Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sacred Oath: Oath of the Midnight Hour [ROUGH DRAFT]

Things that have happened since last we met:

  • Worked on the next intended expansion for Strongholds for over a month until I was fully burned out and my brain couldn't crunch numbers any more.
    • I think the tipping point was trying to make fantasy farms both balanced and somehow profitable. I possibly succeeded, but broke my will trying. 
  • My laptop, with all my content on it, now refuses to charge. Fortunately my content is cloud-stored and the laptop is being fixed. 
  • Work picked up. Quite a bit. 
  • Started building the third draft of my PSD template. You can see it at work in this project. 
  • And I'm starting a move from San Francisco to Seattle, so my house is slowly becoming the Land of Boxes. 
I needed something nice and relatively light to make to reset my brain back into a homebrewing groove, and so I settled on this little project. 

This originally started as a remaster of the Knavery paladin from so long ago, which, along with the Divine Arbiter warlock, I consider outmoded and imbalanced earlier work. The Knavery paladin was something I made to test the limits of a class' central theme, to see how far I could push the envelope before I pushed too far.

Turns out, making a paladin into a rogue is definitely pushing too far. Still, though, there's plenty of room for paladins to be dark and stealthy without stepping on any of the rogue's kit, and so I started re-themeing and re-creating a stealthy paladin option from the ground up. 

How's this different from the last one? What a handy segue into 

  • Variable Oaths to allow different patrons to have their own, personal say. 
  • Unique Channel Divinities allowing for small AoE damage or sneaking in heavy armor. 
  • Re-position your allies by having them jump through shadow itself. 
  • Go invisible, sneak up on your foes, all without expending spell slots!
  • Transform into the stuff of nightmares and make sure your enemies have a really, really bad day.
  • Flavor could be heavier, but I tried to make the option versatile to appeal to paladins of all alignments. The option practically calls out for it, but I'm still not fully satisfied.
  • Hard to know the balance on Swarming Shadows. It feels alright, but might scale poorly. 
  • Umbral Jaunt may or may not be the most intuitive way to achieve that effect. I'll think more on this later. 
  • Nightcloak doesn't seem imbalanced at first glance, but I may be forgetting something about how invisibility functions. 
  • It's never too late to go back and start again from scratch. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Stronghold Expansion: Traders & Merchants [ROUGH DRAFT]

When I initially set out to make an expansion for my Strongholds content, this is not the expansion I had planned.

It just kind of happened. All 20+ pages of it.

The situation with merchants in my Strongholds project was something I was never happy with. I had some nice random-roll tables to give people an idea of what merchants they were getting, but then just shrugged and walked away when people asked exactly what these merchants were selling.

This expansion takes all the guesswork out of the equation, giving you access to 20 different types of merchants to frequent your strongholds, or even other places in your world.

And yes, I'm definitely still working on a Stronghold expansion with proper new rooms and features and what-not, this just needed to be released first to properly complete what I intended to do with merchants in the first place.

If I'm really, really lucky and have enough time, expect the next expansion to be out around this time next month.


  • Twenty merchants of seven different qualities, bringing almost the entire item content of the PHB to your doorstep!
  • Purchasable animals and magic items, because you have to fill those animal pens somehow.
  • A wide variety of fun fluff items, from flowers that burn to clockwork mounts!
  • I'm hoping the rules here aren't too obscure. I tried to make them obvious, but we'll see if anyone has complaints. 
  • Magic items are always tricky to include, balance-wise. I attempted to balance what I included, and I also included options to omit them, if necessary. 
  • Sometimes, twenty-three pages of content just happens. 

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

Part of designing expansions for half-year old content is going back and reconsidering the rules. Especially so when I made most of these rules from whole cloth.

This piece of homebrew is something I'm pretty proud of, on the whole, but it had plenty of rough edges. Having only two drafts of a project this large was never what I really wanted, and it gives me a good deal of satisfaction to have fixed errors that have been with this project for this long.

The way it is now, I feel this content is finally in shape to be expanded upon. Which is good, because I also have its first expansion complete and ready to publish.


  • Minor modifications to many rooms, with the intention of fixing verbage and adding clarity.
  • Several rooms now directly generate income, because that made much more sense than just shrugging and expecting the DM to figure it out. 
  • Moat and Defensive Walls have been removed, and will be reintroduced in a new form in a coming expansion. Until that is introduced, feel free to use the rooms in the second draft of this option. 
  • Barracks and Lodgings have been combined, because it didn't make a whole lot of sense to say ONLY SOLDIERS CAN SLEEP HERE.
  • Merchants have been reworked, in preparation for an upcoming expansion.
  • Nothing really. I think I've hit all the major points that have come up in the past half-year, but feel free to remind me of anything I've missed. 
  • It's amazing how much this project has proliferated. Turns out, people wanted something cool to spend their hard-earned gp on. Who knew?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Vacation and Projects

Hey folks! Just an update to let you know I haven't forgotten about the blog. I just got home from a small vacation, and my work will start up soon, but I've been working on a pair of massive projects I'm betting you'll all enjoy. Seriously massive. The one I'm working on right now will likely have over 20 pages, and I can generate a page a day, if I'm lucky. I'm expecting to have something to show about middle-to-end of this month, and I'll let you all know if that changes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Archaeologist [Second Draft]

As a rule, I'd never run one of my rough drafts in a real game. When I release one, I always am thinking one of two things:

A) This rough draft is 100% perfect and nothing could be wrong with it (I am always wrong)


B) Eh... well, it's definitely a proof of concept.

With the rough draft of the Archaeologist, it was definitely in B territory.

Usually when I'm in that zone, I release a draft because I'm stuck and need some insight from you guys. You all haven't failed me yet, and you didn't fail me with the rough draft of this one.

With your help, I think this class option is in a shape to properly present. It's still a little rough around the edges - think of it as a second rough draft - but it could certainly use a look-over and some quality criticism.


  • Fiddled with Field Training. No longer offers you a skill from a list, now gives you a climb speed!
  • Revamped Intelligent Combat. Doesn't reduce (or require) your Sneak Attack any more. Needs a saving throw for everything, hinges on Intelligence heavily. 
  • Switched the levels for Forgotten Magic and Seasoned Explorer, and added an initiative boost to Seasoned Explorer in place of its missing climb speed. 
  • Paragon of Adventure has been adjusted to account for changes in Intelligent Combat. 
  • Still not 100% on the balance of Intelligent Combat. Input would be appreciated.
  • Paragon of Adventure is flavor-lite. I'm open to suggestions on how to make it more flavorful. 
  • Apparently, the criticism on the blog alone is quality enough to revise a rough draft. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sacred Oath: Oath of Love [Remaster]

The more I learn about homebrewing, the more I have cause to regret some of the earlier design choices I made.

