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

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
You actually bring up a really solid point, Vince... Putting too much weight on the Herald's shoulders could create expectational problems a given DM might not be able to resolve.

Going to rethink this a bit. Still gonna go for the "Unique Hero" rather than member of a Knightly Order style... but less "Legendary Heroes are all Heralds".
 

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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
You actually bring up a really solid point, Vince... Putting too much weight on the Herald's shoulders could create expectational problems a given DM might not be able to resolve.

Going to rethink this a bit. Still gonna go for the "Unique Hero" rather than member of a Knightly Order style... but less "Legendary Heroes are all Heralds".
yeah, agreed, knightly orders doesnt really fit the idea of S&S and your Mesopotamian feel.

Maybe ''blooded'' hero? You know they use the same casting stat as sorcerers, and you want them to be both arcane and divine. So hero of mystic origin might be a good theme. Something close to the 3.5 favored soul.

So you can have all your ''child/chosen of the gods warrior'', your ''half-nymph'' warrior, you ''favored of fate'' warrior, your ''elemental touched'' warrior and your ''luck-bender'' cunning warrior all in one class.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Herald Introduction:

Herald

Some warriors train their lives away to do battle. Some mages spend their lives studying magic. Some priests devote their entire lives to their gods. And some... some are gifted with great and terrible powers. Not like Sorcerers, no. Sorcerers arise from bloodlines of power. From corruption and transgression, no.

The Herald rises from nothing, or from everything, with powers that many mortals may dream of. Martial skill, mystical strength, faith of the heart. There are no Herald orders. No vaunted halls or legendary kingdoms. No towering edifices of stone and wealth devoted to their strange art. There is only sand and stone and blood and bone.

Heroes of Legend

Isra, who wrestled with the divine, who brought the heavenly bull Ukada, destroyer of walls, to his knees and remade him was a Herald. Born to be a hero, he championed the people of Musarra even before the Beast sent his bull. Before he ruled the city, he was a peasant-child. Raised far from the water's side, in the lands that dried in winter, he took up spear and shield to defend the city, to fight it's wars, and to guard it's citizens.

And when those in power abused it, he flexed his own to ensure right would rule the day. He was well loved, or so legend tells, long before his great battle. Long before the crown graced his brow and the Bull became the Minotaur.

While any might become a legend, Heralds are largely unknown outside of them.

Lost in the Sands of Time

While the legacy of a Herald may stand the test of time, unknown numbers have been lost to time through failure, attrition, or the inevitable slide of civilization into barbarism. From many dunes and in cavern-halls glower ancient features in stone, their names and goals long lost to time. Often broken, damaged, or defaced, these Heralds failed to become legends.

Else they were legends of forgotten eras, lost in time beyond their grim visage left to stare across the endless gulf of time until all ends.

Of Faith and Arcana

Heralds hold the power of gods in their veins. And most rarely, that blood is the Witch's. While most Heralds cast magics of faith, some few use Arcane magics at her offering. What's more. Such Heralds do not risk her Corruption through the use of Arcana...

Unless they betray her almost inscrutable intent. Shippurat of Qesh was a herald of some power, centuries ago, who used the Witch's power. But when she turned against the King of Qesh and sought to conquer the city for her own gains, the Witch released all of her corruption into the woman, and stole her away from the mortal realm.

What became of her beyond that is unknown, and we must hope it remains so.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
A DM can, of course, decide that there's a continent far in some direction or another where Ninja and Samurai and Warrior Monks who run on water or up the leaves of bamboo all come from. I can't stop them from doing that.

I just don't wanna make it a specific -thing- in the setting. So I'll be aiming the Adepts (A5e's Unarmed Fighters) toward more of a gladiatorial or priest role.
Back in 3e when we did the Cressia setting here Monks were imagined as being based on Minoan-like Bull jumpers, who perfected their bodies and learnt to do summersaults over the horns of charging beasts, in order to prove themselves worthy to ascend to the perfection of the Dragon-kings.
Would a similar tradition work for the present needs?
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Ranger Writeup Time!

It is said that the path of the thief-taker is the lonely one. To wander the Scorpion Lands from city to city, hunting people across trackless wastes and endless canyons, through scrubland and sand. Those who do so must have a terrible weight upon their back, or a terrible pain which drives them onward. Away from the cities and into the wastelands. But they are not alone in understanding the hidden paths.

Wardens, and Judges, Secret-Keepers and Bandit Lords. Those who travel the brutal sands and the dark forests of the world learn it's secrets. They can be guides for those who are worthy, protectors, hunters.

