Mists of Shadow Moor
The following rules will help you build characters for the Mists of Shadow Moor.
- Character creation rules sources include the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, the Elemental Evil Player’s Guide, and the Curse of Strahd Character Options.
- This campaign uses the point-buy method to generate ability scores.
- Hit points after first level are calculated according to the fixed values in the class entries. They are not rolled.
- Character races can be either caliban or human. (A caliban appears to be human, albeit deformed, while having the racial features of one of the standard non-human races.) Humans may opt to use the Variant Human Traits rule.
- Whatever background is chosen, it must be customized to provide the Tormon language and the equipment package must be replaced with the one provided below.
- Characters start at third level, with 900 total experience points.
- Starting wealth is not rolled for. Characters start with the equipment provided to them by guild membership (see below) and by class. (Note that some provided weapons can be replaced with firearms, as shown on the Equipment page.) Trinkets are rolled for on the chart here.
Whatever background is selected, it must be customized to include two things, the Tormon language and the Tormon equipment package.
The mandated language, Tormon, is a piece of secret knowledge provided only to guild members and is necessary for the secure handling of messages and parcels. This must be one of the two “languages and/or tool proficiencies” provided by each character’s background.
The equipment had by all members of the Tormon Guild includes uniform travelers clothes, a riding horse, bit and bridle, riding saddle, saddlebags, and a pouch of 10 gp. It also includes a Tormon signet ring that can be shown to get free overnight lodging and stabling at facilities that have standing contracts with the Tormon Guild. These items (except the pouch of gold) are property of the guild so they cannot be sold, but if lost in the line of duty, they can usually be replaced at any Tormon outpost with minimal fuss.
Within the Mists of Shadow Moor, there are no racial languages and exotic languages are rare. (Player’s Handbook, page 123.) Most people speak a Common tongue, but in dialects very specific to their regions.
In addition, some provincial languages have risen to prominence. Each of these languages has its own alphabet.
Balok: This ancient tongue is marked by guttural consonants and thick vowels. It is not overly pleasant to the ear. However, many of the centrally located baronies where Balok is spoken contain trade routes, so it has come into use as a trade tongue by some merchants and innkeepers.
Darkonese: This complex and highly structured language has not spread far beyond the borders of Darkon. However, the sheer size of that barony ensures that Darkonese remains significant. Many arcanists note that the highly precise definitions of Darkonese, words lend themselves well to magical writings.
Mordentish: This language is divided into two distinct dialects with markedly different vocabularies. “High” Mordentish is preferred by the upper classes, while speaking the “Low” dialect marks one as a commoner. Scholars posit that this linguistic cleft may have arisen from an imperfect melding of two separate, now-forgotten languages. The result is a highly flexible language that has spread throughout the northwestern lands. Due to its association with the culturally advanced baronies of the northwest, Mordentish is widely considered the language of literature.
Tormon: This secret language is known only to full members of the mail-carrier’s guild. It is rarely used in spoken form, and only in short phrases. It is most often written, used to convey secret orders and directions, or to encode the identities of mail senders or recipients. Tormon can be used to leave hidden messages. It is often left as a warning to mail-carriers who might come later down a particular route, carved into trees or onto the posts of road signs. Those who know the language automatically spot such messages. Others can spot them with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check but can’t decipher them without magic.
Vaasi: This language, most recognizable for its harmonious vowels, is strongly associated with the cultures of the southeastern lands. By church law, for example, all religious rites of the Church of the Lawgiver must be recited in Vaasi; all texts must use its script. A patois spoken in Kartakass, mixing Vaasi with the local Sithican dialect of Common, is considered highly poetic and is much favored by bards and minstrels.