Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thor's Day: Gungnir for D&D 5th Edition


GUNGNIRWeapon (spear), artifact (requires attunement)
You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

In addition, while attuned to the weapon you gain an additional +1 bonus to attack rolls. Further, it deals an additional 2d6 damage. Finally, this spear ignores immunity and resistance to piercing damage.
It's Odin's magical spear that always hits its mark and always kills. Gungnir means “Swaying one” it is made from Yggdrasils Sacred ash. Odin has also written his magic runes, onto Gungnir.

A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: Z is for Zen

My history of roleplaying is filled with magnificent highs and deep, deep lows.

From the start of discovering RPGs, my "Gamer ADD" developed.  In other words, I couldn't focus and enjoy one RPG for more than a few weeks at best, which is counterproductive to developing long term campaigns with rich, fulfilling storylines and character growth.

While my sabbatical was meant to deal with other issues, it inadvertently helped me find a place where I could focus on one RPG:  Dungeons and Dragons.

For the first time, I don't have the desire to jump from game to game.  I'm centered.  This blog has been my zen and allowed me to focus on creating content and sharing stories about DnD.

It was the final hurdle on loving DnD.

I'm grateful for the journey it's allowed me to walk.

Thank you for sharing in it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dhampir Heritages: Moroi-Born for D&D 5th Edition

My conversion of Pathfinder's Blood of the Night to DnD 5th Edition continues:


Moroi-Born Dhampir

Moroi-Born Dhampir Traits

Your dhampir character has certain traits deriving from your vampire ancestry. 

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1, your Constitution score increases by 1, and your Strength score increases by 1.


Age. Dampyr mature at the same rate as humans but live about twice as long.

Alignment. Due the conflicting nature of their heritage, they are often neutral. 

Size. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Thanks to your undead heritage, your darkvision has a radius of 60 feet.

FangsYou are proficient with your bite (melee attack, reach 5 ft., one target) which deals 1d4 piercing damage on a hit.  

Blood Drinker.  On the same turn you deal damage with your bite, you may use a bonus action to expend a hit die.  Roll that die and add your Constitution modifier. You regain Hit Points equal to the total.  After you use blood drinker, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest. 

Convincing.  You are proficient in the Deception skill.


Svetocher. You are are considered proficient in the Persuasion skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus. 

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice. 




A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: Y is for Yeti

Once again, I'm cheating a bit here.

"Y" isn't easy on a good day.

I chose Yeti, because I love cryptids and especially yetis, sasquatches, and bigfoot.

I could even argue that the segment showing  the Patterson-Gimlin film on In Search Of, was just as essential part of my journey towards DnD as the TSR cartoon.

My love for cryptids is shared with my 10 year old daughter, these days, just as I share DnD with her.

We sit together and watch Mountain Monsters, Ghost Adventures, Alaska Monsters, Monsters and Mysteries in America...its some of our best quality time together.

Often, the cryptids we see there become fodder for her as a Dungeon Master when she runs DnD for her brother and I.  She tells me what she wants to create and I sit down and help her work out the stats and details.  She dazzles me with her creativity and the "encounters" she comes up with are often more elaborate that anything I brainstorm.  Its a privilege to mentor her as storyteller.

I also, really dig yetis.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Prime Materials: Spike, a wand for D&D 5th Edition


SPIKE
Wand, rare (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

You gain a +1 bonus to spell attack rolls made with this wand.

In addition, while attuned to the wand you have advantage on attack rolls against undead. 
Finally, you may replace the damage type of any cantrip or spell you cast to deal radiant damage instead.  You must complete a short or long rest before you may deal radiant damage again.

Before the Spellplague, the King of Cormyr awarded Spike to the Wizard of War, Althea McClintock, for her bravery in destroying Zeeron Malkovich, the so-called Master of Zombies.  Spike was a gift from Dawnmaster Pernell Lambert to the King of Cormyr.  The Dawnmaster confided to Althea that Lathander himself crafted the wand for her.

DnDClassics.com New Releases for 4/28/15


This week's new releases on DnDClassics.com are:
(A shout out to this great thread on RPG.Net).



Player's Handbook 3.5E (3E) [WOOT!]


Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow (4E)

The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond
 (4E)


How I Learned to Love D&D: X is for Q'Xorrlarin

"X" was a bit of a stretch, I freely admit.

While I've read DnD and Forgotten Realms novels over the years, I'd never been a devoted a reader and often avoided them.

