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!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

World Building: Wizard Swears

Ack! Its been a long time since I posted! But I have the perfect topic for it:

Unique swear words, insults, and exclamations!



Merlin's beard!

By the egg!

Cotton-headed ninny-muggins!

A good way to add detail to a world is to give it its own swears, insults and exclamations! Good terms include slang and silly words, as well as religious, historical, and cultural references.

Some examples include:
[person of significance]'s [something belonging to person, usually of note]
God's Thumbs!

[any silly sounding word]
Holy Shnikies!

[a curse word in another language]

[something considered disgusting or uncouth]
Dragon droppings!

[something of some importance, religious, cultural, etc.]

The sky is the limit.

Of course, the best purpose of making up swear words is to be have your characters swear without offending anyone, a good trick for a writer.

What do you think of this idea? Post a comment!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dreamplane conjuration and mutability

My first experience with dreamplanes was a movie, that I don't remember the name of, where a guy with psychic abilities gets recruited into a program where they use a machine to allow psychics into other people's dreams. At first they this is done to help people with problem dreams, then he develops the ability to enter dreams without the machine and has to save the president from one of his coworkers.

Besides the plot, the interesting thing about the movie was that while in a person's dreamplane, they had the ability to create any item they needed and they were even able to change their form.

This seems like a good adventure or side adventure concept, where they can get anything they need, but there is quite a good chance that anything could turn on them, becoming a nightmare. A character that they believed to be another visitor to the dreamplane could turn out to be a part of the dream, and upon leaving they find that this person that they have bonded with is nothing but a dream.

Or maybe...

The person you took out of the dream with you is still a dream-being but by releasing it into world you unleash the chaos of dreams. Which then reminds me of an anime movie called paprika, where people use technology to view and record a person's dream. Eventually it releases a crazy person's dream and an evil person's dream into the world. Long story short, it took a giant naked ghost lady with multiple personalities to fix things.


where was I?

Oh, right! While in the dreamplane, you can conjure any item you need and even manipulate the surrounding area. Maybe to add to the mess, you have to worry about your sanity if you go into a crazy person's dream, or maybe nightmares have some sort of corrupting effect on people.

I may just write a campaign based on the ideas here... except that the people I play with are readers... >.<

Well, maybe they will forget...

Anyway, does this rant inspire you? Does it make sense? Does it seem pointless to you? Comment!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Psychoplanes, Dreamplanes, and Getting Back Into my Posting Schedule

Well, I have not been keeping up with my posting schedule as well as I would have hoped, and lets hope that I get back into it easily. More APSC soon, really.

But for now, I want to bring up a topic that has interested me for some time.


Its always a wonderful concept when you can leave your universe and travel to a completely different world, but what if instead of going away from your world, you went deeper into it. Into another world, the world of the mind of another person?

I admit, this is by no means an original concept, but it has so much potential for a RPG.

Perhaps there is some mental instability with your friend and the only way to resolve the problem is to hook your brain up to a machine that can project your consciousness into the world that is his mind.

What wonders would you see? How much would these worlds differentiate? Are they infinite or finite? Does a person's intelligence determine how large the psychoplane is? Are psychoplanes limited to sentient beings? How would an animal's psychoplane differ?

I could really go on all day.

And don't even get me started on Dreamplanes.

Now I want to do several posts on this topic. I probably will.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Monster Builder in Beta!


I keep missing posts due to school related business, but I have good news!

The Monster Builder is out in beta!

Go check it out!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A New Twist on the Peasant Railgun (4e)

Ghaa! I missed two days of posting, but to make up for it I have an awesome post:

Just about every one has heard of the peasant railgun. A mechanics experiment that requires a large number of peasants to ready an action to pass a spear (or any other item) to the next peasant when it is handed to them, causing the spear to travel a large distance in 6 seconds, effectively making it a far more deadly weapon than it was before.

Now, for the twist:
I plan to attempt this with a player character.

At level 1.

Its really simple, actually. All you need is the Fighter's Bloodrager vigor talent and the rogue's Speedy Response feat. As a human, this is possible at first level either as a fighter multiclassing into rogue or a hybrid fighter/rogue using hybrid talent to get bloodrager vigor. You want a score of 15 in dexterity, and as much as you can into constitution. For armor, you want nonmagical cloth of no armor, you want to get hit!

Ok, get your army of peasants (closest thing in the MMs would be the human rabble on page 162 in the first MM) in two rows 5 ft (one square) in between them, and tell them to attack you with an opportunity attack if you get close. Then, run down the middle.

For each 5ft you move, two peasants will get opportunity attacks against you. Two things happen if they hit you: after damage is settled, you gain temporary HP equal to your constitution modifier, and you gain a +1 bonus to speed for the move.

Now for some math!
If you have no armor or cloth armor, your AC will be 12 (due to having 15 in dex, giving a +2 to AC) and the peasants have a +6 to their attack. This means that they have a 14 in 20 chance of hitting you, that's a 70% chance.

If you have 1000 peasants (two rows of 500) then approximately 700 will hit you, causing you to move about 700 squares plus your speed (i assume 6) in 6 seconds, that's 3530 ft per 6 sec or...

Times 10 seconds = 35300 ft/minute
Times 60 minutes = 2118000ft/hr
Divided by 5280 ft = 401.1363636... Mph

That's about an additional 0.4 mph per peasant you have, assuming 70% of them hit you.

And the best part is, after all of this is over you have full health (down 4 hp with 4 temp hp) to help you survive whatever it is that you crash into!

Just over 400 MPH at level one! Sure, it needed 1000 peasants, but using rules as they were (sort of) intended I only got to just over 200 MPH, and this could even be scaled up more.

A million peasants could get you to around 401136 MPH, if my math if correct.

What makes this better is that this build could actually be useful in a battle! Though you might want to get some decent armor. If you want to get through the minions to get to the Big Bad or want to cheat at a race (and have an excuse as to that you weren't cheating).

and here is a thrown together version, named Spear:

I hope you liked it! Any questions, comments, etc? Leave a comment!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Go Read A Book (Here Are Some Suggestions)

Go read a book from one of these series:

Discworld by Terry Pratchett.

Myth Adventures by Robert Asprin

Shannara by Terry Brooks

Xanth by Piers Anthony

I've only read books from the first two series, but have also heard great things about the others.

Any agreements with the series above or other suggestions?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Making 4e More Like WoW: PVP And Raids!

There have been many people who have complained that 4e is too much like World of Warcraft. I say, take a few more ideas from it.

I can see many options for this, one on one, free-for-alls. team battles, and multi-team battles. See who can build the best character and play it best, see which team works together the best, or just get a buch of people together to kill each other.

