[Dakan Mar] Conspectus Introduction

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[Dakan Mar] Conspectus Introduction

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:59 am

The Dakan Mar Frontier Conspectus
Test Version 6, 2017-7-22
A Frontier Exploration Campaign Conspectus for D&D5e
by Robert G. Weber

Introduction.
The New World offers adventure, exploration, glory, wealth, and absolution for all comers. It has been called the Frontier –of Silvered Steel, –of Gold and Iron, or –of Bronze and Rust, but it always holds new surprises for even the veterans who have called this land home for all of their lives.

To be the first to stake the richest claim yet in the Little Kingdoms, more and more ships arrive monthly (nearly daily as of this writing) from the Old World, full of salty-dog crews, wide-eyed, sea-weary travelers, and other precious goods. The arriving ships carry something else of worth, though little heed is given this resource upon docking; new blood – whether it be noble or common, or even criminal and grotesque - that are willing, or paid, to sacrifice all for the chance at glory and fame.

The hope of glory and fame is also carried back by the ships that leave for the Old World, for they carry back untold wealth for the Kings and Queens of the Old World, promised to those who secured such treasures for those Old World powers.

Often, this is where the player-characters originate, especially at the start of the campaign. Since no one has seen it, guided only by rumors and incomplete maps, it is an excellent place to start new players, and their characters. Once the players have acclimated themselves to this particular “Little Kingdom”, they are free to begin new characters that originate from the settlements of the Ironbound Peoples, a combination of Old World nobility, commoner, criminal, grotesque, and the nomadic Roaming barbarian tribes who first welcomed the Old Worlders over 200 years ago.

More explicit information about player-character races and classes are given in the Dakan Mar Campaign rules. Variant rules are described in detail in the Variant Rules document.

The "Frontier" as the Old Countries call it, has been a frontier for only 205 years, and only a small portion of the continent has been explored, and even a smaller portion 'conquered'. The colonists to the Frontier prefer to call it one of the "Little Kingdoms"; this particular area is the Dakan Mar Kingdom*. There are several Little Kingdoms in the Frontier, all in various states of untamed wilderness or explored civilization.

(*Most colonists are from many different countries from the Old World, and assume that Dakan Mar will eventually be folded into one of several Old Kingdoms back home.)

Less than half of the current, mapped area of Dakan Mar is even marginally civilized, and the other half but a fraction of the wilderness in the Frontier. The area shown on the map is the majority of the lands trod by explorers from the Old World. Beyond the borders of this map, no Old Worlder has yet to return to tell of what they have seen, let alone mapped.

The map scale is 24 miles per hex, or 624 by 408 miles; for a total of 254,592 square miles.

This Little Kingdom is named after Khan Mar Dak, a Khan of the coastal prairie, who befriended the first explorers from the Old World. His descendants and peoples joined the explorers and colonists to fight the incursions of the Wicked People, the humanoids from Kargen Moor, the valley beyond the Wotchen Tors.

The native population of Dakan Mar consists of many northern human barbarian tribes, the Aaracockra of the Eyre Plateau, the Svirfneblin (Deep Gnomes) of the Eastern Deeps (below the plateau), the Faerie Folk of the central glens called the Sith (shee) Anbee by the Elves there, the Tabaxi cat-folk of the Debrosian Forests, Lizard-Folk of the swamps, Firbolg and Goliath tribes of the mountains and forests, mysterious Genasi nomads, Tritons, Mer-Folk, and Sea Elves off the shores, and kenku, ogres, trolls, giants, and other goblinoid tribes of the north, south, and west.

The rest of the 'civilized' population are colonists and explorers from the Old World, descendants of the same, or descendants of intermarriages between the Dak Mar Khans and the Colonists.

Each town or city basically fends for itself, but generally the inhabitants of the villages of the Roaming, the Wall Forts, and the port cities cooperate for mutual protection, trade, and prosperity.

Underneath the veneer of peaceful relations however, politics and intrigue motivate rulers and personalities to secret alliances, deceptions, betrayals, murders, and even wars.

