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Dungeon Master for Hire!

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How do we get started?

SO HOW DO WE GET STARTED ANYWAY?


The first step in getting your group started in a game at 'Dungeon Master for Hire' is to pick which version and setting your group wants to play.  Three versions  and settings  are available.  


Versions


1) 5th edition 

2) 3.5 edition 

3) OD&D 


Version Specifics / House Rules


1)  5.0 -  This is the most recent version which most people nowadays are using.     Available races are:  human, dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf,                                     dragonborn, tiefling, half-orc and halfling.  Some races also have subraces,such as mountain dwarf or wood elf.  Not in use as a race in my                      Dark Sun or Mystara campaigns are dragonborn and tieflings.  They just don't exist in Athas or Mystara.


               Available classes in all settings are:  barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, mystic, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, warlock, wizard.  


               This system uses a unique, 'advantage-disadvantage', feature which many players like.  Savings throws have been replaced by DC checks,

               (difficulty checks), based on attributes.  At level 3 characters get to specialize their classes into one of three paths, allowing for more 

               character development than previous versions.  The feats and skills are reduced in number, but well balanced. This is the most recent, and 

               most popular version.


2)  3.5 -  This version has the following race options:  human, dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, half-orc and halfling.  Available classes are:  barbarian,

               bard, cleric, druid,  fighter, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, and wizard.  The skills in 3.5 use a rank system. Each level you get ranks                     which are used to upgrade your skills.  They also introduced 'feats' in this version.   


3)  OD&D - This is the classic 80's boxed sets, (Red, Blue, Green, Black and Gold), otherwise known as the 'Basic Rules'.    Available races are:                                human, dwarf, elf, halfling.  Available classes are:  cleric, fighter, magic-user, thief, mystic.  All dwarves and halflings are considered fighters                     in this version, and all elves are considered fighter/magic-users.  


Making a Character


There is a lot involved in making a character for a game of Dungeons and Dragons, and for a group of players this can often take several hours just in itself.  Depending on which version of the rules your group has chosen, character creation will occur as follows:


1) 5.0 version - let the dungeon master know what each member of your group wants to be, (race, class, background, alignment and sex), along with 

                         any special quirks you'd like the character to have 

                       - the Dungeon Master will create the characters based on your desires and have them ready for your first game so you can start right 

                          away - with this option the players do not roll their own attributes or pick their own skills

                       - alternatively your group can spend game time to make up their characters all together, and roll their own attributes/pick their own skills
                          or, if someone in your group owns the players manual, you can make up the characters yourself and bring them 

                          ready to play

                       - if you choose to make up your own character, the 'customized ability score variant', must be used - any characters attributes that do

                         not 'add up' will be disqualified from play

                       - all classes are in use, however no dragonborn and no tiefling characters in the Dark Sun or Mystara campaigns,  (these do not exist in                              the worlds of Athas or Mystara)


2) 3.5 version - let the dungeon master know what each member of your group wants to be, (race, class, background, alignment and sex), along with 

                         any special quirks you'd like the character to have 

                       - the Dungeon Master will create the characters based on your desires and have them ready for your first game so you can start right 

                          away - with this option the players do not roll their own attributes or pick their own skills

                       - alternatively your group can spend game time to make up their characters all together, and roll their own attributes/pick their own skills
                       - see above for race and class restrictions


3) OD&D        - same as for 3.5.  Let the DM know your choices and he will have the characters ready for you for play

                      - alternatively, your group can make up their characters with the DM on game time and roll your own attributes/pick your own skills

                        and feats, or, make up your own character before the game if you own the OD&D set

                      - see above for race and class restrictions


FORGOTTEN REALMS


The focus of the Forgotten Realms setting is the continent of Faerûn, part of the fictional world of Abeir-Toril, usually called simply Toril, an Earth-like planet with many real-world influences. Unlike Earth, the lands of the Forgotten Realms are not all ruled by the human race: the planet Toril is shared by humans, dwarves, elves, goblins, orcs, and other peoples and creatures. Technologically, the world of the Forgotten Realms is not nearly as advanced as that of Earth; in this respect, it resembles the pre-industrial Earth of the 13th or 14th century. However, the presence of magic provides an additional element of power to the societies. There are several nation states and many independent cities, with loose alliances being formed for defense or conquest. Trade is performed                                                                                        by ship or  horse-drawn vehicle,  and manufacturing is based upon cottage industry.


