D&D 3E/3.5 [Kulan] Crisis in Bluffside PBP Campaign Guide


World of Kulan DM
Old Oakfirst Manor (Third Floor)
Oakfirst Manor - Third Story.jpg

Original Map Design: Daniel James Hanley
(Used With Permission)

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World of Kulan DM
The "Dusty Old Bedchamber" was the lord commander's grandfather's room. His grandfather was a bit of a bibliophile but his old library has seen better days.

His Aunt and Grandmother's rooms are much how they were when they were still alive. A few guests have used them in the past.

Besides the Banquet Hall, this floor isn't used much. It's kept up mainly for guests. There are a few empty rooms and some of the old rooms now act as storage.

There are two more designated guest rooms on this floor.


World of Kulan DM
Note that the bulk of the staff live on the basement level, which your PCs shouldn't enter without Carter or Lavia's permission. Much of the basement is dedicated to old billets, food storage, the family vault, and a few cells for the occasional troublemaker (in the past).


World of Kulan DM
The languages have been modified per suggestion (I kept the Old Tongue unless you tell me that I can't. I'm cool either way.)
I'd say keep the Old Tongue. It gives me lots of ideas for foes for your PC. :devilish:

Regardless, I made an error when describing the language to you. I called it an ancient language that only exists in written form and that it is pictorial made of of hieroglyphic symbols. That's actually a different language from the Twin Crowns setting called Vairan. I confused the two, sorry. :oops:

The Old Tongue is also known as Tylan. It was one of the first languages spoken throughout much of the western lands from The Far North to The Southwest. Before literacy was widespread, all books were written in either the Old Tongue or Ticin. (The language is one I've borrowed from the Twin Crowns d20 campaign setting by Living Imagination.)

I hadn't decided if I was going to include Vairan or not, but now that I've described it as an option, I will officially add it to Kulan. (We could just combine the two languages into one, but I'd rather not do that.)

So, if you want to say you speak Vairan instead the Old Tongue, I'm okay with that. But you can keep the Old Tongue language and we'll simply make it more esoteric. The Old Tongue was a precursor language to Ticin and is hardly spoken anymore. You PC would still be sought after by sages and archaeologists, but he wouldn't be hunted like he would be if he spoke Vairan.


World of Kulan DM
Other languages used from that setting are as follows: Falian, High Speech, Khestan, Novarese, and Shalyn. High Speech, Khestan and Shalyn are racial languages for the High Elves, Khesta (halfling-like race) and Shallorians (cat race).

High Speech does not replace Elvish, however.

It is specific to the high elves that live north of the Red Mountains, specifically the high elves living in Cyhanth and Kosentindor, as well as Saivias far to the northeast. The language is never taught to non-elves by the high elves of those lands, but there are other elven peoples that speak the language and aren't as concerned about teaching it to others. A dwarf or human would have to prove their worth. They would never teach it to a half-orc/orc or goblinoid.


Relgar Aspergim, Geometer-To-Be

Race: Human
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Class: Wizard 3 / Paragon 3

Abilities or Attributes (28-point buy)

STR 8 (pb 0)
DEX 14 (pb 6)
CON 10 (pb 2)
INT 21 (pb 16, +1 at level 4, +2 at human paragon level 3)
WIS 12 (pb 4)
CHA 8 (pb 0)

Saving throws: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +6
Attack rolls: Melee and grapple +2, ranged +5

Conceptually, he's a character who never actually knew anything about magic for most of his early life; he was simply a highly intellectual, somewhat unsociable person who, at some point early in life, came into possession of a set of draftsman's tools and devoted much of his free time to mastering their use. Since this is not a highly industrialized society, it was not possible to "be" anything such as an architect or a graphic designer or the like, but he would be hired freelance by people who had those kinds of jobs, usually rich eccentrics who may or may not have secretly been wizards. Just owning an accurate ruler, protractor, compass, and array of pencils and pens would have been a big deal in a largely medieval setting, so he would have been "that guy" for most of his formative years.

Then at some point, it came to his attention that the practice drawings he would do when not on a job had mystical significance, and someone offered him the basics of arcane instruction, which he proved to be an extreme prodigy at. He has something to the overall effect of Asperger's Syndrome, which is probably not diagnosed or understood in a D&D gameworld; it nicely explains his 8 Charisma and 20 starting Intelligence (he exceeds the normal human maximum by virtue of mastering the Human Paragon class), but also influences his characterization in a number of other ways.

