Wednesday, August 20, 2014

13th Age: Shadows of Eldolan and the Book of Loot on pre-order with PDF available at Pelgrane

I hadn't noticed, but at some point Shadows of Eldolan became available in PDF with a pre-order of the September book release. Since I had a very good experience with the Bestiary pre-order I went ahead and preordered this one along with the Book of Loot, which I had not heard of until now.

Shadows of Eldolan is the first official 13th Age adventure. The PDF also includes a zip file on the maps. Book of Loot is what it says: a guide to magic items and spiffy loot in the 13th Age.

Still reading both, but they are definitely up to Pelgrane's usual high quality. More to come!


D&D 5th: Moloron the Younger, Level 8 Tiefling Warlock Sage

Contionuing the showcase of just what D&D 5th Edition can do with char gen....I present Moloron, a warlock of Far Therias in the Realms of Chirak:

Source
Moloron the Younger
Tiefling male, age 35
Warlock Sage level 8
Tall, dark hair, reddish black eyes, lean goat-like horns and goatee, 6’4”, 175 lbs (gaunt)
STR      DEX     CON    INT      WIS     CHA     HPs      Proficiency                
10        10        10        12        16        20        48        +3                               
0          0          0          +1        +3/+6   +5/+8        
Hit Dice           Init      Speed  Armor Class                Alignment      Level   Experience     
8D8                  0          30        10                                Neutral Good  8          45,000
Spell    Cantrips          Spell Slots       Slot Level        Spell Save DC
Slots         3                      2                      4th                    16

Saves               WIS, CHA
Languages      Common (Ermanican), Infernal (Kaelinari), Ildrathari, Tuat
Feats              
Skills                Arcana +9, History +9, Intimidation +5, Deception +5
Tiefling Traits darkvision, hellish resistance (fire), infernal legacy (thaumaturgy, hellish rebuke,  darkness)
Warlock Traits Pact of the Tome, Patron: The Fiend, Dark One’s Blessing, Dark One’s Own Luck
Sage Traits      Researcher

Spells:
Cantrips                     eldritch blast, mage hand, true strike; thaumaturgy (tielfing)
Tome Cantrips         Guidance, fire bolt, poison spray
Level 1                        Armor of Agathys, Witch Bolt, burning hands, Hellish Rebuke (tiefling)
Level 2                        scorching ray, invisibility
Level 3                        dispel magic, fireball
Level 4                        fire shield
Invocations  Eyes of the Rune Keeper, Mask of Many Faces, One With Shadows, Agonizing Blast

Armor             deathcut leather +1 (AC 12; deals 1d10 necrotic back to melee attacker, 1/day)      
Weapons        Dagger +1 (+4 attack, 1D4+1 damage)
Magic              Circlet of Authority (get advantage on persuade/intimidation)

Personality     I am a student of esoteric knowledge who seeks to better my world, living in the shadow of my father's legacy.
Ideal                Power….the mastery of planar magic and pursuit of the mysteries my father sought.
Bond               I am an outcast from my homeland and have been liberated as an expatriate.
Flaw                I am overcome with the need to know outweighing safety.

Gold Pieces:          127         Platinum Pieces: 200

Background: Moloron’s father was an exile from the Therianic city state of Kaelinari, a bastion of tieflings who had isolated themselves deep in the wilderness away from the Carceri and all the rest of the land. Moloron’s father’s exact crimes at this time are unknown, but it is believed that his Pact, forged with the unholy spirit lord Kaelos, was part of the reason.

Moloron the Elder left for the north mountains of Carceri after his exile, and left behind his young son and wife. Years later Moloron the Younger began to discover his father’s history, and felt the inextricable call of his family bloodline toward the vile Kaelos. When he was eighteen Moloron left his city behind after being discovered summoning the spirit of Kaelos to bind himself in pact, in exchange for information on his father’s location.

Moloron found an ancient mansion with a vast complex beneath of unknown origin which had clearly been his father’s. It appeared that his father had been experimenting with ways and means of opening portals to other planes, and in his quests he uncovered an ancient statue of great power to Kaelos, which he later learned was the petrified demigod himself! Moloron’s father utilized the raw energy within the petrified spirit lord to empower his claimed subterranean complex, where he worked extensively on ancient alchemical machines to breach the planar gap and find a means of communing with the planes. Moloron the Younger concluded that his father had been seeking out a means of lifting the curse of his family, and fallen victim to unknown powers in the process.


