Thursday, April 6, 2017

Catamaran - Glory



I've made some posts about the Glory system previously, but its been in practice in the Catamaran campaign and seems to be working out pretty well. We're on session... ten?

Player characters can earn glory through deeds of great importance and heroism, allowing them to empower items, abilities, or other aspects of their identity through the might of their legend. Players earn Glory points when indicated by the DM and they can be spend in the following ways, but only if the bonus gained ties into the heroic deed that earned the character the Glory. If you received a Glory for fighting a dragon in a volcano, investing that Glory in making your weapon more effective against dragons or your armor fire resistant is totally valid, but making your weapon more effective against goblins is not.

In Catamaran none of the magic items found by the players have been bonus items with the exception of a ring of protection +1 (which I should not of given them but I had a brain fart) and the mechanical bonus from items made of unusual materials (i.e. metal, the party paladin got an iron shield and longsword that he carries around and are effectively +1 items, but everyone looks at him sort of weird for it). Instead their items have primarily been items they activate that give them a short term ability, such as a broach that can be used as a reaction to give resistance to one damage type until the end of the player’s next turn. All bonus items have come from investing Glory, and that is the rule going forward as well. The goal of this rule is to make the campaign about getting power and items by being awesome, not looting the dead or spending lots of time in research to manufacture magic items. The game is pretty epic in feel and scope with the deaths of gods being a major element from first level, so players getting magic weapons off dead foes seems or long abandoned tombs seems… off. It’s a very non-loot focused game; they don’t really get much in the way of money or stuff. Their goals are much more story oriented (heal my people’s god, find the wizards who killed my family, serve the Bone Witch, etc).

Thus far the players have gotten a Glory point approximately every two levels. I’m not sure if this is too fast, but I think it may be. We’ll see how they invest them. So far the group has done the following:
  • Hanu the Monk Scalefolk: In the group boat, giving him advantage on proficiency (water vehicle) checks when using it
  • Mokoa the Human Barbarian: Making Witchsplitter, his great sword, a +1 weapon
  • Akara the Dragonborn Bard: Yukele, giving her +1 when attacking with spells or +1 to her spell save DC when other people make saves against her spells
  • Pele the Earth Geasi Rogue: Gun, allowing him to reroll 1s on damage and get +1 to attacks (since he actually makes attacks now)
  • Kel the Human Paladin: Making his armor +1
  • Argus the Barbarian/Wizard: Spelljamming helm, either advantage on proficiency (spelljamming helm) checks, get an increase to movement when flying, or an increase to AC/Dex saves while 
  • Krah the Human Cleric of the Bone Witch, God of Death: Bone knife, which she uses as a holy symbol. It gives her +1 to attack with spells and +1 to saving throw DCs. 
The current uses for Glory I have been using:
  • Add an enhancement bonus to a weapon or suit of armor. Adding a +1 bonus requires 1 Glory point, a +2 bonus requires 2 Glory points, and adding a +3 bonus requires 3 Glory points.
  • Bonuses on weapons against specific types of foes (so one point of Glory gets you a +2 bonus against the specified creature), such as fiends or sahaugin, get double the normal bonus for the Glory invested and grant a +1d6 damage against attacks made against those creatures. 
  • Armor can be made to grant resistance to a damage type for 1 Glory.
  • Armor can grant advantage on saving throws against one condition, school of magic, or energy type. 
  • Choose a damage type or a spell school: when using abilities that use that damage or that spell school you gain +1 to attack rolls, +1 to your Spell save DCs, and get to reroll 1s on damage rolls. You can increase this bonus to +2 by spending two additional Glory, and to +3 by spending three additional Glory. 
  • Choose an item used in casting spells, such as a holy symbol. When you have it you gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls and +1 on your spell save DCs when casting spells through that item. You can increase this bonus to +2 by spending two additional Glory, and to +3 by spending three additional Glory. 
  • Choose a spell of 3rd level or lower. You can cast that spell once per long rest as a bonus action as if you were using a 3rd level slot. You can select your spell save DC ability score. 
  • Gain a feat appropriate to your Glory deed. The first feat costs 1 Glory, the second costs 2 Glory, etc. 
  • Bind and NPC to your fate. They begin gaining levels on their own and will have a more prominent role in the story going forward. 
  • Invest in a vehicle, selecting three of the following:
    • +1 Dex save and AC
    • +10% hit points and +1 Con save
    • +10 ft. per round
    • +1 cargo unit

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Catamaran Classes, Revised



I've gone through the class options for my Catamaran Campaign I posted previously and revised them a bit based on comments and experiences in game. For example, I have a shark totem barbarian and a scientist rogue in the campaign currently and so far neither feel particularly over or under powered, though time will tell as they advance in level.