Notes about place and people names: DAKAN MAR refers to the kingdom; DAK MAR is the name of the indigenous people who inhabited the continent before the Ironbound settled this land. DAK KHAN MAR was a legendary leader (Khan) of the Dak Mar. “DAKAN” is the native word for Iron-bound, the Old Worlder settlers, as their warrior are commonly all bound in iron armor. To make things simple, Dakan are always called Ironbound.

KARGEN MOOR is the name of the lands beyond the Wotchen Tors. KARGENMOOR was once the capitol of Kargen Moor, or rather, the seat of power. It is now a ruined castle where the Order of the Gryphon sallies forth to do battle with humanoids and monsters of Kargen Moor.

(Disclaimer and Credit Where Due: Most names were generated using Zenopus Archives' “Random Holmsian Name Generator”, and fiddled with until they sounded just right.)

NEXT UP: LANGUAGES
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Part 1

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:48 am

LANGUAGES

STANDARD LANGUAGES
Language|Spoken by...|Script
Old Worlder Common|Old World Humans, halflings, tieflings|“Old” Common
Hallenic Common, Celtic|Dakan Mar Barbarian tribes|Hallenic, Rellanic, Davek
Old World Dwarven|Old World Dwarves, azer|Dethek
Elven|Elves, eladrin, fomorians|Dakan Mar: Rellanic, Old World: Espruar
Giant|Old World Giants, orcs, ogres, trolls|Davek
Gnomish|Old World Gnomes|Dethek
Goblin|Dakan Mar Goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears|Davek
Halfling|Old World halflings|“Old” Common
Dakan Mar Orc|Dakan Mar Orcs, ogres|Davek
Brosebarspor|Kragenmoor cavemen|Rolu Ith


EXOTIC LANGUAGES
Language|Spoken by...|Script
Abyssal|Demons, gnolls, sahuagin|Barazhad
Celestial|Angels, devils, gods|Celestial
Draconic|Dragons, dragonborn, kobolds|Iokharic
Deep Speech|Mind flayers, githyanki, kuo-toas|Rellanic
Infernal|Devils|Infernal
Primordial|Efreeti, archons, elementals|Barazhad
Dakan Mar Sylvan|Dakan Mar Fey creatures|Rellanic
Dakan Mar Undercommon| Dakan Mar Underdark traders|Rellanic


First level characters coming over from the Old World may take a Dakan Mar language and learned the basics of the language during the 6 month long voyage to the New World. Hallenic Common is an amalgamation of the most prominent barbarian tribes in the north and the west. Each tribe has its own dialects, but it has many crossovers thanks to new tribes forming from old ones, slaves picking up and spreading words from their old tribes, etc.

The Hallenic written language, if any barbarian can write at all, is a hodge-podge collection of characters and symbols from many written languages. As a tribe encounters other races, humanoids, mostly, and either make treaties or go to war against them, they pick up bits and pieces, written and spoken – thus the basis of their pidgin language.

In most cases, Old World languages are completely separate from Dakan Mar languages, other-planar languages notwithstanding. Some crossover is noted, particularly some of the elvish and dwarvish scripts of Dethek, Davek, Rellanic and Espruar. If there is any doubt as to what is used in Dakan Mar, Rellanic and Davek are more prominent than the Old World scripts of Dethek and Espruar. In any case, no Dakan Mar dwarves have been encountered, and the Old World elves discovered the Eladrin of Dakan Mar speak a slightly altered dialect of their own elvish language.

NEXT: The Celtic Presence in Dakan Mar
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Part 1

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:52 am

The Celtic Presence in Dakan Mar
The Roaming culture is heavily influenced by their combined beliefs in the Celtic deities and religion. They roam free throughout the central and northern plains, and other regions farther to the west, seldom settling down permanently in one place. But they do travel in circuitous routes, often coming to many places every year during the roaming seasons.

It is these places that have proved to be of great importance, either as holy sites, or areas that provide protection, hiding, water reservoirs and secret store houses of food; culture, in the form of gatherings for trade, marriages, and war.

The Celtic deities dominate most aspects of Roaming life, not in the least includes when, where, and how to worship, but also teaches how to store water and food, and when to gather for trade, marriages, and war.