Amidst all this Moloron determined that his father had perhaps succeeded too well at his goal, and may have been abducted or plane shifted out of the Realms of Chirak. He powered up the old machines to seek out a way of finding his father, but was interrupted when agents of the Carceric king appeared looking for his father…..it turns out Moloron the Elder had been serving as a sorcerous advisor to the king. Moloron decided to accompany the adventurers, misreprenting himself as his father. So it was that his new career as agent of the crown began. 



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sweet Zombie Jesus it's Deep Magic for 13th Age

Look here and just think about what good boys and girls we must all be to have this tome converted to 13th Age. Deep Magic was in some ways a grand hurrah and send off for me to Pathfinder, the last great sourcebook that Kobold Press released for a system I knew was about to be trounced by the manifestation of D&D 5th edition.

Deep Magic has a lot of cool stuff in it....but the thought of all that cool stuff coming to 13th Age is almost too much for my system. Must rest....! Too much good stuff this year.


D&D 5E: Advanced Firearms


Advanced Firearms

Eventually the musket is overtaken by technology and cylinder feeds with cartridge ammunition become commonplace. If you have a region of your setting where this might have happened (in the Realms of Chirak the kingdom of Abraheil has reached this point) then the following rules will let you add more advanced firearms.

Advanced Firearm Properties:

Reload
Cartridge/cylinder-load firearms are much quicker to load and rifling is now the default process when constructing these weapons. Gatling guns become possible, wheel-mounted monstrosities which crank out a hail of bullets. Advanced firearms can fire a number of shots before reloading. Once the number of loaded rounds has been expended then the weapon must be reloaded. The number of actions it takes to reload is the number following “reload.” Most are Reload 1 or 2.

Advanced Misfire
Cartridge/cylinder-load firearms can misfire, and the same rules apply. However wet cartriges are uncommon unless the weapon has been immersed in water and there’s considerably more reliability over flintlock weapons. When rolling a 1 on an attack make a DC 10 saving throw for the weapon. If you fail then the weapon is jammed and required 1D3 actions to unjam. If you roll another 1 the weapon’s misfired and if the shooter fails a DC 12 Dexterity check he will take 1D8 damage from the round going off in the chamber. The weapon is then useless until repaired.

Rounds
The cylinder loaded weapons have a number of shots that can be fired before reloading, typically 6 or 8. You can purchase a contraption for quick loading of a cylinder loader for 10 gp which reduces the weapon’s reload rate by 1.

Iron Sights
Advanced firearms with iron sights can grant a significant advantage if you take a moment to aim. With this property, a shooter can spend a move or regular action to aim down the iron sights to gain advantage on the target.



Advanced Firearm Stats:

Revolver (250 GP)
Damage: 1D8
Properties: Ammunition, 6 rounds, Advanced Misfire, Reload 2, Armor Piercing, deadly crit, Iron Sights, Range (50/100), light one-handed
Revolvers are reliable weapons, with a spin cylinder which loads the brass cartridge rounds. You can purchase a revolver with an 8 round cylinder for 500 GP. Weight 6 lbs.

Breach-Loading Rifle (800 GP)
Damage: 1D12
Properties: Ammunition, Misfire, Reload 1, Armor Piercing, deadly crit, Iron Sights, Range (200/400), two-handed
Breach-loading rifles require that the shooter insert a new bullet after the old cartridge is released. It requires a load action between shots, but a professional with the firearms style can load a shot as part of a move action. Weight 10 lbs

Revolving Rifle (1,200 GP)
Damage: 1D12
Properties: 8 rounds, Ammunition, Misfire, Reload 2, Armor Piercing, deadly crit, Iron Sights, Range (200/400), two-handed
Revolving rifles use the cylinder loader to hold a number of rounds for continuous fire. Add 80 GP to the cost for each additional round it can hold up to 15. Weight 10 lbs

Shotgun (500 GP)
Damage: 2D8 short range, 2D4 long range
Properties: ammunition, 2 rounds, Misfire, Reload 1, deadly crit, Range (30/60), two handed
The shotgun evolved from the blunderbuss. This weapon fires lead shot for great effectiveness at close range, with damage dropping at greater range. Most shotguns have 2 barrels, but you can get a single barrel version for 250 GP, or a four-barrel version for 1,000 GP. Weight 5 lbs

Gatling Gun (25,000 GP)
Damage: 1D8 per bullet
Properties: ammunition, 100 rounds, Misfire, Reload 4, Armor Piercing, deadly crit, Range (100/200), heavy, two-handed (mounted only)
The first Gatling guns were positioned on tripods or wheels with a frame, and aimed in the general direction of the enemy, with a crank to funnel bullets into the weapon while turning the cylinder that both loads and fires through the active barrel.

