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Hidden Blackmoor - Zen-Tharaby John Calvin
Here is some more about society in Hidden Blackmoor. It's still incomplete, as I need to write up a history section for them (but at the moment I can't find the reference materials I wrote up for HB), so that will have to wait. Hope you enjoy, and as always if you have comments or suggestions, please let me know.
This elite group of warriors is composed of (90%) humans (8%) dwarves, and (2%) Emerondians. They are trained to be stealthy and unobtrusive. Many of them travel to the surface and work alongside the Not Men. The Zen-Thara were formed in ??? when it was deemed safe that living members of the Enclave could once again visit the surface worlds.
Clad in finely woven Nullium garments and armed with sophisticated (but fairly normal looking) weapons, such as the electro sword, the Zen-Thara would make formidable opponents... if only the outside world could detect them. Their Nullium clothing renders them virtually immune to direct spell attacks, or any magical means of information gathering. Their weapons are extremely deadly and destructive. In addition to this, all Zen-Thara carry a personal disintegration device, to be used in the event that they are discovered and captured by immortal entities.
All Zen-Thara are trained in the martial arts (and may choose from fighter and mystic classes). Induction into the order is accomplished through a master-apprentice relationship. A Zen-Thara master must hand pick, and train his apprentice. Those chosen must renounce all ties to family, clan, and corporation.
Some 7% of Zen-Thara (mostly humans, but including the rare dwarf and Emerondian as well) have an aptitude for magical training, and may learn and practice the magical arts once they leave the World Shield (and as long as they are not wearing any Nullium). Due to the many generations of Enclave citizens that have spent their entire lives within the confines of the World Shield, Zen-Thara mages have some penalties. Their base chance to cast any spell is 10% per their experience level -10% per spell level that they are trying to cast. There are two ways that a Zen-Thara can improve his spell casting abilities. The first way is by studying under a full mage, and the second way is by using technomantic devices. Those who can spare the time often train with a mage in Jomphur Blackmoor. Training for a full year will add a 10% chance to the Zen-Thara's base chances for casting a spell. Up to three years of training can be taken in order to improve magical abilities, however additional years of training have no further effects.
Technomantic devices (described later) may also used by the Zen-Thara, each increasing the base chances of spell casting by 10%. Any percentage over 100% may be used to boost one spell effect (if the spell's description allows it). Only 5 technomantic devices may ever be used together at one time (2 gloves, 2 boots, and one helmet). These devices must be powered by an engine/radiance power source worn around the belt.
[Thus an untrained 3rd level mage trying to cast a 1st level spell could do so successfully only 20% of the time (30% - 10%). If that mage trained with a non-Enclave mage for two years he would increase his chances of casting the same spell to 40%.]
Miscast spells should be dealt with by the DM on a per spell basis. The DM can either rule that the spell fizzles out completely, or that it misfires in some way.
Technomantic devices are powered by the radiance, and thus each time one is used there is a 1% chance per level of the spell cast, that the caster will develop a rotting disease (as per Gaz 3 rules). This chance is cumulative based on the number of devices used. [Thus, if three technomantic devices were used to help cast a 4th level spell, there would be a 12% chance (3% x 4%) that the caster would acquire the rotting disease.]