Tales of the Astral – The Gith

Dak'kon by Grosnus

“Endure, in enduring grow strong.” – Dak’kon, Zerth Disciple

The endless struggle in the planes beyond.  This is brief summary of the Gith, a displaced and wounded people.  Long ago, they came to know suffering under a domineering race of creatures known as “Illithid”.  The horrid creatures broke and enslaved these beings into servitude, harvesting them when it became convenient.  In a showing of will and defiance, rebellion lead to the gith breaking free.  However, factions arose over what to do with their newfound freedom.  The split lead to the rise of many new groups rife with their own strange philosophies and viewpoints.

Despite this fracturing, each respective faction remains strong and proud in their own manner.  Each continues onward in their ideals.  Each finds their place in the multiverse.  However, they remain sullied by hatred and biases of the past.  Many refuse to deal too much with their kinds, lest they risk getting dragged into Gith politics.  However, a wise and powerful ally is usually welcomed within a team.

Author’s Note:  Wouldn’t you know it?  I’m not overly satisfied with a non-core book on races, once more. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is by all means a great book in terms of conflict inspiration as well as monsters, but I was eager to do my own take on things.  As I’m a master of reinventing the wheel, here’s my own take on the Gith.  But, in all seriousness, I’ve been wanting to this for a while.  Even before Tome of Foes was announced, I wanted to do a whole assortment of Planescape races.  The new book just encouraged me to get to it.  Mind you, most of this was already pondered when the initial unearthed arcana article came out.

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A Tout’s Look At Other Denizens of The Cage

Image result for Sigil the city of doors

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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Bizarre Bazaar – Even More Strange Items Return

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“Are you still here?  It is good to be a dedicated shopper, but closing hours draw near.  A busy body must always prepare for the next day’s wave of customers and curators.  But, Zam’Dul is patient!  You shall be helped in finding what you seek.  Rest assured, the store likely has it.  Now, do follow and be shown many fine wares!  But, please do so quickly…  Pushing customers after closing is such a bother.”

Welcome back to another revisiting of the bizarre bazaar!  As always, Zam’Dul awaits customers with a fine assortment of majestic and obscure magical treasures.  Sure, he’s looking to close down for the night, but mark my words, he has plenty of oddities to showcase as always!  Sure, some seem familiar, but others are new sights to behold.

Author’s Note: It’s kinda ironic and hypocritical of me.  I’m not too content with reprints of spells and whatnot in the currently-new Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.  And yet, here I am, posting updates of older items I made in the past.  Not really a statement, just an observation.  Anyway, I hope these updates address some mistakes I made in the past, while highlighting which items I really liked a lot!

Also, I hit 250 posts!  Hooray!

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Bizarre Bazaar Forever – Even More Planar Items!

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Welcome back, weary traveler!  Please, as always, you are more than welcome to observe my inventory.  Should anything be particularly fascinating to you, signal me and I’d be happy to tell you more!  Of course, some of these artifacts are VERY dangerous and should be handled with care.  Fortunately for you, the GREAT Zam’dul is happy to provide assistance!

Author’s Note: Making magic items from around the planes remains to be one of the most fun topics for me to tackle.  As such, I really wanted to return to it so soon.  With that, enjoy another sampling of weirdness from many a reality.

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Bizarre Bazaar Returns from the Planes! – More Planar Items

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The hustle and bustle of the market gives way to something you’ve seen before.  Ahead lies a familiar tent and sitting underneath is a figure wearing spacefaring gear over robes.  Their head tilts in your direction, acknowledging your presence and expecting reaction.  Upon getting closer, the creature straightens its back as it lifts from the ground with seemingly little effort.  Facing you, they extend a cloth covered arm in greeting, it is Zam’dul the Plane Traveler.  The thick breathing from a chamber in his mask lightens up as you can hear sounds like a throat being cleared.

“Hail, friend!  It has been a while, has it not?  Please, do not shy away.  Since your last visit, I have procured many new items from the distant cosmos and beyond.  I open my collection for you, if you can handle a potentially steep price.”

The dusty, wrinkled merchant shuffles over as an arm extends to highlight various wares.  Much like before, you bare witness to a wide variety of truly odd looking crafts and artifacts.  Some resemble items you’ve seen in your travels, others are far too alien for you to fully comprehend.  Zam’dul surveys the crowd while ringing a strangely shaped bell, hoping to garner interest.