This deep-seated pathos is what has made me start remastering some of my old projects, and no project have I wanted to go back and modify more than the Oath of Love paladin.

I became less and less satisfied with this oath's use of charm mechanics, the further along I got. It seemed disingenuous, somehow, to swear an oath about upholding True Love, only to, a second later, charm someone into loving you, and then be rewarded for stabbing them while they are forced to love you, though your Channel Divinity.

That's not to say charm mechanics are bad or that they shouldn't have a place in this option, but they certainly shouldn't be used to con and stab people when you're trying to preach the gospel of love.

I'm hoping this remaster fixes the thematic issues of my older work. If not, let me know. Nothing says I can't release an even newer version, should this option need one.


  • Modified the spell list to make it less charm-intensive, bringing back old favorites like color spray!
  • Two new Channel Divinity options, one that bolsters your allies with temporary hit points, and the other locks down anything intelligent enough to truly want something. 
  • Lover's Embrace is now Aura of Affection, and adds hit points to any healing done within the radius. 
  • Passion's Kindness is now Radiant Empathy, because looking back Passion's Kindness was just kind of annoying in practice. 
  • Endless Devotion has been completely reworked, and now primarily makes your enemies incapable of attacking, if they fail a save and start adjacent to you. 
  • I changed a lot, which usually means there are little, fiddily errors out there. See if you can find any. 
  • Channel Divinity: Heart's Desire intentionally uses inconclusive language, as the creature it targets could hypothetically desire anything. I'm not sure if that's a wise choice or not. 
  • It feels pretty good to have gone back and finally taken a crack at fixing this one. Maybe I can update the Knavery paladin next. 

Divine Domain: Winter [Third Draft]

With homebrew, my personal philosophy is to push the bounds of convention. To look at what is there in core, but to change and add to it, rather than to keep completely faithful to what already is.

But, sometimes that bites me in the ass.

And that's okay - making mistakes and learning from them is the entire reason I have a WHAT I LEARNED section, below. It pays to dissect the intense layers of math and balance within this game to determine how the whole machine works. If nothing else, it makes me appreciate the obvious dedication to building balance that went into fifth edition, and it encourages me to be more forgiving of the handful of balance mistakes 5e does make.

But, enough about mistakes. Let's see what got fixed:


  • Frost's Fortitude was tweaked significantly, and now hinges on Wisdom instead of Strength (to illustrate that it's your magic making you tougher), and now gives you access to much of the lower-end martial weaponry. 
  • Cold Snap can now target objects, maximizing damage against them for multiple rounds afterward. 
  • Rime has had its resistance-nullification removed. The feat Elemental Adept exists for a reason.
  • Blessing of Snows is now a vanilla Divine Strike, because it seemed like this option was leaning melee overall anyway. 
  • Cold Snap is still very similar to hold person, but I feel it's important to have at least one freeze-creature ability inherent to this domain. 
  • Sometimes, more choice can actually be a bad thing. Surprising, but true. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Archaeologist [ROUGH DRAFT]

So, this one went through an interesting development process.

It started out as a bard college, and as I was building it, I slowly realized that I was building a (thematic) rogue that could cast spells like a full caster. That didn't seem like a terribly great idea.

So, as I sometimes do in moments of doubt, I went over to d20pfsrd to see how Pathfinder handled it. Pathfinder, for its flaws, does a great job of engaging and creating more obscure class options that have a lot of thematic weight. While not everything they do works for 5e, seeing how Pathfinder handles thematic content usually works very well.

It didn't. Pathfinder ended up doing exactly what I already did: Take a bard, and slowly make them into a rogue (plus spells, minus Sneak Attack).

I deconstructed everything, then, and rebuilt the class option from the ground up as a rogue. I figured if it was going to be trying with its every class feature to be a rogue, it might as well actually be a rogue in the first place.

What does it do? Why is the archaeologist worth playing? Let's take a look-see:


  • Proficiencies to help your rogue feel like a world-class explorer, complete with whips (of course)!
  • Reduce your Sneak Attack damage to deal added effects with attacks, with Intelligent Combat!
  • A small assortment of low-magic spells, picked up from a lifetime studying ancient, eldritch secrets.
  • I'm not sure how balanced the effects of Intelligent Combat are against one another, or against the trade-off of 2d6 damage.
  • Overall, I feel like this option trends weak, but rogues have a wide power spread for archetypes. This option feels closer to what is offered by the Thief and Assassin, rather than the (higher) power level of the Arcane Trickster or the Swashbuckler. 
  • Don't be afraid to scrap it and try again. That, and Pathfinder doesn't have all the answers.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sacred Oath: Oath of the Hellsworn [Second Draft]

As it turns out, the bad paladin was pretty good.

Not that I didn't have to change a few things, but much less overall than the last two options I built. Any time I get to be lazy and know that I already did a pretty good job is alright by me.

But still, change stuff I did. Here's what:


  • Fiendish Smite now ignores damage resistance, in order to properly mimic radiant damage. Fiendish Smite no longer exists. All in all, may have been a bad idea. 
  • Hellgate replaced with Beguiling Aura, an aura designed (like the rest of this paladin) to mirror the Devotion paladin, making your foes easier to trick and frighten. 
  • Infernal Inheritor has been reshuffled, adding wings and magical darkvision, removing claws and damage resistance nullification. 
  • The resist/immunity bit on Fiendish Smite isn't a perfect fix, but considering that radiant is only resisted by 4 creatures in the Monster Manual (pretty much the entire Angels section), it feels about right. 
  • Do more paladin variants. Maybe go back and fix the Love paladin sooner rather than later.  

Current Projects

I dabble. It's how I work best, and it's what I do.

However, this means I have a ton of unfinished projects sitting around. I'll pick up and drop a project as I feel enthusiasm for its subject come and go, and constantly revisit my old material when I have new ideas or have a breakthrough with an existing writer's block.

This in mind, I decided to tabulate a list of what I'm working on, and the projects that I currently have in progress. Take a look:


  • Barbarian - Elemental Totems
  • Bard - College of Archaeology
  • Bard - College of the Bonesinger
  • Bard - College of the Crossroads
  • Cleric - Flame Domain
  • Cleric - Pestilence Domain
  • Cleric - Sea Domain
  • Fighter - Warden
  • Monk - Drunken Master
  • Warlock - Primordial Patron


  • Prestige Class - Reforged
  • Race - Modron (revise)
  • Race - Myconid
  • Spells - Codex of the Waves
  • Spells - Codex of Bones
  • Feat - Expanded Gourmand
  • Strongholds Expansion - Commerce & Coin
  • Strongholds Expansion - Nature & Industry

Any you'd like to see sooner rather than later? Any ideas on how you'd like a specific project to turn out?

