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The Seven Schools
A Brief History
The game world is a blend of Eastern and Western philosophy, classist structure, and feudal economic principles. Two thousand years ago, an enterprising King united several of his neighbors under common flag, and conquered most of the rest. This fragile kingdom solidified itself over the course of the next few generations, consolidating power and absorbing the last holdouts. This lasted for about four hundred years. Eventually, other bold and enterprising Barons, Lords, and assorted nobles attempted a revolution, only to fracture the Kingdom. Each ruler that thought theirs was the rightful claim took crown and kingdom for themselves. Eventually, an uneasy truce was established. The most powerful of these united the others under common banner and citadel. So was crowned the High King Graegor Ironfist the First. Under the High King, each self-proclaimed royal was allowed to keep their titles and lands, however, these Small Kings were to continue trade with each other’s fiefdoms. This period of peace and prosperity lasted for 800 years. Sadly, the Small Kings felt they were not each getting their due, and united to form a governing body to counter the High King’s rule. This was marginally successful, deposing High King Shaddam VII, sometimes referred to as “Shaddam the Lesser,” of much of his control. However, his son ended the Parliamentary Period in one fell swoop: Shaddam VIII had the entire Parliamentary body put to death, pronounced himself Emperor, and offered crowns to only those kingly heirs that would submit to his authority. He spent the rest of his days solidifying his power. Today, Shaddam VIII has died, leaving Emperor Shaddam IX to rule at the young age of 14.
Oft called “the Child Emperor” or simply “IX” the youngest Shaddam growes easily weary of his authority and seeks to amusement. It is the occasion of his 17th birthday, an event which coincides with the Imperial Martial Arts Tournament.
The Psycho-Social Contract of Lords
“Lord” in this world is simply any land-owner that is also a free citizen. Lords may acquire Serfs, un-paid laborers that tend fields, work forges, and perform other menial labor tasks. The next class are the Freemen. Freemen are Merchants, skilled Artisans, Seneschals, Exchequers, and Chiurgeons. Freemen are generally literate. They may take on apprentices and earn profits from their labor. They are also the only class that is taxed. The next-highest class is the Warrior Class—Vassals, Knights, Squires, and their Men-at-Arms. They are responsible for enforcing Law and defending the Lord’s holdings. They will typically live in better accommodations than Serfs and Freemen, although not all Knights will live in their Lord’s housing. Last are the Lords themselves. Lords and Ladies, are the lowest of the Nobility. They enjoy the most luxuries that their taxes can afford. However, in exchange for a privileged lifestyle, Lords must provide defense for all their lower classes, enforce the laws and render tax to the next-highest-Noble above them. Thus is the Social Contract of Lords. Should a Lord or Lady fail in their duty, over-tax, under-enforce, or utilize tyranny, numerous problems will arise—banditry in their lands, low worker output, civil unrest, removal by other Lords, or replacement by higher Nobles.
Essentially, the ranks look like this: serf/merchant-knight/vassal-lord-baron-duke/prince-king-emperor. There is only one Emperor, Shaddam the Ninth.
Duels and the Nature of Warfare
Seeing the destroyed economy of his newly-forged Kingdom, the First High King, Gregor Ironfist, decreed henceforth that all warfare would be decided by single or small-group combat. This was greatly aided by the sheer lack of numbers available to fight wars, after centuries of bloodshed. Trial-by-Champion became the accepted way of doing battle. A single Champion, properly supported by a Lord’s holdings, could out-fight any five or six untrained warriors. Some Champions became so great in their renown that they were oft awarded entitlements and lands of their own, attracting followers with tales of glory and great deeds.
Duels have some very clear-cut rules. Trial-by-Champion is the most formalized, and offers the pattern for all other duels. First, a governing body, Lord, or Kingdom must initiate a Challenge. The receiving party must Accept or Deny the challenge. Upon Acceptance, the format is determined. In Trial-by-Champion, the Challenger and Defender must each choose a Champion to serve as their representative in the Circle of Equals. The rest is simple: Champions fight until one yields or dies, and both parties must accept the results of the conflict. Interference from other Champions is considered a disgrace to the party that benefits, and both Champions are expected to withdraw from conflict.
Character Build Information.
Each character in this game will start as a Level 1 Human Monk, and choose one of the six available Great Schools. Players will be provided a link to all of the information contained in this wiki and other pages, or in print. Players will be expected to wage the decisions of their outcomes heavily—interference in Duels will result in the character losing their Lawful status, being shunned by Authority, and likely other playing characters. In addition to being unable to continue leveling as a monk, non-lawful ex-monks will also lose their School benefits, supernatural abilities, and access to ki abilities. Playing characters that only break these rules in minor ways may lose temporary access to School benefits, supernatural abilities, and access to ki abilities.
Class Options & Multi-class Restrictions:
The Seven Schools character options can be found under the Wiki Tab.
Bonus Feats and other class options can be found under the Items Tab.
Characters can acquire and advance levels in only one additional class; provided they have at least half of their levels in monk.
Characters that cease to be Lawful may advance in any classes other than monk.
Ki & the Mystic Warrior:
Characters will have access to more mystic power than ordinary PF monks, due to the availability of in-party healing and the usefulness of found gear will be somewhat diminished. Characters will have a ki pool of Level + Wisdom modifier, beginning at Level One.
Characters will receive a -1 penalty to all d20 rolls for every threshold of wounds they receive beyond the first threshold, calculated as such: Hit Die + CON modifier. For example: Dar’Hato has 16 HP at 3rd level. As a mystic warrior his Hit Die is d8 and his Constitution is 14 (+2 modifier). For ever 10 damage that Dar’Hato receives, but not including the first 10 damage, he will receive a -1 penalty to all d20 rolls. The usual penalties for being Staggered at 0 HP do not exist, as they are ultimately redundant.