Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Runelords of the Shattered Star 5e Rules


M1 4712 AR. The ancient empire of the Runelords may be long dead, yet the legacy of Thassilon continues to haunt the frontier realm of Varisia. Shadows of a dark past, the legendary Runelords now stir in their slumbers, and in waking seek to reclaim their lost kingdoms... 
With Korvosa still reeling three years after the curse of the Crimson Throne nearly brought the city to its knees, the people of Varisia fear that the greatest threat to their land has yet to play its hand. When agents of the newest Pathfinder Society lodge in Magnimar learn of a fragmented artifact scattered throughout the lands of old Thassilon, it falls to a new band of heroes to step in and gather up the remaining fragments of this Shattered Star. For if the greatest prize of Thassilon's first ruler cannot save Varisia... what can?

Runelords of the Shattered Star Pathfinder PCs (August 2017)
1. Quillax, human Moon Druidess, founder member
2. Claw, Shoanti Goliath Barbarian, from Hook Mountain region
3. Irizati, Half-Elf Warlock of Alkenstar
4. Yukiko, Eastern Priestess 

PCs absent/retired
1. Sephiria Kaddren the Bladesinger - Judith
2. Neril the Shadow Monk - Francis

Character Generation (5e D&D)
PC Hit Points are at level 1 are maximised. At subsequent levels additional hp are high-average (d10>6).
Attributes use standard Point Buy or the standard array, 15 14 13 12 10 8, arrange as desired. Normal Humans add +1 to every attribute.

Optional Human Racial Modifiers, replace default +1 to every attribute:
Chelish: +1 STR +1 DEX +1 CON +2 INT +0 WIS +1 CHA
Varisian: +0 STR +2 DEX +0 CON +1 INT +1 WIS +2 CHA
Shoanti: +2 STR +1 DEX +2 CON +0 INT +1 WIS +0 CHA
Ulfen: +2 STR +1 DEX +1 CON +1 INT +0 WIS +1 CHA
Mixed Race or Other Human: +1 every attribute
Humans alternately may take the Variant Human option.

Basic system is roll d20 + mods (typically stat bonus plus proficiency mod) vs a target number (eg 10, 15 or 20 for easy, typical, & hard tasks).

Attribute Bonus (STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA)
20: +5
18-19: +4
14-15: +2
12-13: +1
10-11: +0
8-9: -1

Proficiency Bonus by Level
1-4: +2
5-8: +3
9-12: +4
13-16: +5
17-20: +6

Low (1-4) & Medium (5-10) Level
Level: XP Proficiency
1: 0      +2     (300 to level)
2: 300   +2    (600 to level)
3: 900   +2  (1800 to level)
4: 2700 +2  (3800 to level)
5: 6500 +3  (7500 to level)
6: 14000 +3 (9000 to level)
7: 23000 +3 (11000 to level)
8: 34000 +3 (14000 to level)
9: 48000 +4 (16000 to level)
10: 64000 +4 (21000 to level)

High (11-16) & Epic (17-20) Level
XP  Level Proficiency
85,000 11 +4 (15000 to level)
100,000 12 +4 (20000 to level)
120,000 13 +5 (20000 to level)
140,000 14 +5 (25000 to level)
165,000 15 +5 (30000 to level)
195,000 16 +5 (30000 to level)
225,000 17 +6 (40000 to level)
265,000 18 +6 (40000 to level)
305,000 19 +6 (50000 to level)
355,000 20 +6 (1 Legendary Achievement per Epic Boon)

Experience Points are awarded individually after each session.

Replacement PCs begin with half the XP of the previous PC (eg a level 6 PC with 14000 XP > level 5 PC with 7000 XP > level 4 PC with 3500 XP > level 3 PC with 1750 XP), or at the GM-set Start Level for new PCs, which is related to the overall party level spread, generally no more than about 3 levels between the highest and lowest level PC. A Level 20 PC might be replaced by a newly Epic Tier Level 17 PC with 225,000 XP.

XP Needed to Level & Non-Combat XP Awards (per PC)
Level Minor Standard Major Amazing XP Needed to Level
1        25         50        75     100            300
2        50       100       150     200            600
3        75       150       225     400          1800
4       125      250       375     500          3800
5       250      500       750    1100         7500
6       300      600       900    1400         9000
7       350      750     1100    1700        11000
8       450      900     1400    2100        14000
9       550    1100     1600    2400        16000
10     600    1200     1900    2800        21000
11     800    1600     2400    3600        15000
12    1000   2000     3000    4500        20000
13    1100   2200     3400    5100        20000
14    1250   2500     3800    5700        25000
15    1400   2800     4300    6400        30000
16    1600   3200     4800    7200        30000
17    2000   3900     5900    8800        40000
18    2100   4200     6300    9500        40000
19    2400   4900     7300   10900       50000
20    2800   5700     8500   12700        N/A      

Session Account XP: Level 1-8 as Minor Award above. Level 9 - 550 Level 10 - 600 Level 11 - 650 Level 12 700 Level 13 750 Level 14 800 Level 15 900 Level 16 1000 Level 17 1200 Level 18 1400 and 1600 at level 19. At Level 20 Inspiration is granted instead.

