This article is a Birthright Campaign Setting (D&D 3.5/D20) pageThe BRCS Document is a comprehensive toolbox consisting of rules, races, classes, feats, skills, various systems, spells, magic items, and monsters compatible with the d20 System version of Dungeons & Dragons from Wizards of the Coast.
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The ability scores of BIRTHRIGHT characters are generated as detailed in the Player’s Handbook. When creating a character for BIRTHRIGHT, generate and assign six standard ability scores using any of the systems for elite characters presented in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. See Chapter 2, Blood and Regency, for rules on using a 7th ability score at character creation.
Random ability score generation is the assumed default for d20 BIRTHRIGHT. Alternatively, your DM may choose to allow the tougher campaign point buy (28 points) or a modified elite array (15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 8).
Cerilia is home to many humanoid races, ranging from fierce orogs and goblinoids to graceful, deadly elves. The BIRTHRIGHT campaign allows players to choose from nine character races: dwarves, elves, half-elves, halflings, and five distinct human cultures (Anuirean, Brecht, Khinasi, Rjurik, and Vos). Each of the Cerilian races differs from the equivalent race presented in the Player’s Handbook. Standard racial abilities that are not specifically listed below should not be applied to their Cerilian equivalent.
- Humans are the most populace race in Cerilia and inhabit every part of the continent. The humans of Cerilia were divided into several tribes of people in the ancient past. These tribes founded the nations that now claim much of the continent. Five human nationalities or cultures currently exist:
- See Also: Humans, Cerilian
- Dwarves lived in the mountains of Cerilia long before humans came to the land. Over the years, the dwarven holds have chosen a defensive strategy, fortifying their approaches and retreating to their cities under the mountains whenever threatened. Dwarves have a fierce hatred of orogs, the result of uncounted wars fought under the earth.
- See Also: Dwarves, Cerilian
Elves, Cerilian (Sidhelien)
- There is only one race of Cerilian elves; they call themselves the Sidhelien (SHEE-lin). The Sidhelien hold court in deep, mist-wreathed vales in the darkest heart of the ancient Cerilian forests. The elves of Cerilia are a graceful but reclusive race, suspicious of humankind. Early in Cerilia's history they contested human settlement of Cerilia's vast forests, and a strong current of ill will towards the human nations still runs strong in the elven woods.
- See Also: Elves, Cerilian
- From time to time, a particularly handsome or beautiful human with courage and a gracious manner can walk among the Sidhelien and return unscathed. A few humans have even been accepted as equals in the elven courts. Mortals quickly become lost in the elven spell; the years reel by in splendor and celebration, while the world outside comes to a halt or leaps centuries ahead. The mortal may return home to find that only a single night passed, or that a hundred years have passed him by. More often than not, his life runs out in an eye blink, like a moth dancing too close to the flame.
- See Also: Half-Elves, Cerilian
- Halflings seem to be harmless, good-natured folk, but they harbor hidden secrets. Most people assume that the name halfling refers to their stature, but only a handful know the truth. Halflings were once creatures who could pass freely between Aebrynis and the Spirit World. In the early years of the Anuirean Empire a darkness arose in the Spirit World (now called the Shadow World) and halflings made Aebrynis their permanent home.
- See Also: Halflings, Cerilian
The classes for a BIRTHRIGHT campaign are generally the same as those presented in Chapter Three: Classes in the Player’s Handbook. The information contained in this section focuses on campaign-specific modifications to these standard classes to more accurately reflect their roles in the BIRTHRIGHT setting.
Preferred Class Races/Cultures: Following the discussion of each class is a listing of lands or cultures in which training for the class tends to be available. For example, Brechtür is a land famed far and wide for its relatively enlightened culture. Aristocrats, bards, and rogues are common in Brechtür. Barbarians are not. Characters do not have to hail from a land in their class’s preferred regions list. However, whether your character comes from a region suited to their class may affect their social position in their homeland.
- Barbarians of almost any race can be found wherever large tracts of wilderness remain unclaimed by civilization.
- Cerilian bards are students of the ancient elven art of spellsong. The first human bards were human magicians that were taught the secrets of the spellsong by elves sent to the human tribes (shortly after their arrival in Cerilia) to teach and learn from their new neighbors. The disciples of these elves founded colleges to teach, study, and improve the use of this lore.
- Cerilian clerics function as described in the Player’s Handbook, except that no clerics serve just a cause, philosophy, or abstract source of divine power. Every cleric in a Birthright campaign serves a specific divine power. It is simply impossible for a person to wield greater divine magic without a patron deity. Clerics may have only one patron deity at a time, but it is possible for a cleric to have a change of heart that causes a change of patron deities. Elves cannot advance as clerics except under the most unusual of circumstances.
