Adventure Luna 4 ~Rebirth~
At the beginning of the game, all PCs are level 3. This is because level 1-2 adventurers are very fragile, and being 3rd level means your character’s backstory can be more detailed and involve impressive accomplishments.
Characters made later in the game will begin play at the average party level and will be given the appropriate amount of resources compared to the rest of the characters.
Step 1: Race
Races: This game uses a number of custom races. The options available are summed up here:
- Arbos: These strange artificial humanoids are found in the ancient ruins that dot the land and float high in the sky, and are thought to be made by an ancient race, but not even they know their origin or true purpose.
- Beastkin: These are humes who were warped by exposure to aether over time and took on bestial characteristics. They’re more attuned to nature and animals than other hume offshoots.
- Espers: These are humes who were also warped by exposure to aether over time, but they learned to control it, granting them innate magical powers.
- Humes: These humanoids are versatile and numerous and are found all over the place. They’re known for being rugged survivors, and their nations vary widely from open-minded democracies to strict caste-based empires to feudal kingdoms.
- Lizardfolk: Lizardfolk are dragon-worshiping isolationists who claim to have lived on this world longer much than humes.
- Oni: Strong and tough, oni are humes warped by exposure to aether from the Void, a dark and dangerous power that has granted them great physical strength and resistance to magic.
Step 2: Class
All classes have a place in this game, but some options are not available. Below is a list of available, recommended, and banned options. These entries reference three Unearthed Arcana articles where some options can be found: Gothic Heroes, Light, Dark, Underdark!, Kits of Old, and The Faithful.
- Barbarian: All core primal paths allowed (Berserker, Totem Warrior). Additional Totem Warrior options are available in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Barbarians are also commonly called berserkers, ragers, or simply warriors. While barbarians can be found in almost any culture, they are most often found in remote, isolated, and primitive societies, such as those belonging to beastkin and lizardfolk.
- Bard: All core colleges allowed (Lore, Valor). Additional Colleges from the web article Unearthed Arcana: Classics Revisited are available: Blade and Jester. Bards are also called minstrels and red mages. While anyone can be a traveling minstrel or entertainer, true bards who tap into the true power of music are rare, but can be found in any culture.
- Cleric: All domains in the Player’s Handbook are available (Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, War). The additional Arcana domain from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is also available. Clerics are also called priests and white mages, and sometimes shamans if they have the Nature domain, while clerics with the Arcana domain are sometimes called sages, and clerics with the war domain are sometimes called templars. The Death domain from the Dungeon Master’s Guide is not available for players. Unlike in traditional D&D, clerics don’t necessarily have to worship a god to gain spells and powers. Many clerics who call themselves white mages belong to traditions and schools that teach white magic of a certain type, with each school teaching the principles of one or more domains.
- Dark Knight: All three knightly orders (Blood, Dusk, Shadow) are available. This is a homebrew class that needs playtesting. Dark knights are also called fell knights or shadow knights. They can be found here. Dark knights always belong to knightly orders and are never self-taught, and come almost exclusively from advanced cultures.
- Druid: All circles are available (Land, Moon). Druids are also commonly called shamans in primitive societies, but more scholarly types sometimes call them geomancers. A druid could have been taught by an organized circle, one of the great benevolent dragons, by a single mentor, or even by nature spirits, but most live in isolated regions or primitive cultures.
- Fighter: All archetypes are available (champion, battle master, eldritch knight). The Cavalier and Scout from the web article Unearthed Arcana: Classics Revisited, as well as the Monster Hunter archetypes from Unearthed Arcana: Gothic Heroes web article, are also available. Fighters are usually called by their title (lord, knight), archetype (scout, cavalier), or occupation (mercenary, soldier, monster hunter, adventurer). Warriors and soldiers are common in every culture, but true fighters are rare, and tend to rise to fame and influence in whatever organization they belong to.
- Monk: All core traditions (open hand, four winds, shadow) are available, but four winds is not recommended. The Sun Soul tradition from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is also available, but the Long Death tradition from the same book is not. While the word monk can be used to refer to any sort of religious ascetic, fighting monks who use martial arts are found almost exclusively in the Gou Empire to the east.
- Paladin: All oaths (devotion, green, vengeance) are available, as well as the Oath of the Crown from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Oathbreaker, from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, is banned. They are also called holy knights or templars. While there are many knightly orders that call themselves paladins, true paladins are very rare, and attaining the title and powers of one usually requires an extensive quest with long and brutal trials of worthiness.
- Ranger: The PHB ranger is available to play, but it is strongly recommended that you play the Revised Ranger from this Unearthed Arcana article instead. Rangers are also commonly called scouts or hunters. Rangers are mostly found in isolated communities away from major population centers, and are more common among beastkin and lizardfolk.
- Rogue: All archetypes (assassin, thief, arcane trickster) are available. The Inquisitive archetype from the web article Unearthed Arcana: Gothic Heroes is also available, as are the Mastermind and Swashbuckler archetypes from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Rogues are typically addressed by their archetype or occupation, such as thief, burglar, adventurer, explorer, scout, assassin, and so on. Because of their versatility, rogues can be found anywhere, in any culture, at all levels of society.
- Sorcerer: All origins (draconic, wild) are available, as well as the Storm origin from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Like warlocks and wizards, sorcerers are typically called black mages, despite their differing sources of power. Sorcerers, unlike wizards, tend to be born with their powers, and are just as likely to be found in civilized cultures as they are in primitive ones.
