Forgotten Realms - Pool of Radiance
Pool of Radiance Character Examples and Suggestions
Humanoids and other unusual creatures
Phlan is an excellent place for many very diverse character choices. Various monstrous humanoids wander freely throughout a greater portion of the city, outside the stockaded community. In some rare cases, humanoids may be found in the civilized area, although often viewed with alarm and suspicion. Once those creatures have received papers from the City Council granting them permission to enter New Phlan, guards are informed, and they are to be unharmed and free from serious harassment, or suffer the wrath of the Council, for once their trust is placed in said creatures, it is pretty much sacrosanct.
Such creatures are still subject to the laws of New Phlan, and must carry their papers with them at all times, although there is a roster posted at guard placements when there is doubt. Just like any faction building, guards and citizens may continue to view them with suspicion and caution, until they prove themselves trustworthy and amiable on a consistant basis. The rosters will often have status on such individual written down in terms like, “view with suspicion”, “approach with caution”, “proven trustworthy”, “respected and important”, etc.
The above information opens the storyline up to easily fit many unusual racial choices into the setting. The Player and Dungeon Master can devise a way to initially introduce characters of unusual races into the civilized area of Phlan, based on the background story of the Player Character. Certainly, letters of recommendation from important figures in the Forgotten Realms could have been sent to the Council prior to arrival of the Player Character. I can hardly think of anyone who would disregard a clearly written letter of recommendation by the great sage, Elminster of Shadowdale, besides perhaps Lord Manshoon of Zhentil Keep…
Humanoids and other creatures as character choices
The following is a list of humanoids, monstrous creatures, and unique races that could fit well into the game setting. In some cases, there may be a description of elements and storylines which may attach them to the setting in or around Phlan. Players are encouraged to use these ideas, but are not limited to them.
Angel – Paladin for Tyr, God of Justice. May have been one of the Angels which helped build the Temple of Tyr and has returned in mortal flesh to reclaim it. As he proves his worth, he regains his angelic powers. See section below entitled,“Characters with special roles” for more.
Beholder (various types) – Anomaly of its kind. Either left the Mulmaster Beholder Corp in Mulmaster, or left a very close Beholder hive in the Underdark… Phlan’s history mentions an extremely large Beholder being freed from “great twisting passages far beneath the earth”… Perhaps finds the city a fascinating study.
Cambion – Senses (or has visions of) Demonic power in the vacinity of Phlan, such as in an open gate to the Abyss, and seeks to close the portal.
Centaur – A Knight, Paladin, or Ranger (for wilderness adventures).
Death Knight – Seeks redemption, and pledges service to Phlan, in the name of Tyr, God of Justice.
Djinni For every Djinni in a bottle there is an Efreeti in one, as well. The Djinni has been freed by a benevolent master and now uses his freedom to seek out the Efreeti that is paired to him, before someone releases it. Because he is free, so now is the Efreet; when it escapes its bottle. The evil efreet will be able to use its own ability to grant wishes for terrible harm to be wrought on the land. Still the Efreeti must be destroyed, and the Djinni must use his own ability to grant wishes to counter the Efreeti’s power.
Dragon (Metallic) – Sent by Bahamut, “King of Good Dragons”, or Tyr, God of Justice. May perhaps be a Paladin of Tyr. Will be granted the ability to take the form of a dragon and man hybrid (dragonman) in addition to it’s transforming abilities.
Efreet – Freed from his bottle by the benevolent Sorceror Rimon many centuries before. Rimon had used a wish to change the nature of this Efreet. The Efreet was a loyal companion afterward, but the association with Rimon was short lived when Rimon had apparently been destroyed fighting a great power of evil. In an effort to save himself the Efreet retreated into his bottle until he found himself free, once again.
Fairy (various types)
Goblin – Having been rescued by forces of good, after years of brutal enslavement by evil masters, he was moved by their compassion and sought to emulate his rescuers, and fight against forces that represented that which pained him.
Golem (sentient) – Perhaps a ancient creation of Rimon, the great Sorceror from Phlan’s past, or Zanakar the Lich, whom Rimon, Alonias of Tyr, and Prince Milsor Valjevo had defeated. The golem became in service to Rimon the Wizard, but had become trapped during a colossal battle that apparently destroyed Rimon. Having been trapped for centuries, it finds itself finally free.
Kobold – Having been rescued by forces of good, after years of brutal enslavement by evil masters, he was moved by their compassion and sought to emulate his rescuers, and fight against forces that represented that which pained him.
Lich – Wielding the secrets of Zanakar the Arch Lich, Rimon the Sorceror has retured as a Lich, himself. Centuries ago, Rimon was the original master of Sorceror’s Island. He has returned from near destruction from fighting an ancient evil, many lost ages ago, and now seeks to reclaim his island domain on Lake Kuto. His powers have diminished from the ancient battle that nearly destroyed him, and his memories are clouded, since he has had no means to restore his powers like liches are required to do every century. He wishes to help the City of Phlan recover like just as he did centuries before.
