Saturday, July 20, 2013

13 Dynasties of the Orient (AD&D, D&D 3.5E, D&D 4E, Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition)

After painstakingly researching on Oriental Adventures, I present this barebones adaptation of the campaign setting to 13th Age.  While I may need to ask for help in providing greater depth, those who are already familiar with Kara-Tur and Rokugan would likely get to use this for their home games with very little to no issue, while those who simply want the oriental flavor for their 13th Age campaigns have their options too.

http://www.mindmeister.com/311641480/13-dynasties-of-the-orient



Create your own mind maps at MindMeister

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mindweaver (AD&D, 2E, 3E, 4E)

Just like a warrior, you hone your skills to perfection.  But your skills can only be found in that rare group of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the seemingly-impossible: to bend reality with merely thought.

Overview

Playstyle: The mindweaver aims to be a very simple class that allows you to do fantastic magical effects without having to rely on the complexities of spell management.  However, the gameplay involved with mindweavers might be a little more complicated than that of your typical simple class because like the Rogue, they need to keep track of a feature called serenity, plus the more dangerous abilities may require them to use up recoveries or even take damage if they don’t have recoveries left.

Ability Scores: You need Constitution for hit points to survive attacks, and either Wisdom or Charisma for most abilities that don’t involve your basic attacks. 

Mindweavers gain a +2 class bonus to Wisdom or Charisma, as long as it isn’t the same ability you increase with your +2 racial bonus.

Races: All races that have a very strong personality usually have a greater chance to produce a mindweaver, so Humans, Dark Elves, High Elves, Half-Elves, Holy Ones and Dragonspawn easily fit the bill.  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find Dwarves or Wood Elves that have a natural aptitude for mindweaving, it simply means they tend to favor a different path.

Backgrounds: Here are some backgrounds to get you started with your mindweavers: Mentalist, soothsayer, mystic, stage magician, con artist, apprentice mindweaver, mage college dropout, tribal shaman, and (for those with Dream Form) crash test dummy. 

Icons: The Archmage is always interested in anything that could be experimented on, and the mind is such a wonderful area to explore.  That being said, mind-readers often make exceptional spy-hunters, and are hunted down by both allies and enemies of the Dragon Empire precisely because of their psionic abilities.

Serenity

Unlike some campaign settings where the mental disciplines called "psionics" are treated as daily spells or abilities that are empowered by points, mindweavers must maintain a trance-like state before they can perform most of their abilities.  Thus, it’s easy to call out when a mindweaver is trying to do anything from reading minds to creating earthquakes.  This state is often cited as a state of serenity.

For mindweavers, entering a state of serenity takes a quick action to do so;  Their pupils disappear, and often begin to levitate, plus there’s a natural tendency for all nearby creatures to notice that they're entering this state (which is why practitioners of the art tend to do it alone and in an isolated area).

If you take a standard action to enter serenity (instead of a quick action), attacks against you before the start of your next turn take a -4 to the attack roll, as your moment in serenity places you in such harmony with the world that you're able to perceive even the smallest of changes and move your body accordingly.

Just like the Rogue’s momentum however, once a mindweaver is hit by an attack, they easily break their concentration; training can help mitigate this, but only up to a certain degree.  Additionally, a mindweaver can easily snap out of serenity as a free action during their turn, which is often a necessity for the mindweaver who lacks training in initiating mental conversations.
Adventurer Feat: Once per round whenever you are hit, you can roll a d20 and add your Charisma modifier. On a 16+ you retain your serenity state. 
Champion Feat: Once per scene, you can attempt to mask your attempt to enter serenity in the presence of others.  Make a Charisma or Wisdom + level vs. MD attack against the nearby non-ally with the highest MD as a free action immediately before entering serenity.  If you succeed, no one is the wiser, and if you fail by 4 or less you can still choose to not enter serenity. Fail by 5 or more, or if you roll a natural 1 though… well, people usually don’t like it when someone is trying to mess with their minds, intentional or otherwise. 
Epic Feat: For one battle a day, you can choose to retain your serenity state even when hit by an attack, so long as you remain conscious after the attack.

Mindweaver Level Progression

At levels 5 and 8, mindweavers gain additional talents that allow them to further expand their capabilities.

Gear

At 1st level, mindweavers start with the simplest of equipment as appropriate for their background, as well as a holy symbol or some other implement. Usually mindweavers start with 25 gp at hand.  The fortune-seeking mindweavers tend to start with 1d6 x 10 gp instead.

