Saturday, July 11, 2015

Experts of Monvesia

Skilled vagabonds wander Monvesia for many reasons, any of which make them a good fit for an adventuring party.  Loremasters, gutternipes, troubadours, and confidence artists all make ta place for themselves in the world--either out of necessity, or else merely of desire.
Enhancements to the class features of both these classes can be found in Unearthed Arcana.


The bard is a product of dwarven culture.  It is one of two recognized arcane professions in dwarven society (see Artificer in "Savants of Monvesia").  The eldest bardic college is the College of Valor, which emerged in the warrior caste.  The dwarves' deeds in battle needed to be passed down, so that no warrior could forget the bravery of history.  The College of Valor has remained close to dwarven and gnomish culture, spreading among humans and halflings of the Honderreich, Galtain, and Voztok.

After the formation of the caste-less Keeperate, the College of Lore emerged as dwarven bards began seeking out and recording other information relevant to the development of their society  As natural wanderers, seeking out news and information in the world abroad, this bardic tradition spread to become nearly ubiquitous throughout all of Monvesia.  Formal training in the College of Lore can be found at any wizard academy.

Beyond merely adopting the dwarven colleges, humans developed their own schools, which spread the traditions of the bard further:

In Voztok, sword swallowing and blade dancing were merged into the bardic tradition to become the College of Blades (Xanathar's Guide). To this day, the college is most active in Voztok and the Barrier Peaks region of Cuorria.

In the Honderreich, the right of the fool was adopted by the College of Satire (Unearthed Arcana), which has spread through Imperial Cuorria and Montaigne.  This would later spawn the secretive College of Whispers (Xanathar's Guide) in the Imperial courts.  In turn, the College of Eloquence (Unearthed Arcana) developed first among the Imperial courts, but came to be perfected by the Guild of Fellows.

The College of Glamour (Xanathar's Guide) rose independently among the elves, and through them spread among Cuorria and Notopoli.


The most common roguish archetypes are the Thief and the Scout (Xanathar's Guide), which do not trace its origins to any particular culture or time period.  So long as there have been people in want or need of what others possess, there have been thieves--and so it will be for as long as can be foreseen.  So long as there has been wilderness and guerrilla warfare, there have been scouts.

There is a secret society in Veldistan that trains its members in the mysterious arts of infiltration and murder.  Based on an early understanding of the monk's Way of the Shadow (see "Savants of Monvesia"), this society is the eldest incarnation of the Assassin archetype.  Since its inception soon after human arrival in the riverlands, it has spread throughout human culture.  While rakasta may favor the monk's Way of the Shadow, the Assassin is more common elsewhere in Monvesia.

As with fighters training as Eldritch Knights, elves cannot help but incorporate magic into all they do.  Their rogues are most often follow the Arcane Trickster archetype.  Anyone who trains with the elves may learn these arts.  Some wizard academies outside of the influence of Divine Drajan Empire are known to train such rogues as well.

In Monvesia, the Swashbuckler (Sword Coast or Xanathar's Guide) archetype includes aristocrats (who favor "honorable combat," and preserving appearance while doing so) and brigands (who require light-weight defense training).  Like the thief, this archetype cannot be traced bak to any particular race, culture, or time period.

The Mastermind (Sword Coast or Xanathar's Guide) include crime lords, spies, and other masters of manipulation.  They can be found in city slums, or high courts.  Like the thief and swashbuckler, this archetype cannot be traced back to any particular race, culture, or time period.

The Inquisitive (Xanathar's Guide) often serves in secretive Crusader orders, Inquisitives typically specialize in rooting out heretics and conspirators.  Beyond the Crusader orders, inquisitive can also serve the role of spies, inspectors, and the like.

The Soulknife (Unearthed Arcana) is one of two archetypes connected with the Martial Sciences of Goliath Medicine (the other being the Psychic Warrior / Psi Knight).  Soulknives have learned how to manipulate the "essence of the Taint" (that is, astral "matter") into a weapon.  This is a psionic character option.

Edited Nov 2nd, 2015; Feb 6th, 2016; Jun 28th, 2016; Jun 22nd, 2018; Oct 12, 2019; Apr 24, 2020.

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