Lethal Mischief in Brasstar (The Attack on Gruntest)

“…You want to attack that place head on?”

“What–? No! What am I, insane?

A conversation that must have taken place sometime before the battle at Gruntest. Gruntest is a big city. One can’t really understate just how impossible it would be to simply roll over such a large city full of orcs ready to defend it and expect to get anywhere. At best, progress would take months just because of the sheer number of enemies an attacking army would have to displace before they could safely advance. Worse yet, Gruntest is a center of worship for deities more powerful than Lurue and Malar combined. Deities who would be most inclined to assist Malar when push came to shove.

That’s why Lurue’s followers did no such thing. They did enter the city, but not where any orcs could potentially observe them. Legend has it that they actually conscripted the use of Dire Badgers to tunnel underneath the city. They utilized divination magic to track Malar’s temple, and then they planted a ton of explosives below it. Before the actual battle even started, a series of planted Holly Bombs were remotely set off and an explosion rocked the city, upturning the earth beneath Malar’s Temple and causing massive damage to the site and nearby buildings. About fifty orcs were killed, mostly those who happened to be at the temple at the time of the attack, and about two hundred more were injured by the blast wave.

The temple was almost completely destroyed, with the ground it once stood on being rendered unsuitable for building due to the crater full of unstable earth and debris. While all of this was going on, the few orcs that were able to detect the oncoming disaster tried to rally a defense. However, Lurue’s followers were able to hold them off long enough to complete their objectives.  Casualties were relatively light on both sides as a result of Lurue’s tactics. However, it’s undoubtful that the orcs of Gruntest are already planning their revenge. A large force of orcs has been dispatched to track down the intruders utilizing warbeasts. The city of Gruntest has been wounded, but most of the city barely even feels the wound. Lurue achieved a victory here today, but not a decisive one.

New Rumor!

[Brasstar] A large force of enraged orc soldiers is on the move, attacking any strangers who don’t surrender on sight. They’re accompanied by warbeasts, and seem to be tracking down Lurue’s followers after the attack on Gruntest.

The Attack On Everheart City

One cannot count on Mother Nature to dote on them and make sure they’re taken care of like any other kind of mother. The druids of Everheart City are more aware of that fact than most. The Tree Top City of Everheart is well defended against attackers. The massive trees the city is built upon would take days to cut down a single one with a mere axe, and anyone trying to scale them would be forced to move in the open downwind of any defenders willing to take shots at them from the cover afforded to them up top.

Still, not all of the city is up in the trees and not all beasts are limited to the ground. When a legion came rushing from the underbrush to assault the city, massive birds of prey swooped down to terrorize the defenders from above. In the end, Everheart City was able to repel the attackers. However, the battle was bloody. Citizens bore witness to carnage unheard of in civilized warfare. Civilians and defenders alike were torn apart and devoured alive before their comrade’s eyes. Only children and pregnant women were spared Malar’s wrath. Legend has it that it began to rain blood amidst the carnage and that the rain did not subsist for an entire twenty-four hours.

The Temple dedicated to Lurue seems to have been a focal point of the battle, as unlike other areas of the cities beasts stopped to try and destroy the building itself. The building suffered moderate damage but remained structurally sound. Given time to replace or repair furniture and goods, it should once again find its former glory. Still, several clerics of Lurue and at least one unicorn were slain in the attack.

Malar’s forces were decimated as a result of their recklessly aggressive tactics, suffering large losses as a result of their unwillingness to retreat. The city, while still a very clear victor in this battle, is traumatized by Malar’s efforts. It’s unlikely that life will ever be the same for people who lost loved ones in such a brutal attack. Damage to the city itself was relatively mild, as Malar’s forces were somewhat hyperfocused on killing as many of their ‘prey’ as they could. Yet, quite a few houses now stand vacant, with no occupants left to claim them. A miasma of darkness fills the air around some of them, leading to a couple of neighborhoods being abandoned as residents proclaim them to be haunted.

New Rumor:

[Everheart City] Whispers of the dead rising on their own after the attack on Everheart City by Malar’s forces have lead to a neighborhood being abandoned. The presences haunting the area are described as being unseen but not always unheard and causing others to fall ill in their wake. The city is too pre-occupied tending to its wounds to launch a proper investigation on its own.

Why must adventurers fix everything?

So, why it is your characters have so many problems to resolve constantly? Why are there so many problems to deal with that don’t seem to go away. If there are so many wealthy kings and queens are so wealthy and have so much power, why is it there are so many problems left in the world?

