except in the coldest regions of the Northern Territories.

Half-orcs

Refer to the section under New PC Races hereafter.

Humans

HumanHumans are the only race to populate the whole of the continent. Humans also come in many sub-races, and may be compared to european (common; occurring throughout the continent), american indian (very rare; occurring only on the arid plains of the southwest), middle eastern (uncommon; may occur anywhere, but is most common in the Southern Continent), far eastern (very rare; occurs only in small communities in the eastern Isle dar de Imprium), nubian (common; occurring throughout the continent), and latin (rare; occurs only in the Southern Continent, and in small pockets of the Omanthrid Guilds).

The word human comes from the original Sarngoch term—hhu'mahni—which means 'the Forsaken Man'.

Racial affinities; follow those prescribed in the PHB. Additionally, humans greet the blood strains of the Dragon Hordlings with suspicious tolerance. Humans sharing a common alignment with a Dragon Hordling individual my create a strong friendship. Mating between humans and Dragon Hordlings, while not a common occurrence, is not unheard of, but would, by physical necessity, be restricted to one-quarter hordlings and humans.

New PC Races

Half OrcHalf Orcs

As with half-elves, half-orcs do not fully fit in with either of its parent races. They are the result of inter-breeding human (including all detailed sub-races), and orcs. Therefore, it is possible to have a nubian-orc, oriental-orc, european-orc, etc., combinations. Individuals will have varying traits dependant on their orcish parentage (refer to the New Creatures section for details on the orc parent races).

Due to genetic incompatibilities between orcs and other demihuman races, off-spring of non-human races (such as elf, dwarf, etc.) do not survive more than a few years, and so player-characters of such a bonding will never occur. However, some very rare individuals may occur as NPC's.

Goblinesque half-orcs

Goblinesque half-orcs are short of stature, topping out at a maximum of 5 ft-tall (considered 'giants' among their kind). As with other half-breed orcs, goblinesque half-orcs are generally the result of a male goblinesque orc raping a female human.

A goblinesque half-orc child is generally hated by human communities. But within a tribe of goblinesque orcs, the half-orc would quickly gain stature and respect in the community due to its higher strength, intellect, wisdom, and charisma that it would invariably have over others in the community.

Goblinesque half-orcs (even those with a high charisma attribute) will have a far more difficult time disguising their orcish parentage, than would a standard half-orc. They tend to be warty, covered in patches of bristly hair, have chronic skin disorders such as lupus and psoriasis (as well they are prone to developing skin cancers at early ages), and are frequently stoop-shouldered and club footed.

Summary of Goblinesque Racial Abilities:

  • -1 strength, +1 intelligence, -1 charisma
  • +1 to hit against dwarves and gnomes

Languages: orc, goblin, kobold, the common tongue and the appropriate alignment tongue. Goblinesque half-orcs are incapable of learning more than 2 additional languages, regardless of intelligence.

Permitted class options: Assassin, Cleric, Fighter, Jongleur Magsman, Lyrist Veteran, Magic-User, Thief, Fighter/Thief, Cleric/Thief, Fighter/Assassin

Orgre half-orcs

Orgre half-orcs are tall, standing at a minimum of 6 ft-tall and topping out at a maximum of 7½ ft-tall. An orgre half-orc child is generally subject to one of two fates; either they are ridiculed and bullied as a parasite by the human community, or, they are slain and consumed by the orgre community. Therefore, any non-evil orgre half-orc is a rare thing as a result of this hellish upbringing.