Shark Totem Barbarian
The following additional selections are available to barbarians on the Path of the Totem Warrior.

Totem Spirit
Shark:
While raging, you gain advantage in melee combat when attacking enemies that are at half their maximum hit points or less. The spirit of the shark makes you a fearsome killer when you detect the scent of blood. 

Aspect of the Beast
Shark:
You gain the speed of the shark. You gain a swim speed equal to your normal movement speed. 

Totemic Attunement
Shark:
While raging, you have advantage on will saves and you gain blindsense with a 10 foot range.
 
Voice of Keruna Bard
In the Catamaran setting, Keruna is the mother god of creation who was killed by other, jealous gods and whose corpse formed the islands that dot the Sea of Keruna. While dead, she still plays a vital role in the culture of the inhabitants of the sea that bears her name Bards who choose this path seek to develop the power of the words of Keruna instead of more worldly skills, seeking to inhabit the powers of the dead goddess. These are rare among the people of the Sea of Keruna and are universally treated with respect.

Bonus Proficiencies
At 3rd level, you gain proficiency in three of the following: Deceit, Intimidation, Persuasion, or a language of your choice. 

Voice of Creation
Starting at 3rd level, when you inspire an ally they also gain a number of temporary hit points equal to a roll of your inspiration die. Note this occurs when they get the inspiration die, not when they use it. The hit points remain until the target takes a short rest. 

Voice of Thunder
At 6th level, you gain immunity to thunder damage and can ignore the thunder resistance or immunity of any creatures you strike with thunder damage. You are immune to the deafen and silence conditions. You are always considered to have thunderwave as a prepared spell.

Voice of All
At 14th level, You are always considered to have speak with animals, speak with plants, speak with dead, and tongues as prepared spells. You may cast any of these spells by expending a bardic inspiration die; the level of the spell slot used to cast the spell is equal to half the maximum value of the inspiration die (so using a d10 will cast the spell with a 5th level spell slot). You gain resistance to radiant damage.

Dirge Singer Bard
Not all bards sing of the victory and glory of their allies; some sing of the defeat and shame of their enemies. These are the dirge singers, able to harness their magical powers to influence others towards failure as much as their own allies towards success. While many dirge singers are all evil, not all are; some are just pragmatists or possessed of a more pessimistic than melodic mind.

Gravesong
Beginning at 3rd level, you may use your inspiration dice to penalize your enemies in addition to aiding your allies. This ability consumes an inspiration die, requires a bonus action, and the target must be within thirty feet and able to hear you. The target gets one gravesong die placed on it that is equal in size to your inspiration die type. This die may be applied as a penalty to any saving throw or attack roll the victim makes as long as the saving throw is triggered by an ally or the attack targets an ally. Once used, the gravesong die is lost.

Tune of the Fearsome Dead
At 3rd level you gain proficiency in martial weapons, Intimidation, and History. If you are already proficient in either of these skills, you double your proficiency bonus when using them.

Ballad of the Fallen
Beginning at 6th level, whenever an ally within 30 feet of you reduces an enemy to 0 hit points and chooses to kill them, you can use your reaction to grant that ally a number of temporary hit points to a roll of your inspiration die type.

Sealed Fate
At 14th level, if an ally’s attack hits using an inspiration die you gave him, the ally can also add the inspiration die to the damage for the attack. If you expend a gravesong die to penalize a saving throw, you also get to add the gravesong die to the damage of the spell, if any.

Scientist Rogue
You use learning and observation to your advantage, taking the materials of the natural world and bending them to your will through science. Others may see your skills as being akin to magic, but your work is not based on any power arcane or divine. Instead you use chemistry, physics, and other fields of study left ignored by most, finding power in rarely held knowledge.

Master of Science
At third level the rogue gains proficiency with the alchemist’s and tinker’s kit. If you are already proficient in these kits, you may apply double your proficiency bonus when using them.

Gadgets
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn gadgets that are fueled by special dice called cunning dice. You learn three gadgets of your choice, which are detailed under “Gadgets” below. Using a gadget requires an action, but the specific type of action varies from gadget to gadget.

You learn two additional gadgets of your choice at 9th, 13th, and 17th level. Each time you learn new gadgets, you can also replace one gadget you know with a different one.

Cunning Dice.
You have four cunning dice, which are d8s. A cunning die is expended when you use it. You regain all of your expended cunning dice when you finish a short or long rest. You gain another cunning die at 9th level and one more at 17th level. 

Saving Throws.
Some of your gadgets require your target to make a saving throw to resist the gadget’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows: Gadget save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence or Dexterity modifier (your choice)

Invention
At 9th level, you have developed a unique invention that does what others can only do through magic. Choose one spell of 2nd level or lower from any spell list; you can recreate that spell’s effect through science twice per long rest with a spell level equal to your Intelligence bonus (minimum 2). The selected spell is considered to only have a somatic component, thus making you immune to silence, and this ability is not affected by anti-magic fields or similar effects. You should work with your DM to select a spell that makes sense and to craft the fiction that explains how it works, such as home brew healing potions for cure wounds spells or some manner of explosive for thunderwave.

Scientific Breakthrough

At 13th level your cunning die increase in size to d10s. At 17th level they increase to d12s and if you have no cunning die when you roll initiative, you gain one cunning die.

Gadgets
Antidote

You use some general poison antidotes to help an adjacent ally fight off the effects of poison. As a bonus action you can give one of your cunning dice to the ally you assist and they can add it to a saving throw against any manner of poison made on their next turn.

Armor Piercing Shot

As part of an attack action, You use a specially devised arrowhead or bullet with your ranged weapon, adding your cunning die to your attack roll. The target must be wearing at least medium armor or have a natural armor bonus of +3 or more.

Bomb
As an attack action, you toss a primitive explosive device into up to 30 feet away. Creatures within 5 feet of the device take fire damage equal to three of the the cunning die spent on the attack, but can make a Dexterity save to take half damage.

Fire Bomb
As an attack action, you throw a flammable bomb that lights all creatures within 5 feet on fire. They must make Dexterity saves or take fire damage equal to your cunning die each round until they succeed at the Dexterity save, or take an attack action to extinguish themselves.

Glue Bomb
As an attack action, you throw a stick glue bomb, affecting all creatures within 5 feet of the device. The targets must make a Dexterity save or suffer a penalty on all Dexterity saves equal to your cunning die until the next round.

Poison Strike
As a bonus action, you coat your weapon in one of your personally made poisons. You may add a cunning die to the damage of your next attack made with that weapon. If the attack is successful, the target must make a Fortitude save or become poisoned until the beginning of your next turn.

Scatter Shot
As part of a ranged attack, you use a specially designed fragmenting round to do additional damage to an enemy. You may spend your cunning die to add it to the damage of a ranged attack.

Smelling Salts
You use some smelling salts to help an adjacent ally regain their senses. As a bonus action, you can give one of your cunning dice to the ally you assist and they can add it to a saving throw to break free of any manner of mind-affecting spell or ability made on their next turn.

Smoke Bomb

As an attack action you release a smoke bomb at a point within 30 feet, releasing a cloud of smoke ten feet in diameter. Creatures in that smoke suffer a penalty to Perception and ranged attack rolls equal to your cunning die. Ranged attacks passing through this smoke suffer the same penalty. The smoke lasts for until the beginning of your next turn.

Stimulant
You dose an ally with a stimulant that reduces pain and increases alertness. As a bonus action, you grant an adjacent ally temporary hit points equal to the amount rolled on your cunning die and a bonus to all Perception checks equal to your cunning die as long as those hit points remain. These hit points fade after a short rest.

Weak Point
As a bonus action you can point out the weak points of creatures that have physical forms to an ally, granting that ally a bonus to an attack roll made during their next turn equal to your cunning die and allowing their weapon to count as magical for that attack.






























Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bard Archetype: Dirge Singer

So in my Catamaran campaign the party bard's job on the Isle of Bones was to sing the tale of the dead brought to the island so they would be remembered.  She's basically a really death focused bard who is far more concerned with the end of stories than their beginnings.  To that end, I came up with a new bard archetype that I thought went along more with that.

Dirge Singer

Not all bards sing of the victory and glory of their allies; some sing of the defeat and shame of their enemies. These are the dirge singers, able to harness their magical powers to influence others towards failure as much as their own allies towards success. While many dirge singers are all evil, not all are; some are just pragmatists or possessed of a more sarcastic than melodic mind.

Gravesong

Beginning at 3rd level, you may use your inspiration dice to penalize your enemies in addition to aiding your allies. This ability consumes an inspiration die, requires a bonus action, and the target must be within thirty feet and able to hear you. The target gets a Willpower save against your spell save DC; success means this ability fails and has no effect. If the target fails its saving throw it has one gravesong die placed on it that is equal in size to your inspiration die type. This die may be applied as a penalty to any saving throw or attack roll the victim makes as long as the saving throw is triggered by an ally or the attack targets an ally. Once used, the gravesong die is lost.

Tune of the Fearsome Dead

At 3rd level you gain proficiency in martial weapons, Intimidation, and History. If you are already proficient in either of these skills, you double your proficiency bonus when using them.

