2nd edition game. Age 18+.
The Shards of Bhaal, prologue:
Bhaal, the lord of death, was secretly working with Andella (the goddess of felines, whose pleasure is your pain) and Vash’lon’ae (a lesser lord of magic, forbidden knowledge, and manipulation) to discover more of the nature of the forces that create wild magic. Taking human form, he began to wander the sword coast, spending time in the libraries of waterdeep and its surrounding nether voids north of Amn. Unbeknownst to him, Andella, taking the form of an advisor to the Simbul, betrayed Bhaal, and warned her of the dangers of an imminent threat in the area, powered by magic beyond her understanding. Taking heed to the warning, she went herself, intending to imprison this stranger, and confronted Bhaal.
Bhaal, recognizing his vulnerability in taking human form in an area known for wild magic, surrendered immediately, hoping simply to be taken elsewhere, where he would be able to safely escape. The Simbul, knowing only that her adviser spoke the truth in that the magic surrounding the human form was well beyond her understanding, attempted to imprison Bhaal, and exile him to another plane, not knowing that the God’s power shielded her from knowing she was in a zone where magic did not operate as she believed it would. The result was not what she expected. In a final act prior to his death, Bhaal hurled his essence north. The shards of Bhaal’s soul were fragmented across the lands, his spirit itself reduced to a simple elemental flame and vanished.
A dark red rain fell on Elanith, a small village to the south of Luskan.
The allowable races for this campaign:
There are no class restrictions for this campaign.
This is considered a open campaign both underpowered and overpowered. The dice roll for player characteristics is by choice.
Method 1: 22 dice, divided as the player chooses. (4d6(best 3) for 4 stats, 1d6 for the last, 6d6(best 3) for one stat, 4d6 for another, 3d6 for the others. Any rolls that are lower than 6 may be rerolled at a penalty of 1 point for the subsequent roll.
Method 2: 5d6 for primary stat, 3d6 for all other stats, 1d10 points to spread
Method 3: 70 total points
The shards of Bhaal are considered to be power stones, consumed on effect, but permanent in nature. They can be contained in any object, and they are undetectable by any normal means. Spawn of Bhaal will be able to have some form of detection, but only in close proximity. There are six different types of shards, each of which is consumed instantly upon assimilating with the player character,object of choice:
The Minor Mark: A minor mark shard is a minor classification of shard. It provides a permanent passive level of bonus to the character.
1-70 Minor Mark of Expertise: +1 in the characters primary class stat
71-79 Minor Mark of Travel: Base Movement Rate +2
80-86 Minor Mark of Aggression: +1 all damage
87-93 Minor Mark of Suppresion: all damage is reduced by 1
94-98 Minor Mark of Imperfect Fortune: Any roll you would make, you may make twice. Choose the higher roll, but subtract 1 from the result.
99-100 Reroll on Major Mark Shard Table
The Major Mark: A Major mark shard is one that provides a permanent, large effect, although they are often specialized in nature.
1-29 Mark of Ascension’s Path: You gain a class ability from a different class that can be used without restriction. (for example, a mage would gain access to wear chain mail, a warrior would gain the ability to cast magic missile), assigned at DM discretion
30-49 Mark of Birthright: You ignore all resistances and invulnerabilities of your targets when dealing damage (other effects may be resisted normally)
50-64 Mark of the Learned: You are considered “proficient” in every skill
65-77 Mark of the Owl: You may instantly gauge the intentions of any NPC you encounter.
78-89 Mark of the Hearth: all damage done to you is reduced by Your level. All damage rolls to you under your level/2 is reduced to 0.
90-94 Mark of Will: You are immune to any effects that would cause loss of control of character.
95-96 Mark of the Weave: You may exercise some level of control over Wild Magic (noncaster). Your spells are unaffected by wild magic (caster)
97-98 Mark of the Molder of Forms: You may shapeshift at will. You appear and sound as you wish. No forms of detection, magical or otherwise can see through this.
99 Mark of Flight: You may fly at your movement speedx3
100: Mark of the Damned/Mark of the Blessed (special): Once use, for up to 6 rounds:
Melee: You gain 6 additional attacks per round. You are immune to all magical effects and damage. All physical damage to you is reduced to 1.