Orgre half-orcs behave much like human berserkers, and have a serious inability to control their rage. This trait is especially beneficial in combat where the orgre half-orc player character may opt for either a +2 TH attack or two attacks per round. Against other orcs (of any breed), it is 65% likely that the orgre half-orc character will be unable to control their rage (at the start of a given encounter), and charge into melee at first sight of the enemy, shouting at the top of its lungs in a battle rage. Against non-orc creatures, the opportunity for this battle rage drops to 45%. The battle rage will last 2d4 rounds, during which time the character will attack anything within range, even going so far as to attack allies if no enemy is within sight. During the period of the battle rage, the player character attacks with an additional +1 TH and +1 damage on all rolls. Therefore, a battle raging orgre half-orc could strike an enemy once at +3 TH and +1 to damage, or it may strike twice at +1 TH and +1 to damage. This is in addition to other combat modifiers. But the orgre half-orc may conduct a save against this rage (in effect, the creature comes to its senses, and represses the desire to kill the object of its rage). The save required is a roll of 3d6 versus the Wisdom attribute, adjusted by the player character's level. Therefore, a 5th level orgre half-orc fighter with a Wisdom score of 10 encounters a common orc. It flies into a battle rage (throwing under 65% against its battle rage occurrence probability). However, as the rage comes over the fighter's mind, 3d6 are rolled with a result of 5, adjusted upwards by 5 due to the character's experience level, for an end result of 10. As the save equates (or is less than) the character's wisdom attribute, they overcome their desire to kill the object of their hatred in favor of a more thoughtful strategy.

The fighting style of the orgre half-orc is more based on brute strength and mindless physicality than it is based upon any intellectual thought process of strategy.

Summary of Orgre Racial Abilities:

  • +2 strength, -2 intelligence, -1 wisdom -2 charisma
  • berserking attacks for multiple attacks or extra damage

Languages: orc, the common tongue (requires 6 intelligence attribute) and the appropriate alignment tongue (requires 8 intelligence attribute). Orgre half-orcs are incapable of learning any additional languages, regardless of intelligence.

Permitted class options: Assassin, Fighter, Thief, Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Assassin

Dragon Hordling

Dragon HordlingDragon Hordlings are extremely rare. They were originally created by magics employed by evil dragons during the dragons' continuous struggles against mortal races. Originally, the hordlings were used as slave labor and shock-troops. Through the use of enchanted medallions, the dragon lords transformed humans and demi-humans alike into this twisted form of life.

Dragon Hordlings come in all the varieties of evil dragon-kind; black, blue, green, red, and white, as well as brass and copper individuals, and each has unique powers and personalities according to the originating dragon species.

Full-blooded hordlings are not playable as player characters (see the section on new monsters hereafter), though they may be playable as NPC's. All hordling PC's will be half-blooded individuals (as with half-elves, and half-orcs).

Hordling Flight

All hordlings have wing 'buds' sprouting from their back. Hordlings who have combined strength and dexterity attributes of at least 32 will have a 35% of chance having wings large enough to allow limited flight. Those hordlings capable of flight do so at 90 ft per turn, in flight class B, for a maximum of 3 rounds before requiring rest for an additional 6 rounds. Hordlings wearing armor of any sort (excluding the use of rings, bracers, capes, and similar devices) may not engage in flight. Similarly, a hordling carrying more than 25% of its body weight in equipment may not engage in flight. Land-based movement is identical to that of humans.

Hordling Alignment

Hordlings may be of any alignment, except where alignments are diametrically opposed to the originating dragon species (i.e., a black dragon hordling may not be of lawful good alignment, a blue dragon hordling may not be of chaotic good alignment, etc.).

Description: Hordlings have partially-developed wings and a short 1 ft tall . Their bodies (including the face) will be 60% covered in scales the color of their dragon species. They will be unable to fly while wearing armor of any type. Their eyes will take the coloration of the hereditary dragon species with cat-like pupils.

Hordling Sub-Races

Originally, the dragons were able to convert any human, or demi-human race (elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome, orc, et. al.) into full hordlings. However, only the human strains were able to reproduce successfully, and thus perpetuate the species.

