Haven: The NEXT Generation is a campaign/module running off of the NEXT Kernel. (The NEXT Basic document is available HERE. We’re going to be a little loosey goosey with the “GNU” for it…GNxt?…yea GNxt. The GNxt that I’m using for character creation are, in order of importance: The six ability scores, Race, Hit Dice (HD), Hit Points (HP), Armor Class (AC), Proficiency Bonus, Initiative, Size Category, Speed, Vision and Languages. This is the basic information for every character. Beyond the basic GNxt we have proficiences that come in a variety of flavors: Save, Skill, Language, Armor, Weapon, and Tools. After that we have racial and non-racial features. I don’t bother qualifying them as “class” features since I typically reject the paradigm of classes to begin with. And, finally, we have Feats. Until further notice use early playtest (PT) Feats, or adapt some from 3.5. I’ve given dragonmarks to various npc’s already. Have at it, and we’ll worry about balance later.
In the Characters section you’ll find an entry called “Sample Dude”. Edit the page and copy-pasta the code in each box into their respective ones on your character page.
We are also going to run the game on the VTT @ roll20.net with google hangouts. Send me your OP, Google, and Roll20 handles and I’ll add you to the pool of players. I don’t expect everyone to play every week, and certainly not every character. Feel free to create more than one character if you’d like. I want to schedule the next session with the folks that want to play in advance so we’ll know what stories are coming up. We can have a forum thread for pregame story discussion and hash out what characters, and what kind of story we want to tell. We can even switch GM’s around if someone has a story they want to run, otherwise I’ll do it. Lets try and do short 2-4 hour adventures with the occasional two parter, and maybe one three. I want a robust cast of characters for the solstice on the 21st a week, and a day after the “beginning” (more on this coming up…).
Primary “GNxt” Characteristics – These are the most important attributes of any character. The descriptions below assume the world of Haven and the fantasy races that populate it, but with these characteristics you can make characters for any kind of setting, and any kind of story.
Ability Scores : (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha) – To determine your ability scores roll 4d6. Add the three highest numbers in that roll, and write the total down. Do this five more times until you have generated six numbers between 3 and 18. Distribute the numbers to the six ability scores as you see fit. They will be modified by your race so keep that in mind when you’re placing your scores.
Race – The following races are found in Haven, and The Vale in general (the ’s indicate rarity): Humans, Smallfolk (Faen, Halflings, and Kender*), Stonefolk (Dwarves*, Forged***, and Gnomes**), and Woodsfolk (Elves** [High, and Wood], Half-Elves*, Kie’a’Tei*** [Tiger and Leopard], and Roofu*** [small and medium]). Other races noted in any material are not unheard of, but are incredibly rare. The rarer the race the more robust a back story expected to play one. The Faen can be found in Monte Cook’s Arcana Evolved from Malhavoc Press. They’re a neat re-imagining of the “Halfling” racial archetype that have sub categories that are either agile or intelligent (aka rogues or casters). They can gain racial levels instead of class levels, and can eventually choose to go through a metamorphosis, become tiny, and grow wings…sorta spryte like. All the Smallfolk are essentially the same species and can interbreed freely. Therefore a Halfling and a “Quickfoot Faen” can have a child, both can become sprytes, and the child being a Kender that remains small size. The Stonefolk, and Woodsfolk don’t intermingle among themselves, but are completely separate species [save for the elves which have subraces]. The classifications are more for the ease of Humans than a real genetic relationship between the races.
Beyond the races not mentioned above a few others appear in official material like Dragonborn, Drow, and Tieflings. Personally I think that if Tieflings are going to be a playable races then Aasimars should be as well. Feel free to make characters of any of these races, but think long and hard about why they’re in Haven, and what they’re doing there. I’ve also made a Half-Dwarf (always wondered what it wasn’t a thing), so check out Daryk Krumlish for those racial features. Talk to me if you want to fit a rare race into the story.
Choose a race from either the official dndNEXT Basic, or from any of the playtest material. I like the optional human where instead of + 1 all stats its + 2 to one / + 1 to two, a bonus skill proficiency, and a bonus feat. Most of the races from the playtest material can be found in The Vale somewhere, and any others can be arriving with the Smallfolk caravan that’s coming from Dayluun through the southern forest and into Haven for the summer solstice.
