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

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Not a bad idea, @vincegetorix! Though the one I'm currently doing up is "Blood of Ages" which is meant to be somewhat customizable and very story-forward.

Starts out with some identifying feature of either your body (Birthmark) or magic (Signature) which shows clearly when you cast a spell (Except Subtle Spells) to give you advantage on skill checks to manipulate people.

Then? Expending Hit Dice to gain Sorcery Points. Only you can also put one HD into a vial of blood and hand it to other spellcasters to use a Sorcery Point with your Metamagic Options. And if someone ritually sacrifices you for a spell, they get to use -all- your available hit dice to power that spell. Ever wondered why Bavmorda wanted to sacrifice Elora Dannon? NOW YOU KNOW.

At 14th they're gonna pick two Metamagics they know and reduce the cost of them by 1 (Minimum 1).

But I'm stumped on 18. I was thinking about giving them the ability to sacrifice Hit Dice to channel raw magic into a spell as additional damage...
 

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Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Here it is, in fact. As currently written.

Blood of Ages, Sorcerer Subclass​

Heritage Signature​

As a descendant of a corrupted bloodline or a wielder of a mark of destiny, your heritage is difficult to hide. Whenever you cast a spell your mark glows or your heritage is displayed in the appearance of the spell. When this happens you gain Advantage on Deception, Intimidation, and Persuasion skill checks against those who view your Heritage Signature, unless you are attempting to convince them you are not a member of that Heritage.

If you use Subtle Spell this Signature is hidden for that spell, alone.

Bloodline of Magic​

Within your bloodline there is a great and unique power. Work with your DM to create a spell list, containing 2 spells of each level from 1 to 5. These spells should be reflective of your particular bloodline or the meaning of your mark, and may be drawn from any spell list.

Power of the Blood​

Your blood is a powerful tool for magic. At 6th level you gain the ability to sacrifice one hit dice to create a Sorcery Point. Using this separate sorcery point allows you to apply the same metamagic effect multiple times.

You may use this Sorcery Point immediately, or bottle it and offer it to another character. That character may then use that vial of blood as a spell component to apply any of your metamagic abilities to a spell they cast. Only one such vial can be applied to a spell at a time.

If, however, you are ritually sacrificed as part of a spell, your remaining hit dice can be used as spell points in the ritual spell, and apply any of your metamagic effects to the resulting effect.

You may use this ability a number of times equal to your Constitution Modifier. You regain all uses at the end of a Long Rest.

Mystical Modification​

At 14th level your control over your power grows drastically. Choose two of your Metamagic options. Reduce the Sorcery Point Cost of these two options by 1, to a minimum cost of 1 Sorcery Points.

Channeled Destiny​

At 18th level your experiences have shaped who you are, and who you will become, unlocking the ability to directly channel your own life into your magic. When you cast a spell you may choose to sacrifice as many hit dice as you like, up to your current total number. When you do so, roll those hit dice and add their value to the damage of a spell you cast, not including your constitution modifier.

Alternatively, you may channel this Destiny in the form of Healing. When you do so, touch a creature other than yourself as an Action, then roll the hit dice and add your Constitution Modifier to the total.

You may use this ability once per long rest.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The Mystic UA had a cool feature similar to what you want:

Consumptive Power
At 20th level, you gain the ability to sacrifice your physical durability in exchange for arcane power. When activating a you cast a spell or use a metamagic option, you can pay its spell point cost with your hit points, instead of using any spell points. Your current hit points and hit point maximum are both reduced by the number of hit points you spend. This reduction can't be lessened in any way, and the reduction to your hit point maximum lasts until you finish a long rest.

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long short rest. (or Prof. Bonus / day? )
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
On the same subject: I found this feature in the same UA. I think it would fit well with your ''magic of blood, blood of magic'' theme)

Strength of Mind Strength in Blood
Even the simplest psionic technique spells requires a deep understanding of how mystic energy can augment mind and body. This understanding allows you to alter your defenses to better deal with threats.

Starting at 4th level, you can replace your proficiency in Constitution saving throws whenever you finish a short or long rest. To do so, choose Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma. You gain proficiency in saves using that ability, instead of Wisdom. This change lasts until you finish your next short or long rest.