Monster XP awards are standard. Exploration XP is base 100 per PC per discovery, such as a new dungeon level or secret - generally deeper dungeons give more exploration XP. In character session accounts give individual XP, base XP for a full account is the minor/easy encounter column above. A typical expectation is 1-2 sessions per level to 3rd level (6 medium encounters per level), then roughly 5 sessions/20 hours per level at 5-10 (15 medium encounters per level), ca 4 sessions/16 hours per level at 11-20 (10 medium encounters per level).

Advancement at Level 20
 Epic Boons. These require achievement of an Epic Task - "destroy an evil artifact, defeat an ancient dragon, halt an incursion from the outer planes",  A maximum level Adventure Path volume would typically involve at least one such Epic Task. Boons are awarded to epic heroes by the gods or other forces. Typical  Boons include either an attribute boost to attribute of player's choice, +2 to one or +1 to two, to a maximum of 30 (+10)-28 (+9)-26 (+8)-24 (+7)-22 (+6)-20 (+5); or a Feat of the player's choice.

House Rules


Rogues may Sneak Attack with any light melee weapon.
Champion Fighters may exchange level 3 improved critical range for: +2 damage with 1-handed weapon (including with off-hand attacks) & +4 damage with 2-handed weapon.

1. Short Rest is 1 hour. Maximum 3/day.
2. Overnight Rest of at least 8 hours restores 1 hp/level, and 1 level of Exhaustion. Casters may swap out 1 memorised spell after an overnight rest (but no slots are recovered).
3. Long Rest is 1 week, allows training to level up. Restores Exhaustion. A long rest may include some routine travel at a sedate pace along roads - ca 15-20 miles/day walking, or ca 30-40 miles/day riding - but not hiking through difficult terrain more than ca 10-12 miles. A day with combat or other exertion does not count as resting, but previous days of rest do count towards the total. A ship cabin allows for resting. Resting in squalorous conditions may require a CON save, usually DC 10 (easy) or 15 (moderate), with a failed save extending the rest time required by 1 day, then reroll. A comfortable wilderness campsite with some foraging and hunting of small game does allow for resting.

Gunpowder cannons are relatively rare in Varisia, but in recent years are used for city defence in Korvosa and Magnimar, and sometimes on naval vessels. Handguns are much rarer and almost unknown in Varisia, though rumour has it that Cheliax is developing a corps of Handgunners.

Arbalest Heavy Crossbows do double damage dice (ie 2d10, crit 4d10) damage at short range only. They take 2 full actions to load, and a third action to aim & fire. A loaded crossbow may be carried in-hand.

Daggers used for a finishing cut (coup-de-gras) do maximum critical damage (2d4=base 8 damage). As per RAW a character who is holding two daggers, or is holding one with a free hand to draw a second, may throw both in 1 round.

NPC death
NPCs generally receive somewhat more hit points than a PC of equivalent power level. However NPCs taken to 0 hp by sharp weapons or lethal spells are usually dead or mortally wounded, with death within 3 rounds unless magically healed to positive hp. NPCs may potentially be subdued through use of blunt weapons or similar (a 'flat of blade' attack is usually at -2 to hit), in which case they follow the PC dying rules; a weak 5 hit point NPC is still killed by 10 points of subdual damage!

General Class/Level Rules
The maximum level in 5e is 20th, although few mortals exceed 10 hit dice. Advancement beyond 20th is by Epic Boon upon completion of an epic quest or task - no XP is used.

In the current age the maximum spell level generally accessible by mortals is 9th, though there are ancient legends of more powerful spells, and there may yet be strange realms where such magics may still be employed.
Magic items of Common status are often available in large cities such as Magnimar. Uncommon & rarer status are not routinely available for sale, other perhaps than the scrolls scribed by wizards, although certain powerful individuals may be capable of crafting them, given possession of the requisite exceptional and rare components. A few Uncommon items such as +1 dragonfang daggers (made of dragon scales, 500gp) and even +1 Runecarved Longswords (2300gp) may be acquired by those with the right connections.
Arcanists (Sorceror, Warlock, Wizard) of High Level (11th+) may use the energy focus of their Wizards' Towers (or Sorcerors' Towers etc) to utilise powerful magical rituals such as Golem creation, Portal magic, and even Lichdom.
Divinists (Cleric, Druid) of 11th level and higher within their own Temples or Druid Groves may seek the direct intervention of their deities, and other such miracles.

