Saturday, November 28, 2015

Race: Awakened Undead [Second Draft]

After sinking a ton of time working on my Stronghold rules, the Awakened Undead fell by the wayside for a little bit.

Well, no longer! The spooky, scary skeletons (and revenants and, now, ghosts!) are back in force, rebalanced, tweaked, and with all-new content.

What content is that? Let's see what the changelog has to say.


  • Playable Ghosts! These spectral undead have been added to the roster, take a look and tell me what you think!
  • No more Exhaustion immunity. Instead, Exhaustion for undead is treated as being one level less than it is.
  • Diversified Skeletons and Revenants! Skeletons can now pop off their arms to beat people with or pick locks, and Revenants get tHP when they refuse to die. 
  • Sidebar rule with brief guidelines on dead characters returning to play as awakened undead, and awakened undead returning to mortal life. 
  • Ghosts trend strong, but I think I managed their abilities well. Ghosts have a good deal of kit, making it hard to confine them to just a subrace, but I'm fairly sure they are balanced as presented here. 
  • I essentially gave both Skeletons and Revenants a minor buff. The Revenants could stand to have one, but Skeletons were already powerful. Still, the buff for Skeletons is mostly just a fluff power, albeit one that allows you to use what's basically a bludgeoning rapier by disarming yourself.
  • Racial magic feats (a la Svirfneblin Magic) are weird. Svirfneblin Magic has a 2nd level spell cast at-will (albeit not a particularly useful one), and three 1st level spells cast once a day. I jettisoned the at-will in mine and allowed casting three spells from a small spell list per day, which included 1st-3rd level spells thematically appropriate for a ghost. I figure the axing of the at-will probably covers the difference of power in terms of spell slots, but I'll let you be the judge of that. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Worldbuilding Option: Fortresses, Temples, & Strongholds [ROUGH DRAFT]

A mysterious 2-week long absence? What happened?

Did I give up on homebrew? Did life happen? Did I straight-up die?

Turns out, I was working on an incredible 17-page long set of optional rules for strongholds! Well, that and a bit of the second one up there, but mostly the 17 glorious pages linked above.

What's it got in it that's so great and takes so much time? I'm glad you asked:


  • A collection of base structures to build! Ranging from abbeys and colleges to palaces and trading posts.
  • Rooms to expand your structure, giving it (and you) special boons and bonuses. 
  • Tables for merchants drawn to your structure by the expansions you build!
  • Ways to further modify your rooms including building traps and making the room itself extradimensional!
  • Lists of hireable hirelings! Including gold values for combat hirelings, slaves, and spellcasters.
  • Two new spells! One of which summons the structure you build, the other which raises and moves sky islands.
  • Guidelines for making money with your structure or making peasants revolt through taxation.
  • Oh god is everything alright so much math aaaaaaaagh
  • Are expansion (room) buffs roughly balanced against one another? Which are weak and which are strong?
  • I'd like to differentiate the prices on expansions a little more.
  • Adding more information on merchants and making money would be nice. 
  • Are these gold values reasonable for level 13+? This math helped me, but I'm still not 100% sure. 
  • Does anything break the game?
  • Building core gameplay mechanics is hard.
  • No, I probably didn't need an image on every page, but damn if it didn't make it pretty. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Race: Awakened Undead [ROUGH DRAFT]

Barely in time for the end of the Day of the Dead: Playable Skeletons! Playable Revenants! Be dead, and have fun doing it.

Both are races I've loved seeing in action, and have rarely seen any press or even homebrew attention for. So, I decided to fix that, no bones about it.

It's a rough draft, of course, so there may be bugs and issues. Goes without saying, and as always I'd appreciate any help you could give on that front.


  • General suite of core undead features makes it easy to add on other undead races in the future.
  • Choosing a Past Life race to better define who your undead was before death.
  • Wide spread of potential ability bonuses to accommodate multiple playstyles. 
  • Resurrection-type abilities for both undead subraces, to better give the feel of dying and coming back.
  • A revenant that is a solid combination of the 4e revenant and the revenant from the 5e monster manual. 
  • Both of these trend strong (skeleton moreso than revenant) and are in the same neck of the woods power-wise as elves, according to /u/JamesMusicus' race power rundown. I don't see this as such a bad thing because they aren't as powerful as dwarves or half-elves, but these undead are definitely in the better half of races. 
  • The resurrection abilities could use a look. I'm like 90% sure they're alright, but I'd like someone to take a look-see for my own comfort.