Sunday, August 31, 2014

alchemy in midgard

Pretty much replacing magic items with player-created consumables. I like this because it gives players something to do during downtime, and introduced an element of time management--players are only going to be able to squeeze in one or two created items a day.

All alchemical processes require ester, a stable form of raw element created by alchemists. Ester types are:


Alchemists must collect ester from the corpses of elementally aligned creatures. A creature is elementally aligned to the damage type it deals (excluding slashing, bludgeoning, and piercing damage). If a creature does not deal typed damage, it does not have any ester in its body. To harvest ester, a character must succeed a DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana) check and have one hour of uninterrupted access to the remains of an elemental creature. Tiny, Small, and Medium creatures contain 1 lesser ester; Large creatures contain greater ester, and Huge and larger creatures contain 1 grand ester. Failing a check to harvest ester destroys all the ester in the creature's body and prevents further attempts. 

Once collected, ester can be used to create alchemical devices. Creating an device requires 8 hours of work and an Intelligence (Alchemy kit) check. A failed check means all ester used has been destroyed. In order to attempt to create a device, a character must know about it. They generally discover new devices by finding ancient schematics. Schematics depict a particular kind of device, so aspiring alchemists must learn to make lesser seals and greater seals separately, for example.

Alchemical seals are attuned with the same element as the ester used to create them. Weapons affixed with an alchemical seal deal damage of the same type as that seal. All last 1 minute before crumbling.
  • Lesser Seal: 1 lesser ester and DC 15 to make. Weapon deals typed damage and gains +1 to damage rolls.
  • Greater Seal: 1 greater ester and DC 20 to make. Weapon deals typed damage and gains +2 to damage rolls.
  • Grand Seal: 1 grand ester and DC 25 to make. Weapons deals typed damage and gains +3 to damage rolls.
Spheres containing a volatile form of ester; detonate when thrown or otherwise broken, dealing damage of the same type as the ester used to make them. They also produce an effect pertaining to their element (Radiant munitions produce a flash of light, Acid munitions corrode metal and stone, Necrotic munitions wilt plants, and so on). Thrown munitions have a range of 20/60.
  • Lesser Munition: 1 lesser ester and DC 15 to make. The target must make a Dexterity save or take 2d6 typed damage. They take half damage on a success.
  • Greater Munition: 1 greater ester and DC 20 to make. All creatures in a 10 foot sphere around the point of impact must make a Dexterity save or take 5d6 typed damage. They take half damage on a success.
  • Grand Munition: 1 grand ester and DC 25 to make. All creatures in a 15 foot sphere around the point of impact must make a Dexterity save or take 7d6 typed damage. They take half damage on a success.
Elemental spirits sealed inside a glass vessel. Creating a homunculus requires 1 lesser ester of each type and DC 20 to make.
  • Homunculi cannot leave their bottles or perform any sort of physical activity; the only thing they can do is speak. They have 1 HP, 0 AC, automatically fail all Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity saving throws, and automatically succeed all Intelligence, Charisma, and Wisdom saving throws. They are loyal to the last creature to hold their bottle. 
  • When making checks to answer questions about alchemy, homunculi add twice the alchemist's proficiency bonus at the time of their creation to the roll. 
  • When creating a homunculus, the player does not know whether or not they succeed the check; if it fails, they still create the homunculus, but it provides subtly erroneous information.
Alchemical Cannon
Martial ranged weapon with the Ammunition, heavy, loading, and two-handed properties. Range is 150/600. Requires 1 greater ester of each type and DC 25 to make. Uses esters as ammunition; the damage it deals depends on their quality:
  • Least ester: 2d4+Intelligence* typed damage
  • Greater ester: 2d6+Intelligence* typed damage
  • Grand ester: 2d8+Intelligence* typed damage
*Intelligence of the alchemist who created the cannon at the moment they created it. The wielder does not add their Dexterity modifier to cannon damage like other ranged weapons. 

The ultimate alchemical achievement. Requires 1 grand ester of each type and DC 30 to make. Anyone who drinks an Elixir does not age naturally or magically. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

toil and trouble

The 5e Player's Handbook doesn't give you a lot to go on other than "you need an Herbalism kit to make Potions of Healing", so here's a system for finding potion ingredients. It is loosely based off of Procedural Metapharmacology at the Retired Adventurer.

