Saturday, December 30, 2017

Finally a Decent Avenger Analog in 5e!

Wow, it has been a long time since I posted here! Almost 8 years! A new edition has come out, going back to more traditional D&D systems, rather than 4e's "POWERS FOR EVERYONE!" system. I love 5e and wish I got to play more often, but there are some things from 4e that I miss.

The one I miss most is the avenger class.

WotC tried to fit it into 5th edition.

The Paladin's Oath of Vengeance was their attempt to cram the avenger into 5e. It's better than nothing, but it was still built upon the base paladin class. It's a good option to play as, but it just doesn't FEEL like 4e's avenger.

And then Xanathar's Guide to Everything came out, I read through it, and I realized that it was finally possible (with some reflavoring) to have a proper avenger in 5e.

It's... Stay with me... The Hexblade Warlock.

Don't give me that look. It takes a bit of reflavoring, as I said, but it fits better than trying to paint a paladin as one. So, here we go:

Avenger in 5e!

Step one: Warlock core class 
Not everyone has played 4e, so lets start with a quick rundown on the avenger: Avengers are Divine Strikers. Divine meaning they are powered by the gods and Strikers being characters that focused on dealing damage. These descriptors came together to create what was something of a holy rogue, who would hunt and destroy their deity's enemies. Imagine a paladin, minus the armor, healing, and protection, leaving behind just the oaths and smites.

There is more to it than that, so maybe I will write another post later, to describe how avengers would fit in more with the 5e aesthetic. But for now, lets focus on the reflavoring!
  • Patron - Your avenger serves a god, cause, or ideal, and receives power from that. 
  • Pact Magic - Oath Magic, derived from your unwavering devotion to your cause. You are able to cast your magic using an arcane focus due to it sometimes being necessary to hide who you serve.
  • Warlock spells - Avenger spells (obviously)
  • Eldritch Invocations - Divine Gifts, what few things the hexblade doesn't provide to make a near perfect avenger, the invocations fill in a few.
  • Pact Boons - Divine Boon, gifts bestowed upon the avenger to aid them in their task: A weapon, a guide/companion, or a book of secret magics.
  • Mystic Arcanum - Mystic Invocations
  • Eldritch Master - Divinely Favored

Step two: Hexblade abilities
Now we get into the interesting stuff that really makes it fit with avenger, in my opinion. The hexblade's curse makes a perfect Oath of Enmity,
  • Hexblade's Curse - Oath of Enmity: Instead of cursing your foe, you swear an oath to destroy them, so strong are your words that your attacks become stronger, you become more likely to deal devastating blows, and even your wounds are healed when you fulfill your oath.
  • Hex Warrior - Faith Warrior: You trained at a temple devoted to your god/cause/ideal to fight. As such you became proficient at battling in stronger armor and with more weapons. You also gain the ability to use more than just your physical abilities to attack.
  • Accursed Specter - Accursed Specter: As you slay your foe, you bind its soul to temporary service of your deity/cause/ideal. Maybe with a cool catch phrase, "You serve my god now." (this ability doesn't really fit with the 4e avenger, but I think it is still really cool.)
  • Armor of Hexes - Armor of the Oathbound: Those you have sworn an oath to destroy have a more difficult time hitting you. (I'm sure some of you would have expected this to be "Armor of Faith", but I felt that name fit better elsewhere.)
  • Master of Hexes - Oath Master: When you defeat an enemy, instead of healing your wounds, you can instead swear a new oath of enmity on another foe.

Step three: Pact Boons/Divine Boons
 While it seems obvious that a warlock reflavored into an avenger would take Pact of the Blade, I think it would be silly to rule out the other options.
  • Pact of the Chain - Divine Companion: Even the lone hunter can use a companion. With this Divine Boon, the avenger is gifted a magical companion to guide them along their path, assist them in battle, and give them a compatriot when nobody else understands them and their mission. While some would only want to use an imp or quasit with avengers serving evil gods, I like the idea of an avenger who used a questionable ritual to bind an enemy to their service, in this case it's already what they can do with Accursed Specter. If you don't want your avenger to have a fiendish companion, maybe they could just have an animal familiar or if they serve a dragon god, a psudodragon would be appropriate. 
  • Pact of the Blade - Divine Weapon: Your avenger is granted the ability to summon a divine weapon. Honestly, this is what most avengers will choose, as it fits with the avenger's hunt and destroy mentality.
  • Pact of the Tome - Divine Knowledge: You are granted a book of prayers that gives you the ability to cast magic that may have been lost or is forbidden to members of the church. This option would be good for the more studious or magic focused avenger, granting them more cantrips and ritual spells.
Step four: Warlock Invocations/Divine Gifts
Some of the Warlock Invocations are actually perfect for the avenger, mimicking abilities from the 4e version and filling out some of the abilities. I don't think that all of them need new names, but these are the ones that I felt would fit avenger best.
  • Armor of shadows - Armor of Faith: Here is the one that fits better with the 4e avenger's Armor of Faith ability, especially since it can be gotten at a much earlier level and protects you from every attack, not just those from your oath of enmity target. It's not as versatile as the 4e version, as it only works on those with no armor, but I think it should work fine.
  • Improved Pact Weapon - Improved Divine Weapon: Woo! A blessing to your attacks! It's not really that avengery, but it's one that is likely to be picked, so I thought I'd give it a rename.
  • Thirsting Blade - Thirsting Blade: I honestly couldn't think of an alternate name for this one, but I don't really think it needs one.
  • Eldritch Smite - Divine Smite: I kind of felt obligated to include this one on the list, though I might just be happy with the smite spells... Might want to have a slightly different name for this one if there is a paladin in the party though, maybe "Oath smite"?
  • Maddening Hex - Shared Madness: I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is not one, but two 4e avenger powers that are similar to this invocation. Shared Madness's name even fit with it, so I had to add it in there. 
  • One With Shadows -One With Shadows: I think everyone wants to be able to turn invisible, right?
  • Relentless Hex - Censure of Pursuit: This is the ability that made things click to realize how well this would setup would work as an avenger, as it is very similar to one of the 4e avenger's core class options.
  • Whispers of the Grave - Whispers of the Grave: I like the idea of the hunter that can ask questions of the dead to find his quarry. It's not for everyone, I suppose.
  • Shroud of Shadow - Shroud of Shadow: See One With Shadows.
  • Witch Sight - Divine Sight: Seeing true forms of creatures would definitely come in handy for someone who hunts monsters.

Step five: Spells
 Warlock spells have a distinct flavor to them, which don't necessarily fit with the flavor of the avenger. If you like you can rename and/or reflavor them, and maybe I'll do another post about it later if it seems like there is interest.

I am excited to try this out, whenever I get a chance to actually play. I know it isn't a perfect match, especially with a focus on charisma instead of wisdom, but overall I think it is close enough. If you want to try it out, maybe surprise some of your fellow players, talk with your DM (make sure they know what's going on), and have fun with it!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Races of Avion, Take Two, Part 1

After taking a break from my avion project, I realized that I didn't like how it had been developing. I scrapped some of it, though I may go back to it, even I don't know. I have come up with some different ideas, and I felt like writing them down here.

I scrapped the planar collision idea, though I still like the idea, I'm not currently using it for Avion. After reading a few chapters of a Dark Sun novel, I started liking the idea that there was a lot of small (in population, not size) races striving to make a place for themselves, and only by gaining some adaptation of note can they continue to survive.

Elves, for example have their natural grace, and quick mind, not to mdention that they very well might have been the first race. (But, they would never admit that.) Being a very old race, they have done what seems to be a common trend in my current ideas, their race splits into multiple sub-races. After an event (large war?), several of these sub-races merged so that there are four distinct elf races.

Wood elves (elves) decided that they would rather life amongst the plants, they split further depending on where they lived (jungle, forest, treetop, deep forrest, and possibly even desert).

High elves (Eladrin) believed they were above living in the forests and focused more on magic. They split into separate groups depending on their beliefs, but came together in time of need.

Dark elves (drow) were early High elves that believed in destroying the lesser races before they could get a foothold. Some repented and became the 'Risen elves', eventually joining back with the high elves. Those who remained became twisted and dark versions of their High elf brothers, and were driven underground to escape their destruction at the hand of their brothers.

Orik (Orcs) are wood elves that lived in the magic rich jungles in the southern part of their continent. The magic gave them plant-like properties, made them stronger and green skinned (as well as the ability to absorb some nutrients from the sun). They are able to reproduce with humans or other elves, creating half-orik (half-orcs).

Half-Elves also exist, and partially due to laziness, they are the same no matter what race of elves they are descended from.

Also, surface dwarves are evil.