To fire a Gatling gun, roll a single attack against all targets in the effective range (choose to fire in a 10/10 cylinder or 5X20 cone) and each target that you hit takes 1 bullet for every 3 points rolled over their effective armor class. You roll an additional die for disadvantage against any targets at long range.

Note that this is a heavy weapon and not easily maneuvered; features like the sharpshooter feat do not apply to this weapon. Weight 200 lbs. (proficiency in land vehicles will allow one to maneuver the gun as a wagon with a horse or other beast of burden.)

Cartridge Bullets (50 GP)
100 brass cartridge rounds which will work with both pistols and rifles. Weight 5 lbs.

Gatling Rounds (100 GP)
100 heavy rounds linked and loaded into a feeder box. Weight 25 lbs.

Shotgun Rounds (25 GP)
A box of 50 lead-shot loaded paper cartridges for shotguns. Weight 5lbs.




Monday, August 18, 2014

D&D 5E: Archaic Firearms Rules


Archaic Firearms Rules for D&D 5E

Today we take a brief break from characters in D&D and offer some new rules. If you'd like to run a steam punk or renaissance campaign setting you're going to need some firearm rules. My guess is that if we see firearms rules in 5th edition anytime soon it will be in the forthcoming Dungeon Master’s Guide. Until then I worked up some basic firearms mechanics to utilize in my Realms of Chirak setting which has regions of the world undergoing a renaissance of scientific development and discovery, and that includes firearms.

Basic firearms rules are pretty easy and work within the context of the existing weapon rules. Here’s some basic details:

Flintlock Weapons: the common weapon by the 17th century, it replaced the wheellock, matchlock and doglock versions of the same. Substitute one of these other titles to reflect an earlier phase in gunpowder development if you like.

Dex Bonus to Damage and Attack: I’m allowing it, on the grounds that precision aiming means a better well-placed shot, just like with bows and crossbows.

New Martial Style: Firearms
In worlds where firearms are available the martial style “Firearms” should be allowed. This feat grants two features: the warrior gains a +2 to attack (like Archery) and the warrior also may roll for advantage on a misfire save (see below). At the DM’s option the firearms style may gain benefits in the same conditions/circumstances where having archery would.

Firearm Weapon Properties
Firearms have four new traits: slow load, misfire, Deadly Crit and armor piercing as follows:

Slow Load
Reloading Times: Flintlock muskets take three actions to reload if the individual is not trained in their use. An individual who has the Sharpshooter feat gains one extra perk, with firearms, and may reduce the loading time to 2 actions.

Flintlock pistols take 2 actions to reload, and 1 action with the Sharpshooter feat.

Misfire
Anytime a musket or pistol rolls a 1 the shooter must roll for a save against the misfire: roll 1D20 against DC 10 (roll with advantage if possessing the martial style Firearms). If you fail the save roll on the firearm misfire table (D20):
1-10 weapon has misfired; takes 1D4 actions to clear
11-15 weapon’s flint has gone dull; may attempt to fire again but future misfire chances are 1-5 on attack roll.
16-19 powder residue has ignited; Roll 1D20: 10+ weapon is too damaged to use. Make a DC 10 Dex save; on a failure take 1D4 fire damage.
20 weapon has blown up. Make a DC 12 Dex save or take 1D8 damage.

Optional Misfire Modifiers: If you are fighting with a flintlock in damp weather the misfire chance is 1-5 on an attack roll; however in damp weather it is much likelier that the weapon misfired due to damp weather. When rolling a save on the chance of misfire, on a failure the weapon is simply damp and can’t be fired again until cleared. If you roll a 1 on the save then roll on the misfire table as normal.

