This is a list of the changes that I have made to the default assumptions of the D&D world. Some are related to faith, some support the setting, and some are just cool. Except for the faith related ones, they are completely up for discussion. Please tell me if you don’t agree with one or think there should be more to support something.
1. There is only one God. I have replaced the “gods” of D&D with a selection of Lords. These are mortals who serve as custodians of certain parts of creation. The main page is here: Religion in Athos
2. Mankind is fallen and requires a savior, but not just any savior. The only one who can save us from our sin is Jesus, and this world is no different. The story of Athos’s salvation is identical to the Bible story, aside Jesus’ name being Sura and Christians being referred to as Surites.
Note that Sura’s sacrifice counted towards all races because they are all Ahrondel, or Souled Ones. The Athosian Bible uses the term human and man while not referring only to that race.
3. Shadows, darkness, and death are of themselves evil, and should not be revered. One of my main concerns with my description of this campaign is giving the expectation that it worships darkness. God forbid I let that happen! Throughout the campaign it will be assumed that this darkness is evil. Here is a list of things that fall into that category.
1. Vampires are shadow stalkers. No player will play as a vampire, and anyone bitten by one will not be able to be a “good” one. They do not provide life and love, as we are called to do, but rather steal it.
2. For that matter, any death-related races are evil. D&D source books may include revenants, shadar-kai, kenku, and the like, but these are twisted malformations of the humanoid races.
3. Death-related magic and powers are wrong. Necromancy and nethermancy are never okay. This is very different from resurrection; the important contrast is that resurrection is a miracle from God, while necromancy is a twisted power from one’s self. Necromancy never produces true life, but an evil imitation of it.
4. Unbridled fear is not a weapon. Some fear is good: we are called to fear God, and I know fear has saved my poor skin from a scald in the past. But fear by itself, used like a weapon, is not holy.
5. Lying is wrong. Whatever your personal beliefs, in the Dark Skies campaign, all lies are inexcusable. This includes bluffing, white lies, half-truths, and the like.
6. Demons and devils are not present. While D&D includes support for demons and devils, there is real danger in getting confused about the nature of them. Satan is not someone you can kill with a magic sword, so you will not be battling these monsters.
1. The skies are darkened. There is a layer of darkness that restricts the sun’s glow. Legends from eras long past tell of summer days when the daylight would shine so hot it would be uncomfortable. Oh, how they dream of being so surrounded by light it hurts them! This affects the rules in that twilight is considered normal light.
1. Detect magic, light, and prestidigitation are considered default spell-like abilities. Any wizard worth his pointy hat knows these spells by heart. The detect magic spell becomes a perception check for magic (governed by Int). The light spell produces light as described, though you can flavor it however you like (“I wave my hand and my staff produces a slight purple glow”). The prestidigitation acts as described.