Toril consists of several large continents, including Faerûn, the western part of a continent that was roughly modeled after the Eurasian continent on Earth., which is the main setting of a Forgotten Realms campaign.  Religion plays a large part in the Forgotten Realms, with deities and their followers being an integral part of the world. They do not have a passive role, but in fact interact directly in mortal affairs, answer prayers, and have their own personal agendas. All deities must have worshipers to survive, and all mortals must worship a patron deity to secure a good afterlife. A huge number of diverse deities exist within several polytheistic  pantheons. 

Available races are:  human, dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, dragonborn, tiefling, half-orc and halfling.  Some races also have subraces,such as mountain dwarf or wood elf. 

Here is an informational video on the world of Forgotten Realms (Toril) to give you an idea of the setting.  




DARK SUN


Dark Sun is played on the fictional planet Athas. Novels and source books largely take place in Tyr Region though other areas are described for a play such as the Ringing Mountains and the Jagged Cliffs. The game likely takes place on a single continent, but the exact landmass configuration of the planet or the existence of other continents is unknown.

Athas has a single, crimson sun and two moons named Ral and Guthay.  Dark Sun features a number of important distinguishing features that differentiate it from other Dungeons and Dragons campaign settings. The brutal climate and the oppressive rule of the sorcerer-kings have created a corrupt, blood thirsty, and desperate culture that leaves little room for chivalric virtues common to fantasy settings (hence why paladins are excluded from the setting).   Slavery is wide spread, the people are violent, and monsters roam the wastes beyond the safe havens of the city-states and villages.   Arcane magic draws its power from the life force of plants or living creatures with the potential to cause tremendous harm to the environment. As a result, wizards and other arcane casters are despised and must practice in secret.  Psionics are extremely common with nearly every living thing having at least a modicum of psionic ability. Due to a scarcity of metal, weapons and armor are made from natural materials such as bone, stone, wood, carapace or obsidian.  Athas has no deities and no formal religions other than the false cults created by the sorcerer-kings.   Thus clerics and druids instead draw power from the Inner Planes/Elemental Chaos


Races in Dark Sun are limited to:  humans, dwarves, elves, half-elves, half-giants, halflings, muls, and thri-kreen.  There are no gnomes, dragonborn or tieflings in Dark Sun.


MYSTARA


This is the main campaign setting that I use, however other options (see above) are possible.   Since this is the most out-dated campaign that I use,  the information can be hard to find, so I have provided a lot of information below on the different countries and cultures/races involved.  

Below I have placed a link for you to click that will give you give you a run-down of the countries included in the 'Known World' of Mystara. Here is the link:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTesyZDm


As well as the above link, I have provided for you a brief explanation of each of the countries/cultures in this area of the world.  Each player may pick one of these countries to be from, and the group can collectively decide in which of these countries the group will start in (see 'campaigns' below):


Nations and Peoples of Mystara


Kingdom of Alfheim


Comprised entirely of the great forest of

Canolbarth, Alfheim is the resettled homeland

of the Sylvan elves. Steeped in mystery, the

elves keep to themselves with the exception of a

single trading city.


Language: Elven



Empire of Alphatia


Located on the continent of the same name,

Alphatia is a powerful magocracy where

wizards control all aspects of government and

those without the art are second class citizens.


Language: Alphatian, Nithian



Atruaghin Clans


Isolated from the rest of the Known World, the

five tribes of Atruaghin are content to be left

alone to their hunts. A deeply spiritual people,

the clans revere the Immortals more than any.


