I used to love the old Hero Builder’s Guide in 3rd ed. and always loved random character creation tables. I liked having options and making the most of them. Even in games like Dark Heresy or A Song of Ice and Fire–the “add a new variable” part was always the most fun for me.
So, in proper tradition, by variant/alternative update to the Kingdoms of Kalamar Campaign setting includes making some adaptations of the regional feats from the old books. One of the best things about Kalamar was the feat selection really drove home how different two elves or humans could be pending where they were from. Sometimes, the dwarf and human from one region just had more in common than the two dwarfs from two different places. The regional feats seemed to always emphasize something that’s very social or very visible. So, very few “quiet, internal” things and very many “when Appraising, this” or “is better at something clearly like this” sorts of things.
So, here’s my Variant Rules that allow for some regional diversity–using Inspiration as the core mechanic (this gives you something to spend Inspiration on other than just Advantage and it may drive players to want to earn it faster, thus driving them to their Background boons and flaws and whatnot more often).
(I’ll be posting up the Regions of Kalamar over time–because each of the major six regions breaks down into interesting nations and I want to get a fresh, timeline updated paragraph for each… which will take a while)
Variant Rule – Regional Bonuses
Before Backgrounds are chosen, players must decide which region (Kalamar, Reanaaria, etc.) or region-type (Major City, Hinterlands) their character was most closely born and raised as a child in. This would come before their formative years (Background) and may augment character choices.
There are two regional bonuses for every location (Kalamar, Brandobia, Reanaaria, Svimozhia, the Wild Lands, the Young Kingdoms, Major City, and Hinterlands–eight total). Players must select only one bonus from the region/type their character is from.
Example: Both Noble Pride and Natural Explorer are available for Brandobian-origin characters. A player would select only one to have.
The following Regional Bonuses are available (with the appropriate Inspirational Edge):
- Noble Pride – born in Brandobia or Kalamar
- Despite the old Brandobian empire being centuries in the dust, those old institutional and cultural habits die hard. Brandobian and Kalamaran nobility are amongst the most prominent in the world and virtually every citizen of those regions learns (eagerly or brutally) the manners and customs of their high born.
- Inspirational Edge – May spend Inspiration to improve the disposition of aristocrats and nobles to you by one step, automatically, through appropriate etiquette.
- Natural Explorer – born in Brandobia or the Young Kingdoms
- Life in the far West, past the deserts and mountains and squabbling cities inspires a wanderlust in many Brandobians (confident as they are in their superior place in the world) and long traditions of exploring distant lands have deep roots in the nations there. Similarly, the Young Kingdoms, living so near the great empires and many kingdoms having imperial dreams of their own, breed adventurous travellers and sojourners aplenty.
- Inspirational Edge – May spend Inspiration to camp securely for a night or pass with minimal trail for a day (DC 25 to find you).
- Shielded in Ignorance – born in Kalamar or the Young Kingdoms
- In ages past, the middle nations and kingdoms of Tellene were touched by mages and wizarding traditions and wonders–but, with the rise of the hobgoblin Reclaimers of the Way and Kalamaran rule by the Exile Dynasty, generations have grown up insulated and ignorant or repulsed by the idea of overt and high magic.
- Inspirational Edge – May spend Inspiration at the start of your turn to gain Magical Resistance for one round (at the cost of performing/benefiting from any magic during that time).
- Skillful Seafarer – born in Reanaaria or in any of the world’s Hinterlands
- Most citizens of any of the cities of the Bay or the nation of Krinna have served on or worked closely near ships and the sea; and, many of the farthest flung rural folks know their way around the rivers and lakes their villages cling to for survival. In their own ways, some of the best sailors can be found in either place.
- Inspirational Edge – May spend Inspiration at the start of your turn to ignore movement penalties for swimming for a turn and double the time you can hold your breath for a day.
- Properly Conscientious – born in Reanaaria or in any of the world’s Major Cities
- Close populations of people breed bad habits and while you can expect to find charlatans and con-artists and thieves in any city, the gangs of Reanaaria are especially talented. Natives learn early on how to deal with them and, more importantly, how to avoid and prepare for them.
- Inspirational Edge – May spend Inspiration to disadvantage any attempts to steal from or bluff you for a day.
- Bazaar Veteran – born in Svimozhia or in any of the world’s Major Cities
- Commerce is the blood of nations citizens of those nations’ large cities know how to navigate the complex world of trade better than anyone other than, perhaps, the people of Svimozhia in the centuries since the Sacellum of the Prophet instituted itself as the spiritual and economic heart of all the nations and cities of the southern continent.
- Inspirational Edge – May spend Inspiration to auto-succeed at appraising or trading goods with practiced dickering (purchases at 1d10% discount, sales at 1d10% pricing).
- Child of the Earth – born in Svimozhia or the Wild Lands
- Despite the Great Becoming of the south and the expansionism of Kalamar on the main continent, both Svimozhia and the nations and semi-states of the Wild Lands are still dominated by vast expanses of untamed wilderness–vast deserts, thick jungles, forgotten mountain peaks, unforgiving terrain of all kinds. The natives of those places have known for countless generations how to survive the unique harsh environs there.
- Inspirational Edge – May spend Inspiration to ignore any natural environmental penalties (pertaining to survival and physical health) and climate conditions for a day.
- Born to Ride – born in the Wild Lands or any of the world’s Hinterlands
- You’ll find no more capable horsemen than those who still live great distances from civilization in the north. The Wild Lands are home to the people that gave the world the heavy Fhokki theddakka–strong, powerful horses valued by knights and cavaliers–and the Dejy cheshene–a light horse that can run the desert heat for days without falling. And, for pure experience and fluency, the farmers and ranchers and rural folks in most nations know more about riding everything from mules to donkeys to old nags than their city cousins.
- Inspirational Edge – May spend Inspiration as a reaction to ignore a successful attempt to unmount you or at the start of your turn to mount/dismount with normal movement for free.