Not all that strong, but a nice little ribbon.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
The Weezard/Chronicler:

Wizard​

Chroniclers, my friend. We are called Chroniclers. Wizard, to the lay man, sounds much like Sorcerer, even interchangeably so. We are Chroniclers of history, of life, of the stars and the seas and the seasons. That we hold the arcane in our hands and our hearts must be hidden, carefully, lest terms like Sorcerer, Witch, and Burning rise to meet lips and make reality drastically more difficult, painful, or impossible for us.

They are not wrong, in truth, to distrust Wizards, these laymen with little knowledge. For not all are, or have been, kind of heart and tender of hand. Few, in truth, are. While not so many are so cruel and hateful as legends may speak, even those of us who are not wicked to our cores may do terrible things for what we believe are good reasons.

And in the end, our reasons are ours alone.

Gathered Power

It is the role of the Wizard to travel. To seek. Unlike the Mages in their towers who learn a sanitized magic in forms and styles, we who travel the world seek the full breadth of the Witch's intentions and power. We find it in the stars, in tombs, in the faces of strangers. In hallowed halls and spider-haunted ruins half-buried in time. Some would say we seek power to terrible ends. But for many of us, we seek power to learn of it's nature, it's weight, and it's curse.

Some with hope to break it. Some with hopes to wield it. Some with hopes only to know it, for themselves, ill content to accept the words of their elders. For what is the heat of fire if never felt? What is the light of day if never seen? What is the strength of love for one who has no heart for it? It is only through -knowing- rather than -believing- that we find truth in ourselves, and in the world around us.

Corruptive Flame

But one does not touch flame without being burned. One cannot see the sun without turning your gaze aside. Cannot feel love without the pain of it's end. So, too, is the Witch's Corruption, her curse upon us all.

Chroniclers, Wizards, burn in this flame, endlessly. Even the smallest of spells, the most meagre of magics, bears the price the Witch has set. Bears a cost of flame and blackness, smoke and smolder, in our very souls. Those who are heedless of this burning find themselves ash and cinder. Blackened skeletons upon the pile, their life's work gone when retribution falls upon them for their misdeeds.

Bear in your mind, in your heart, in your hands, the Flower's touch. The rituals of purity, of cleansing. Learn each as soon as you are able, lest what you will be what she wills, instead.

-The Chronicler-
 
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Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
And the Fighter.

Fighter​

Warriors, Fighters, Gladiators, Guards. There are a thousand thousand words and names and phrases which each speak to the same thing. Those with the will, the strength, and the skill to pick up a weapon, don armor, and change the world through force of arms, or through force of arms refuse any change.

From the lowliest peasant conscript clutching spear and shield to the mightiest general, each has felt the terror of battle yet to come, the intense strain of battle endured, and the incredible relief of having survived that battle, only to know growing dread of what battle may yet rise.

But Fighters, those dread warriors of skill, talent, and care, seek these challenges and battles as a Chronicler seeks knowledge. They who set out to end evil by opposing it, or to enact it, themselves, are our greatest allies and our most dreaded foes.

Styles and Substance

Mist and Shade, the Razor's Edge, the Sanguine Knot. Each a school of fighting, a style, born across the world and taught by different armies, different soldiers, different schools. Eight are known to me, and three more are legends I hope to witness before my end. From the stoic brutality of the Adamant Mountain to the vicious barbarity of Tooth and Nail, you will see many warriors use their styles, and blend them.

But for all the style, the poise, the violent animalism. What is a Fighter but their cause? A Kingdom, perhaps... or a Crown? Love and Peace? The chance to visit the great cities of the world and drink as deeply of the wells of their martial knowledge as any chronicler might drink of arcane knowledge? The most ocmmon that I have known, that many have known, is the simplest and the saddest.

Revenge.

In the Cause of War

There are many fighters who serve kings and phaoris. Who obey the will of their chieftains. And you will meet many such warriors in your time as a chronicler. But I warn you, now. You are just as likely to be the target of their ire as their ally. Moreso, still, if they serve a cause. For any cause that is not their own can quickly become their enemy.

If you meet one upon the road girded for war, with no battle near at hand, offer a wide berth... or cleave so close to their steps that your own cannot be distinguished. For to slow their stride is to invite their blade.

-The Chronicler-
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
So I was looking over my art selection for classes and I came across a painful realization...

7 of the art pieces are women.

6 of the art pieces are men.

5 of the art pieces of women depict the various fantasy races in the setting.

1 of the art pieces of men depict a fantasy race in the setting.

... It was drastically easier to find art of human dudes of various ethnicities and art of women of inhuman races... that I -liked-.

