The Affliction campaign has a different tone to it than most of our recent campaigns. Rather than fairly rapid level advancement, high starting levels and very high end levels, this campaign takes it slower.
Magic has been affected by a cataclysmic event that makes it fragile, civilization is in decline which makes knowledge, even for advancing levels, hard to come by and spell components will matter, even for the simple spells.
As we have done, character selection and creation will involve a draft where players select characters from a slate of figures and go through a process that can provide perks and background for their character.
Rate of Leveling
The game will start at level one except for characters with ECL (see Handling ECL) and advancement will be roughly one level per 4 sessions, on average. At this rate, it might be a year or more before characters are level six so plan accordingly when considering feats, prestige classes, etc.
New class features, such as new levels of spells, new feats and new abilities, require a trainer to master. Characters will need to find and develop relationships with their trainers and cost of training may vary from none to excessive. Cost will include materials required to learn (for casters, practice components, parchment, etc. for instance) as well as, in most cases paying for the trainer's time or a gift for a friendly trainer. Trainers may often require a service in addition to or in lieu of monetary compensation.
There is more information on the training page.
Magic spells require strict adherence to spell component rules. Additionally Affliction spells often have different spell components from what is listed in the reference books. See spell components for more information.
All prepared-spell casters must acquire their spells from a specific source. As usual, wizards acquire their spells from a trainer or scrolls. But even clerics and druids must acquire spells from their trainers and spirits. Innate spell casters such as sorcerers do not require a trainer but spells must be approved by the referee.
The Cataclysm sundered magic. All spells and items in effect at the time of the Cataclysm had a chance of failing. This had catastrophic effects on the Dwaro who used magic to power, light and hold up their caverns. It also means that any artifacts from before the Cataclysm might be weakened or might fail at any time. Items created since the Cataclysm are not affected in anyway and function normally.
Priests, Clerics, Druids (3.5 edition)
Mithlond replaces the D&D standard holy classes with a single class called Channelers. Any person can visit a spirit, and if the spirit deigns, it will grant a boon to the visitor. Channelers have the ability to get these spirit boons at a distance by channeling the power of the spirit. Additionally, spirits can teach the channeler new spells. See Channelers for more details on the character class and Gods and Spirits for more details on the divine entities of Mithlond.
Classes with Channeled Powers (4E)
If we use the 4E system, the classes remain the same but any class with channeled powers gets their channeled powers from attuning to a spirit. The spirit you attune to determines your powers, not your class. See Channelers 4E for more details.
The standard races are in place as well as some more exotic ones. However, keep in mind that the Cataclysm was a traumatic event that killed millions and wrecked many civilizations. A human empire cause this event and therefore most non-humans blame and despise humans for this.
Life post-Cataclysm is harsh. In this environment, there are far fewer good and lawful people than in more settled times. Consequently, in this campaign, expect all alignments to be in play. It is likely that there will be evil party members. Note that evil does not necessarily mean EVIL like Sauron. More likely evil party members will be self-interested only and very unlikely to help a stranger or even a party member under many circumstances.