Most magic is outlawed in Midgard, so buying potions is risky, even if you know where to do it. It is far easier to make them yourself. Making a potion requires an Herbalism kit and two ingredients. There is not a set list of recipes for potions; instead, when a would-be potion maker mixes two ingredients, they roll on the appropriate table to determine what the resulting potion is. 
  • Two Common ingredients yield a Curative
  • Two Unusual ingredients yield a Prophylactic
  • Two Rare ingredients yield a Transformative
  • One Unusual and one Common ingredient yield a Poison
  • One Rare and one non-Rare ingredient yield a Philtre
Do not tell players which combinations of ingredient categories yield which types of potions. Do not tell players there are types of potions. In any case, this process reveals what what the recipe was all along; now, whenever someone wants to make that potion, they combine the same ingredients. It is possible for two sets of ingredients to produce the same potion. It is the player's responsibility to keep track of recipes.

There are two ways to acquire potion ingredients; one is to find them in dungeons or the wilderness, and the other is to search for them. When a character searches for ingredients, they roll Wisdom (Survival).
  • If they make a DC 10 check, they acquire d6 ingredients of their choice from their list of known Common flora.
  • If they make a DC 15 check, they acquire d4 ingredients of their choice from their list of known Unusual flora or d8 Common ingredients.
  • If they make a DC 20 check, they acquire 1 ingredient of their choice from their list of known Rare flora, d6 Unusual ingredients, or d10 Common ingredients.
Searching for ingredients takes 8 hours. In order to add a plant to their known list, a character must have encountered it before, discovered it in a book, had it described to them, or succeed on an Intelligence (Nature) check to identify it based off of appearance, name, or properties.

When a drinker is tries to resist the effects of a potion, they must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 8+brewer's Intelligence modifier+herbalist's proficiency bonus in order to succeed.

Unless they are making a potion based on a recipe, characters do not know what potions do when they mix ingredients. They must drink it (or get someone else to drink it) to find out. All potions must be consumed in order to work. A potion bottle counts as an encumbering item.

This is not a complete list of ingredients. Characters can use any esoteric substance as a potion ingredient (with GM's permission, naturally). The category of such ingredients is determined by how hard they are to acquire (fox bones would be Common ingredients, while imp bile would be Uncommon and gargoyle hearts Rare. Substances like dragon blood or balrog heart have unique properties).
Common Ingredients
  1. Amanita
  2. Amaranth
  3. Dandelion
  4. Duckweed
  5. Honeysuckle
  6. Mogwart
Unusual Ingredients
  1. Anemone
  2. Black Lily
  3. Hyacinth
  4. Lobelia
  5. Nightshade
  6. Wolfsbane
Rare Ingredients
  1. Aglaophotis
  2. Mandragora
  3. Moly
  4. Olieribos
  5. Petrichor
  6. Silphium
DC 10 to brew
last 10 minutes
require two Common ingredients
  1. Antitoxin: advantage on saving throws against poison
  2. Autonomy: advantage on saving throws against paralysis
  3. Healing: drinker can spend a hit die
  4. Lubrication: advantage on rolls to escape grapples
  5. Ocularity: advantage on saving throws against blindness
  6. Phobophagy: advantage on saving throws against fear
  7. Sarcofaction: advantage on saving throws against petrification
  8. Sophogenesis: advantage on saving throws against charm
  9. Stimulation: advantage on saving throws against sleep
  10. Vivification: restores a character at 0 HP to 1 HP
DC 15 to brew
last 1 minute
require two Unusual ingredients

  1. Cryotropaic: gain resistance to Cold damage
  2. Electrotropaic: gain resistance to Lightning damage
  3. Hierotropaic: gain resistance to Radiant damage
  4. Nootropaic: gain resistance to Psychic damage
  5. Phonotropaic: gain resistance to Thunder damage
  6. Praxotropaic: gain resistance to Force damage
  7. Pyrotropaic: gain resistance to Fire damage
  8. Terratropaic: gain resistance to Acid damage
  9. Thanatotropaic: gain resistance to Necrotic damage
  10. Venitropaic: gain resistance to Poison damage
DC 20 to brew
last 1 hour
require two Rare ingredients
drinker acquires the attributes of the animal, but retain their memories and personality

  1. Canis: transform into a dog
  2. Daimon: transform into a sprite
  3. Felis: transform into a cat
  4. Herpeton: transform into a frog
  5. Ichthyon: transform into a fish
  6. Ophidia: transform into a venomous snake
  7. Ornithon: transform into a raven
  8. Reptilia: transform into a crocodile
  9. Ursa: transform into a black bear
  10. Vermis: transform into a rat
DC 15 to brew
last 1 hour
require one Unusual and one Common ingredient