What do you think of this idea? Please leave a comment!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Arcana Of Avion

Its been a while since I did much work on my Avion setting, but since I am now working on two stories and another project set there, it has slowly been getting more developed.

The most interesting developments have been about some of the fluff things for the arcane power source.

There are three ways to gain the ability to cast arcane magic: the wizard way, the sorcerer way, and the warlock way. Each method is different and comes with its own risks.

Wizards study old tomes, discover arcane secrets, and basically figure out how magic works in order to cast it. The Risk for this type of magic is that if you learn too many arcane secrets you might go insane, and that's the nicest of the risks. This method is severly lower than it once was due to the "quick and easy" nature of the other two methods.

Sorcerers find the blood of some magic creature, such as dragons, demons, etc., and inject it into themselves to mutate themselves to be magical conduits. The type of blood you inject into yourself determines what kind of sorcerer you become. The risk with this is that you can get an unwanted mutation, become magically addicted to magic blood, become controlled by the creature is it is powerful and still alive, or just simply die. This is the most common method, due to the increase of the availability of demon's blood, creating an abundance of chaos sorcerers.

Warlocks make deals with powerful entities, smart ones know what they are bargaining with. Great power is gained, but at great cost. Some lose their soul, some give the entity a chance to use their body at any time, and some may make a good deal, but their soul becomes corrupted by the entity's power. With the demon's blood method of sorcery becoming more popular, so does the trust of the demons themselves, this method is slowly gaining popularity in Avion.

Wizards risk their mind.
Sorcerers risk their body.
Warlocks risk their soul.

The other arcane classes can take one of these and roll with it, "I traded my soul to play this here guitar real good."

So, what do you think of that? I'm glad I finally got something that's unique to the setting, and I've decided to scrap some of the work I've already done.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or anything else to say, please leave a comment! I love to get feedback on my ideas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Story Idea Too!

Merry Christmas everyone!
I hope you get the +5 magic weapon you were hoping for!

Last night I went on a mini-rampage and wrote a bunch of character ideas for yet another story concept. I hope you like it.

The watcher of dreams... The white owl
Long have my people watched over the dreams of the people of the cities of Krish. The taint that flows into our world gathers where there are many people. This taint leads a man deeper into his own dreams, into the abyss, and it is my people who lead these lost ones back to their dream so that they may wake.
More and more, of late, have the people been dragged into the abyss. My people can scarcely keep these lost ones all from being devoured by the abyss.

I have been chosen. I must find the cause of this, And I must destroy it.

But, I cannot do it alone. I know a man, head of the City Guard of Glighton, He may help me...

The watcher of the city... The gray hawk
I, like my father, watch over the people of Glighton, capital of Frameria. The people place their safety in my hands, but their faith has waned of late, as the monster attacks grow more frequent and more destructive. There is a hole in the east wall that a man could walk though, not to mention the horrors that did make it through. Twelve were lost in that attack, three of them my own men.

It is my job to protect the city and its people. I must find the cause of this, and I must destroy it.

There is a man of the forest, who knows of all things of nature and some things outside it. He may help me...

The watcher of the forest... The brown falcon
The ageless forest calls to me. It accepted me and made me a part of itself. Now, as it hurts, I hurt as well. The beasts spout flame and ice, destroying my home, my love, my life. They are like nothing I have seen before, it is as if they are of another world. Yet even now that I cannot help my own forest, a man of the city cries to me to help solve their problems.

The spirits of the forest come to me for help. I must find the cause of this, and I must destroy it.

A man in a shining tower knows of things beyond this world. He may help me...

The watcher of knowledge… The black raven
The wizard's tower, the last true bastion of the old magic. I alone still reside there, it may be the last safe place in this world, but for how long? I study these old tomes, looking for the power that the wizards of ancient times commanded. But they are coming, as the old prophesies foretold. They will destroy this tower, before I can truly command ultimate power.

This knowledge must not be lost before I can unlock it. I must find the cause of this, and I must delay it.

Perhaps the Aesir have a champion who will fight them? I shall lend my power to that person...

The watcher of souls... The golden dove
I dream of beasts. Terrible monsters that torch the sky and freeze the sea. They are led by a creature beyond description, who stalks with only destruction in his wake. Death does not describe what befalls those who battle him. Yet I stand against him with a shimmering light, and he cannot stand against me. I must, for the sake of this world, find this light, and soon.

