The Commonwealth of Phaedros
Philosophies are scientific models and personal belief systems. Peasants eschew philosophy, but most city dwellers and educated folk adhere to one of the Six Schools.
Stoicism – Virtue through strength of will.
Iron Will – Following the path of stoicism has taught you discipline and refined your willpower. You may choose to interchange your Charisma and Wisdom modifiers for saving throws using those attributes. You gain a +2 bonus to Charisma and Wisdom saves.
Cynicism – Balance with Nature, Self-sufficiency.
Naturally Gifted – The path of cynicism has taught you that virtue comes from accepting one’s natural circumstances. You gain a +2 bonus to your armor class when you are not wearing any armor and +2 to attack and damage rolls made with unarmed attacks.
Materialism – Only this world is real. Death is the end of the body and the soul.
The path of materialism has shown you that existence is shaped by reactions of physical interaction. Increase your Strength score by +2 and you add +4 to Strength saving throws.
Idealism – This world is a shadow of the world of ideals.
Eye of the Idealist – the path of idealism has shown you that reality exists as you perceive it. Whenever an adversary makes an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw you may choose to subtract your Wisdom modifier from the roll after you know the results but before the DM the outcome. This ability may be used three times before it resets with a long rest.
Skepticism – Knowledge is illusory, nothing is ultimately knowable.
Nothing is Certain – The traditions of skepticism have taught you that you can never truly know anything to be true. You have Advantage to determine if something is illusory and add double your proficiency bonus to Wisdom (Insight) checks (you must be proficient in this skill).
Mysticism – Reality can only be known by participating in its contradictions.
Image of Infinite Realities – The school of mysticism has taught you to see through the veil of reality. Your sight through the veil has afforded you the ability to react better to your own reality; when you make an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw you may choose to add your Wisdom modifier to this roll after you know its result but before the DM reveals the outcome. This ability may be used three times before it resets with a long rest.
The Thaumocracy of Khorsir
When a man is born, he is “adopted” by one of the nine most powerful Djinn based on what natural phenomenon were manifested at the moment of his birth. Any character from the Thaumocracy who take a the Guided by Demons feat may select a Demon/Djinn and gain the benefit thereof.
Mih The Demon of Fog. Fog makes it easy to sneak around. Mih allows you to lie, deceive, hide your meaning, or sneak. This is not a pejorative. In the Deserts of Khorsir, a man is considered wise who does not reveal all. Only the fool says whatever he thinks.
Obscured Presence – For the Hazar, children born in the manifestation of fog are shrouded by a duplicitous veil. When you select Mih as your adopter, add +2 to Dexterity (Stealth) and Charisma (Deception) checks. If you have taken the Hide Action and are hidden, you can move 10 feet into the open without revealing yourself if you end your movement in a position where you are not clearly visible.
Abhromliha, The Demon of High Clouds. Considered a good omen at birth, a character watched over by the Demon of High Clouds will have unusually good luck.
Nimbus – Those adopted by Abhromliha are said to have a special connection to Fate. You have the ability to innately cast the Resistance cantrip on yourself, without the concentration requirement, when making saving throws three times before taking a long rest. If you pass the check you may transfer your bad luck by imposing disadvantage on the next roll of the creature that may have caused you to roll the saving throw.
Abhrapizaca, The Demon of Blue Sky. Specifically meaning "the clear blue sky of a cool, fair day," those watched over by the Demon of Blue Sky have special destinies. Fated to be leaders, influential, powerful men.
Hand of Fate – Those adopted by the Blue Sky are said to have their words and actions guided by the invisible hand of their own destinies. When you select Abhrapizaca as your adopter, add +2 to two Charisma skills of your choice. Once per long rest, when you roll a natural 1 you may reroll; you must take the result of the new roll.
Durokam Demon of Hot Wind. The hot wind is not as apparently dangerous as the burning sand or the sandstorm, and so more people die to it than any other condition. It parches, it drains the water and salt out of man, and saps his strength. Those born under Durkoam will face difficult times, but are born with the strength to weather them.
Weathered Endurance – Children born of hot wind are not unfamiliar to hardships of the desert. Add +1 to your Strength score. Your enduring willpower allows you to make a Constitution saving throw when you would normally take a level of exhaustion. The DC for the first level of exhaustion is 13 and increases by 2 each time you must make this check before you take a long rest.
Zitalavata, The Demon of Cool Breeze. A cool breeze is a blessing, bringing aid and comfort to all touched by it. Those watched over by Zitalavata are healers and diplomats, healing wounds and conflicts with equal ease.
Calming Winds – Hazar Children born of Cool Breeze have kept peace in Khorsir for generations. You have a natural ability to suppress others tempers when tensions run high. As an action, select a target within 5 feet of you. They must make Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC (use Charisma ability modifier). If they fail, they become indifferent towards up to two creatures for your choice if they were hostile towards them. When you select Zitalvata as your adopter add +2 to your Wisdom (Medicine) checks.