  1. Adhesion*: disadvantage on checks to escape grapples 
  2. Cryohemia: gain weakness to Cold damage 
  3. Disoculation*: disadvantage on saving throws agains blindness 
  4. Edema: gain weakness to Piercing damage 
  5. Electrohemia: gain weakness to Lightning damage 
  6. Envenoming*: disadvantage on saving throws against poisons 
  7. Fatuity: disadvantage on saving throws against charm 
  8. Hemophilia: gain weakness to slashing damage 
  9. Hierohemia: gain weakness to Radiant damage 
  10. Neurasthenia*: disadvantage on saving throws against paralysis 
  11. Noohemia: gain weakness to Psychic damage 
  12. Phobia*: disadvantage on saving throws against being frightened 
  13. Phonohemia*: gain weakness to Thunder damage 
  14. Praxohemia: gain weakness to Force damage 
  15. Pyrohemia: gain weakness to Fire damage 
  16. Solidification*: disadvantage on saving throws against petrification 
  17. Soporification*: disadvantage on saving throws against sleep 
  18. Terrahemia: gain weakness to Acid damage 
  19. Thanatohemia: gain weakness to Necrotic damage 
  20. Venihemia: gain weakness to Poison damage
*these do not allow a saving throw to resist
DC 20 to brew
last 1 hour
require 1 Rare and one non-Rare ingredient

  1. Cacoherpeton: transform into a frog and lose personality and all memories 
  2. Cataraction: blinded 
  3. Dysichthyon: transform into a fish and lose personality and all memories 
  4. Dysphidia: transform into a poisonous snake and lose personality and all memories 
  5. Dysvermis: transform into a rat and lose personality and all memories 
  6. Fixture: paralyzed 
  7. Hemotoxin: suffer 2d10 Poison damage (instantaneous) 
  8. Love: charmed by herbalist 
  9. Malacanis: transform into a mastiff and lose personality and all memories 
  10. Maladaimon: transform into a sprite and lose personality and all memories 
  11. Malafelis: transform into a cat and lose personality and all memories 
  12. Malcorax: transform into a raven and lose personality and all memories 
  13. Malareptilia: transform into a crocodile and lose personality and all memories 
  14. Malursa: transform into a black bear and lose personality and all memories 
  15. Oneiros: put to sleep 
  16. Petrification: petrified 
  17. Stupefaction: stunned 
  18. Terror: Frightened of herbalist 
  19. Venefaction: poisoned 
  20. Weakness: disadvantage on all Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution rolls

Friday, August 29, 2014

Type 5 Ritual Lists

Some feats and class features let characters cast ritual spells, and as far as I can tell there is no list of them in the Player's Handbook. Here's a collection of them so you don't have to go through the spell list entry by entry.

Rituals-By Level
1st Level
Comprehend Languages
Detect Magic
Detect Poison and Disease
Find Familiar
Purify Food and Drink
Speak With Animals
Tenser's Floating Disk
Unseen Servant 

2nd Level
Animal Messenger
Beast Sense
Gentle Repose
Locate Animals or Plants
Magic Mouth

3rd Level
Feign Death
Leomund's Tiny Hut
Meld Into Stone
Phantom Steed
Water Breathing
Water Walk

4th Level

5th Level
Commune With Nature
Contact Other Plane
Rary's Telepathic Bond

6th Level
Drawmij's Instant Summons

Alarm (1st)
Animal Messenger (2nd)
Augury (2nd)
Beast Sense (2nd)
Commune (5th)
Commune With Nature (5th)
Comprehend Languages (1st)
Contact Other Plane (5th)
Detect Magic (1st)
Detect Poison and Disease (1st)
Divination (4th)
Drawmij's Instant Summons (6th)
Feign Death (3rd)
Find Familiar (1st)
Forbiddance (6th)
Gentle Repose (2nd)
Identify (1st)
Leomund's Tiny Hut (3rd)
Locate Animals or Plants (2nd)
Magic Mouth (2nd)
Meld Into Stone (3rd)
Phantom Steed (3rd)
Purify Food and Drink (1st)
Rary's Telepathic Bond (5th)
Silence (2nd)
Speak With Animals (1st)
Tenser's Floating Disk (1st)
Unseen Servant (1st)
Water Breathing (3rd)
Water Walk (3rd)

Thursday, August 28, 2014


EDIT: Hvitr and Gildarthe are from Servants of the Cinder Queen, a pretty awesome adventure that will hopefully be released outside of kickstarter soon.

The Midgard Archipelago consists of four main islands, each occupied by a demigoddess. They maintained the natural order of the Archipelago, and in return the people of Midgard didn't do anything stupid like clear-cutting the forests or hunting animals to extinction. Then the Telluric Technarchy of the dwarves came, placing each island under governorship and sealing the goddesses in engine-temples to siphon their power. This is slowly killing Midgard; every year the days grow hotter, the nights grow colder, and both grow longer, while the crops become less and less plentiful and the islands sink inch by inch into the sea. It will take at least another century before this starts to pose major problems, but the dwarves will have extracted everything of value and left by then.

