Thursday, October 21, 2021

AD&D Character Creation by Character Points

 The latest iteration of my old, giant project to convert AD&D, 2nd edition, to an entirely player-driven character creation project, with no classes or defined races. Below is the intro; the document is 35 pages, even with all the stuff I've removed.

Notably removed from the document is the list of how much each standard class would cost in this system. I've got the information in a separate file, but I haven't checked it for accuracy in some time, so I'm not leaving it publicly available.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

PIxies as PCs for 5e

 This is very rough and ugly; what Hackmaster would call an "At-a-Glance" summary, not the full racial write-up. A couple aesthetic choices were made specifically to appeal to a friend of mine, but the mechanics are as written, and divorced from that.

*Ability scores: Dex +2 +1 Cha
*Size: Tiny. ¼ carrying capacity. Cannot use Heavy, Two-Handed, or Versatile weapons. Any weapon that is not Light cannot be Finesse weapon. Weapons that are neither finesse nor light require two hands
*Speed: Walking 10' Fly 30'. Cannot fly in medium or heavy armor.
*Type: Fey
*Innate Magic: Druidcraft Cantrip. At 5th level, Invisibility 1/long rest
*Advantage on saving throws v. Magic from Beasts, Fey, Plants


Wings of butterflies or Dragonflies
Proficient Insight
Cantrip: Guidance

Wings: Moth
Proficient: Perception
Cantrip: Dancing Lights

Wings: Bat
Proficient: Stealth
Cantrip: Prestidigitation

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Warlock in Castles and Crusades

Warlock (Charisma)
Alignment: Any
HD: d6
Weapons: Broadsword, bows, club, dagger, dart, hand axe, hammers, javelin, longsword, rapier, scimitar, short sword, sling, spear, staff
Armor: Leather armor, leather coat, and padded
Abilities: Eldritch Blast, Invocations

Eldritch Blast: At 1st level, a Warlock receives the ability to unleash an eldritch blast, a bolt of energy with a range of 35', that does 1d4 damage. This requires a touch attack or ranged touch attack, with a bonus from Dexterity. At levels 2, 4, and 7, the blast improves in damage (to 1d6, 1d8, and 1d10, respectively). At levels 3, 6, and 10, the blast improves in range (to 40', 50', and 60', respectively). At level 6, a secondary bolt may be fired at a target within range; this secondary bolt does 1d4 damage until level 9, when it is enhanced to 1d6 damage.
The Eldritch Blast normally does Force damage. If the Warlock chooses at 1st level for it to do Fire, Cold, Lightning or Acid damage, it does +1 damage, and an additional +1 each time the die size improves, but uses that sort of damage permanently. The Eldritch Blast may be enhanced by spells, invocations, and abilities which improve weapons, and is subject to Spell Resistance. It has a Casting Time of 1, but cannot be interrupted like a normal spell.

Invocations: At 1st level, a Warlock learns a single invocation. Invocations are equivalent to spells, but may either be cast repeatedly, or function indefinitely. Every three levels thereafter (at 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, etc.), the warlock gains another invocation. At 1st and 4th level, the invocation chosen may be a 1st level spell from any spell list. At 7th and 10th level, the invocation may be a Cantrip, 1st level, or 2nd level spell from any spell list. At 13th level, 3rd level spells may be chosen. Once chosen, Invocations cannot be changed, unless the CK agrees that an invocation is being "upgraded", and a lesser invocation is put in the place of the upgraded one (so, if Bless were learned at 4th level, at 13th level that might be upgraded to Prayer, and Bless would be replaced with another 1st level spell as an invocation). If an invocation is not constantly in effect, it requires the standard casting time to enact.
Warlocks likewise know a number of Lesser Invocations; these are Cantrips from any spell list, equal to their Charisma Modifier. They are otherwise subject to the same rules as Invocations.

Advanced Dungeons and Dragaerans

(Despite the name, this is for 5e; I just found the title humorous.)

This is specifically meant to emulate Steven Brust's Dragaera novels... an extremely high-magic setting, where being brought back to life is easy enough that assassination comes in three varieties, including one meant as an expensive warning, where telepathic communication across great distances is commonplace, and where teleporting is pretty simple to manage. Someone asked Steven about rules for it, he said "It would be cool if someone did that", and I wrote the magic system while going to pick up my roommate from work, and then jammed it all together.

Notes about Classes:
Certain classes are largely inappropriate for games set on Dragaera, or especially within the Dragaeran Empire. Others require consideration for how they work.

Barbarian: There will be very few barbarians among the Dragaerans in the modern age; perhaps some Berzerkers among the Dzur. They may be found among the Easterners, but would be quite rare and exotic.

Bard: A somewhat respectable choice among the Dragaerans, bards would nonetheless use the rules for Sorcery, not their own Bardic spells (though they would still receive spell slots).

Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger: The divine magic of these classes has no place on Dragaera; relationships with the Gods are more akin to the pacts of Warlocks than the devotion of clerics.

Fighters: Champions, Battlemasters, and Eldritch Warriors are all acceptable among the Dragaerans. Note that armor is very uncommon among the Dragaerans (and those Easterners raised within the Empire), due to its ineffectiveness against the ubiquitous magic. As such, Fighters may choose to forgo proficiency in Medium and Heavy armors, and instead gain the Barbarian or Monk’s Unarmored Defense trait.

Monk: While not strictly forbidden, a Monk would be a highly unusual character within Dragaera. However, such disciplines as the Way of the Open Hand or the Way of the Kensai might be found among houses such as Lyorn or Athyra.

Rogue: Rogues require no modification in Dragaeran campaigns.

Sorcerer: Despite the use of the term “sorcery”, the closest thing to the class “Sorcerer” that has been observed in Dragaera might be those with the genetic potential to make use of “pre-Empire Sorcery”... the direct manipulation of raw amorphia. Pre-Empire Sorcerers would be the equivalent of Wild Mages.

Warlock: There are few proper warlocks on Dragaera; mostly priests of the various gods, and few enough of those with real power. However, the Warlock can be used to emulate such priests and their abilities.

Wizard: Wizards, as a class, are relatively common, though a proper “Wizard”, in Dragaeran parlance, will be someone with proficiency in several types of magic, and may follow a different class.

Sorcery is an Intelligence-based skill available to all with the “Citizen of the Empire” trait. Using Sorcery, a citizen of the Empire is able to draw upon their link with the Imperial Orb, which is linked to the Great Sea of Amorphia. There is no limit to how much power one can channel through this link, even with relatively little experience; what limits the user is precision and control, not power.

With this trait, one may make Sorcery checks in order to cast any spells learned; if the skill is trained, the character may add their proficiency bonus. Spells must be learned, but there are no level restrictions on spells known, and someone with skill in sorcery is not obligated to keep a spellbook, nor prepare spells. Learning a spell requires a teacher, and typically requires 50 gold and 2 hours per level of the spell. Sorcery spells do not have material components.

There are two ways to cast a spell: By using a spell slot, or spontaneously, without the need for a spell slot. Casting a spell with a spell slot functions as it does for sorcerers or bards; select your spell from among those known, and the spell slot you wish to use (which must be at least the minimum required for the spell), and the spell is cast. Such a spell takes the normal casting time. Those with spell slots usually also have Cantrip slots; while they may know any number of cantrips, they may only have a certain number “ready to go” at any given moment; this does not pose a significant difficulty, as rearranging the Cantrip slots requires only a minute of concentration.

Casting spells spontaneously does not require spell slots, though it does require time and a Sorcery skill check. Spells cast spontaneously require a number of rounds equal to their level to enact. Spells have a set difficulty of 12 + twice the level of the spell (ranging from 12 for Cantrips to 30 for 9th level spells). If they are proficient with spellcasting foci, they may add their proficiency bonus to the check, if they wield it. There is no penalty for failure, save the wasted rounds.

