log in or register to remove this ad

 

Level Up (A5E) (+) Project Chronicle: Class Conceits and Narrative Role

Composer99

Explorer
PF does rounds-per-day of rage. That might be too fiddly for a 5e port, even one that is meant to be crunchier (as A5E is).

Maybe a compromise is a few minute-long rages, in the "combat stance" style of 5e, and a few more-or-less immediate bursts of rage? Those bursts of rage could provide you with the oomph to get advantage and/or an A5E Expertise Die on a single ability check. For instance, it would come in handy when you really need to push that boulder out of the way, or, à la Minsc in Baldur's Gate 2, break out of the cage by bending the metal bars with your bare hands.

(I'ma remember this for my own homebrew.)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Calm Fury (Berserker subclass)

- Exultant Blow: Can expend 1 use of Rage to auto-crit (x per SR) like 4e.
- Vigorous Retort: Rage can be maintained has long as you are making CHA checks against a creature.
  • Thane Presence: When Raging, your Persuasion and Intimidation rolls can never be less than your STR score.
  • Frumious Majesty: When you enter Rage all creatures of your choice must make a Wis save against 8+prof+CHA or be charmed or frightened until they make the save. If a creature make the save, they are immune for 24h.
  • Disheartening Might: Creature with more than 6 INT must make a Wis save against 8+prof+CHA to attack you when you are not Raging. On a failed save, they must change target.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Just about to start in on the Bard's Tale (ba dum tish). Any requests or Suggestions for story components or names?

Bard
It is said that the first moment of civilization, of order and of calm, came when the Serpent and the Witch sang a song to the beasts of the forest, the plains, and the sands. In those dazzling moments, music soothed the bestial violence for a time. Mere moments of beauty and compassion, of peace and comfort. Fleeting as the wind and fickle as the sea, varied as the people who birth it into our world.

Since that glorious moment, we have sought music. We have created it from thin air, devised instruments to produce it's tones, and raised our voices in song. Even infants, our children, babble and hum to have some measure of music and the passions it brings.

If there is any goodness within packed cities and crowded streets, it is the music shared from one to another.

Music of Creation

The gods gave, and give, magic to the world. Not only in the Witch's Arcana, but the mysteries and magics of their various Priests. Music, it is said, is the only magic they do not grant, for it exists beyond them, outside of them. Something they use, but do not make for themselves. A deep truth of all that is, and ever could be.

That those who raise their voice in song, who create music, who give it breath and strength and life, create in those moments of song, create something far greater than themselves. For that creation of music lives in the memory and the heart of those who hear it.

One must be careful, then, what they breathe into the world.

Those Fretting Players

There are many who sing, who dance, who play their songs for the world. Who stand upon the corner of a street, who prance upon stage, who sing to kings of kind or wicked temper. But these are not the fretting players of the world. No. They are wondrous in their creations, of course.

But it is the Bard who travels, who chronicles, who gathers music from across the wide world to learn of it's touch in every way they can. It is these people who collect the true secrets, and power, that lie within the song and rhythms of the world. They seek and create, they birth and they restore. Every lost composition recovered reminding the world of what has been lost in some small measure.

These souls can birth legends, and gods, can sing into being terror and pain. Those whose music can bring a king to his knees, and raise a people to unspeakable heights.

Embrace these souls. And fear them.

-The Chronicler-
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
PF does rounds-per-day of rage. That might be too fiddly for a 5e port, even one that is meant to be crunchier (as A5E is).

Maybe a compromise is a few minute-long rages, in the "combat stance" style of 5e, and a few more-or-less immediate bursts of rage? Those bursts of rage could provide you with the oomph to get advantage and/or an A5E Expertise Die on a single ability check. For instance, it would come in handy when you really need to push that boulder out of the way, or, à la Minsc in Baldur's Gate 2, break out of the cage by bending the metal bars with your bare hands.

(I'ma remember this for my own homebrew.)
To be clear: This would be for a specific subclass. Not all Barbarians. So it's a level of crunch that gets chosen by the player.

That said, you might be right.
Calm Fury (Berserker subclass)

- Exultant Blow: Can expend 1 use of Rage to auto-crit (x per SR) like 4e.
- Vigorous Retort: Rage can be maintained has long as you are making CHA checks against a creature.
  • Thane Presence: When Raging, your Persuasion and Intimidation rolls can never be less than your STR score.
  • Frumious Majesty: When you enter Rage all creatures of your choice must make a Wis save against 8+prof+CHA or be charmed or frightened until they make the save. If a creature make the save, they are immune for 24h.
  • Disheartening Might: Creature with more than 6 INT must make a Wis save against 8+prof+CHA to attack you when you are not Raging. On a failed save, they must change target.
I do like some of this, too. Particularly the Exultant Blow and Thane Presence...

To make Exultant Blow work with so limited a resource as rage, though, I think it might be best to allow a person to -end- their rage with an automatic Critical Hit. You land a hit while raging that isn't a critical hit, you declare you're ending your rage in an Exultant Blow, and it becomes a crit, to smash through your target's armor.

Thane Presence, though... maybe we can do it as gaining a Strength Bonus to Social Skills while raging...? A5e doesn't have default attributes tied to checks for the express intent of making skill use more varied. But you've gotta admit... that'd be a great way for a Coldrage Barbarian to gain a benefit of their quiet and seething rather than bombastic rage. Right?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
To make Exultant Blow work with so limited a resource as rage, though, I think it might be best to allow a person to -end- their rage with an automatic Critical Hit. You land a hit while raging that isn't a critical hit, you declare you're ending your rage in an Exultant Blow, and it becomes a crit, to smash through your target's armor.
The Playtest barbarian had this feature. When you are raging and make an attack, you can decide that it is automatically a Crit, but your Rage ends and you are stunned until the end of your next turn.

Thane Presence, though... maybe we can do it as gaining a Strength Bonus to Social Skills while raging...? A5e doesn't have default attributes tied to checks for the express intent of making skill use more varied. But you've gotta admit... that'd be a great way for a Coldrage Barbarian to gain a benefit of their quiet and seething rather than bombastic rage. Right?
Maybe add the ''damage bonus'' from rage to persuasion and intimidation checks (no matter the stat) when raging and your voice can be heard at 100 ft.

Maybe a social version of Reckless attack? Like you can gain advantage with persuasion and intimidation, but enemies have advantage on Insight or Deception checks against you for the rest of the round.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Just about to start in on the Bard's Tale (ba dum tish). Any requests or Suggestions for story components or names?
Maybe something related to snake dancing or fire-dancer/fire-eater?
Doubling down on the mystic performances theme instead of ''just another spellcasting'' would be interesting, I think.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
The Playtest barbarian had this feature. When you are raging and make an attack, you can decide that it is automatically a Crit, but your Rage ends and you are stunned until the end of your next turn.


Maybe add the ''damage bonus'' from rage to persuasion and intimidation checks (no matter the stat) when raging and your voice can be heard at 100 ft.

Maybe a social version of Reckless attack? Like you can gain advantage with persuasion and intimidation, but enemies have advantage on Insight or Deception checks against you for the rest of the round.
I'd be ditching the Stunned 'til next turn thing, for sure.

There is no damage bonus from rage, according to the Playtest. It instead adds Temp HP at the start of every turn on top of resistance. For damage they get Furious Critical at level 2, which allows them to gain interesting benefits whenever they manage to land a crit. Things like Stunning or Deafening or Flinging people around. Plus, y'know, Maneuvers.

Which makes the ability to -declare- a critical hit particularly powerful for this subclass, I think.

Still. Having the Temp HP Value added on top is definitely a strong way to do it, as it starts at 2 and grows to 3 and higher over leveling.
Maybe something related to snake dancing or fire-dancer/fire-eater?
Doubling down on the mystic performances theme instead of ''just another spellcasting'' would be interesting, I think.
That... is a solid idea! Perhaps a Naga performing in Court, or at a Temple... Singing change into the world.
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
A dance-based bard would be interesting in your setting. Shadows in Zamboula was a problematic REH story in many ways, but portrayed a dancer-bard effectively in Nafertari. It also had an adept in the form of Baal-Pteor, though he was fatally outmatched by Conan.
Kenzer had a decent go with the Basiran Dancer back in early 3e days.

Similarly, Ellenici could feature poetic bards, inspired by Homer and Sappho.

Personally, I play bards a fair bit, so I’m intrigued by your take on them.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Bards make Legends in A5e with their performances. Surely, one could make a Legend out of an Assassin, should they choose.

Song of the Scarlet Shadow

Nabirye slithered quickly toward the great hall as the horn sounded. Behind her, a shadow slipped between pillars in the great halls of the palace at Akhet, where Prince Rudjet-Ka the Golden mustered his armies in preparation to make the final push toward Il'sha-ah, to take the throne from his sister, rightful Pharoah of the Annam.

Nabirye glanced back with downcast eyes at the place the shadow had been standing, and entered the King's chamber, where his generals feasted and fornicated before the would-be ruler. "Music!" He cried out, his voice hoarse and slurred from the burn of wine in throat and belly. His eyes, not quite focusing on the serpent-girl as she made her way to the small stage where musicians began to play.

Around the pillar at it's center she climbed, coiling about it, the cool marble felt luxurous against her scales, her hip, her back, as her arms reached outward and her voice slipped forth. Wordless and sweet as honeyed wine, yet more satisfying by far.

Her eyes settled, for a moment, upon the king before turning up to the shadow above him, behind him. Quickly she swept her gaze away, across the torchlit chamber. Her voice held an ethereal quality as it came back to her from the walls of marble and stone,echoing her melody back. It sussurated and surrounded the generals, the king.

And for a moment, there was peace as mouths hung open and turned toward Nabirye upon the column. The grunts of effort ceased, and even the players, still plucking harp and beating drum, dulled and quieted behind the resonance of her voice.

None saw the Scarlet Shadow drop from the balcony behind the king. But all heard the tenor of the song change when he landed. The distraction was broken, lifted like a veil from their eyes, as words broke through her song. What began as distraction became far more sinister in it's sussuration...

The Song of Doom began and Rudjet-Ka the Golden, Prince of Il'sha-ah, exile and would be king, felt the doom clutch upon his heart. Felt the weakness in his arms as he rose from his gilt throne, the nemes cloth on his head fallen to awkward angle by the sudden lurching motion. His hand found the hilt of his khopesh from the table...

And the Scarlet Shadow, his prey at hand, struck out at Rudjet's exposed back. A shallow cut, as the prince's inebriation and the song set him off weight, he screamed at the bite, nonetheless. And spun to see the masked face of his assassin.

The musicians broke and fled, scattering across the hall in terror and fear, for their patron's demise meant their own destitution if only for a time. The generals rose from stupor, from lust, eyes growing clearer as they looked to the interloper, the assassin with the strange hooked axe.

And the spell broke. Chaos began, fighting and blood, screaming and death. And above it all the song of Nabirye, ringing and clear, strong and empowered. She gave to the Scarlet Shadow great strength in her song, and in time, short time, the Song of Doom was fulfilled. Rudjet and his number lay dead.

Nabirye sought the arms of her lover, and the mask of the Scarlet Shadow raised for their kiss in the bloody aftermath.
 
Last edited:

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Debating a Chronicler subclass for Bards. That might be interesting. A bard that travels and seeks information, specifically, rather than just kind of "Getting" it.
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
Debating a Chronicler subclass for Bards. That might be interesting. A bard that travels and seeks information, specifically, rather than just kind of "Getting" it.
That would work well, particularly in a setting of ancient cities lost to shifting sands, with the secrets they contain.....Ozymandias!
Not to mention the “spider-haunted ruins.”

The Chronicler bard could have explorer-type features to help them seek the information. Not exactly Lara Croft but with elements?
 


GuyBoy

Adventurer
You can probably work this out for yourself, but I will definitely be supporting your Kickstarter for this setting (or buying it in whatever format you are releasing).
I love the way you are building this; interesting, positive and a real take on S&S for today, plus collaborative inputs from this board.
So up for this.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Cleric
There are many gods in the world. Powerful deities and entities we seek to appease to protect ourselves from their ire, their wrath. In this we have failed... but there are those, yet, who court the favor of the gods, seek their blessing. Across all lands are shrines and temples to gods uncounted, but it may be said that they are masks, names, false claims that the Eight wear before different peoples... Or are placed upon them by the priests.

Clerics, Priests, Medicine Men, Shaman, countless names for the same thing. Speakers of the Gods, adherents of the faith. They who bear the message of their religion into the world. Many do so in good faith, but even among the number of those who serve gods are cruelties and betrayers, deceitful and manipulative, who would use their position, their beliefs, to place themselves over others.

Servants to Gods
Priests serve the gods, directly. They interpret signs, perform rituals, and counsel lay people in their day to day life. Wherever you find priests you almost always find the heart of a community. Priests are often learned folk to whom you may turn in times of need. Look to them for local histories, for legends and myths, for long memories of the past.

But do not trust in a Priest. For priests are mortals with their own agenda. They will seek to couch their advice in the words of their god. To make simple suggestions into edicts of behavior. To change your heart from what gods and faith you might hold for their own.

A Game of Souls
It is said that the gods wish to claim our spirits for themselves in death. That when we perish and the Dweller ushers us into the afterlife that we will sit by their sides and be numbered. Some say that this is how we shall be rewarded for our service to the Gods in life, or at least our deference to their desires and intentions.