The Four Great Islands are:

  • bright Alfheim, former domain of Eir, Luminous Fairy of the Heavens, and homeland of the light elves. Lady Grasp, its dwarven governess, refracts the radiance of Eir to create foul radiation that twists the flesh of living things.
  • freezing Kaldhammer, former home of Gildarthe, Demon Fairy of Fire, and homeland of the cambion. Its dwarven governor is Lord Lazuli, who uses the geothermal rage of Gildarthe to fuel his factories and workshops 
  • twilit Nidheim, erstwhile demesne of Vor, Dreaming Fairy of Darkness, and homeland of the dark elves. Its dwarven governess is the Lady of Chalcedony, who taxes the dreams of the living and the souls of the dead by channeling the goddess' strange emanations.
  • verdant Vangr, sometime domain of Syr, Giant Fairy of Earth, and homeland of the humans. Its dwarven governess is the Corundum Prince, who distills the blood of Syr into powerful elixirs. 

You can pick any class, but unlicensed magic is outlawed in the Archipelago on pain of death. Magic-users have to be subtle if they want to live. Paladins and Clerics can worship a member of the Norse Pantheon or a non-stupid god of their own devising. Warlocks make pacts with one of the four Goddesses (Archfey = Syr, Fiend = Gildarthe, Great Old One = Vor. Eir = Any. You can also choose the Summon Pact, which I will be modifying)

Tribes of the Archipelago
No one will look twice at any of the following races:
Light Elves
Dark Elves
Moss Giants

Strangers to the Archipelago
People may react with fear or surprise when encountering the following races:
The Bufondi

Do not exist
Please don't pick these. I've either made an alternative or they do something annoying. If you really want to play one, we can work something out.
High Elves

Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterity
Age: live to ~800 years
Alignment: ???
Size: Medium (4 to 5 feet tall)
Speed: 30
Languages: Common and Elvish
Fairy Ancestors: You have advantage against charm spells and magic can't put you to sleep

Subrace: Light Elves
Ability Score Increase: +1 Wisdom
Otherworldly: You can attempt to hide when lightly obscured
Fleet: Your movement speed is 40 feet
Hunter-gatherer: You have proficiency in the Survival and Nature skills

Subrace: Dark Elves
Ability Score Increase: +1 Intelligence
Darkvision: Natural darkness does not effect your vision in any way; you can see as easily in a sunny field as a pitch black room.
Childhood Training: You are proficient with your choice of smith's tools, alchemist's supplies, or mason's tools.
Old Artifice: You can cast the Mending cantrip.

Midgardian Rumors

  1. The dwarves guard the goddesses so closely because if one escaped, their devices wouldn't work on her island anymore.
  2. Syr, the fiercest of the fairies, only fell because the dwarves weakened her with cursed poison. If somebody found a remedy and gave it to her, she could could break free.
  3. The dwarves built the Storm Golem Hvitr to keep the Fire Fairy trapped, but they aren't bothering with repairs like they used to.
  4. It took twelve of the dwarves' greatest wizards to bind the Dark Fairy, but six have died since the invasion and the rest are past their prime.
  5. The dwarven Technarch commanded the dragon Fafnir to return to the capital after it defeated the Heaven Fairy, but everyone knows he'll come back to Midgard if the situation turns against the dwarves.
  6. Legend has it that the old goddess of death hid the legendary ribbon Gleipnir in the bottom of her temple before it sank into the sea.
  7. Lady Grasp of Alfheim has a vault containing the magical cloak Spakri--it refuses to work for one such as she.
  8. the Lady of Chalcedony tried to make a false goddess with the souls she stole, but it escaped and now calls itself the Fairy of All Death
  9. The dwarves have devised a new substance called "gunpowder"and claim it will revolutionize their ability to crush you pathetic rebels.
  10. The dark elf resistance has formed an alliance with their old enemy, the vampires.
  11. The dwarves executed several members of the former Kaldhammer royal family for violating their house arrest.
  12. The dwarves are offering a bounty for any artifacts recovered from the Peripheral Islands.
  13. The dwarves are offering a bounty for any artifacts recovered from people who illegally possess them.
  14. The sea devils stir in their deep trenches, unchecked by the fairies.
  15. Sailors say that the haunted Manse Macabre is once again visible on the cursed Islet of Drear.
  16. The light elves have revived the ancient practice of lycanthropy in hopes of defeating the dwarves.
  17. Missionaries have arrived from the Technarchy, eager to convert the peoples of Midgard to worship of the Creator.
  18. A High Invigilator of the Technarchy has come to Midgard to root out illicit sorcery. He claims to have devised the ultimate magic-destroying technique.
  19. Something wicked hunts on the Isle of No Gods.
  20. The emissaries of The Bufondi are appalled by the dwarves' policies in Midgard, but cannot act directly without violating their strict neutrality.

