This wiki describes the lands surrounding the Great Waste, a campaign setting for a dungeons and dragons game. The wiki is perhaps most easily explored from the contents page. Our story began when two player characters named Vantis and Lannus meet on the road from Ramandu's Rock to Tal Dara. Vantis and Lannus also briefly interacted with another more incongruous player character - the enigmatic half-orc Blakula. You can also follow their adventures by perusing the historical works of Yurian Darkheart which are listed on a page. If you enjoy your time on this wiki, you might also be interested in a hybrid Dark Souls D&D campaign created by the same author, as well as some of the author's own player characters from other campaign settings, which can be found here and here.
Following an obvious trail, stream or similar feature is relatively safe, but travellers moving across trackless land are in danger of becoming lost, especially in conditions of poor visibility. To avoid becoming lost, travellers must succeed on a survival check once per hour. The difficulty of this check depends on whether the terrain is wasteland (DC14), petrified forest (DC21) or a great desert (DC30, or DC36 during a sandstorm). Navigating by night is usually easier, because a skilled character can use the stars to discern north with a DC10 survival check. However, as the Lord of the Wastes is capable of obscuring the stars if he desires, this strategy is not without weaknesses. Travellers do not immediately realize that they have bceome lost. Once per hour of random travel, one must make a DC20 wisdom check to realize that one's direction is uncertain. Finding a new direction once lost requires another survival check (original DC+2 per hour of random travel). If the traveller fails this check, he becomes lost again.
On long journeys, only about eight hours of the day are usually spent travelling. The rest of the daylight hours are spent making and breaking camp. If characters are willing to risk damaging themselves, however, they can attempt to walk for longer than this. On a forced march, characters must make constitution checks (DC10, +2 per extra hour) or take d6 points of subdual damage and become fatigued. A mount can also be made to move at a forced march, but the creature's constitution checks automatically fail, and the damage it takes is lethal. A character on foot walks about three miles an hour (24 miles per day) and a mounted character moves at about 5 miles per hour (40 miles per day). However any kind of difficult terrain forces travellers to move at only half speed. For example, it takes mounted characters a week to traverse the 140 miles between Daln and Tal Dara.
A good waterskin holds a gallon of water. If it runs dry or is pierced by arrows, a traveller in the desert faces a terrible ordeal. As the body loses fluids, biological processes begin to break down. This leads to pallor, shaking, nausea and eventually a complete collapse of the nervous system. THough dehydration can occur in any environment, the combination of high heat and low humidity typical in the waste makes it a constant threat there. Characters normally require a gallon of liquids per day, but can go without for 24 hours plus a number of hours equal to their constitution score. After this time, the character must make a constitution check each hour (DC10, +1 for each previous check) or take d6 points of subdual damage. Characters who have taken subdual damage from lack of water are fatigued (taking a -2 penalty to strength and dexterity). Subdual damage from thirst cannot be recovered until the character gets some water. In particularly hot environments, the body requires more water. When the temperature rises past 33 degrees, characters require 2 gallons of water per day and can survive without water for 12 hours plus a number of hours equal to the constitution score. When the temperature rises past 44 degrees, characters require 3 gallons of water per day and can survive without water for 6 hours plus a number of hours equal to their constitution score. When the temperature rises past 61 degrees, chracters require 4 gallons of water per day and can only survive without water for 3 hours plus a number of hours equal to their constitution score.
Heatstroke and Sandstorms Edit
In the arid, cloudless environment of the waste, there is no barrier against the sun's blaze. Characters can take damage from extreme heat, a condition generally referred to as heatstroke. At lower temperatures this is damage is subdual, but it instantly becomes lethal for those who fall unconscious. Any character who takes damage from heatstroke is considered fatigued, and takes a -2 penalty to strength and dexterity. Damage from heatstroke (including the fatigue) cannot be removed until a character is returned to a more comfortable environment - for example by reaching shade, surviving until nightfall or being drenched in water. Only then does the character respond normally to healing, and only once the damafe is healed do the fatigue penalties end.
When the temperature is between about 33 degrees and 43 degrees (the usual daytime temperature in the waste), unprotected characters must make successful fortitude saves each hour (DC15,+1 for each previous check) or take d4 points of subdual damage. Chacters wearing any kind of armour take -4 penalties on their saves. Characters who have heat protection 1 are safe at this temperature range. When the temperature rises above 44 degrees (usually around noon) characters must make fortitude saves every 10 minutes (DC15, +1 for each previous check) or take d4 points of subdual damage. Characters wearing armour again take -4 penalties on their saves. Characers with heat protection 2 are safe, and characters with heat protection 1 need only make saves once an hour. When the temperature rises above 61 degrees, characters take d6 points of lethal damage every 10 minutes (no save). Characters must also make fortitude saves (DC15,+1 per previous check) every 10 minutes or take d4 points of subdual damage. Characters wearing armour take -4 penalties on their saves, and those wearing metal armour can be burned. Characters with heat protection 3 are safe, and those with heat protection 2 take damage and make saves only once per hour.
The survival skill does not grant any level of heat protection. However, with a DC15 survival check, a character gains a +2 bonus on all fortitude saves against heatstroke. This bonus rises to +4 if the character remains stationary. Characters gain heat protection 1 by wearing a desert outfit, by taking the heat endurance feat, by having dark skin or by applying Ramandu's ointment. Creatures with heat protection 2 include desert animals and monsters who live in the waste. Characters can gain heat protection 3 with heat endurance spells or by constructing an improvised shelter. These levels of protection do not grant any kind of fire resistance, but fire resistance, but fire resistance applies to the damage dealt by heatstroke.