Hit Dice (HD) – I think more in HD than levels as I toy with the Next kernel. Each class has one designated, and the classes are a good baseline when creating characters, but you’re going to have a number of HD of varying sizes, and based on how large of a HD you choose each “level” and based on that you can gain various different features and proficiencies. As an example of what I’m trying to get at I made a fighter, Lt. Scarlett Hammer, but gave her d8 HD instead of d10. In exchange I threw in an extra save, a few skill proficiencies, and her wisdom bonus to AC along with dexterity. I’ve also made a few NPC’s with d4 HD and gave them a “good” proficiency bonus thats 1 greater than normal or “average”. I’m also willing to let you take a “poor” proficiency bonus for a large than normal HD and some other features or proficiencies. Its all negotiable. Make the character you want and lets figure out how to construct them mechanically.
HD can also be expended when taking short or long rests, using healing kits, and when fighters use their 2nd Wind ability. (When activating 2nd Wind you expend a HD, roll it and add your Con bonus. Regain that many hit points. This doesn’t always mean you’ll roll a d10.) I’m also contemplating introducing combat maneuvers from early PT material that can be activated by temporarily expending HD during combat. Might even create magic maneuvers…been thinking those may be metamagic…and opening access to everyone and not just real tight like the later PT fighters were. It was my favorite part of the early PT and why the Fighter was consistently the coolest for so long.
- Hit Points (HP) – Your hit points are determined by your HD as usual. Take max for your first HD, and roll or average the others. Add your Con bonus for each HD and there you go.
Armor Class (AC) – Your AC is determined by your Dex bonus + Armor Bonus (min of 10) + etc. (other feature or item that grants AC bonus).
Proficiency “Prof.” Bonus – Poor (2), and Good (+3) [Only available with full d4 HD]. Most likely you’ll have average. If you want to break out of the normal +2 until 5HD let me know and we’ll hash it out.
Initiative (Init.) – Your Init. is determined by your Dex bonus + any other modifiers from other features or feats like Improved Init.
Size Category (Size) – Most races are medium (M), but obviously the Smallfolk are small (S) sized, and the Sprytes are tiny (T).
Speed – Based on your size and the armor you’re wearing.
Vision – Usually N/A, but where you would note Low-Light, or Darkvision.
Languages – Gained by race and sometimes Background and elsewhere. Beyond the common tongue Dwarven and Elven are the next two most common languages of the area, but there are folk that speak nearly every language in Haven by itself, and all kinds of various races live in the area and the surrounding mountains to speak them.
Secondary “GNxt” Characteristics – These characteristics are what separates you from everyone else…what you are trained to do. Those skills you have to make your living, and benefit society.
Backgrounds – Also either choose a background from any of the material, or try and invent your own…whatever skills or abilities you want, within reason, can be accommodated for so long as justification exists in the character fluff. Go nuts.
- Proficiencies – With your background you will gain proficiency in at least 2 skills. You may also gain Language, and Tool proficiencies from your background.
- Trait – Each background grants you some type of minor trait like Rank for a soldier. Personally I like having a home as a commoner than the thingy it was changed to in the later PT material. I’m really curious to see all the backgrounds and traits when the PHB drops in August.
- Personality Quiz Thingy – Each background in the official material also includes some personality tables concluding with a flaw. They’re pretty good at getting a basic idea of your character beyond the 100 Questions.
Proficiencies – Proficiencies are what the Next kernel was built for. These are where its really at.
- Save – To protect yourself from outside effects.
- Skill – To engage with the world.
- Language – To speak with different cultures.
- Armor – What you can efficiently protect yourself with.
- Weapon – What you can effectively fight with.
- Tool – Non-combat tools that you’re familiar with using.
- Etc. – Anything I may have forgotten that fits into this category.
- You can seek out people exceedingly proficient in a skill or trade, and train your proficiency. Upon completion you will gain a + 1 training bonus to that skill. You can continue to seek out more and more proficient trainers to raise any training bonus to a + 3 or “Master” level. (Proficient, Highly Proficient [+ 1], Exceptionally Proficient [+ 2], and Masterfully Proficient [+ 3]) Training will usually require that you complete some quest or perform some task, but will always cost the character in time, gold and experience (t/gp/xp)…but doesn’t require you to adventure and level up to get new abilities.