Musketeers can get a leather cover to help protect a musket’s powder charge in damp weather. This leather cover costs 5 GP and allows the musketeer to roll with advantage on misfires while in damp weather.

Armor Piercing
Firearms made metal armor obsolete. A campaign with heavy use of firearms sees a decrease in the use of plate armor. When firing against an opponent with medium or heavy armor the attacker gains advantage.

Deadly Crit
Firearms are deadly, and their risk of misfire and slower loading times mean they come into play a little less often. When a firearm rolls a critical hit, it triples its damage dice instead of doubling. This reflect the potential for much greater harm the weapons can do.


Firearm Stats:

Flintlock Pistol (200 GP)
Damage: 1D8
Properties: Ammunition, Misfire, Slow Load, Armor Piercing, deadly crit, Range (40/80), light one-handed
The standard flintlock pistol is a single-barreled one-handed weapon with a flintlock to ignite the powder. It was best at short range. Specialists were called pistoleers. Since reload times were often impractical in battle it was common to wear a brace of pistols, sometimes with two, four or even six or more loaded pistols on a warrior to keep firing without stopping to reload. A variation of powder monkey (a term for younger boys on a ship assigned to ferry powder and shot to cannons) could exist for a pistoleer; the powder monkey would follow the pistoleer around reloading his weapons. Weight 5 lbs

Flintlock Musket (800 GP)
Damage: 1D10
Properties: Ammunition, Misfire, Slow Load, Armor Piercing, deadly crit, Range (60/120), two-handed
The flintlock musket was the longer-ranged counterpart to the pistol. It required a powder horn and a rod to drive the powder and ball into the barrel. Specialists were called musketeers. The arquebus as a name was sometimes applied to flintlock muskets. Weight 10 lbs

Flintlock Rifle (1,200 GP)
Damage: 1D12
Properties: Ammunition, Misfire, Slow Load, Armor Piercing, deadly crit, Range (90/180), two-handed
The flintlock rifle was an emergent evolution of the musket, allowing for grooving in the barrel which aided in distance and accuracy. Eventually rifling became commonplace. Specialists were riflemen. Weight 10 lbs

Blunderbuss (400 GP)
Damage: 2D6 short range, 1D6 long range
Properties: ammunition, Misfire, Slow Load, deadly crit, Range (20/40), light one-handed
The blunderbuss was a short range one-handed proto-shotgun that was very effective at close quarters and effective onboard ships.  Dragoon infantry are believed to have derived their name from the term “dragon” used to describe the type of blunderbuss they carried into battle. It is possible to get a version with two barrels (or more), just double the cost and weight of each extra barrel. When you have multiple loaded barrels you can fire them off like normal attacks before having to reload, but the reload time is per barrel. Weight 5 lbs

Pistol Shot and Powder (40 GP)
100 balls and enough powder to fire them all. Weight 3 lbs.

Musket/Rifle Shot and powder (40 gp)
100 balls and enough powder to fire them. Musket and rifle balls are larger and can’t work in pistols. Weight 7 lbs.

Blunderbuss Shot and Powder (25 GP)
The blunderbuss’s shot consists of tiny lead balls. There enough in one package for 100 shots plus powder. Weight 4lbs.


Other Notes of Interest:

Firearm Repair: Firearms can be costly and difficult to repair due to the tooled nature of the parts. A damaged firearm (such as from a misfire) will cost 20% of its base cost to secure necessary parts for the repair, or 40% of base cost to hire a specialist to do the work as well.

A character can attempt to make his or her own repairs with a Dex check, DC 12 for minor damage or DC 15 for major damage. If the character has firearms as their martial specialty they may take advantage on a repair roll. Assume repairs take 1D8 hours, half that if the Dex check is a critical success.

Bayonets: Any rifle or musket may be turned into a polearm effectively by attaching a specialized dagger to the end of the barrel. This allows the weapon to be used in melee; bayonets do 1D6 damage and are light weapons, considered two-handed when attached to the end of the musket.


Next: Advanced Firearms!

