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D&D 5E Free 60+ page Guide to Sword & Sorcery for 5E D&D

CapnZapp

Legend
No. The NSFW tag for a legit gaming product is good enough, from the owner’s own words.

The point was that reposting the link after it had been removed was...risky. But the boss is letting it pass.
Just as a friendly note: I totally believed it was that a picture was previewed that you removed the link, not that the link itself was dodgy. Maybe I'm daft, but I did not get it from your red-text replacement language in the OP. Sorry. Anyway, I can't speak for Smon, but my guess is he reposted the link in good-faith.

And what about my question - is there any way to have the link in the OP? I mean, if it is okay to have it at all? After all, it's only in the OP it does any good. Maybe within spoiler tags like this:

insert link here
 

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S'mon

Legend
Just as a friendly note: I totally believed it was that a picture was previewed that you removed the link, not that the link itself was dodgy. Maybe I'm daft, but I did not get it from your red-text replacement language in the OP. Sorry. Anyway, I can't speak for Smon, but my guess is he reposted the link in good-faith.

Yeah, I thought the issue with the OP was that the link showed a preview image. So I copy/pasted the link as plain text without using the 'Insert Link' script box, and checked that no preview image appeared.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I love your Cultures of Xoth! They are simple, elegant and spot on to drive home the themes of S&S!
I browsed your site just now, and saw that you have a direct link to Blade of the Iron Throne.

That really made the coin drop - its the same (excellent) idea that every S&S archetype fit into one out of six cultures!

And just like in that game, you really ought to place Cultures front and center, with race/nationality/ancestry/whatevs the secondary distinction! :)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Yeah, I thought the issue with the OP was that the link showed a preview image. So I copy/pasted the link as plain text without using the 'Insert Link' script box, and checked that no preview image appeared.
For some reason, I’m still getting the same issue as with the initial link. It goes directly to the open pdf. I’ve asked the others to look at it.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
For some reason, I’m still getting the same issue as with the initial link. It goes directly to the open pdf. I’ve asked the others to look at it.
Could you be more specific about exactly what issue you are having, Danny.

It sounds like you don't like/want the fact the link directly leads to the PDF, which then either gets downloaded to your computer/phone or gets previewed on-screen (depending on your browser settings), in which case yes, there would be boobies.

But the link is inside a spoiler tag clearly marking the content as NSFW, so...? Is this insufficient and if so in what way?

Do you, for example, need him to link to a (safe for work) web page instead of directly to the PDF, so it becomes clear any naughty stuff is unrelated to EN World?

Or are you (still) seeing NSFW imagery without actively opening the spoiler and clicking the link?

Help Xoth understand what is wrong and what to do about it
 


JPL

Adventurer
Hah, so typically Puritan to focus on nudity!

I think, from a quick browse, the art is great, if repeated (unfortunately) a tad too much. The b/w style evokes the best from the Games Workshop era (Warhammer, Fighting Fantasy)! High praise coming from me!

Kudos for not gating your free download behind some sign-up malarkey. (Hate it when a supposedly free download sends you to a place where they harvest your email and other info) I clicked the link, and the PDF downloaded. As it should be.

As for nipples, my personal observation is that anyone with his panties in a bunch should realize that Sword & Sorcery is best played as a very mature setting for those willing and able to handle decidedly non-modern tropes of exaggerated stereotypes :)

Men being defined by their physical prowess - heroes are invariably sweaty hulking brutes, whereas physically weak males are untrustworthy or comical relief sidekicks, if not outright bitter, turning to evil and sorcery.

Women are also defined by their bodies, in this case by sexual appeal and allure - heroines are invariably beautiful, and showing some skin is an almost magical ability that defeats most males capacity for rational thought (male heroes not always immune).

A setting that evokes tropes and stories from antiquity.

It is a world with endemic corruption and vice where might makes right. Racism, slavery and prejudice is rampant.

True fantasy literature, that is, where you escape the modern world for a darker less likeable world. By playing in it and not insisting it should be watered down to include gender, racial, and social equality you aren't condoning morally wrong or evil actions; you're trusted to separate fantasy from reality just as you can separate right from wrong.

The prevailing philosophy is that civilization corrupts. If you hail from ancient civilizations you're a degenerate in mind and possibly also in body. In extreme cases (like fantasy-Egypt your folk truck with snake demons and blood sorcery)

At the other end of the spectrum, we find the wholesome barbarians most heroes come from - the fantasy Scandinavia or Scotland perhaps.

In this light, a little bit of harmless nudity to indicate that your barbarian queen of a player character might fight topless is certainly not near the top of the list as regards what really is NSFW about Sword & Sorcery, if y'all ask me! ;-)


PS. This is why I personally was satisfied when John Carter of Mars bombed: I think the idea of disneyificating S&S is oxymoronic and stupid. It tells me the exec saw S&S as just some rollercoaster adventure setting, completely shedding all that makes the genre valuable and interesting (as listed above). S&S needs the premium cable treatment, dammit! DS.

