Archive for the D&D 5e Category

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: A Feywild Adventure

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags , , , on September 21, 2021 by boccobsblog
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The Wild Beyond the Witchlight is available now.

According to Wizards of the Coast:

Once every eight years, the fantastic Witchlight Carnival touches down on your world, bringing joy to one settlement after the next. Its owners, Mister Witch and Mister Light, know how to put on a good show. But there’s more to this magical extravaganza than meets the eye!

The carnival is a gateway to a fantastic Feywild domain unlike anything found on the Material Plane. Time has not been kind to this realm, however, and dark days lie ahead unless someone can thwart the dastardly schemes of the Hourglass Coven.

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight takes adventurers from the Witchlight Carnival to Prismeer, a Feywild domain of delight, and is designed for characters of levels 1–8. This book comes with a poster map that shows the carnival on one side and Prismeer on the other.

Contents: 

  • Explore the Plane of Faerie in the first official D&D adventure set primarily in the Feywild
  • Easily drop The Witchlight Carnival into any campaign—for passage into the Feywild or just a night of carnival games and wild entertainment
  • Introduces two races—play as a fairy or as a harengon, a race of humanoid rabbits
  • Adds two backgrounds—the Feylost who grew up in the Feywild, and a Witchlight Hand who works at the carnival
  • All encounters can be resolved without resorting to combat, rewarding clever ideas and creative roleplay
  • Classic 1980s Dungeons & Dragons characters return, including Warduke, Strongheart, and Kelek

ISBN: 9780786967278

SKU: C92760000

20 Feywild Quest Ideas

Posted in boccob's blessed blog, D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , , , , on September 13, 2021 by boccobsblog
Next Dungeons & Dragons book will be a whimsical romp in the feywild -  Polygon

With The Wild Beyond the Witchlight just around the corner (Sept. 21), its high time we gave our tables some #feywildbullshit in our adventures. However, the biggest problem facing DM’s is usually just getting to the feywild in the first place. With that in mind, here are 20 feywild crossroads (portal) ideas to use in your campaign! 

  1. Traversing exotic islands, the party stumbles upon a battle between Triton’s and Merfolk across a coral reef. If the party decides to help one group defeat the other, the reef becomes a portal to either the Elemental Plane of Water or feywild Lake. 
  1. While ascending alpine slopes, adventurers can choose to scale a particularly imposing cliff face or go around it. If they choose to scale it, they climb for much longer than expected, and the top reveals another, even more magnificent cliff… in the feywild.
  1. Trudging through a swamp, a player sees a group of fireflies leading off in a specific direction. As they follow, the swamp water begins to smell sweet rather than rotten and the ground becomes spongy rather than muddy. An arch of glowing green moss leads them into a colorful feywild marsh. 
  1. As your table wanders deeper and deeper into a forest, the party begins to notice the trees growing larger and larger. One tree has a large cavity at the base, big enough to sleep in. If they stay overnight, in the morning the trees will become the size of buildings (like Lothlorian), and they will have been teleported into the feywild. 
  1. Deep in a dungeon, a particularly small party member wiggles through a hole that opens up to a magnificent cavern. If they drink from the water dripping the stalactites, they will pass out and regain consciousness in a similar cavern, but in the feywild where the ceiling drips cool silver rather than water. 
  1. A rocky desert with scattered cacti greets the hero’s as they descend from the mountains. If any adventurer wants water from a cactus in blook, and slices it open, the inside of the cactus will glow a warm, bright pink. If they arrange pieces of the cactus into a circle, a portal will appear to a wildly blooming cactus forest. 
  1. The party travels through a countryside littered with isolated pillars of rounded granite pillars jutting up into the sky. If they climb one of them, they will see other pillars in the feywild floating in the sky, with vines that one can maybe, just maybe, leap and grab hold of.
  1. The group walks onto a beach that still has its morning mist shrouded over the waves. If they enter a rocky cave before the mist blows off, they will exit on a feywild coastline with marine colored waves twice as large
  1. A city museum features a painting made with magic paint of a grand countryside. If the party is there at sunrise/sunset, for a brief few seconds the painting begins to blow with breezes and chirp with birds. They can hop through it if they want, but the portal is only one way; they would need to find another way out. 
  1. To reach their quarry, the adventurers must cross a frozen lake. If they do so in a gentle snowfall, and one of them falls through, they will discover the water to be comfortably warm, and teeming with colorful life. They will even be able to breathe this fey lake water. 
  1. Mr. Mcgillicutty’s flower garden is in full bloom, and people from all across the countryside have come to marvel. Even folk from a different realm, creatures of the feywild, have taken notice, as it is eerily similar to a garden they have seen back home.
  1. Our heroes are terrified as they walk along a rickety bridge across a bottomless chasm. The red hued walls are so beautiful they rival those found in the feywild. If anyone falls off the bridge they will NOT crash into the rocks. Instead they gently land on soft moss at the bottom of a fey canyon four times deeper than the one in the material plane.
  1. As the players travel across a Serengeti type plain, they sense that a fresh spring rain will be coming soon. If they travel through the night as it rains, by morning they will not really notice how the colors of all the flora are popping, for they will be distracted byt the 50ft tall elephants roaming the feywild land. 
  1. Wandering through the woods, the heroes come across cascading waters into a pool that seems particularly radiant. If they walk behind the waterfall and grab some of the moss with supposed healing properties, when they exit they will find themselves in a feywild pool that is as large as a lake. 
  1. Crossing the countryside, the party run their hands through the fields of wheat. If they are there at sunset and close their eyes, the wheat will suddenly feel as hard as rock. Opening their eyes, they will see that the golden wheat is now solid gold… they have stumbled into the treasury of the Summer Court. 
  1. Weary from travel, our heroes enter the outskirts of a halfling village hurrying to ready for the annual festival. Once a year, satyr’s in the feywild set up the exact same decorations, creating a portal that allows both groups to party all night together. 
  1. Exploring a barren desert, the party settles down for the evening, noticing the weather to be particularly clear. If all are awake at midnight under a spectacular starry night sky, the desert will become a bright pink, and when they wake the fey desert will be full of vibrant oases as far as the eye can see. 
  1. It is autumn in the forgotten realms, and your campaign trail has led to a forest of aspen trees. The bright red, orange, and yellow is more alive than the flickering flames of a fire. As a big wind blows, for a brief few moments the fallen leaves twirl into a portal that can be entered. 
  1. In the frigid arctic, the party faces a frozen glacier. If their fire is out, the light of the full moon will reflect all throughout the clear ice in such a way that they feel they see a frozen fey banquet hall full of creatures dancing. A swift swing of the blade will shatter the thin veneer and allow them to take part in the festivities. 
  1. Strolling through the forest, the party steps down to drink from a bubbling stream. If any of them lose their balance and fall in, they discover the current is much, much faster than it looks, hurdling them down stream. If they ever dip beneath the waves, they will come up for air in a feywild river. 