Friday, August 15, 2014

D&D 5E: Kytron Vellasco, level 4 tiefling fighter champion outlander

Kytron Vellasco
Tiefling male, Age 24
Fighter Champion Outlander, Level 4 (Realms of Chirak)
STR      DEX     CON    INT      WIS     CHA     HPs      Proficiency     Spell Save DC Memorized    
13        15        13        11        12        12        36        +2                    0                      0
+1(+3)  +2(+4)  +1        +0        +1        +1       
Hit Dice           Speed  Armor Class                    Alignment      Level   Experience     
4D10                30        15 (17 w/shield)              Chaotic Good    4          2,700

Resistance-fire
Saves-STR, CON         
Languages-Common (Mercurian), infernal
Feats-Sharpshooter
Skills-Acrobatics +4, Athletics +3, Perception +3, Survival +3
Tool Proficiency-pan pipes
Tiefling Traits-darkvision, infernal legacy, Thaumaturgy 1/day, Hellish Rebuke 1/day
Fighter Traits-action surge, second wind, fighting Style-archery, Champion Archetype, Improved Critical (19-20)
Background-Outlander (exile), wanderer trait

Armor-chain shirt (AC 13+Dex (max 2)) and shield (+2)              
Weapons-longbow (+6 attack, 1D8+2 damage); scimitar (+4 attack, 1D6+2 damage; finesse)

Personality-A decade living in the wilds has prompted Kytron to see a parable or lesson in every aspect of nature
Ideal-Nature; the natural world is the only true glimmer of greatness in the divine scheme
Bond-Revenge; Kytron seeks to destroy those who laid waste to the fortress where is family lived and to bring vengeance down on all who persecute tieflings
Flaw-Kytron places little trust in civilized folk
Trinket-a silver medallion of the Sons of Denarr, showing an eagle grasping a serpent which Kytron took from one of the attackers of his family’s villa.

Kytron Vellasco dwells in the high mountains of the Dryssarian Ranges of eastern Mercurios, where he learned much of his craft as a survivor and hunter from friendly Xernethian elves and even on occasion Kraggit orcs, who believe tieflings are curious creatures touched by the demon gods.

Kytron arrived in the mountains when his family villa was attacked and destroyed in his youth. The attackers appeared to be men and dwarves calling themselves the Sons of Denarr, a radical cult which believed that inhuman taint was a curse and a relic of the old Betrayer Gods. Kytron’s family was slain, but Kytron himself was held to escape by the family huntsman, a kind Xernethian wood elf named Sartain Frei. Sartain led the young tiefling to his people, where Kytron found refuge and a home for the next decade.


Recently the lich lord Malenkin departed his necrotic tower and took his army of the dead with him on a mysterious quest to the west. This disrupted the delicate balance of power in the mountains. Now, a great green dragon seeks to claim the land for itself, as do multiple orc warlords, and human forces are arriving too to see what they can plunder from the lich’s tower. Kytron not only seeks to defend his adopted elf kin, but to strike out and find the killers of his clan and extract his revenge.   

Thursday, August 14, 2014

D&D 5E: Charamis Zen'Rakatt, level 12 gnomish warlock charlatan

Up next! One of my favorite foils and patron NPCs in the Realms of Chirak. Zen'Rakatt's appearance is a sign to those who know him that there's something fishy going on, and those who meet him for the first time spend much of their working relationship trying to parse truth from fiction...
Charamis Zen’Rakatt
Rock Gnome male of Pardainse, Age 74
Warlock Charlatan of the Great Old One level 12
STR      DEX     CON    INT      WIS     CHA     HPs      Proficiency     Spell Save DC
9          14        10        12        16        17        75        +4                    15                   
-1         +2        +0        +1        +3/+7   +3/+7  
Hit Dice           Speed  Armor Class                            Alignment                  Level   Experience     
12D8                25        13 (15 w/armor of shadows)  Chaotic Neutral           1          105,000
Spell    Cantrips          Spells Known Spell Slots       Slot Level        Invocations
Slots            4                      11                    3                      5th                   6

Saves-WIS, CHA (+1 to saves with Robe of the Bat; gnomish cunning)
Languages-Common (Espanean), gnomish
Feats-Lucky                
Skills-Arcana +5, Deception +7, Investigation +5, Persuasion +7, Sleight of Hand +6, Stealth +6
Tool Proficiencies-tinker’s tools (artisan’s tools), disguise kit, forgery kit
Warlock Traits-Patron (the Great Old One-Agosys the Deceiver), awakened mind, entropic ward, thought shield, Pact Boon (Pact of the Tome), Mystic Arcanum (Eyebite)  
Gnome Traits- darkvision, gnome cunning, artificer’s lore, tinker
Charlatan Traits-scam (I get in close to steal the fortunes of others), False Identity (Zurm Thimbleweight, shipping agent)

