So it’s been along while since I posted anything and I hate to leave a void like this so I figured I would start posting the D&D campaign I created to play with my kids and their friends. The basic conceit is that magic, gods and monsters are all real. All the civilizations that every existed have survived and since the Roman Empire never completely fell there were no Dark Ages. This means that even though its 850 A.D. the technology more resembles the period just before the High Middle Ages. This is only one region of Europe if there is any interest I shall post the rest of Northern Europe over the next couple weeks.
The Magic Earth Campaign Gazetteer: The British Isles – Dal Riata & Fortriu
The British Isles have a deep history and a rich cultural mosaic. Even though it is far smaller than Europe across the Channel, it has given rise to both powerful nations and some of the most powerful heroes and villains in the Known World.
Scotland & the Land of the Picts – 850 A.D.
Dal Riata is a nation of the Celtic people, the Scottish Gaels. It comprises the west coast of Scotland, Lothian, and the Isle of Man. It is further sub-divided into a large number of autonomous Clanholds. The 3 main Clanholds are Dalriada, Cumbria, and Galloway. Loyalty to Clan and Kin is paramount above all other consideration. Because of this there are numerous blood feuds between the Clans due to how easy it is to give offence to other Clans. There is a nominal High King, Aed mac Boanta, that all Clans owe fealty to but his power is usually only heeded during times of war with external threats, such as the Picts. Lothian is a relatively new addition to Dal Riata, it was captured from the Anglo-Saxons a mere 10 years ago and there is still some unrest in the region. The unrest is allegedly perpetrated by a few Knights Protectors left over from the old English Court.
Fortriu is the highland and mists inhabited by the barbarous and mysterious Picts. They are ruled over by King Cinaed mac Ailpin from the capital, Moray Keep. The Picts are a far far older people than the Celts, they pre-date the arrival of the Celts on the British Isles by at least 500 years. Fortriu comprises the eastern portion of what is now modern Scotland.
Each Dwarven citadel is a Clan unto itself. The only time the Clans unite is during times of great crisis. Each Clan is ruled by a Thane that is elected for a 20-year term by a Council of Elders.
The Sidhe are ruled over by the Faerie Queene in far off Avalon but here in the land of Man each Fairy Mound is ruled over by a Duke or Duchess.
The Grugach roam the remote forests and highlands in small tribes ruled over by the most powerful Druid, Ranger, or Sorcerer among them. Oddly, the wreath is passed from Ranger to Ranger, or Druid to Druid, or Sorcerer to Sorcerer. The profession will vary from tribe to tribe but never within a tribe. He is chosen through a ritual of challenge and combat.
The highlands are still populated by many demi-humans as well as the human societies. Wild Elves can be found in the remote parts of Fortriu (see Forgotten Realms : Races of Faerun, pg.43). Dwarves have a few underground citadels sprinkled across both nations. The two human races as stated before are Scottish Gaels and Picts. The Picts and Wild Elves differ greatly on religion and thus shoot on sight whenever they encounter each other, plus the Picts are envious of the Elves even wilder ways. They get along great with the Dwarves and have a brisk trade relationship with the citadels. The Scots respect but stay out of the Elves way since they are distrustful and wary of anything to do with the Land of Faerie. They don’t have as warm a relationship with the Dwarven Clans as the Picts do because of the Picts dealings with the Dwarves. Small clan skirmishes have broken out between the Scots and the Dwarves on occasion. But everyone can agree on one thing, they all HATE the English. As in all Celtic lands the mysterious Sidhe can be found in remote vales and forests, their relatives the evil Daouine Sidhe can also be found in the far northern reaches of Dal Riata.
Sidhe – These are the immortal progenitors of the Grugach. They are the lords of the Faerie lands and all of its sentient creatures. Sidhe are one with Nature and also highly innately magical. They only weakness is iron, its touch is agony and to be wounded by an iron weapon is deadly to them. This does not apply to steel weapons (mind you the only steel weapons found in the British Isles are to be found in the hands of the English). A Sidhe takes an extra die of damage from any iron weapon (e.g. a battleaxe would do 2d8 and a rapier would do 2d6). Iron bindings reduce a Sidhe’s CON by 1 point for every day he is chained, once his CON reaches 0 he dies.
+3 DEX, -3 STR, +3 CHA, -2 CON
All standard abilities of Elves.
Favoured Class: Ranger and Sorcerer.
The Scots speak Scottish Gaelic, all Scots with INT 10+ can understand and speak to Irish Gaels and Welsh Gaels. The Picts speak Pictish, an ancient language with no clear origin. The Wild Elves speak both Scottish Gaelic and Faerie. The Dwarves speak the human tongue of the nation they reside in as well as Khazadic, the native tongue of all Dwarves. Sidhe speak Faerie, Scottish Gaelic, and Draconic. Each race’s language is available to the other races for bonus language choice purposes. The Wild Elves and the Scots also have Irish Gaelic, Welsh Gaelic, and Druidic available to them. The Dwarves and Picts have Old Norse and Old English available. The Sidhe also have Alfar, Irish Gaelic, Welsh Gaelic, and Demonic as bonus language selections.