Others, however, say that it is how the gods will judge their vast game. By collecting and counting our souls for their own ends. To compare them, and say "I, now, have the most souls!" But such things are questionable at best.

For what care can the gods have for games, for souls, for us when we are so little beside them. In my travels, I think the gods care little for mortals, and less for our souls. They desire compliance and acceptance in the manner of a king to the peasants. He no more cares for one subject than a cow in his holdings. Both provide him with value and deference, and this is enough. Perhaps this is how the gods see us... Yet priests speak of children, of flocks, of congregations.

And that speaks to a deeper meaning I yet hold hope for.

-The Chronicler-
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
And the story excerpt for the Cleric:

The Mysteries of the Flower

"Gaioz of Grisia, Priest of the fourth circle, adherent of the Flower. Rise, and be recognized!" Bellowed the Archpriest, her hands raised high into the air, the symbol of the Flower, a gilt lily upon a blue background, hung heavy from her neck and hardly shifted for it's weight at her broad gesture. Gaioz rose slowly, his dark blue skin sheened in sweat after the hours long trials required to prove his faith and secure his ascension. With bare head lowered and panting he stood, and held his hands forward, together, fingers spread and touching to show allegiance to the Flower.

The attending members of the congregation, nobles and priests and a handful of artisan leaders, raised their voices in exultation and called out to the Flower for favor in attending this moment. Gaioz smiled wanly as his head rose, looking out over his new peers, the Fourth Circle. His family would be proud if they saw him, now.

At the gesture of the Archpriest he stepped forward on wobbling legs, like an antelope child newborn and faltering. She gave him her blessing, and he felt the surge of strength restore what vigor he had lost in the trials, felt the wounds close upon his back and arms. And she took him in her great arms to hug him as one would a child, to pet the sweat from the back of his head, and nod.

And then she was gone, off to attend other business as the Priests and nobles and merchants spoke and feasted in his honor. He had accomplished much in a short time by following the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So simple. So basic. Yet it created great comfort, and endless joy to see it repeated, performed, by countless adherents in their lives.

He had counseled so many to follow that simple guideline, and their adherence helped lead him to his new position of honor. As the evening wore thin, the nobles and the merchants slipped off into darkness to seek their homes and beds. Gaioz made certain to bid goodnight and offer simple blessings to each within the temple's garden. Amid flowers he had tended two short moons before.

And then he followed behind the senior priests of the Fourth Circle as they lead him deeper into the temple than he had ever been. "You were chosen, Gaioz, for your piety and your attention to detail. Did you know this?" asked Alaira, who had once been a Musarran merchant, herself, before donning the cloth and the flower.

"I was told, yes. There is nothing I would not give to the Flower. To the church. My life, should it be needed. My flesh. My blood. My very soul."

"Yes, yes. We know. Follow closely, now, and mark the path in your mind. There are no markers where we go now." Bid Alaira, and Gaioz did as told. Through the catacombs beneath the temple, through the halls of the dead which long preceded the priesthood, here. Built, as it was, in an ancient time, with cyclopean stones. A twisting path to a great vaulted chamber.

Within, the tithings of countless souls. Gaioz was stunned by the sheen of gold and of silver. He looked to Alaira in confusion at the wealth which should have been used to help people.

"You'll be keeping the ledgers, now, Gaioz. Follow the Gold and Rule."
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
And here's the Warlock. Went ahead and fore-formatted the document so I can skip around rather than forcing myself to follow alphabetical order.

Warlock
The power of the Witch flows through the world. She shaped it. It is of her. But it no longer belongs, solely, to her. Loosed into the world, taught to the peoples, it was unleashed and made vast and wondrous. And Terrible. Now Arcane Magic is as much a source of power as a river is a source of water. It ebbs and flows, rises and falls, but it cannot be contained, entirely. Even the dam does not stop the river. Only diverts it, changes it's flow. So, too, is Magic.

But the river can be poisoned. The dammed lake be fouled by the dead or by salt to ruin it's use for others. So did the Witch respond to mortal trespass. But mortals are strong, flesh is strong, spirits are -strong-, and she knew this. While we can be poisoned by her waters so, too, can we be cured, purified, of it's taint.

Careful Studies
In my wide travels I have seen places of learning, education, where those who have the will to wield arcane magic are taught great care in it's use, how to purify themselves after it's use, and how to deflect the twisting corruption the Witch instilled in the world. While I do not think it right to so blatantly circumvent a God's Curse in this way, teaching many to do so, the result seems... stable. For now.