Witchcraft is a form of ritual magic that uses one’s innate mental powers to effect change upon the world. It is more flexible than sorcery, in many ways, but requires more time to enact, and is more difficult.

Most witchcraft consists of ritual magic, and relies on the Wisdom-based skill, Witchcraft, which may only be used by those proficient with it (others who wish to know about witchcraft would use the Arcana skill). Witches have no need to learn spells; the witch may enact any spell on their spell list by performing a ritual; a ritual that will be unique to them (though those familiar with witchcraft will be able to note the influence and style of various families and teachers), and made up on the spot.

Witchcraft Rituals require a skill check against a DC of 12 + the spell’s level squared (so 12 for cantrips, 13 for 1st, 16 for 2nd, up to 93 for 9th level spells… clearly out of the reach of most practitioners; the most powerful spell mentioned was approximately 6th level, so a DC of 48). Despite these extreme difficulties, there are some bonuses that can be had to the Witchcraft skill roll.

If the character is proficient in Herbalist’s Kit, they may add their proficiency bonus again, plus any bonus inherent to the kit. Likewise, they may add a proficiency bonus from Alchemist’s Tools, a musical instrument, or a spellcasting focus, if they have these available for use. If proficient with Arcana, they may make a check against DC 12 + the spell’s level, and thereby add their proficiency bonus again. If they have a familiar, their familiar may make a Help Action.

The skill roll is made at the end of the ritual. If the roll succeeds by 5 or less, the character suffers the effect of 1 level of exhaustion for 10 minutes. If roll fails, the witch may choose to take the failure, or may choose to suffer a level of exhaustion for every 3 points by which the roll failed. If they can survive the exhaustion (levels of which may be shared with their familiar), then the spell will be a success. Exhaustion due to compensating for spell failure recovers at the usual rate of 1 level per long rest.

The Dragaeran use of Psychics is a formalized study of the phenomenon that, among Easterners, was formalized into Witchcraft. In Dragaerans, Psychics is its own field of magic, similar to sorcery; like sorcery, it may be powered via spell slots or skill checks. If one is practiced in both Sorcery and Psychics, any spell slots will be shared between the two disciplines.

Race: Dragaerans
Physically imposing to an Easterner, the average Dragaeran is seven feet tall, with dark hair (though some lineages will have lighter hair, this is not common). Most Dragaerans are members of one of 17 Great Houses, but the natives of Greenaere and Elde Island do not belong to the Houses (they are grouped under the “Unhoused” subrace, below).

Dragaeran Traits:
Ability Score Increase: Slightly stronger than the average Easterner, Dragaerans have a +1 to Strength and Constitution.
Age: Dragaerans may live for several thousand years; the average is around two or three thousand.
Alignment: Dragaeran are more likely to derive their alignment from their houses; some, like the Dragon, tend to be Lawful, while others, like the Jhegaala, are more chaotic, but these are broad tendencies, not requirements. Relatively few Dragaerans are good, especially in the noble houses, with the vast majority being morally neutral.
Size: Dragaerans stand about 7’ tall, but with an average weight of only 200#. They are Medium creatures.
Speed: Dragaerans have long legs, and a base walking speed of 35 feet.
Languages: Over the millenia, there have been a slew of Dragaeran languages based on House, region, or any other demarcation of person one chooses to make. By the time of Tortaalik, the Interregnum, and Zerika, the language had somewhat standardized across the Empire and other Dragaeran territories, and, so they speak Dragaeran, with more exotic languages being the domain of those interested.

Subraces: As a wise(?) Easterner once remarked, "There is nothing, but nothing, that has more influence on a Dragaeran than his House." There are 17 Great Houses, each with their own traits, plus the unhoused of Greenaere, Elde Island, and other such places; only a few houses are detailed below.

House Athyra
Ability Score Increase: +1 to Intelligence
Noble: The character is considered a Noble, and has the “Position of Privilege” feature from the Noble Background.
Proficiencies: A House of scholars, Athyra receive proficiency in an Intelligence-based skill, as well as fluency in a language.

