Blog Archive

Friday, 28 December 2012

Saving the Best for Last: Alternative Saving Throw Mechanism

Saving the Best for Last: Alternative Saving Throw Mechanism

Alternate saving throws are used throughout one game or one scenarios and represent the entire number of possible saves to be made through the game by an individual character. Unlike regular saves the individual chooses which one they use regardless of the effect. Most of these are their base or primary save plus an ability score modifier. They can only be used once per saving throw or game cycle.

Regular saves for example call for a distinct type of save for a given effect. But using these alternative saves the character can decide which to use and when. The benefit is that they can better manage the disadvantage is not knowing when to use their best saving throw.

Every class, except for the Monk, have a preferred Top or Primary Save and a secondary save. Always use the Top save as the base save and add the modifier as noted in the name of the saving throw.

There are two major differences between regular saves and alternative saves, the first is that like luck, it can run out. Once a preferred saves is used up, they have fewer options until only their Doom Save remains. Because of their limited nature, Alt Saves are much more shared among the whole group, and they can function in exactly the same way. When an individual is required to make a save, they can use another player's specific save. For example a Rogue with a high dexterity can use another players Save of Speed, but if the other player offers or agrees, then it is gone. This is only an option if a single character needs to make a save, players cannot cherry pick their best save every time a saving throw is required for the whole group.

Names of New Saving Throw

Save of the Insightful Mind: Primary Save plus Intelligence Modifier
Save of Bravery: Primary Save plus Strength Modifier
Save of Esoteric Knowledge: Use Primary Save plus Wisdom Modifier
Save of the Inner Self: Use Primary Save plus Charisma Modifier
Save of Speed: Use Primary Save plus Dexterity Modifier
Save of Pure Power: Use Primary Save plus Constitution Modifier
Save of the Wild: Use d6+d20 but do not add the base saving throw
Best Save: Use Primary Save + any Ability Score Modifier
Save vs Doom: Use Primary Save but no other adjustment or ability modifier


One of the challenges of using Alt Saves is knowing what is the best refresh point, this depends upon the style of game you run. If you go through 3 to 5 combats a typical game session, then refresh every session. For more dangerous gaming, refresh by dungeon regardless of how many saves the characters need to make or how many games.


If your class, race or feat selection gives a bonus to a save, gain the adjustment to one saving throw once a save cycle, i.e. until the saving throw refresh.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Tsarin Fests & Holidays

Festivals and Holidays

Tsarins have some of the best growing soil in the domain, and keep a heavy trade with the Lyrrians, some Spirelanders and even people from the Old South. Their ways are heavily linked with the growing seasons and spirits of the land.

Guarded by Lord Sarinth, Tyrant of the Valley, these people have more luxury then most others in the land. They do their best to celebrate days and events that they hold dear to them. Any day marked as a Fest or Festival will experience heavy drinking and public intoxication as an accepted part of the celebrations. Merchants are always open, guilds and towers usually do not perform official duties. Many faithful also keep days of their own, but these can be celebrated at different days at various obelisks. Guards still keep watch, but are much more loose in strict interpretation of the rules (Except during Open Eye, when everything is followed exactly.)

There are at least seventeen days dedicated to drinking through-out the year. Many of these are local or have differing names, which are not listed below.

Day of Ash: New Years Day Fest, chimneys are cleaned out and children play with dirty faces, contracts are signed or renewed.

Chancing or Day of Chancing: Games; Festival of the Fey, used to gamble, drink and have fun as they beseech the fey to appear
Druids Day: Fest Day to celebrate the old faith and of farming; lots of nudity, children dress as animals
Festival of the Flask: Fest to celebrate drinking & fertility (of cork, of the Barrel, of drunkenness, of Bacchus) *
Harmony: Fest day of Songs, Stories and Bardic rituals, one of the few days magic is cast openly

Day of Devotion: Monogamy is not widely practised, so this is day to celebrate faithfulness.
Day of Trysts: Day after devotion, when unmarried people look for "love", fake marriages and bitter jokes for unwed maids
Truce or Day of Peace: Tsarin celebrate the truce with Sarinth, High Tyrant, ruler & protector of the valley
Open Eye: Day to keep the Defense of your city active; mock battles happen, and the king is “slain”
Day of the True (Born): Day of noble rites, family obligations, namings & proclamations. Mockings are held in the evening by many non-nobles.

