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Blog (A5E) A 'State of Level Up' Address!

It's been three months since we announced Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition, and as 2020 closes, we felt it was a great time to give a status update!

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First, let's take a look at this layout preview! Our graphic designer has been hard at work, using the draft manuscript, to create the look and feel of the hardcover book. This preview gives you an idea of what it will look like.

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We've published all the Origins material and a bunch of classes in playtest form. Using all your valuable survey feedback, that material gets a thorough treatment before it goes to layout. The survey feedback you give is so important, and one of our most important tools in guiding the game.

We've also posted some important blog entries on how we will be approaching various aspects of this game.

On EN World there's a Most Anticipated RPG of 2021 poll. This happens every year. If you are anticipating Level Up, please help get the word out by voting in the poll via the button above!




We're hard at work on the rest of the game. Here's some quick-bite insights! These are quotes from the text. Of course, some may need more context to fully understand, and they are not final, but we hope they'll intrigue you!
  • When you score a critical hit, you double the attack’s damage against the target (including static modifiers). A critical hit can be turned into a regular hit by sacrificing an equipped shield (see Chapter 4: Equipment) or choosing to suffer an injury (see below).
  • Some attacks and other effects deal ongoing damage. When you are taking ongoing damage, at the end of each of your turns you take an amount and type of damage described by the effect. The ongoing damage continues until the duration of the effect ends. Ongoing damage might be caused by burning oil, a psychic echo, corrosive substances, a terrible wound, or another pernicious element, and if it can be ended early the details of how to do so are included with the effect (fire: dousing flames, psychic: centering your mind, acid: wiping away corrosive liquid, piercing or slashing: tying off a bandage).
  • A doomed creature has sustained damage to their body, mind, and spirit that puts it beyond the help of normal recovery and lesser magic. While the symptoms of a doomed creature’s injuries might be removed, only powerful spells such as regeneration or resurrection can spare it from death or restore it to life.
  • The initiative step sets the order of everyone's turn throughout the encounter. Each participant makes an ability check to determine their place in the initiative count, from the highest check total to the lowest. This ability check is often Dexterity. The Narrator might determine that one or more participants should instead roll a different ability check, potentially utilizing a relevant skill or tool (see Table: Types of Initiative).
  • World Actions. The raging storm howls and a bolt of lightning splits the ground in front of the adventurers. Souls lost to the sea manifest amid the fervor of the fishing competition for another chance at the perfect catch. The field can be as active a participant in Turn-Based Action as the characters are, and its actions can have serious consequences for everyone involved. Some world bonuses and penalties have an effect that activates within the initiative count. These world actions occur at the start of the round before any participants act.
  • During travel, 'Supplies' are effectively the party's hit points. Exploration challenges deplete Supplies, and food rots in extra-dimensional spaces. If you spend a long rest without using a Supply, bad things start to happen.
  • A stronghold offers benefits that are designed to be equal or superior to the equivalent expenditure in arms and equipment. These benefits grant stronghold builders (and their parties) resources, bonuses, powers, and abilities which directly affect them, and which make their tomb-raiding easier.
  • Followers never participate directly in encounters. They fade into the background, and come to the fore occasionally when their particular skill is needed. Each follower grants the character a specific ability or benefit.
  • For one reason or another an adventurer may be moved to donate to charity or invest to the betterment of a settlement. There are boons and rewards available to sponsoring a city project or helping develop a charitable organization. In order to benefit from a donation, you must contribute at least 1,000 gold.
  • You can utilize a mount as a pack animal instead of riding it. Just like a character, a pack animal can carry a number of Supplies equal to its Strength score in addition to its normal carrying capacity, and it can carry a number of bulky items equal to its Strength modifier + 1. If you intend to ride a mount as well as carry items with it, it can only carry half as many Supplies and bulky items.
  • Helms fit over the wearer’s head, protecting them from head injuries. However, they also limit the wearer’s vision and hearing.

Continue reading...
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
Why ongoing at the end of your turn? In 4e it was at the start, ensuring that you almost always suffered the effect at least once. Is it intentional that you get the chance to rid yourself of the effect before suffering it even once?
 

aco175

Legend
  • A stronghold offers benefits that are designed to be equal or superior to the equivalent expenditure in arms and equipment. These benefits grant stronghold builders (and their parties) resources, bonuses, powers, and abilities which directly affect them, and which make their tomb-raiding easier.
  • Followers never participate directly in encounters. They fade into the background, and come to the fore occasionally when their particular skill is needed. Each follower grants the character a specific ability or benefit.
I'm most looking forward to these parts. Artwork looks good as well.
 

Faolyn

Explorer
  • When you score a critical hit, you double the attack’s damage against the target (including static modifiers). A critical hit can be turned into a regular hit by sacrificing an equipped shield (see Chapter 4: Equipment) or choosing to suffer an injury (see below).
My brain stopped working for a moment and I wondered why you would want to turn your critical hit into a regular hit. Then I realized what you meant. Interesting! I like the idea of lingering injuries but I always forget to use them because they're a table buried in the DMG. I like having them more up front like this.

Can you also sacrifice anything else, like letting a weapon be broken instead (parrying a blow)? What happens if its a magic shield?

  • Some attacks and other effects deal ongoing damage. When you are taking ongoing damage, at the end of each of your turns you take an amount and type of damage described by the effect. The ongoing damage continues until the duration of the effect ends. Ongoing damage might be caused by burning oil, a psychic echo, corrosive substances, a terrible wound, or another pernicious element, and if it can be ended early the details of how to do so are included with the effect (fire: dousing flames, psychic: centering your mind, acid: wiping away corrosive liquid, piercing or slashing: tying off a bandage).
Approve! I hope there's a bleed effect in there. And "psychic echo" gives me some nice visuals.

These type of ongoing effects have been in 5e, but again, buried throughout the books. It's good to see them used more prominently.

  • Doom [...] Initiative [...] World Actions
I can't wait to see some examples! They definitely sound interesting.

  • You can utilize a mount as a pack animal instead of riding it. Just like a character, a pack animal can carry a number of Supplies equal to its Strength score in addition to its normal carrying capacity, and it can carry a number of bulky items equal to its Strength modifier + 1. If you intend to ride a mount as well as carry items with it, it can only carry half as many Supplies and bulky items.
Bulky items... that's a new one. I see the encumbrance tables are getting a workout.
 



ruemere

Explorer
One of my favourites is the doomed condition. I say that because I came up with it. Sometimes when you find the dying king as he gasps out his final words, pouring a cheap potion down his gob won’t help. He’s gonna die.
Brilliant. Same about devil's bargain to avoid taking critical damage.

Just add that the default setting is going to be the world of Zeitgeist, and you've made a sale.

NOTE: I have one nitpick with the layout. The left margin of BUILDING VARIA block does seem out of sync with the rest of the column - you've changed the font, you've altered the color, why the need for more indent?
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I like the greentext race examples on the chapter1 page, neat use of races. Varia sounds interesting & makes me want to learn about the world that her & her parents live in & fight for... doubly so because it seems like I could fit it into settings like eberron & darksun without too much work just by running the timeline back to things like quori/daelkyr invasion or pre/early cleansing wars.

Are elves & some of the other long lived races back to living a thousand years or so? someone fighting for a few hundred years to protect their kingdom from an invasion i going to have a different perspective than someone who just started & the kingdom itself is going to bear thhe scars differently
 









dave2008

Legend
I like a lot of what you are doing here, but as a reptile lover - please no reptilian creatures / PCs with mammalian breasts. I was very disappointed to see the dragon-folk art.

PS The general layout and graphic design look great
 



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