Introduction to Tenebrae

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When you settle into Tenebrae, we ask you settle into the community. Treat others fairly, be a team player, give others a fair shake, and realize that a staffer is never merely suggesting that you knock it off.

Stats are secondary to a good attitude, and a willingness to step forward and work with others. They're the things we look for most.

As a final note, we also look to maintain a safe, comfortable place where everyone can play. When settling down at our Gaming Table, then, don't be 'That Guy.' You know the one. The creepy, loudmouthed, or pushy one you'd never invite back to your table. We wouldn't want to invite 'that guy' back to ours, either.


Contents

Step into Ea

The Emblem of Ea takes place during an age of commonplace magic, airships, epic heroics, earth-shattering acts of the divine, and great nations. This present world is a rebuilt one that emerged from the downfall and hubris of an ancient age that was shattered by cataclysm. Though society has stabilized, threats to peace and safety continue to abound.

In this era, the adventuring community grows and thrives. Daring explorers and relic hunters dare the unexplored confines of the frontier in search of ruins, treasure, forgotten cities and lost secrets to bring back to the wealthy and the wise for study. Sky Pirates in both the literal and romantic sense prowl the sky-routes of the immense airships while devout priests proclaim the will of the gods and decipher the prophetic mysteries of the song of creation: the Eidolon Hymn.
Mounted knight.jpg

Adventurers are rare in number but impact matters greatly. They face dangers that are inconceivable by the general populace and in some cases, their unique skills, talents and daring actions are the only things capable of standing up against creatures and things that would otherwise ravage and lay waste to society.

The central location for the game is the fabled city of Alexandria. With its skyscraper-like castle towers and walls, rich mines and regional resources, Alexandria has earned for itself the moniker of the city of airships and wonder. A metropolis, the city exists as a hub for trade, travel, political scheming and magical phenomena. Its temple plaza boasts great Temples to the Gaea's varied Divine Pantheon. Though it is a hub of activity, it exists as a pocket of civilization on the edge of the great wilds. Its location near the edges of the Frontier creates a rugged, adventurous and rustic attitude and way of life. It serves as our main setting piece and the story of its development is one of our main focuses.

Gaea is a world of diverse nations and cultures as well as races and sub-races. Humanity is by far the most common race; however, when all the others are taken into account, humans make up only about a third of the world's population. Alexandria herself resembles an eclectic mix of a fantasy-castle town with a festive warm Mediterranean culture but player characters can come from nations all over the known world and different races abound. Not all races see eye to eye and even among humans, the diverse human cultures have many conflicts.

Their methods of faith and worship are just as diverse: Ea is a world of polytheism. In addition, even within the Divine Pantheon of Ea are sects and temples, and alternate versions exist among the natural world, such as the Green Word. Tribal cultures such as the oruch and the sith'makar blend spiritualism and worship of ancestors with worship of the gods, or for them--Coyote (Tarien) may simply take another face. The syldanyar look backwards to a deep connection with one divine form or another, and some claim them to be the divine's original warriors (though this may simply be syldanyari hubris).

Of Recent Events

In the modern era, the world stood on the verge of world peace. The great War of Sendor had been won, and the aged, wise kings of Myrddion and Bludgun stood poised to sign a great treaty that would end the conflict of generations. Yet, the dark goddess Taara struck, plunging the world into war and conflict, and pulled Alexandria, temporarily, from existence.

When Alexandria re-emerged, it found things much different than they had once been. Summaries from these recent events may be found on each nation's page, including Alexandria's. So when making your character, visit their hometown, so to speak, to find out what they might have encountered, and known, during those years. A more overall look may be found in Recent History.

Craft Your Concept

You may play your character for years, so spend some time on him or her.

1. Choose a Race or Class

The simplest place to start is to begin with a race or class that you find interesting. Each of the race and class pages has a "summary block" at the top. These summaries list (with links) common lands, common beliefs, and even typical roles or alignments.

These summary blocks are not exhaustive and are not intended to be restrictive--they're meant along the lines of helpful suggestions and a means if helping you get started.