Character traits are things like "withdrawn", "quiet", "antisocial" - like I said, he's Aspergers in a world where that isn't a diagnosed condition, so most people just think he's rude and doesn't like people, and he actually doesn't for the most part, because they never understand him. He believes in the concrete realities of something beginning to vaguely resemble science (and later in magic, which he approaches very scientifically); he doesn't "get" people with their squishy emotions and seeming to communicate on an invisible wavelength, and it irritates him that he has to deal with their way of approaching the world, just because they outnumber him.

Moral alignment is almost certainly Neutral, with a slight lean toward Good as defined by Law; unlike most of my characters, he'd probably abhor the general definition of Chaos, though he might shake out to be Chaotic just based on his lonerish nature. But if Law includes Monks while Paladins are defined more in terms of Good than of Law, then he's pretty definitely Lawful Neutral or leaning very strongly so. Defining the law/chaos index as I see it would take a long time. Works for now. He leans good, but perhaps not far enough. And Law/Chaos is something that needs clarifying badly; it might be accurate to say that he relies on Lawful methods to accomplish Chaotic ideals, or simply that he's an uncooperative and truculent isolationist with a purely Lawful-in-the-sense-of-discipline, but not necessarily mortal-law-abiding, perspective.

So yeah, he probably draws a few maps and charts for both normal rich people and rich people who are also wizards, but lacks the special skills for either engineering or archaeology, having chosen to specialize mostly in arcana instead. I think I will go ahead and take Knowledge: Mathematics, even if it doesn't really do anything, just because it fits. I've done it before, after all.

I may regret blowing a feat on Skill Focus for Profession, but I've heard that playing a wizard is gold-intensive, so I figure I need to be able to substantially exceed WBL in order to pay for spellbooks and scribing new spells. It's appropriate that a contractor who does unreliable but extremely sophisticated work would charge extreme prices, and thus would have a very powerful Profession check, letting him bring in fairly large (by non-adventurer standards, at least) quantities of gold in a few weeks of dedicated work.

(No, he is not the kind of wizard who wears a robe and a pointy hat.)

Level 1 Skills (paragon 1, 36 pts): Appraise +2, Balance +4, Concentration +4, Disable Device +4, Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering +4, Move Silently +4, Profession (draftsman) +4, Search +4, Sleight of Hand +2, Spot +4

There, that selection leaves out the strictly-flavor choices (other than Appraise and Profession); he still wastes three of his Paragon picks on Wizard skills, but it can't be helped, he'll never have enough Wizard skill points otherwise.

Level 2 Skills (wizard +7 pts, total 43): Appraise +2, Balance +4, Concentration +4, Craft, Decipher Script +3, Disable Device +4, Knowledge: Arcana+2, Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering +4, Move Silently +4, Profession (draftsman) +4, Search +4, Spellcraft+2, Sleight of Hand +2, Spot +4

Level 3 Skills (paragon +9 pts, total 52): Appraise +2, Balance +5, Concentration +6, Craft, Decipher Script +3, Disable Device +4, Knowledge: Arcana+2, Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering +5, Move Silently +5, Profession (draftsman) +5, Search +4, Spellcraft+2, Sleight of Hand +4, Spot +5

Level 4 Skills (wizard +7 pts, total 59): Appraise +2, Balance +5, Concentration +6, Craft, Decipher Script +6, Disable Device +4, Knowledge: Arcana+5, Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering +5, Move Silently +5, Profession (draftsman) +5, Search +4, Spellcraft+3, Sleight of Hand +4, Spot +5.

Level 5 Skills (paragon +10 pts, total 69): Appraise +2, Balance +5, Concentration +8, Craft, Decipher Script +6, Disable Device +5, Knowledge: Arcana +5, Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering +5, Move Silently +8, Profession (draftsman) +5, Search +4, Spellcraft+3, Sleight of Hand +5, Spot +8.

Level 6 Skills (77 skill points, all spent in-class): Balance +5, Concentration +9, Craft +0, Decipher Script +9, Disable Device +5, Knowledge: Arcana+9, Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering +5, Move Silently +8, Perform (speed drawing) +2, Profession (draftsman) +5, Search +4, Spellcraft+3, Sleight of Hand +5, Spot +8.

He's all about being super-smart at the expense of all other aspects of well-rounded personhood, a la Iron Man or Dr. House. So it's presumable that he gets one more Skill Point with his third Paragon level than was previously accounted for.

