Friday, December 15, 2017

Mecha Rules

I made mecha rules, and people seem to like them!

Short explanation is that one of my players wanted to have some sort of mecha option in D&D, and I wanted to provide as a DM. It is not perfect and it will probably be reworked in the future, but I'm okay with how the first version came out.

There's not much to say about them beyond what the rules themselves say, so here they are:

Reddit link
Direct link

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Smartphones and Magical Creatures

Thanks to Emma and Ludume from Discord of Many Things, I got a neat idea. Magical creatures are magical, and I never really thought about all the implications of them and our electronics coexisting. What if they had some strange interactions with the modern technology? Let's have a look at what interactions I came up with that need a smartphone to work!

Status Update: This fight was tough, I could use a #SatyrParty right now.

Angels. Whenever you take a photo or a video of an angel, it seems to be staring directly at the camera, facing it at all times, even if it wasn't really staring at it, or if it had its back turned.

All creatures with False Appearance. Since they are motionless on photos, they appear as the things described in their respective traits, even in the middle of the action.

Anything naturally hot or wet. Do I even need to explain this? You don't want your smartphone melted or short-circuited, do you?

Banshee. The Banshee's wail can be recorded, and its effects are reproduced the first time it is replayed.

Beholder. Depictions of beholders are strictly forbidden anywhere on the internet or Digital Plane, because most of them can bring a new beholder into existence. Also, within one mile of a beholder radio broadcasts are interrupted and whatever the beholder (or beholders if there are multiple) says can be heard instead.

Chuul. If a recorded video contains chuul in it for any amount of time, even just part of it, the whole video will be corrupted into white noise. Same thing applies to aboleths.

Dragon. Dragons are creatures so magical that they radiate a certain aura detectable only by smartphones, and in a bad way. The smartphones within 120 feet of it can't connect to internet, make phone calls, or connect to any other smartphones. Same thing applies to death knights.

Drow. Drow find the light app annoying and will ask you repeatedly to turn it off. Unless they are hiding or something, they are not stupid.

Dryad. The first time someone looks at a video or photo of a dryad, they must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 14) or be charmed by the picture. They'll keep looking at it until someone uses an action to snap them back to reality, or the phone is turned off. Additionally, they are super photogenic, looking amazing in all photos, even ones they don't know were taken. This applies to all kinds of nymphs.

Fomorian. If you were unfortunate enough to have a video call with a fomorian, its Evil Eye and curse of the Evil Eye can be used through it.

Genie. If a smartphone was left in one of the Elemental planes and a soul that's currently collecting elemental matter stumbles upon it, the smartphone can become part of the genie. Most often it would be part of a dao.

Ghost. Neither cameras nor microphones can perceive ghosts, as well as all incorporeal undead, in any way. Ghost can also possess your phone, showing you disturbing pictures, playing weird sounds and writing creepy zalgo text messages.

Giant. A giant's voice is so powerful that whenever its speech is recorded, all audio sounds like a strange mix of a thunder and white noise.

Gibbering Mouther. Its Gibbering trait carries over a call if it can be heard.

Intellect Devourer. Intellect Devourers can detect the presence of smartphones, since they are so smart, and they can absorb information contained in them. A smartphone affected by the Devour Intellect action can't be turned on, and needs to be repaired at your local smartphone shop, going through a factory reset. The Intellect Devourer will feel disgusted by most of the knowledge, finding it less than worthwhile that it consumed all these ones and zeroes it can't quite understand. But, maybe if it ate enough smartphones...

Kraken. When you enter the area within half of a mile of a kraken, your phone just turns off for no reason. Same thing would apply for Liches, Tarrasques or Davy Jones, if he was real. It could mess with class features of subclasses that would use smartphone, so I'm removing this.

Kuo-toa. Don't ever give them a smartphone, they'll worship it and create more digital deities!

Lamia. If it uses its Intoxicating Touch on your smartphone, it won't be able to use its camera or microphone for one hour. This is why some hackers refer to apps that block a user from using these inputs as lamias.

Medusa. The first creature that looks at the photo or video of a medusa is affected by a hold person spell, but instead of the usual one minute, the duration lasts until the spell is dispelled or the creature's eye contact with the medusa is interrupted, either by intervention of another creature or by the smartphone turning off. This effect can only be used once per photo or video, despite the video being 30 pictures per second. Also during a video call, its Petrifying Gaze carries over. The last bit also applies to the Basilisk.

Mind Flayer. Mind flayers can naturally sense all the information your phone is sending and receiving. After ten minutes of observing the information, they will understand the information innately as well.

Modron. It can command the phone to do anything it can normally do, regardless of functions described in the smartphone PDF.

Night Hag. When you take a photo or a video of a night hag, it never looks like it should. Instead, it looks like a small or medium humanoid of its choice. That's right, the hag gets to decide how it looks in any photo or video. Furthermore, it can also change how it looks in any photo or video, though that is not done consciously. Same thing applies for Cambions, Doppelgangers and Succubus/Incubus.

Nothic. If a nothic gazes at your phone, it immediately finds out all the secrets you hide on it, as well as the unlock sequence or password. Also, its eye seems to occasionally blink in any photos taken of it.

Oni. Don't take a photo of an oni, it will haunt your phone from a distance. And I'm not just talking about haunting on that one photo. It will in fact disappear from the photo, and mess with your files and apps, sending unwanted creepy text messages to random numbers, distorting music and other photos... The only way to get rid of it is a factory reset. I'm dead serious, just don't.

Otyugh. For some strange reason, possibly due to the limited nature of its telepathy, it can send text messages to your phone if it's within the range. You don't even need to have signal on your phone, you could be underground looking up photos, and suddenly you get a message, that, well... with Intelligence of 6, try and imagine what an otyugh has to say. Even if you can respond to it, the otyugh won't receive anything.

Pixie. Taking pictures of Pixies is fine, and the vain creatures love to pose for them. However, don’t allow them to talk you into taking a video of them. A video of a pixie contains a copy of their prankster spirit, and while it is on your phone they will text your contacts in humorous (to them) ways, sending out embarrassing personal details you’d rather keep private.

