Forgotten Realms: Champions of the Realms
Characters in my Forgotten Realms game must have at least one thing exceptional about their character, or at least something unusual or unique about them. Such things my include playing an unusual race, or having a unique ability, having a very high or very low ability score (think of Elric of Melnibone, for example), special power(s), or whatever the Player and the Dungeon Master agree upon. Whatever is decided up must fit the character and/or the campaign well.
Players are not required to roll for ability scores. Players may choose their ability scores.
Too many times have I seen where a Player (including myself) has wanted to play a character modeled off of a favorite Hero, or movie character, etc, and simply were not able to have the ability scores to match it, through random die rolls. I have seen Players lose interest quickly because their characters scores were lackluster, or simply too low to be fun enough to play the type of character they were seeking to make.
My requirement for choosing ability score is simply nice, neat, very reasonable justifications (via storyline background) for the scores, and those scores will usually lie in the normal numerical range that are already found in the rules, with some exceptions. Often times, I will discuss how they envision their character. While discussing, the ability scores are decided upon, as the player states why they think their character is proportioned the way that they are: characteristically speaking. It allows me, the Dungeon Master, to take notes and get a more intimate understanding of their character, so that I can flesh out the gaming experience. That being said, as Dungeon Master: I reserve the right to okay or decline scores that in my opinion do not “fit”, or that present a game “imbalance”. I may work with players on their ability scores in the presence of the other players, especially for purposes of party balance: refer to the next section, “Making characters within a party shine”.
Making characters within a party shine
I want the characters to be able to shine within their archetypes. It may seem odd to see a mage whose Strength score is higher than the main fighter of the party, who happens to be a hulking Minotaur warrior, and likewise, if that minotaur fighter’s intelligence was greater than a top notch, highly educated, ancient Silver Elf mage in the group. There can always be exceptions, but Players do seem to recognize oddities and imbalances rather quickly, and at times harbor resentment for such things. As much as Players may want to have all 18’s or better; I prefer discretion.
Players are allowed add 2 extra ability score points to either 1 ability score (at +2), or 2 ability scores (at +1 each). The ability scores must be in an area appropriate to their class (formerly known as Prime Requisite Ability Scores in early editions of D&D): Strength and/or Constitution for Fighters, Intelligence for Wizards, Dexterity for Rogues, etc.. The Dungeon Master and Players can work together to decide this, as there is not a firm rule at this point. A Player may possibly be able to sacrifice one of the two points to place it in an ability score that is not normally associated with their class, such as a Thief placing 1 point in Charisma (putting it at 19), because the character is an exceptionally charming and persuasive manner, having a bit of a cult of personality.
Player Characters are Heroic/Elite/Above Average
Player Characters are survivors, meant to endure the challenges of withstanding monstrous attackers. Monster/villain encounters are meant to be generally fought and dealt with once; as compared to Player Characters are constantly assaulted by weapons, spells, and traps, throughout the duration of an adventure, a multitude of times. In a way, the odds are stacked against the Player Characters, but the odds are meant mostly to challenge the characters, not necessarily to destroy them, although character death is always a lurking possibility.
Much like in computer games, where the hero confronts a “Boss” encounter, who is an exceptionally difficult adversary to beat; the characters are essentially the equivalent to a “Boss” or at least a “sub-Boss” encounter. That being said, in this campaign there will be “Boss” and “sub-Boss” encounters, that will likely share the same following rules on Hit Points as the Player Characters:
At 1st Level only, Player Characters receive maximum Hit Points (+Con bonus), PLUS additional Hit Points equal to their Constition score.
When rolling for addtional Hit Points at 2nd Level and above, Players reroll the die if the roll is half or less of the maximum possible. Normal Constitution bonuses are added to the roll.
Starting Non-Weapon Proficiencies (formerly called Skills) and progression
Non-Weapon Proficiencies are handled as in the Pathfinder edition with some exceptions.
At first level Player Characters receive a number of Non-Weapon Proficiency Slots as on the following chart. Prior to receiving those slots at 1st Level, they will may receive free background slots according to their background and class: subject to Dungeon Master approval. For example, an Wood Elf Ranger; who lives in mountainous territory; who also carves spectacular wooden figurines, bows, arrows, and musical instruments for a living; would be able to choose Non-Weapon Proficiencies accordingly without cost. Such Non-Weapon Proficiencies might include: Craft: wooden musical instruments; Profession: Wood Carver; Profession: Artist; Profession: Bowyer/Fletcher; Climb; Swim; Lore: Nature; Jump; Herbalism; Running; Mountaineering; Navigation; Set Snares; Survival; Fire Building; Weather Sense; etc.
Notice above that there are Non-Weapon Proficiences not listed in the Pathfinder Edition, but instead may be found in 2nd Edition. Some of these may be used in conjunction with related skills for a synergy type bonus. Profession: Wood Carver + Profession: Artist + Profession: Bowyer/Fletcher would synergize together to help this Wood Elf in fashioning an exceptional bow for himself or for a customer.
The chart below details how many slots are received at 1st Level and afterward.
|Class||Non-Weapon Proficiencies per Level|
|Bard||6 + Int Mod|
|Berserker||4 + Int Mod|
|Cleric||2 + Int Mod|
|Druid||4 + Int Mod|
|Fighter||2 + Int Mod|
|Magus||2 + Int Mod|
|Monk||4 + Int Mod|
|Paladin||2 + Int Mod|
|Ranger||6 + Int Mod|
|Rogue||8 + Int Mod|
|Wizard||2 + Int Mod|
For rules on racial modifications, click the following:
For rules on class modifications, click the following: