Character creation rules.   Posted by The Warlord Eternal.Group: 0
The Warlord Eternal
 GM, 7 posts
 The Iron Fist of
 the Iron Age
Wed 30 Mar 2016
at 10:08
Character creation rules
Greetings, weary wanderers. Come inside, away from the gloom and the chill of the fog-laden air, and warm yourselves by the cheery glow of my hearth. What brings you here? And whence hail you? How have you come to be who you are? All these things I would know as we share the comforts of my hall this merry eve.

And so shall I ask that you all generate 11th-level gestalt characters for your respective warlords. We will use a 30-point buy for stats. As is conventional, please perform all die rolls in the game's dice roller, and fill in the character sheet templates I have set up here with your details. I suggest you ensure you check the "secret roll" box for each roll in the dice roller, so as not to tip your hand to your rivals.

I'll start adding the pertinent game rules for "Fields of Blood" as we go, but let's get our characters going first, so we know where we're starting from! Feel free to write up your character's backgrounf as much or as little as you please. Detailed and interesting background stories can always provide for adventure later on...

For those who don't know how the point-buy system functions, each ability score starts at 8, and you have 30 points to improve your starting stats. Scores of 14 and below cost 1 point per point of increase, but beyond that the costs increase thusly:

Ability score point costs

Ability score     Point cost     

If you are playing on including any non-standard class options, please make sure you have okayed them with me before proceeding. Some prestige classes are available, though I ask that you inform me of any prestige class choice before including it, as there are those that operate differently under gestalt rules.

From the above-linked page:
"A gestalt character canít combine two prestige classes at any level, although itís okay to combine a prestige class and a regular class. Prestige classes that are essentially class combinations-such as the arcane trickster, mystic theurge, and eldritch knight-should be prohibited if youíre using gestalt classes, because they unduly complicate the game balance of whatís already a high-powered variant. Because itís possible for gestalt characters to qualify for prestige classes earlier than normal, the game master is entirely justified in toughening the prerequisites of a prestige class so itís available only after 5th level, even for gestalt characters."

I will address the specifics of any enquiries relating to the above as they come up, though with regard to "prestige classes that are essentially class combinations", certain such may be permitted, but they will take up both of your class choices for a given level.

Please see the additional post below for "Fields of Blood"-specific rules that you may wish to incorporate into your character build. I strongly recommend you give serious consideration to the Command skill, as this skill is mostly used to determine many important factors in mass battles. Unit initiative, unit cohesion in carrying out orders, unit morale, and tactical positioning before battle is joined are just some of the things that can depend on this skill. Generally speaking, if you plan to lead troops into battle, it's smart to have this maxed out, as not only winning an opposed check, but the amount by which you win an opposed check can be the deciding factor in many an engagement.

With regard to equipment, the standard starting gold for an 11th-level character is simply not appropriate to the setting. In a low-magic world peopled by tribesmen of modest means and no real currency to speak of, characters (even warlords) do not stroll around carrying the equivalent of 66,000gp worth of gear or coinage. Revenue and available resources for your clan holding are determined by the production of your individual districts, not by your character's lucrative past life as a dragon-slaying planes-wanderer. I will allow each character to possess up to six masterwork weapons, two masterwork shields, and two suits of masterwork armour of your choice. Please note that half-plate and full plate do not exist in the setting; banded mail is not produced or used in Albion, but is the standard armour of Rome's legionaries. Each of you will have the option to purchase further high-quality weapons and armour once the game begins, as you will have ready access to skilled smiths and the coin to get whatever you need. Each of you will also start the game with one special item (detailed later), a clan heirloom passed down (or bloodily wrested) from warlord to warlord. Other than that, you are rich and powerful. It's quite reasonable to assume that in your position of power you would have a reasonable number of other useful items of standard equipment (meaning no spyglasses, water clocks, alchemy equipment, etc...) lying around your soot-laden hall, but don't go too crazy on that front, as it will be an easy matter to procure anything you need in the town market once the game has started. You will even be able to just send out your lackeys to gather such things. Why lift a finger when you have men standing idle who can do it for you?