Rakshasa. If a rakshasa holds your phone, it can choose to curse it never to recharge. Don't let rakshasas hold the phone! Only exception is if it's in a gold case and owned by a good creature... pffrt, yeah, sure. Good creature.

Revenant. If you take a photo or video of a revenant, its face is replaced by the face of whoever they were during their life, but looking decayed, and its eyes always glow. Even when its head is turned away from the camera.

Rust Monster. You know the drill. NO is a NO!

Satyr. Legends say that if you tweet a message containing phrase #SatyrParty using Tweeter, a satyr will show up within 7 days to get you drunk. It literally can't refuse a challenge to party. Or maybe it can, but nonetheless it can sense this somehow.

Sphinx. Sphinxes can willingly choose to appear distorted on electronics that record them. Also, since gynosphinxes have special eyes, they can actually see everyone who will ever watch the video. And can respond accordingly in real time. Unfortunately, she can't choose to change the video after it's recorded unless she abuses her time travel.

Sprite. In a strange twist, Sprites love to have video recorded of them and will often do acrobatic tricks and amusing poses. However, do not snap a photo of them, as they will appear in every other picture, both those you’ve taken before and those you take in the future. A factory reset can fix this issue.

Unicorn. Every time you open a picture of an unicorn, your screen cleans itself. Setting a picture of a unicorn (if you’re lucky enough to have one) as your phone background is extremely beneficial, but you must ensure that the picture is not covered by icons or anything, or the effect won’t work.

Vampire. Vampires of course can't be seen in photos or videos that are taken of them.

Will-o'-wisp. Your phone will produce faint or distant whispers as long as you have a photo, sound recording or video of a will-o'-wisp saved on it. These whispers are not loud enough to be heard beyond 5 feet.

Xorn. If your smartphone is within the range of its Treasure Sense and you have a banking app on it, it senses the state of your bank account. Good thing there isn't a banking app for smartphones... yet.

Yeti. Photos and videos of yeti will seem to depict a pile of snow shaped like a humanoid thing, or too blurry to clearly tell anything. Same thing applies to Displacer Beast, except for the snow part. It just appears blurred.

Thanks to Rhadamanth Nemes and Trau for doing the proofreading!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Reflavoring: Barbarian

Hi! This may seem like an article series, and that's because it kinda is, thing is just that I don't have that many ideas for other classes on this series. Like, I got one at best for Fighter, seeing how it's literally just about a guy who can handle any weapon and any armor (ignoring archetypes). For casters, I got something really neat, but the problem there is that I sort of worked them out by changing mechanics slightly. You'll see what I mean probably in one of my next articles. Anyway, before I get totally sidetracked, I should just reiterate that I can't promise sequels, and I can't promise the sequels coming in alphabetical order either.

Now then, with the silly intro aside, we can get into it.

It Started with a Samurai

Long ago in a distant land, I, Aku, the shape-shifting Master of Darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil! But a foolish samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose me.
Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time, and flung him into the future, where my evil is law!
Now the fool seeks to return to the past, and undo the future that is Aku!- Samurai Jack, Intro
Samurai is one of those characters that people want to play in D&D. A cool, disciplined warrior, who travels the land and uses his sword to make right what goes wrong. What does one think of when someone say samurai? Maybe a fighter would fit, since they're a skilled warrior. Maybe a kensei monk. Or hell - even a rogue could work. But, what if I told you that the barbarian could also fit? You just need to rename features to make it work.

Picture this. A warrior whose skin is tough as steel, someone who can enter the changed state of mind where he is much more vigilant of his surroundings, someone who is faster than most regular men. He knows that to attack well, sometimes he has to risk getting hit in return to get a really good hit, and once he's experienced enough, he knows how to hit person not just really good, but really freaking good, causing some very significant injuries. And then there's his unrelenting spirit that keeps him alive even in the direst situations.

Now, let's see what are the mechanics I used here. I started with the Unarmored Defense, which does not need renaming. Rage is the next feature, which in this case would be reflavored into something like Vigil, or Concentration. What follows is Fast Movement that doesn't need renaming, and after that Reckless Attack that's more like Risky Maneuver. Another feature that does not need renaming is Brutal Critical, and finally, Relentless Rage that in our samurai example is more like Unrelenting Spirit.

(Note: From my past experiences, I would avoid renaming the features as a player because it can confuse DM. I would refer to the features as I use them with their original names, but describe them as part of the story in a different way.)

I'm sure that by now you can see this can work - barbarians don't just have to be easily angered people who use big bulky weapons and live in tribes. It's a nice idea that I am a fan of, but then WotC announced that their next book is going to have Samurai archetype for Fighter. Well, I guess here's to that then, I'll have to come up with a new name. Maybe Ronin could work...

True Core of Barbarian

Last night I was thinking about the barbarian once again, and I got a brilliant idea that made me go "I need to write about this on my blog!". What got me thinking was one single look at the right emotion wheel.

What if Rage was instead replaced by most of the emotions inside?

Vigilance I already explained above.
Ectasy would suit someone who is really optimistic about life, driven and joyful, who wants to spread joy all around.
Admiration is fitting for someone who has an idol they would do anything for.
Terror is for someone who works the best when under the pressure. Think Shaggy from Scooby Doo (yes, it's a stretch, but imagine he'd put those muscles into fight instead of flight).
Amazement I'm gonna skip because it's not really worth it. Being surprised isn't really something that can be controlled, and barbarians already get a feature against being surprised.
Grief wouldn't work either, I'd dare to say that sadness is the greatest enemy of the barbarian. Especially if it makes them nihilistic, if it makes them feel like nothing is worth fighting. No kind of emotion could save you from that really.
Loathing would work well for an evil* barbarian who is driven by hatred of some sort - racism, hatred for magic, hatred for a nation etc.

(* nobody is really evil, evil is subjective, but I can't be bothered talking about that again)

Of course we could look at certain comic series about magic rings for further inspiration, like the emotions (that are not really emotions): Compassion (who fights for others, think Steven Universe), Hope (who believes in a better future), Willpower (who is powered by their own determination, think Undertale's protagonist) and Greed (like Wario, or Mr. Krabs from Spongebob).