Ballad of the Fallen

Beginning at 6th level, whenever an ally within 30 feet of you reduces an enemy to 0 hit points and chooses to kill them, you can use your reaction to grant that ally a number of temporary hit points to a roll of your inspiration die type.

Sealed Fate

At 14th level, if an ally’s attack hits using an inspiration die you gave him, the attack becomes a critical hit. Your gravesong dice may be expended to make a successful attack against a creature with a gravesong die a critical hit.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Catamaran - New Class Options Draft 1


Over the course of creating both the Catamaran setting and working with the players to create their characters, several new options for class archetypes that fit well within the setting became apparent. Below are the first of these in first draft form, so they're pretty rough (and derivative mechanically). But hopefully they are at least interesting. All feedback and comments very much welcome as I'm still getting a handle on 5E as a system.

Barbarian
Shark Totem

The following additional selections are available to barbarians on the Path of the Totem Warrior.

Totem Spirit
Shark:
While raging, you gain advantage in melee combat when attacking enemies that are already wounded. The spirit of the shark makes you a fearsome killer when you detect the scent of blood.

Aspect of the Beast
Shark:
You gain the speed of the shark. You gain a swim speed equal to your normal movement speed.

Totemic Attunement
Shark:
While raging, you cannot be charmed, confused, or frightened and you gain blindsense with a 10 foot range.

Bard
Voice of Keruna

(Note: Bards in this setting get their magic by harnessing the voice of the goddess Keruna, the dead goddess whose corpse formed the island cluster the players live on. So bards are deeply tied to the culture and are held in high regard. They're a mixture of peacemakers, journalists, and secret police serving the greater good).

Bards who choose this path seek to develop the power of the words of Keruna instead of more worldly skills, seeking to inhabit the powers of the dead goddess. These are rare among the people of the Sea of Keruna and are universally treated with respect.

Bonus Proficiencies
At 3rd level, you gain proficiency in three of the following: Deceit, Intimidation, Persuasion, or a language of your choice. 

Voice of Creation
Starting at 3rd level, when you inspire an ally they also gain a number of temporary hit points equal to a roll of your inspiration die. Note this occurs when they get the inspiration die, not when they use it.

Voice of Thunder

At 6th level, you gain immunity to thunder damage and can ignore the thunder resistance or immunity of any creatures you strike with thunder damage. Any attack or spell you use that deals thunder damage is also considered to deal radiant damage. You are immune to the deafen and silence conditions. You are always considered to have thunderwave as a prepared spell. 

Voice of All
At 14th level, You are always considered to have speak with animals, speak with plants, speak with dead, and tongues as prepared spells. You may cast any of these spells by expending a bardic inspiration die; the level of the spell slot used to cast the spell is equal to half the maximum value of the inspiration die (so using a d10 will cast the spell with a 5th level spell slot). You gain resistance to radiant damage.

Rogue
Scientist

You use learning and observation to your advantage, taking the materials of the natural world and bending them to your will through science. Others may see your skills as being akin to magic, but your work is not based on any power arcane or divine. Instead you use chemistry, physics, and other fields of study left ignored by most, finding power in rarely held knowledge.

Master of Science
At 3rd level the rogue gains proficiency with the alchemist’s and tinker’s kit. If you are already proficient in these kits, you may apply double your proficiency bonus when using them.

Gadgets
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn gadgets that are fueled by special dice called cunning dice. You learn three gadgets of your choice, which are detailed under “Gadgets” below. Using a gadget requires an action, but the specific type of action varies from gadget to gadget.

You learn two additional gadgets of your choice at 9th, 13th, and 17th level. Each time you learn new gadgets, you can also replace one gadget you know with a different one.

Cunning Dice
You have four cunning dice, which are d8s. A cunning die is expended when you use it. You regain all of your expended cunning dice when you finish a short or long rest. You gain another cunning die at 9th level and one more at 17th level.

Saving Throws
Some of your gadgets require your target to make a saving throw to resist the gadget’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows: Gadget save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence or Dexterity modifier (your choice)

Invention
At 9th level, you have developed a unique invention that does what others can only do through magic. Choose one spell of 2nd level or lower from any spell list; you can recreate that spell’s effect through science twice per long rest with a spell level equal to your Intelligence bonus (minimum 2). The selected spell is considered to only have a somatic component, thus making you immune to silence, and this ability is not affected by anti-magic fields or similar effects. You should work with your DM to select a spell that makes sense and to craft the fiction that explains how it works, such as home brew healing potions for cure wounds spells or some manner of explosive for thunderwave.

