The Veil and the Weave

Pt. 2 - The Veil and the Weave - Rules
Crunchy Bits

The Veil and The Weave is a DND 5e campaign starting on the Sword Coast, approximately 25 years after the creation of The Veil.

There are some core rule changes that all players need to be aware of, and some thematic elements that have started because of The Veil. First, the rules . . .

1) All users of Magic – Clerical or Arcane must develop Attunement or suffer significant penalties when casting.

Without Attunement:
– all spells with a normal casting time of less than 1 hours have a casting time 10 times longer
– all spells are Ritual spells and have a Verbal, Somatic and Material component. If none are specified in the Player’s Handbook, the DM will assign the missing component.
– Partial Attunement reduces the casting time to only 5 time longer than normal.

With Attunement:
– all spells can be cast with their normal cast time and are no longer Rituals
– all spells have their normal components
– after having Attunement for 5 levels with a given spell, one of the casting components can be eliminated from the casting cost. This is known as Greater Attunement, and occurs every 5 levels a spell is known and can ultimately eliminate all components as part of the casting cost of a spell.

Gaining Attunement:
– Attunement is gained after having known a spell for a period of time – either actual tim eor levels of experience.
- once a spell is learned, the user has no Attunement with the spell and suffers the full penalty.
– after knowing a spell for 1 lvl or one year, the user gains Partial Attunement
– after knowing a spell for 2 lvls, or two year, the user gains full Attunement
– after knowing a spell for 5 levels or 5 years, the user gains Greater Attunement

2) Iron is very disruptive to Magic. Any more than 6 oz. on the caster’s person will cause them to be disadvantaged, or the subject of the spell advantaged, whichever is appropriate.

3) Direct sunlight limits the effectiveness of magical energy passing through The Veil. As such, direct sunlight will cause the caster to be disadvantaged, or subject of the spell advantaged, whatever is appropriate.

4) The Market has changed. Magic is becoming more rare and precious, and this has spurned some hoarding of magic items by wealthy individuals, families, governments, churches, etc. There is a pervasive worry that the Veil may worsen and prevent the future creation of magical items, driving their value to new heights. Expect 100-500% increase in the relative value of all magic items. Also expect a correspondingly greater reward when hired to acquire them. Adventuring has never been more lucrative, or crowded as everyone wants to get in on the rush.

Consumable magical items have actually become more available but more popular. Expect there to be free access to common potions and scrolls at their regular prices.

Masterwork items exist (as per 3.5 rules) and are becoming increasingly in demand as magical items become priced beyond what any normal adventurer could pay. Expect to pay typical Masterwork Prices.

5) Times have changed. Many stories exist of a young Wizard or Priest lured to easy Attunement by the sacrifice of a parent, sibling or innocent child, then fleeing their home to live as a wandering magical vagrant of sorts. There are tales of blind wizards living in mountain caves claiming unknown powers. There is even a sect of child-wizards in Thay that have sacrificed their left hand to gain Attunement before the age of 10! Today there is an overall prejudice against those who practice magic, especially if they are young, or not affiliated with a respected lord, church or divine following. Even simple magics will bring negative attention as the population is keenly aware of the short-cuts to Attunement. Magical schools and orders have become very conservative in their approach to teaching, and are increasingly aware of the draw toward quick Attunement with what Cyric, Shar and Lolth offer their followers. Many magical orders have become secluded, or hidden under the protection of a powerful lord. The practice of Magic is becoming limited as many laws against its open, ungoverned practice are now in effect. In Lawful societies and most nations, Magic is increasingly becoming controlled by the established powers in those lands.

6) Evil is growing in the land. It is no longer unusual to see marauding bands of thieves and brigands pillage the land with an evil cleric or Sorcerer devoted to Cyric, Shar or another evil deity in their midst. The ready access to magic these evil-doers possess, especially at night, make them challenging foes for the defenders of good in the world. Bit by bit, evil is carving out footholds across the land, and many believe there may be a concerted effort in the near future to unite the disparate elements under one terrible banner and begin a significant conquest.

