Level Up (A5E) Steampunkette's Writing Requests

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
So. I'm going to try a new writing process for Gate Pass Gazette articles and I could use your help! Yes. You!

Morrus casually mentioned wanting to see spells which inflict Strife. An hour and a half after reading it I had 8 spells for inflicting different levels of Strife mainly to single target but two of them are -powerful- AoE abilities. I'm currently working on the Arcane Knight maneuvers and planning out an Occultist style maneuver set to go alongside it so you can do either a bright and colorful Knight or a dark and conniving Blackguard.

My intention is to just straight up write as many articles as I can, fully proofed and edited, ready for release. Then submit the pitches for them to the GPG. Anything that doesn't get a mark for the GPG, I'll release myself. Either here on the forums, or on my own Patreon.

So where do you come in?

Ideas. Give me things you'd like to see in A5e. Things you'd like to play. Spells, Feats, Heritages, Backgrounds, Cultures, Destinies, Archetypes, the works. Even just general or fairly specific "Themes" you'd like me to flesh out into game mechanics and writing that can be provided.

And with those themes? Don't feel like you have to be bound to a specific aspect of A5e. My first article for the GPG involves both Backgrounds and a Destiny, so if you feel like something could be described as multiple aspects of a character, don't hesitate to point it out!

EDIT: Updating my current list in the OP:


1) Concept Winnowing Phrases (Making Mad-Libs work for newbie players) Struggling for Formatting
2) Heritage Article (Reworking selection of Heritages) Trouble Picking
3) Spiritual Archetypes
(Chaplain Herald, Animist Druid, Spiritualist Warlock) In Progress
4) Artificer Fighting Archetypes
(Gun-User, Gadget-Fighter, Hammer-Style) Planning
5) Tragic Heroes (Various backgrounds and destinies that are dark) Rejected by GPG, In Progress
6) Martial Marshalls (Marshall Archetypes to play on different imagery, Noble Commander, Piper, and Vicious Warmaster) Planning
7) Mirthful Mishaps (Exploration Challenges, Encounters, and Boons that are written as funny asides) Planning
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
So. I'm going to try a new writing process for Gate Pass Gazette articles and I could use your help! Yes. You!

Morrus casually mentioned wanting to see spells which inflict Strife. An hour and a half after reading it I had 8 spells for inflicting different levels of Strife mainly to single target but two of them are -powerful- AoE abilities. I'm currently working on the Arcane Knight maneuvers and planning out an Occultist style maneuver set to go alongside it so you can do either a bright and colorful Knight or a dark and conniving Blackguard.

My intention is to just straight up write as many articles as I can, fully proofed and edited, ready for release. Then submit the pitches for them to the GPG. Anything that doesn't get a mark for the GPG, I'll release myself. Either here on the forums, or on my own Patreon.

So where do you come in?

Ideas. Give me things you'd like to see in A5e. Things you'd like to play. Spells, Feats, Heritages, Backgrounds, Cultures, Destinies, Archetypes, the works. Even just general or fairly specific "Themes" you'd like me to flesh out into game mechanics and writing that can be provided.

And with those themes? Don't feel like you have to be bound to a specific aspect of A5e. My first article for the GPG involves both Backgrounds and a Destiny, so if you feel like something could be described as multiple aspects of a character, don't hesitate to point it out!
I'd love to see strife/fatigue used more by spells & abilities. At the top of my list would probably be ways to use them as a gm other than "Bob you are unconscious, that's a point of fatigue", either rules that can be added & printed to point at like bloodied=+1 fatigue & whatever or maybe even more useful would be abilities that can be stapled onto or swapped into thematically appropriate monsters, especially if those abilities introduce the kind of nail biting dread that seeing a ghoul/wraith in 2e (deleveling) or 3.x (ability score damage & maybe stun+coupdegrace) or trogs in 3.x (much of the group is almost certainly shaken for a long time) even when the party knows those monsters are not a significant challenge to kill.

Alignment is another one vaguely hinted at mattering but weirdly unmentioned in spells even by spells like detect evil & good. Some of the destines & maybe one spell can give one but then it's almost unused.
 

