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
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
You gain the speed of the shark. You gain a swim speed equal to your normal movement speed. 

Totemic Attunement
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.

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.

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)

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.


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.

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.

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.