Moonsea

Overview: The lands surrounding Moonsea are a collection of harsh kingdoms ruled by despots, madmen, and inhuman creatures of the most evil nature. It is no wonder that the people who live in these places are grim, paranoid, and secretive. While it is true that not all “Mooneyes” are this way, it is by far the norm. With this being the case for the average man, one can imagine that adventurers (who tend to be grim, paranoid, and secretive anyway) from that region are as dark and sinister a lot as one is likely to find anywhere on Faerûn.

Description: Though there are minor changes in personal appearance due to the standards of their homes, the majority of the people of the Moonsea (often called Mooneyes) carry certain common elements in their looks and demeanor. The average Moonsea character is clad in hardy, functional clothing made to ward off the chill winds that blow down from the north; warm woolen cloaks, furs, thick gloves, wool garments, and heavy boots are the norm here.

Armor and weaponry carried by Moonsea adventurers is as varied as the cities themselves. No type or style is improbable here, given the many travelers found in these parts. In addition, most of a Moonsea adventurer’s equipment appears to be often well-used, and rarely is it kept in the best state of repair.

Mooneyes themselves often have ruddy skin that has been exposed to the sun, wind, and other harsh elements. This hardly means that Mooneyes are unattractive; they simply have a weather-beaten, rugged look. Most of the time, a native of the Moonsea has a dour, demeanor. Their mouths are creased often in grim frowns. Their eyes look right through people, as if they are quietly assessing whether they can take the subject in a fight. This fixed, challenging stare was what originally gave residents their unflattering nickname of “Mooneyes.” Some people have noted that Mooneyes have a “lean and hungry look,” as if they always expect opposition and trouble at every turn, and seek it out if it does not appear quickly enough for them.

Role-playing: The Moonsea is harsh and unforgiving, and the same can be said of her people. In the past, the typical Mooneye has had to defend his city against the numerous humanoid raids from the north. And, if the monsters were not enough, there are always the threats from fellow citizens, especially those citizens of Zhentil Keep. In any case, battle-weary cynicism is a hallmark of the Moonsea.

Moonsea adventurers are hardly what any would call conversationalists. They can be as dour and taciturn as any dwarf, and this sullen silence does little to endear the Mooneyes to outsiders.

A certain cold-hearted practicality rules in the Moonsea. Such a character has no qualms about betraying, waylaying, or killing anyone outright who stands in their way. They accept that life is harsh and unfair, and they act accordingly. Thus, Moonsea adventurers accept many crafts or trades that are far less principled than those a Cormyrean would. They can be schemers, plotters, slave-traders, vultures, and sneaks.

Jump to:
Hillsfar
Mulmaster
Zhentil Keep
Melvaunt and Thentia
New Phlan


Hillsfar

Base Requirements

  • Races: Human
  • Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: Int 11
  • Alignments: Non-Good
  • Starting Cash: 3d6 x10gp
  • Bonus Languages: Common, Cormanthan
  • Recommended Languages: None
  • Dominant Local Religions: Chauntea, Malar, Tempus, Umberlee, The Blessed Afflictor

Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Non-weapon Slots: +2 slots
  • Available Categories: By class, plus Rogue
  • Bonus Proficiencies: Hiding, Literacy, Numeracy
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alchemy, Bargain, Bribery, Calligraphy, City Familiarity (Hillsfar), Danger Sense, Dirty Fighting, Disguise, Engineering, Escape, Land-based Riding, Law, Recharge, Research, Scribe, Seamanship, Somatic Concealment, Street Sense, Teaching
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: Arcanology, Dwarf History, Dwarf Runes, Fey Lore, Modern Language (any except above), Spellcraft, Thaumaturgy

Thief Skills:

  • Pick Pockets:
  • Open Locks:
  • Find/Remove Traps:
  • Move Silently:
  • Hide in Shadows:
  • Hear Noise:
  • Climb Walls:
  • Read Languages:

Overview: The city of Hillsfar is one of constant repression. The city’s rulers, the Maalthiir, have passed sweeping legislation over the last decade. Non-humans are allowed into the city only as slaves, and magic is tightly regulated. Xenophobia runs rampant and criminals (including all spellcasters and non-humans), are hunted down ruthlessly and thrown into the Hillsfar Arena to amuse the public.

