When all this started, I had created a PDF for the players to walk them through a couple of basic rules that needed to be clarified, and what, if any limitations this campaign might have on the very large amount of D&D material that is out there and available. Races, Classes, Homebrew, and anything else I thought was important. After a bunch of modification as the campaign progressed, I decided it might just be batter to put it all here. After all, we are already putting all the session content here. Here you go, rule updates, and any other material I thought was important for the players:
“Be copy now to men of grosser blood, And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman, Whose limbs were made in England, show us here The mettle of your pasture; let us swear That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not; For there is none of you so mean and base, That hath not noble lustre in your eyes. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!”
Henry Vby William Shakespeare
The campaign has started, people are playing, players are meeting, cats and dogs are sleeping together, it is a joyous occasion. As stated previously we are running a heavily modified version of a “standard” campaign. We record it, track our progress, and post those results here.
The accounting of each session is done by the DM (which is me). The accuracy of the report is mostly correct. Some things might be left out, and some clarification to others. There is also a DM’s version of each session with more details and specific notes for the campaign. These will be posted when the information contained within them no longer have any importance or relevance.
So, here they are in all their glory and poor English and Grammar.
The first set of session are titled “The Prelude” This is because everyone started at level one while the normal module suggests a level three start. Silly module, why should we follow those instructions? There are some side adventures to get the characters to about third level before the real campaign gets started. Some I took, some I tossed, and that were left were modified fairly heavily. I also wrapped the game with extra information and details to tie in the different character’s back stories.
My expectation is that the characters will probably be at least level three if not level four at the end of the prelude. It just means future encounters would need to be re-balanced, but pretty much everything needed some tender loving care, because none of it was perfect the way it was.
Characters are defined by much more than their race and class. They’re individuals with their own stories, interests, connections, and capabilities beyond those that class and race define. This chapter expounds on the details that distinguish characters from one another, including the basics of name and physical description, the rules of backgrounds and languages, and the finer points of personality and alignment.
What is contained within the Player’s Handbook related to names, gender, height, and weight are sufficient to cover most situations for newly developed characters. There is not any reason to expand upon those.
This detail for each character can be viewed as more of a guideline of expected behavior but will not be strictly enforced unless there is some class requirement for a specific expected behavior.
There are not any changes to the base language sets. It is expected that all the characters will minimally speak common unless there is a specific background or story about not being able to speak common. It is also assumed that all characters are literate, again unless there is a story reason to change that.
The Player’s Handbook offers many different suggestions on a character should consider for different traits, both good and bad. There are also the more specific ones offered under each of the Backgrounds. Again, these are all considered guidelines and only to be used if the player feels they need that assistance to understand their character and their background better.
Inspiration is a rule the Dungeon Master can use to reward you for playing your character in a way that’s true to his or her personality traits, ideal, bond, and flaw. By using inspiration, you can draw on your personality trait of compassion for the downtrodden to give you an edge in negotiating with the Beggar Prince. Or inspiration can let you call on your bond to the defense of your home village to push past the effect of a spell that has been laid on you.
Your DM can choose to give you inspiration for a variety of reasons. Typicality, DMs award it when you play out your personality traits, give in to the drawbacks presented by a flaw or bond, and otherwise portray your character in a compelling way. Your DM will tell you how you can earn inspiration in the game.
It is also frequently rewarded for some brave action, superb role-playing, or the completion of a difficult objective.
You either have inspiration or you don’t-you can’t stockpile multi pie “inspirations” for later use.
Think of inspiration as a spice that can be used to enhance the campaign.
Roleplaying. Using inspiration to reward roleplaying is a good place to start for most groups. Rewarding a player with inspiration when that player causes his or her character to do something that is consistent with the character’s personality trait, flaw, or bond. The character’s action should be notable in some way. It might drive the story forward, push the adventurers into danger, or make everyone at the table laugh. In essence, you reward the player for roleplaying in a way that makes the game more enjoyable for everyone else.
Consider each player’s roleplaying style and try not to favor one style over another.
Allison might be comfortable speaking in an accent and adopting her character’s mannerisms, but Paul feels self-conscious when trying to act and prefers to describe his character’s attitude and actions. Neither style is better than the other. Inspiration encourages players to take part and make a good effort, and awarding it fairly makes the game better for everyone.
Heroism. inspiration can be used encourage player characters to take risks. A fighter might not normally hurl himself over a balcony to land during a pack of hungry ghouls, but they could be rewarded for the character’s daring maneuver with inspiration.
Genre Emulation. Inspiration is a handy tool for reinforcing the conventions of a particular genre. Under this approach, think of the motifs of a genre as personality traits, flaws, and bonds that can apply to any of the adventurers.