You will not start with any spare cash, but you will be able to generate barter-ready metal rings (the most common local equivalent of coinage) by pillaging your own tax stores. If you have any specific equipment concerns or requirements, PM me.

Also, if you have any further questions, or would like expanded information about anything mentioned here, or if I've missed something out that's quite important, let me know in a PM and I'll update this thread with more details.

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:13, Wed 30 Mar 2016.

The Warlord Eternal
 GM, 8 posts
 The Iron Fist of
 the Iron Age
Wed 30 Mar 2016
at 11:12
Character creation rules

The following skill additions are useful to characters who intend to spend time on the battlefield.

  Fortifications: Craft (Fortifications) covers the art and science of building everything from simple barricades to mighty fortresses. While it includes some knowledge of stone carving and woodworking, it is more concerned with directing the process, designing the building, understanding the procedures required to create a building which won't collapse during construction, and so on.
  Someone with Craft (Fortifications) can use the skill as follows:
  DC 15: Serve as an additional "unit" for the purposes of determining build time for fortifications. This roll must be made when construction begins. If the check fails, no harm is done, but the character is not especially useful during construction.
  DC 20: Increase the Toughness of a fortification as it is being built. If the check succeeds, the fortification gains +1 Toughness; if it fails, the fortification suffers -1 Toughness. This check is made during the first week of construction.
  DC 20: Help allocate resources more efficiently. If the check succeeds, the cost of a fortification is reduced by 10 percent.
  Other skill checks, in a roleplaying as opposed to battlefield context, can be made to determine the stability of a building the PC is in, signs of a hidden tunnel or concealed room in a great hall, or the location of a weak spot in a wall.

Command (Cha or Int; see text)
  Check: Use this skill to command troops in battle, and to assess strategic and tactical situations. When issuing order in combat, this is a Charisma-based skill; when studying strategy or tactics, this is an Intelligence-based skill. Command check DCs of various moves will be given in the battle rules.
  Command can be used to attempt to second guess an enemy realm's army movement, or to determine the likely composition of an army. Both checks are made at DC 25, and require a day of evaluating reports, studying conditions, and so on. Only one check may be made per day.
  If a check to determine movement is successful, the commander of the force being scrutinised may make an opposed Command check (ie, against the first commander's roll). If he fails, the DM must reveal the movement of an indicated army, and allow the realm of the player who made the Command check to move first. The other army may not change its movement orders.
  If a check to determine the composition of an army is successful, the DM must reveal the makeup of at least 50% of the units of that army, as well as the total number of units in the army.
  A character with 5 or more ranks of Command gains a +2 synergy bonus to Intimidate checks.
  Command is considered a class skill for fighters, paladins, and aristocrats. It is a cross-class skill for all other classes. It may be used untrained.

  There are a number of new Knowledge skills that can be of use to a character in a "Fields of Blood" game. These include:
  Politics: Knowledge (Politics) covers the art and science of running a nation. It includes both political theory and knowledge of the local ruling powers and their likely actions. Some sample checks include:
    DC 5: Know the name of the ruler of a known realm.
    DC 10: Classify a government (according to the terms used in "Fields of Blood") after brief study.
    DC 10: Know the major councilors and advisors to a regent.
    DC 20: Identify weaknesses in a political power structure.
  Strategy: This includes an understanding of whatever the "common wisdom of war" is in the character's culture, a familiarity with many of the major battles of history and how they were believed to have been lost or won, and the ability to formulate strategic-level plans. An opposed Knowledge (Strategy) check against the leader of an enemy realm may permit the character to have a good idea what that realm is likely to do over the next week. This is a higher-level awareness than can be gained with the Command skill, which focuses only on a single army. In game terms, the player should be told of at least one Martial Action the regent is going to take in the next week, plus one for every five points by which he won his opposed check.
  Five or more ranks in Knowledge (Strategy) grants a +2 synergy bonus to Command checks.
The Warlord Eternal
 GM, 10 posts
 The Iron Fist of
 the Iron Age
Fri 1 Apr 2016
at 12:56
Character creation rules
One thing I forgot to mention: unless you spend two skill points during character creation to overcome illiteracy, then you are illiterate, regardless of your class. This also requires a minimum Intelligence score of 12, for reasons detailed below.