Abhivarsa, The Demon of Rain. Rain can be a blessing and a curse. It causes plants to grow and flower, but it washes away roads and floods towns. A man under Abhivarsa is strong, but quick to anger. Smart, but careless.
Fulcrum of Life and Death – Those born of the Rain are the fulcrum on the shifting scale of life and death, harbingers for order or for chaos. When engaged with another creature within five feet of you, you may choose life or death, both must be declared before taking an action. When you pick death make an attack roll with advantage. If the attack hits, record half of the total damage dealt. When you choose life, you may heal a creature for a result recorded with death, you take necrotic damage equal to the recorded result (this can only heal creatures to their maximum hit points). These abilities reset with a long rest.
Daha Marupatha, The Demon of the Burning Sand. Under the heat of the sun, the sand itself becomes your worst enemy, burning anything it touches. Those born under Daha Maruptha are considered powerful, terrible enemies.
Burning Resolve – Those adopted by the Demon of the Burning Sand are born with an unmatched and fearsome resolve. When you reach half of your maximum hit points you must make a wisdom saving throw (or willing fail) of 10 + your Strength modifier + your proficiency bonus. Your Strength and Constitution Score increase by an amount equal to half of your level rounded up. You remain in this state for three rounds, or until you are knocked unconscious, upon which you take one level of exhaustion.
Marupatha Pavaka, The Demon of the Sand Storm.
Shifting Sands – Those born of the Sand Storm seem naturally obscured, shifting as the desert sands do. Many make up the ranks of great thieves and assassins of the realm. You gain the ability to innately cast Disguise Self (3/long rest) and Blur (1/long rest).
Akta, The Demon of Night.
Those Hazar adopted by Akta take comfort in the darkest places in the desert. They are Khorsir’s silent observers and keepers of the night’s secrets who vanish with the darkness. You gain +2 to Wisdom (Perception) checks made to listen or visually observe. You have the ability to innately cast a lesser Pass Without a Trace on yourself (you may not pick additional targets, your bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks are +5).
Any character from Vasloria may choose one the following pillars of chivalry and gain the benefit thereof.
Faith – You place your trust in that which cannot be seen. Your faith plots you a divine course for your actions and words, leading you past those who wish to lead you astray. Add +2 to your Wisdom (Insight) and +2 to Wisdom (Survival) checks when a plotting a course or navigating. You may choose to add your Wisdom modifier to either your Charisma (Persuasion) or Charisma (Intimidation) checks.
Justice – You seek just treatment for those who have been wronged. As a reaction to an ally being hit by an attack, you may use your reaction to retaliate against the attacker, striking with an empowered sense of retribution. If you hit the creature add 2d6 to your damage roll. This can only be used three times before you take along rest.
Loyalty – Against all odds you will stand by your companions until the end, your dedication to them inspiring you in battle. Add your Charisma modifier to all attack rolls if an ally is within 5 feet of you. If an ally falls unconscious within 30 feet of you, you may use your reaction to move up to your speed to them and spend one of your own hit dice to restore their health. This type of movement will provoke attacks of opportunity with advantage.
Defense – You are the lone barrier between danger and the defenseless, stilled by the peace that with greet you after your defense. You may use your reaction to intercept an attack meant for an ally that is adjacent to you. You take the full damage of the resulting attack and suffer any effects caused by it. No creature may benefit from this ability for more than one attack before you take a long rest.
Courage – Your unwavering bravery inspires others to take action, twice before a long rest you can grant an ally +3 to their next initiative roll. You have advantage against spells and effects that would cause you to be frightened.
Truth – Just as the unrighteous cannot escape the blade, so too can the dishonest not escape the virtue of your truths. You can discern deliberate lies told during conversations a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier before a long rest. You cannot detect half-truths, lies of omission, or things the creature believes are true (even if they are not), only deliberate falsehoods.
Generosity – You take on the ails of others so that they may fight on. If you are willing, a creature may touch you and bestow you with one or more of their negative conditions undertaken from a spell or supernatural effect.
Chastity – You have sworn yourself to the values of chivalry, taking on a code as pure as your resolve. Add to +4 Wisdom saves against charm spells and effects. Once per long rest you may apply the benefit of the Dispel Magic spell to yourself (the ability has no effect on spells or effects that are 4th level or higher.
Humility – There is no virtue in bold action taken to define your character but defining virtue in actions taken to embolden the those who are not. You may give up your action or bonus action to allow an ally to take one instead. This ability can be used twice before you take a long rest. When taking a short rest, you may allow an ally to roll up to three of your own hit dice. Your hit dice cannot be spent like this again until you take a long rest.
