Thursday, July 30, 2015

A New Force in the Field of Tabletop Gaming Awards Has Arrived!

Behold: the Ramanan Sivaranjan Awards for Excellence in Gaming, 2014 edition. These awards are nourishment for thoughtful old-school gamers of refined taste, such as yourself (I hope!), but are like poison for the mindless hordes of adolescent EN World gamers and their ilk.

(The sad thing is, this post came off as sarcasm, but it is actually sincere, despite the obvious hyperbolic puffery. Kudos to Sivaranjan for his initiative.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Untimely Reviews: Forgotten Realms Boxed Set (AD&D 2nd Edition)

It's a bit of an ugly duckling, but don't judge a boxed set by its cover alone.

This post is based on some comments I left on YouTube after watching Abraham Zetina's detailed video review of the AD&D 2nd edition Forgotten Realms boxed set (of all things):


I found this review of Zetina's after reading Joseph Bloch of BRW games' blog post about a more recent review by Zetina of Bloch's own Adventures Dark & Deep series of books.

Watching Zetina's detailed video review got me thinking about this particular version of the Forgotten Realms campaign, and how it compared to a lot of other gaming products on the 1980s and 1990s put out by TSR. I am not really a fan of the Realms, for many of the reasons that are commonly cited (too generic, too many uber-powerful NPCs, too many intrusive and implausible meta-plots, etc.), but this Forgotten Realms campaign set is probably the best one TSR / Wizards has produced, in part because of the breadth and depth of the information presented, as noted by Zetina in his review.

In particular, this boxed set provides detailed information about Shadowdale and its surrounds, including descriptions of the buildings and NPCs of Shadowdale, and a nearby dungeon and associated "adventure". There is enough information in the boxed set to start a campaign set in Shadowdale, without requiring much additional work or design by the referee. This may not seem very impressive, especially in the light of the much earlier Judges Guild products which accomplished a similar feat with respect to the City State of the Invincible Overlord and the Wilderlands of High Fantasy, but in fact, as many in the OSR have pointed out over the years, hardly any of the old TSR campaign settings included the real nuts and bolts of a D&D campaign--one or more dungeons, a wilderness, and a home base. All of this work was generally left to the poor, put-upon referee. 

This is true, for example, of both the better-known "Grey Box" 1st edition AD&D Forgotten Realms boxed set, and for that matter of the 3rd edition D&D Forgotten Realms campaign book. It is also true of all of the old AD&D campaign settings that I can think of--Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Time of the Dragon, Dark Sun, Planescape, even Lankhmar to a certain extent--and of many or most of Wizards of the Coast's campaign settings for 3rd and 4th edition D&D. These all provided "big picture" guides to their respective setting, but giving barely any practical advice or info for actually starting a campaign--a local wilderness map with keyed encounters, a local dungeon or two with maps and keys, a local town or neighborhood with a detailed map and key, etc.  

Of course, there are many limitations to the AD&D 2nd edition Forgotten Realms campaign setting, including the often awkwardly execrable illustration (discussed, with examples, by Zetina), and the lack of coherence and distinctiveness of the Realms themselves as a campaign setting. But, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, I think this boxed set provides more actual game-able content than most of the other official TSR or WotC campaign settings, and it has many other nice details, such as: illustrations of the symbols and heraldry for gods, towns, kingdoms, adventuring groups, etc.; the old alphabets for the Espruar (Elvish) and Dethek (Dwarfish); illustrations of the various orders of priests in the Realms; and detailed maps of the major cities of the Realms. In some respects, then, it is an overlooked gem (or at least a semiprecious stone :) ) of old-school AD&D, and more useful as a campaign setting than its more famous and beloved 1st edition counterpart (which, admittedly, does have much better art, or perhaps I should say, much less awful art, and in general a whole lot of charm, as the Gentleman Gamer pointed out in his video review of the same). 

This is what old-school charm looks like. (It is a very evocative painting, by the inimitable, late, lamented Keith Parkinson, who did a lot of great work for the 1st edition Realms.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Twilight Empire


Conspectus

The Twilight Empire is a large feudal kingdom in a demon-haunted world, full of infernal spirits, undead, monsters, witches, and sorcerers. In a former aeon, the world was peaceful and prosperous, united under the wise rule of the arch-magi and techno-wizards of the Pantarchy. A rogue arch-mage’s attempt to summon and bind gods of the primordial chaos led to the collapse of that peaceable civilization. Hordes of demons and monsters were released from magical captivity, and the few human survivors reverted to barbarism.