About the Author
Riley Rath is a freelance copywriter who specializes in serving the tabletop gaming community. He is currently running a campaign and playing in TOA. His favorite board games include: Space Alert, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Puerto Rico. Ever since he was a kid, he has had a vivid imagination and longed for adventure. Every stick in the hand was a sword or weapon to be used against imaginary enemies! As an adult, he continues to adventure through backpacking the wilderness, connecting with other people, and, or course, role-playing in D&D. And though when he was young he always preferred to play outside to reading indoors, he now delights in reading all sorts of history, philosophy, and theology. 

Candlekeep Mysteries Drops Today!

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards of the Coast with tags on March 16, 2021 by boccobsblog

According to the WotC website:

Great Books Hide Their Secrets Well

An anthology of seventeen mystery-themed adventures for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Candlekeep attracts scholars like a flame attracts moths. Historians, sages, and others who crave knowledge flock to this library fortress to peruse its vast collection of books, scribbled into which are the answers to the mysteries that bedevil them. Many of these books contain their own mysteries—each one a doorway to adventure. Dare you cross that threshold?

Candlekeep Mysteries is a collection of seventeen short, stand-alone D&D adventures designed for characters of levels 1-16. Each adventure begins with the discovery of a book, and each book is the key to a door behind which danger and glory await. These adventures can be run as one-shot games, plugged into an existing Forgotten Realms campaign, or adapted for other campaign settings.

This book also includes a poster map of the library fortress and detailed descriptions of Candlekeep and its inhabitants.

Adventure authors include: Graeme Barber, Kelly Lynne D’angelo, Alison Huang, Mark Hulmes, Jennifer Kretchmer, Daniel Kwan, Adam Lee, Ari Levitch, Sarah Madsen, Christopher Perkins, Michael Polkinghorn, Taymoor Rehman, Derek Ruiz, Kienna Shaw, Brandes Stoddard, Amy Vorpahl, and Toni Winslow-Brill.

Candlekeep Mysteries Alternate Cover

Grab your copy today!

MORE Ravenloft!!!

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , on February 23, 2021 by boccobsblog

Fans of the demiplane of dread will be happy to hear that Wizards of the Coast is releasing Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft.
According to the WotC D&D Facebook page:

Fans of horror in Dungeons & Dragons know there is much more beyond the Gothic horror in 2016’s Curse of Strahd. That’s where Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft comes in with a refresh of more than 30 Domains of Dread and their infamous Dark Lords. Want to know what’s happening in the surreal fairy tale landscape of Dementlieu? Or in the dark jungles of Valachan? Or what magical horrors D&D players with Dark Gifts will have to contend against in Haslan? Van Richten will be your guide when the mist beckons on May 18th!