House Dragon
Ability Score Increase: +1 to Strength
Noble: The character is considered a Noble, and has the “Position of Privilege” feature from the Noble Background.
Proficiencies: All Dragons are proficient in two martial melee weapons, as well as a fighting style (most often Dragaeran Two-weapon style, below)

House Dzur
Ability Score Increase: +1 to Constitution
Noble: The character is considered a Noble, and has the “Position of Privilege” feature from the Noble Background.
Proficiencies: Similar to the Dragon, all Dzur are proficient in two martial melee weapons, as well as a fighting style (though they may prefer many different styles).

House Jhereg
Ability Score Increase: +1 to Dexterity
Noble: The character is considered a Noble, and has the “Position of Privilege” feature from the Noble Background.
Proficiencies: Jhereg are proficient in one of Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Deception, or Intimidation, as well as either thieves’ tools or two different gaming sets.

House Phoenix
Ability Score Increase: +1 to Charisma
Noble: The character is considered a Noble, and has the “Position of Privilege” feature from the Noble Background.
Proficiencies: The incredibly rare (almost unique, post-Interregnum) Phoenix are proficient in Insight and Persuasion.

House Issola
Ability Score Increase: +1 to Charisma
Noble: The character is considered a Noble, and has the “Position of Privilege” feature from the Noble Background.
Proficiencies: The Issola are proficient in Insight, a gaming set, and a musical instrument.

House Teckla
Ability Score Increase: +1 to Constitution
Commoner: The character is a Commoner. When among Nobles, they may choose to engage in Passive Stealth, remaining unnoticed by those without sufficient Wisdom (Perception) checks. This does not work against the Unhoused or Easterner (unless they are also Noble).
Proficiencies: All Teckla have proficiency, and expertise, in a single variety of Artisan’s Tools.

Ability Score Increase: +1 of choice
Proficiencies: The Unhoused are proficient in one skill and two tools of choice.

Race: Easterner
Easterners are Humans, both in fact and in mechanics. They may be Humans or Variant Humans, at the player’s option. At the player’s option, an Easterner may be a Citizen of the Empire. However, they enter into the House Teckla unless they choose the Charlatan, Criminal, Noble, or Urchin background (in which case they may, at their option, be Jhereg).

Citizen of the Empire: The character is a citizen of the Empire and linked to the Imperial Orb. Through the Orb, the character may “consult the Orb” for the time, and use that connection to enact sorcery (though they are not automatically proficient in sorcery, though they may chose to become so if they have an available skill proficiency.). In theory, every citizen may communicate psychically with the Emperor or Empress; in practice, this is a Very Bad Idea, unless the monarch in question knows them very well. Each Citizen is considered to know two cantrips and a single 1st level spell, both from the Dragaeran Sorcery list, but they do not have any spell slots. Though termed a feat, this option may be taken by anyone, at almost any time, by purchasing or earning a title in a Great House, or joining House Teckla.

Witch: The character has been trained in the Eastern art of Witchcraft. They are proficient in the Witchcraft skill, and may use witchcraft rituals. Furthermore, they may use psychic powers for communication with those they know; this is equivalent to the Message spell without effort, or the Sending spell with a successful Witchcraft test against DC 15 (the DM may waive this test among those who have made it frequently in the past).

Weapon Styles:
Dragaeran Two-Weapon: Dragaeran Two-Weapon fighting differs from the standard two-weapon style, relying less on striking with two weapons, and more with creating an opening through which one weapon can strike. As such, the character makes only a single attack roll, but rolls damage for both weapons, choosing the better result.

Fenarian Fencing: A more traditional, side-on, fencing stance, Fenarian Fencing gains a +2 to AC when facing Dragaeran Two-weapon, and adds +1 to strike against any opponent.

