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.
So…magic weapons are a thing in D&D. They have been since the early days of the game. Certainly the most often remembered ones are magic swords. A sword is a good weapon. It is versatile, with chopping, slashing, and stabbing elements throughout its various iterations. It was the go-to weapon for professional soldiers through a lot of history.
However…. There are other contenders. Let me tell you about spears. The spear is also a weapon with a long history. Spears are useful for a number of reasons. First, they are cheap to make. You find a straight piece of wood. Forge about a daggers worth of metal to add to the point, or don’t. You can stab people from long sword distance with a lot less cost. Spears, like swords, can be more involved affairs in the hands of a true craftsman. Materials can be rare and exotic as mithril or adamantine. It is often the weapon of a stalwart footman, or a barbarian on the fringes who can’t afford much more, or even the martial arts master. There are a number of magic spears in real world myths around the world. It is especially prevalent in Irish Legends.
Sadly, there are not many famous magical spears in D&D, though. My friend Brandes did his part to add some to the pool. It is the least I could do to continue that trend. I also borrowed some of his formatting. I hope they are useful additions to your magical arsenal.
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…
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.
Here is my review of Unknown Armies 3rd edition, which should be coming out in digital in March, and in print later this year. Do you like subjective reality, emotional trauma, and secret masters of the universe in your horror? Have I got a game for you!
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.
I love spell books. I did a video about them and everything. They are fascinating elements to magic in fantasy. Wizards are supposed to be wise. They got that way because of what they learned. None of that is cutting deals with powers, thank you very much. I am looking at you Warlocks. Books are where you store that knowledge.