Tashiro (tashiro) wrote in roleplayers,

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My Beowulf Campaign

This is something I'm considering running using Pathfinder in the very near future... I was inspired by the movie, Beowulf.
Insight would be appreciated.  :)

Monsters Among Us
The kingdom of Fallow lies nestled in a large valley, surrounded to the north, south, and east by the Icterine Mountains and to the west by the Celadon Ocean.  The kingdom of Fallow sprawls out, covering the entire valley and up into the low hills and mountains.  The region is spotted by a number of deep lakes and rivers from the mountains, and deep, thick woods.  The weather is usually clear, with a cold wind blowing in from the ocean which leaves the winters cold and rainy, and the summers pleasantly cool.  There are usually scattered rainstorms and fog during the spring and autumn.  Most of the races in Fallow intermingle with little difficulty (except for some specieism).

Elves:  The elves stepped from the forests of Dartmouth in the northwest almost five hundred years ago.  The elves have claimed Dartmouth as their duchy, but remain loyal to the kingdom.  The elves are long lived, and are known to be expert guides and hunters in the region – and many join the king’s knights as rangers and scouts.
  Hair: brown, black, rare platinum / white
  Eyes: brown, black, rare blue / white
  Skin: Type IV to VI

Dwarves:  The dwarves are found mostly through the eastern edge of the Icterine mountains, having crafted elaborate cities from the stone.  It is said that the dwarves were here before the first humans set foot within Fallow, but the two races have been on good terms from the beginning – the humans trading leather goods and grains in exchange for stone and metalwork from the dwarves.
  Hair: brown, dark blond, dark red, black
  Eyes: brown, gray
  Skin: Type III – IV

Halflings:  The halflings are concentrated in the southern region, along the Russet Hills.  The region consists of a number of lazy rivers and gentle hills which nestle in against the southern Icterine mountains.  Most halflings are wanderers and entertainers, passing through the villages and towns, while avoiding the larger cities.  Older halflings settle into the Hills, creating small townships which act as a gathering place during the autumn and winter months.  The Winter Festival is the largest draw for outsiders, where the halflings gather their stories and put on plays, make ice sculptures, and make merry during the coldest months.
  Hair: blond, brown, copper, red
  Eyes: blue, green
  Skin: Type I – II

Humans:  The humans have only been around for three hundred years or so, having moved into the region after escaping the Reign of Terror, an event that is now considered superstition by those who are aware of it, and ignored by most humans in the region.  The humans came through the Harlequin Gate – a strange cave within the northern mountains.  The gate has since been lost and forgotten except by scholars, and has not been active for quite some time.  The humans consider the mountains to be an effective barrier against the ‘outside’, and use the mountains as a point of exile, escorting criminals to the mid-point, and sending them on to live outside.
  Hair: brown, black
  Eyes: blue, brown
  Skin: Type II – III

Politics:  The Kingdom of Fallow has existed for nearly three hundred years.  The current king is King James Fallow, the sixth king to rule Fallow since humanity had settled within the region.  King James is old, having ruled for over sixty years, after marrying the daughter of the previous king, King Phillip.  His wife, Daphne, died in childbirth, and his daughter, Princess Veronica Fallow, has only just turned eighteen.  There is talk of a tournament in the spring, where suitors can prove their prowess and graces before the princess, allowing her to choose who is worthy enough to marry her and sit by her side as Queen’s Consort.

In Fallow, the eldest holds the throne, and once he or she has married, the current ruler may retire.  If the son is the oldest, he holds the throne as King, and his wife become’s Queen.  If the daughter is the oldest, she becomes Queen, and her husband is Queen’s Consort.  If the ruler dies with no heirs, then the oldest nephew or niece is given the throne – never the ruler’s brother or sister.

Capital City: Verdigris
Verdigris is built upon the west coast of Fallow, with the royal palace built upon an artificial island which lies a mile out onto the Celadon, connected to the mainland by a tidal land bridge.  The bridge exists only ten days, five days before and following the full moon.  The rest of the time, the bridge is underwater, hidden by the tide.

King / Queen
Addressed As: Your Majesty
Heir to the Throne: Your Royal Highness
Inherited:  Heir: Yes, Siblings: Prince (Duke)
The title of King / Queen is reserved for the ruler of Fallow.  The king is accepted as the chosen authority and holds the mandate of rulership.  The royal court holds absolute rule, but accepts the advice of the government, held by the head of each of the noble families.  The current ruler is King James Fallow.

Prince / Princess
Addressed As: Your Highness
Heir to the Throne: Your Royal Highness
Inherited:  Special (See Below)
The title of Prince / Princess is granted to the offspring of the royal throne.  The children are also given the title of duke / duchess as a second title, but hold the title of prince or princess to indicate royal peerage.  Upon the heir’s taking of the throne, the title of ‘prince / princess’ is removed and the remaining siblings take the title of duke, abdicating their positions as heir to the throne.   The current princess is Princess Veronica Fallow.