Mindweaver Armor and AC
Type                    Base AC              Atk Penalty

None                     10                           –
Light                     10                          
Heavy                   11                           -2
Shield                   +1                           -1

Weapons

Mindweavers have little use for weapons, though sometimes having a dagger or a staff is a necessary tidbit for survival in the world.  Also, they utilize magic implements such as wands and staffs, which serve as their focus (and in the case of magical implements, their friend) to hone their skill.


Mindweaver Melee Weapons
                                   One-Handed                            Two-Handed
Small
                           1d4 dagger                               1d6 club
Light or Simple            
1d6 (-2 atk) shortsword             1d8 (-2 atk) spear
Heavy or Martial          
1d8 (-5 atk) longsword               1d10 (-5 atk) greatsword

Mindweaver Ranged Weapons
                               Thrown                        Crossbow                               Bow
Small
                       1d4 dagger                    1d4 hand crossbow                 –
Light or Simple
        1d6 (-2 atk) javelin        1d6 (-1 atk) light crossbow     1d6 (-2 atk) shortbow
Heavy Martial
          –                                    1d8 (-4 atk) heavy crossbow   1d8 (-5 atk) longbow

Mindweaver Level Progression

Mindweaver Level
Total Hit Points
Total # Feats
# of Class Talents
Level-up Ability Bonuses
Damage bonus from Ability Score
Level 1
(7 + CON mod) x 3
1 adventurer
3

Ability modifier
Level 2
(7 + CON mod) x 4
2 adventurer
3

Ability modifier
Level 3
(7 + CON mod) x 5
3 adventurer
3

Ability modifier
Level 4
(7 + CON mod) x 6
4 adventurer
3
+1 to 3 abilities
Ability modifier
Level 5
(7 + CON mod) x 8
4 adventurer
1 champion
4

2 x ability modifier
Level 6
(7 + CON mod) x 10
4 adventurer
2 champion
4

2 x ability modifier
Level 7
(7 + CON mod) x 12
4 adventurer
3 champion
4
+1 to 3 abilities
2 x ability modifier
Level 8
(7 + CON mod) x 16
4 adventurer
3 champion
1 epic
5

3 x ability modifier
Level 9
(7 + CON mod) x 20
4 adventurer
3 champion
2 epic
5

3 x ability modifier
Level 10
(7 + CON mod) x 24
4 adventurer
3 champion
3 epic
5
+1 to 3 abilities
3 x ability modifier

Mindweaver 1st Level Stats

Initiative, AC, PD, MD, Hit Points, Recovery Dice, Feats, and some Talents are level dependent.
Ability Bonus
+2 Wisdom or Charisma (different from racial bonus)
Initiative
Dex mod + level
Armor Class (light armor)
10 + level + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis
Physical Defense
10 + level + middle mod of Str/Con/Dex
Mental Defense
12 + level + middle mod of Int/Wis/Cha
Hit Points
(6 + Con mod) x Level modifier (see level progression chart)
Recoveries
(probably) 8
Recovery Dice
(1d6 x Level) + Con mod
Backgrounds
8 points, max 5 in any one background
Icon Relationships
3 points
Adventurer-Tier Talents
3 (see level progression chart)
Adventurer-Tier Feat
1 per level

Mindweaver Basic Attacks


At-will melee attack
Attack: Strength + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Strength damage
Miss:

At-will ranged attack
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage
Miss:

Mindweaver Class Features

Mindweavers have one class feature: Mind Over Matter.

Mind Over Matter

You can use your mindweaver talents for rituals, in place of spells.  In addition, you gain the following at-will ranged implement-based attack:

Psi Blast

Attack: Wisdom or Charisma + Level vs. PD of one nearby creature
Hit: 1d4 per level + Wisdom or Charisma damage
Miss: Damage equal to level
Special: While in serenity, your psi blast does 1d6 damage per level instead of 1d4.
Adventurer Feat: Your psi blast’s damage increases by one die size (1d4 to 1d6, 1d6 to 1d8). 
Champion Feat: Once per battle you can target 1d3 nearby enemies with psi blast. 
Champion Feat: Once per day you can give up all your actions for a number of rounds equal to 1d3+1 in order to pull off a ritual using one of your talents during combat.  
Epic Feat: When you take a standard action to enter serenity, your next psi blast before the end of your next turn deals double damage.
<<Begin sidebar>>
While you’re free to use psi blast as part of a ritual, just make sure you know what you’re doing because this can easily result in you not being able to defend yourself until the end of a daily heal-up, unless you took up talents that allow you to attack through means other than psi blast, such as Dream Form or Psychokinesis.
<<End sidebar>>

Mindweaver Class Talents

Choose three of the following class talents at level 1.  At levels 5 and 8, you can choose one more class talent.

