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Level Up (A5E) ENterplanetary DimENsions: Mixed Mergia

This ENterplanetary DimENsions entry will grow on you or you’ll grow into it—those are the only options.

This ENterplanetary DimENsions entry will grow on you or you’ll grow into it—those are the only options.

Mergia Level Up 5E DnD 5E SHRUNK.jpg

Illustration by Bertil Norén.

At first glance Mergia might seem to be a simple medieval realm and it is only upon further observation (hopefully done carefully and while on the move) that the strangeness of this place is revealed. Everything but the dirt and water becomes part of the environment with astonishing speed, making it especially dangerous for the idle. Boulders, trees, even buildings—all have creatures subsumed into them, the unfortunate victims of a plane where the boundaries of magic bleed into and through one another. Life endures despite the phenomenon, and those who lack the adaptability required to survive here inevitably become part of this merging dimension.

The people of Mergia are as strange as their home. Many cultures celebrate the inherent changing, carefully exposing their young to different parts of the world to mark important milestones or devoting themselves in death to be added to otherwise impossible constructions. Most of the conflict between them revolves around these deep-rooted beliefs, though it is rare for any proper nations to arise and rarer still for them to last long enough to leave a lasting mark. The smartest inhabitants of this plane search it for a means to escape their busy lives, eager to learn and contemplate in repose denied them by the dimension in which they live.

Planar Traits. Mergia has the following planar traits and the Narrator should make use of the miring ground, poisonous plants, and strong winds encounter elements. When it is possible to do so, noticing one of these encounter elements before it is too close to avoid requires a DC 18 Insight check.

Abundant Amalgamation​

At the end of every 4 hours a creature spends in contact with a larger object (such as a boulder, building, or tree) it makes a Charisma saving throw against a DC determined by the material as per Table: Abundant Amalgamation. The DC of this saving throw increases by 1 for each successful saving throw made in the last 24 hours. On a failed saving throw, the creature gains a trait determined by the material the object is made of. If the creature already has two traits from that type of material, it permanently merges with the object and must be physically removed by dealing 1d6 bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage per hit die of the creature. After a third failed saving throw against a type of material a creature has merged with, it permanently merges with the object and cannot be removed without a wish. A creature with a secondary trait that merges with a new type of material loses the secondary trait when it gains the new material’s primary trait.

At the end of each hour two creatures of the same size spend in contact with each other they make Charisma saving throws (DC equal to the highest hit dice between them) with disadvantage. On a failed save, the creatures merge into one amalgam form. This amalgam form possesses the background, culture, and heritage traits, class features, attacks, equipment, feats, and proficiencies of both original creatures, using the highest ability scores, hit dice and hit points, proficiency bonus, and movement speeds between them. All effects and spells currently targeting the original creatures end when the amalgam is formed. The amalgam’s Challenge Rating increases by 2 if the original creatures had the same Challenge Rating, or it increases by 1 if one of the original creatures had a Challenge Rating 3 or more greater than the other original creature.

After leaving Mergia a creature loses any secondary traits gained from merging with an object after a number of days equal to its proficiency bonus, and any primary traits after a number of days equal to its hit dice. An amalgam creature remains merged for a number of days equal to its hit dice before splitting back into the original creatures.

Narrator Note. Avoid allowing PCs to merge together. When this absolutely cannot be avoided, each turn in combat a different player controls the amalgam adventurer.

Table: Abundant Amalgamation
MaterialDCPrimary TraitSecondary Trait
Bone13Hollow. Your voice resonates and carries more import than normal. You gain an expertise die on Charisma checks.Boney. You gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. In addition, when you take a critical hit you lose a limb (roll 1d4 to determine which). The limb can be reattached with any amount of magical healing.
Cloth, paper10Lightweight. Your weight is halved. You gain an expertise die on Dexterity checks.Windstep. You gain a fly speed equal to your Speed. In addition, you become vulnerable to fire damage and piercing damage.
Crystal, glass11Reflective. Your skin becomes partly reflective and you more introspective. Spell attacks against you cannot gain expertise dice, and you gain an expertise die on Intelligence checks.Translucent. All of your body becomes disturbingly transparent. While naked and perfectly still, creatures require a Perception check against your passive Stealth score to see you. In addition, you become vulnerable to bludgeoning damage and have disadvantage on Charisma checks.
Ice12Chilled. You gain resistance to cold damage. In addition, you gain an expertise die on Wisdom checks.Cold to the Bone. Your body becomes ice. You gain resistance to cold damage and bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. In addition, you become vulnerable to fire damage.
Iron, steel, stone16Heavy. Your weight is doubled. You gain an expertise die on Strength checks and Constitution checks.Hardbodied. Your AC increases by 4 and you gain resistance bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, but you are slowed.
Wood14Rooted. Vines stretch outward from your feet with every step. You gain advantage on checks and saving throws made to avoid going prone.Wooden. You gain resistance to poison, psychic, and thunder damage, and bludgeoning and piercing damage. In addition, you become vulnerable to fire damage.

Alignment Acquisition​

A living soul’s actions also carry greater weight in the changing dimension, leaving a mark that can only be removed by striking a moving balance. A creature that makes a number of alignment acts equal to or greater than its hit dice gains the associated alignment trait. Opposite alignment acts cancel each other out: for every chaotic act a lawful act is removed from the tally, for every evil act a good act is removed from the tally, and vice versa. A creature with an alignment trait requires twice as many alignment acts to change to an opposite alignment trait.