Language: Atruaghin



Republic of Darokin


One of the two major trading power s of

Mystara, Darokin is a functional plutocracy

populated by an extremely hard working

people. While possessing a mighty army,

Darokin prefers diplomacy.


Language: Darokin



Ethengar Khanate


A war like people now reunited under a Golden

Khan, the Ethengar people are skilled horsemen,

and consummate warriors. When united they

present a terrifying foe.


Language: Ethengar



Five Shires


The homeland of the hin, the Shires are rich in

agriculture and culture. The population enjoys

their pastoral life, but will defend to the death if

provoked.


Language: Hin



Principalities of Glantri


A splintered magocracy, Glantr i is home to a

variety of cultures and peoples, all devoted to

improving their position through magic.

Extremely powerful, but highly fractious.


Languages: Thyatis, Alphatian, Belcadiz, Elven,

Averoigne, Flaemish, Ethengar, Klantyre



Kingdom of Ierendi


A peaceful maritime nation, this chain of islands

has become one of the most popular tourist

attractions for the wealthy. Their love of

adventurers goes a great way to keep their

nation safe.


Languages: Makai



Grand Duchy of Karameikos


The newest nation, amicably split from Thyatis,

Karameikos is an untamed land still being

settled. Scarcely populated, it is filled with

threats both known and unknown.


Languages: Traladaran, Thyatian



Minrothad Guilds


The second great trading power, Minrothad is

an elven island nation that welcomes humans,

dwarves and hin into their business. The

undisputed powerhouse in over seas trade, with

a bit of piracy for fun.


Language: Patois



Kingdom of Ostland


The most powerful of the Northern Reaches,

Ostland is the most aggressive as well. Though

weaker than they used to be, they like to remind

the other Northern nations of their power.


Language: Heldannic



Kingdom of Rockhome


Found deep underground, the Dwarves run

Rockhome as they always have. Slow to change,

slow to progress Rockhome has few friends and

few enemies. Just the way the dwarves like it.


Language: Dwarven



Soderfjord Jarldoms


Less a nation than a group of allied minor

nobles, Soderfjord is a land trapped in the past.

Politically weak and hopeless divided,

Soderfjord is looking for a strong leader to unite

them.


Language: Heldannic



Empire of Thyatis


The most powerful empire on the mainland,

Thyatis' influence is felt throughout the

continent. Though weakened by stagnation, it is

still the most powerful military force


Language: Thyatian



Kingdom of Vestland


The most modern of the Northern Reaches,

Vestland has put behind i ts raiding history and

has settled on becoming an economic power

once it has secured its own borders.


Language: Heldannic



Emirates of Ylaruam


A deeply religious desert kingdom, Ylaruam has

thrown off the yoke of two empires and is in the

middle of a spiritual debate on its own future.


Language: Ylari



Races of Mystara


Dwarves


Dwarves in the Known World are separated

between the dwarves that live deep

underground in Rockhome and those that live

above ground in various human cities. The one

exception is the dwarven Clan Wyrwarf, the

farmers, who attitudes are more akin to their

surface dwelling cousins. In addition, all

Mystara dwarves are highly magical resistant,

this resistance goes up as they become more

powerful. Rockhome Dwarves other than Clan Wyrwar

use the Mountain Dwarf subrace.

Surface Dwarves and Clan Wyrwarf use the Hill

Dwarf subrace.


Dwarven Resistance (replaces dwarven

Resilience)


You always add their proficiency bonus to

saves vs spells and spell effects.



Elves



Elves in Mystara are greatly varied, being from

two different origins. The Southern elves

emigrated from Evergrun before the Great Rain

of Fire. The shadow elves traveled

underground to escape the disaster and settled

in large caverns underneath the continent.

Another group of elves, the Belcadiz came from

another land far over the ocean. They are

further broken down by where they settled.


There are no Drow in Mystara. They are replaced by Shadow Elves


Sylvan Elves


Located in Alfheim, Glantri and Karameikos

mainly, Sylvan elves are by far the most

numerous. Sylvan elf males tend to grow long

white beards late in life. They use the default

Wood Elf Subrace.