Adventurers from Hillsfar have learned to keep a low profile, skulking among the shadows and the sewers, for failure to do so results in death. However, despite the constant threat of arbitrary arrest and death in the Arena, Hillsfar’s natives benefit from the city’s thriving economy (particularly in magic items), and excellent system of strictly-enforced public education.

Special Abilities:

  • The people of Hillsfar are very alert against magic, given magic’s tight regulation in Hillsfar. As a result, they get a +1 bonus on saving throws versus spells.
  • In the last year, a glut of firearms have appeared on the black market in Hillsfar. Hillsfarrans may purchase weapon proficiency with any firearm regardless of class.
  • Hillsfar has the only Magic Item shop in the heartlands, and despite (or perhaps because of) the strict regulation of spellcasting, such items are a driving force of the city’s economy. All Hillsfarran characters start with 750xp worth of magic items of their choice, selected from the Tables in the DMG.
  • Whenever a Hillsfarran successfully attacks a target from behind, he deals double normal damage (or adds 1 to his damage multiplier if he has the rogue’s Backstab ability).

Special Disadvantages:

  • All NPC encounters are penalized at -2 due to Hillsfar’s reputation. This increases to -4 against non-humans due to Hillsfar’s reputation for xenophobia, bigotry, and exploitation.
  • A Hillsfarran’s lack of trust and general paranoia is evident in the reactions that others have to him. All Hillsfarrans suffer a -4 penalty to their starting Leadership scores (to a minimum of 3).
  • Hillsfar’s xenophobia and strict education system prevent its citizens from learning about non-human cultures and magical theory, and the lack of childhood exposure plagues them even in their later careers. The proficiencies listed as “Forbidden” above may never be taken at 1st level (even if they would be Required by his Kit), and cost double the normal number of proficiency slots to learn later (regardless of class).

Mulmaster

Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: Con 11
  • Alignments: Non-Good
  • Starting Cash: 3d6 x10gp
  • Bonus Languages: Tharian
  • Recommended Languages: Easting, Chardic, Cormanthan, Daraktan, Chuklian
  • Dominant Local Religions: Azuth, Cyric, Lathander, Lliira, Loviatar, Malar, Mask, Talos, Tempus, Tymora, Umberlee

Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: +1 slot
  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class, plus Rogue
  • Bonus Proficiencies: Herbalism
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alchemy, Alertness, Blind-Fighting, Bribery, Cryptography, Danger Sense, Dark Lore, Dirty Fighting, Intimidation, Intrigue, Poison Use, Toxicology, Trailing, Venom Handling

Thief Skills:

  • Pick Pockets: -15%
  • Open Locks: -15%
  • Find/Remove Traps: -15%
  • Move Silently:
  • Hide in Shadows:
  • Hear Noise:
  • Climb Walls:
  • Read Languages:

Overview: Mulmaster is a city of spies, treachery, and intrigue. Blackmail is so common as to be more of a pastime than a crime. Hardly a week goes by without the assassination of one petty official or another, which has shaped the adventurers of Mulmaster, turning them into assassins of the highest expertise. The assassination method of choice in Mulmaster is poison.

As assassins and poisoners, the people of Mulmaster are not well-liked around the world. They are quickly hired when an enemy must be eliminated, but they are never trusted nor retained permanently. Even the forces of the Zhentarim and the Red Wizards eschew prolonged contact with these deadly folk.

Special Abilities:

  • The aptly-named “City of Danger” produces lethal fighters who survive at any cost. Each Mulman thus is hard to surprise; they are successfully surprised only on a 1-2 on a d10.
  • A character from Mulmaster may use and gain proficiency in any weapon, even those normally barred to their class(es). Learning a weapon outside of those normally available costs 2 slots (instead of the normal 1 slot).
  • As characters from Mulmaster advance in levels, they are able to create poisons for themselves. Creating one dose of a poison or antidote requires 1 hour and a successful Herbalism proficiency check.
    When a Mulman character gains a level, they roll percentile dice and refers to the following table to determine the exact type of poison he is now capable of creating. As the character advances in level, he eventually rolls and gets a toxin that he already knows how to make. When this happens, it indicates that the character has created an antidote for that type of poison. Antidotes are injected if the percentile die roll is odd; even rolls indicate the antidote is ingested. Antidotes are fast-acting and neutralize the poison they are created for instantly if administered during the onset time of the toxin.
1d100 Roll Poison Type
01-06 A
07-12 B
08-18 C
19-24 D
25-30 E
31-36 F
37-42 G
43-48 H
49-54 I
55-60 J
61-66 K
67-72 L
73-78 M
79-84 N
85-90 O
91-96 P
97-99 roll again (-2 save)
00 roll again (-4 save)