First we have to remember what the world of D&D is. Not M’Kal, not Forgotten Realms, not even Ravenloft or Eberron. It was said long ago, that the world of D&D is a dark, dangerous, evil place with pin pricks of light and goodness. Those pinpricks of light and goodness are the cities where most civilized peoples live. In order for the logics of D&D to work you need to understand that the majority of the world is evil, and while good tries to thrive, winning isn’t cost effective for leaders.

So, it’s not cost effect. But why is that? There are several costs that become excessive when trying to project power to control and solve problems in a world like D&D. First is the moral costs, second is the monetary cost, and the third is the ethical cost.

Let’s look at the moral cost first. There is a certain expectation people have. If you are familiar with the (lower end) of US politics you may have heard of the NIMBY(Not in my back yard) concept. Essentially, some people are all in favor of more prisons… just not near them. Put them someplace else. Well the reverse is true in some ways too. Why is it you, the government, have the means to send a thousand soldiers/guards five hundred miles away to deal with bandits there when you can’t keep people from robbing Toby’s Fish Market right here on my block in the city? So, in order to keep the moral of people up they have to create a more aggressive military force inside the city to make sure every little law is punished so they can show they DO care more about their own city streets than they do some stretch of road 500 miles away.

But, that same police state, where jay walking is severely punished has a moral cost. When you make every single small crime a case of ‘lets make an example of them’ to punish them heavily it wears down on a community. An overactive police force can lead to honest very minor accidents becoming a larger problem. Let’s suppose the single father of several children is pushing his cart of produce down the road and someone bumps his wagon. An apple falls off and roads across the street. If he runs over to try to grab that apple before someone steps on it, leads to several problems in a soceity that puts immense stress on ethics (Chaotic vs lawful) over morality (good vs evil) in extremes. If he doesn’t stop… is he guilty of littering? If he does stop is he guilty of improperly crossing the street? Is he going home to his kids tonight or are they going to be without their father for a day.. a week.. a month? Is this an extreme example? It sure is. But it still remains that a soceity will believe that they in the city are entitled to ‘more’ than outlying parts of a kingdom. If you can solve problems 500 miles away, you can solve them here. Unfortunately the more you try to root out crime, the more crime will try to find a way to get around your efforts. Thus, the harder you will have to try. If you are trying to ‘attack’ every problem, then you will have to get more and more aggressive over time. This means bystanders will get hurt. The more your bystanders in your society get hurt, the lower moral gets. The deeper the divide will get between leadership and their subjects.. and the more the subjects begin to look like the enemy.

The ethical cost comes when a government is deploying a massive police force, whom are all given a checklist of crimes. They are expected to deal with those crimes in the same way, equally, at all times. The larger the police force the less of an individual they become and the more they become their uniform, the insignia they have sworn an allegience to. This means it becomes a problem when two different acts fall under the same law. A sketchy looking man in black leader armor slinks trhough the allies, and cuts the purse of a noble, and makes off with a hundred platinum coins. Versus the homeless street rat that steals. In the eyes of the common guard whom is obligated to obey the letter of the law, theft is theft is theft. So both the homeless child trying to get her first piece of food in 3 days is likely to lose her hand the same as the trained rogue that just stole enough money to buy house. In D&D the average citizen is illiterate or barely literate. So it’s not really viable to try to teach a police force numbering in the thousands a bunch of different versions of a law where there are different degrees of theft, or different degrees of assault, or in some cases a crime should be excused because that kid was jaywalking only to get out of the way of an asshole on a horse that isn’t paying attention. Sure the kid broke a law but it was literally a case of if he didn’t he would have been trampled to death. But if you have a police force that is being over leveraged they may get to the point where they only care about legal or illegal, while ignoring good and evil or right and wrong. A police force that is grown to the point where it’s become inflexible like this will result in an erosion of the value of ethics.

Lastly, is the economic cost. Paying a police force isn’t the only cost when you are trying to project your power into regions well beyond the walls of your small clean city. When you are paying your guards are in your city you pay them their wage then leave them to find their own meals and bed each day. But when you move a hundred of them five hundred miles away your costs go up dramatically. You now have to probive them with a place and means to sleep, food to eat, chefs to cook that food, transportation for that bedding, food, and chefs.. plus any other supplies they may need depending upon their mission. In the end it may end up with the kingdom’s coffers paying several thousand gold or even tens of thousands of gold on a single mission to save a single trade route for a month. The Kingdom would be lucky to make a thousand gold back in taxes off the tradegoods on that route in that same month. The logistics of paying and projecting a police force large enough to qualify as a standing army just isn’t sustainable.

