Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Drow Mage redone as Drow Warlock

Privileged drow males who lack the strength and fighting prowess to train as warriors have no recourse but to pursue the study of magic pacts with an otherworldly beings. For them, it is a matter of survival. Female drow with a natural affinity for the arcane arts who lack the favor of Lolth may also become drow mages warlocks, although they are much less common.

Drow warlock most commonly form pacts with powerful yugoloths, such as the General of Gehenna, Many also form pacts with powerful demons or devils.  It is rumored that there are drow warlocks who have formed pacts with fey entities, such as Baba Yaga.  Although Lolth appears to tolerate the divided loyalty of her drow warlocks, these pacts certainly exacerbate Lolth's lack of favor in the drow warlocks.

Drow most commonly reside in the Shadowdark and, to a lesser extent, in the Hadesweb (the third layers of Hades, Lolth's domain).  Adventurers in the Shadowfell and Hades qualify as extraplanar creatures.  Drow warlocks can cast banishment on adventurers, causing them to return to the Material Plane.

Drow warlocks cast contact other plane to contact their warlock pact patrons.

Drow warlocks almost always favor their eldritch blasts over their shortswords.

A common drow warlock tactic is take advantage of their devil's sight invocation by first casting darkness around themselves and then repeatedly casting eldritch blasts.

Drow warlocks are masters of espionage, casting scrying or utilizing their voice of the chain master invocation to guide their invisible quasit or imp familiars.

Drow warlocks have several magical means of escape:  magical darkness used with their devil's sight invocation, dimension door, fly, invisibility and, when used creatively, minor illusion.

Medium humanoid (elf), neutral evil
Armor Class 12 14 (15 with mage armor studded leather)
Hit Points 45 (10d8)
Speed 30ft.
STR 9 (-1)
DEX 14 (+2)
CON 10 (+0)
INT 17 (+3) 12 (+l)
WIS 13 (+l)
CHA 12 (+l) 17 (+3)
Skills Arcana +64, Deception +57, Perception +4, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 120ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Elvish Sylvan [Elvish does not exist in my world], Undercommon
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)

Fey Ancestry. The drow has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can't put the drow to sleep.

Innate Spellcasting. The drow's innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 1214). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: dancing lights
l/day each: darkness, faerie fire, levitate (self only)

Spellcasting. The drow is a l0th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence Charisma (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). The drow has the following wizard warlock spells prepared:
Cantrips (at will): eldritch blast (enhanced by agonizing blast), mage hand, minor illusion, poison spray, ray of frost
lst level (4 slots): mage armor, magic missile, shield, witch bolt
2nd level (3 slots): alter self, misty step, web
3rd level (3 slots):fly, lightning bolt
4th level (3 slots): Evard's black tentacles, greater invisibility
5th level (2 slots): cloudkill banishment, contact other plane, darkness, dimension door, find familiar (pact of the chain boon), fly, hold monster, invisibility, magic circle, scrying, tongues

Eldritch Invocations.  The drow has the following invocations:
agonizing blast (+3 damage to eldritch blast)
devil's sight (see normally in both magical and nonmagical darkness, 120 ft.)
minions of chaos (conjure elemental 1/day)
sculptor of the flesh (polymorph 1/day)
voice of the chain master (telepathy with, and perception and speech through, the drow's familiar)

Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the drow has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Dark One's Blessing.  When the drow reduces a hostile creature to 0 hit points, it gains 13 temporary hit points.

Dark One’s Own Luck.  When the drow makes an ability check or a saving throw, it can use this feature to add a d10 to its roll.  It can do so after seeing the initial roll but before any of the roll’s effects occur.  Once the drow uses this feature, it can’t use it again until it finishes a short or long rest.

Fiendish Resilience.  The drow gains resistance to one damage type until it chooses a different one with this feature after a short or long rest. Damage from magical weapons or silver weapons ignores this resistance.

Familar. The drow has a quasit or imp familiar.