Be worthy, young Chronicler. And never be the one they hunt.


Law in the Wild

Across vast sands footsteps stand until the dunes shift. Until the wind washes them away like waves upon a shoreline. To follow them when they are fresh is no trouble. To discern them in a sandstorm is the place of the ranger. Many such people track horse thieves and frauds, or hunt down cults of false and fallen gods. Dragging them, or proof of their end, back to the place of bounty, to the one who wanted them.

While any might take such a job if offered, few have the skills required to do so. This leads to great legends of Bandit-Kings who cannot be captured. At least not until the Thief-Taker takes up the task.


Scouts and Hunters

Those who track are often employed not only to find criminals, but food and information. Great hunters of legend are said to have tracked dragons through the sky by the patterns of wind, and brought them down in their lairs. To have chased trickster gods aground and extracted heady bargains from them.

But even mortal hunters, of no fame or legend, may feed a tribe through harsh months of drought and famine. May save the lives of villages by killing wild bantuar which plague the village's herds, and teach those helpless fools to take the venom from the flesh without spoiling the meat.


Keepers of the Hidden Way

Others known to walk this path are those of the Hidden Way. Secret-Keepers of Annam know of terrible things hidden in the roving desert. Learn to mark their way by the stars and not their maps, so that the horrors they keep in the sands cannot be learned with simple theft.

If you meet a ranger in the desert of Annam, ask him what stars he walks under. If he speaks of the signs of the Zodiac be at ease unless you are a horse-thief. But if he names the stars, one by one, you may already be too close to a hidden secret.

Let him guide you away, or dispatch him quickly, depending on how much you desire what he guards. Because when he learns of your designs on his secrets, it will end swiftly.

-The Chronicler
Only Rogues left, and then I'm going 100% in on the Prose and Story Excerpts for them going forward.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Reading your most recent post makes me realize something:
The name Chronicler is used a lot in those short descriptions from an in-game point of view. I know you have the idea of Chroniclers being mostly Wizard and Bard (as the classic loremaster), but I think I'll suggest a new way:

What if Chronicler was the term using by sages and loremasters to describe Adventurers, Drifters, Mercs, etc. Like, ''to chronicle'' is to experience the vast and forgotten world, unearthing its secrets and fighting to gather, amass or preserver those knowledges and treasures by the way of the word or the sword.

In a sense, the more traditional brainy classes arent the only one to be able to be called Chroniclers, but also every adventuring class as-see-in-D&D.

The notches on a fighters shield or the scars on a barbarian back, the vault of a rogue and the code of the monk are just as much a Chronicle that tell the story of the world as the books and tales of bards and wizard.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Now you're catching on to me, @vincegetorix!

Check the writing patterns across the different bits written by the Chronicler. The vocabulary. They're not all the same. Some are bigger on prose while others are presenting a more fact based idea. One of the tales explicitly references Moadi as a Slavebreaker while a Chronicler thinks it may be a myth.

The Chronicler is combining chronicles from different chroniclers.

Though the Wizard/Bard thing are "Formal" Chroniclers.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I basically had that idea while I was rewatching Conan the Barbarian while writing. In the beginning, here, I tried to maintain a specific style of writing, a specific vocabulary. The idea was to make a single chronicler of events.

But as I listened to Mako, may his memory be a blessing, recite the opening lines against the drums, the initial impetus for a Chronicler in the first place, I realized that I was trying to force everything into a single style. One version of events, one story.

And for a multicultural setting, that doesn't really -work-. The words have to come from different perspectives, different people. So while I still start out trying to create the same "Epic Prose" of that speech, I don't hold myself to it.

Sometimes it becomes a Chronicler who is trying to be pretentious but doesn't have the experience to use the right words. Sometimes it's someone who doesn't use much prose at all, just simple descriptions of the world around them.

Because the Chronicler, every chronicler, should have their own way of doing things.

Besides. While Conan's Chronicler regaled us with the days of high adventure, the novels are from Conan's own perspective, or an external one, or from another character's.

And each to each, it's kind of how it should be. Some stories as internal, some as internal to the narrative but external to the protagonist, and some as purely external.

At least, that's what I'm going for. It might just come off as someone who has issues maintaining a consistent writing style. Only time will tell.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Path of the Brutal Pugilist

3) Brutal Pummeler

When you take the Brutal Pugilist path you become a master of brutal unarmed combat. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 damage, 1d6 if you are raging. In addition, whenever you use the attack action on your turn you can make an unarmed strike as a bonus action.