So, how does a goodly kingdom in a D&D world resolve it’s problems? You. You are the solution and the scapegoat all in one. Adventurers are expensive, but most cost effective than projecting a military police force hundreds of miles. Sure, it may cost 50 gold to send a group of 20 city guards on a one way trip along a 100 mile road from one town to the next to sniff out bandits, but it may cost 100 gold to send a group of 6 adventurers for that same trip. But the leader of the city isn’t expected to cover the cost of food, lodging, equipment, gear, and supplies for the adventruers. In a more drawn out mission, a 100 soldiers may be expected to travel that road constantly for a month or more until all bandits are dealt with. The guards are going to eat up thousands or more gold, but to the adventurers the mission is the same in either of the two above examples. They are paid 100 gold to make the bandit problem go away. Any additional costs are their problem not the leaders. Plus, there is the moral weight. If the leader of a city makes a choice that gets 100 city guards wiped out, there are 100 upset families and it’s the leader’s fault.. at least in part. If 6 adventurers get wiped out, it was their choice to be adventurers. You as an adventurer are cheaper in the long run, and more expendable. But.. there is another thing. You are flexible. Unlike a city guard an adventurer is not expected to just obey the letter of a law. An adventurer is expected of dealing with a problem as per their own morals. They may include punishments, or this may include blackmail… or it may include hiding a child criminal from the city guard and helping them escape to a life free of crime. Adventurers take the risk of disobeying the law with the full knowledge that if they are ever wrong, the villain they let escape today may be a bigger problem tomorrow. A problem that would result in bigger harm than when they let them escape. Adventurers may have to deal with the backlash of their choices. Leaving the solution to a lot of problems in the hands of adventurers does mean a leader is allowing, to a certaine extend, laws to be ignore and chaos to thrive outside the walls. But for leaders such as the Empress of M’Kal, it’s better to think in the long term and let citizens with the desire to adventure do so. Be a hero, thrive, and be paid well. In a world with mages, paladins, and clerics wandering about by the dozens a single leaders should not be the resolution to daily problems.

In the words of Empress Calmita; Our society has several lines of defense. The first is our written law, most are polite enough to obey it. Our second line of defense is our city guard. For those too rude to obey the written law, a thump from the guard will reach most to behave for a time. Our third line of defence is adventurers. Sure most of them behave outside of the law to some degree, but I would rather tolerate a drunk that pinches a bar wench on the ass than a necromancer raiding the farms of my citizens. I am the last line of defense and if your problem crosses my desk, I am sending ten dragons.

Entry Way

Entryway Read Now

This is a new continent vaguely connected to Forgotten Realms, in the 3.5 edition rule set. The game is played across several regions of the continent in a Shared World style influenced by West Marches style of gameplay.. M’kal is about a month west of Waterdeep by ship, in good weather.

We loosely use Forgotten Realms 3.5 and earlier eras as canon. We are not closely referencing certain events, however. For example, Spellplague has never happened because it’s stupid and so is whoever came up with it. The second sundering also has never happened because if the stupidity of Spellplague never happened, then the need to aggressively back peddle never happened either. To this end any content introduced during 4e or 5e such as fake Dragonborn and tieflings becoming more common than elves has not occurred either.

There are two big changes we have made from the more classic Forgotten Realms tyle setting however.

Firstly, the evil Drow deities of Lolth and Vheraun have no significant place on this continent. This is to be rid of the gatekeeping mentality that all Drow are automatically evil and lack the free will for personal choice. I get the hate for Drizzt, and I share in it for the most part. But Drizzt is not the only Good Drow, and he is far from the most meaningful Good Drow to exist.

Secondly, Tiamat's sway here is severely crippled. Roughly one thousand years ago, the war came to an end. This war spanning a bit over a century pit the Chromatics and the Metalline dragons against each other. Much devastation as one might expect, but the war ended with the Chromatics just quitting. It was not a surrender, instead, they just refused to continue fighting as there was too much loss and not enough gain to be had. As such a sort of treaty exists between the Metalline Dragons and the Chromatic Dragons. The contents of the treaty are kept secret. But the results are that all ten of the dragons have built their own city that is open to the public, and any dragon engaging in evil acts or work for Tiamat are to be killed, regardless of their race or location on M'Kal.
Well first off, things are driven by your character not by your need for more D&D in your life. This is not your game store D&D where having a pulse entitles you to the right to play. You have to earn things, and there is a process.