Belcadiz Elves


Located exclusively in Glantri , Belcadiz are

known for their fiery passions and extravagant

clothing. Their men are noted for sporting

short thin beards. Belcadiz Elves are shorter

than normal elves, and possess darker skin and

almost always black hair, though brown and

rarely red hair can be found. Belcadiz Elves

use the High Elf Subrace with one variance.


Belcadiz Weapon Training. You have

proficiency with the rapier, short sword, short

bow and longbow.


Shadow Elves


As a Shadow Elf you have lived your life

underground waiting for the return of your

people to the surface. Your people was split off

from the rest of your race in the Great Rain of

Fire and have spent thousands of years

underground not knowing what was left of the

surface world. Players who choose the Shadow Elf

as a race will automatically have the 'outcast'

background.


Shadow elves are known for their pale skin and

light hair. Their ears are larger than other

elves, it is a giveaway in the company of others

of their type.


Ability Score Increase: Your wisdom score is

increased by +2


Elf Weapon Training: You have proficiency

with the long sword, short sword, crossbow and

spear.


Dark Vision: You can see perfectly fine in the

dark to a range of 90ft.


Sea Elves


The Sea Elves are a tribe of elves native to the

Minrothad Guilds. They are known for their

uncanny sense of direction, ingrained from

years at sea. They are an adventurous people,

spending more of their time at sea than on land.

There is some minor distrust among Sylvan

elves for a resemblance to Shadow Elves, but the

similarity is purely coincidental.


Ability Score Increase: Your intelligence score

raises by 1.


Elf Weapon Training: You have proficiency

with the long sword, rapier, long bow and

trident.


Bonus Tool Proficiency: You are proficient with

sailing vessels.


Bonus Feat : You gain the Keen Mind feat.


Vyalia Elves


Located in Thyatis and Karameikos, the

reclusive Vyalia are expert foresters, known for

their ability to disappear into the forest without

a trace. While they keep to themselves mostly,

the Empire of Thyatis has contracted them on

multiple occasions to teach the way of the

Eldritch Knight to human soldiers. The Vyalia

otherwise stay by themselves, and are remote

enough that the countries they live in leave

them alone.


Ability Score Increase: Your intelligence score

raises by 1.


Bonus Proficiency. You have proficiency with

the Nature skill.


Hidden Trails: You can cast Pass Without Trace

once using this trait. You regain the ability to do

so after a short rest.


Hin


The hin of Mystara are a stout and proud race.

They value freedom and family more than

anything else. Located primarily in the Five

Shires, with a large presence in Minrothad, the

hin are on friendly terms most nations and

races save Glantri . They do possess on occasion

the abili ty to counter magic, based entirely on

their relationship with the land of the Shires.

Shires and Minrothad hin use the Stout subrace.

Lightfoot halfings are not found in Mystara.



Gnomes


Gnomes are the only major demihuman race

without a homeland in the Known World. They

do possess a giant flying city known as Serraine,

but the majority of them live in settlements in

the human and dwarven kingdoms. While not

known for being the adventuring type, some

gnomes do set off to see the world.


Hill Gnomes: Use Forest Gnome subrace


Sky Gnomes: Use Rock Gnome subrace




Human Ethnicities


Alasiyans are the smaller of the major ethnicities

of Ylaruam, and one of the territories held by

Thyatis. They are considered a good natured

people, merging the cultures of Thyatis and

Ylaruam. They prefer dialogue to violence, and

have adjusted their traditional garb for fashion

and practicality over religious reasons. They

possess dusky skin and dark hair. Their native

language is Thyatian.


Alphatians are found in the Empire of Alphatia.

Extremely magical, their land is ruled by

wizards. They have two distinct ethnic make ups,

the commoner s have copper y colored skin and

hair ranging from red, and black. Noble

Alphatians have black hair and blue toned skin.

Native language is Alphatian


Atruaghin are native to the plateau of the same

name. They are an isolated people and behind

other nations in terms of technology. They have

reddish skin and black hair. Native language is

Atruaghin.


