View Full Version : Land of Shadow [D&D, Campaign Setting]

2007-02-10, 10:27 PM
Since I don't currently have the books to make my large-scale campaign, Celestial Empire, I've turned my attention to a smaller project, with hopefully more balanced casting.
Land of Shadow is a two-plane cosmology, with only one playable race, one primary caster class (although there are a lot of Adepts) and few extremely powerful creatures (True Dragons, Outsiders, etc). At the moment it can be used with Core and Tome of Magic, although there are some changes to the material.

2007-02-10, 10:27 PM

Secheron, the Land of Shadow, is a small, finite , alterable morphic plane with normal gravity and normal time. It consists of a continent floating in space, orbited by two dim suns. Each sun takes 24 hours to complete one orbit, but they are offset, so there are six hours of true night, six hours of true day and six hours during which each sun is alone in the sky. Each sun produces enough light to easily see by, although artificial lighting is frequently used indoors, but does not count as bright light to creatures with light sensitivity, and other beings vulnerable to daylight, such as vampires, are not affected by the light of a single sun. Secheron has no moons.
Despite the lack of light, plants grow quickly and easily in most places on Secheron, and consequently most people live well above subsistence level. With the ease of growing food, there is a great deal of time and labour to be devoted to other matters, primarily defending against the predations of goblins and gnolls.
Secheron is connected to only one other plane, the Plane of Shadow. While it is relatively easy to draw power from Shadow, or travel there and return, the creatures there find it much more difficult to access Secheron, and are consequently curious about this other world. This curiosity can manifest as simple interest or violent jealousy of planar travellers. To further complicate matters, many creature are inimicable to Secheron itself, and if they do manage to enter it the effects can last for many years, often tainting farmland, collapsing mines and other deleterious effects.

Magic in Secheron

There are three main types of magic.
Common Magic: This type of magic is a part of everyday life for many people, and sufficiently unremarkable that it has no real name. Common Magic is what allows a hero to push aside a blow from a giant’s club with nothing more than a bruise, dodge house-sized boulders or fade away in plain sight.
Low Magic: Low Magic is often called Sorcery or Lore. Most settlements have a few practitioners of Low Magic, and they are almost always respected professionals, much like an innkeeper or blacksmith. Sorcery is the term most often applied to the magic these casters use. Lore is more often applied to magic that is studied rather than taught from traditions. It is essentially the same thing, however. Low Magic generally involves gestures, words and odd collections of objects. Practise of Low Magic often has the side effect of a slight increase in the practitioner’s lifespan.
High Magic: High Magic is sometimes called Wizardry or High Sorcery. Practitioners are extremely rare, and very few people have seen one. Additionally, unlike Low Magic High Magic does not involve reagents or fetishes, so High Sorcerers can often pass relatively unnoticed. High Magic sometimes involves gestures for complicated spells, but is more frequently invoked through sheer force of will. Practise of High Magic greatly increases the practitioner’s lifespan, sometimes by a century or more, and can also replace some biological functions in a manner similar to Common Magic.

Life in the Land of Shadow

The majority of settlements are small mining or farming villages spread more or less uniformly across Secheron. Governance of these settlements is generally divided between three offices; Mayor, Warder and Mage. The mayor settles disputes, gathers taxes and organises any civic activities. Taxes normally go towards defence; building fortifications and paying watchers. The office of mayor is normally held by a local whose occupation typically puts them in contact with a lot of people, both locals and travellers, such as a storekeeper or innkeeper.
The warder is in charge of the settlement’s defence. They command the watch, who act as a combination army and police force, capturing criminals and fighting off raiders. The warder is generally the most skilled warrior in the settlement.
The mage is not really an official title, but rather a description of a spellcaster who advises the mayor and warder with magic, and helps them in their duties. The mage is typically the most powerful spellcaster in the settlement, and often has several apprentices.
Towns and cities generally use a larger version of this system. Each district has a mayor and warder, who report to a higher office. The mage often loses importance as an individual in larger systems, being replaced by guilds.

On Hitpoints

All living creatures possess a reservoir of positive energy that heals them when they are hurt. This healing is instantaneous and almost imperceptible, so the creature appears not to have been damaged at all. As the reservoir runs low, it ceases to heal minor injuries, so creatures begin to amass scratches and bruises. Creatures have a general awareness of the state of their own reservoirs. The reservoir refills over time, more quickly when resting, and through exposure to positive energy.

2007-02-10, 10:28 PM
Game Mechanics:
The following classes are allowed in Secheron: Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Ninja, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Scout, Shadowcaster, Swashbuckler. A variant of the Adept NPC class is also present, but may not be as powerful as standard PC classes.
Humans are the only playable race.
Paladins, Rangers and Adepts use Low Magic. Practitioners of Low Magic add 1 to each age category for each caster level. For example, a level 12 Ranger reaches middle age at 41, old age at 65 and venerable age at 88.
Shadowcasters use High Magic. Their mysteries are useable per encounter, not per day. Practitioners of High Magic add 5 to each age category for each caster level. For example, a level 10 Shadowcaster reaches middle age at 85, old age at 153 years, and venerable age at 230 years.
Paladins must use the Charging Smite ability from the PHB2, as there are no Upper Planes or Celestial Creatures. The heal mount spell is therefore removed from their spell list.