Let me know. I'll tell you what I can.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Sacred Oath: Oath of the Hellsworn [ROUGH DRAFT]

I haven't done a paladin in a while, and I figure it's time I fixed that.

So far, we only have one evil-oriented paladin option, the Oathbreaker in the Dungeon Master's Guide. The Oathbreaker is a general, all-purpose, "this is what happens when good paladins go bad" sort of class option. I wanted to explore a different option: a paladin who is evil (or regularly tempted by it) from the start.

The oath of the Hellsworn is what awaits those who pledge themselves to the service of Asmodeus (and/or your local Satan proxy) or one of his legions of underlings. The hellknights that take this pledge do so for a variety of reasons, but most either desperately needed the power for the sake of someone or something they loved, or simply loved power itself.

A hellknight is bound to honor contracts and is expected to enlist help. Any who fight on the hellknight's side fight (by extension) on the side of Hell, after all.

What makes this a fun alternative paladin to play? Let's see:


  • Use your Channel Divinity to charge your weapon with Hellfire, or to Turn away the enemies of Hell!
  • Teleport your friends with Hellgate! Keep your enemies guessing by rearranging the battlefield.
  • Transform yourself into a fiend, slay those that oppose you.
  • It's always hard to balance capstones. I'd like help figuring out if Infernal Inheritor is too strong or weak. 
  • Fiendish Smite might get some criticism, but it's almost a downgrade. Radiant is one of the least resisted damage types (Resists in the Monster Manual: 4, Immunes: 0) while both Necrotic (R: 11, I: 11) and Fire (R: 37, I: 40) are among the most resisted damage types. 
  • Niche ideas are always worth exploring. I'm really happy with how this came out so far. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Divine Domain: Winter [Second Draft]

Lately, the rough drafts I've released have been really well-received, except for their mechanics. People love the themes and vision for certain class options, but (reasonably) hate the way I've done certain things.

Things like overload the last rough draft's first level with literally everything a cleric could possibly need. Whoops.

But you guys are very good at keeping my mistakes from being permanent mistakes, and the Winter cleric got a truly stellar round of criticism. Let's see what I ended up changing:


  • Added semicolon; intro is now more grammatically complete.
  • Split Winter Acolyte into both itself and Frost's Fortitude, giving caster/melee options at first level similar to how the Nature domain does it. 
  • Frost's Fortitude applies medium armor to Strength characters, keeping the actual AC numbers very close to what heavy armor would provide, anyway.
  • Rime moved to 6th level, and now gives its target disadvantage on their first STR/DEX/CON save, rather than disadvantage on ALL the DEX saves. 
  • Blizzard retooled slightly, now heavily obscures an area rather than providing half cover, and combos with itself to inflict disadvantage when re-applying Rime.
  • I didn't change the level 8 ability choice at all. I know a few people raised concerns, but both options it offers are balanced, and I think having one facet of choice in the path is much more palatable than the two facets in the rough draft. 
  • Blizzard is still hard to gauge, but it feels about right for a once per long rest power.
  • If it seems like I shoved too many things into one feature, I probably did. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Divine Domain: Winter [ROUGH DRAFT]

Today is Summer Solstice, a holiday for druids and beachcombers alike, the longest and (usually) hottest day of the year.

Which sounds, to me, like the perfect time to release a cleric of Winter!

Winter clerics are icy warriors and mystics that hail from the coldest parts of the world, using the chilling power of their gods to serve mankind, or to slay those weaker than themselves.

What's cool about the Winter cleric? Let's take a cold, hard look:


  • Ice spells, ice spells, so many ice spells.
  • Play as either a melee or spell-casting cleric, with your choice of 1st and 8th level features.
  • Many different ways to freeze and slow your enemies, from using your Channel Divinity to rebuking creatures with Rime.
  • Conjure a powerful Blizzard! Dòng zhù, bùxǔ zǒu!
  • Blizzard is probably my biggest concern right now, it's hard to tell if it's too strong, or too weak.
  • Not sure about the cold resist on Winter Acolyte, but it pairs well with the "no penalties from cold environments" which should be offered early on. 
  • Splitting a cleric domain into two paths (melee/caster) like this is interesting and makes thematic sense for this domain, and I'm curious to see what you all will think.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Corsair [Second Draft]

People loved the first corsair!

...except for just about everything mechanical about it. Ah well.

But that's okay. I got even more quality criticism than usual, and revised most of the corsair's abilities to improve flavor and general, all-around power balance.


  • Compressed Sea Legs and Bonus Proficiencies into Scallywag's Tricks, removing the additional skill proficiency while maintaining the rest.
  • Moved the animal companion to 3rd level as its own feature, First Mate! The animal companion can even use a diminished form of your Sneak Attack, and is balanced against having an off-hand attack.
  • Replaced Captain at the Helm with Dirty Fighting to give the class option more things to do itself, and less abilities reliant on others doing things.
  • Compressed Captain at the Helm into Infamy, offering players a choice of abilities depending on whether they're a naughty or nice pirate. 
  • Added rules for having a hook, because really, what's a pirate without a hook?
  • Balance on First Mate is something I'm sure will come up, but I'm fairly certain it trades off well against an off-hand attack. Unless there's something I didn't notice, but we'll find out. 
  • Touched up the companion stats a little bit, maybe not enough, let me know. 
  • If you're trying to make a pirate, don't make some sort of rogue-warlord. Just make a pirate. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Corsair [ROUGH DRAFT]

The Swashbuckler in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide is a really cool option - probably my favorite in the book. And while it's great for a duelist, rake, or general seeker of adventure, it's just not a pirate in the same way that 3.5's Dread Pirate class was.

So, based on a great suggestion from one of my readers, I created the Corsair roguish archetype option! Lead your crew into battle on land and ship, and teach those landlubbers why you are the most-feared pirate to sail the seven seas!


