Friday, May 4, 2012

Shattered Sky Player's Guide, continued

Slowly but surely, this work continues apace. As the definitive BX rulebook for my own campaign setting, the Shattered Sky Player's Guide is meant to present the classic rules and options in a style and format to compliment my home game. Of course, it is also an exercise in nostalgia - as I flip through the hallowed pages of some of my favorite D&D reference books and ask myself, "What would Mothshade do?"

More text from the Guide:

The Scope of the Rules

The Shattered Sky Setting Basic Rulebook covers adventuring in all environments, with characters of up to 14th level. At the time of this writing, higher experience levels are not within the purview of these rules.

Inside and Outside of the Dungeon

The Shattered Sky setting is a fully realized world with adventures occurring in just about every possible environment. There will be dungeon adventures and the wilderness is more than just an option - it is pervasive. Players can expect to endure environments ranging from deep caverns or underwater ruins to primeval forests and castles in the clouds.

From Basic-Expert to Shattered Sky

The contents of this book reflect the preferences and experiences of the writer. This implies house rules, setting-specific additions and changes, as well as options based upon personal preference. As these rules are being written for the exclusive use of this DM and his willing players, no apologies are implied or offered for any of the content to come. This is merely the game the DM prefers to run at this time.

Character Alignment

Though the player characters are expected to act as heroes, the only real requirement is that they not cultivate evil habits or pursuits. The three base alignments of Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic are still in effect, but will not be considered absolutes when applied to player characters or NPCs.

A player character may be of any alignment - but is assumed to be predominantly good in outlook, or neutral, at the very least. The following describes what is meant when you put an alignment on your character sheet.

Lawful indicates an adherence to the rules and practices of civilization and society. You are inclined to be upright and cooperative, but not to the point of being a sycophant or slave. Order is good - tyranny is bad. Law is about structure.

Neutral implies a tendency to do what seems right in a given situation. You are not ambivalent or non-aligned, you prefer to see both sides of every circumstance and strive to exist in a state of harmony. Neutrality is about balance.

Chaotic encompasses the desire for freedom and personal expression. You do not act randomly or contrary to the established norm, instead seeing that there may be more than one correct answer or response to most problems. Chaos is about individuality.

Regardless of your professed alignment, a hero is still expected to do the most good possible during the course of adventuring. The Shattered Sky setting has a lot of room for heroes - less so for opportunists.

There are no alignment languages in Shattered Sky.


The weight and bulk of equipment your PC carries should be noted. Not that every coin weight needs to be calculated and recorded, but there will be times when the DM will ask how much you weigh - and this includes encumbrance. Those times will often pop up during crucial moments in the game, like when being chased by an enraged dragon or crossing a rickety 500-year-old wood-and-rope footbridge spanning a deep chasm. If the DM asks what your weight is, that means the number will be important and the reply needs to be precise.


Shattered Sky uses the Variable Weapon Damage option and each weapon in the Cost of Weapons and Equipment section will include its individual damage range (see page SS#).


This setting includes a number of variants based upon existing monsters, as well as monsters entirely new and exclusive to the campaign world or converted and adapted from other supplements and editions of the game to suit these rules. The player is strongly cautioned against presuming that any monster encountered is something familiar.

Treasure and Magic Items

Expect far more than just coins, gems, and jewelry. As with monsters, above, the setting includes new and variant magic items unfamiliar to the player. The DM may place treasure wherever, and with whatever guardian, he sees fit.


Experience points (XP) are given for a number of accomplishments - including, but not limited to, the following examples.

Monsters. This includes the defeat of some monsters and not merely the slaying thereof. Some monsters are meant to be evaded, deceived, negotiated with, or even rescued. Experience is given for achieving a monster-related goal, including (but not exclusively) death.

Plot Goals. When the heroes succeed in a quest or achieve some significant goal in the campaign plotline, experience awards are due - just as if defeating a monster.

Role Playing. Experience awards for role playing will be given to those who run a three-dimensional character that is consistent with the campaign world and the events within it. Those who act in character, even when they may not benefit.

Treasure. No experience is given for treasure, unless it is used to achieve some kind of story goal or further a cause. Gold and jewels are their own reward. The same is true of magic items.

Anything Else. Whenever a player does something to benefit the game, the DM may take notice and give an XP award. This is neither a guarantee nor a promise, just a possibility.

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