Greyhawk: Winds of Change
The Great Wheel turns…
On a World known as Oerth, in a land known as the Flanaess, a new age is about to begin. An age of unexpected changes, and unlikely heroes. An age of Men, and Elves, and Dwarves, who seize moments of glory. An age of heroes so great and villains so terrible, that the Gods themselves must take notice. An age of Orcs, and Goblins and Monsters, who rip each day from life’s teeth. An age in which the forsaken rise to power, and found an empire whose strength would shake the very foundations of the world.
In a time of uncertain allies, and dangerous enemies, the time to forge new legends is at hand.
What is your story?
The Way of Things
This campaign emphasizes the themes of War, Politics, Survival, and High Adventure. I like to keep the action gritty, and just a little over the top. I like my stories, both personal and provincial, to be epic yet still believable. I like to challenge my players, and I love when my players challenge me back. So, when you come to my table, I ask you to ignite your imagination and bring your best. I always do.
I’ve been DMing since the mid 90’s, and over the years I’ve found it useful to focus on a few central themes and rules when running a campaign. Fantasy is a nearly all inclusive genre, and this is part of it’s charm, but “anything goes” games strain not only the suspension of disbelief, but also the hardworking DM. There are simply too many D&D rule books in publication to realistically allow them all into any one game. It’s only for these reasons, logistics and verisimilitude, that I limit the books from which my players may draw material to build their characters.
The following books fit into the central themes of this campaign, and may be referenced freely when creating or leveling a character in this campaign:
- Player’s Handbook v3.5
- Hero Builder’s Guidebook
- Arms & Equipment Guide
- Sword & Fist
- Tome & Blood
- Song & Silence
- Defender’s of the Faith
- Master’s of the Wild
- Races of Destiny *
- Races of Stone *
- Races of the Wild *
- Epic Level Handbook
- * Races with level adjustments require DM approval
In addition to the books above, the following books may be referenced freely for detailing any land, keeps, cohorts, henchmen or other holdings or followers characters may acquire during the progress of this campaign:
- Enemies & Allies
- Savage Species
- Greyhawk Gazetteer
Many of the books on this list are from the 3.0 rules, or early 3.5. It’s my opinion that the earlier 3rd edition books were better written, and the rules show evidence of having actually been play tested before being published. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for anything “Old School.” That said, I’m a firm believer in the “House Rule,” and I like to say “Yes” to my players as often as possible, so long as doing so doesn’t disrupt the fun of the game. If there’s a feat, spell, item or prestige class from a book not on this list that you simply MUST have to complete your character we can probably negotiate.
I dislike standard arrays, but understand they promote balance, and expedite the character creation process. Players may choose to use the following array to create their characters: 16, 15, 13, 12, 10, 9. Players wishing to roll attributes randomly may do so, but only in my presence.
I like to run a challenging campaign, so there are a few house rules for creating characters that will toughen them up for the trails ahead.
- If you are rolling your character’s attributes, roll an extra 4d6 for attributes, as if you were generating 7 stats instead of 6. Discard the lowest roll and total the remaining three numbers, as normal. When you have all 7 scores, discard the lowest score and assign the remaining 6.
- A 1st level character receives a maximum hit die worth of Hit Points and adds his/her Constitution score to their starting Hit Points, rather than applying their Constitution modifier. They may do this again upon reaching 10th, 20th and 30th character level. At any other level, they roll normally for hit points and factor their Constitution modifier.
- All characters start with maximum gold for their class. All characters begin play with one outfit, one weapon, and one of the following pieces of gear free of charge: A suit of light armor, a small or medium wooden shield, a wooden holy symbol, a spell component pouch, a set of thieves’ tools, a common musical instrument, or a potion of Cure Light Wounds.
Naturally, a few house rules will already be in play at the onset of the campaign. I try limit these changes to what I believe are essential for maintaining balance, and fun. Keep these rules in mind when creating and playing your characters.
Racial house Rules
It is my opinion that the choice of character race should have much more impact on a character’s development than a few bonuses at the start of the game, that quickly lose potency. I’ve chosen to implement an adjusted version the Paragon Racial Classes found on page 33 of Unearthed Arcana. Let’s call them “Paragon Traits.” At your option, you can choose at any character level you would gain an ability score bonus (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, etc.) to instead gain Paragon Traits. If you do, you give up the ability score bonus normally gained at this level, and instead gain the benefits listed under “special” for your relevant Paragon Racial Class.