Centuries later, civilization has been re-established, but is plagued by evil men and creatures of darkness. Defending humanity are knights, Templars, wardens, and witch hunters, but these groups have their own rivalries, fighting one other as often as they do battle against demons and monsters. Everywhere men are divided by faction, class, sect, and kingdom, and moreover doomed to destruction by their insatiable lusts for wealth, pleasure, and power.


The Fall of the Pantarchy

In ancient times, the Pantarchy ruled the world of Telleth-Rumi, and worlds beyond. The Pantarchs followed the Cosmic Balance, worshipping an array of celestial, elemental, and infernal spirits. They summoned creatures from other worlds, built inter-dimensional gates, and grew etheric ships from living crystal, which they used to sail the black seas of space.

The Peace of the Pantarchs prevailed for thousands of years, until it was broken by the arch-mage Obduras. Obduras abandoned the Cosmic Balance, and sought to become sole ruler of the multiverse. He summoned elder gods from the great Abyss beyond space and time—Tiamat, Abzu, Mummu, and others—their names still echo as curses down through the many centuries. These gods of primeval chaos proved to be Obduras’ undoing, for they overpowered his mystic wards and sigils, sending waves of chaotic energy into the worlds of the Pantarchy. The gates of the Pantarchs collapsed, their bound spirits ran free, and the cities of men were engulfed in surges of formless energy.



The Pantarchy fell, but not before its remaining arch-magi performed the Great Panspace Banishing. This powerful enchantment hurled the elder gods back to their native realm. The few human survivors swiftly reverted to barbarism, and were preyed upon by rogue spirits and monstrous aberrations spawned from the chaotic wastelands.

After several centuries had passed, the survivors began to till the soil, build villages and towns, and rediscover the lost lore of their ancestors. Among them were the Val, nomads who wandered the Endless Plain with herds of horses and cattle. The Val were among the first to domesticate horses after the Fall of the Pantarchs, and they invented the chariot, which gave them an advantage in warfare. They spread to the east, west, and south, settling in much of the northern continent of Septentrion, including the land now known as the Twilight Empire.

The Val were never politically united; each of their kings ruled over a small domain, no larger than a duchy in size. The ancient kingdom of Greymouth was one such royal domain, which gradually grew in wealth and power, due to its control of the mouth of the great Grey River. The kings of Greymouth expanded their territory, conquering other small kingdoms and city states which lay along the Grey River and on the western coast of the continent. 


The Aeons of Man

Knowledge of human history is based primarily upon the Chronicle of Tetractys, which divides human history into seven aeons. Tetractys was the last Scholarch of the Pantarchs, and it is from his records that knowledge of the past has been preserved. The current, seventh aeon is dated from the Fall of Pantarchy, which occurred a little over two thousand years ago. The preceding six aeons are dated from other important events in the history of human civilization.

The Aeons of Man Table

Aeon
Designation
Description
Duration (Years)
1st
Genesis
origin of humanity
c. 200,000
2nd
Exodus
space exploration
c. 50,000
3rd
Judges
galactic republic
c. 100,000
4th
Kings
galactic empire formed after contact with demon lords
c. 100,000
5th
Diaspora
dark age after civil war and chaos invasions
c. 50,000
6th
Pax Pantarchiana
peace of the Pantarchs; chaos controlled by arch-magi
c. 100,000
7th
Post Pantarchiam
after the fall of the Pantarchs
2,279



Fighters in the Twilight Empire

Designer's Notes

The fighter abilities are inspired by the "warrior skills" in Empire of the Petal Throne (p. 18). These are a little more potent than weapon proficiencies from 1st and 2nd edition AD&D, but a little less potent than feats from the 3rd and later editions of D&D. Enough to provide some background and flavor to individual fighters, but not enough to change the underlying power dynamics of the game (or so I hope--these have yet to be playtested in their current version). The fighter abilities also help provide differentiation to fighters wielding different weapons, since weapons in OD&D are mechanically similar. This is especially true if using only the original 3 LBB's and not the Greyhawk supplement, since all attacks inflict 1d6 damage regardless of weapon type. 