Standing Stones
Belenus, a Celtic lesser deity, is no less a major force in the creation of the standing stones throughout Dakan Mar, and decrees that new standing stones be erected every few years.

The standing stones are created by Celtic druids and clerics over periods lasting up to a year. The ceremonies performed during the creation of a ring of standing stones makes them highly magical places where mere lesser mortals fear to tread. Indeed, standing stones intensify the magic cast by Celtic clerics and druids.

The creation of standing stones is a lengthy process that requires many priests. There must be 50 levels of clerics or druids who worship at least four different Celtic gods. One of these priests must be at least a 10th level cleric of Belenus in order to have the all important enchant stones spell. The site must have stone available and be at least five miles from any other existing standing stones. All of the priests must spend an entire month assembling the stones and attending ceremonies – the enchant stones spell must be cast at the end of each week and again at the end of construction.

If the priests are interrupted in any way during that time, the enchantment fails and they must start again. During creation, the standing stones site must be dedicated to one domain forever (Tempest, for example). Once created, the magic of the standing stones is permanent.

The physical parameters of the standing stones are fairly loose. The exact size and number of the stones is unimportant for game purposes—they are arranged at creation to follow the seasons, stars, constellations, suns, moons, or whatever. It is only important that they be arranged in a series of circular patterns. Since they are generally between 10-30 meters across, standing stones are some of the largest magic items in the game!

Once created, ceremonies can take place at the site to cast spells within its assigned sphere. The total of priest levels involved in the ceremony can be used as a direct multiplier to any of the following: range, duration, or area of effect. As an example, if 50 priest levels are involved in a ceremony at standing stones to cast an animate object spell, they could either multiply the range by 50 (to 1500 yards), the duration by 50 (to 50 rounds/level), or the area of effect by 50 (50 cubic feet/level).

One of the priests must actually cast the spell to be amplified by the standing stones, and his spellcasting ability is the base from which all other spell effects are multiplied.

[b]Enchant Stones[/b] 5th level Enchantment (ritual) Casting Time: 1 week Range: Touch Components: V, S, M Duration: Permanent This highly specialized spell is only available to clerics or druids who worship Belenus and who have attained 10th level. It is bestowed upon them by their god who will allow them to use it to create an area of standing stones once per year. The spell takes an entire week to prepare and cast. Any interruption will negate its effects and force the priest to start over. If a year passes and a priest with this spell fails to create a set of standing stones, this (and all of the priest's other spells) is taken back by the disappointed Belenus, never to be bestowed again. The material component for this spell is a small stone quarreyed from the same place as the stones for a standing stones site. They must already be placed in position.

Also see Torc of the Gods magic item and Frenzy of the Celts priest spell. Legends & Lore, AD&D2, p.60

Racial Census
While the actual numbers of each race is currently unknown, it is imagined that the numbers of all beings arriving in, or born in Dakan Mar are increasing a thousandfold every six months.

What is tracked to a varying degree of accuracy, are the races involved in Dakan Mar. Some are assumed to have levels of intelligence equal to or equivalent to the human state of thought. Some races, however quite alien in appearance and thought, but possess levels of emotional responses that are commensurate with human approximation.

The races are, in order of dominate numbers to lesser numbers (approximately), human, half-elven, dwarf, elf, eladrin, halfling, gnome, tiefling, half-orc, lizard-folk, svirfneblin, tabaxi, goliath, kenku, firbolg, aasimar, aaracockra, genasi, and triton.

NEXT: The Port Cities and The Ironbound.
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Part 1

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:18 am

The Ironbound.
The Ironbound are primarily the settlers and explorers from the Old World. However, after 200 years of mixing their heritage with the friendly nomadic/barbarian tribes, the Ironbound are a mix of pure-blood Old Worlder families and the Dak Mar.

The name "Ironbound" comes from the Dak people, who called them “Dakan”, their word for 'iron' and 'bound', or 'armored'. The Dak were the first barbarian tribe to forge and make weapons out of iron, and later, a primitive steel, long before people from the Old World discovered these shores. The Dak had only enough iron to make axes, knives, and arrowheads, and were immediately impressed by the Old Worlders' metal armors and swords.

