Pardon the somewhat inconsistency in my posts. I’ve been trying to revise old work while work on some personal projects I hoped to get out on the web (like this one), while balancing a stressful work life and home life. But I digress, I was never too happy with my original planar spells posts. Some were blatant rip-offs of previously existing D&D spells, while others were just poorly worded. So, I did a fair bit of clean up while making some other not-so-subtle homages! But, no matter, here’s over 15 pages of extraplanar goodness for your 5E Spellcasters! Enjoy.
A Planar Grimoire is Pay-What-You-Want, you may find it here.
“How could such an environment lead to this? Is this a dragon? It barely seems to qualify. Unlike others, it shoots a strange, destructive light from its mouth… It baffles the mind.”- From the journal of a traveling scholar.
Star Dragons, born from the deep cosmos, are a rare draconic breed. Some think they are crossbred between a true dragon from another realm and something truly alien. Others believe that they are another reality’s manifestation of dragon. They could very well be an evolution of primordial energy from the distant depths, gaining awareness as it gained form. None the less, such a creature is capable of unleashing a fearsome power that is true to their kind. Unlike any element, they can release a matter consuming light. Few are sure if it is a kind of radiation, a laser beam or something else entirely. On top of that, it is said that they hold the ability to phase through reality and travel among the stars themselves.
Those who have encountered them have either contended with a brutal foe or an incredible ally. Indifferent to plights, powers and people; the star dragons prefer to distance themselves from conflict. But, if one is convinced to aid, they will become an invaluable source as long as there’s something in it for them. In fact, they’re more likely to remain away from plane jumpers and ships alike. Those who interact with such travelers always have a personal agenda in mind. Despite this, they are not typically egoistic, as they often have a communal aspect to them. They travel the stars in pods, similar to whales in the sea, doing all they can to prevent anyone from falling behind in the galactic reaches. Protection of clan and extended family is an important virtue for such creatures.
Author’s Note: I wanted to do a little bit more with my list of classic D&D monsters ported over into the realms of science fiction… Well… science-fantasy. Will these manifest in something else at one point? Most likely, yes! Anyway, here’s my take on a cosmic dragon that was scrapped from last week’s post due to time. Also, I’m going to be taking a little break from planar/science-fantasy.
Even vampirism has evolved alongside growing technologies…
“Magick…” he grumbles in a hoarse whisper to himself, “the force we all thought would hamper progress. And here we are, traveling the stars with it.” Letting out a sigh, he pushes his hovering seat away from a messy desk. “If we were truly destined to separate ourselves from magick, the horrible monsters would have been vanquished long ago… not terraforming entire planets.” The man slightly grips his teeth as he rises from the floating chair, joints popping from ache and wear. The spacefaring man gazes into a mirror before continuing to shuffle. The marks of fatigue and age on his face contrast the shining gleam of his badges, reflecting light from the ‘glow panels’ dotting the ceilings and hallways throughout the vessel. Over towards a huge glass pane, the elder military man observes systems of stars with planets seemingly nestled in perfect viewing spots by ancient giants or celestial creatures. “And this ship, it has served more of a home for me than it deserves. But, through the mad crusades and bloody combat, it has served me well.” The tranquility of an empty space fades as ships pull into view, built with alien geometries and operating through impossible physics, they charge weaponry for an epic battle. The man cracks a faint grin as similar weaponry opens fire on the enemy crafts.
The worlds of magic and monsters don’t need to end when civilizations have advanced themselves into new eras; feudal worlds give way to industrial, which give way to information, which give way to hypothetical new technologies that Earth can only speculate about. Even a world of fantasy can and should advance and change with the flow of time. All too often do these worlds stagnate in the endless mush of quasi-medieval high fantasy. Now, this isn’t to say that such a thing can’t be good and doesn’t still have a place. It’s just that for many fans of the genre, such things have grown stale and resistance to change.
