I have a long history with the concept of playing a gravedigger. I played one for over a decade at a larp in the Atlanta area. I rather think he may have been the most interesting character I have ever played. For all his sneaky abilities (he was a rogue) he was also noble in thought and action. He was tremendously creepy and people expected him to be evil, but he wasn’t. He was just not socially adjusted. That lead to some amazing role play sessions and I kind of miss playing the guy.
Anyway, I always liked the vision of champions of death that are not evil. With that in mind, here is my take on Gravediggers as a rogue archetype in 5th edition. In keeping with their semi-divine devotion to caring for the dead, I set them up with paladin spells. I am interested in some feedback on this. It is not too unlike the Avenger class in 4th edition. I don’t think it is over powered, but others might disagree. Tell me what you think.
I recently offered to run the alternate, off-week, D&D game for the group I play with on Tuesdays. I would be the fill in guy for weeks when the normal DM did not want to run. My offer was generally greeted with some enthusiasm. The normal DM and another player expressed a desire for Eberron. Now, I love me some Eberron. I could wax rhapsodic about it for days. It is a setting with a wider range of setting conventions than are found in Forgotten Realm. And then there is Sharn: City of Towers.
That said there are some issues with running it in 5th edition, at the moment. Some things just haven’t been written yet. They only now released The Mystic (see also Psionics) and the Artificer. They do have some race stats for some of the races, like the Warforged, on the Wizards of the Coast site. Others have not been done. Also Dragonmarks have been accounted for, but I feel like they need some clarification. I will tackle those another time, but the race I was asked for was Kalashtar. There are some fan versions out there, but nothing definitive. I figured I would take a pass at it.
So, this is my core system for researching spells. To say this could use some feedback is an understatement. Researching spells is something I want rules for, and sometimes you just have to write them yourself. It also forced me to look at the structure of Wizard spells in 5th Edition more closely. These rules are assuming there are more restrictions on learning new spells than are currently in place in D&D, but they should work fine with the current system, as well. With all that preamble out of the way…
So, first let me welcome you to my new..ish blog address. I moved everything over to jeremiahmccoy.com because I felt like that was a good way to consolidate my online presence. I owned the rights to the domain but had not been using it as much as I should. I also have more control over the site than the one on the free WordPress hosting. I will be doing all my future blog postings here, and I have moved all my past content here, as well. I hope you like the new digs.
That bit of business out of the way, let me show you some of what I have been working on of late. I talked a lot about spell books on my blog and different ways to handle them in your game. I figured if I was going to be talking about spell books, I should also write some spells to go in those books. Here are a few spells inspired by those books from previous posts. These are works in progress, and when I eventually publish my pdf on spell books, I may revise these. I am definitely looking for feedback. I should add the proviso, these are designed with the notion that learning new spells is not quite as easy as is presented in the 5th edition players handbook. These are meant to be rare or uncommon spells and might be a substitute for other rare or uncommon spells found in the world.
Consider the thieves’ guild.
The thieves’ guild is an odd artifact of fantasy games. Once you accept that a hero can be a thief, you begin finding ways for the thief to belong to the world. Wizards have colleges and councils. Fighters become knights, become lords, and even become kings, ruling by this ax. Clerics have their religious hierarchies. The choirs of angels have nothing on the politics of churches. Thieves, though, are inherently outsiders. They prey upon the world. Yes, Hobbits get led astray by dirty road dwarves into being burglars, but that is not quite the same thing. A thief is more than just someone who sneaks around. Thieves’ have their own subculture. In fantasy games, it is called a guild.
Sorry for the delay on this. I had a death in the family, and that took a lot of the steam out of me. I hope to get back to writing more regularly. Ironically, I attended the panel which inspired this with the family member who died. He was on my mind a lot while writing it.
In my series about spell books, it occurred to me I had not addressed books in general. It is easy to assume everyone is on the same page with regards the subject of books. That said, not everyone really looks into the history of the book as an object and a technology.
First post of the new year, and it isn’t a resolutions post? What silliness is this? Nope, I am going to post another in my series on doing a scifi game in 5e. The first post can be found here.
Where was I? Ah, Backgrounds.
Backgrounds are awesome. It is one of the most interesting aspects to 5th editions is the idea of backgrounds. It adds more depth than just class and race. It adds variety to characters, flavor, and themes. Things like it had existed before, of course. In 2nd edition, there were the kits, which sort of tied to a background, and also added some subclass like features.
A few things. First, you can find my earlier posts on this Science Fiction 5e thread here, and here.
Second, let me know if you like these. I will keep writing them if people are getting anything out of them.
Third, sorry it took a day or two longer to get this out. Writing races is not as exciting and writing classes. I also had some other issues going on, but real life is like that some times. I did briefly consider doing my own artwork for these, but remembered I am not a great artist.
So, I started out with the notion of making a 5th edition Scifi game. This was spurred by the idea of exploring what you can do with the 5th edition system framework. All fun and games, until you realize how much work it can be. Oh well, we continue the madness.
The problems with setting
The question of game design is one of experience. What stories are the players going to have here? What experiences do you want them to have? The original role-playing games, proto-D&D and its ilk, were extensions of war games. They were changed because the players wanted a different experience from what they were finding in the wargames. The rules grew out of that desire for a new experience.
Not the sexiest title, I know, but bear with me. I recently had an opportunity to read and review the Adventures in Middle Earth RPG for the Tome Show. This was something I would have read anyway, but reviewing it allows me to change perspective a bit more. One of the things that struck me about the game was the versatility of 5th edition. They made significant changes to core class concepts and it was still very much 5th edition. It started me thinking about how far you could take that. Could I use the base 5th editions systems, but make a game divorced from the fantasy setting?