Dreams of Ice and Madness
- Destiny System
‘Destinies’ are powerful mechanics, in some ways similar to feats, which are unique to each character. They tend to revolve around the theme or story of each character. Some are out in the open for all to see, some are intended to be kept secret or at least obscured, and some are only revealed as the game progresses and the characters reach certain milestones.
Destinies are NOT known before you permanently choose a character. Only after you have decided for good who you are playing will you be able to see your destinies. Destinies may also contain hints and portents about Prestige Classes or connect to other mechanics throughout the game world.
Characters will tend to have 3 destinies, but might have only 2 or as many as 4 if they are particularly weak or powerful individually. In general, hidden destinies or milestone destinies are slightly more effective than destinies one can use off the bat and share the details of with others, which tend to be rarer.
Any other unusual class/skill/item access, specific items to look for in the course of adventuring, or unique ways of interacting the world are listed alongside destinies as goals.
The last kind of destiny is a camaraderie destiny. These are essentially hidden powers which can only be unlocked through Good Teamwork, Intra-Party Conflict (With solid IC basis), or even out-of-character actions between two players. Many of these are ‘catch phrase’ related…
- Companion’s Oath
In some worlds, groups of adventurers are lucky enough to form out of common goals, making temporary arrangements and securing their company with a document called a ‘Charter’. Those who band together to survive do not have this luxury, but share the need for some consensus as they brave the dangers of th world. After reaching level 3, the Party must sit down and, based on their actions, create the Companion’s Oath. This is functionally a binding series of tenets describing important agreements on matters such as distributing discovered riches, what happens if party goals conflict, standing orders facing certain types of enemies, prohibitions on combat tactics… and, should things go badly, handling each other’s bodies. Every two or three levels, the Companion’s should reconvene and discuss The Oath again, making any necessary changes.
- Critical Skill Successes and Failures
Much like combat, Skill checks offer Critical Successes, and unlike combat, Critical Failures. Sometimes blind luck can see you through in a pinch, and sometimes even the most skilled individuals can make a stupid mistake. Critical Successes and Failures are ‘confirmed’ just like critical hits or critical fumbles, but take a +10/-10 on the confirmation roll, respectively, and their effect is usually dramatic. If a numeric value is absolutely necessary, a confirmed success is +10 on the check, and a confirmed Failure is -10. If you have more than 5 ranks and way more than a +10 total skill modifier, it may be possible to succeed in spite of a critical failure.
- Bonus Feats
A wide variety of out of character effort can be rewarded in-character with Bonus Feats. Going to the effort of keeping an IC Journal, updating your character’s Wiki regularly, getting ‘fan art’ done for your PC and others, or other types of OOC awesome could all net you a bonus feat. Like most things, the first few are easy to get, but the stakes generally rise over the course of the game. The GM chooses the bonus feats, and they are often feats which people simply don’t take, like Negotiator, Self-Sufficient, or others, but might also be useful side items like Track for a non-ranger, a save-increasing feat, or a weapon proficiency/focus for a non fighter. Essentially anything that is not part of a tree or combo is fair game, unless I’m trying to lead you to that feat grouping.
- Party XP
Leveling is mostly controlled by plot advancement, and reaching certain milestones. However, some character classes (and some characters specifically) will have the need to spend XP, for the creation of magic items or casting of special spells, or offsetting level loss if you somehow, miraculously, find someone to raise you. To handle these expenditures, the party accrues a shared XP reserve – Which can only be filled by Roleplaying. Rewards to fill this pool may be as simple as 25 XP for a good quip, 100 XP for a tense moment of intra-party dialog, or more for staying in character for long periods, expressing a core belief of your character in a visceral way, or otherwise.
- Prestige Class House Rules
Every character will have the chance to access one or more prestige classes throughout the game. Two of these classes are usually tied directly to the overarching choices that character has to make throughout the campaign. it is also possible that non character specific prestige classes, usually those with few levels, will crop up through the course of the campain, depending on where people choose to explore. In general, each character has the choice of two mutually exclusive prestige classes, or can take their core class all the way up (With one exception….)