Hit Die: d4
Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (any), Profession, Spellcraft, Survival
Skill Points: 4 + Int
Class Features:
Weapons and Armour: Adepts are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with armour.
Spells: An adept casts spells which are drawn from the adept spell list (see below).
To cast a spell, an adept must have a Wisdom or Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The adept chooses whether to use Wisdom or Intelligence at character creation. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an Adept’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Adept’s Cha modifier.

Adepts who base their spells on Intelligence know 3 + Int spells at character creation, and learn 2 spells each time they gain a caster level increase through level up. They may cast any of these spells as long as they have spells per day of that level or higher remaining. To replenish their spells, they must rest for eight hours and then meditate for 15 minutes.

Adepts who base their spells on Wisdom know all the spells on their list, but they must prepare their spells before casting. They must choose a time of day when they spend an hour in contemplation, after which they may prepare new spells. These Adepts do not have to rest to prepare new spells.

Adepts can cast only a certain number of spells per day. They gain bonus spells from either their Intelligence or Wisdom score.

Summon Familiar
At 2nd level, an adept can call a familiar.
Adept Spell list:
0 level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Guidance, Light, Mending, Purify Food and Drink, Read Magic, Touch of Fatigue
1 level: Bless, Comprehend Languages, Cure Moderate Wounds, Detect Chaos, Detect Evil, Detect Good, Detect Law, Endure Elements, Obscuring Mist, Protection from Chaos, Protection from Evil, Protection from Good, Protection from Law, Restoration, lesser.
2 level: Aid, Animal Trance, Bear’s Endurance, Bull’s Strength, Burning Hands, Cat’s Grace, Cause Fear, Cure Serious Wounds, Darkness, Delay Poison, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Remove Curse, Remove Disease, Resist Energy, See Invisibility, Web
3 level: Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Contagion, Continual Flame, Cure Critical Wounds, Daylight, Deeper Darkness, Neutralise Poison, Restoration, Scorching Ray, Tongues
4 level: Break Enchantment, Heal, Lightning Bolt, Minor Creation, Stone Skin
5 level: Baleful Polymorph, Commune, Major Creation, Raise Dead, True Seeing, Wall of Stone

2007-02-10, 10:35 PM
Simple, elegant and a good diversion. Melikes. The one image that I'm seeing is that this world seems almost astoundingly small, as I'm visualizing a planet one can journey around on foot in the course of a year, perhaps due to the suns orbiting the planet instead of vice versa. Are there continents and varying cultures within Secheron?

2007-02-10, 10:40 PM
Simple, elegant and a good diversion. Melikes. The one image that I'm seeing is that this world seems almost astoundingly small, as I'm visualizing a planet one can journey around on foot in the course of a year, perhaps due to the suns orbiting the planet instead of vice versa. Are there continents and varying cultures within Secheron?

Secheron consists of just the one continent, and a couple of islands. The humans are microcultural; they're broadly similar but Adepts in different communities do this differently, they have different holidays and celebrate different things. The 'beast races', gnolls and goblins, are savage, and their cultures are mostly based on power and violence. They also have less technology, goblins have bronze and gnolls still use stone, although they steal from each other and from humans.

2007-02-11, 01:36 AM
Added 'On hitpoints' to Fluff.

2007-02-11, 01:44 AM
Interesting. I would have expected the world to only have twighlight and night, but this works too. So, if it's only got one continent, is the world flat, spherical but mostly water, or a small sphere that bends light in some way (so the horizon is still earth normal even though the world is smaller)?

2007-02-11, 01:49 AM
It's flat. Just one continent, with a little ocean around it, floating in a breathable atmosphere.

2007-02-11, 05:07 PM
Added aging effects of High and Low magic.

2007-02-11, 06:20 PM
why havn't the vampires and drow taken over the world (or started dating and created rockin' drowpires)? and created their drowpire/vempire empires? (oooh, err, sounds tacky)

Ditto wraiths and other light-hating undead that are nigh unstoppable?

Do you have plants that give off illumination that scares them off, or whose juices can coat a weapon to make it deadly to them?

I imagine the plants as soft jungle foliage. The temperature is warm? Moist? I'm guessing.

2007-02-11, 06:27 PM
There aren't any drow, or any kind of elf for that matter. There are a lot of vampires, and they're a fairly large threat, but they tend to be hunted down a lot. There are very few other types of undead around to bother anyone. The climate is mostly temperate, warmer near the centre and cooler near the coast.

2007-02-12, 06:08 AM
No drow? Oh, I get it. What about other sentient races? Are there orcs, ogre mages, creatures with Darkvision? That spell looks like it would come in handy for them.

What about creatures like horses? And is the temperate climate an alien one, with different animals using the MM animal stats?

2007-02-12, 06:14 AM
There are giants, Dark goblins and gnolls. The horse-equivalent is reptilian, but more or less equivalent in body shape. There are probably some other equivalents, but I haven't decided on anything else yet.

2007-02-13, 02:02 AM
Added the changes to the Paladin class. Hopefully I'll be able to post something on Shardizarr, the City at the Centre of the World, tomorrow.