One thing in 5e I'm not so hot about is the number of freefloating per-rest abilities. Warlock Invocations have a similar problem--they often interlock oddly with spell slots, and even the cool at-will ones seem easy to forget. Having them be twice as good and twice as rare makes things easier all-round. I'd probably halve the number of invocations gain, rounded up, and let players pick from this list, along with a few others in the book I won't copy out.
  • Barbarous Name: When someone says your full name, you know roughly how far away they are (give or take 10% of the distance) and in which direction
  • Clever Speech: You can speak and understand Droll, the language of cunning creatures, which include foxes, crocodiles, spiders, crows, ravens, jackals, and cats of any size. 
  • Cryptomancy: When you know a creature's deepest secret or the true name it calls itself, its saves against your spells have disadvantage
  • Dark Speech: You can speak and understand Lament, the language of lesser undead. You can speak with zombies, skeletons, ghouls, and the like.
  • Fairy Flight: When calculating maximum jump distances and heights, add double your proficiency bonus in feet and treat standing jumps as running jumps
  • Fairy Glide: When you fall, you can slow your speed to 60' per second as a reaction. While falling in this manner, you can move half your speed horizontally on your turn. You always land on your feet and take no damage from falling. 
  • Psychometry: When you make eye contact with a creature, they must make a Wisdom save vs your spell save DC or you learn their current emotional state and any supernatural allegiances
  • Suspiratio: You can breathe in water as well as air, and you are unaffected by foul odors and poisonous gasses.
  • Witchsmith: You gain proficiency with smith's tools if you do not have it already. You can create magical weapons, which imposes disadvantage on your proficiency roll. Such weapons deal your choice of fire, cold, radiant, necrotic, lightning, or poison damage and count as magical for purposes of breaching supernatural defenses and harming spiritual beings. Creating this weapons requires acquiring expensive and dangerous metals. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Warlock Pact for Type V DnD

Got stuck with some Pernicious Albion tables, so I shamefully put them off and wrote this for my increasingly anime Dungeons and Dragons not-game instead. It's a new warlock pact, and rather experimental.

At 1st level, your  patron gives you an eidolon, a semisentient spirit from which you gain your magical power. It manifests as any humanoid, elemental, beast, or monstrosity with a CR of 1/4 or lower (with DM approval). Any cantrips or spells you would learn through your Pact Magic, Mystic Arcanum, or Eldritch Invocation class features are in fact acquired by your eidolon. For purposes of line of sight, range, and targeting, the eidolon casts your spells. However, your eidolon can cast any spell with a range of Self on you as if it were a Touch spell. Your eidolon's Charisma score is always equal to yours.
     You can summon your eidolon with an 8 hour ritual and dismiss it with an action. Your eidolon shares your place in the initiative order and follows your commands as best it can, and will instinctively move where you want them to go, but you must take an action to command it to something more complex (Cast Spell, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Help, etc). You must be able to speak to give your eidolon an order, and if it moves farther than 50 feet away from you, it vanishes into the aether and must be summoned again. The maximum HP of your eidolon is either its default or four times your Warlock level, whichever is higher. If your eidolon dies, you may summon it again by performing the ritual. If you die or fall unconscious, your eidolon vanishes into the aether and must be summoned again.

Starting at 3rd level, you add your proficiency bonus to your eidolon's AC, saving throws, spell saves, spell attack rolls, and proficient skills.

Starting at 6th level, you may command your eidolon as a Bonus Action.

Starting at 10th level, you can summon your eidolon with a 1 hour ritual.

Starting at 14th level, you eidolon can move any distance away from you without vanishing, and you can telepathically communicate with each other regardless of distance.

You still choose from the Fey, Archfiend, or Great Old One pacts, but only gain access to their associated expanded spell list.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Races for Type V DnD

Races for my nascent silly Type V setting. I'm really not sure if they are too powerful or not, but play will tell. My rules were to have no darkvision, no spell progression, and few added proficiencies. Darkvision would be fine if one or two races had it, but almost everything non-human has some form of it, making torches almost useless. The Bufondi were inspired by Gorgonara's Wizard Frogs

The Bufondi
Sagacious toads descended from the Slaad. Possess no polity of their own, but run the Fungal Archives, an aggressively neutral library-fortress containing texts and mnemospores that can be found nowhere else. Though the Bufondi are giant toads, they have opposable thumbs. They can also walk on their hind legs, but universally hate to do so.

Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 2; your Charisma score increases by 1
Age:  Bufondi live forever
Alignment: Whatever you please
Size: Small (3 to 4 feet tall on all fours, weighs 100-150 pounds)
Speed: Your base walking speed is 15 feet
Languages: You speak Common and Primordial
Levitation: You can hover and fly at a rate of 30 feet; however, your altitude in feet cannot exceed your Charisma modifier. If your altitude exceeds your natural maximum through other means (leaping off a cliff, being dropped, etc), you fall to the ground, but only take half damage. Whenever you take your turn while falling, you can move your sly speed.
Strange Knowledge: You have proficiency in the Arcana skill

Descended from mad demons rather than cunning devils, cambions are cousins to the unfortunate tiefling. Cambions do not have the same unsavory reputation as tiefling; the scheme that led to their creation immediately collapsed beneath the weight of the demons' utter insanity and intractable hatred for one another, so the cambions peacefully dispersed instead of becoming Abyssal catspaws. The ruling family of the northern Magocracy are cambions.
Ability Score Increase: Your Charisma score increases by 2; your Intelligence score increases by 1
Age:  You live to about 150 years
Alignment: Who cares? 
Size: Medium (same size and build as humans)
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet
Languages: You speak Common and one other language of your choice
Flight: Your bat-like devil wings give you limited powers of flight. You can fly half your walking speed, but if you do not land by the end of your movement, you fall to the ground. You can slow yourself whenever your fall, and take half damage from falling. Whenever you take your turn while falling, you can move your fly speed. 
Infernal Legacy: You know the Produce Flame cantrip. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it.
Prehensile Tail: You can use your tail as an extra limb with limited capabilities; you can use it to perform actions such as carrying a torch, using tools, and drawing or stowing objects. Your tail is not strong enough to wield weapons or perform any action that requires a Strength check.
Inured: You have resistance to fire damage

Moss Giant

Behemoths of vine, lichen, and flesh. Moss giants generally live solitary, peaceful lives in forest-nations that go unmolested by loggers and hunters. The last time a kingdom threatened a moss giant forest, they formed a retributory Chlorarchy and waged bloody crusade against the interlopers, marshaling great swarms of crows and plague rats to help them.

Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2; your Wisdom score increases by 1
Age:  You live to about 1000 years
Alignment: Who cares? NPCs tend to Neutral and/or Good
Size: Medium (You are between 6 and 8 feet tall)
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet
Languages: You speak Common and Sylvan
Beast-speech: You can communicate simple ideas to small animals.
Chlorocunning: You are proficient in the Nature, Survival, or Animal Handling skills
Natural Fortitude: When you take a short or long rest and do not use a hit dice, you recover d4 HP
Wild Savant: You know the Druidcraft cantrip.


Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2; your Charisma score increases by 1
Age:  You live to about 200 years
Alignment: Meh
Size: Medium (You are between 5 and 6 feet tall)
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet
Languages: You speak Common and Deep Speech
Darkvision: You can see in dim light as if it were bright light and darkness as if it were dim light.
Shapeshift: You can turn into a bat or crow (pick one at character creation) as an action. You can use this ability once, and it lasts until you stop concentrating. You regain use of this ability with a short rest.
Heliophobia: You have disadvantage on all checks while in direct sunlight.
Necrology: When you make an Intelligence (Arcana*) check pertaining to the behaviors, origins, and natures of the undead, you are considered proficient and add twice your proficiency bonus
Fascination: You know the Friends cantrip.

Wyrm Pygmy
The diminutive cousins of the dragonborn. Wyrm pygmies are freakishly strong for their size and live in hives constructed from mudbrick and their own shed skin. They worship Bahamut and Tiamat simultaneously, to the irritation of both. Some dragons try to roost in wyrm pygmy hives and rule their distant relatives. Wyrm pygmies like to eat them.

Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2; your Constitution score increases by 1
Age:  You live about as long as humans
Alignment: Whatever
Size: Small (You are between 3 and 4 feet tall)
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet
Languages: You speak Common and Draconic
Dragon Ancestor: Pick a dragon color. You gain resistance to its corresponding element, and can spit a bolus made of the same substance as its breath, dealing 1d6+Constitution damage.
Scuttle: If you aren't carrying anything in either of your hands, you can run on all fours, increasing your movement speed to 45 feet
Clamber: Whenever you make a Strength (Athletics) check to climb something, you are considered proficient in the Athletics skill and addd double your proficiency bonus to the check

first picture from legend of zelda: wind waker; second image from Disgaea, 3rd from Final Fantasy 12: Revenant Wings

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Let's make a deal

So warlocks need to complete favors in order to maintain (semi)reliable access to their spells. Coming up with lots of favors on the fly is hard, so I made tables. Major favors also work as adventure seeds. These are for the incubus Malamaut.