In a campaign inspired by film noir, characters could have an additional flaw: “I can’t resist helping a person I find alluring despite warnings that he or she is nothing but trouble.” If the characters agree to help a suspicious but seductive noble and thereby become entangled in a web of intrigue and betrayal, reward them with inspiration.
Similarly, characters in a horror story typically can’t help but spend a night in a haunted house to learn its secrets. They probably also go off alone when they shouldn’t. If the party splits up, consider giving each character inspiration.
A sensible person would avoid the noble’s intrigues and the haunted house, but in film noir or horror, we’re not dealing with sensible people; we’re dealing with protagonists in a particular type of story. For this approach to work, create a list of your genre’s main conventions and share it with your players. Before the campaign begins, talk about the list to make sure your group is on board for embracing those conventions.
If you have inspiration, you can expend it when you make an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check. Spending your inspiration gives you advantage on that roll.
Additionality, if you have inspiration, you can reward another player for good roleplaying, clever thinking, or simply doing something exciting in the game. When another player character does something that really contributes to the story in a fun and interesting way, you can give up your inspiration character inspiration.
Reset of Inspiration
All inspiration that is gained during a session, if not used, expires at the end of that session such that all the characters will start with no inspiration at the next session and must earn it again.
When new tools or kits are added to the game this also will need to be reflected in the affected proficiencies as well as where that proficiency might be acquired.
This guide adds in the new tool: the harvesting kit. Players may have proficiency in this like any other tool, and it is highly advised for them to have it as it provides a valuable bonus when making the checks outlined in this book. To accommodate this additional tool, the following classes and backgrounds have been slightly altered to give them the option to gain proficiency in the Harvesting Kit.
Rangers may have proficiency with the harvesting kit upon character creation (this skill is not gained in multiclassing)
Druids may have the option to choose between proficiency in the herbalism kit or the harvesting kit upon character creation (this skill is not gained in multiclassing)
The Hermit background may choose between the herbalism kit and the harvesting kit as its starting tool proficiency and gains the appropriate kit as part of its starting equipment.
The Outlander background may choose between a musical instrument or the harvesting kit as its initial tool proficiency. They may also choose between a hunting trap, and the harvesting kit in its initial starting equipment.
Every story has a beginning. Your character’s background reveals where you came from, how you became an adventurer, and your place in the world. Your tighter might have been a courageous knight or a grizzled soldier. Your wizard could have been a sage or an artisan. Your rogue might have gotten by as a guild thief or commanded audiences as a jester.
Choosing a background provides you with important story cues about your character’s identity. The most important question to ask about your background is what changed? Why did you stop doing whatever your background describes and start adventuring? Where did you get the money to purchase your starting gear, or, if you come from a wealthy background, why don’t you have more money? How did you learn the skills of your class? What sets you apart from ordinary people who share your background?
Background serves not only to help give your character life, but it also provides the DM hooks to apply to the Campaign to give your character more than just a two-dimensional feel to it. You can include a happy childhood, horror, or anything in between that feels that it helps create the personality and history for you character.
Obviously, you cannot create an unbalanced background such that it would not fit into the Campaign. All backgrounds must be approved and most likely will be modified buy the DM to help it fit into the story everyone is about to participate in.
All backgrounds will need to be able to answers several fundamental questions:
Why are you adventuring? What is motivating you to live this dangerous lifestyle?
Do you have any other motivations?
Where did you come from? Where did you live? What was your life there?
Do you have any family alive? Where are they?
Do you have any important friends or contacts that would be useful to your new life?
Why would you be joining a group of strangers to do anything? Why would you trust them? Would you trust them? At some point you will need to integrate with the group and if you create an onerous personality and background that will prevent that, it will be difficult for your character to participate with the group.
While the multitude of reference, modules, and other books include many different backgrounds that are available to the players, sometimes there is the need for something more than just the standard ones. Here are the available homebrew backgrounds for this Campaign.
The following Homebrew backgrounds are available to the characters if their background would warrant the use of one of them.
Some master of both magic and machinery assembled you with a mixture of arcane prowess and tinkering proficiency. Your creator may be a mad mage who meant to use you for nefarious ends, a wise sage creating a steadfast soldier, or a lonely soul seeking friendship or family through unusual avenues. Perhaps you don’t even know for sure, having awakened decades or centuries after you were initially built. Gradually, you are discovering your innate abilities, your arcane code compiling and iterating. Perhaps you are discovering arcane gifts that your master shared with you or learning newer and better ways to pulverize your enemies with your unbreakable fists. The world is strange and new, and you will absorb as much of it as is mechanically possible.
Skill Proficiencies: Choose two from the following: Arcana, Investigation, Medicine, Perception, Performance, Stealth.
Languages: Choose two
Equipment: A broken sword, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10gp.
