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Showing posts with label meta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meta. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

So what's up with the blog?

Hope you didn't fall for my April Fools.

I'll keep the news brief. These days I'm working hard on some school stuff. I've got several projects that I am working on, most significant ones being a tabletop RPG system of my own, and a series of short stories that would take place in the world of Runehack. These stories will get their own tag so that it's easy to tell them apart from my regular posts.

I've got several ideas for the articles that I could post on this blog, but all of them lacked that spark I felt when writing most of my other articles, so I didn't get back to finishing them.

I do also have plans for 5e homebrews, but I don't know when will I manage to publish those. I did manage to publish another version of Sealed Horror, but judging by the feedback I received, it's still not complete.

Here's an overview of my homebrews up until now ever since Golden King Monk, excluding older versions of already updated brews. The list is organized in the order of newest to oldest.

Sealed Horror, a sorcerous origin
Minimus Magus, a fighter archetype
Monstrous Lord, a ranger archetype
The Backstabbing Friend, a magical item
Circle of the Blood Alchemy, a druidic circle
Rod of Fifth Glyph Chastising, a magical rod
Jánošík's Infamous Treasures, a set of magical items
Way of the Rubber, a monastic way
Path of the Organist, a barbaric path
Warp Sniper, a fighter archetype
Appliancebjörn, a sorcerous origin

Apologies for the inactivity on the blog. Have a nice day!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Theory: Is this show actually about a post-scarcity society?? (also goodbye homebrewing)

It has been done. Today, I released by Magnum Opus. The greatest 5e homebrew to ever see the light of day. I can do no more but bask in my glory, as I move on to more superior forms of activity. Like making complicated theories about animated shows for my own entertainment and upvotes on /r/fantheories.

HELLO INTERNET, WELCOME TO ANIME THEORY!

You know, ever since my young years, there's been this one show that I used to follow where a couple of cool characters wordlessly did funny stuff. And lately, these memories have resurfaced. I looked them up on youtube, and sure enough they're there. Seeing them though made me ask so many questions...


  • What are they?
  • Where are they?
  • Are they the only ones?
  • When are they?

All of these questions and much more will be answered in today's article. So sit back, bring popcorn, and let's see where this goes.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How to do low magic?

Happy late New Year, everyone! Sorry for no posts, real life has a way of keeping me busy, but I should be slowly getting back on my tracks now.

During the last few months, I've been pondering how to do low magic settings properly in D&D 5th Edition. I've seen several attempts, but I was not satisfied, because they were not done in the way I wanted. And then it hit me - there is no single low magic. Thus, we got a problem with definitions. So I decided to team up with the Grisly Eye Games to set some terms, accidentally finding out how to do low magic 5th edition D&D settings in the process of doing that.

There are four main types of low magic in the fantasy worlds:
  • low power magic
  • low frequency magic
  • low possibility magic
  • low reliability magic

Low Power Magic

Low power magic is the type of magic that can't do things that are too powerful. It's one of my preferred types of magic, where grand things such as conjuring a fortress or summoning demons (depending on how low the author wants to keep the magic) are simply not possible.

There is a relatively simple way to do a low power magic setting, and that would be to limit, how many caster levels can the players get. Of course, divide half-caster levels by two and third-caster levels by three while counting. The rest of the levels have to be gained in non-caster class, such as monk, fighter, rogue, or barbarian.

When limiting the number of levels, consider what's the maximum caster level you want your players to gain. Depending on this level, different spell slots will be available to the players. If I were to limit the level of magic but still grant my players spell slots, I would most probably allow 10 caster levels. The 9th level is the moment at which the player gains some interesting spells, such as actual resurrections (that are not too strong and come with drawbacks), geas and modify memory, limited long-range teleportation, and several wall spells. I feel like these are still strong enough to be considered master-level magics by some standards. As for why 10th level and not 9th, some of the caster classes like warlock and wizard gain a subclass feature at 10th level, meaning that it could make for an interesting "caster capstone" of sorts.

