Sunday, May 29, 2016

Setting Design: An Officer and an Adventurer


In my Aurikesh campaign, all of the characters belong to the Gallant Shields of Chardecum Mercenary Company. This is not very much like the private security companies of the modern day, and not (currently) all that much like the condottieri of Renaissance Italy that are their more direct inspiration. Instead of working on an army scale, they behave more like an adventurer's guild, but with some of the trappings of a for-hire military organization to dodge some of the silliness that I perceive in the concept of an "adventurer's guild." Come to think of it, it really operates a bit more like Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters...


Thursday, May 26, 2016

D&D 5e: The Tiefling Personality



This is the eighth article in my series on personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws for the PC races of D&D 5e. Along with dragonborn, tieflings are one of the more divisive races of D&D, with plenty of grognards insisting that any races introduced after 1979 or so are right out. On the other hand, they've been immensely popular with the rest of the community, as they've gradually gone from their introduction in Planescape (in 1994) to a core "monster" and a Forgotten Realms player race in 3.0, (2001), to a core player race in 4e (2008) and 5e. They've always been the exotic, edgy ones, giving us a clear place (other than the half-orc) to talk (ham-handedly) about fantasy racism and whether evil is inherent or learned.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Give Your PCs Treasure With These Six Weird Tricks


I've been doing some hard work on magic item design over in Tribality, and I've talked a bit about the two 5e campaigns I play in, so in this post I'm looking at different approaches to magic items in roleplaying games. I've identified six so far, which is my justification for the clickbait title (also, I want to see if it draws in readers); if you think of meaningfully different approaches, I want to hear about them.

Friday, May 13, 2016

D&D 5e: Three New Cleric Spells

As part of working on a new manuscript for Tribality Publishing, I decided that I wanted to create some new cleric spells. I've already got a handful of new cantrips ready to go, so I wanted these to be 1st-level or higher. I also wanted to explore some divine magic themes that the current cleric and cleric spell list don't draw on very much. Oh, and here's a previous collection of five cleric spells that I wrote.