  • Sea Legs and Bonus Proficiencies, both designed to make you feel perfectly at-home on the deck of a ship!
  • Captain at the Helm and Infamy, designed to make you feel like a rogue ne 4e warlord as you lead your crew.
  • Avast, ye Scurvy Dogs! which is probably the most team-focused a rogue level 17 ability can be.
  • Monkey and Parrot familiars for pirates of sufficient station.
  • Sea Legs and Bonus Proficiencies give you a lot, but none of what they give you seems particularly game-breaking.
  • Captain at the Helm may be worded oddly, and its tHP math could use a look to see if it's overpowered or not.
  • I like Infamy a lot, but it could probably use a look at its power balance.
  • Avast, ye Scurvy Dogs! strikes me as almost a non-concern - rogue level 17's should do situationally an additional ~40 damage, and the situation on Avast is if everyone's attacks hit. Still, verbage might be shaky, and that's where I'd look there. 
  • The Monkey and Parrot likewise could use a look. As usual, I outright suck at monster math, and appreciate any help that can be rendered. 
  • Y'all have some great ideas. Thanks, Lee Robins!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Martial Archetype: Dragoon [Second Draft]

Step One: Release a whole bunch of rough material.

Step Two: Receive a whole bunch of quality critique.

Step Three: Start a new job.

Step Four: Never revise anything, ever again, forever.

Fortunately, I managed to find some time, and spent that time revising our somewhat-contentious friend, the Dragoon. Let's see what got changed.


  • Aspirant Step now may be used twice/four times per rest, up from once/twice, scaling with level.
  • Aspirant Step does not initially modify attacks, which is now saved for the level 7 feature.
  • Ascendance is now Ascendant Strike, and modifies attacks/damage from Aspirant Step in addition to adding resistance to falling damage. 
  • Needle of Heaven has been heavily modified, and is now long-rest refresh dealing 10d12 + STR damage, befitting an "ultimate attack" type ability, and has a save versus prone and grounding flying targets. It has also been modified to deal radiant damage, and fluffed to be more obviously magical. 
  • Balance on the damage from level 7+ Aspirant Step is not 100% certain, but I'm still pretty satisfied with it versus the expected additional damage output of a Battlemaster fighter. 
  • Even if I give the historical dragoon a direct shout-out, some people still get angry about JRPGs co-opting the term. Ah well, can't please everyone. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Expanded and Exotic Weapons [Fifth Draft]

I think five drafts is just about the most I've ever done on any one project. I seem to remember my very first project being five drafts, but that hardly counts because the first draft of that one wasn't even Photoshoped.

Anyway, this particular project is currently part of the Bi-Weekly (Bi-Monthly?) Homebrew Review on reddit's /r/unearthedarcana, and true to its name, review was done and further edits needed to be made!

Plenty changed in this draft. Here's the changelog to help us sort it out.


  • Art assets removed as there just wasn't space for them. The credits are modified to reflect this.
  • Gauntlet has been replaced with Kunckle, brass, with a new special property to make it more useful.
  • Sap has been tweaked to make it more intuitive and less gamebreaking. 
  • Scythe is no longer a finesse weapon, and now is a 1d8 reach two-handed simple weapon.
  • Double Weapon has been retooled, hopefully allowing for more clarity. 
  • The Ensnaring property has been removed and replaced with special properties for its related weapons. 
  • Double Weapon formatting in the table has been fixed to frankly be a lot easier to read and understand.
  • The Spiked Chain can now grind targets for damage, while the Kusari-Gama can now disarm, in addition to the grapples they used to do. 
  • Several mechanics that inflicted Disadvantage on yourself now remove Advantage, because that seems overall more reasonable. 
  • Harpoon has been buffed somewhat to make it worth taking a feat for. 
  • The Punching Dagger is now the Katar, and both it and the Claw are now no longer light, but deal more damage.
  • Monk weapons have been retooled to be more in keeping with monk design schema.
  • When this much is changed, little side-errors start popping up. That's what I'd be on the lookout for. 
  • Making selectable PDFs is exhausting and way more work than it should be. I'd love to do it in the future, but I definitely want to take a break before figuring it out again. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Race: Modron [ROUGH DRAFT]

Been cooking this one up for a while. Races take a long, long time, especially when they've got three subraces and a special background tacked on!

Modrons are one of my favorite races, right up there alongside kobolds, myconids, and sea elves. I love the idea of races that are inherent cultural outsiders with very little reference point in traditional, human society, but that still have a place in a world and its lore. They're fascinating and engaging to roleplay, and always require a good deal of thought and dedication. So, of course I went ahead and adapted them to 5e.

Modrons hail from the magical plane of Mechanus, a place of pure law and order made manifest in cities of machinery and churning gears. Forged by the god-being Primus, modrons tend to the hidden mechanisms of reality, and only occasionally do they go rogue and join adventuring parties around the multiverse.

What do they do? Why are modrons the coolest? I'm glad you asked.


  • Race lore and statistics, for building and understanding your own modrons.
  • Optional rules for playing loyalist modrons that have you play as a hiveminded squad.
  • Three subraces of modron, including the spherical monodrones, two-part duodrones, and cubic quadrones!
  • The Rogue Modron background, because most other backgrounds just don't apply to modrons. 
  • I could really use a higher resolution image for the modron on the first page, but would you believe modron art is actually hard to find?
  • As always with races, I hope I got the racial ability math right. You can check my ability values, included at the end of this entry.
  • Flying is always a tricky thing to include, and I hope the balance on the quadrone's Wings works out. 
  • I'm hoping that the Rogue Modron background's Underlying Order feature isn't too hard to understand.
  • Sometimes, it's fun just to crack open an old Planescape book to do research, but I'll be damned if Planescape wasn't way more 90's than I remember. 
RACIAL POINT ALLOTMENT (based on math values found here):
  • Modron (base)
    • 1 (ASI+1)
    • 0.5 (Darkvision)
    • 1 (Natural Armor)
    • 1 (Living Construct)
    • -0.5 (Disintegration)
    • 0 (Size, Speed, Languages)
    • TOTAL: 3 points
  • Monodrone (subrace)
    • 3 (Modron)
    • 1 (ASI+1)
    • 0.5 (Myopic Focus)
    • 0.5 (Tireless)
    • TOTAL: 5 points
  • Duodrone (subrace)
    • 3 (Modron)
    • 1 (ASI+1)
    • 0.5 (Artisan of Mechanus)
    • 1 (Binary Calculations)
    • 0.5 (Tireless)
    • TOTAL: 6 points
  • Quadrone (subrace)
    • 3 (Modron)
    • 1 (ASI+1)
    • 3 (Wings)
    • TOTAL: 7 points
Given that you want point values between 5-7 for a finished, balanced race, these seem to fall in the acceptable range, with the quadrone as a slightly higher outlier. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Martial Archetype: Dragoon [ROUGH DRAFT]

In the real world, a dragoon is a mounted infantry fighter, a sort of shock-troop typically carrying spears or firearms. In fact, the word "dragoon" is derived from the name for the firearms carried by French dragoons, called (awesomely enough) "dragons."

