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Setting

Old vs. New

Timeline

Pre-History –
Elves & Gnomes arise in Charn.
Dwarves & Humans arise in Mastier.
Halflings arise in Sync.
Farce is filled with barbarians and nomads.
500 Years Ago –
Dragons rule as kings in Mastier.
Their armies expand into Farce, pushing back the barbarian races.
They conquer Sync.
300 Years Ago –
Aa reveals itself, dragons overthrown.
The Temple of Aa constructed between the rivers.
Pax Mastier for 200 years –
After the Empire conquers Charn.
Roads, waterways, harbors, industry and trade develop. The Sync Wall constructed.
100 Years Ago –
The ‘Halves and Half-Nots’ of Sync revolt, secure behind their wall.
The mages of Charn follow.
Farce serves as a hundred year battleground for the two foes.
1 Year Ago –
While evading a privateer, a Sync merchantman is blown off course and discovers a new land beyond the sea.
Now –
The dispossessed and outcast, and the most ambitious scum, of the Old World scramble to escape, just ahead of the three nations.

The Empire

It was an Empire of humans and dwarves, for all that there were a few dragons. After they revolted, and killed their dragon masters, it was their show. And who better? Humans rule the ground, Dwarves rule the underground. Some Elves objected.

The New World

Just discovered, land rush amidst a land war. What’s to find?

The Old World

The Old World

Charn

Magic. Only lightly ruled by the Empire, Charn was the first bastion of rebellion.
Great value is placed on magic, and magic rules. Consequently, Charn’s ‘foreign policy’ is aggressive, capricious. Magical ability trumps everything, and females are seen as more ‘magical’. Perhaps they are, but in any case, they’re in charge. Despite that, it’s a meritocracy of sorts. Wizards take the established positions, but sorcerers are prized and revered, while being kept out of the way of anything flammable.
But it’s not all magic. A respectable career for a non-mage is in the Charn Navy, which rules the seas. Although the captain and officers are often mages.
Deadly foe: Mastier. But you knew that.

PCs

-female-ascendant
-more mages, sailors
-mildly religious
-madness? lack of planning? Socially acceptable, as long as it’s violent.
-more elves/gnomes, few dwarves

Slaves

Anybody in Charn who’s not an Elite (i.e. a mage or student or a ship’s officer) is probably a fief-slave of one of the Orders or Universities or of an independent Elite. Alternately, he’s a pressed crewman in the Navy, which may be worse. There are ‘volunteer’ or professional sailors, who have a better life, though. This is one of the only main escapes from fief-slavery.

Charn System

The Magisterium, all magic-users and officers of ships are members in council and entitled to vote and debate. Often, though, the votes are cast by proxy, signed to the head of Order or University.
Executive enforcement is spotty at best, given the feudal nature of the orders, universities and other magical fiefs.

Backgrounds

Order Magisterium

reqs: Wizard, non-generalist
elites carry the weight of experience…
+2 to Spellcraft
+1 spellbook spell from specialization

Charn University

reqs: Elf or Gnome
training the mind…
+2 to any two knowledge skills
Bonus ‘skill boost’ feat.

Charn Naval Officer

rule the seas…
+2 Acrobatics
+2 Knowledge (Nature)
A magic weapon

Mastier

It was an Empire of humans and dwarves, for all that there were a few dragons. After they revolted, and killed their dragon masters, it was their show. And who better? Humans rule the ground, Dwarves rule the underground. Some Elves objected.

PCs

You’re the remnants of the Empire. And you want it back.
-humans and dwarves; humans rule the land, dwarves rule the underground, but firmly allied one to another for mutual POWER and Empire
-male-ascendant
-Soldiers, Military (adventurers)
-“Mastierwork”
-Old Empire
Maisterwork equipment

Mastier System

Only humans and dwarves can be citizens of Mastier, and are represented by:
The Imperial Senate in Draconis, consisting of citizen representatives from:
Regiment Councils, the leadership of the military units, from which executive fasces are also drawn.
Each council sends one representative to the Senate, for a term of two years.
The Circle of Veterans, the assembled body of all those who have taken the dragonscale, and who decide strategy (with advise and consent of the Senate) and inspect the standards of the regiments.
Members of the circle rotate by lottery through two Senate seats, for a term of six months.
Surname Courts, which judge on in-clan (same surname) Dwarf disputes and organization
Diocese Courts, which judge on local Human disputes and organization.
For interclan matters, all interested dwarf Surname Courts sit together and judge.
For matters between Humans and Dwarves, the interested Surname and Diocese Courts sit together.
Each court sends one representative to the Senate, for a term of one year.
This system, refined over the course of half a millenium, naturally leads to some overlap in representation for most of the citizens of Mastier and, of the three nations, is the only one to represent a majority of the population.