Gaming fiction isn't always anywhere close to good writing, but in reality, I've always been a slow reader.

However, I've found that reading on a Kindle or my iPhone has speeded up my rate of reading by a large margin (light has always been an issue with causing headaches while I read).

eBooks lead me to the Sundering series from the Wizards of the Coast that told the transition from DnD 4th Edition to 5th Edition in story form.

I found myself devouring this books and and truly enjoying them.  And since then, I've kept up with the new Forgotten Realms books being published.

It took twenty years, but I'm glad I decided to start reading these stories.

Oh, and Q'Xorrlarin is the name of a drow city in the Underdark.  It used to be the fabled dwarven city of Gauntlgrym.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Masters of the Universe Monday: Faker for D&D 5th Edition


Faker 

Faker was originally built by Man-At-Arms to cover for He-Man when Prince Adam was needed, but was abandoned, after his first mission, in the royal junk yard and salvaged by Tri-Klops. 

At the request of Skeletor, Faker was reprogrammed to replace He-Man and convince the people of Eternia that He-Man had betrayed King Randor and turned to evil.





Faker

Medium humanoid, Evil                                        ________________________________________________


Armor Class 17  (scale mail)
Hit Points 95 (10d8+50) 
Speed 40 ft., 
________________________________________________
   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
20 (+5)     14 (+2)     20 (+5)     10 (+0)    10 (+0)     14 (+2)
________________________________________________

Skills Athletics +7, Deception +4
Damage Resistances psychic
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 feet; passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

________________________________________________

Living Construct. Faker is immune to disease.


Magic Resistance. Faker has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. 
________________________________________________

ACTIONS


________________________________________________


Multiattack. Faker can maktwo attacks.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack+7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.  
Hit: 9 (1d8+5) bludgeoning damage.

Faker Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 14 (2d8+5) slashing damage.

A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: W is for Weird War Stories

I've been role playing since 1991, my sophomore year at the College of Mount Saint Joseph.

Up until about 2008, I roleplayed at least once a week and with that came quite a bit of stress and drama.  It seemed like every month there was some no disagreement or in-fighting.  It wore me down, so I took a sabbatical.  A three year sabbatical.

Now, what I learned in those three years was very important:  1) Family has to come first--always;
2) I am fifty percent, at minimum, of any conflict that I am a part of; 3) No gaming is better than bad gaming--always.

While I didn't game for three years, I still stayed up on the industry, moved from the Story Games I had explored to the Old School Renaissance of DnD retroclones and started heavily following several OSR blogs.

In 2011, I finally went back to gaming, a Pathfinder game, and I enjoyed it.  And I decided to start Cross Planes.

My first post was brainstorming about a campaign idea I had, World War II with magic and monsters--Weirld War Stories (in homage to the DC comic series).  While I ran it for two sessions in DnD 4E, it became my first playtest of DnD Next (I was lucky enough to be and remain a Friends and Family Playtester, thanks to my WotC rep at the Store--yeah, I'm STILL playtesting 5E).

The setting featured an OSI inspired Allied group known as the Witchhammers, who fought Nazis who were importing a giant ape from Skull Island, trained velociraptors from a South American lost world and elvish mages.  They even went to the Moon, where they discovered the Gnomes of Zuriq (basically a race of humanoids with animal heads, who were featured in Egyptain Hieroglyphics), secretly manipulating the human race into a New Age of Magic and fighting an eternal war of Law and Chaos.

The game didn't catch on, but its still the impetus of starting this blog.  And something I'd still like to run.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dhampir Heritages: Jian-Shi-Born Dhampir for D&D 5th Edition

My conversion of Pathfinder's Blood of the Night to DnD 5th Edition begins:


Jian-Shi-Born Dhampir

Jian-Shi-Born Dhampir Traits

Your dhampir character has certain traits deriving from your vampire ancestry. 

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1, your Intelligence score increases by 1, and your Strength score increases by 1.


Age. Dampyr mature at the same rate as humans but live about twice as long.

Alignment. Due the conflicting nature of their heritage, they are often neutral. 

Size. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Thanks to your undead heritage, your darkvision has a radius of 60 feet.

FangsYou are proficient with your bite (melee attack, reach 5 ft., one target) which deals 1d4 piercing damage on a hit.  

Blood Drinker.  On the same turn you deal damage with your bite, you may use a bonus action to expend a hit die.  Roll that die and add your Constitution modifier. You regain Hit Points equal to the total.  After you use blood drinker, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest. 