But we're dealing with high fantasy, here. In (particularly Japanese RPG) fantasy tradition, a dragoon is a spear-wielding warrior capable of great leaps and jumps, who typically has some association with dragons.

Obviously, that's the angle I went with here, but mounted gun cavalry would've been pretty cool, too.

Represented here, a dragoon is a fighter who uses jumps as a way to be high-mobility and deal extra damage. Avowed hunters of dragons and other large flying beasts, dragoons are defenders of mortal-kind and thrill seekers who risk life and limb to bring down monsters that would gladly destroy or enslave entire civilizations.

Let's look at what they do.


  • Aspirant Step, a highly mobile attack, more powerful than a standard Battle Master maneuver but with less usage availability. Scales in different ways throughout the dragoon's progression.
  • Jump-based everything, because if you're taking this archetype, it's obviously to be the best at jumps. 
  • Needle of Heaven, a capstone attack somewhat diverged from what fighters typically get, but in-keeping with the JRPG feeling of having an ultimate attack.  
  • Scaling on Aspirant Step may or may not work as intended. I may want to make it 2/4 instead of 1/2 uses per rest. 
  • People may not see that I've bundled the typical level 10 fighter feature into Aspirant Step directly, but that's a weird thing some fighter subclasses do. 
  • Not 100% sure on the damage of Needle of Heaven. I tried to be conservative with it because I'm still not completely sure of the damage balance. I'm feeling like 6-8 d12 + STR (44-57 damage median) is about where it should be, though. 
  • Fighters are deceptively tricky to make well. I had to mentally unpack a lot of the balance inherent to the Battle Master, and I may want to take another look at it at some point. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Character Background: Ex-Cultist

And now, something light and fun, free of any and all balance concerns.

I've been working on a big homebrew project recently that may or may not see the light of day. Something about half the size of the Strongholds project, which unfortunately isn't the expansion for it (not yet, anyway!).

In the meantime, I'll be occasionally adding lighter fluff-level pieces of content like this in an effort to not skip multiple weeks of content like I did while building Strongholds. Because that would just be rude.

But enough about what I'm doing. Let's talk about the thing I just posted:


  • Background fluff ideal for warlocks, certain clerics, and reformed (or less so) evil characters.
  • A background feature that encourages exploration and discovery. 
  • Pretty much only textual/grammatical errors, really.
  • Backgrounds are really really fun and I should make them more often. They're like the popcorn of 5e homebrew. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Alternative 3rd Level Warlock Pact Boons [Remaster]

Remasters are a side project I've been working on recently. Typically, this involves reworking old content to fit the new design standard set with my second template, while going back and modifying what still needed amending after whatever ended up being the final draft.

And, if I can, adding some much-needed fun, extra content to old stuff.

What did I add to this one? Well, that's why we have the


  • Many small modifications to formatting, ability elements, and similar.
  • Expanded Invocation Drawbacks, for it you're using the Invocation Drawbacks optional rule.
  • Didn't change the balance much. The content hopefully didn't need it. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Divine Domain: Technology [Second Draft]

Most times when I release new content, I never have a feeling for what works and what doesn't.

This time, the flavor was on target, as was the balance, and crunch. What people wanted were extra mechanics and clarifications, things to make the domain richer, and to keep you from having to murder your lil' robot buddy in order to heal them.

And, as it turns out, I live to serve (at least as long as it means I get to make cool stuff). Here's the changelog:


  • Clockwork Assistant can now be healed by either making checks to repair it, or by using mending.
  • Transform Assistant is now Channel Divinity: Transform, allowing it to be used more often, but opening it into conflict with CD: Divine Toolbox.
  • CD: Transform adds more properties, earlier, allowing you 3 properties at 11th level, and 4 at 17th, up from just 3 at 17th.
  • Clockwork Assistant now has a crafting cost because parts don't grow on trees.
  • Textual edits that increase clarity, same as usual.
  • New transform ability: Shield. Gives the assistant a shield of tHP that can extend to you if you are mounted on it.
  • Added alternate rules for playing in settings without a god of Technology, and for having your faithful assistant physically carry you.
  • Better Living is now Simulacra because c'mon that sounds way better.
  • CD: Transform now essentially gives a potential flying mount at level 11. I don't think that's too outrageous, but I may be wrong.
  • Unsure of the power balance on Shield, especially the mounted bit, but it seems about right. 
  • A mounted robot friend could be a small-ish mech suit. Who'da thought. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Divine Domain: Technology [ROUGH DRAFT]

Domains are the most fascinating thing about clerics in 5e. It's simple, intuitive, and makes perfect sense that a cleric of a trickster god like Loki would feel fundamentally different than a cleric of a storm god like Thor, but still have some common ground, as the two of them serve the same basic social purpose.

Likewise, a Madness cleric feels fundamentally different from a Civilization cleric, and both are diverged significantly in feeling from a Technology cleric.

Like their (as-yet, not canon) artificer brethren, a cleric of Technology builds and constructs, but channels their inspiration and the core of their power from a great and powerful god of science and industry. Gods like Vulcan, Gond, Onatar, and Erathis style themselves gods of Technology, and clerics who serve them push the frontiers of knowledge and scientific inspiration with their transforming clockwork creations and technomagical know-how.

What sort of things can a Technology cleric do? Let's find out:


  • A Clockwork Minion who can transform through uses of a class feature.
  • Use your Channel Divinity to always draw the perfect tool (or trap) at the perfect time.
  • Build as a caster or crossbow-user, allowing you to fluff your cleric as you please.
  • Clone yourself! It's good for you. 
  • Transforming your clockwork assistant is kind of a strange feature, and I wonder if it is balanced right. It was originally designed as a Channel Divinity, but I moved it to once per long rest to be safe.
  • Divine Toolbox, on the other hand, is limited by uses Channel Divinity. Is being able to whip out 2+ traps, ball-bearings, or caltrops for an hour each short rest reasonable, you think?
  • I kept the spell list as technomagically focused as I could. Does the flavor hold up?
  • I did the math, I did the monster math, but it turns out I'm not the greatest at monster math. Could someone check the Clockwork Assistant math and tell me if it's alright?
  • Instead of cantrips vs weapons, I tried to split Scientific Accuracy on ranged vs melee. Does it feel about right?
  • I really, really, really need to learn more about monster math. I don't think I've done creature math since the Dead King pact back in the day. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Ninja [Second Draft]

Normally, I like to work on two (or three) projects at a time. It switches it up, keeps it interesting.