Why would a 6 person team be able to take down a mighty dragon?
It would definitely be tricky to pull off, but to have a large group play through a dungeon might be fun. The dungeon, and possibly the enemies, would have to be modified to make it accessible to a larger group.

It might work where there is one DM in charge of a certain amount of players and they each group take their turns at the same time, when everyone is done with a round, then the GMs start working on the monsters.

Well, I don't know if they would work, but I think it would be interesting to try. I'm going to try to convince my gaming group to try some PVP (shouldn't be hard) and depending on how it turns out, I'll try to post about it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

WotC Finally Give Psionics Sufficient Fluff and It's WHAT?

WotC released their design and development article for the psionics power source and from reading it I think I got a glimpse of how exactly it is said to be.

Now before I get into what I think they said, let me point a few things out:

A) Psionics usually do not get sufficient fluffing. Instead the psionics usually tend to be a great deal of new mechanics, but lack decent explanation of how it fits into D&D's fantasy setting.
B) Psionics, by their nature, tend to be powered by one's own mind power, as martial classes tend to be powered by their own physical strength or dexterity.
C) One of the (many) complaints about psionics is that they are too similar to wizards. I don't exactly know how, but its something that is mentioned in the article.

Here is a summary of the new psionics back story:

Recently, as the Far Realm's incursion into the world has grown more aggressive, psionic energy has become more common, stronger, and easier to control. Previously, only monks could tap into it with their rigorous discipline and self-control. Now others can utilize it, from psions who study and unlock its secrets to others who acquire psionic powers seemingly at the universe's whim.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like it's a power that leaks from the Far Realm that those with the ability can tap into. How is that separating it from the wizard? If I make a psionic character, I want it to have power oozing out his ears because it comes from his brain! I don't want my mentally powered character to pull mental energy from some source leaking from the far realm.

Though now that I think about it... It somehow starts to fit into one of my growing theories...

divine power comes from the astral sea, primal and martial come from the material plane (primal also a little from the feywild), psionic now from the far realm, elemental will probably come from the elemental chaos, and shadow will probably be from the shadowfel.

As interesting as a power source from the far realms seems, I much more like the idea of psionics and the martial power source being parts of a ying-yang of the intelligent creatures of the D&D universe. if you train your body hard enough, your body becomes a weapon, it seems more fitting to me that if you can train your mind enough it too can become a weapon as well. Its possible that the far realm is somehow causing radiation that makes more people able to use psionic powers easier, but only time (and the PHB3) will tell.

Agree with me?
Disagree with me?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Race Origin Stories: All Decended From Humans

Some fantasy settings describe humans as being "a young race" compared to the elves and dwarves that have been in existence for ages upon ages. But, what if the humans are the old race, struggling to remain on top, while the world becomes filled with new races trying to make a place for themselves?

Perhaps, long ago, humans left the material plane to colonize other worlds. The people who would later become the elves left for the feywild, and those who did not come back long ago became the eladrin, and those who went instead to the shadowfell became drow. The ancestors of the dwarves went to a plane of elemental earth with high gravity. Halflings and gnomes have a similar ancestry and the gnomes also spent some time in the feywild.

Make sense?

Orcs and goblins, on the other hand, make me wonder where they could have come from. Perhaps they went to some far plane and became twisted by the lack of resources, some struggle that they had to endure, or maybe the plane's evil aura. The orcs went to some savage plant filled world and at some point began to become plant-like, gaining their green hue.

Dragonborn's ancestors went to some world with frisky, shapechanging dragons. TMI there.

Of course, its not required that planar travel be required, with the above stories it kinda implies that this is a future version of our world. If you want it to be from a fantasy setting, maybe the human peoples are seperated long enough for them to gain further different traits, or maybe it was just random or magical mutation.

How about a story?
The dragonborn were once half-dragons, spread across the world, separate from each other. One day one of them helped a great king who offered him anything that he desired. He requested for a small portion of the kingdom to create a place for his kind and for the king to send messages around the world to let all the half-dragons know they had a place to call home. Their descendants later rose to take over that kingdom, but that's another story.

Kinda a random post, haphazardly thrown together (more than usual), but how do you like it?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Psion: How to multiclass?

I was really excited yesterday to find that the D&DI was releasing a new class with the character builder update: the Psion! I was quite surprised to see that the psion uses a new system for their powers, I think it should work well, but I noticed something.

The way it works is that it eliminates encounter powers, but you not only get to gain new at-will attacks, but you can augment them with power points (which you start with two of, and gain more every few levels). The problem is that if you try to multiclass into another class (or try to multiclass into psion) you don't have any encounter powers to trade for powers from your new class.

I suppose you could lose your new at-will and the added power points in exchange for your multiclass encounter powers, but it seems like it would be weakening your character or at the very least, making things very complicated.

Monday, July 6, 2009

APSC: Arcane Paladin Problem, Part II

Alright, I think I figured it out the solution to my problem.

I'm going to associate certain weapon types with an element, and upon character creation, you pick a weapon type. That weapon type will be what you can use as an implement, and the associated element will be the damage type.

I think this both solves the problems with damage type of the attacks and what implements to use. This also gives me some options for some new feats specifically for the arcane paladin. A feat for a new weapon type as an implement (and therefore a new damage type when you use that weapon type) or even just the ability to use a different damage type with the weapon type you have.

Now that I think about it, I have not done any new feats for the APSC project. Expect a post with feats soon... Either to make them fit in with their new power source or to adjust their current feats to fit the new power source... or something like that.

So, What do you think of my new plan? Any questions, comments, or blindingly obvious errors in my thinking? Leave a comment!

Friday, July 3, 2009

APSC: Arcane Paladin Problem

I began working on the arcane paladin for the APSC project, and I kinda ran into a problem. Several of the paladin's powers are radiant typed, and there are a few ways that I could handle it to make it fit the arcane power source.

I could simply fluff if so that they originated from the Divine paladins and were able to channel arcane power into radiant attacks. But that seemed like a bit of a cop out. I searched on.

I could give the choice of what damage type to replace all of the radiant attacks with, but that may give too much flexibility or would give some options for feats or just to give your character an elemental theme or focus.

Or I could go through each and every power and meticulously pick an element and add fluff for every single power. Um... That's a bit much for my tastes.

There are probably more options that I am missing, which is why I am writing a post about it. That and that I had nothing else prepared. So, any ideas? Like one of the options I have above? Think my attempt at the APSC project is a joke? Leave a comment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One Page Dungeon: Zoo of Death

Well, by the time that this post goes up, the one page dungeon contest should have it's winners announced. So, I feel its about time that I posted my entry, The Zoo of death.

It can be found here:

It is a reference to a part of the story that was removed from the movie, and one of many reasons why you should read the book.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Please Fill Out This Important Survey!