Pt. 1 The Veil and The Weave - Background

Approximately 25 years ago, Mystra was beset by the allied forces of Cyric, Shar and Lolth. Interestingly, the short-lived alliance was designed not to defeat Mystra, but to weaken her – or more specifically, to limit access to the Weave. The brief conflict left Mystra wounded and, as of yet, unable to heal herself. This has brought dire consequences to the world.

Within her Shadow Weave, Shar created a spell of immense power and bound it to an amulet. The spell is known as ‘The Veil’ and once activated, gradually reduces the memory of whatever the victim cares for the most, but doesn’t erase it entirely. Shar intended The Veil to be a curse, torturing the victim with a state of near-remembering, partial amnesia, leaving behind the feelings of loss and sadness, but no real memory of what was actually lost. The spell cannot be reversed, dispelled or healed. It is permanent.

The cost is very high for the caster – for it can only cast by a divine entity, with the requirement of relinquishing a portfolio of the creator’s choice. When Shar created the amulet, she relinquished her portfolio of Caverns, and access to that Domain along with it. This portfolio was immediately taken by Lolth in exchange for her later co-operation.

Pleased with the possibility of Shar’s new spell, Cyric sought out Mystra, and found her on a rare excursion to the Onyx Caverns on the Elemental Plane of Earth. He confronted her there, but his threat was only a distraction. Lolth had woven a web of invisibility over Shar through which Mystra could not see. As Mystra focused on Cyric and prepared to defend herself, Shar crept from deeper within the Onyx Caverns where she had hidden, slipped the amulet over Mystra’s head, and The Veil was drawn across the Weave.

Mystra immediately knew something had gone terribly wrong, and fled to the Ethereal Plane and escaped. Shar, Lloth and Cyric, ended their brief alliance without destroying each other, and have gone their separate ways, waiting for The Veil to take effect on the Forgotten Realms.

The Veil’s effect on Mystra was to gradually caused her to forget about the Weave. The effects are dire for all mortal creatures, for the Weave is their conduit to magic. Without access to the Weave, mortal creatures cannot use magic, Priests cannot maintain their churches. Worship diminishes, thus reducing the relative power of the Gods in the cosmos. Wizards and warlocks have trouble releasing spells they have learned. Bard’s songs dont have the same effect. The Veil’s impact on the world is immense and terrible.

Luckily Shar was not 100% successful, for Mystra is strong in the ways of magic, and not completely vulnerable to the Shadow Weave. Mystra hasn’t completely forgotten the Weave and mortals can still access it in a limited way. She remembers more than Shar intended, but still has trouble helping others use the Weave. The result is that spells have a casting time much longer than previously known, and many are now rituals. Only through the repeated practice of a spell can the caster learn to pierce The Veil and access the Weave. This is a process that can take years to master for one individual spell, and is known as Attunement. With Attunement comes the normal casting time for spells. Some say that over time, those who have gained Attunement with certain spells can more directly access The Weave to cast those spells, giving those spells even greater power.

There are short-cuts to Attunement, mainly though Blood Rituals. Only practised by the most evil magical orders, a young practitioner can sacrifice a loved one, and through the pain and guilt of that loss, learn to pierce The Veil. Some magical orders practice self-mutilation, sacrificing a body part – a hand or a foot – to gain Attunement for a single spell. Some have even given their eyesight to live eternally in the dark, and achieve Attunement. Unfortunately for the lovers of peace and order, all followers of Shar, Lolth and Cyric are able to pierce The Veil when they commit to following those gods and gain Attunement for all their spells immediately – not that those followers would have a problem with any of the short-cuts.

Even Attuned spell casters find they are more easily disrupted when trying to use Magic. The presence of Iron on the caster’s person is very disruptive. Shar’s affinity for darkness has made casting any spells in the light of the sun particularly challenging as well.

The impact is significant across the world. Followers of Cyric, Shar and Lolth are able to wield magic much more easily than most others, as are the disciples of those gods ready to accept the high cost of Attunement. This has played out in many battles – small and large. Overall, this is a dark and chaotic time. Political alliances are wearing thin under increased pressure from evil forces across the world. Followers of good deities and good alignments are weakened by their inability to gain Attunement as easily as their evil foes. It is only through strength of will and grim determination that any good will withstand the coming tide.

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