So, what's the core of the barbarian? Their fighting is driven by their emotions. Once we realize that, we can map the non-magical classes onto two axes. One is focused on emotions, with barbarian who unleashes their emotions for the world to see on one end, and monk who suppresses them on the other end, and the other axis being that of combat focus - fighter is focused on general damage, with lots of less effective attacks, fighting style of their choice etc., while rogue is focused on making single attack that's very effective. Of course there's more to all four of these classes, but this is how I would map them.

Then there’s the problem of strength of personality relying on Charisma, but… meh, I can let this pass. It’s just describing what’s already in game in a different way.

Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

[Minor Spoilers] The Greatest Secret of the Multiverse [Must Read!!] [Forbidden Knowledge] [Gone Aberrant]

I feel like I should apologize for that title. Anyway, message to my players - this knowledge is marked as minor spoilers because... well, your characters can't really do anything about it. If you read any of this, your characters should know none of this. I hope I made myself clear.
Now that this is out of the way... let's see what this secret is.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Feywild, Home of the Fey

This article was originally posted on /r/DnDBehindTheScreen , as a part of their Atlas of the Planes series. Since it was originally meant for my blog, I figured I should post it here too. Here's the link to the original article.

"Don't ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs." -Hamza Yusuf


Feywild. Home of fey, echo of the Material Plane, and source of some of the greatest, most powerful beings and things in the multiverse. It was only after the gods created the Feywild that they noticed time not moving as it should when compared to other planes. This lead them to abandon the plane, only leaving it with its own version of gods that manage and protect it in the gods’ stead - beings called Archfey.
There was a dramatic turn of events once mortals found out about the Feywild and the many ways of accessing it. You see, when mortals found the fey, they saw something that the gods granted to the fey but didn't grant to mortals - the Silver Flame. This caused the first feeling of jealousy in history, which eventually led to the first theft. Once the gods noticed the theft they did something about it - they granted the fey a Golden Flame, but it was too late, and the fey were changed forever.
Some of the fey accepted the Golden Flame and became overly warm. These would be later referred to as the Seelie fey. Some love fun, some like parties, some enjoy company of animals, mortals, other fey and anything else. They show bright colors, but do not understand mortals or emotions all that well.
Then there are the others, the dark cold ones, who rejected the Golden Flame. These hold grudges against the mortals to this day, can be merciless and generally are depicted as brooding loners. The Unseelie, as they have been referred to ever since, are mostly colored in faded colors, white, black and shades of gray.
However, there are some things both kinds of fey have in common - fascination with mortals. Some like to observe mortals from a distance, others like to confront them, even going as far as to steal back from them, hoping to get a piece of the Silver Flame that was stolen from the fey. Ever since mortals stole their flame, the fey see them as what the fey were meant to be, and try to emulate them to the best of their ability. This, as you will see, will be recurring theme of this article, where I will focus on the laws of the Feywild's nature.


At first glance, the Feywild appears to be just a wilderness untouched by civilization. Weather is more intense for the most part, water is abundant, and magic is mostly the same. However, once you spend enough time in it, you realize just how different and strange this place can be. While I could focus on wild magic, or how time fluctuates, I would like to leave that and focus on something different - food. Because not everything alive in the Feywild can do magic or cares about the passage of time, but almost everything needs or wants to eat.
You are what you eat.
All living things native to the Feywild that eat follow this proverb to some extent, whether they realize it or not.
Starting at the bottom, there are plants. Most plants don’t eat anything, and they are there to be eaten by others, so the rule does not apply to them.
Plants are eaten by herbivores, who slowly become more and more plant-like. Eventually, after a herbivore eats enough, it takes root and can't move from that spot anymore. This is why there are so many animal-shaped hedges in the Feywild - these are just old herbivores.
Carnivores are split into two groups - lower predators and apex predators. Lower predators go for low hanging fruit (figuratively speaking), mostly hunting the herbivores. However, after enough time spent hunting, they themselves will start to turn into what they hunt - their teeth become less and less sharp, their stomach become more adapted to eating plants than meat, and other changes happen as well. With a steady diet of herbivores, these creatures will eventually take the form of an omnivore.
Apex predators are a very specific breed that only gets stronger the longer they live, due to what they eat. This is the secret of the apex predators - they never consume anything less than themselves. They will always try to hunt creatures stronger than themselves, for they are intelligent enough to know that this is the only way for them to get more powerful, and to keep their power.
This seems to be a cruel world then, in which all beings will eventually turn into plants. Well, on one hand, that would explain why the Feywild is overgrown, with green everywhere. But, luckily there is a law that helps some of the lesser creatures to move up in the chain.
That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
If a lesser predator encounters an intelligent creature, and manages to kill it it would become more intelligent, and likely stronger. If, on the contrary, it didn’t manage to kill the creature and instead got hurt, it would still get stronger. Another way for a lesser predator to get stronger would be to feast on a freshly dead apex predator, before any other apex predator could eat it.
These laws do not affect most of the sentient creatures because because the fey realized that mortals do not change after every meal. This law was mostly removed, applying only to beasts, plants and monstrosities, as the fey jealously try to emulate mortals.