Ru-Shi. Roll 3d6. The resulting number becomes your numerological totem and can never be changed. When you roll your totem number on an attack roll, you may treat the roll as a critical hit.  You may not you this trait again until you have completed a short or long rest.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and three extra language of your choice. 



A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: V is for Vecna

While DnD is inspired by a great many fantasy stories, through the decades it has become a genre of its own and has now become inspiration for new fantastic stories.

As part of this evolution, certain key elements of the game became popular in their own right.

Vecna the Lich, god of hidden knowledge, is one of them.

Vecna is from Greyhawk the location of one of the game's creators, E. Gary Gygax, campaigns.

He's an evil wizard who became a lich (an undead evil wizard), who eventually became a god.  Yeah, he's a Big Bad of the game.

But while you don't encounter Vecna very often (one hopes), you may at some point come across his  lost his hand or eye (and if your prone to practical jokes, his head).  Which if adventurers find can give them incredible gains in power (and probably some attention from Vecna).

Which is a key part of DnD, exploring dark places, finding enemies, killing them, and taking their stuff.  And in this case, involves cutting off your own hand or putting out your own eye to replace both or either with Vecna's counterpart.

Part of the genre DnD created in fantasy was the above notion and the eye and hand of Vecna are amongst the purest examples of it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: U is for Uni


As I've written before, the DnD Cartoon was my first serious gateway to this game and the life I now live, selling it.


While unicorns are most probably considered common place by many fans of fantasy, Uni the unicorn...Bobby the Barbarian's beloved companion was my first exposure to a magical creature of goodness.

She was a great way to show the character's that while their new home was harsh and frightening and their mentor, the Dungeon Master was opaque and frustrating, there was beauty, innocence, and magic amongst them.  Uni had no agenda, she loved all of them and merely wanted a family.  Yes, she was naive and could get into trouble easily, but it was only out of ignorance of the dangers of the world.

She was, in essence then, a normal child.  Dazzled by the world she lived in, but not fully aware of how dangerous it could be.

I constantly marvel at the depth this show had, at at time when most kid's shows were goofy and pure commercials.

Even today, it makes me smile.

Dhampir Heritages: Dhampir Race for D&D 5th Edition

Dhampir

Sometimes the hungering darkness can seduce a mortal.  Their passion bringing into the world a hybrid of life and death, light and darkness.  Dhampirs are the children of humans and vampires and in most ways a mockery of both.  They are neither truly alive, nor truly undead, doing their best to find a place to call home, to find someone to love them.  Often, they set out after adventure because there is nothing else for them.

Legacy of Death 

Dhampirs learn early in their lives to be wary.  Few understand them and fewer still feel comfortable around them.  If they do not take care and guard their origin closely, they may face certain doom.

Their survival relies upon caution, perception, and wariness at all times.  They know their environments and the best ways to make a hasty escape.

They feel the darkness call to them.  Hear the moon's song in the beat of their heart.  They are hunters no matter how much they try to deny it.


Legacy of Life 
It is common for their natural coordination, strength, and toughness to lead them into the life of a warrior or criminal.  They often find physical activities a natural outlet for their power.

As an additional bonus, their heritage makes them quick learners at fighting, athletics and skulking about.

Children of the Night
A society of dhampirs is virtually unknown.  They often find themselves in the company of one side of their heritage, generally to exclusion.

If amongst humans and other mortals, it is common for them to hunt the undead.  Their unnatural gifts are perfect for stalking the darkness with their own souls.

However, they are also powerful agents for the undead, especially their vampiric forebears.  They can move about in daylight, facilitating any number of important tasks.  Plus, their powerful frames make them potent guardians, and their own hunger for blood gives them much in common with those that prey upon the living.

A dhampir's existence is a personification of the cosmic battle between light and darkness.

Dhampir Names 

Dhampirs usually have names appropriate to the culture in which they were raised.

Male Dhampir Names. Abraham, Alucard, Johan, Kurst, Nox, Vlad, Zanos.

Female Dhampir Names. Anna, Nyx, Persephone, Rose, Shakti, Wilhemena, Yaga.


Dhampir Traits

Your dhampir character has certain traits deriving from your vampire ancestry. 

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1, your Dexterity score increases by 1, and your Strength score increases by 1.


Age. Dampyr mature at the same rate as humans but live about twice as long.