Summary of Dragon Hordling Racial Abilities:

  • +1 dexterity, +1 constitution, -1 intelligence, -1 charisma
  • possible limited flight
  • breath weapon
  • natural armor
  • weaponless combat

Languages: the common tongue and the appropriate alignment tongue. Hordlings will always be able to communicate in the language of their parent dragon species. Hordlings will be to learn up to 4 additional languages, if allowed by intelligence.

Permitted class options: Assassin, Cleric, Fighter, Thief, Verméan Monk (black or blue hordlings only), Cleric/Fighter, Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Assassin

Sarngoch

SarngochThe sarngoch peoples are imbued with magical essence from the day of their birth. Each individual is unique in the nature of their magic, and the magic's relative strength. Due to the magic inherent to the race, sarngoch magic-users are not permitted as PC's. However, GM's may opt to allow such personalities as NPC's.

Sarngoch appear as tall, European-type humans (averaging 6 ft to 7 ft-tall in adults—roll 1d12, and add the result to a 6 ft basis, i.e., 6 ft + 1 on d12 equals 6 ft 1 in, 2 on d12 equals 6 ft 2 in, etc.). Sarngoch are long-lived, reaching ages over 200 in exceptional individuals.

Sarngoch must always be lawfully aligned, though they may be good, neutral, or evil.

Due to their connection to magic, much as a dwarf has a magical resistance due to their non-magical nature, the sarngoch is extraordinarily sensitive to magic, and harbors within them an innate ability to cast minor spells or illusions. There are two types sarngoch magic; magic-user and illusionist. The player must select the caste of magic their PC will draw upon.

Spell selection may not be changed once determined. GM's may choose to determine the spell selection randomly. Each spell may be cast 2x per day, or the PC may choose to cast the spell once per day and double either the duration, the range, or the area of effect.

All Sarngoch are able to cast two spells of their selected caste per day. This ability is adjusted per combined intelligence and constitution abilities.

As these spells are innate talents, the spells need not be memorized, and do not require a spell book, nor do they require spell components. However, the character must meditate on the principals underlying the casting of the magic, and devote them to short-term memory during a full period of quiet meditation. However, the Sarngoch must be able to manipulate verbal and somatic components where required.

However, the Sarngoch's sensitivity to magic is a double-edged sword. Being at-one with the magic that surrounds them at a molecular level, their biology also absorbs the damaging effects of magical attacks launched against them. All Sarngoch suffer a base -1 save versus all necromantic (i.e., magic-user and illusionist) spell attacks. As with their innate powers, the detrimental effects of a magical against a Sarngoch are elevated depending upon the combined intelligence and constitution attribute scores.

Summary of Sarngoch Racial Abilities:

  • -1 strength, +1 intelligence, +1 wisdom, +2 charisma
  • +1 to hit against goblins, half-orcs, hobgoblins, and orcs
  • innate spell casting abilities (see hereafter)
  • penalty to save vs. magic determined by a combination of intelligence and constitution ability scores

Languages: Sarngoch, the common tongue and the appropriate alignment tongue. Sarngoch will also know at least two additional languages of demi-human or humanoid races that prescribe to the PC's alignment. Further, the sarngoch PC may learn more languages as allowed by their intelligence ability.

Permitted class options: Cleric, Fighter, Thief, Cleric/Fighter, Fighter/Thief, Cleric/Thief

Psionics Revisited

Since the release of the First Edition Players Handbook, the appendix covering psionics has been met with criticism, critique, and trepidation. And very often, was not allowed by most GM's. The result being wasted opportunities into new adventuring possibilities. This author has long felt that the use of psionics would allow spell-like capability to otherwise non-magic using characters. However, the potential of unbalancing a campaign by use of the powerful psionics appendix could not be ignored.

Psionic ability points

Once the existence of psionics within a character has been determined, the character's ability points are calculated. This is determined by adding together the character's intelligence, wisdom, and constitution ability scores, and multiplying the result by 1d10, with a minimum psionic ability point value of 150.

For example; the fighter described above rolls a 5 on 1d10, and will have 255 ability points (17i + 18w + 16c = 51 x 5 = 255).

