*Mystara provides the basis for our campaign world. Our concept shrinks the human centres of Mystara and places them together in a small area surrounded by vast wilderness - a wilderness that is based upon a reversed & almost unrecognisable map of the present day Earth. East is West and West is East. Isolated in this setting are the Arabian lands of Ylaruam and the very far off AD&D Oriental lands of Kara Tur. In the southern jungle areas is a vast Lizard Man Empire (based upon the book Battle Blade Warrior) while certain desert regions are dotted with the remnants of the Serpentine Empire (based upon the Temple of Terror cover art).
*The Gods of our world include a mixture based upon the Dragonlance setting, Greyhawk and ones of our own creation: Our God of the elements is Pytehydral and our great neutral (good) God is Vangelis.
*Magic is less prevalent in Kingdoms or Empires where it had previously been characterised as abundant (in Mystara).
*Wild Magic & psionic ability are absent, hence the appearance of spell-like powers.
*Magic in general is rare & special: 1.High intelligence or wisdom is required for all spellcasters (except in regard to Spell-Like Powers). Learning magic is not easy. It should take between 2 to 4 years of full-time study & devotion before even the simplest 1st level spells can be attempted. These conventions must also apply to characters who choose to learn magic if & when they become dual classed. 2. Magical items that are encountered tend to have enchantments of +2 or greater, often having additional powers.
*Some locations affected by powerful enchantments (good or evil) cannot be dispelled.
*Our campaign world tends toward a relatively poor environment.
*The harder term of “mercenary” is preferred over the term “adventurer” and the 1e term "cleric" is preferred over "priest".
*Player Character parties are often aided by NPCs, henchmen, or hirelings so that low level party sizes are fairly large.
*Character death tolls are encouraged to reflect the “warrior” mentality of our world (see this link to our BASIC RULES characters plus see further comments and videos on this page underneath).
*Weapon specialisation training is uncommon.
*Thieving checks are often granted bonuses, from 30-50% or more, in easy situations - like moving silently across a stone floor or opening a very simple lock.
*The Solamnic Knight character class & Draconians from the Dragonlance AD&D supplement are included.
*Kenku are available as an additional PC race (DM Option).
*Quasi-Demons or Devils (Devil Swine are not Lycanthropes in our campaign) with spell-like powers & cult followers menace the lands.
*All true Demons and Devils suffer from the effects of sunlight. Often the more powerful the creature the greater the damage sustained. Typical damage is 1d6 hit points per round.
*Demons and Devils also suffer damage from holy water but at half the normal rate (remember in AD&D Version 2.6 holy water does 2d6 damage to undead compared to the standard rules 2d4).
*Demons and Devils can be kept at bay, but not destroyed by a priest, on a successful Turn Undead roll. The priest's Turning Undead level for this action is calculated as being two levels lower than normal. ie A 7th level priest trying to keep Demons at bay Turns them as if he or she were only 5th level.
*We prefer to use 1st Editon terminology for Fiends: Demons (Tanar'ri), Devils (Baatezu) and Daemons (Yugoloths). A Vrock is a Type I Demon whereas a Balor is a Type VI Demon.
*Demons and Devils cast an unnatural shadow on the Prime Material Plane (as do Warlocks) that allows them to be detected via various means. Flames burn pure blue in their presence, milk curdles overnight in their presence, bread will not rise in their presence, horses or similar beasts sweat in the morning in their presence. This effect essentially disrupts natural processes and extends 20' + 5' per hit dice of the monster, or impacts a building or property occupied by the creature. (The DM may also allow means of detecting disguised Demons and Devils through the use of a Witch Compass - see the entry for Warlocks).
*Nosferatu Vampires are more commonly encountered. They drain 1d3 constitution points per round via blood sucking. If the creature drinks only animal blood they lose 1HD from their maximum and operate as a 7+3HD monster until humanoid blood is consumed. Bitten victims are often first charmed and become enthralled with what is happening to them when the Vampire is present, otherwise they suffer partial amnesia and maintain an obsession to cover any wounds they have received. Charmed victims can be summoned via telepathy at a distance. If there is resistance the creature will tear the victim apart before feeding. Silver weapons damage vampires normally but anything else less than a magically enchanted blade or cudgel has no effect.
*Our campaign sometimes uses "zombie-ghouls" (that do not cause paralysis) rather than fielding standard ghouls. This is in homage to many zombie films and changes the use of such monsters and the complexion of battles involving them - they usually appear in large numbers along with slower moving zombies.
*Lycanthropes - Magical weapons only do 1/2 damage to lycanthropes while non-magical ones do no harm. Silver Weapons do double damage to such monsters.
>Wererats, that are supposed to be 'physically weaker than most species that dominate the surface' (MM), take half damage from normal weapons, full damage from magical weapons, and (only) full damage from silver (unlike other more powerful lycanthropes that take double). Hit points per die for these 3HD monsters should only be 3 to 4 maximum.
*The “Jedi” are good aligned Kensai-classed characters that gain spells like a priest, advancing in spell-casting level once every 3 Kensai levels until 6th and then every 2 levels thereafter. Spells available to these characters, through meditation, include both wizard and priest spells. Bonus spells per level are granted for high wisdom scores - the same as for priests. Like Rangers and Paladins they cannot perform minor prayer (cantrip) magic. At higher levels many of these individuals become dual classed Wizards, at which point only priest spells are gained via meditation.
Experience per level is double that of a Kensai. Requirements: Str 12 Wis 15 Int 15 Dex 17 Con 12 Prime Requisites: Wis Int Dex
*In a campaign these individuals are highly secretive often operating incognito and employing methods of subterfuge. They commonly possess magical equipment or spells that give them advantages in knowledge (ie ESP/detect evil) and in defence (ie protection/escape). Often young but experienced thieves (2nd to 3rd level) with exceptional skills are recruited for 'Jedi' training. The God of these characters is the neutral (good) Vangelis. Usually 2 to 3 such individuals work together with none being less than 2nd level in experience.
Character Death Tolls:
Players in our original D&D campaign recorded the type and number of opponents that were defeated. The link to our BASIC RULES characters contains a sample of such tolls which may prove interesting to past and present players and to any RPG-interested readers.
The following videos help demonstrate the point - where you can compare the effectiveness and role of the PC in combat (text continues below).
In our experience, through playing the BASIC game, the character death tolls revealed that Clerics ended up with numerous undead on their lists, the Fighter/Magic-User Elves had a high number of lower level humanoids (thanks to Sleep spells), and the Fighters and Dwarves had a mix of all manner of opponents. Our later AD&D characters, operating in the same world, did not continue using such lists - which was because we started them at high levels (7th) using the experience points gained by our BASIC characters.