- Warlock: All patrons (archey, fiend, great old one) are available, but the fiend and great old one represent creatures from the Deep Void. The Undying Light patron from the web article Unearthed Arcana: Underdark Characters is also available, as is the Undying patron from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, as is the Seeker, from Unearthed Arcana: The Faithful. Like sorcerers and wizards, warlocks are commonly called black mages, despite their differing sources of power. Because of the variety in the pact-based sources of their powers, warlocks can be found in many different cultures.
- Wizard: All schools of magic (abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation) are available, but necromancy is not recommended. The bladesinger school from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is also available, as is the Theurgy tradition, from Unearthed Arcana: The Faithful. Like sorcerers and warlocks, wizards are usually called black mages, despite their differing sources of power. Wizards who take up the mantle of Theurgy are also called sages. Because anyone can learn to be a wizard with sufficient intellect and training, they’re much more common in cultures with organized education systems.
Step 3: Background
All backgrounds are available, but are also highly customizable. All backgrounds give a character additional skills and equipment, as well as languages. If none of the backgrounds in the book fit your character concept, then feel free to design your own, but make sure to show it to me for approval. All backgrounds have four “points” to them, distributed between skills, languages, and tools, each worth one point. I recommend taking two skills, one language, and one tool proficiency for variety’s sake. For equipment, I recommend simply taking another background’s equipment package, or changing an existing one by exchanging items for those of equal or similar value.
There is only one common factor in the backstories of all the characters: At some point, usually fairly recently, all the characters went on pilgrimage to the nearest Crystal and were marked by it. They were then sent, whether by superiors or at the urging of a Crystal-granted vision, to visit Sage Arrit in the Scarlet Mountains.
Step 4: Ability Scores and Stats
Ability scores are bought using 30 point buy with the costs and limits detailed in the Player’s Handbook, or you can choose from one of the following ability spreads:
Elite: 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10
Specialist: 15, 15, 15, 10, 9, 8
Generalist: 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13
The Elite ability spread is recommended, as it produces a balanced but nuanced character.
Hit Points: Characters begin with maximum hit points for their first three levels. For example, a fighter with a Constitution of 14 (+2 modifier) would begin with 36 hit points.
Then, calculate your proficiency bonus, saving throws, attack bonuses, and armor class.
You know languages based on your race and background. You can also learn languages from the following list:
- Hume: This is the language of humes, spoken all over Arald. While different ethnic groups speak it in different ways and have their own dialects and slang terms, most humes can easily understand each other.
- Esper: Espers speak their own language, derived from hume language and with many borrowed words, but with a more complex grammatical structure and more subtleties of pronunciation.
- Beastkin: This language is relatively simple compared to hume and esper, but has a huge number of nature-related terms depending on the environment the tribe lives in. Tundra tribes have dozens of words for different types of snow, while veldt tribes have many words for types of sand, grass, and the subtleties of the wind currents. Rift tribes sometimes use odd grammar and mix up tenses.
- Lizardfolk: This language is simple in structure but is difficult for non-lizardfolk to speak as it involves many croaks, hisses, and clicks that humes and others struggle to pronounce and that take a toll on the throats of non-lizardfolk.
- Draconic: The language spoken by dragons, primordial forces of nature. Lizardfolk also speak this, but primarily in religious contexts.
- Void Speech: This is a language discovered in fragments from tablets and written texts recovered from Void Realms. It is thought to be the language of Voidsent, but none have ever spoken. It is a very advanced language with nuance and subtlety, and is difficult to master.
- Celestial: A mysterious language discovered alongside the language of the Ancients. Discovered fragments of it primarily concerns spiritual matters such as the soul, aether, the Astral Realm, the Void, and the Great Beyond.
- Ancient: An advanced language pieced together from the various ruins that dot the landscape of Arald. Its alphabet has more than 40 individual characters and many modifiers for each, making it much more complicated than any hume language.
Step 5: Details
Instead of an alignment, characters have allegiances. These are people, places, organizations, ideals, abstract concepts, and motivations that drive your character’s decisions, morality, ethics, and thoughts. Choose one to three allegiances and if you’d like, choose one of them that takes higher priority than the others.
For example, a paladin who trained at the Zenith Monastery might have justice, compassion, and the Zenith Monastery itself as allegiances. The paladin might place higher priority on justice than compassion, which implies that if forced to choose between the two, he is more likely to choose justice.
Allegiances can change with time as a character grows and matures, and some might disappear entirely and might be replaced with new ones. These are meant as guidelines and suggestions to aid roleplaying, rather than hard and fast rules for how to play.
Since you start at level 3, characters begin play with their normal starting gear and an additional 300 gold. Old gear can be sold for half its value, and you can begin with gear that is assumed to have been bought before the game began. As is normal, magical items cannot be bought.
Decide on an appearance and general style for your character based on their race, class, background, and homeland. Additionally, you should decide on some physical characteristic, fashion accessory, quirk, or other distinguishing feature that makes your character stand out. These could include:
- A stylish hat
- A heroic scarf
- An unusual hairstyle or hair colour (whether dyed or natural)
- Extremely long hair, or a shaved head (if such a thing is unusual for a member of your race, gender, or culture)
- An unusual eye colour, or heterochromia
- A missing eye, possibly with a stylish eyepatch
- An unusual piece of jewelry
- An unusual or flashy weapon
- Strange or outlandish clothes
- An unusually thick accent, way of speaking, or a speech impediment
And so on.