Monsters of the Wild

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Kickstarter with tags , , on February 19, 2021 by boccobsblog

Andrew Cawood and and his crew of creatives are back with the fourth title in the Monster series: Monsters of the Wilderness – Oswald’s Curse. While the other three titles focused on one environment, Oswald’s Curse traverses seven different biomes, each defined by unique monsters. This beautiful collection of over 100 5e monsters (more if we hit those stretch goals) is entwined with the story of Oswald Myrr, a powerful, and seemingly mad, wizard bent on revenge.

According to their press release:

Now on Kickstarter! Monsters of the Wilderness is the 4th book in our bestselling 5E Monster Series! 140-160 pages, fully-illustrated, full-color with hardcover, softcover, and PDF versions. Up to 120 monsters in 7 distinct regions, adventure hooks, encounter tables, events tables, locations tables, GM advice, and more. Stretch goals include extra monsters, PC subclasses, interior cover art, and custom-made dice from Q-workshop.

 Oswald Myrr is a legendary wizard who has been banished by the Wizard Council. This crazy spellcaster has unleashed a curse on the world after opening numerous portals called ‘Riftgates’. These openings enable travel around the world and to other planes. However, many evil creatures from other worlds and strange, dark energies have come through the Riftgates. 

The book is divided into 7 wilderness regions: Ocean, Arctic, Desert, Swamp/Jungle, Forest, Hills/Lakes, and Mountains. Each region has a wizard or witch from the Wizard Council and a monstrous titan (see below). 

This book features artwork by Travis Hanson. Hanson is the creator of the Life of the Party, and Beam, tabletop RPG comic strips. Hanson has provided the artwork for the previous monster books and given the line a solid, cohesive feel.

Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse is funding now on Kickstarter. Funding will continue until Thu, March 4 2021 7:59 PM CST. Check it out! You can learn more about Cawood Publishing, and grab their D&D5e adventures at worldofmyrr.com

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , on September 15, 2020 by boccobsblog

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden drops today. This arctic-themed adventure, set in Icewind Dale, takes players from level 1 through 12.

According to WotC:

Some Secrets are Worth Dying For

Feel the cold touch of death in this adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

In Icewind Dale, adventure is a dish best served cold.

Beneath the unyielding night sky, you stand before a towering glacier and recite an ancient rhyme, causing a crack to form in the great wall of ice. Beyond this yawning fissure, the Caves of Hunger await. And past this icy dungeon is a secret so old and terrifying that few dare speak of it. The mad wizards of the Arcane Brotherhood long to possess that which the god of winter’s wrath has so coldly preserved—as do you! What fantastic secrets and treasures are entombed in the sunless heart of the glacier, and what will their discovery mean for the denizens of Icewind Dale? Can you save Ten-Towns from the Frostmaiden’s everlasting night?

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is a tale of dark terror that revisits the forlorn, flickering candlelights of civilization known as Ten-Towns and sheds light on the many bone-chilling locations that surround these frontier settlements.

Item details

Price: $49.95
Release Date: 15 September, 2020
Format: Hardcover

Will you be taking your players to the frozen wastes of Icewind Dale?

One-on-One Roleplay

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , on September 1, 2020 by boccobsblog

Today David Clark of To Have And To Roll is writing about one-on-one roleplaying.

You find yourself in a room. You have no memory of how you got here or why you are here. All you have is the clothes on your back, the feeling of cold stone beneath your feet, and a faint shaft of torchlight, streaming in from the edges of a trapdoor above you. The door is too high for your to reach on your own. Looking about, the only notable object in the room is a heavy stone lever. What do you do?

This is my way of introducing people to tabletop roleplaying games. No dice. No rulebooks. Only a scenario with an open-ended solution. It is the simplest way to get someone into the action and playing a game, and it is also the simplest form of a one-on-one roleplaying game.

When a coworker or an acquaintance asks you what this whole tabletop thing is about, you can respond by telling them about your last session, how the rules work, when your gaming group meets, etc. Or you can simply show them. Tell them they find themselves in a room, give them some sort of means of escape, and tailor what they find along the way to match with their interests. I have brought many a friend into the hobby this way and it has always at least provided a window into what I find so enjoyable about gaming.

As soon as your friend starts making decisions or asking questions, they’re playing the game. Pull the lever, and the walls start closing in. I’ve had people jump out, wait until the walls are close enough to brace themselves and climb through, or just wait and die, praying for a god to watch over their soul when they are gone. Does this provoke a divine intervention? Does the story then shift to the journey of their soul through the afterlife? All of these are relevant paths. The important part about this scenario is that it is a learning experience. Your only goal is to convey why people play tabletop games, not how. Once out of the room, they might find themselves in an orc camp or an orbital prison. They could be in the depths of a drow stronghold, seeking escape from torment and slavery. They might be in a medical ward, with no memory of how they got there and no staff to answer their questions, only bloody footprints and a chained door that rattles and shakes from time to time. Whatever brings the spark of interest to the player’s eye is the right answer, and things that don’t can be glossed over as you present them with more points of interest.