A fellow RPG blogger and I are working on a series of PDFs inspired by the D&D 3.0 book Savage Species. In these PDFs we will have the monsters from the 4e monster manuals as playable races. It would help us greatly if you would fill out this survey to help us get an idea of how we should do things.

Click here for the survey!

Thank you for your time, and watch for our products!

Fear the Iron Boot!

Friday, June 26, 2009

4e Hybrid Classes: Alternate Armor Proficiency System

With the update for the hybrid classes, they changed the way that classes got their armor proficiencies, making it so that hybrid classes may be nerfed in the armor department. I thought this was a little disappointing, so I created my own system for determining a hybrid character's armor proficiency. The way it currently works is that you use whatever both classes have, unless you spend a feat that could be used to get another class feature. The way this sytem works, you could end up with a Fighter/wizard that can only use cloth. I think it could be better.

The basic premise is: If they simply cut starting HP, leveling HP, and number of healing surges in half, why not do it for armor proficiency? Each armor type is given a number, and whatever the highest available to the base class, you half that number and add it to the other base class (round down, if necessary) , giving you the hybrid class's proficiency.

1- Cloth armor (half: .5)
2- Leather armor (half: 1)
3- Hide armor (half: 1.5)
4- Chainmail armor (half: 2)
5- Scale armor (half: 2.5)
6- Plate armor (half: 3)

With this system, a paladin/fighter hybrid would have the same proficiencies as the regular system, but a paladin/wizard would have up to hide armor instead of just cloth. A fighter/ranger would have chainmail instead of just hide.

This system could also work with shields:

0- No shield (half: 0)
1- Light shield (half: .5)
2- Heavy shield (half: 1)

This way, if you have a class that normally has a heavy shield then you still are able to use light shields. Other than that, it doesn't have much of an effect.

Well, it's a slight improvement from the current system... Right? leave a comment if you like this idea, if you see some sort of flaw in it, or if you just have something to say about it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

4e Monster Movement: Why Running Away Wont Help

When I started this idea to write about monster vision and movement it seemed like an easy idea. It was, at first. Until I started working on the movement part. There is a lot of it, so we should get started.

For simplicity's sake, I am going to skip running, shifting, crawling, and squeezing. Those should be in the PHB, go look it up if you like.

Walk (0-10, 12, none)
Normal movement speed.

Fly (3-10, 12, 14)
The monster takes flight and must move at least two squares each round to remain airborne, and is unable to shift or make opportunity attacks. If knocked prone, the monster crashes.

Clumsy (walk 1, 2, Fly 3-8, 10, 12)
While using a clumsy movement mode, a creature is -4 to attack rolls and all defenses.
Overland flight

Hover (fly 3, 4, 6-9, 10, 12, 14)
If a Monster can hover, it can fly without moving on its turn, as well as shift and make opportunity attacks while airborne.

Max altitude (1,2)
If a monster with an altitude limit flies too high, it crashes at the end of its next turn.

Overland flight (10, 12, 15, 18)
An overland flight speed works like a Fly speed except that it can only be used when only move actions and free actions on that round.

Swim (4-10, 12, 16)
A swim speed allows a monster to move through water without an athletics check.

Teleport (2-8, 10)
When a monster teleports, it moves instantaneously to a place within range and line of sight. The monster doesn't provoke opportunity attacks, and is able to go past obstacles and terain, as long as it does not hinder line of sight. Immobilized or restrained monsters can still teleport, if it is in a physical retraint, another creature's grasp, or an immobilizing effect located in a specific place, then it is no longer immobilized or restrained Otherwise, they are still are immobilized or restrained.

Burrow (2-4, 6, 8)
A monster that can burrow moves through Loose soil at their burrow speed, or through solid stone at half speed. Monsters cannot shift or charge while burrowing.

Tunneling (2-4, 6)
Monsters that tunnel while they burrow leave a tunnel behind them. This creature or creatures smaller than it can use these tunnels without penalty, while creatures of the same size have to squeeze, and larger creatures can't make it through at all.

Climb (2-8, 12)
Climb up a vertical surface without a athletics check, ignores difficult terrain and does not grant combat advantage from climbing.

Spider climb (2-6, 8, 12)
Allows monsters to climb on horizontal surfaces (such as a ceiling)

Terrain walk (Earth 4, 6, Forest 4-6, 8, Ice 6-9, Swamp 4-8)
Ignore certain types of difficult terrain, according to the type of terrain walk they have:
Earth - Rubble, uneven stone, or an earthen construction.
Forest - Part of a tree, underbrush, or some other forest growth.
Ice - Ice or snow.
Swamp - Mud or shallow water.


Monster Ignores difficult terrain, can move through obstacles and other creatures, but must end its movement in an unoccupied square.

Cannot Shift
Some creatures just can't shift.

Phew, finally got through it. Hope you find it helpful!

If you like this post, leave a comment and I'll be more likely to do some more like it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

4e Monster Vision: Why The Monsters Will See You First.

4th Edition may be a year old, but people may still not know everything there is about the monsters. For this reason, I am writing this post to help people with small things to help them in case they run into something they might not have come across before. I hope you enjoy.

Monsters are able, in many cases to see better than the player races, but that doesn't mean they all do, so I shall start with the vision that even player races have.

Normal Vision
Normal vision is, as the name implies, nothing special. In dim light, any creatures in the area have concealment against you, putting you at a disadvantage. You cannot see at all in complete darkness.

Low-Light Vision
This level of vision is basically the same as normal vision, but without the penalty in dim light, but you still can't see in complete darkness.

It is unexplained how, exactly, darkvision works. It allows the charcter to see in dim light and complete darkness without any penalty.

Well, that covers the playable race's visions, but we are just getting started with the monster's vision types.

well, its more of a monster type, but still, I think it fits in this post. Blind creatures cannot see, they rely on special senses (below) to detect things within their range. Anything beyond that range is invisible to them.The book even goes on to specify that they not only can't be blinded (as the status effect), but they are also immune to gaze attacks and other effects that rely on sight.

Blindsight (Ranges 6, 8, 10, 12, 20)
Monsters with blindsight are able to see anything within range and line of effect, even if they are invisible or obscured. Beyond their range, the monster must rely on their normal vision.

Tremorsence (Ranges 5, 10, 20)
Monsters with tremorsence can see things within range even if they are obscured, invisible, or out of line of effect, but the creature must be on the ground or touching the same surface (water or a web). If out of range (or not touching ground or same surface) monster relies on his normal vision.

Truesight (Ranges 6, 10, 20)
Monsters with true sight can see things that are invisible, as long as it is in line of sight.

All-Around Vision
Monsters that can see in all directions at once have all-around vision, keeping them from granting a bonus to flankers.

