Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Eldritch Knight cantrips

Once an Eldritch Knights achieves War Magic at level 7, I think that True Strike (as revised below) and Blade Ward become good choices for cantrips.  Here are my reasons why:

By level 5, an Eldritch Knight can attack twice with his attack action.  That means 2 attack rolls and 2 damage rolls in 1 round of combat; and consequently, 4 attack rolls and 4 damage rolls in 2 rounds of combat.  I will continue to discuss my reasoning within the context of two rounds of combat.

By virtue of War Magic, an Eldritch Knight can use Blade Ward with the following effect:  3 attack rolls and 3 damage rolls in 2 rounds of combat, plus resistance against bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage for those two rounds.

Here is how I would revise the True Strike cantrip:

True Strike
On Until the end of your next turn, you gain advantage on your first attack rolls against the target, provided that this spell hasn’t ended.

I believe that this revision would not provide an added benefit to most wizards; however, an Eldritch Knight, by virtue of War Magic, would benefit from this revision as follows: 6 attack rolls and 3 damage rolls in 2 rounds of combat.

Thus, an Eldritch Knight with both True Strike (as revised below) and Blade Ward would have 3 meaningfully different combat options:

i) Normal Attack Option: 4 attack rolls and 4 damage rolls in 2 rounds of combat;

ii) Defensive Attack Option: 3 attack rolls and 3 damage rolls in 2 rounds of combat, plus resistance against bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage for those two rounds; and

iii) Precise Attack Option: 6 attack rolls and 3 damage rolls in 2 rounds of combat.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Drow and Scout modifications


Challenge 1/4 1/2 (50 100 XP)

Hit Points 13 16 (3d8 + 3)

CON 10 12 (+0 1)

Multiattack. The drow makes two shortsword attacks.



Shortsword Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing slashing damage.

Drider (a work in progress)

When a drow house lacks a matron mother, Lolth eventually summons that house's highest ranking drow priestess to the Hadesweb for a test of faith and strength.  Those that pass the test rise higher in the Spider Queen's favor.  They become matron mothers and are transformed by Lloth into driders, a type of yugoloth. Those that fail the test prove that they are unworthy to lead a drow house to Lloth's satisfaction.  They remain in the Hadesweb to serve rather than to lead.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ettercap redux

Innate Spellcasting. The ettercap's innate spellcasting ability is Charisma. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: animal friendship (spiders only)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Reincarnate, More Important Than You Think

In D&D, the only ways to regain youth are the Potion of Longevity and the spells Clone, Wish, and Reincarnate.  The Potion of Longevity reduces one's age only by 7 to 12 years, whereas each of these spells can provide a new (young) adult body.  An important benefit of a new (young) adult body is that it extends the overall life of the person.  It is important to note that the spells Revivify, Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection all return the original dead body to life, and do not provide a new (young) adult body.

No other faith provides the means to extend life.  The Clone spell is Wizard only, and the Wish spell is Wizard and Sorcerer only.  The Reincarnate spell appears only on the druid spell list.  No other class has the Reincarnate spell, and because of this, the Old (Druidic) Faith holds more sway over the world than any other faith.  By perpetuating its Druids, the Old Faith has more Druids than other faiths have Clerics.  Also, since Druids tend to live longer, there exist more Druids in the uppermost echelons of the Old Faith than their equivalents (Clerics) in other faiths.  Further, Timeless Body (Druid level 18 class feature), which ages a druid's body only 1 year for every 10 actual years, allows the most powerful Druids to live for centuries with need of only a few castings of Reincarnate.  Assuming that the practitioners of the Old Faith are aware of this impact, and make a concerted effort to preserve the lives of their Druids, then there would be sizable number of Druids that are older than the oldest of dragons.

As a 5th level spell, Reincarnate is more readily available than the Clone (8th level) and Wish (9th level) spells.  Therefore, Reincarnate would be more widely used than Clone or Wish.  And as previously mentioned, the practitioners of the Old Faith work in concert to preserve their Druids, whereas Wizards and Sorcerers function far more independently of each other.

In addition to returning a person to life and singlehandedly bolstering the strength of the Old Faith, Reincarnate also facilitates the learning of racial tolerance on a level otherwise unattainable.  By living life as more than one race, none of which were of their own choosing, Druids learn to understand and respect the perspectives of those races, allowing the Old Faith to be race neutral in a way that other faiths aren't. Thusly, the Reincarnate spell has a tremendous impact on the world.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Jackalwere redone as Hyenawere

The demon lord Yeenoghu created hyenaweres from ordinary hyenas to serve as spies and infiltrators for gnoll tribes, and advisors to gnoll pack lords.

Jackalwere Hyenawere
Medium humanoid (shapechanger), chaotic evil
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 18 (4d8)
Speed 4050ft.
STR 11 (+0)
DEX 15 (+2)
CON 11 (+0)
INT 13 (+1)
WIS 11 (+0)
CHA 10 (+0)
Skills Deception +4, Perception +2, Stealth +4
Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons that aren't silvered
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Abyssal (can't speak in jackal hyena form)
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Shapechanger. The jackalwere hyenawere can use its action to polymorph into a specific Medium human or a jackal-humanoid hybrid specific gnoll, or back into its true form (that of a Small jackal hyena). Other than its size, its 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.

Keen Hearing and Smell. The jackalwere has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

Pack Tactics. The jackalwere hyenawere has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the jackalwere's hyenawere's allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated.

Bite (Jackal Hyena or Hybrid Gnoll Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage .

Scimitar (Human or Hybrid Gnoll Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (ld6 + 2) slashing damage.

Sleep Gaze. The jackalwere hyenawere gazes at one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. The target must make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target succumbs to a magical slumber, falling unconscious for 10 minutes or until someone uses an action to shake the target awake. A creature that successfully saves against the effect is immune to this jackalwere's hyenawere's gaze for the next 24 hours. Undead and creatures immune to being charmed aren't affected by it.

On Lycanthropy

Each form of lycanthropy is limited to one base race.  For example:

Werewolves come from humans;
Wererats come from halflings;
Wereboars come from dwarves;
Weretigers come from elves/half-elves;
Werebears come from orcs/half-orcs; and
Werecrocodiles come from lizardfolk.

As a curse, lycanthropy generally is meant to conflict with the nature of the base race.  Thus, werewolves, wererats and wereboars are evil (whereas humans, halflings and dwarves are generally good), but werebears are good (whereas orcs are generally evil).  Weretigers are neutral (whereas elves are generally good).  Werecrocodiles are evil (whereas lizardfolk are generally neutral).

In all three forms, wererats are size small.

Werebears, weretigers, and werecrocodiles are size medium in hybrid form.