1. You must have a character with personality and motivations. This means that when it comes time to do the quest your DM should be able to ask you questions and get in character answers from you. If the Dm asks why you are going with the party on this quest and you come up with answer like ‘because that’s what they picked’ then you have already betrayed your character. You have failed as a player. You need to play a person, not just numbers on a page.

2. Cooperate with your party. Due to the nature of the way we play, having borrowed from West Marches, it’s up to the player to build their party for each quest. If it comes down to a quest where the party is defending a town against an orcish siege, then they may want a party with 4 fighters and 2 clerics. But the next quest is to raid a wizard’s tower so they need one or more rogues and wizards. This isn’t just a metagaming thing. This should be basic logic for the characters themselves too. You don’t pick a barbarian to match wits against a Sphinx just like you don’t pick the wizard to win a boxing match. Also, if you are playing one of those sorcerers that TALKS IN ALL CAPS ABOUT HOW AWESOME HIS FIREBALLS ARE and drinks to excess, don’t be surprised if the part you decided to join without permission decides to sneak out on you in the middle of the night.

3. Rumors are your candy. There is a channel for each region that contains rumors for that region. Rumors may be created by the DM, by world events, or by other players. You are not limited by these however. You can do your own thing if you can get a party interested. These are some of the hooks you can choose from. If it helps any, you can imagine this as the whisperings of the tavern or the postings on a job board. But just keep in mind, everything is not always what it seems. Some may be worded deceptively. Some may even be traps. Never forget the Head of Vecna.

 4. The world is alive around you. This may sometimes mean that things happen in reaction to what you do, or if you don’t do a specific rumor it may progress negatively, or someone else may gain the rewards for it. You do have the chance to be the hero of your own story, but your story is not the only one being told in this world. You may be faced with choices where two bad things are happening and you only get to prevent one of them. In addition to being a shared world, this is a reactive world. Before you do something, think about what impact it may have. Sometimes you may see a BBEG standing up boldly for all to see. An evil you may wish to wipe out to free the people they oppress. But what you may not see is they may have their foot on the throat of a bigger badder evil behind the scenes. Killing one may create the power vacuum needed for something worse to show up and take over. Check just how hot the water is before you jump in with both feet.

 5. World events and spill over is a thing. There are some things that will happen in a neighboring regions that will spill over into yours. There are world events that will trigger that may be out of your control. Even though you are the hero of your own story, sometimes the world fights back. And sometimes the actions of other players can adversely effect your efforts. For example, When the villains get uppity and sack a temple of Chauntea, burning it to the ground and killing all its clergy, that will affect the local area. This will cause followers of Chauntea to flee the area as refugees. Fleeing to other cities and potentially into other regions. Leading to a sharp decline in farming in the original area and a sudden increase in food needs in other areas. A rippling effect of food shortages. But it may also cause the followers of Chauntea in other regions to grow more aggressive and plan a retaliation.
The steps to join, in suggested order, are as follows.
  1. Look through the rumors channels in the various regions and find a rumor you feel your character would be likely to go after. Something that interests them.(This does not mean you are picking a rumor, you are instead picking a region based on what rumors may have drawn your character to this region.)
  2. Join the party coordination channel, and discuss with the party the potential of you joining them to chase down this rumor. If the existing party is not interested you can ask the DM about the potential of opening a new party to do so.
  3. Create your character using the Character creation rules. If you are a newbie that needs help, we have a dozen people that will gladly help you. Unlike other forms of gaming, we can't do elitism. We need to keep drawing in new people to keep our hobby alive. It is a blessing to bring  you in.
  4. The homebrew rules we already have in place can be found here.
  5. Once you have been accepted to a party, or founded your own, post the name, race, class, and level of your character in the dramatis personae channel for that region.
  6. Expect that once you pick your region your character might not be able to move to another region easily. It's 10 days to travel between cities by foot. Some DMs may give you items, or homebrew that may not be welcome in other areas. You will have to coordinate with both your old and new DM, and your character may face an audit as part of the move.
  7. Understand that even if you are trying to join a region filled with your friends, your character also matters. In addition to the players accepting you into their group their characters also have to accept your character as well. So if you decide to make that ultra special douche flake and it creates party tension, that can't and won't be ignored. 
  8. Your starting level will be 2 less than the average level of the party you are joining. If you are the first character founding a new party you are level 1.
Some feats, classes, items, and so on have a much bigger impact on the world than do others. Some great examples of these are Vow of Poverty, Leadership and Landlord. If you are going to try to take these do not be surprised if your DM starts asking you questions about what you have done up to this point to justify these. Citing your level or your charisma score is not good enough. You need to be able to point to your character's actions to show that this is part of your trajectory. Similarly picking some class/feat combos along the way because it's on that giantitp.com build guide you found is not playing your character. Sometimes your DM is going to put you on the spot, and ask why your character would choose to do something. You need to be ready to answer using only in character information. It is okay to ask your DM to help you set up a situation. They can help forge your trajectory for you. But you still have to hit the plot points made available. It's not okay to assume that citing the rulebook will get you a free pass to ignore the fact your character is still supposed to be a person making choices based on their own knowledge.
Any content is banned from primary M'Kal games if it meets any of the following conditions
  1. It is specific to a setting other than Forgotten Realms
  2. It was found on dandwiki.com(To much homebrew here that isn't clearly marked)
  3. It comes from Pathfinder(Don't get me started)
  4. It comes from giantitp.com(Good for learning, but a lot of homebrew too. If you can't find a citation you can't use it)
  5. It comes from a book containing primarily adult/erotic content(There are children here)
  6. You can't provide a citation for it.(If you can't prove it, it doesn't exist.)
  7. Third party OGL content.(Anybody can publish anything. Doesn't make it good.)
Kaote Bruche’daine
I am Grandmaster, owner of the server. I am a bit of an experimental DM. I find the most joy in exposing character to new and evolving challenges. Part of that means sometimes giving you items that should normally be beyond your grasp. But, always remember. You and everything you own, and everything you love, is always in danger. But my desire to see growth goes behind the characters. I love seeing the players grow, become better roleplayers, and so on. There are two big joys to me as a DM. First is when the players stay beyond game time and are excitedly talking about their characters and what they have done. That shows me that the story I am telling is pleasing them. The second biggest joy for me, is when one of my players becomes a DM.