Oh, I'm no Puritan. For my part, I don't think that approaching swords & sorcery from a different gender/racial/social perspective necessarily means "watering it down" . . . I read your post and think, well, what if that wholesome barbarian was an African instead of a Celt or a Norseman? What if that barbarian queen wore appropriate armor (like Conan did in the stories) and was the hero instead of the hero's prize? Are we really losing "all that makes the genre valuable and interesting" by taking those approaches?

I guess to me, a big part of the genre is not just the corrupting influence of overcivilization . . . it's the opposite possibility of a culture or bloodline degenerating into bestial savagery. The hero is someone in between --- equal parts strength and cunning, free but answerable to his own code. Lots of different heroes can fit that niche without looking like Conan.
 

JPL

Adventurer
But y'know, this discussion about the genre as a whole may be a little unfair to the creators of the product, who did nice work and provide all the tools to play anything from a more traditional take on the genre to something a bit more PC. For my taste, I would've dialed the nipples down a notch or two, but YMMV.
 

Bupp

Explorer
I gave it a good summary read, going in depth on a few headers that caught my eye.

Very evocative of the source material.

I like how it achieves this feel by "adjusting the dials" of the base 5e rules.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
PCs are exceptional. Sort of goes with the territory. I'm just gonna ask: is this really the hill you want to die on?
Me having an opinion, and not immediately folding when contested, means I'm willing to die on hills?

Please.

Let me phrase it this way: if I get to choose a single genre where mechanical support for gender inequality might be justifiable, Sword & Sorcery would be my choice.

Have a nice day :)
 

GlassJaw

Hero
Overall I'm liking what I see with this. As I said, I like that there are mechanics to reinforce the S&S style of play. I also like the warlord-esque paladin replacement Conqueror class.

That said, Battle Cry is unbelievably broken and overpower. And at 3rd level, it's arguably the most powerful the class gets. Simply giving allies an extra damage die (like the Valor Bard's Combat Inspiration) would be much more reasonable.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Could you be more specific about exactly what issue you are having, Danny.

It sounds like you don't like/want the fact the link directly leads to the PDF, which then either gets downloaded to your computer/phone or gets previewed on-screen (depending on your browser settings), in which case yes, there would be boobies.

But the link is inside a spoiler tag clearly marking the content as NSFW, so...? Is this insufficient and if so in what way?

Do you, for example, need him to link to a (safe for work) web page instead of directly to the PDF, so it becomes clear any naughty stuff is unrelated to EN World?

Or are you (still) seeing NSFW imagery without actively opening the spoiler and clicking the link?

Help Xoth understand what is wrong and what to do about it
When we’ve clicked on the link, the first thing you see is the first page of the open pdf, which has nudity, and thus requires the NSFW alert.
 

S'mon

Legend
if I get to choose a single genre where mechanical support for gender inequality might be justifiable, Sword & Sorcery would be my choice.

It's funny, I'd think mighty warrior women were much more an S&S trope than a high fantasy trope. Belit & Valeria vs Eowyn?
 


Yaarel

Adventurer
Future books will be using the fifth edition rules, hence the update of the Player's Guide. It's currently marked as a "playtest version" because some details might change as a result of feedback, but the final version will also be free (and there will be a Print-on-demand option as well).

In Xoth, you use the 5e Druid to represent the ‘shaman’.

However, the 5e Bard actually represents the shaman better and more straightforwardly.

Bardic songs work as shamanic songs to rapport with nature spirits and to inspire the community.

Unlike the Druid, the Bard wont normally shapeshift (but still could if learning the appropriate spell).

Everything the Bard does is shamanic, nature magic, healing, divination, mind manipulation.

And Charisma as the key ability makes more sense for a shaman anyway, many of who are also tricksters.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I felt splitting humans by ‘race’ and ‘culture’ was pretty clever.

Because any race could be any culture, it actually made the true-to-genre racism, nonracist.

(I still feel it is more polite and accurate to refer to ‘ethnicity’, rather than ‘race’, when dealing with humans. There is only one human race.)



Similarly, since the Seducer Courtier is effective against both males and females, the true-to-genre archetype plays out nonsexist and nonhomophobic.



All in all, these are clever ways to update the genre to todays sensitivities.
 

S'mon

Legend
I felt splitting humans by ‘race’ and ‘culture’ was pretty clever.
Because any race could be any culture, it actually made the true-to-genre racism, nonracist.

Yes, I like that approach, which to me feels truer to REH's worldview at any rate. Unlike Mongoose's OGL Conan where they gave us* Cimmerians an INT penalty! :-O

*I'm actually half Cimmerian and half Aesir, but having been raised Cimmerian that's how I identify. :D
 

CapnZapp

Legend
It's funny, I'd think mighty warrior women were much more an S&S trope than a high fantasy trope. Belit & Valeria vs Eowyn?
I am sorry if you were led to believe I was against "mighty warrior women", I'm not.

With all respect to Miranda Otto, she played a role that successfully disguised herself as a man. That she would be represented in 5E as a STR fighter is something I find entirely fair, since she clearly has had to compromise: she has neither maximum Strength, nor Charisma. (Remember, I have never suggested female characters should be barred from strength builds)

A quick googling tells me Belit and Valeria are much closer in body type to classically feminine. I would peg them as DEX fighters (in 5E terms). Crucially, they look nothing like the muscle mountains I associate with 20 STR 20 CON.
 

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