The Ironbound as a people, come from a proportionate cross-section of Old Worlders consisting of royal, noble families, as well as all manner of common folk, the peasants who do the actual day-to-day work of sweating, toiling, and getting covered with shit, as well as the marginally profitable and acceptable forms of labor, performed by such ordinary men as craftsmen, merchants, and soldiers.

Once here in the Little Kingdoms, however, many of these Old World notions of nobility and civilized caste systems were put aside for mutual survival. After 200 years, the Ironbound people number nearly 75,000 in this particular Little Kingdom.

While all tribes of the Khans took slaves, the Ironbound outlawed slavery within their own cities, but they can do little to curb the barbarian tribes from holding onto their slaves while in the wilderness expanses, and they can do even less to deter their slaves from leaving their masters for freedom. In most cases, slavery is as much a part of the medieval caste system as the caste system from the Old World. The only difference being is that a slave of a khan could gain in power and notoriety, and could eventually rise to be Khan over an entire tribe. Ironbound society is far less mobile socially than this, with the exception of the adventuring classes of explorers, magic-users, soldiers, and certain other clerical professions. These brave adventurers have a knack for gaining gold and glory, fame and infamy enough to transcend the medieval class system – but at the end of their fifteen minutes of fame, they'll most likely sink back to the gutters they were spawned in. Having said all that, the barbarian tribes' slaves don't have much to complain about.

With the abolishment of the Old World class system and slavery within the cities, the Ironbound views on alignments are often put aside for mutual survival. While it is still advisable to watch one's back when at court and acting as free agents in the field, the warlocks, fey, and eldritch beings standing next to you on the Wall during one of the southern incursions from the Feg Bel Poy Tors or Kragen Moor are your best friends.

The Wall of Karan Loesh and the Ironbound Forts of the Dakan Mar
Originally, the Wall was supposed to encompass all of Dak Khan Mar's lands, but the Khans would have no walls built upon their precious open grasslands and hills. It was an affront to their way of life, their beliefs, and even the free-ranging Celtic gods of the open prairies. Whereas the Khans thought the Ironbound to be weak, they soon learned that the wall was not to provide a means of growing fat and lazy behind a permanent bulwark, but legitimate protection against the vicious humanoids from the south. The Khans dealt with the southern humanoids only occasionally, spending most of their time further north and west - dealing with enemy tribes and the northern warg-riding goblins.

To the Dak Mar, the Ironbound way of life was too sedentary; the Old Worlders were comfortable in their buildings and castles behind their walls, and the Dak Mar watched them build them here. And well the Ironbound did, for the southern humanoids seemed drawn towards the Ironbound castles and man-flesh, and desired it above all other delicacies.

So the wall and castle construction began, at the order of Karan Loesh the Architect, 140 years ago. The wall was finished 60 years ago, but the other Ironbound castles were started and finished at various times in Ironbound history.

(Personal Campaign DM's Note: see “Country Sites: Darian's Wall” an AD&D2e game accessory.)

NEXT: Famous Ironbound Personalities & Leaders, The Five Castles of the Wall, and Other Ironbound Cities & Towns.
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Part 1

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:23 am

Famous Ironbound Personalities & Leaders

Anhag of Ironbound Castle (LN (LE) Tiefling Eldritch Knight 12th level, Lord of Ironbound Castle)

Ree Le of Ironbound Castle

Reefeg from Above (TN Aaracockra Ambassador of Eyre to the Ironbound Castle; Druid 16th level)

Tendo Ak (LN Svirfneblin (Deep Gnome) Ambassador of the Eastern Deeps to the Ironbound Castle, Cleric/Thief 7th/7th level)

Mulda of Byrithium (LG Paladin (Oath of Devotion), 15th level) is Commander of the Ironbound Wall, and also heads the Order of Equus, a Holy Order of Mounted Cavaliers. Each of the Five Wall Castles holds 50 to 500 Knights of Heavy Cavalry.