Low Frequency Magic

The most common of the low magic setting types I've seen, the low frequency magic aims to limit how regularly does one meet with magic. This could be like the Shire in Lord of the Rings, where it's an event when Gandalf comes around, or like the muggle world in Harry Potter (think the beginning of the first movie, before Harry gets to the Diagonal Alley or Hogwarts). There is a charm to this type of low magic - it makes the magic rare, and mysterious. You either don't know when you're talking to a mage, or everyone knows.

How would this be possible is rather easy - set conditions for when a player gets to play someone magical. One good example would be Grisly Eye Games' method of Unique Backgrounds, which are backgrounds that lack a Feature, have an additional Unique Flaw, and let the player play as a race or class normally not allowed in a game. Another example could be gaining the magical powers through a quest, or the magical powers coming at a cost, such as being pursued publicly in a world where magic is forbidden.

Low Possibility Magic

Low Possibility Magic setting is a world, where magic can only be used for a few things. Some examples of this in the popular media would be the Death Note, where the Death Note can essentially only be used to kill people, determine how they die, and control the circumstances of their death (and see the gods of death, but that's not too important now is it), or Avatar the Last Airbender, where magic can be used to control one of the four elements - air, water, fire, earth - and do some other things that I don't think I should mention here.

One good thing about Low Possibility Magic is the potential to improve worldbuilding using this magic. Imagine magical elevators that are possible thanks to the telekinesis, or cancellation of lotteries/raffles due to divination magic. The fewer magic there is, the more manageable it is, and the easier it is to include in the worldbuilding. Which is rather difficult with over 400 spells that the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons has right now.

The solution to this is to limit which spells the players can and can't pick. Possibly even limit which classes players can pick. Or races. Mainly because this type of magic is all about limitations and how one can use a few things for many situations.

Low Reliability Magic

Last but not least, we have the low reliability magic world. Whether it's just magic that can just fizzle out and not work, or magic that has a chance to open a dimensional rift to the xeno hellscapes, this magic is simply not as well documented as the standard 5e's magic, where when you do a thing, it happens for sure.

There are several ways to do this type, but before I go on with that, a fair warning. Players may not like it when their magic doesn't work - whether it's just them expending a spell slot for nothing, or them getting hurt in the process, or their teammates getting hurt in the process and getting angry at the player. This type of low magic should be used with caution, for - just like the magic itself - it can have unpredictable results and may be risky.

So what does one do to make this work? Well, the answer is simple. Roll tables! If I had to call them anything better, I would call them "meta-spells". You can fill these tables with anything - you cast your spell, nothing happens, you conjure an evil monster, you cast maybe a wrong but similar spell or a portal to another dimension opens, ... anything you wish. They can also be of any size you are comfortable with - from d4 to d100, possibly even more or less. Not every cell needs to be different, and if you want your world to work that way, include in some way a possibility to affect the results depending on the caster's level. The easiest way to do that would be to add the caster level to the result and have the table organized from the worst results to the best.

Combined Low Magics

To finish off this article, I'll present the ways in which I'd implement combinations of these low magic types.
  • Low Power Magic + Low Frequency Magic. The players have to fulfill special conditions to be able to gain caster levels or play as magical races, but they can only gain a certain amount of caster levels, having to multiclass into a nonmagical class for the rest. This is especially good for worlds, where the magic is significant because it's scarce (think Lord of the Rings).
  • Low Power Magic + Low Possibility Magic. The players can only gain a certain amount of caster levels, and they have a limited selection of spells. This is especially good for the worlds, where the magic is supposed to be rather obscure and not too useful.
  • Low Power Magic + Low Reliability Magic. The players can only gain a certain amount of caster levels, and the magic they use is not even deterministic anyway.
  • Low Frequency Magic + Low Possibility Magic. The players must fulfill special conditions for the magic and they have a limited selection of magical options.
  • Low Frequency Magic + Low Reliability Magic. The players must fulfill special conditions for the magic options, and the magic they use can have random outcomes.
  • Low Possibility Magic + Low Reliability Magic. Only a few spells are known to the people, and even those can have unpredictable outcomes. If combined with high power magic, this could make for an interesting setting where the magic is forbidden because of the risks connected to it.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you have a nice day and a good year 2019!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

CoFS:A Hardcover Release Celebration!

Good day everyone!