Special Disadvantages:

  • Characters of the third evil Moonsea city are penalized by -2 in all NPC encounters.
  • This air of suspicion and paranoia that surrounds the people of Mulmaster has a major effect on the training of characters wishing to acquire new proficiencies or advance in level. Instead of the usual fee for training, Mulmans must pay twice the normal amount. In addition, their natural suspicion of others makes it difficult for them to put their trust in an instructor. This results in longer training times and a higher chance of failure. Normally, the minimum length of a training course is determined by subtracting the teacher’s Wisdom score from 19. When teaching a character from Mulmaster, the Wisdom score is subtracted from 23. If the character fails his first check to master the subject before him, he must wait 10 days before making another check instead of the usual seven days.

Zhentil Keep

Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: Str 11
  • Alignments: Non-Good
  • Starting Cash: 3d6 x10gp
  • Bonus Languages: Tharian, Zhent Argot
  • Recommended Languages: Daraktan, Erakic, Uloushinn, D’tarig, Cormanthan, Northern, Thorasta
  • Dominant Local Religions: Iyachtu Xvim

Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: +1 slot
  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class, plus Rogue
  • Bonus Proficiencies: Dark Lore, Local History (Moonsea)
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Acting, Armor Optimization, Assimilation, Detect Signing, Dirty Fighting, Disguise, Forgery, Information Gathering, Intimidation, Intrigue, Literacy, Mastery, Modern Languages, Observation, Sabotage, Signaling, Spellcraft, Tactics of Magic

Thief Skills:

  • Pick Pockets:
  • Open Locks:
  • Find/Remove Traps:
  • Move Silently:
  • Hide in Shadows:
  • Hear Noise:
  • Climb Walls:
  • Read Languages:

Overview: Over the years, the fortified city of Zhentil Keep has come to be identified with the Zhentarim, the so-called “Black Network”. A more insidious power than the Zhentarim would be hard to imagine. Like some terrible beast from the depths of the oceans, the masters of the Zhentil Keep spread their tentacles to all corners of the world, seeking to bring everything they touch under their control.

There is perhaps no more important element in their diabolical scheming than the legions of agents they send out into the world to do their bidding. The Zhentarim maintain training facilities to help their agents master the skills of thievery and magical combat. Every person who lives in the keep is a puppet, willing or unwilling, of the Zhentarim.

Special Abilities:

  • Members of the Zhentarim get unlimited access into and out of the Keep, and do not have to pay for training (as long as they return to the Keep to do so).
  • Any Zhentish character starts with a full suit of banded mail, a medium-sized shield, and a single melee weapon of his or her choice for free.
  • Characters from Zhentil Keep gain an additional 15 discretionary points to spend on their thief skills per experience level. This benefit extends to any character with rogue skills, even those that do not normally gain discretionary points to improve their abilities (note: all characters have access to the Hear Noise and Climb Walls skills).
  • The spellcasters of Zhentil Keep are masters of combat-oriented spells and can bring down even the mightiest enemies with their devastating magic. They cast all offensive spells that deal direct hit point damage as if they were two experience levels higher than they actually are. Thus, a 5th-level wizard casts a fireball spell as if he has attained 7th level, for example.

Special Disadvantages:

  • Zhentil Keep has been the source of much evil in the Realms for quite a long time. All NPC encounters are penalized at -4 for Zhentil Keep natives.
  • Zhentarim and Zhentilar agents are forced to funnel 50% of their funds (before expenses) back to Zhentil Keep. Failure to do so results in the issuance of a death warrant that few can escape.
  • Zhent spellcasters suffer a reduction in magical ability when casting divination spells, all such spellcasters must lower their effective caster level by two when casting such spells (minimum 1st). This reduction applies to spells cast personally or invoked with magical items.

