Black Genie Centre

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Black Genie Center Rules

Researching in the Black Genie Center -- October 2005

The Black Genie Center is a public out-of-character board where you can develop original Woldian material for use by your character and, later, by other characters throughout the Wold.

Start by discussing your projects on the board with other players. Even if you are not developing something yourself, stop by the board to comment on other player's ideas. You may develop literally anything. Prestige Classes, Spells, Skills, Feats, Magic Items, etc.

However, you can only research projects that your character will personally create and use as soon as reasonably possible. If you want to research a magic item but you do not have the necessary feats (and maybe spells), then you can still do the research here, and then, if successful, purchase the item in the Catacombs for full market price.

You may not research projects that exactly duplicate content published or copyrighted by others. That means that in the Wold you may use only the Core Pathfinder rules, in addition to original Woldian material. However, free gaming content that is publicly available online at no cost may serve as inspiration for Woldian material. If you want to use freely available non-core content as a basis for a Woldian BGC proposal, then modify it to make it Woldian, and write it up for submission in the BGC as usual without mentioning the source. Your proposal will then be considered on its merits for Woldian use, just like any other proposal. If the final approved content resembles the inspirational source, a credit, thank you, and link back to the original source will be included in the final write-up. Note that content only available off-line, or behind paywalls or DRM barriers, or marked with a copyright notice and a prohibition on reuse, always remains unsuitable for Woldian use in any way.

You may post as often as you want on the BGC board. As you work on your project, consider advice from others, including Development ACDM Cayzle, but ultimately the choice of what to include and not to include in your project is up to you.

When you are ready, prepare your proposal for submission and post it on the BGC board. Your proposal should include answers to the following questions:

  • 1) What do you want to do?
  • 2) Why is it necessary?
  • 3) What will it change, or create?
  • 4) Why is it Woldian? Why does it fit in with the Wold?
  • 5) How has your character invested in the proposal? What role-play efforts has he or she made in game? What sacrifices will be made, or resources spent?
  • 6) What is the actual project, written in rule form for posting on site?

When things are developed and ready for approval, send your proposal to Cayzle ( He submits it to the Powers That Be, and it may be accepted, denied, or revised. If accepted, you may have to go through several drafts until it is up to the quality necessary to achieve Woldian approval.

Once you've been approved, you will be able to develop the approved proposal in the game.

-- If it is a feat, skill, or prestige class, you can add it to your PC sheet as soon as you qualify -- with an open feat slot, new ranks, a new level, etc. You may also be allowed to reshuffle your skills and feats so that you can take the new option right away.

-- If it is a spell, you can now research it, per the rules in the DMG. First, you have to have access to a well-stocked library. Second, research costs 1,000 gp per week of study, and one week per level of the spell. Third, at the end of that time, make a Spellcraft check of DC 10 + the level of the new spell. If you succeed, great. If you fail the roll, start over. Keep spending one week per spell level and 1,000 gp per week until you succeed with the check.

-- If it is a magic item, you can create the item in the Catacombs, or have the Catacombs create it for you (see above). Normal costs for doing so apply.

After your character is actually using the new material, a write-up for it will be added to the Oshirr House section of the Wold site, and others can use it. The name of the item will give credit to the creating character. If it is something sold through the Catacombs, the standard royalty will be paid to the creating character -- even if the creating character does not have the feats needed to make the item personally.

Note that all new creations are on probation as they are playtested in the Wold. It is possible that the item will be adjusted if necessary, even after final approval.

Application Forms

Form for Use of APG Rules

Please follow the following steps to request permission to use a rule requiring ACDM approval:

1) Please fill out the form below. Note that core classes, base classes, and traits are never allowed.

2) After approval, please add specific information to your PC’s Background how you will roleplay having this rule. Make it as clear as possible. Do note that we will look at this and may ask for changes.

3) Please understand that all Woldian material is subject to review and change. We’re always working on improving our original content.

APG Content Request Form

Player Name: PC Name: Game: Game DMs: Link to your PC sheet:

What is your request?

What race, class, and level of your PC?

Do you have any other APG rules in use for your character?

Why do you want this request granted?

How does it relate to your character / background / goals?

What game balance issues does this request present?

How will your character roleplay these changes if approved? This will need to be documented clearly on your PC sheet.

Other Player Comments:

Form for Creating an Immortal Power

1) Read examples of existing immortal powers and make sure you need a new one.

2) Please fill out the form below.

3) Please understand that all Woldian material is subject to review and change. We’re always working on improving our original content.

New Immortal Power Request Form

Player Name: PC Name: Game: Game DMs: Link to your PC sheet:

Who is it? Describe the immortal power.

Geographic region, if any:

How is it Woldian?

Strength (minor, moderate, major):



Favored weapon:

How will your character roleplay the interaction with this immortal power? This will need to be documented clearly on your PC sheet.

Other Player Comments:

Genie Philosophy


It is not easy to get proposals accepted in the Black Genie Center. There are several high hurdles that must be passed. Proposals must be Necessary, Balanced, and Woldian.