These are the points available to the character during any single day's activities to expend on his psionic talents. Once the psionic ability points are used, the player character is required to fully rest undisturbed for 8 hours in order to recover his ability points.

Gaining psionic ability points; each time a character gains an experience level, they roll 1d10 x 5 to indicate a growth in psionic strength.

Loosing and regaining psionic abilities

The presence of psionic powers can disappear and re-appear throughout a character's career. This happens anytime a character falls below 0 hp and is subsequently restored either through healing or magic. When this happens, any character can check again for the presence of mind powers as described above. Characters who previously held mentalist powers gain a +25% to their base chance. However, if their check fails here, no powers exist.

For example; the fighter described above is engaged in combat and falls to -5 hp. In the turns that follow, he is healed and restored to 5 hp, and regains consciousness. He rechecks for the presence of psionic powers, and rolls 35%. In this case, the fighter has lost his psionic powers, because he would have to have rolled 30% or below (5% + 25% = 30%).

Psionic talents can also disappear and re-appear if the character's intelligence, wisdom, or constitution ability scores are permanently altered. Note that this does not apply to temporary ability score adjustments.

For example; the fighter described above, having lost his mentalist powers, is attacked by a shadow, and is drained of 1 point of constitution. He may check again for the presence of psionic powers. This time he rolls 29%, regaining his mentalist powers as he now requires 30% to have these powers restored (5% + 25% = 30%).

At this time, the fighter re-rolls for his psionic ability points, rolling 7 on 1d10, earning 350 ability points (17i + 18w + 15c = 50 x 7 = 350).

Note that when psionic abilities are regained after having been lost, the quantity and kind of all talents must be redetermined randomly.

Psionic Talents

Psionic talents are never to be selected by the player, and should always be determined randomly (or assigned by the GM) for quantity and kind, as these powers are inherent within the subconscious mind, and are not studied or learned.

Base Attack and Defence Talents

Each being that has psionic abilities, will have one or more base attack and defence talents. The number of base talents are determined by rolling d% separately for attack and defence talents;

d%No. of Talents
01–751 attack talent1 defence talent
76–852 attack talents2 defence talents
86–933 attack talents3 defence talents
94–974 attack talents4 defence talents
98–995 attack talents5 defence talents
006 attack talents6 defence talents

Attack Talents

d6Attack Talent
1Ego Crush
2Hemorrhaging Brain
3Id Infiltration
4Psionic Obliteration
5Psychic Blast
6Psychic Thrust

Defence Talents

d6Defence Talent
1Empty Mind
2Iron Will
3Psionic Barrier
4Psychic Wall
5Super Ego
6Thought Fortress

Minor and Major Psychic Talents

Each being that has psionic abilities, will have one or more minor talents and may also have one or more major talents. The talents are determined by rolling d% separately for minor and major psychic talents;

d%No. of Talents
01–751 minor talent0 major talents
76–852 minor talents1 major talent
86–933 minor talents1 major talent
94–974 minor talents2 major talents
98–995 minor talents2 major talents
006 minor talents2 major talents

Minor Psychic Talents

2d12Talent2d12Talent
2Animal Communication14Expansion
3Body Armor15Faerie Flames
4Body Equilibrium16Hypnosis
5Body Weaponry17Ignite
6Cellular Healing18Invisibility
7Clairaudience19Levitation
8Clairvoyance20Molecular Excitement
9Detect Good or Evil21Precognition
10Detect Magic22Reduction
11Domination23Suspend Animation
12Empathy24Psychic Sensitivity
13ESP

Major Psychic Talents

1d20Talent1d20Talent
1Astral Travel11Mind Bar
2Aura Manipulation12Molecular Manipulation
3Body Control13Molecular Rearrangement
4Dimension Door14Psionic Travel
5Dimension Travel15Shape Alteration
6Disintegrate16Telekinesis
7Energy Shield17Telempathic Projection
8Ætherealness18Telepathy
9Gate19Telepathic Projection
10Mass Domination20Teleport

Psionic Monsters

Use of psionic powers is always a hazardous prospect, as any use of any psionic power has a probability of attracting unwanted attention from similarly empowered beings, and creatures who gain their sustenance by feeding off the mental energies of the psionically endowed character. These creatures will always be attracted to the psionically endowed in any party, before those without such talents. Frequently these creatures will materialize from an Æthereal state as psionic powers are being used.

