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     This section deals with the various rules I have in use that the Players (and there characters) must abide by.  When it comes to rules for this particular campaign I am very open and will let just about anything go.  This is not a problem, as I seem to be blessed with unusually intelligent and non-power-hungry players.

     First of all, I'll give you a nice little navigation bar so you can jump right to what you are interested in.  To get back to the top of the page, click the little graphic that looks like this:
  right next to the title graphic of the section you are at. Enjoy!


Character 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.

Firstly, a 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 specifics!

There are 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:

Human: (6) Gnome: (6) Half-Orc (6)
   -"Common Blood"    -Deep Half-Ogre (8)
   -Brandobian    -Forest Aarakocra (3)
   -Kalamarese    -Rock Alaghi (7)
   -Young Kingdom Halfling: (4) Centaur (6)
   -Wild Lander    -Hairfoot Hobgoblin (6)
   -Reanaarian    -Stout Kobold (3)
   -Svimohzian    -Tallfellow Lizard Man (5)
Dwarf: (7) Half-Elf: (5) Minotaur (10)
   -Deep    -*special Ogre (10)
   -Gray   Swanmay (3)
   -Hill  From The Arcanum: Wemic (6)
   -Mountain    -Aesir (8)  
Elf: (3)    -Andaman (3-7)  
   -Aquatic    -Druas (3)  
   -Dark    -Nethermen (6)  
   -Grey    -Zephyr (4)  
   -High    
   -Sylvan    
 *Half Elves: The player chooses one human race and one Elvin race; 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 humans:
As you 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:

Sub-Race

Stat Adjustments   /    Dominant Trait

"Common Blood" None ; Normal
Brandobian +1 Con, -1 Cha ; Health Bonus
Kalamarese +1 Str, -1 Wis ; Attack Bonus
Young Kingdom +1 Int, -1 Str ; Experience Bonus
Wild Lander +1 Dex, -1 Str ; Balance Bonus
Reanaarian +1 Cha, -1 Wis ; Hit Point Bonus
Svimohzia +1 Wis, -1 Int ; Secret Door Detection
  • 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 limits.

None  

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.

Normal  

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.

Heroic  

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.

Mortal  

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 'sponsoring' them.
   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 level cleric.

 

 


The 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.


Skills.  Normal 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.


CP Gaining.  The CP gained each level is more or less static, as follows:

At These Levels Gain this Many CP
1-5 5
6-8 4
9+ 3

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):

Condition Effect on Healing
Perfect. Warm, safe inn, clean bed, fresh food and water, being looked after by a healer with proper tools and herbs. Full Rate
Very Good. Warm, safe inn, clean bed, fresh food and water, looking after yourself with clean bandages. 75%
Good. Warm inn, food and water, bandages. 50%
Ok. Food, water and bandages, relative safety. 25%
Poor. Water, makeshift bandages, unsafe area. 10%

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 healed.


Healing Spells. 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 exact healings:

Spell Healing %
Orison  (Set Number: 1hp)
Cure Light Wounds 10%
Cure Moderate Wounds 20%
Cure Serious Wounds 30%
Cure Critical Wounds 50%
Heal 90%

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.