Ranged: You gain 1 additional shot per round. All of your shots are considered critical hits. are immune to all magical effects and damage. All physical damage to you is reduced to 1.
Caster: You may cast 2 additional spells per round. None of the spells cast count towards your daily limit. All damage and effects are maximized. You are immune to physical damage and effects. All magical damage to you is reduced to 1.
Once this is used, this type of shard is CONSUMED. Reroll on the minor mark table to find the resultant mark shard fragment, ignoring any rolls of 99-100.
Assimilation Shards: An assimilation shard is one that makes a nonmagical item magical, being consumed in the process. Consult the DM treasure guides for examples.
Ascension Shards: Once a player has received a Mark of Ascension, these shards will open up additional abilities. They are ONLY detectable by those who have acquired a Mark of Ascension’s Path
Recovery Shards: These shards have cumulating effects, such as regeneration, resistances to mortal poisons, diseases, and afflictions, and death, and death recovery.
Shards of the Dark Heart: These shards contain fragments of Bhaal’s heart. They are detectable only to the spawn of Bhaal. They are considered consumable items, and each has a “DM white lightning” effect. For this particular campaign, the shard will allow the player to shift the party back from 1 round to 24 hours in time, and redo an event (Time Spiral).
Each player starts with 3 shards. +1 in their primary stat, one minor mark shard of the players choice (or may be rolled randomly), and a mark of ascension shard that will be given to the character during character creation.
The starting level for this campaign is level 2. Wizards get one spellbook, melee classes get studded leather armor, and a remaining 25 GP to spend as they see fit. Being from a small village, the quality of goods will be considered of low to medium quality.
A spawn of Bhaal that dies in combat is temporarily banished from the realm of existence and may respawn with the party so long as they have a soul shard in their possession. When they die, they will lose their most powerful shard upon respawn (DM discretion)
Even though slowly succumbing to madness from the pressure of the expansion of wild magic, The Simbul knew that something was dangerously astray in her meeting with stranger North of Amn. Through divination from Mystra, she learned that she caused the destruction of Bhaal, a move that she knew would create a force of imbalance in the forgotten realms. And while the imbalance would perhaps cause some good within the kingdoms, the move would also clear the path for lesser, more dangerous deities to take up the void, particularly Vash,lo’nae, who, unchecked, would share destructive knowledge to all. She also knew that Bhaal was not truly destroyed, but in fact, nearly separated from himself, banished in parts, and in fact, made to be once again mortal, and he created spawn throughout the lands in a final act, in hopes that one day the shards would be collected and allow himself to claim his true form once again.
Her council, pleased at the demise of Bhaal, had a different idea. They believed that by destroying all of the spawn of Bhaal, they would be finally rid of him, a point of conflict that resonated throughout, and much against the council’s desire, the news spread. The Zhentarim began to seek out the spawn to imprison them, hoping to claim the shards from their souls to harness the power for themselves. The druids and forest lords desired to seek out the shards to bury them, using mother earth to prevent the shards from coming together. The tribal rulers along the Savage Coast desired to woo the spawn, in hopes of expanding their kingdoms. The elder drakes and dragons, wizened to this, and realized that this discovery would lead to a power struggle unlike any other the realms had ever seen. What they saw was that the spawn, in their origin, presented the greatest hope in understanding the nature and origin of wild magic.
What followed, no one was able to anticipate. Several members of the council, unbeknownst to anyone but themselves, found that the spawn were all young men and women in smaller villages, residing in Elanith, south of Luskan, Everdil, west of Waterdeep, and Tessarin, south of Thay. Quietly, they began plotting, and using base politics to defy the will of the Queen (Simbul). A war with Thay conveniently wiped out Tessarin. The sudden use of Everdil as an unsecured major trading port for gold, platinum, and other valuables, along with the new laws calling for the executions of those who failed to protect the valuables caused the town to fall.
Luskan, north of Neverwinter, presented an unusual problem, in that it could neither be justifiably a place of conflict, nor was it a place that could be overrun by any of its nearby neighbors. But Vash’lo’nae, who had no desire to see Bhaal return, began to poison the minds of rulers of Luskan, coaxing him into a war with the small village.......