But this ninja, man. This ninja and all the things I've had to fix.

The rough draft of the ninja was mostly fine. Almost everything needing fixing was relatively small, fiddly stuff, but literally everything needed some amount of fixing, and it all snowballed into a landslide of balance tweaks. In the end, whole abilities and features got revamped.

But! It seems like it's in a good place, and that means its time for a new build. Tell me what you think, and what game-breaking bits I missed, same as always.


  • Everything. Just, everything.
  • Jutsu, Ninja Tricks, and the latter half of Ki have been combined into just "Ninja Tricks" and a Elemental monk style list of abilities that you can take, two per level. This allows you to use later levels to choose previous levels' abilities, if you want.
  • This archetype now requires Wisdom as reflected in the Ki save DC. Most, but not all, of the abilities now have some component that scales on Wisdom.
  • Several Ki abilities have had their costs adjusted. Mostly increases, because that was necessary.
  • Feathery Tread and Immaculate Footwork have been rearranged, lumping run-on-water and balancing advantage into Immaculate Footwork, and jumping and a new half-fall-damage ability into the new ability, Crane's Ascendance.
  • Everything is a Weapon now has a ranged throw with Ki that can sneak attack and scales with Wisdom, replacing its proficiency-with-anything mechanic.
  • Step onto Air has been replaced with Flawless Strike, as the scaling between Step onto Air and Crane's Ascendance would've been bananas. Flawless Strike allows you to spend ki to reroll your failed attacks.
  • Eyes of the Ghost is now Sense the Heartmind, an ability that allows you to feel people through walls and increases the range of your blindsense.
  • Deathblow is now Shadow Clone Jutsu. This ability creates a shadowy double of you, which sneak attacks enemies and confers bonuses to you. 
  • The balance on Flawless Strike seems about right, but I'd appreciate someone else looking at it.
  • I could've missed something in the rest of the overall balance. Entirely likely, in fact.
  • Sometimes, you have to drop everything to fix everything

Friday, April 22, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Ninja [ROUGH DRAFT]

One of the great pleasures of this hobby is taking a crack at old fan-favorites and drafting them into 5th edition, making them work within existing schema in imaginative ways.

This in mind, the ninja is a shadowy roguish archetype that uses Ki, same as a monk, to activate quasi-spiritual abilities while straight-up assassinating folks.

Sounds fun? Of course it does, it's a ninja. Let's see what it can do:


  • Choice of two of four ki-based abilities at 3rd, 9th, and 13th level, focusing on utility, combat, and utility respectively.
  • Deliver a Deathblow to reroll Sneak Attack dice at 17th level by spending Ki.
  • A 1/3 caster Ki system, based on the class assumption of the monk as a half-caster.
  • Ki abilities cost either 1 ki or 3 ki, which I figure is a good general representation of their utility, but may be too bland or not balanced correctly - it's hard to tell.
  • Class options that have a "choice of" abilities can end up having a lack of flavor, as with early drafts of my Vampire PrC. I don't think that's the case here, but I could be wrong.
  • I make the assumption that the monk is approximately a half-caster in regards to ki - a fair assumption given how much punching monks do, but also one that could be wrong.
  • Ki is mostly a damage resource to monks, but to ninja it is mostly a utility resource. I don't see this as much of an issue, but it could have ramifications I haven't thought of. 
  • 10 + total character level for a saving throw is kind of odd and unprecedented, but I specifically didn't want to tie the saves to a secondary stat. Save-using options for this archetype are few and far between, and a player could easily avoid taking them to avoid having to put points in a secondary stat, so I didn't want to disincentivize the options in that way.  
  • Making 1/3-caster options out of alternative resource systems is possible. I wonder what else I could apply that idea to.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Divine Domain: Civilization [Second Draft]

What's most interesting about subclasses, to me, is how much or how little they color the overall class.

Rogues, for example. A rogue is fundamentally a rogue first, regardless of subclass. The subclass is kind of how they do rogue, but that's about it.

But with paladins, clerics, and, to a lesser extent, warlocks, subclass is their entire thing. It's how you do what you do, yes, but it's also why you do what you do.

Both the Madness and Civilization domains have clear missions the crunch of the domains re-enforce. For Madness, you're put on god's green Earth to make people go crazy. For Civilization, you have an arguably much nobler purpose: the safeguarding and expansion of society, of mortal-kind as a whole. Both domains define your character's purpose just as much as a background possibly could.

That's enough waxing-game-design from me, though. Let's see the changelog.


  • Many tweaks to CD: Bastion, including keeping it from being conjured within 120 feet of other summoned monuments, only being able to perform the permanent monument ritual once per day, and re-adjusting AC and HP to be in-line with what the DMG says stone structures should be.
  • Fruits of Civilization has been likewise tweaked, halving the merchant's available money and adding the word "approximately", so not every merchant will have exactly 500gp on the nose. Also made the type of currency ambiguous, so you could run into a gem-mining dwarf deep within a cave, or a fairy that'll deal only in electrum, if your DM wills it so.
  • Added a line to Drumbeat of Progress adding a buff to passwall, making its duration permanent if you will it so. Now your walls can have easy doors. 
  • None at the moment. 
  • If players can create a wall out of something they can summon, they probably will, even if they have another spell that actually creates a wall. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Divine Domain: Madness [Second Draft]

One of the crazy things about making homebrew the way I do is that sometimes, there are problems I clearly know exist, but I'll be damned if I know how to solve them, or even where they are.

That's part of why peer review is so important to the process: you guys manage to hammer down my material, find the faults I know have to be there, and give me a pretty clear idea of how to fix them.

The rough draft of the Madness cleric was a combat monster across the board, powerful without much exception. Hopefully, this draft helps remedy that.

Let's see how:


  • Reworked Eyes of Insanity, again. It now does only movement, no opportunity attacks, but is a bonus action. It also requires an additional save if you attempt to walk an enemy into bad stuff, and no longer works on targets that can't be charmed.
  • Tweaked Sow Madness such that it also does not apply to charm-proof creatures. I also changed a few of the effects on the roll table, most notably number 7 in a way that makes it more fun and less broken.
  • Berserking no longer excludes some targets, so, y'know, no one get too close to the crazy rage guy.
  • Voices in Your Head no longer grants Deep Speech because I just plain didn't like how it felt, and languages are easy enough to get from backgrounds besides.
  • Gates of Madness has updated verbage specifying limits on the ritual. 
  • If there was THAT MUCH stuff needing fixing that I didn't see, is there more? 
  • If you only use the most powerful abilities in a class as benchmarks, you'll end up with something obscenely powerful. Whodathunk. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Divine Domain: Civilization [ROUGH DRAFT]

After starting up this blog again, I've been on a kick. I still need to revise my Madness cleric, but in the meantime here's something completely different.