Well, there you have it. You can run, but you cant hide.
Actually, you can't even run! Check back on Wednesday to see why...
Questions, comments, etc. are always gladly accepted

Friday, June 19, 2009

Five Bullywugs Named Steve: Steve

Many bullywugs were experimented on in the sorcerer's tower, but this is not one of them.

there is a little known line of bullywugs that has fey blood in them, though nobody knows how this happened. A drunken nymph, a hopped-up satyr, or even a disturbingly curious elf, nobody knows, but there is no denying their greater agility (and intelligence, they claim) and different temperament than most other bullywugs. Yes, this tale is about one of them.

Steve was born a normal bullywug, was unremarkable as a tadpole, but really grew into his own as he started growing legs. He graduated at the top of his class in bullywug school*, and was voted most likely to join a rag-tag group of crime fighters. By coincidence, this is exactly what he did.
Some years after he began a successful mud business, making and selling mud, Steve was kidnapped by several sorcerers who had not only tried to magically alter bullywugs, but lost them and thought Steve was one of them. Luckily for Steve, four of the escapees ambushed the sorcerers and helped him escape.

The escaped bullywugs had only recently banded together, and were still bickering amongst themselves about how they should handle things and what they would be called. Steve told them that they must stand together to take advantage of their full potential, since there is power in numbers. Then he mentioned that five was greater than four, saying that he wished to add his own strength to theirs.

Once they agreed to let him join, Steve suggested that for their name, they use their number, to show their power, and add what they have in common, that they were bullywugs and happened to all have the name Steve.

Thus, they became The Five Bullywugs Named Steve.

While Steve finds his new career to be more rewarding, He has yet to find that his evil twin-half brother Stave (don't ask) took over his mud business, and is forcing his workers to work more for less and is slowly destroying his people's way of life. Will Steve Return to his old life to help his people, or will he stay with his new comrades and fight injustice?

*Bullywug school involves learning how to make mud, though nobody knows why bullywugs find mud to be so important.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monster Manual Races That Should Have Been

I've had this post in the works for a while, but never finished it. Aaron from Allgeektout is doing a series of posts updating the old 3.x book 'Savage Species' to 4e, and that has inspired me to finish this post and make plans to convert some of them into playable races. So, here it is: Monster manual races that should have been.

Races they should have had playable in the MM2
Archon- Different options, possibly overpowered, but I think its doable.
Azer- Dwarves, on fire. 'Nuff said.
Banshrae- Buglike fey. Fast, but would totally work. (look for my version of them soon)
Cambion- Even more badass versions of tieflings.
Dryad- I really don't see why these plant people would not be playable.
Harpies- They gave these grumpy bird women arms and clothes in this edition, why not a race?
Kuo-Toa- Frog (or in this editon, fish) people.
Lizardfolk- Just as the name implies, these are lizard people.
Sahuagin- Shark-like fish people, Go into a frenzy when they smell blood. >: D
Satyr- I think these guys really should have been a race, they must have lost a bet with the gnomes...
Troglodyte- Cave dwellers, other than being evil I see no reason to not make them into a race.

Races they could have had playable in the MM2

Choker- The natural weapons of their 'tentacle claw' probably scared away WotC from making this a race.
Chuul- I'm not even sure that these are intelligent, but they'd be fun to play!
Galeb duhr- Living rocks, probably not playable because of their burrow speed.
Gargoyle- Made of stone, and they fly. Riiiiiiiight.
Grimlock- They are blind... just a challenge to a good roleplayer.
Mindflayers- Brain-eating, squid faced 'humanoids,' if one swore to never eat a brain again, I don't see why they can't be a race.
Rakshasa- Backwards handed, immortal, cat people. Notoriously evil.
Slaad- Creatures of Pure chaos. Has a lot of potential as a very veritable race.
Sorrowsworn- Monstrous shadow humanoids tasked with hunting down powerful mortals that escaped death.
Swordwing- armored, armed, and winged, what more could you want? Obsessive collecting? Got that too!
Yuan-ti- Snake people, could be a race, but I think that their cultists would be more interesting.

Races I would have liked in the MM2, but I'll let slide this time...
Angel- Too overpowered...
Beholder- Floating eyeball of death, too overpowered...
Berbalang- Kinda creepy... and the duplicates thing makes it over powered.
Gibbering beasts- He he he...
Lycanthropes- Too overpowered.
Marut- Flying, teleporting immortals, Yeah, I can see why they didn't make these into a race. But it would still be cool.
Medusa- The females are too over powered with their petrification, but the males would be perfectly playable.
Owlbear- Not intelligent creatures, but would be fun to play as anyway.
Quickling- With a speed 12, its way too fast for a PC, would be very fun though. Like a halfling on crack.

Did I get everything? Do you disagree with my opinion? Post a comment!

Monday, June 15, 2009

D&D Insider Exclusive Race: Revenant

But I mostly just wanted to boost my hits.

The revenant is 4e's first undead playable race, but instead of being a race of their own, they are simply a soul stuffed back into a body by the Raven Queen. This can cause a revenant to 'be' any other race, allowing them access to that race's feats, paragon paths, or epic destinies that their previous race had access to. In additon, there is a lot of 'previous race' related feats to help your revenant recover some of his previous identity. I intend to make a formerly half-elf revenant and make him take the revenant feats for half-elf as well as elf and human. No wait, nevermind... its a racial feature, that might not work...but why not try?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Short Break

I appologize, even though there is nothing that binds me to post, I still feel bad for not posting. I just have not been in the mood lately. So, I figure I should at least give you something to pass the time while I am AFK.

Cave Story
Cave story is a free independent game that I really enjoy.
Someone even made 4e races for it: here

Another fun indy game here

Savage Species
Aaron from Allgeektout is working on a 4e version of the 3.0 book "savage species" and I may help him with it, so expect some here sometime soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

APSC: Martial Barbarian, The Way its Meant to Be

Well, after quite a while of posting at least every other day (about a month!), sickness, adjusting to a new computer, and laziness caught up with me and I've missed several days that I should have been posting.

So, to make it up to you I present: Martial Barbarian!
The way it's meant to be!

First the crunch, then the fluffs.

Mechanical changes:

I... I honestly can't find anything that needs to be changed. So, onto the...

When civilization (towns and cities) is described points of light in a dark world, barbarians are those who live in the darkness. These uncivilized people battle for food, territory, and their tribe's right to live. Considered to be almost monsters, a theory encouraged by their powerful rages, where they devastate their opponents with increased strength and agility powered by their blood being forged through generations of survivors in a hellish landscape.

Though the spirits may watch over them, these barbarians are not powered by them. Untold eons of the strongest surviving and the weak falling has built people the perfect martial machine. This added to their unsurpassed rage makes any foe think twice about fighting them.