Perseverance – You have trained to endure unfathomable burdens and to stand resolute against impossible odds, inspiring those who have taken up arms behind you. You gain +1 to all your saving throws. Once per long rest, when you would drop to 0 or less hit points, you instead are reduced to 3.
Vanigar, the Uttermost North
Vanirmen are the physically largest in Orden. They value strength and bravery and seek an honorable death in battle. They also believe strongly in the notion of Fate, which they call Wyrd. Any character from the Uttermost North may choose one of the following clans and gain the benefit thereof.
Hellseeker – The Hellseeker clan have a long tradition of fighting demons and the undead. They are a wild, fierce clan, used to spending long periods of time in the Iron Forest or on the ice of the White Lands. They traditionally do not mix well with other clans. The Hellseekers have seen things that would harrow a normal man, and willingly accept the burden of protecting the clans from the terrors of the north. These experiences change the Hellseekers and make them strangers in their own lands.
Forged by Fire – You have resistance to fire damage. If you succeed on a save to resist being frightened, you may use your reaction to move up to your speed toward a creature that attempted to frighten you and make a single melee attack.
Dawnrunner – The Dawnrunners pride themselves on their geographic knowledge of the Uttermost North. They are fleet of foot with a reputation for being good-natured and friendly. They make it a point to know who is coming and going through the barbarian lands. They are the closest thing the barbarians have to diplomats.
Friendly Traveler – Add +2 to your Wisdom (Survival) checks and 5 extra feet of movement to your speed. Whenever you meet someone for the first time you may add twice your proficiency bonus to the first Charisma check made against that person.
Skywhisper – The Skywhisperers are a deeply spiritual clan. Legends claim the Skywhisperers know the secrets of moving into the Ghost World, where the ancestors live. Skywhisperers are known for being in tune with nature, and deeply meditative. They smoke Starvine, the moss that alters consciousness.
Natural Link – Add +2 to your Intelligence (Nature) checks. You can cast the Augury spell once per day as a ritual, seeking counsel from your ancestors.
Earthshaker – "Earthshaker" is an ancient Gol word for mammoth. The Earthshaker clan once domesticated and rode mammoths, but that was long ago. Now they ride the massive, fur-hooved Kien. The mammoth rarely come south now and the Earthshakers have lost the lore of taming and riding the giant beasts.
Wild Mind – Add +2 to your Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks. You benefit from the abilities of the Wild Cunning spell once per short rest and the Speak with Animals spell once per long rest.
Nighthunter – The Nighthunters are the only nocturnal clan among the Ten. In the summer, they spend their days sleeping in caves. In the winter, they re-inhabit their longhouses, built to prevent light from coming in. At night, they waken, and begin their patrol of the forest and coastlines. They hunt and guard the other Clans while they sleep. Many of the dangers and terrors of the North live by night, and often the only thing standing between a prowling nightcreature and a sleeping family of Vanirmen is the Nighthunter Clan.
Nightstalker – Perception rolls made in dim light are not made at disadvantage. Attacks made against creatures you cannot see do not have disadvantage. Whenever you are flanked, you also gain a +2 bonus to attacking those who flank you.
Hawkrider – The Hawkriders are the only clan to live permanently in the Iron Forest. They make the mountain peaks their home and rarely make settlements on the ground. Their communities are called Aeries. Like the other clans who share their homes with wolves, and the Earthshakers who do the same with horses, the Hawkriders are bound to the Great Hawks of the North. Unlike the Earthshakers, who all ride, only the Olmen and the Jarl of the Hawkrider clan are allowed to ride the great winged beasts. Though they cannot speak, the Great Hawks are intelligent. They fight for and with the Hawkriders, but consider allowing another to ride on their backs a great privilege. Only in times of great strife will the Hawks allow common warriors on their backs, and even then, only warriors of the Hawkrider clan.
Mountainmen – You have resistance to cold damage. You may cast the Featherfall spell on yourself once per long rest.
Stoneshaper – The Stoneshapers are the master masons of the Vanir. They are responsible for carving the hill-tombs of the Jarls, as well as erecting the megalithic standing stones which the Vanir use as calendars and centers of worship.
Earthly Craft – Increase your Intelligence by +1. If both you and a foe are touching the ground, you gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls.
Oakhammer – The great forest-warriors of the Clans, the Oakhammers guard and serve the forest that provides so much of the Vanirmen’s livelihood. The animals and intelligent denizens of the forest respect the Oakhammer Clan more than the other Vanir. Each Oakhammer settlement is centered around a large, living Oak from which the family gains its strength.
Living Oak – Increase your Constitution score by +2. You have the ability to innately cast the Barkskin spell on yourself as a ritual. Can may cast this spell this way twice before talking a long rest.
