So, I’ve discussed my love for Kalamar in a big way–I think its just the best setting ever for D&D even though Kenzer has moved on from WotC. No doubt their d20 game is great, but as I love 5E D&D and I love Kalamar and I have seen so many great homebrew adaptations of old settings (there’s a great Dark Sun one out there), I have decided to walk through the old campaign setting and players handbooks for Kalamar and update a 5E campaign set of rules for everyone that misses the feel and flow.
That means, starting with races. Kalamar’s races are the same, by and large, as the base races in D&D with a few additions. Most notably, playable hobgoblins. Now, important to note that my project isn’t just redoing the by-the-book Kalamar, but advancing the timeline for the world and weaving in some new overarching story and elements to give it some freshness for 5E. Kabori is long dead, and the reign of the Exile Dynasty of Emperors has settled in for the last couple of hundred years.
Anyone… on with races.
Hobs in KoK are from a variety of places on Tellene (the continent) and
break down in to several sub types. Their role in the world is more pronounced than in the basic D&D setting. Hobgoblin kingdoms used to thrive (think about the history of Eberron… way back in the day), but we aren’t too far past it. Sure, the great empires are gone, bu the smaller nations exist and intermingling with the ascendant human kingdoms has been in play for some time. One subrace of hobs is so tightly interwoven with the human (by and large) Kalamaran empire that they retain hardly much in common with their kin.
Dwarves have an extra “Stone Dwarf” subrace that represents some deep dwelling (an analogue to the Dark Elf and the Deep Gnome). Halflings have a “Golden Halfing” that is strong of mind, though less Lucky. Elves get the venerated (and rarely seen) “Grey Elves” who are probably the closest to natural arcane magic as anyone in the world and not so adaptable as their cousins.
Half-races are rare. Half-orcs particularly are extremely rare. Think about some of the worst of abuses Native Americans had in the early 1900s. Being ostracized, often being “between worlds” and finding it hard to have a place in the larger one. Lots of stereotyping and misconceptions, bigotry and the like… half-orcs don’t live long in the world of Kalamar and few places have them. Half-elves, by contrast are simply caught between the wars between humans and elves raging in the West–barely wanted by either side. Half-hobgoblins are tolerated, but marginalized. It is hard to be a “half-breed”.
Humans are the dominant species. Ever since (like Rome) being quickest to military technology and an expansionist set of faiths and cultures, they have carved up the best of the world and held it. The Brandobians (think “the French and the Spanish and the Dutch” from back in the 1500’s) and their long gone empire now replaced by nations with little in common aside from their old royal rivalries and saber rattilng. The Svimozish who trade and create and distance themselves from the politics of the main continent and it’s treacheries. The Dejy with their quiet power in the deserts and forgotten places where miracles and horrors still exist. The Fhokki in the Wild Lands with more friends and enemies amongst the other races than anyone. The Renaarese with their “free cities” and chaotic skirmishes. And great Kalamar… the Rome of the world, but still in its prime. The America. The great power that rots from the inside out.
To meet the needs of “rules” for my campaign setting update, I’ve included new Racial stats and whatnot. All core races can be found in the PHB for D&D 5E (except Deep Gnomes, which you have to get from the DMG), the rest are homebrew and playtested for Release 1.0 of the guide.
|Human||Common||As standard Human|
|Human||Wellborn||As variant Human|
|Dwarf||Hill||As Hill Dwarf|
|Dwarf||Mountain||As Mountain Dwarf|
|Dwarf||Stone||+2 Con, +1 Dex; Speed (25); Darkvision (120); Dwarven Resilience; Dwarven Combat Training; Tool Proficiency; Stoncunning; Speak (Dwarven); Read (Dwarven); Speak (Undercommon); Stonebones [+2 AC versus bludgeoning]|
|Elf||Dark||As Dark Elf|
|Elf||Grey||+2 Dex, +2 Int; Darkvision (60); Fey Ancestry; Trance; Language (Elvish); Elvish Magic [gain Light cantrip, at 3rd level get Magic Mouth 1/d, at 5th level get Counterspell 1/d]|
|Elf||High||As High Elf|
|Elf||Wood||As Wood Elf|
|Gnome||Deep||As Deep Gnome|
|Gnome||Forest||As Forect Gnome|
|Gnome||Rock||As Rock Gnome|
|Halflings||Golden||+2 Dex, +1 Int; Size (Small); Speed (25); Lucky; Halfling Nimbleness; Language (Halfling); Stalwart [immune to Frightened condition]|
|Halflings||Stout||As Stout Halfling|
|Halflings||Lightfoot||As Lightfoot Halfling|
|Hobgoblin||Kargi (yellow, Svimoziah)||+2 Con, +1 Dex; Darkvision (60), Language (Hobgoblin); Hobgoblin Weapon Training [proficient in hobgoblin weapons]; Raised to Glory [gain 1d4 temporary hit points upon landing a killing blow to a maximum of 10]|
|Hobgoblin||Krangi (brown, Young Kingdoms)||+2 Con, +1 Str; Darkvision (60); Language (Hobgoblin); Hobgoblin Weapon Training [proficient in hobgoblin weapons]; Raised to Strength [may turn successful weapon attack into a critical hit so long as target is within 5ft of an ally who has succeeded in an attack on them and not incapacitated, may reuse after a long rest]|
|Hobgoblin||Dazlak (small, Khydoban Mountains)||+3 Con; Darkvision (60); Language (Hobgoblin); Hobgoblin Weapon Training [proficient in hobgoblin weapons]; Raised to Stand [may ignore effects of first two levels of exhaustion, may reuse after long rest]|
|Hobgoblin||Kors (maroon, Kalamar)||+2 Con; Darkvision (60); Language (Hobgoblin), +1 feat|
|Other||Sil-Karg (Half-Hobgoblin)||+1 Con, +1 to three separate abilities of your choice; Darkvision (60); Language (Hobgoblin); one skill proficiency of your choice; Extra Language (5)|