Where the Madness cleric is a spell-casting combat monster, the Civilization cleric is anything but - a melee-focused skill machine, made for building and creating and supporting your party.

Take a look, you'll probably like it.


  • Spells focused on supporting civilization, from conjuring food to building walls.
  • Parkour! Parkour.
  • Summon a monument with your Channel Divinity. Never go without a shrine again.
  • Pray to your god, receive a merchant. No matter how unlikely the circumstance. 
  • Remarkably combat-light, but no more so than (for example) the Nature cleric.
  • The merchant might cause some consternation for DMs of a certain playstyle.
  • Overlapping thematically somewhat with the UA City cleric, but where that cleric is about neighborhoods and communities, this cleric is about frontiers and empires. 
  • Yeah I should probably go back and nerf some of the combat potential of the Madness cleric. It doesn't need to be THAT out of hand. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Divine Domain: Madness [ROUGH DRAFT]

So far, I've dabbled in warlocks, paladins, and rogues. Now, let's see how tweaking a cleric works.

Madness is a popular concept in roleplaying, such that entire games revolve around it. Nearly every setting in D&D canon has at least one mad god, and it'd make sense that such gods should have equally mad clerics: fonts of enlightened insanity, sharing their manic wisdom with the world (whether the world wants it, or, more likely, not).

An interesting domain riding hard the "Chaotic" side of the alignment chart, Madness and the clerics that espouse it can range from being Good at heart, using their insanity for the benefit of others, to being malicious and Evil, truly wishing to destroy all that is sane and safe in the world.

Let's look at what makes this fun.


  • Spell list full of mental-control powers, feels functionally halfway between bard and warlock.
  • Use the message cantrip to make people go nuts. No seriously, try it.
  • A controlling/offensive first-level combat feature, essentially an ultra-light version of compulsion.
  • Two Channel Divinities, one to make your enemies crazy, the other to make your friends crazy.
  • An assortment of level 6+ domain spells delivered at class level 17. 
  • Deep Speech may not be entirely necessary on Voices in Your Head. But it seems so fun.
  • CD: Sow Madness is strong, but less strong (due to unreliability) than what an Arcane cleric gets so that seems alright.
  • CD: Berserking may be stronger or weaker than intended. Hard to tell with that one. 
  • I was originally making this as a paladin Oath of Madness. I'm still probably going to make the paladin Oath, but man, is it much easier to design for a cleric. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Otherworldly Patron: The Ancient Dragon [Second Draft]

First warlock pact in a long, long, while, and reddit loved it! Which is always appreciated, but even more appreciated is the level of quality criticism the pact received.

Turns out, the balance of the rough draft was more or less spot-on, so much of the criticism focused on thematic elements and general comfort-in-playability factors (like not rolling 11d4 twice per combat).

This in mind, let's see the changelog:


  • Switched up the spell list in a couple of ways:
    • Stinking cloud and cloudkill were removed for not being thematic for all dragons. Fire shield can stay for now, because while not perfect the ability to resist fire or cold applies to almost any dragon.
    • Elemental weapon added to third level. The ability to enchant an existing weapon seems very dragon-y.
    • Hallow added to fifth level. The effects hallow provides are very similar to the ambient effects dragons create just by making their lair in a specific region. It's also a spell that breaks the one-hour maximum duration warlock spell slot rule, but the Fiend pact already has it, so I figure that's alright.
  • Ancient's Breath now requires a minimum spell level of 3rd (which you'll have at warlock level 6, anyway), and deals 4d8+Cha, scaling by +1d8 every spell level, approximately the same damage as before. I considered capping this at 6d8 to keep its maximum to what's available in warlock spell slots, but I figure that if someone wants to multiclass badly enough to use a 7th level slot and get an extra 2d8 on it, why not let 'em?
  • Ancient's Breath now requires a Con saving throw instead of Dex if it would deal Poison or Cold damage.
  • Hoard Sense now includes the ability to cast Leomund's secret chest the ability to summon a chest whenever, wherever. Be advised that the chest returns to your patron, though, so you maybe shouldn't put anything they want too terribly badly in there.
  • Draconic Apotheosis has a minor adjustment, upping the damage of Ancient's Breath from a d8 to a d12, rather than the d4 to d6 upgrade before. Though a d8 to a d12 seems like a much larger upgrade, the final damage numbers remain roughly the same. 
  • Leomund's secret chest is a 4th level spell, which are typically first accessed by full casters at 7th level. I'm giving it to this warlock pact at 1st level, and removing many of the restrictions on the spell. But, I mean, it's Leomund's secret chest, very much utility-only. Not as if I'm allowing blight as a spam-able, first-level spell. Yeah it was still a bad idea, and I didn't like the feel. Now you can summon and dismiss a chest with half the storage capacity of Leomund's, which is still pretty generous. 
  • The spell list is still somewhat contentious, but spell choice being what it is there's not a whole lot I can do about that. 
  • It's jarring to update something without worrying about re-balancing it in one direction or the other. I just hope Leomund's the adorable, half-capacity chest didn't tip the scales too much. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Shadow-Weaver [Second Draft]

Some homebrew is universally beloved right off the bat, while other homebrew is markedly less so.

What's interesting to me is when a homebrew project falls in between, absolutely loved by some and completely reviled by others. The response to the shadow-weaver was pretty markedly polarized, but within all of that was some really quality criticism, such that I feel confident in releasing another build.


  • The usual slew of textual errors, blady-bloo.
  • Revamped the cantrips list and added silence to the spell list. Man, is it a pain in the butt to reference spells from EEPC and SCAG, though.
  • Retooled Shroud of Shadow such that it deals 1d6 necrotic per spell level on a hit OR a miss. Now specifies that only one shroud may be out at any one time, and that you cannot place a shroud the same turn you remove one, or vice versa.
  • Buffed Black Agony from d10's to d12's, adding ~10 damage to the ability.
  • Feed the Darkness is now Heart of Darkness, and is a significant fluff power closer in balance to the Assassin's Impostor than the Arcane Trickster's outrageous Versatile Trickster.
  • The new Shroud of Shadow math is based on magic missile (1d4+1 [median 3.5] per slot vs. SoS's 1d6 [median 3.5] per slot). Still not entirely satisfied, as SoS does this alongside a normal attack, but it seems like the most balanced I can make it while keeping it faithful to the Oassassin's feel.
  • Really, that's about it. Most of my worries about this archetype are tied to how shrouds work. If that's 100% functional and balanced, the rest of the subclass probably is as well. 
  • If you're trying to somewhat emulate Smite, on a rogue, don't make it out-damage Smite what the hell were you thinking. 