Staff. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft ., one target. Hit: 2 (ld6 - l) bludgeoning damage, or 3 (ld8 - l) bludgeoning damage if used with two hands, plus 3 (ld6) poison damage.

Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (ld6 + 2) piercing, plus 3 (ld6) poison damage.

Summon Demon (1/Day). The drow magically summons a quasit or imp, or attempts to summon a shadow demon mezzoloth with a 50 percent chance of success. The summoned demon yugoloth appears in an unoccupied space within 60 feet of its summoner, acts as an ally of its summoner, and can't summon other demons yugoloths. It remains for 10 minutes, until it or its summoner dies, or until its summoner dismisses it as an action.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Yochlol redone as Arachnoloth

The yochlols arachnoloths are the Handmaidens of Lolth--extensions of the Spider Queen's will dedicated to acting as her spies, taskmasters, and agents of villainy.

It is believed that Lolth possesses one of the Books of Keeping containing the true names of all of the yochlols--renamed arachnoloths by Lolth and her drow worshipers--which might explain why these yugoloths, normally notorious for their shifting loyalties, serve Lolth unswervingly.

Medium fiend (demon yugoloth, shapechanger), chaotic neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 136 (16d8 + 64)
Speed 30ft., climb 30ft., fly 30ft.
STR 15 (+2)
DEX 14 (+2)
CON 18 (+4)
INT 13 (+1)
WIS 15 (+2)
CHA 15 (+2)
Saving Throws Dex +6, lnt +5, Wis +6, Cha +6
Skills Deception +10, Insight +6
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities acid, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses blindsight 60ft., darkvision 120ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Abyssal, Infernal, Elvish Sylvan [Elvish does not exist in my world], Undercommon, telepathy 60ft.
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)

Shapechanger. The yochlol arachnoloth can use its action to polymorph into a form that resembles a female drow or giant spider, or back into its true form . Its statistics are the same in each form.  Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Magic Resistance. The yochlol arachnoloth has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Spider Climb. The yochlol arachnoloth can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Innate Spellcasting. The yochlol's arachnoloth's spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). The yochlol arachnoloth can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: dancing lights, detect thoughts, web
1/day: darkness, dominate person, faerie fire, levitate (self only)

Web Walker. The yochlol arachnoloth ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.

Magic Weapons. The arachnoloth's weapon attacks are magical.

Multiattack. The yochlol arachnoloth makes two melee attacks.

Slam (Bite in Spider Form). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. (10ft. in demon form}, one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) bludgeoning (piercing in spider form) damage plus 21 (6d6) poison damage.

Mist Form. The yochlol arachnoloth transforms into toxic mist or reverts to its true form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying is also transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
While in mist form, the yochlol arachnoloth is incapacitated and can't speak. It has a flying speed of 30 feet, can hover, and can pass through any space that isn't airtight. It has advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and it is immune to nonmagical damage.
While in mist form, the yochlol arachnoloth can enter a creature's space and stop there. Each time that creature starts its turn with the yochlol arachnoloth in its space, the creature must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of its next turn. While poisoned in this way, the target is incapacitated.

Teleport. The arachnoloth magically teleports, along with any equipment it is wearing or carrying, up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space it can see.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Nice Combo: Durable + Wound Closure

Durable feat
When you roll a Hit Die to regain hit points, the minimum number of hit points you regain from the roll equals twice your Constitution modifier (minimum of 2).

Periapt of Wound Closure
Whenever you roll a Hit Die to regain hit points, double the number of hit points it restores.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

5e Giants and Empyreans

Here is how I would modify giants and empyreans:

Hill Giant

Hill giants are removed from my game.  Here is why:

i) I adopt a 4th edition approach to giants, as creatures originating from the Elemental Chaos.  Hill giants appear as nothing more than enormous, natural humanoids.  The other giants appearing in the 5e Monster Manual have more obvious ties to elemental origins.

ii) Hill giants are too similar to ogres.  Ogres have STR 19, INT 5 and wield greatclubs.  Hill giants have STR 21, INT 5 and wield greatclubs.  They both look like large, ugly humans (admittedly, fifth edition has made ogres even uglier), and only 3 challenge levels separate them, despite one being large and the other being huge.  By removing hill giants, the leap from ogres to giants is 5 challenge levels (2 to 7).