Mawg of Druidia

(a serious work full of silly references)

The Mawg are a race of semi-canine humanoids from the Tatoyo System, inhabiting planet they call Druidia (Tatoyo-3). They are moderately integrated with the galaxy at large, with a belief system somewhat resembling that of the Ithorian conception of the “Mother Jungle”; they consider Druidia to be a living planet, and attempt to live in harmony with it. As such, modern Druidia has very little galactic-level technology on its surface, relying on space elevators and a few, limited, landing facilities, with most of their industry being located in orbit. Many Mawg live out their lives upon Druidia, but even those have a basic familiarity with tech; they are not technologically deprived, like the Ewoks, simply somewhat reticent to make use of extensive technology when other solutions are available.
Physically, the Mawg tend to be a hair under two meters and about 100kg, with extensive body hair (except for their face, neck, and the palms of their hands), meter-long, non-prehensile tails, and expressive ears on the top of their heads. Their feet are plantigrade, and they often wear shoes when not on Druidia. They lack either claws or significant, biting, teeth. Some believe Mawg are near-humans, possibly the result of genetic manipulation in the distant past, granting the species the traits of some local canines, but this is not confirmed (and the Mawg themselves do not believe it; for them, they were raised upon Druidia, by Druidia).

The Mawgs are led by a caste of ennobled priests, with a hereditary “King of the Druids” as their head of state. All their leaders must be sensitive to the “Spirit of Druidia” (known in the galaxy at large as the Force), and exceptional ability with the Force can ennoble a Mawg of any social order (simple Force sensitivity does not automatically ennoble one, however). Those born to the noble caste without sensitivity to the Force become members of the bureaucratic class. As a result of this, the Mawg also have a bent towards mysticism; those without Force sensitivity often seek to gain it, and those with Force Sensitivity seek to learn to “commune with the Spirit of Druidia” and learn Force powers. Many teachers of both exist within Mawg society, of varying ethics and efficacy, and while almost all Mawgs revere Druidia, their approaches to her worship vary considerably, from the meditative to the ecstatic.

Dexterity 2D/3D+2
Knowledge 2D/4D+1
Mechanical 2D/3D+2
Perception 2D/4D
Strength 2D/4D+1
Technical 2D/4D

Special Skills:
Mawg may also learn the Thrown Weapons and Primitive Construction skills of the Ewoks.

Special Abilities:
Superior Senses: Though Mawg are not particularly Perceptive creatures, they do have impressive senses of smell and hearing; they may add +1D to search rolls when smell or hearing are relevant (Gamemaster’s discretion).

Story Factors:
Tied to Druidia: While Mawg have a generally galactic-level of technology, they do not travel extensively outside the Tatoyo system, and their religious beliefs mean that many return to Druidia frequently. While it does not have a precise mechanical effect on non-Force users, a Mawg who has not returned to Druidia within a standard year will frequently find themselves homesick, unless they can connect with other Mawgs, which lessens the effect.

Mawgs and the Force
The Mawg conception of the Force is of something that emanates from Druidia herself, and suffuses the galaxy; to a Mawg Force-user, the Force is the spirit of Druidia, and long separation from Druidia makes use of the Force more difficult. Mawg force-users are known as Druids, and they are under the rule of the King of the Druids, just as the civil society is.

Beginning study of Druidism starts with Sense, and the Sense Force power, followed by Life Detection. These powers must be mastered by a Druid before others will be taught. Sense is followed by Control, which always begins with Concentration, then Emptiness. One must feel the Spirit of Druidia, and how she flows in life, and then to clear one’s mind and feel her flowing through you. Despite this, some of the Druid’s most impressive powers are based on Alter. Three of note are Call Lightning, Control Winds, and Wind Buffet, described below.

Proximity to Druidia plays a role in the Mawg’s use of the Force; unsurprisingly, as they consider Druidia to be the source of their power. Direct contact with the planet of Druidia (including both land and sea, and within the atmosphere) adds +1D to all Force Skills. Being in the Tatoyo System results in no modification to Force Skills. Leaving the Tatoyo System, however, causes the connection to Druidia to slowly degrade. For every standard month a Druid is away from Druidia, their Force skills will suffer a -1 penalty, capping at -2D.