Astral Creation

While in serenity, you can make a Charisma check as a standard action to create one non-magical object; doing this as a quick action is possible, but it raises the DC by 5.  The larger, the more intricate, or the less familiar the object, the harder it is to duplicate, with crafting war machines and galleons often requiring DC 35 or higher to pull off during combat.  Failing the check still gets you something, but it won’t always work to your expectations.

Objects created this way tend to lack a real physical object’s durability or mass, so they’re typically used for conjuring more practical items such as locks, chests, and the occasional boat.

These objects normally last for 5 minutes or until the end of battle, so you might need to make a Constitution check as a standard action (hard DC, actual number dependent on the object) to maintain the object’s existence in reality every 5 minutes after that.

You want an easier time using this? Use it outside of combat.  You want to make multiple complex items, or more durable items? Go use it as a ritual.

Dream Form

While in serenity, you can shape into existence an avatar that acts on your behalf as a quick action.  This avatar starts the scene engaged with you, and must be mentally ordered to take actions using either a standard action (for actions that normally take a standard action) or a quick action (for actions that don’t).  Using your basic stats (but not your talents), when the avatar gets hit, you take psychic damage equal to the damage that the avatar would normally take.  Taking damage this way will only take you out of serenity when you are staggered by the attack (you can re-summon the avatar while staggered).  You can interact with the world through your avatar, using it as your eyes, ears, and mouth.

The avatar disappears when you get out of serenity, or when you can no longer see it from your own body’s point of view.
Adventurer Feat: You are able to grant your avatar more warrior-like capabilities.  Attacks that target its AC target its MD instead (and vice versa), and when making a psi blast attack through your avatar, it is treated as a close-quarters attack that is one die higher in damage (1d8 without psi blast's adventurer feat, 1d10 with psi blast's adventurer feat). 
 Adventurer Feat: Once per battle as a quick action, you can spend one recovery, but instead of regaining hit points, your dream avatar gains a +2 to all defenses until it disappears.
Champion Feat: For five minutes (or one battle) a day, you can allow the avatar to exist in the real world even if you’re out of serenity or can no longer see it from your body’s own point of view.  While this is in effect, your avatar can use your Wisdom for Dexterity checks, your Charisma for Strength checks, and your Intelligence for Constitution checks.
Epic Feat: Whenever you roll a natural even for one of your avatar’s attacks, your avatar gains damage resist 12+ until the start of your next turn.

Enthrall

Special: Unlike most talents, Enthrall takes up two talent slots.
This functions similar to the Ranger’s Animal Companion talent, except this talent has a few extra feats that make these creatures function more like thralls that want to protect their master, as opposed to companions that you’d want to keep safe and alive.  Other than that, all the rules of Animal Companions – including the additional 2 recoveries, and available companions – also apply here.
Adventurer Feat: Once per battle when the thrall is engaged with you, you can redirect towards them an attack that’s meant for you. 
Champion Feat: You gain a +2 to AC while the thrall is engaged with you. 
Epic Feat: One battle per day, when the thrall is reduced to 0 HP but is not yet dead, it does not fall unconscious, and can still function as normal, but only while you’re in serenity (it still must make death saving throws at the end of its turn, and can be killed with enough damage).  Creatures who see it still moving at this point will notice how its eyes have no pupils and how its movements are akin to a puppet’s (as if someone is making this seemingly-dead creature move).
<<Begin sidebar>>
At the discretion of the GM, you might be allowed to gain control of a small mook mob that’s one level lower than you, instead of a single monster.  If he does allow you to do this, you gain 3 mooks at level 1, with one additional mook every 3 levels after that (topping off with 6 mooks at level 10).  Replacing enthralled mooks may require you to give the GM and the group an elaborate story explaining how you enthralled each mook that comes under your sway, especially if this is done during a short rest.  The GM will likely disallow you from giving the mooks bonus abilities – they’re already a bonus on their own – but if he’s up to the challenge, please consider taking bonus abilities that require minimum tracking.  For everyone’s sanity.
<<End sidebar>>


Mind Over Body

Increase your number of recoveries by one.
Adventurer Feat: Once per battle when hit by an attack while in serenity, you can spend a free action to reduce the damage you take by half, and the attacker takes damage equal to the reduced damage, as a free action.
Champion Feat: Further increase your number of recoveries by one. 
Epic Feat: Once per battle plus a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier, you can regain hit points equal to thrice your Charisma modifier immediately after getting hit by an attack that doesn’t deal acid or fire damage.