Otherworldly Patron: The Ancient Dragon [ROUGH DRAFT]

It's a bit strange, now that I think about it, to be publishing a blog called "WALROCK HOMEBREW," and yet to not have done any actual homebrewing for warlocks in over half a year.

High time we fixed that.

The Ancient Dragon pact is exactly what it says on the tin: You sign a contract, drink an elixir of dragon's blood infused with a willing dragon's power, and are granted magic dragon warlock powers like your patron's breath, a sense for treasure, and the ability to half-transform into an aspect of your patron's power.

It's pretty cool stuff, great for warlocks who find fiends, fey, and outsiders a little too intangible to be trusted. Because, as everyone knows, you can always trust a dragon.


  • Thematic abilities that follow the draconic bloodline of your patron!
  • Spells focusing on the general abilities of dragons, without ascribing to any particular elemental affinity.
  • Probably the most fun first-level fluff power I've written yet. 
  • Yes okay you're totally right Ancient's Breath is a little derivative of the dragonborn racial power, but dragon's breath needs to happen in this pact and that's the most effective way to do it.
  • I'm the tiniest bit concerned about the balance of Draconic Apotheosis, but it's almost certainly alright. Long-rest warlock pact capstones are approximately balanced to a level 6.5 spell (or a 6th level spell cast with a 7th level slot), so that seems just about reasonable for the power level. 
  • Man are warlock pacts still fun to make. The hardest part is fitting all the fun stuff in to keep it thematic while retaining balance. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Huckster [Second Draft]

Second verse, same as the first!

People were all-around satisfied with the first version of the huckster, but wanted a few tweaks and changes here and there. When things get tweak-y change-y, I know the material is in a good place and nearing completion, which is always so satisfying when I can get there in just two versions.

But let's not get ahead of myself. For all I know the whole thing could be fundamentally flawed and need a ground-up rework. Judge for yourself, here's the changelog:


  • Hucksters can now choose their spells from a list, rather than learn a linear path of spells. Hucksters have a ton of utility spells, making them a very handy rogue to have in a party.
  • Faith Healing has been reworked, and rather than buffing healing at the cost of it being tHP, it now functions as an effective overheal, allowing solid huckster / actual healer synergy and selling party members on hit points they don't actually need.
  • Patched up some wording here and there, made things more clear. Usual stuff. 
  • Not many, really. The subclass seems like a solid choice, includes some unique flavor, and isn't grossly overpowered (far as I can tell).
  • If you're making something contentious (like a holy rogue), keep it simple and stick to a strong theme. The more out-there it is, the stronger the central thematic idea needs to be. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Shadow-Weaver [ROUGH DRAFT]

Does anyone remember the original 4e assassin? Used invisible marks and shadows, jumped around with shadowstep, was optimized with a greatsword for some reason?

I always thought it was a fantastic concept. Not, y'know, exactly as it was - the eventual Executioner was a much better representation of the idea of an Assassin - but a rogue-type sneak with shadow powers struck me as a particularly fun, interesting thing to play.

So I remade it for 5e. Tried to address some balance and fun issues present in the 4e version while keeping it consistent with 5e, hopefully it came out well!

  • 1/3 Spellcaster Casting, complete with shadow-focused spell list thematically differentiated from Arcane Trickster.
  • Shrouds, a 4e oassassin mainstay, play into bonus action economy while allowing you to regain abilities, gain tHP, and even deal damage on a miss.
  • Shadowstep Gloomstride, a thematic ability allowing you a greater range of motion and synergy with sneak attack.
  • Black Agony, a level 17 capstone allowing you to temporarily upgrade your sneak attack damage dice for a single, debilitating attack, dealing overall less damage but being more versatile than the 5e assassin capstone. 
  • Definitely more rough than the huckster. Balance across the board needs some general looking at, but the core ideas are solid.
  • The 2d10+ on a miss for shrouds seems reasonable (especially since it costs spell slots), but may affect overall damage balance in a way I haven't anticipated.
  • Black Agony's damage numbers and Feed the Darkness' tHP reward both seem reasonable, but I'd like someone to take a second look at them.
  • Any thematic spells I missed? How necessary is invisibility to a shadow rogue's spell list?
  • Thematic roll tables are definitely worth the time and effort, as having a basic idea of an archetype's significance does a lot to sell people on the fun of the subclass. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Roguish Archetype: The Huckster [ROUGH DRAFT]

Rogues are pretty cool. They can be a lot of things, from dashing rakes to bookish spell-thieves to bell-jangling jesters.

The Huckster is a different approach, and is to clerics as the Arcane Trickster is to wizards. A huckster is a holy charlatan, knowing just enough in the way of rite and ritual to convince others of any religious affiliation, all the while having several crafty tricks in reserve to help with their roguish ways.

Let's look at some specifics.


  • Wisdom-based spellcasting off a small spell list. More total spells allotted than Arcane Trickster, less player choice in the spell list.
  • Series of two class features that build upon each other to encourage roleplaying before and during combat, to confer advantages in combat.
  • Higher level class features emulate the further gaining of holy power, despite spell list being limited to 4th level spells. 
  • The limited spell list may potentially be less fun than choosing. However, the cleric spell list has a great deal of pitfalls that would either be thematically unfitting or overpowered for this subclass, and is eclectic enough that breaking the list apart by spell school doesn't really work.
  • Faith Healing may be better or worse than intended, a small but nice additional bonus that'd stack well with legitimate healing. It'd be nice to have someone look at it with a critical eye and tell me if the verbage means what I think it means.
  • Faithless Fervor is situationally strong, and is intended to loosely mirror the Arcane Trickster level 17. However, considering the huckster's spell list and the necessary trigger for the feature, it's most likely fairly balanced. 
  • 1/3 caster subclasses have a surprising amount of latitude to them. Constrained, obviously, but there's plenty of room to make them unique and fun.
  • Breaks aren't bad. Just, maybe not two-and-a-half months off next time. 

Unexpected Break

First, it was the holidays. Then, getting brutally sick mixed with Fallout 4. Finally, work started up, and took up most of my time.

But now? I've got some time, let's homebrew cool stuff again.