Well, its not a lot, but its more than I've been doing lately.
Any thoughts on the fluff?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hybrid Classes and Other Character Ideas

Well, when they released that they were going to include hybrid classes on the charcter builder with the next update, I was excited with all the possibilities! A barbarian/paladin! A druid/wizard! Even a sorcerer/avenger! I was all ready to create some new characters and write a post about them.

But no.

They only included the classes from the PHB1 and the FRPG.

None the less, I have some more characters to present to you today that I whipped up:

Thia: leader multiclass
Thia Starts with the Bard class, and then uses the Multiclass Versitility class feature to get multiclass feats for all of the other classes, getting the feats that give additional healing abilities. May get an update when more multiclass options come up.

Kris: Hybrid/multiclass striker
Kris is a hybrid ranger/rogue with multiclassing into barbarian as far as the paragon multiclassing.

MacGuffin: this blog's writer's interpretation of himself in D&D (with a Hybrid class)
Yours truely, stated out ass a dual-weilding paladin. Yeah, I'm kinda awesome.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Story Time: Untitled Story Project

For some time I have been working on several story ideas for the Ages of Avion setting. Though it may ultimately not be in that setting, I finally started writing recently. Here is the unedited first draft of what I have written so far.

Ebberhard wished that 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?" Jenoa said, snapping him out of his thoughts.

"I'm not getting old, I've just been walking a very long time." Ebberhard 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 guess, as even when taking energy from ebberhard to create a humanoid form, Jenoa's spirit was dificult to tell the sex from. It was common trait among elves to have gender neutral spirits and this one that had been bound to him from childhood was no different.

"Well," Jenoa started, in that tone of voice that let Ebberhard know Jenoa was going to talk about the elves, "If I still had my elf body, it still would not getting old for a while..."

"Well," Ebberhard started back, mimicing Jenoa's tone, " Perhaps that was one of my parent's aims in their experament. Sometimes I wish they hadn't given me my magical sences, 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 your parents... How can you talk about them after all they did to you?"

"That was a long time ago," Eb scowled, "And you know as well as I htat they have paid for their crimes, and for all we know they still are paying for it. The judiciary system is tough on people who do illegal magical experaments, especially those on children."

"Uggh..." Jenoa was clearly irritated, "Thats so like you... And we've been on this road so long! Are we there yet?"

"yes, actually. We're almost to the address."

Jenoa was suddenly in a much better mood, "Oh! I wonder what kind of house fiestly ol' Lil has?" They walked up to a plane looking house, which surprised jenoa, causing her to blurt out, "I thought it's be more extravagant..."

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

Its not a lot, but thats all I have so far.

What do you think of it?

Monday, June 1, 2009

New News about the D&D Insider

I'd put a real post, but I'm sick and it was just my birthday (yes, I'm pulling the birthday card).

But I will tell you that they are planning a lot of things for the D&D Insider.

Previews way before they come out in books, and even some exclusive info.

Next Post: some writing of mine (fiction) or something else I've been meaning to do.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Birthday Post: Hybrid Classes Version 2 and Hybrid Character Update

A while ago, I posted about the 4e hybrid class rules, and a character that was using the rules. Today, I am going to review that character to show the changes in the new version. Comments are in italics.

ClassStarting HPHP Gain/levelHealing SurgesDefense Bonuses
Paladin7.535+1 Will
Ranger62.53+1 Ref
Total13.55.58+1 Will +1 Ref
Rounded1358+1 Will +1 Ref

Although It doesn't make much of a difference for this character, now the class' HP and healing surges are not yet rounded, possibly giving more HP and surges that the original system.

Lvl 1 Human Paladin/Ranger
Str: 18 Con: 11 Dex: 12
Int: 8 Wis: 14 Cha: 14

AC: 18
Fort: 15
Ref: 13
Will: 14

HP: 24
Bloodied: 12
Healing Surges: 9
Surge Value: 6

Class Features:
Divine Challenge (hybrid, not as much damage)
Hunter's Quarry (hybrid, only works with ranger powers)

At will: Holy Strike, Twin Strike, Valiant Strike
Encounter: Off-hand strike
Daily: On Pain of Death

Skills: Heal, Nature, Insight, Religion
Automatically learned skills seem to have been dropped from this version.
Feats: Hybrid Talent (Ranger fighting style: Two blade fighting style), Improved Initiative

There is not much change with this character, but I'd like to point out that the hybrid talent feat has had a lot up upgrading, it not has more restrictions and clear meanings. It's more restricting, but works better and is more balanced.

Hide armor
Broadsword x2
Adventurer's Kit

Well, there was not as much change as I had thought... Oh well, its my birthday, I can post a simple post if I want. Its a small update for my character, but there is a lot of new content. Expect more when they put it into the character builder.

Questions? Comments?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How To Go Over 200 MPH in 4e

I was bored the other day, I decided that I would make a character as fast as possible.

And dag, did I do it.

I start with the razorclaw shifter's base speed 6, made him a druid with the primal predator class feature, and went from there. I adjusted the character's stats to best work with the choices below, which gave me 18 dex (it wouldn't let me go any higher legally) and the rest didn't matter.

razorclaw shifter speed: 6
Druid primal predator class feature: +1 speed

Bloodied fleetness: +1 speed while bloodied
Student of the plague (flame speed): +2 speed until end of next turn while running.
Fast runner: +2 speed while running
One of the speed feats (Hunting wolf form, fleet footed or both vampiric heritage and vampire alacrity): +1 speed


Razorclaw shifer racial power, Razorclaw shifting
Lvl 2 Utility Fleet pursuit
Lvl 22 Utility Sky talon
Lvl 29 daily attack Primal Archetype

Paragon path
Sky hunter- lvl 11 encounter attack blinding talons, Skyhunter's action.

Epic destiny
Prison of the winds- +2 speed bonus

The Deluvian Hourglass- Time stop (lvl 22 wizard utility) get two standard actions from a minor.
Fleetrunner boots (epic tier)- when running, move +6 more than your speed, rather than +2.
Clockwork cowl (epic tier)- get two standard actions from a minor.
Fleet hero tattoo (epic tier) +3 bonus to speed until end of next turn when using action point.
Star opal ring (epic tier) +1 speed
Timeless tome + 6- time stop adds 3 standard actions instead of two.
Dagger- everyone knows you run faster with a knife out.

The base speed:
Race: 6
Class feature: +1
Speed feat: +1
Epic destiny: +2
Star Opal ring: +1
Fleet hero Tattoo: +3

Total base speed: 14 squares

Step one: get beaten half to death.
Bloodied fleetness: +1

Current total: 15 squares

Step two: during this encounter
Razorclaw Shifting- +2 speed until end of encounter
Fleet pursuit- until end of encounter, speed bonus equal to dex mod (+ 10 at 30th level)while in beast form.
Sky talon- until end of encounter, gain for that flies at your speed + 2.
Primal Archetype- until end of encounter, gain a +4 speed bonus while in beast form.