Psychic Defense

Once per round when a creature makes a natural even attack against you vs. MD while you’re in serenity, you can immediately counter-attack using your psi blast as a close quarters attack as a free action.
Adventurer Feat: Once per battle, you can use psi blast as a close-quarters attack, and on a hit the target pops free and is stuck until the end of its next turn. 
Champion Feat: Once per battle when the triggering attack is 5 or less, you can turn it into a natural 1, and describe to the GM how the attack produced this psychic backlash that severely hampers the attacker. For guidelines on how to resolve this, look at the Tiefling's racial power.
Epic Feat: You gain a +1 to MD, and at the start of one battle per day you can choose to lose one recovery as a free action to raise this bonus to +3.  This bonus will revert to +1 at the end of that battle.

Psychokinesis

You can make skill checks as a standard action while in serenity in order to levitate objects and attack with them (GMs, use the environment table and improv table to determine the appropriate categories, DCs and damage for these skill checks). If you use this this to harm multiple creatures and/or objects (by crashing one on to another), use the group damage dice in the improv table. To make creatures actually fly, as opposed to just levitating, you'll need to use this as a ritual instead.
Champion Feat: When failing to meet the DC, you can still deal damage equal to your level to your intended target.

Speak Your Mind

You are able to bypass the need to verbally communicate, allowing you to speak directly into the mind of whoever you want to communicate with.  For you to mentally hear their replies, you must be in serenity.  However, delving their mind for secrets requires a ritual that could initiate mind-based combat.

For GMs: If the mind-based combat isn't worth rolling initiative for (maybe it's not a well-guarded secret, or it's something that the players are bound to learn easily anyway), then resolve this the same way you would resolve any other ritual or skill check or trap: set the DC, grant the information sought if he passes, make something happen as a result of failing to meet the DC (a.k.a. failing forward). If this is a powerful entity, or this is a secret that you don't want the players to learn easily, then you may want to prepare a random combat or puzzle encounter beforehand. But in the spirit of failing forward, please minimize screwing around with the player (this goes double for the player: if you intend to initiate mind combat for the sake of screwing around with the system, the GM is free to provide negative feedback for your annoying behavior).

<<Begin sidebar>>
Mind-based combat at the baseline works exactly like regular combat, except it all happens in the minds of all who are participating in the ritual.  The GM is free to set specific goals needed to acquire the secrets you need -- perhaps the secrets are in treasure chests that your group must take away while the creature's mind defends itself by summoning armies upon armies, or perhaps the creature has different personalities that you must convince, help or defeat in order to acquire the needed secrets -- but when it comes to combat, it's pretty standard. However, there is one little detail that has to be mentioned: because this is the realm of imagination we're talking about, improvisation is immediately expanded to almost unlimited potential, challenged primarily by the type of psyche you're exploring in (environment-based DCs based on the creature's tier), allowing even fighters to lob fireballs or cause rogues to strangle enemies with their shadows;  It's all just in everyone's minds, after all.

In the unusual case where something happens to the bodies of the participants while the ritual is taking place, the ritual can be ended immediately, although there's a possibility that you'll get an incomplete set of secrets, which means that you'll either have to repeat the ritual (but with complications galore, since the creature's mind is much better prepared by the psychic assault), or find another way to gather what you need.
<<End sidebar>>
Adventurer Feat: While in serenity, your psi blast targets MD instead of PD. 
Champion Feat: Whenever you crit with psi blast, you can choose to deal normal damage instead of double damage.  If you do, the target is confused (hard save ends), and you gain information from the GM based on what the target knows. On a natural 1, you can choose to become confused (easy save ends) instead of the normal effects of shooting into melee. If you do, the target could gleam a bit of information about your character (the GM might have the creature change its tactics based on the information that they got from you). 
Epic Feat: The first time between daily heal-ups that you roll a natural 20 on your psi blast while in serenity, you can dictate the first action of the target's next turn.  But the first time between daily heal-ups that you roll a natural 1 on your psi blast while in serenity, the GM can dictate the first action of your PC's your next turn.  Against a mook mob, for each mook that’s reduced to 0 HP, you can order them to take one set of actions during their next turn before they collapse from the strain.
<<Begin sidebar>>
Unlike the confused condition, the effect of this epic feat can be ANY action, ranging from dropping gear to randomly moving around, and the type of action that can be done is limited only by the creature's ability of doing it (and yes this means you can coerce a creature into launching a daily spell harmlessly into the air... but this works both ways, as seen in the feat).  If you're unlucky enough to roll 1s more than 20s, you might want to avoid taking this feat.
<<End sidebar>>


