Character Creation


his adventure path will be run using the Pathfinder rules recently published by Paizo – a system commonly referred to as D&D 3.75.

Before you create your characters, there are a few things you should know about this setting, my house rules and the story that will be unfolding. Questions can be posted in our Forums section or emailed to me directly through this site.

The Setting

The world of Rise of the Runelords is standard fantasy fare in many ways. This world is unique from other D&D settings you’ve encountered and some of those differences will be revealed in time, but you should note these key differences before creating a character.

  • The standard races are all present, but they intermingle less frequently than in other settings. All non-humans can expect discrimination in some parts of the world, especially any place that considers itself ‘civilized’.
  • Gnomes are primarily an above-ground race and are more culturally connected to their fey heritage than in other settings. They have slighter builds and a more pixie-ish appearance than in other settings.
  • Elves have already withdrawn from the world of men to this setting’s equivalent of Evermeet/The West…and returned. Elves are, for the most part, very tied to the natural world. A small number of elves were born and raised within the cities of men and were not part of their race’s withdrawal and return. These elves are known as the Forlorn.
  • Half-elves and half-orcs exist only at the fringes of society and do not have distinct cultures of their own. They typically experience deep prejudice throughout the world.
  • Dwarves view themselves as a culture in decline. Although they interact with the modern world, they do not consider themselves to be fully a part of it.
  • The civilized world has experienced the death of an important deity within the past 100 years. The physical, spiritual and mystical repercussions of this event are still being felt, sometimes very keenly, and especially within the world of men. See The Age of Lost Omens entry for more information.
  • There is excellent introductory information available about the setting in the Player’s Guide in your email inbox. That information is 99% accurate, with a few errata as detailed in the accompanying email. I recommend that you read it – no, really.

House Rules

  • The only acceptable source material for character creation/enhancement is the Pathfinder Core Rulebook or material presented by me through this website, via email or in game. None of my players need to purchase the book unless they wish to – I will provide information as needed. Please don’t ask about exceptions or other sources. The answer is ‘No’.
  • We will be using the ‘Schweyer Standard’ method of rolling dice for character creation and these dice must be rolled in my presence. More information on that when it’s time to roll up stats.
  • “Common” is not a full language – it is a pidgin language. It allows simplified communication, mostly related to trade. You can’t have a real conversation in common. Every character has common as a starting language and one ‘native’ language for free, which depends on what type of character you make. Additional languages are purchased as usual during character creation or advancement. The primary language spoken in this campaign is…not surprisingly…Varisian (which is actually a semi-common tongue in much of the rest of the world, so your character can be from just about anywhere and reasonably know Varisian if you would like).
  • No evil characters!
  • There will be house rules applied to certain spells. Expect changes to anything in the ‘Raise Dead’ category, most divination and some of the movement-related spells. See your friendly DM for additional information.
  • You will get a cool in-game prize for a well-developed backstory. It is not necessary to chronicle your character since birth, nor pontificate on your PC’s preference in breakfast meats, but something that will add a little additional depth when we get together is much appreciated and will be rewarded.

This Story

  • The Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path has a very good blend of encounter types and there will be opportunities for any type of character to shine on multiple occasions. If the party winds up being ‘lopsided’ NPC assistance may be available to balance things out, so no one needs to play a character type that they are not interested in. That being said, I have a few suggestions…
    • There are many wilderness encounters, as much of Varisia is fairly untamed. Druids, rangers and/or clerics of Gozreh could be very valuable. Survival and nature skills are certain to be useful for just about anyone.
    • Expect plenty of ‘dungeons’. Varisia is littered with ancient ruins and your party will be experiencing some of them first-hand. A rogue and/or someone who can work well underground will come in very handy.
    • There are some important interaction events and several conflicts that might be solved with words rather than swords and interpersonal skills will get plenty of use. There is also a rich abundance of scholarly knowledge that the party might benefit from having access to. A bard could help in both of these arenas.
    • It is not necessary that your character be native to Varisia, but you have to have a reason to be there before we begin. Most commonly, non-natives are here for the rich income-enhancement opportunities associated with plundering ancient relics or to escape from somewhere else. There is no central legal authority in Varisia and lots of mostly uncharted territory to get lost in. There are also many ‘frontier-type’ folk who come here seeking new opportunities and a chance to forge their own destinies.
    • The larger world of Golarion has a country/area to suit almost any type of fantasy character you can imagine. So if you want to be desert nomad, a mad inventor, a fierce revolutionary or a gothic peasant, there’s a place you can be from…just let me know what you’re thinking.

Character Creation

Rise of the Runelords 3.75 kbeast