So, I know A5e is about more and more rules and options but from a player perspective it can get overwhelming. I wonder if an article on, or system for, translating PC desires into characters would be worthwhile? Like, even regular 5e backgrounds and classes and subclasses can be a bit much for an inexperienced player. For my next campaign I’m trying to get my fairly noobish players to ignore game rules and options and just dream up what they want their character to start as and then what do they want to eventually be able to do. And I’m going to try to translate that into game options for them.

Like a GM guide to interviewing players and turning their ideas into A5e characters? Cause its a 600 page players handbook.
 

VenerableBede

Adventurer
So, I know A5e is about more and more rules and options but from a player perspective it can get overwhelming. I wonder if an article on, or system for, translating PC desires into characters would be worthwhile? Like, even regular 5e backgrounds and classes and subclasses can be a bit much for an inexperienced player. For my next campaign I’m trying to get my fairly noobish players to ignore game rules and options and just dream up what they want their character to start as and then what do they want to eventually be able to do. And I’m going to try to translate that into game options for them.

Like a GM guide to interviewing players and turning their ideas into A5e characters? Cause its a 600 page players handbook.
I don’t care how simple the rules are, any RPG could benefit from this.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
I'd love to see strife/fatigue used more by spells & abilities. At the top of my list would probably be ways to use them as a gm other than "Bob you are unconscious, that's a point of fatigue", either rules that can be added & printed to point at like bloodied=+1 fatigue & whatever or maybe even more useful would be abilities that can be stapled onto or swapped into thematically appropriate monsters, especially if those abilities introduce the kind of nail biting dread that seeing a ghoul/wraith in 2e (deleveling) or 3.x (ability score damage & maybe stun+coupdegrace) or trogs in 3.x (much of the group is almost certainly shaken for a long time) even when the party knows those monsters are not a significant challenge to kill.

Alignment is another one vaguely hinted at mattering but weirdly unmentioned in spells even by spells like detect evil & good. Some of the destines & maybe one spell can give one but then it's almost unused.
You're in luck! I'll be pitching the Strife Spells at the end of next month. The question is should I go all in on a Strife-Centric article -or- shift things up by making it a "Cruel and Evil Magic" article so there's some not-strife-stuff going into the article, too?
So, I know A5e is about more and more rules and options but from a player perspective it can get overwhelming. I wonder if an article on, or system for, translating PC desires into characters would be worthwhile? Like, even regular 5e backgrounds and classes and subclasses can be a bit much for an inexperienced player. For my next campaign I’m trying to get my fairly noobish players to ignore game rules and options and just dream up what they want their character to start as and then what do they want to eventually be able to do. And I’m going to try to translate that into game options for them.

Like a GM guide to interviewing players and turning their ideas into A5e characters? Cause its a 600 page players handbook.
I don’t care how simple the rules are, any RPG could benefit from this.
... I am really not sure I could fit that into a 2,000 word article. For comparison, this post (with the embedded quotes) is already almost 400 words long at this point and just getting longer as I respond. Almost a quarter of the article right there, before your very eyes!

However: You've actually struck on the right approach.

Ask your inexperienced player what kind of hero they want to play and then use your greater system mastery to help that character become real. Talk to them about how they grew up, what sort of things their character experienced before becoming a hero, things like that. Flesh out a backstory, then wedge the rest of it into place.

And remember: Just because something doesn't fit doesn't mean it shouldn't be used. Take Backgrounds for example. They're often written in a very specific manner, but that's just one interpretation of how the character gets proficiency in intimidate and the ability to bully themselves into getting free room and board. Change the background to fit the character. That's not an Infamous Pirate, that's the local Bully/Street Tough/Adept of the Bad Guy Dojo that killed the Good Guy Dojo's Master/Whatever.

I guess maybe I could write an article on Fluffery and how to make it work for your characters and players... But I'm not sure it's going to get picked up. Most articles in the GPG are going to be mechanical in nature, even if there's fluff tied to them. Of course, that just means releasing the Fluffery Article myself...
 

VenerableBede

Adventurer
However: You've actually struck on the right approach.