Slaves

de jure: no slavery in the Empire, there are no slaves.
de facto: non-Humans, non-Dwarves have, legally, no rights, no representation, no recourse. Whether that means they’re ‘property’…

Backgrounds

Mastier citizen

reqs: Human or Dwarf
A Mastier citizen is always ready for action…
Mastierwork equipment
+2 to Athletics and Acrobatics
bonus language(s): Dwarven

Draconis scion

reqs: Human or Dwarf
as the scion of a Senator, you have certain advantages…
Mastierwork equipment
1.5x starting gold
bonus languages: Dwarven, Draconic

Sync

PCs

-New Aa, solid, dependable
-Trade, and War, and Technology, and Exploration
-No universities, rather independent professors teaching students
-Sneaky
-Concept: ‘halves’ and half-nots, gnomes and half-elves and halflings and half-orcs (oh, and humans)
-Allied with Charn

Sync System

Direct Democracy (the ‘_Halves & Half-Nots_’), albeit with a strict property requirement.
Appointed tyrants for specific executive functions.

Slaves

keenly aware of their own status in the other lands, the Halves & Half-Nots maintain a reasonably fair society, and don’t suffer slaves to be kept. Nonetheless, representation and seats in the informal courts have a property requirement.

Backgrounds

Sync Merchant

Let’s make a deal…
2x starting gold
1 bonus language
+2 to Appraise
Use Magic Item is a class skill

Sync Spy

Shh…
reqs: class skill Stealth
Often a halfling
Stealh +2
Disguise +2
Bluff +2

Sync Professor

We are the university…
+3 to any one Knowledge Skill (or Linguistics)
1 Wondrous Item

Farce

You’re not a nation.
You’re the survivors.
Your ‘country’ has been fought over for 200 years. Old Aa, New Aa? It’s all the same to you. Nobody bothered to ask your opinion. You’re just in the way. A buffer state, between the tattered remnants of the Empire and the upstarts.
Warlords and strong men rise and fall, and mercenary companies settle.

PCs

-You are probably an orphan.
-You are scum in the eyes of everyone. If they even bother to look.
-The only advocate for you is Aa, and his representatives, the Aacolytes.
-There are not enough representatives.
-Very democratic. Any race, class and sex gets equal amounts of filth.

Farce System

Warlords, strongmen, or anarchy.
Aacolytes serve as wandering judges.

Backgrounds

Farce Mercenary

money is everything…
3x starting gold

Farce Survivor

Try not to die.
+2 Survival
Dodge, or one bonus combat feat

Temple of Aa

-special enclave in Farce
-Aacolytes

Aacolyte

Bonus feat: “Touched of Aa”

The New World

You’ll make the map!
note throughout that all the names are DM references. You can make up your own, being explorers and all.

Wheat

-ancient civilization, underground.
-they’ve got lots of cool stuff for you to steal.
-they live underneath cool ruined cities.
-everybody likes ruined cities.

Tares

-undead, and their minions.
-handle with care.
-vampires, lich lords.
-these guys are creepy.
-undead tree? Oh no!
-What the heck is this thing…

The Five

-friendly, open
-smarter than you
-confederation

The Seven

-not
-who are these guys?
-ambivalent
-Dark Secret (Dun dun DUN)
-Dragons?!?

Wolves

-riders
-raiders (sometimes)
-lots of farms!
-hate undead.
-well, more than most, I mean.

Shades

-spooky

Mothers

-cannibals
-they’ll eat you up.

Children of the Dove

-nomads
-traders

Other Colonists

what, you thought you were the only ones here?

jerks

scum

rivals

That Wizard

The Shabbiest Vampire
Oh, man, this guy is a dick.
He’s got ICE powers
DM Avatar
Not actually a vampire?

Professional Organizations

Quest-givers and buyers of stuff.

Naturalist’s Club

pay for specimens of new species.

Cartographer’s Guild

pay for well-drawn maps.

Merchant’s Consortium

pays for cool materials and goods.

The League of Adventure

pays for rumors of adventure.

The Missionary Society

pays for religious quests and opportunities

Religion

Old World

Aa, the great and powerful

Old Aa

The Aa of Empire
-Mastier

New Aa

The Aa of Commerce
-Sync
-Charn (ostensibly)

True Aa

TBD

New World

The Dove, peace
The Hawk, war
The Vulture, death
The Eagle, power
The Owl, wisdom
The Sparrow, helplessness
The Phoenix, hope

Syncretism?

Old World clerics may find their effectiveness decreased in the New World, until they do their homework.
…and vice versa.

Race & Class Guide

in general,
Mastier is Lawful
Charn is Chaotic
and Sync is Neutral

Human & Dwarf

You probably hail from Mastier, or are a wretched offspring of Farce
There’s no particular prejudice against you, but you are at war with the rest of the continent.
You distrust dragons, albeit you almost certainly have never seen one
A draconic bloodline is common

Elf & Gnome

Elves are almost certainly from Charn. Gnomes are from Charn or Sync.
In Charn, gnomes are a lesser caste to elves, but are still better off than every other race.
Nobody likes elves. Not even other elves.
Fey bloodline is common

Half Elf & Half Orc & Halfling

Half Elves and Half Orcs are either from Sync or Farce.
There is severe prejudice against half-races, except, of course, in Sync.
Halflings wander, so they can be from anywhere, albeit harassed throughout. The most prosperous will be from Sync.

Fighter
Barbarian
Rogue
Ranger
Gunslinger
Alchemist
Cavalier
Paladin
Monk
Sorcerer
Wizard
Summoner
Magus
Cleric
Druid
Inquisitor
Witch
Oracle
Bard

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