3) Grit
You also gain the ability to perform surprising acts with your unarmed strikes on your turn by expending grit. You have a number of Grit Points equal to your Proficiency Bonus. You recover all used Grit point at the end of a Short or a Long Rest. Your Grit Saving throw is DC 8+Str+Proficiency.

-Knock Down: While raging, you may expend a Grit point to focus your rage into each strike. Any successful attack you make before the start of your next turn forces your victim of large size or smaller to roll a Strength Save or be knocked prone.

-Drag Out: As a reaction after landing a successful unarmed strike you may expend 1 Grit to Grapple your target.

-Whallop: By expending a Grit point before making an unarmed strike you can increase the damage of the attack by 1d4.

6) Swift Feet and Fists
At 6th level your unarmed damage increases from 1d4 to 1d6, 1d8 if you are raging. Your movement rate also increases by 5ft.

10) Gangway!
At 10th level you are the Brute Squad. You may spend 1 Grit while moving to attempt to clear a path. Any creature of Large size or smaller occupying your path may either move 5ft out of your path, or make a Strength Save to attempt to hold their ground. On a successful save they do not move, though you still move through their square.

14) Stonebones
At 14th level your unarmed strike damage increases to 1d8, 1d10 if you are raging. In addition, you may now expend 1 Grit as a reaction to taking damage that you are resistant to to reduce the damage to 0. Once you've used this ability you cannot do so, again, until you take a short or long rest.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Fighter Fiction Excerpt, courtesy of Il'sha-ah:

Sacred Nights of Il-hamun
Ureku, son of Alman, guard of Annam, citizen of Il'sha-ah, picked his path carefully over the many soft paths of the necropolis at Il-hamun, his sandals sinking into the loose sand and dust of the quarries. To his left Tul, their armor dull in the night, raised a hand in warning. The words which slipped from Ureku's lips fell still, sat upon his tongue like a dull weight as the hand rose, as his eyes followed theirs.

His ears felt full of silence in the night, save the soft wind which blew across his skin, setting him to shiver, which set a hushed rush across his ears. He looked to Tul with a questioning gaze before their eyes turned to him. It was only when their gaze met his that he heard the faintest scratching noise in the middle distance.

The two separated. Tul circled to the north while Ureku's steps turned to the south. Both traveling toward the sound. Each step grated upon Ureku's ears. Yes, the sand was quieter than the stone under his feet, but when one stalks through the night with intent to hear, every sound seems louder, harsher, more clear to the world.

Above, the twin moons cast their pale light down upon the world, bathing it in sacred blues and deepest black shadows. Ureku's eyes had long adapted to the night, early in the patrol, to the point where everything seemed near as bright as day. But those shadows in the valley of Il-hamun never seemed to part, to allow the light of moon or star pierce them. And though they sound came from further west, it was to the shadows his eyes were drawn.

What horrors had come from that darkness in the ages cince Il-hamun was first carved? What terrors did they hide? Ureku had long heard tales of the old guard, and more, passed down from their predecessors, and their predecessors in turn. Stories of haunted dead, unquiet, stirred from their grave to horror and death anew. And though he had walked the Dead City patrol for nearly a year, he could not shake the terror which gripped at his heart whenever he drew too near to that cloying darkness...

Tul, in the distance, turned their footsteps toward the sound. Picking their way through the tombs and paupers graves of the necropolis, they slowly drew their blades. The bronze blade of the khopis glinted in the wan light of the night, a brief comfort for the guard who approached the scratching in the memory of the first drawing of that sickle-blade under midday sun. But the memory quickly faded as they moved west.

Tul, child of Akenton, Guard of Annam, citizen of Il'sha-ah, slipped into the shadows which Ureku shunned so fiercely. Their footsteps muffled in sand, their form hidden in darkness, their eyes intent upon the world around them, they became as the living shadow. They turned toward the sound, for they, and Ureku, were upon it, now, coming from a small tomb carved with an ancient depiction of battle.

Ureku and Tul, each armed, turned the corner of the tomb almost in unison, to see who scratched upon the stones, who sought to break the seal... And found only each other in the night. Confusion marked each face. Concern and distress followed with quickness.

Their eyes turned from each other as the scratching, now so loud that their heartbeats could not be heard to pound in their ears, came from within the sealed tomb. And to their joint horror, the clay seal that had been undisturbed for centuries fell to the sand, split in half by the sawing of a claw.
Yes. Tul is an enby.
 

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