Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Otherworldly Patron: The Fathom Horror [ROUGH DRAFT]



I'm not dead yet!

It's been a while, but I'm back with a brand-new warlock patron option. Before my long and unplanned hiatus, this was one of the things I was looking forward to the most, and (in fact) part of the reason I developed the Codex of Waves in the first place.

First, though: apologies for the absence. Life has twists and turns, and homebrew (sadly, much as I love it) is usually the first thing to end up on the back burner. If I'm on hiatus in the future, I'll do a much better job of labeling it as such, as I had more than a few concerned messages asking me if I was physically alright during my time gone.

While gone, my DM's Guild presence grew surprisingly. Both Merchants and the core Strongholds options have become Electrum best-sellers, putting them in the top 1.3% of most-sold content on the DM's Guild. Now, as they're pay-what-you-want, that doesn't mean I'm necessarily selling them for anything above $0, but it's still nice to know that they've become very widely-used and well-reviewed rulesets.

But enough about things that aren't this warlock, I'm sure you're all very interested to hear the intricacies of forming a pact with the nightmares beneath the waves. Here's the features list, then:

FEATURES:

  • Class features that epitomize the grossest parts of undersea life, from conjuring horrid tentacles to transmuting your foes into sea jelly. 
  • All-new invocations based on the Warlocks and Wizards Unearthed Arcana, allowing you access to near-infinite treasure maps and the ability to bean your foes with an enormous anchor. 
  • Spells directly from Codex of Waves, referenced here for your convenience.
CONCERNS:
  • Lots of points of balance that might be wacky. I'm primarily unconcerned with the spells because I've had them looked at so much already, but the long-term effects of Brine and Jellify might need a critical eye.
  • I did a couple new things with invocations here. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but Sea Serpent and Anchor of Drowned Sailors could definitely use a look.
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • Let people know I'm not dead before I go on hiatus next time. Whoops. =x

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Looking for Art!

So, as part of moving to DM's Guild, I've been looking for a reliable artist behind the scenes for a while.

For every class option I release, it'd be nice to have a personally-created image to go with each of them. This is something I've always wanted for my work, but it's finally possible with income from the DM's Guild to make this a reality.

If anyone is interested, I'd be willing to pay $35-40 per piece, as long as it meets the appropriate art style (i.e., sufficiently similar to works found in the Player's Handbook, or cool enough that I'd consider it anyway). I'd also be willing to credit you fully with an art credit and a link to a blog or profile that has at least as much visibility in the credits as my own blog link.

This would also be reliable work, as every time I'm about to release an option, I'd be looking to commission (and pay for) a new art piece.

If you're interested, let me know in the comments, or by messaging /u/the_singular_anyone on reddit! Show me your profile, or link me some of your existing works, so I can get a better idea of the art that you create.

The first thing I'm looking at commissioning is the Common Man paladin, so if drafting up a Soviet-esque hero of the people sounds like fun to you, let me know.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Stronghold Expansion: Traders & Merchants [Second Draft; DM's Guild Variant]

Available on the DM's Guild (pay what you want) at this link!



It'd be awfully silly if I was to host content on the DM's Guild and omit the largest thing I've ever made, wouldn't it?

It took some searching, some editing, and some doing, but Traders & Merchants has been updated to use entirely public domain artwork. It was a difficult process (and one that unfortunately doesn't pay dividends in new content or rules updates), but it needed to be done as I continue to move from fair use art into public domain art.

What changed? Well, about that...

CHANGELOG:

  • 32 pages of new artwork!
  • Made Quality and Legendary Merchants operate off of a d20 (to improve probability distribution).
  • That's it.
  • Exciting, right?
CONCERNS:
  • Gimmicks present in some Legendary Merchants may need balancing or adjusting.
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • I never want to re-do 30+ pages of artwork ever again. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Prestige Class: Vampire [Fifth Draft]

Available on the DM's Guild (pay what you want) at this link!



With April here, I'm finding myself in interesting times.

I'm starting to transition my work to the DM's Guild, meaning I'm remastering and putting the finishing touches on old favorites, modifying them to use public domain works rather than utilizing images under fair use, and updating rulesets to fix old mistakes and create finished works.

I'm also starting up a new job and a new side project or two, so my ability to produce more homebrew is slowing down substantially. Making new homebrew is always important to me, but for now expect to see a few remastered projects coming in before entirely new work starts appearing again.

This time, the Vampire gets the remastering treatment! I've always been almost-satisfied with the vampire, but after four drafts I decided it was as good as it was going to get, and I needed to let it lie.