Level 1: One additional feat is to be selected, and bonus feat per campaign houserule.
Human: Skill Focus (profession: draftsman)
Wizard 1: Scribe Scroll
Level 3:
Paragon 2: Sunlight Eyes
Level 6: Invisible Needle


Specialist school: Evocation.
Barred schools: Necromancy and Enchantment

Typically Prepared Spells (Last one listed in every case is an Evocation, his specialty school).
Grade 0: Resistance, Mending, Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Light
Grade 1: Lesser Deflect, Serene Visage, "Efficient Movement", Mage Armor, Magic Missile*
Grade 2: Flaming Sphere, Summon Swarm**, Detect Thoughts, Arcane Lock
Grade 3: Dispel Magic, Summon Monster 3, Leomund's Tiny Hut

* Note that according to the RAW, reserve feats can never be powered by a first-level spell, but I have a really great conceptualization of the Invisible Needle feat's relationship to the Magic Missile spell. GM is allowing a ruling that I can use the first-level spell for the purpose. We can always correct the ruling later if you decide that it's OP (presumably Wotco designed the Reserve feats with their restrictions "for balance reasons", but then Wotco thought it would be overpowered to let a level 1 Fighter have both Dodge and Mobility along with Weapon Focus, unless of course he's a human).

** The RAW version summons only rat, bat, and spider swarms. I can live with these options if strictly necessary, but I'd be interested in switching them out for more interesting and concept-appropriate swarms of similar power level, homebrewed if they don't exist, at some point. Spell research could be a prerequisite. Basically, I just think that if he picked up a scroll of the standard "vampire-tastic" version, he'd wrinkle his nose and make a mental note to "do better", before reluctantly copying the scroll as-written "for now".

Spellbook (with page numbers - all cantrips in the back for convenience)
Grade 0: Resistance, Light, Dancing Lights, Mending, Flare, Ray of Frost, Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand, Message, Open/Close, Ghost Sound, Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Read Magic - 16 total cantrips occupying pages 85-100.
Grade 1: Lesser Deflect (p1), Mage Armor (p2), Expeditious Retreat (p3), Serene Visage (p4), Magic Missile (p5), Unseen Servant (p6), Shield (p7), Bigby's Helpful Hand (p8), Summon Monster 1 (p9), Alarm (p10)
Grade 2: Detect Thoughts (p11-12), Arcane Lock (p13-14), Summon Swarm (p15-16), Flaming Sphere* (p17-18), Mirror Image (p19-20), Master's Touch (p21-22), Web (p23-24)
Grade 3 (wizard 5 version only): Dispel Magic (p25-27), Leomund's Tiny Hut (p28-30), Summon Monster 3 (p31-33)

* They tell a little story when listed in that order, don't they?

Spell Acquisition History (all assume that he paid the standard Gradex50gp surcharge suggested in the PHB for the privilege of copying a spell from another wizard's spellbooks, in addition to the Gradex100gp cost for special inks and such).
First Wizard Level: All cantrips and 7 grade-1 spells for free.
Purchased on a level 1-2 budget: None.
Wizard 2 Free Spells: 2 more grade-1s (9 total).
Purchased during level 2 or 3: Alarm at half price per GM houserule.
Wizard 3 Free Spells: Arcane Lock and Flaming Sphere.
Purchased during level 3-4: Summon Swarm (150 gp per GM houserule)
Wizard 4 Free Spells: Detect Thoughts, Master's Touch
Purchased during level 4-5: Web, Mirror Image (600 gp)
Wizard 5 Free Spells (if any): Dispel Magic, Leomund's Tiny Hut
For simplicity's sake, I'll assume that the Wizard 5 version has just emerged from his sanctum, in which he scribed a Summon Monster 3 scroll along with the two spells he was busily researching for free. This costs a final 225 gp per your houserule. This way, I can do his "shopping" for grade-3 spells in the course of play, rather than needing to deal with it now.

WBL unspent: 8025 GP.
I really kind of hate shopping for gear in D&D. As a wizard, especially one who explicitly doesn't have a Spell Component Pouch, he doesn't need much in the way of expensive items (until he can afford a staff); no +2 Full Plate or Dancing Vorpal Greatsword or anything. He wouldn't bother to enchant the quarterstaff he probably carries (or maybe just a dagger/knife), since they're unlikely to be used much. He probably has a lot of very specific possessions, but I would rather not sit down and list them out OOC, even though it would be very IC to do exactly that. It's just a lot of work for not much reward, and it would take time I don't really have.

