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D&D 5E The Bible Is A New 5E Setting

The Adventurer’s Guide to the Bible is a 5E setting and adventure set in the first century AD.

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The 350-page book, created by Bible enthusiasts, included four new lineages, a range of subclasses, and an adventure for character levels 1-10, along with a full first-century AD setting with locations like the Library of Alexandria and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, NPCs, and monsters such as giants, seraph serpents, angels, and demons. The adventure itself involves a search for three missing Magi.

It's $25 for a PDF, or $39 for a hardcover.


Cleopatra is dead. Rome and Parthia struggle for control of the Fertile Crescent in a bid for world domination, while local politics in the Middle Kingdoms become increasingly divisive. The prophecies of the so-called “Messiah” have long been forgotten, and an ancient Evil lurks in the shadows, corrupting the hearts of humankind. Three of the wisest mystics known as the “Magi” travelled to Bethlehem following a star they believed to be a sign. They never returned. Hope grows dim as the world descends into darkness. What we need are answers... and those brave enough to seek them.


This isn’t the first biblical era setting for D&D, although it might be for 5E. Green Ronin released Testament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era for 3E over a decade ago.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Rogerd1

Explorer
Maybe rename Monk as "Athlete".

Then different subclasses can represent the shaolin, ninja, mixed-martial-artist, etcetera.
Another issue I have with 5e is that it shoehorns a lot of classes into other settings where they should not be. PF was less guilty, and tended to make new ones.

But on this issue, I sometimes don't see the need for sub-classes either, but I have taken a leaf from PB Heroes Unlimited, such that characters can also have skill programs. So a Monk with Espionage, or Intelligence skill programs would a ninja. But that may be just me...
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
Another issue I have with 5e is that it shoehorns a lot of classes into other settings where they should not be. PF was less guilty, and tended to make new ones.

But on this issue, I sometimes don't see the need for sub-classes either, but I have taken a leaf from PB Heroes Unlimited, such that characters can also have skill programs. So a Monk with Espionage, or Intelligence skill programs would a ninja. But that may be just me...
For a historical ninja, the 5e Rogue is spot on.

But the mythological ninja (phasing thru walls, etcetera) is trickier, and Monk seems fair enough.
 



Rogerd1

Explorer
Martial arts unarmed combat doesnt require a "flurry" of extra attacks.

Rogue gets the Stealth and Sneak attacks, etcetera, correct.
It requires martial art skills, of which the rogue has little.

Second, there were different type of ninja, some gathered intelligence, others were more fighting orientated, others geared more towards espionage.

So you would need to give the rogue more feats, and skills and stuff to accomplish full on ninja.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Thing is rogue misses on the martial art angle, whereas monk does not, not sure it is that spot on.
Considering a historical ninja, rather than a mythical ninja, is far more focused on stealth and disguise than esoteric hand to hand combat, I think it's more spot on than the monk class.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
For The Bible setting, for sources of conflict, the timeline from 1 BCE to 30 CE has spikes of violence in 6 CE, when Rome forces Herodes Archelaos to France and imposes a Roman prefect over Judea, and Roman troops. There is again massive resistance against Roman occupation from 26 CE when the Roman, Pontius Pilatus, takes power. Meanwhile, there are perennial attempts by Rome to crush Judean resistance, involving spies, arrests, and public executions.

There is plenty of violence for a gaming setting.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
Considering a historical ninja, rather than a mythical ninja, is far more focused on stealth and disguise than esoteric hand to hand combat, I think it's more spot on than the monk class.
That is in fact totally false.
Couldn't actually be further from the truth.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
That is in fact totally false.
Couldn't actually be further from the truth.
Wikipedia (which of course requires a grain of salt) says:

"A ninja or shinobi was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of a ninja included espionage, deception, and surprise attacks. Their covert methods of waging irregular warfare were deemed dishonorable and beneath the honor of the samurai."