The benefit of having half a year between drafts is I've had a good deal of time to think of finishing touches, and of what truly final tweaks the vampire needed to be an ideal prestige class offering. And on that note:

CHANGELOG: 

  • Added Vampiric Quirks, a table of mostly-fluff quirks that help define your vampire and introduce additional minor weaknesses or visible traits that draw in from vampire lore while allowing your character to be distinct!
  • Added a sidebar rule for Prestige Classes, because PrCs are a lot more niche of an option and require some additional explanation.
  • Vampiric Arcana is now Spellcasting, allowing synergy with features, items, and similar that require the Spellcasting class feature. 
  • Granted Elementals exemption from being fed upon, because it's very hard to find the blood in a fire elemental. 
  • Added a sidebar explaining Sanguine Strikes / Smite synergy, because that was a question that came up often.
  • Retooled Blessing of Form, tying Mist Form to the spell gaseous form, increasing the blood cost of all forms, and introducing transformation limits to Wolf Form so you can't wolf-tank a monster, drop to 0 wolf HP, then reassume your form and keep wolf-tanking it. 
  • Moved Blessing of Darkness to 5th level, allowing Sinister Nourishment (the ASI ability) to stand alone at 4th. Most ASIs similarly stand alone, and it was a bad idea to double up anything at 4th level. 
CONCERNS:
  • I was almost tempted to make this option entirely without Sanguine Strikes, but I dialed that back. That would be a much larger retooling that I'd need immense feedback and brainstorming on, and the end result probably just wouldn't be worth it.
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • Once you stockpile a lot of it, public domain art is actually surprisingly easy to make work for an option like this. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Worldbuilding Option: Fortresses, Temples, & Strongholds [Fourth Draft]

Available on the DM's Guild (pay what you want) at this link!



Yup. I finally updated it, yet again!

Easily the most popular thing I've ever made (though the Common Man paladin gives it a run for its money), the stronghold rules here have sort of become the gold standard on the internet for building structures in D&D 5e. And, while I'm proud of that, it's also pretty easy to chalk it up to stronghold rules being a massive pain in the butt to make.

In this iteration, I added a ton of suggestions from you guys, updated it to my newest template, and of course swapped in public domain art to facilitate hosting it on the DM's Guild. Let's run down exactly what got updated in this pass, as we do:

CHANGELOG:

  • Added rules for rebuilding damaged structures, which seems to be a pretty common occurrence for adventurers.
  • Added nine new rooms! So a if you've ever wanted a bank, baths, a boutique, catacombs, a clock tower, planar docks, a lighthouse, a mill, or sewers, you're in luck!
  • Updated Traders and Merchants rules to coincide with how that expansion has progressed.
  • Added Secret Passage and Teleportation Rune room modifications, by popular demand.
  • Adjusted pricing on room modifications, making them by and large more affordable.
  • Added hirelings from Volo's, which has notably more than quadrupled the spellcaster hirelings list.
  • Added rules for a flying stronghold falling out of the sky, as that appeared to be a big old question mark last draft.
CONCERNS:

  • I've got a ton more content that I had to cut off here, such as rules for building canals and roads, because I just couldn't make it work to my satisfaction. I'll probably add it in sooner or later, but knowing how these things go, it might end up being later.  
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • I actually like the public domain look for this option way, way more. Looks more relaxed, austere, and less overall eclectic. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Spells: Codex of Waves [Second Draft]

Available on the DM's Guild (pay what you want) at this link!



Well, that was exciting! My first all-spell supplement seemed to be very well received, although not without issues of both balance and sloppy editing on my part.

Needless to say, though, those have been fixed (to the best of my knowledge) and the Codex of Waves appears more ready than ever to be used by actual spellcasters in actual games of D&D 5e!

Also, as I'm sure you read from the very large text at the top, this title has been submitted (or rather, is in the process of being so) to the DM's Guild! Thanks also for all the knowledge you fine folks laid on me about the DM's Guild, as it helped me go into the submission process with both eyes open, knowing full well what to expect.

What'd I change, though? What makes v0.2 better than the rough draft? Well...

CHANGELOG:

  • Bigby's blistering barnacles now allows you the (rather gross) option of removing them with an action and a Strength check.
  • Bless vessel now requires a creature that uses it to gain advantage on a check or save to actually be on the vessel somehow.
  • Flowsight is now a divination spell.
  • Pressure sphere has been fully reworked, requiring a bonus action to crush your target's head each turn and allowing your foe the chance at a Dexterity check to escape its clutches. 
  • Red tide is now 5th level instead of 6th, but otherwise remains unchanged.
  • Ripple now has a reasonable damage progression, similar to other cantrips.
  • Water tentacle has been re-worded partially, substituting your spellcasting ability score for the inherent Strength score it previously had.
CONCERNS:
  • The DM's Guild is still a fairly daunting process, and I'm not fully familiar with it yet. There remains the possibility I missed something up. 
  • As for the spells, none as of yet. Small editing errors are the most likely issue, going forward. 
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • It's cool to finally be published, in a fashion. I'm excited to see where this blog will go from here. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Donation Received!




February is over, which means that all the money I collected that month goes straight to the ACLU!

We totaled $30 throughout most of the month, which I'm happy to hand off to an organization that'll always be fighting the good fight, likely for longer than I'm even alive.

Thanks again to everyone who donated! Homebrew blogging isn't exactly the world's most profitable business, but it feels good to use what it receives to help create positive change in the world.