Monday, February 13, 2017

Hexblade / Pact of the Blade / Pact Weapon as Arcane Focus

In light of the Unearthed Arcana Hexblade,  I believe that, for a Hexblade with Pact of the Blade, the pact weapon should also function as an arcane focus.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Carrion Crawler should have Light Sensitivity

Light Sensitivity would offer a natural explanation for carrion crawlers not living above ground.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ghast Priest of Orcus

As worshipers of Orcus, orcs have an affinity for demons and undeath.  Perhaps, because of their cannibalistic practices, Orcus has blessed orcs with the ability to ritualistically transform their infirmed and aged into ghouls and ghasts, the latter commonly occupying the role of priest of Orcus.  Because of this special relationship, orc ghouls and ghasts do not attack orcs as they would other creatures.

Medium undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 13 14 (ring mail)
Hit Points 36 (8d8) 45 (6d8 + 18)
Speed 30ft.
STR 16 (+3)
DEX 17 (+3) 10 (+0)
CON 10 (+0) 16 (+3)
INT 11 (+0) 10 (+0)
WIS 10 (+0) 13 (+1)
CHA 8 (-1) 12 (+1)
Damage Resistances necrotic
Damage Immunities poison
Skills Intimidation +3, Religion +1
Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Common, Abyssal
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

SpellcastingThe ghast is a 3rd-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 11, +3 to hit with spell attacks). The ghast has the following cleric spells prepared:

Cantrips (at-will): chill touch, guidance (c), thaumaturgy
1st level (4 slots): bane (c), command
2nd level (2 slots): augury, blindness/deafness

Stench. Any creature that starts its turn within 5 feet of the ghast must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of its next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the ghast's Stench for 24 hours.

Turning Defiance. The ghast and any ghouls within 30 feet of it have advantage on saving throws against effects that turn undead.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.
Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) piercing damage.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.

Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) s lashing damage. If the target is a creature other than an undead, it must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hag Coven Spell List

1st level (4 slots): identify, speak with animals
2nd level (3 slots): gentle repose, detect thoughts, hold person
3rd level (3 slots): animate dead, speak with dead
4th level (3 slots): divination (ritual), polymorph
5th level (2 slots): geas, raise dead
6th level (1 slot): circle of death

Note that hag coven spells can only be cast when all three members of the hag coven are within 30 feet of one another.  This guided my spell selection.  Most likely, the hags would be encountered together in their lair.  The lair intentionally is 30 feet in diameter; cramped, but for a very good purpose.

The spell list includes three offensive spells:  hold person, polymorph, and circle of death.  Potentially, each hag could cast one of these offensive spells during the first round of combat.

The speak with animals spell would be used on ravens that are trained to scout and spy.

The gentle repose spell would be used on a dead person brought to the hags by someone wanting the hags to restore the dead person to life.  The hags would demand a service in return, giving the person up to 10 days (the duration of the gentle repose spell) to complete.  Upon completion, the hags would fulfill their bargain by casting raise dead on the dead person.  If the person fails to fulfill the service, the hags animate the dead person's corpse, commanding the zombie to return to the village as a warning to others.

In furtherance of this sort of leverage, hags endeavor to remove--or have removed--from the local village(s) any person capable of restoring life.

When negotiating, one hag casts detect thoughts on the person negotiating with the hags.

The target of the geas spell could willingly fail its saving throw.  Hags usually will coerce the target into agreeing to fail this saving throw.

The circle of death spell is very effective against the stereotypical village mob brandishing torches and pitchforks.

As known purveyors of information, hags will use the divination, speak with dead and/or identify spells when they are approached by people seeking answers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lolth's Spider Domain (available only to Drow females)

Lolth's Spider Domain (available only to Drow females)

Lolth's Spider Domain Spells
Cleric level 1: Find Familiar (spider only), Jump
Cleric level 3: Spider Climb, Web
Cleric level 5: Blink, Conjure Animals (spiders only)
Cleric level 7: Guardian of Faith (spider form), Freedom of Movement
Cleric level 9: Conjure Arachnoloth, Hold Monster

Bonus Cantrip
When you choose this domain at 1st level, you learn the Poison Spray cantrip.

Bonus Proficiency
Also at 1st level, you gain proficiency with the Stealth skill.

Channel Divinity:  Spider Swarm
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to call for the aid of a host of spiders.  As an action, you present your holy symbol and conjure a swarm of spiders within 30 feet of you.  As long as you maintain concentration on the conjured swarm (as if concentrating on a spell), the swarm obeys your verbal commands (no action required by you), and in combat, it acts on your turn each round. If you don’t issue any commands to it, the swarm defends itself from hostile creatures, but otherwise takes no actions.  The swarm disappears when it drops to 0 hit points, when your concentration is broken, when you use an action to dismiss it, or after 1 minute.  For every two cleric levels you have above 2nd level, you can conjure an additional swarm of spiders.

Poison Takes Its Toll
Starting at 6th level, when you deal poison damage--via weapon or spell--to a creature, that creature is subject to the poisoned condition until the end of your next turn.

Divine Strike
At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with poison. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 poison damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

At 17th level, Lolth grants you the blessing normally reserved for matron mothers.  You are transformed into a drider.  As such, you retain your drow traits and class features, but also acquire the following drider racial traits:

Strength.  You gain a Strength of 16 if your score isn't already higher.
Constitution. You gain a Constitution of 18 if your score isn't already higher.
Size.  Your size becomes large.
Armor Class.  You gain natural armor of 16 (plus any Dexterity modifier).
Speed.  You gain a climb speed of 30 ft.

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

Web Sense. While in contact with a web, the drider knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.

Web Walker. The drider ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.

Shapechanger. You can can use an action to polymorph into your drow form for up to one hour. Other than your strength and constitution scores, you lose your drider racial traits when you are in your drow form.  Any equipment you are wearing or carrying isn't transformed.  You can use a bonus action to revert back to your true drider form.  If you die in drow form, you revert to your true drider form.  Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.


Claw.  You can use your claw to make a melee weapon attack.  You can use either your Strength or your Dexterity for its attack roll and damage bonus, and this attack deals 1d8 piercing damage.

Extra Attack. When you use your Claw attack, you can attack twice instead of once.

Web.  You shoot sticky strands of webbing from your abdomen.  Make a ranged weapon attack roll against one creature.  On a hit, the target is restrained by the webbing. As an action, the restrained target can make a DC 17 Strength check, bursting the webbing on a success. The webbing can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 15; hp 10; vulnerability to fire damage; immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage).  Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Staff of Flying

Simply put, I would reskin the Broom of Flying into a Staff of Flying.  The staff would serve both as an arcane focus and as a quarterstaff.

Primeval Awareness (new, not old)

I am quite fond of the new Ranger class, introduced in Unearthed Arcana: The Ranger, Revised (2016 September).  A portion of one class feature in particular, Primeval Awareness, seems well suited for the Druid class, and I would add it to the Druid class as follows:

Primeval Fauna Awareness
Beginning at 3rd level, your mastery of ranger druid lore allows you to establish a powerful link to beasts and to the land around you.
You have an innate ability to communicate with beasts, and they recognize you as a kindred spirit. Through sounds and gestures, you can communicate simple ideas to a beast as an action, and can read its basic mood and intent. You learn its emotional state, whether it is affected by magic of any sort, its short-term needs (such as food or safety), and actions you can take (if any) to persuade it to not attack.
You cannot use this ability against a creature that you have attacked within the past 10 minutes.