Racial and Non-Racial Features – Obviously granted either by your race, or some other source like “class”. Some races have expanding features that can be accessed by taking a racial HD when you level instead of a non-racial or “class” HD as usual. The Smallfolk are the most common race to have this feature.
This is where things are getting a little wibbley-wobbley. For new and/or inexperienced players go ahead and choose a class listed in the NEXT Basic Document and build your character from there. It’s pretty quick and easy. I’ve been putting characters onto 5×7 note cards, but there’s a character sheet that’s printable with quite a bit more room…obviously.
For the more advanced players feel free to mix and match (within reason). Choose HD first, and base how many other powers, and of what kind on how large a hit die you choose. I’ve made a number of folk with d4’s and no major “class features”, but a number of proficiencies and a “good” prof. bonus instead of the “average” that everyone gets normally…an extra +1.
Feats Every character gains one feat at first level in addition to everything else listed, and then can gain additional feats when they can gain ability score increases. Since Basic doesn’t have feats listed, just noted that they exist in the full game, use early PT, 3.5, PF, or 4e low level feats. That should be fine. I have characters with things like dragonmarks, and luck feats. a bunch of humans that are using the alternate human to gain the bonus skill proficiency, and bonus feat. I really like the human as it is right now. Again if you have questions hit me up. I’ll look over whatever you put up on your character page before play to see what I think.
Like skills, Feat Trainers are out there. Their training will cost more in t/gp/xp and will always have some kind of “quest” to complete before training will commence, and sometimes one to finish it off. This is another way to gain some Feats without having to sacrifice the ability score increases you get as you level up.
Advancing in HD or “Levels” – Since I find the XP table for NEXT really low and it seems to not follow a pattern we’re going to use the 3.5e table. It’s easier to figure out how much xp to next level, and I’ll just adjust the monsters and quest completion rewards accordingly. Honestly I’ll probably just tell you from time to time to level up. Like I said earlier…we’re playing it fast and loose…if you haven’t noticed.
SPECIAL DEAL!!! – 1000XP aka enough to make it to 2 HD, to everyone who sufficiently answers the 100 Questions noted in the fluff on Sample Dude. Also, use the character sheet template in his crunch box (edit the character and copy-pasta the stuff into your characters respective boxes).
There is a forum set up for discussion on characters and their personal interrelationships as we put together the first party.
- General Discussion
- Includes a Q&A atm, and eventually various other discussion…I hope.
- In Character
- For in character forum role play. The Dragon’s Head Tavern is live for early morning of Day 1 of the Timeline. Feel free to let your character enter at any time…first come first serve…just note in your post what time of day it is when you enter.
- Out of Character
- The out of character discussion about scenes for forum role play.
For advanced players go nuts adapting feats and pr classes…i got a rogue thats gonna be a “fortunes friend”…invent some backgrounds, just keep it justified in the fluff…either 100 questions, or little short stories, or whatever.
Haven: TNG Synopsis
The Corrana Vale, or “The Vale” as it is often called, is bounded almost entirely by mountains. They surround the area to the north, east and west, and hook in in the south almost cutting off the area from the outside world. South of the vale is an immense forest with a large Elven population. Small rivers flow from the north, north-east, and north-west and connect about twenty miles south of the northern range to then flow south past the town of Haven, through the forest, and out into the great world beyond.
The small farming community of Haven resides on the western bank of the Ahl’Gorran river in the south of the Corrana Vale where the river splits to form a large island covering nearly five square miles. An enormous tree that bears various different kinds of fruits and nuts sits atop a hill in the west of town, and a canal flows from the tree and around the village before connecting to the river. The village is populate mostly by humans, but people of all races, including a Forged named Ding!, reside in the village and its surrounding area. The bedrock below the city is riddled with caves and tunnels, the island is said to be haunted, and the summer solstice celebrations are in a week which people from all over The Vale come to enjoy.
It is here where our story begins. The Black One is busy…prepare yourself. You have a week.
History of the Vale…coming soon…