Ask your inexperienced player what kind of hero they want to play and then use your greater system mastery to help that character become real. Talk to them about how they grew up, what sort of things their character experienced before becoming a hero, things like that. Flesh out a backstory, then wedge the rest of it into place.

And remember: Just because something doesn't fit doesn't mean it shouldn't be used. Take Backgrounds for example. They're often written in a very specific manner, but that's just one interpretation of how the character gets proficiency in intimidate and the ability to bully themselves into getting free room and board. Change the background to fit the character. That's not an Infamous Pirate, that's the local Bully/Street Tough/Adept of the Bad Guy Dojo that killed the Good Guy Dojo's Master/Whatever.
I think we all get that. (This isn’t a push for you to make this fluff article happen if you don’t think it has a use for GPG.) I do think the idea is defense-worthy even with experienced GMs who are familiar with their game system, though. Some new players don’t like feeling like the GM is making all of their character choices (even if the GM isn’t and is just providing options based on their responses), while other GMs would appreciate having a handout to help groups of new and newer players make decisions, giving the GM a little more leeway to move around the group, working with each person individually, without leaving the others with little to do (or a 600-page rule book to try and sift through on session 0).
It would definitely need to be a highly abbreviated fluff piece - creating such a guide that includes literally every available character option, even at creation, might make a book longer than the Adventurer’s Guide itself!

Here’s an idea I’m willing to share (I don’t think l I’ll ever have time to work on it) that I think some players would be interested: a paladin archetype that focuses on healing and buffing other players even while doing regular paladin-stuff. (Edit: yeah, it’s herald now, old habits die hard.) Maybe allow Lay on Hands to be used at a range or as a bonus action, or in place of one attack after receiving Extra Attack - those are the initial ideas I had. Might call it Oath if the Chaplain.
Absolutely don’t mind if you take this idea or leave it, or use it as a jumping-off point for something else. I got it from a player who enjoys playing martial support/healer characters and wished the herald’s Lay On Hands could be more flexibly fit into what the herald actually wants to do on a turn-by-turn basis. I’m not sure what I’d recommend for other features of the archetype, though.
 


Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
That’s also totally unrelated to what you asked for, with regards to strife and stuff…
Any idea is a good idea, here. I'm not just looking for advice on the Strife Article. You wanna see a healy-centric Herald? I can work on that.

To the larger idea... maybe a keyword sorting algorithm sort of like Numenera could work? A Mad-Libs style series of blanks that describe a character, a bundle of keywords for each blank to pick and choose from, and a finished character at the end that you just need to fill out the information for?

I am a 1 2 who 3. I am from a 4 culture where I spent my formative years 5. Some day I will 6.

1) Grouping Noun. Generic nouns like Warrior, Devoted, Mage, Skilled, etc.
2) Heritage Noun. Just, y'know, heritages.
3) Clarifying Verb. Things like "Casts Spells" or "Worships Dutifully" or "Guards Nature"
4) Adjective. General descriptive of cultures.
5) Verb. Jobs that can be aligned to backgrounds in verb form. "Being a Pirate" or "Serving the Clergy"
6) Verb. Destiny, what the character will eventually -do-.

Could write 5-6 different sentences regrouping the same information in various ways...

Thoughts?
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
An article of 5e heritages not yet released with the serial numbers filed off? I'm updating my giant house rule document with those now.
 

VanguardHero

Adventurer
So I'm a HUGE fan of the Soulknife Class Fantasy, even though it's only been done really well by Dreamscarred in PF1, and I know there is gonna be some Soulknife-ish stuff in Voidrunner Codex, but I love the concept of taking something like Soulknife and treating it as a Maneuver Tradition. Stance that manifests Soulknife and then all the other Maneuvers as shenanigans building on top of the concept of weaponized fighting spirit/soul sword etc. Condensing a Fighting Style/Weapon based Class fantasy into a Tradition would let it stack on top of Classes and Subclasses allowing for an incredible variety of character types. Duelist Fighter Soulknife, Holy Champion Herald Soulknife, Exalted Athlete Adept Soulknife, etc etc. Dunno if it's your vibe or not, but seems worth floating.
 

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