Force Cage: victims adjacent to the Cage wall when it forms are allowed to use their Reaction to make a DEX save to get out, moving 5' to just outside cage. Caster can still auto-trap people within the 20x20 version, but not quite as many.

Starting magic
Level Starting Gear
Level 1-4: Normal
Level 5-10: Normal gear plus one uncommon magic item plus 600gp
Level 11-14: Normal gear plus two uncommon magic item plus 6000gp
Level 15-16 PCs begin with 6,000gp, 3 uncommon items and 1 rare item.
Level 17-18 PCs begin with 12,000gp, 3 uncommon items, 1 rare item and 1 very rare item.
Level 19-20 PCs begin with 22,000gp, 3 uncommon items, 2 rare items and 1 very rare item.
High level PCs may also have non-miscible assets such as land, castle, temple, noble title etc.


Research Formula Time: 10-INT bonus weeks (70 - (INT bonusx7) days

Formula Research Cost or Permanent Item Base Purchase Price, & Crafting Time
Crafting cost is half this amount.
Common: 200gp - 8 days (Level 3)
Uncommon: 1000gp - 20 days (Level 5)
Rare: 5000gp - 40 days (Level 8)
Very Rare: 25000gp - 80 days (Level 11)
Legendary: 125000gp - 160 days (Level 17)

Crafting cost is half this amount.
Common : 50gp - 2 days (Level 3)
Uncommon: 250gp - 5 days (Level 5)
Rare: 1250gp - 10 days (Level 8)
Very Rare: 6250gp  - 20 days (Level 11)
Legendary: 31250gp - 40 days (Level 17)

Starting Magic Items for Higher Level PCs - Choose or GM rolls d20.


1. Bag of Holding
Wondrous item, uncommon
This bag has an interior space considerably larger
than its outside dimensions, roughly 2 feet in diameter
at the mouth and 4 feet deep. The bag can hold up to
500 pounds, not exceeding a volume of 64 cubic feet.
The bag weighs 15 pounds, regardless of its contents.
Retrieving an item from the bag requires an action.
If the bag is overloaded, pierced, or torn, it ruptures
and is destroyed, and its contents are scattered in the
Astral Plane. If the bag is turned inside out, its contents
spill forth, unharmed, but the bag must be put right
before it can be used again. Breathing creatures inside
the bag can survive up to a number of minutes equal
to 10 divided by the number of creatures (minimum 1
minute), after which time they begin to suffocate.
Placing a bag of holding inside an extradimensional
space created by a Heward’s handy haversack, portable
hole, or similar item instantly destroys both items and
opens a gate to the Astral Plane. The gate originates
where the one item was placed inside the other. Any
creature within 10 feet of the gate is sucked through it
to a random location on the Astral Plane. The gate then
closes. The gate is one-way only and can’t be reopened.

2. Boots of Striding and Springing
Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
While you wear these boots, your walking speed
becomes 30 feet, unless your walking speed is higher,
and your speed isn’t reduced if you are encumbered
or wearing heavy armor. In addition, you can jump
three times the normal distance, though you can’t jump
farther than your remaining movement would allow.

3. Cloak of Elvenkind
Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
While you wear this cloak with its hood up, Wisdom
(Perception) checks made to see you have disadvantage,
and you have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks
made to hide, as the cloak’s color shifts to camouflage
you. Pulling the hood up or down requires an action.

4. Gauntlets of Ogre Power
Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
Your Strength score is 19 while you wear these
gauntlets. They have no effect on you if your Strength is
already 19 or higher.

5. Gloves of Swimming and Climbing
Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
While wearing these gloves, climbing and swimming
don’t cost you extra movement, and you gain a +5 bonus
to Strength (Athletics) checks made to climb or swim.

6. Goggles of Night
Wondrous item, uncommon
While wearing these dark lenses, you have darkvision
out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision,
wearing the goggles increases its range by 60 feet.

7. Headband of Intellect
Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
Your Intelligence score is 19 while you wear this
headband. It has no effect on you if your Intelligence is
already 19 or higher.

8. Keoghtom’s Ointment
Wondrous item, uncommon
This glass jar, 3 inches in diameter, contains 4
doses of a thick mixture that smells faintly of aloe. The
jar and its contents weigh 1/2 pound.
As an action, one dose of the ointment can be
swallowed or applied to the skin. The creature that
receives it regains 2d8 + 2 hit points, ceases to be
poisoned, and is cured of any disease.