Feature: Quick Study
You were designed to adapt and grow, iterating on your experiences and developing a wider skill set as a result. Your arcane code rewards you for seeking out new encounters, particularly if you can challenge yourself to reproduce them. If you spend an extended period observing an expert at their craft, you gain advantage on your next attempt to mimic that skill.
If you spend an extended period observing a pickpocket plying their trade, you may gain advantage on your next sleight of hand check. You may only use this feature once per day, and the period of observation time required will be determined by your Dungeon Master.
Your praerogativa arcana determines how you prioritize your actions, interactions, and reactions to the world around you. Your attitudes may be determined by your master, or you may be developing new models of behavior as a rebellion against your creator.
Personality Trait Table
Retribution: I do not tolerate threats to my person and do not process nuance when it comes to myself preservation.
Iteration: My sarcasm module is in constant need of exercise and improvement.
Deception: I can’t be bothered to explain the truth, so I often pretend to be a human in a very complicated suit of armor.
Fascination: People are endlessly complicated, conflicted, and confusing. I can’t get enough of them!
Exploration: I love to wander around new areas, taking in all the sights and sounds.
Remediation: When there is a misunderstanding or falsehood, I am compelled to clarify. This program has occasionally been exploited by trolls (literal and metaphorical).
Priority: Curiosity. I must observe the world around me and gather all available data. (Any)
Priority: Replication. My code can only improve through the process of trial and error. It is my only means of achieving “growth.” (Neutral)
Priority: Adapt. The world is constantly shifting and changing, and I must be able to do the same. (Chaotic)
Directive: Protect life. I was built to preserve the lives of sentient beings and protect the innocent. (Good)
Directive: Consume. I will grow in power and complexity with each battle, and the battles will never end. (Evil)
Directive: Obey. I must follow my code and the laws to which I am bound. I am a bringer of order. (Lawful)
My creator’s genius has no equal; I must protect them, no matter the cost.
I have discovered that there are others of my kind. I must seek them out and protect (or destroy) them.
There are strict, specific laws governing my interactions with living creatures; I am incapable of breaking them.
I’ve made a tiny found family for myself – people that accept me despite my oddities. I would do anything to protect them.
Someone has discovered a means of manipulating the arcane spells that animate me. I must obey this interloper until I can find a way to free myself.
The secret to my creation is ancient, dangerous, and better off forgotten. Fortunately, I already don’t want people to tear me apart and see what makes me tick.
There is a loneliness inside me that I cannot explain and don’t fully comprehend. Sometimes it drives me to behave in erratic ways.
I am either disgusted or envious of my companions’ need to eat, sleep, and breathe. I sometimes goad them into overeating, intoxication, or other dangerous behavior just to see what happens.
I don’t yet understand social interactions well. I try to avoid speaking for as long as I can; when I finally do speak, it’s often exactly the wrong thing.
There are certain specific situations in which I am programmed to respond with violence. It is extremely difficult for me to overcome these directives.
I’m compelled to prove my superiority whenever a biological creature challenges me.
I don’t understand how imposing my presence is. I intimidate when I mean to comfort or console.
Far East Traveler
Almost all the common people and other folk that one might encounter along the Sword Coast or in the North have one thing in common: they live out their lives without ever traveling more than a few miles from where they were born.
You aren’t one of those folks.
You are from a distant place, one so remote that few of the common folk in the North realize that it exists, and chances are good that even if some people you meet have heard of your homeland, they know merely the name and perhaps a few outrageous stories. You have come to this part of Faerûn for your own reasons, which you might or might not choose to share.
Although you will undoubtedly find some of this land’s ways to be strange and discomfiting, you can also be sure that some things its people take for granted will be to you the new wonders that you’ve never laid eyes on before. By the same token, you’re a person of interest, for good or ill, to those around you almost anywhere you go.
Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation, Stealth, and Athletics or History
Tool Proficiencies: Gain tool proficiency in Alchemist and Herbalist
Languages: Each Far Eastern Traveler gains a non-standard foreign language that will have to be added manually.
Equipment: One set of traveler’s clothes, Herbalism Kit and an Alchemist’s Supplies, poorly wrought maps from your homeland that depict where you are in Faerûn, a small piece of jewelry worth 10gp in the style of your homeland’s craftsmanship, and a pouch containing 5gp
Why Are You Here?
A far traveler might have set out on a journey for one of several reasons, and the departure from his or her homeland could have been voluntary or involuntary. To determine why you are so far from home, roll on the table below or choose from the options provided. The following section, discussing possible homelands, includes some suggested reasons that are appropriate for each location.
Why Are You Here Table
Why Are You Here?
