Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Order of Rulebreakers

In Magic there are rules.  Ways in which rituals must be performed, orders in which spells may be learned, manners in which curses and enchantments can be broken, effects of magic that are irreversible. 

Then there is the Order of Rulebreakers.  The Rulebreakers are a loose collection of spellcasters, primarily wizards, who make it their business to learn any governing ideas concerning magic, and then either break them or create workarounds:  curing people of vampirism, cheating death, reviving the dead, traveling to the underworld, casting higher level spells at lower levels, rewinding time, creating immunities to magical effects, writing new spells: those sort of things.  Many of these tactics and new spells are considered disruptive, possibly even dangerous, by more established spellcasters, and so the Order of Rulebreakers is outlawed in many kingdoms and states. 

Precisely where the Rulebreakers originated is not well-known, although it was likely somewhere in the Province of Visia, on the Great Peninsula Span, located to the southwest of Gull.  Pockets of Rulebreakers have spread to Aqueia, the most western Province of Gull, and there are scattered members beyond there, for Rulebreakers often travel.  They are illegal in most of Talia.  Their existence has been known for a little over 80 years, but some believe they may be as old as 200 years. 

When Rulebreakers appear in public or gather for meetings, they dress in dark cloaks and bright, monochromatic masks, usually white.  These mask are usually modeled on nondescript human faces, with black paint suggesting stylized features.  Rulebreakers refer to themselves by extravagant aliases, such as the Duke of Divergence, the Lord of Lilies, or Lion of the Lotus.  One of the most famous Rulebreakers is the Moron of the Sunless Depths.  He dresses in dark green with an aquamarine mask with enormous eyes and a small circular mouth. 

One theory of the founding of the Rulebreakers that explains their penchant for masks is that they started as an attempt by a party of spell-users to overcome the effects of a Medusa’s Petrifying Gaze, either to more easily defeat her, or to allow her to join their ranks.  As it stands, at least one Medusa is a known member of the Rulebreakers, The Lady of the Kindly Face. 

All Rulebreakers are either Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral.  They have spells that ward off all other alignments from joining their ranks.  Most Rulebreakers are Human or Tiefling, although there is the occasional Elf, Halfling, or mixed-race member.  And of course, there is at least one Medusa.  Some Rulebreakers have been known to turn themselves into Vampires or Liches.  How exactly such evil beings relate to the Order’s statutes concerning alignment is not generally known, although the theories are that either such beings get a special dispensation, or that Rulebreakers have figured out how to turn such beings away from being Truly Evil.   

Rulebreakers have a fondness for Alices (see A Red and Pleasant Land, pp. 29-33) and the more powerful of the Rulebreakers will often cast themselves as the benefactors of Alices they happen to run into (See Alice: Exasperation Table,p.31 in AR&PL, ROLL11).  They will do this even if the Alice does not belong to their favored alignment, as they think any insight gained from studying Alices as magical events supersedes the dangers of their ideology growing in power.    

Almost all Rulebreakers must be capable of spells of at least the 5th level of some spellcasting class, although junior members are allowed to join after reaching the 3rd level. 

Apprentice Spellcasters (0-Level)

                Training to be a spellcaster on the continent of Auros is a long, arduous process, one that can take several years.  As such, many wizards are quite capable of working some magic before becoming a first level wizard, or even before reaching 1st level.  And of course, some individuals learn some of the basics of magic, and then abandon their studies, but retain their spellcasting abilities through use, maybe even making a career of their performance.  Many apprentice clerics work as physicians in hospitals, and wizard apprentices often work as cleaners or repairmen, although some memorize offensive cantrips and serve as unassuming bodyguards.  Sorcerer apprentices often make their way as entertainers.   

Casting Abilitiy
A 0-Level spellcaster has access to the cantrip spells up to or equal to those that would be available to them at 1st level.  In addition, a 0-level spellcaster who utilizes a spellbook may record any cantrip in their spellbook and prepare it as if it was a first level spell being cast by a first level spellcaster.  A 0-level spellcaster may change 1 at will cantrip once every d3 moons. 

This is mostly useful for creating NPCs, but PCs may choose to become apprentices of a new class following suitable in-game roleplaying, and at a cost of 500 XP.  If a PC wishes to make their character an apprentice in a second class at character creations, reaching 2nd level takes 1600XP, at which point 500XP is removed.  All following levels require the normal amount of XP. 

Hit Points
Apprentice Spellcasters have the HP of the average (rounded up) of their classes Hit Die, plus their Constitution Modifier.  For example, a wizard apprentice in 5th Edition with CON 12 would have HP 4+1=5.  

PCs who expend 500 XP to gain apprenticeship receive additional HP equal to either ONLY the apprencticeship’s Hit Die Average or ONLY their CON modifier, whichever is higher.  For Example, if someone gains a level of Cleric, they will gain HP6 unless their CON Mod is greater than +6.  A wizard apprentice with CON 20 would add +5HP, not 4HP.  A PC who takes an apprenticeship at character creation takes whichever HP value is lower.  A wizard apprentice with CON 20 would take only +4HP.