Duke / Duchess
Addressed As: Your Grace
Heir to the Throne: Honourable Lord
Inherited:  Heir: Yes, Siblings: Viscount
The title of duke is granted by the throne, granting the noble the control of a duchy (province).  The title of duke is the minimum requirement needed to be considered a major noble house within Fallow.  The duke serves as a vassal to the crown, and either attends court or sends vassals to see to the duchy’s needs.  If the title of duke is inherited from a prince, the noble does not own land, and remains active within the palace.  There are currently no royal dukes (King Fallow had no brothers or sisters).  There are four noble duke families: House Zaffre, House Wisteria, House Wenge,

Margrave / Margravine
Addressed As: Your Grace
Inherited:  Heir: Yes, Siblings: Viscount
The title of margrave is reserved for the noble families among the dwarves and elves, as they guard the borders of Fallow.  These domains are called marches or marks.  The title carries perhaps just a little more weight than that of a duke, since the margrave is considered to hold the front line against any threats from outside the valley.  A margrave will rarely attend the royal court, and instead sends lesser vassals to ensure the crown is well-informed of current events.  As with a duke, the margrave is considered to be a major noble house.  Among the elves, there are three Houses:  House Dahlia, House Endive, and House Yarrow, while among the dwarves, there are five houses, including House Andes, House Dia, House, Koma, House Perido, and House Rhyo.

Count / Countess
Addressed As: My Lord, My Lady
In Addition: ‘Your Excellency’, If Parents are Deceased
Inherited:  Heir: Yes, Siblings: Baron
The title of count is given to someone who governs a county; an administrative area which is usually a sub-division of a province.  A count is a vassal to a duke, and is the highest rank of peerage to be considered a lesser noble house.  Counts are usually given territory after a lesser noble family has served the duke for more than a generation, and the noble’s territory has not been artificially expanded through conquest.  Usually, the title is granted to those who have not been distinguished enough to be given the title of duke, or who have fallen out of favour and have been stripped of a greater title.

Viscount / Viscountess
Addressed As: Your Lord, Your Lady (Your Lordship, Your Ladyship)
In Addition: ‘Your Excellency’, If Parents are Deceased
Inherited:  Heir: Yes, Siblings: Baron
The title is also known as the shire reeve, who controls an administrative area such as a city and the surrounding lands (or shire), broken down into a series of baronies and similar small holdings.  The viscount is usually in service to a duke or margrave, and is active within their lord’s holdings, ensuring the smooth functioning of the region they have been charged with.  The title can be granted to the heir of a duke’s title until such a time as the heir can take their proper place.  The title is given by a duke to someone assigned to serve them and is not a title granted by the crown.

Baron / Baroness
Addressed As: My Lord, My Lady
In Addition: ‘Your Excellency’, If Parents are Deceased
Inherited:  Heir: Yes, Siblings: Lord
The lowest rank in peerage. The noble is in charge of a barony, a country region smaller in size than a county.  This title is given by royalty as a reward and as a sign that the noble serves the crown faithfully.  Such a personage usually does not hold much influence in court unless they retain the crown’s favour.  The title of baron is the minimum requirement to be considered a lesser noble house.

Lord or Lady (Sir or Dame)
Addressed As: My Lord, My Lady
As a Knight: Sir, Dame
Inherited:  Yes
An individual without land, or a very minor noble.  This rank is also used for knights, and is the lowest rank possible while still remaining a noble.  The title may be granted as a reward for service.

Character Creation
In this setting, the characters are legendary heroes, capable of incredible feats beyond that of mortal men and women.  As the characters get involved in the world and do great and legendary deeds, they will continue to progress, their fame and abilities becoming truly epic.  Character creation reflects this epic feel.

Abilities:  Roll six sets of 4d6.  Any die that rolls a 6 is re-rolled as 1d6+6.  The lowest die is dropped for each set.  Assign abilities as normal, with a value range of 3 to 36.

Hit Points:  A character gains twice maximum Hit Points from her hit dice at first level, then adds her Constitution Modifier.  When Hit Dice are rolled for level progression, if the character rolls maximum, she keeps the value and rolls a second die to add to Hit Points.  Constitution Modifiers are then added as normal.

Skills:  A character does not get skill points.  Instead, the character chooses a number of Class Skills equal to the base number of skill points she would gain at first level (for example, a class which gives 4 + Int Mod skill points allows the player to select 4 class skills).  The player then chooses a number of additional skills equal to the character’s Intelligence Modifier, from the entire skill list.  All skills have a Rank equal to half the character’s level (round down), and all skills chosen by the player have +5 Ranks (setting the base rank to 5 + Ability Modifier).

