Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sword Coast Options in Monvesia

With the release of the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, there are several new character options:  variant races, class archetypes, and backgrounds.  Below are a review of the new class and race options, and how they fit (if at all) in Monvesia.  New backgrounds may be explored in another post at a later time; however, the options presented here are fairly unique to the Sword Coast, or are merely variations on existing backgrounds.
All of this information will also be added to the appropriate, existing posts--revising and/or replacing information in those posts as necessary.
 Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

Race Options

Dwarves: Gray Dwarves (Duergar)

Though previously identified as a sub-race of outcast dwarves, duergar are actually a good representation of the commoner caste.  Commoners are focused workers whose eyes are optimized for deep tunnel mining.  Their "magic" is more of technique than of sorcery--capable of acting as if enlarged or invisible.  For the common caste, "Undercommon" is a shared language that allows them to communicate in the presence of the higher castes without being a distraction (or even understood).

Halflings: Ghostwise

The Ghostwise option for halflings adds another pedigree for this race--one whose origins can remain unknown, preserving the mystery that once surrounded this race in the earlier campaign.  This particular sub-race also touches on the nature of the taint and its cure:  A ghostwise's ability to communicate with others telepathically calls on the connection all intelligent races share through the collective unconscious.  As halflings were used as a plot device to explain taint during play, it is only appropriate that the race be allowed the option of abilities drawn from it.

Gnomes: Deep Gnomes (Svirfneblin)

An earlier version of this sub-race appeared in the Elemental Evil Player's Companion.  The notes for incorporating it into Monvesia are unchanged (they represent the gnomes of the Barrier Mountains and Voztok).  The version of the deep gnome presented in the SCAG takes precedence over the one from Elemental Evil.

Svirfneblin Magic is a feat available to this subrace in Monvesia.

Half-Elf Variants

Without a full range of options that includes the Eladrin from the Dungeon Master's Guide, specific transformations for humans who make the Crossing cannot yet be made available in Monvesia.

Tiefling Variants

As tieflings in Monvesia are specifically born with a connection to the Necrosphere, they do not show variation beyond the abilities and statistics presented in the Player's Handbook.

Class Options

Barbarian: Path of the Battlerager

The Path of the Battlerager is very specific to the dwarves of the Forgotton Realms campign setting--though the SCAG also introduces a convincing use of it by the warforged of Eberron.  Compared to the role of the Berzerker in Monvesia, the Battlerager is redundant.

Barbarian: Path of the Totem Warrior 

The role of the Totem Warrior is unchanged--born from the Galtic and rakasta traditions.  The elk and tiger totems are a natural fit in either culture.

Cleric: Arcana Domain

The Arcana Domain is a second option for Idealist or Vitalist clerics in the tradition of Temperamental Philosophy (particularly Ancient Orders that mimic elfish tradition).  It is also a fourth option for clerics of the near-extinct Cult of Human Perseverence.

Fighter: Banneret

The "Purple Dragon Knight" of Forgotten Realms is the Banneret of Monvesia.  Bannerets are mercenary and noble officers who are assisted by Battle Masters in leading troops of Champions.  While Champions and Battle Masters may exist outside the strict hierarchy of military service, the Banneret does not.

Monk: Way of the Long Death

The Way of the Long Death is the Pardasta tradition (replacing the Way of the Shadow).  Known in Cuorria as "Gran-Mort," it is taught in a monastery in the Helvet.

Monk: Way of the Sun Soul

The Way of the Sun Soul is the Simbasta tradition (replacing the Way of the Open Hand).  This tradition has the Cuorrian name "Domanima," and is taught in a monastery in Montaigne.
The pre-existing monastic traditions are further altered:
Monks are a special caste of warrior shaman in rakasta culture.  Each monastic tradition is born from the spiritual path of one of the great prides.
The Way of the Open Hand is exclusively the Sylvasta tradition; as Manaberta, it is taught at a single monastery in the Helvet.
The Way of the Shadow is exclusively the Xitasta tradition; as El Sombra, it is taught at a single monastery in Montaigne.
The Way of the Four Elements is the Sherekasta tradition (replacing the Way of the Open Hand).  In Cuorria, this tradition is called "Catro Estados," and is taught at a  monastery in Montaigne.

Paladin: Oath of the Crown

Materialist crusaders, called Templars, take the the Oath of the Crown (instead of the Oath of Vengeance); they must be of the Materialistic temperament.
This revision to the Crusader paths renders the Oath of Vengeance "exclusive" to the dwarven tradition--but a member of any race may take this oath if they follow that tradition.

Rogue: Mastermind

Masterminds include crime lords, spies, and other masters of manipulation.  They can be found in city slums, or high courts.  Like the thief and swashbuckler (see below), this archetype cannot be traced back to any particular race, culture, or time period.

Rogue: Swashbuckler & Sorcerer: Storm Sorcery

Early versions of both of these archetypes were seen in the same installment of Unearthed Arcana.  The notes for incorporating them into Monvesia are unchanged.  The versions of the Swashbucker and Storm Sorcerer presented in the SCAG take precedence over the playtest versions from Unearthed Arcana.

Warlock: The Undying Patron

The Tsar of the East (Human)

There is but one known (or at least suspected) undying being in Monvesia--the Tsar of the East.  While the independence of Volka has shed some suspicion of the continued survival of the Tsar, the rise of warlocks in the East with power over death causes those rumors to be questioned by some.  Perhaps the Tsar himself was but a servant of a greater, undying force which now seeks new thralls.

Wizard: Bladesinger

The tradition of the Bladesinger is very specific to the elves of the Forgotton Realms campaign setting--though the SCAG does work well to adapt it to Dragonlance, Eberron, and Greyhaws as well.  The unique elements that combine to form the Bladesinger do not have an appropriate analog in Monvesia (Monvesian elves are not typical D&D elves).

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