Alignment.  Due the conflicting nature of their heritage, they are often neutral. 

Size. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Thanks to your undead heritage, your darkvision has a radius of 60 feet.

FangsYou are proficient with your bite (melee attack, reach 5 ft., one target) which deals 1d4 piercing damage on a hit.  

Blood Drinker.  On the same turn you deal damage with your bite, you may use a bonus action to expend a hit die.  Roll that die and add your Constitution modifier. You regain Hit Points equal to the total.  After you use blood drinker, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest. 


Skulking. You gain proficiency in the Stealth skill. 

Vampiric Resistance. You have resistance to necrotic damage.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thor's Day: Mjolnir for D&D 5th Edition

MJOLNIR

Weapon (warhammer), artifact (requires attunement)


You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

In addition, while attuned to the warhammer it deals an additional d8 thunder damage and d8 lightning damage. Further, it may be thrown with a range of 50/150 feet and will always return to your hand by the end of your turn. Finally, as a bonus action you may smash the ground at your feet and all creatures within a 10 foot radius must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone. You may not use the smash ability again until you finish a short or long rest.

"Then he gave the hammer to Thor, and said that Thor might smite as hard as he desired, whatsoever might be before him, and the hammer would not fail; and if he threw it at anything, it would never miss, and never fly so far as not to return to his hand; and if be desired, he might keep it in his sark, it was so small; but indeed it was a flaw in the hammer that the fore-haft was somewhat short."

A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: T is for Tom Hanks

Mazes and Monsters.

If your of a certain age, there was a good chance you saw this TV special warning against the dangers of Dungeons and Dragons and well...Satan.

DnD was going to steal your kid's souls and lead them to Hell, most probably while they listened to Ozzy.

And before he was on Busom Buddies or played Forest Gump, Tom Hanks--yes THE Tom Hanks was the tortured soul who got sucked into it all.

I really don't remember much about the TV show, and I can't say that it left any anti-DnD message with me.  I just remember thinking, "Boy these kids are messed up,"

And not from playing Mazes and Monsters.

Its always fun to go back and stroll the era you grew up in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Prime Materials: Persuader, a magic quarterstaff for D&D 5th Edition.


PERSUADER


Weapon (quarterstaff), rare (requires attunement by a druid)



You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

In addition, while attuned to the quarterstaff you can use your Wisdom instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using this magic weapon, and the quarterstaff's damage die becomes a d10.

Persuader was given to the Druid, Gaston Nighthawk by Stemma the Ent, as a reward for driving the orcs of Clan Smoke from the Quivering Forest nearly 150 years ago.  The quarterstaff was formed from one of Stemma's limb and declared to the Forest that the Ent recognized Nighthawk as the new leader of the Circle of the Raptor.  For over a century, each new leader was given Persuader as a symbol of their station.

However, just four tendays ago, the Circle was viciously attacked and Persuader was taken from the corpse of Neera Darkhunter, the last leader of the Raptors.

A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: S is for Saturday Mornings

While growing up, saturday morning cartoons were the bright beginning to a weekend full of fun and games.  I remember when ABC would even run primetime previews of their new saturday morning line-ups.  Can you imagine them devoting primetime space to that today?

Of course not, the networks don't even have saturday morning cartoons, what am I thinking?

But growing up in the late 70's and 80's we were treated classics old and new.

While Thundarr the Barbarian is my favorite of all time, the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon is a very, very close second.

I really didn't understand what DnD was, but I definitely understood a group of kids being thrust into a fantasy world trying to right wrongs and end injustice while still trying to find their way home.

And the use of the Dungeon Master as instigator and helper, was an ingenious way to represent the Dungeon Master of the DnD game.  Not that I really understood that when I was 10.

While I won't say the episodes hold up, I do remember that I never felt that the show talking down to me or poorly done.

I had hoped my kids would love it as much as I did, but while they enjoy DnD as a game, the cartoons don't seem to hold the same magic.  Not that I can blame them, its tough for me to sit through Adventure Time with them.