In a regular face to face game, with a single DM and five to eight players, if one in eight players is creative and wants to make a few new spells or magic items, no harm is done. But in a game with 12 to 15 DMs and 100-plus players, one in eight creative players means ten or more people generating new content. And the Wold is a long-term game, so over time, more and more new things appear. Moreover, we rotate DMs regularly, and it is hard for a DM to take over a new game and get up to speed on eight new PCs -- it would be even harder if many characters sported lots of novel, unique, non-core items, spells, feats, weapons, and prestige classes.

In short, in a game like the Wold, a high level of new-stuff-generation makes all games harder to run. And after a while, with enough new things, the game grows to resemble D&D less and less. We add new players all the time. It is hard enough for a newbie to figure out the Wold -- how much harder it would be when everyone is using new spells, scrolls, races, classes, feats, and skills!

So the solution is to keep the level of new content generation down. The way we do that is simple. Not only do proposed new things have to be balanced for play, but they have to be necessary and they have to be Woldian. For example, yes, you could create the mattock as a weapon for humans to use. But would it be necessary? Would it enhance the flavor and atmosphere of the Wold?

By imposing all three tests -- Necessary, Balanced, and Woldian -- we keep new stuff to a minimum. Moreover, and most importantly, we make sure that the new things that ARE allowed in fact enhance the Wold experience for everybody!

A final factor is character investment. A high character investment means:

  • (1) The proposal is created by a specific character.
  • (2) The proposal really fits a character concept particularly well.
  • (3) The proposal follows in-game effort (quest for components, research, roleplay, etc).
  • (4) The proposal comes to the PC at a cost -- gold for spell research, feat slot used for an item creation feat, skill ranks devoted to the proposal, etc. A proposal that is directly tied to your Woldian character is more likely to be approved.


We stick to the Core books because we know some folks prefer not to buy every book out there. So if we let players use stuff from non-core books, we could get in a situation such that a DM has to make a ruling on something but doesn’t have the sourcebook for it.

We used to allow non-core rules if the player retyped the entire rule in his or her PC sheet. I remember Kim McCoy had about 20 pages of psionics stuff typed into his sheet! But there are copyright issues in going that route -- especially since we tend to put our PC sheets up online. Since we are getting more ambitious and are eyeing publication of some of our Woldian content someday, we decided to put a lid on that kettle of fish by sticking exclusively to core content plus Wold-only content.

It is also worth mentioning that the atmosphere and style of the Wold is important. For example, we require PCs to be good in the Wold. We also do not allow psionics or other non-Core options such as oracles and summoners. There are special consequences if you shapechange or polymorph into any dragon shape, because Dragons Are Special. These house rules, set down by the Gericko, are intended to preserve a certain flavor.


The Gericko gave a great explanation of why we want all proposals to be Woldian. He said:

“For me the issue is more of a quality issue. I see no need to just add ‘stuff’ to simply add it. If it doesn't enrich the world we play in, why waste time on it? We want to draw the line for quality as high as we can. That's why we spent so much time on the gods and their PrCs. We wanted the quality to be there. Plus if we were going to spend our valuable time on these things, then these things should be something that makes our world distinctive. Something that adds to the flavor of the world. In my opinion Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk have no flavor or very little. They are very generic. I hate generic. For that reason I've always liked the non-generic stuff better: Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Al Qadim. No area, spell, PrC nothing gets approved unless it helps us be ‘non-generic.’ When you say ‘The Wold,’ it should conjure up a specific set of images and flavors.”

So the question of "Is it Woldian?" boils down to: Does it make our world distinctive and add to the flavor of what we have already done?

How can you make a proposal Woldian? I think there are two ways. The first and best way is to come up with a niche or hole in the Wold and think of a way to fill it. Create a proposal specifically because you see that the Wold needs a particular something and your character wants to explore it. The second way is to have a good non-Woldian idea, and then find a way to make it fit the Wold. This can work too -- in fact, I suspect that most proposals have a bit of both in them.

Read through the Wold geography section -- make a prestige class that is tied to a local fact or legend. Maybe there is a secret society of rangers in Izen devoted to hunting orcs and goblins. Maybe they have a special Orc-Hunter PrC. Or in the Cinnamon Valley, some people are blessed with special magical Talents. Maybe a new PrC called the Talented would work there. Or maybe a few new feats for Talented people only!

Browse the Woldipedia, especially the organizations, prestige classes, and gods -- tying a new PrC to a new Woldian organization is a great idea, for example. A prestige class designed exclusively for Mailed Fist members would be way cool!

If you are interested in creating something that is not for your character, then there are options for that outside the Black Genie Center. There are secret development boards used to create new game settings, places, and organizations in the Wold. If you are interested in contributing to Wold development beyond your own character, please talk to Cayzle or Jerry.

My point is, look aroud the Wold, and build off of the work of others. Not only is it rewarding to build on others' foundations, but your ideas are much more likely to fit into the Wold.


These are hard policies when you have a nifty idea for a feat or spell that is not particularly Woldian, or when or you see a great item in a non-core d20 book, but you get shot down by the BGC rules. All I can say to creative people who feel stymied is, well, I'm really sorry about that, but please keep trying. The Wold needs creative people, and we want to encourage that -- but we also have to set a few limits. With some work, your creativity can be put to good use!


It is true that some things in the Oshirr House do not meet the current requirements -- because they were added to the Wold before the current guidelines were put in place. For example, Renik’s Shades of Bluffing, and the Euphoria spell. But these things have been grandfathered in, and so they remain.