Saturday, November 18, 2017

Stronghold Expansion: Patreon Rooms [ROUGH DRAFT]



November's Patreon-backer reward is here!

This month, I made a collection of five new rooms for Strongholds, all which have been requested multiple times by fans and followers. And, not to pat myself on the back too hard, but these are some of my favorite rooms so far, having really cool themes and being applicable to a wide variety of strongholds. So far, we have:

FEATURES:

  • The Maze: A great way to get your enemies lost! Feeding to a minotaur or other monster is optional.
  • The Meditation Chamber: Cool off, relax, and get some extra ki while you're at it. 
  • The Portal Conflux: Ever wanted a series of wormholes to transport you wherever you please? Well, now it's yours. 
  • The Safe Room: The world outside is a scary place, but you don't have to be there! Find perfect safety in a hidden room made of solid mithril that contains all the amenities of life.
  • The Topiary Garden: Human servants got you down? Grow your own! And then, as an added bonus, glue them together Voltron-style to make a giant attack tree!
CONCERNS:

  • Maze is pretty good, but it's also very situational. Were it not for that last point, it'd definitely be worth 2 room points. 
  • The Safe Room and Topiary Garden may have hidden side effects living in their verbage. Probably not, but editing is appreciated!
WHAT I LEARNED:

  • I've got a lot more strongholds content left in me! I've got a great idea for a much larger expansion, but that'll come later on. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Stronghold Expansion: Bastions of Eldritch Power [ROUGH DRAFT]



Download a selectable-text, printsafe version here!

Surprising no one: people like Strongholds! In fact, people like it enough that they've used Patreon to commission even more Strongholds content from me.

So if it's what the people want, well, I just gotta make more of it. Thanks to IceAssassin77, a Walrock-level backer, for requesting this work!

We started off thinking: What if warlocks had strongholds that centered around their themes? Not necessarily "evil," but certainly cult-ish and otherworldly, a place where forgotten powers could contact the Prime Material and bleed over into more mundane planes of existence. And so, we added two new structures, some associated rooms, new hire-able minions, and some related items!

What specifically got added? Well:

FEATURES:

  • New Structures: The towering Ziggurat and the elusive Coven, enabling you to work your magics in as secretive or obvious a manner as you see fit.
  • New Rooms: Invocation Chamber and Illusory Shroud, which call out to the eldritch powers for aid, or hide your structure entirely from prying eyes. 
  • New Hirelings: Cultists and Cult Fanatics, just in case you're a charismatic individual looking to make a compound in the middle of the hinterlands.
  • New Optional Rule: Rituals and Sacrifices, enabling you to use cultists, spellcaster hirelings, and sacrifices to empower your ritual spells. 
  • New Items: Mordenkainen's Mystical Model and the Rings of Rooms, giving your structures a pair of helpful, magical dodads. 
CONCERNS:
  • The Invocation Chamber is pretty good, for what it is. I'm wondering if it should be made into a 2 room point Room (with the Ziggurat adjusted accordingly). 
  • The Cultists and Rituals optional rule is very all-encompassing, while attempting to be flexible. I'm sure there's something this rule might be able to break that I haven't thought of yet. 
  • The wording on the new items has to be pretty elaborate, because neither of the items does just one simple thing. I'm wondering if there's a way to streamline that. 
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • Smaller, piecemeal Strongholds expansions are a lot of fun to make! I should see if I can't make another of these sometime soon. ;)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Martial Archetype: Dragoon [Fourth Draft]



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November looks like it'll be a month for mostly revisions, with a few new promising pieces of new content coming out. Xanathar's Guide to Everything will be out (very) soon, and I'm going to wait a little bit before releasing anything that might conflict with its new rules.

However! I've got a good backlog of projects like the dragoon that are just begging for revision. After releasing it last month, I felt so incredibly close to having the dragoon complete, fully formed and ready to use, so I just had to revise it again as soon as I could. With the witch out of the way (for the moment), that time is now!

I'm really happy where this one has ended up, aside from the fact that I'm barely able to fit its rules in two pages. Still, minor complaints compared to how this has shaped up.

Special thanks to Vileo Sufora and Marc Darville for giving me some very valuable balance insight on the last draft, couldn't have done this without you guys!

CHANGELOG:

  • "Uses of Dragonslaying" is now "dragonslaying points," because, while I took some convincing, that's just much more clear in the end.
  • Aspirant Step now requires a bonus action, and Avoidance requires a reaction, to make them eat in important ways at the action economy.
  • Avoidance now works on certain CON saving throws, allowing you to use it on all forms of dragon breath.
  • Syntax changes which, while not exciting, are very important all the same!
CONCERNS:
  • A lot of tiny fiddly bits where changed this draft. I'm hoping I didn't accidentally break something.
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • All in all, fighter options are easier to balance than I originally thought. It's easy to despair at something when you don't know its balance math, but when you know where to look and what to look for, it ends up becoming pretty simple. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Class: The Witch [ROUGH DRAFT]



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Man oh man, have I been looking forward to releasing this.

Just in time for Halloween, spooky/scary month culminates with the Witch, the first full class I've ever released! An impressive endeavor clocking in at 14 pages of content and three full subclasses, the witch joins the ranks of Strongholds and Merchants as one of the larger projects I've ever worked on.

The witch weaves both natural magic and the arcane, carrying on a magical tradition that harkens back to the first casters to receive magic from the gods. A witch can curse or heal, dispense potions, fly on brooms, animate their house to walk on chicken legs, and much, much more!