The “new” allowable races (Goliath, Illumian, Raptoran) are not as prolific in the setting, and scale much better as they level, and are not entitled to the benefit of paragon traits.
Class House Rules
Barbarian’s receive the Dodge feat for free at 1st level.
Bards receive the Skill Focus: Perform Feat for free at 1st level.
Clerics receive the Combat Casting Feat for free at first level.
Druids receive the Animal Affinity Feat for free at 1st level.
Fighters receive the Toughness* Feat for free at 1st level.
Monks receive the Run Feat for free at 1st level.
Paladin’s receive the Mounted Combat Feat for free at 1st level.
Psions receive the Psionic Focus Feat for free at 1st level. This feat must apply to the their primary discipline.
- Psychic Warrior
Psychic Warrior’s receive the Combat Manifestation Feat for free at 1st level.
Psychic Warriors do not receive Weapon Specialization at 6th level, nor are they eligible to select it at any other time. They receive a different bonus fighter feat instead.
Rangers receive the Skill Focus: Survival Feat for free at 1st level.
Rogues receive the Dodge feat for free at 1st level.
Sorcerer’s receive the Eschew Materials Feat for free at 1st level.
Wizards without a specialization receive the Spell Mastery Feat for free at 1st level.
Specialist Wizards receive the Spell Focus feat for free at 1st level. This feat must apply to their specialized school.
Other House Rules
- Variant Classes
Multi-classing is a useful too for creating a character more versatile than your average adventurer. It can also help to bring a character in line with our vision of what they should be like, in the event that a single class does not encompass all the abilities we imagine that character should have. Multi-classing has its limits however, and sometimes it’s inefficient or even impossible to achieve the desired character by using character classes as they are printed. This is why I allow players to tweak existing character classes and create custom variant classes. The purpose of this house rule is not to allow exploitative ability combinations or simply to allow a single class to behave as a multi-class and circumvent experience point penalties. Only if multi-classing cannot achieve the desired result is this variant allowed, and I, the DM, always have final say over what custom classes are ultimately allowed. A few examples of approved variant classes follow.
Warlord (Barbarian Variant)
Battle Cry: Once per encounter a Warlord may utter an inspiring battle cry. Allies who can hear the Warlord (including himself) gain +10 feet of movement speed for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s Charisma modifier. This is a mind affecting ability. – This Ability Replaces Fast Movement
Defensive Stance: +2 Strength, +4 Constitution, +2 morale bonus on all saves, +4 dodge bonus to AC. Defensive stances for 3 rounds plus the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. – This Ability Replaces Rage
Commanding Presence: Allies within 15 feet of the Warlord receive a +1 morale bonus to initiative. This bonus increases by +1 every 3 class levels. The range of this ability increases by 5 feet every class level. Commanding Presence is a mind-affecting ability. – This Ability Replaces Trap Sense
Witchblade (Bard Variant)
Blade Magic: Once per day per Witchblade level, a Witchblade can use his Blade Magic to produce magical affects on those around him. – This Ability Replaces Bardic Music
- Disbelief: Intimidate check to save vs illusions, patterns, or glamours.
- Mesmerize: Exactly as Fascinate, but vision based
- Incite Cowardice: -1 vs charm & fear, -1 on attack and damage rolls
- Incite Fear: as Fear spell
- Histeria: As Confusion but non-verbal.
- Incite Terror: 2d10 subdual damage, -2 on attack rolls, -1 on Will saves
- Sever Spells: as break enchantment
- Incite Horror: -4 on saving throws, and -4 to AC.
- Mass Histeria: As Confusion except affects 1 creature/level within 30 feet of eachother.
Forbidden Knowledge: This ability functions exactly as the Bardic Knowledge ability, except it only applies to Arcane or Combat related subjects such as: spells, weapons, magic items, the planes, religion, wizard schools, famous spell casters or warriors, outsiders, magical beasts, dragons, fighting styles, knighthoods, & wars. No mundane or general knowledge outside of the realms of magic or combat may be discovered by the use of this ability.