Minor Favors
A minor favor cannot reduce HP or an attribute to 0, and all attribute damage heals after a night’s sleep.
  1. Dance with me! (for d6 x 10 minutes)
  2. I need some of your blood. It is very, very important that you not ask why (d6 damage)
  3. I need to borrow a bit of that body of yours (d3 Strength damage)
  4. I’m in need of some vigor (d3 Constitution damage)
  5. I want some of your grace (d3 Dexterity damage)
  6. Lend me your cunning (d3 Intelligence damage)
  7. I’ve never had the best judgment. Could I borrow some of yours? (d3 Wisdom damage)
  8. I need a piece of soul. I promise I’ll give it back (d3 Charisma damage)
Major Favors
If you can't quickly come up with a good location, stick it d6 x 10 hexes (or miles, or days, or whatever) away in a random direction.
  1. It has come to my attention that a merchant caravan passing nearby is carrying a bottle of Quietus, that most potent and poisonous of aphrodisiacs. Fetch it for me.
  2. An old lover of mine has been condemned to death, and I want to watch. The execution is in [2d20] days in [the nearest large city], so do hurry. I always said I’d see him hang, and now I don’t have to do it myself.
  3. An old lover of mine has been sentenced to a most dreadful prison, and I want you to release her. She never did suffer prettily, and I still owe her a favor.
  4. Best beloved, one of those wretched hellhounds is getting awfully close to sniffing me out. Dispose of it, will you?
  5. I think it’s time you got me a proper present, dearest. I could have such fun with a weapon of those Grigori—I believe there’s one skulking around nearby.
  6. Oh dear. I’m fresh out of blood. Could you collect, say, [d100 HP] worth? Nothing too old, of course. (A bottle or wineskin can hold 10 HP worth of blood. Blood goes bad after a day unless it is refrigerated or hermetically sealed)
  7. Dearest, you caught me in the middle of an engagement. Treat me to a fine meal [2d100 sp per diner, d6 hour-long courses], or I will be most put out.
  8. The mayor in (the nearest village) has been treating his lover most viciously, and it is beginning to vex me. Put him out of my misery.
  9. I am in need of a pet. Capture [a monster or magical creature] alive, and I shall come to retrieve it once we’re all safe and sound.
  10. A most boring constable is trying to shut down a brothel in (nearest large city). Convince him otherwise, won’t you?
  11. What luck you called! I’m planning a party in [nearest large city], and I need a bit of cash to get it started (costs a number of silver pieces equal to 25% of the xp needed to reach next level)
  12. I’m in a bit of a bind—some fairy noble caught me in her bed with a lady-in-waiting, and now she’s sent a champion to challenge me to a duel. You‘ll stand in for me, right? They’ll get here in [d6] hours.
  13. Oh, it’s so romantic! There’s this eloping couple traveling nearby, and they’ll be eaten by wolves any day now. Go help them, will you?
  14. Some bore of a priest is burning books in [nearest village]. Go stop him—they always burn the ones with the exciting pictures.
  15. I can’t be seen with anyone dressed like that! Go find some half-decent clothes. (Must spend 5d100 sp on fashionable equipment—engraved grappling hooks, filigreed armor, lace handkerchiefs for cleaning swords, etc)
  16. You know, I’ve just had an idea. Fetch me a length of silk rope, a brazier, a small horse, a block and tackle, some lard, a bag of ball bearings, and some open-minded young people with a strong sense of adventure.
  17. I’ve been trying my hand at some poetry and am in need of a muse. Find someone fetching for me. (Acquire the services of a hireling with a Charisma modifier of at least +1 for at least a month)
  18. All this adventuring has left me fatigued. Take me someplace nice, darling (a night in the most expensive hotel or inn in the nearest large city.
  19. They’re circulating the most interesting pictures of (the region’s most notable noble couple) in [the nearest large city], but I hear the constabulary has begun to confiscate them. I simply must have one of these engravings.
  20. It’s been so long since I’ve been courted. Take me out on a night on the town. (Spend a full 24 hours and d1000 sp; roll on a carousing table if you’ve got one)

Friday, August 15, 2014

awfully familiar

Rolled a bunch of loose change and bought the new Player's Handbook. 5e is neat and I'm looking forward to playing (haven't done anything other than GMing in over 2 years), but I wasn't entirely satisfied with the warlock familiars. Here's new ones for my hypothetical 5e campaign, a little more whimsical than my normal LotFP stuff.