Third Eye

While in serenity, you can choose a nearby area and see and hear things as if you were there.
Adventurer Feat: You can extend this talent’s ability to one nearby or far away area.  You can also use your other senses, such as taste and touch, although you can expect interesting effects when you try to taste something poisonous while scrying. 
Champion Feat: Once per day you can make a Wisdom + level vs. MD attack against all nearby invisible creatures, regardless if you’re aware of them or not (GM rolls for the attack).  On a success, they lose their invisibility and cannot become invisible for the remainder of the scene.  If not, well at least you know they’re somewhere nearby. 
Epic Feat: For ten minutes between heal-ups, you can view and listen into the life of one creature you have touched within a year.  This isn’t infallible however, as wards that deter scrying will also prevent this from working.

Twist Time

Whenever you crit with your psi blast while in serenity, you can force the target to make a normal save.  If they fail, you can teleport them to a nearby area as a quick action, as long as the area is unoccupied and can accommodate the target normally.
Adventurer Feat: Once per battle while in serenity, gain a +4 to your attack roll while in serenity.
Champion Feat: While in serenity, you can choose to take two move actions this turn, but at the end of your second move action become stuck until the end of your next turn. 
Epic Feat: Whenever the escalation die is even, crit with your psi blast and you’re in serenity, you can choose to turn your quick action into a standard action, instead of teleporting the enemy.

Unmake

Special: Unlike most talents, Unmake takes up two talent slots.
Whenever hit a staggered creature with psi blast while in serenity, that creature also takes ongoing damage equal to your Charisma modifier.  Increase this ongoing damage to twice your Charisma modifier at level 5, and to thrice your Charisma modifier at level 8.

All creatures that fail their fourth last gasp save (from the epic feat) or are reduced to 0 HP by the ongoing damage inflicted by this talent and its feats are turned into either puddles of goo or piles of ash (your discretion).
Adventurer Feat: On a natural even miss with psi blast against a staggered enemy while in serenity, the target takes ongoing damage equal to twice your Wisdom modifier. 
Champion Feat: All ongoing damage granted by this talent are now (hard save ends). 
Epic Feat: Whenever you crit with your psi blast while in serenity, you can choose to normal damage with your attack instead. If you do, the target would start making last gasp saves at the end of their turn.

<<Begin sidebar>>
As long as the GM is alright with it, feel free to change the type of ongoing damage this talent adds to fire, as you agitate the creature’s (or object’s) molecules until it bursts into flame.
<<End sidebar>> 


Credits

Thanks to +Bri Anderson+Graham Poole+Kyle Watt and +andrew ferris for their contributions to the class write-up.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Paladin Options: Blackguard and the like (3.5E, 4E, PF). Also: Diseases

Class Options allow you to add particular classes into 13th Age without the need of extensive reinventing of the wheel, so to speak.  Instead of having to make an entirely new class, re-flavoring and adding of a few talents and powers here and there would allow you to faithfully render the class you want, with less effort.

The Blackguard, Anti-Paladin, Paladin of Tyranny and Paladin of Slaughter all have one thing in common: we have no stinkin' righteous goody-two-shoes lurking over here.  They all are considered "evil" one way or another, but their intentions might make them more "non-good" rather than outright evil.  Because the Paladins of 13th Age aren't really alignment-restricted anyway, I felt that making these classes key off the Paladin was simply appropriate.


Re-Tweaking Suggestions

Allow the Paladin to take the Ranger's Animal Companion talent and the Rogue's Sneak Attack class feature, as well as the Defender Aura talent found in my blog (see it here); the only mechanical adjustment needed for the Ranger's Animal Companion might be to add the "undead" trait to them.

