Dwarves! And lots of them.
Forgotten Realms. Any reference to “any” in this email refer only to those things that are listed as being available in the forgotten realms. If you want to be a race/class from a different campaign setting, that can be arranged, but with different conditions.
There are several dozen books dedicated to forgotten realms, and I can provide them to you if you want to go in depth. To get an idea of what is available, the best website is the forgotten realms wiki: http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/
Characters will start at level 5. If they are playing a class with a level adjustment, the starting level will be modified to accommodate for that.
Any races whose ECL is less than or equal to 5 are available. Of those races, I recommend good/neutral races who enjoy spelunking. If you don’t have at least low light vision, your characters wouldn’t have a pleasant experience.
Characters who want additional roleplaying opportunities are encouraged to take a look at the book Races of Faerun
No matter what character you plan on building, I strongly recommend you take a look at the Player’s Guide to Faerun and the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide.
Any, but I strongly recommend that you stick to the PHB or book Magic of Faerun. Spells outside either of those sources might behave erratically as per the behavior of the weave. Also, spells that are named after mages who don’t exist yet will instead be named after YOU, since those mages haven’t yet come into existence.
Also, level 10, 11, and 12 spells exist during this era of the forgotten realms, and they are used frequently by epic level mages to alter the topography of the world.
All characters can cast a number of wizard cantrips equal to their intelligence modifier, regardless of their class. This is to reflect the wide availability of magic at this point in Faerunean history.
Finally, there are no caps to the number of dice rolled for spells. For example, if a spell says that a spell rolls a 1d4 for every 4 caster levels up to 4d4, that cap isn’t applicable. This makes high level wizards slightly overpowered and feared, even by semi-divine beings.
Despite the wide availability of magic, magic items are extremely rare. Even characters with a high appraise check would be hard-pressed to know the average cost of an item. As such, when purchasing magical items, an appraise check is necessary to determine what your character believes that a particular magic item is worth. The better the appraise check, the closer your character’s perception of the item’s value is to what is written in the DMG/Magic item compendium.
To simplify the character creation process, players will not be expected to make these appraise checks for initial equipment purchases.
A large amount of magic items that circulate through humanoid communities is dependent on stationary magic crystals called mythals. When they go out of the range of the mythals, they loose their magic powers and become regular items without magic powers. As such, much of the magic items that are sold are only useful within a predefined range of the mythals to which they were intended to work. This way, governments can arm large armies with quasi-magical equipment that would be almost pointless for foreign armies to steal.
Gold dwarves and friends of gold dwarves receive a 50% discount on all metals purchased by dwarven merchants in the great rift vicinity. This bonus is retroactively being applied now so that it is part of the character creation process.
Any are available. You may find satisfaction from reviewing the forgotten realms resources for ideas.
Any are available that existed before -350DR. Additionally, ALL players (not just priests) must select a deity as their patron deity. In faerun, the deities play a very active role in the game, and they manifest their powers in overt methods. There’s no question about whether or not the deities exist, so everyone worships a deity in some fashion. Characters that do not worship a patron deity are mentally handicapped and therefore cannot advance in levels as PCs. I recommend that you review this page if you do not have the books in PDF: http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Portal:Deities
The widely worshiped deities in the netherese pantheon are here: http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Netherese_deities, which are good substitutes if you aren’t interested in having your character worshiping a racial deity. Much from the mulhorandi pantheon is also acceptable as the only Deity that isn’t available is Ra (who was killed by Grummsh several centuries ago)
Priests must have a particular patron deity, and must select from the domains available to that particular deity. there are specific rules described in the Faiths and Pantheons book
Players are expected to determine stats using the the “High-powered point buy” system described on page 169 of the DMG. Basically you start at 8’s in all stats. you get 32 points to allocate across all your attribute scores. To raise your character up to 14’s in each score, each score is worth one point per score value. 15 and 16 cost 2 points. 17 and 18 cost 3 points. These deductions are made before doing your racial modifiers, so whatever race you choose will make a much more significant affect on the potency of your character than in the non-point-buy systems.
Additional Feat availability
Infravision – If you are selecting a race that had infravision in 2e, you can, at character creation, select this new feat. As a move action, you can switch the spectrum that your character sees through to be slightly higher than normal, allowing your character to simulate the experience of seeing heat. Illusion spells like invisibility will still counter the effect of infravision, but having this ability will allow you to read ques from the environment that would otherwise not be available to you, such as seeing hand-prints on the wall and such. Characters with infravsion will get a +4 spot bonus where applicable. Finally, when using infravision, the character’s eyes will glow red, so that will also incur a -10 penalty to hide attempts unless he is making a declared effort to keep his eyes closed.
Different countries mint different coins. Some are worth more, and some are worth less, but gold is gold and anyone will accept coins at the value of the metal that they are minted on. That being said, it’s always better to use the local currency. Additionally, There are several numismatists that will pay large amounts of gold for rare coins.
You shouldn’t need to worry about the exchange rate at character creation, but as the campaign progresses, you’ll come across coins that a skilled appraisal check will benefit the character’s wallet in ways beyond the number printed on the coins that pass through their hands.
Players will start with 9000 gp as starting currency as per the table on page 135 of the DMG. Players who opt to be Dwarf Nobles will start with 13000 gp to reflect their slightly more affluent lifestyle. This option is available to players that don’t mind having some of their character history decided for them, including their clan and political affiliations.
Starting adventure details
Not all players must be Dwarves, but the campaign will start with two groups of PCs. All non gold dwarf PCs will start the adventure accompanied by a shield dwarf noble named Dorn Delzoun. All gold dwarf PCs (and those who might be masquerading as Gold Dwarves) will be attending the moot as spectators.
Dorn has come to the Great Rift to emplore the gold dwarves to aid his clan of shield dwarves fight against the enroaching giants and orcs from the north. “My clan has managed to hold them off, but it won’t be long before they simply outnumber the dwarves and simply displace us by sheer numbers!” he warns.
Not all gold dwarves are receptive to his notion of going to war with an enemy thousands of miles away, however, and the task of leaving with allies will be much more onerous than he had expected.
The player characters might start the campaign with mixed allegiances. Gold dwarves viciously adhere to tradition, and consider shield dwarves to be far to liberal with their interactions with the outside world. Player characters who start out as gold dwarves should be less than convinced that assistance is worthwhile, if even necessary.
Non gold dwarven pc’s (eg shield dwarves, humans, elves, arctic dwarves, etc…) will likely recognize Dorn’s plight, and have sympathy for the Shield Dwarves; but their allegiance isn’t what Dorn came for. He won’t return to his home empty handed unless he’s absolutely certain that further assistance will not be forthcoming.