In my heart, Hank and the gang are still trying to find their way home.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Origins 2015 Awards Nominees

Best Board Game
  • Abyss - Asmodee, Designers:  Bruno Cathala & Charles Chevallier
  • The Battle of Five Armies - Ares Games, Designers:  Roberto DiMeglio, Marco Maggi, & Francesco Nepitello
  • Cash n Guns 2nd Edition - Repos Production Designer:  Ludovic Maublanc
  • Dead of Winter:  A Crossroads Game - Plaid Hat Games Designers:  Jonathon Gilmour & Isaac Vega
  • Sheriff of Nottingham - Arcane Wonders, Designers:  Sergio Halaban, Bryan Pope, & Andre Zatz
Best Card Game
  • Among the Stars - Stronghold Games, Designers:  Antonis Papantoniou & Odysseas Stamoglou
  • Linko! - Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH, Designers:  Michael Kiesling & Wolfgang Kramer
  • Star Realms - White Wizard Games, Designers:  Robert Dougherty & Darwin Kastle
  • Splendor - Asmodee, Designer:  Marc Andre
  • Sushi Go! - Gamewright, Designers:  Nan Rangisma, Tobias Schweiger, & Phil Walker-Harding
Best Children’s, Family, & Party Game 
  • Archer:  The Danger Zone! Board Game - Cryptozoic Entertainment, Designer:  Matt Hrya
  • Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension - Renegade Game Studios, Designer: Corey Young
  • The Hare and the Tortoise - Iello, Designer:  Gary Kim
Best Collectible Card Game
  • Magic: the Gathering Khans of Tarkir - Wizards of the Coast, Designer:  Wizards of the Coast R&D
  • Pokemon XY Phantom Forces - The Pokemon Company Intl., Designer:  Creatures Inc.
  • Siege: Heart of Darkness - AEG, Designer:  Bryan Rose
  • The Spoils-The Spoils USA, Designers:  Ken Pilcher & Josh Lytle
Best Game Accessory
  • Battletech Lance Pack:  Assault Lance - Catalyst Game Labs, Designers:  Arrastia & Randall N. Bills
  • Counter Ring - Crit Success LLC., Designer:  Aaron Laniewicz
  • Pathfinder Battles: Reign of Winter Standard Booster 8 Ct. Brick - WizKids Games, Designer:  WizKids Games
  • Wings of Glory Mat - Ares Games, Designer:  Ares Games
Best Miniature Figure Line
  • Archangel Raphael - Dark Age, Designer:  David Doust
  • Dungeons & Dragons:  Attack Wing - WizKids, Designers:  Andre Parks & Manny O’Donnell
  • Imperial Knight - Games Workshop, Designer:  Games Workshop Design Studio
  • Kukulkani Cabrakan - Dark Age, Designer:  David Doust
  • Nagash - Games Workshop, Designer:  Games Workshop Design Studio
Best Miniature Figure Rules
  • Battletech:  Alpha Strike Companion - Catalyst Game Labs, Designers:  Ray Arrastia & Herbert A. Beas II
  • A Fistful of Kung Fu - Osprey Publishing, Designer: Andrea Sfiligoi
  • Golem Arcana - Harebrained Schemes, Designers:  Jordan Weisman, Mike Mulvihill, & Brian Poel
  • Marvel HeroClix:  Guardians of the Galaxy Starter Set - WizKids, Designer:  WizKids Games
  • Warhammer 40,000 - Games Workshop, Designer: Games Workshop Design Studio
Best Role Playing Game
  • Atomic Robo:  The Roleplaying Game - Evil Hat Productions, LLC, Designers:  Mike Olson & Brian Clevinger
  • Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook - Wizards of the Coast, Designer:  Wizards of the Coast R&D
  • Firefly Role-playing Game - Margaret Weiss Productions, Designers:  Margaret Weiss, Monica Valentinelli, Mark Diaz Truman, Brendan Conway, Jack Norris, & Dean Gilbert
  • ICONS:  Superpowered Roleplaying:  The Assembled Edition - Green Ronin, Designer:  Steve Kenson
  • The Strange - Monte Cook Games LLC, Designers:  Bruce R. Cordell & Monte Cook
Best Role Playing Supplement
  • D&D Monster Manual - Wizards of the Coast, Designer:  Wizards of the Coast R&D
  • Emerald City:  Mutants & Masterminds - Green Ronin, Designers:  Darren Bulmer, Walt Ciechanowski, Seth Johnson, Steve Kenson, Jon Leitheussr, Christopher McGlothlin, Jack Norris, & Aaron Sullivan
  • Hobbit Tales:  From The Green Dragon Inn - Cubicle 7, Designer:  Francesco Nepitello
  • Mummy The Curse:  Book of the Deceived - Onyx Path, Designer:  C.A. Suleiman
  • The One Ring:  Darkening of Mirkwood - Cubicle 7, Designer:  Francesco Nepitello
  • The Strange:  Bestiary - Monte Cook Games, LLC, Designers:  Monte Cook, Bruce R. Cordell, & Robert J. Schwalb
Best Historical Board Game
  • Armada Invincible - Zvezda LLC, Designer:  Konstantin Krivenko
  • Heroes of Normandie - Iello, Designers:  Yann and Clem
  • Last Chance for Victory - Multi-Man Publishing, Designer:  Dean Essig
  • 1066, Tears to Many Mothers - Tristan Hall, Designer:  Tristan Hall
Best Historical Miniature Figure/Line
  • D-Day Firefight - Osprey Games/Warlord, Designer:  Osprey Games/Warlord
  • Early Crusade & Outremer - Gripping Beast, Designer:  Gripping Beast
  • Rorke’s Drift - Warlord Games, Designer:  Warlord Games
  • Sails of Glory Series 2 - Ares Games, Designers:  Andrea Angiolino & Andrea Mainini
  • 101st Airborne - Collectors Battlefield, Designer:  Collectors Showcase
Best Historical Miniature Rules
  • Across A Deadly Field:  Regimental Rules for Civic War Battles - Osprey Publishing, Designer:  John Hill
  • The Crescent & The Cross - Studio Tomahawk/Gripping Beast, Designers:  Alex Buchel & Andy Sherwell
  • Lion Rampant:  Medieval Wargaming Rules - Osprey Publishing, Designer:  Daniel Mersey
  • On the Seven Seas:  Wargaming Rules for the Age of Piracy and Adventure c. 1570-1730 - Osprey, Designer:  Osprey Games
  • Sails of Glory - Ares Games, Designer:  Andrea Angiolino & Andrea Mainini
Best Historical Miniature Rules Supplement
  • Battleground Europe - Osprey/Warlord, Designers:  Ryan Miller, Rick Priestley, & Alessio Cavatore
  • Battlegroup Barbarossa - Ironfist Publishing, Designers:  Warwick Kinrade & Piers Brand
  • D-Day:  Battle of Carentan - Collectors Battlefield, Designer:  Collectors Showcase
  • Flames of War:  Barbarossa - Battlefront, Designer:  Battlefront Miniatures
  • Bolt Action:  Tank War - Osprey Publishing, Designers:  Ryan Miller, Rick Priestley, and Alessio Cavatore

