This section provides criteria for creating characters that fit within this role playing world. As with any rules, they act more like guidelines than strict rules. If for some reason you really want to play a character that falls outside of the criteria listed here, please let me know and we’ll see if we can work something out that allows for that character.
A. Character Stats
Standard “House” character creation rules apply. Roll 4d6 for each ability. Re-roll 1s and take the highest three. Record the result. Repeat this process five additional times. Then, roll a second set of ability scores using the same method. Pick whichever of the two sets of ability scores you want to use as your starting ability scores. Then apply whatever ability modifiers are relevant based on your race and any starting feats.
B. Character Races
Because of the historical and political nature of Galbrethar, not all races are available for players at the outset. The following races are available unrestricted: Dwarf (all sub-races), Elf (no Drow, no Eladrin), Halfling, Human, Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc. The following races are generally disallowed: Dragonborn, Tiefling, Aasimar, Elf (Drow, Eladrin). That is not to say that those races do not exist in the world – they do – simply that they are not allowed to players initially.
Within the world in which the players begin, humans make up the largest percentage of the population. Elves and Dwarves are also quite prevalent. Half-Elves, Gnomes, and Halflings are even less common. Half-Orcs are fairly rare and tend to be located in specific geographic areas, usually the eastern outskirts of the Empire. Half-Orcs also tend toward the more violent character classes. Those that survive their early years were recruited into the Empire and were used to great effect as the Empire sought to expand into other areas. Few Half-Orcs survived the Eclipse. Those that did survive favor traveling to the New World to disassociate themselves with the former Empire.
C. Character Classes
All classes are allowed, though some are more frequent than others. Some are also more useful than others for the direction that the campaign heading. This section describes the roles that each class generally played in the Old World and how each will likely be treated in the New World.
Barbarians – Barbarians were typically soldiers within the Empire or its member nations. Barbarians were also frequent in some of the nation-states that bordered and opposed the Empire. In the New World, Barbarians are likely to serve as guards, soldiers, and bodyguards. They are also sometimes used as guides (depending on skill set), hunters, or laborers.
Bards – Bards took many roles in the Empire itself and throughout its territories. Entertainers, historians, messengers, diplomats – because of the Bard’s flexibility, there were numerous ways for Bards to find a living. Bards can serve the same roles in the New World. Notably, Bards are spell-casters. As such, they are subject in the New World to certain rules to which others are not. Similarly, they are often treated with more respect.
Clerics – Clerics of all types are religious individuals, and therefore ascribe to the beliefs and tenets of a specific deity. Depending on how the Cleric is configured, they can serve in the role as soldiers and battlefield healers. They also lead congregations, engage in charitable and humanitarian work, and act as physicians (healers). Not all clergy are Clerics. There will be a large influx of clergy into the new world, ensuring that those who relocate do not lose their faith and to spread the words of their various religions to any natives that they encounter. Clergy who are Clerics will likely be in high demand because of the scarcity of resources.
Druids – Druids preserve nature. Throughout the Old World, Druids have generally been tasked with ensuring that the ever expanding Empire did not overtax the resources available and did not endanger the wilderness. As the Empire began the Eclipse, the then-Emperor began to care less for the sanctity of nature and did not hesitate to engage in the wanton destruction of whole forests and lay waste to otherwise pristine country-sides when it served his purpose. Consequently, most Druids abandoned any pretense of serving the Emperor and, during the last decade of the Empire, began to actively oppose him. After the Fall, many Druids remained within the areas previously controlled by the Empire, and those areas destroyed by it, to help rebuild and restore. Many others, seeking to escape the tragedy of the decimated land, ventured to the New World to ensure that the same fate did not befall the wilderness there.
Fighters – Fighters are warriors, soldiers, guards, bodyguards, militia, and similar roles. They are common throughout both the Old World and the New World. In the Old World, warrior types enlisted in or were conscripted to join militaries of the Empire. Near the Eclipse, many of the member nations began to raise their own armies and militias to oppose imperial rule. Strong arms are in high demand in the New World. With a vast amount of unexplored territory and the myriad unknown dangers that accompany it, warriors are always welcome. Note that Eldritch Knights serve different roles from normal warriors. Because of the general scarcity of magic and its useful place in the New World, warrior-mages often have opportunities (and have scrutiny) that other types of warriors do not.
Monks – Monks are more rare than other types of classes. They can be religious in nature or merely internally spiritual. While Monks can serve in militaries or militias, they often do not. Imperial Monks had often been tasked with special missions that required a more precise touch. Like Druids, many Monks began to oppose the Empire as it descended into tyranny and oppression. Some Monk Orders stood apart from partisanship entirely. In fact, the Open Palm of Paceis – arguably the oldest Monk Order in the world – was so revered that the Emperor ordered its brotherhood to be immune from the laws of the Empire, despite the fact that the Palm’s temple was well within the Empire’s borders. In the New World, Monks often serve as spiritual guides, soldiers, peacekeepers, judges, and mediators.