Feature: All Eyes on You
Your accent, mannerisms, figures of speech, and perhaps even your appearance all mark you as foreign. Curious glances are directed your way wherever you go, which can be a nuisance, but you also gain the friendly interest of scholars and others intrigued by far-off lands, to say nothing of everyday folk who are eager to hear stories of your homeland.
You can parley this attention into access to people and places you might not otherwise have, for you and your traveling companions. Noble lords, scholars, and merchant princes, to name a few, might be interested in hearing about your distant homeland and people.
These are the suggested characteristics for Far Traveler.
Personality Trait Table
I have different assumptions from those around me concerning personal space, blithely invading others’ space in innocence, or reacting to ignorant invasion of my own.
I have my own ideas about what is and is not food, and I find the eating habits of those around me fascinating, confusing, or revolting.
I have a strong code of honor or sense of propriety that others don’t comprehend.
I express affection or contempt in ways that are unfamiliar to others.
I begin or end my day with small traditional rituals that are unfamiliar to those around me.
Sarcasm and insults are my weapons of choice.
Open. I have much to learn from the kindly folk I meet along my way. (Good)
Reserved. As someone new to these strange lands, I am cautious and respectful in my dealings. (Lawful)
Adventure. I’m far from home, and everything is strange and wonderful! (Chaotic)
Cunning. Though I may not know their ways, neither do they know mine, which can be to my advantage. (Evil)
Inquisitive. Everything is new, but I have a thirst to learn. (Neutral)
Suspicious. I must be careful, for I have no way of telling friend from foe here. (Any)
So long as I have this token from my homeland, I can face any adversity in this strange land.
The gods of my people are a comfort to me so far from home.
I hold no greater cause than my service to my people.
My freedom is my most precious possession. I’ll never let anyone take it from me again.
I’m fascinated by the beauty and wonder of this new land.
Though I had no choice, I lament having to leave my loved one(s) behind. I hope to see them again one day.
I am secretly (or not so secretly) convinced of the superiority of my own culture over that of this foreign land.
I pretend not to understand the local language to avoid interactions I would rather not have.
I have a weakness for the new intoxicants and other pleasures of this land.
I don’t take kindly to some of the actions and motivations of the people of this land, because these folk are different from me.
I consider the adherents of other gods to be deluded innocents at best, or ignorant fools at worst.
I have a weakness for the exotic beauty of the people of these lands.
Prior to becoming an adventurer, you were a farmer, gardener, or orchard-keeper of some kind. You made your pay by tending to fruits and vegetables to produce food for your family and to sell at local markets. While most farmers grow common, edible crops, such as wheat and corn, others can grow rare fruits and magical flowers, depending on the climate and their expertise.
Many farmers live comfortably or in poor conditions, making you used to conditions that would make a nobleman turn up his nose. Caring for animals and digging in dirt is a messy and often thankless job, but it does have to be done by someone.
Farming tends to be a tradition within families, carried on for generations without much thought. Perhaps you were bored of a life of farming, or a disaster of some sort spurred you on to a life of adventure.
Skill Proficiencies: Choose two from among Animal Handling, Athletics, Medicine, or Nature.
Tool Proficiencies: Choose one from among Brewers’
Supplies, Cook’s Utensils, Leatherworker’s Tools, Weaver’s Tools, or Woodcarver’s Tools. You also have proficiency with Vehicles (Land).
Equipment: A set of common clothes, a walking stick, and a belt pouch containing 10gp.
Feature: Rustic Hospitality
Since you come from the ranks of the common folk, you fit in among them with ease. You can find a place to hide, rest, or recuperate among other commoners, unless you have shown yourself to be a danger to them.
These are the suggested characteristics for Far Traveler.
Personality Trait Table
I am unmoved by the wrath of nature.
My family is my bedrock, we will survive
I need long stretches of quiet to clear my head.
Rich folk don’t know the satisfaction of hard work.
I laugh heartily, feel deeply, and fear nothing.
I work hard; nature offers no handouts.
I dislike bargaining; state your price and mean it.
Luck is for losers; I make my own fortune for success
Camaraderie. Good people make even time pass more easily when working long days (Good)
Luck. With proper planning and the right weather, you can make your own luck (Lawful)
Daring. That crop might be the money maker this year. (Chaotic)
Plunder. Take all that you can and leave nothing for the scavengers. (Evil)
Balance. Pay attention to the needs of your field, and the field will watch over you. (Neutral)
Hard Work. No setback can move a soul hard at work. (Any)
The dirt is in my blood and always will be.
Someone else’s greed destroyed my livelihood, and I will be compensated.
I will grow the most fantastic of plants.
The gods saved me during a terrible season, and I will honor their gift.
My destiny awaits me in the wilderness finding that plant that will make me feel the earth again.
I must repay my village’s debt.
I am judgmental, especially of those I deem homebodies or otherwise lazy.