Reflavor the Paladin's Challenge as a talent that inflicts fear on your foes, so long as they avoid attacking you.  Also, reflavor the auto-kill of Turn Undead so that the undead become permanently rebuked, fleeing from battle and never coming back; it's a much simpler option than trying to manage a situation where PCs take control of entire undead armies, or even the Lich King... but if you're up to the challenge, feel free to changed "destroyed" to "confused (21+ impossible save ends if the creature is your level or lower, 16+ hard save ends if the creature is up to two levels higher than you, and 11+ save ends for creatures more than two levels higher than you)" and allow the creatures to stay confused even after battle.

Summoning of creatures and imbuing magical effects on equipment do not exist yet in 13th Age, but feel free to take talents and spells that let you do just that, trading one talent for one spell if needed.

New Talents

Corrupting Touch

Special: You cannot take this talent if you took Lay on Hands.
Twice per day as a quick action, you can corrupt a creature with a successful touch.  Make a Strength vs. PD attack against one engaged enemy.  On a success you lose one recovery and the target takes negative energy damage equal to your recovery value. On a failure you still lose one recovery, but the target takes half the damage you would've normally dealt, and after a short rest can use this talent one more time during the day.
(Adventurer Feat): On a success, the target also takes ongoing damage equal to your Charisma modifier.  Increase the ongoing damage to twice your Charisma modifier at level 5, and thrice your Charisma modifier at level 8.
(Champion Feat): On a success, the target is also weakened (save ends both).
(Epic Feat): You can sacrifice one recovery or use of this talent to also stun the target (save ends all).
GM Note: Feel free to allow this to work like Lay on Hands for undead type creatures.  Given the lack of disease rules in 13th Age, you can also allow the player to give up one use of Corrupting Touch to instead inflict a disease that you and the player agree upon, using the same attack as mentioned above.  See Diseases rule below.

Shroud of Darkness

The first time an enemy hits with an attack against you each battle, that enemy must reroll with a -2 penalty to hit as a free action.
(Adventurer Feat): Once per day, deal negative energy damage equal to twice your Charisma modifier against the triggering attacker.
(Champion Feat): If the reroll still hits, you have resistance 12+ against that attack.
(Epic Feat): The reroll's penalty to hit is now -4, instead of -2.

Diseases

Using D&D 4E as inspiration, contracting a disease usually takes effect after a scene.  After being exposed to any contagions in an area -- be it an attack by a diseased enemy, or a cloud of toxins, the PCs must make a d20 roll and add their Constitution modifier to it.  Usually on either a 16+ or a 21+ they are safe, but rare diseases might need a 26+ to avoid being exposed.

Diseases have four stages:

  • Cured Stage, where the disease is removed.
  • Initial Stage, where the disease is initially contracted or heavily suppressed.
  • Worsened Stage, where the disease matures but isn't fatal or permanent in effect (yet).
  • Final Stage, which is usually fatal or permanent in effect, unless a powerful spell or ritual is used to fully restore you, like Resurrection.
Going up or down these stages requires an ability check pertaining to treating or shrugging off diseases, typically one attempt per diseased PC per daily heal-up (although more fatal diseases might require attempts to be made during each short rest AND daily heal-up instead!).  The DC to improve by one stage is usually hard or VERY hard, and dependent on the disease's environmental origin.  The more lenient DMs can choose to make the disease worsen only on a natural 1, but the default assumption is the same as that of death saving throws: failing to treat the illness immediately can result in fatalities.

Herbs and simple rituals can be used to remove the need to roll, but most diseases picked up while adventuring in champion or epic environments can only be maintained at best -- meaning creatures don't get worse, but they don't get better either -- and would likely require a more powerful solution to improve by at least one stage without having to make treatment/survival checks, usually in the form of elaborate rituals with hard-to-find components, or exotic herbs from far-away lands that are either expensive or hard to acquire (usually both).

