Monday, November 13, 2017

D&D: November's Unearthed Arcana

This month's Unearthed Arcana for DnD 5E just went live. It features 4 Elven sub-races which includes Grugach from Greyhawk and Shadar-Kar!

Check it out here.

PS I'm on vacation this week, so I'm not sure how much I'll be posting.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Xanathar's Guide to Everything First Impressions

My groups use Unearthed Arcana stuff extensively and as we approached the release I was growing a bit dubious about Xanathar's Guide to Everything. I was concerned about the following: that the page count was low, why only certain sub-classes from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide were included, and why there were twenty pages of names. I'll also admit about some boredom with 5E, I've been playing it and running it for quite some time and grown a bit burnt out as a DM (thought I've been taking a few weeks off to help with that).

I am glad that the book exceeded my original expectations and has excited me in unexpected ways.

The book opens with ten rules to remember about 5E and all of them are clear reminders of some basic tenets of the game. It cover exceptions to the rules, rounding down, advantage and disadvantage, combining effects, reactions, resistance and vulnerability, proficiency bonus, bonus action spells, concentrations, and temporary hit points.

While I had been looking forward to the Sub-classes most (and fretting over omitting some of the SCAG Sub-classes), that is the area that I've read the least. I know most of them from UA and Mike Mearls has insinuated they omitted Sub-classes directly tied to the Forgotten Realms.

Honestly, I think I'm enjoying it so much because there is quite a bit for the DM. I prefer the CR system in the book over what we have had. Mearls admitted on Twitter that he wishes they had not called it CR and I have found the system...unpredictable. What I'm reading in here intrigues me.

I really enjoy the sections on common magic items and the charts breaking down magic items by rarity which also shows if they require attunement. The section on making, buying, and selling magic items is also greatly appreciated.

The random encounter tables are a godsend for me and I plan on using them soon. It know it's a little thing, but it's good to have them by environment and level.

And the names, well they are actually pretty useful for a DM and I hadn't thought of that until I saw them. The names for non-humans are truly appreciated as I build cultures in my worlds.

I was surprised to see that only the racial Feats were used and not the skill Feats from UA. I think the halfling Feats are bit overpowered, but we will test them out, though we have no halfling players (so maybe that was the point).

I do wish we got more spells, there aren't as many new ones as I'd like when you factor the SCAG spells being reprinted.

In the end, I'm glad we got this instead of DnD 5.5 and I think the game is in good hands.

To me, this book is the fourth core book and I view it as ADnD's Unearthed Arcana, which I'm guessing was the point.

And if you are always the DM, fear not, there is some cool toys for you in here.

And if you are dying for the Hobby Cover, send me an e-mail, I have them at the stores I run!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

1,000 Faces: Lubbick the Butcher

Lubbick Dren took over his family's butcher business close to two years ago. Lubbick is a half-orc, his mother Nora had a brief but passionate affair with Logrick of the Stone-Eaters Clan. Logrick was killed in a duel after a mercenary called Nora some unpleasant names. Nora's brother, Harvard and his wife, Liin took her and Lubbick in and gave Nora a job and when he was old enough, taught Lubbick to be a butcher. While Liin was aware of the prejudice against Lubbick and distant with him, Harvard was glad to have a child in their home and truly loved his nephew.

Art by michaelkutshe

Unfortunately, Harvard had some gambling debts with Boss Heronymous and after getting behind, lost his right hand as a tax for being late on his debt. Lubbick was forced to step in at the young age of 12 to take over the major duties of his uncle. He was big and strong for his age and was good with a clever. He eventually worked out a deal with Boss Heronymous to dispose of victims through his shop. He did all of this unbeknownst to the rest of his family.

These days, even though the day to day business is slightly down due to prejudice, the store is thriving and Lubbick is even working with his beloved uncle to learn to butcher using his off-hand.

In fact, Lubbick has met a young half-orc woman, Tressy, and he intends to propose. However, Lubbick wants to cut his ties with Boss Heronymous now that his Uncle's debt is paid, but whenever he tries to bring it up, Heronymous simply grins and pats his shoulder while laughing.