Lillend – Phlan was once a great cultural center for art in the days of old. The Lillend race aided the designers of the city with their artistic talents, making the city exceptionally beautiful. These extraplanar beings would like to see the city become beautiful again, and flourish in the various arts.
Lizard man (including Lizard King) – In response to an alarming increase in Sahuagin activity on the northern coast of the Moonsea, the Lizard Men have sought to ally themselves with Men. Until recently, that had not been possible until New Phlan had reestablished itself. By assisting the benevolent Council of Phlan in their missions they might be able to gain an alliance and clear the Barren River of its deadly flow which has done some harm to coastline aquisition of food that some of the Lizard Men tribes depend on, and deal with the Sahuagin menace. See the entry below, “Lord of the Sea” for possibilities for this character choice.
Locathah – Seeks to find the source of evil that’s destroying sea life emanating from the Barren river, floating into the Moonsea. See the entry below, “Lord of the Sea” for possibilities for this character choice.
Medusa – The beings that spawned this character are powerful creatures that have gone into the service of the Lord of the Ruins. These sinister creatures thought incorrectly that they had successfully destroyed their progeny, whom they thought weak with such things as compassion.
Mind Flayer – One of the only survivors of the destroyed Illithid creed named “Friends of Man”, or perhaps a single Illithid that broke away from the Elder Brain. Imprisoned its race, it has recently escaped into the world of men, seeking to thwart a possible union between the Illithids and The Lord of the Ruins and the Drow of the Underdark. This character may be the one creature prophesied by the Illithids, that they fear…
Minotaur (Beastial or Civilized) – Won his freedom fighting in the gladitorial pits in the Hillsfar arena. Chose to leave Hillsfar and go to Phlan to begin a path to greater glory. Along his journey, he discovers more important things than personal glory, and discovers friendship, honor, compassion, a sense of satisfaction in defending the good and defeating evil.
Myconid (Mushroom Men) – Fungus Druid from the Underdark (see d20 accessories for Fungus Druid concept)
Mummy (including Mummy Lord) – Perhaps the preserved body of Alonias of Tyr or some other great hero, returning to fight evil that plagues the city. Another story possibility would be that the Lord of the Ruins has called upon a powerful mummy to serve him as advisor and in the process of summoning this mummy advisor has roused some other mummies and divine creatures from their tombs. Those Mummies (such as the Character) and other divine creatures have been eternally appointed to fight certain evil gods and their minions and therefore are compelled to fulfill their duty. Such a character might have an entourage, especially if they were the mummy of an ancient Pharaoh. There are in fact several pyramids and ziggarats in the setting that they might be interested in…
Ogre Mage – See “Oriental Characters” below. Possibly Samurai.
Orc – Part of a clan of Orcs that harbor no ill will toward men and seek to strenghten bonds with them. They might try to find Orcish brothers who have their views and battle the truly evil to defend world from the worst of their kind. They may possibly hail from Hillsfar. These may also be advanced Orcs who have limited knowledge on how to construct and maintain steampowered machines, or is simply dedicated armorers and weaponsmiths.
Sahuagin (including Baron)
Satyr – Sent by druids to purge the Barren River and Quivering Forest of their filth and corruption. The druids also sense some great corruption in the City of Phlan that must be dealt with.
Shambling Mound (fully sentient) – A druidic creature, divinely awakened by the Druids and forces of nature to purge the Barren River and Quivering Forest of their filth and corruption. The druids also sense some great corruption in the City of Phlan that must be dealt with.
Skeleton (fully sentient, including Skeleton Warrior) – One of the last defenders of Phlan at Sokal Keep. Perhaps a skeletal Paladin of Tyr returning to recover the Temple of Tyr. Perhaps they were a former pirate hero or ancient mariner who served the City of Phlan in ancient times, who arrives on a ghost ship crewed by the undead.
Thri-Kreen – Outcast from the Thri-Kreen that live in the hives in the Grasslands.
Treant – A younger Treat sent by Elder Treants and Druids to help and seek aid from the City of Phlan purge the Barren River and the deepest portions of the Quivering Forest of their corruption and bring balance to nature in the Northern Moonsea Reaches. The druids also sense some corruption in the City of Phlan that must be dealt with.
Vampire (including Dhampir)
Werecreature (including Were-Dragons)
Zombie (fully sentient, including Zombie Lord)
Characters with special roles
The following is a list of a combination of common character races, unique but suitable races, and unique or specific roles that would fit exceptionally well in the Pool of Radiance campaign:
Dwarvish Lord – Seeking to help Phlan recover its greatness, and then in turn with Phlan’s help, reconquer The Dwarven Citadel in the Dragonspine Mountains, re-establishing a trade route with Phlan on the Stojanow River, and become a great power once again, like in the days of old. There will be opportunities to recover Dwarven Artifacts to aid in his Quest.
