Isle of Taran
Campaign Setting & Character Creation
Characters begin the campaign on the island kingdom of Taran, about the size of Great Britain. There are 11 duchies in the realm, each with a capitol of around 50,000 – 100,000 folk in the city and surrounding areas. No one seems to know what’s across the ocean (called the Uncrossable Sea), as the ships that venture there never return. There is rumored to be a huge, unexplored continent out there somewhere.
Urban areas are predominated by humans, but other races are found there in plenty as well. Dwarves and orcs congregate in mountain/underground fortresses, and most elves live in their island homeland to the north, where visitors are not welcome.
Each of the 11 capitol cities is home to one of the elusive archmagi; they live in isolated towers without doors or windows, and never emerge. Their power is said to rival that of the king, and they occasionally call people into service to protect the kingdom.
Dwarves: Think feudal Japan, only with waraxes instead of katanas. Dwarves are like samurai, following the code of bushido, sticklers for honor, seeking violent death in the service of their lord. They have a few mountain strongholds from which they base their ceaseless wars against their only enemy, the orcs. Both dwarves and orcs were created by the same god, Crom, but each claim they were created first, with the other race a twisted afterthought.
Elves: Sort of Vulcan mystics. Devoted to logic, and fascinated with the paradoxes that surround them, such as the discipline required to practice arcane magic versus the chaotic forces that empower it. They live in the woods not because they love squirrels and shrubs, but because they find the cycle of life worthy of endless contemplation. The Elven homeland is another island to the north of the central continent, which few are permitted to visit.
Gnomes: Traveling gypsies. They move around in wagon trains, trade, tell fortunes, and run circuses with magic illusion shows. Free-spirited yet mysterious.
Half-Elves: Mostly found in the urban areas with the humans, as the full-blooded elves disdain them.
Half-Orcs: All half-orcs come into being when an orcish band attacks a human settlement, and human women are violently assaulted. The mothers often die during childbirth, and the resulting spawn of these attacks are universally shunned, save by the dwarves – who pity them.
Halflings: Happy, earthy folk who love a good meal and a good story. Straight outta Tolkien.
Humans: Industrialists, capitalists, innovators, city-builders.
There are six major deities:
The Hearth Mother, The Dawn Bringer Domains: Animal, Good, Healing, Plant, Sun Typical worshippers: Farmers, commoners, halflings, druids Symbol: A sun rising behind a stalk of wheat Favored weapons: Any weapon related to the harvest: Flail, kama, nunchaku, scythe, sickle Orders: Shepherds (administrative), Thorns (martial) Alignment: Lawful good
The Lawgiver, The Silent Watchman Domains: Death, Knowledge, Law, Magic Typical worshippers: Elves, wizards Symbol: An open book before an hourglass Favored weapons: Javelin, lance, rapier, spear Order: Spears (martial), Tomes (administrative) Alignment: Lawful neutral
The Fair Wind, The Fateful Path Domains: Air, Luck, Protection, Travel Typical worshippers: Gnomes, travelers, merchants Symbol: A twisting road beneath a billowing cloud Favored weapons: Bola, crossbow, sling Orders: Zephyrs (administrative), Cyclones (martial) Alignment: Chaotic good
The Soulforger Domains: Earth, Fire, Strength Typical worshippers: Dwarves, orcs, blacksmiths Symbol: A smoldering volcano Favored weapons: Axe, hammer Orders: Hammers (martial), Flames (administrative) Alignment: True neutral
Tempest of the Deeps, The Fickle Mistress Domains: Chaos, Trickery, Water Typical worshippers: Sailors Symbol: A coin etched with a wave Favored weapons: Dagger, belaying pin (club), trident Orders: Waves (administrative), Typhoons (martial) Alignment: Chaotic neutral
The Old Campaigner Domains: Destruction, Healing, War Typical worshippers: Warriors Symbol: A sword crossed with a healer’s staff Favored weapons: Longsword, quarterstaff Orders: Staves (administrative), Blades (martial) Alignment: Neutral good
Local terrain varies: mostly plains and forest, some mountainous areas, an occasional desert, swamp or jungle thrown in. There is a large desert in the northern center of the continent. No horses in this campaign; instead, lizards are used as mounts and dray animals. Riding lizards go about on two legs (like a mini t-rex or velociraptor), while dray lizards move on four or six legs.
It seems there was a great war many years ago (perhaps thousands), but nobody really remembers who fought it or what it was about. It’s long in the past, and most folks are more than occupied by their day-to-day business. Various local areas have their problems, of course: political strife, goblins, orcs, haunted areas, strange ruins – but for many ordinary folk, life is fine.
Starting level: Characters begin at 1st level.
Source Material: All of the following are acceptable, pending my review on specific classes, races, feats, spells, etc. • Player’s Handbook • Player’s Handbook 2 • Dungeon Master’s Guide • Complete Adventurer • Complete Arcane • Compete Divine • Complete Warrior
Abilities: Elite array. You have six scores to plug into your stats any way you want to: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. Assign them to the ability of your choice, then apply racial modifiers.
Feats: All characters receive a bonus feat at first level.
Skills: Each character gets 4 bonus skill points, which must be spent on some sort of profession or craft skill. This reflects the fact that everybody is raised with some training that assumes they’ll need to contribute to the economy in some way. Farmer, sailor, wheelwright, etc.
Alignment: Good or neutral only. Only the bad guys get to be evil. ;)
Starting Funds: Everybody starts with 200 gp. Spend it wisely.
Weakness: Each character has a weakness or flaw, which you get to pick. You can keep it a secret from the other players, but you must tell me. I will work out the mechanics of how it affects game play. This will not be a crippling flaw by any means, but is intended to add to the storytelling and occasionally to combat and action scenes.
Background: Please give me some backstory to work your character into the campaign. Feel free to give me some plot hooks, as well.