About This Project
The Alvanzia Campaign Guide is an expansion to 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons which includes a complete overhaul of various systems, focusing on customizability and impactful character choices.
Alvanzia is a campaign setting, but this project is so much more than just another world; it includes a pantheon with unique subclasses for each god, over 100 new spells, a complete overhaul to character creation, skills, enchanting & magic items, new weapons and modern armor and more.
Alvanzia is a sub-continent on the world of Tar which is one of three connected socities which are significantly more advanced technologically than the rest of the world. The world has developed telecommunication, a primitive form of networking and computing called the ARCANET, programmable arcane tablets, electricity, cars, planes, and more! Alvanzia is made up of four primary countries: al-Razir, Ponvonour, Devoska, and Hikatoka with diverse cultures, even within these borders with many adventures waiting to be explored!
My name is Collin Krueger, and I absolutely love tabletop games. I have been making games since I was a kid, creating the fun experiences at sleepovers and playdates. I have always found joy in setting up an experience for someone else to have fun. Tabletop games gave me a chance to share my love for gamecraft with others.
Before I even knew what was out there, I would create interactive stories for my friends to play through based on my love of choose your own adventure books as a kid. Eventually, I created a tabletop system from scratch at 14 based on my favorite game at the time, Fallout: New Vegas, creating a world based on a post-apocalyptic vision of my hometown, Chicago. The game was clunky, and as I got people to start coming together, I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons. I instantly fell in love, realized that other people had been doing for decades the experience I could never quite find. I incorporated some aspects into my project, and after that campaign concluded, I switched my friends to Dungeons & Dragons.
I continued developing, reading and running others games: Pathfinder, Fate, Dread, Vampire: The Masquerade, and many, many more, taking inspiration from the different systems which make up the tabletop games genre, and decided to take my own shot at creating a system.
Eventually, I started developing a system with inspiration from games such as the Persona Series and Bully, coupled with my experience throughout High School, creating the School Survival System. It was my second attempt at a wholecloth system and while I look back and know I could've done much better, I still keep it up as a reminder to myself at how much I've grown even since then.
Nowadays, I have been working on a new tabletop game with inspiration of Incremental Leveling systems such as the Dark Souls series, but my main focus these days has been the Alvanzian Campaign Guide.
There was always a special place in my heart for D&D given it was my first system. 5th edition made things simple for beginners and I think this is one of its biggest strengths: it's the gateway game into tabletop gaming, but I was always yearning for more customization and impactful abilities in certain places, leading to one overhaul... and then another, until suddenly, I was up to 60 pages, then 90, and figured that I should probably put some of this online, and so that's what I've done here. Not every rule on this site will fit for every game, but my ideas here were built modularly, meaning you can pick and choose which ones you use.
I hope to one day publish my own game or work for a company which publishes tabletop games. My trade is programming, which I certainly have passion for, but I am significantly more passionate about creating games, especially tabletop games.
As I was developing this project, there are core tenets which I generally try to follow when creating content in this guide. Not everything, especially the older work, 100% adheres to these guidelines, but they are important enough that they are considered in every stage of development.
Maintain 5e Precedent
5e has a very deliberate style to it which is easy to read and understand. 5e doesn't have a lot of edge cases and generalizes a lot, excluding overburdensome charts, sensible progression, and prefering to use as little math as possible.
Horizontal Progression is the idea that your character should gain new things to do as opposed to just increases to their numbers. There are times when you must increase a number, but this pillars at least considers whether you can add a new ability to reinforce a theme as opposed to just increasing a number.
Meaningful Character Choices
Make the time that a player puts into making a character pay off. As a DM, this is a different type of challenge, but as a game designer, rewarding a character for knowing where they come from and embracing differences in experience is important. Two people should be able to play the same class and not feel like the game character mechanically.
I think one problem with Tolkein-inspired lore is that any race that is not human is generalized into a handful of character traits. Avoid conflating race with culture. For example, orcs are not all bloodthirsty and elves are not all sages, so don't base racial abilities off of those traits (although physical traits are fine).
This game is not a competitive multiplayer game, it is a cooperative multiplayer game. It is ok and encouraged for your players to feel cool, even at the cost of balance within reason.