I become depressed and anxious if I’m away from the land too long.
I have lived a hard life and find it difficult to empathize with others.
I am inclined to tell long-winded stories at inopportune times.
I work hard, but I play harder.
I am obsessed with finding that one fantastic plant, often to the detriment of other pursuits.
Like a miner in their cave or a farmer in their field, you too make your living through reaping the riches of the natural world. Your resources, however, are the monsters and creatures that populate the multiverse. Although there are some who would scoff and call you a mere butcher, you understand the subtle complexities in the fantastical anatomies you find in your adventures, and only you are qualified enough to harvest them.
Skill Proficiencies: Nature, Survival
Tool Proficiencies: Harvesting Kit, Languages: One of your choice.
Equipment: A set of traveler’s clothes, a hunting trap, harvesting kit, a cloak made from a creature you harvested, and a belt pouch containing 5gp.
You have been harvesting creatures for a long time and as part of that, you have become deeply acquainted with the large industry of crafters and merchants that rely on the wares you bring. Whenever you enter a place of civilization, you have no trouble finding merchants willing to buy your materials or crafters that can work with your wares. You are also savvy in the bargaining techniques used when haggling over prices and are not easily tricked during negotiations. You often find yourself able to secure a good price, or even a discount on services relating to harvested materials.
Harvesters are an odd bunch, half outdoorsman, half entrepreneur. As someone who spends most of their time in the hunting and being elbow deep in dead bodies, you probably have a different worldview compared to most.
Personality Trait Table
I am often covered in blood and viscera, which other people find off-putting.
I see no moral issue about harvesting any once-living creature, even if they were clearly sentient. “Waste not, want not”, after all.
I often unnerve people with my discussions of the more disgusting aspects of creature anatomy.
I am obsessed with self-sufficiency; anything I wear must have come from something I harvested.
I say a small prayer before harvesting a fresh kill, thanking it for its sacrifice
The hunt is what excites me more than anything. Harvesting is just how I keep mementos of my prey
I insist on using every little bit of what I kill, it would be an insult to that creature’s life otherwise
I have a myriad of harvested trophies from rare game which I show off whenever possible
Life. Harvested meat will feed the hungry, harvested furs will warm the cold. Through death, comes life. (Good)
Honor. I refuse to use something harvested from a creature that I did not kill with my own hands. (Lawful)
Necessity. Creatures kill and harvest other creatures to survive. You may not like it, but it’s just the way things are. (Neutral)
Opportunity. If something is already dead, what’s the point of letting its corpse go to waste? (Chaotic)
Dominance. Nothing shows off your strength like having your own Owlbear-head trophy. (Evil)
Money. People always want hides, pelts, and skins; I may as well be the one to profit off it. (Any)
My clan won’t respect me unless I bring back the head of a rare and dangerous creature.
Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of wearing a unicorn fur cloak. If you have a better way of getting one, I’d like to hear it.
Hunting and harvesting creatures are the only way I know how to make money and feed my family.
Visions of a monstrously large creature haunt my dreams. They won’t stop until I find it and claim its pelt for my cloak.
I am interested in studying the anatomy of rare and magical creatures and I need samples to continue my research.
Harvesting creatures has been my family’s profession for generations; I’m just continuing this long line of tradition.
Once I decide that a creature will become my next trophy, nothing will stop me from getting it.
Some would say I get a little too much pleasure in slicing corpses open and tearing out their fresh organs.
I’m always looking for the next big hunt, something that will probably get me killed.
I tend to exaggerate the quality of my harvested wares to inflate their price.
Once I kill something, I will drop everything to take a trophy from it before moving on.
I see other living creatures as just organs in a skin bag, waiting to be sold.
Adventurers are extraordinary people, driven by a thirst for excitement into a life that others would never dare lead, they are heroes, compelled to explore the dark places of the world and take on the challenges that lesser women and men can’t stand against.
Class is the primary definition of what your character can do, it’s more than a profession; it’s your character’s calling. Class shapes the way you think about the world and interact with it and your relationship with other people and powers in the multiverse. A fighter, for example, might view the world in pragmatic terms of strategy and maneuvering, and see herself as just a pawn in a much larger game. A cleric, by contrast, might see himself as a willing servant in a god’s unfolding plan or a conflict brewing among various deities. While the fighter has contacts in a mercenary company or army, the cleric might know several priests, paladins, and devotees who share his faith.
Your class gives you a variety of special features, such as a fighter’s mastery of weapons and armor, and a wizard’s spells. At low levels, your class gives you only two or three features, but as you advance in level you gain more, and your existing features often improve. Each class entry in the Player’s Handbook and many different expansions includes a detailed explanation of each one.