For more experienced players seeking a longer format game than “you find yourself in a room,” you can use mechanics as deep as they want. You could have a single player character with nothing but their starting equipment on their back and a single plot hook to get them on the path to adventure. Your player could run an entire adventure path, complete with a full party of 4-6 adventurers, all crafted and piloted by your one player. They could be a monarch in charge of a kingdom at war, with a full mass combat and resource management system at their disposal. The level of detail is something you will want to discuss beforehand.

One-on-one games often have a more personal tone, which can be both a benefit and a challenge. On one hand, there are some stories that would be too personal to cover in a large group. A personal vendetta with a master assassin or vengeful rival might have more chance to develop when it’s only the Player Character and their nemesis in the room. Scheduling becomes much easier, pacing is handled at whatever rate the two of you care to form, and cancellations are as easily solved as finding the next time two of you have a couple of hours free. If you’re playing with someone you already spend a lot of time with, you can have impromptu sessions when you’re just hanging out. The next time you are waiting for a pizza delivery, just hit them with “When last we left our hero…” On the other hand, there is no group for the player to discuss their plans with. Roleplaying will have less banter and more direct interaction with the world. Combats are much more involved, as there is no time to plan your turns or to relax while others take their actions.

To run a one-on-one game, there are few considerations that must be taken into account before you begin. Many of these aspects will depend on what type of game you want to run, and what level of involvement your player wants in the mechanics and planning.

If you seek to run a traditional homebrew campaign or pre-written adventure, expect a level of adaptation. Both rules and content may need to change to suit your needs. In a one-player run of Pathfinder’s Curse of the Crimson Throne, my player has elected to run a four-person party. One of our early discoveries was simply the need to call for rolls that other players might ask for in a large group. Don’t be afraid to remind your player to doubt someone’s story or check for traps from time to time. In a large group, these are things that someone usually interjects with, but when it’s only you and a single player, sometimes you may need to break the immersion to remind them of mechanics, or point out a plot hook that has special resonance with one character if they are controlling multiples. In these instances, it’s only too much if your player says so.

Running a multi-character party may also necessitate a change in scope. Rather than inhabiting a singleplayer character’s perspective and abilities, the player will be acting more like a manager of the party, as one might find in a video game. They could choose to have a single point-of-view character with NPC companions or alternate between party members. If they chose to have NPC companions, make sure these companions aren’t stealing the spotlight. They can have their own stories and their own moments, but ultimately they are there to complement the point-of-view character.

If you player chooses to act as a manager for a group entirely consisting of Player Characters, it may be best for both of you to treat the game as taking more of a third-person perspective. Conversations among group members can involve swapping off who has control of which character, with the Game Master taking control of player characters in ways that you and your player have worked out. You might describe actions in longer form, much like a novel. If your player likes acting out their characters, don’t be afraid to stop and ask who’s talking at any given time, as this can also get confusing if there is less distinction between individual character voices. Append descriptions of action to break up dialogue. Take a step back from their character perspective and talk about the events of the game in a more omniscient tone.

As the only other person involved in the game, you will also have to do more book-keeping if you elect to run a more traditional party-based game. Tasks which could usually be delegated to other players, such as managing inventory or keeping a journal of quest activities and plot points will have to be managed by either you or your player. Most likely, you will both find yourselves doing these things to make sure everything is recorded accurately. If neither of you care for those things, feel free to reduce all loot to money that can be spent on gear, or just give more experience.

All-in-all, with the proper set-up, and the proper mindset, a one-on-one game can be a great way to fill in for days that you can’t organize a large group. It is, however, by no means a replacement for gaming in a group. By its nature, the stories you tell will tend to be more limited in scope, as you are not seeking to entertain an entire table. There is no reason you can’t face down an ancient dragon, blow up a planet-destroying space laser, or bring a mafia boss to justice in this format. But the scale will almost certainly change to accommodate the smaller pool of participants. There is also nothing that beats the harebrained schemes that a full party of 4 or more players can come up with.

For those that seek to play more games or just have an easy fall-back when larger sessions cancel, this can be a great extra tool to have in your Game-Mastering repertoire. So grab one of your favorite players, find a time that works for both of you, and try a one-on-one. The best way to learn is to play.

