Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Jharat Part 3: The Northern Peninsula and Player Characters

The Northern Peninsula is a good place to start for adventurers on Jharat, because it is one of the few places where there are safe havens to retreat to after a tough adventure.

What this map does not show:

This map is primarily from Kelomha's point of view. It is not complete, but shows the areas and ruins that the rulers of Kelomha Keep are aware of. This map does not show minor ruins (though they can be added) as these would crowd the map and not leave much room to show surviving settlements. Furthermore, it does not show surviving settlements that Kelomha is not aware of. They almost certainly exist, waiting to be discovered. 

Surviving Settlements

Kelomha Island is small but safe and relatively untouched by the Summoning. It was home to a small rural population of 4,000 but has massively expanded with refugees to 16,000. The island of Kelomha got away relatively lightly from the disaster that destroyed a global empire. Rather than monsters appearing magically on Kelomha, the few that have menaced the island have travelled by conventional means. No settlements on Kelomha have been lost or destroyed during the cataclysm.

Sasderin is now a frontier town, also filled with refugees. It has 25,000 people (making it a city in terms of simple size), of whom 15,000 are refugees. For many adventurers, it is the logical place to organise expeditions into Tarterros Hive, and
where they can sell or store their loot or salvage. It was saved because of its historic defences - a town wall built against raiding Fyordmen from the isles to the north, and it has been attacked by monsters several times but not fallen - yet.

Plowshare is a village that is only a few miles from Tarterros Hive, but it is vulnerable to attack and has changed hands a number of times between civilised forces and the monsters of the Summoning. It sees a stream of refugeees pass through on their way to Sasderin or maybe Kelomha.

Fort Valiant is a stronghold that was an Imperial fort and training centre for Imperial troops. During the cataclysm the fort was attacked and almost overwhelmed by elementals and other monsters that came through the elemental windows. However, the troops held on and drove back or destroyed the monsters and closed the windows. It is now in the process of being repaired. There is no more Empire, but the troops inside are carrying on as if the Empire is still there: this is the result of the Commandant going crazy while staying in charge.
Nonetheless, some of the other officers in the fort are aware of the wider situation, and are willing to help survivors as best they can. This includes contact with Kelomha and Sasderin.  There are currently 580 soldiers and 440 civilians in the fort.

Decanthir is the refuge for survivors of the dwarven hive of Kharag Durl. It is a mixture of dwarves (50%), gnomes (25%) and humans (20%) but dominated by dwarves. Like other surviving settlements, it population has been suddenly increased by refugees, from 1600 to 5,400. It has a sea  port and fishing has become an important source of food, while trade with Kelomha has proved beneficial for both towns. 

What Characters Are Allowed in Jharat?
The simple answer is "Anything the DM will allow". Jharat was created so as to encompass as many options as possible. During its formation in 2nd Ed AD&D, I imagined all sorts of character kits and subraces from various sources being used, including the dark red "Complete" series of softbacks and green softback historical source books, as well as Dragon Magazine. When 3rd Ed D&D came out and the OGL was unleashed on the open market, the range of options increased exponentially. Finding a wide range of options for spells, feats and equipment is actively encouraged. I will continue to use 3rd Edition as the rules for Jharat, but feel free to convert to the system of your choice. And if you don't have these sources, just use whatever you feel fits best or is the closest equivalent - this wide range of classes and races is optional, not obligatory.

DM discretion is needed, as I am sure that not all of the material has been rigorously play-tested. Furthermore, there may be certain combinations of classes (either multiclassing basic classes or prestige classes) or racial abilities that can be abused. 

My own sources include, but are not limited to:

  • 3rd Edition D&D Player's Handbook
  • 3rd Edition D&D Dungeon Master's Guide
  • 3rd Edition D&D Player's Handbook II
  • 3rd Edition D&D Savage Species
  • 3rd Edition D&D Unearthed Arcana
  • 3rd Edition D&D Complete Adventurer
  • 3rd Edition D&D Complete Divine
  • 3rd Edition D&D Complete Arcane
  • 3rd Edition D&D Complete Warrior
  • 3rd Edition D&D Manual of the Planes
  • 3rd Edition D&D Epic Level Handbook
  • 3rd Edition D&D Book of Vile Darkness
  • Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed
  • Swords & Sorcery's Relics & Rituals
  • 3rd Edition D&D Forgotten Realms products, inc. Campaign Setting, Unapproachable East, Underdark etc.
  • Eden Studio's Liber Bestarius
  • Mongoose Publishing Encylopedia Arcane series (Necromancy, Demonology etc..)
  • Alderac Entertainment Games: Wilderness, Empire, Guilds, Gods, Mercenaries, Evil etc.
  • Dragon Magazine up to last printed issue. 
  • Morrigan Press Inc. Talislanta D20
  • Mystic Eye & Ambient Games: Librum Equitis

You get the idea...