Wednesday 27 November 2013

Campaign's common knowledge and other stuff

This is some of the basic information I provided before we started. I keep adding and clarifying things here and there as we play. Overall, it's a modified Mystara world setting, keeping what I enjoy, dumping what I don't :)


  • Magic is authorized though frowned upon in the region, especially when performed by individuals who are not under orders of the Knights. There are sometimes "magical performers" in fairs and the like but it's usually simple illusions, nothing to worry about.
  • There are, in the world, some frighteningly powerful mages and in places, it's very common (magic lights in the street, etc). Not here though.
  • All normal rules apply but some cantrips such as Guidance, Resistance, Shillelagh are, for ease of play, considered as permanent concentration spells that can be used at will, as long as you can touch a person and you're not surprised. We'll polish this as we play.
  • Inscribing magic scrolls is a matter of time, money, materials, some magical knowledge (knowing the spell) and a series of rolls. ONLY spells in the mage list can be inscribed. This fact also means that you can indeed stock up on scrolls in some places though availability and prices will vary.
  • Magical items are overall very, very rare because the enchantment process is not well defined and structured and therefore only powerful mages, with lots of resources sometime succeed, and only by trial and error.

  • Prayers feed into divine powers, no matter the domain. Don't hesitate to include short prayers and the like in your day to day mundane PC actions.
  • Vanya's domain is WAR and is the official religion in the Heldannic Territories.
  • Aside from Vanya, the pantheon of the region (the old one before the order showed up) is very similar to the Asgardian one. This include the such as Thor, Odin, Loki, etc. If you need I'll provide a list but I think it's best to stick to Healing, Light and War domains as described in the playtest package. Go with one of these if you want to be a native Heldaner and keep it simple.
  • Non Vanya religions are tolerated and there are little shrines here and there, especially on the roads, small villages and various freeholds (farms, etc) but proselytism of anything but Vanya is forbidden and very, very risky. A lot of the native Heldaners converted to Vanya but tend to include some old ways in the mix.


  • Druidism is the most spread (in scale, not in actual numbers) one belief in the known world (and beyond). There is no deity or immortal per se, but a force, a soul of Nature. It goes by thousands of names, ranging from Mother Nature to The Great Bitch and everything in between.
  • The main principle of druidism is to maintain a natural and universal balance. Since a lot of the world's civilizations in the world are growing, evolving, they are the counterpart to that. They are not however a force of Entropy, but of stability through balance, meaning they are quite often lawful (and neutral of course) but rarely chaotic. They are not "against" civilization, they just accept it and work to offer a proper balance to it.
  • Druid circles specialize in specific and finite ecosystems and are led by archdruids who are known to meet from time to time. Druid circles function much like packs and some kind of "natural selection" system is often in place.
  • There are also myths of Great Druids roaming the land freely, beings so powerful, so attuned with the universe that they are sometimes taken for actual immortals. That's just some rumors you can find in dusty old tomes once a century or something however.
  • Since druids can be of many races, it is known that some peaces were brokered via druid circles, between Human or other civilized societies and Goblinoids, Gnoll and even Giants or other beings. There are records, though vague, of huge rampaging hordes about to wipe out entire cities who turned back after two druids met randomly and talked for 5 minutes.
  • They are rare and seldom seen in civilized areas.
  • Druids are well respected by the native Heldanners and even though there are no druid circles per se, people often welcome druids in their home, provide free lodging and food if need be and appreciate crop blessings, fertility rites, etc.
  • Hattians and the order overall tend to just ignore them completely or, if they're bored, bully them a bit.

  • There are two sets of laws: one for members of the order, one for non members.
  • Laws are quite fair overall. Usually, monetary compensation is preferred but murder, demonism, necromancy and the extremes are treated very harshly.
  • It's quite hard for non members to complain legally against members of the order but it is possible.

