View Full Version : Specan're: Secrets, Steam, and Swordsmanship (S'r, 3.75)

2009-06-10, 05:08 AM
Hello my friends and fellow homebrewers. In the spirit of revival that our humble forum has so blessed itself in with reinventing the 3.5 DnD game to better suit our needs, I've decided to start mixing things up in a sense that is a more superior fit to my own campaign setting, Specan're.

So then, what's special about Specan're that would make it a preferable choice over other, published campaign settings? In essence, Specan're is designed on the principles of cinematics, and combines elements of both Victorian steampunk, fantasy westerns, and Asian wuxia in terms of plot and high action storylines and combat sequences.

With flexible and detailed stunt, martial arts, technological, and cinematic systems that allows players to utilize their scenery in a manner that both rewards creativity and allows players (particularly of the melee variety) to fight in a swashbuckling manner fitting of action movies, while for DMs is a section devoted helping create battlefields where there's more to do than move and attack.

Eventually I plan to compile everything into a .pdf after it's been playtested, but all of the following (some complete, some not, I'll update gradually) either has been retooled from its original 3.5 base in order to be a more interesting play experience, or utilizes the great homebrew created here in the playground. In regards to giving credit where credit is due, I'll include sources after I've updated and linked the appropriate section to this area.

Just curious, to anyone who's read through it, is there any interest in this project, or should I abandon posting it here?

As it stands, here's what I've formulated for the project so far:

1. Character Generation

Pathfinder, rather than 3.5, will be the essential core of the system, excluding races and classes, although Pathfinder has has a profound influence on their development. In terms of feats, ability score advancement, and level-dependent benefits such as cross class skills, Pathfinder is awesome.
To reflect the higher power level of most of the classes (or the modified level, in case of full spellcasters) characters in Specan're have magic items equivalent to a character of one level lower than those of other settings: most of their benefits stem from more powerful classes.
Beyond that, Specan're's characters gain the benefit of a 32 point buy, vastly increasing their base power level.
Unlike most of WotC's design, character archetypes and motivations are included in this section, allowing players to shape their character around their motivations, if they so choose, rather than include them in obscure supplements.

2. Races

Aesimar-Spiritual keepers of lore, and allies of the deities. (Intentional new spelling.)
Aventi-Scions of the ocean, and grand traders.
Catfolk-Noble savages of the Wild Lands
Changelings-The freely reinvented individuals.
Clavats-A stalwart, dedicated people descended from dwarves and humans.
Daelkyr-Children of the aberrant Far Realm.
Dhampnir-Of vampire and man, without the sparkles of flesh or desire for redemption of mind.
Dragonborn-Heritors of the eldest creatures of the world.
Dromites-Do you have time to talk about The Hive?
Dwarves-Technologic experts and unswerving boulders in combat.
Elf, Drow-Real Horrorshow.
Elf, Ghost-Some elves watch the woods. These elves eat demons for lunch.
Elf, High-Their arrogance knocked down a peg, their empire shattered, the high elves turned to technology and psionics to fill the void...
Elf, Night-"Sorry lad, she's older than your deceased grandmother. Pretty like an oleander though, ain't she?"
Elf, Wood-Wardens of the woods, saviors of nature's purity.
Ethereal-Scam artists, nether-beings, merciless capitalists, and damn fine sailors.
Forgotten-"We can offer you a new life, all it'll cost you is something you'll no longer need..."
Gnomes-With a horrid combination of constitution, curiosity, and intelligence, gnomes are perhaps the foremost masters of the arcane.
Goblins-Madness? It's supposed to explode like that!
Half-Elves-With the benefit of elven longevity, and human ambition, half-elves are one of Specan're's most prosperous and cultured races.
Half-Giants-Strong in mind, strong in body.
Half-Orcs-"We have the strength and history of the orcs, with the culture of the humans. We're the future, my children."
Humans-Conquerors, Inventors, Cultists, Heroes, Villians
Kalashtar-By acheiving great deeds, this race knows the secrets of reincarnation and spiritual guidance of descendents.
Orcs-What strength, what speed! Truly there is no greater race blessed with such a profound bond to nature!
Selk-After living for eons in the savage wilds, some human tribes evolved differently.
Tieflings-"Beneath my calm exterior lurks terrible power. Lest you awaken my wrath?"
Trollkin-The strength and stamina of a troll, the wisdom and intelligence to choose when to use it.
Xeph-Their bodies only match their minds in terms of speed and efficiency.
Warforged-Sentient artifacts of a bygone age, or Specan're's newest living organism?