Current total: 33 squares

Step three: previous turn
Flamespeed: +1 speed, +2 while running until end of next turn.

Current total: 34 squares

Step four: Action point
Action point- extra action
Skyhunter's action- fly up to your speed before using action gained from action point. (move 34 squares)
Extra action blinding talons- move twice your speed, then attack. (move 68)

Total squares traveled: 102 squares

Step five: Run, don't walk
Running (with fleetrunner boots)- +6 squares
Fast Runner feat- +2 squares while running
Slame speed- extra +1 while running

Running speet total: 43

Step six: Items
The Deluvian hourglass (with Timeless tome +6)- use minor action to gain 3 standard actions.
Clockwork Cowl- Use minor (a Move in this case) action to gain 2 standard actions.

Actions total: 0 Minor actions, 0 Move actions, 6 Standard actions

Step Seven: Move it, move it.
Use 6 Standard actions as move actions (43 squares each, 43 * 6 = 258 squares)

Total squares traveled: 360

Step Eight: Calculate
360 squares * 5 ft/square = 1800 ft
1800 ft/6 seconds * 10 seconds = 18000 ft/minute
18000 ft/minute * 60 minutes = 1080000 ft/hour
1080000 ft/hour / 5280 ft/mi = 204.54545454... Mi/hour

If you can't read that, it says that he is moving at 204.5 miles per hour. 1800 feet in six seconds. I even calculated how fast you could go if you ran for a minute, it averages out to almost 60 mph.

Before you ask what the purpose of doing this is, its a mechanics experiment. When I started I was surprised to get as high as 70MPH.
So, other than that, what do you think? Did I miss anything? Can you do better? How?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

APSC: Answering Some Questions

I love comments, I really do. Lets me know that people actually do read my blog. And I also love feedback, especially feedback that I am looking (and asking) for. One of my frequent commentators, Shinobicow of Charisma 4 (also known as 'The Dump Stat'), commented some questions that I had thought about but had not sorted out completely.
Blogger shinobicow said...

Hmmm... the APSC is hard thing for me to wrap my head around. I like what you did with the divine bard. The thing is a lot of the other ideas that you have for the next one all seem to have alternates which seem to match up.

The Arcane Paladin seems to me a lot like a swordmage if you don't want to mess with its combat role.

The Primal Warlock seems to me to be a lot like a striker shaman, which seems really cool. A divine warlock just seems like an avenger with range.

The martial barbarian seems like a bit too easy of a choice to be honest. That one doesn't seem like it would be too hard, mostly since previous editions of the barbarian played out to be way more like a fighter than a primal warrior.

But, i guess it all comes down to you. Once again, i like what you did with the divine bard. Maybe you should play around with the bard some more and do a primal version or a martial version, either of which i think would be cool since the Bard is really the biggest virtuoso out there and likes to jump around in power sources throughout the different editions and based on what powers he's using.

Keep up the good work.

May 24, 2009 9:20 AM

ok, lets go through these one at a time.

Arcane paladin/fighter too similar to swordmage- A heavily armored chap who channels magic through his weapon. Yes, it sounds just like the Swordmage. Just because they are similar in fluff, they will still play differently. A fighter will have his weapon talent, a paladin will have his Arcane Challenge, a considerably reflavored lay on hands, and have his channel divinities compressed into just arcane strength, which will all be different from the Swordmage's Aegis. Not to mention that they would all still have different powers.

In terms of fluff, the arcane paladin will differ from the swordmage in that it will be more of a protector. Still being a paladin, he still has his code of honor and devotion to his cause, of course, his code and cause might be different. Parhaps he is a part of some order, sworn to fight necromancy or inhumane magical experaments, or sworn to protect an Arcane school of magic. As for the arcane fighter, I dont have any ideas yet.

Primal/divine warlock- The warlock is an interesting case, as it could have very simple changes or very complicated ones. It could work with a change in it's main abilities and slight reflavoring, or I could change it even more than the divine bard. The basic idea I have for the simple version is to reflavor the pacts to match the new power source. Fey pact would become the primal warlock's focus, and the divine warlock would include the star, infernal and possibly even the dark pacts.

Martial barbarian too easy - YES! : D Which is why I love the idea! I'll probably will just fit into the same post as the simple versions of the divine/primal warlock. Truth be told, I feel that the barbarian better fits the martial power source than the primal At least it would better match the feel of the 3.x barbarian, which is also a reason I want to make a primal ranger.

More bard- primal bard I already had in mind for some later date, but martial too? hmm... It seems that it might be possible... If anyone, the bard could pull off any power source, and possible even multiple power sources. How does that sound? Mutliple power source bard.

Yeah, I just got chills.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Last Chance to Suggest Next APSC and a Bit More Divine Bard

First of all, some shout outs:
Thanks to Berin Kinsman (of and the Phoenix RPG Examiner) and Oddyesy (of How to Start a Revolution in 21 Days or Less) for posting about the APSC project on their sites.

Thanks to Greywulf (of Greywulf's Lair) made an awesome picture for my divine bard (and for putting up with me while we got it perfect):

(click for larger image)

Second, some changes to the character sheet I made. The updated version includes more things that I missed the first time and the additions from the previous bard post. Hopefully I got everything this time.

(Click for larger images)

And lastly, here is the last call for requests for the next alternate power source class. Once I get enough suggestions, I'll put up a poll to see what the most people want.
I think I know what I am going to do next, but if it seems like a lot of people want something else, I might go with that.

Current requests:
Arcane Paladin
Primal/Divine Warlock
Primal Ranger
Martial Barbarian
Primal Swordmage

Feel free to post your requests for the next APSC!

Actually, I DEMAND IT.

Friday, May 22, 2009

D&D Information Request

WotC seems to be more closely watching what information slips out nowadays. When 4e first came out good ol' Mikey let slip a few hints about the second player's handbook that set the 4e fanboys on a speculation rampage.

Why don't they do that anymore?

There is a lot inf info that they could give us peeks at, or just flat out tell us, and be none the worse. Here are some of the things that I would like to know or at least get a hint to.

Races and Classes
The reference at the top is referring to Mike Mearls letting slip the fist letters of the classes and races in the second players handbook. Playtest of races and classes is nice, but if they want us to really get excited about it, even though it is close to another year away is to let us guess what classes and races are going to appear. Sure, it might take the surprise out of it, but its fun. OH! Better yet! Create a riddle to tell us what the new class/race is, the more cryptic the better. Feel free to make the riddles seem to fit two races, anything to distract them from the edition 'wars'.