Scientific Breakthrough
At 13th level your cunning die increase in size to d10s. At 17th level they increase to d12s and if you have no cunning die when you roll initiative, you gain one cunning die.

Gadgets
Antidote

You use some general poison antidotes to help an adjacent ally fight off the effects of poison. As a bonus action you can give one of your cunning dice to the ally you assist and they can add it to a saving throw against any manner of poison made on their next turn.

Armor Piercing Shot
As part of an attack action, You use a specially devised arrowhead or bullet with your ranged weapon, adding your cunning die to your attack roll. The target must be wearing at least medium armor or have a natural armor bonus of +3 or more.

Bomb
As an attack action, you toss a primitive explosive device into up to 30 feet away. Creatures within 10 feet of the device take fire damage equal to the cunning die spent on the attack, but can make a Dexterity save to take half damage. Multiple cunning dice can be spent on this gadget to increase the damage.

Fire Bomb
As an attack action, you throw a flammable bomb that lights all creatures within 5 feet on fire. They must make Dexterity saves or take fire damage equal to your cunning die each round until they succeed at the Dexterity save, or take an attack action to extinguish themselves.

Glue Bomb
As an attack action, you throw a stick glue bomb, affecting all creatures within 5 feet of the device. The targets must make a Dexterity save or suffer a penalty on all Dexterity saves equal to your cunning die until the next round.

Poison Strike
As a bonus action, you coat your weapon in one of your personally made poisons. You may add a cunning die to the damage of your next attack made with that weapon.

Scatter Shot
As part of a ranged attack, You use a specially designed fragmenting round to do additional damage to an enemy. You may spend your cunning die to add it to the damage of a ranged attack.

Smelling Salts
You use some smelling salts to help an adjacent ally regain their senses. As a bonus action, you can give one of your cunning dice to the ally you assist and they can add it to a saving throw to break free of any manner of mind-affecting spell or ability made on their next turn.

Smoke Bomb
As an attack action you release a smoke bomb at a point within 30 feet, releasing a cloud of smoke ten feet in diameter. Creatures in that smoke suffer a penalty to Perception and ranged attack rolls equal to your cunning die. Ranged attacks passing through this smoke suffer the same penalty. The smoke lasts for until the beginning of your next turn.

Stimulant
You dose an ally with a stimulant that reduces pain and increases alertness. As a bonus action, you grant an adjacent ally temporary hit points equal to the amount rolled on your cunning die and a bonus to all Perception checks equal to your cunning die as long as those hit points remain. These hit points fade after a short rest.

Weak Point
As a bonus action you can point out the weak points of constructs to an ally, granting that ally a bonus to an attack roll made during their next turn equal to your cunning die and allowing their weapon to count as magical for that attack.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Catamaran - Resources

For my Catamaran game I've been working with a lot of ideas of how to do a fun adventuring reward system in a setting with no functioning currency system and little in the way of portable wealth (gems, precious metals, etc).  The resource system below is the product of that thought process so far.

Resources

The economy in the Sea of Keruna is not currency based. Indeed as yet there is no currency widely accepted throughout the islands, though specific island may have currency they use within the bounds of their island. Without precious metals or an abundance of gems, there is not an inherently valuable, easily transportable form of wealth in the region. Those islands that do have currency generally have some sort of marker that can be traded for goods at a central trading post, effectively backing the value of the currency with the stock in the trading post, but such currency rapidly declines in value the further you get from the trading post.

Resources are the generalized system of goods and barter used to represent this non-coin based economy. Resources in the Sea of Keruna come in in lots, each of which weighs about one pound and is made of miscellaneous stuff appropriate to the value of the type of resource. Thus wealth can be represented by a large, difficult to transport number of lower value goods, or a small number of higher value goods. The types of goods available are listed below.
  • Subsistence Goods: Rations, small bits of leather, small pieces of cloth, etc. Equivalent to 1 sp. 
  • Resource Goods: Lumber, herbs, obsidian, etc. Equivalent to 1 gp. 
  • Trade Goods: Rope, sails, tools, medicines, etc. Equivalent to 10 gp. 
  • Luxury Goods: Silks, high quality wood, metal, etc. Equivalent to 1 pp (100 gp).
  • Splendorous Goods: God fragments, bones of mythical beasts, dragonhide, etc. EQuivalent to 10 pp (1000 gp). 
In addition to trade, goods may be used in the following ways:

Each day each character must consume one unit of goods to represent the food, water, clothes, etc, they need to survive. A character can consume any type of goods to do this, but consuming something more valuable than subsistence goods gets the character an additional hit die of healing until they take a long rest. Subsistence goods can be generated using Survival, but go bad if not consumed that day.