Adventurers sometimes advance in more than one class. A rogue might switch direction in life and swear the oath of a paladin, A barbarian might discover latent magical ability and dabble in the sorcerer class while continuing to advance as a barbarian. Elves are known to combine martial mastery with magical training and advance as fighters and wizards simultaneously. Optional rules for combining classes in this way, called multiclassing, appear in chapter 6 of the Player’s Handbook.
At different levels for each class, you will need to select a sub-class for your primary class. This is usually some sort of enhancement of your progress path. This secondary class will give you different benefits throughout your leveling career.
Sub-Class Availability Table
While there is not the possibility of a unique Homebrew class, there are many possibilities for Homebrew sub-classes that almost all classes become eligible for at different points in their profession.
Some rogues favor honing their skill and precision, others perfect a silver tongue, but you — well, you’ve always gotten a kick out of leaving things up to chance. Rogues of the Wild Card variety thrive on the high stakes and random thrill of the game table. Armed with cunning cheats and no small amount of luck, these sly gamblers live and die by their rules, never keen to simply accept the hand fate deals them.
Tricks Up the Sleeve: Your penchant for games has afforded you the ability to subtly manipulate fortune to your favor. When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn the Guidance cantrip. Starting at 9th level, it has a range of 30 feet for you, and you may cast it as a bonus action.
Wild Card’s Gambit: Starting at 3rd level when you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency with all gaming sets.
A deck of playing cards becomes deadly in your hands. You can treat a card as a light, finesse, thrown (range 20/60) weapon. You are proficient with this weapon, and it deals 1d4 slashing damage. The card you throw counts as a magical weapon for the purposes of overcoming resistances and immunities. Whenever you make an attack roll using a playing card, draw a card from a deck containing 54 cards (52 cards and 2 jokers).
In addition, your combat prowess and luck sometimes allow your attacks to surpass mortal limits, granting additional effects depending on the card drawn. If you have not yet used your sneak attack this turn, you can instead draw a card from a 54-card deck and add an effect to your attack based on the Wild Card Suit Table Below. You can attack using a card in this manner a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of once) per short or long rest.
Attacking with one of the cards, the card is consumed during the attack. A deck that is drawn from may only have the normal 54 or less cards within it. It is not possible to draw a specific card, even if the deck is marked or filled with different types of cards. It will always be a random selection from the normal 54. If there are more than the normal 54 cards, the special ability fails to work, and the use still consumed in the attempt.
Wild Card Suit Table
Roll your Sneak Attack damage and add it to your playing card’s damage. At the start of its next turn, the target takes additional damage equal to half the Sneak Attack damage rolled.
Until the start of your next turn, the target’s speed is halved. It can’t make more than one attack on its turn while its speed is reduced in this way.
Roll your Sneak Attack damage and add it to your playing card’s damage. You also immediately regain a number of hit points equal to the half the damage dealt. Any excess hit points regained become temporary hit points.
Take the disengage and then the dash actions. You still have the use of your bonus action and sneak attack after this card is drawn.
Aces and Jokers are wild cards, morphing suits depending on the dealer’s wishes. Choose Spades, Clubs, Hearts, or Diamonds. The card then immediately gains the suit’s respective effect.
Tricks Up the Sleeve: Starting at 9th level, your Guidance spell has a range of 30 feet for you, and you may cast it as a bonus action.
Shifting the Odds: Starting at 9 level, whenever you make an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw at disadvantage and roll a 1, you can treat both d20 rolls as a 20.
Twist of Fate: At 13th level, your mastery over the game table hones your speed and cunning in combat. After rolling initiative but before the first turn of combat, you can choose to swap places in the initiative order with one creature you can see. If the creature is one of your allies, that ally must agree to swapping initiative with you.
Joker Wild: At 17th level, your mastery over chance encompasses even your own form, allowing you to temporarily perceive all potential realities. As a bonus action on your turn, you can enter a flow state, seeing the tells of all creatures around you and gaining the following benefits:
You gain resistance to all damage, and are immune to the grappled, paralyzed, stunned, and restrained conditions.
You can move through objects and creatures as if they were difficult terrain. You cannot end your turn inside a creature, and you cannot move through any objects you cannot see past, such as walls.
This flow state lasts for one minute or until you are incapacitated. Once you have used this feature, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.
A visit to one of the great cities in the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons – Waterdeep, the Free City of Greyhawk, or even uncanny Sigil, the City of Doors – overwhelms the senses. Voices chatter in countless different languages. The smells of cooking in dozens of different cuisines mingle with the odors of crowded streets and poor sanitation. Buildings in myriad architectural styles display the diverse origins of their inhabitants.
And the people themselves – people of varying size, shape, and color dressed in a dazzling spectrum of styles and hues – represent many different races, from diminutive halflings and stout dwarves to majestically beautiful elves, mingling among a variety of human ethnicities.