I think I did take a few ranks in K:the Planes, but even if so, his knowledge probably hasn't progressed much beyond "there are Elemental Planes and Energy Planes and an Astral Plane and an Ethereal Plane and a bunch of Outer Planes tied to the alignments". He may not even have that much yet, though certainly he'll want to learn. But I'm big on minimizing meta-knowledge so as to immerse myself in the character's viewpoint.
And why would you say he doesn't need a spell component pouch? Is that a Human Pargon thing? I didn't see the Eschew Components feat on your build(s).
No, it's a personal choice on my behalf. I said while we were exchanging PMs that I greatly disliked wizards having the ability to avoid tracking the material components for their spells (thanks to SCP or EM), and then I was like "watch me decide I'm playing a wizard, so I can suffer for that opinionated rant I just did". It'll be a nuisance to have to maintain an inventory of grasshopper legs and hermetically-sealed pouches of bat guano, but I think it's part of the wizard experience that you need to do that kind of micromanagement, or else you get caught with your +5 Pants of Limitless Arcane Power down.
Knightfall wrote:For a SCP, I don't expect you to itemize every component. I hate that fact about 2E. With the PHB cost of the SCP, I assume your PC will have access to the components he'll need, as long as they aren't expensive components (anything that costs more than 3 to 5 GP). Tracking components is way too much work for any game, IMO. We can simply say your PC pays a certain amount per month to replace anything he needs (maybe half of the standard SCP cost?). We'll figure it out.
Fair enough. I don't exactly like the inventory, but I do feel it's appropriate; the purist in me wants to force me to suffer. But ultimately, it's your call as GM if you don't want to do that much work.

willpell wrote:
Knightfall wrote:
willpell wrote:
Knightfall wrote:You don't have to worry about the cost of inscribing spells in your spellbook as a brand new character. I assume your PC will have the standard spell allotment in his spellbook for his level. You only have to worry about the cost of inscribing new spells once the character gains his next level.
I am not aware of any "standard allotment". The PHB rules are that you start with INT+3 firsts, then you get 2 firsts free at 2nd level, then you get 2 seconds free at 3rd level, 2 more at 4th level, and 2 free thirds at 5th level.
That is what I meant.
Right, well I thought you were saying ONLY that, and no option to have more unless if I RPed it out. Which would definitely decide me in favor of the Paragon version, because I don't buy that anyone could get to the point of learning Grade 3 spells without ever having learned more than four Grade 2s (at least not unless such narrow focus was their whole shtick).
willpell wrote:
Knightfall wrote:
willpell wrote:So I have to have purchased spells in order to possibly know more than four "Grade 2" spells, and I definitely wanted more than that many. I'm content to have just the 2nds I've already picked, and to have JUST hit Wizard 5, so I only barely understand "Grade 3" and have only two spells for it (although I did want a third one ideally...maybe I'll give him Summon Monster 1 as an easier explanation for how he was able to figure out SumMon 3, even though 1 is pretty useless once you have something higher). But I haven't picked out as many 1sts as the system already gives me (a total of 9, I could only think of like 6).

Now, if you wanted to say I don't have to pay the 50-gp-per-spell-"level" surcharge, because there are wizards in Bluffside who give their magical learning away for free, then great. But I'll probably just keep that extra gold rather than pick out more spells. So like I said, a few more 1sts for sure, and maybe some more 2nds, but I could probably live with what I have now. However, I have a LOT of gold left. A-lot-a-lot. I could sit here and pick out literally a hundred low-level spells I think, but don't really want to.
If you want to fill out your PCs spellbook with a few more spells, I'll say you can add new spells at half the standard cost (so, 25 gp-per-spell-"level"), but only as many as the PC gets as bonus spells (based on his Int.) on p. 8 of the PHB.

So, 1 1st, 1 2nd, and 1 3rd.

After that, you have to pay the cost as normal.
Okay, well every discount is appreciated. But so that we're clear, the standard cost is normally 100 gp per spell grade, for "special inks" and such (as bemoaned by Vaarsuvius here - actually he's apparently using 50xlevel gp, but that's not what it says in the actual rules, under "Materials and Cost"). The 50 gp part is mentioned under "Spells copied from another wizard's spellbook", but it's worded as a suggested typical amount for individual wizards to charge for "a favor", rather than as the kind of somehow-fixed price that every item shop in the realm is assumed to be using.
Knightfall wrote:
willpell wrote:
Knightfall wrote:
willpell wrote:
Knightfall wrote:Okay, so either 50 gp per page standard or 25 gp per page copied from another wizard's spellbook. If you go for the latter, I want your PC to have to find a local wizard. Regardless, only the 3 spells of each level.
You misunderstand. My assumption was that the usual cost is BOTH of those numbers, for a total of 150xgrade.
Hmm, it seems like I need to reread that section of the PHB.

