Dec 15, 2015

Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Subclass -- Community Domain (Cleric)

One of the mainstays of the Eberron setting is the idea of communities, both inclusive/organic (settlements, cities, organized religions) and exclusive/artificial (secret societies, cults, criminal gangs). In the 3.5E rules, the Eberron Campaign Setting book introduced the Community domain for clerics, designed for a cleric to encourage group effort. The one saint in the canonical material that characters can actually meet is devoted to this domain.

This is my attempt to convert the essence of the 3.5 domain to 5E. There's not much too the 3.5E domain: just a list of spells, a diplomacy bonus, and calm emotions once per day. 5E domains are far more defining and grant far more power than that. I worked this one from the ground up, with some help from a few ENWorld commenters.

Nov 24, 2015

D&D 5th Edition Homebrew Resources

The new edition of D&D has inspired a large number of people to "roll their own," and with modern desktop publishing tools being available so cheaply (or even free), it should come as no surprise that a lot of it is really polished. Here are a few sites that I find particularly useful; I can't swear to the balance of all of their materials, but there are some great ideas in there and some very polished game elements I use myself.

Nov 12, 2015

Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Race -- Gnoll

I've been a fan of gnolls for years. Most recently, under 4th Edition, Keith Baker wrote an article about playing gnolls; since I'm a huge fan of his Eberron setting, as you can imagine, I'm very familiar with his work. I made the following conversion of gnolls into a playable race, informed by the Monster Manual, but not slavishly bound to it. It should be pretty well-balanced.

Nov 6, 2015

Eberron 5E: Magic Items, Part 2

I realize I never posted the follow-up to my earlier post on magic items in Eberron. Well, Real Life bogged me down for a while, but I intended to post a "shopping list" from my group when they made it to Sharn.

I'm still working on it. I've converted a bunch of the alchemical items and special substances from 3E and 3.5E, but it's taking a while to do minor magic items. I've stolen a few from this list to pepper my adventures, and I recommend checking it out. Below are the special items.

Nov 2, 2015

Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest Relaunched

They snuck it up on me! They've restarted the biweekly Geomorph Contest over at Inkwell Ideas. They lost some momentum, I believe, when they put it on hold for GenCon (and I totally understand why -- they've got a lot on their plate for the Con, and I appreciated them putting it on hiatus over just not saying anything about it and leaving us in the dark). Therefore, they've extended the deadline for the current contest, which has the "building" theme.

I had been watching, but when they didn't restart it right after GenCon, I kind of lost track. I'm happy to throw my hat in the ring again, although my stuff pales in comparison to the artists that submit stuff.

May 26, 2015

Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Race -- Troll (Wormy)

I've always been a huge fan of artist Dave Trampier, and loved his comic strip Wormy, which ran in Dragon magazine from 1977 to 1988. Wormy had a great story and depicted a fascinating world, the realm of Mascentia. While it was the standard generic-fantasy D&D world, the strip told stories from the point-of-view of the monsters -- sentient, intelligent creatures with drives just  like humans, who had to deal with the occasional overzealous "adventurers" who invaded their homes, slaughtered their families and made off with their hard-earned belongings. When 5E D&D was still in playtest, one of the first races I homebrewed was the trolls; most of the protagonists of Wormy were trolls, after all.

May 15, 2015

Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest #3 - Village Shrine

So I had another idea for a geomorph for Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest. I'm a big fan of Stonewerks' village geomorphs, which can be used to make an instant fantasy village (or, with a little work, a modern country village). I thought I'd make a tile in that style as an homage.

May 4, 2015

Inkwell Ideas' Geomorph Contest #2 - Lava Bath

So, Inkwell Ideas has started a biweekly dungeon geomorph contest, and they've gotten some great results already. The idea is, they give a theme every two weeks, and you have those two weeks to submit up to 3 geomorphs; it looks like they're giving away nice prizes, too, such as their DungeonMorph Dice, or Chubby Monster Games’ Moleskin Maps. I thought I'd play along.

Apr 30, 2015

Tabletop Audio - Sound Effects for Games

So, I was directed to this cool site recently: Tabletop Audio. It's a site with many ten-minute soundscapes to play during games. The site tags them pretty well, as to whether they've got ambience (i.e., rattling chains, water dripping, etc.), minimal music (nothing with voices), or both. The list of soundscapes is pretty extensive, everything from Sleeping Dragon, to Strangers on a Train, to Warehouse 13. I've been trying it out, and it's easier than making my own playlists of sound effects using Softrope, which is what I had been doing. The soundscapes are 10 minutes long, and loopable.

One Page Dungeon Contest 2015 - The Vault of the Pole

So this year, I had several really good ideas for my One Page Dungeon Contest submission. Sadly, my imagination was captured by the material in the thread "Ten Foot Poles: How Do They Work?" on RPG.net, and especially the idea of the Most Ancient and Worshipful Order of Roodsmen and Pole-Tenders that we developed there. As I was driving one of my DMs home last week, I suddenly had the idea for my submission -- the Vault of the Pole, the testing ground for apprentices of the Guild who seek to become journeymen. I pictured apprentice pole-tenders (called "tenders") frantically trying to overcome the obstacle course in a series of dungeon rooms while a deep sonorous bell tolls every minute or so. And so, that's what I went with.