The Different Races
Race Summary Race Summary
Arvek Nar Lucht Siuil
Hobgoblin02.gif
Disciplined warriors from a feared tradition, the arvek nar now look at the world with new eyes. The new goddess Serriel is rumored to have taken an interest in them as the race seeks to reforge who they once were.
Halfling02.jpg
Known in the trade tongue as the Traveling Folk, they hail from large families, and their feet never stay in one place for long due to an ancient curse.


Egalrin Humans
Eaglefolk01.jpg
A race of once-reclusive birdfolk, they follow the twin traditions of Cernan and Ceiwen, and respect the skies and wind.
Humans01 veyshanti.jpg
The most populous race of Ea, they wear many guises.
Giantborn Khazad
Giantborn03.jpg
Reclusive descendants of giants, the strongest of these are said to lift mountains.
Dwarf01.jpg
A proud, honorable race of warriors and crafters. Since Taara's sundering of the earth, they've come forward to re-open the roads of the world, plunging forward where other races fear rightly to tread. Many khazad bands today might live under the motto, "first in, last out."
Gnomes Oruch
Gnome01.jpg
Crafters, inventors, illusionists--gnomes are masters of the arcane, and found everywhere you don't want them to be.
Oruch01.jpg
A proud race of shamans and warriors, sprung from Chaos, itself. Their oldest shamans tell of oruch warriors, before the time of Great Adom, who fought as the chosen of gods against the sildanyari of the dawn, though those ages are long past.
Gobbers Sildanyar
Gob01.jpg
Inventive goblinoids whose willingness to try most anything has led to significant, if explosive, advances in magicraft. Creative, though watched with a wary eye if one is your neighbor.
Wildelf03.jpg
A race known for its talent in the arcane and ties to the fae. Ages past, they fought against the oruch in ancient godswars, though this hostility is rare today, and the races have diverged, becoming different than they once were.


Half-sil Sith'makar
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The offspring of a human and a sildanyar, they're known for their ability to get along with others and make peace where others sow discord.
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A savage race of dragonkin long-ago escaped from slavery, they live in isolation in a struggle for survival.


Half-oruch War Golems
Halforc03.jpg
The offspring of a human and an oruch, they're known for their pride and fierce tempers.
Wargolem01.jpg
Creatures leftover from a bygone age who have slowly gained sentience and life.


The Different Classes
Class Summary Class Summary
Artificer Barbarian
Artificer02.jpg
Artificers come from the old tradition of Kulthos, which was a society of wizards who became focused on magitech. Their spells now resemble contraptions, and the skyships are their own invention. Many of them are adventurers, eager to seek out new knowledge and try new ways to test their designs and concepts. They scare people.
Barbarian04.jpg
A savage warrior who relies on strength. Barbarians receive more skills than the fighter, and possess unique "rage powers" that let them do primal, or otherworldly, things. Barbarians are good at hitting things.


Bard Cavalier
Bard01.jpg
Storytellers, performers, acrobats, bards receive their spells from the Endilion Hymn. They possess a number of skills, and do not have as many spells as a wizard. They're good as a "support" style role.
Cavalier04.jpg
A knightly tradition that grew in Myrddion, and spread around the world. A martial and support class, they possess the ability to challenge a foe and make it count, as well as to lend support to their teammates.
Cleric Druid
Cleric04.jpg
Clerics are the servants of the gods, and receive their spells from a divine sponsor. They often work within a Temple, and suggested titles are found on each deity's page. While they do well as a "support" role, they may also take on the role of a divine warrior.
Druid04.jpg
Druids are primal casters who receive their spells from a divine sponsor or the Green Word. They often travel in the company of a great beast, and among more primitive races, often serve in a similar manner as priests.


