Travelers from Another Realm

Many characters arrive in the Shrinelands from distant realms. Between Law and Chaos hundreds of worlds exist, and new arrivals will have to decide if their circumstances are a boon or a curse. To create a character with this origin follow the guidelines below and take note of some of the differences between your realm of origin and this new world.

Character Rules

Creating a character with this origin

  • Distribute ability scores: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8
  • Begin at 2nd level
  • Non-evil alignment
  • Typical starting wealth based on class and background

Advancement and Experience Points

Adventurers gain experience points by surviving what Fate has in store for them and currying the favor of the Gods. Exploration, gaining knowledge (and treasure), forging alliances, and triumphing over great foes are how this is done. Character who gain enough experience points to advance to a new level may do so following a long rest, during which they are honing new skills. In addition to advancing to a new level experience points also determine how quickly a character can learn a new technique, detailed below.


The experience chart is a guideline for how many points are gained for different activities. Adventurers who discover ancient wisdom or gain the favor of greater powers will also discover new ways to gain experience points as they shape their journey. At the end of each game session all characters will gain half the difference in experience points between themselves and the highest experience point character as they travel “alongside an experienced adventurer.”

Wanderer in a Weird Land

Being from another realm will present its own opportunities, but also challenges. Although this new world is likely familiar in many ways there are likely critical differences which will render some of their knowledge obsolete. Most lore skills will reveal information from understanding the underlying theory of the world, such as the general nature of some types of creatures, but specifics always need to be encountered in the field. As the winds carry their words characters will find that many of the languages they spoke are still of great use, but are also likely to encounter runes and tongues they have never heard before. Learning these new languages and gaining a practiced familiarity with the lores of the Shrinelands can be taken as a technique (see below).

By tradition an adventurer may claim to be a member of a “class” after 3rd level. Prior to this many clerics are simply initiates, bards nothing but simple performers. Some classes have unique features which relate to being from another realm. While many of these questions will be fuel for their adventures some things to consider.

  • Clerics will have to decide between serving their community by communicating between mortals and the new gods of this realm, or a duty to bring the words and power of their previous deities across the great gulfs between realms to this one.
  • Noble paladins can expect their oaths to be heard by the mysterious Lady, granting them respect from those who have heard of her benevolence
  • Warlocks may find their old patrons with less sway, but will be in particular peril from those things which lurk between the realms.
  • Bards, druids, sorcerers, wizards, and other spellcasters will be at some advantage learning magics particular to the Shrinelands, but will soon discover that some elements of their Vancian spellcasting are affected by the magics of the realm.
  • Barbarians, fighters, monks, and rogues are usually sturdy or canny enough to thrive in any land. A sword is a sword, but they will likely encounter new techniques they have never heard of among local warriors.

Game Systems

Travel and Time

As one of the sages once said, “you can not have a meaningful campaign if strict time records are not kept.” Time and travel are a major component of REALMLORDS. Hexcrawling is covered in more detail elsewhere, but in general a party can expect to travel between 1 and 4 hexleagues in a day, encounter whatever Fate has in store for them, and be required to decide how much weight is worth carrying.

Notable Changes

Players familiar with other settings should be aware of a new notable changes which might affect their characters

  • Time is an important factor and is conducted under the gritty realism ruleset. A Long Rest requires a week while a Short Rest requires a day. Additionally a Long Rest may only be conducted in a place of relative comfort and safety; a friendly druid’s arbor, a tavern, or other such. Characters may still conduct useful activities while resting, but any major interruptions such as a dire encounter may interrupt this period.
  • Outnumbering an opponent by flanking provides a minor advantage; a +2 on the roll to hit. Other favorable circumstances may also provide a minor advantage.
  • Taking large amounts of elemental damage from a single attack has additional effects, such as being lit on fire.
  • Spells are subject to the magical influence of the Ephemeral Lords, which may affect how some spells operate in the setting.

Secret Techniques

During their travels characters may come across foes with strange abilities, ancient dueling manuals, or canny instructors. These additional abilities are called techniques and are opportunities for characters to develop unique skills as a result of their individual journey.

On a particular adventure each character can choose to train a specific technique. Each technique has a required number of experience points to master. Experience gained while training a technique counts towards advancing to the next level, which is always determined by total experience gained during a character’s lifetime, and towards this technique. Once mastered a character may choose another technique, if they know of any.

Simply seeing a new ability used once is not enough to attempt training. A character must either have on hand some form of instruction manual, a dedicated teacher, or have been in active combat with the technique on numerous occasions.