The barbarian and cavalier training packages are inspired by the fighter sub-classes of the same names from the 1st edition AD&D Unearthed Arcana. However, the barbarian training package is intended to reflect the various "primitive" agriculturalists and pastoralists on the fringes of Europe in antiquity and after (Huns, ancient Germans, Avars, Bulgars, Magyars, Saami, Prus, etc.), rather than pulp fantasy barbarians such as Conan or his many lesser successors. (Although in truth Conan was closer in skills and equipage to his ancient forebears than were the many forgettable sword and sorcery barbarians who followed him.) Barbarians who can afford it are happy to wear mail and other forms of heavy armor; what makes them distinctive is their stereotypical "toughness" and their non-combat skill set. Currently, the barbarian "toughness" is represented by a +2 to the character's constitution ability score; this could change if I think of something better.

Cavaliers receive a bonus when making attacks while mounted and charging. This replaces all of the fiddly abilities and chivalric who-ha from the Unearthed Arcana cavalier. However, cavaliers are required to have the noble background if they're human, and their skills include courtesy (how to behave at court or when among the aristocracy). Cavaliers also have the tracking skill, because of all of the time they spend hunting (their chief sport when not killing people).

Scouts are intended to include both mounted and non-mounted skirmishers of various kinds. What unites them is their maneuverability and their skill in harassing slower-moving troops with missile attacks. The latter is represented by the split-move and fire power, the name for which is of course cribbed from OD&D's miniature wargame precursor Chainmail, where it is a special ability of elvish troops. Speaking of not-so subtle OD&D references, scouts also have "outdoor survival" as a bonus skill, a nod to the Avalon Hill board game which was recommended for use with OD&D, since its game board could be used for wilderness adventures.

Soldiers are the most generic of the fighter training packages, covering the various sorts of mercenaries and regular troops that could be found in the armies of antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Their power is weapon specialization, similar to its incarnation in the 1st and later editions of D&D, but here giving a simple +1 on attack and damage rolls with the weapon of choice.

Fighters

Prime Requisite:           strength
Hit Dice:                      1d8
Base Attack Bonus:     +1 per level
Armor Proficiency:      all
Weapon Proficiency:   all
Class Powers:               fighter abilities

Fighter Experience Table

XP Level
HD
BAB
Fighter Abilities
1
1d8
+1
1
2
2d8
+2
1
3
3d8
+3
1
4
4d8
+4
1
5
5d8
+5
2
6
6d8
+6
2
7
7d8
+7
2
8
8d8
+8
2
9
9d8
+9
3

Fighter Description

Fighters are experts in the art of war. Examples include bandits, knights, mercenaries, marines, pirates, and woodsmen.

Fighter Powers

Fighter Abilities

A 1st level fighter has one fighter ability of the player’s choice. Additional abilities are gained at the rate of one every four levels (second skill at 5th level, third skill at 9th level, etc.).

#
Fighter Ability
1
Artillery
2
Boxing
3
Dual Wielding
4
Fencing
5
Grappling
6
Jousting
7
Mounted Archery
8
Pike Drill
9
Quick Draw
10
Two Handed Sword

Artillery: The fighter can operate and make basic repairs on fixed artillery pieces, such as ballistae, catapults, and cannon.

Boxing: The fighter gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when fighting unarmed.

Dual Wielding: The fighter may use a second weapon in place of a shield, which provides a +1 bonus to his attack rolls. If an attack hits, there is a 10% chance it is with the off-hand weapon.

Fencing: The fighter is skilled at defending when wielding a rapier, and receives a -1 bonus to his armor class.

Grappling: The fighter gains a +2 bonus on grappling attack rolls.

Jousting: The fighter can attack with a lance while mounted and charging, in order to receive the lance’s double damage bonus.

Mounted Archery: The fighter can fire a short bow while mounted and moving.

Pike Drill: The fighter can attack with a pike while in formation, and can train others to do the same (given sufficient time). The fighter can also set a pike against a charging combatant. A set pike scores double damage on a successful attack.

A unit of combatants with the pike drill ability can fight in formation, which enables multiple ranks of combatants to attack the same target simultaneously. A group of pikemen in formation can also force charging combatants to make a morale roll in order to continue the charge.

Quick Draw: The fighter can draw or ready a weapon without having to spend an action or receive a penalty to his initiative score.

Two Handed Sword: The fighter can disable an opponent’s polearm (halberd or pike), spear, or lance with a successful attack roll.