"The use of disguises is common and well documented. Disguises came in the form of priests, entertainers, fortune tellers, merchants, ronin, and monks."
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
Wikipedia (which of course requires a grain of salt) says:

"A ninja or shinobi was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of a ninja included espionage, deception, and surprise attacks. Their covert methods of waging irregular warfare were deemed dishonorable and beneath the honor of the samurai."

As you can see this latter school could encompass a lot of areas. So historically someone may be good in some areas, and abyssmal is others. For instance I am short sighted so if anyone was to ask me to hit a target with a bow and arrow would mean I literally hit the target - with my bow :)

You could alter the rogue slightly to encompass this though, reasonably easily. They would need various feats to show their specialisation though. Not super difficult, but it would require tweaking.

But getting back on topic... I have found the KS, and am wondering - not sure if anyone else is too...but why Rephaim have been separated from being a Nephilim. I thought they were a sub-species of Nephilim...
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage

As you can see this latter school could encompass a lot of areas. So historically someone may be good in some areas, and abyssmal is others. For instance I am short sighted so if anyone was to ask me to hit a target with a bow and arrow would mean I literally hit the target - with my bow :)

You could alter the rogue slightly to encompass this though, reasonably easily. They would need various feats to show their specialisation though. Not super difficult, but it would require tweaking.

But getting back on topic... I have found the KS, and am wondering - not sure if anyone else is too...but why Rephaim have been separated from being a Nephilim. I thought they were a sub-species of Nephilim...

We do need to get back on topic (heh, since Kanai isnt a Ninja).

But, even the Wikipedia pages that you cite seem to downplay the aspect of martial arts for a ninja. For example.

"As a ninjutsu tradition influenced by the samurai martial arts of the Sengoku period, the style of Togakure-ryū consists of a small number of physical escape and evasion techniques, called ninpo taijutsu, and a series of sword attack patterns, or biken kata. However, the majority of the art involves techniques of geography, meteorology, swimming, signaling, potion-making, fire-starting, concentration, disguise, impersonation, and other forms of knowledge suited for the unique information-gathering and infiltration roles of ninja."

There is no mention of rapid "flurry" attacks.

There is emphasis on covert ops.

Especially the "escape and evasion" and "disguise, impersonation, infiltration", make the 5e Rogue spot on.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
Especially the "escape and evasion" and "disguise, impersonation, infiltration", make the 5e Rogue spot on.
You seem to be missing the bit of the all the weapons and unarmed things that are mastered. None of which the rogue has.

Historically, ninja were quite often samurai - that had an ounce of common sense by refusing sepukku to become ronin. A large number of them became ninja, as such many of whom were also highly skilled martial artists. As well as others fleeing from being soldiers in a conflict that instead of staying to be butchered chose the time honoured technique - Run Away!

So anyone that says ninja are just assassins or specialise in disguise is just plain wrong. they used these techniques, absolutely, but they were extremely capable martial artists.
 



You seem to be missing the bit of the all the weapons and unarmed things that are mastered. None of which the rogue has.

Historically, ninja were quite often samurai - that had an ounce of common sense by refusing sepukku to become ronin. A large number of them became ninja, as such many of whom were also highly skilled martial artists. As well as others fleeing from being soldiers in a conflict that instead of staying to be butchered chose the time honoured technique - Run Away!

So anyone that says ninja are just assassins or specialise in disguise is just plain wrong. they used these techniques, absolutely, but they were extremely capable martial artists.

You are getting into multi-class territory with this, so a ninja of that type would be a warrior/rogue multi-class with specializations that don't exist RAW in 5E.
 

For The Bible setting, for sources of conflict, the timeline from 1 BCE to 30 CE has spikes of violence in 6 CE, when Rome forces Herodes Archelaos to France and imposes a Roman prefect over Judea, and Roman troops. There is again massive resistance against Roman occupation from 26 CE when the Roman, Pontius Pilatus, takes power. Meanwhile, there are perennial attempts by Rome to crush Judean resistance, involving spies, arrests, and public executions.

There is plenty of violence for a gaming setting.

