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Once you feel ready to create your first new character you really get to see the world of the Kingdoms of Novitas. For some players this will be their very first game, others might wait months or even years before they decide they are ready to jump into a character. This is very much a case of personal comfort levels and interests, no one answer is right for everyone.
|Basic Character Rules | Leveling Up | Races | Character Background | Choosing Skills|
Players are allowed to have more than one character. A player's primary character is referred to as a "main" while other characters are referred to as "alts". Alts follow normal character creation rules. Players with more than one character choose which character they assign any experience earned to. Gear (or any other resource) earned by one character may not be transferred to another. Each alternate character should have a different character background and should generally seek to interact with different player characters than other existing characters you have.
Players may have any number of characters at a time, but can only have two characters active in a one year time frame. If character death results in a situation where you can't play a PC due to this rule, be sure to talk to a marshal about the circumstances.
Sometimes players make new characters and they just don't work out the way you want them to. Skills don't feel right for the character, or sometimes the whole concept just doesn't work. When this happens Kingdoms of Novitas allows an amnesty to change things about a character once per character before the start of the second event a player plays that character.
If you want to learn more here is what happens when a character dies.
Experience points are generally earned by performing activities that enhance the game. One of the primary ways to earn them is from your mandatory NPC shifts during each event. Assisting with setting up and break down, performing extra NPC shifts, writing post-event letters (PELs) are some examples of other activities that can earn you more experience.
A player will earn one experience point for each of the first two shifts they NPC. If you choose to NPC additional shifts you will get 2 experience points for each additional shift you choose to NPC beyond the first two. Each player may also turn in 10 coin in order to gain 1 additional experience point once during each sign-in.
The logistics staff tracks the unassigned experience you have earned, then when you check-in that experience is put on your character sheet and removed from the system. This is why it is important that you archive your character sheet often. In the event that you have more than one character you may choose which character will receive any experience you earn.
Listed in order of costuming complexity.
The Empire of Civen is grounded in democracy, industry, free trade, and the rule of law. It is an urban society, and its citizens congregate together in several large towns and cities. Their capital is Civenopolis. Their culture is a Greco-Roman amalgam.
Tribesmen believe in force of arms, self-reliance, martial prowess, and a lot of drinking. They are hard fighters and even harder partiers. Tribesmen are a nomadic, tribal race. When tribes meet on the steppes of the Tribelands, they are as likely to fight as they are to trade - and sometimes do both! There are no cities in the Dellin Tribelands, and each tribe sees their chief as a king. Their culture is a northern European barbarian amalgam.
The Theocracy of Vlean is new, having recently (100 years ago) broken away from the Empire of Civen in a vicious civil war. The civil war was precipitated by a cabal of priests who distrusted the "greedy and atheist" government of the Empire. They believe in religious piety and strong religious government led by strong leaders. The Theocracy of Vlean is a cruel, repressive place, ruled by a council of Septons who often twist the meanings of things to justify their own ends. There is one main city, Vleanoa.
Earthkin are a race of subterranean miners and craftsmen. Their proximity and affinity for the earth causes small nodules and gemstones to grow from their skin.
Earthkin live in the Kingdom of Terra, and their underground capital of Earthhold sprawls beneath the glittering ceiling of a vast cavern. Their culture is law abiding, harmonious, and respects strength, good craftsmanship, and strong ale, which they drink prodigiously. They are an urban and social race, gathering together in their huge underground halls to mine, smelt and smith together. A typical Earthkin is slow to act, deliberate, taciturn, and untrusting of strangers - but once you have gained their trust, they are loyal friends.
Thousands of years ago, deep below Novitas in the magical caverns of Voltanicus, the humans and elves who were originally the Smith’s folk slowly became the dour Earthkin. Their close proximity to the magic of the Smith and long exposure to the bowels of Novitas had seeped into their very bones, causing them to become a part of it. While Voltanicus was destroyed in the chaos after the dark powers were released, the Earthkin survived, and even today thrive.