About the Author:

David Clark is the Game Master and producer of To Have and To Roll, the treasurer for the Plot Bubble podcast network, and an active participant in many online tabletop discussion groups. If you would like to hear some of these techniques in practice, check out tohaveandtoroll.com, where he and his wife are recording Paizo’s Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path for Pathfinder First Edition as an actual-play podcast. You can follow the podcast @tohaveandtoroll on Twitter or on Tumblr at tohaveandtoroll.tumblr.com. David is active on twitter as @rane0

Looking for some free D&D adventures? Look no further!

Adult Sapphire Dragon Miniature

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , on August 17, 2020 by boccobsblog

Sapphire Dragon

As a part of  D&D’s 45 Anniversary, WotC, in partnership with WizKids has released a gem dragon mini (maxi? it’s pretty big). According to WotC:

Celebrating 45 years of Dungeons & Dragons!

The glittering sapphire dragons are the most territorial of all the gem dragons to a dangerous degree. They collect magical weapons and armor as the centerpieces of their hoards and vault them away in isolated caverns.

A sapphire dragon’s psionic nature is evident in horn and bone structures of their body. Their tail barbs and horn tips are all separate pieces, but they float in place, held aloft by the dragon’s psychic force while the dragon lives. These levitating horns and spines shift slightly with the dragon’s mood, bobbing in amusement or flaring dangerously with anger. Its scales and wing membranes are varied shades of blue, ranging from the light tones of a spring sky, to the rich, crystalline azure of sapphire gems and compressed glacial ice. In the light, many of their scales glitter and shine with luminous starburst images.

Over 160mm tall, this miniature is based on the all new art for thesapphire dragon, released by Wizards of the Coast for the 45th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. Completely translucent with gemlike effects on the wings and body, this dragon is a great foe for your next adventure or a beautiful piece for display!

Item details

Price: $69.99
Release Date: 30 August, 2020 (it’s actually available now)

Need a gem dragon for your D&D campaign? You can get one here.

New 5e Backgrounds

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags on May 1, 2020 by boccobsblog

I’m Andrew Beahm. Over the past few years as D&D has exploded in popularity, I’ve always felt like something is missing. Even with the explosion of live streams, YouTube communities, and every accessory imaginable it still seemed like there wasn’t enough high-quality written content about the hobby. Now granted there are great sources like Boccob’s Blessed Blog, but I wanted more. With this in mind, I decided the remedy the issue by creating my own site CharmstoneGames.com, where we do things like pair beer with D&D classes, talk to zoo keepers about how hard it would be to train Girallons, and just generally try to go places other haven’t in talking about TTRPGs.

Now, you’re probably asking, “Why am I here? Weren’t you just going on about how you have your own dang website?” Thing is, I try to avoid talking about the mechanics of D&D or any other RPG system on my blog. I’m simply more interested in exploring things like real life booby traps. However, now that I’m stepping out of my home turf, all bets are off.

Have you ever heard of Wizard’s of the Coast SRD? If you haven’t, it’s basically the magical (legal) blessing the owners of D&D have instituted that allows people to publish and sell their own original D&D content. It covers most of the core rules, spells, and a good chunk of the creatures in the Monster Manual. However, almost every single character background, which is an essential part of character creation, is off-limits. The only one you’re allowed to reference in any materials you create is the Acolyte. So I decided to help out the community and provide you with 5 new backgrounds you can use in any of your D&D related projects. Free. Gratis. Complimentary. It’s my gift to you. Without further adieu, here they are.

Gambler

You live by your luck and are always after the next big win; you’re most at home at a gaming table matching wits with others in games of skill and chance.

Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Insight

Tool Proficiencies: Playing Card and Dice Set

Equipment: Game set (of your choice), a set of traveler’s clothes, a pouch containing 20 gp, and a lucky mundane item such as a rabbit’s foot, novelty coin/chip, or other small trinket.

Feature: Always a Table 

You have a knack for rounding up a group of players and getting a game going. As long as you have access to a public place where gambling is permitted (such as a tavern), you can attempt to win a few extra coins.

Suggested Characteristics

d8    Personality Trait

  1. I’m always taking little mementos and souvenirs from wherever I go.
  2. My facial expression is almost always neutral.
  3. I’m fidgety and occupy one of my hands with a coin.
  4. I like to keep a hidden weapon on me at all times- in case things get hairy.
  5. I pepper conversations with colorful aphorisms.
  6. I’m competitive and love to challenge others to contests.
  7. I like to place little bets with friends to make things more interesting.
  8. I don’t like being tricked or made to seem foolish.