Birds of a feather flock together.
No man can serve two masters.
Fey are more cultured than beasts, trying to act as human as possible. They may not be affected by the food they eat physically, but it still changes them to some extent on a psychological level.
There are four major Fey Courts, based on the four seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. These Courts split into Houses, each representing a preference of taste that the fey belonging to each House has. Any individual fey belongs to just one house, and the members of each house share some physical and mental characteristics with each other.
Spring Court is the court of desire. Houses that belong to the Spring Court are the Sweet House, the Savory House and the Spicy House. The Sweet House is what most think of when fey are mentioned - constantly smiling and overly optimistic. These fey are kind, childish and not afraid of being social. They can be vengeful, however, after all - Revenge is sweet. The Savory House belongs to fey whose love for meat is shown by the sharp teeth they like to bare at everyone. At first they may seem predatory and aggressive, but when you get to know them, they will show you their playful side. The Spicy House fey have hair that appears to be constantly ablaze, just as their minds are, their hair never stops burning until they die.Despite rumors to the contrary, their hair will not ignite anything else, though it is said to be overly warm to the touch. Spicy House fey are characteristic for their eagerness just as much as for their hot-headed, temperamental nature.
Summer Court is the court of wrath. Houses that belong to the Summer Court are The Sour House, The Fatty House and The Calcium House. The Sour House is made up of domineering fey who often try to boss around others and tend to have their mouth corners turned downwards in cruel frowns. They anger easily and often show signs of jealousy. The Fatty House, as the name suggests, contains some of the heavier fey. They are lazy and nervous, but also greedy, always asking and looking for more than they need and being angry when they don't get it. The Calcium House belongs to fey of pale skin, sometimes even albinos. They are steady, blunt and unpolished in their behavior, coming off as angry and rude.
Fall Court is the court of fear. Houses that belong to the Fall Court are The Salty House, The Minty House and The Bland House. Fey of the Salty House tend to passively show signs of unpleasantness. Often they are characterized as being passive, critical and sarcastic when trying to be funny or even when they're not. A fey of the Minty Houseis characterized by their ever present distant look. They try to be stylish and cool in all aspects of their life, but are emotionally distant and reserved. Bland House fey are suspiciously average in looks, and deliberately keep to themselves. They are monotonous and stoic, yet conscientious. Strangely enough, they capitalize on their blandness, and utilize it to their advantage, being easily forgettable.
Winter Court is the court of sorrow. Houses that belong to the Winter Court are The Burnt House, The Numbing House and The Bitter House. The Burnt House is home to fey whose skin is as dark as the overcooked charcoal-like foods they eat. Only ever feeding on the most burnt of overcooked foods, they tend to act burned out, miserable, and show self-destructive tendencies. Numbing House contains fey that are constantly flinching and twitchy. At first they seem merely indecisive, but this only conceals their sadistic side. However, if one becomes close enough to them, they show the inner conflict they're going through, trying to figure out how to show love without causing pain. Bitter House fey are characterized by the constant frown on the faces of its members. They are sad, jaded, and grumpy, and never try to hide their pessimistic outlook on life.
There is one House left that does not belong to any of the Courts. Fey of the Metallic House are the only house whose members are physically affected by the things they eat, with their members showing characteristic metal skin. They show no signs of emotions and are very strict and machine-like in nature, which is why they're alienated from other Fey, belonging to no Court.
With the Courts and Houses explained, let's take a step back and look at the fey in general, to see what they have in common.
Some of you may know that after a fey dies, it reincarnates. But, did you know that they don't ever reincarnate as the same being? This is because their soul is in fact made up of several fractured parts. Once a fey creature dies, these fragments scatter all around the Feywild, joining together with other soul fragments, forming clumps, and eventually reaching a high enough number to be reborn. To a fey, a parent is the fey they used to be previously, while a sibling is a different being that comes from the same parent.
Some people say that fey like to make deals. This is true for the majority of them, and for a good reason - they are able to twist the meaning of words in the deals without truly lying so that the deal sounds like something completely different. There's a small amount of mortals who also believe that with these deals they can gain magical powers, but there is very little evidence of that.
Now, let's continue the theme of looking up proverbs and seeing their consequences in Fey culture.
Believe in yourself.
Beauty is only skin deep.
A fey's appearance is a reflection of what it believes itself to be. If they think they are beautiful, they will appear beautiful. If they think they are hideous monsters for what they do to others, their physical appearance will reflect that. Some fey manage to learn how to change their appearance at will in a minor way, such as changing the color or length of their hair, changing some features of their face or body, or even their skin tone. A very few have mastered this art and can take nearly any form if they believe hard enough.
There's a darker side to this belief power as well. Fey are generally disgusted and harmed by Cold Iron and avoid touching it. Cold Iron has many interpretations depending on different settings - some believe it is metal worked without using heat, others think it is just iron. For the purposes of this article and my setting, I assume cold iron to be any human-made material (with exception of some metals like silver, gold or orichalcum). This is not limited just to metals, but includes other more unusual materials like plastic (which is not present in most settings, but I'll list it here as an example anyway). The reason why fey are disgusted and afraid of cold iron is due to the fact that it is deadly to the fairies. Other types of fey are harmed by it, but only because they believe it is harmful to them, perhaps remembering their previous life as a fairy.
Faith will move mountains.
The power of belief here is not limited just to individuals. If enough Fey believe strongly in something, it will eventually come true . Luckily for everyone else, this power is not used all that often, and is for the most part forgotten nowadays, seeing how this is a monumental task anyway.
He who laughs last laughs best.
You really do not want to be around the fey when they're collectively cracking jokes. Seriously, some of them take laughing to the next level, considering it competition as to who will laugh the longest. While they can contain themselves while with humans, away from them they'll laugh for hours upon hours, until they start to literally drop unconscious, or even die because of the constant laughter.
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Most of the fey are female for this exact reason. Also, because they are prettier according to most, because "Courage is the measure of a Man, Beauty is the measure of a Woman."
All is fair in love and war
As long as fey can say they do something for the sake of love or war (which they do most stuff for anyway), they won't shy away from using dirty tricks. Making deals and twisting their meanings later on, kidnapping human children, luring mortals to stay in Feywild... all of this is done for either love or war (according to them).
Little things please little minds.
It is no surprise that fairies wear tiny clothes, use tiny weapons, and have other tiny adventuring equipment. But... did you know that they also have toys? And books? And lots of other tiny things that one would not expect them to have. Of course, mortals would expect it once they realize that the fey try their best to mimic them.
Speak of the Devil, and he is bound to appear.
Some fey have developed an ability to appear next to someone when their name is mentioned. This is usually limited to one plane of existence, however. This is restricted to an illusory image of them for lesser fey, through which they can also hear and see their surroundings (but they cannot utilize other senses). Interacting with the image reveals it to be an illusion. Lesser fey can do this only a couple times a day.
Archfey on the other hand, can use this ability at will whenever their name is mentioned, and can choose whether they appear personally, or their illusory image appears instead.
Home is where the heart is.
This mainly applies to nymphs - dryads, undines, oreads, and other nymph-type fey. Their heart - that is, their soul - is located in the object they are bound to. This is why they know the position of this object at all times, and can thus return to it instinctively.
On a broader scale however, some of the Fey have uncovered a great secret of gifting someone their heart. Most do it from love, allowing someone to take their heart out of their body once they die, telling them to bring it wherever they go. The power of this heart is to call the souls that held that heart once, allowing the one possessing the heart to one day meet with their beloved, even after their body has passed away.