Druids can combat this through several methods. Many will carry the soil of Druidia with them, with each kilogram of soil providing an additional month of connection (provided the Mawg can touch and interact with the soil regularly, and the soil is kept “living”, such as growing a plant from Druidia). As the soil itself is separated from Druidia, it, too, loses connection. It does not die; barring other circumstances, it remains viable soil; but it loses the ability to offset the Druid’s loss of connection. Druids may also slow the loss by communing with other Mawgs; spending at least six hours in close proximity and fellowship with other Mawgs will erase 1 point of penalty, but only if the Druid’s current penalty is -1D or above. Return to the planet of Druidia will heal this rift in time, reducing the penalty by 1 point per standard week, or by 1 point per standard hour if spent in emptiness. If limited to the Tatoyo system, the penalty reduces by 1 point per standard month, or 1 point per standard week if spent in emptiness.

Druidic Powers
Call Lightning
Alter Difficulty: Difficult in actively stormy conditions; Very Difficult if no storm is present, or the target’s Dodge roll, whichever is more difficult.
Required Power: Absorb/Dissipate Energy, Sense Force

By reaching out to the Force, the Druid can create a connection between a target and the primal power of the skies. This connection serves as a conduit, discharging a lightning bolt upon the target, which inflicts damage equal to the Druid’s alter skill. Armor provides is usual energy protection against this power, but droids are at -1D to resist it.
This power requires an open path to the sky and, unlike Force Lightning, does not necessarily result in a Dark Side Point.

Control Wind
Alter Difficulty: Difficult in a natural setting; Very Difficult in a ship or closed building
Required Power: Sense Force
This power may be kept “up”.
The Druid touches the Spirit of Druidia, asking her to redirect the winds over a large area. Outdoors, the wind is redirected in a direction of the Druid’s choice within 100 meters of the druid, changing the wind speed by kilometers per hour equal to the Druid’s alter roll. If the Druid is directly opposing a wind, those winds are reduced; if aiding a wind, or changing its direction by less than 90 degrees, the winds are increased. Many Druids working in concert can significantly alter the course of a storm, though they do not do so anymore; modern knowledge of weather patterns shows that such manipulation can have deleterious effects.
When inside, the power's area of effect is limited to three meters, and the alteration can be no more than 1 kilometer per hour unless a significant unnatural wind is present (such as in a wind tunnel). When the power is no longer kept up, the wind strength and direction returns to local conditions

Wind Buffet
Alter Difficulty: The opposed Strength or control roll of the Target
Required Power: Control Wind, Sense Force
Wind Buffet is a more limited form for Control Wind, providing a blast of air directly at a target. While not enough on its own to damage a person, it can slow their progress or knock them down.
The target opposes this power with either Strength or, if they have force powers of their own, Control. Armor provides no defense against this, and certain clothing (such as a poncho) might provide penalties to resist the wind. The Druid’s own Alter is rolled as if it were damage, but no damage is directly inflicted. Instead, a result of Stunned means that the target is unable to move against the force of the wind this turn, though they may move back or to the side. If the result is Wounded, the target is knocked prone. If the result is Incapacitated, the target is knocked prone and back a number of meters equal to the Druid’s Alter dice, while Mortally Wounded or killed will knock them prone, and back a distance equal to the Alter roll. Again, no actual damage is inflicted by the wind; the levels of damage are only used to determine the effect.

AD&D Style Draconians for 5e

Dragonborn (Draconian)

Ability Scores: All Draconians begin with +1 to Constitution. Other ability score modifiers are determined by their subrace.

Age. Young draconians grow quickly. They walk hours after hatching, attain the size and development of a 10-year-old human child by the age of 3, and reach adulthood by 15. They live to be around 80.

Alignment. Draconians are the possession of a good dragonling's body by an evil spirit. As such, most tend towards evil but, with experience, they may become neutral, or even good. Their ethical alignment tends to mirror that of their draconic ancestor, but does not need to.