My Aesir leads me to the truth, I must find this light. Then, I must find the cause of this, and I must destroy it.

I must find the man who walks in dreams. He May help me.

My recently starting to read DragonLance books may be the cause of this... Oh, and Aesir are the deities of sorts in Avion.

Does that sound interesting? Think its dumb? Misinterpret a certain word that makes it seem inappropriate? Leave a comment!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peculiar Character Build #1

The D&D 4e Character Builder is awesome.

You get all of the options from the books and D&D Insider content, allowing you to easily make characters with as much creativity as possible.

In order to inspire you (and show off my creations), I will display my characters, both the unusual and impressive.

Super-sized Greatbow
A bow as tall as a man, then make it bigger.
Basically, you take a bugbear, give him a ranged weapon based class, give him the great bow proficiency feat.

This idea used to work with minotaurs and bugbears, but minotaurs lost their "Oversized" race feature when they got promoted to player race status.

Several classes work with this: Ranger, Seeker, Artificers, and Bard have enough ranged weapon attacks to make this effective, but classes that use dexterity as their attack mod work better with the bugbear. Avenger and Rogue both have At-will attacks that work, but lack any more ranged weapon attacks (at least that work with a greatbow), but if you only want ranged attacks, a hybrid class with avenger could work. Hybrid and multiclassing can work, but you may have to spread out your points more.

Ability Scores
The ability scores depends on which class(es) you choose, put points into whatever ability is used by your attacks.

Pick whatever skills you like.

The only required feat is the "Proficiency: Greatbow".

Pick any powers that can use ranged weapons, if none are available, pick what ever suits you (or your character).

A large Greatbow and whatever else you want.

Here is the Iplay4e preview.

These options are not limited to the whole package, of course. you could simply make a hybrid class that merges two ranged classes. Maybe a bugbear that wields some other HUGE weapon.

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion, I would love to hear it! If you liked my idea, would like to expand on it, have a similar idea, or want to suggest something else for me to explore and post about, leave a comment!

Friday, November 6, 2009

4e Player Vs. Player Concept

Something that I have been wanting to try for a while, to be able to pit my character ideas against someone else's.

Be they machines of destruction, some off the wall half-baked ideas, or an invincible tank.

But the problem with this is getting it to work... and not just have it be "Whoever dumps the most dailies first and hits wins." as Wyatt Salazar put it, but have it so that characters might have a chance against just about any other same level characters.

After a small discussion on twitter, it was theorized that 3 on 3 matches with one player per team would probably work out the best. The 3 character limit would force the player to pick their character's roles carefully.

I would have liked to have a 1 on 1 match, but maybe we can save that for later.

now, the next step is to find a means to do this online. There has been a lot of talk lately about RPGs on google wave. I have yet to try it but will soon. Suggestions also included fantasy grounds/skype or maptools/skype, (thanks to Gamerfiend)

After that I will figure out the maps and anything else that I can think of.

So, discussion time!
Leave a comment if you have an answer for
A) Is the 3 on 3 a good idea?
B) What would be the best way to attempt this online?
C) Should there be anything more complicated than a plain featureless map?
D) Do you want to try it?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Glorious Comeback! and NaNoWriMo!


I have not posted since august...

And now its November...

Time for NaNoWriMo!!

Ok, I'm not really going to write a novel, not in a month anyway. Though I will try to work on one. And I'm going to give you a taste of it right here!

An Untitled Novel (ver. 0.000000000004)

Ebberhard wished he had a better form of transportation. His legs were hurting, but he refused to believe it was because he was getting old.

“Pick up the pace, Eb. Are you getting old or something?” Jonoa said, snapping him out of his thoughts. “I'm not getting old, I've just been walking a very long time.” he replied, trying to convince himself as much as the ghost. “and if you had legs, Mr. incorporeal, you would be tired and in pain as well.”

The “Mr.” was Ebberhard's best guest, as ever when taking energy from from Ebberhard to create a humanoid form, Jonoa's spirit was difficult to tell the sex of. It was a common trait among elves to have gender neutral spirits, and this one that had been bound to him since his childhood was no different.

“Well,” Jenoa started, in that tone of voice that let Ebberhard know that Jenoa was about to talk about it's race, “If I still had my elf body, I still wouldn't be getting old for quite a while...” “Well,” Ebberhard started back, mimicking Jenoa's tone, “Perhaps that was one of my parents aims in their experiment, when they bound you to my body. And sometimes I wish they hadn't given me my magic senses so that I didn't have to hear you talk about the elves all the time.”

