Campaign of the Month: December 2007
Character Creation Rules
The official source for D&D 3.x Planescape material is www.planewalker.com. This link will take you to their downloads page, where you will find PDFs describing the new races, skills, feats, factions, and other character options available to you in more detail than I can provide here.
PRIME OR PLANAR?
Your first choice when creating a Cold Blood character is this: is she a prime or a planar?
Primes come from the Material Plane, either from one of the established campaign worlds or something new. You create a prime character in the exact same way as you would any D&D PC; your first adventure will bring you to the Great Wheel. Primes do not begin the campaign as members of a faction — they’re Outsiders.
Your Prime PC doesn’t have to come from one of the “official” worlds, but she can. TSR’s Prime Material worlds which existed during Planescape’s original lifespan are Aebrynis (Birthright), Athas (Dark Sun), Krynn (Dragonlance), Mystara, Oerth (Grehyawk), and Toril (Forgotten Realms, Kara-Tur, Al-Qadim, &c). The Lankhmar and Spelljammer lines ended before Planescape, and the Diablo line came after.
Though Eberron’s cosmology doesn’t really mesh with the Great Wheel, Prime PCs can come from there, and you may see the occasional Eberron NPC. You may also expect to encounter a character or two from my homebrew world, Avalast (The Baneworld Chronicles).
Planar characters come from anywhere that’s not the Material Plane, even Ravenloft. They also work like standard D&D characters, but all planar PCs should belong to a faction at the start of the campaign. You should also consider a reason for the character to reside in (or at least visit) Sigil, since that city will form the heart of the campaign.
I trust you to generate your ability scores in the standard manner (roll 4d6 & drop the lowest die; arrange as desired).
These are the options for PC races presented in the original Planescape box set (plus the half-orc, which was not a core race in AD&D 2nd Edition).
Prime characters may belong to any race in the v.3.5 Player’s Handbook, or any optional race from a prime-material campaign, such as the warforged. Since this is a “historical” campaign, gnome characters may choose either illusionist or bard as their favored class.
In addition to the core races, planar characters may also be bariaurs (Planar Handbook, level adjustment +1), githzerai (Expanded Psionics Handbook, LA +2), or tieflings (Monster Manual v.3.5, LA +1). The new races are also detailed in the Planewalker.com PDFs.
Later sources added races like aasimar, genasi, and rogue modrons. These or other planar races may be used, subject to DM approval.
Classes work in the same fashion as they do in a Material Plane campaign. Some of the factions (see below) have prestige classes which are available to their members. If you want to take levels in a class that’s not in the core rules, please check with me first.
Psionic classes are allowed.
I don’t care to use planewalker.com’s Knowledge (factions) or Planar Expertise. Knowledge (the planes) is assumed to include basic knowledge of the factions and their philosophies. Knowledge (local) covers faction politics & current events. Planewalker.com’s Control skill allows you to shape the raw stuff of Limbo, but Prime PCs may not begin the game with this skill.
There are some new feats available to all characters, and every faction has faction feats that are only available to its members. If you want to take a feat that’s not in the core rules, please check with me first.
I’m not allowing evil PCs. Sorry, but that’s just how I roll.
SPELLS AND POWERS
Psionic characters (except for ardents & divine minds) may learn 0th-level powers, an idea I’m totally stealing from here.
A faction is a sort of philosophical guild, extending across several planes of existence. By allying yourself with a like-minded affiliation, you gain access to exclusive feats and prestige classes, as well as sources of information, jobs, advice, friends, and the occasional place to crash or a hot meal.
Prime characters don’t belong to a faction, but planar PCs really should – in 2nd Edition, they were required to. Choose carefully — anyone who changes factions inspires about the same confidence as Benedict Arnold.