9-10. 8 potions of healing
A character who drinks the magical red fluid in this vial regains 2d4 + 2 hit points. Drinking or administering a potion takes an action. Each potion weighs 1/2 pound.

11-13. Spell Scroll of (50%) 1 2nd or 3rd level Spell, (40%) 2 1st level Spells, or (10%) 3 cantrips
Spell Level Rarity Save DC Attack Bonus
Cantrip Common 13 +5
1st Common 13 +5
2nd Uncommon 13 +5
3rd Uncommon 15 +7

14. Wand of Magic Detection
Wand, uncommon
This wand has 3 charges. While holding it, you can
expend 1 charge as an action to cast the detect magic
spell from it. The wand regains 1d3 expended charges
daily at dawn.

15. Wand of Magic Missiles
Wand, uncommon
While you hold this wand, you can use an action to
expend 1 to 3 of its 7 charges to cast the magic missile
spell without using any components. For 1 charge, you
cast the spell as if you used a 1st-level spell slot, and you
increase the spell slot level by one for each additional
charge you spend.
The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges each day
at dawn. However, if you expend the wand’s last charge,
roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and
is destroyed.

16-20. Weapon, Rune Weapon +1
Weapon (any), uncommon (+1)
You have a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with
this rune-carved magic weapon.

RARE+ ITEMS - Choose or GM rolls d20

1-7. +1 armour (any), amulet of armour AC 11, or +1 shield

8. Bracers of Defence (requires Attunement), +2 AC when not using armour or shield.

9. 4 Potions of Flying
When you drink this potion, you gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed for 1 hour and can hover. If you’re in the air when the potion wears off, you fall unless you have some other means of staying aloft. This potion’s clear liquid floats at the top of its container and has cloudy white impurities drifting in it.

10. 4 Potions of Invisibility
This potion’s container looks empty but feels as though it holds liquid. When you drink it, you become invisible for 1 hour. Anything you wear or carry is invisible with you. The effect ends early if you attack or cast a spell.

11. 4 Potions of Vitality
When you drink this potion, it removes any exhaustion you are suffering and cures any disease or poison affecting you. For the next 24 hours, you regain the maximum number of hit points for any Hit Die you spend. The potion’s crimson liquid regularly pulses with dull light, calling to mind a heartbeat.

12. Ring of Evasion
Ring, rare (requires attunement)
This ring has 3 charges, and it regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn. When you fail a Dexterity saving throw while wearing it, you can use your reaction to expend 1 of its charges to succeed on that saving throw instead.

13-14. Ring of Protection
Ring, rare (requires attunement)
You gain a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws while wearing this ring.

15. Ring of Resistance
Ring, rare (requires attunement)
You have resistance to one damage type while wearing this ring. The gem in the ring indicates the type, which the DM chooses or determines randomly.
d10 Damage Type Gem
1 Acid Pearl
2 Cold Tourmaline
3 Fire Garnet
4 Force Sapphire
5 Lightning Citrine
6 Necrotic Jet
7 Poison Amethyst
8 Psychic Jade
9 Radiant Topaz
10 Thunder Spinel

16-20. Spell Scroll
A spell scroll bears the words of a single spell, written in a mystical cipher. If the spell is on your class’s spell list, you can use an action to read the scroll and cast its spell without having to provide any of the spell’s components. Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible. If the spell is on your class’s spell list, you can read the scroll and cast its spell without providing any material components. Otherwise, the scroll is . Casting the spell by reading the scroll requires the spell’s normal casting time. Once the spell is cast, the words on the scroll fade, and it crumbles to dust. If the casting is interrupted, the scroll is not lost.

If the spell is on your class’s spell list but of a higher level than you can normally cast, you must make an ability check using your spellcasting ability to determine whether you cast it successfully. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a failed check, the spell disappears from the scroll with no other effect.

Once the spell is cast, the words on the scroll fade, and the scroll itself crumbles to dust.

The level of the spell on the scroll determines the spell’s saving throw DC and attack bonus, as well as the scroll’s rarity, as shown in the Spell Scroll table.

Spell Scroll
d20. Spell Level Rarity Save DC Attack Bonus
1-5   4th Rare 15 +7
6-10. 5th Rare 17 +9
11-14. 6th Very rare 17 +9
15-17. 7th Very rare 18 +10
18-19. 8th Very rare 18 +10
20. 9th Legendary 19 +11
A wizard spell on a spell scroll can be copied just as spells in spellbooks can be copied. When a spell is copied from a spell scroll, the copier must succeed on an Intelligence (Arcana) check with a DC equal to 10 + the spell’s level. If the check succeeds, the spell is successfully copied. Whether the check succeeds or fails, the spell scroll is destroyed.

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