Making items, such as alchemy, requires one resource good per gp of components needed. Higher quality goods can be used, but still at one good to one gp of components needed, though they goods produced may be of higher quality at DM discretion. Sometimes specific goods or items may be needed as well, such as needing saltpeter to make thunderpowder. 
 
Sailing a boat consumes some number of trade goods each day the boat is at sea, usually equal to it’s hull rating. Sitting at dock consumes the same number of trade goods each week.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Catamaran - The Isle of Bones

My 5E campaign has run two sessions now and things are getting more settled.  Well, 3.5 sessions if you count all the prep, which included doing a Smallville style relationship map to create the island the players live on.  This involved drawing various items on a white board and then linking them to show relationships, which was done over the course of two rounds.  On round one the players could add physical things like locations, resources, geographic features, etc, to the island, while round two was adding allies, enemies, other islands, etc.  The group did really well with this and created the Isle of Bones, the most metal island to have no metal on it ever created.    

The Isle of Bones

The Isle of Bones is well known among the Children of Keruna as it is where you take the dead to be interred so they may reach the afterlife in the Seas of the Dead, that realm left by Keruna for her followers to inhabit after her passing. The Isle of Bones is the domain of the Bone Witch, a god of death who makes sure the living and the dead receive their proper rewards. The remains of those of virtue are thrown into the volcano the Fire of Keruna so they can receive her blessing, while criminals and other ne’er-do-wells are taken to the Skullyard where their remains are used to serve the people they once wronged as undead. Corpses come from across the sea to be buried here and include offers in of food, wealth, etc, to ensure the corpses are properly treated by the Tribe of Bone. Also those who have not led virtuous lives can come to the island and serve in order to try and work off their sins, creating a population that is a mixture of families who have long been on the island and penitent criminals hoping to find their way into Keruna’s fiery embrace.

It is well known that the people of the Isle of Bones do the bidding of the Bone Witch, and so are welcomed politely but with fear when they leave their island. There have been times when the Bone Witch decreed the deaths of those outside the island, usually for inscrutable reasons, thus visits from the people of the Isle of Bone are always cause for alarm.

A split has developed on the Isle of Bone regarding the disposition of bodies. The Bone Witch is at best a misty presence that whispers to her cleric or when she sits in judgement, but she cannot personally judge all the corpses that come to the island. Thus overtime the leadership of the island, under the direction of the Baron/Baroness of the Bone Hall, has taken up the slack in helping decide who has earned a trip to the volcano and who is condemned to the Skullyard. Over time complaints of bribery and corruption have begun to circulate as known criminals whose bodies came with great offerings of wealth have been sent to the volcano despite their crimes. Thus far nothing too obvious or far over the line has happened, but it has created a rift between the inhabitants of the settlement who want to see the people of the island prosper and those who want to see the will of the Bone Witch be done.

Features of the Island:

  • Blackmire Forest: A forest of massive myrran trees, these large trees have wide, branching roots that dig deep into the swampy soil of the forest. These trees grow up to one hundred feet tall and can develop trunks thirty feet across at the base, though they tend to taper off the higher one gets. The myrran trees are regularly harvested for use in shipbuilding. Blackmire Forest was also the home of a family of wizards until recently; they were murdered by the Stormfeather Order. 
  • Keruna’s Fire: The volcano at the center of the island, it is said to the portal to the afterlife for the children of Keruna. Those who are worthy are placed into the fires of the volcano amid pomp and ceremony according to their station and the gifts they sent to the Isle to pay for it. The bodies of the dead are consumed and their spirits move on to reside with Keruna in the next world. 
  • The Bone Hall: Made of the bones of whales, krakens, and other massive sea beasts, the Bone Hall is the center of government on the Isle. Here the Baron of the Bone Hall sees to the civil matters of the island, such as dealing with immigrants looking for absolution, organizing resources and workers, and hear disputes in need of judgement. The Bone Witch also appears in the Bone Hall, having her own place at the center of the hall where she hears the tales of the dead to weigh their deeds and assign their afterlife. She only does this for a limited amount of time each day, so sometimes these matters fall to her cleric or the Baron of the Bone Hall.
  • The Skullyard: Located behind the volcano, on the other side of the Isle from the village that has sprung up around the Bonehall, is the Skullyard. Here the bodies of the unworthy dead are left to rot in the open air, to be picked at by the beasts and the birds so their spirits never join with Keruna. In the past these bodies were used to create undead as needed to defend the island, but with the passing of the previous cleric of the Bone Witch, this has fallen off. The Skullyard is the home of the current cleric of the Bone Witch, who lives in a tree top hovel overlooking the yard. 
  • The Dirgehall: Located near the port and the Bonehall, the Dirgehall is built of driftwood and other detritus that have washed up on the beach of of the Isle. Here the dead are remembered in song and performance so their memories may be honored and their deeds magnified to earn a place in Keruna’s Fire. It also functions as the social gathering spot of the isle and various types of alcohol, mainly made from pineapple and coconuts, are consumed here. 
  • The Port of the Final Journey: What was once a simple funerary dock for the brining of corpses to be Bonehall has grown to be a massive complex of half a dozen docks, a shipyard, and numerous merchant stalls and shops. The commercial heart of the island, this is the first stop for all newcomers to the Isle as they offload their dead and make their gifts to the island. All mercantile activity on the island happens at or near the port and it is continually bustling with both locals and outsiders. Of the different parts of the island, it is the most lively and the least affected by the morose feel that follows in the wake of the Bone Witch. 
  • The Starmount: This plateau is the second tallest point on the island after the peak of Keruna’s Fire. The Starmount is home to a large stone henge complex that can be used for predicting the lunar and stellar cycles; it was originally used to calculate the exact date of death for those brought to the island, but now sees wider use for predicting eclipses and other events.
  • Firedust Mine: Located at the bottom of the Starmount, the firedust mine was created by a mixture of geologic forces and thousands of bats living in the mine for as long as the island has existed. This has created a rich deposit of firedust, but until recently the locals did not know it’s value. The Thunderhand Guild, an inter-island trade group, has made a deal with the Baron of the Bone Hall to mine the Firedust in exchange for various supplies and trade concessions. 