Fighter Training Packages

Fighter Training Packages Table

#
Training Package
Skills
Powers
Races
BP
AL
1
Barbarian
hide in wilderness
outdoor survival
tracking
constitution bonus
any
any but scholar
any
2
Cavalier
courtesy
riding
tracking
mounted charge bonus
cambion
elfborn
human
noble
any
3
Scout
outdoor survival
riding
tracking
split-move and fire
any
any but scholar
any
4
Soldier
appraisal
riding
teamster
weapon specialist
any
any but scholar
any

Barbarian

Items:               chainmail armor; hand axe; helmet; shield; spear
Skills:               hide in wilderness; outdoor survival; tracking
Powers:             constitution bonus
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   any except scholar
Alignment:       any

Description: A barbarian is a warrior from an uncivilized society. Uncivilized societies include hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, fishermen, and farmers. They are “uncivilized” in that they don’t build cities or towns. The political structures of barbarian societies tend to be smaller in scale than those of civilized societies, but can include short-lived empires created by the conquests of a charismatic leader.

Constitution Bonus: A barbarian receives a +2 bonus to his constitution score. A barbarian character can have a constitution score higher than 18.




Cavalier

Items:               chainmail armor; helmet; lance; sword; shield; warhorse, charger
Skills:               courtesy; riding; tracking
Powers:            mounted charge bonus
Races:              cambion; elfborn; human
Backgrounds:   noble
Alignment:       any

Description: A cavalier is a fighter of noble birth trained to fight while mounted. Their favored tactic is attacking with a lance while mounted and charging. As such, a cavalier is required to take jousting as his first fighter skill.

Cavaliers generally also have considerable experience hunting various kinds of game, which is the basis for their skill in tracking.

A cavalier must take jousting as his first fighter ability.

Mounted Charge Bonus: When a cavalier makes a melee attack at the end of a mounted charge, he receives a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. If attacking with a lance, this bonus is in addition to the lance’s double damage bonus.






Scout

Items:               helmet; 6 javelins or short bow, 20 arrows, and quiver; sword; quilted armor; shield;
warhorse, charger
Skills:               outdoor survival; riding; tracking
Powers:            split-move and fire
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   all except scholar
Alignment:       any

Description: A scout is a warrior who specializes in tracking enemy movements, harassing enemy units with ranged or hit-and-run attacks, and out-maneuvering enemy formations.

Split-Move and Fire: A scout is able to make a half-move, then make a missile attack, and then make another half-move, all in the same combat round.






Soldier

Items:               brigandine; helmet; quilted armor; shield; weapon of specialization (varies)
Skills:               appraisal; riding; teamster
Powers:            weapon specialist
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   all except scholar
Alignment:       any

Description: A soldier is a professional warrior who fights with a regular army or mercenary band. Soldiers are generally of common birth, but can otherwise come from a variety of backgrounds.


Weapon Specialist: A soldier specializes in a particular kind of weapon. The character receives a +1 bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls when making an attack with a weapon of the relevant kind. The character also receives the weapon as a bonus item, together with any associated ammunition or pertinences, such as a scabbard, quiver, bolt case, or powder horn.






Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Clerics in the Twilight Empire

Designer's Notes

As mentioned in the last post, clerics in Twilight Empire are not assumed to be members of militant orders unless they have the Templar training package. As such, their fighting capability and weapon and armor proficiency is the same as that of mages. To compensate for this, clerics gain spells more rapidly than in standard OD&D, and they can lay on hands a number of times per day equal to their level. The lay on hands power also makes clerics more flexible in their choice of spells, by reducing the incentive to only prepare healing spells. 

Apart from the Templar, which is differentiated mainly in terms of military training, the remaining cleric training packages are differentiated mainly in terms of alignment. In Twilight Empire, alignment represents allegiance to a group of gods and spirits: lawful characters revere God and the angels, neutral characters revere pagan gods and elemental spirits, and chaotic characters revere demon lords and chaos gods (called "titans" or "elder gods"). 

In the previous version of cleric training packages posted on this blog, the neutral cleric training package was called a druid; this has been renamed "pagan priest" and its abilities changed, and druids in Twilight Empire are now treated as multi-classed cleric/mages (as in their original appearance as monsters in the OD&D Supplement I: Greyhawk).

Another change from the previous version of clerics posted on this blog is the move away from spell points and back to the standard OD&D "fire and forget" or Vancian magic system. While spell points fit the world of the Twilight Empire just fine, such a radical change to the game would likely have repercussions for game balance that I would rather not deal with right now as a referee. Note however that the spell progression has been "rationalized" compared to the irregular cleric spell table in the OD&D Men & Magic booklet. My hope is that a more regular spell progression will be easier to memorize and thus apply in play, especially for referees who have to juggle one or more spell-casting NPCs in addition to the usual monsters, traps, specials, and other who-ha.