Earthkin Relations with Others
Earthkin hate Snow Goblins, and dislike elves. Humans of all lands are welcome as long as they follow the laws. Faekin are alternately a welcome distraction and a nuisance with their frivolity. Drakes are accorded much respect.
Earthkin worship the Sept. Some few venerate Grak the Destroyer, but they are usually not found in the cities.
Costuming Difficulty: Very easy and inexpensive
Earthkin do not have any height or beard requirements, instead, the character must affix at least five coin sized gemstones to clearly visible areas of their body with prosthetic adhesive. Earthkin are also encouraged to darken their skin with grey or brown make-up, but this is optional. Their costume is typical medieval European garb, tending towards dark colors and earth tones. Earthkin often wear aprons and jewelry of metals and gemstones are common. Their warriors fight with whatever they are most comfortable with, but they exhibit a general trend toward axes, hammers, maces and pole arms.
Elves are long lived humanoids with pointy ears. While similar to humans, the typical Elf can expect to live about 300 years. This tends to make them more patient, and less ambitious, than other races. For an Elf, there’s always tomorrow. And the day after. Or the day after that. Elves in Novitas live in two distinct countries, the Great Forest (who refer to themselves as Wood Elves) and The Realms of Evenandra (who refer to themselves as High Elves).
The Wood Elves of the Great Forest are chaotic and loosely organized. They have no cities that serve as capitals or trade centers - everyone lives in small villages and farming settlements.
Wood Elf Relations with Others
Wood Elves dislike the staid Earthkin, and get along well with Faekin. They laugh at elves from The Elven Realms, respect Drakes, and judge most everyone else on their individual merits.
Wood Elf Religion
Wood Elves worship the Sept, when they bother to pray. Their religious observances tend to resemble parties more than services, and Wood Elves are not known for their piety.
Wood Elf Costuming
Costuming Difficulty: Fairly easy and inexpensive
Wood Elves must wear ear tip prosthetics. These must be affixed with prosthetic adhesive and blended with the surrounding skin using make-up. Their dress tends towards earth tones – mostly browns and greens. Warriors tend to use missile weapons, bows, or two swords, and avoid heavy armor.
In stark contrast to the Wood Elves, the elves of Evenandra are urbane, lawful, socially stratified, aloof, and dignified. They revere the study of the magical arts and Alchemy, at the expense of martial prowess. They like trade, but engage in unfair trade practices like tariffs and quotas to always gain a favorable advantage (which agitates the Empire of Civen).
High Elf Relations with Others
Elves in The Realms of Evenandra are fascinated by Drakes, and accord them much respect. They enjoy the company of Faekin (who they view as entertaining), tolerate Wood Elves and humans from the Empire, dislike Earthkin and Snow Goblins, and have outlawed tribesmen from Dellin and priests from Vlean.
High Elf Religion
They worship the Sept with great pomp and circumstance, if less sincerity.
High Elf Costuming
Costuming difficulty: Fairly easy, but can be expensive due to garb.
Their costume is long ears and finery. Elves must wear ear tip prosthetics. These must be affixed with prosthetic adhesive and blended with the surrounding skin using make-up. Their clothing tends to be rich and ornate, if not always practical. Warriors (such as they are) tend to use spear, bow, or sword and shield – but elves from The Realms are far more likely to make their way in the world as scholars, mages, or alchemists.
All Elves gain Racial Language: Elvish for free at first level.
Might makes right to a Snow Goblin, and the strong are destined to rule the weak. Failing that, the devious will rule the trusting and stupid. Snow Goblins possess a fierce sense of honor and personal reputation, and insults or slights are often settled by elaborate duels. Snow Goblins follow their laws, and lawbreakers are punished severely.
Snow Goblins live in the Snow Kingdom of Gersh. Their capital is The Fissure, a town cut into the walls of a deep crevasse in the icy plains. Snow Goblin culture is an oriental amalgam, with evil tendencies. It is well known that the leaders of the Gersh are often seen as a malicious, evil, and oppressive regime. However, it is important to note that the average Snow Goblin is often oppressed and unhappy with the state of affairs. As such, many of them turn to lifestyles as merchants, mercenaries, or travelers to get away from this lifestyle. Snow Goblins travelling outside Gersh in an unofficial capacity are pretty much just regular folks trying to make their way in the world.