Regardless, 75xgrade for the three extra spells and then as normal.
They have to be a first, a second, and a third specifically? I already have more firsts than I really want.
Knightfall wrote:
willpell wrote:I was thinking about how my character would handle his ~8000 unspent gold. A shopping trip might well be the first step in whatever adventure presents itself (it's far easier for me to decide whether I want the 20 or so items that you roll up and place in a random curio shop, rather than shopping the entire equipment list), but he's unlikely to spend more than half that way no matter what goodies you offer. He wouldn't likely carry more than 100 GP, unless there's some sort of cutpurse-proof money belt which is easily available, in which case maybe he'd have up to 1000. But for the balance, are there such things as banks in Bluffside, or would he have to keep an Arcane Locked strongbox under his bed or something?
There isn't a true bank in Bluffside. There is the Minting Hall in the Mining District, where adamantine bars are made and stamped for trade purposes. It's unlikely that the hall would let your PC store his money there. (Someone might turn it into a donation if you're not well respected.) He could find a moneylender to keep his coins safe for him but the interest wouldn't really be worth it. There is Denis' Adventure Exchange in the Military District where unique items can be bought and sold. They do a good trade in precious stone, so he could turn his gold into gems.

Other than that, he'll need a strongbox.
Knightfall wrote:
willpell wrote:How much for a strongbox?
Well a standard chest with a good lock would be 82 gp. If you want a tougher box, we can say a reinforced chest (masterwork) costs 50 extra gold. If he goes for a strongbox with an amazing lock the total cost would be 202 gp.


I'm sorry Knightfall, I'm trying to maintain an interest in this scene, but my suspension of disbelief is utterly shattered. The incredible epic monster of legend that we're supposed to be scared of is called the SHAD-BLOW? What's next, the Halibut-Crank? I can't even begin to take that name seriously.


World of Kulan DM
I'm sorry Knightfall, I'm trying to maintain an interest in this scene, but my suspension of disbelief is utterly shattered. The incredible epic monster of legend that we're supposed to be scared of is called the SHAD-BLOW? What's next, the Halibut-Crank? I can't even begin to take that name seriously.
I used that name because I didn't want to post an obvious creature name. I admit I didn't think very hard to come up with something.

I can change it to something else. Let me think about it.

Anyone have a suggestion for something that's supposed to be a mysterious creature of legend that would live in a forested area?


Voidsoul is taken: (scroll down past Progeny). Up to you whether this is satisfactorily close to what you had in mind.

Nyx is a brand of lipstick, but I didn't know that until just now. What I did know was that it appears on a few Magic cards - https://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Search/Default.aspx?name=+[nyx] - and I had thought one of them was named Child of Nyx, but apparently I was wrong.

I would say Vangath is the best of the suggestions so far, but I still think something better could be produced. Vargrim or something like that, maybe. The original name made me think of "Shardbrow", which is still kind of awkward, but a huge improvement with just those two Rs instead of one L.


World of Kulan DM
Nyx is a brand of lipstick, but I didn't know that until just now. What I did know was that it appears on a few Magic cards - Card Search - Search: +nyx - Gatherer - Magic: The Gathering - and I had thought one of them was named Child of Nyx, but apparently I was wrong.
Nyx, is this context, would be referring to the Greek goddess of night: Nyx - Wikipedia

At least, that is what I assume from @Neurotic's suggestion.

Envisioner said:
I would say Vangath is the best of the suggestions so far, but I still think something better could be produced. Vargrim or something like that, maybe. The original name made me think of "Shardbrow", which is still kind of awkward, but a huge improvement with just those two Rs instead of one L.
While I don't mind Vargrim, I'd like to keep a 'shadowy' reference to the creature's name of legend. Hmm, Grimshade or Direshade? (Or maybe something with gloom or umbra?)

Hmm, Vargrim, the Child of Nyx?

Sorry, I don't know why the link did that. I'll fix it if somebody tells me how.
You should b able to edit the post and then click on the link and unlink it.

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