Scattered among the members of these more common races are the true exotics: a hulking dragonborn here, pushing his way through the crowd, and a sly tiefling there, lurking in the shadows with mischief in her eyes. A group of gnomes laughs as one of them activates a clever wooden toy that moves of its own accord. Half- elves and half-orcs live and work alongside humans, without fully belonging to the races of either of their parents. And there, well out of the sunlight, is a lone drow – a fugitive from the subterranean expanse of the Underdark, trying to make his way in a world that fears his kind.
Choose a Race
Humans are the most common people in the worlds of Dungeons and Dragon, but they live and work alongside dwarves, elves, halflings, and countless other fantastic species. Your character belongs to one of these peoples.
Not every intelligent race of the multiverse is appropriate for a player-controlled adventurer. Dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans are the most common races to produce the sort of adventurers who make up typical parties. Dragonborn, gnomes, half-elves, half- orcs, and tieflings are less common as adventurers. Drow, a subrace of elves, are also uncommon.
Your choice of race affects many different aspects of your character. It establishes fundamental qualities that exist throughout your character’s adventuring career. When making this decision, keep in mind the kind of character you want to play.
A halfling could be a good choice for a sneaky rogue, a dwarf makes a lough warrior, and an elf can be a master of arcane magic.
Your character race not only affects your ability scores and traits but also provides the cues for building your character’s story. Each race’s description in the chapter in the Player’s Handbook includes information to help you roleplay a character of that race, including personality, physical appearance, features of society, and racial alignment tendencies. These details are suggestions to help you think about your character; adventurers can deviate widely from the norm for their race. It’s worthwhile to consider why your character is different, as a helpful way to think about your character’s background and personally.
Each campaign will have different limitations and requirements for what races might be made available. The reasoning might be for ambiance or just mechanical reasons. No matter what the reasoning might be, these limitations must be followed.
The following races are explicitly allowed:
The following races are explicitly not allowed:
Open to Negotiation Races
The following races might be allowed if a sufficiently good reasoning was offered to the DM:
At this time there are not any Homebrew races, but that does not mean that it will be that way forever.
There are not any significant changes from the Player’s Handbook on the process of creating a character. We will be using D&D Beyond to maintain and manage all the player characters. Any Homebrew content that is required will be created within that application.
Determining Ability Scores
Much of what your character does in the game depends on his or her six abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each ability has a score, which is a number you record on your character sheet.
The six abilities and their use in the game are described in chapter 7 in the Player’s Handbook. The Ability Score Summary table provides a quick reference for what qualities are measured by each ability, what races increases which abilities, and what classes consider each ability particularly important.
You generate your character’s six ability scores randomly. Roll four 6-sided dice and record the total of the highest three dice on a piece of scratch paper. This is repeated seven times, so that you have seven numbers in total. Choosing the best of the six rolls will make up your base attribute pool for you to select where to place them into your attributes.
Now take your six numbers and write each number beside one of your character’s six abilities to assign scores to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Afterward, make any changes to your ability scores because of your race choice.
After assigning your ability scores, determine your ability modifiers using the Ability Scores and Modifiers table. To determine an ability modifier without consulting the table, subtract 10 from the ability score and then divide the result by 2 (round down). Write the modifier next to each of your scores.
Describe Your Character
Once you know the basic game aspects of your character, it’s time to flesh him or her out as a person. Your character needs a name. Spend a few minutes thinking about what he or she looks like and how he or she behaves in general terms.
Using the information in chapter 4 from the Player’s Handbook, you can flesh out your character’s physical appearance and personality traits. Choose your character’s alignment (the moral compass that guides his or her decisions) and ideals. Chapter 4 in the Player’s Handbook also helps you identify the things your character holds most dear, called bonds, and the flaws that could one day undermine him or her.
Your character’s background describes where he or she carne from, his or her original occupation, and the character’s place in the D&D world. Your DM might offer additional backgrounds beyond the ones included in chapter 4 of the Player’s Handbook and might be willing to work with you to craft a background that’s a more precise fit for your character concept.
A background gives your character a background feature (a general benefit) and proficiency in two skills, and it might also give you additional languages or proficiency with certain kinds of tools. Record this information, along with the personality information you develop, on your character sheet.
Your Character’s Abilities
Take your character’s ability scores and race into account as you flesh out his or her appearance and personality. A very strong character with low Intelligence might think and behave very differently from a very smart character with low Strength.
High Strength usually corresponds with a burly or athletic body, while a character with low Strength might be scrawny or plump.
A character with high Dexterity is probably lithe and slim, while a character with low Dexterity might be either gangly and awkward or heavy and thick fingered.