Tome of Shadow Cantrips-friends, minor illusion, true strike
Cantrips-blade ward, eldritch blast, mage hand, prestidigitation
Level 1-dissonant whispers, tasha’s hideous laughter
Level 2-charm person, comprehend languages
Level 3-fly, gaseous form, tongues
Level 4-dimension door
Level 5-hold monster, scrying
Level 6-true seeing
Mystic Arcanum-Eyebite
Invocations-Book of Ancient Secrets, Beguiling Influence, Armor of Shadows, One with Shadows, Mask of Many Faces, Sculptor of Flesh
Rituals from Book of Ancient Secrets-contact other plane, commune, divination

Armor- Robes of the Bat +1 (magic robes; 3/day may polymorph into a cloud of bats for 1 hour; functions like gaseous form; +1 is on all saves and AC)                                   
Weapons-dagger +1 (+7 attack; 1D4+1 damage)

Personality-Charamis finds truth is gold and he hates giving it away. Also, friend and enemies are merely commodities, to be bought and sold as needs arise.
Ideal-Creativity (Charamis is always looking for a new con)
Bond-Charamis knows his family was once great, and has a fierce loyalty to his clan and a need to make it powerful once more. He just has a skewed sense of how to do this…
Flaw-A horrible coward! Chramis strikes when it’s safe and flees when it looks like there’s even a slight risk.

Charamis Zen’Rakatt started as a young street hustler after his family’s great fortune collapsed. His father was a shipwright and ran a business that had been in the family for generations. Overnight rivals accused him of smuggling and planted evidence seemed to prove guilt; in weeks the property was seized by the state. Charamis, youngest of his siblings, was distraught at this but unlike his family members who sought to restore the business legitimately, he decided this was proof that con artistry was a viable tool to make one's way in life. His natural gift of the gab and his obsession with grifting led him to a life of early crime. He made his biggest life-changing mistake when he ran a con on a Xoxtocharit mage named Han’acas who caught Charamis and cursed him with the “blessing of Agosys the Deceiver,” a mark of one of the One Hudnred and Thirteen “demon gods” of Xoxtocharit lore.

To Charamis’s surprise, the curse was a blessing…for that night he was visited by Agosys in dream, and the dark entity of the far realm found the natural charlatanism of the gnome to its liking…he was spared, but his desire to con and grift would now fuel dark energies that fed back to the Old One.

Charamis has spent years rebuilding the family fortune, and he often pours some of his ill-gotten gains back into the clan to help them recover from their loss of the shipwright business. He has become a notorious underworld figure in both Pardainse and in Espanea. He has affiliations with numerous organizations, from the Ebon Skulls to the Barcen Thieve’s Guilds, to sundry and various self-proclaimed Sea Kings of Kaldinia.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

13th Age in Glorantha Kickstarter

WAT.

Seriously....so it looks like it is conceivable that we may see Glorantha in 13th Age before we see Glorantha in Runequest 6.

I'm not a Gloranthaphile or anything....quite the opposite, really.....but I admit that the Glorantha setting does sound like 13th Age with its icon mechanics would be really damned interesting, so I may have to consider backing this. If only so I can play a duck occultist....or a broo chaos mage....


D&D 5E: the Blood Magic Feat

Another option from the Realms of Chirak, now converted to 5th Edition: it seems like the best way to go about with a variant means of casting magic that is supposed to be a "corrupting option" to any spell caster that wants it is to make blood magic a feat...


Blood Magic

The practitioners of blood magic believe that magic is an aspect of the physical form and its connection to the mortal soul is linked through vitreous, sanguine fluids. They append their casting with physical sacrifices and can gain additional benefits when a sufficient sacrifice is given. This is a form of magic found among the Nubiri, Hoagarit, and Xoxtacharit cultures, but its practitioners are highly secretive. Blood mages use all other forms of magic, be it rune magic, sorcery or divine magic to stronger effect with their blood sacrifice.

