V5 – Dipping in a toe…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Between starting a new job, renovations and running 4 games I haven’t had much to write about, until now. I gave in recently and pre-ordered Vampire 5th Edition. The look of the PDF is a major departure from the old branding, but the content seems decent so far. I’ve set up a small game in September, for a few Vampire aficionados, but my reading has already shown that it will be a major departure from what they’ve seen before. So here it comes…

 

Unified House Rules

Updated: April 2nd, 2018

In an effort to make things a bit easier to recall and quicker to play across my various D&D 5E games, after any ongoing combats, the following Unified House Rules will be in use in all D&D games:

General Rules

  • General Rules
    • Unless a description says otherwise, math/calculations that result in a fraction need to be rounded down. [Stock]
    • Temporary hit points aren’t cumulative. If you have temporary hit points and receive more of them, you don’t add them together, unless a game feature says you can. Instead, you decide which temporary hit points to keep. [Stock]
    • Combat
      • Attack rolls need to equal or exceed the AC in order to hit. Ties do not go to the defender. [Stock]
      • Flanking grants Advantage upon the target. [Stock]
      • Each time a character reaches 0 hit points it gains one level of cumulative exhaustion until it takes a long rest.
    • Potions
      • Drinking a Potion is now a bonus action.
      • Administering a Potion to a downed character is an action.
      • Drinking two potions at once is possible, but unexpected results can happen when potions are mixed.
    • Learning Languages or Tool Proficiencies
      • Normally this would take 250 days of effort, with a cost of 1GP per day (this is aside from your normal cost of living). – PHB pg 187
      • My take is that it is 120 days of effort (assuming a full day of focused work and suitable location), with a cost of 1GP per day, or half that cost if the instructor is another PC.
      • Looking to do it faster?
        • In the case of languages, if your instructor natively speaks the language and you are immersed in that culture (EG: Learning Elven from an Elf while living in an elven city, or Dwarven from a Dwarf while living in a Dwarven Fortress) without break the total number of days of effort is only 90.
        • In the case of Tool Proficiencies, if you immerse yourself in that trade (such as working in a Brewery every day for months without more than a one day break), you likewise reduce the total number of days of effort to 90.
    • Resting 
      • When you finish a long rest during which you slept in medium or heavy armour, you regain only one-quarter of your spent Hit Dice (minimum of one die). If you have any levels of exhaustion, the rest doesn’t reduce your exhaustion level.
      • Long Rests are 8 hours, Short Rests are 1 hour.
    • Skills
      • In order to assist in a Skill or Tool roll (to grant advantage), both participants need to be able to perform the skill individually (PHB – 175). Also, both participants need proficiency in the skill.
  • Spells
    • New Spells
      • Vigor (not in the Compendium)
        • 1st-level Necromancy
          • Classes: Cleric, Druid
          • Casting time: 1 action
          • Concentration: Yes
          • Range: Touch
          • Duration: Up to 1 minute
          • Target: one person
          • A creature of your choice that you can see within range regains hit points equal to 1 + your spellcasting ability modifier each round. This spell has no effect on Undead or constructs.
          • At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the Healing increases by 1 for each slot level above 1st.
    • Removed Spells
      • Revivify
  • Feats
    • ADDED/NEW
      • Combat Reflexes
        • Your reactions are honed to quickly take advantage when your foes let their guard down. You gain the following benefits:
          • You gain an extra reaction each round. This reaction can only be used to make an opportunity attack.
          • Your opportunity attacks with weapons and any weapon attacks made with the sentinel or mage slayer feat are made at advantage.
      • Dwarven Fortitude (XGtE pg 74)
        • Prerequisite: Dwarf, Mul or Half-giant
        • You have the blood of heroes flowing through your veins. You gain the following benefits:
          • Increase your Constitution score by l, to a maximum of 20.
          • Whenever you take the Dodge action in combat, you can spend one Hit Die to heal yourself. Roll the die, add your Constitution modifier, and regain a number of hit points equal to the total (minimum of 1).
      • Dual-focused (TDCS pg 108)
        • Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell.
        • Countless hours have been spent training your mind to maintain focus on concurrent incantations, taxing as the process may be.
          • If you attempt to cast a spell that requires concentration while already concentrating on an existing spell, you can maintain concentration on both spells simultaneously. You must spend a standard action each subsequent round on maintaining this concentration or lose concentration for both spells.
          • At the end of each turn where you have two spells you are concentrating on, you must make a Constitution saving throw (DC equals 10 + the number of complete rounds you’ve been concentrating on two spells). On a failure, you lose concentration for both spells. You can drop concentration on one of your spells during your turn as a free action to avoid this saving throw.
            • Any time you would be forced to make a Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration due to taking damage, the DC equals 10 + both spells’ levels combined, or half the damage you take,  whichever number is higher. On a failure, you lose concentration on both spells.
      • Prodigy (XGtE pg 75)
        • Prerequisite: Half-elf or Human
        • You have a knack for learning new things. You gain the following benefits:
          • You gain one skill proficiency of your choice, one tool proficiency of your choice, and fluency in one language of your choice.
          • Choose one skill in which you have proficiency. You gain expertise with that skill, which means your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make with it. The skill you choose must be one that isn’t already benefiting from a feature, such as Expertise, that doubles your proficiency bonus.
      • Spelldriver (TDCS pg 109)
          • Prerequisite: Character level 8th or higher
            • Through intense focus, training, and dedication, you’ve harnessed the techniques of rapid spellcasting. You are no longer limited to only one non-cantrip spell per turn. However, should you cast two or more spells in a single turn, only one of them can be of 3rd level or higher.
      • Thrown Arms Master (TDCS pg 109)
        • You’ve honed your ability to lob weaponry into the fray, including weapons not meant for ranged combat. You gain the following benefits:
          • Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
          • Simple and martial melee weapons without the thrown property can be treated as if they have the thrown property. One-handed weapons have a range of 20/60, while two-handed weapons have a range of 15/30.
          • Weapons that naturally have the thrown property increase their range by +20/+40.
          • When you miss with a thrown weapon attack using a light weapon, the weapon immediately boomerangs back into your grasp.