A character with high Constitution usually looks healthy, with bright eyes and abundant energy. A character with low Constitution might be sickly or Frail.
A character with high Intelligence might be highly inquisitive and studious, while a character with low Intelligence might speak simply or easily forget details.
A character with high Wisdom has good judgment, empathy, and a general awareness of what’s going on. A character with low Wisdom might be absent-minded, foolhardy, or oblivious.
A character with high Charisma exudes confidence, which is usually mixed with a graceful or intimidating presence. A character with a low Charisma might come across as abrasive, inarticulate, or timid.
Your class and background determine your character’s starting equipment, including weapons, armor, and other adventuring gear. Record this equipment on your character sheet. All such items are detailed in chapter 5 in the Player’s Handbook.
Your Strength score limits the amount of gear you can carry. Try not to purchase equipment with a total weight (in pounds) exceeding your Strength score times 15. The Player’s Handbook Chapter 7 has more information on carrying capacity.
Beyond 1st Level
As your character goes on adventures and overcomes challenges, he or she gains experience, represented by experience points. A character who reaches a specified experience point total advances in capability. This advancement is called gaining a level.
When your character gains a level, his or her class often grants additional features, as derailed in the class description. Some of these features allow you to increase your ability scores, either increasing two scores by 1 each or increasing one score by 2. You can’t increase an ability score above 20. In addition, every character’s proficiency bonus increases at certain levels.
Each time you gain a level, you gain 1 additional Hit Die. Roll that Hit Die, add your Constitution modifier to the roll, and add the total to your hit point maximum.
When your Constitution modifier increases by 1, your hit point maximum increases by 1 for each level you have attained.
When Bruenor reaches 8th level as a fighter, he increases his Constitution score from 17 to 18, thus increasing his Constitution modifier from +3 to +4. His hit point maximum then increases by 8, one per level he has achieved.
The Character Advancement table summarizes the XP you need to advance in levels from level 1 through level 20, and the proficiency bonus for a character of that level. Consult the information in your character’s class description to see what other improvements you gain at each level.
While there are two normal methods of advancement; Milestone and Experience Points, we will be using Experience Points for this Campaign. I prefer the more gradual incremental increases of the advancement to show the growth and to give the players a more gradual feeling of accomplishments.
Tiers of Play
The shading in the Character Advancement Table shows the four tiers of play. The tiers don’t have any rules associated with them; they are a general description of how the play experience changes as characters gain levels.
In the first tier (levels 1-4), characters are effectively apprentice adventurers. They are learning the features that define them as members of classes, including the major choices that flavor their class features as they advance (such as a wizard’s Arcane Tradition or a fighter’s Martial Archetype). The threats they face are relatively minor, usually posing a danger lo local farmsteads or villages.
In the second tier (levels 5-10), characters come into their own. Many spellcasters gain access to 3rd-Ievel spells at the start of this tier, crossing a new threshold of magical power with spells such as fireball and lightning bolt. At this tier, many weapon-using classes gain the ability to make multiple attacks in one round. These characters have become important, facing dangers that threaten cities and kingdoms.
In the third tierer (levels 11-16), characters have reached a level of power that sets them high above the ordinary populace and makes them special even among adventurers. At 11th level, many spellcasters gain access lo 6th-leveI spells, some of which create effects previously impossible for player characters to achieve. Other characters gain features that allow them to make more attacks or do more impressive things with those attacks. These mighty adventurers often confront threats to whole regions and continents.
At the fourth tier (levels 17-20), characters achieve the pinnacle of their class features, becoming heroic (or villainous) archetypes. The fate of the world or even the fundamental order of the multiverse might hang in the balance during their adventures.
This shadow network seeks to expand its influence and power base throughout Faerun. Its members coerce, persuade, or buy their way into every major area of influence. Rogues and warlocks fill the Zhentarim’s ranks, but the faction recruits any who can conduct its business without too many moral reservations.
This faction is primarily a military organization made up of paladins, clerics, and monks. Members of the order are faithful and vigilant seekers of justice who protect others from the depredations of evildoers. They exact swift retribution against those who violate the law.
The Lords’ Alliance is a shaky compact of aggressive political powers concerned with mutual security and prosperity. Fighters and sorcerers are prevalent among alliance agents, and they are often glory hounds seeking personal recognition. Most agents are lawful or neutral; in the courtly circles of the lords, those who don’t follow the rules seldom last long. Trade along rivers and roads links the cities of the Lords’ Alliance, so its operatives eliminate threats to that trade as soon as they appear.
A scattered network of spellcasters and spies, the Harpers advocate equality and covertly oppose the abuse of power, magical or otherwise. Agents operate in secret and emphasize stealth and subtlety, or at the very least discretion. Bards and wizards are their most prominent members.