24 True Fey.
There are twenty-four True Fey. Possibly. What these are, exactly, is not known to anyone. Maybe they are the gods of Feywild in the truest sense of the word, maybe they are just figments of someone's wild and cruel imagination, and maybe they are not real at all (merely rumors and whispers, tales that the fey tell each other). There are a few scholars however, who think that they must be the explanation for the great amount of Archfey that are in the Feywild.
One of the scholars, Gorgian Descret, believed he has documented them all. People consider him a deranged madman and maniac, a paranoiac who connects unrelated things and makes up conspiracies on a daily basis. Gorgian believed that in his writings he had described all 24 of these True Fey in a very detailed manner. Sadly, before they could be published, he died a mysterious death, and his books were never found. The only details that were remembered from his ramblings were that these True Fey have relationships with each other, and that all of the Archfey belonging to one True Fey bear a sign, symbol or some distinguishing characteristic that shows who they represent - from something as simple as the color red somewhere on them, to something as difficult to notice as eyes that never blink. Nowadays, most people do not believe Gorian's theory, despite the mysterious circumstances of his death, and the strange disappearance of his writings.
The Lords and Ladies of Fey are most the powerful fey living in the Feywild. Archfey is a group name for any beings that are on a power level of a god, or something similar (e.g. demigod). Some of them are less powerful, some are more powerful, but there are no mere fey that are mightier than the weakest of archfey. While the weaker Archfey could be something as ordinary as a mortal who became strong enough to rise above all others, the strongest Archfey all have one thing in common - they can use the power of The Word.
Imagine for a moment that you are the strongest wizard in existence. You can cast the most powerful spells in existence that a mortal can access. Some of these spells require you to just utter one word. Legends speak of such wizards, and of these spells - the Power Words. The only problem with the Power Words is their rarity - there are very few documented Power Words. These mighty Archfey use a power similar to this, but the way they use it is impossible for a mortal to achieve.
What do they do to make these Words of theirs more powerful? They twist their meaning. Archfey of the highest tier each have one word, most often a verb, that they have complete control over. They can summon the power of this word just by uttering it aloud, and by interpreting it in different way they can cause effects limited only by their linguistic capabilities. If there was an Archfey with the power of the word Kill, they could use it to kill any creature they desire, but they could also use it to kill the mood of the party. The Archfey with the power of the word Steal could rob others of anything - something they hold, their belongings they left at home, their position, or even their thoughts. This is the exact reason why even the strongest of the wizards never dare to mess with the highest tier Archfey - because even these mightiest of wizards will eventually run out of their magic potential.
Legends say that there was a time when fey did not reincarnate. Long ago, great archfey known as the Eldest ruled the Feywild, caretakers of the most important of all natural cycles - the cycle of life and death. According to this cycle, each being that is alive needs to die, sooner or later. This death is not only physical, but spiritual as well, causing the being's consciousness to perish. According to the myth, other archfey rose against this power, and defeated the Eldest, imprisoning them and freeing their kind from death.
In the present day, death is but a minor inconvenience to the fey. No matter how much they die, they will never fully disappear, because their memories will stay with their soul. However, this natural imbalance is threatened every 10,001 years, when the Eldest are fated to break free. During these times, the Archfey unite to send them once again back into their prisons.


Instead of focusing on politics or religion in the Feywild, I would like to talk about a word people would not expect to be right next to Feywild - economics. Or rather, what economics means for the Feywild. As you have read, the majority of fey love to make deals. But, this means that they have to give something up too. So I'll dedicate this chapter to various currencies they use, and why they use them.
While bartering does work, it doesn’t work as effectively as an established currency. But what exactly do fey recognize currency and what don't they? Well, let's look at what human proverbs say about economic matters like this...
Speech is silver, silence is golden.
All that glitters is not gold.
Since silver is one of the metals they love and cherish the most, they consider spoken words to be a unit of measurement. Gold may seem beautiful and valuable, sure, but as one old tale of humans states, salt over gold. Even salt is more valuable than gold, since silence is golden, and silence comes when no words are said.
So, from all this we can deduce that they consider silver to have its price just like humans, but consider gold to be worthless. Then there is word, and word's price is equal to that of one silver coin in the eyes of fey. However, they don't use word as a currency - they use it to measure currency. Just like we would use one coin, or one kilogram.
But how exactly does one pack lots of words into something?
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Every picture tells a story.
Art. Paintings, music, statues, stories, you name it. This is one of the few instances when humans were (according to the fey) very clear in their proverbs. This is why you could fit one thousand words into one good quality art-piece - fey would consider a good quality piece one that would take more than a thousand words to describe completely. You could have art-pieces that fit more words inside of them, but those are masterpieces of very high quality.
Then there are memories...
Memory is the treasure of the mind.
Memories are equivalent to or greater than the highest quality art, for they show many things that no art could ever reproduce, in the most real and vivid way. However, once the memories are given away, the one who lost them will find themselves having a hard time piecing their mind together. The more memories they give up, the harder thought itself becomes.
Above all other forms of currency lies respect. Respect is something one can earn by impressing Archfey themselves, and can be worth several high quality art-pieces. Nobody knows exactly how many, but one thing is certain of respect:
Respect is not given, it is earned.
Of course there are many other ways to pay fey. Barter, and the trade of services is not uncommon for them. For now, though, let's end with the last currency they use, time.
Time is money.
Fey who accept time as a currency do so either through draining life force of their customer, thus making them older (or younger, rarely), or by moving the customer forward in time.
Of course, if the customer does not have enough of whatever currency the shopkeeper requires, they can offer a favor. However, this has to be accepted by the shopkeeper, and they could require even more than one favor for their goods and services. Bargaining favors with fey is not something to be entered into lightly, as the fey are renowned for tricking and trapping mortals, sometimes forever.