Snow Goblin Relations with Others
Snow Goblins typically hate Drakes, as they fear their magical prowess. They see Tribesmen as useful tools, and have no use for Wood Elves, who they see as chaotic and flighty. Likewise Faekin are not liked in Gersh, and no Snow Goblin ever became a Faekin. They tolerate elves from Evenandra as long as they don’t make trouble, and welcome trade from the Empire, Terra and the Theocracy. Many powerful Snow Goblins have social and economic contacts in Vlean.
Snow Goblin Religion
Snow Goblins worship anyone but the Sept, who they see as responsible for their ancient banishment to the frigid north. Worship of Nox, Grak, Darkness, and odd forms of ancestor worship, spiritualism, or animism are all common. Religion is very much a private affair in the Snow Kingdom – there are no public sacrifices or dark rituals held in town squares. Even so, the leadership and nobility of Gersh are fairly open about their homage to the Dark Triumvirate, forcing many of the average citizens to pay lip service to these gods, particularly in the military and government service. However, most of the general population of Snow Goblins actually follows a religious path of animism and ancestor worship.
Snow Goblin Costuming
Costuming Difficulty: Moderately difficult and expensive.
All Snow Goblins share two distinct traits, white skin and stark white hair. Snow Goblins have long hair of pure white that they often intricately braid or attach bones, decorations, or trophies to. Players are required to completely hide their hair under a long white wig, or be bald. Players may not claim that their own hair is sufficiently white. Players with facial hair must completely cover it with a white fake beard and mustache, or color it white.
Snow Goblins must also cover all exposed skin with white makeup. This need not be completely opaque, but must be noticeably lighter than even a pale-skinned person, particularly on the face. If the player chooses to not put makeup on certain areas, such as the hands, and instead cover them with clothing (like gloves) they cannot remove that clothing unless they first apply makeup to that area.
- Pointed ears
- Over-sized nose
- Extra limbs
- Extra eye
- Deformities (hunchbacked, etc.)
- Large claws
- Extra fingers
- Costume contacts
- Severe ritual scarring
These irregularities in no way grant the Snow Goblin special abilities or penalties, and once used become a permanent part of the characters costume and may not be discarded later for convenience. Unique additions and irregularities are highly encouraged and will help your character stand out.
Difficulty and cost depends greatly on the physical irregularities, deformities and mutations chosen. A player who chooses simple deformities such as fangs and horns will find their costume much easier to create than a player who chooses deformities involving prosthetics such as noses, extra eyes, scarring, etc. New players desiring to play Snow Goblins are encouraged to seek guidance and advice from players who have previously done so.
Snow Goblin clothing is an amalgam of oriental clothing or armor pieces. Warriors fight with standard oriental weapons such as katanas or naginatas, as well as oddly-shaped weapons such as the war fan, butterfly knives, the moontooth shovel, or hook swords. For those choosing to play a Snow Goblin, a simple Google Image search for “Chinese kung fu weapons” is extremely interesting and enlightening. Some films that give appropriate cues are Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Seven Samurai, and The Last Samurai.
Snow Goblin Rules
All Snow Goblins gain Racial Language: Snow Goblin for free at first level.
Individuals who wish to play a Snow Goblin must have their costuming approved by the Props & Atmosphere marshal prior to the first event that the character will be played.
Faekin are human, Earthkin or Elvish individuals whose ancestry indicates a dalliance with a fae. The evidence of the union appears every few generations. As the Faekin grows up, his hair and eyes gradually change color to indicate the type of ancestor he is descended from - brown for brownies, green for dryads, blue for nyads, etc. Almost any color can be rationalized, and the coloring of a Faekin often gives a clue about his demeanor. Red Faekin might have fiery tempers, while green Faekin might be earthy and wise. By the time the Faekin reaches adulthood, he is clearly different from his family and friends. (The change to Faekin ALWAYS takes place before a character enters the game. Characters who do not start as Faekin at first level will NEVER change to a Faekin during play.)
