Base Requirements

  • Races: Human, Half-Elf, Halfling
  • Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: none
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: 4d10 x10gp
  • Bonus Languages: Cormanthan
  • Recommended Languages: Easting, Telpi, Tharian, Turmic


  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class, plus Social
  • Bonus Proficiencies: Appraise, Gem Cutting, Haggling, Literacy
  • Required Proficiencies: City Familiarity (any one)
  • Recommended Proficiencies: none
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Overview: Sembia is a land justly noted for its crafty merchants, hard-working folk, and political cunning. Few folk in this land grow up without learning the value of money and the skills of bartering. Since commerce and a good sword arm often go hand in hand, it is no surprise that Sembian adventurers are also a breed apart from other standard mercenaries. It is commonly said that all of Sembia’s adventurers, whether they be warriors, priests, or wizards, are part rogue as well.

Description: There are two modes of dress typical of Sembian. The first style is that of an unassuming adventurer. The character dons this style when he expects to be doing business and doesn’t want to tip his hand by indicating that he is either very wealthy or somewhat in need. This usually means he wears plain garb, often fitted with many pockets, and few other adornments.

Nothing in the character’s possession will be of outstanding quality, but neither will it be poorly crafted or in need of repair. The Sembian is clad in his armor, well-worn boots, and travelling cloak. He looks every inch the hard worker and battle-hardened (but never battle-weary) veteran. Even though his armor, weapons, and clothing look well-used, it is all of the best quality. Even in adventurer’s garb, the Sembian must show that he or she is a successful fighter. This look is reserved for standard adventuring missions into dank dungeons or rank sewers, place where it would be ill-considered to wear cloaks and silks. It is also the appearance shown to those who are unimpressed by the external trappings of wealth and success, such as military commanders, adventuring parties, and nervous merchants looking for a tough bodyguard.

The other mode of dress is much flashier. The character wears this style when he wishes to emphasize his wealth and make it clear that he is a man of importance and power. He wears abundant silks and other fine fabrics and jewelry and valuable trinkets to complement the ensemble. Money to a Sembian equates to status and power, and any outward display of wealth marks that character as someone who is hired often and is a hard worker. The rationale is that a mercenary who can afford expensive cloaks and tunics is well-paid. Sembian mercenaries are only well-paid when they prove their fighting skills-the better the warrior, the higher the fee. This particular appearance is common in big cities and other places where outward displays of power and wealth are admired. An adventurer dressed in his finery is easily mistaken for one of the dandies who decorate the upper classes of Sembian society.

Role-Playing: Sembians tend to judge people by their personal wealth and power. This can often lead them to misjudge someone’s true character. By the same token, however, they expect to be judged this way themselves. They apply the same standards to their travels and heroic exploits. They view an adventure as successful only if they acquire treasure and a quest worth undertaking only if it promises monetary reward.

The Sembian adventurer is no stranger to hard work and ambition. When one hires a Sembian mercenary, the price is steep but the money is well worth it. Sembian adventurers are reliable, competent fighters who fulfill the terms of their agreements to the letter. Nonetheless, they are not willing to take foolish risks unless the rewards are suitably foolish and worth such risks. Although mercenary work is a respectable occupation in Sembia, all Sembians work for the day where they can strike out on their own, grab hold of their own destinies, and seek their own private fortunes. Remember that wealth is the single most powerful motivator for any Sembian.

Craftiness and cunning, also strong Sembian traits, are alive and well in their adventurers. Many of them are skilled at either setting or avoiding traps, ambushes, and other tactics that more “noble” warriors would certainly consider unsporting.

Elves are not looked upon kindly by Sembians, and most Sembians harbor animosity towards those of this race. Many Sembians would be all too happy to have an excuse to run an elf through with his sword.

Special Abilities:

  • Sembians, regardless of class, are able to specialize in a single small-sized melee weapon of their choice. Sembian warriors are free to specialize in any weapon, as normal.
  • When in the city for which they have the City Familiarity proficiency, Sembians gain a +2 bonus on attacks made from behind. In addition, Sembians gain a +5 bonus Hiding proficiency checks when in a city they are familiar with.
  • Sembians receive a +4 bonus to any Appraise proficiency check that involves a jewelled object. Perhaps even better, such characters are not subject to the risks normally associated with rolling a natural 20 when making an Appraising check.
  • Sembian adventurers, given the pervasive mercantile life of their homeland, have an aptitude for assessing the value of their services more accurately than other mercenaries. When confronted with a dangerous task or hired for a special mission, a Sembian can appraise the specifics of a task or mission to gauge if it’s worth the amount of reward promised. Also, a Sembian adventurer will always insist on a promised price before offering his services to anyone.
  • While most normal men must sleep roughly eight hours out of 24, Sembians can get by on half that amount. This same ability carries over to magical effects, such as those brought on by a sleep spell, or physiological shocks like being knocked unconscious. In all cases, the amount of time one of these characters spends asleep (or unconscious) is halved. Further, any saving throws the character makes to resist sleep, either in the form of a spell or because of a sedative, are made with a +2 bonus. This reduced need for sleep does not mean the character can naturally heal wounds in half the time that others require. It is simply an unusual aspect of the character’s training and lifestyle.

Special Disadvantages:

  • So important is their training in melee combat that Sembians must all but renounce the use of projectile weapons (such as bows, crossbows, and the like). While they may use such weapons, they are unable to become proficient with them regardless of class.
  • Sembians, regardless of class, cannot use magical scrolls (neither spell scrolls nor protection scrolls).
  • Despite their knowledge, a Sembian is quite likely to find himself in trouble when in a city he is familiar with. The Dungeon Master makes a secret City Familiarity proficiency check
    at the start of every day the character spends in a city he has knowledge of. If the check fails, the character’s past has not caught up with him. If the check passes, however, someone has spotted the character and recognized him for what he is. This witness will alert the constabulary, a bounty hunter, a rival merchant company, or possibly the local thieves’ guild-whichever is best suited to the needs of the current adventure. It might even be as simple as a surly city guard “not liking the look of him.” The Dungeon Master must determine the exact results of this encounter, as they will vary.
  • The people of Sembia are a haughty and arrogant people. They are not well-loved, however, the importance of trade with Sembia is so great that even the most irritating of people must be tolerated. Tolerated, however, does not mean accepted, loved, or trusted. As a result, the Sembian never gains a bonus to loyalty or NPC reactions from having a high Appearance or Leadership score. Modifiers from classes, kits, etc. apply normally.
  • The seemingly sleepless merchants of Sembia are not without their disadvantages. Although they are not aware of it and certainly would deny any allegations to this affect, the reduced amount of sleep they have programmed themselves to get by on takes its toll on their bodies. In game terms this forces them to take a penalty of -1 to the hit points they roll upon gaining a new Hit Die. After 9th level, when no new Hit Dice are gained, this penalty no longer applies to further hitpoint gains.
  • The greed and avarice of a Sembian can be very detrimental. If a Sembian hears of a very large hoard of treasure, he must make an ability check against his Willpower at a -2 penalty. If he fails, he becomes obsessed with going to the site and acquiring it, despite the risk. If the Sembian can somehow see the hoard, the check is made at a -4 penalty. Of course the Sembian will take some protective measures, but not as many as when his perspective is a bit clearer.

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