Let's see if I can't list off everything this class does:

FEATURES:

  • Casts with INT or WIS, enabling you to play either an academic or a wild witch!
  • Jinxes! Magical effects halfway between Invocations and Channel Divinities.
  • Make potions with Brewcraft and Imbue Potion, two companion features for all your potable needs.
  • Dark Moon, Full Moon, and Half Moon Coven subclasses, focusing on cursing and stealth, healing and inspiring, and trickery and illusions, respectively!
  • Familiars as a core feature, with increased durability and the capacity to sass-talk their witch.
CONCERNS:
  • Oh, so, so many. Where to start?
  • Is INT/WIS casting a good idea?
  • Are jinxes roughly balanced, against one another and in general?
  • Is the Beast Skin jinx too derivative of the druid's Wild Shape? 
  • Are the number of spells per day right? They're midway between sorcerers and wizards, but still!
  • The spell list seems large, but is smaller than the wizard and missing some of their more esoteric spells. Is that reasonable?
  • Are all the various subclass features balanced roughly against each other?
  • Is Light of the Half Moon too powerful for what it is?
  • Is Dream-Eater too similar to the GOO warlock's level 14?
  • Is the idea of 1 free subclass spell per long rest a good or bad idea?
  • Does the class do a good job of capturing flavor?
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • Building a class is exponentially harder than a subclass in every single way. I can see why Wizards sticks to subclasses, most days of the week. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Divine Domain: Winter [Fourth Draft]



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Winter is coming! And I can't believe it took me until the fourth draft of this to drop a Game of Thrones reference.

The Winter cleric, like the Dragoon fighter, has always been a fan-favorite that nevertheless didn't end up where I really wanted it to be. Certain abilities seemed weaker or less compelling than they should be, but the flavor and concept were strong enough to give it a lasting, endearing quality.

It wasn't a huge surprise, then, when our first Walrock-level backer on Patreon requested a revision of this domain (and another subclass, coming later)! I've always been meaning to get back to it, so I put Spooky/Scary month on hold for one project, dusted this option off, and took a fourth crack at getting it right.

So thanks @DrMoradin for requesting this project! It's been a surprising amount of fun to revise, and it was great to have your playtesting feedback to draw upon as I did so.

And if you, too, want to become a patron, you can always do so by clicking the button on the sidebar. Or the identical one right here:

Become a Patron!

Now, let's see exactly what I did:

CHANGELOG:

  • Swapped Armor of Agathys with Fog Cloud on the spell list, as AoA got very broken at spell levels higher than 5th. 
  • Cold Snap has received significant changes. This ability is now a bonus action instead of an action, is a 5-foot radius AoE instead of single target, and no longer removes the target's ability to take actions on a failed save. 
  • Rime has received a small buff, as the ability was somewhat lackluster before, but now also causes its targets to take your WIS modifier in extra damage from attacks until the end of your next turn. 
  • Blizzard has been reworked, now scaling in damage off of storm of vengeance. Blizzard now incorporates this math as well as the improved Rime. 
CONCERNS:
  • The verbage may be a little long-winded in places, might need to stealth-edit some of that later. 
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • Now's probably a great time to do a whole slew of revisions. Especially considering all the rough drafts I just released!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our Patreon is now live!


Thanks to all your encouragement and effort, we've finally been able to launch our Patreon!

Patreon is a very important platform for our work, allowing us to use more of our time to continue homebrewing, working on the larger projects like Strongholds and Merchants that our community loves so much.

You can become our patron by clicking on this button, or on the other Become a Patron button that now lives on our sidebar:

Become a Patron!

As a reward for new subscribers, we offer nine additional background options as a complement to those already included in the Player's Handbook, giving players the ability to be anything from Minions to Madmen, Fey-Snatched to bonafide Lawyers!


This content is only available on our Patreon, as will be other future subscriber-only content. Planned for next month: new Stronghold room options, available to subscribers!

And again, our deepest appreciation for allowing us to get to this point. Your support and enthusiasm really, truly mean the world to us, and we'll keep making quality D&D homebrew for as long as you keep enjoying it. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Primal Path: The Slasher [ROUGH DRAFT]



Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!

Spooky/scary month continues with my first-ever option for the barbarian, the Slasher! A horrifying reaver powered by the dark energies of death, the Slasher is compelled to murder innocents that stray to the wrong parts of the world. An almost-definitely evil character, the slasher has many features that harken back to a certain well-known murderer I probably shouldn't name for copyright reasons.

Now where's that list of class options I haven't done yet? Oh, yes:

BarbarianRanger, Sorcerer, Wizard

FEATURES:

  • Grapple while you rage as a bonus action or reaction, and hold close those who would probably like to get far, far away.
  • Sense the blood of your victims, and find them where ever they may hide. 
  • Teleport to where they least expect you and burst forth effortlessly from within hiding spaces.
  • Just. Never. Die. Keep coming back when you really should be dead.
CONCERNS:
  • The grapple/fear synergy is probably too strong. Any ways of weakening it while remaining true to the theme?
  • Shadowmorph might need to be more concise.
  • Unkillable may be too powerful, but it seems like it's probably fine. Having ~10 hit points is probably not going to keep you up forever. 
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • I actually started this off as a fighter option before thinking, wait, why wouldn't this be a barbarian? It's surprisingly easy to port options between those two classes.