Saving Throws: Saving Throws are called Defences.  A character does not roll to resist effects.  Instead, all Defences are:  10 + Saving Throw Modifier + Ability Modifier.  This sets the DC for any effect performed against the character.

  Physical Attacks are made against the character’s Reflex Defence, and armour is used to increase the DC against physical attacks.
  Magical Attacks are made using 1d20 + Ability Mod + Half Level against the appropriate Defence.
  A normal saving throw DC is reduced by 10, creating the bonus to the d20 roll made to “attack”.  Eg: Poisons, Disease, Traps.

  If a character is defenceless, her Defence is 10 + half her Saving Throw Modifier.  She does not get her Attribute Bonus.

Damage Bonus: A character gains a damage bonus for physical attacks equal to half her level.

Feat: Noble Title
A character can take a noble title at character creation.  It takes one Feat for the title of Lord or Lady, two Feats for the title of Baron or Baroness.  A character with the title of Lord or Lady is a member of a Court (whether human, dwarf, or elfin) and doubles the character’s starting income.  The title of Baron or Baroness gives the character access to a barony and triples the character’s starting income.  A Lord gains 2d6 gold each month from service, while a Baron gains 4d6 gold each month from taxes.  If the character has earned a greater title, they must spend a Feat for it to be recognized and approved of by other nobles, otherwise the title has no actual weight behind it.  Each rank of title, once the Feat is taken, increases the character’s monthly income (Viscount is 4d8 gp, Count is 6d8 gp, Margrave and Duke is 6d10 gp).

Monsters are uncommon, but they do exist.  Nobody truly knows where they come from – they have no culture, no tribe, no people.  Most monsters can be recognized by “type” – goblinoids are human like but misshapen, beasts look like animals, and dragons... well, dragons are not talked of, and the last dragon has not been seen in almost a hundred years – put down by the king’s grandfather when he gave his life to defeat it.  Monsters are usually solitary, though there are the very rare pair or trio.

Most monsters appear at the fringes of civilization – deep in the woods, or up in the mountains, or out in the bay.  They’ll work their way towards civilization, and a hero will rise up to defeat them.  Some monsters, rare monsters, appear within the heart of civilization, appearing more human than most.  These monsters are dangerous, for they can walk among humanity unnoticed until they bare their fangs and show their true power.  Often, these monsters will replace some poor citizen, who is never seen again.

The Truth
Here and there, scattered across the world, are the Lilim.  The Lilim are men and women only in form, but are from a much older race.  Each Lilim can change his or her shape, appearing as an elf, or human, or dwarf, but also has a more primal shape – with horns, or wings, or a sinewy tail.  All Lilim or beautiful women or shining men, enticing and seductive.  Lilim exist mostly on the outskirts of civilization, deep in the woods, or far into the mountains, or under the hills.  Some very few walk among civilization, hiding their true nature from prying eyes.  There are very few Lilim.  How many?  Nobody knows.  Each Lilim has a type.  One may be a Beast, another might be a Goblinoid, while another might be a Dragon.

When a Lilim breeds, they produce a monster in accordance with their type.  Most produce only one child, but some may have twins, or triplets.  How strong the monster is depends on the demihuman parent – the monster has a Challenge Rating equal to the level of the parent.  Most monsters of course can not blend in with humanity – which is why most Lilim prefer to keep outside of civilization, where they can raise their child safely.  A monster is hard to raise, and thus most Lilim will only raise one child at a time.  When the child is ready, the Lilim frees it, allowing it to do as it will.  Some Lilim are capable of producing monsters which can blend in with humanity – these ones live among the demihumans, and their monsters take their time, blending in and studying the weaker races.  When the time is right, they begin their reign of terror.

What if the Lilim is male?  In most cases, these Lilim prefer to slip in among an unaware populace, seducing or otherwise bedding a woman.  The child will often appear normal in all ways – until it tastes Lilim blood.  Only a taste is needed, and then the child changes, becoming the monster it was meant to be.  Such things create the stories of “lost children”, when the child was never lost at all.  The child knows what it will be – and embraces what it is.  Usually.

Lilim prefer to find heroes, those who are greater than the common folk.  Heroes produce stronger offspring, those who can defend their Lilim parent and who can test the mettle of the mortals.  The strongest heroes can create monsters of legend.  Like dragons.  A monster born of hero blood has a Challenge Rating of +5 to determine what kind of monster it will be.

One last thing: a monster is the bane of the mortal who created it.  The person is always considered defenceless against any attacks made by the monster.  The monster will always know where its mortal parent is, and the monster will recognize the parent on sight.  There are many different ways the monster may react to the mortal parent, depending on how it was raised, what the Lilim parent has told it, or how the parent reacts to the monster.  Such things never truly go well, and the parent rarely survives.

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