Averoigne are found in Glantri. They are from

another world resembling that of France. They

have been plagued by lycanthropy in the past,

and their nobles are known for being very

eccentric. They tend to have fair skin and blonde

to brown hair. Native language is Averoigne.


Darokin is a mixed race from all the various

peoples that have come to live in the country of

the same name. They are a wealthy and

industrious people, built on trade. They tend to

have tan skin and dark hair. Native language is

Darokin.


Ethengar are proud warriors of the steppes on

the Sea of Grass. They are nomadic and family

oriented. It i t said they learned to ride before

they learned to walk. Ethengar have dark copper

toned skin and black hair and tend to be of a

slight build. Native Language is Ethengar.


Flaemish were the original settler s of Glantri ,

originally from Alphatia. They are a volatile

people, descendants of the fire worshipers of old.

Many feel they are the rightful rulers of Glantri .

Flaemish have copper toned skin and bright red

hair. Native language is Flaemish.


Hattians are from an island off the coast of

Thyatis. They were once an equal part of the

empire until an ill fated revolt caused them to be

conquered again. They are known for their

racism and superiority complex. They tend to

have olive skin and hair ranging from light to

dark. The native language is Thyatian.


Heldannic Freeholders come from the lands to

the far north. They are fiercely independent to

the point of being disorganized. They have

resisted attempts at conquest by Ethengar and

Ostland, and refused to be merged by the other

Northern nations. Freeholders have fair hair

and pale skin. Their native language is Heldan.


Hinterlanders relish life, where they are

fighting or carousing. Their lands are at war

with the Thyatian Empire, though some of them

have changed sides. Hinter lander s value

individual achievement over all else.

Hinterlanders tend to be larger than others,

with fair skin and hair that ranges from light to

red. Native language is Thyatian.


Jennites from Esterhold are a conquered

people. Over run by Alphatia and used for slave

labor the Jennites look to escape their wizard

over lords. Jennite are of average height but

large build. They have dark brown skin, with

dark eyes. Native language is Alphatian.


Klantyre are found in Glantri . They were

brought over by the people that brought over

the Averoigne, a land resembling Scotland.

They tend to be a haunted people with a large

number of ghosts in their region. Klantyre tend

to be larger that normal humans, with pale skin

and brown to red hair. Native language is

Klantyre


Makai are the native islanders to Ierendi .

Playful in times of peace, fear some in times of

war, the Makai never do something halfway.

They are a simple people, living off the vast

bounty the isles have to offer. Their skin tone is

typically bronze, with straight or extremely

curly black hair. Native language is Thyatian.


Makistani are the largest ethnic group in

Ylaruam. A deeply religious people, they are

considered stern and unforgiving by other

cultures. They were largely nomadic until

recently, when they began to form cities. They

hold honor above all, and have strict sex roles.

Makistani have brown skin and black hair and

tend to have a lot of hair. Their native language

is Ylari.


Thothians come from the Isle of Dawn, unlike

other people native to the island, Thothians

have dark skin and hair. Though they share the

same language as the reclusive Nithians of

Ylaruam, their culture is vastly difference.

Native language is Nithian.


Northmen comprise the population of Ostland,

Vestland and Soderfjord. They are a rugged

people, living in a harsh clime and hostile

humanoids. They are of a large build, with fair

hair and heavy beards. Native language is

Heldan.


Nuariare dark skinned peoples from the Pearl

Islands. Conquered by Thyatis at the start of the

Empire, they have acclimated with the Empire

while keeping their own culture. Nuari strive

for perfection no matter their task, they strive to

be great warriors and scholar s. Nuari have

almost coal black eyes and black hair. Native

language is Thyatian.


Ochaleans are a conquered people in the

Empire of Thyatis. They are exotic compared to

the rest of the Empire, with yellow skin and

dark hair. Ochaleans are known for their

artistry, food and their unarmed fighting styles.

Native language is Thyatian.


