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.