Lubbick is smart and hardworking, he loves his Mother and Uncle and care about his Aunt even though he is aware of her shame. He is tired of disposing of bodies for Boss Heronymous and wants to make an honest life for himself and the woman he loves.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Ol' Krusty

You can't find a bar in Freeport where a drunken sailor doesn't warn his mates, generally after he's been bought a pint or three, about how dangerous it is to prowl the shore on moonless nights. They are glad to tell you the tale of Ol' Krusty, the Sea God's very own pet, who comes ashore when the Moon is distracted looking for the flesh of men.

Size 3 frightening animal (aquatic)
Perception 10 (+0); darksight
Defense 14; Health 60
Strength 16 (+6)   Agility 10 (+0)   Intellect 7 (-3)   Will 12 (+2)
Speed 10

Claw (melee) +6 with 1 boon (2d6 plus caught on attack roll 
Caught The target is grabbed.

Clawful Any creature grabbed by Ol' Krusty takes 2d6 damage.

If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

D&D 5th Edition: The Fathomdiver Scrolls

Mera of Xebel penned these spell scrolls on stained white parchment during her tenure teaching Advanced Hydromancy at the legendary magical academy of Fathomcrest, located on the island of Qurry. The scroll is kept in a case made from the spine of an orca and Mara chose to write her work in Undercommon, a language she learned from her mentor, Grim Naomi of Belgrandia. There are seven scrolls altogether, with each being over 3 feet long and all of them completely filled with her small, cramped text of waterproof green ink, milked from one of Grim Naomi's pet verge rays.


Wondrous item, legendary

• You may cast the water breathing spell. Once you cast it you must finish a short or long rest before you may do so again.

• You may cast the control water spell. Once you cast it you must finish a short or long rest before you may do so again.

• You may cast the watery sphere spell. Once you cast it you must finish a short or long rest before you may do so again.

• You may cast the create or destroy water spell at will.

• As a bonus action, before casting a cantrip or a spell, you may change it's damage type to acid damage.

• You gain resistance to acid damage.

• You may create a long whip made from water that lashes out at your command toward a creature within 30 feet. Make a melee attack, with the finesse property, against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 4d8 bludgeoning damage, and if the creature is large or smaller, you may pull the creature up to 10 feet closer to you.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

GameStorming: Western Frontier

The set-up is the frontier of a massive Empire, possibly at the technology of the American Old West or possibly not. The Frontier has become alluring for the the large amounts of untitled lands, the freedom from the Inquisitors of the God of Light, and the "gold rush": rumors of bold explorers looting ancient ziggurats, cliffside cities, and strange underground dungeons of the mysterious and long vanished Osazi, Enqa, and Ulmex. Who were these masters of strange magic and architects of such grand abodes? What happened to them? And does Sol Morado, the city of mithril really exist?

But aside from the deadly puzzles and traps that guard last remnants of once mighty peoples, there are the orcs, lizard men, minotaurs, rocs, and many other dangers that the citizens of the Empire have not faced in decades.

Finally, will the settlers of the frontier be able to defend themselves from marauding orcs? Will the boomtowns that spring up around strange ziggurats flourish or become the "subjects" of a petty warlord who has might on their side? And will the spirits that seem bound to these lands, spirits that druids and rangers have come here seeking, welcome the newcomers or are they responsible for the vanished elders who dwelt here long ago?

Welcome to the Western Frontier, the Land of the Setting Sun.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween: Samhain for 13th Age

Samhain is the Ghost of Halloween and one of the few villains to face the Ghostbusters on more than one occasion. He is a strategic ghost with the ability to manipulate time in order to cause eternal night. Samhain also has the ability to control legions of ghosts at his command, however certain ghosts such as Slimer seem able to resist him to a certain extent.

13th level [SPIRIT]
Initiative: +4

Black Lightning +18 vs. PD
 – 220 damage
   Natural Roll of 16+: The attack hits 1 enemy close to the target for 110 damage.

Slow Time: Samhain controls temporal forces and the escalation die only gains +1 every other round.

God of the Dead:  At the beginning of Samhain's turn, he summons 1d3 wraiths.

Nastier Specials
Creature of the Night:  Samhain blots out the sun and ranged attacks are at -4 to hit.

AC 29

PD 23           HP 864

MD 27

Fear Threshold: 144

If you like this post and have an extra $1 each month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.

D&D: November's Unearthed Arcana

This month's Unearthed Arcana for DnD 5E just went live. It features 4 Elven sub-races which includes Grugach from Greyhawk and Shad...