Aasimar Heritages: Peri-Blooded for D&D 5th Edition

My conversion of Pathfinder's Blood of Angels to DnD 5th Edition concludes:


Peri-Blooded Aasimar


(Unless otherwise noted, all traits are per the 5th Ed. Dungeon Master's Guide)


Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.

Astral Resistance. You have resistance to fire and radiant damage.

Astral Legacy. You know the light cantrip.  Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the burning hands spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell.  Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the scorching ray spell once per day.  Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells. 


Emberkin Feat

Prerequisite: Peri-Blooded Aasimar

• You have advantage on Saving Throws against illusions.

• You gain a +1 to damage rolls for any spell you cast that deal fire damage. 


 

Rifts is Coming to Savage Worlds!

ENWorld just reported this (Bleeding Cool has reported it too):

News from Pinnacle Entertainment Group

For Immediate Release--April 21, 2015

Pinnacle Entertainment Group announced today the development of Rifts for Savage Worlds, their award-winning tabletop roleplaying game system.

Pinnacle released a mock cover, using art from Palladium’s 2005 Rifts Ultimate Edition with permission. The cover artist for the book was Scott Johnson.

“We are thrilled to follow up Kevin’s post with this announcement that we do, indeed, have the license to develop Rifts for Savage Worlds,” said Savage Worlds creator Shane Hensley. “We are early in the process, but anticipate having a core rulebook for the setting released in time for Christmas.”

The Palladium Books Weekly Update--April 19, 2015, written by Kevin Siembieda, recently made mention of a new roleplaying game system for the beloved setting:

“In an effort to truly expand Rifts® across the Megaverse®, in cooperation with Palladium Books, another role-playing game company is currently adapting the Rifts® Earth setting to that company’s RPG system of rules, as well as producing adventure sourcebooks.”

Rifts is an exciting multi-genre post-apocalypse game that began publishing in 1990. Featuring elements of everything from cyberpunk and fantasy to mecha and mythology, Rifts has always been Siembieda's vision of a game with everything for everyone, tied together with a strong narrative.