Size. Draconians vary in size according to subrace. Baaz are roughly human size, but stocky. Kapaks are human sized but slender. Bozak, Auraks, and Sivaks are all slightly taller than humans, standing well over 6 feet tall and averaging almost 250 pounds. Your size is Medium.

Natural Armor: Unarmored Draconians have an unarmored AC of 13 + Dexterity modifier. If they wear armor additional armor, they may choose the better of the two Armor Class, and add +1 to it for the additional armor. Whether they add dexterity, and how much, is determined by the artificial armor. They maintain their AC regardless of form.

Draconic Ancestry: You have the ancestry of one of the metallic dragons, which determines which subrace you belong to.

Baaz (Brass Dragon)
Ability Scores: Baaz Draconians are bred as soldiers, and as such have +1 to Strength and Dexterity.
Common Troops: During the War of the Lance, Baaz Draconians were all proficient in the disguise kit, as they often had to pass unnoticed in hostile lands. After the War, Baaz will be proficient in one type of tool.
Trained to War: All Baaz draconians, regardless of class, are proficient in light and medium armor, as well as with scimitar, Halberd, Heavy Crossbow, and Net.
Death Throes: Baaz Draconians turn to stone upon failing their third death save, then crumble to chunks of stone after 10 minutes. They may be brought back to life, but first must have Stone to Flesh cast upon them.

Kapak (Copper Dragon)
Ability Scores: Kapaks are bred as assassins, and as such have +2 to Dexterity
Poisonous: Kapak are skilled in the use of poison of all sorts. They are proficient with a poisoner's kit, have advantage on all saving throws against poisons, and possess poisonous saliva, which they may smear upon their weapons as a bonus action. This poison has a DC of 8 + Proficiency Bonus + Con modifier. The poison produced will inflict 3d6 poison damage on a failed save, and half of that on a successful one. The damage increases to 4d6 at 6th level, 5d6 at 11th, and 6d6 at 16th. Once you use your poison, it cannot be used again until you have completed a short or long rest. Poison may be harvested by a kapak with a successful proficiency check with their poisoner's kit. Such harvested poison inflicts 1d6 less damage, and requires your move, instead of a bonus action.
Death Throes: Kapak draconians, upon failing their third death saving throw, explode in a 10' radius pool of acid. This does acid damage to all within the area of effect equal to the kapak's poison. Kapak draconians can be raised, but must first have Neutralize Poison cast upon them.

Bozak (Bronze Dragon)
Ability Scores: Leaders within the Draconians, Bozak have +1 to Intelligence and +1 to Charisma
Spellcasters: Bozak Draconians know a single cantrip from the Bard, Sorcerer, or Wizard list. They receive an additional cantrip at levels 6, 11, and 16. Regardless of the list, Intelligence is their casting stat for these spells.
Trained to War: All Bozak draconians, regardless of class, are proficient in light and medium armor, as well as with Shields, Long Swords, War Hammers, and Battle Axe
Death Throes: Bozak Draconians turn into a bolt of lighting upon failing their third death saving throw, and inflict 1d6 damage per character level in a line 60' long, directed towards their killer, or in a random direction if the killer is not within 60'. Bozak Draconians cannot be raised from the dead.

Sivak (Silver Dragon)
Ability Scores: Sivak Draconians receive a +1 to Dexterity and a +1 to Charisma.
Flight. You have a flying speed of 30 feet. To use this speed, you can't be wearing medium or heavy armor.
Shapeshifters: As an action, you can change your appearance and your voice. You determine the specifics of the changes, including your coloration, hair length, and sex. You can also adjust your height and weight, but not so much that your size changes. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your game statistics change. You can't duplicate the appearance of a creature you've never seen, and you must adopt a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs that you have. Your clothing and equipment aren't changed by this trait.
You stay in the new form until you use an action to revert to your true form or until you die.
Death Throes: Sivaks who fail their third death saving throw mimic the shape of whoever killed them, or maintain their current shape if they were killed by misadventure (q.v falling from a high place). They may be raised from the dead if they can be identified, but return to their natural shape upon returning to life (which can be a problem if they were raised by their enemies, believing them to be the person they mimicked upon death)