3. Classes, by Power Source

Personally, I like the notion of power source. This way, you can specify items that will help characters based on role and class, plus it's a convienent grouping of mechanics.












Dragon Shaman
Fell Caller


Psychic Warrior
Soulknife (They're good now, I promise.)







4. Martial Arts
An explanation of the martial arts system, which allows greater flexibility with melee attacks, including called shots, the "special combat maneuvers" such as trip, and general uses such as affecting multiple targets in melee, etc. Essentially, you trade penalties for benefits.

5. Skills
I've changed the 3.5 and Pathfinder skills around in order to remove redundancies. I'll list these as I post the system.

6. Stunts
Explanation of the stunt system, and motivation to use move actions even when a full-attack presents itself.

7. Feats
Generally, my purpose of design was relatively straightforward: get rid of crappy feats (looking at you, toughness), make generally poor feats either scale with level, or grant a permanent option rather than a measly +2 bonus to skill checks, or to make feats that are essentially necessary for the class's function an optional baseline ability, and make feats specifically designed for a class, so that when flipping through the feats section, your paladin will know what feats to take based on the [Paladin] header.

8. Cinematic Combat

The combat rules are generally easy to understand, this section simply explains a few house rules that make use of the Cinematics system and stuff like that.
Movement in one square, diagonal, vertical, or horizontal, is always one square. Yes, it does grant a lot of advantages and makes moving diagonally more combat efficient. However, it also is a waste of time and forces players to think in terms of crosses rather than simple surroundings. Lifted from 4e.
Includes my revamp of the action point system, and includes simple tips to add one of the various FX Cinematics to a battlefield (such as Turbo Rush, Desperado, and other triggered abilities which allow the players to not only look cool, but perform amazing acts of daring.)

9. The Seven Keys

Divine Magic
Arcane Magic
Blade Magic (Martial Maneuvers)
Elementalist Arts (Bending)
Truename Remnants (invocations, binding, etc.)
Lost Magic (effects too weird to order into one of the above category, legendary spels, etc.)
A reasonable explanation of spell-like abilities, psi-like abilities, supernatural abilities, extraordinary abilities, etc, contained directly in the section.

10. Magic

Basically the compendium for abilities listed above, by type.
In terms of availability, divine spellcasters are limited by choice of deity to an otherwise massive list of divine spells.
As well, arcanists are limited either in number of known spells, or by specialized tomes from which they draw spells.
All other forms of magic are listed by class.