“Oh, Eb...” The ghost sighed, “You know I don't like when you talk about them. How can you after all the experiments they did on you?”

“That was a long time ago,” Ebberhard scowled, “And you know as well as I that they have paid for their crimes. For all we know they may still be paying for it. The judiciary system is tough on people that do illegal experiments, especially those that experiment on children.

“Uggh, that is so like you...” Jenoa said, clearly irritated, “We've been on this road for so long, are we there yet?”

“yes, actually, we are almost to the address.” he replied, with a tint of smugness.
Jenoa was suddenly in a much better mood, “Oh! I wonder what sort of house feisty ol' Lil has?” They walked up to a plain looking house which surprised Jenoa, causing her to blurt out, “I thought it'd be more extravagant!”

“People don't always do what you expect. Now shush, I have living people to talk to.”

Ebberhard walked up to the house and knocked on the door, admiring the runes on the door. He recognized them as Kleptic, the thieves script. It went into great detail describing what would happen to any thief foolish enough to attempt to attempt to steal from them. He was reading what would happen on the third day after the thief had been caught when the door opened. A buxom, female elf opened the door and examined Ebberhard's face for a moment before excitedly leaping at him.

“Ebby!” The hugging elf cried, “Its been so long! Where have you been? What have you been up to?” She paused for half a second, squinting at the area around Ebberhard. “Is Jenoa still there? Hows she doing?”

“She's fine.” Ebberhard said, reluctantly returning the hug, “She was just saying how much more extravagant she expected your house to be” He ignored the dirty look and words of protest from jenoa. “But she is glad to see you are doing well, Liliana, as am I”

Lilena moved back towards her home, grabbing Ebberhard by the hand, “Well, what are we doing standing out here? Come in! Come in! Sorry its such a mess! I had no idea you were coming!”

“Oh, Compared to my study, I'm sure it is immaculate” Ebberhard replied.

“Oh, Ebby, compared to your study, my outhouse is immaculate...”

Jenoa stifled a laugh, “Oh, her outhouse probably is immaculate!”

They entered the house to find that it was filled from ceiling to floor with various artifacts, “Well, there is the extravagance you were looking for, Jenoa... Hmm... And what is this?” Ebberhard said as he picks up a small cylindrical device with a dial and a button on it. “I wondered where my 'Flame of Ethoren' went to...”

Lilena whirled around with a worried look on her face, “Oh, that's yours? I found it in my bags after the last time I went to go visit you, and it looked nice there and I kind of was wondering where it came from...” She trailed off, looking a little sick.

Ebberhard felt Jenoa's hand on his shoulder, a sign that he was supposed to do something nice. He knew Lilena had a problem with stealing things while they had adventured together, which was fitting since she was a thief. She had been telling him how she was doing much better about it now that she was a respectable married woman. Ironically, that had been during her last visit. He also knew that he had to act quickly before she broke down into tears. “Didn't I let you borrow this last time that you visited? Something about a ice creature bothering you or showing off at the neighborhood bonfire?” Both were obviously not true, but he was fairly certain that she would not protest. Jenoa, on the other hand, was squeezing his shoulder, and ghosts can actually squeeze surprisingly hard.

“Oh, that must have been it!” Lilena spouted, relieved, “ Well I'm glad you remembered, those are rare, aren't they?”

“Yes, they are getting that way...” His powers of deception impressed even himself, “Well, as thanks, I have brought you payment for taking care of it.” He smiled inwardly as he reached into his bag. He pulled out an ornate dagger, he knew that she recognized it immediately because she was suddenly right next to him.

“Is that...?” Her eyes opened widely as her hands slowly reached for the dagger

“It is,” He hands her the dagger, “The Dagger of Truth.”

“Its surprising that you are giving it to me, considering that I tried to use it on you when we first met.”

“As I recall, you didn't get the chance.” he smiled as he remembered the time that he and his group had been threatened by Lilena. The poor girl had been so embarrassed when the adventurers had laughed at her, they caught her and used the dagger's truth inducing properties on her. It led to her joining the group, but it was not a pleasant experience for her. He decided to not pursue the topic further. “So, I suppose that I should get down to why I came here...”

Phew! That's quite a bit, isn't it?
I would really appreciate any sort of comments!