The release of the cover for the PHB3 was a good move, because now we have something to speculate about. Or, rather, we better know what to speculate about.

Power Sources
Since the only source of knowledge about the 4 3 yet unexplained power sources has now become decanonized, I don't know what to expect for them. This is one of the things that I would really like to know about, and not just because of my alternate power source class project. The addition of the primal ps added a lot of interesting backstory for the basic D&D setting.

I really hope that the Elemental power source is to the primordials as Divine PS is to the gods and Primal PS is to the nature spirits. Shadow may be linked to the shadowfel, or to something completely different. Psionic, the next power source to be added, seems to have some elements of 'ki' which is no longer one of the power sources.

Future Settings
D&D has a rich history of settings: Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, an insane number of homebrew settings and many other published ones that I may not even know of. WotC dangles a new setting for 4e just out of our reach, and makes references to several of the more famous settings. At least give us a hint as to what it is going to be!

Personally, I'm hoping for a 4e Spelljammer, but thats just me.

Do you guys think I did good? Should WotC give us some more speculation fuel? Do you think you know what the future races/classes/power source backstories are going to be? Please leave a comment!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monster Manual 2 Monster Races and Ones That Could Have Been

I'm so happy! I got my monster manual 2 in the mail today (1. I'm writing this on Monday, 2. Yay, Amazon!) and I was a little disappointed at the monster races in the book. Not only were there only three of them, but they are notably weaker than the races in the first MM and considerably weaker than the ones from the PHBs, signaling that they really only want these races for NPCs.

New Monster Races in the MM2
Black feathered bird people, give unusually high bonus to flanking and aid another and have the ability to mimic sounds and voices.
I have been looking forward to the Kenku for a while, they have everything that their race needs to be kenku, but I would've liked another race feature or two. I wouldn't mind playing one though.

Dark dwarves, shoot out quills.
Kinda weird for my tastes... dark dwarves... with quills?

Unnatural frog people that corrupt their swamp home, creates and aura that weakens enemies that spends a healing surge.
Be good for a laugh, but overall, not the greatest of options...

Races they should have had playable in the MM2
Gnolls- Could have had the updated stats for them.
Lizardfolk- Weren't these also in the first MM? Still no race stats!
Shadar-kai- Could also have their updates racial stats.
Spriggan- Corrupt gnomes are the only way to play gnomes! I would like to played one. : D

Races they could have had playable in the MM2
Centaur- Could have been really cool option, but the large size was too much of a turn off for WotC.
Drakkoth- Same as centaur.
Nothic- Crazy, one eyed 'humanoids'. would be VERY fun to play. : D
Phoelarch- Humanoids covered in fire, who burst into flames and are replaced by a medium sized phoenix when they die.
Slaad- Was in the first MM, could have many options... maybe in 'plane below'.
Troglodyte- Yet another one from the MM, evil, but could be playable.
Wood Woad- living trees that hate anyone that looks like they might remotely cut down a tree.
Xorn- Creepy, but it could be playable.

Races I would have liked in the MM2, but I'll let slide this time...
Angel- Too overpowered...
Barghest- Goblin shapeshifters, awesome, but overpowered...
Beholder- Floating eyeball of death, too overpowered...
Marut- "Maruts serve other entities as mercenaries or serve their own mysterious purposes." how does that not get racial stats? Well, they are immortals... Oh, and they fly...
Myconid- They only communicate by SPORES. Otherwise would be cool.
Warforged- Another chance for updated racial stats, but will probably be in the Eberron players guide.

Another thing
They could have slipped the Wilden into the MM2 and have more people playtest it...

Did I get everything? Do you dissagre with my opinion? Post a comment!

Monday, May 18, 2009

APSC: Ideas and Whats Next?

Well, I'd at least like to think that the posts about the divine bard are the cause for my sudden increase in visitors, and because of that I will definitely continue with the project. The only question is: whats next?

There are currently four power sources, and 17 classes in 4e (19 if you count playtest classes) and though not all combos make sense, there are still a lot of possibilities.

Here are some of the ideas that I like:
Divine: Bard (already done), Warlock, Druid, Sorcerer (as favored soul?), Swordmage
Martial: Monk, Barbarian
Primal: Warlock, Any divine class, Ranger, Bard, Swordmage
Arcane: Paladin, Ranger, Avenger, Invoker, Shaman

you may notice that I have no martial classes in that list other than the ranger, they might be possible to alter, but It would be quite difficult and I would like to put that off until I have more experience on this project.

To be honest, I am really happy with how the divine bard has turned out and I will be sure to post my playtest results when I finally get a chance to use it. Some people had trouble understanding WHY I was doing it, but I did get some support as well. I am still open to getting feedback on the mechanical changes and the fluff I wrote, and now I want you to tell me what you think would be good for the next focus of the project.

Do you like one of the ideas above? Do you think another one would be better? Convince me, and I might just do the one you want next!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

APSC: 4e Divine Bard Additions

Note: Made slight tweaks to 'Harmonious Strike' that I neglected to add before. (5/22/09)

The divine bard (and the project in general) is an ongoing process, and I have some more to add to the divine bard today!

Power Adjustments
First of all, I can't believe I forgot to mention that the keyword 'arcane' needs to be changed to 'divine.'

Also, divine area powers tend to only affect enemies, while most of the bard's powers already do this, there are a few that need to be adjusted:

Players Handbook 2
Bard Attack 19 Irresistible Dance
Bard Attack 25 Vision Distortion

Arcane Power :
Bard Attack 9 Rain of Starlight
Bard Attack 9 Symphony of Misfortune
Bard Attack 19 Spring to Action

I decided that the divine bard needed a new at-will Power to make it stand out, I studied the divine classes' at wills to come up with something that fits both the divine PS and the bard. Then I realized that that is mostly fluff and I stole a power from the warlord and twisted it to my will... er... I made it fit the divine bard.

Bard Attack 1 Harmonious Strike
You Strike your foe, the sound of the weapon and your enemy's cry of anguish become the harmony of the battle, and you help your ally play the melody with radiant guidance.
At-Will: Divine, Weapon, Radiant
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Fortitude
Hit: Deal radiant damage equal to your Charisma modifier, and then choose one ally adjacent to either you or the target. This ally applies your Wisdom modifier as a power bonus to the attack roll and the damage roll on his or her next attack against the target and add radiant to the damage type. If the ally does not attack the target by the end of his or her next turn, the bonus is lost.

Another thing that will make the divine bard stand out a lot more is its own bardic virtue. I am a little torn as to what to call it, either "Virtue of Faith" or "Virtue of Honor". For now it will be Honor.