Unfinished / Incomplete
In Rioja, the Nobility wars against the newly powerful Guilds. Each man is expected to join a guild. Those who remain unguilded are considered suspicious. “Cousin” is now open code for “fellow guildsman.”
Any character from Rioja can belong to one of the seven Great Guilds gaining the benefit thereof.
Each guild employs many different classes. The Thieves Guild needs Wizards, a Wizard’s Order need Fighters, the Guild of Watchmen need Priests, and even a Church has need of Assassins. There are, in fact, dozens of Guilds in Rioja, but all of them are in some way patronized or protected by the seven.
The Pocket – Thieves Guild. One of the oldest, largest, and most powerful guilds in Rioja, the Pocket wages a constant war with The Gold Seal. It is often remarked that the waning power of nobility in Rioja is measured by the death rate in the war between the two guilds. A war that constantly escalates and which the official government is powerless to stop.
Nine Silver – Assassin’s Guild. Not the be confused with the Thieves Guild, the Assassin’s Guild is Rioja’s pre-eminent spy school and sponsors the finest college in all of Orden. They also of course, kill people for money. But they do not steal, they do not rob, and they never kill out of passion or revenge.
Sword & Shield – Gladiator Guild. Like many cultures that thrive after the collapse of the Third Empire, Rioja has a long tradition of arena battles between profession fighting men. The Sword & Shield protects all forms of gambling and wagering, protects all those who engage in professional sport.
Gold Seal – Guild of Watchmen. Name after the stamped ring of gold around the grip of every watchmen’s truncheon, the Gold Seal represents the Law in Rioja. More powerful than the courts, the judges, and the nobility, the Seal has more to do with a man’s guilt or innocence than the law.
Fulcrum– – Merchants Guild. At the fulcrum of the assayer’s scale, the value of goods on one side of the balance is converted into the gold on the other side. So, the Fulcrum like to describe itself. Having recently absorbed the Sailing Guild, the Fulcrum is now the richest guild in Rioja and one of the richest organizations of any kind anywhere in Orden. They tend to stay neutral in any guild disputes because all guilds rely on them to protect trade.
The Gloss – Guild of Scribes. Most people in Orden can write, writing is not a secret of any kind, but the Gloss protects all forms of official writing. They are required for any kind of official documentation and are also, therefore, involved in a great deal of information. Both the keeping of it and the hiding of it. One of the newest guilds, the rest of Rioja is still coming to grips with the notion that knowledge is power.
The Leaf – Player’s Guild. The least of the seven great guilds, the Leaf is nonetheless the most popular in the imaginations of the people, because the popularity of actors, performers, and playwrights. Players and playwrights, the dashing and daring cultural heroes of Rioja are incredibly popular and wield some little power, mostly through the act of parody and satire. Fortunes can quickly run sour when popular prejudice turn against someone, and The Leaf has the greatest influence over popular thought.
Khemhara, the Infinite Desert
Their magic derives from their study of the heavens, upon which they have mapped a detailed and elaborate map of constellation. Theirs are the most advanced star-maps in the world. They divide the sky into 9 Houses, each dominated by a major constellation. These have significant effect on a person the course of their life, depending on when they were born. Any character from the Infinite Desert may choose which constellation was dominant when they were born and gain the benefit thereof.
Depet A’a, The Great Ship – Travel
Hemta Iteru, The Three Rivers – Home
Atum, The Rays of The Sun – Health
You have the ability to aid you allies by restoring their health. You may transfer up to half your maximum hit points to an ally as if using the Lay on Hands ability (PHB p.83).
Sekhet, The Hunter – Valor and persistence
Sehkem, The Scepter – Justice and righteousness
Mew, The Cat – Secrets and loyalty
Nen, The Infant – Life
Pharaoh, The King – Leadership
Kehpesh, The Sword – Wisdom
Apep, The Dragon – Fate, destiny
Deshert Nedjem, The Rose – Beauty and clarity of thought. Physical beauty and/or intelligence.
Higara, The Opal Empire
In meditation, each man attempts to embody one of the five elements of Jo?-yoi philosophy. Any character from the Twin Empire may choose one of the following elements and gain the benefit thereof (Earth, Air, Fire, Water)
"And a fifth element, I know no word for it in your tongue. Ukiyo*. It is what makes things alive. And at the same time, it is the fact that in each living thing, is death. Its own death, and all life feeds on death. It is living, and the destiny of the living. Your language lacks poetry. It has no term…"*
You are empowered by the changing tide of life and death.
The Jungles of Ix
They have one of the largest pantheons in Orden, and each man is 'adopted' by a totem animal as part of his coming of age ceremony. Any man from Ix may choose one of the following spirit animals and gain the benefit thereof