  • It's VERY militaristic and organized, lots of administration. Best comparison would be the Teutonic Order we had in Europe back in the days.
  • They are overall very lawful, this is probably their most defining trait. They tend to follow strict codes, hierarchy and order.
  • They have been know to treat people very fairly, especially the natives, but that's after they won. During the war, they can be ultra brutal if you don't submit. It's well known that entire villages, especially in the south west, were razed completely, men, women and child (though the children tend to be "adopted" by the church).
  • They completely accept foreigners in their ranks as long as they submit to the belief in Vanya and the order itself. There are a couple elves and dwarves in there too, though usually, non human soldiers/clerics/paladins are used as consultants or dispatched on specific tasks.
  • Nothing is black and white. You have corruption, greed, power struggle and whatnot even in the order.


  • There is a well respected dwarven community in Freiburg (the capital), mostly focused around metalwork trades. There are a couple more here and there, mostly around mining areas. Rockholme (the dwarven homeland) isn't too far south however so while they do visit for trade, they tend to not stay long.
  • Most of the elves seen in the territories are from Wendar and are involved in trades in some way or another. Wendar being the only elven nation (governed by high elves, but lots of wood elves there as well) in the area, elves don't tend to actually live in the territories though there are always some present.
  • The only halflings around are the young ones still on their "journey". They might stay for some time in one place but sooner or later, they'll head back out into adventure, or consider that they've been away long enough, head back to the Five Shires (halfling homeland, far to the south) and settle there for life.
  • Gnomes are very rare but the ones about tend to stick to dwarven communities or mining operations.
  • Half breeds are rare but not discriminated more than usual, even half orcs, as long as they obey the law. It's often accepted that the children, especially half breeds, are not responsible for their condition so usually, they'll get more pity than disdain.
  • There is very little obvious discrimination overall. The order is practical, it needs trade to keep the war machine going and treat non humans fairly, though not as equals (the only equals are members of the order). There is also the law and as long as you obey and submit to it, you'll be left alone usually.
  • There are no dragonborn, warforged, drow, tiefling or kender.

  • By far the most common race. They breed like crazy, adapt better, live fast and are less slowed down by history than the other races.
  • Heldaner (natives): Think typical norsemen. Light of skin and hair, usually tall, strong and proud. They are getting more civilized now but the old ways are still active in remote villages and freeholds.
  • Hattians (original followers of Vanya): Light olive skin, medium build, quite civilized. The ones in the region we'll play in are migrants from the Thyatian Empire (south). Usually quite proud about their ancestry.
  • Aside from that, most type of humans can be found. The ones above are just the most common here by far.


  • Were-creatures appeared a couple centuries ago and their spread to humanoid populations have been a plague in the known world since then. It took tremendous efforts to stop it (mostly) and some kingdoms in the more populated lands of the south lost more than 50% of their population during the first decades because of it. ANY sign whatsoever of infection (includes vampirism) in any form is annihilated on sight with overwhelming force if possible.
  • The order is about quantity, not quality. Most items can be found quite easily but will be crude work. Finely crafted weapons or armors are quite rare and expansive (special orders, etc).
  • Good VS Evil concepts are very fluid and while they are present, there are not as fundamentals as in other settings.
  • Law VS Chaos on the other end is more overall important as in they represent the conflicts between stable civilization and entropy.
  • Do not consider alignments as manacles that dictate your actions but consider your actions as defining your alignment.
  • You do not have to provide me an alignment for your character in a literal sense. I just need to know some basic details of how your character functions in every life.
  • The shock, awe, brutality and other things that happen during "adventures" can shape people as good if not better as any background. Never feel that your character IS his past. Your character has a past, but his future is what matters and that's what we'll play.

  • There are TONS of deities in the setting and I mean tons. They all matter to some degree in whatever region they are worshiped and a lot of just variation of names but overall, it's their portfolio of domains that really matter.
  • Most deities were in fact mortals at some point. During their mortal life, they achieved some sort of greatness (from ultra brutality, wisdom to combat excellence and whatever you can imagine) and affected the world to some degree. Then they were "mentored" by another deity, usually of high power (and thus, old) and pushed toward a quest for immortality. This is well known and accepted pretty much everywhere.

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