Faekin have no cities, and no homeland. They tend to be flighty and irreverent wanderers and adventurers, rarely staying in one place for any length of time. They laugh frequently, and have a generally cheerful demeanor.
Faekin Relations with Others
Faekin like elves and humans, although the repressive government of the Theocracy of Vlean disgusts them. They sometimes find Earthkin society too dour, and Snow Goblins too cruel. Tribesmen alternately terrify and delight them. They avoid Drakes, as a Drake's dedication to study and scholarly pursuits is totally alien to them, and makes them uncomfortable.
Faekin venerate the Sept, with varying degrees of piety.
Costuming Difficulty: Fairly easy, but expensive.
Their costume can reflect any background, or none, as they are wanderers. The distinguishing characteristic of a Faekin is colored costume contact lenses and a matching wig or colored hair. All facial hair must be colored to match the contacts, and a player must color his hair or wear a wig – you can’t claim your natural hair color is “red enough”, nor may you be bald. It should be visibly different and unnatural. Likewise, it is never acceptable to say that your green eyes are “green enough”. Costume contacts are a required part of the costume. Faekin warriors reflect their varied ancestries, and anything is possible.
Faekin who choose to play a character who was an Elf or Earthkin before undergoing their change in adolescence are required to fulfill the racial makeup requirements of both races, although their race is always considered to be Faekin. Faekin who grew up as Earthkin will need to wear the appropriate gems with their Faekin contacts and wig; players who are playing an Elvish Faekin are required to wear ear tips exactly as Elves along with their Faekin requirements.
- All Faekin gain Racial Language: Sylvan at first level for free.
- Faekin players who choose to play Elvish Faekin additionally receive Racial Language: Elvish.
- Those who choose to play an Earthkin Faekin additionally receive Racial Language: Terran.
Drakes are the offspring of ancient, long dead dragons. While Draconus has been locked away over the millennia, the once-powerful race of dragons has suffered, and has atrophied into their present state: that of the humanoid bipedal Drakes. Lacking fearsome claws, fangs, or wings, the Drakes have turned to magical pursuits to offset their loss of physical power. They are now the foremost practitioners of magic in Novitas. Drakes have no homeland, but live together in monasteries and enclaves throughout Novitas.
Drake culture revolves around the spell casters. The most powerful magic users are the leaders of each enclave, and seniority depends on magical power. Drakes who show little or no aptitude for the art are put to work at menial tasks, which encourages many of them to leave the monasteries and seek their fortune elsewhere. Often, a Drake will come into his magical heritage late in life after leaving the enclave.
Drakes live their lives in service to their monasteries, cults, conclaves, or broods, but they are also quite invested in their own personal power and are often at odds with one another. A very ambitious race, the Drakes wish to restore themselves to their former glory as dragons at whatever the cost. For many, a Drake's life pursuit is knowledge and power and to worship the Godbeast. Many others wish to accumulate wealth and magical items for their personal “dragon hoard”. A dragon hoard is considered a sacred thing, and many Drakes are buried with their hoard.
Each individual Drake exhibits a dominant color, which is indicative of what type of dragon they are descended from.
Red Drakes are descended from the red dragons that made their home in the middle Kingdom of Nalbendel before it was the Freelands. Red Drakes are still seen the most often in the Freelands. They tend to be scholarly and pragmatic, friendly with other scholars and educated individuals but aloof towards the uneducated masses. Red Drakes are particularly fond of ancient texts and magical tomes.
Black Drakes are descended from the black dragons that lived deep underground beneath the Daggertop Mountains between the Evenandra and the Tribelands. Black Drakes rarely come out from their subterranean conclaves. They tend to be mean and prejudiced against non-drakes. Black Drakes are particularly fond of rituals and ancient artifacts.
White Drakes are descended from the arctic dragons who made their homes in the northern wastes. They tend to be aloof and, well, chilly towards non-drakes. Generally, they show friendship or hatred towards Snow Goblins, and judge each other race individually. White Drakes are particularly fond of well-made weapons, especially those with magical properties.