Trixxie
Hi!!! My name is Trixxie and I have been playing tabletop games since 2011. I have only been a dungeon master for about a year, but I am an avid fantasy writer and I love world building. I am pretty free spirited when it comes to my style of play. I tend to focus on story telling vs combat. I like to play around with social ideals and a bit of perviness for flavor.

When I'm not playing DND, I love video games, esports, anime, cartoons, and Critical Role. Please shoot me a DM if you are interested in joining my region.

Kana
“Hello, I’m here to have a fun time with my players. I tend to give them a lot of freedom to roleplay at their own pace, and am totally down for sessions where you guys get nothing done and just have a blast being your characters. I enjoy challenging my players, and will gradually build encounters for them to all have a chance to show off what they can do.”

Shifter
Still awaiting their intro

Quiche
Hello there! I’m Quiche, and I am a MAJOR nerd! I’ve been into D&D for a long while, but only barely started playing it since 2017. However, I’ve quickly come to love the hobby, and the art of being a DM. As a DM, I like to discuss characters with their players, everything from their backstory, random details they wouldn’t normally get to express, and their class build. From the get-go, I like to help players feel like their actions shape the region they find themselves in, and usually employ a sort of reputation system.

When I’m not playing D&D, I’m usually messing around on my Switch, or on Steam. Some of my favorite games are Super Smash Bros., Pokémon, Stardew Valley, and Terraria, to name a few.

I operate in CST, although I’m no stranger to EST either. Saturdays I can even go toe-to-toe with out a European friends!

I hope to see you at my table!

Once you had read the information above, introduce yourself in the Entryway channel on discord, and tell us how you found us. Give us an indication you have indeed read all of the information here in the entry way, agree to it, and you would like to be granted membership to the rest of the server.


Or in the unlikely chance you found our website before our discord, you are armed with a greater understanding of what to expect from us, join our discord Entry Way

Entryway Read Later

Players: You may submit your homebrew requests to your DM. They then have the option to engage you on it. If you can convince them it will advance the plot without damaging it, then the DM can bring the homebrew to the rest of the DMs to discuss. Even if your Homebrew is approved it may limit your mobility to other regions either permanently or temporarily until the homebrew is removed. You will be informed of the scope of this risk before the homebrew goes into effect, you may have the option to refuse this homebrew if you deem the cost to high.

Additionally, as a small rule of thought. If your character you wish to play requires homebrew during the character creation process and you need to get some homebrew approved before your first session then you likely shouldn't be making that character. Before you start asking your DM to make exceptions to the game for you, you should first prove to your DM that you are worth investing in.
There are two types of Homebrew for the purposes of this rule.