"I'm really excited to see what Rifts will look like in the Savage Worlds system," said Siembieda. "The Savage fans are great folks, and I think Rifts is going to be an amazing amount of fun for them, letting them explore all the possibilities of both the system and the setting."

Savage Worlds was created by Shane Lacy Hensley. Savage Worlds and the Pinnacle logo are all trademarks of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. For more information, visit www.peginc.com or contact Jodi Black, Marketing Manager for Pinnacle, at PEGJodi@gmail.com. More about Palladium and the Rifts setting can be found on their website here: http://www.palladiumbooks.com/





Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?2545-RIFTS-Is-Coming-To-SAVAGE-WORLDS%21#.VTa3YFypeQl#ixzz3Xyl2RMiq

DnDClassics.com New Releases for 4/21/15



This week's new releases on DnDClassics.com are:
(A shout out to this great thread on RPG.Net).



War of the Lance (3E) 
Legends of the Twins (3E) 


Book of Vile Darkness (4E)

Dragon #379 (4E)

Dragon #380 (4E)

Dungeon #185 (4E)


A to Z of How I Learned to Love DnD: R is for Ravenloft

Ravenloft.  Count Strahd Von Zarovich's Castle.  The Demiplane of Dread and Desire.  Both are DnD's merging with gothic dark fantasy.  Where the monsters are more and less human than a hook horror, rust monster, or kobold.  It is, distinctly, my favorite setting in DnD.

Growing up though, I was the kid who was too scared to watch Bela Lugosi's Dracula and could barely sit through Lon Chaney Jr.'s The Wolfman.  Night of the Living Dead and Halloween both game me nightmares for days.  And I was too scared to watch The Howling or An American Werewolf in London.  To this day, I'm not much on gore or splatter punk.

But horror is my favorite genre of fiction.  Stephen King's Salem's Lot is one of my all time great novels, I love and collect the works of Brian Lumley, and I'm a huge Cthulhu Mythos fan.

Somehow, the kid who was too scared of a horror story, grew up in to a man who loves reading it, but is not so keen on watching it on the screen.

Ravenloft is that wonderful compromise of story and action.  Of dark temptations and championing the light.  I've rising to the occasion and falling into the abyss.

I'd probably be content with just Strahd Von Zarovich, the vampire lord of Castle Ravenloft, both one of TSR's classic modules and the inspiration for the setting of the Demiplane of Dread and Desire.  Strahd is one of many Dark Lords imprisoned within Ravenloft, as much  a prisoner of the swirling mists as the adventurers who find their way there.

But the Demiplane gave us Death Knights, Lichs, Flesh Golems, and many other monstrous villains as Dark Lords.

It even spawned a setting, Masques of the Red Death, that was a Victorian setting on Earth.

I'm lucky that I collected many of those books, even though I never felt ADnD was a good fit for the setting.

Ravenloft's novels were also my favorite gaming fiction for many years.

Sadly, I've never run a game in Ravenloft for any real length of time.  I think I need to change that.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Masters of the Universe Monday: Kobra Khan for D&D 5th Edition


Kobra Khan 

A descendant of the ancient Snake Men, Khan of Clan Kobra became fascinated with the many legends of their victories in the Great Wars. Breaking into the archives of Eternos Palace, he learned that the great King Hsss had been locked in the Void at the end of the war. 

In a ruse to free his King, Khan joined forces with Skeletor and, with the help of Evil-Lyn, they acquired Zodak's staff, the key to freeing his Snake Men brethren. 

Together he and Evil-Lyn opened the Snake Pit portal releasing Hsss and his ageless army, returning their terror to Eternia. Khan went on to loyally serve Hsss, controlling his prey with his evil hypnotic mist!






Kobra Khan

Medium humanoid, Evil                                        ________________________________________________


Armor Class 13 (hide)
Hit Points 57 (10d8+10) 
Speed 30 ft., swimming 60 ft.
________________________________________________
   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
11 (+0)     17 (+3)     13 (+1)     15 (+2)    13 (+1)     16 (+3)
________________________________________________

Skills Acrobatics +5, History +4, Persuasion +5
Senses darkvision 60 feet; passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Snaketongue
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

________________________________________________

ACTIONS


________________________________________________


Multiattack. Kobra-Khan can maktwo disruptor attacks.

Disruptor. Ranged Weapon Attack+5 to hit, range 40/120 ft., one creature.  
Hit: 10 (2d6+3) necrotic damage.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage.

