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The LCM Ruleset

A D20 Low Magic Campaign Setting
Based on: Pathfinder 1.0

Major Influences on the campaign setting:
D20 Pathfinder – Golarion
D20 Modern
D20 Starfinder
D20 Iron Heros
Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire
The Witcher books & video game series
Grim – n – Gritty by Ken Hood (for D20 Pathfinder)

The LCM Ruleset is based upon the D20 Pathfinder rules, however it has been overhauled to reflect an environment with significantly less magic, and much more gritty combat. The over all presence of magic (items, casters and creatures) world wide have been reduced to something between Game of Thrones and the Witcher video game series.

The campaign level cap is set at 13th level (10 for NPC’s) and a Slow xp progression is in place. 0 level spells / cantrips / orisons have been removed, and a maximum spell level of 6th level is in place. Spell completion items (aka “spell batteries”) such as scrolls and wands, have been removed from the campaign setting almost entirely.

Alignment has been reclassified as a characters general outlook, personality type, etc and thus are no longer a tangible thing which can be targeted or detected by magic. This is not to say the mechanic is no longer used, as it remains a good standard for easily understanding a characters motivations and outlook.

Only core races are allowed, except for gnomes which do not fit into the campaign concept.

The line between magic items and simply high quality mundane items become more blurred in LCM Campaigns vs. more traditional D20 games . Magical do not radiate magic and their enchantments are significantly less flashy than in other campaigns. Examples would include an elven + 2 mithril katana (keen), or a Dwarven + 2 Breast Plate of Fortitude.

The crafting of magical items is not possible while pursuing an adventuring career and typically takes and individual of at least 7th level who can pass an extremely hard DC check during the crafting process. Further, the creation of magical items is no small feat and requires specialized labs, forges, etc which are expensive to set up and stationary once created. Mundane, alchemical, masterwork and exotic items are far more common than magical ones in the campaign world and make up over 85% of all treasures found.

Due to the lower occurrence of magic items inflating the campaign economy, most treasure awards are calculated at roughly 1/2 those in a more “cannon” campaign setting where magic items are the norm.

Languages in the campaign are restricted to common, elven, dwarven, and orc. Racial languages are never taught to non-members of the race. PC Half-Elves & Half-Orcs are assumed to have been raised in human communities and thus do not speak Elven or Orcish. Bonuses languages have instead been replaced with bonus background traits. The linguistics skills has been retools to represent forgeries, the passing of secret messages, etc and is still currently under review to ensure compatibility with the LCM ruleset.

LCM campaigns penalizes the concept of “dump stats” much more heavily than most campaign settings due to the lack of magic items in the campaign to offset the weaknesses such builds tend to create. To re-balance this stat gains come at every even level for a total of 6 bonus points at 12th level and feats are gained every odd level for a total of 7 at 13th level.

Class Name Here
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +0 New Feat Acquired
2nd +0 +0 +0 +0 Stat Gain
3rd +0 +0 +0 +0 New Feat Acquired
4th +0 +0 +0 +0 Stat Gain
5th +0 +0 +0 +0 New Feat Acquired
6th +0 +0 +0 +0 Stat Gain
7th +0 +0 +0 +0 New Feat Acquired
8th +0 +0 +0 +0 Stat Gain
9th +0 +0 +0 +0 New Feat Acquired
10th +0 +0 +0 +0 Stat Gain
11th +0 +0 +0 +0 New Feat Acquired
12th +0 +0 +0 +0 Stat Gain
13th +0 +0 +0 +0 New Feat Acquired

Multi-classing is restricted to 2 classes, with a 2:1 ratio maximum (Rogue 8 / Bard 4) and restricted to only one spell caster class. This is specifically to prevent “splashing” or “dipping” across multiple classes for min / max meta-gaming purposes. Core casting classes (Mage, Priest, Druid, & Witch) may never multi-class. These classes are rare in the campaign and multi-classing will only diminish that fact. On the other hand: Alchemist, Bard, Magus, Paladin, Ranger and WarPriest are in the campaign to reflect such multi-classed caster options.

Prestige Classes are not allowed. Please use archetypes, feats, traits, etc for customization.

NOTE: the campaign demographics for an LCM campaign are very different than those found in a typical campaign. This is due to the slower progression, level caps and general lack of magic items.

  • Injuries, poison, disease & combat in general are all much more DANGEROUS under the LCM Ruleset. Critical hits can quickly end a fight, and surprise attacks (such as Bushwhacking, or a rogues sneak attack) can be deadly. High perception skills and paranoia are your friends!
  • Any special ability which are usable “once per day” is considered to automatically reset at the beginning of each gaming session regardless of how much time has passed in game.
  • Variant rules are in place for both magic and combat. Please be sure to review both of these sections carefully.

The following websites contain all of the OGL material used in the campaign:

The campaign setting – A little about the area of Lastwall, it’s history, who are the neighbors, etc

What are the implications of a low magic setting compared to a normal d20 campaign?

Races of Lastwall – a few suggestions on racial optimizations which stood out when I was building some of the NPC’s.

Custom Races of the LCM – Work in Progress

Character Generation – critical – Read this stuff!

Skills and Feats

Spells and Magic – critical – Read this stuff!

Magic Items

Combat – critical – Read this stuff!

Death, Damage and Healing – critical – Read this stuff!

Freebie – Hero Points

For higher level characters (usually above 6th level within the campaign) the option for Followers and Hirelings become one to consider as a possible option.

Golarion – Factions and Groups

The Campaign History and Adventures so far

Creatures Unique to the Campaign

Campaign Economics

200 Pieces of advice for "Winning" the game

Optional rules I'm playing with, none of which has been implemented so don't freak out 

Useful links can be found here.

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