There are many ways of accessing the Feywild. Excluding the magical means adventurers themselves could call on, one way to enter and exit the Feywild is through Fey Crossings - naturally formed portals located where the Material Plane touches the Feywild. Some of these portals are permanent, but most are opened only under certain conditions - on a night when Moon is New, when someone brings a certain key to open it, by speaking a magical phrase, or maybe even by sleeping in a beautiful meadow. Most of the time, the traveler does not realize when they enter the Feywild, to them it seems that they have just walked normally and suddenly they are in a completely different place.
When leaving the Feywild, the traveler can be subjected to various effects of the Feywild, specifically finding that the time they spent in the Feywild differs from that spent outside, or that they do not even remember what did they did since they entered the Feywild. These effects are known though, so I will focus on a different kind of effect.
Once a traveler leaves the Feywild, there is a chance that they will come out changed. The world will seem boring to them, almost colorless, possibly even uninteresting. The only thing they will desire every day is to return to the plane that seems to them almost like a paradise. This has been dubbed as Fairy Homesickness, and some of the powerful mages are known to be able to cure it for a fee.


Changeling: The Lost's Player's Guide offers descriptions of the True Fae I mentioned in the article, and it was my main source of inspiration for them.
Changeling: The Lost is actually pretty good source generally, and I do recommend checking it out if you’re interested in running fey long-term.
Besides sources of inspiration I already listed once, I would say great dance performances (my personal favourite is The Lord of the Dance) can be inspiring, as well as mythology in general (Irish mythology influenced my current campaign a lot) and Dresden Files I still didn’t have time to look at.
Just because it was fun to figure out, below I list conversion rates of their currencies. Bear in mind these are not really logical, so use them at your own risk.
  • 10 silver = 1 gold (fey find gold worthless)
  • 1 silver = 1 word (Word itself is not a currency, just a way to measure currency. Just like kilogram - you wouldn't pay for something with 2 kilograms.)
  • 1 artwork = 1000 words = 1000 silver
  • 1 minute of memory = 360 artworks of same mood and quality = 360000 silver (The conversion can vary based on quality of artworks and memory, as well as mood.)
  • 1 year of life = 2 years of memories = 189216000 artworks of the mood identical to the mood of the memories = 189216000000 silver (Because 1 year of life isn't just memories, you also affect other people and learn and do things.)
  • 1 respect has to be earned, no conversion rate for this is thus known.
Optional Rule: Faerie Homesickness
If you spend an extended period of time in the Feywild, you must make a Wisdom saving throw. Upon failure, you miss the Feywild dearly once you leave it, and reality may become boring - everything will appear almost colorless, foods you eat will have no taste, life won’t seem as exciting. The Wisdom saving throw is made once you reach each period of time listed below with a corresponding DC.
1 day - DC 10
1 month - DC 15
1 year - DC 20
10 years - DC 25
100 years - DC 30
1000 years - DC 35

This post is me trying to make up some new non-canonical stuff for the Feywild, so if you can't really accept some of this stuff, feel free to remix it as you want. The canon Feywild did inspire me, as well as some other stuff. Thing that inspired me the most while writing this is fey taking things too literally and out of context, making some of the proverbs people use every day into something akin to laws of nature.
Thanks a lot to Jojirus and Rhadamanth Nemes for proofreading this document!
Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I am back

Hi! It's me, and I'm back. Hopefully.

I got burned out and did not feel well, but that's changed now. I did do some stuff in the meantime, so let's go through it.


I abandoned Sivobog setting. I got unhappy with it for a couple of reasons. Here's a short list of them:
  • Lack of diversity. One of the players literally visited all three continents, and there were virtually no differences. Another detail is that most of the cultures felt same, not only compared to other cultures but on the inside too.
  • Unfairness. One of the sides has got gods on their side. The other one should have been dead already.
  • History didn't make enough sense. Yeah, sure, because elves were made sooner than fey. I suppose those are the risks of collaborative worldbuilding.
  • World felt small. Because sure, you can travel between two continents in about two weeks time.
  • World felt empty. My world map had about twenty cities on it, and I didn't figure anything more before the game began.
I know there could be more reasons, but I don't remember them all at this point. With that being said...


I made a new world. Yup, because I didn't really think any other world was that good. Here I will try to fight all these points that made Sivobog a bad setting by careful planning. Diversity should be present everywhere, there should be exceptions at all times, world should not be divided into clearly distinct factions (Warcraft is nice influence, but world doesn't have to be constantly at war) and I'll work out the history by myself. To make the world feel not empty or small, I will be focusing on just one continent, where my players are going to do stuff in one kingdom, possibly even a single county of the kingdom. What I need to do is make a hex map of the kingdom and some local history, and I should be good to go. Even if... I already started the game.
Alright, irresponsible life choices aside, I need to make update on other worlds.

Rest of the Settings

Lasklo was just my dumping ground for experiments of mine, it never really was a fully-fledged setting.
Earth-2020 has too many problems to solve, like D&D 5e being built for high fantasy settings and Earth-2020 being low magic modern setting, I suppose. That's why Earth 2020 is gonna be dropped too.
Charodey Academy is something I really do want to develop actually, to this day. Magic schools make for some classic settings, and I would really want to make something out of it one day. This one will get updates. Eventually.
Finally, Grimwick. My bastard lovechild of Ravenloft with lots of fairy tales flavor. I would like to make more stuff for it, but the problem is that premises of some of the demiplanes are too flawed. How would a demiplane where nothing ever dies work? Or one where it's constantly night? If it was dark at all times, what would the people and animals eat? Why would the demiplane that is on a time-loop not have players in the same time-loop? Too many questions. I would love to figure out solutions for them, but right now I am not capable of that so the Grimwick is gonna be on a hiatus.

My Homebrews

While I was gone, I made some homebrews. Some turned out pretty good and had positive feedback, others not that much. I don't really feel like all of my homebrews are fully complete yet, so I'll just post those that I find acceptable here. Not all of them are as I wish they could be, so I do plan to edit them sooner or later. One I am pretty proud of is the changeling race, so I do recommend you to check it out.

