Variant Rules (Shard Ne'Vaal Supplement)
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The items on this page are not imperative to campaigns in this setting. They're more like guidelines.
Backgrounds and Themes
Allowing these two is recommended in a campaign since they're just fun. You don't have to though.
Despite the dwindling arcane powers in the world, the making of golems remains in vogue. This is because golems do not require a lot of magic to make. They just require a lot of materials. But simply needing a pinch or vial of magic dust mixed with mundane material is a much smaller price to pay than entire spells.
Void Power Source
The Shadow power source exists, but it is now pure negative energy, which is what the voids are made of in Shard Ne'Vaal. They lend themselves to use by only a select few who have learned to harness Graghk's presence as his hunger permeates out in the world after the Gorge. This power source is pure nothingness, empowering abilities associated with disintegration, oblivion and dark-hole style levels of devouring all light and matter.
Alternatively, if you don't want to introduce a new power source, you can just reuse Shadow but rename it as the void. It does not have the same connotations with undead and such in this case.
To really push the storytelling and videogame component, you could feature more conditions that better illustrate certain states of mind and body. There is also the option of adding positive conditions, which lend buffs rather than detriments.
In addition to the existing area ranges of attack, spray is more aesthetically tailored to depict a spreading wave of energy. Unlike a simple close blast, it fans out over a range, making it more accurate when illustrating something like a funneled burst of energy.
At the risk of sounding redundant, this rule adds more skills to the game to help with realism and accomplishing more outside simple battle. Includes crafting!
With the climate of energy in Shard Ne'Vaal, power sources have been disrupted, and with them go the powers that rely on them. These rules are to better feel the chaos caused in the world by wanton use of powers. This rule heavily pushes players towards the martial power source, since it debilitates just about every other power source.
In some cases, the player may come in possession of a special type of currency used by the gods since the Eden Period. They have not lost their value, but they are incredibly rare and require certain merchants to be of any use. One is Astral Diamonds. The other is Residuum pieces. Astral diamonds are considered shards of the outer worlds and fragments of space having fallen and encased in a special crystalline form of Residuum that is nigh unbreakable. Residuum is a material that used to be used in arcane rituals to enhance weapons and such, as it is pure magic material. Since the Gorge, there is a limited amount of these two currencies left in the world. Due to the nature of astral diamonds, they are worth 10 residuum coins each, and are much rarer.
A DM can use this currency as a means of allowing players to trade for things off the books, like powerful plot items, or even class related augments. The merchants who trade these goods are believed to be aspects of the goddess He'Nth, and are scattered across the world of Shard Ne'Vaal. These two pieces of currency otherwise do not have much use. Some normal merchants may buy them at high prices as materials for magic, while others see no practical use in them.
- Nil Shards
Shards of Nihilium, a special "element" in Shard Ne'Vaal, is residue from the essence of nil, that is, Graghk himself. These shards are incredibly dangerous and function not only as pieces of a black hole, but also are detrimental to the holder. Anyone who has these shards in their inventory has their Charisma reduced by 4 and they have disadvantage on their Will saves. These detriments stack with each shard. While they are a menace, these shards are a viable plot device. It is said that when they are all gathered, a special weapon to cancel out nil is endowed onto the brave soul who was able to shoulder the burden of the shards. There are 13 shards in total, flung about to the unknown reaches of the shattered world.
|Shard Ne'Vaal Campaign Settingv|
|Players' Handbook||Races, Languages, Classes, Backgrounds, Themes, Magic, Psionics, Religion, Literature, Legends and Lore|
|Shard Ne'Vaal Crash Course||History, Geography, Climate, and the World, Bestiary, Flora, Factions, Calendar and Holidays, Cosmology and the Planes, Politics and Law|
|Dungeon Master's Guide||About, Items of Legend, Campaign Ideas, Consumables, Sample Places, NPCS, Variant Rules|