d6    Ideal

  1. Charity. I know how quickly your luck can change, so I’m kind to those down on theirs. (Good)
  2. Rules. I respect the law and am offended when others don’t. (Lawful)
  3. Excitement. If I see a chance to shake things up, I do. (Chaotic)
  4. Greed. How much is enough? More. (Evil)
  5. Friends. Find people you can trust to watch your back- so they can watch yours in return. (Neutral)
  6. Aspiration. Anything I do I want to be the best at. (Any)

d6    Bond

  1. I owe a huge debt back home, and I can’t return until it’s paid.
  2. I lost a massive sum in a game of chance to a rival, and I intend to win it back.
  3. I won one too many games against the wrong noble, and they want revenge.
  4. My parents never thought I’d amount to anything, so I’m going to prove them wrong.
  5. I escaped poverty through three card monte schemes and made many enemies.
  6. I spurned a powerful ex-lover.

d6    Flaw

  1. I think I’m luckier than I actually am and can be reckless.
  2. I never quit while I’m ahead.
  3. I’m not above cheating to get what I want.
  4. I love the party life a little too much.
  5. I’m not careful with money and splurge on frivolities.
  6. I don’t think of the long term consequences of my actions.

 

Alchemist

The laws of nature have always fascinated you and you’re determined to discover their secrets. Through rigorous study and experimentation, you developed a strong understanding of how substances react with one another. Although many mistake this aptitude for magic, you know you’re harnessing the fundamental rules that govern all matter.

Skill Proficiencies: Nature, Medicine

Tool Proficiencies: Alchemy Set

Equipment: A bottle of black ink, a quill, a notebook detailing your past experiments, alchemy set, a set of common clothes, a small vial containing a substance you’ve yet to identify, and a pouch containing 10 gp

Chemiser: You are able to synthesize simple substances such as soap, some acids, and gunpowder. Through dedicated study you have also been able to learn to craft the infamous substance, Alchemist’s Fire by purchasing it’s ingredients for 25 gp. The availability of any materials you need are subject to DM’s discretion.

Suggested Characteristics

d8    Personality Trait

  1. I have a thirst for knowledge and always want to learn.
  2. I have a mechanical mind and am very logical.
  3. I only speak when I have something important to say.
  4. My clothes are disheveled and stained with unknown alchemical substances.
  5. I’m leery of tall tales and boasts.
  6. Every problem is a puzzle, and I love finding the solution.
  7. I’m a voracious reader and will eschew social interactions to do it.
  8. I’m working on the next great chemical breakthrough and love to talk about it.

d6    Ideal

  1. Progress. I do what I do to expand and share knowledge. (Good)
  2. Logic. Decisions should be made from a cool, dispassionate perspective. (Lawful)
  3. Experimentation. Knowledge should be pushed to its limits. (Chaotic)
  4. Self-Interest. I seek to hoard knowledge not share it. (Evil)
  5. Detachment. I know what I can affect and I don’t concern myself with that which is outside my control. (Neutral)
  6. Self-Improvement. The no greater pursuit than honing one’s intellect. (Any)

d6    Bond

  1. My mentor turned my life around by teaching me the wonders of alchemy.
  2. The school where I learned my skills is on the verge of financial ruin. I’ll do anything to prevent that.
  3. My last experiment was a failure that I just can’t get over.
  4. An explosion at my last laboratory drew the ire of the local populace.
  5. I am the only one who knows a secret formula powerful interests want for themselves.
  6. I seek an ancient tome containing marvelous secret knowledge.

d6    Flaw

  1. I’m fastidious to a fault and am harsh with the disorganized.
  2. I’m absent minded and forgetful.
  3. My curiosity overrides my caution.
  4. I never let go of my failures.
  5. My emotions are often more volatile than the substances I work with.
  6. My dedication to my work takes precedence over my loved ones.

 

Intelligentsia

You have spent your life among thinkers, philosophers, and occasionally radicals. This life has honed your ability to craft arguments and push the limits of accepted thought.

Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, History

Equipment: A set of fine clothes, a diploma of academic achievement, a treasured book relating to your field of study, and a purse containing 15 gp

Languages: Two of your choice

Specialty

The only hope for mastery of a subject is to choose one area and delve deeply into its study. Although you may be informed in other fields, you are truly an expert of one of the following.

  1. Philosophy
  2. Politics
  3. Literature
  4. Art
  5. Warfare
  6. Theology
  7. Mathematics
  8. Astronomy/Astrology

 

Feature: Milieu 

You have a network of academics you can contact in the pursuit of specific knowledge. If you don’t personally know an expert in a given subject, you can make a history check to recall the current authority in any given field of study.