Blood mages are wizards who pursue the path of diablerie, eventually mastering it with the path of the Blood Mage. Learning this path is a difficult process, and unless it is chosen at the start of a character’s career, will require much time, effort, and a mentor to gain. Over the course of play, the DM should require the student mage to find a mentor who is himself already a Blood Mage. Once such a teacher has been found, then it is possible to choose the blood magic feat.

At the DM’s discretion a new character can begin play as a blood mage, in which it assumed that the ritual has already been performed and the character has already achieved his unique traits. This is permissible for new characters; all other characters who wish to learn the secrets of blood magic during the course of play must follow the proscribed path as previously described.

The only other way to learn blood magic without a mentor is to seek out a malign being called a blood spirit. This is a type of Spirit which will attempt possession of the student. The mage must attempt to gain mental dominion over the spirit, making an attribute check against his spell-casting attribute of choice (Int, Wis or Cha) against a DC of 9 plus his caster level (this reflects the increasing difficulty over time as the mage advances in power to learn this unusual technique).  As a component of this task is physical, the mage may gain advantage on the roll if his Con score is 16 or greater. If the check beats the target DC, then the mage has mentally subdued the blood spirit and may begin to learn the secrets of blood magic by taking the blood magic feat. If it fails, the blood spirit retaliates; causing 5 points of ongoing damage, with a Con save DC 12 each round to avoid the damage for that round only. This bleed effect continues  every round until the spirit is exorcised, or the host mage reaches 0 hit points.

The spell caster may continue to make Con checks to subdue the blood spirit each round until either he fails or the spell caster reaches 0 hit points, at which time the blood spirit will flee his body. In such cases, the attempt is done and can’t be tried again until finding a new location from which to contact a different blood spirit. (Optional: The character loses 1 point of Constitution each time he tries and fails to commune with a blood spirit).



The Blood Magic Feat

Prerequisite: spell caster, Constitution 13+, any non-good alignment

Effect: The spell caster gains a unique ability to sacrifice hit points (either of his own or those of others) to cast spells instead of using normal spell slot mechanics for his class. This feature replaces the old way of casting a spell, though it doesn’t replace the way a spell caster learns, keeps or manages his spells. A blood mage may choose to release a spell spontaneously in this manner, either through cutting himself to create an injury from which blood flows, or by ritually scarring another target using a sacred bleeding dagger (below).

When cutting himself, a blood mage does damage normally for the weapon, and then receives 1 blood point for his pool. A blood mage can have a number of blood points stored up equal to his level plus Con modifier. He loses half his blood point after each long rest; he can sacrifice 1 hit die at the end of a long rest to retain 1 blood point in his pool, up to as many hit dice as he has available or his blood pool maximum. A blood mage can also expend a hit die, turning it into a blood point. Damage taken from self-injury to gain blood points cannot be healed by any other way than the expenditure of hit dice; any magical healing immediately reduces the blood point pool by the number of hit points healed.

A blood mage can also gain blood points by harming others. Each time he deals damage that causes bleeding (i.e. with a piercing or slashing weapon) the blood mage gains one blood point. If a target is slain or reduced to 0 hit points he gains 2 blood points immediately which may exceed his normal maximum, though he loses them after a short rest. He may spend hit dice during the short rest as well to retain blood points in this manner. It never costs the blood mage any actions to gain blood points, merely to commit the necessary act to “release” them.

The blood mage then uses his Blood Pool to cast spells. The spell must be one which he knows, and which he could normally cast for his class (i.e. spell level is attainable). To cast the spell he spends one blood point. If the blood mage wishes to cast a spell at a higher level of effect he may do so for one blood point as well.

Blood mages can also empower a spell to maximum effect. When a spell has variable range, damage or other features the blood mage can spend two blood points to generate the spell at its maximum possible effect.

A blood mage can attempt to create a bleeding dagger. The dagger requires a magical dagger +1 (or better) forged specifically for the task. The blood mage must then seek to commune with another blood spirit (see earlier for rules on how to do this). If the blood mage successfully communes with the blood spirit he may imbue the spirit in the dagger. Afterwards he may attune to the weapon and use its properties. A blood mage can only ever keep one bleeding dagger.

Ultimately, the blood mage sacrifices some spell versatility in exchange for greater potential diversity….but at the expense of a portion of his own humanity.