As some of you might have heard, Compendium of Forgotten Secrets: Awakening has been released and is getting printed, as well as sent out, as I write this. Not to Europe yet, sadly, but soon I'll have my own hardcover. Until then, I figured that I could celebrate by making an archetype of my own inspired partially by the book, and by some Greek mythology.

What's there to like about CoFS:A?

Alright, let me start the answer to this question with another question - who here played Skyrim? I know I did. How about Oblivion, its sequel? Morrowind? Any other Elder Scrolls game? Well anyway, these games share several things in common, mainly the setting. Within the setting, you have lots of various beings - some are mere mortals, some are gods, some are chicken protected by the law apparently, judging by how many times the guards have chased me because of them. But... my favorite beings would have to be the Daedric Princes. I always liked the idea of beings that are on the power level of gods, but not really divine... and how close could they get with the mortals. Bestowing them with artifacts, having them do quests for them, telling them things, but also fighting each other and making alliances. The Compendium I'm talking about is all about a bunch of these beings, except they're called Alrisen instead of Daedric Princes. But I can see through their guises. Sheogorath, you won't fool me again!

Anyway, if I had to say what my least favorite of these patrons are, I always like to answer with "the ones I've read the least about". Seriously, they're well written and flexible enough to fit into any world I've ever ran with minimal changes, including Ethernet of Keys. Some of my personal most liked patrons would have to be:
- The Keeper of the Depths, a lovecraftian sea horror that invades the dreams and grants its followers forbidden knowledge;
- The Fallen Exile, a literal star that fell in love, and I guess one could say it fell from sky because of love too;
- The Shadowcat, the first ever nightmare that feeds on other nightmares, and can manipulate the powers of luck;

And the one who inspired my monk archetype...

Currency Conspiracy and Way of the Golden King

Who wants to get rich? Everyone who does raise your hand. Good, the conspiracy has taken note of you, you can lower your hands now. Actually, the currency conspiracy cabal is responsible for you wanting to get rich. They're responsible for money being as widespread as it is. But I shouldn't tell you much more, or else they'll notice me.

There is something I can tell you though. How many of you have heard of the king Midas? You know, the Greek legend, the king who turned things into gold with nothing but a touch? Alright. I figured that it would be cool if the king owned up to his curse, and made good use of it. You know, like certain other cursed royalties, hint hint. If his powers work only through touch though, he may as well throw away weapons. Hell, the armor will be made of gold, so he doesn't need that either. The best way to make use of his power is through martial arts.

This is roughly how I came up with the concept behind the Way of the Golden King. He was greedy, he got cursed, the unseen forces (that may or may not be Currency Conspiracy) gave him an offer, and now he's got his own monastery where he teaches his monks how to turn things into gold. Okay, maybe not real gold since this is players we're talking about, just false gold.

Way of the Golden King PDF



Thank you for reading! Make sure to check out the Compendium, even the abridged version could give you an impression of what's inside. Alternatively, you can find GenuineBeliever on Reddit, Twitter, Discord and Facebook! But since I don't want to leave you with a barrage of links, I'll have to do with just one.

Webpage of Genuine Fantasy Press

This promotion was not paid in any way, I just wanted to make sure my readers see this. 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.

Sivobog

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...

Staromoc

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!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sylvan Loner, style of game

I feel like I have made my own style of DMing, one that appears to have inspired people to DM this way too. I'm not sure if it isn't already a thing in D&D, but I felt like this could use a name, like West Marshes since that too is a playstyle with some characteristic rules to it. I'll name my playstyle "Sylvan Loner", keeping that name until someone shows up to tell me there's another name for this, possibly a couple years old.

The rules necessary for this playstyle:
- players all play in the same world
- each player plays a solo game
- NPC companions are vital, when in combat the PC gets to control them unless said otherwise
- time in the world is inconsistent
- sandbox
- when players meet, they aren't really supposed to merge parties. Maybe just stay for a bit and talk, or at best they could do one quest together, like helping with killing a dragon or in a heist. Afterall, all players have some goal of their own.

That would be everything for today. Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Settings to work on

To make contents of this blog easier to understand, I should include explanations for what each setting is about, a short description that can be read by newcomers.