A canon's sense chaos power is similar to the OD&D detect evil spell, but it detects whether a creature or item is aligned with the gods and spirits of chaos, rather than if a person has evil intent. 

The cultist's evil eye power is basically a low-powered curse, which will be detailed in a future post on cleric spells. I'm actually playing around with different versions of the evil eye spell, any number of which might be acceptable: perhaps the spell causes a small amount of damage (as with a standard attack in OD&D--1d6 damage) through an invisible force, like a gaze attack; perhaps the curse inflicts a -1 penalty on rolls of relevant kinds for a day.

Clerics

Prime Requisite:           wisdom
Hit Dice:                      1d4
Base Attack Bonus:     +1 per 3 levels
Armor Proficiency:      none
Weapon Proficiency:   club (or staff), dagger, mace
Class Powers:               cast cleric spells, lay on hands, spirit ward

Cleric Experience Level Table

XP Level
HD
BAB
SL 1
SL 2
SL 3
SL 4
SL 5
1
1d4
0
1
-
-
-
-
2
2d4
0
2
-
-
-
-
3
3d4
+1
2
1
-
-
-
4
4d4
+1
3
2
-
-
-
5
5d4
+1
3
2
1
-
-
6
6d4
+2
3
3
2
-
-
7
7d4
+2
4
3
2
1
-
8
8d4
+2
4
3
3
2
-
9
9d4
+3
4
4
3
2
1

Cleric Description

A cleric is a devoted worshiper of a god or spirit. Some clerics are hermits or wanderers, but most are leaders of religious communities.

The type of divine being served by a cleric depends on his alignment. Lawful clerics are monotheists who worship El (God), the saints, and angels. Neutral clerics are pagans who worship one or more of the elemental lords. Chaotic clerics are cultists who worship demon lords or elder gods. In addition to a general religious affiliation, every cleric has a specific divine patron of his player’s choosing.

Cleric Powers

Cast Cleric Spells

A cleric can learn to cast any spell from the cleric spell list. The maximum level of spell a cleric can learn is equal to his experience level divided by two. A cleric is required to learn spells individually, either by reading about the spell in a book or scroll, or by being taught the spell by another cleric who already knows it.

In order to learn a new spell, a cleric must spend one week in prayer and study per level of the spell, and he must make a successful wisdom roll at the end of the time spent. Failure means that the cleric must spend one more week in prayer and study before being allowed to make another wisdom roll.

The maximum number of spells of each spell level which a cleric can cast in a single day is determined by his experience level (see Cleric Experience Level Table, above).

Lay on Hands

A cleric can heal 1d6 lost hit points by laying hands on a damaged character or creature and uttering a short prayer. The power is usable a number of times per day equal to the cleric’s experience level. The cleric can combine multiple uses as a single action.

Spirit Ward

A cleric can attempt to ward off designated spirits within a 12” radius.

To determine the success of an attempted spirit ward, consult the following table, and cross-index the cleric’s experience level with the spirit’s number of hit dice.

Spirit Ward Table


Cleric Level
Spirit HD
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1
7
W
W
D
D
D
D
D
D
2
9
7
W
W
D
D
D
D
D
3
11
9
7
W
W
D
D
D
D
4
-
11
9
7
W
W
D
D
D
5
-
-
11
9
7
W
W
D
D
6
-
-
-
11
9
7
W
W
D
7
-
-
-
-
11
9
7
W
W
8
-
-
-
-
-
11
9
7
W
9
-
-
-
-
-
-
11
9
7

A number indicates the minimum result on a 2d6 roll which the cleric needs to successfully ward off the spirits. This Spirit Ward roll is modified by the cleric’s wisdom. If spirits of more than hit die score are designated by the cleric as targets, the same roll is used to determine the success of the ward against the various types of spirits.

A result of “W” indicates that the spirit is automatically warded.

A result of “D” indicates that the spirit is automatically dispelled to its realm of origin.

Up to 2d6 spirits are affected by a single spirit ward. If multiple types of spirits are designated by the cleric, spirits with lower hit die scores are counted as affected before spirits with higher hit dice.

A warded spirit is unable to attack, cast spells, or use powers which directly affect the cleric or his designated allies within the area of effect. A warded spirit is not forced to flee. A spirit ward lasts up to 2d6 turns.

A dispelled spirit is unable to return to the cleric’s realm unless it is magically summoned by another character or creature.

