Old Style Musings: SKILLS MUST DIE!

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“Excuse me, kindly assassin!  I do not take kindly to being used in this visual analogy!”

I haven’t really done an informal post in a while.  The last one was quite a few years ago.  Anyway, I’m feeling kind of tired with how character skill is handled and the builds around it.  I won’t deny that I have fallen back in love with a more classical approach.  I like to egg players on for details with their actions, even awarding silent boons for their descriptions and general ideas.  Hell, sometimes I’ll outright ignore a roll.  While I haven’t gone all out yet, I feel like I’ll get there soon enough.  So, rather than a super codified skill system, I have thought of a few ideas beyond that.  It’s nothing really groundbreaking.  Hell, the DMG has made all sorts of alternatives already, but I think they’re good for something.

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In the Heart of Clockwork: Factions and more for Alza’um

Typical Mayhem in the Streets…

The smoke bomb, particularly the toxic vapor.  Only one group could produce something like that in such short notice, the Chymists!  How desperate someone must be to turn to terror, such inadequate rubble will be eliminated from the city in due time.  Mark my words, the Consortium shall rightfully reign over the future. – Gelzeer, Assistant Lead Mechanic for the Consortium of Machine, at Primus Security Foundation HQ

Despite splitting off from the world above, internal politics breeds their own issues; whether in the splendorous city proper or its bayside proxy.  Various guilds vie for dominance, whether through honest or underhanded means.  That’s not to safe that attempts at sales within the market can’t be a front for devious sabotage and spying… if not acts far worse.  Some could argue that those who protect the city from these biased extremists are biased and extreme in their own right, favoring a repressive status quo and neutrality that inhibits both progress and tradition alike.

Even before these new issues had arisen, turmoil stewed within the city since early days.  Wicked cults that twist the worst of ancient tradition, cruel slavers and exploiters masquerading as market movers and shakers and general violent madmen.  None the less, the city boasts quite the strange history for one that is otherwise pretty young.

Author’s Note: I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, create a timeline as well as faction related stuff for my mini-setting.  Plus, maybe an extra monster or two in an update.  Also, the factions, alongside the monsters, can easily be repurposed for a more steampunk-oriented setting.  Though, there’s no need to have the setting a dark and gritty urban setting deep within the ground.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Deities

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Won’t you take a ride, ride, ride
On heavy metal
It’s the only way that you can travel
Down that road

Amidst the vast multiverse, there are many powers that govern over various forces.  Some crusade for justice, while others seem to rot reality in cruel ways.  Some, plain and simple, are here to ROCK and ROLL!  This strange pantheon emerges from realms of alien sounds to unleash new incredible philosophies and visions upon the awakened masses.

Author’s Note: BALLS TO THE WALLS!  What better way to welcome the new year than with a return to some really gonzo stuff!  Just like the American version of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure did, I twisted the names around… in case I use this stuff later.  Surely, you’ll get the references to things though, even though dub names suck…  Also, yes, I did make a jab or two at various rock personalities, in addition to some homages.

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The Ground is Sour – Resurrection gone Wrong

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“Sometimes, dead is better.”

In particularly cursed places, the very ground itself rebukes death and damns the souls of whoever is buried there.  This could be from the sight of a great war, a disturbed burial grounds or more.  No matter the case, the land is tainted.  And for those who dare to gamble against the forces of life and death within these corrupted lands?  They may become something equally as wicked.

In other cases, the world may just have stacked odds against the heroes.  The world may be kept in the clutches of dark forces that conspire to corrode and twist all in their path.  Malevolent entities are challenged by heroes of horror, those who take a stand against the darkness at all costs.  They too may face trauma when losing an ally… and having them come back wrong.

Author’s Note:  This RPG Blog Carnival post came out of a few things.  In a game I was part of, the DM wanted to make resurrection a risk.  In that world, that sort of art is lost and things tend to not work always right when this is tried.  The idea was also going to be used in a Gothic Earth one-off I wanted to do at some point too…  Plus, I watched the original Pet Sematary recently.  So, here’s my revised take on risky resurrection! 

Learn more about the October RPG Blog Carnival theme here!

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A Planar Grimoire Update

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Just letting everyone know, I’ve made an update to one of my initial works for DM’s Guild, a Planar Grimoire!  The following spells inspired by the Eberron setting, and also given a somewhat spooky Halloween vibe!  The following spells have been added:

  • Augment Natural Weapon
  • Dream Lock
  • Essence of the Living
  • Healing Light of Irian
  • Intensive Repair
  • Repair Damage
  • Silverflame Smite
  • Sporadic Shapeshifting

 

Click Here to check it out!

One with the Gun – Options for Gunslinging Shootists

Fantasy Rifleman by BrotherOstavia

The Order always prepares for adventure!

The Order of the Shootist, it’s a name claimed in both fear and mystery. They arrive with their incredible weaponry, unleashing thunder claps and smoke. And in mere instants, their enemies drop dead from incredible blasts of metal and fire. Only warriors worthy of their cause are admitted into their ranks. People know plenty about the mythical “fire brands”, as they have for countless years. However, most people are barely proficient. Even more fail to use them properly to begin with! The Shootist rises above these average folk. They hold sacred knowledge about not only wielding a gun with finesse, but a myriad of skills to truly champion their weapons.

For a Knight of the Shootist Order, there are many key features. One must move with a certain panache. Not only must they be graceful with their guns, but their steps must be constantly fluid. One slip up and you are shot down. A shootist has little time to stop and study their enemy, but must make a quick observation on the go. In addition, you won’t see armor worn as often within their ranks. Only truly strong and brisk warriors sport the arms and speed of a gunslinger with the armory of your traditional knight. Such individuals command both respect and a charismatic presence all their own. Some take to the shadows to get in the most brutal surprising shot possible, unleashing a devastating barrage.

Author’s Note: Lots of folks have asked a long time to revisit my shootist post. And since my theme for this month is Gaslamp Fantasy and Weird West, it was the perfect opportunity. So, let’s not just revisit the Shootist, but have a list of new options for the Rogue! Both of these were made with my own take on firearms, which is similar enough to 5e core. Don’t worry, there’s no misfire included. Take aim and fire, here’s a shooting gallery’s worth of options! However, these can easily be repurposed into a general ranged specialist if firearms are not allowed in your games or not common enough to allow training in.

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A Tout’s Look At Other Denizens of The Cage

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You love me, you really love me! Your kindness is matched by the most generous berk in the world who hocked their jink to learn everything about the fair cage. But in all seriousness, I’m glad you returned for more of the dark on those who dwell here.

I gotta hit up other primers, lest you keep popping jink in my bag as I act like your personal info automaton.  All of you seem like fine bashers and bloods, ripe with adventure or something.  But, we have to stop meeting like this.  Besides, some of my associates think I might be planning some big dark with you.  Can’t have that, just business and all that.  That said, I would be willing to talk to you all about some hot shots of the Cage, if ya got the jink for it.  But, that’s closed quarters stuff.  Nothing any Hiver or higher Warder could sneak a quip on!

Author’s Note: Doing all of those variant plane-touched made me really want to tackle other races. I honestly don’t know if they’ll appear in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foe’s or not.  Githzerai and Githyanki are already scheduled to appear in the upcoming book.  I might create stats for them before it drops for AL stores, we’ll see.  That might be for next week.  Either way, here is my take on them. Now, these races have been tackled by other people… perhaps with more know-how. Regardless, I wanted to do my own take. Here ya go!

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