Fighter Inquisitor
Fighter04.jpg
Fighters fight with steel and heavy armor. They serve as mercenaries, defenders, servants of merchants and nobility, among other roles. Fighters receive few skills, but are good at fighting and receive more feats than any other class.
Inquisitor01.jpg
Warriors dedicated to a faith, they are dedicated to rooting out its enemies. They are known both for their unyielding ways as well as unconventional means. That said, they're also dedicated to their Temples, and willing to work with others.
Monk Paladin
Monk03.jpg
Defensive fighters who possess a strong mental discipline, monks balance physical might with a mystic tradition. Most gods possess a number of monk orders with varying outlooks and focuses. Monks are not recommended for new players, as the class is somewhat difficult to get to work well.
Paladin02.jpg
Paladins are defenders of all that is good in the world, and receive the sponsorship of a divine patron. Known for mercy as well as their combat abilities, charisma is one of their strongest traits.
Ranger Rogue
Ranger02.jpg
Skillful, light warriors, rangers are known for their talent in the wilderness. They receive a generous number of skills, a few divine spells, and specialize in fighting certain types of enemies.
Rogue02.jpg
Rogues are a skillful class that is adept at thievery, investigation, and a glib tongue.
Sorcerer Wizard
Sorcerer04.jpg
Sorcerers are students of the arcane who have a distant tie to some unusual creature...either that, or a contract of some kind. They gain spells more slowly than the wizard, but may cast them more frequently. They receive few skill points.
Wizard06.jpg
Wizards are students of the arcane who possess a bredth and width of knowledge. They are strongest in support, battlefield control, and buffer type roles, and though they receive few skill points, their intelligence often makes up the difference.
Witch
Witch01.png
Born recently from the clash between Eluna and Taara, witches struggle between both as they find their place in the world.

2. Choose a Deity

The people of Ea are largely pantheistic (Holy Order of Ea), though some may pay tribute to a specific god or deity. Some, particularly rangers or druids, are more closely aligned to nature (Green Word).

Your race or class page may help you decide on a deity. Or, feel free to browse the full list.

3. Develop the Background

Once you've put together a rough outline, you should begin work on the background. Backgrounds help you lay out your concept in words, and help staff understand just who this new person is. If you'd like some guidance there, we have a guide for that, too.

In addition to our guide, here are some websites we've found to be useful:

...obviously, we do not expect you to go into the detail many of these sites do. If you're having trouble writing, you might try this motivational site. There are kittens, and this, naturally, makes everything better.

Build Your Concept

1. Select your Attributes

Pathfinder offers six attributes to help you define your character. What stats you need is is determined by who your character is and what he or she does. Part of that is their character class. Each class page lists attributes that will be important to that class.

The average attribute of a "normal" person is 9-11. Heroes are above and beyond these numbers, however, and so Tenebrae offers a generous number of attribute points with which to build a character. This is not an invitation to minmax--rather, it is so you may build the character you want.

Tenebrae uses the weighted point buy method of attribute purchase. This means, the higher the attribute, the more it will cost. For example, using the table below, we find that raising an attribute to a 16 costs 10 points. Tenebrae offers a starting pool of 32 points with which to purchase attributes.


Attribute Costs
Score Cost Score Cost
7 -4 13 3
8 -2 14 5
9 -1 15 7
10 0 16 10
11 1 17 13
12 2 18 17


The Six Attributes
Stat Definition Applies To
Strength (Str) Your physical strength Melee attack rolls and damage
Dexterity (Dex) Your reflexes, agility, and sense of balance Ranged attack rolls, initiative, reflex saving throws, armor class (defense)
Constitution (Con) Health and stamina Increases hit points, fortitude saves
Intelligence (Int) Learning and reasoning Number of starting bonus languages, increases number of skill points, wizard and artificer spellcasting
Wisdom (Wis) Willpower, common sense, intuition Willpower saving throws, skills such as healing, ranger and cleric spellcasting, perception, sense motive, and survival
Charisma (Cha) Personality, likableness, appearance or physical "presence" Checks that attempt to influence others, skill at intimidation, channel energy DCs for paladins and clerics attempting to harm undead, paladin and sorcerer spellcasting

2. Select Your Skills

Skills define the sorts of things a character can do. Rangers, monks, barbarians, and rogues tend to receive alot of skill points. Each class receives a set number of points every level, plus any bonus points from having a high intelligence. You may also receive bonus points from favored class, which is a concept we'll get to later.