Sandstorms in the desert can be very dangerous. During an ordinary sandstorm, characters take a -4 penalty on all perception checks and a -8 penalty on all ranged attacks. The swirling sands reduce visibility to d10 by 5 feet, extenguish all open flames and deal d3 points of subdual damage per hour. Sandstorms usually last about 2d4-1 hours. Occasionally these storms develop into something more severe - greater sandstorms which extinguish all open or protected flames, reduce visibility to d4 by 5 feet and deal d3 points of lethal damage per round. Characters in a greater sandstorm take a -8 penalty on perception checks, cannot make ranged attacks at all and have to make a DC18 fortitude save each round to avoid being knocked to the ground. When a greater sandstorm dies down, the ground is covered in 2d3-1 feet of sand. Exposed characters in a sandstorm might begin to choke. A cloth or scarf worn across the nose and mouth protects the character from suffocation for a number of rounds equal to ten times their constitution, whereas an unprotected characted risks suffocation after a number of rounds equal to only twice their constitution. When a character risks suffocation, they must make a successful constitution check (DC10,+1 per previous check) each round or begin suffocating. During the first round of suffocation, the character falls unconcscious. During the second round, the chracter is dying. During the third round, the character suffocates to death.
Great Waste Equipment Edit
Corhyrian Woven Armour - Made from silk and other fabrics, Corhyrian woven armour is the perfect protection for desert travellers. Air trapped between layers allows the skin to perspire, while the material itself absorbs moisture easily and dries quickly. The wrapped layers are surprisingly effective against weapons, granting a +2 bonus to armour class. The armour is light and flexible, having a maximum dexterity bonus of +6, a spell failure chance of 10% and no armour check penalty. Woven armour does not impose the usual -4 penalty on fortitude saves made against heatstrokes, and does not negate the benefits of a desert outfit. Expertly made from valuable materials, it costs about 1000 gold pieces.
Ramandu's Ointment - A soft creamy white ointment used by Thranish travellers traversing the Great Waste. One bottle of ointment is enough to cover one character for one day. Applying the ointment to the skin grants heat protection 1. One bottle costs about 50 gold pieces.
Asheran Sandspears - Made by the sand elves of Ashera, these sandspears are martial two-handed weapons which deal d8 points of piercing damage, triple damage on a critical hit. They can be thrown up to 30 feet without difficulty. Asheran hunting spears don't have reach. Sand elves gain a +2 bonus on damage rolls made with Asheran sandspears.
Asheran Mask - Beings such as minotaurs, gnolls, kenkus and rakshasas all have the faces of animals. The sand elves of Ashera believe that this form of is scared and wear masks while fighting and hunting in an attempt to emulate these creatures. These masks usually resemble the faces of canines, cats, snakes or birds. Some elven masks are enchanted, granting strange powers to those who wear them. Elven masks are not usually available for purchase.
Great Waste Feats Edit
Wall Walking (requires 4 levels of Stargazer) - You can move across a vertical surface for up to 20 feet without making aclimb check. You add 10 feet to this distance at Stargazer level 6 and every second level thereafter, up to your maximum speed. A Stargazer can take this a bonus feat in place of the slow fall ability.
Howling (can only be taken by Howlers at first level) - As a result of your clan's breeding habits, you can screech once per day, and any enemies must make a will save (DC10 + your charisma bonus + your level) or become terrified.
Heat Endurance (requires base fortitude save+2) - You gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against fire effects, and heat protection 1. At third level, a ranger can take Heat Endurance as a bonus feat in place of Endurance. If he already has Heat Endurance, the ranger gains Improved Heat Endurance instead, without needing to meet the prerequisites.
Improved Heat Endurance (requires base fortitude save +2, Heat Endurance) - You gain fire resistance 5, which stacks with any fire resistance you already have. You gain heat protection 2.
Wastewalker - Your movement is not impeded by the shifting sands. At seventh level a ranger can take wastewalker as a bonus feat in place of the woodland stride ability.
Sand Camouflage (requires hide 5 ranks, Wastewalker) - As a standard action, you can quickly camouflage yourself in any area of sand that is at least an inch deep, gaining a +5 bonus on hide checks. In areas with more than a foot of sand, you instead gain a +10 bonus on hide checks.
Races of the Great Waste Edit
Sand Elves - Medium, +2 dexterity, -2 constitution, sleepless, bow proficiency, sandspear proficiency, scimitar proficiency, +2 stealth, +2 perception, +2 damage with sandspears, +1 damage with scimitars
Hobgoblins - Medium, +2 dexterity, +2 constitution, darkvision
Orcs - Medium, +4 strength, -2 intelligence, -2 wisdom, -2 charisma, darkvision
Sand Dwarves - Medium, +2 constitution, -2 dexterity, reduced speed, stability, +2 charisma, +2 diplomacy
Kenkus - Small, -2 strength, +2 dexterity, mimic, +2 stealth, darkvision, increased speed, hold medium weapons
Half-elves - Sleepless, Elf blood, Medium, +1 stealth, +1 perception, initiative +4
Dark Elves - Sleepless, SR11+class level, +2 intelligence, +2 charisma, darkvision, medium, -2 constitution, +2 dexterity
Gnolls - +6 strength, +2 dexterity, +4 constitution, medium, darkvision, 2d8 (2/4 attack progression, skill rate 2, good fortitude), +2 natural armour