However, the landscape of the psionically endowed monster is not limited to those listed here; any creature of at least 'Average' intelligence can potentially be gifted with psionic powers, using the following qualifiers to determine the presence of psionic powers, starting from a base probability of 1%

Monsters Attracted by Psionic Use

  • Brain Destroyer; Brain destroyers are found only in subterranean places, as they detest sunlight, and are quickly sickened and weakened by it. They are altogether evil and consider the bulk of human-kind (and demi-human-kind) as a food source. The brain destroyer's preferred attack is by striking out at a victim with its eight tentacles, which are extensions of its fingers. On a successful strike, the brain destroyer will burrow the tentacle quickly to the opponent's brain, generally reaching that target within 1d4 rounds. Once the brain has been reached, the brain destroyer will suck the organ forth from the victim's head.
  • Energy Hound; The energy hound is a fearsome psionic monster. They are found only in the deep places of the earth, far from the sunlit world of mankind. Rarely, a single creature may be found wandering in primordial forests, where the high canopy of trees prevents sunlight from penetrating to the ground. In such cases, the energy hound will be performing some task for a brain destroyer, whom the energy hounds are frequently found to be in servitude to.
    Brain Destroyer and Energy Hound Attack
  • ESP Lamprey, Giant; Giant ESP lampreys are leech-like eels which inhabit both fresh and salty bodies water: they do not inhabit shallow bodies of water (i.e., bodies of water less than 40 ft deep). Like their smaller, normal cousins, giant ESP lampreys feed by biting their victims and latching on with sphincter-like mouths ringed with sharp, needle-like teeth. Once attached the lamprey will begin to drain blood on the next and each successive melee round at a rate of 1d4 hit points per round that the lamprey remains attached. Additionally, if the victim is a psionically endowed creature, the lamprey will draw 3d4 psionic ability points from the victim each round it is attached, after the first round. Once the creature has drawn off 50% of its own hit points worth of blood, it will detach itself from the victim. The brain of the giant ESP lamprey, if consumed raw, will grant the creature eating it the power of ESP (as the magic-user spell of the same name) for a period of rounds equal to its hit points.
  • Fibrous Tangler; The fibrous tangler is a non-intelligent plant life, that is sensitive to energies continuously emitted by the psionically-gifted; whether psionic talents are in use or not. The tangler grows in loose drapes in densely forested regions, where sunlight seldom, if ever, penetrates the canopy where it resembles Spanish moss. It can also be found growing along the ceilings of damp caves where it is often mistaken for thick cobwebs.
  • ID Wasp, Giant; Giant id wasps do not generally hunt man-sized creatures; other insects and small mammals make up the bulk of their diet. But when pressed or threatened, they can become deadly foes. Outside the lair, they are found in small groups, although within the lair their numbers are known to be in the hundreds. Such lairs will occupy large cave complexes away from wind, rain, and snow. Within the lair, where tunnels can be anywhere from 1 ft to 3 ft in diameter, the temperatures run typically from 80° to 100° Fahrenheit. Such lairs will be constructed of wood fibers which the wasps have chewed and excreted mixed with their saliva, creating a papery pulp. This material is easily flammable.
  • Merqueen; The merqueen is a psionically-gifted female merman, who maintains her position within the mer community through exercise of her psionic talents. Each community of mermen may support the presence of no more than a single such individual at any one time. This queen is single-minded in her quest for power and wealth, and will stop a nothing to achieve her own ends.