Suggested Characteristics

d8    Personality Trait

  1. I speak fast to try to convey my intelligence.
  2. My speech is peppered with jargon from my field of study.
  3. I love to see new sides to an argument and seek out differing points of view.
  4. My interests are extremely narrow, which makes talking to most people… difficult.
  5. I correct the grammar of others.
  6. I affect a highbrow accent that is befitting of my education (although my native voice still sneaks through from time to time).
  7. I am a social maladroit and uncomfortable in large groups.
  8. I nitpick semantics and insist on defining terms precisely.

d6    Ideal

  1. Growth. All improvements to one’s life begin with one’s mind. (Neutral)
  2. Community. The world thrives when experts share their knowledge and challenge each other. (Good)
  3. Impartiality. Personal preference and biases must be checked when making decisions. (Lawful)
  4. Questioning. No subject should be considered settled, all ideas and systems should be challenged. (Chaotic)
  5. Exclusivity. Knowledge should belong to a privileged few. (Evil)
  6. Self-Betterment. The pursuit of higher learning is virtuous for its own sake. (Any)

d6    Bond

  1. I will do anything for my alma mater.
  2. I was embarrassed in a public debate and still want redemption.
  3. I must tirelessly continue to contribute and advance my field of study.
  4. I will do anything to prove my pet theory correct.
  5. A rival school of thought is spreading dangerous, false theories and must be stopped.
  6. A wealthy patron put me through university. I must find some way to repay them.

d6    Flaw

  1. I am rude and dismissive to the uneducated.
  2. I will jot down an idea in the middle of a conversation no matter how distracting it is.
  3. I can’t stand to be corrected or proven wrong and will pout if it happens.
  4. I am willing to overlook ethics if it means expanding my knowledge.
  5. I start arguments over trivial things just for the sake of it.
  6. I don’t think I can be tricked or influenced, which makes me all the susceptible to cons.

 

Spiritualist

You are in tune with the unseen forces all around us. Some see the world as chaotic and random, but you know everything is foretold if you just stop to listen.

Skill Proficiencies: Religion, Arcana

Language: One of your choice

Equipment: Prayer beads, ceremonial garb, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 15 gp

Feature: Ethereal Connection

Through good luck or misfortune a lesser spirit has attached itself to you. The spirit can only interact very weakly on this plane of existence. You can communicate with this spirit although others are unaware of its presence. Although it is often vague and cryptic, by communing with it, you occasionally glean useful bits of information or warnings of impending danger.

Suggested Characteristics

D8 Personality Trait

  1. I take the omens I see seriously and am quick to anger if others don’t.
  2. I can seem blaise or aloof because my attention is on the next life not this one.
  3. I am eager to learn of other religions and customs.
  4. I prefer quiet contemplation to raucous revelry.
  5. I always spare a coin or two for local shrines or temples.
  6. My dreams are filled with symbols, warnings, and advice that inform my actions.
  7. Local festivals and celebrations enthral me. I can’t resist joining in the fun.
  8. The denizens of my home village often sought my council, which has given me a bit of an ego.

d6    Ideal

  1. Heritage. Our ancestors laid the groundwork for our lives. We should honor them. (Lawful)
  2. Grace. There is no greater calling than to ease suffering. (Good)
  3. Renewal. We must not cling to the old ways and move boldly forward. (Chaotic)
  4. Masterhood. When you see the future, you control the future. (Evil)
  5. Restraint. We shouldn’t meddle with forces we don’t understand. (Neutral)
  6. Understanding. The path to enlightenment begins with listening. (Any)

d6    Bond

  1. I would do whatever it takes to unravel the mysteries of the afterlife.
  2. I am dogged by spirits to solve mysterious murder.
  3. My life’s work is dedicated to allowing lost souls to rest.
  4. I seek to bring honor and glory to my home town.
  5. The masses must learn to revere the spirit world, and I will teach them.
  6. I must find the meaning of a cryptic, recurring nightmare that has plagued me since childhood.

d6    Flaw

  1. I am reluctant to seek advice.
  2. I fixate on bad omens and they become self-fulfilling prophecies.
  3. The dead mean more to me than the living.
  4. I give advice whether it’s asked for or not.
  5. I am extremely superstitious.
  6. My mind wanders and I often tune others out.

 

Reeve

You were a member of a small volunteer force dedicated to keeping the peace in your homeland. For a predetermined period of time (usually a year) you were drafted to assist in crime prevention and investigation. Here you learned to keep a critical eye open at all times. You developed your skills of deduction and critical thinking to piece together information and make a complete picture.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Investigation

Equipment: A badge of your former office, a set of iron manacles, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp

Feature: Veteran 

You still carry yourself like an officer of the law. This makes town guards, sentries, and those in positions of authority more trusting of you. They are more likely to take your accounts seriously. Though they won’t let you get away with anything special, they’re unlikely to treat you with hostility without cause.