That probably speaks a bit toward artist predilection and a lot toward my own personal preferences in art. Which is something I'll need to confront going forward.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Having the thought of Druids not as general "Land Protectors" or "Nature Wardens" but as explicitly "Specialty Priests".

Sort of a thing there different "Druidic Circles" represent the different gods. Where Druidic isn't a secret language of Druids but instead the "Language of the Gods" known only by a select few.

Different Gods have different quantities of Priests. The Beast, for example, has only Druids. While the Serpent and Weaver have similar numbers of both Druids and Clerics. And the rest only have a few Druids and a ton of Clerics.

Maybe do them up as a "Reclusive Oracle" or "Wise Hermit" type role within the setting that's a bit less British Isles in flavor.

So Circle of Stars (Constellations and Weal/Woe) for the Weaver. Circle of the Land for Flower. Moon for the Beast. Wildfire for the Witch, Dreams for the Serpent. Spores for Dweller. Shepherd for any. I guess I'd need a Circle of Storms for the Tempest?
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I'd go the opposite way and make less ''priest-ish'' and more like geomancers, divining the inner workings and rules of behind creation to become expert of the energy flow of the land, ley-lines, star patterns and primordial geometry.

Having Druids, Cleric and Warlock all dealing with higher powers kinda blur the lines between those classes, especially in a setting where divinity isnt all that defined and proved.

EDIT: you could maybe link the druid more with the forces and concepts of Zodiac?
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Here's what I wrote for the Druid... I fear it's gonna be less than exciting for you, in particular, @vincegetorix

Druid​

In the wild places of the world, in the hollows and valleys, forests and jungles, marshlands and mountains, there are few people to meet. Rarely, you will meet a hermit, a recluse, or find a hidden place of contemplation. In these places, hidden from the world, you will occasionally find a Priest. But these priests are nothing like those you know from your comfortable city-states and arable lands. No. These priests are wild, uncouth, or contemplative. The gods they serve are as unknowable as the distant moon, but as present as cool water.

One cannot truly trust a druid or priest of this sort. For their ways are as inscrutable as the ways of the gods they serve. And keep your eyes on them. For they may slip away with a moment's glance aside.

The Beastly Druids

In Jungles, in Marshes, in Forests, the Beast holds sway over all animals. And to him turn those people of dark intent and vicious streak. Druids, are his priests called, for he has no Temple within the walls of civilization. Power over the animals, the elements, and the plants are given unto them. And they are encouraged, often, to shed their mortal forms and take up the figure and countenance of fierce beasts to do his will.

Such folk tend to be as brutish and violent, volatile, as their deity. Brash, bold, cunning, and deadly. They've been known to slip into villages and see them destroyed from within.

The Deepest Mysteries

These hidden priests, these hermits and druids and seers and slayers, know deep secrets of the world, of the stars, of the beasts and cycles of the world. But above all this, they alone speak the true language of the Gods. Often called 'Druidic' by lay men who know little of the Weaver's Mysteries, it is a language kept only by these reclusive priests of each order. Many of whom spend their entire lives in near-solitude, living in the wilder lands at the frayed edges of our maps.

The Starscribes

While each of the Gods has followers among the druidic sects the ones known most broadly, beyond the Beast's harrowed following, are the Starscribes. Weaver's Children, the starscribes witness the passing of time, of the movements of the Heavens in their eternal dance. They look to these movements, so foreign to our eyes, to learn what the Weaver portends. It is said that they can divine the moment of a man's death, or the lives of his unborn children down to their names.

This I have not seen... but what I have seen leads me to believe it.


-The Chronicler-
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Here's what I wrote for the Druid... I fear it's gonna be less than exciting for you, in particular, @vincegetorix
Hey, no prob, just throwing some stuff, see what sticks :p

So, for the Circle of Tempest, there was some cool paragon path for druids in 4e that you could use as inspiration:

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1627518884838.png


1627518960668.png
1627519004445.png
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Current thoughts:

1) Non-Concentration "Storm Effect" which is made intentionally flexible. Wind, Rain, and Lightning all as options for the cost of a Wild Shape use. Make it last 1 minute and let them use Bonus Actions to call down low-damage Lightning Bolts, gusts of wind, and the like.

2) Electric-Focused extra spells. Not just Lightning Bolt, but Shocking Grasp and Lightning Lure.