  • Mind Mole; These small, mole-like animals can be found in most habitats, above and below ground. The mind mole is attracted by psionic activity of any sort—including magic spells which duplicate psionic effects (ESP, levitate, teleport, etc.). When a mind mole comes within 30 ft of any creature using such psionic (or spell) activity, it will attempt to draw upon the energy being used by psionically burrowing into the mind. This has the effect of attacking the mind with a psychic thrust upon the victim as though it had been cast by a creature of 1d4+4 hit die. The psion being attacked must escape the range of the brain mole or kill it to halt the burrowing. Cessation of the spell or abandoning the use of the psionic talent will immediately end the attack.
  • Mind Worm; The mind worm is a semi-transparent invertebrate that is attracted by the vibrations emitted by psionically endowed creatures. The attack of the mind worm is to enter the victim's body undetected through the ear. Once inside the victim's head, it will travel into the brain, and lodge itself near the cerebral cortex. There it will feed off the psionic energies of the victim. This attack will drain the victim of 1 hp for every 20 ability points used. Each time the victim uses 100 ability points (cumulative), the mind worm will divide into two worms, waiting for the next expenditure of psionic powers in order to feed. The real danger in the presence of a mind worm comes in potential numbers as they divide into more and more creatures, and draw off more hit points as they feed off the host's psionic powers.
  • Planar Worm; Planar worms are distant cousins to the larger purple worm (see OSRIC SRD, purple worm). Planar worms are so named for their ability to travel both astrally and æthereally. Planar worm nests are located on the Elemental Plane of Earth. They travel to and from the Prime Material Plane which is their favored hunting ground.
  • Psionic Psnake; The psionic psnake, also known as the æther serpent, is an incorporeal creature residing on the Prime Material Plane. Whence they come is unknown, and their ultimate motivations are equally mysterious. However, what is known is that they are attracted by, and feed on, the psychic energies used by psionically endowed creatures. They are completely undetectable by normal and magical means, although the faerie flames psionic talent will outline their presence when they fall within the area of effect.
  • Psionic Ray; Psionic rays are a race of intelligent sting rays which dwell in shallow tropical seas. They are of mean temperament, and clerical in nature. For every 10 encountered there will be one that is the equivalent of a 2nd level human cleric with regard to spell use; for every 20 encountered there will be a 3rd level cleric; and for every 50 encountered there will be a 5th level cleric. If more than 50 are encountered there will be the following additional rays: a leader with 8th level clerical spell ability and 3x normal hit dice, two guards with 6th level clerical spell ability and 2x hit dice.
  • QilinQilin (kirin); The qilin are a race of creatures originating from the Elemental Plane of Air, whose hooves rarely touch the earth, for they dwell amongst the clouds and behind the winds. This fantastic creature has the body of an ox, the head of a dragon, and its body is covered in thick fish-like scales. The qilin sometimes aid humans if properly persuaded or the need to combat evil is great. They are occasionally found traveling the astral and æthereal planes.
  • Unseen Predator; The unseen predator originates from the Elemental Plane of Air. The motivations of the unseen predator are simple; they are hunters of exotic and powerful creatures. When encountered on the Prime Material Plane—the creature's favored hunting grounds—it will be on the hunt of a specific creature or being. If a party's objective parallels that of the stalker, the creature may agree to join forces for a brief period of time. However, the unseen predator will never allow other beings to interfere with the success of its own hunt, and may even seek destroy those who would thwart the successful completion of the hunt.
  • Whipping Willow; This creature is a form of animated tree (see OSRIC SRD; tree, animated) that developed sentience and intelligence. The whipping willow can grow from 10 to 20 ft in height, and its diameter is twice its height. And, in addition to its two great club-like arms, the willow's high branches grow long and thin to vine-like, leaf-covered ropes that drape to the ground.

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