Cobrin'Seil

Cobrin'Seil is a Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e setting designed by Talen Lee.

Introduction

You hold in your hands a Player's Guide to the campaign setting of Cobrin'Seil; a land of adventure, where heroes and villains clash, and the struggle between good and evil is highlighted in the works of the mighty. Magic, science, and psionics have all come together to drive civilisation towards an unknown future.

Cobrin'Seil is a setting built on the idea of enabling characters. The core rules of the PHB enables characters to do some very broad things, but when a DM is confronted with something unheard of, a character option hitherto unencountered, the natural inclination is to disallow it.

Cobrin'Seil does not accept the idea that the PHB is perfectly balanced, is perfectly fair. It seeks a balance point between all classes, so that in any situation, any character can contribute, and no one class or character should be capable of carrying the show.

Cobrin'Seil seeks to make dramatic, cinematic experiences. A party of rag-tag underdogs holding a bridge against an army of thousands, three warriors against three dragons, or a single bard maneuvering an entire dynasty into his lap – these are the things of Cobrin'Seil.

Cobrin'Seil lacks the normal focus on dungeons that many D&D settings have. A dungeon makes a fine campaign seed, and it certainly is a classic style of play, but Cobrin'Seil takes the stance that that style has been serviced enough, aided enough, by other settings. While there are certainly places a dungeon could be used, Cobrin'Seil campaigns are about what your characters do, rather than where your characters happen to be.

Cobrin'Seil seeks to be a less classical style of fantasy, and instead broaches into the realm of pulp and cinema. Cobrin'Seil seeks to give you a chance to show how your character is like others – and then to show how they are different. Think not of Tolkein and Eddings – think instead of Gaiman. This is not a setting where you need to roll to avoid syphilis, a setting where you need to count your pennies to avoid being too impoverished to feed your horse, where you need to be afeared for your water supplies and your food rations. No, this is a setting for heroes, for individuals who are larger than life.

Headbutt a dragon, swing through the vaulted stained-glass of the King's Parliament, pull the Archprelate from his throne and hold the room magnetically in your sway as you give your ringing denouncement. Cobrin'Seil is a place for big acts, for grand heroes.

Cobrin'Seil is not a realm given to overly simplistic views of evil. Villains often come from within the common races, within society, just as much from outside, as large, obvious, marauding forces. Machiavelli once noted that leaders could be like lions, and attack from outside, with strength, or they could be foxes, cunning and evasive, dodging enemy defenses and conspiring to end their enemies through guile and sophistication. Cobrin'Seil lets you hunt lions, or it lets you hunt foxes.

Finally, Cobrin'Seil seeks to explore new and interesting design space, in its feat and class structures. There are many 'new ideas' of feats and powers, designed to be interesting, opening explorations. It should be noted that this book features many explanations of why things are designed they way they are, rather than simply leaving them to be.

A Player's Checklist

First, what defines Cobrin'Seil? Cobrin'Seil is a world, crafted as the battleground between four long-since gone primal forces, sculpted by draconic gods, and who, woven through its very being, is a prophecy that speaks of histories apart. As a player, here's what you need to know.

First, this book is for you. Any information that's enclosed within here isn't a problem for you to know. The depth of knowledge in these books might be an oddity for your character to know, but most people in Cobrin'Seil should have some idea of international geography, a smattering of monstrous lore, and so on, but there's nothing here that should be withheld from you, as the player. Your character is going to be ignorant of some details – such as the alignment of the Lord, the exact nature of the Force Dragon El – but you, the player, do not need these details hidden from you. These things are considered 'open secrets' – things that the players are trusted to know, and to roleplay as if their characters do not.

Second, Cobrin'Seil is a world where adventures, challenges, and danger define the world. Strange, exotic locations are on offer, as well as dark, mysterious ruins of the ancient pasts. There's political intrigue at every level right up to that of the gods, and the dawning of the Third Age has heralded a new era of exploration and research.

Third, the Second Age ended some forty years ago. This indicates that player characters at the heart of the game come from several possible demographics. Many elves remember the Second Age – they remember distant, far-off deities, and worship as relatively futile. They remember when a longbow was the best ranged weapon, and when arcane magic was the be-all force in the universe.
Then there are the newer, younger characters from the more fast-living races. Half-orcs, learning fast from their environment, grew up with iron in their hands and the technique of a powderman in their heart. Halflings roam the seas, exploring new territory with entire clans for backup, having been born into tales of high adventure and wild gods. And there are yet the Kobolds of Cobrin'Seil – the creators of firearms and slayers of gods, who oh-so-clearly remember what the Second Age was like, even if they never lived it.

Fourth, anything in D&D has a place in Cobrin'Seil. It's waiting for you to discover it. Dragons still fly, magic goes boom, and druids still defend the wildlands. A few mechanical options are presented in this book, but none make the game incompatible with any other sourcebook.

Fifth, don't assume you know everything. You can't bank on alignments. Dragons, lycanthropes, vampires and demons roam the lands, and not all of them are evil. Just as much so, even golden-scaled dragons have been known to turn a dark shade. Rangers from the frozen north invariably don't learn entangle, but they might learn something completely different, that you may never have seen before.

Sixth, the game is supposed to be fun. If you're not having fun with the rules and options presented herein, talk to your DM. Consider alternatives and rules adjustments.

Cobrin'Seil is about presenting players with options. You can choose to play in the lands presented, or you can opt to play elsewhere, simply opting to take the feats and prestige class options from this book and use them elsewhere. Or maybe you like the races, and want to explore an Equitarn's place in Faerun. It's not a problem if that's how you want to use it.

Most of all have fun!

Character Basics

Character Options

No heroic character is defined entirely by their race and their class; it takes a great deal more to shape an adventurer, and skills and feats are part of that. This section includes new feats, some new skill options, and applications of old skill or feat elements that may make you reconsider whether or not you want to take them, along with some new traits for your character, and other character options.

The World and Your Place in It

Campaign Resources

Games Running in Cobrin'Seil

Articles Index


Partial Open Gaming Content: Content in highlighted boxes is derived from, and in turn designated as, OGL material. Other content in this article is copyright © Talen Lee 2006-2008 unless otherwise noted. -

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