At the point in history at which the game is set, the Britons simply did not have a written language at all. However, some druids in certain places (mostly in Gaul) cobbled together a means of writing based on the Greek alphabet for the purposes of book-keeping and other inconsequential records. The historical and archaeological evidence seems to suggest that nothing particularly important was ever written down (though if it was, the Romans would have gone out of their way to destroy it).

This is part of the reason why wizards are not usually seen in Britannia, and why magic items are so rare - all such knowledge is passed on by word of mouth, if it is passed on at all. Most spellcasters are sorcerers, who come into their power by natural talent, not by bookish study of any sort! As such, knowledge sharing between casters is rare, and few know anything worth sharing anyway.

So, if you wish your character to be literate, then their backstory will likely have to include some travels and time spent in a "civilised" land, or else the presence of a foreign tutor. As there is no standard writing system for the British language (also called Common Brittonic), your character will need to speak at least one other language if you wish them to be literate - one that has an established writing system (so, for example, Greek and Latin are fine, but Gaulish, Goidelic, or Pictish (spoken in Gaul, Hibernia (Ireland) and Caledonia (Scotland) respectively) are not). It is unlikely, however, that even with this skill, your character will be able to write effectively in his (presumably) native language of British - and even if he could, there is practically no-one who could read it!

For those of you with high Intelligence scores, I may have to add a list of available languages to choose for your extra language slots. Five surrounding foreign tongues have been mentioned above, but there are certainly others, for the well-travelled and adventurous...

Also, for those of you considering taking the Latin language, you may be better served by Greek. Greek was the lingua franca of ancient Rome, and for those who couldn't speak Latin, one could communicate quite effectively in the city with conversational Greek. Obviously a great many in the Mediterranean world spoke Greek at this time (the Greeks were great colony-founders), and in Rome members of the upper class were given instruction in the classics from a young age, which of course included tutoring in Greek script and language. As some of you may be aware, Julius Caesar's last words were apparently in Greek (according to the Roman historian Suetonius - don't listen to what Shakespeare tells you!). Thus, a great many communications outside the city of Rome between the Romans and "restive barbarians" may have used Greek as a medium, when local languages or lack of knowledge of Latin hindered communication. Of course, eventually everyone was forced to speak some form of Latin, bastardised though it may have been, hence the existence of the modern Romance languages spoken in Europe today.
The Warlord Eternal
 GM, 12 posts
 The Iron Fist of
 the Iron Age
Sat 2 Apr 2016
at 14:01
Character creation rules
For anyone taking the Leadership feat, you are free to generate your own cohort using the rules given here, but using only a 28-point buy. If you send me the cohort's name I'll add them to the game as a new character.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:03, Sat 02 Apr 2016.

The Warlord Eternal
 GM, 16 posts
 The Iron Fist of
 the Iron Age
Mon 4 Apr 2016
at 15:32
Character creation rules
A note to all of you: not included in your 30-point stat buy are the level-dependent increases in stats gained at both 4th and 8th level. For those of you who haven't factored that in, feel free..

(To be clear: spend your 30 points first, then distribute two further points to your resulting stats. These are obviously not subject to the same high-score limitations of the point-buy system.)
The Warlord Eternal
 GM, 30 posts
 The Iron Fist of
 the Iron Age
Thu 7 Apr 2016
at 16:43
Character creation rules
House rule: This seems to be a very common house rule, but I thought I should post it here anyway in the interest of clarity.

The Dodge feat gives you a +1 dodge bonus to AC. It does not have to be assigned to a particular opponent, but is in play against all opponents, and in all situations when a dodge bonus to AC would normally apply.
The Warlord Eternal
 GM, 31 posts
 The Iron Fist of
 the Iron Age
Sat 9 Apr 2016
at 10:58
Character creation rules
Characters with the Leadership feat may start with up to three cohorts of the max available level. This reflects the ability to have attracted more than one cohort during your time as warlord. All such characters may be created as gestalt.