Author’s Note: We’re slowly closing out our planar theme for the time being.  However, I figured it would be fun to return to another installment of Bizarre Bazaars!  This time, I’m going back to my roots and doing another planar theme, including the truly bizarre and perhaps even horrifying aspects of the planes.  But, if you wanted normal items, you wouldn’t have come here.  As a bonus, I’ve converted over some items from Planescape Torment.  No matter, take it away, Zam’dul.

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Bloodlines of the Planes! – More Planetouched PCs!

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Planar-based parties are weird.

Planetouched.  Such a term can be used to describe humanoids that have an ancestry shared with an extraplanar creature.  The blood of fiends runs through a Tiefling, the blood of celestials in a Aasimar and the blood of elementals in Genasi.  But, these are but a handful of creatures gifted by strange sources lurking in the known multiverse.

Among their ranks are other creatures, either blessed or cursed by their strange bloodlines.

  • The Changeling is the result of a union between a mundane humanoid and an ancient magical creature empowered by corrupting sorcery, a hag or a bodach.
  • Dream-Touched are born from the powers of two fallen archfey; one of pleasant dreams and one from nightmares.
  • The Eldritch-Touched is an unfortunate creation of mad cultists, victims of dark gods and overly curious lunatics.
  • Fey Dog Barkers are the result of Fey Dogs who wandered too far into the Maddening Winds of Pandemonium… those who didn’t go insane were changed, perhaps for the better.
  • Finally, the Vitalborn are a race of creatures much like the Genasi.  Their elemental nature, however, comes from the Positive and Negative planes.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Not 1, but 5 new races!  (Well, 3 new races, a sub race and a remake)  I wanted to continue my planar/weird fantasy theme with some more player options.  Most of this started with a player wanting a hag-blooded tiefling in an early 5e game… which didn’t quite feel thematically right to me.  Though, it ended with the loss of famous meme “Gabe the Dog”… otherwise, the sub-race wouldn’t exist.  Granted, Fey Dog was a meme-based joke creation to begin with.

All in all, I got carried away with a whole assortment of planar themed racial options at your disposal!  While they need some playtesting (and some more than others), I’m still happy I managed to get all of this done.  Enjoy.

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The Planes, The Planes! – Doc’s look at the Planescape Setting

Lady of Pain - Planescapes Character by Pseudooctopus

Please don’t anger the Lady of Pain!

So, the theme for this blog for the past couple of months has been planar creatures and dimensional weirdness.  Nothing embodies both better in my opinion within the realms of D&D than the Planescape Campaign Setting.  While I’ve enjoyed other AD&D settings like Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance; Planescape has remained special to me.  It’s a strange and cosmic fantasy where imagination is truly the limit!  You want to fight insane mechanical cubes with ray guns?  You can!  You wanna gamble with a Devil with an Angel by your side?  It’s possible!  You wanna get flayed by a giant lady for treating her like a God?  PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!  But I digress, Planescape is a high concept setting with endless amounts of play and content to explore.  For the reasons above and the many reasons below, I hope the full flavor of Planescape returns to D&D 5th Edition.  So far, it’s my favorite incarnation of the rule set (and I loooove AD&D 2e, albeit mostly for the vast library of settings.)  While they more or less have the Great Wheel, it feels much of the shadow of its former self like in the 3rd Edition of the game.  I want the vibrancy, the absurdity and the wonder of those wonderful weird planes.  Digressing from that, I’m here to address another question… How does one do a Planar game in this setting?  Why, I’m glad you asked!  Here’s a few humble suggestions from yours truly!

Now, I know what you’re thinking…  “Doc!  Didn’t you write about the planes on your other blog?”  Yes, I did.  However, I think now is a good time to revisit that post, especially now that I’ve been creating content revolving around planar travel and alternate dimensions.  Plus, cosmological models and jumping between worlds has been one of my favorite aspects of D&D as a whole!  With that, let’s chat about campaigns within the planes.

For starters, you might also ask me something; “Hey Doc!  Aren’t there more cosmological models than The Great Wheel a la AD&D?”  And you would be right!  Especially since 3rd edition, new models have popped up.  The Portals and Planes D20 Book (a rare title, if I may add) had heavily versatile options for truly forging your own planar realms.  Pathfinder modifies the Great Wheel and adds to it in simply awesome ways (with help of Todd Stewart himself!)  Eberron has an orrery based system where some planes overlap at the material plane at points in time.  The World Axis is a duality between the Gods above and the Primordials below.  That said, the Great Wheel remains my personal favorite of mine.  To be fair, it’s where I had the most adventures within the planes themselves.

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