With regards to diseases and Corrupting Touch, while it might not make sense to inflict diseases when enemies are killed off on a regular basis, for those who might want to play in a less combat-intensive campaign as a darker anti-hero, or an outright villain, they might want to reserve the ability to spread diseases with a touch for non-combat scenes.  Also, DMs can rule that either the creature's corpse, or even the creature itself should the PCs choose to simply knock them out of the fight rather than kill them outright, would become the disease's carrier.  In any case, the disease-related portion of Corrupting Touch is obviously campaign-specific, so it's not written as part of the talent's default effects.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Half-Breeds: Half-Ogre, Half-Rakshasa, Half-Minotaur, and Half-Dwarf

Just like half-elves and demontouched, there has been no definitive explanation on how they are born, and half-breeds sometimes spontaneously appear in the Dragon Empire, although not always to the delight of their parents and communities.


Simple Reflavoring

For GMs who want a quick and dirty conversion that doesn't require the features below, feel free to reflavor the Dwarf, Dark Elf or Half-Orc into either the Half-Ogre/Half-Giant or the Half-Minotaur, the Dwarf into the Mul, , and the Half-Elf as the Half-Rakshasa.  For those who want more distinct mechanical differences, see below.

Also, in keeping with the theme, the following half-breeds already exist in 13th Age: Half-Dragon (Dragonspawn), Half-Fiend (Demontouched), Half-Celestial (Aasimar) and Half-Drow (Half-Elf).

Half-Ogre/Half-Giant

+2 Strength OR +2 Constitution
Ogrish Toughness: Once per battle as a quick action, you can spend a recovery to gain temporary hit points equal to the rolled result.
(Champion Feat): One battle per day when you trigger Ogrish Toughness, add 1d6 per level damage whenever you miss with a melee basic attack.
GM Note: Notice that the Half-Ogre/Half-Giant and the Earthborn/Stone-Touched both share the same benefits for their racial power.  If you wish to use both races, but want to make the Half-Ogre/Half-Giant different, replace the Half-Ogre/Half-Giant's Ogrish Toughness with the following racial power (racial feat stays the same):
Monstrous Strength: Once per scene when making a Strength-related check, you can choose to lower the check's DC by an amount equal to your Strength plus the current escalation die.  You can do this even after finding out the result of your check.
The reason why I didn't want to make this the default racial power for Half-Ogres/Half-Giants would be because it doesn't feel "right" for me to grant this strength-specific power to them.  But if that works for your campaign, then so be it.

Half-Rakshasa

+2 Intelligence OR +2 Charisma
Shapechange: Once per scene as a standard action, you can change your form to that of any humanoid. While shapechanged, you retain all of your statistics, and you can turn back to your own form as a standard action, although being reduced to 0 HP also forcibly turns you back to your own form.
It takes a successful hard save for nearby creatures to notice that there's something... different, about you, and other factors (like trying to mimic a particular person, acting out of character, or trying to look discreet) that could make the save normal, easy, or impossible (GM discretion).
(Champion Feat): Whenever a creature trying to determine if you're what you look like rolls a 5 or lower on their saving throw, you can change it to a natural 1 and improvise on how their attempt to see who you really are actually works in your favor.  Perhaps they expose useful information about the creature you're trying to appear as, or they can even become friendly to you (until they find out who you really are).  The better the storytelling improv, the better the result, though if the GM thinks your suggestion is going too far, they can enforce a smaller version of your improv or call for an unmodified d20 roll (high roll likely gets what you want).
Note: This race easily works for Changelings and the like.

Half-Minotaur

+2 Strength OR +2 Wisdom
Goring Charge: During your turn, when you make a melee attack a staggered enemy you were not engaged with at the start of your turn, add damage equal to your Strength modifier on a hit.  Increase this damage to twice your Strength modifier at level 5, and three times your Strength modifier at level 8.
(Champion Feat): You also pop the enemy free from any other creature they're engaged with except you, and they have a -2 penalty to disengage checks against you until the end of their next turn.
GM Note: This is the only race I would design to overlap with the Barbarian's Slayer talent, and generally benefit from a charge-like ability.  This is due to the iconic nature of the Minotaur's goring charge.

Half-Dwarf

+2 Strength OR +2 Constitution
Half-Dwarf Endurance: Once per scene you are able to perform strenuous tasks for longer periods of time.  This will usually come in the form of lower DCs for one Constitution check, but may also involve other activities that can put significant strain on your character, such as heavy lifting or hurried tome-scribing.  Discuss with your GM how this feature works during character creation.
(Champion Feat): Increase the number of recoveries that you have by one, and the first time you rally each battle can be done as a quick action instead of a standard action.
GM Note: This is a rather tricky thing to resolve mechanically, but for those who are more familiar with D&D's Mul race might have an easier time with this racial feature.