Thyatians are the majority in the Thyatian

empire, and have spread throughout the known

world. They are found in neighboring countries

and as far away as Ostland and Glantri . They

are known for their treacherous natures, but

mostly inside of Thyatis. Thyatians have a light

olive skin tone and light to dar k brown hair.

They are known for their large noses. Native

language is Thyatian, which is considered

Common for Mystara.


Traladarans are native to what is now the

Grand Duchy of Karameikos. They are a

superstitious people, living in a land plagued by

undead, invasions, and monsters. They tend to

dress brightly when they can afford it. Their

tastes run simple, valuing function over form.

Their hair tends to be dark and their skin pale.

They are shorter than other nationalities. Their

native tongue is Traladaran.


There are other countries of course, which we may get to at some point, but they are far away. The above countries will be the focus of our sessions, and so being from any of those is an option for you all if you are making up your own character. If you have a basic idea of what you'd like your character to be, let me know and I'll let you know if I have any suggestions to make your choices reflect the type of character you have in mind.
If the DM is making up characters for the group, each player will have to provide the following choices;                                                                                                         

Race

Class

Sex

Alignment

Background (what was your character before they decided to become an adventurer?)

Any special quirks that you would like to role-play (accents, a lisp, goes crazy around wine, afraid of bats, etc)


After you have submitted this information, the DM can design a character for you for play and this will save us all some time and you some money.  For those that want to totally make up their character every step of the way, this is fine, but it's on your group's time. 

MYSTARA CAMPAIGNS

After your group has decided what characters they want to play, the last thing that has to be done before the actual game takes place, is to choose a campaign.  Below are a selection of  campaign choices, based on where the characters decide to start in the world of Mystara.  Will your party be a group of elves, wandering through the forests of the Canalbarth, or perhaps a party of dwarves and gnomes, exploring the tunnels of the depths below the surface world, or will you be humans from one of the big cities, or even a mix of characters from around the Known World, gathered together to begin a life of adventure in the campaign setting of your choice.  Take a look:

1.   Grand Duchy of Karameikos Campaigns

- Put  the Slavers Out of Business
- In the Service of the Church of Karameikos
- Thieves Guild

2.  Thyatis Campaigns

- In the Arena
- Government Conspiracy
- Join the Legion

3.  Darokin Campaigns

- The Army of the Republic
- Monster Hunters/Slayers
- Merchants
- Diplomats of the Republic

4.  Emirates of Ylaruam Campaigns

-  The Way of the Warrior
- The Way of the Scholar
- Treasure Hunters
- Caravan Guards

5.  Northern Reaches Campaigns

- In the Service of the Jarl
- In Search of Runes
- Exploration

6.  Ethengar Khanate Campaigns

- In the Service of the Golden Khan
- The Spirit World
- War with the Broken Lands

7.  Principalities of Glantri Campaigns

- The Great School of Magic
- The Grand Army
- Monster Hunters/Component Gatherers
- The Hidden Ones

8.  Heldann Freeholds Campaigns

- Heldanners vs. Hattians
- Hattians vs. Heldanners
- Neutral

9.  Minrothad Guilds Campaigns

- Merchant Ship
- Join a Pirate Ship
- Join the Navy

10.  Ierendi Campaigns

- Lizard Men
- The Hope Stones
- Adventurers for Hire
- Military Life

11.  Atruaghin Clans Campaigns

- Staying on the Plateau
- Leaving the Plateau

12.  Alfheim Campaigns

- The Forest Path
- The Wanderer's Path

13.  Shadow Elf Campaigns

- Elves vs. Shadow Elves
- Shadow Elves vs. Elves

14.  Rockhome Campaigns

- Living in Rockhome
- Soldiering in Rockhome

15.  Five Shires Campaigns

- Exploring the Shires
- The Black Eagle Swoops

Putting it All Together


Now that you've seen the options, its time to make some selections.  When contacting me for a game, please have the following choices made:


Game Version:  5e, 3.5 or OD&D?


Setting:  Faerun, Dark Sun or Mystara?


Characters:   Race, Class, Background?