Pieces of rogue knowledge that accrete in the Far Realms; manifest in the Material Plane as animate writing and images. Scrawls are valued by warlocks because they can be disguised as mundane tattoos and possess all sorts of information.

tiny aberration
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 1 (1d4-4)
Speed: 40 ft, 40 ft climb
STR: 1 (-5)
DEX: 14 (+2)
CON: 3 (-4)
INT: 18 (+4)
WIS: 3 (-4)
CHA: 13 (+1)
Skills: Arcana +6, Persuasion +3, Religion +6
Senses: Passive Perception 6
Languages: Common, Deep Speech (understands but cannot speak aloud)
Alien Geometry: can only travel along surfaces of objects and creatures and cannot exist in three-dimensional space; can occupy the same space as creatures and does not provoke attacks of opportunity
Spider Climb: can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check
Shapeshift: Can form words and images with its body
Topological Breach: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 0 ft, one target. Hit: d4+2 slashing damage


The once-human courtesans and consorts of Queen Titania, beautiful and immortal and utterly mad.

small fey

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 4 (3d4-3)
Speed: 40 ft
STR: 12 (+1)
DEX: 16 (+3)
CON: 8 (-1)
INT: 8 (-1)
WIS: 1 (-5)
CHA: 16 (+3)
Skills: Acrobatics +5, Performance+5, Persuasion +5
Senses: Passive Perception 6
Languages: Common, Elvish, Sylvan
Powerful Voice: has advantage on Charisma (Performance) checks pertaining to singing
Lesser Flight: Dreamers can fly their speed, but will fall unless they land by the end of their movement
Mischief: can cast Disguise Self at will without verbal or somatic components. The effect lasts until dispelled or dismissed by the Dreamer.
Thyrsus: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft, one target. Hit: 1d6+3 bludgeoning damage
Willow Bow: Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, 40 ft/160 ft. Hit: 1d4+3 piercing damage

Night Fairy

The black-winged pygmy knights of the Gloaming Court. Though natural trackers, spies, and saboteurs, they will once in a great while descend on the field of battle in great flensing swarms. The Queen of Air and Darkness often awards the service of night fairies to capable warlocks, as the fairies themselves, though capable, are rarely bright enough to operate independently.

tiny fey

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 2 (1d4)
Speed: 10 ft, 60 ft fly
STR: 3 (-4)
DEX: 14 (+2)
CON: 10 (+0)
INT: 6 (-2)
WIS: 18 (+4)
CHA: 14 (+2)
Skills: Animal Handling +4, Perception +6, Stealth +6
Senses: Passive Perception 16
Languages: Common, Elvish, Sylvan
Keen Senses: has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks involving smell
Flyby: Night fairies do not provoke opportunity attacks when they fly out of an enemy's reach
Spirit flesh: Attacks with nonmagical weapons have disadvantage against night fairies
Razor Ribbon: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft, one target. Hit: 1 slashing damage
Invisibility: Night fairies can turn invisible; this lasts until they attack or concentration ends. Anything a night fairy is wearing or carrying also turns invisible, so long as it remains in contact with them.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Warlock 2.0

a class for Lamentations of the Flame Princess

HP, Saves, and Experience as Cleric

All warlocks possess a magical contract that contains the seals and signatures of every spirit with which she has formed a pact. A warlock can call upon such spirits for knowledge or power, while the spirits can demand favors in turn. Each spirit possesses a sphere of influence, such as Knowledge or Curses, over which it reigns supreme, and beyond which it is powerless.

A warlock has a contract with a single spirit. She may add any number of spirits to her contract, but must first find them and make them signatories, usually in return for a Greater Favor

A warlock can invoke any of her signatory spirits as often as she wishes. When she does so, she can either ask a question pertaining to the signatory’s domain or draw on its power to cast a spell. A warlock may cast any spell on a spirit’s spell list, as long as its spell level does not exceed half her character level, rounded up. In any case, whenever a warlock invokes a spirit, the Referee rolls 2d6 on the Spirit’s Vagary  table to determine the signatory’s reaction to her demand. If the roll results in a Lesser or Greater Favor, the Referee rolls 1d20 on the corresponding table to determine the spirit’s price. As a rule, spirits are uncharitable beings; when a warlock invokes a signatory, she takes a -1 penalty to its Spirit’s Vagary roll for each outstanding favor. If a signatory realizes its warlock cannot or will not complete a favor, it will extract its price forcibly and immediately, as determined by the Referee.
There will be more, and they will come with tables for manifestations and favors, but I need to hammer these out for my in-person group today.

Malamaut, Demon of Love and Spite
his is the grin of the fox in a henhouse
Sphere: Lust and Loathing
An incubus who has grown disinterested in the business of perdition. Though he possesses not even the smallest shred of virtue, Malamaut has developed a stunted and entirely non-Platonic affection for humanity over the long millennia of his existence, and can be persuaded to serve a warlock for a sufficiently enticing price. He is a connoisseur of indecency and a gourmand of sin and desires pleasures of the flesh above all else.

Old Queen Mab, Fairy of Malediction
she was old when the heath lay deep beneath the sea
 As the sometime Queen of Faerie, Mab above all else desires revenge against the King of Roses Red, who deposed her, and the supposed allies who let him. When she speaks with her vassals, she seizes control of a nearby animal or weak-willed human and speaks through theire mouth.