Jeremiah McCoy

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Tag: game design (page 1 of 3)

When Immortals Adventure

I proposed a question a while back. Are immortal PC’s a problem or are they workable? The consensus appears to be that they are workable. I decided to take a pass at setting up a framework for using it in D&D. Death is ultimately just a small challenge after all. Immortality offers a range of cool stories that make the PC’s feel special in the world, which is sort of the point.

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The Kingdom of Durnham pt 2: The Chapel

Here is another installment of my describing a post apocalyptic fantasy setting called God Thrones.  This is the ruins of Chapel Hill, which is pretty different in the world I am describing. It is a stop on on the way to the capital of Durnham.  If people like these, please let me know. I will keep writing more.

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Burning Orcs

When I began writing a post apocalyptic fantasy setting, I knew a radiation or toxic corruption would be a recurring theme.  It is part and parcel in the genre. The Blight Elves were part of that, and so is today’s offering. There will be others.  Thing is, I am not personally afraid of all things nuclear.  I grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is where the material for the first atomic weapons came from. My grandfather was scientist at the labs, and I grew up understanding that nuclear was not necessarily a bad thing. Nuclear medicine was saving lives daily and nuclear power, while not yet perfected, was easier on the environment than coal burning plants.

That said, nuclear war is the thing that kept you up at nights back in the cold war. It was terrifying to think of a war where dying in a flash was probably the “good” option. This vision of apocalyptic war shaped the genre. The irradiated mutant is a trope that comes up often. With this in mind, I wrote this little variation on orcs.

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Rogue Magic: 5 Magic Items For Thieves

I like utility magic items. My favorite magic item, hands down, is the Immovable Rod. It practically begs you to think creatively about how to use it. The magic weapons are fine, and the powerful artifacts are great macguffins for your story, but utility style wondrous items are often great ways to relay magic without having to change a power level. It is also provides some flavor to a character and how they interact with challenges. Having a few clever toys can be as much of a statement as a Holy Avenger.


I am also fond of rogues and other thieving ne’er-do-wells. You might have figured this out in by all my posts about thieves guilds. They are very pragmatic in their approaches to problems. A thief who murders every problem doesn’t actually last long. Having useful tools to avoid that is ideal.


I decided to combine these two loves, so here are a few roguish magic items.

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The Myths of Monsters

Monsters are often born of myths and legends. Oh sure, there are some born of fiction. There even some created specifically for games, like the Beholder. Many of the iconic monsters pull from real world legends, though.

The Dragon is one of the oldest of man’s monsters. There are legends of dragons all over the world and they seem to even predate written language. Could be someone saw a dinosaur fossil and wondered about the monsters.

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Criminal Variants: Con Artist


Decided to take a pass at making a background. This time around I am making a background for a variation on Criminals. The general Criminal background is fine and I even use it for one of my PC’s but it seems to me that there was space for more. Criminals come in a wide range and having backgrounds to reflect some of those variations could be useful.  I thought I would start with a Con Artist.


A bit of trivia. The term “Mark” is a reference to a mark that was made on the back in chalk at carnivals.  The mark was to indicate the subject was susceptible to trickery. The chalk mark would be applied with a pat on the back. It has come to mean the subject of a confidence job in general.


On to the Background…

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So here is a brief update. I talk about the response to designing for Fantasy Age, designing Blight Elves over on my blog, and trying to find ways to format things for presentation.

My Blog

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Beware the Blight Elves

Fantasy and science fiction have always overlapped a little.  In post-apocalyptic fantasy you have permission to combine both a little more freely.  I am going to swing at this idea which has been bouncing around in my head for a while. This is also pulling a good deal from my recent post about God Thrones, a post apocalyptic fantasy setting in my head of late.  The idea of course can work in other settings.  As an example,  is a crashed spaceship in the classic Mystara setting. That ship is leaking radiation and causing a range of problems. This might fit in there.


Anyways….here we go

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Setting Idea: the God Thrones

Okay, so I had a crazy idea pop into my head. This actually happens a lot, but I try not to let myself get to taken by them. Sure, I probably could make an excellent dread overlord, but I am unwilling to spend time making the robot army of Pippi Longstockings.  Think of the overhead!


Where was I?


Oh right! Crazy idea.

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Bringing Tal Dorei races into Fantasy Age

Trying something new here. Bear with me….


I am fond of the Fantasy AGE game system. It is, in many ways, very reminiscent of old school D&D in feel, but with some more modern tweaks that make sense.  The die mechanics of the AGE system are not the same, but they are clean and simple to understand. I have not, however, tried making things for it. I mainly work in D&D, specifically in 5th Edition, because it is easy and there seems to be a higher demand for D&D material. That said, I kind of want to take a whack making things for Fantasy AGE if for no other reason than to stretch my creative muscles.

Note: Critical Role Setting  of Tal’ Dorei is copyrighted to Green Ronin.  I will be converting things not actually in the D&D 5e SRD.  This is purely a fan build and not intended as an infringement of any properties. Just a fan trying to make some things for fellow fans.

So, this is my experiment. Lets make something for Fantasy AGE.  I want to start simple.  I figure expanding on the racial options is a good place to start. Also, I am big fan of Critical Role show and the Tal’ Dorei setting. You should be able to run a fairly accurate version of Tal’ Dorei in Fantasy AGE, but there are a few things missing. There are no Goliaths.  If there are no Goliaths, there is no Grog, and you can’t have that. There are no Dragonborn or Teiflings in Fantasy AGE  These are pretty basic options for characters in the world that have already been presented so they seem like something people might want if they were doing a Tal’ Dorei game using the AGE system.



