Sean's Picks of the Week (0807-0811) - Fun With 5th Edition Week!
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (0807-0811) - Fun With 5th Edition Week!

    This Theme Week thing has worked out pretty well so far, so for the foreseeable future, I'll stick with it. This week, thanks to the release of the Critical Role setting book, I decided to showcase a number of products designed specifically to use with the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Not only as a tip-of-the-hat to this new product, but also an acknowledgment of one of the most important games in the history of Gen Con. I have some interesting thoughts about what I should do for Gen Con week itself, but I am keen to know if any of you have suggestions.


    The release of the “Internet famous” Matthew Mercer‘s Tal’Dorei campaign – the setting featured on his Critical Role vidcast – inspired my choice for the theme of this week:

    Fun With 5th Edition!

    Critical Role has taken the roleplaying world by storm. Now, you can join the adventure!

    Until now, the wondrous and dangerous lands of Tal’Dorei have been the sole stomping grounds of the show’s adventuring company, Vox Machina. But now, you can explore these realms in a tome from the pen of Game Master Matt Mercer himself!

    Will you find one of the revered Vestiges of Divergence or perhaps discover part of the Chroma Conclave’s legacy? Can you help the Ashari in their sacred charge to prevent the elemental vortices from overwhelming the world, or will you find yourself embroiled in the machinations of the Clasp?

    This setting book takes an in-depth look at the history, people, and places of Tal’Dorei, and includes new backgrounds, magic items, and monsters for the Fifth Edition rules.


    Fun With 5th Edition Week continues with a powerful Pick from the Dungeon Masters Guild, a very high level adventure set in the Forgotten Realms with some solid reviews attached to it.

    How many times have you started a campaign and it dissolved before you reached the top tier? How many builds have you made, all of them assuming reaching level 20, but you have never managed to try them out? Put your regular campaign on hold and see what happens when PCs reach level 20!

    “Finders Keepers” is an epic Dungeons and Dragons adventure, set in Forgotten Realms and beyond. The stakes are high: the location of one of the legendary Books of Keeping has been discovered, and now various powers of the universe vie for control over that power… Devils, demons and fallen angels; the mighty shall fall and who is going to be left smelling the ashes?

    The adventure starts with a fight with an ancient red dragon. Then things escalate and your players will have their 20th level spells, powers, and skills tested! Battle the game’s most powerful beings, visit distant planes and make world-shaping decisions! The fate of Toril is in their hands…

    With this purchase you will get:

    • 15-25 hours of gameplay
    • Custom made art
    • Map of Phlan by Elven Tower
    • 3 custom made maps, each provided in grid/no-grid, for players/for DM versions
    • Set of 11 pre-generated 20th level Player Characters*
    • A 10-page article about the process of making “Finders Keepers”

    * (These are just stats, to spare you the headache of making builds etc.! I’m sure your players will love to create backgrounds for them, make up the heroic deeds their PCs performed on their way to level 20, after all: that’s what roleplaying is about!)


    Today’s Fun With 5th Edition Pick takes the latest version of the “World’s Most Popular Roleplaying Game” into the stars in action-cinema style. It’s one of the most popular 5e-driven products on DriveThruRPG, so well worth a look for anyone who wants to see what the game looks like in a galaxy far, far away where no one has gone before.

    Adventure at hyperspeed, smirking at the authorities along the way. Tramp around a hostile galaxy in a starship held together with spit and pluck. You’re a motley crew of misfits, gathered by chance, venting your frustrations through witty barbs and alien howls.

    Strap in, kid. We’re gunna burn across the sky ‘til the stars become lines.

    HYPERLANES is the gaming technology that takes you there. We begin with all new Classes and Archetypes, reverse engineered from the basic building blocks of the D&D Player’s Handbook, but reprogrammed for scifi adventuring among the stars, integrating starship battle abilities from the ground up. We splice in all new Feats for cinematic action, systems for building alien species and robot chassis as Races, and iconic Backgrounds to add dimensionality to your spacer.

    We don’t stop there.

    We hook up a hard hitting chapter on armor clad soldiers, fringe-planet crime lords, and monstrous alien threats. We install a honed system for enabling memorable space battles, designed to send a chill up your spine as you blast hostile spacecraft out of the starry sky. We bury you in “magical items” recast as scientific marvels and scavenged technology from forgotten civilizations.

    HYPERLANES is a humming engine of science fiction action and it’s what you need to adapt your favorite star spanning adventure setting to your living room cockpit. We take inspiration from such classics as Star Wars, Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, and Guardians of the Galaxy. We’re pretty sure this is the action scifi supplement you’ve been looking for.

    This book was Kickstarted in December 2016 and we are happy to report that it successfully funded at over $40,000. Stretch goals from such an amazing total allowed us to hire on additional writers and artists and really make this book something memorable.

    Thank you to all our wonderful backers.


    We continue the Fun With 5th Edition Week with this gem from Fat Goblin Games. A compilation of Ismael Alvarez’s Sidebar columns dealing with enhanced versions of 5e mundane gear and its use, this also adds a bunch of new stuff to make it a fantastic supplement to any current-version D&D game.

