Saturday, December 24, 2011
Ages of Lingusia: The Lawful Kindred in Swords & Wizardry
Races and Kindred of Lingusia
The races of Lingusia are diverse and offer a variety of alternatives to the default options for races in the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules. The following additional rules are used to govern how races work in this particular setting:
No Class/Race Restrictions
S&W Complete defaults to certain expectations; only humans, for example, can be assassins, rangers and paladins. In Lingusia all races have access to all classes (with some exceptions) but they may pay a penalty to advance in classes that are not considered favored. Thus you can have orcish assassins, Halfling druids and minotaur paladins if it is so desired; just be mindful that NPCs and monsters encountered in the wild should be qually as diverse as the PCs!
All races have favored classes. A favored class suffers no level/XP restrictions for that race. Classes that are not favored will suffer some restrictions, however; in Lingusia, a race advancing in a non-favored class must pay double the normal XP to advance each level past 9.
Humans treat all classes as favored.
There are no specific multi-classing restrictions in Lingusia. Characters of any race (including humans) may choose to multiclass, applying the penalties and rules as describe in S&W to determining features such as hit points, saving throws and hit modifiers. However, any XP penalties due to favored and non-favored class combinations still apply.
Only humans can dual-class. At the GM’s discretion they can actuall continue to earn XP that applies to their original class, advancing in levels in both. However, there are two XP costs to consider:
First, the character must “stock” 2,000 XP applied toward “level 0” in the new class; when 2,000 XP is reached then he is now first level in the new class.
All XP earned for the new class (including the “0 level”) must then be divided by the level of the original class minus the level of the current class. Thus, a 7th level warrior who takes up spell casting decides to become a level 1 mage. He earns 8,500 XP on his next advwenture, which he applies to his new wizard class. The new class only actually receives 1,417 XP (as it is divided by 6, which is the fighter level minus the wizard level).
Other Race Restrictions
Other races may have restrictions based on specific features of that race, and subsequently may not be eligibile for certain classes. This will be addressed in the text of the actual entry.
Optional: Attribute Modifiers
Each race has an optional bonus and penalty that may be applied to attributes after they have been rolled and race is chosen. These reflect the average strengths and weaknesess of each race, and are completely optional. No attribute should drop to lower than 3 or higher than 18 under S&W rules, however, so for example a sylvan elf with a +1 Dexterity who already rolled an 18 for Dex would not gain a 19 Dex, as he is already maxed out.
Under this system it is recommended that humans gain a single +1 bonus that can be applied to any attribute of choice. This will help keep humans an attractive option relative to other character race options. However, Lingusia is a much more diverse world, in which humans are a plurality but not a majority, so it’s okay if you find your group consisting of half or even more nonhuman races.
That said, if the GM does not want the player group to contain six ashtarth dark elf rangers, he is well within his rights to request that the PCs diversify a bit.
Each racial entry will include relevant data on the race for the setting, as well as advice or rules necessary to run the race in S&W. Some additional lesser races are also referenced, with enough data to get interested players going.
Optional: Balancing Out Power vs. Class
If you are concerned that a certain race grants an unusual number of powers or features that will otherwise unbalance the power level of your game, then it is suggested that you treat the race as having an XP cost, to reflect the additional power and complexity that accompanies it. Such a race would impose a 10% (or greater) penalty to all experience earned. This may offset or remove bonuses due to prime attributes, but will insure that the character in question does not level as quickly, and therefore not outshine other normal class/race combinations.
Ultimately, the idea for so many race options is to give the players a sense of the exotic in the fantasy realms of Lingusia, and to allow for a wide variety of flavor. Use whatever combination of restrictions or options work best for your particular style of campaign, and you should be fine.
Summary of the Lingusian Kindred of Law with S&W Statistics:
What follows summarizes the races with S&W-appropriate statistics. See the prior blog entries for more detailed entries on each race.
The Lawful Races
Silver Elves (Suethenurien): fair skinned and tall, these elves dwell in the ancient woodland realm of Sylvias.
The suethendur eldariin are high elves; use the normal S&W elf character generation rules to create silver elves, with the following additions.
Ability Scores: +1 Int, -1 Con
Favored Classes: cleric, fighter, ranger, magic user
Silver elves gain special rules regarding what house they belong to:
The Elvish Houses: Most silver elves belong to one of the dozens of Houses of the Sun and some of low or forgotten heritage belong to no house at all.
