Posts

The Hives at the Fields' Furthest Margin

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Logan (the DM) had posed question: @LogantheDM Bees would have to be a fey based fantasy race, right? Like say I am making bee people for #DnD and was trying to explain why they are more people than just giant bees? Fey, right? In my mind "fey" connotes things "liminal" in some way, an in between state. Like both familiar and strange. Or at the edge of cultivated lands (not deep woods or in town). Is it real or a dream?  You thought this person was dead, but (through magical thinking) they seem alive-ish. So the thing is to find some way that bees fit this vibe. The Fey Bees On a drowsy summer day, if you go to check furthest hives at 5 minutes to noon, the skeps seem larger somehow, though they measure the regular size if one has the tools to check. If you tarry for more than a few seconds, the soothing buzz makes you fuzzy in the head and the cloying sweet smell is overpowering. And you find you can go inside the hive, even though it should be too small for you. 

The Crone: An Alternative to the Hag

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Originally in response to the question: In D&D is there a creature that is the good or neutral equivalent to a hag? I don’t know of any such creatures canonically in 5th edition which are good or neutral versions of the hag. Swanmays The closest equivalent I can think of from previous editions are Swanmay. The Swanmay are a secretive sisterhood of shapechangers (swan specific) with ranger-like abilities. I knew of them originally from the AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual , but they also show up as a playable race in the Complete Book of Humanoids . Swanmays are not exactly the same concept as hags, but kind of have a  magic women of the wilderness  type thing going on. I strongly suspect that Gygax (or some other creative person working in the D&D sphere) got the idea for Swanmays for them from Poul Anderson's novel Three Hearts and Three Lions , where one of the primary characters is a Swanmay.

Star Trek RPGs

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Someone on Quora had inquired if there were a Star Trek RPG like AD&D (not sure if they meant AD&D in particular, or just used that as a generic stand-in for RPG). In response this was just a roundup of all the Star Trek RPGs I could think of.

Settings - For Low Magic 5th Edition D&D

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Previously I suggested ideas for how to run a 5th Ed. D&D game with lower availability of spellcasting.  Weirdly however, even though the idea of trying to run low spellcasting games of 5th Edition holds some interest for me, I've sometimes been at a loss what sort of game I'd find that combination a useful fit for, or (if I was a player) attractive to play in. This post is a follow-up, brainstorming various settings which might make use of such a lower magic system.   In these settings humans (and maybe other creatures) might have access to a few spells, but spellcasting classes as such are not available. Spells are mostly cast either through artifacts or rituals except maybe a few cantrips. Hyborian Age The obvious default seems like it would be something Conan-esque. After all, that is part of the inspiration behind D&D. A world build on the crumbling ruins of older things, but now largely a land of decadent city-states and harsh lands in between. Legendary/Eldric

Low Magic Rules for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

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The following are a set of rules (limitations mostly) I came up with which would allow 5th Edition D&D to be used for lower magic settings and types of games.  Maybe something closer to historic-fantasy, though this might work for other kinds of settings as well. Note that each of the elements below is essentially a separate toggle, you can use some and not others, as the setting dictates. Races Players are generally only allowed to play human characters.  However, DMs might allow one of the following options: Option 1:  Quirky Humans  - Certain other races may be allowed, but are reskinned to simply represent slightly unusual humans. Option 2:  Shunned  - Certain other races are allowed, but represent weird beings from outside human civilization, shunned by most decent folk. Some individuals and organizations may view them with sympathy, but there’s every chance of a mob rising up against them. Option 3:  Dying Race  - Alternately, other races may not be always outcast, but me

Setting: Tomb World

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This isn't a setting I expect to primarily focus on, but wanted to throw together some notes about it before forgetting.  The idea as been partly kicking around in my mind for awhile now, but was brought to the forefront by the 💿🐎 on Twitter recently regarding the ethics of looting bodies.   Possibly something like this already exists, but I can't recall this exact view of it being brought up before. The idea of a vast necropolis isn't that bizarre, a few of my favorites are: Charn from The Magician's Nephew  by C.S. Lewis.  Charn is a dead world after Queen Jadis spoke The Deplorable Word . Necropolis: Brutal Edition - A fairly simplistic brawl and explore game taking place in a seemingly vast necropolis. Abarrach from the Fire Sea  book of the Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.  A world where the choking fumes and heat of an underground lava sea have killed off everyone who is not a powerful magician.  The remaining magicians use the animated bo

Owl Light: The Fey - Prodigal, Reformed and Iron Eld

In the Owl Light setting the "Elf" body type seems to have been some sort of standard template used by the gods and powers in ancient times to create lithe, skilled beings.  Elves from other worlds in many cases appear to have arisen over the course of aeons as part of natural evolution in those places, sometimes as precursors to humans or co-sentients on their worlds. But the crop of Elves (the Eld) currently predominant on Hypethra mostly originate from the Netherworld.  In this realm the dreams and thoughts of all sentient creatures accumulate, peopling the realm with every imaginable permutation of archetype and narrative, and sweeping the landscape with gradual but ceaseless changes as the whims of psychic currents dictate. Prodigal Eld The Prodigal Eld are those creatures fresh sprung from this tumult, still given over to the Netherworld's bizarre currents.  Free will is a novel concept to most Prodigal Eld, but their convictions are backed by the strength of worlds