If you’ve read The Karameikos Player’s Guide, you have a good start on understanding the country of Karameikos within the world of Mystara. Here are some additional rules and guidelines for playing with D&D Pathfinder + Basic rules.
We are using some of the rules (guidelines) in the player’s guide, but it was written for Basic D&D so don’t take the game mechanics too literally. Skills for example work much like they do in Pathfinder (There are just some extra skills, and you may have access to some extra non-class ones based on your background). In fact in several ways our rules are a combination of Basic and Pathfinder. Players are advised to read up on this young nation as that is where the campaign has begun. Please also bookmark the Pandius site which has a ton of Mystara (basic, known world) information. I recommend researching maps (the Karameikos one is included on our campaign site) and nearby lands like the Five Shires to the west and the Empire of Thyatis to the East.
Major world changes from “v3” D&D:
- This isn’t a change so much as how things work in this world: Clerics don’t follow a god. There aren’t gods anyway. There are Immortals many of whom it is said rose so high in mortal power and prowess that they were allowed to prove themselves to the Immortals and join their ranks. Each Immortal belongs to one of the Five Spheres of Power. Clerics don’t have to follow an Immortal either. They usually follow a church that is devoted to a set of Immortals or sometimes just one.
Major game mechanic changes:
- Classes that get familiars in 3.X don’t get them in this campaign. If you’re interested in one, that’s ok though. You can quest for one or research a way to bind one.
- Arcaners do not need magic item creation feats (though they may provide bonuses). Instead we use the magic item creation system of Basic D&D that was elaborated on in the Gazetteer the Principalities of Glantri. If you are an arcaner, ask the DM for details. Essentially, you must research a method to create an item, invest heavily in the quality and extravagance of its construction, and quest for components whose essence can bind magic to it.
- Clerics do need magic item creation feats. Then the system works similarly to Arcaners.
- Thieves don’t get sneak attack. They get backstab. The damage bonus is 1d12 not 1d6, but you can only backstab when you sneak up behind someone with a melee weapon like in the old rules. If you study a stationary target for three rounds, you can make a bow or crossbow backstab attempt, but they get a perception check to avoid surprise.
- We have a Karma point system. Points are earned initially through character background and then through site contributions. The wiki Karma section contains more details on how these can be spent (refreshed each session usually) to enhance important rolls or burned (permanently cashed in for good things).
- All rolls must be in sight of a witness.
- Picking up the dice to read them is an automatic failure. All repeat offenses are critical failures.
- Dice that do not come to a rest on a completely flat surface don’t count.
- Starting attributes are all 10 using the point buy system with 25 points.
Minor game mechanic changes:
- Rapiers are just another name for short swords. They crit 19-20/x2 and weigh 4lbs.
- Bows are classified in only two categories: long and short. Composite or non-composite does not matter. Thus weapon focus in short bow applies to any “short” bow. Either can be “mighty.”
- Hand crossbows are not exotic.
- Whips are not exotic.
- Magic Missile does 1d6+1 damage, not 1d4+1.
How XP works:
- Multi-classing is not instantaneous. Going from one class to another is not easy or quick. A rogue who wants to take on fighting for example cannot learn how to use all weapons and armors overnight nor can a fighter learn magic just from “leveling up”.
- Based off Basic rules of 1xp/1gp, treasure is a large part of experience, but each class has the potential to earn that experience in a different way. Rogues get a raw bonus for treasure especially when fencing it. Wizards earn xp through expenditure of that gold towards their research as well as through the study of the tomes they accumulate in their library (100xp/day can be earned until the entire library is studied [1xp/1gp still]). And so on for the various classes. Ask the DM for what will earn your particular character the most reward. These numbers are just an example and not actual 1-to-1 rewards now that we are on Pathfinder.