The Age of Ash
Races and Classes
Deva: Your gods are all dead, is what most people will tell you. Do you believe them? Do you worship the gods, even beyond the grave as Vestiges? The reincarnation cycle is in the final stages of failing, so most of the tiny handful of Deva that remain in the Age of Ash believe that they are close to experiencing their final reincarnation before utter void claims them. How do you handle that grim fact?
Dragonborn: Note that the Dragonborn racial stats as written in PHB 1 are representative of a ‘Trueborn’ in the Age of Ash. Trueborn are dynamic and charismatic individuals, willful figures who are drawn to follow idealistic paths of varying moralities in answer to the call of glory in their blood. They often rely on their innate power and strength to guide their way, rather than settling down and learning a vocation.
Mundane dragonborn (which it is highly likely that no PC will choose to be) lose their Dragon Breath racial power and their +2 Charisma bonus. On the other hand, common dragonborn tend to be resourceful and earthy, and bring a certain amount of level-headed pragmatism and hard-earned talent to whatever they set their minds to. They may receive an additional trained Class Skill, as minor compensation for their loss of the bloodline. If somebody wished, they could submit such a character.
Glass Elves (Drow): The Cloud of Darkness racial power replaces Lolthtouched… you may not use the Darkfire racial power. You may not take any FRPG “Drow” feats, but check the racial feats list for replacements. Drow feats from Dragon, Martial Power and Arcane Power are allowed, although you won’t have a Darkfire power to benefit from any that require it.
Dwarfs: Take note of the specific place of Dwarves in the setting… dwarves as a rule tend to be higher-class individuals than most other people in the setting.
Chaos-touched (Genasi): You are a changed human who has survived some sort of life-changing event out in the Wastes… and lived to tell about it. Your form was significantly altered by the warping powers of a Dunestorm of some variety, and now you embody the essence of that storm. There is no such thing as a Watersoul chaos-touched in the Age of Ash. On the other hand, Earthsoul and Windsoul Chaos-touched are more common then in some other settings.
Halflings: Halflings tend to venerate Pelor, which is far from a popular choice in the setting. Even those that don’t are more pious than the average. Are you defensive about your faith?
Water Elves (Half-Elves): Like dwarves, the Water Elf tribes occupy a unique economic strata that can lead some of them to be particularly wealthy. Despite the common negative stereotype, not all members of the Water elf tribes are of half-descent. You may freely use either Elf or Half-Elf racial statistics from this background (but can not benefit from Sand Elf racial feats).
Humans: Most of your ancestors were citizens of the old Bael Turathi empire… not that you probably even know it. Humans are still pretty much the ‘average people’ of the setting alongside Dragonborn and Sand Elves. They tend to form the most stable outposts of civilization in the Age of Ash.
Sand Elves (Elves): Not the nicest people in the world, and if you’re out on the dunes you would probably try to avoid Sand Elf tribal territory if possible (especially if you’re another Sand Elf). With that said, they’re tolerated in most civilized areas, and are roughly tied with Dragonborn and Humans for most populous race in the setting.
Eladrin: What’s an eladrin? For longer than any post-Apocalypse written history can recall, there have been no properly functioning portals between the Feywild and the natural world. Do not submit any eladrin PCs.
Shadar-Kai: Like eladrin, Shadar-Kai are completely unknown in the Age of Ash. The Shadowfell is cut off from the world, which has possibly frightening implications for the natural cycle of mortal life. Most scholars in the dune wastes are completely unaware that such a plane as the Shadowfell even exists. Do not submit any Shadar-Kai PCs.
Kobolds: The kobolds were once defined by their service to the Arkhosian empire. In the days before the Sundering, it is said that the greatest Kobold high priests and clan leaders had an arcane-magical bloodline of nearly equal power to the Dragonborn, and had a stature in the Clan Imperial government that belied their physical size. That is all gone now. As a kobold in the present day, you likely define yourself relative to Dragonborn. Do you resent them, or wish to elevate them as rulers once again… or are you the one who will seize a new form of power?
Dragonforged: In the Age of Ash, the technical/magical expertise needed to create Warforged has not existed for countless generations. With that said, the ancient Dragonforged constructs that once marched underneath the banner of the Arkhosian empire are not completely forgotten. Faulty memory and lack of proper maintenance are significant problems such beings suffer from, so your first thought on such a character should be: How was this character preserved long enough to be reawakened in the current era, or how did they manage to maintain themselves over centuries of neglect? Rumor has it that the Dwarves maintain a few refurbished Dragonforged models, for use as tireless maintenance personnel in the primordial-fueled cores of their Clan Fortress-Holds.
Divine power source: The common public perception in the setting is that the Gods are all dead. There are a multitude of more nuanced interpretations of this statement (ask Dragonborn and Halflings specifically, but even beyond them…), although that is still the overall sentiment. Therefore, organized religion tends to take on unique forms. If you’re interested in a Divine class, consider taking a look at the articles on the The Frozen Suns, Halfling Sun Worship, the Temple of Bane or the Temple of Dissolution for examples of how organized religion adapts itself to the Age of Ash.
Primal power source: This is much more prominent in the setting, especially among Sand Elves, Water Elves, and Shifters.
Martial power source: As common as it always is.
Arcane power source: With the exception of the Warlock (see below) and the Sorcerer, the nature of the setting means that receiving the intensive study necessary to master the typical arcane class is difficult to receive (but not impossible). Such a character might have to come from an expensive formalized school in a city-state such as Rajah to ever hope to receive such training, or perhaps have closely guarded family secrets that relate to arcane knowledge. Dragonborn, Devas, Dwarves, Glass Elves, and Tieflings all might retain treasured secrets related to arcane learning.
Warlock: the Fey Pact will have to be reflavored, as the events of the Apocalypse make contact with the Feywild impossible from the Natural world in the Age of Ash. Sinister, animalistic spirits of deception and spite exist in the unexplored reaches of the Ash Wastes, and some may be willing to grant a measure of their power in exchange for unusual bargains.
Likewise, contact with the entities that would grant Infernal pacts is equally impossible, but the flaying heat at the center of a wandering Firestorm may be of sufficient power to grant a boon of fiery destruction to a mortal (un)lucky enough to survive exposure… and he may find that the heart of the storm now resides within him, making demands of equal payback for it’s granted powers of chaotic destruction.
The Star and Vestige pacts can both be used unchanged.