Each skill rank costs 1 skill point. Class skills receive a bonus of +3 to the roll. The ingame code handles this automagically. A list of skills and what they do may be found on the skills portion of our website.

When you roll a skill, you will roll 1d20+Ranks+Attribute Bonus+Class Bonus against a Difficulty Class, or DC. The code adds these numbers for you automagically.

Skill Points Per Class
Class Points Per Level Class Points Per Level
Artificer
4
Monk
4
Barbarian
4
Paladin
2
Bard
6
Ranger
6
Cleric
2
Rogue
8
Druid
4
Sorcerer
2
Fighter
2
Wizard
2
Cavalier
4

3. Select Your Languages

If you have a higher intelligence (12+), you receive a number of bonus languages. Your race determines which languages you may select. If you're curious about what each language is, and perhaps a little of its history, visit our language page.

You may learn additional languages (and languages outside of your race's usual scope) by spending skill points in Linguistics. You gain 1 language per point spent. Aside from learning languages, Linguistics is also useful for knowing the history of a language, and to create and detect forgeries.

4. Select Your Feats

Feats are like mini-abilities that help define each character. Some feats stack (known as "feat chains"). There are three types of feats, based on the mini-abilities they grant:

General: A general feat might give you bonuses to certain skills, or a boost to your AC. It might also do things such as let a cleric channel energy into a weapon during combat.
Combat: Combat feats are focused on combat. These sorts of feats tend to be particularly useful to fighters, barbarians, paladins, and rangers. Fighters get quite a few bonus feats as part of their class, so will be able to select many of these.
Metamagic: Metamagic feats alter the way a spell is cast, or its effects. These are particularly useful to wizards, though other spellcasting classes may enjoy them, too.

Each class page has a set of "starter kits" that can help you pick which feats to take. You might also seek advice from staff, or other players.

Our feats page lists the types of feats available on Tenebrae.

5. Select Your Spells or Domains

Artificers, Bards, Sorcerers, Wizards

If you are an artificer, bard, sorcerer, or wizard, you will select some starting spells.

In the beginning, you will not have many spells, though this will change as you progress. Therefore, don't feel compelled to build an enormous spell list. Instead, select a few level 0 and level 1 spells you would like to be able to cast.

So, go on ahead and head over to our spell selection to see what's there. As there are many spells, our class pages may also offer suggestions.


Cleric, Druid

If you're playing a cleric or a druid, you start knowing every spell on your spell list. You just "choose" which ones you want to cast each morning. This means you don't need to select any spells at this time...though you do need to select domains.

A cleric receives 2 domains from their divine patron. Each deity's entry shows your options.

Druids normally receive the service of a great animal through their connection with the earthly realms. However, druids may exchange this option for a different sort of divine bond--and receive the power of a single domain. If you would like to use this option, you may want to do a little reading on the druid page to see what's available.


Ranger, Paladin

Rangers, Paladins will gain spells later on in their careers and receive no domains, so nothing here applies to you. When you do gain spells, you know every spell on your spell list. You just "choose" which ones you want to cast each morning.

Complete Chargen, and Apply for Approval

Once you have your character in mind, head into chargen. You will do this by using the Chargen exit from the OOC Room.

When you first enter Chargen, take a 'look' at the room again. This will make the -5s floating in the air there zero out.

Chargen will start off by asking you to select your attributes, a process very similar to what we covered, here. The one thing it will ask, which we have not covered, is favored class.

Favored class represents your character's innate "talent" for one particular class. This is typically the class your character currently is. A favored class offers 1 bonus hit point or 1 bonus skill point per level in that class. You will set this choice in chargen. You may always change it later, though the changes will not apply retroactively.

Once you're finished, the last room will instruct you to +apply.

Character applications may take anywhere from 24-72 hours.

Basic Mechanics

Terms to Know

Common terms found in Pathfinder are summarized here. Do not feel the need to memorize these. These will become familiar as you continue to play.

