4th edition D&D. The campaign has run since 2nd ed., so many of the tweaks are in the interest of maintaining some of the older-school (middle-school?) sensibilities while still getting what’s best out of the current edition.
—Point buy is raised to 30 points. This is meant to reduce reliance on magical items, and also to make sure that the concept of the “dump stat” is unnecessary.
—All classes are trained in at least 4 skills. Fighters add Perception to their class skill list so that there are actually choices to make for human fighters. (And also, the “guardsman” class should be able to stand guard effectively.)
—Fighters gain plate proficiency for free. Arguably they don’t mechanically need it, but this is a martial-heavy world, and there aren’t enough paladins to justify them as the default plate-wearers.
—Multiclass feats that give you training in a specific skill (like divine classes that give you Religion) can instead give you training in a skill from the appropriate class list if you have mandatory class training in said skill already. You should get a new skill from any multiclass feat.
—Backgrounds are in play: a +2 bonus to a skill of your choice, adding a skill of your choice to your class list, or training in two additional languages.
—Speaking of languages, there’s a longer list.
—All races are mechanically viable, but most are slightly different from their 4e presentation in-world, and some don’t exist as written at all. If you really like the mechanics of something like a shardmind, pitch me a reskin.
Racial Ability Scores:
All non-human races that do not already have some choice between ability score bonuses will move to the model of +2 to one fixed ability, and a choice of +2 to one of two others as determined by race.
Aasimar/Deva: +2 Wis, +2 Str or Cha
Drakha (Dragonborn): Vary depending on keyv. Rachtha (red) +2 Str, +2 Cha; Beyr (bronze) +2 Con, +2 Wis; Telloch (white) +2 Wis, +2 Cha; Brekhath (green) +2 Dex, +2 Cha; Sathaz (gold) +2 Int, +2 Wis; Machkha (blue) +2 Str, +2 Con; Sathchess (silver) +2 Str, +2 Int
Dwarves: +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom or Strength
Elves: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom or Intelligence
Genasi: Like shifters, genasi have ability scores based on their element. Air +2 Dex, +2 Int; Earth +2 Str, +2 Con; Fire +2 Dex, +2 Cha; Water +2 Dex, +2 Wis; Storm +2 Str, +2 Int
Gnolls: +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity or Wisdom
Halflings: +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma or Constitution
Half-Orcs: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity or Constitution
Tieflings: +2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity or Intelligence
—Solid rule: Please ask before using any feats or powers gained from Dragon magazine. Some of them are just too good for standard play yet good for specialized play. A feat that allows you to spend two second winds per encounter, for instance, is good for games where nobody’s playing a leader, but too strong with an effective leader in the group.
—No magic shops. I can take suggestions for wish lists, but this isn’t really a game about “character builds” that rely on specific magical items to work. We play a bit old-school in that fashion. However, options abound; magic items that are found that a PC can’t use or is uninterested in can be traded to temples or other large institutions for appropriate rewards, sometimes. There will also be situation-based ways to upgrade items you possess.
—Many monsters are different. Hobgoblins, for instance, are very fey-influenced and Froudian, not samurai warlords; dragons are not color-coded on an ethical basis; elementals are more “classically” pure for the most part. If part of your concept involves a monster, talk to me about things. Otherwise the differences can come up during the exploration aspect of play.
—Many monsters are absent entirely, including classics like beholders, mind flayers and githyanki as well as non-classics like darkmantles, destrachans and half-dragons.