NEXT: The Northern Barbarians.
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Introduction

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:58 am

The Northern Barbarians.
The Khan Jax O are led by Khan Alaf Duncloak (CG Human Barbarian "Khan Chieftain" of the Roaming, 19th level, of Clarag Mul (Stone Huts of Winter), Raider of the Debrosian Hills), the Horselords of the Roaming. His tribes raid the barbarian tribes of the Debrosian Hills, and other lesser tribes to the north. Not all barbarian tribes are human, some are goblinoid, and ride wargs - the Surpal Erg, whom the Khan Jax O loathe above all others. The Khan Jax O are mostly Totem Warriors of the Horse (a new Barbarian: Totem Warrior sub-class), as befitting these Barbarian Horselords, and they also have many Berserker Skirmishers.

While all of the Khan Jax O are equivalent to medium cavalry, and all ride horses into battle, they are equally adept at fighting on foot, and are able to form up as medium foot if the need arises.

The Khan Fan Zen are led by Debrose the Merciless (CN Human Berserker 15th level "Khan Chieftain" of the Northern Hill Tribes; nomads of the Debrosian Hills) is a very old Berserker cursed with unnaturally long life. The Debrosian Hills are named after him. Debrose has a life-grudge against Alaf Duncloak, and will make any excuse to go and fight his (relatively) young nemesis. The tribe he leads are the Khan Fan Zen, and they are either Berserkers or Totem Warriors of the Wolf. A fraction (10-15%) of his hordes are wolf-riders, riding Winter Wolves, a separate species than that of the goblin's warg; they are equivalent to medium cavalry.

The Khan Besev Teth are led by Nos Ger the Loathsome (CN Human (Half-Orc) Barbarian 10th level "Khan Warrior" of the Northern Hill Tribes, Raider of the Roaming; nomads of the Debrosian Hills) is a Totem Warrior of the Bear. He leads the Khan Besev Teth, and all of his Barbarians are Totem Warriors of the Bear. The tribe has a few abnormally large and furry horses, thus forming a heavy cavalry worthy of perhaps 10% of their total numbers. It is rumored that Nos Ger and his Totem Warriors have somehow pleased the Totem spirits, and have blessed their horses with the ability to transform into grizzly bears at the peak of battle! Nos Ger appears to be human, but he is secretly a half-orc. He hates all other humanoids, especially goblins and orcs with a passion.

The Surpal Erg are led by Ver Idrebb (CE Goblin Chieftain; equivalent to a 10th level Battle Master (Fighter)), and they come from the far north to raid the barbarian tribes here in the southern portion of the Roaming and the Dak Mar Grasslands, usually during the lean winter months. Ver Idrebb hates all other Barbarian tribes, and wishes to wipe them all out. As a pragmatist, Idrebb is intelligent enough to bide his time, waiting for the right moment to strike and all that. He will not needlessly sacrifice his own for little reward; Instead, he spends an inordinate amount of time planning stratagems as they raid, taking risks only when the tribe is desperate, the stakes are high, or there is a lot to gain.

NEXT: The Sidhe Anbee
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Introduction

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:03 am

The Sidhe Anbee.
Sidhe Anbee is a relatively small geo-political area in Dakan Mar, but in terms of raw, untapped power, it is quite a big deal. Sidhe Anbee is a small forest south of the Wall of Karan Loesh, or Karan's Wall. The forest is inhabited by the Fey Races, mostly faeries, but there are a few Grey Elves who still live on in this continent. Theirs is a race totally separate from the Elven nations of the Old World, and they claim no kinship or allegiances with Old World elves.

However, they are not cold toward their alien brothers, and welcome them as appropriate in terms of allies or hostages.

The prefix "Sidhe" indicates the true people of the wood, indicating the wood itself, and all of its true inhabitants. All elves descended and born in Sidhe Anbee are given the prefix "Sidhe". In many ways, it is a sur-name, much like humans have a family name.

Sidhe Personalities

Sidhe Fal Fen the Gruff (CN Eladrin Champion, 11th level, of Sidhe Anbee)

Sidhe Krac the Eldritch (CG Eladrin Warlock of the Arch-Fey, 18th level, of Sidhe Anbee)

Osdreka (CG Half Elf Ranger 11th level)

NEXT: Geo-Political Divisions and Other Personalities of Dakan Mar
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Introduction

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:10 am

Geo-Political Divisions.