The Minor City-states (Melvaunt, Thentia)

Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: Cha 11
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: By Class
  • Bonus Languages: Tharian
  • Recommended Languages: Erakic, Chardic, Ulutiun, Easting, Noga
  • Dominant Local Religions: Gond, Loviatar, Selune

Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By Class
  • Non-weapon Slots: +1 slot
  • Available Categories: By Class
  • Bonus Proficiencies: Blacksmithing, Information Gathering, Local History (Moonsea)
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Appraising, Armorer, Body Language, Bribery, Cryptography, Fast Talking, Gaming, Haggling, Intrigue, Literacy, Metalworking, Mining, Reading Lips, Smelting, Trailing, Weaponsmithing
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Thief Skills:

  • Pick Pockets:
  • Open Locks:
  • Find/Remove Traps:
  • Move Silently:
  • Hide in Shadows:
  • Hear Noise: +10%
  • Climb Walls:
  • Read Languages:

“Melvaunt? Thentia? Good places to get drunk, I suppose…”
— Hommil Dundreth, Merchant-Mage of Hlintar, Year of the Black Shield

Overview: The Moonsea region is dotted with scattered city-states. The largest and most powerful of these are Hillsfar, Mulmaster, and Zhentil Keep, although there are several smaller city-states as well. Prominent among the lesser states, and far less sinister than the other three, are Phlan’s nearest neighbors: Thentia and Melvaunt.

Thentia and Melvaunt are the manufacturing hubs of the Moonsea, their forges providing the arms for the constant struggles between their larger neighbors to the south. The endless smoke of Thentia’s and Melvaunt’s countless forges darkens even the brightest summer sky, making shadows deeper and nights as black as pitch. When the sun sets on this industrious cities, dark figures flit among the bottomless shadows looking for purses to cut and secrets to sell.

Of all the backstabbing rogues and treacherous nobles on Toril, it is doubtful there are any more skilled at the art of blackmail than those who make their home in Melvaunt and Thentia. To these oft-cursed folk, there is no treasure more valuable than information, especially that of a compromising nature.

Special Abilities:

  • Both Melvaunt and Thentia are fiercely independent city with thriving economies and liberal governments. All natives of these city-states receive a 5% discount on starting equipment prices, and on all goods bought when in their home city.
  • All characters from the city-states begin play with a small pool of individuals who pay them money to keep some secret hushed up. This results in a monthly income equal to 25 gp per level of the character. For example, a 3rd-level Melvauntian mage would receive 75 gp at the start of each month. The player running the character is free to seek out other sources of income, including other “customers”, but this base is always available without any role-playing on the player’s part.

Special Disadvantages:

  • Though the reputation of the city-states are less sinister than Hillsfar or Mulmaster, that is not saying much. These characters have only the normal Moonsea native bias to overcome. Mooneyes from the city-states suffer a -2 on NPC encounters with anyone not native to the Moonsea.
  • Characters from the city-states have a lax attitude towards petty or non-violent crimes, being more concerned with the constant violence and calamity in the region. Thieves picking a Mooneye’s pocket gain a 10% bonus to their chance of success.
  • Although these characters are quite able to survive by putting the touch on their customers, they do not make many friends by doing so. At the start of every month, immediately after he receives his “hush money,” a character of this type must make a Leadership check. If the character passes the check, there are no harmful side effects of their blackmail “business”.
    If the character fails the check, one of the “customers”, has decided to do away with the character. The DM should role-play the encounter. A skillful Dungeon Master could turn the
    affair into a complete adventure. The important things to remember in setting up such a scenario, however, are that the rogue will be the target of an assassination attempt and that his life must be placed in serious jeopardy during the game. Blackmail is not a very pretty business to be in, but that’s one of the risks that those who practice it have to live (or die) with.

