[Characters] Description

A Complete 3.5E conversion of all things Mystara.

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Gawain_VIII
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[Characters] Description

Post by Gawain_VIII » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:20 pm

Character Description
In addition to the guidelines given in the Player’s Handbook, you need to take into account some other considerations when creating a character for the MYSTARA campaign settings.
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Religion

Post by Gawain_VIII » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:21 pm

Religion
The Immortals of MYSTARA are deeply enmeshed in the functioning of the world’s magical ecology and the lives of mortals. Most Mystaran characters nearly always have an Immortal patron.
The selection of an Immortal patron does not mean that your character only worships or make prayers and offerings to one diety. MYSTARA is a polytheistic world, not a monotheistic world. At appropriate moments, characters might worship or pay homage to nearly all the Immortals, even some they could not choose as patrons. For example, lawful good sailors would never think of choosing Protius, the uncaringly chaotic Immortal of the oceans, as their patron, but it would be hard to find a sailor who had not sacrificed to the Old Man of the Sea before at least one journey, or made promises to him during at least one storm. Likewise, an evil follower of Loki, a patron of thieves, might make a donation to the temple of Tyche, patron of luck, before a big heist, even though Tyche is a good Immortal.

WHY CHOOSE A PATRON IMMORTAL?
Choosing a patron Immortal provides you with contacts in the world, particularly if you are known to serve your patron’s causes. A character with Vanya as his patron is more likely to get assistance—timely healing, a place of refuge, access to divinations and other spells—from the church of Vanya in times of need. A bard whose patron is Korotiku might have a better chance at convincing a group of Korotiku-worshipping bandits to talk peacefully instead of fighting.
At the same time, a philosopher who follows a code of ethics based on alignment instead of any particular Immortal might gain the friendship of a temple whose patron’s portfolio overlaps with the philosopher’s alignment. Likewise, that same philosopher might earn the enmity of the same temple for infringing on the temple’s religious “territory” without the blessing of their patron.

CHOOSING A PATRONHaving a patron Immortal implies some true personal attachment to that Immortal. Given this relationship, it is practically unheard of for a character to have a patron with a radically different alignment than his own. For example, it is essentially impossible for a chaotic good ranger to feel a close personal connection with Thanatos, the lawful evil patron of death and destruction.
When choosing a patron if you are a divine spellcaster, you follow the “one-step” rule described in the Alignment subsection of the Cleric section of Chapter 3: Classes in the Player’s Handbook. Your alignment may be up to one “step” away from your paron’s. For example, a lawful good paladin can choose Ixion (a neutral good Immortal) as his patron, but could not choose Odin (a chaotic good Immortal).
You may have more than one Immortal patron, such as a pantheon of Immortals; however you must choose one as your primary patron, from whom you receive your divine powers. It is possible to change your patron, but doing so is not a decision to be made lightly or quickly. If you are a divine spellcaster, this process is described in the Changing Patrons section of Chapter 5: Philosophies & Patrons.
In general, characters choose a patron which is preferred by their home, as provided by Table 1-2: Favored Patrons by Nation. Characters may choose patrons not favored by their home region, but this practice is generally frowned upon. Responses the character with a foreign patron might receive can range from mere curiosity to being treated as outcast and pariah, or thought of as an aberration.
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Gawain_VIII
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Vitals

Post by Gawain_VIII » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:22 pm

Vital Statistics
Most characters in MYSTARA campaign settings use the normal height and weight values given in Chapter 6: Description of the Player’s Handbook. Lithe hutaakans use the height entries of a human with the weight multiplier of an elf. Rakastas and Lupins grow to roughly the same height range as humans. However, the sleek rakastas are generally lighter than humans, subtracting 10+d10 pounds from the actual weight, while the more stout lupins add 10+d10 pounds.
"Time does not heal all things--only swift and decisive action does." --Roger LaVern Girtman, II, 17 April 2010
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Names

Post by Gawain_VIII » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:24 pm

MYSTARAn Names
MYSTARA is vast. Among humans alone, its inhabitants bear literally thousands upon thousands of names. Some folk have no surnames, others have a common clan name, and others have a “son/daughter of” appellation.
Further, many an adventurer has taken on a descriptive, colorful name at the beginning of a career—from a simple nickname to a pseudonym adopted to conceal the character’s identity. Whether adopted by a wizard or cleric upon completion of his apprenticeship or chosen by a thief to protect her family, an adventuring name adds an extra level of personality to the character.

This text was followed by a two full-page list of sample names from nearly all of the KW cultures. The list contained, for each culture, 5 each male, female, and surnames, and a brief 1-sentence description of naming customs where applicable. This list was derived from the 2e books, most notably Player's Survival Guide.
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Re: Religion

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:20 pm

Gawain_VIII wrote:Religion
The Immortals of MYSTARA are deeply enmeshed in the functioning of the world’s magical ecology and the lives of mortals. Most Mystaran characters nearly always have an Immortal patron.
Well aside from being too similar to FRCS, you also have "Most Mystaran characters nearly always..." which sounds a bit wonky for reasons I can't really figure out.