    Ismael Alvarez’ fantastic Sidebar columns explored the power and creativity of mundane 5th edition equipment. First there were weapons, then he talked about armor and finally equipment! Now those Sidebar’s have been compiled and enhanced in one complete volume! What do we mean when we say Amazing Weapons, Armor, and Equipment?

    • Mundane armors with qualities like Basher, Durable, Nimble, and more!
    • Quality Weapons that allow for Fine Edge, Protecting, Opportunistic, and Quick effects!
    • Quality Equipment that adds bonuses and other enhancements to your kits, packs, and packages!
    • Weapons Charms which give slightly magical properties to your weapons!

    And much more!


    It seems only fitting to close out Fun With 5th Edition week with the latest release for Adventures in Middle-earth. The ultimate (and, dare I say, inevitable) marriage between D&D and one of its most influential inspirations is a rather exceptional example of bonding game to setting in a beautiful and effective way. This product represents an easy-access adventure, a number of ready-to-play characters, some lovely optional rules for a couple of the classes, and a set of pages that will make the Loremaster’s job significantly easier.

    The Eaves of Mirkwood and Loremaster’s Screen is an invaluable accessory pack for the Loremaster, aimed to introduce players to Adventures in Middle-earth.

    It contains:

    • The Eaves of Mirkwood: a 32-page adventure that makes a perfect introduction to Adventures in Middle-earth for new players, or a handy episode to drop into your existing campaign. The Company finds themselves setting out from Woodmen-town to travel through the Eaves of Mirkwood towards Lake-town. When the Journey goes awry they must draw swords in aid of a village beleaguered by the dreaded Greymuzzle Hob. Using cut down rules and offering lots of advice, Eaves of Mirkwood is a great starting point for your Adventures in Middle-earth.

    • The PDF version of the beautiful and functional four panel, heavyweight Loremaster’s Screen, featuring a collection of handy reference tables, broken into pages for the PDF, to keep your games flowing seamlessly on the other.

    • Six pre-generated characters in a separate file.

    • A 2 page PDF file of suggested optional rules for the Warden and Scholar classes.

    What you’ll need to play The Eaves of Mirkwood

    • The 5e rules – these are available free online – or the hard copy player’s rules.

    • It would be extremely helpful to have access to the Adventures in Middle-earth Player’s Guide and Loremaster’s Guide. But Eaves of Mirkwood can be run without them.

    • A passing knowledge of Middle-earth. You don’t need to be an expert, nor do the players. If you’ve seen the movies that will serve you well. If you’ve read the books so much the better. The more you know of Middle-earth the more of its special atmosphere you can impart, but you do not need to be an expert.

    About Adventures in Middle-earth

    At last, you can officially play the world’s favourite RPG in Middle-earth! Offering Middle-earth specific classes, cultures and backgrounds, as well as new rules for Journeys, Audiences, Scenery in Combat, Corruption, and unique Middle-earth adversaries, Adventures in Middle-earth has been both a huge popular and critical success. With gorgeous artwork, and an adaptation that’s as faithful to the source material as it is possible to be, Adventures in Middle-earth is simply a must have purchase for 5e gamers.

    So there's the Picks for this week, and as most of my colleagues go into this weekend scrambling to get ready for Gen Con, I have a certain level of peace about the whole thing. This would be the very first Gen Con I've ever attended where I don't have a huge, fully-planned schedule and/or a ton of work to do.

    In fact, I'm not taking anything to run! I didn't know I was going until well too late in the event submissions process, and I just didn't want to drag my GM crap around hoping to find some place to do a pickup game and hope folks might have time and desire to play.

    So, instead, I am headed there to hang out with friends, attend a couple of awards ceremonies and some parties, and pick up a slew of Generics and see what I can get into.

    Tonight, it's Prowlers & Paragons: The Storm Wardens, while Sunday brings the "Return of Reliant" to the P&P: The Epic Age campaign. Two supers games in one weekend? Nirvana!

    I hope you have fun stuff planned!

    The Adventure Continues!

    Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks and other article choices, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.

    Sean Patrick Fannon
    Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
    Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. ChrissyB's Avatar
      ChrissyB -
      I'm really glad you picked "Finders Keepers". It's an awesome adventure and the "making of" section is really interesting. My EnWorld review is here:
    1. dalisprime's Avatar
      dalisprime -
      Is hyperlanes the 5e equivalent (as it were) of starfinder?
    1. olytron's Avatar
      olytron -
      Quote Originally Posted by dalisprime View Post
      Is hyperlanes the 5e equivalent (as it were) of starfinder?
      I'll be picking up Starfinder but I earnestly wish it was powered by the 5e ruleset.

      Reading Zeitgeist Gears of Revolution and I am so glad it's being converted to 5e.
    1. dalisprime's Avatar
      dalisprime -
      To be fair Paizo didn't develop its own game engine (derivative as it may be) only to abandon it and take up the 5e ruleset. I'm guessing a good chunk of their player base would be upset if they did that.

      It does allow others to do that very thing though giving us variety. Win win situation.
    Comments Leave Comment