You may roll (or choose if your GM allows it) on the following chart to determine your unusual house heritage and any benefits/limits that accompany such a background:
D100 Rolls Result
01-90 House of the Sun
91-00 House of the Moon, roll again:
01-12 House Ilmatar
13-24 House Istrion
25-36 House Nethestor
37-48 House Vystrion
49-60 House Shalmanfiel
61-72 House Astrux
73-84 House Calyspion
85-96 House Arienform
House of the Moon Descriptions:
Ilmatar, House of Fire. This house is legend for its metalwork and armoring skills, and is unique in its ability to harvest and tool adamantine implements. Likewise, members of this house are famous for their talents at pyromancy and alteration.
Istrion, House of Water. Blessed by Trimelin, this house is known for its seafarers, shipwrights, merchants, and water mages.
Nethestor, House of Ice. Located in Ice Falls, members of this house are powerful with cold magic, and considered pre-eminent architects throughout the elvish lands.
Vystrion, House of Earth. Those of House Vystrion are accomplished druids, geomancers, and earth workers. They are known for their agricultural and horticultural skill, as well as magic shaping the earth and the flora.
Shalmanfiel, House of Enchantment. Masters of illusion and disguise sometimes regarded as tricksters and hucksters, the illusion-crafting skills of House Shalmanfiel are well known.
Astrux, House of Many Eyes. The most venerable house of the politicians, they have made the art of diplomacy and politics a family affair. All houses participate in politics, but House Astrux rules the field. Nothing gets done without their participation or approval. Almost all rulers for the last two thousand years have been from House Astrux. Members of House Astrux are consumate commanders, and favor the fighter class, which they almost always take.
Calyspion, House of Conjurers. This is a small house, largely dominated by the Fraternity of the Gray Robes, a venerable order of conjurers and summoners whose abilities are tethered to the Weirding Realms. Oddly, some of these mages also take up arms and practice combat to become war mages.
Arienform, House of the Sky. Blessed by Ogron, this smaller house sprouts many wind elementalists, navigators, and weather mages.
Salienform, the Outcasts. Exiles by choice or force, Salienform have been branded heretical and cast out from the Houses of the Moon. Salienform are usually born of two houses, and choose one ability bonus from each house. Intermarriage among the Houses of the Moon is forbidden (although it is permissible with the Houses of the Sun). Likewise, criminal or deviant behavior also results in expulsion. If this is the case, determine your reason for belonging to this outcast caste.
Shilnavilin, the Dark House. This is officially an extinct house, as its members became the seed of the Ashtarth many millennia ago. The Ashtarth who still wage war against Sylvias claim this house title their own. The only fair skinned members of this house are said to live in the demiplane of the Desecrated Lands, worshippers of the ancient Anhedron the Damned, he who first corrupted the house and cursed them to become Ashtarth forever more. Members of this house are rare descendants of the original tainted bloodline who were not marked by chaos, though the corruption of their house still marks them in unusual ways. They are almost never lawful good in alignment, and most are albino.
Special Benefit: You may plane shift (as the gate spell) once per day to the Desecrated Lands. Considering how deadly that dimension is (it is the vast boundary at the topmost layer of the Abyss), such a use might be seen as a desparate act indeed.
Wood Elves (Sylvanurien): The free spirited and much shorted woodland elves are found throughout the world and are distinctively mischievous.
Sylvan elves function as normal elves in S&W, with the following options:
Ability Scores: +1 Dex, -1 Con
Favored Classes: druid, ranger, thief, magic user
Humans: The most populace and successful of all the lawful races, humans are found everywhere, and are believed to be the favored progeny of the gods. Humans function in S&W as they normally do (unless optional rules are added).
Iron Dwarves (Maddendur): The iron dwarves are a rough mountain breed of dwarf with a nose for minerals and and in insatiable desire to dig deep for hidden veins of gold and other precious metals in the mountains of the world.
Iron dwarves are just like standard dwarves in S&W, with no unusual modifications except for the following specific features to Lingusia:
Optional Ability Scores: +1 Con, -1 Dex
Favored Classes: cleric, fighter, thief
Silver Dwarves (Suethendur): The silver dwarves are a mechanically inclined lot, dwelling mostly in human lands due to an ancient exile from their own mountains, and famous for their talent with anvil and hammer.
