Monday, January 23, 2017

D&D 5e: The Veytikka Personality

For the most part, my series on personality features for each race has stuck to official D&D races, with the exception of homunculi. Today, though, I'm tackling one of the races of my own creation: the veytikka. I've talked about them a good bit in the past, and I'll repost their stats below, but the short version is that they are a race of carrion-eaters - similar to ghouls, but not undead or evil. They have a keen sense of smell, claws, the ability to run faster on all fours, and so on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

D&D 5e: Alchemical Experimentation

The new Unearthed Arcana article yesterday offered a 20-level artificer class, and I wrote a detailed breakdown over in Tribality. (If you're not also reading my Tribality material, I've taken to doing all of my Unearthed Arcana commentary over there.) I mentioned my dissatisfaction with the absence of any active experimentation rules, so I wrote some of my own.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

D&D 5e: Alternate Threat Tracks

D&D's Exhaustion condition is a six-level track, starting at a mild penalty and ending up in death. I really like what they've done here and how it intersects with the overland exploration system. Dehydration or starvation are really the main ways you ever go from Exhaustion 5 to Exhaustion 6, because Exhaustion 5 sets your Speed to 0 - you can't really push on and work yourself to death. I want to explore alternate condition tracks that represent other looming and worsening threats. These are not intended to be appropriate for all campaigns. Rather, like most alternate rules, they are a tool in the DM's toolbox for specific situations.

Monday, December 19, 2016

D&D 5e: Way of the Silver Chain Monastic Tradition

The recent Unearthed Arcana article of new monastic traditions, which I examined in detail over in Tribality, was the kick in the pants I needed to work on developing another of my own. The monk's meditative nature makes it a good fit for a subclass about dreams and astral travel, much as the 2e psionicist does - it's not for nothing that the 4e monk is psionic, after all. Which brings me to this, the Way of the Silver Chain - monks, but also knights-errant in dreams and in the Astral Plane.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

D&D 5e: Giant Death's-Heads

New kinds of undead never go out of style, right? I hope not, anyway, because this post presents a new kind of undead, with four variants. The PCs in my campaign were wandering through the sewers under the city they live in when they ran into some undead, including a giant animated head that blocked almost the whole passage, cooked up more or less on the fly. I thought about that idea for awhile longer, and it became this. (Ultimately, the idea was born out of a giant foam skull I saw at a Target around four years ago. I thought it would make a cool prop, and years later in the Dust to Dust closer, I was right.)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Sixth Year of Blogging

I'm now completing six years of writing this blog. This year is on track to equal or very slightly surpass last year's post total, even with the weekly column I've been writing for Tribality. This has been a momentous year for me in gaming and writing: I've gotten fairly steady freelance work through EN5IDER (six articles in 2016), I've sold a few PDFs through Tribality Publishing, and now I'm working on a piece for Seventh Sphere Publishing. My freelancing has brought in enough money to complicate our taxes. Most of all, this was the last full season of the Dust to Dust LARP campaign.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

D&D 5e: The Thri-Kreen Personality

The 4e thri-kreen

Not too long ago, I wrote that I thought I was coming to the end of this series of posts. Then a reader reminded me of all the races I hadn't touched on yet - slightly further from the beaten path, but still popular enough to merit a full post of personality features. It looks like I'll be doing a few more of these! Today: the thri-kreen, most known for their appearance in Dark Sun, but soon becoming a standard part of the Monster Manual (if not the Player's Handbook).