The Goliath are a race of mountain dwelling giantkin. They are tied to stone giants in a way that is not fully understood and the Goliaths are not telling that tale. They do keep some old stone giant traditions, but other traditions are uniquely their own. They live in small villages in the mountains or as nomadic hunter gatherers.  They have an oral tradition among themselves but some can read and write, if only to trade with others.  They are not common on Tal’ Dorei, but they are not unheard of either.

If you choose to play a Goliath, modify your character as follows:
• Add 1 to your Strength ability.
• Pick one of the following ability focuses: Constitution (Stamina) or Strength (Might).
• You consider targets within 4 yards to be in melee range. (the normal range is 2 yards)
• Your Speed is equal to 12 + Dexterity (minus armor penalty if applicable).
• You can speak and read Giant and the Common Tongue.
• Roll twice on the Goliath Benefits table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the dice together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.

2d6 Roll                 Benefit
2                                 +1  Fighting
3-4                            Focus: Strength (Climbing)
5                                 Focus:Willpower (Courage)
6                                 Focus: Intelligence (Nature)
7-8                            +1 Constitution
9                                 Weapon Group: Heavy Blades*
10-11                      Focus: Accuracy (Brawling)
12                             +1 Willpower



The Dragonborn in Exandria are from the nation of Draconia on Windmount. The nation is an archipelago and its floating sky cities were brought down by the Chroma Conclave in recent years. There is a dark side to Draconian society. There is a strict division in their society between Dragonborn with tails, who are the upper class, and those without tails which are basically treated like slaves.

If you choose to play a Dragonborn, modify your character as follows:
• Add 1 to your Strength ability.
• Pick one of the following ability focuses: Intelligence (Arcane Lore) or Willpower (Self-Discipline).
• Your Speed is equal to 10 + Dexterity (minus armor penalty if applicable).
• You can speak and read Draconic and the Common Tongue.
• You can breath a breath attack once per combat based upon your Draconic ancestry.  (pick one at character creation)

Black = Acid in a 30 ft. line
Blue = Lightning in a  30 ft. line
Brass = Fire in a 30 ft. line
Bronze = Lightning in a 30 ft. line
Copper = Acid in a 30 ft. line
Gold = Fire  in a 15 ft. cone
Green = Poison  in a 15 ft. cone
Red = Fire  in a 15 ft. cone
Silver = Cold  in a 15 ft. cone
White = Cold  in a 15 ft. cone

The effect of the breath is a blast of the energy from the type defined by your Draconic legacy. Anyone hit by the blast takes 2d6+1 damage. Targets that make a successful Dexterity (Acrobatics) test vs. 5 + your Willpower + your level only take 1d6+1 damage.

Roll Once on the Dragonborn Benefits table for additional benefits.

2d6 Roll             Benefit
2                             +1 Willpower
3-4                        Focus: Constitution (Stamina)
5                             Focus: Intelligence (Historical Lore)
6                             Focus: Intelligence (Nature)
7-8                        +1 Intelligence
9                             Focus: Intelligence (Research)
10-11                  Focus: Strength (Intimidation)
12                         +1  Constitution


Teiflings are found through out the world Exandria but their origins are murky. They carry infernal traits, but the individual members of the race are no more or less apt to evil than any other person. Their appearance can cause distrust and fear in the less metropolitan areas of the world.  They do carry a certain amount of magic in their blood due to their connection to the infernal powers.

If you choose to play an Teifling, modify your character as follows:
• Add 1 to your Communication ability.
• Pick one of the following ability focuses: Intelligence (Arcane Lore) or Perception (Empathy).
• You have Dark Sight, which allows you to see up to 20 yards in darkness without a light source.
• Your Speed is equal to 10 + Dexterity (minus armor penalty if applicable).
• You can speak and read Infernal and the Common Tongue.
• If you are playing a Mage you gain novice in one extra Aracana at first level and only roll once  on the Teifling Benefits table, otherwise roll twice on the Teifling Benefits table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the dice together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.

2d6 Roll                 Benefit

2                             +1 Willpower
3-4                        Focus: Communication (Persuasion)
5                             Focus: Intelligence (Historical Lore)
6                             Focus: Perception (Searching)
7-8                        +1 Intelligence
9                             Focus: Intelligence (Religious Lore)
10-11                  Focus: Accuracy (Arcane Blast)* Note, if you get this and are not a mage, make that Focus: Accuracy (Grenade)
12                         +1  Dexterity



So, this was my first attempt and doing something for a non-D&D system.  Yes, it shares some similarities but is different enough to present some interesting challenges.  For instance, you really dont want to give more than a +1 to anyone ones stat. The scale of the stats are such that providing a +2 to one stat could be unbalancing. I suspect the Teifling may be too powerful, or at least run the risk of being the one race every mage should take.  I don’t think the Dragonborn are over powered, but I am sure there are those who can argue that point. I started with races because it is a point of similarity between D&D and Fantasy Age so I had a context to work with and build on.

As to the other elements, class works differently in Fantasy Age. Mage is a catch all class with both arcane and divine casters sort of wrapped up in it. A druid in Fantasy AGE is just a Mage with Druid Specialization.  I might write that at some point, though I suspect it already exists. A Barbarian is a Warrior with a Berserker Specialization.  There are some differences but these things are similar enough that you could represent the things from the Critical Role setting easy enough.


I am looking to hear some feedback. Are you interested in seeing more content for systems other than D&D?  Would you want more stuff for Fantasy AGE? I am obviously going to do some more D&D stuff as well, but I am enjoying stretching the horizons some. Let me know what you want to see.

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