Making Rolls

Most rolls in Pathfinder look like this:

+roll 1d20+Bonuses

You will always roll against some sort of target number. Equaling or beating this number means you have succeeded. Rolling below this number means failure--though failure does not always mean a humiliating fumble. For example--it could mean your character's sword struck the side of his shield, instead. Or, your character happened to glance over as a party member yelled out. The question to ask is "but why?" and then to build it into the storyline in a creative way.

Here are some examples of things you might roll for ingame. Our ingame dice roller is very flexible. For example, you could type +roll 1d8+1d6+14 and it would work. Feel free to play around, or see +help rolling dice for more dice commands than you can shake a stick at.

Common Dice Rolls
To Do This Roll This Against This
Melee Attack 1d20+BAB+Str Opponent's Armor Class (AC)
Ranged Attack 1d20+BAB+Dex Opponent's Armor Class (AC)
Saving Throw 1d20+Base Save+Attribute Bonus Spell Difficulty Class (DC)

Rolls for Combat

Rolls for combat are typically a d20 roll with your BAB and then an attribute added to it. BAB stands for "Base Attack Bonus" and is determined by your class. In game, just type +sheet. Your BAB is printed there, right under the Combat section.

Rolling Initiative
Roll +init
Rolling Attacks and Damage
Melee
Attack at 1d20+BAB+Str, Then Roll
2-Handed Weapon Weapon Dice+(Strx1.5)
1-Handed Weapon Weapon Dice+Str
2 Weapons* W1: Weapon Dice+Str W2: Weapon Dice+(Strx.5)
Ranged
Attack at 1d20+BAB+Dex, Then Roll
Bow Weapon Dice**
Crossbow Weapon Dice
Thrown Weapon Weapon Dice+Str
* When attacking with two weapons, subtract 2 from each attack roll. One weapon must be light, and you will need to take the Two-Weapon Feat to do this.
** Some bows let you add strength damage.

Commands for Spellcasters

Commands for spellcasters may be found by typing +help spells ingame.

Additional Help

Tutorials

For help with some trickier parts of Pathfinder, feel free to browse our tutorials. These were put together by staff to assist with some more difficult to understand areas.


Combat Cheat Sheet

There's a combat "cheat sheet" available to help you keep track of things in combat. This may be saved locally as an Excel or Open Office (now Libre Office) file. You don't need to use this sheet, and some players don't use one. Others however, do, so it depends on what works for you.

Basic MUX Commands

There are a few commands that are unique to Tenebrae. For the most part, these may be found through our +help system. However, you might also enjoy:

  • +today - Tells you the current time, date, and weather within the Emblem of Ea
  • +map - Tells you where you are in Alexandria
  • +lwhere - Lists who's where
  • +help - Our local help system


If you are completely new to MUXes or MUSHes, check out our Introduction to MUSHing.

Joining Plots

Plots and scenes are a part of Tenebrae, in addition to everyday and life roleplay. There are many ways to get into them:

  • Legwork: Pay attention to rumors that show up ingame. Rumors are also echoed on the front page of this website with contextual links to help you get adjusted. If you're curious about it, we have a Legwork Guide to help you hit the ground running.
  • Participate in Roleplay: Get to know other players by chatting at the Gaming Table. Also, DMs (Dungeon Masters) will sometimes "drop" a scene on a set of characters gathered on the grid. You'll also find more details, and meet more people.
  • Reply to Posts: Reply to a +bboard post. Our DMs and PMs will post on the ingame bboard (+help bboard) about upcoming scenes. If they do so, send them an @mail (+help mail) that you are interested.
  • Check +Events: DMs and Player Runners will post scenes to here, and to the ingame bboard. You can sign up for scenes using +events (type +help events).

Final Notes

Tenebrae operates on a sense of community and trust. That is, we trust you, as players, to be a part of this community, to respect its policies, and one another.

We do require basic grammar and spelling within the game. That is, use appropriate punctuation and make an effort at spelling. Run your desc and bg through a spellcheck before submitting it. We're a text-based medium, so how you present yourself reflects on how well others are able to understand you. Misunderstandings happen often enough over text, after all, and we don't want to add to it.