These students gain great respect for the curse, and for the weight it bears, and for the deep wells of power that it protects. Where a Wizard might cast many spells of different power, the Mage learns to limit themselves to a handful of specifically powerful spells, to control the corruptive nature magic provides. Such limits largely protect them.

Heedless Bargains
But for every school of Mages, there exist Warlocks. Like their Mage brethren they limit their spellcasting to control their descent into corruption. But they have chosen the swifter path to power. One which bears terrible weight, terrible price.

To become a Warlock, one need only find ancient magics and terrible beings who possess power that can be leased to a mortal. To make a simple bargain, often for one's soul, or firstborn, or name. But to make this deal, this barter of future for power, is to invite the evil with which you trade into your heart.

Such people, such Warlocks, rarely have much desire to purify themselves, even if they understand the methods to do so.

-The Chronicler-
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
And the Sorcerer... I enjoyed this one a lot.

Sorcerer
Power. Power travels with bloodlines, this is known. The wealthy man raises a wealthy child. The noble passes title to heir. The blood of the queen passes on to her children. But so, too, does corruption. Corruption of body, of spirit, of mind. These things may pass to generations, also. And no case of corruption's passing is more evident than the passing of the Witch's Curse to one's brood. It is said that the first Sorcerer was gifted knowledge of the Arcane by the Witch, herself. That in their blood traveled power that was shared.

Whether that power was shared by desire or consumption is a matter of debate.

Whatever the case, Sorcerers, now, are known for being born with mystical prowess, and the Witch's Curse flowing through their veins along with the blood of their parents. Few learn the cleansing rituals, the purification the Flower gave us.

Thus beware the children of the Corrupt.

Legacies of Evil
Not all Sorcerers are the children of Spellcasters. Some are birthed of those who succumb to the Beast's curse, the Serpent's, the Weaver's... but all bear a spark of Arcane power. None know why this is so, few question it. All that matters is the power birthed and borne by the children.

Children who may not know the Flower's touch, or word. Who know only the Witch's jealous nature and vicious temptations. Their parents' transgressions oft follow them. The child of a deposed tyrant is unlikely to garner safety and welcome from those their parent oppressed. And defending themselves with the power granted makes the corruption evident...

Lament the wayward Sorcerer.

Destiny Embraced or Deferred
In rare instances, there are those who are born chosen. Not through corruption or the sins of their parents, but for some higher destiny. And they, and their more accursed cousins, must make a terrible choice. Whether to embrace their destiny as it was ordained, or cast it aside to make their own path in the world.

There have been Sorcerer-Kings killed by their own children, who refused to don the crown when their day came. And there have been Weaver-Born blessed ones who have cast off the cloak of valor given unto them to live lives of decadence or folly, or even deepest piety.

Who can know what result will come from denying Destiny? None among the many that I have asked.

-The Chronicler-
For Subclass I'm definitely leaning to "Weaver-Born" as a concept. A Child of Destiny sort of class. Still an Arcane Caster with all the pitfalls thereof. But one chosen by some greater purpose than mortal lust.

Possibly some Divination style "Roll a d20 at the start of the day, swap it out as a reaction to anyone rolling a d20 at any time" type stuff to represent Deus ex Machina in their lives or Fate's Intervention. Could be fun!
 
Last edited:

GuyBoy

Adventurer
Whether it’s subclass or bloodlines, some of your other gods also lend themselves to sorcerers with particular traits.
The Beast; some form of minor transformation when casting, similar to Shifters in Eberron?
The Tempest; bonus elemental spell?
The Serpent; advantage on saves v poison?

Just ideas
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
“You think a simple plains barbarian like you can thwart one such as I?” Shassaarth hissed, his somewhat human features distorted by the faint scaling above his eyes, his somewhat Mussaran accent distorted by the forked tongue between his thin lips. “My mother, a mage of ancient Theael, lay with the Serpent of Forbidden Sathak, as fiends screamed the chorus of their lust. I was born to power, steppes girl! Power such as this!”
So saying, the sorcerer cast down his staff, viridian steam filling the air, and a great jewelled snake arose, evil eyes staring, fangs dripping dark venom as it readied to strike.
“I hate snakes!”, whispered Teerka.
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
PS if you want to use her anywhere, Teerka is either a ranger or a barbarian as I envisage her.
Her mother was an Ellenic chronicler-bard, her father a Kyrani chieftain.
Feel fee to make anything you like of her for your setting.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top