Alignment Acts​

An alignment act requires a creature interacting with another creature, though whether or not a creature’s behavior qualifies as an alignment act is at the Narrator’s discretion.
Chaos. Examples include dancing naked in the bazaar on a whim, stirring up drama for entertainment, and defying authority for the sake of it.
Evil. Inflicting suffering, taking from those with little, using fear to control others, and needlessly taking lives are evil acts.
Good. Good acts include providing healing or food for no compensation, undertaking painful tasks without reward, and saving lives when it is dangerous to do so.
Law. A lawful act is in accordance with tradition or conventional thinking such as fulfilling an agreement, abiding by a rule that is not needed, or doing something the way it’s been done before for no other reason than that.

Move or Merge​

It is quite literally dangerous to stay in one place in Mergia for too long, and the risk of it makes every native of the plane live a mobile or extremely spartan lifestyle. Fortunately most creatures only sleep 6 hours during a regular long rest of 8 hours, but even so this requires frequent swapping of bedding once the changing starts to take effect. Sicknesses are particularly feared—anyone showing signs of being diseased has disadvantage on Charisma checks, people too fearful to interact lest they take ill, become immobile, and ultimately die from merging in their weakness. Healers however are celebrated, and those who have proven themselves have advantage on Charisma checks. Ritual spellcasting is also a tricky endeavor, the time required to cast the longest spells making them dangerous to attempt.

Plentiful Portals​

Arcana is in the very air of Mergia and the plane seeps into other dimensions, though rarely for very long or in exactly the same places. A portal can appear in the middle of a marketplace only to disappear a few minutes later, or it might remain for months. The destinations of these gateways are just as random—some lead to other worlds, some to other planes, and some simply take travelers elsewhere in Mergia. Unfortunately when a portal appears in Mergia the magical feedback causes a snapback effect, drawing in anyone too close; there’s a good chance all the people in that marketplace got taken very far away.

Spontaneous Portal Feedback​

2nd tier (supernatural)
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP); DC 15/14
Area Immediate (1 hour)
An unnatural clap of magic resonates through the air as a kaleidoscopic swirl of energy suddenly appears nearby, winds whipping into a frenzy as everything in sight is dragged towards it!

Climb Horizontal. Creatures with a climb speed gain an expertise die on checks made to escape the vortex.

Realize Danger. With an Arcana check an adventurer spots the furthest reaches of the vortex, granting advantage on ability checks made against the vortex while outside of its area.

Spell Solve. A casting of dispel magic and Arcana check does not destroy a portal, but it weakens the vortex granting creatures advantage on ability checks made against it.

Traitorous Firmament. Creatures that are flying have disadvantage on ability checks made against the vortex.

Vortex. The center of the portal is a churning vortex with a 100-foot radius area. Creatures and objects that are in the vortex’s area or within 100 feet of it make an Athletics check (or Animal Handling check if mounted, or a land vehicle check if onboard a vehicle), and on a failure are pulled 20 feet towards the area's center. Once within the area, checks made to escape it have disadvantage.
When a creature first enters the vortex’s area on a turn or starts its turn there, it makes a Strength saving throw, taking 9 (2d8) bludgeoning damage and being pulled towards the center of the area on a failed save. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and isn’t pulled.
If a creature or object fails on an ability check or saving throw against the portal while within the center of the vortex’s area, it gets sucked through the gateway to the otherside where it lands prone in an unoccupied square.

A group Athletics check can be made to carefully move out of and around the portal’s vortex. Sufficiently large debris (such as a Huge-sized or larger object) can temporarily plug up the portal, suspending the effects of the vortex for 1d4+2 rounds.

Critical Failure: The adventurers are sucked into the portal’s vortex, transported to the other side. The destination of the portal is determined by the Narrator.

Failure: Each adventurer loses 5 (2d4) Supply and suffers a level of fatigue and strife, but they manage to avoid being sucked through the portal.

Success: The adventurers skirt the edges of the portal’s vortex without too much trouble.

Critical Success: Not only do the adventurers avoid the draw of the vortex, while escaping the dangers from the portal they spot something special. Roll once on the Boons and Discoveries table.

Seeping Sentience​

The bleeding magics of the changing dimension can also affect magic items, imparting in them a thinking mind fostered from its owner. After spending a number of days in Mergia determined by an attuned magic item’s rarity (see Table: Seeping Sentience) it gains sentience with an Intelligence score of 8 + 1d4, Wisdom score of 8 + 1d6, and Charisma score of 8 + 1d8. The sentient magic item is proficient in languages that you know, able to speak, has senses identical to those of a human, and is charmed by you until you or your companions harm it. Depending on how you treated the magic item while it was charmed, when the condition ends it may choose to remain friendly to you. Generally these magic items are curious and helpful, though any conflicts and its personality are determined by the type of item and the Narrator. For example, a pair of enchanted boots might like to travel and dislike spikey terrain. Once a magic item made sentient by Mergia is removed from it, any sentience it gained is lost when its attunement ends or after a number of weeks equal to the attuned creature’s proficiency bonus.

Table: Seeping Sentience
Magic Item RarityDays Required
Very Rare4d4+8

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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
OK, that's kind of terrifying.
Thank you!

At the risk of being alarming: next week's entry is perhaps scarier, and the week after that is an absolute horror show.

bowing donald.png

Got another entry after that before we're in a happier, friendlier locale. :p

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