Battlestorm Online — Player’s Guide

It is the early 2030s and the online gaming world is abuzz with excitement. A new breakthrough has enabled full dive participation in virtual games. The breakthrough, encapsulated by the novel brain-link hardware called Ghost Gear, fully projects the wearer’s senses into a virtual reality environment — allowing users to interact with computer-generated worlds at a level on par with real life.

You are one of these gamers. A person who, in real life, may be a student, an office worker, a scientist, a doctor, or a teacher. But on your time off, you’re a gamer. Whether casual or hard core, you are one of 10,000 people selected to participate in the world’s first full dive Dungeons and Dragons games. This rich virtual environment MMO — called Battlestorm Online — is set in the fantasy world of Valhalla. There, dangerous monsters inhabit unexplored wildlands and deadly, trap-filled dungeons — presenting an unrivaled challenge to players.

Battlestorm Online players begin in Midgard — the starting level of Valhalla. Map art is by Battlestorm Online co-creator Ted Burgess.

Players select avatars that access all the classic and well-loved features of Dungeons and Dragons. These include a plethora of fantasy races — elves, dwarves, half-elves, aasimar, humans, halflings, gnomes, tieflings, half-orcs, dragonborn, fairy and many more. Classes from fighters, rangers, rogues, paladins and monks to clerics, warlocks, sorcerers, wizards and artificers provide players with a vast array of sword and sorcery options.

These avatars then become the players’ personas as they dive into the virtual world of Valhalla to experience the magic of Dungeons and Dragons first-hand.

Rules For Character Creation

All players diving into Battlestorm Online’s virtual world of Valhalla start off as level 1 characters in their chosen Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons class. They build their attributes using the point buy rules and gain 27 points for character creation.

Source books included in Battlestorm’s virtual setting are: The Player’s Handbook, The Sword Coast Adventure Guide, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, Tasha’s Caldron Of Everything, Volo’s Guide to Monsters (Races), Mordenkeinan’s Tomb of Foes (Races), Wild Beyond the Witchlight (Races), Princes of the Apocalypse (Races, Spells), Dungeon Master’s Guide (Class Death Cleric). New official sources and spells may be added as the game progresses.

Though avatar/character alignment is determined by each player as a part of character creation, fighting other players outside of sanctioned duels will have special additional effects in Battlestorm online. Those who attack other players will see the crystal icon floating above their avatar’s head turn from green to orange. Consistently killing other players will turn avatar icons to red. Orange icons last for three days. Red Icons last for a variable period the first time, then for an indefinite period. In this way, the game developers have set up a separate ‘alignment’ system based on whether or not a character engages in player killing or PKing. This second system is thus a visible warning to other players.

All official backgrounds are available to Battlestorm Online players. In addition, the following custom backgrounds are provided as part of the source material (included in the backgrounds section) — celebrity gamer, professional, student, doctor, teacher, hacker, retiree, police officer, veteran, and influencer. In this way, you can decide to leverage your ‘in real life’ (IRL) knowledge as part of your player creation process.

In addition, the virtual environment of Battlestorm Online seamlessly leverages another set of your IRL knowledge as two new in-game tool skills. These are — Main Menu and Directory Search. These search and game learning skills can be used with your avatar’s Intelligence or Wisdom untrained. You can choose training in these tool skills as part of your background when appropriate.

Every Battlestorm Online player begins with a special new magic item — the Teleportation Crystal. You may use an action to activate your teleportation crystal to teleport to any known safe zone. Known safe zones are safe zones you have previously explored. You may also use your action to activate another player’s teleportation crystal if they are unconscious or incapacitated. In this instance, it teleports the players avatar to their default safe zone. This is usually a guild hall or a home town.

Home Towns and Guild Halls

Home towns are places where each player begins their experience in Battlestorm’s world of Valhalla. These starting points are cities roughly organized by race. They include:

The Holy City of Ashkelon, located on the west coast of Midgard and ruled by High King Artanis. Ashkelon is the home town to humans, hill dwarves, lightfoot halflings, and aasimar.

The Island City of Dinas Emrys ruled by majestic Myrddin — a golden dragon. It is the home town for dragonborn, high elves, rock gnomes, and aasimar.

The Merchant Port City of Mio Elysse ruled by a mysterious person of unknown background. Mio Elysse is home town to humans, half-orcs, tieflings, kenkus, goblins, and bugbears.

The Mountain Fastness of Niðavellir whose golden halls are ruled by the great King Sindri. This great fortress city is home town to mountain dwarves, drow, stout halflings, goliaths, and minotaurs.

