Forgotten Realms: Splendors & Shadow
Player characters are professional adventurers, crusaders, and “heroes-for-hire” in the fabled metropolis of Waterdeep, a great port city on the western Sword Coast of the lands of Faerun (Mythic High Medieval / Early Renaissance Europe). Characters may hail from virtually anywhere in the Forgotten Realms setting (which includes lands analogous to most places on Earth, circa 1450).
Most “standard fantasy” races and archetypes can be found in Waterdeep … humans are the majority by a wide margin, but the city includes communities of elves, dwarves, halflings, and other “near-human” races. While the city’s adventurers include many locals, born and raised in Waterdeep and environs, they also include a high proportion of visitors from lands near and far – sages and mercenaries, treasure-hunting scoundrels and crusading holy men, from all across the Realms.
Starting point total: 300 points, with up to -50 points in negative-point traits — a Dungeon Fantasy Adventurer Template, plus 50 points for a cross-profession lens (from DF3), Racial Template, and/or Power Ups. Certain Languages and Skills will be broadly useful in the campaign. Alignments are only relevant for characters with certain supernatural traits, primarily Holy/Unholy and Druidic.
Base Starting Wealth is $2,000 (silver pieces). Equipment and Signature Gear (1 point per $1,000 or fraction thereof) is purchased normally by starting characters (see DF1, Chapter 4: Gear). Starting and Signature Gear must be purchased according to the character’s native TL.
Campaign Tech Level: TL4 (+Magic), Magical Renaissance. The presence of reliable magic and miracles has elevated and otherwise changed many aspects of everyday life. While much of society and technology has reached the early Renaissance / Age of Sail (TL4), late Medieval (TL3) technology is still prevalent in many places, particularly more rural and remote regions. The burgeoning middle class includes a growing population of professional mages and alchemists, however, bringing the miraculous fruits of magic to more of the people – what was once the province of kings and court wizards has become available to merchants and artisans, or anyone with the coin to afford it. This has given rise to a social order that in some ways resembles Industrial Age and later societies, despite remaining decidedly Late Medieval / Early Renaissance in tone and pervasive (mundane) technology. Characters may come from technological backgrounds other than the default – Low TL prevents the character from learning TL4 skills, including Fencing and Guns skills; High TL allows the learning of TL5 technical skills.
Characters don’t need to buy social advantages such as Contacts, Patrons, Reputation, Status, etc, with starting points, nor should they take social disadvantages such as Duty, Enemies, Low Status, etc. I will assign such traits to each character based on his or her background story. Advantages assigned this way don’t cost you any points, nor do disadvantages grant any points to spend.
Note: Wealth is not included in this — it does cost starting point (low wealth counts against the -50-point limit), and uses the rules from DF1 (p. 23).
As for social skills, you should buy them using starting points — generally from your chosen template’s Background Skills section. They will be used frequently, and must make sense with your background (e.g. nobles should have Savoir-Faire (High Society), criminals should have Streetwise, etc). See Languages and Skills.
- Adventurer Templates
- Calishite Dervish (Swashbuckler lens for Holy Warrior)
- Elven Storm Knight (Wizard lens for Swashbuckler)
- Knight of the Crescent Moon (Mystic Knight lens for Swashbuckler)
- Monk of the Broken Order (Holy Warrior lens for Martial Artist)
- Monk of the Shining Hand (Mystic Knight lens for Martial Artist)
- Monk of the Sun Soul (Holy Warrior lens for Martial Artist)
- Paladin of the Radiant Heart (Knight lens for Holy Warrior)
- Paladin of St. Vigius (Holy Warrior lens for Justiciar)
- Waterfront Kickboxer (Style lens for Martial Artist)
- Racial Templates
- Deities & Divine Realms
- Martial Arts