11. The World at Large
An explanation of Specan're's recent history, technology, and interaction with magic.

12. Regions of Specan're

Al-Mamlakah-A desert region unified after eons of fighting in the name of their deities, Al-Mamlakah is now a region where artifacts of power lurk under the sands, while the study of martial lore in its libraries is second to none.
Autumn Isles-Cloaked in perpetual Twilight, this region has a great connection to the land and history of the world, its residents being of the few survivors that remember the Age of Worms.
The Broken Demesne-After the hubris of the high elves, their former home was scorched by raw magical fire, making it a desolate, craggy region open to planar horrors, where their descedents, the ghost elves, enter Specan're through dimensional portals.
The Coalition of the Willing-In the darkness of the south pole, at the font of a vast point of negative energy, a kingdom of the undead and mind flayers scheme and send forth agents to subvert the agendas of the rest of the world.
The Crusader Kingdom of Dawnfire-Having spent years at war against the Coalition, the countries of the southern continent banded together under the Warlord Shak'tal to drive the unholy invaders from their lands. To this day, such a pinnacle of faith is rarely found elsewhere.
Frostfell-In the far north, amongst icy glaciers and howling crags, tribes and fiefdoms thrive in a competition of survival of the fittest, while dragons meet in congress in the northern most peaks.
Ibel'Tash-The western seas can be a harsh region, but the tropical continent of Ibel'Tash produces the finest in savage humanoids for combat and adventuring.
Ikai Hiren-From the courts of daimyos to a land redeemed after warfare and strife, ikai-hiren produces singular qualities items not found elsewhere, while legendary creatures roam within its borders.
Isles of the Peace Hereafter-Unlike the Coalition of the Willing, where all are born simply to await their rebirth as one of the undead, the Isles of the Peace Hereafter represent a bridge between the Spirit World, where ghosts of all types can be found, untainted.
The Steam Baronies-The source of much of Specan're's technologic advancement, the baronies are a rare region where technology is more pronounced than even the magic that often powers it!
Soraviaja-A tropical island archipelago in the western seas, there is much to be found of the Deicides past in the waters and volcanic caves of the region.
Triotowers-The seat of Specan're's arcane teachings, assembled on the northern coast of the southern continent, with Dawnfire acting as a barrier between the horrors of the Coalition, where magic is daily discovered, and nothing is what it seems.
Vyte-Under the rule of a terrible general, Vyte's citizens live in fear of becoming a political prisoner or experiment in the regime of the blighted Empire of Vyte.
The Wild Lands-Regions of untouched nature reside in the largest continent of Specan're, forming a land of great monsters, legendary treasure, and epic artifacts, ruled only by whatever otherworldly forces govern such a region.
The World Between-Some of Specan're's most common residents are actually from the small pocket dimensions that were once gateways to worlds past, refered to collectively as The World Between.

13. Deities of Specan're

Specan're's pantheon is divided into three distinct pantheons, representing the North, East, and West. While the deities have fallen silent, many of the elder races remember the voices of their gods well, knowing that they are indeed an active force in the world.
The Northern Pantheon is the Asgardian.
The Eastern Pantheon is the Olympian.
The Western is the Pharonic.
Personally, the task of creating a new pantheon of deities, or importing a setting-specific one seemed kind of besides the point, so I decided to use these three pantheons as the gods of my world.

14. Credits
Just as it sounds.

2009-09-08, 06:30 PM
Sounds pretty awesome!

i'd be willing to help with the playtesting

The Tygre
2009-09-09, 02:36 AM
Y'know, I was pretty doubtful when I first saw this. I thought to myself, 'Oh sweet merciful God, -another- Homebrew campaign setting.

Then, you mentioned Age of Worms.

Now, I can't wait to see what comes out next.

2009-09-09, 03:24 PM
Do the bending classes use the seed system rules as formulated on these forums? If not, do you have links to them? Either way, can I see a link to the starbender?

2009-09-09, 04:06 PM

Will provide you with supplementary information as soon as poosible. :smallsmile:

@The Tygre

Not to give everything away, but much of the Modern Age's setbacks and legends harken back to the Age of Worms 200 years prior. Kyuss, while no longer a major deity in the pantheons nor a force on the material plane, has many cults and spawn still hidden throughout the world. It's very integral to the story in explaining why, for example, a Chaotic Evil cleric of Re can exist when the god itself is so pure.

@The essential bending system is the same, and the four classes of Eighth_Seraph form the basis for Specan're's five benders. However, I've added a bit (although you could easily remove what I've added and have the original class) to his four to make them more in line power and theme wise with the rest of the character classes.

The Starbender is a work in progress, but while the four benders rely on traditional elements, Starbenders utilize space and time to duplicate effects. They're essentially designed to bridge the gap between traditional spells and bending in my campaign, and have many seeds which directly act with magic.

If anyone else has questions, feel free to ask, I'm busy at the moment with getting all my information formatted for the forums/playtested.