Green Drakes are descended from the forest dragons who made their homes in the forests of the Free Lands and Fionn A’ilean. They tend to be fun-loving and friendly towards non-drakes. They generally dislike Snow Goblins and Earthkin, like Wood Elves, and greatly enjoy the company of light-descended Faekin. They judge humans individually, but fairly. Green Drakes are particularly fond of magical knickknacks and items (not jewelry, scrolls, potions or weapons).
Brown Drakes are descended from the mountain dragons of Terra. They tend to be taciturn and quiet. They get along well with Earthkin and Brownies, dislike the company of Elves, and are disinterested in Snow Goblins and humans. Brown Drakes are particularly fond of precious metals and gemstones.
Blue Drakes are descended from the aquatic dragons that lived along the secluded southern coastlines. They tend to be warm and friendly towards others, almost treating them as equals (especially people who have magical skills). They get along particularly well with the Elves of Evenandra, and many make their homes along the coastlines of that country. Blue Drakes are particularly fond of magical jewelry.
Drakes venerate Draconus, their imprisoned dragon god. They believe that one day, he will be born again from the egg of the moon, and descend to Novitas to restore the Drakes to their former glory. Drakes acknowledge the other gods, but do not worship them.
Costuming Difficulty: Very difficult and expensive
Drake costume requires a reptilian or amphibian facial prosthetic with make-up to blend it with the skin. All exposed skin must be covered or made-up to match the facial prosthetic. Their clothing tends toward ornament and rich fabrics such as velvets and brocades, and can be from any background, as Drakes have enclaves and monasteries in every land. Due to the great difficulty and expense that goes into building a complete character and costume for this race, new players desiring to play Drakes are encouraged to seek guidance and advice from players who have previously done so.
All Drakes gain Racial Language: Draconic, for free at first level.
Individuals who wish to play a drake must have their costuming approved by the Props & Atmosphere marshal prior to the first event that the character will be played.
Take a look at the entries for the race you choose before you commit to one. Some are difficult to costume and can require expensive make up.
Character names should only be serious names, never silly or insulting, and never taken from pop culture, history, literature or the name of another established Kingdoms of Novitas character. Staff have the authority to require you to change your character's name if they deem it unfit.
A good character background should be more than 500 words long and should contain many "hooks" that can be used to give the game masters ideas to write interesting stories for you to experience in play. Submitting a background at least 2 weeks prior to the first event you wish to play a character at (and before the character has earned level 2) will earn you 5 experience points.
To submit a background email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The following information must be part of the submission at the start of your email:
- Character Name
- Player Name
- Forum Name
- PC Race
- PC Nation of Origin.
Players are responsible for having a reason for their character to be in Maplewood, the current setting of the game. It is hard to play a character who doesn't want to be part of the setting of the game, and this can be disruptive to the game.
New characters cannot be part of any social organization. Exceptions might be made on a case-by-case basis such as if a character has an appropriate role-playing skill. Keep in mind most titles are also associated with those same skills and can't be used without the appropriate skill. Players are allowed to attempt to create their own organizations if they wish by trying to establish those organizations in game through role-playing.
You are allowed to create your own hometown or village within one of the existing nations of the Kingdoms of Novitas, but you are not allowed to create new nations.
Characters should never have a burning hatred of another player character race.
Even if your character wants to avoid combat, you should have some idea of what your character will do when combat eventually comes to find you.
All characters can wield melee weapons under 35" long. If you want to wield a different weapon you''ll want to take the appropriate combat skill.
In the event that combat is something you are interested in participating in being able to hit for two damage such as with Melee Proficiency will do a lot of good for you.
In the event that you are interested in creating your own consumables you should look into getting production points and a skill to spend them on. To create more permanent magic items you'll want crafting points and a skill to spend them on.
If avoiding combat is your goal consider taking a level one nature spell so you can then take dissipate the ultimate combat avoidance spell. Alternately you can purchase some potions of dissipate with the first coin you earn once you get into the game.
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