I think it will be interesting how they handle those "missing" years of Jesus' life, where there is very little in the Bible from about when he was 13 until he was 30. I wonder if they will use the theories that some of those later years were spent in India and learning the ways of the Hindu religion, an maybe Buddhism as well, as part of why he presented a softer, gentler new religion to contrast the older, more literal and violent Jewish faith.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Why Rephaim have been separated from being a Nephilim. I thought they were a sub-species of Nephilim...

In short, "Rfaim" means "aborigines", but it often refers to the ancestral ghosts of these aborigines.

Rfaim are the aboriginal ancestors as well as the various surviving aboriginal groups that descend from them. The aboriginal Anakim are especially known for these ancestors. There are also other, related, aboriginal groups.



Here is my translation.

Deuteronomy 2. 10-11, 20
הָאֵמִים לְפָנִים יָשְׁבוּ בָהּ עַם גָּדֹול וְרַב וָרָם כָּעֲנָקִים׃
רְפָאִים יֵחָשְׁבוּ אַף־הֵם כָּעֲנָקִים וְהַמֹּאָבִים יִקְרְאוּ לָהֶם אֵמִים׃
אֶרֶץ רְפָאִים תֵּחָשֵׁב אַף הִוא רְפָאִים יָשְׁבוּ בָהּ , לְפָנִים וְהָעַמֹּנִים יִקְרְאוּ לָהֶם זַמְזֻמִּים׃ .

"
Beforehand, the Emim resided in (that land), a kin (as) great and amassing and lofty as the Anakim.

Those would even be thought (to be) Rfaim, as the Anakim are. And the Moavim would call them Emim.

... That (land) would even be thought (to be) the land of Rfaim. Rfaim resided in it, beforehand. And the Amonim would call them Zamzumim.

"


The "Rfaim" refer to those aboriginal peoples whose ancestors are now ghosts that wield great magical power.

Especially the tribe called Anakim are known for these ancestral Rfaim.

These aboriginal tribes go by various names, such as Emim and Zamzumim.

It is unclear to me, if these other names are endonyms (what the aborigines call themselves) or exonyms (what other ethnicities call them). But different regions refer to the aborigines by different names.



Note, here, the King James Version of the Bible, relying on Greek legends, is translating the aboriginal ethnic grouping "Rfaim" as if "giants".



The Hebrew term Rfaim רפאים means "shades" (spirits, ghosts). Probably the term derives from the verb "weakened" רפה , (weakened, drooped, sank down, was lazy), and refers to the ancestral spirits resting in peace.

The concept of Rfaim relates the concept of the underworld Shol, and perhaps to the D&D 5e concept of the Shadowfell.

The aboriginal tribes appear to be known for the veneration of their ancestors, and to call on them for help. Other groups feared the power of these ancestors.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
+1 for 3e Testament
If this is intended to be a "New Testament Bible RPG" sourcebook, they would be well-advised to study the best "Old Testament Bible RPG" sourcebook.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I think it will be interesting how they handle those "missing" years of Jesus' life, where there is very little in the Bible from about when he was 13 until he was 30. I wonder if they will use the theories that some of those later years were spent in India and learning the ways of the Hindu religion, an maybe Buddhism as well, as part of why he presented a softer, gentler new religion to contrast the older, more literal and violent Jewish faith.
As a youth, Jesus learns the trade of his father, Joseph. He spent his time studying Tora and working.

The gospels describe Joseph and his son Jesus working as Greek Tekton. This word can mean "woodworker" or "carpenter". But it can apply to any kind of "artisan" or "crafter".

In his case, it probably refers to a builder, and he and his father probably worked on the construction projects in the nearby town of Tsipori.

This is high-skilled work, and his family is educated and probably affluent.
 

+1 for 3e Testament
If this is intended to be a "New Testament Bible RPG" sourcebook, they would be well-advised to study the best "Old Testament Bible RPG" sourcebook.

This book really sounds like it covers the historical period in between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jesus has not started his teachings yet, nor recruited his Apostles.
 

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