Important Entities:

  • The Bone Witch, God of Death: The god of the Isle of the Dead, the Bone Witch sees that the children of Keruna receive the appropriate afterlife. She is not much concerned with the matters of the living; conflicts between islands or political factions do not concern her. Instead she is only concerned with the dead receiving the appropriate reward, though she has been known to decree that someone has outlived their allotted span and that their life must be ended. In such cases she sends her cleric with some allies to end the person’s life, but thus far there has been no obvious rhyme or reason to how she selects these people. She is cold and etheral, only occasionally appearing in a wispy physical form. 
  • The Baron of the Bone Hall: Political leader of the island, the Baron is the hereditary leaders of the island. His family can be traced back to the earliest settlers of the Isle of the Dead and they have led it for over twenty generations, though some better than others. The Baron is a politician through and through; he would rather make a deal than fight and is always trying to get a head, but he also uses both these traits to protect his people. He is more loyal to the people of the island than the Bone Witch and has been known to make decisions about what to do with corpses without her input, especially when there is a lot of wealth on offer to secure a place in the volcano.

Threats

  • The Stormfeather Order: A group of wizards who seek to harvest the arcane essence that gives wizards their power and combine them into one source of power, which they will then put in one of their leaders to create a massively powerful wizard. Or possible a god. 
  • The Untainted: A group of fanatics who believe the burial rites of the Isle of Bones are nothing but a trick to give the souls of the dead to Keruna, who does not deserve them. This group hates all gods of the ea of Keruna and has many allies among the druids who live in the islands that no longer have a god.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Catamaran - New Races

This is my first pass at making new races. I don't think they're terrible, but they definitely need some fine tuning. I'm using the aasimar stats from the DMG as well. Thus far in the group the only non-humans are an aasimar, a dragonborn, and a scalefolk. I had originally planned on humans being a specific race as detailed at the bottom, but half the players wanted the normal vanilla humans from core 5E, so I went with that.

Demigod

Occasionally the gods of the Kerunan Sea get bored see to their domain or feel constrained by the limits of their island and forsake it for a life of adventure, though at a cost of most of their divine power. While they maintain a shard of their former might, they are now more mortal than god, though it remains to be seen if such a god could take his mantle back up...or if someone else could claim it.
  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and any other ability score increases by 1.
  • Age. You are effectively immortal to normal aging, but any magical aging effects will age you as if you were a normal human. This means normally you will never stop being a mature adult, but if you are aged fifty years by a magical effect you will then be stuck as an elderly person forever. 
  • Alignment. Demigods come in all alignments. 
  • Size. Demigods run the gamut from small to tall, but they always fall in the normal realm for humans. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. 
  • Darkvision. Thanks to your divine heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. 
  • Divine Resistance. You have resistance to one form of damage as appropriate to your divine nature. For example, being a former volcano god would mean you are likely resistant to fire. 
  • Divine Legacy. Choose a clerical domain that was part of your portfolio as a god, and a cantrip that goes along with the theme of that portfolio. 
    • You know that cantrip. 
    • You can cast one of the 1st level cleric spells from the domain with this trait. You cast it using a 1st level spell slot and regain this ability when you finish a long rest. 
    • Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast one of the 2nd level cleric spells from the domain with this trait. You cast it using a 2nd level spell slot and regain this ability when you finish a long rest. 
    • Constitution is your spellcasting ability for these spells. 
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common. 


