Creation. The words send shivers of excitement through
some people, and torrents of terror through others. Hopefully,
my players will be of the former disposition.
little bit about what kind of player characters I expect in the
Kingdoms of Kalamar. I am not a big fan of the
angst-ridden-dark-tormented-by-his-past type that is so prevalent
nowadays. Matter of fact, I find them boring and annoying.
That isn't' to say I wouldn't let someone play a character like
that, it's just that they wouldn't inspire me and I certainly
wouldn't cater to the character (i.e., the rest of the worlds
inhabitants would react appropriately). My favored
character type is the heroic individual. A character that
does the right thing simply because it is the right thing
to do (re: Good aligned characters). I also find
personally-motivated characters fun to DM (re: Neutral
characters that have definite goals that the player has decided
on; be it greed, revenge or simply the fun of slogging through
dungeons, killing monsters and taking there treasure).
Evil is right out. They are the bad guys...PC's are not
supposed to be the bad guys. Evil also simply doesn't work
for an RPG. A story, sure. An individual character, ok. A
dark force that is plaguing the land, why not. But get a
group of 3 - 5 players together, each with an evil PC and you
are asking for trouble. More trouble than it is worth,
IMNSHO. Ok. Enough of my yabbling. On to the
different methods of creating a character for my Kingdoms of
Kalamar campaign. All characters are 'built' around the
Players/DM's Option ("PDMO") books. More
specifically, the Skills & Powers book.
Classes: I allow any
class from any version of the AD&D or D&D game...just
rebuild it with the PDMO books. I also allow the use of
the classes presented in The Arcanum (an old rpg supplement made
by Bard Games back in 1984-85). Or, alternatively, a new
"class" that the player or I come up with.
Races: There is quite
an extensive list of races that I allow for player
selection. The numbers in brackets are the Racial Hit
Point Modifiers. The races are:
| -Young Kingdom
| -Wild Lander
||Lizard Man (5)
|| From The Arcanum:
|| -Aesir (8)
|| -Andaman (3-7)
|| -Druas (3)
|| -Nethermen (6)
|| -Zephyr (4)
| *Half Elves:
The player chooses one human race and one Elvin
she then chooses which is dominant. The dominant
blood gives the character most of his 'look' and
abilities. The player can then choose racial
abilities based on the dominant blood side; she may
choose ONE (1) racial ability from the other
submissive blood type.
A note on
can see above, the humans have 'sub-races'. Each of these
sub-races has the same 'racial ability choices' as per the
Skills and Powers book. However, there are ability
adjustments and each sub-race of human has one trait that is
dominant throughout the race; this MUST be taken by the player.
The adjustments and abilities are listed below:
/ Dominant Trait
||None ; Normal
||+1 Con, -1 Cha ; Health Bonus
||+1 Str, -1 Wis ; Attack Bonus
||+1 Int, -1 Str ; Experience Bonus
||+1 Dex, -1 Str ; Balance Bonus
||+1 Cha, -1 Wis ; Hit Point Bonus
||+1 Wis, -1 Int ; Secret Door
- Kalamarese - medieval Rome
- Brandobia - medieval France/England/Germany
- Dejy - American Indians
- Fhokki - Celtic/Norse
- Svimohzish - Arabs
- Reanaarese - Egyptians (I also like to toss in Spanish-pirate-like
in here; it just feels like it to me).
|In the world of
Kalamar, there are four tiers of achievement possibilities:
None, Normal, Heroic and Mortal. As the base system is
level-based (as per D&D), so too are the Level Limits.
Below is the table that shows the level range for each tier of
|Level Range = 0.
This is the most common level limit tier. This tier
makes up at least 95% of the population. That is not to say
that these people do not have expert skill on one or maybe
two areas, just that they do not and can not gain any
levels or learn a class.
Example: A town guard might be 0-level
but have +1th/+1dmg with a spear.
|Level Range = 0 to 10.
This is the second most common level limit tier. In
this tier, we have the elite guards, personal bodyguards,
experienced trackers/woodsmen, etc. Of the remaining
5% of the population, about 3% of that 5 is in this tier.
They can advance up to 10th level, but not beyond unless
something extraordinary happens to them or they 'prove
themselves' to the powers that be. All PC's fit
into this tier initially.
Example: The captain of the town guard
might be a 5th level fighter, or the best bouncer in town might be a 3rd level fighter, or the towns high
cleric could be 7th level.
|Level Range = 11 to 20.
This tier is reserved for the truly powerful. The
movers and shakers of the world. Of the remaining 2% of
the world's population, about 1.9% of it is in this
tier. The only way for persons and creatures to
reach this tier is to have performed several heroic (or
non-heroic) deeds. For the most part, PC's should
have very little problem reaching this tier.
Example: The despotic warlord could
be a 15th level fighter, or the Silver Mage of the
Desert could be a 12th level diviner.
|Level Range = 21 to 30.