Dark Sun Specific 

  • Dark Sun Specific 
    • Characters begin at 2nd level with Maximum Hit Dice.
    • A character can’t spend any Hit Dice after finishing a short or long rest until someone expends one use of a healer’s kit to bandage and treat the character’s wounds.
    • Character Trees
      • Each player builds a Character Tree composed of three characters.
        • Every time the active character goes up a level of experience, the player may also advance one of his inactive characters one level. The inactive character chosen must be of a lower level than the active character. Adjust the experience point total on that inactive characters sheet to the minimum number for the new level attained.
        • Replacement characters must be a different class and race than the lost character. They also start one level below the lowest level character that you have, at the time of the character death, but never weaker than 3rd level. Replacement characters do not roll for hit points, they receive maximum hit dice.
        • Items and equipment cannot be freely traded between characters in your tree, nor does a replacement character ‘inherit’ a dead character’s gear.

The Lost Marches Specific 

The Emerald Jungles Specific 

TLM – Uniqueness Teaser

One of the nods to earlier editions of the game, that I’m using in The Lost Marches are unique powers. These are abilities that you might gain or lose due to events in the game. Of course, this is a teaser and not a full list.

CENSORED Technique
The CENSORED taught a simple but effective technique that channelled a reservoir of spiritual power into a strike. Any unarmed strike had the potential to unleash limitless damage upon a foe. Your unarmed strikes’ damage dice becomes open-ended/exploding.

Hellfires Scorn
The residual energy of CENSORED flows through your body for the next tenday, granting you resistance to Fire damage.

True Grit
Having undergone brutal training, you have learned to accept blows for the benefit of CENSORED. As a free action on your turn, you may choose one ally that is adjacent to you, you willingly accept blows meant for them. You take any damage from melee attack that would have hit them as long as they are adjacent to you or until your next turn.

 

CENSORED 
Having learned the TECHNIQUE, you have empowered your spells against CENSORED. CENSORED is now vulnerable to your magics, and you impose disadvantage upon CENSORED saving throws to avoid them.

 

 

TLM to Montreal

I took a few minutes this morning to put together a comparative overlay of distance between the initial area in The Lost Marches and the greater area of Montreal. For comparison’s sake, I’ve set Limen at the intersection of A15 and A720. Right around the Home Depot in St Henri. I’ve chosen this because most of my players are familiar with the area.

  • Limen – Intersection of A15 and A720.
  • The Briars – Montreal East
  • Ruins of Border Town – Where A19 crosses into Laval.
  • Medusa Maze – Cote Vertu Shopping Center
  • Barak Dur – Victoria Bridge
  • The Shadowed Castle – Intersection of A19 and A40.
  • The Barrows – Montreal North
  • Gnollwode – North of the 440 in Laval

The Lost Marches – Shadowed Castle

In our Lost Marches game, there is a sister castle that sits on the Northen side of ‘The Second Valley’. I’ve described it as a massive fortress, shrouded in a perpetual shadow regardless of the weather. There is neither sign of life, intelligent or otherwise. Farmers live less than a mile away, but they refuse to approach it. All adventurers who enter it disappear forever.

For some time I’ve been thinking of how to draw it, but this week I found a piece of art online that was in the right vein. With a little photoshop, I put this together. I don’t claim it as my work, I just modified the fantastic work of the original artist.

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