The Scots worship the Tuatha De Danaan, the Celtic faith, as do the Wild Elves and Sidhe. The Dwarves worship the Norse pantheon to which they have converted the Picts.
The Norse Gods (see Deities & Demigods pg.163)
Gods of the Celts (Legends & Lore 2nd Edition for reference)
Goibhniu, Luchta, & Creidhne
Manannan mac Lir (Irish & Welsh only)
Arawn (Welsh only)
Morrigan (Irish only)
Math Mathonwy (Welsh only)
Teutates (Brittany only)
Oghma (FRC pg. 247)
Silvanus (FRC pg. 251)
Taranis (Brittany only)
Cultural Class Alterations
Barbarian – Grugach only.
Wodeman – Variant Barbarian replacement for Picts. Wodemen do not get the Trap Sense of normal barbarians but instead get Tracking as a bonus feat at 3rd level, Endurance as a bonus feat at 6th level, Woodland Stride as a Ranger at 9th level, and Camouflage as a Ranger at 15th level.
Bard – Available (except Dwarves and Picts, see below)
Skald – Variant Bard replacement for Dwarves and Picts. Skalds do not gain access to spells but can use Bardic Music twice per day per level. Skalds are proficient in the Claymore instead of the Rapier. Survival (Highlands) and Riding (Horse) are class skills, Decipher Script and Spellcraft are cross-class skills. They also use D8 for hit dice.
Cleric – Available only to Norse worshipers; Picts and Dwarves.
Druid – Available to Scots, Sidhe, and Grugach. The Druids of Daghdha are either NG or CN.
Fighter – Available to Dwarves, Sidhe, and Grugach.
Highlander – Replaces Fighter for Picts and Scots. Begins with a bonus feat – Weapon Focus (Claymore). Bonus Feat at 2nd level is replaced with Tracking feat. Bonus feat at 8th level is Rage 3/day as a Barbarian of equal level.
Monk – Not Native
Paladin – Available to Dwarves only.
Warrior of Danaan – Available to Scots only. Warriors of Danaan use the same rules as Paladin but are extremely Neutral Good in alignment. They live to perform good deeds where ever they are able. Ethical considerations such as law and justice are secondary to perform good acts. Warriors of Danaan replace Paladins for Scots. They receive the Ranger spell list instead of the Paladin spell list. Warriors are unable to Turn Undead but receive Weapon Focus (Claymore) at 1st level and Tracking feat at 3rd level.
Ranger – Available.
Rogue – Available except Picts.
Scout – Picts are exceptional Scouts (CA pg. 10)
Sorcerer – Available to all except Picts.
Warmage – Picts are a violent people, even their Mages. Warmages replace Sorcerers amongst them. (Complete Arcane pg.10). Dwarves may also choose to take this class.
Wizard – The Scottish Highlands have far different traditions of Magic than the standard studious Mage.
Truenamer – Celtic magic is centered on the concept of the True Name. The greatest Celtic wizards wield incredible power through their knowledge of True Names. This class replaces Wizards for Scots, Sidhe and Grugach. See Tome of Magic, pg. 198 for class details.
Runecaster – Norse magic is derived from the control of the ancient Runic alphabet. The Runecaster learns the various combinations of letters to create all the standard spell effects but since it is an oral tradition he must remember all that he learns. Runecasters are limited to Spells Known as a Sorcerer. There is only one spell component to all Runecaster spells, his Runes. These are usually etched onto small clay or stone tablets and kept in a leather pouch. Runecasters start with the bonus feat, Combat Casting. Survival (Highlands) is also a class skill for them. Runecaster replace Wizards for Picts and Dwarves. Runecaster may not specialize in a school of magic.
Prestige Classes Available
Prestige Classes are only available to natives of a particular culture (for example, only Christian Paladins may take the Templar PrC). This applies to all Prestige Classes in all cultures unless specifically noted.
Arcane Archer (DMG 3.5) Available to Grugach and Sidhe.
Arcane Trickster (DMG 3.5) Available to Grugach and Sidhe.
Archmage (DMG 3.5) Available to Sidhe only.
Duelist (DMG 3.5) Available to Scots only.
Dwarven Defender (DMG 3.5) Available to Dwarves only.
Eldritch Knight (DMG 3.5) Sidhe only.
