Wednesday, August 19, 2015

D&D 5e: Demon-scarred Barbarian Path

This is an idea I've been meaning to write up for awhile. The two Paths of the Barbarian class are cool, and the Totem Barbarian can be a lot of different things... like a really good melee ranger, thanks to some really stylish options. I'm sorry, rangers. Your lives are pain. Anyway, this class is a pretty dark take on barbarians, but "tribes get up to some pretty dark stuff" is a minor trope of D&D, when it isn't doubling down on Noble Savage tropes.

Monday, August 10, 2015

D&D 5e: Five New Magic Items from Aurikesh

It's been awhile since I've posted magic items I created for my Aurikesh campaign, so I'm posting a bunch of them now. The first four of these, my PCs have just learned that they have, thanks to identify; the fifth is out there somewhere in the setting, and might or might not ever come up. One of the things I love about 5e is feeling like there's not a finicky balance point for magic items, just... understand what you're handing out, and it will probably be fine. With a three-item attunement limit, there's a brake on just how much trouble you can even get into. Without further ado...

Friday, August 7, 2015

D&D 5e: The Trouble with Friends

A conversation sprang up yesterday in my blog post about the Royal Sorcerer origin subclass. In that conversation, I was correctly called out for some shoddy design. Specifically, I gave the royal sorcerer the ability to make the friends cantrip cover its tracks with 100% effectiveness. This isn't a good idea, but then the friends cantrip as published is also pretty flawed. In a blog filled with obsessive minutiae, this might take the cake, but... what the hell, let's do this.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

D&D 5e Playtest: Modern Magic

It's a new month, so there's a new Unearthed Arcana. This time out, they're revisiting the idea of 5e set in a modern world, which came up some months ago in another post. Specifically, they're dealing with spellcasting classes reworked for the modern world. Now, I don't have a whole ton of interest in running a 5e-Modern game, but I'm always on the lookout for new ideas. The document offers a new Cleric domain, a new Warlock Patron, a new Wizard tradition, a small pile of new spells, and a few other things.
If I did run a 5e-Modern game, it would look a whole lot like Shadowrun, but less fiddly. It's like you heard about 5th edition Shadowrun and just got a little confused, right? Though... huh. 5e-Modern with the whole gamut of options turned on is a pretty close Final Fantasy aesthetic, especially FFVII.

Monday, July 27, 2015

RPG Blog Carnival: Weapons of Legend

The RPG Blog Carnival for July is about Weapons of Legend, a topic that is near and dear to my heart. In Dust to Dust, there are eleven living weapons of immense power. In D&D terms, you'd call them artifact-level weapons, and not wussy artifacts, either. There are also Named weapons, which are greater in number but less individually powerful. However, as the campaign is still ongoing, I can't talk about them without a mighty lot of spoilers. Instead, I'm going to talk about some techniques that we've used to make Living and Named weapons essential to the story, and some of the theory that went into our initial decision.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

D&D 5e Playtest: Awakened Mystic

The new playtest packet for the Mystic class - known in other editions as the Psionicist - went up on the Wizards of the Coast website today in Unearthed Arcana. Since I'm also working on an edition-by-edition exploration of psionics over in Tribality right now, I'm primed to be excited about this. The playtest packet offers the core class and two subclasses, from first to fifth level, as well as a few details on 5e's underlying story for psionics. (For an unofficial but very cool extrapolation of that story, see Blog of Holding's recent post on Catastrophic Psionics, which would also be a good name for a shoegaze remix of death metal.)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

D&D 5e: Three New Spells, One New Pact, One New Patron

In my campaign, I recently introduced warlocks serving the Nightwalker, my setting's version of the Grim Reaper. The PCs have known they would eventually run into such warlocks, but this is the first time it has happened. Obviously, that meant I had to write a new Patron option for the Warlock class, and in so doing I also wrote a new Pact and three new necromantic spells. The new spells are a patch on the extremely small number of low-level necromancy spells that I could assign to the Patron. Some of what I'm doing is also an attempt to stake out a fourth gameplay style for warlocks. In the comments below, feel free to tell me whether I've succeeded. As usual, there are Design Notes after each section discussing why I made the choices that I did.