Scalefolk

It is said during the final battle of the War Before, one of the gods who rose up against Keruna was slain by the blow that killed her, and this gods corpse shattered and fell with hers. This created the Vermid Islands, a swampy collection of islands inhabited by the children of this slain god, the scalefolk. While some scalefolk trade and have peaceful relations with the Tribes of Keruna, many are raiders who attack the tribes for loot and glory.
  • Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1, and your Dexterity score increases by 2.
  • Age. Scalefolk mature faster than humans, but once mature age far slower and tend to grow their entire lives. Ancient scalefolk can be centuries old and the size of an elephant. 
  • Alignment. Scalefolk rarely have concerns such as good or evil, instead seeing to the needs of the tribe and their people. They are mainly neutral. 
  • Size. Scalefolk are a bit smaller than humans but are effectively medium sized. 
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You have a base swim speed of 30 ft. 
  • Semi-Aquatic: You can hold your breath for a number of minutes equal to your Constitution before you begin suffocating. 
  • Low-light Vision. 
  • Natural Weapons: You have claws and teeth that can be used as weapons, inflicting 1d6 damage. 
  • When not wearing armor you have an AC of 12+ your Dexterity bonus. 
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Scalespeak. 

Triton


Tritons are aquatic humans who primarily hail from the Triton Empire far to the south. Most tritons spend their entire lives underwater; because of this their culture lacks many signs of civilization possessed by other cultures, such as cooking, writing, etc. They are considered by most a barbaric, tribal society that would be more of a danger to the Kerunan Sea if it was closer and its people did not fight among themselves so much. The tritons divide themselves up into clans along different bloodlines, each clan favor different parts of the Empire; for example Clan Walrus is only found in the coldest extremes of the Empire.

The Triton Empire is not in fact ruled by tritons, but aboleths who have bent the warlords of the largest tribes to their will. The aboleths lord over their minions and use them like fodder in wars of aggression against aquatic and surface foes; the Triton Empire has destroyed shaguin and merfolk nations in its day. Those tritons in the Kerunan Sea are usually refugees looking for a better life than that found under their tentacled overlords.
  • Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
  • Age. Tritons age at the same rate as humans. 
  • Alignment. Tritons tend to be neutral. 
  • Size. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. Your base swim speed is 20. 
  • Darkvision. As you live much of your life in the depths of the ocean, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. 
  • Aquatic: You can breathe water and never suffocate under water 
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and the Sea Tongue. 
  • Triton Subraces
    • Clan Walrus
      • Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 1. 
      • Arctic Adaptation: You are resistant to cold. 
      • Defensive Blubber: You gain one additional hit point per level. 
    • Clan Manta
      • Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 1. 
      • Sea Glide: Your swim speed increases to 30. 
      • Oceanic Camouflage: You gain advantage when trying to conceal yourself using Stealth in oceanic environments. 
    • Clan Shark
      • Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by an additional 1. 
      • Weapon Training: You are proficient with trident, net, pike, and shields. 
      • Bloodfrenzy: When you reduce an opponent to 0 hit points with a melee attack you may immediately make a melee attack against a different opponent as a reaction. 
    • Clan Dolphin
      • Ability Score Increase: Your Charisma score increases by 1. 
      • Oceanic Guide: You are proficient in Animal Handling and Insight. 
    • Boatfolk
      • Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity Increases by 1. 
      • Sailor’s Ways: You are proficient with Vehicles (Water) and navigator’s tools. 

Tribes of Kerunan

The children of Keruna are the dominant race in the Kerunan Sea. In other areas they would be called humans, but here they are known as the first children of Keruna. Many other races also have some mythological tie to the goddess, but the Children have the strongest.
  • Ability Score Increase. Increase your Wisdom by 2 and your Intelligence by 1. 
  • Age. The tribes of Kerunan are human, so they age like humans. 
  • Alignment. Most of the tribespeople of Kerunan believe that the laws laid down by the gods and their leaders are good, but should be ignored when needed. They are generally Neutral Good. 
  • Size. As humans, the Tribes of Keruna are Medium sized. 
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. 
  • Spirit Armor: You are proficient in Light and Medium Spirit Armor. 
  • Tribal Upbringing: You are proficient in Survival and Athletics. 
  • Keruna’s Blessing: Within the Sea of Keruna, you may add your Wisdom bonus to any hit dice you spend to heal.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common.