Sivobog

Gods rule the world of Sivobog, they ruled it ever since they made its creations. Never able to let go of it, they got angry when more beings started to sprout out, beings they did not make. This is why all the races and monsters of this world are split into two groups - Favoured, ones that gods love, and Unfavoured, ones gods hate. Each group's races used to cooperate within groups for the majority of world's history.
However, something strange happened relatively recently. The avatars of gods stopped receiving commands on a daily basis. As a result of that, a war broke out between the Favoured races, that stopped to care about Unfavoured ones, who finally got chance to develop. And then, another Moon appeared out of nowhere.
This is my current setting I'm planning to play my games in, and thus will contain most of the spoiler warnings for my players. Let's see how much it changes over time.

Lasklo

Experimental fantasy setting, where there are no gods. Clerics exist, but nobody knows where do they get their power from exactly.

Charodey Academy

A magical school located in a demiplane of its own, inbetween multiple worlds. It's a place where not only wizards, but also sorcerers, warlocks, and possibly other classes can study magic and even more. This demiplane is big enough to house the school, but also a forest and a city that has things necessary for surviving like way to produce food and other things of the same sort.

Grimwick

Grimwick is heavily inspired by Ravenloft, basically me trying to reinvent it for my own purposes. It's composed out of a set of demiplanes, each being ruled by a person who made an unfortunate wish, that turned into a whole story revolving around them. So, a Ravenloft, but with Fey instead of Undead, and about fairy tales instead of horrors.

Earth-2020 (E2020)

Year is 2020. Earth is just as you would expect it to be, just as you know it. Well, except for the fact that apparently, magic and fantastic creatures are real, they were just hidden here and there. Sometimes, magic interacts with modern technology, and that creates interesting combinations.
(Note: It's made up in 2016/2017, so please - if during that time something in the society or technological progress changes in a major way, which I'm almost sure it will, bear in mind that I can't see into the future.)


I know there may be more settings, some of which will be just a one-shot equivalent of my worldbuilding, while other may actually join this list. There is also a chance that some of these will get less attention than the others, so I can't promise anything.

Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Blog's revival

Welcome back to this blog of mine!

This was a busy year for me, and so I'm glad to come back here. I'll confess about something though - writing settlements that can be plopped anywhere one could need is harder than I imagined. Possibly even beyond my capabilities.
That's why I was thinking about redirecting the blog's intentions. It's not that big of a change - it will just broaden its focus. Instead of writing just about settlements, I'll write about whole ideas that I may or may not use in my settings, and that can be used in your settings too. I was inspired by blog GoblinPunch and some other blogs too, that are sources of some great and creative ideas. And, since I sometimes too get interesting ideas, I decided to return to this blog.

I am not sure at all what will I write about in the future, but for now I can tell that there will be at least two kinds of posts - those for settings I'm trying to develop, and those about settings I won't work much on (setting-independent settlements fall into this category too). I have made some settings that are just one-shot settings and not really developed that much in the past on reddit, especially my posts about Demi Plane of Bears and The Dreamscape.

One note to my players - if you're here and recognize some of the stuff, please do not read posts that start with [Spoiler] or [Spoilers]. Thank you.

Hopefully it'll go smoother this time. Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Introduction

A young human looked across the grasslands and breathed in deeply. The sounds of insects and birds filled the air along with the smell of flowers as he admired the colorful scenery in front of him. He finished writing a sentence into his book, threw it back into his bag and started walking.

Welcome to the first official post of this blog! My intention is to dedicate it to homebrewing settlements for D&D 5th Edition.

From experience I know how difficult it is to build a settlement from scratch. It is often something one needs help with, and also a work that's never finished and always improved upon. There are NPCs to think of, locations to describe, plot hooks to catch on and secrets to discover.

I'll always start with a post about settlement, which will be followed by posts for NPCs, locations if they are complicated enough, and also other stuff if there is enough content to warrant separate posts for them. Each post will begin with a paragraph written from point of view of Max - a travelling human that wants to see as much of the world as he can.

Feel free to use any of the stuff I'll be writing about, and even to modify it. All kinds of comments are welcome, including critique, suggestions and appreciation. I am not the best writer, so if you want to correct me, don't hesitate - I am open to improving myself!

Hope you'll like this content, and have a nice day!

- Edward