My articles

Let's see... the Fey one is technically finished, but it still feels kinda off to me. Like it's missing something. That is why I did not publish it yet. There is an article about Far Realms that I had planned for a long time and is technically finished, but it feels off to me too. Most of the articles felt off to me. I couldn't figure out what it is for the longest time, and then I gave up, starting the hiatus.
Well, now I'm ready to tackle with these issues. Maybe even releasing them in a state I am not perfectly fine with, seeing how the school begins once again.

I suppose that's it. Main setting for now is going to be Staromoc, Charodey next one, I'll be working on a lot of homebrew and writing articles.

Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

[Minor Spoilers] Risks and Rewards of Broken Prophecies

This article contains minor spoilers. Read at your own risk, players of Prophecy Breaker.

Gods want some things to happen, and don't want other things to happen. If they want something to happen, whether they realize it or not, it will be reflected in the Weave. This way, one of the ways to figure out what is it they want is to use magic - divination magic, to be precise. Mostly, I've seen people say either that prophecy should come true no matter what, or that a prophecy could surely be changed, as long as it's well known. Personally, I always found the notion of unchanging prophecy as a removal of player's agency. Players would hate it if they saw that their actions are of little to no consequence, they want to change the world, and they won't stop at a prophecy. As one would expect, when a god's will is not acted out, something very bad happens.

How to break a prophecy

There's a variety of ways in which one could break a prophecy. First and foremost however, all of them must build on the prophecy itself, contradicting it in some way. After that is figured out, one must have enough willpower to break a prophecy. How much willpower must be shown depends on the significance of the event that's prophesied, power level of the spell it was made through, or the creature it was made through if magic wasn't used.

When it comes to divinations, two kinds of exceptional creatures exist that wage eternal war. Celestials, who see all the possible futures at all times. They were created by gods to ensure their will coming true and to protect the flow of time. On the other hand, fiends are granted the power to disrupt foretold futures effortlessly. The exact reason why they might have been created is unknown.

When a creature tries to break a significant prophecy (DM's discretion) knowingly, it must first succeed on a Charisma saving throw of appropriate DC (DM's discretion). If it fails, it finds itself unwilling to break the prophecy, knowing it would undo the fate itself. Celestials automatically fail this saving throw, fiends automatically succeed this saving throw.

Dude, you seein' what I'm seein'?


This is fairly simple - the one who breaks a prophecy gets to decide how the fate should go. If you kill the prophecized child that was supposed to become king one day, you will have the most sway about who's going to be the next king, as far as the fate goes. If unused, you can save this potential for later use. However, the potential is expiring very quickly, so be wary.

Depending on the significance of the prophecized event, you get a certain amount of potential points. One point can be expended to gain a +1 bonus when making a skill check related to fixing what was prophecized, or to gain advantage when making a Charisma saving throw when breaking another prophecy. Only one potential point can be spent per turn. Precisely on midnight, any creature that has potential points will lose 1 point. Any creature can store only an amount of potential points equal to their Charisma modifier.


Undoing the fate is no joke, and when it's done a lot, the Weave gets tangled up into a form in which the fabric of spacetime itself is malformed. Effects like this aren't possible even with the use of magic, which is why these phenomena are not just called "paranormal", but "paramagical" instead. A much simpler and more often used term however is "time anomalies".

When a lot of prophecies are undone in certain location, the time-space fabric itself will cease to work properly. Spheres of various sizes will start to appear all over the nearby area, each contradicting the time in some way. Now, the natural laws still apply to some extend, which is why there is a protective barrier around each of these spheres. Among the ones who are informed enough, it is known that one should not pass through these barriers, once the paramagical activity starts, for they'll be affected by the time flame (or as the proper term goes - chronofire barrier), which will burn anything and everything passing through it to mere ashes, including creatures immune to fire or magical items. Below are examples of the most common examples of paramagical activity. All of these however have one thing in common, and that is that everyone inside the sphere and outside the sphere perceives the same changes most of the time, and after the sphere disappears the real changes are reflected.
  • The time inside/outside of the sphere seems to have stopped.
  • The time inside/outside of the sphere seems to go in reverse.
  • The time inside/outside of the sphere seems to be looping. (like real life gif, or groundhog's day)
  • The time inside/outside of the sphere seems to go slower, while the time outside/inside the sphere seems to go faster.
  • The creatures inside of the sphere disappear, and reappear only once the sphere returns.
  • The inside/outside of the sphere is switched for another position in time. (example: at 7 AM, you see the sphere appear. Its insides are dark and there's a figure, you can't quite tell who it is. In the midnight, you go look there once again and see that you suddenly appear in the same room at 7 AM, seeing yourself looking back at you in surprise. You then realize that the figure was you all along.)
  • A pair of spheres appears and disappears at the same time, with their contents switched.

The spheres are anywhere from 3 meters (10 feet) to a couple kilometers/miles in diameter. There is a warning sign that one is about to appear somewhere for 6 seconds, ethereally looking sphere, and as long as it's present, the sphere shows orange/blue lightnings over its surface rarely, with the lightnings becoming more and more dense locally as something approaches the barrier.
Anything that passes the chronofire barrier is burned to ashes. There are no dice rolled for this, it just happens. You stick your hand through it? Bye-bye hand. You throw your bag of holding through it? Welp say goodbye to that too, along with its contents. Not even adamantium is safe, and that is because the time is still stable enough to not allow that.

The spheres are dangerous. What should one do to fix this? Well...

Ritual of time fixing

This ritual has been figured out by elven researchers up to nine hundred years ago, though the one most credited for its discovery and formulation is Ravarie Petalfree, a wood elf who with help from her husband managed to fix time initially after a devil invasion and is for that forever remembered as a heroine.

As part of the ritual, a large clock with twelve marks for hours is drawn onto the ground. Twelve candles are put onto the hour marks, each representing two hours of the day. By each candle should stand one person. During the day starting at sunrise, each hour one candle should be lit, in order. The first candle is lit at the corresponding hour to the hour when sunrise occurred, most often this is between 5 and 8 o'clock in the morning (depends on the time of the year). Once the last candle is lit, Everyone says a magic phrase and must blow out all but one candle, the one candle being the closest to where the Sun physically is. If this ritual is done properly, all the spheres disappear and the time-space continuum is restored.