Instant homebrew, is something that effects the moment but carries diminishing value as the game continues on. You choose to action point your roll of 22, and you roll a 19. Dm says they won't accept action point rolls that were lower than the original, so you get to roll again until you get at least 23. DMs are free to do this sort of instant homebrew as much as they feel they must to keep their narrative in motion. (I would warn that too much of this could ruin the immersion players try to have, but that's yours to juggle)

Living Homebrew, is a homebrew that persists and will continue to exist into and well beyond your reign over the character it has effected. If you decide to give a character a homebrew feat that feat sticks with them. If you leave as a DM, they still have the feat. If they travel to another area, they still have the feat. Or, you decide to give a custom item using effects you have made up that don't exist elsewhere, that too is a living homebrew. Such items need to be discussed with other DMs before they are deployed. This may result in DMs trying to adjust your idea to something more fun, more immersive, or just less disruptive. This may result in DMs warning you that such a thing could have major backlash. As a brash example, if a DM tells you that the homebrew you are proposing is very powerful and very loud, that may be followed up with them saying the powers that be may wish to invade your region to steal or destroy that homebrew. If this claim is made and you still deploy the homebrew you may expect an interregional conflict. This isn't something you can just blow off because it's inconvenient for you. This is part of the risks of a shared world.

Some time ago I tried to work with DMs to come up with a point system to assess how invasive or disruptive a homebrew might be. The efforts to come up with that system rather flopped, but here is what I do have. It isn't much but it might help you think a bit about it.

When you are bringing a Homebrew to the rest of the DMs to discuss there will be both a point system, and a discussion of the homebrew in question. The score given to it by the point system is a measure of how much of an impact that homebrew will have on the world. The lower the score the better. As an example, a homebrew that is just a name change (Calling a fireball wand Uncle Benny's Kobold Cleaner) would have a homebrew value of 0 of 10. A King's Tear that has At Will Scry, Message, Gate, and so on given to a level 5 party may have a Homebrew value of 8 of 10(This homebrew value will decrease as the party levels. Since this is a legit item but it's just WAY to expensive for a level 5 part to have). The higher the score the greater chance of the item being locked to the region, the character being locked to the region, the whole party being locked to the region, or the homebrew being outright rejected.
Region Locking, not something we like and sometimes it feels like handing out a punishment. It's not meant to be a punishment, it's just meant to be a means to reduce contamination. Sometimes a homebrew is given to a character that is difficult to remove without damaging the character beyond use. It was needed for the narrative of a region but now that character for whatever reason is trying to leave that region. The Dm of the other region refuses this homebrew, so, the character is stuck. Unable to travel.

Some Region lockings will be a soft lock. Meaning you can transition still but it would require giving up a feat or item as part of the audit. Some region locks will be permanent resulting the character never being allowed to travel through normal means. How firm your lock is depends largely on how overpowering the homebrew was and how easily those effects can be reversed. Largely you should expect that the longer it takes for a DM to unwind and clean up your sheet the less likely they are going to want to work with you on making you safe to move again.
Shops: The SRD and so on has some pretty basic rarity rules that are easy to follow to determine how common some items should be. Level 1 scrolls should be quite a bit more common that level 1 rings for example. Some shops may have handpicked or handcrafted items sprinkled in for plot convenience, due to some request, or simply because it's a type of thing the DM likes. But there are some things that should never appear in the common stock of a store. These items include artifacts, items with an individual price that exceeds 25% of the value of the settlement, or was created using a spell that costs XP to cast.

Loot piles: It's a little easier to justify some random chaos in the loot pile at the end of running the business on a cult. They are far less likely to have 30 cure light potions sitting neatly in a rack, but they just might have a lesser wish scroll that was part of one of their plots. You just got it before they could use it.

Specialty Shops: If you find a shop that specializes specifically in magic weapons, and that's all they do, then you may find a greater array of weapons. Still, the 25% value of the settlement rule applies. After all why would a shop stock items that are so expensive that the local governor couldn't afford to buy even 1 in an emergency where the governor deploys all the emergency funds the town has? Don't stock something you can absolutely never sell. But at such a specialty shop you are more likely to be able to place custom orders with the shop if you can't find the exact item you want.