Hierophant (DMG 3.5) Druids must spend 1 month within a Standing Stone Circle meditating to gain this PrC. A Dwarf must be approved to train as a Hierophant by the Council of Elders of his citadel. Pictish Priests simply aren’t civilized enough to train as Hierophants.
Mystic Theurge (DMG 3.5) Sidhe only.
Bladesinger (CW pg. 17) Sidhe only.
Frenzied Berserker (CW pg. 34) Picts only.
Invisible Blade (CW pg. 44) Grugach only.
Master Thrower (CW pg. 58) Grugach and Picts only.
Nature’s Warrior (CW pg. 63) Grugach only. Must defend a Standing Stone Circle or Faerie Mound for one month before embarking on this PrC.
Rage Mage (CW pg. 72) Picts only.
Stonelord (CW pg. 81) Dwarves only.
War Chanter (CW pg. 87) Picts and Dwarves only.
Animal Lord (CA pg. 23) Bird, Horse, and Wolf Lord are the only available forms. Available to Grugach, Sidhe, and Scots only. To attain this PrC the character must follow and bond with a flock, herd, or pack for 3 months.
Battlerager (FR:RoF pg. 178) Dwarves only.
Beastmaster (CA pg. 26) Available to Grugach and Picts only.
Daggerspell Mage (CA pg. 31) Grugach only.
Daggerspell Shaper (CA pg. 36) Grugach only.
Fochlucan Lyrist (CA pg. 48) Scots only. The character must spend 3 months studying at the Fochlucan College before attaining 1st level as a Lyrist.
Highland Stalker (CA pg. 54) Available to all.
Master of Many Forms (CA pg. 58) Available to Grugach and Sidhe only.
Ollam (CA pg. 66) Dwarves only
Tempest (CA pg. 81) Picts only. The Picts practice a specific form of this discipline: dual Tuagh-Gatha.
Acolyte of the Ego (ToM pg. 204) Available to all Truenamers.
Bereft (ToM pg. 208) Available to Scots and Daouine Sidhe only.
Seeker of the Song (CArc pg. 56) Scots and Sidhe only.
Sublime Chord (CArc pg. 60) Scots only. The character must spend 3 months studying at the Fochlucan College before attaining 1st level as a Chord.
Wild Mage (CArc pg. 68) Picts only.
Lyric Thaumaturge (CM pg. 67) Sidhe only.
Nightmare Spinner (CM pg. 74) Scots, Grugach and Sidhe only.
Wild Soul (CM pg. 84) Scots only.
Geomancer (CD pg. 41) Scots, Dwarves and Sidhe only.
Warpriest (CD pg. 74) Dwarves and Picts only.
Avenging Executioner (CS pg. 24) The character can take this PrC if his Clan is in a blood-feud with another Clan. A deep personal tragedy will also allow access to this PrC.
Fortune’s Friend (CS pg. 38) Sidhe only.
Gray Guard (CS pg. 40) The inner circle of the Warriors of Danaan. To become a Gray Guardsman the character must be chosen by one of the Gray Guard themselves. A character may also petition for this honour, but in the rare cases where the petition was accepted the hero was always severely tested both mentally and physically.
Beloved of Valarian (BED pg. 53) Available to Scots and Grugach only.
Champion of Gwynharwye (BED pg. 56) Available to Picts only.
Skylord (BED pg. 71) Grugach only.
Swanmay (BED pg. 76) Available to Scots, Grugach, and Sidhe.
Troubadour of Stars (BED pg. 78) Scots and Sidhe only.
Cultural Weapon Substitution & Restrictions
The following weapons are not found in Scotland:
Crossbow (Any), Kukri ,Spiked Armour, Rapier, Scimitar, Trident, Falchion, Glaive, Guisarme, Ranseur, Kama, Nunchaku, Sai, Siangham, Orc Double Axe, Spiked Chain, Gnome Hooked Hammer, Two-bladed Sword, Bolas, Shuriken
The following cultural substitutes must be specified whenever a native takes Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialization. If he uses any other form of that weapon he does not gain the bonuses from his feats.
Dirk = Dagger (Dwarves only)
Mattucashlass = Dagger (Picts only)
Sgain Dubh = Dagger (Scots, Grugach, and Sidhe)
Krokspjot = Short Spear (Dwarves and Picts)
Hoggspjot = Longspear (Dwarves and Picts)
Pike = Longspear (Scots, Grugach and Sidhe)
Atgeir = Glaive (Dwarves and Picts)
Lochaber Axe = Halberd (Scots, Grugach, and Sidhe)
Skeggox = Battleaxe (Dwarves and Picts)
Tuagh-Gatha = Battleaxe (Scots, Grugach, and Sidhe)
Seax = Shortsword (Dwarves and Picts)
Claymore = Bastard Sword
Claidheamh Da Laimh (Claid for short) = Greatsword
Mallet = Maul