This tier is the realm of the epic heroes of the worlds
history. The remaining 0.1% (and that's pushing it; it
is less than that, but who's counting?) of the world population sits
in this exclusive group. The only way for someone to
reach this tier is to have performed several highly
heroic (or non-heroic, as the case may be) deeds and
have these deeds noticed by some powerful extra planar
being (god, demi-god, demon lord, arch-devil,
etc.). Creatures who find themselves in this tier
are, effectively, the pawns of the being that sponsored
them (and the catch is that the creature might not even
know which being granted him/her this
power...). The character in this tier are
frequently on a first name basis with the being that is
Example: Kargoth, DeathKnight of the
lands of Shorn could be a 28th level anti-paladin, or
maybe Yurath the Vile, Arch-Cleric of The Flayer, 23rd
basic rules system that I use for my Kingdoms of Kalamar
campaign is the four "Players/DM's Option" books
produced by TSR back in 1995 and 1996. I would like to point out
that I DO NOT consider these rules "AD&D";
the differences between the core flavor of AD&D and these
rules are simply to vast. These rules are, by my
definition, a new game system that is based on AD&D.
(ok, it may be a nit-pick, but it makes me feel better). I also
use rules from 1st and 2nd edition AD&D, Basic D&D, The
Arcanum, Call of Cthulhu and various house rules I've developed
over my 20 years of RPG'ing.
If you want
more specific's, please check out the appropriate section you
are interested in (magic, combat, characters, etc), as well as
the appropriate RPG system book (if you have it). Some of
the more game specific rules can be found below.
PDMO stuff, but with a change or two. First, skills can be
gained "for free" if sufficient time is spent learning
them as a 'past time'. An example would be if a character
decided to pass the time by carving wood on his watch.
Every time the PC's camp, the character pulls out his current
carving project and starts to whittle away. Eventually, I
(as DM) would simply award the character the skill "Art:
Wood Carving". No CP cost would be associated with
this, although the player is encouraged to spend at lest a few
CP the next level on enhancing the skill on his/her own.
The CP gained each level is more or less static, as follows:
|At These Levels
||Gain this Many CP
Exceptional playing will generally net an extra point, two if
everyone is blown away by the majesty of role-playing finesse
and forethought exhibited. (I've never given an extra 2 pints
away yet, btw).
Renown. Every character has at least some level of
renown. Every character starts off with 1d4 points of
it. Renown is an unlimited percentage score (that is, it
can go above 100%), and is a general measure of how famous the
character is in his home area. This score reduces
significantly as the character moves farther and farther from
his/her home. The more and more renown the character
becomes, the more and more people know of them. Renown has the effect of gaining admittance to courts or councils with
important people, as well as people looking up to and admiring
the character (re; an innkeeper might give a free room and
dinner for the night...just so he can say "Bardrik the
White slept and ate at this very inn!".
Life & Death. When a character reaches 0 HP
or less, the DM makes a secret Constitution Save. The
character's Con is increased by 1 point for every 3 levels of
experience (reflecting divine help and cosmic luck).
Likewise, for every point of damage over the characters normal
Con+10, a -1 is applied. If the roll succeeds, the
character regains consciousness in 1d10 minutes, with 1 hit
point. The character will be too week to move more than 1/4 his
normal movement rate without help; with help he can move at 1/2
(or the movement rate of the slowest person helping him,
whichever is less). He also can not cast spells over 1st
level, and any 'strenuous' special ability also, may not be used
(Detect Evil is ok, but Shapechange would be too much; DM adjudication
in all cases). To recap:
|Base = Constitution +1 per 3 levels
||Constitution Negative Limit = Con+10
|Subtract 1 for...
||...every HP damage over Con. Neg. Limit
Example: A 7th level character with a 12 Constitution and 6hp
left is hit for 33 points of damage (Ouch!). That puts the
character at -27hp. The characters base Con Save is (12 +
[7/3]) = 14. The character suffers a -5 adjustment for
being over (Con+10) = 22 points of damage, bringing his final
adjusted Con score to (14 - 5) = 9. The DM rolls 1d20, any
result over 9 indicates the character has expired.
Healing. Characters heal 1hp/per day per
level of experience. This is for optimal conditions (being
in a warm inn, in a clean bed, with fresh and ample food and
water, being looked after by a healer with proper tools and
herbs; in other words, not all that common for an adventurer).
The conditions and their effects are noted below (always round
up to the nearest HP when healing):
||Effect on Healing
|Perfect. Warm, safe inn, clean bed,
fresh food and water, being looked after by a healer
with proper tools and herbs.
|Very Good. Warm, safe inn, clean
bed, fresh food and water, looking after yourself with
|Good. Warm inn, food and water,
|Ok. Food, water and bandages,
|Poor. Water, makeshift bandages,
Example: Feodora is a 7th level wizard with a
maximum HP score of 20. She was wounded in a battle with
some nasty 4' tall grey skinned goblin-like creatures. After
defeating them, she manages to make it back to the only safe
area...a small inn at a crossroads...with only 5 hp left.
She must look after herself, and has bandages she bought a few
days ago...they are 'more or less' clean having been in her
travel pack for the last 5 days. The DM rules that the condition
for her healing will be "Good". Normally, she
would gain 7hp per day; however, having only a Good condition
for healing, she only get's 50% of that, meaning she will heal
(7/2=) 4 hp per day of rest; in 4 days time, Feodora will be all
Healing spells as per normal AD&D heal set amounts of
damage, like Cure Moderate Wounds heals 1d10+1. In
place of this set healing amount, healing that number as a
percentage of total, undamaged HP is used. Consult the chart below for
|| (Set Number: 1hp)
|Cure Light Wounds
|Cure Moderate Wounds
|Cure Serious Wounds
|Cure Critical Wounds
So, someone with 38hp maximum, would heal, in order: 4hp,
8hp, 11hp, 19hp, 34hp.
Any new healing spells should be adjudicated on a case by
case basis, using the above spells as a guideline.