Player Crafting: If a player wishes to craft a prefab item(something found exactly on SRD, magic item compendium, ect) may do so at their own free will. If a player wishes to create a new item using the existing item crafting rules they must speak to their DM about it first. Even if the item is legit, the DM needs to know about custom items before they get broadsided with them. If the DM gives you hard no, do not bring it to another DM or the Grandmaster seeking an overturn of the answer.
Seriously, none of the DMs here are getting paid. This isn't a job for any of them. For most of them the most obvious reward is players that show up excited, or the ability to play in games ran by others. There are the obvious things you can do to help your DM. Order them a pizza, hit that amazon/steam Wishlist, and so on. Most of us welcome such things. But there are less monetary ways you can do it too. Help with research. Do write ups. Be proactive and get the party coordinated ahead of time. Relay information. Prepare ahead of time. Make sure your notes and your party members notes are ready before game. Really, anything you can do to reduce workload can be helpful. Personally, the thing that gives me the biggest smile, is when players are having such fun that they stick around and chat for an hour after the session has ended.
Each DM has majority control over their region. When a player uses a point roll to spawn an event of some sort in a region, the event shall happen but the DM gets to choose how. Even when I as Grandmaster hand a DM something that needs done, I usually let them decide how to do it. So long as the end results is the same as I asked it to be. This extends a lot to the world lore DMs are given as well. When a DM is given a region, they start with the temples, businesses, government, and so on that it has when given to them. If there are elements they wish to change they are free to do so over the course of story arcs, and so on.
The starting point for calculating XP for an encounter is the encounter calculator on d20srd (http://www.d20srd.org/extras/d20encountercalculator/) and may well be adjusted as the Dm sees fit based on several factors. These potential factors include;
  1. The cost of the fight in consumables. If the party has to burn lots of potions, wand charges, acid flasks, and so on to make it out of the fight then it may well be considered an expensive fight and more XP may be justified.
  2. The Hardship of the fight. If the fight actually presents a major challenge for the party either because of mistakes, great luck on behalf of the enemy, bad luck on part of the players, dicebot hemorrhaging hatred, or just a bad party combo for the enemy, then this may justify a greater learning experience and more XP. Conversely if the party curb stomps the enemy and makes it through with such haste it's humiliating for the enemy, then lesser XP may be justified due to a lesser learning experience.
  3. A boss creature that has been given extra talents beyond what is norm for that race to elevate it's threat and power threshold.
Not every productive action in D&D needs to require the dice. As such roleplay that advances the plot in a meaningful way should also yield some reward. Not all roleplay is equal, and not all situations are equal. Context is important so largely this is going to be up to DM discretion on when it happens and how much. Since context matters more than specific actions in roleplay, one day you may get XP for haggling your room at the inn, the next day you may not. One day you may get XP for talking the bandits into letting you go, and the next day you may not. Don't try to pre-empt your DM and assume because it worked one day it works all days.
Ideal wealth per level can be found on the SRD at (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/xp.htm) This is the guideline that should be followed. When making a new character at level 1 start with 200gp. When making a new character at a different level, start using the wealth on this table. For DMs producing loot, for each member of your party above the suggested about reduce the party's loot some For those below it, boost it some. So as an example if you have a level 9 player that has the wealth of a level 11 and a level 9 that has the wealth of a level 8, then reduce total loot averages by 10%. 20 down for the one, then 10 up for the other resulting in a total of 10 down. These values can be determined by periodically having players audit their own sheets. If the player is proving to be sketchy then the DM may have to audit them manually. DM agency however remains intact and any loot that needs to be provided as part of a plot is welcome so long as that plot related loot is reasonable. If you are not sure, or the item in question is worth more than the character's entire intended personal wealth, it should be brought before all other DMs first.
  1. Rumors:
  2. As part of the point system there are times when a player may create a rumor to go before the DMs, the DMs then have the chance request it be added to their region. There is also the ability to place a rumor in a specific region without it going before the DMs to fight over it. In either case the rumor is presented before the DM(s) as the player has written it, but the DM has the right to paraphrase it. They may be because they have a specific idea when they read it, but need to adjust it a bit to make their idea work. Additionally the rumor may get paraphrased to adapt to an existing story, thus becoming an additional hook for an existing story line. Regardless of the scale of a rumor, no rumor should be solved by NPCs until well after the time players have had a chance to feel it's impacts or taken a crack at solving it. No rumor should be ever solved in a fashion by NPCs that leads to it being unexisting. No time travel solutions, no wishing it never happened, no fornicating the threads of time/fate.
  3. Natural Disasters: In higher end point tables there are the options to seed natural disasters. Given the weight of natural disasters can have, and the cunning of the individual planning them, it may lead to such events being temporarily postponed. Some regions will already have large events in play and adding a new big machine on top of this may just be a logistical nightmare for the DM or the party in question. So if you use the point system to trigger a natural disaster, be patient.
  4. World Events: Another of the rewards the players can get from the point tables is the ability to generate campaigns of good or evil in a particular region.. This can evolve into a world event and effect multiple areas.  These, like Natural disasters, may take some time to deploy. Particularly if it does evolve into a world event. If something evolves into a world event there will be a specific DM assigned to this world event that will play the role of the BBEG behind the event and will be coordinating with the other DMs. This is to give the world campaign a central intelligence and coordination. If a DM refuses to work with the DM that is heading the world event, that DM will have their region locked down until that world event is over. There will be a limited number of world events allowed at any given time. This is to make sure the players do have actual chance to respond, and to keep it from getting overwhelming for the DMs.
  5. Lore: One of the most common rewards that exists is the right and ability to name NPCs, Businesses, Organizations, and so on for the world. The ability to help flesh out and influence the world in the long term. In the name of maintaining DM Agency, players may perform these tasks in regions that lack a current DM. This is to flesh out the lesser touched areas to make sure newly arriving DMs have something to work with.
  6. Items: One of the greatest lures to the point system is the items it gives. If you net an item from the points table then you are certainly entitled to that item. Your character however may not be immediately. Before you go adding items to your character sheets, run them past your DM. Your DM may hand wave the items to your sheet as a gift from the gods, may wish to delay you until the next suitable loot pile, or may delay you until you read a level where getting such a thing is more appropriate. An item may simply be denied purely because it would utterly break a heavily planned encounter coming up in the next couple sessions. Until which point a DM give you the go ahead to add an item to your sheet, the item belongs to you and can go to any of your characters.
  7. Metatools A player making use of the point table may not spawn rumors, natural disasters, or lore in an area where they are actively playing.  This is to prevent a player from trying to sandbag a region with items and enemies they personally want in order to leverage their build to push a power gaming narrative.