FRCS did this thing of "press ganging" PCs into haveing a divine patron. In 3e FR, you can't be brought back from the dead unless you "choose sides" and if you have the cheek to die without having "picked a god" you get stuck into a special sort of hell where you end up as a brick in a giant wall and get slowly disolved over thousands of years.

But my question is: are the Immortals this keen to make characters "choose sides"?

People should be able to have a patron Immortal, but should it be something that most characters do or something that some characters do? Unless an old school mecanic really clashed with the way that the SRD worked, I'd probably be wanting "3e rules with a 0e feel". What does the old material say about this sort of issue?
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Re: Vitals

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:26 pm

Gawain_VIII wrote:Vital Statistics
Most characters in MYSTARA campaign settings use the normal height and weight values given in Chapter 6: Description of the Player’s Handbook. Lithe hutaakans use the height entries of a human with the weight multiplier of an elf. Rakastas and Lupins grow to roughly the same height range as humans. However, the sleek rakastas are generally lighter than humans, subtracting 10+d10 pounds from the actual weight, while the more stout lupins add 10+d10 pounds.
I'd probably be tempted to start off the same as you, but create a few new table for the new races (instead of telling people to use the human stats and modify them).

Firstly this would make people less likely to make errors (which could be helpful to the people who speak English as a second language) and secondly tables look cool! 8-) :twisted:
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Re: Names

Post by Big Mac » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:33 pm

Gawain_VIII wrote:MYSTARAn Names
MYSTARA is vast. Among humans alone, its inhabitants bear literally thousands upon thousands of names. Some folk have no surnames, others have a common clan name, and others have a “son/daughter of” appellation.
Further, many an adventurer has taken on a descriptive, colorful name at the beginning of a career—from a simple nickname to a pseudonym adopted to conceal the character’s identity. Whether adopted by a wizard or cleric upon completion of his apprenticeship or chosen by a thief to protect her family, an adventuring name adds an extra level of personality to the character.

This text was followed by a two full-page list of sample names from nearly all of the KW cultures. The list contained, for each culture, 5 each male, female, and surnames, and a brief 1-sentence description of naming customs where applicable. This list was derived from the 2e books, most notably Player's Survival Guide.
The sample names are an essential (especially for the people who are new to Mystara). The way you describe the lists sounds like the correct way to go for 3rd edition players.

I think I prefer the DLCS way of doing this (where the names are listed in the race description). Obviously, this doesn't work so well for the humans, as there are so many different types of them. But maybe you could have a list (or table) of human races somewhere near the entry for humans in the MCS and list the typical names there.
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Re: Vitals

Post by Giorgio » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:29 pm

Gawain_VIII wrote:Vital Statistics
Most characters in MYSTARA campaign settings use the normal height and weight values given in Chapter 6: Description of the Player’s Handbook. Lithe hutaakans use the height entries of a human with the weight multiplier of an elf. Rakastas and Lupins grow to roughly the same height range as humans. However, the sleek rakastas are generally lighter than humans, subtracting 10+d10 pounds from the actual weight, while the more stout lupins add 10+d10 pounds.
I would prefer a table with all this information instead of having to flip to a book and do extra math. Having a table with all the information i need for ALL the races in one place is more useful for a GM and players.

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Re: Names

Post by Giorgio » Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:35 pm

Code: Select all

This text was followed by a two full-page list of sample names from nearly all of the KW cultures.  The list contained, for each culture, 5 each male, female, and surnames, and a brief 1-sentence description of naming customs where applicable. This list was derived from the 2e books, most notably [i]Player's Survival Guide[/i].
Will you be posting this text here, is it a file for download, or is that information still being worked on?

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Re: Names

Post by Gawain_VIII » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:19 pm

Giorgio wrote:

Code: Select all

This text was followed by a two full-page list of sample names from nearly all of the KW cultures.  The list contained, for each culture, 5 each male, female, and surnames, and a brief 1-sentence description of naming customs where applicable. This list was derived from the 2e books, most notably [i]Player's Survival Guide[/i].
Will you be posting this text here, is it a file for download, or is that information still being worked on?
I didn't post the list, as it's readily availalbe to old-timers... I have it on my master copy, and it is completed. My external drive (where the files are located) needs a new enclosure before I can retrieve the information, but once that's done, I'll post it.
"Time does not heal all things--only swift and decisive action does." --Roger LaVern Girtman, II, 17 April 2010
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Classic Campaigns, my Mystara fansite
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Re: Names

Post by Giorgio » Sat May 21, 2011 2:49 pm

Gawain_VIII wrote:I didn't post the list, as it's readily availalbe to old-timers... I have it on my master copy, and it is completed. My external drive (where the files are located) needs a new enclosure before I can retrieve the information, but once that's done, I'll post it.
Any new information on the list of Mystara names? That is something I can actually use as my players are making 9 PCs for my Pathfinder Mystara game and not a single one of them has a name yet! :shock:

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