Festival of the Mug: celebrates drinking & fertility (of Wine, The Overflowing Cup, Laughter, Joy) *
Fools Day: Tax Day, lesser debts are called to be paid by merchants, noblemen must pay their taxes, religious their tithes; in the evening one of the best celebrations happen for those with coin in their purse
Day of Dust: Day for the true dead; visit mortuaries or leave flowers, the dead are sometimes seen but never heard
Day of Veils: Day to respect for the aged and the wise; magic is believed to be more powerful this day
Day of Masks: Fest. Mix of Halloween wearing masks with ritual orgies

Day of Burning Hope: Sometimes called Yulen Fest, a log is burnt as well as small offerings to keep the cold away; visitors are always welcomed

Bounty: Day to honour mothers and Birthdays; held once a month; as all births in the month celebrated that day.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Clockwork - PC Race


Personality: Clockworks are living constructs, created to be warriors. They have little personality except for their unwavering devotion to the military.

Physical Description: They appear as gray-skinned, lithe humans from a distance.  They have dull metal skin, with gears embedded in their metal skin where joints would be for a human. Their unique physiology prevents them from wearing standard armor, as it has to be fitted to their exacting shape. This process costs three times the regular price.

Clockworks need to be wound up periodically to continue functioning. By design, they cannot self wind nor can another construct do this winding. Different models require winding at different rates, the default is a 72 hour time block duration that requires a wind for a ten minutes per HD (4 HD = 40 minutes) . The winding dial is under a plate on their back, that they cannot reach themselves.

Relations: Clockworks are a solitary race originally created for military purposes long ago, while the process is not lost, creation of new units is rare, time consuming and expensive. They do not have specific relations with other creatures or races. Most were once part of military contingents, but the clockwork armies have long since disappeared. New ones are either repaired specimens or the experiment of a cleric or wizard in desire for a companion. They have no interactions as a whole with other races unless they are either commanding the clock-works or an enemy of their commanders.

Alignment: Neutral. Most are uncaring about anything except for following orders.

Lands: None, they are warriors who serve other masters.

Religion: None, clockworks do not worship the gods.

Language: Most will speak common or dwarf; the few who gain a new language will try to learn modron.

Adventurers: Life is battle; battle is life. Warfare is the purpose of their existence, and they live to serve their commanders. The few who get separated due to magic or injury, make due living outside their strict military orders, but they usually end up working as mercenaries and create an ad hoc military structure complete with strict command authority and operating order.

Clockwork Racial Traits
+4 on strength; +2 dexterity
-2 on charisma; -2 wisdom
+3 natural armor; Move 30 ft or 6 squares
Reduced to 1/3 movement in water and for 10 minutes afterwards
Dmg Reduction: 1/-
+5 on craft checks for blacksmithing, +5 Climb; +5 on Acrobatics; -5 on stealth checks

Immune to non-magical fire

Construct traits (Immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, disease, death effects, necromancy spells or any fortitude save unless it affects objects.)

They are immune to emotion based spells (such as fear) but other enchantment charm spells work normally on them.

They are subject to critical hits; their joints are the weaker spots. Called shots on a non-joint body part will not inflict additional effect.

Clockworks gain no constitution bonus; use Charisma for Con based skills if applicable

Healing spells have no affect on them. Potions have no affect on a clockwork.

They do not sleep; they repair themselves at a rate of 1 hp/hour if they take no other action. If they are not wound up, even at full hit points, they cease functioning.

A DC 15 knowledge (engineering) check will repair a clockwork to one hit point or repair the clockworks level in hit points once a day. Once fully active, a clock work can heal itself if given enough time.

Items that fit humanoids (boots, hats, rings, etc) do not work or fit Clockwork.

Clockworks are staggered at below 0 hit points, able to take one action a round (attack & move five foot, or a half standard move action.) They cease operating at -20 hit points, and if not repaired lose 1 hit point every day that they are not repaired. At -50 hit points they are damaged beyond repair and can not be repaired short of a limited wish spell.

Racial Hit Dice: 3d10; Attack and save as fighters. CR +3

Base 6 skill points, more if they have exceptional intelligence, to be used on core skills
Core Skills: Acrobatics, Climb, Craft (Armorsmith, Blacksmith, Weaponsmith), Disable Device, Perception

Preferred & Starting Class: Fighters

Restricted: Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, or Wizard

All other non-restricted non-primary magical classes are available after first level.