(A post for further expansion as the campaign continues...)
The Roaming

Eyre Plateau

Wotchen Tors

Feg Bel Poy Tors

Kragen Moor (Kragenmoor)

The Southern Jungles of Kracjur

Other Personalities of Dakan Mar.

Chief Osric Goldshield (Roaming village of Reedwindle chieftain, CG 6th level Champion )

Krac Omes the V (Svirfneblin King; Battle Master 12th level)

Lu Gahn Omes (Svirfneblin Prince; Eldritch Knight, 7th level)

Letee Omes (Svirfneblin Queen; NG Cleric, 9th level)

Dorig Omes (Svirfneblin, brother to the King)

Sidhe Asa of the Dread Wilds (Grey Elf adventurer of Sidhe Rinlabur)

Xortred the Hunchbacked (CE Troll Chieftain (Barbarian 13th level) of Feg Belpoy Tors)

Tonho the Battler (CE Ogre Mercenary (Barbarian 10th level, of Raris Fen or Grinknick Baf)

Sho Hagtred (Kragenmoor Man – a great Fighter: Battle Master 8th level; possibly a chief, Brosegar Caves)

Kracpres the Gruff (Kragenmoor Man – Fighter: Champion 7th level, a chief, Ydisa Laf-Nes)

Fen Sun Erg (goblin barbarian 4th level, The Roaming)

Drebb Lisak (Goblin Sorcerer, Grinknick Baf)

Rinno Mun (Knight, Order of the Gryphon)

Nick Kyris (Knight, Order of the Gryphon)

Dadan the Gibbous (Kragenmoor Man merchant at Kragen Moor Castle)

Ragger Sur (Troll Chieftain)

Luque Le ("Lucka Lee"; Assassin 8th level, Ermus Dock; Taverner's Association Freelance For Hire)

Pus Kyjax (Goblin Warrior)

NEXT: Other Towns and Villages
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Introduction

Post by willpell » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:37 pm

Sorry to butt in, but I don't recognize the word "Conspectus". Is it supposed to be a portmanteau of "Prospectus" and, like, "Convention" or something?

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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Introduction

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:49 pm

willpell wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:37 pm
Sorry to butt in, but I don't recognize the word "Conspectus". Is it supposed to be a portmanteau of "Prospectus" and, like, "Convention" or something?
conspectus noun
con·​spec·​tus | \ kən-ˈspek-təs
\
Definition of conspectus

1 : a usually brief survey or summary (as of an extensive subject) often providing an overall view

:cool:
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Re: [Dakan Mar] Conspectus Introduction

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:16 pm

I am going over some heavy edits in my Dakan Mar Campaign Player's Guide and DM's Gazetteer. These edits are much more than the small bits of shaving and hacksawing that you'll see in my threads here at the Piazza.

I aim to completely overhaul the setting to compensate a set of 5th edition rules called D&D5 "Classic". "Classic" keeps the majority of the 5e rules, but does an "old school" overhaul on the classes and races. Only the races found in AD&D (no dragonborn, drow elves, eladrin or tieflings...) and no subclasses, er, I mean "paths" for each class to take after 3rd level are available. Also jettisoned are the backgrounds, but each character has the option to take Craft skills and Professions, effectively replacing the backgrounds found in RAW 5e. :cool:

These changes brings the power levels down to a manageable level for DMs weary of the "arms race" of keeping up with OP 5e RAW characters - even to provide a decent challenge to them, so your players don't get bored so easily and want to move on to other games. :(

I don't know who did this edit of 5e rules, but after my complete and utter dissatisfaction and failure of 5e rules with my gaming group, I am revamping my entire campaign to fit with these "Classic" rules.

If anyone is interested in having a looksee at these rules, contact me, and I'll attempt to find a url where you can download them for free. :cool:
A big THANKS! to Giant Space Hamster & Chimpman for the cookies! (Dark Side be damned!) :D

My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

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