The Bleeding Dagger

Blood mages can acquire a special bleeding dagger, which he must be attuned to to use. This dagger is specially designed for its task to aid the mage in his casting. The dagger effectively works by drawing the blood of its victims and channeling it in to energy for the blood mage, to be used in a Blood Pool . The typical bleeding dagger is an ornate dagger with a lean groove running down its wicked, curved blade. The hilt is carved of ivory, and a thick, ruby red stone is set in the pommel. It glows with an eerie light when the dagger is used by a blood mage. If the wielder is not a blood mage, the dagger functions as an ordinary +1 magical weapon.

A blood mage can use the following properties when holding a bleeding dagger:

Sanguine Reservoir: Foes struck with this weapon find their blood unnaturally drawn in to the dagger and channeled in to dark energies. The dagger retains its own pool of blood points, equal to ½ the level of the blood mage wielding it (rounded up). These points are stored from damage dealt and kills made. When a blood mage deals damage with the weapon, he may choose to store the blood points gained in the weapon instead. Blood points in a bleeding dagger do not deplete until used.

Sanguine Shield: As a bonus action the blood mage may sacrificeup to 5 points  of the weapon's blood pool to gain a temporary AC bonus equal to the amount of blood points sacrificed against incoming attacks for one minute. This ability may be activated once per day. Alternatively the points may be sacrificed to gain a bonus of equivalent value against all saves vs. Int, Wis, Cha and Con.

Bolstering Blood: The wizard may also release points of the blood pool as additional damage to any spell attack or dagger attack done with the weapon. Blood mages may call upon their total blood pool if they do this. This ability may be activated once per day.


Blooded Skill:  The wizard can spend one blood pool point to gain advantage on a single skill check.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

D&D 5th: Alsandra Vienneros, level 3 human fighter pirate

This time: a professional pirate and dual-blade specialist. Alsandra appeared as an NPC serving on board the ship Mardieur Mardieux commandeered during his journey back to Mercurios after the Great War between Espanea and Nithiad, during the resurrection of Minhauros. She lurks in my portfolio of characters as a future piratical encounter...


Alsandra Vienneros
Human Espanean female, Age 31
Fighter Battlemaster Pirate Level 3
STR      DEX     CON    INT      WIS     CHA     HPs      Proficiency                
16        14        12        10        12        10        29        +2                   
+3        +2        +1        +0        +1        +0       
Hit Dice           Speed  Armor Class                Alignment      Level   Experience     
3D10                30        14 (15 w/off weapon) Neutral Evil     3          2325

Saves-STR, CON
Languages-Common (Espanean), Legoran
Feats-Dual Wielder
Skills-Acrobatics +4, Athletics +5, Intimidation +2, Perception +3, Stealth +4
Tools-navigator’s tools, vehicles (water)
Fighter Traits-fighting style (two weapon), second wind, action surge, archetype (battle master), combat superiority
Pirate Traits-bad reputation

Maneuvers-disarming attack, evasive footwork, parry
Superiority Dice-4D8
Maneuver Saves-DC 13
                        
Armor-studded leather (12+Dex)             
Weapons-two longwords (+5 attack, 1D8+3 damage each)
Other Equipment-143 gold pieces, one healing potion, two throwing daggers

Personality-brusque and angry, Alsandra has a deep grudge against orcs, whom she has a fierce dedication to slaying. She also dislikes men and is horribly caustic.
Ideal-While serving aboard the many ships she’s worked on she developed a real mothering instinct to her crew; Alsandra takes care of those she is charged with protecting.
Bond-Alsandra is loyal to her crewmates first, to country, leader and mission second.
Flaw-Several years ago in a skirmish with orcish pirates Alisandra lost her left eye and suffered a nasty scar running to her ear.


Alsandra Vienneros grew up in a hard life as a commoner on the streets of Barcen. She was pressed into service at a young age, forced to work as a scullery maid on her first ship until during an attack she seized a weapon and helped drive off the attackers. After that she was trained to fight and serve as an equal on the ship. Alsandra escaped the vessel eventually, but she has since served on a half-dozen ships, usually as a quartermaster or once even as first mate, both in the role of pirate and privateer. She grew to hate orcs during an excursion off the coast of Esterehabau when orcish mercenaries seized her ship and took her eye in battle.