Silver dwarves are generated using the standard dwarf rules in S&W, but with the following modifications:
Optional Ability Scores: +1 Str, -1 Dex
Favored Classes: cleric, fighter, thief, magic user
Artificers and Crafters: All suethendur are excellent craftsmen and inventors by nature, and have a keen understanding of ancient machinery as well as the clockwork and steam powered mechanisms they tinker with. In game terms, if necessary, GMs may let a sivler dwarf make a D20 roll equal to or under their Int score to grasp the general use and meaning of such devices when encountered.
Gnomes: Commonly mistaken for true fey, gnomes are earthly beings more at home in the elemental realms of earth, and are found hidden deep within the remote forests and mountains of the world. They suffer from a strange corruption in the presence of civilization and technology.
Height: 1’6” to 2’4” tall
Weight: 25-55 lbs.
Languages: feyspeak, gnomish, the middle tongue and possibly other sylvan languages
Ability Scores: +1 Dex, -1 Wis
Favored Classes: fighter, thief, magic user
Forestkin: Gnomes of Lingusia are creatures of the earth, and they are fairly in tune with nature and the spirits of the land. When gnomes leave such an environment for too long they tend to go a little mad, and gnomes that dwell in human cities are considered eccentric to a fault.
Illusionists: Gnomes are particularly versatile at illusory magic and may cast phantasmal force once per day. Forest gnomes use this ability to disguise their homes and provide pleasant entertainment within their communities. City gnomes use it to swindle and con humans or to produce extravagant sorcerous “magic shows,” for which they charge sums of money.
Halflings (Syleni): An even rarer breed of fey, the diminutive Halflings are suspected to have been the product of an ancient union between a tribe of fey and dwarf or men, though none know for sure.
Halflings work exactly as indicated in S&W and are regarded by most as brave little souls (when they aren’t mistaken for children). Halflings are the most closely associated to humans of all the demihuman kin, and their villages are almost always nestled within or near larger human cities and towns.
Height: 3’6” to 4’6” tall
Weight: 75-155 lbs.
Languages: sylenic (Halfling), the middle tongue and possibly other sylvan languages
Ability Scores: +1 Dex, -1 Con
Favored Classes: fighter, thief, magic user, ranger, monk
Halflings in Lingusia are a pleasant and unassuming folk. Because of this, some rogue and errant Halflings have become masters at taking advantage of their larger human kin, relying on the generally pleasant nature of their kind to provide a smokescreen for their illicit dealings!
Aasimar: Aasimar are a variant race and counterparts to tieflings. Like tieflings the aasimar have a parent or ancestor with planar blood. Unlike the tieflings, the aasimar have been touched by a divine spark from a good or beneficient being such as a seraph or other angelic entity. A few may even have godling ancestry.
Languages: Middle Tongue, plus one other (usually Tradespeak or Celestial if they know their divine parent or have access to such lore)
Ability Scores: +1 wisdom or charisma no penalty
Vision: darkvision 60 feet
Immortal: You are immortal in origin and all effects that work for or against immortals also affect you.
Divine Heritage: aasimar are unusually resistant to the effects of chaos, and gain +2 bonuses to save vs. magic cast by chaotically aligned beings and monsters.
Amazons: An ancient race of warrior women who are sworn to an eastern god of war, Vishannu, and received the gift of immortality for their dedication.
Amazons are human in size and appearance, but gain the following benefits:
Favored Classes: fighter, ranger, cleric, monk
Ability Scores: none
Languages: Vyrindian, middle tongue, and some usually know Belladasian, Hotepsalan, Eastron or draconian
Immortals: All Amazons are ageless. They mature at about age 25 and do not get older. Although they do not age, they are prone to disease, injury, poison, and all other forms of death.
Gender Bias: Amazon women have difficulty dealing with men as equals, as they are unused to men who are independent or in positions of power; conversely they see men as naturally inferior.
Martial Society: All amazon women train in at least one martial weapon of choice outside of their normal class options; pick one weapon with which your character is skilled at using, in addition to (or despite) your chosen class’s normal range.
Next: Kindred of Chaos in Swords & Wizardry