Card Catalog – The Callie’s Song

October 31, 2017

Welcome back to Card Catalog, where we share characters from different settings and systems for you to use or adapt as you see fit.  This series is for Dungeons & Dragons(™), more particularly “Basic” Dungeons & Dragons(™) in the Mystara(™) setting. “Basic” is the outgrowth and evolution of the original Dungeons & Dragons(™) existing alongside Advanced Dungeons & Dragons(™) for years into the mid-1990s.  The “Basic” system actually had some intricate and exceptional Optional Rules that could be used in the Rules Cyclopedia and in the expansions that breathed life into the Known World aka Mystara(™). Optional Rules that are used will be highlighted in each entry as well as a brief explanation and if you find yourself enthralled with Mystara(™), Drive Thru RPG has the PDF reissues available now!

System Notes

Many facets of “Basic” are unusual to modern gaming design and are worth noting ahead of time.  

  • First, Demihumans are classes – if you play a Dwarf, Elf, or Halfling that is your class and how many levels you can gain is limited compared to the human maximum of 36.
  • Second, statistic generation is done by rolling 3d6 in order – Strength; Intelligence; Wisdom; Dexterity; Constitution; and Charisma.  You can choose to lower one of the first 4 by 2 points to raise another statistic by 1 but you can’t drop a statistic below 9.
  • Third, multiclassing does not exist.  The Rules Cyclopedia has Fighters, Clerics, Magic-Users, Thieves, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, and the optional Mystic and Druid. Okay, it exists in some of the optional rules and expansions, but generally as classes that blend aspects of two classes as opposed to more recent Dungeons & Dragons editions.  For example, the Forrester class found in the Dawn of the Empires Boxed Set allows humans to be a fighter/magic-user combination like an Elf.
  • Fourth, it takes different amounts of experience to advance levels for different classes.  I have applied a total of 50,000XP for each character, and they are not all the same level. I also provided them with a smattering of magical items that I thought were appropriate instead of random rolls from the loot charts.

Optional Rules

These are optional rules in the Cyclopedia that I am using when making these characters, and they deserve a little bit of discussion first.

General Skills

The use of General Skills is an optional rule that we will be using to flesh out the characters here.  The basic mechanic matches a skill to one of your attributes and you roll a d20 trying to get under that number.  If you sink additional ranks into a skill, you roll against your attribute plus any additional ranks.

The four starting general skills are in addition to your starting languages. You receive a bonus number of skills based on your Intelligence just like your languages. Characters gain additional skills as they advance in levels.

Weapon Specialization

The “Basic” Dungeons and Dragons succinct but exceptionally detailed system of weapon specialization is also being used for these characters.  Each weapon listed in the Cyclopedia has a different advancement table as the level of specialization increases reflecting the different weapons’ traits and abilities.  

Fighters begin with 4 weapon specialization slots while other human characters begin with two and Demihumans have basic specialization in all weapons they can use.  Starting characters must spread the weapon specializations to different weapons at 1st level while being able to advance them as more are gained at higher levels.

The Callie’s Song

In the wake of the Great War between Thyatis and Alphatia, Mystara is in a state of flux.  The great and magical Alphatian Empire has been destroyed as an entire continent sank beneath the waves.  The Thyatian Empire, strained as it is from this war is not ready to capitalize on being the only superpower left.  The Heldannic Knights are a power in the north while Glantri seems poised to expand it’s influence. The Callie’s Song sails the seas in this time of chaos looking for adventure, treasure, and lucrative trade goods.  

Allyn Deritarum – Fighter and Merchant-Prince of the Minrothad Guilds

Allyn is the captain of the Callie’s Song and serves as the de facto leader of the adventuring party.  He is a Fighter by original class, but a skilled member of Guilder Corser from the Minrothad Guilds where he has at a young age become a Merchant-Prince. His risk-taking ventures have earned him a good deal of wealth, but he can sometimes leap far too quickly before he has looked. Gazetteer 9 – The Minrothad Guilds

Khaa Roark – Former Thyatian Slave captured from Thar’s Hordes

Khaa Roark, formerly of the Horde of King Thar of Orcus Rex, Ruler of the Broken Lands, is an Orc that has been pulled kicking and screaming, well punching and slashing, out of his original home. Khaa Roark was captured instead of killed when a raiding party he was on attacked the wrong caravan. He was building a name for himself after having been sold into Thyatian slavery as a gladiator before Allyn decided to “buy” him and set him free.  Now, Khaa Roark does his best to fit into this new horde of what once would be his enemies.
Gazetteer 10 – The Orcs of Thar

Balia Kilaim– A Karameikos Dwarf on the run from the Black Eagle Barony

Dwarves are a proud part of the Grand Duchy … I mean, Kingdom of Karameikos.  Not everyone sees it that way, though. Baron Von Hendriks of the Black Eagle Barony made no friends with his almost caricature of a villain including a hot headed and spunky dwarf named Balia while he nearly worked her father to death.  Refusing to let the Black Eagle Barony run roughshod over her clan, and especially wanting to wipe that smirk off Bargle’s face, she managed to embarrass the Baron and Bargle before running off and falling in with Allyn, Hastin, and Khaa Roark.  It’s been interesting, and she didn’t like Khaa Roark for quite a while, but the more ale they quaff and bar brawls they start together, the more they are almost inseparable.

Sharvon – Aspiring Darokinian Merchant and Negotiator

Sharvon, a Thief by class, is an aspiring Merchant from Darokin. While the Minrothad Guilds are the greatest sea traders, it is the Republic of Darokin whose caravans blanket the continent.  Sharvon found Allyn trying to make his way across land, instead of sea, and saw a chance for riches to elevate his status in Darokin. He has since become an integral part of the trade Allyn does and a useful negotiator and sneak.
Gazetteer 11 – The Republic of Darokin

Bors– Darokinian Cleric of Korotiku, the Trickster Immortal of Thought

An odd pairing to be sure, a third-born son of a Darokin Keeper ended up on the Pearl Islands and was called by Korotoku to add some enlightenment to the world by helping people not take themselves too seriously.  While Bors doesn’t talk about his parents or family much, he talks trade, life, and what it means to live with Sharvon almost incessantly as they debate the future of their beloved Republic. When Allyn brought his motley crew through Darokin as a Porter, Bors saw his chance to see more of the world and poke at the power structure a little more.
Gazetteer 11- The Republic of Darokin; Dawn of the Empires and Dawn of the Empires Boxed Set

Hatim– A Magic-User from the far off land of Sind, Gateway to the West

Hatim was born into the Jadugerya caste of the Sind.  He showed promise in the traditional calling of the magic-user and was on his way to advance in Sindi society as tradition often dictated.  The chance encounter with the iconoclastic foreigner, Allyn, changed how he saw the world and he set off with some blessings from his family to explore the rest of the world.  Now, as his family has been branded traitors by the new rulers of Sind in the pocket of the Master of Hule, Hatim looks for ways to serve his countrymen even from afar.
The Princess Ark Boxed Set; Dragon Magazine – The Voyage of the Princess Ark

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