3) Once per long rest big storm effect. Calling up a Sandstorm, Fog, or Thunderstorm which covers a massive area for a while. Sort of "Control Weather" as a class ability rather than just a spell.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
3) Once per long rest big storm effect. Calling up a Sandstorm, Fog, or Thunderstorm which covers a massive area for a while. Sort of "Control Weather" as a class ability rather than just a spell.
Maybe something like the Dream Druid's ''cast a some spells as ritual for free after a long rest'' ? Stuff like Wind Walk, Change Weather etc as rituals for free at the end of a long rest?

If not, the UA mystic has some nice storm-themed spell-like abilities in the form of a few disciplines (Mastery of weather, Mastery of Air, Mastery of Ice).
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Maybe something like the Dream Druid's ''cast a some spells as ritual for free after a long rest'' ? Stuff like Wind Walk, Change Weather etc as rituals for free at the end of a long rest?

If not, the UA mystic has some nice storm-themed spell-like abilities in the form of a few disciplines (Mastery of weather, Mastery of Air, Mastery of Ice).
Oh... that is a -brilliant- idea. They're not going to be used, anyway. Might as well plunder the work that was previously done.

... well poop. I popped it open and yup. Copywritten. Can't steal from it.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
... well poop. I popped it open and yup. Copywritten. Can't steal from it.
Is your endgoal to publish your setting for monetary gain? If not you can always use stuff from it just for your table.

Anyways, without using the same wording and mechanics, the ideas behind those spells are still usable. IIRC the psi point cost of Disciplines is the same as the spell point option from the DMG, so I think (?) they could be translated pretty easily into spells and rituals, if you wanted to.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Is your endgoal to publish your setting for monetary gain? If not you can always use stuff from it just for your table.

Anyways, without using the same wording and mechanics, the ideas behind those spells are still usable. IIRC the psi point cost of Disciplines is the same as the spell point option from the DMG, so I think (?) they could be translated pretty easily into spells and rituals, if you wanted to.
Right now my intention is to work on the thing and see where it goes. But I'm trying to be flexible enough to make sales should that time come.

All the artwork, for example, can be yanked out of it with a simple link erasure. It's just there for formatting purposes and personal inspiration.
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
Right now my intention is to work on the thing and see where it goes. But I'm trying to be flexible enough to make sales should that time come.

All the artwork, for example, can be yanked out of it with a simple link erasure. It's just there for formatting purposes and personal inspiration.
I truly hope that you do decide to publish. This is a wonderful setting, rich in ideas and created in a very cool way on these boards, so it is almost alive.
Teerka’s sandalled feet are already walking the sands of your world.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
So I'm going over my notes for the Herald and preparing to write them up either today or early tomorrow (Hubby is off work and I try to spend my days off with him) and I find myself at a sticky wicket.

I do want to have them as both Divine or Arcane characters, as previously noted. I want them to be unique heroes and narratively extremely rare (Even if, in play, you might see a whole party of Heralds). And I want them to feel like particularly potent and powerful characters. They're meant to be Gilgamesh, Hercules, and other figures of practically mythic power and importance...

... should I reference Isra and Ukada? Should I use Moadi as an example of a Herald? Should I recontextualize their Heraldic Sermon as powerful speech about Ideals and Ways to Achieve them rather than a generic understanding of religious speech meant to create converts?

I feel like that may be a direction to take their overall narrative that could be really cool, but the Herald is also a class with a big ol' pile of lore tied to it and I'm starting to wonder if I'm going too far afield as it is...

What are your thoughts?
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
My tuppence worth:
Always use the legends and lore of your world, in terms of Isra and Ukada, and any other popular tales.
In terms of Heraldic Sermon; maybe something to inspire others to follow to the ends of the earth? I’m thinking Jason (of Argonaut fame) as a good example of a Herald. Or Cuchulain.
Not sure how to put this in game terms as I’m more story than mechanics.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
My fear with this line of thought is that it force the idea of Heroes = X class, while in reality each class can be ''the Hero''. Hercules might well be a Berserker (uber strength) or a Ranger (monster slayer). Beowulf can be a high level Fighter, or a drunken Monk or even a Bard (with the bullcrap he says about himself :p ).

In short, I fear the Herald/Paladin already too close the the idea of the ''Main Character''. I think doubling down on how unique, mythic, important and legendary they are might be trap.

But that's me, I'm probably an outlier on this. :)
 

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