New Phlan

Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: Wis 11
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: By Class x½
  • Bonus Languages: Tharian, Cormanthan
  • Recommended Languages: Auld Tharian, Erakic, Chardic, Chuklian, Daraktan, Jogishk, Ulutiun, Easting, Noga
  • Dominant Local Religions: Gond, Iyachtu Xvim, Meriadar, Sune, Tempus, Tyr, Kryptgarten Pantheist

Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: +1 slot
  • Non-weapon Slots: +1 slot
  • Available Categories: General, Priest, Rogue, Warrior, Wizard, Psionicist
  • Bonus Proficiencies: Bureaucracy, City Familiarity (Phlan), Literacy
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Agriculture, Begging, Blind-Fighting, Boating, Bribery, Close-Quarter Fighting, Danger Sense, Dark Lore, Defensive Tactics, Fishing, Law, Looting, Psionic Detection, Rope Making, Rope Use, Seamstress/Tailor, Street Fighting, Undead Lore, Underclass, Underground Navigation, Weaving
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Thief Skills:

  • Pick Pockets:
  • Open Locks:
  • Find/Remove Traps:
  • Move Silently:
  • Hide in Shadows:
  • Hear Noise:
  • Climb Walls:
  • Read Languages:

Overview: The metropolis of “Old Phlan” was destroyed more than fifty years ago, and the last failed attempt to re-settle was fifteen years ago, and the remaining settlements in the Old City were destroyed, yet again, only six years. While any native-born New Phlannars are, by necessity, too young to adventure (being at most two years old), the children and grandchildren of many refugees of Old Phlan are starting to trickle back into the area. These locals are already familiar with Phlan’s plight, its enemies, and the layout of Civilized Phlan (and possibly may have a tidbit of lore to share about the old city as well). More importantly, they have a more immediate interest in the long-term success of New Phlan than visiting adventurers from elsewhere.

Phlan is a city that has been hammered by fate for as long as anyone can remember. The ruling Council spends most of its time attempting to recover from the latest in a seemingly endless string of disasters, raids, and catastrophes that allows the inhuman residence of Old Phlan to prosper. This is only exacerbated by the many competing interests of the Council-members themselves. It is only the bureaucratic nature of the government in New Phlan, and the army of Clerks, Heralds, and minor functionaries that allows anything to function at all.

Numerous warring tribes and gangs of Goblins, Gnolls, Orcs, and other things live throughout the ruins, especially in the Slums that have grown up next to the walls of New Phlan. A particularly large number of goblins and half-breeds make their living by begging coins and scraps of food from, or trading information with the adventurers coming in and out of New Phlan. Many of the defenders of these tribes have reached out to the Council, hoping to end hostilities and find a place for their people in the new city.

Special Abilities:

  • Citizens of New Phlan have free access into and out of the New City.
  • The Council of Phlan have invested heavily in the training and preparation of adventurers for their battles against the monsters of the Old City. Characters from New Phlan may learn non-weapon proficiencies from all groups without spending extra slots. In addition, Phlan natives are assumed to already be enrolled in the “New Phlan Public Training Hall”, and may train there for half the usual cost (500gp each level).
  • Over the course of recent years the spellcasters of New Phlan have turned away from offensive magic favored by their neighbors and mastered the more subtle and defensive elements of spellcasting. As a result, they can prepare an additional spell for each spell level available to them. These additional spells must come from the abjuration school or the Protection priest sphere. This stacks with any bonus spells from high ability scores, specialization, or other sources.
  • Additionally, each native Phlannar character “knows someone”. This “someone” is an NPC of 1d4+2 levels in any one character class, usually living in the Old City. This NPC will provide a favor (pawn goods, provide sage advice, provide a safe-house) for the PC once per month. Any favors beyond that require a favor in return. This NPC will never risk his or her life for the character.

Special Disadvantages:

  • The constant turmoil in Phlan and the Council’s tendency to hand out favors and monopolies has left the city’s economy in shambles and the vast majority of its citizens impoverished. Phlan natives start with half as much starting cash as other characters of the same class and kit.
  • Though the reputation of the city-states are less sinister than Hillsfar or Mulmaster, that is not saying much. These characters have only the normal Moonsea native bias to overcome. Mooneyes from New Phlan suffer a -2 on NPC reaction rolls with anyone not native to the Moonsea.
  • While these spellcasters have mastered the art of protective magic, they have become less proficient when using magic to inflict damage on their enemies. Any spell cast by a caster of Phlan that directly harms an opponent has a -1 penalty for every die rolled for damage (minimum 1 per die).

Return to Homelands.

Moonsea

Ruins of Adventure Brand_Darklight Brand_Darklight