I would have ogres occasionally referred to as hill giants, as a misnomer, of course.  Ettins are born of ogres with the frequency of twins.

Stone Giant

Most stone giants are hairless.  Some have hair that resembles earth.

1/day each: Meld Into Stone, Stone Shape, Stoneskin

Frost Giant

Their hair resembles frost.

1/day: Fire Shield (chill shield)

Greataxe (Hit: 25 (3d12 + 6) slashing damage plus 5 cold damage).

Rock (Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage plus 5 cold damage).

Fire Giant

Their hair resembles embers.

1/day: Fire Shield (warm shield)

Greatsword (Hit: 28 (6d6 + 7) slashing damage plus 5 fire damage).

Rock (Hit: 29 (4d10 + 7) bludgeoning damage plus 5 fire damage).

Cloud Giant

Their hair resembles cloudstuff.

At will: Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, Levitation
3/day each: Fly, Misty Step, Telekinesis
1/day each: Control Weather, Gaseous Form

Morningstar (Hit: 21 (3d8 + 8) piercing damage plus 5 thunder damage).

Storm Giant

I want to align storm giants closer to the water element, so as to provide a greater distinction from cloud giants (air element).  Storm giants have a deep sea green pigment.  Their hair resembles seaweed.  They live in or near oceans or enormous lakes.

At will: Create or Destroy Water, Water Walk
3/day each: Control Water, Water Breathing
1/day each: Control Weather, Tsunami

Instead of a greatsword (Hit: 30 (6d6 + 9) slashing damage), a storm giants wields a trident (Hit: 20 (3d6 +9 or 23 (3d8 +9) if used with two hands to make a melee attack piercing damage plus 10 lightning damage).


At will: Create Food and Water, Greater Restoration
3/day each: Aura of Life, Aura of Purity
1/day each: Commune, Dispel Evil and Good, Divine Word, Plane Shift (self only), Raise Dead

Bolt (Hit: 24 (7d6) radiant damage).  This damage ignores resistance to radiant damage.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Druidcraft, Prestidigitation, and Thaumaturgy

These cantrips represent the most preliminary form of magic.  Any class that has any of these cantrips on their spell list as a first character level should get it as a bonus cantrip.  Note, however, that obtaining these cantrips via a feat or some other means does not qualify.

5e Racial Weapon Proficiencies and Exotic Armor

Some of my 5e changes:

Racial Weapon Proficiencies:


Dwarf Combat Training should replace the battleaxe and handaxe with the war pick. Dwarves are miners and smiths, not lumberjacks. Therefore, many dwarves naturally would have experience with hammers and picks, but not axes.


Elves favor weapons that exploit their superior dexterity (i.e., finesse weapons).

For High Elves, Elf Weapon Training should be renamed High Elf Weapon Training, and it should replace the longsword and shortsword with the rapier. High Elf fighters tend to be Eldritch Knights with the Dueling fighting style, so as to leave one hand free for spellcasting. High Elf rogues tend to be Arcane Tricksters.

For Wood Elves, Elf Weapon Training should be renamed Wood Elf Weapon Training, and it should replace the longsword and shortsword with the scimitar.

Drow Weapon Training should remove rapiers.


Half Orcs should receive Orc Combat Training, which grants proficiency with the battleaxe and greataxe.

Exotic Armor:

Wood elves make armors composed of specially treated leaves (effectively leather armor), specially treated bark (effectively hide armor), and a combination of specially treated leaves and bark (effectively studded leather armor). The costs of these armors are 50% higher than their more common equivalents.