Virtue of Honor
Once per encounter when an ally fails a saving throw, they can reroll it and add your wisdom modifier.

One last thing, divine classes tend to have radiant damage in their attacks. I would address this issue, but I would like to first talk to some of the other RPG bloggers to see if they have any ideas how to determine which attacks should get radiant damage.

More Fluff
divine bards and deities-
Avandra- Many bards are known to be advocates of chance taking, divine bards are no different. Many bards worship the god of chance, especially those who enjoy their freedoms and adventuring.
Bahamut- There are some divine bards that worship the platinum dragon, holding his domains of justice and honor in high regard.
Corellon- Many, many, divine bards worship Corellon, since they hold music and art in such high regard.
Erathis- There are not a lot of divine bards of Erathis, since her portfolio involves laws. Those that do rejoice in the organization of great cities and enjoy large audiences.
Ioun- Divine bards that seek knowledge often worship Ioun, and some are known to become great prophets. Those who worship Ioun tell great stories in song and poem form.
Kord- Those bards who long for battle, seek to tell tales of great warriors, or just wish to inspire an army worship Kord. Many battles have been turned by the presence of a divine bard of Kord.
Melora- Bards of Melora are inspired by nature and preserve it at all costs. Not all of her bards are divine, as many are primal.
Moradin-The deity common of dwarf bards and those who hold loyal to their family/clan/leaders/people to be immensely important.
Pelor- The sun god's bards favor warm, happy tunes, and tend to play for people in town squares to raise money for Pelor's local church. Some say that it is Pelor's large number of divine bards that make him as widely worshiped as he is.
Raven Queen- Few bards follow the path of the death goddess' blessings, but those that do commonly play at funerals, and other similar ceramonies. Many dirges heard late at night are attributed to the divine bards of the Raven Queen.
Sehanine- Though it is not common for a bard to hide in the shadows, some of the more playful trickster bards follow Sehanine. Elven bards compete for her blessings, and those that receive it are honored among their people.

Evil deities-
Though some of the other evil gods are known to make pacts with mortal musicians, Lolth and Tiamat have the most divine bards at their disposal, spreading their agendas among the bard's listeners.

There you go! I will eventually add these to the divine bard's other posts, or just repost everything in one larger, complete post.

So, What do you think of the new additions? Do you like them? Hate them? Think they are too overpowered? Too underpowered? Leave a comment and give me some feedback!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Power Source Theory

Just a quick post today, next time there will be more Divine Bard!

I have a theory, and to some extent it is based on a mix of 3.x and 4e D&D. Basically its that the Power Sources can be grouped into three different types: Given, Taken, and Self.

Given sources include Divine and Primal, and are granted to them by some other source such as a deity or nature.

Taken sources include Arcane, and are taken from their prospective planes, the universe itself, the mana flow, etc. without any being's consent.

Self sources include Martial and Psionic, and are from within the user, built up from training the body, mind and spirit.

I hope to add the future power sources to this list, Though I assume that Elemental will be a 'taken' and shadow may be a 'taken' or a 'self'.

Does that sound about right? Comment and put in your opinion. I dare ya!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

APSC: 4e Divine Bard Fluff and Stuff

Warning: Rant ahead! if you are just here for the Divine bard fluff then scroll down until you see the word "Fluff" in bold letters.

For some reason, people seem to have trouble understanding the concept of this project: To alter existing classes to have different power sources. Hoping to achieve this by first adjusting the mechanics to change the way the class feels when played to match the new power source, then to add some fluff to fill in the gaps.

Maybe I should have done the fluff first, but the change of mechanics is mostly to support the fluff.

I started divine bard is because it is what inspired the project in the first place (if you look at this post there should be a link to The Hypertext d20 SRD, on that page is rules for the 3.x divine bard.), thought keep in mind that the project in question is bigger than just the bard.

If that is not the answer you are looking for: its just something interesting to do, give people more options.

Another Thing that is common among commenters is suggesting that I change the class' name to something else. trying to keep it still a bard, he casts magic through his music, just has a different power backing it. Ok?

What I am trying to get across: Still a bard! Just, not an arcane bard!


Divine bard:
Any decent bard can move someone's emotions, but to truly move someone's soul, bring them to a state of euphoria or send them to the depths of deepest depression, they need that divine touch.

Whether by gaining your god's favor by prayer and devotion, trading your soul for the musical ability, or simply being picked out by your god, you were blessed with the ability to make music that truly touches people's souls, and even command the power of your god. Through hymns and songs of worship, you not only inspire belief in your god, but channel his power to attack your enemies.

The three methods of becoming a divine bard

The hard way: By prayer, worship, study, and devotion, you have gotten your god's attention and he finds you favorable to lead his worshipers. You joyfully spread the word of your god in your songs, and pull in new followers without the slightest effort.

The easy way: By dark rituals you have called a dark, evil god and traded your very soul to perform like no other, yet your music carries a silent taint of evil that few can sense. Your music is empty and joyless to you, and after a while you see it begin to spread evil ideas among listeners, as the dark god works through your instrument.

The random way: A god decides that you are the ideal candidate to become his musical champion, whether you want the gift or not. Your songs carry the god's message, even if the song is about a different subject, it can be as much a curse as a blessing if the god is not your favorite.

Of course, these are not the only methods, feel free to create your own. Nothing in D&D is set in stone, it is changeable.

Its not a lot, but what do you think of the fluff? one more post about the Divine Bard, then I'll see what to work on next.

Monday, May 11, 2009

No Goku, WOTC Doesn't Know About Ki

Divine bard fluff is postponed for this breaking news:

Monks don't use Ki.

In fact, Ki may not even be a power source any more.

And samurai? Not even a class anymore.


On the plus side, you can use the magic item ritual on your fists. YES. On your fists. I also created a new term: "minor psudo-class" for those feat-only multiclass options that they put into dragon magazine, such as the "bravo" and all of the gladiator weapon feats.

I glanced over the playtest for the monk, it seems interesting, but I require more research...

Also, could this be a hint at new classes in PHB3?
"Does it make sense to group witches, knights, jesters, and friars into one power source?"

Saturday, May 9, 2009

APSC: 4e Divine Bard Character Sheet

I was kind of disappointed with the lack of replies to my previous post, but I decided that it needed something more visual to make it stand out more. So I present to you: Davyd the Divine Bard's Character Sheet and Power Cards!

Click to enlarge

You may have noticed that I also abbreviated "Alternate Power Source Class" to "APSC", but that's not terribly important.

What is important is that I get some more feedback on this. I can come up with plenty of ideas, but it helps to know if my ideas are any good. So please, give this and its explanation an honest critique.

Next I will work on A heap of fluff and a new At-will power for the divine bard, open to suggestions for that as well.