Losaelfar, Realm of the Elves is ruled by Raejisa Nightbranch — a wood elf circle of the moon druid. It is home town to wood elves, forest gnomes, firbolg, and tabaxi.

Half elves are able to claim any of the above cities as a home town. Each home town provides quests, a trading post, hosts a large safe zone, houses numeous NPCs, and is a source of lodging and food.

Guild Halls can also be found or established in home towns. They are home bases specific to collections of players bound together in common purpose. Battlestorm Online players may form guilds with groups of four or more starting members. Establishing a guild unlocks a guild hall home-base that is a safe zone for players. Players determine what their guild hall looks like and decide the function of each guild hall room. Guilds can be expanded by inviting voluntary participation by new members. Guild rules are established by each individual guild. However, no guild can force players to remain in that guild, though they must invite a player and a player must accept the invitation to join. Guilds facilitate the sharing of treasure, information, training, and resources.

Player and Monster Hit Point Bars, Icons, and Statistics

Players diving into the Battlestorm Online environment can see all player and monster HP bars in-game. These take the shape of a bar wrapping around the upper left hand side of a player or monster avatar. As HP bars deplete they change in color from green to yellow to red. You can also see all players’ class and name icons by focusing your perception on the player’s avatar. If you are in a guild, you can see other guild member’s game statistics by using the game menu.

Removed and modified Spells and Items

To expand the fantasy feel of Battlestorm Online, to increase the game’s sense of danger and lethality, and to encourage overland exploration of Battlestorm’s rich environment, certain standard Dungeons and Dragons spells have been removed or modified. Teleport, Teleportation Circle, and Plane Shift have all been removed. Gate can only be used in Battlestorm for summoning. Raise Dead, Revivify, Reincarnate, Resurrection and True Resurrection have been removed. Wish — can’t be used for long range teleportation or raising the dead. Generally, magics enabling long range teleport other than to safe zones and raising the dead are taken out. This rule over-rides specific powers that would otherwise grant these options.

In addition the Cube of Force has been modified to take charge damage from hits with magical weapons and high damage attacks such as AOE spells and breath weapons. Meanwhile, the Helm of Teleportation is removed.

Sanctioned Player against Player Dueling

A new, special feature for Battlestorm Online is sanctioned duels between players within safe zones. These duels allow players to test their mettle against one another without risk of Pking — since you cannot die or have your hp bar reduced within a safe zone. A duel creates a minor exception to this rule that sets your hp bar potential loss to 1/2 your maximum hp value.

Duels must be agreed on by two players. Typically, one player sends a duel invite and the other accepts. Any other rules for the duel can be agreed upon by the two players before the duel commences. Once a duel is accepted, a one minute countdown timer starts. At the end of the countdown, the duel begins and each player rolls initiative.

The duel ends when one player reaches half hp, is incapacitated for more than one minute, or when one player surrenders. Damage taken during duels immediately heals after the duel.

No-one can be forced to duel against their will.

Players may engage in duels to test their strengths, for training, to settle grudges, or to settle a challenge. For example a player may ask to duel a guild master to earn the privilege of serving in an otherwise exclusive guild.

A Gaming Experience Like No Other

Battlestorm Online will provide a fantasy gaming experience like no other to the lucky first 10,000 players to enter the game. Since you are one of these chosen few, you will have the opportunity to take part in a world of legends which will fully engage all your senses. Your experience will be so real that you will think you have been transported to an actual alternate reality. So welcome! Grab your Ghost Gear and dive in! Wonderous adventure and terrible danger await!

(Want to choose a Background for a player in a Battlestorm Online game? You can find twelve new BSO backgrounds here.)

(Looking for other gaming related content? You can find it in the Gaming Studio.)

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  1. Gaming Studio — Contents | Scribbler’s Fantastical Workshop
  2. Battlestorm Online — In Real Life (IRL) Backgrounds | Scribbler’s Fantastical Workshop
  3. Battlestorm Online Valhalla — Livestream Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Play, Character Profiles and Video Archive | Scribbler’s Fantastical Workshop
  4. BSO Ragnarök 1.20 — Ominous Signs Before the Breech Part 1 | Scribbler’s Fantastical Workshop
  5. Battlestorm Online Ragnarök — Livestream Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Play, Character Profiles and Video Archive | Scribbler’s Fantastical Workshop
  6. Battlestorm Online 21 (D&D 5e Homebrew Campaign World): Two Parties are Better Than One? | Scribbler’s Fantastical Workshop

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