Lazlo COS Pathfinder
What follows are my house rules for Pathfinder / D20. This is the “lite” version of a major overhaul project I’m currently working on. This version will focus on setting the campaign to a Low to Mid-Magic setting while still keeping an eye on compatibility.
There are some significant changes to the campaign setting which focuses on injury, healing and how damage is calculated. Other areas which have seen some significant overhaul are the magic and combat systems. It is highly suggested that everyone be familiar with these changes. Over all you will find much fewer magic casters, less need for magic (such as monsters that can only be hit by magic) and a combat system that, while less forgiving, results in character death less often.
The feel of the Campaign has been heavily altered to more closely resemble something akin to the fantasy literature of Terry Brooks, Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones than it would the works of RA Salvatore or Marvel Comics where most D20 Fantasy campaigns tend to fall (at high levels at least).
In keeping with this idea, the campaign will focus on the low to mid range character levels look here for campaign examples. Leveling and experience are tracked as a group with emphasis on the storyline, achieving major objectives and character development.. The campaign “soft cap” is around level 9 – 10, and the hard cap is level 13.
Wealth by Level (WBL) – This system has been used since the yr 2000 with the launch of the D20 system under the 3.0 rules, and it was one of the worst ideas in the history of the game. WBL caters to bad DM’s and Munchkin players, and as such is NOT present under the LCM Ruleset.
Instead we will use a system very similar to that of D20 2nd ed where your wealth and magic items are completely separate from each other. It also means that magic items are only bought and sold under the rarest of circumstances and most are either custom made or recovered as treasure or as a reward for completing quests. Some will argue this is due to a lack of understanding how magnificent the WBL system is. Nothing could be further from the truth. I thoroughly understand it, and still think it was a terrible design. Bad mechanics do not make up for poorly run games.
Character Alignment In my campaign Alignment is more of an abstract personality type and general “temperature” of a character’s outlook on life. As such most spells and abilities that detect or target a specific alignment are rewritten or removed. The campaign alignment is one which should be considered “generically good” and focused on working together as a team regardless of the personal ethos involved.
The Kingdom of Lastwall
The basic theme of your adventures will center on Castle Firrine in the Kingdom of Lastwall on Lake Encarthan within the Pathfinder official campaign setting. Lastwall is currently locked in an all out war with the Orc tribes of Belkzen who have been invading Lastwall’s territory for decades. It is now time to start pushing them back! Due to the closeness to the tomb of the Whispering Tyrant at Gallowspire the campaign will see a fair amount of encounters with undead.
Ref Current events in Lastwall
Other areas which have a significant influence on the events in Lastwall would be their Northern neighbor Ustalav, and their southern neighbor Nirmathas. The other nations tend to stay out of Lastwall as much as possible for fear of being drug into the chore of holding back the Whispering Tyrant or the invading orcs of Belkzen. Frankly getting stationed in Lastwall is a shit detail which ranks right up there with “convert Cheliax from devil worship” and “go shut down the World Wound”!
*NOTE: Lastwall has seen some heavy rewrite from published material, but then there is much about Lastwall which has never been detailed anyway. Castle Firrine, Vigil, Castle Everstand, etc are all areas which have seen significant changes. The canon material has been used as a starting point, but was significantly expanded upon from there.
Another major hub of PC activity is Jasper Village which lies about twenty miles southeast of Castle Firrine (south of Vigil, due East of Castle Firrine) where it enjoys the protection and trade with all three forts. Trunau is another location that sees a lot of attention in the campaign as it is a town that basically sits behind enemy lines and is a common staging point for frequent scouting missions from Castle Firrine.
One of the ways in which Lazlo’s Lastwall campaign is different from other is in the cultural clash present within the kingdom. Before Lastwall or Nirmathas were established as the generally well defined kingdoms they are now there were indigenous tribes of mostly humans who lived within the forest of Fangwood. These tribes wore mostly animal furs and leathers, lived off the land, and venerated the ancient dark spirits of the forest to watch over and protect them.
To this day the forest is still their primary home and the tribes of “the people” pay little attention to the fact that two different kingdoms now claim the forest within their borders. From these tribes are found many rangers, druids, witches, etc. Genetically the people are mostly human with a couple of scattered tribes of elf and the infrequent orc tribe.
Character death is actually rare in my campaign, be prepared to have your character for a while and play something which you will enjoy. At moments of character death I typically use it as the point to ask questions like, “Do you want your party (or divine intervention, etc) to save you, or is it time to re-roll the character?” and leave that choice to the player. The exception to this statement is if the character has died from the player doing something which the DM has repeated said, “Don’t do this, you are about to get killed….” and insisted on doing it anyway. This falls under the heading of “blatantly stupid” and is time to simply reroll the character.
Magic in the campaign has seen some extensive rework and effects everything from spell casting classes, healing magic, magic items, etc. It is STRONGLY suggested that everyone be familiar with the magic system in use.
Combat much like the magic system, has seen some heavy “rewrite love”. Most of the rewrite to combat is in the form of already established combat variants such as are found in Ultimate Combat. Class Defense Bonus, Armor as DR, Massive Damage rules being enforced, etc. Combat, along with magic, are two of the primary cornerstones of the D20 system, and as such it is highly suggested that you be familiar with both of these sections.
Please review the following Links, each of which will effect your character choices and options.
www.d20pfsrd.com – contains all the core rules and optional 3rd party products variants released under the D20 OGL. The house rules found in this document are the final rule should there be a conflict, otherwise we will default to the D20 RAW / OGL.
Skills and Feats
Spells and Magic
For higher level characters (usually above 6th level within the campaign) the option for Cohorts, Hirelings, and Henchmen become one to consider as a possible option.
Useful links can be found here.