In a fantasy future, adventurers will continue to carry on their business. Perhaps new sanctions are in effect and new regulations are in place. However, there are still dens filled with malicious monsters and strange sights to behold. There are gnoll raiders who operate miniguns instead of wield war-axes, elementals from a plane composed of radiation, beholders who bolster their psychic power through cybernetic enhancements, orcish biker gangs terrorizing the streets through their “hover hogs” and much more. Granted, most of these will not be appearing in the article below. However, they are ideas on how someone can twist a classic monster for a more Modern/Sci-Fi inspired setting.
Author’s Note: I figured this is a great way to close out the theme, a look at some classic monsters transferred to a new genre. And by this, I mean transferring classic D&D monsters into classic (as well as some less standard) science fiction. Also, please don’t mind the cheesy space-opera-meets-D&D blurb from up above. I’m not quite what I’d call a writer, but I figured it would be a fun change of pace.
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.
Floating within the bounds of wildspace, one can spot what looks like a whale or an orca. As if through divine power, it glides through the boundless reaches as if it were an oceanic current, all without touching the Phlogiston that so many spelljammers require. However, this isn’t the only place to observe them. Many dwell within the layers of the Beastlands, for they are at home in both the water and the air. Others find ways through their master’s demiplane into the Elemental Plane of Water, as well as of Air. Sometimes, one can be spotted in the Elemental Plane of Ice as well. In fact, there has been an allegiance forged with Ben-hadar and Chaan, the Good Archomental forces of water and air. Many other planar creatures have various levels of respect for them. The free celestials of Arborea, The Eladrin, have even ridden them into battle in some instances. However, the Devas and Angels of more lawful planes think lowly of them.
Among deific powers, the Master of the Pod is a lesser power. However, its message is familiar to many, through acts of joy and freedom. While known for discouraging battle, the Cosmic Coki inspires courage and virtue in the heat of conflict. In some cases, this can mean sparing even the most vile of enemies. Despite rumors, Coki isn’t actually a Beast Lord, despite their demiplane orbiting by The Beastlands itself. In a similar vein, the Celestial Pod aren’t truly native to said plane either.
Author’s Note: HELP! DOC’S ON DRUGS! Just kidding. Now seriously, this was an idea one of my friends had played around with for a long time. This is a mixture of things, tbh; an orca plushie located at a rummage sale, the space whales from Doctor Who and some random ideas thrown at the wall. I realize that Orcas are not technically whales… in case anyone has doubts. Also, the adventure I wanted to write was taking longer than I thought…
UPDATE Feb 2017: I don’t plan on using any misfire mechanics for any future posts with guns, thus they are an “Optional Mechanic” rather than a core part of it. Quite frankly, they’re not fun and they don’t belong in 5e. This is in part from realizing that Mercer’s Pathfinder gunslinger conversion only really worked for his show, Critical Role… not really for outside games. Also, the reload idea didn’t really work, either. None the less, the redo would make things far more in line with 5e’s design choices and focus on fun rather than trying to make guns feel more “realistic” (as very little of D&D’s combat with ANY weapon feels that realistic.) So, keep an eye out and look forward to the future! OOOOOOO, THE FUTURE!
Anyway, while we prepare for the future, here’s what’s currently being edited.
Throughout almost all civilizations in the worlds of D&D, gun fighters have existed in one form or another! The swashbucklers of Mystara’s coasts, the Gond worshipers of Abeir-Toril, Giff traders of Wild Space, the Tinker Gnomes of Krynn, and Alkenstar’s soldiers from Golarion are just a few examples. While a rare curiosity to most, this weapon is a powerful tool in the arms of the right hero.
Firearms are a very new form of weapon slowly making its way into fantastic societies such as the above mentioned and more. Rarely are they put into the hands of the common civilian. As such, they are defined as Martial weapons. If you’d like to restrict their existence to extremely rare, then you cannot become proficient with firearms unless you take specific training measures.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following implies a Renaissance/Post-Renaissance settings. While these were made before the DMG was released (and possibly before the firearm previews), they work decently enough alongside the DMG rules for non-modern/futuristic guns. The base prices imply rarity within the campaign world, but the DM is free to modify as they see fit.