Paladins – Paladins are holy warriors. Most Paladins in the Old World served as soldiers in the militaries of the Empire, acting as the spiritual leaders and chaplains to the other soldiers. Some became champions and protectors of individual churches and temples. Many who did not serve in any organized capacity took up the role of guards, bodyguards, peacekeepers, and judges in smaller towns and villages. Paladins have always been accorded a great deal of respect and deference in society. Paladins exist that worship all of the known deities, as well as many of the Saints. Some Paladins do not affiliate with any specific divine power, but serve the general interests of good, order, or justice, and gain their powers from their own inner strength. In the New World, Paladins likely fill some of the same roles. Paladin are often asked to investigate crimes, mediate disputes, rule over trials. Others are asked to lead patrols or organize militias to defend against attacks by tribesman and monsters.
Rangers – Rangers have historically served as scouts and soldiers. Because most Rangers act more proficiently individually or in small groups, they did not normally serve in large military forces or militias. Toward the Eclipse, they were often found acting as allies of many druidic circles and groups who were opposing the Empire. Rangers are exceptionally valuable in the New World. Because much of the land is unexplored and uncharted, the ability to navigate in nature, find food, and secure paths to other areas are skills that carry a high demand.
Rogues – Like Bards, Rogues can fill a variety of goals. Rogues tend not to perform well in large groups or militaries, and thus did not serve in the Imperial forces. Most Rogues employed by the Empire engaged in specialized missions. Some served to steal from ancient sites containing unknown valuables, some served as spies or diplomats, others became assassins. Rogues are useful in the New World, but because the population is much smaller, crimes against other settlers are easier to discover and investigate. Many Rogues go to the New World in hopes of unearthing ancient artifacts, finding new sources of precious metals and gems, or sometimes merely in an effort to get a fresh start or escape a dark past.
Sorcerers – Sorcerers are feared and respected. But mostly feared. Sorcerers were ordinarily recruited by the Empire to serve in special arcane units in the military. Often Sorcerers were scattered among other units to provide support. Sorcerers often did considerable damage to enemies, including civilian populations. While other nations sometimes used sorcerers, that was more rare. Sorcerers are rare in the New World. Those that have made the journey do so for entirely personal reasons. Because of the magic’s rarity, Sorcerers are subject to heightened scrutiny. They are usually disliked by Wizards because of Sorcerers’ wild nature.
Warlocks – Warlocks are the rarest of all classes. Those that were discovered were almost universally capture or recruited by the Empire. Because of their rarity, none have yet ventured to or found roles within the New World.
Wizards – Wizards are rare, but more frequent than Warlocks or Sorcerers. Arcane magic holds a special place in society because of its usefulness in both practical matters and combat. Because of the intelligence requirements for being a Wizard, most Wizards serve as advisers, leaders, and scholars. Wizards were highly valued by the Empire, and whole colleges of Wizards were tasked to do nothing but research new spells and craft magical equipment for the Empire’s military. Many Wizards venture to the New World in search of new lore, to search for new sources of magic or magical artifacts, or simply to seek a fresh start.
D. Personality, Backgrounds, Equipment
All material found in the Player’s Handbook remains valid, except with the following notes or limitations. There are going to be some issues with languages. For example, there will be some humans, elves, and other races that are native to both the New World and the Old World. But they will not speak the same type of “Common” and “Elvish.” So there will be “NW Common” and “OW Common,” along with similar entries for other races’ specific languages (to the extent that there are races native to that area). The following languages are not available for starting characters: Draconic, Deep Speech, Undercommon.
All alignments are permissible. If you’re going to be an evil-aligned character, you must find some internal motivation for not trying to steal from or kill other players. You must have some way to interact with the group successfully.
Backgrounds, Ideals, Bonds, Flaws: As written in the book. You can mix and match them from various other backgrounds if you feel it is appropriate. If you want to create a custom background to suit the specific story for your character, please let me know and we can see what works for you. There are, however, some things to consider when selecting a background. If, for example, you have a background that affords you special status, rank, or connections, then some of those features might not be immediately relevant. For instance, “Noble” gives you a position of privilege that lets you have meetings with nobles and makes it so you are treated as a noble. Given the conditions of the New World, that might not be immediately useful. If you find a background feature that you think might be questionable or that you want to change, please let me know.
Starting Equipment is as written. You can take either the starting gear listed in your character class, or you can take the gear listed in your background combined with the starting money listed in the equipment section.
Special Note on Equipment, Money, and Commerce: In the New World, items are much more scarce then they would be otherwise. So is money. There will be periods when general stores are out of certain types of goods. There will be times when you cannot sell things that you collect. You might even need to make special arrangements with a ship-based merchant who can take your goods overseas to get a good price for them. That could mean delays in getting money. This will require a certain amount of foresight and planning on your parts to ensure that you have what you need. (This is why spell-casters and healers are in high demand, they sometimes allow for the creation or gathering of resources).
Trinkets: You are not required to roll for a random trinket. If you have one, and you’re particularly interested in having it be used in or relevant to the campaign in some way, please let me know sooner rather than later so I can incorporate it into the story planning.
Feats: All feats are allowable if you meet the prerequisites contained in the book.