Suggested Characteristics

d8    Personality Trait

  1. I carry myself with an air of authority.
  2. I’m always alert and suspicious by nature.
  3. I focus on details and can ask questions that seem trivial.
  4. I don’t tolerate nonsense or suffer fools.
  5. I don’t need anything fancy and prefer spartan accommodations.
  6. I’m tough and I want to show it.
  7. I have a strong sense of right and wrong and won’t hesitate to speak my mind.
  8. I’m the strong silent type.

d6    Ideal

  1. Community. People should feel safe in their homes and we all must pitch in to help with that. (Good)
  2. Order. I follow the law and expect others to as well. (Lawful)
  3. Judgement. Justice is more important than process. (Chaotic)
  4. Authority. I know what’s best for everyone and won’t tolerate descent. (Evil)
  5. Discretion. Let the little things go and focus on big problems. (Neutral)
  6. Duty. You must fulfill your obligations. (Any)

d6    Bond

  1. My home town means everything to me. I’ll do anything to protect it.
  2. I can’t stand idly by when criminals abuse innocent people.
  3. My old captain is a hero in my eyes and would still follow their orders if asked.
  4. A criminal escaped my grasp and I’m still on the lookout for them.
  5. I once wrongly imprisoned a suspect and I’ve been trying to make up for that with good deeds.
  6. I spoke up against the corruption of a judge making a powerful enemy.

d6    Flaw

  1. I cannot admit that I’m wrong.
  2. Once my mind is made up nothing can change it.
  3. I assume the worst in everyone.
  4. I am bossy and have been known to bark orders.
  5. I defer to authority more than I should.
  6. I’m overly aggressive with people.

 

Unbreakable Review/Interview

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2020 by boccobsblog

Unbreakable 5e

How did this book come to pass?

Unbreakable initially was inspired at an Uncaged dinner group in GenCon 2019. I was seated with Jazz and a few other Uncaged alumni (some who would be involved in the project), and we talked about different things we would like to work on in the future. At one point in the conversation, I brought up the notion of doing an Asian inspired adventure series. Jazz was extremely enthusiastic about it, within a month later, Jazz helped organize it, and we began recruiting for contributors for the project. Along the recruitment process, our group of contributors wanted to turn Unbreakable into an OwnVoices project to fully express the cultures represented within the adventures and the artwork.

What is the significance of the title?

When we (Jazz and I) initially thought about the theme of the adventure anthology, we had this visual inspiration for a bamboo forest and what sort of encounters one might in there. This idea evolved further to become the present-day incarnation, we still wanted the anthology’s name to pay homage to those early thoughts, and we came up with Unbreakable. I was inspired by a quote from Morihei Ueshiba, “Study the teachings of the pine tree, the bamboo, and the plum blossom. The pine is evergreen, firmly rooted, and venerable. The bamboo is strong, resilient, unbreakable. The plum blossom is hardy, fragrant, and elegant.”  and another quote by Ping Fu, ” Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance.” These quotes had me think about my struggles as an Asian American and the things that myself and my family have gone through to achieve our present lifestyle. It had me recall the efforts of the many people before and how many have adapted to their new lives to achieve their dreams. In that spirit, we were unbreakable in our resolve and determination, and from it, we will continue to be into the future.

I love the cover, who is the artist?

We all love our precious salamander that greets readers into Unbreakable. The cover was done by Joshua Mendenhall, co-director and lead designer for The Islands of Sina Una, a setting built on pre-colonial Philippines and its mythology

It seems like an impossible task to direct the work of so many people, how did you manage this project?

It certainly felt like an insurmountable task, but Jazz and I had great examples from Ashley Warren’s leadership for the Uncaged Anthology. You learn from example, right? We were very fortunate to learn from a great example. We later had Caroline join as our Graphics Designer and Art Lead. The duo became a trio, and from there, we were able to individually coordinate and tackle the three main pillars of its production: the writing, the art, and the editing. An essential part of managing a project is having open lines of communication with our contributors while providing spaces for them to brainstorm their ideas. But I am humbled and honored to have worked alongside Jazz and Caroline on this project, and we supported each other during its development. So I guess the best way to answer this question was teamwork, having flexible deadlines, and working through any obstacles together.

What formats is Unbreakable available in, and where can it be purchased?

Unbreakable Volume 1 is available in digital PDF and hardcover print on DriveThruRPG.

Unbreakable-Vol1-Books-Preview

Unbreakable Details:

  • 253 pages
  • 10 D&D5e adventures for tier 1-4
  • Original Asian-inspired monsters, NPCs, magic items, and characters from folklore, myths, and legends.
  • $19.95 PDF, $39.95 Hardcover, $49.95 PDF + Hardcover

My Thoughts:

  • Beautiful layout – colorful and easy to read
  • Each 5th Edition adventure bears a content warning to avoid possible triggers
  • Information on adjusting each adventure’s difficulty
  • Several new monsters and accompanying lore
  • Advice on how to roleplay complex NPCs

This book is massive. It has ten highly-detailed adventures that were clearly written by knowledgeable authors. As you read this supplement you can tell a lot of love went into its construction. I cannot recommend this project highly enough. Check it out on Drive. Let’s hope vol. 1 is the first of many!

 

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