Hypnotic Mist Spit. Ranged Weapon Attack+6 to hit, range 10/30 ft., one creature.  Hit: 9 (1d12+3) poison damage and the target loses all bonus actions and reaction until the end their next turn.

Aasmiar Heritages: Garuda-Blooded Aasimar for D&D 5th Edition

My conversion of Pathfinder's Blood of Angels to DnD 5th Edition continues:


Garuda-Blooded Aasimar



(Unless otherwise noted, all traits are per the 5th Ed. Dungeon Master's Guide)


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1, and your Wisdom score increases by 2.

Supernal Resistance. You have resistance to acid and radiant damage.

Supernal Legacy. You know the light cantrip.  Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the tenser's floating disk spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell.  Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the see invisibility spell once per day.  Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells. 


Plumekith Feat

Prerequisite: Garuda-Blooded Aasimar

• You have advantage on Intelligence (History) checks.

• You have proficency in short bows and long bows.

• When you score a critical hit with a bow, you may roll an additional 1d6 damage and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.

 

A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: Q is for Quaz

I can't speak for other groups, but somehow in the evolution of our gaming group's brotherhood, the word "quaz" became a badge and a slur that we all used at one time or another.

That first gaming group that I was a part of consisted of myself, Mark M., Todd, Barry, Richard, Kurt, Mike, Jonathan, and Aaron.  Most of them knew each other from high school or working at our local Sam's Club, but I was the odd guy who lived in Indiana and was Barry's oldest friend.

Since, I lived the furthest away and lived a more planned life than most 18-22 year olds, I became the de facto group mom, for better or for worse.

Initially, it was me, Barry, Kurt, and Richard playing in Todd's Champions game, but we grew members fast and (mostly because of my gaming ADD) played games like ADnD, Talislanta, Marvel Super Heroes, DC Heroes, Rifts, the World of Darkness, Feng Shui, and TORG.

I eventually became the group's main Game Master, but shared stints with Mark M. and Barry.

Sadly, we alienated Todd as a GM over a rules dispute in Champions.

Anyway, the term "quaz" was coined, I believe, by Mark M. in reference to Richard.  It was inspired by Quasimodo and Quasi-Man from the Wild Cards novels edited by George R.R. Martin.

It stuck.  It became fashion for us.  Some of them even used it in general public (not me, for years I left my gaming life separate from my "real" life").  Richard even got a vanity plate with it on it.

It was a badge of honor that still means something and is a part of my path from adolescence to adulthood.  Bittersweet, in many ways, because those days are gone and enough has happened that I'll never get them back.  And, really, I don't need to try.  We've all moved on, but those days are still written in my heart.

Thankfully, I'm still close to Mark M. and his dear wife, Jackie.  While we don't seem them enough, we have the type of friendship that picks back up as soon as we are together.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Prime Materials: Transfixion, a magic dagger for D&D 5th Edition


TRANSFIXION

Weapon (dagger), rare (requires attunement by a rogue)



You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

In addition, while attuned to the dagger your sneak attack dice increase from d6 to d8.  

Transfixion was payment to the assassin, Jedik Silvercrow, for payment from Bhaal for the murder of Thay's Zulkir of Abjuration nearly 1100 years ago.  It has remained within the Silvercrow family, until Bree lost in the Great Gray Land of Thar.  Rumors persist that the dagger was used to complete the God of Murders resurrection.

A New Look for Spring

I wanted to shake things up a bit.  If you have any feedback for the new look, let me know!

Like it?  Hate it?  I can handle it, I promise.

I still have the idea of creating a logo for the site.  One day.  Soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Aasimar Heritages: Azata-Blooded for D&D 5th Edtion

My conversion of Pathfinder's Blood of Angels to DnD 5th Edition begins:


Azata-Blooded Aasimar


(Unless otherwise noted, all traits are per the 5th Ed. Dungeon Master's Guide)


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.

Beatific Resistance. You have resistance to psychic and radiant damage.

Beatific Legacy. You know the light cantrip.  Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the faerie fire spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell.  Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the invisibility spell once per day.  Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells. 


Musetouched Feat

Prerequisite: Azata-Blooded Aasimar

• You may, as a bonus action, move up to your speed.  You cannot use this ability again until you have completed a short or long rest.

• You have advantage on Charisma (Performance) checks and gain proficiency in a musical instrument of your choice.


 

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