- In Cerilia, druids are priests of Erik, the god of nature and the hunt. Like clerics, Cerilian druids receive their spells from a patron deity the god Erik. The powerful natural magic of the druid is based in the same lore as that of the ranger, but is greatly magnified through the channeling of divine power of the druid's patron deity.
- Although elves have a profound link with nature that makes them particularly fine rangers, the powers of a druid are beyond their ken. The elves are adamant in their refusal to worship human gods (including Erik) and thus cannot advance as druids except under the most unusual of circumstances. All druids are priests of Erik, but not all priests of Erik are druids. In some sects, priests of Erik choose to advance as clerics or multi-class cleric/druids.
- Fighters are by far the most common character class and are found in every corner of Cerilia.
- There are no Cerilian monks. Monks are not part of the official BIRTHRIGHT setting. Players interested in playing Cerilian pugilists should consider the fighter class and feats such as improved unarmed attack, stunning attack, improved trip, and weapon focus, finesse and specialization (unarmed).
- Cerilian paladins must be devoted to a specific patron deity, chosen at the start of their career as paladins. No paladin may serve just a cause, philosophy, or other abstract source of divine power. Only the gods Haelyn, Avani, Cuiraécen, Nesirie, and Moradin accept paladins into their service. All paladins must serve one of these five deities.
- Paladins are recognized as knights throughout Cerilia, and bear the responsibilities for behaving as such. Paladins of Haelyn bear additional privilege and responsibility as they are traditionally recognized as having the power to travel wherever and do whatever they must to execute Haelyn’s justice.
- Rangers are common in the untamed wilds and desolate areas of Cerilia. Given their tendencies to avoid crowds, rangers tend to make poor regents and are only rarely found in positions of political or economic power.
- Rangers are bound very closely to nature, able to become practically one with it, and are able to tap into the very wellsprings of the earth to power their spells. Unlike Cerilian clerics and druids, Cerilian rangers do not receive their spells from a patron deity. The limited spellcasting abilities of Cerilian rangers are rooted in their understanding of nature and the channeling of mebhaighl through their force of will alone.
- In Cerilia, rogues are as often merchants and diplomats as thieves, a distinction often lost on those who have come out on the losing end of a mercantile transaction. Rogues are everywhere in Cerilia, but no one necessarily expects them to be thieves. Depending on their skills and inclinations, rogues may represent themselves as courtiers, scouts, sailors, or even merchant princes.
- The lands of Cerilia are inherently magical, and "true" mages (sorcerers and wizards) have learned to harness the energy of the earth itself to create both wonders and terrors. Masters of such lore are rare throughout Cerilia and such mystics are figures of mystery and destiny. The common folk of Cerilia see little difference between the two classes and are prone to use either term to refer to any practitioner of the greater arts.
- Sorcerers and wizards are practitioners of greater ("true") magic. Although their methods of mastering this power differ, they both focus their power through a spiritual awareness of the power of the land itself. This awareness cannot be taught; it is a matter of heredity - true mages must be born with the stuff of magic in their veins. This awareness is exceedingly rare, only those of elven descent or blooded scions (whose ancestors were touched by the gods) have any hope of mastering the forces of greater magic.
New character classes
- Magicians are practitioners of the path of lesser magic. Unable (or unwilling) to tap the great energies of the land itself to wield the powers of true magic, these arcane spellcasters specialize in the application of the less extravagant powers of the world. Their arcane lore is not based upon the channeling of immense natural powers, but rather on the refinement and evocation of a more precise and subtle lore.
- Most magicians employ their magics with great care to bring health, wonder, and guidance without inspiring superstitious dread. Regular folk consider them eccentric and mysterious, and they do recognize the difference between a seer who can predict the sex of an unborn child or help find lost items and a wizard regent capable of summoning undead legions and turning them into a toadstool. Most rulers will go to great efforts to retain the permanent services of a skilled court magician, as magicians provide many of the benefits of that a court wizard provides, and very few of the drawbacks.
- Raised among the comforts and constrains of civilization, nobles are usually educated, wealthy individuals born into a high rank in society. Nobles are concerned with a wide range of societal activities, including the use of arms, the administration of laws, mercantile enterprise, and other highly skilled trades.
- The noble class is similar to the NPC Aristocrat class presented in Chapter Two: Classes of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Most members of the Cerilian aristocracy are members of the NPC Aristocrat class. However, generations of conflict and contention have forced the most powerful aristocratic families to forgo much of the leisure time afforded to members of the NPC Aristocrat class and turn their energies instead towards honing their skills to the utmost. The noble class should generally be reserved for the ruling regents of long dynasties and their family members. Members of the minor nobility, courtiers, and nobles with lesser responsibilities are more likely to be members of the NPC Aristocrat class.