Shadows Over Brighthaven

Setting and Premise

Nearly five hundred years ago, the calamitous event known as the Primordial Succession, came to a conclusive end with the death of the Zarathul, the Primordial Serpent. In its dying gasp the would-be god cursed the world for the tragedy of its birth and shed its thousand and one golden scales to every corner of Ferizan.

Although the war was now ended, these scales burrowed deep into the earth and from them sprouted terrifying monsters and beasts of ill-repute. With the common threat eliminated, the various heroes of the war turned their attentions inward–toward the monstrous lairs that now blighted their homes. The Age of Heroes, the barely hundred years of steadfast cooperation between rival nations, was finally over.

But with the end of that age came the rise of another, one perhaps better suited for the valor of the common man. With so many new threats dotting the land and leadership still in shambles from the war, the common people banded together to protect themselves where their heroes and kings could not. These early adventurers fought not for crown and country but for home and hearth in order to safeguard their lands from the encroach of the blight. To this point, the very first dungeon was conquered not by a hero of the war but instead by a band of desperate farmers pushed to the brink.

And one by one, as nations slowly fought back to reclaim their lands, they discovered the sometimes literal mountains of wealth that the dungeons sat on. Zarathul’s scales were veritable fonts of mana, invested fully with ancient magic that could warp the very space around them in ways that mortals could never replicate. Ignorant or perhaps uncaring of the laws that governed life on the surface, the realms born of the scales were sometimes impossibly vast and capable of supporting life well beyond what logic would dictate. Although the first few scales were destroyed utterly by the first few vengeful adventurers, it was discovered that the serpent scales could be ensorcelled to make their surrounding dungeons dormant and structurally stable, a practice quickly adopted by the now state-sponsored adventurers.

The much celebrated Brighthaven Academy, of which this adventure will take place, resides on top of one such dormant scale, whose dungeon is now used primarily to farm out rare and exotic reagents for magical research and to provide testing beds for spellcraft and design.

Today, what is now known as the "Golden Age of Adventure" is long over, with the last discovered scale dungeon conquered and contained almost a full century ago. Nobody in living memory remembers what life was like when these dungeons were actively plaguing the lands with blighted creations. Blights, the monstrous creatures that the dungeons seem to spawn endlessly, are a rare sight on the surface nowadays. More often found as part of a circus attraction than in the wilderness attacking distant settlements.

With no dungeons left to conquer, what few adventurers of the modern day remain have increasingly turned to lives as mercenaries, sellsails, and in many unfortunate cases, common bandits. As members of the Dying Breed, one of the few remaining adventuring companies of this age, you may well be the last generation of foolhardy explorers willing to ply your trade…that is, until the once thought dormant scale dungeon underneath Brighthaven Academy began roiling once more. The researchers and academy staff living on the upper floors of the dungeon were quickly evacuated as the depths of the dungeon began spawning Blights at a previously unheard of rate. Fearing what this could mean for the school but also wary of foreign powers intruding on the nation’s affairs, Brighthaven's Headmaster in consultation with Ambrosia's king invited the Dying Breed as a neutral third party in order to investigate the dungeon’s recent revival with the ultimate goal of securing the scale once more.

Now, the whole world looks on at the island nation of Ambrosia and by extension you and your team, for what may come next.

Character Creation Rules

  • 25 Point Buy
  • No 3rd Party Publishers (some exceptions may be made on a case by case basis)
  • 2nd Level Primary Class, 1st Level Secondary Class
  • 1000gp Starting Wealth
  • Character "Races" exist only for the sake of mechanical bonuses and variance, all characters in-setting are human


Partial Gestalt Rules
- At character creation, pick out one class to act as your "secondary class". This class will progress at a different rate than your primary class and unlike normal gestalt rules, your secondary class will not affect your Base Attack Bonus, Saving Throw progression, or your Hit Dice. Instead you will gain its features, armor/weapon proficiencies, class skills, and spellcasting if it has it. Secondary classes cannot progress past 6th level. Your gestalt side cannot multiclass and you do not receive level up feats from advancing in class levels (although you may still receive Bonus Feats from the class itself).

Quick Weapon Switching
Changing out your weapons is now a Swift Action. The Quick Draw feat functions as normal (changing weapons becomes a free action).

Weakened Control Spells
All spells that inflict a harmful condition lasting more than 1 round now allow the recipient to make additional saving throws against the condition/spell effect at the end of their turn for as long as the condition persists.

Consolidated Skills
Skills are consolidated according to the variant rule here. A PC counts a consolidated skill as a class skill as long as one of their classes lists a component skill as a class skill.

Modified Skill Points
All PCs gain 5 skill points per level regardless of their class. Intelligence has no effect on number of skill ranks gained.

Pared Down Equipment Slots
PCs no longer have the RAW magic item slots. Outside of weapon and armor, PCs instead have four different accessory slots that they can fill with any type of equipment as long as no two slots overlap.

Automatic Bonus Progression
The standard Stat Bonus items are no longer available and PCs instead gain inherent effects according to the chart below:
Level Bonuses Granted
1st Resistance +1
2nd Armor Bonus +1
3rd Weapon bonus +1
4th Physical Stat Boost +2, Deflection +1
5th Mental Stat Boost +2, Resistance +2
6th Natural Armor +1
7th Armor Bonus +2, Any Stat Boost +2
8th Weapon Bonus +2, Deflection +2, Resistance +3
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