Cleric Training Packages

Cleric Training Packages Table

#
Training Package
Skills
Powers
Races
BP
AL
1
Canon
divinity
scholarship
scribe
sense chaos
human
any
lawful
2
Cultist
hide in shadows
move silently
occult lore
the evil eye
any
any
chaotic
3
Pagan Priest
herb lore
occult lore
scholarship
legend lore
any
any
neutral
4
Templar
divinity
riding
scholarship
improved AP (all)
improved BAB (+1/2)
improved HD (1d6)
improved WP (all)
human
any
lawful

Canon

Items:               clerical vestment (10 g); healing poultice; holy water; silver cross (holy item)
Skills:               divinity; scholarship; scribe
Powers:            sense chaos
Races:              human
Backgrounds:   all
Alignment:       lawful

Description: A canon (short for ‘canon regular’) is a clergyman in an organized church of lawful alignment. Examples of canons include parish priests, monks, nuns, and friars. Canons are trained as community leaders, scholars, healers, and exorcists.

Sense Chaos: A canon can detect chaotically aligned creatures, objects, or enchantments within 30’ with a successful wisdom roll.





Cultist

Items:               dark cloak (10 g); fine black robe (10 g); flask of poison; ritual dagger (unholy item)
Skills:               hide in shadows; move silently; occult lore
Powers:            the evil eye
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   all
Alignment:       chaotic

Description: A cultist is a follower of a demon lord, chaos god, or other being of chaotic alignment. Cultists must generally operate in secret, since worship of chaotic beings is forbidden in human lands.

The Evil Eye: A cultist can cast the spell the evil eye a number of times per day equal to his experience level, in addition to his normal daily spell allotment.





Pagan Priest

Items:               fine white robe (10 g); gnarled staff (1 g); holy item
Skills:               herb lore; occult lore; scholarship
Powers:            legend lore
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   all
Alignment:       neutral

Description: A pagan priest worships one (or more) of the elemental lords, or other neutrally aligned gods or spirits, such as the plant and animal lords. They are masters of the traditional lore of their people, including astrology, grammar, history, laws, myths, rhetoric, and rituals. Pagan priests are generally highly respected by their society, and act as counselors, judges, and negotiators.

Legend Lore: A pagan priest has extensive knowledge of myths and legends. He can identify the magical properties of an item and interpret other magical effects with a successful wisdom roll.



Templar

Items:              chainmail armor; helmet; holy item; shield; sword; warhorse, charger
Skills:              divinity; riding; scholarship
Powers:           improved armor proficiency, improved base attack bonus, improved hit dice, improved
                        weapon proficiency
Weaknesses:    reduced spell progression, restricted magic weapon use
Races:              human
Backgrounds:   all
Alignment:       lawful

Description: A Templar is a member of a militant religious order dedicated to defending his church and spreading the faith, through violent conquest if need be. Members of Templar orders are trained for war, but are fully ordained clergymen, who take sacred vows such as poverty, chastity, and obedience. Templars often dwell in borderlands or other areas troubled by monsters, witches, cultists, or heretics.

Members of Templar orders are divided into knights and sergeants. Knights are of noble birth, and occupy most of the leadership positions in a Templar order, while sergeants are of common birth, and always rank beneath sergeants (no matter their experience level).

Templar orders also include canons, who serve as preachers, confessors, and administrators, but who do not themselves take part in battle (except under duress).

Templars usually live together in commanderies, which are similar to abbeys, but more heavily fortified. Commanderies are found both in towns and in the countryside. Occasionally, a lone or small group of Templars will be stationed in a location which lacks a commandery. There are also itinerant Templars who patrol remote regions and borderlands.

Improved Armor Proficiency: A Templar is proficient with all forms of armor.

Improved Base Attack Bonus: A Templar has a BAB of +1 per 2 levels.

Improved Hit Dice: A Templar uses d6’s as hit dice.

Improved Weapon Proficiency: A Templar is proficient with all kinds of weapons.

Reduced Spell Progression: A Templar gains the ability to cast spells at a slower rate than other clerics.

XP Level
SL 1
SL 2
SL 3
SL 4
1
-
-
-
-
2
1
-
-
-
3
2
-
-
-
4
2
1
-
-
5
3
2
-
-
6
3
2
1
-
7
3
3
2
-
8
4
3
2
1
9
4
3
3
2


Restricted Magic Weapon Use: While a Templar has proficiency with all weapons, he is unable to use most magic weapons. A Templar may only make use of a magic weapon if it was originally sanctified by a cleric of lawful alignment.