Aurak (Gold Dragon)
Ability Scores: Aurak receive a +2 to Charisma.
Dimension Door: As a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Once you use this trait, you can't do so again until you finish a short or long rest.
Spellcasters: Auraks know two cantrips from the Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard list. Regardless of the list, Charisma is their casting stat for these cantrips.
Death Throes: Aurak Draconians turn into a ball of fire upon failing their third death saving throw, and inflict 1d6 damage per character level in a 15' radius. Aurak Draconians cannot be raised from the dead.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Godspawn and Immortal Descended

A couple character options I created for Hackmaster. These are not races, per se, but rather akin to skill suites; a group of related abilities that help customize characters. They are, however, quite powerful... the equivalent of purchasing a second class. This will place them beyond the reach of most characters. The only ones likely to be able to use them are humans, or those who are adhering to the more typical classes of their race... easy for a dwarf fighter, not easy for a dwarf magic-user.

The Godspawn

The gods walk the roads and fields of Tellene from time to time, some say. On these occasions, they are suspected of physical unions with mortals, perhaps resulting in offspring. The Vicelord and the Laugher are most frequently associated with these unions, but the Great Huntress, the Raconteur and the Founder are all associated with stories of offspring with unusual talents.

Godspawn are different from their peers in some obvious way. They might glow with an ambient light when angry or excited. The music of stringed instruments might accompany their voice when they speak. The air around them might feel tense and charged, like an impending storm. Their body might radiate uncomfortable warmth at all times.

The history of Tellene has produced a rare few godspawn. For example, it is said that a godspawn Dejy sorcerer from the Khydoban led a short but eventful life within living memory, while a godspawn sage attempted to gain complete control of a secret society some one hundred years ago, bringing a terrible focus and dedication to this group of recluses. Even further in the past, before the division of the Brandobian Empire, a half-elven godspawn wizard of exceptional beauty and grace led the Empire's armies to war against the hobgoblins of the Odril Hills.

The character known as a Godspawn has divine blood somewhere in their heritage. Whether first-generation or merely a pure descendent through many generations, the character is especially blessed with the power of his immortal forbearer.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Punk's Not Dead: An Excerpt from Mutant Rise

An excerpt from Mutant Rise, a cyberpunk mutant animal setting for Savage Worlds that I've been working on.
For the three linked settings I've been working on (Mutant Dawn, which is mutant animals in the modern day; Mutant Rise; and the forthcoming Mutant War, which will be post-apocalyptic), I'm including a Life Path system to help create characters. The system can be ignored without much penalty... the only nominal advantage is that, in certain configurations of Birth, Upbringing, and Education, you will get skills that exceed your attributes or Edges you don't technically qualify for.

Musician is one of those Educations, along with Drone Monkey, Hacker, Infiltrator, Mechanic, Reporter, Salary, Scavenger, and Security.

"Musician: Punk’s not dead, it’s just louder and the growls are a bit more realistic when they come from a Were's throat. Musicians gain a bonus die in Spirit, as well as three dice in Performance, and one in Common Knowledge, Persuasion, and Taunt. Making a living as a musician means you have Fame, but also a Minor Habit, and either Poverty or a Minor Obligation (i.e. the dreaded Day Job)."

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

AD&D Psionics Unification

 So, 2e Psionics had a couple different versions, the Complete Psionic/Will and the Way version, and the Skills and Powers/Way of the Psionicist version. This system is somewhat of a compromise between the two, heavily favoring Complete Psionic/Will and the Way, but making psionic combat, especially a combination of the two. Attacks against other psychics deplete PSPs, but contact doesn't require them to be without PSPs... just sufficiently overmatched (or unlucky) to be hit several times without getting any hits in return. This required a rewrite of attacks and defenses. I also rewrote Telekinesis, because the Complete Psionics version really sucked... it was not worthy of being called a science.

As I have changed the way power scores are calculated, I refer you to this spreadsheet, compiled by garhkal, then adapted to my new system.