Dwarven Craftspriest/Engineer, Gnomish Tinkerer, Human Artificer/Inventor, Orcish/Goblinish Constructor – Perhaps dedicated to a craft-based diety, such as Moradin the Soulforger, Gond the Wonderbringer, to use their skills to assist the city. They may be a master of building clockworks, or steam powered monstrosities, or perhaps they are an inventor, mad scientist, armorer, weaponsmith, or builder of magical treasures. Players who enjoy Steampunk would find a place in the game. Deep in the ruins of the city, there is said to be an old temple dedicated to Gond the Wonderbringer, God of Invention and Craft, and there are said to have been old magical forges somewhere in Phlan. If such places and treasures could be found, a Player Character’s craft and inventiveness could truly be explored for building machinations of war to use against evil or for rebuilding the city. Hopefully, the enemy hasn’t learned of these resources and learned to harness them…
Elven Prince or Noble – Remaining on the main continent of Faerun, he has decided not to retreat to Evermeet like most of the elves have done. Instead he stays behind to lead and give his people the things they need to be a proud and great race once again. His intentions are to help the people of Phlan, and in turn receive Phlan’s help to purge the Barren River of its foul supernatural contamination, which may bring the Quivering Forest back to life. Within the Quivering Forest is an ancient elven city, waiting to be restored to glory, and with the help of the New Phlan, perhaps it may become the new capital of the elves on the main continent…
Angellic Paladin of Tyr – Either cast from the heavens for arrogance and incompassionate actions, or defeated centuries ago by the God of Strife, Bane, he now resides in the world of men, devoid of his once great powers, seeking to gain favor in the eyes of Tyr, God of Justice and Vengeance, to help restore the Greatest Temple of Tyr ever built, which is now dedicated to his enemy, Bane. As he proves himself through selfless acts, he regains his powers and is perhaps destined to become a great champion of Justice and Good.
Paladin of Tyr or Specialty Priest of Tyr – Part of the bloodline of the ancient families of Phlan that have dedicated themselves to Tyr, God of Justice and Vengeance. He may be related to other clerics of Tyr such as Bishop Braccio of Tyr, on Phlan’s City Council. He has dedicated his service to champion the City of Phlan and re-establish his ancient family line back in the city. He wishes to restore the Greatest Temple of Tyr ever built, and recover it’s Relics, perhaps even to wield them.
Human Prince of the Valjevo Bloodline – The Valjevos were the royal princes in the City of Phlan, in the days of old. It was said that their bloodline ran thin in the later days, and finally the family died out, altogether… but perhaps not… Perhaps the bloodline was not without issue, after all, and they have returned to take their city back. Perhaps if Valjevo Castle and the entirety of Phlan was recovered, a Prince may yet again sit on its throne…
Human Prince, a Paladin of Tyr – as the two previous entries, but combined. Such a persona would be exceptional proof that the bloodline is no longer thin, and the royal line has strong moral fiber and character.
Lord of the Sea – Such might be a flamboyant ship’s captain, destined for greatness! There may be certain sea-based artifacts that he may try to recover, so that he might be aided in his quest to become a hero of the Moonsea. Alternatively, this character might be a nonhuman race who lives in, or close to the sea, such as a Lizard Man or Lizard King (a mighty form of Lizard Man), or a Locathah/Sahuagin (Sea Dwelling humanoid creatures) or Sahuagin Baron (a four armed Sahuagin mutation), who seeks to fight off the evils that are reeking havoc on and in the Moonsea. Defeating the terrible Lord of the Ruins in Phlan, and clearing the corruption of the Barren River flowing into the sea, would some of his objectives.
Wizard – Seeks to reclaim the block surrounding Mendor’s Library for the city and the Great Library of Mendor, for it was once a Universtiy of great learning, for both mundane and sorcerous studies. The Great Library of Mendor was in the midst of a large Wizarding University, which studied all forms of magic. A tower of Sorcery had been constructed, but according to stories, had never been fully established. If restored, the City of Phlan may again be a major center of mundane and magical study, rivalling Silverymoon. This entry could be applied as a goal for any Mage based character race, such as a Lich or Beholder.
Oriental Characters – The races of the orient have become aware that the location of certain artifacts have been revealed to be somewhere within the City of Phlan. Heroes have rushed to retrieve the artifacts for the power and the honor of ownership of such highly regarded items, and to get them before rivals do…
- If the party consisted of many important figures such as Human and Elven Princes and Princesses, Dwarvish Lords, Lords of the Sea, etc, the party could potentially rule Phlan and the surrounding lands, should they have the Metl and prove themselves wise as well as powerful. Such an storyline would be epic!