Chosen of Tiamat

This is our Chosen of Tiamat Template.

A chosen template is a temporary boost in power given to a creature by a deity which either particularly favors the creature, or has an important mission the creature must carry out. Some deity may have multiple chosen, while some deity may have none. While it is benefitial for a diety to have an agent of special power working for them in the mortal world it comes with a severe risk. The deity, in order to grant this power, is giving up a portion of their own power to bestow the gift. For this reason a deity may choose to revoke the special status if the power is needed elsewhere, the individual granted the power is no longer needed, or the deity itself is at risk and needs to withdraw the power. For those more fickle deities they may simply revoke the power to entertain themselves with your sudden downfall. Looking at you, Lolth.

So, what benefits does a Chosen of Tiamat gain?

A chosen of Tiamat gains two Dragon type feats.

Tiamat’s blessing(EX): If the Chosen is a Dragon or has the Dragon type naturally, the chosen of Tiamat is filled with energy and strength beyond one of her age. In all things, the chosen is considered two age categories greater than she actually is.

Tiamat’s Blood: (EX) The chosen of Tiamat can call upon her goddess and energize her dragon blood. Filled with energy and strength beyond one of her kind; she transforms into a true dragon for a number of turns equal to her charisma modifier per month. The dragon age (CR) is equal to the total levels of the character (not counting this template modifier). All feats, spells or class related skills are lost during the transformation. Equipment and items carried meld with the form and cannot be used.

Chromatic Blood(EX): When hit with a slashing or piercing weapon the spray of energized blood acts as a 1d6 splash of (Acid, Fire, Lightning or cold) in the 5 foot space adjacent to the chosen from the direction the attack originated. Reflex save (DC 15) for half damage.

Many Scales(SU): If the Chosen is a Dragon or has the Dragon type, the Chosen of Tiamat may change into any other chromatic dragon type. During this weeklong change, the chosen sinks into a catatonic state and is encased in a great egg-like cocoon.

Alternate form(SU): Tiamat’s chosen may take the shape of any medium size or smaller animal or humanoid as a standard action three times per day.

Improved breath weapon: Increase range by 25% and damage to d12s.

Spells: Divine spells equal to their sorcerer level, gaining bonus spells for high wisdom.

Speed: +20 speed increase to flight and any other applicable modes of travel. Flight maneuverability increases by two steps. If the base creature lacks flight, it instead gains a flight speed equal to it’s original movement speed.

Bite and claw attacks increase one damage size factor OR are considered Anarchic and Unholy.

Immune to Aging penalties, effectively immortal

Immune to mind-affecting abilities

Senses: (EX): Increase the range of all senses by 50%

CR/LA +4

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