(Thanks to Jojirus for helping me out with the ritual!)

How to ensure a prophecy will come true?

There was a tiny loophole mentioned in the mechanics. In order to break the prophecy, you have to know it. What this means is that the fewer people know of a prophecy, the higher the probability that the prophecy comes true. The most important prophecies are thus generally kept hidden as much as they could be - for example a prophet's mind is wiped clean if he sees the greatest king's birth, the scrolls are entombed in detection-resistant safes with layers of lead and adamantium, and if someone who shouldn't know it and has a tongue too loose figures out... well, it's time for assassins to strike. This is one of the reasons why the prophets are often dubbed as mad - they miss portions of their minds they'll never get back.
This is also why the portents of divination wizards work so well - only they saw them, they do not share them with anyone until they come true.

Of course, seers and prophets figured out a way to protect themselves from getting their memories of a prophecy wiped - vagueness. If the prophecy is too hard to understand or just too uncertain, judging mages will let it pass. "Look, I have no clue what he means by 'silver mask will save golden kingdom', so I guess it's not that big of a deal for him to remember." Ever since, prophecies of experienced prophets are getting more and more vague, to the point where mages believe part of divination rituals is the consumption of magical fungi.

As it goes though, fiends are of course an exception to this. They can break a prophecy even if they have no clue of it.
Another exception would be the Psyche Controllers. They can break prophecies unknowingly.

Three guys playing hide and seek. With the fate.

Thank you all for reading, and thanks to Hoff for proofreading! Have a nice day!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kephathosthu the Good, or why I ditched alignments

Fey article is taking too long to write, and one interesting conversation conjured up an idea of addressing my stance on alignments in a form of a story. Generally speaking, I used to use alignments. Nowadays though, I prefer not to.

Long ago, there was a wizard touched by the plane of fire whose name was unknown. This fire genasi was pretty tall and idealistic, with head full of dreams as he went onto his first adventure when he was 17. However, his dreams soon turned bland, as he found that world is not all sunshine and rainbows. Heroes have to make hard moral choices all the time, and this is why he felt lost after some time. He wanted to do good, wanted to be good.
On one of his adventures, when he was already 24, he got a task of slaying a demon that's in an abandoned wizard's tower. He went inside, and saw an evil but sad creature, begging to be let free. Words that demon revealed to him however turned his life upside down - the demon said not only that he is good, but also that the whole village of nearby people is evil, and thus can't enter the tower. Wizard was skeptical at first, but then... he realized that nobody in the village wanted to accompany him to the tower. That there must have been other heroes passing by. He realized that the right thing to do would not be to let the demon free. That is an evil thing, something a good person would never do. He ran away from the tower, knowing the multiversal truth.


He spent several more years researching the good and evil. He stood on the streets to tell people the truth, but nobody believed him. That is, until he found a book about Feywild, which said that there is a particular kind of fairy that's able to tell apart good and evil people.
He went into the Feywild, and after copious amounts of search and research he found it. For the better good, he captured the sprite and did research on it. The legends turned out true, the sprite could tell that the wizard is good, and the wizard used it to check several other creatures too. He then harnessed its power and did lots of experiments until he not only extracted this power, but also evolved it into something much more potent. Thanks to this power, he knows not only that Good and Evil are actual existing things, but also that one's morality is a measurable variable.

Superior Heartsight. Whenever a creature enters radius within 10 feet of Kephathosthu, he magically knows the creature's current emotional state. Additionally, as a bonus action he can force a creature within the range to make a Charisma saving throw (DC 15). If the target creature fails the saving throw, he also knows the creature's alignment. Celestials, fiends, and undead automatically fail the saving throw.

Four deaths of Kephathosthu

Being one of the very few people to leave the Feywild, he afterwards seeked out all evil in the world to remove it, spreading his word once again. His zealous talks did not get any audience though, which brought him to a horrifying realization - who will be here to protect the good and slay the evil once he is gone? Nobody listens to him, everyone considers him mad. That's when he started to seek out a way to become lich.

When Magistrate, the Unfavoured organization of arcane magic research, found out about him, they tried to stop him, but failed for they did not go out on him fully until the very end. When he was about to die, he was contacted by a mysterious voice in his head, who offered to save him if he will serve him. He agreed, and crawled out of his grave, feeling more alive than ever. As the legend of him goes, it took him only a couple more days to become a Lich.

Kephathosthu the Good, as most remember him.

Magistrate tried to stop him, but it was useless now. They first tried to kill him by blowing his house up, but he survived and built a hidden keep away from the Mourningbay. Then they tried to send master assassins after him, who did their job, only to be destroyed by his servants. The Magistrate used divination magic to locate his keep and destroy it, and that is where the tale ends. Kephathosthu was killed once again, but nobody knows whether it was the last time he was killed. No amount of divination magic helped Magistrate this time in finding any answers.

Current opinions on morality and Kephathosthu's state

It was never known what was (or is) his phylactery, what his research said or whether the research was true. Good and evil are ever since forbidden by Magistrate to investigate, for they will make man's mind into a mush, turning him insane. Instead, they say that good and evil are just social constructs, and that morality is truly something mysterious. They do have rules within their organization, sort of a contract that is signed when someone becomes a member, but everyone in Magistrate is discouraged from engaging in philosophy of ethics.

Not many Favoured heard or cared of the problem, for they have their own morality, their gods. Whatever gods say is good surely must be good. Why would their creators lie to them afterall?

Was Kephathosthu the Good right? Is morality an empirical thing that can be measured, or were these just delusions of his mind? Is Kephathosthu definitely dead? These are the mysteries.

And this is why I dislike not only the notion of alignments, but also PCs (or even just players) knowing about the alignments being a thing. Alignments can be used as an excuse to go on murderhobo rampages, boil down the moral dilemmas to math problems, or for players to generally be cruel to one another. What I'm trying to say is that nobody is absolutely evil or absolutely good. The tiniest bit of good can be found even in the lord of hell himself, and vice versa can be said for the lord of heavens. Gods, celestials, fiends and undead too are not good nor evil. Everyone in this world is morally grey.