I am retiring this blog (temporarily?)

Greetings, it’s been quite awhile since I last posted on this blog and it is likely going to be a permanent thing. I have been moving away from OD&D the last several months. I still love it as a wonderful toolkit but I want to expand beyond it – at least for the foreseeable future, I have no desire to delete the content or reboot it with a new focus, so it’ll remain up for anyone to read and steal content for their own campaigns.

I’ll be focusing my activity on my other blogs – both personal and gaming related. I may come back and resurrect this blog eventually as there are a few projects I want to still expand upon.

I will be focusing on improving my mapping skills and making plans to start a gaming studio/company, a patreon and a forum. Right now I am exploring naming for the forum and my business, so I just won’t have the time to dedicate to this blog for that reason either.

Thank you all who took their time out to follow and read my posts. I do really appreciate it. Take care and please stay safe. Good bye for now. Fin.

Magic-Users in my OD&D Campaign Part 4 – The Khondrū

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By Daarken

Greetings, in this installment of my Magic-Users in my OD&D Campaign series I will be tackling my version of Druids  – The Khondrū. I have not exactly cared about how the various editions of D&D treated Druids.

That said, I am not going to go too far afield in how they have been described; but I wanted to give my own tweak on them. I want them familiar enough to be recognizable as Druids but fit the vibe of my setting.

Khondrū in my setting serve the Titans and also serve their tribal communities. They have three main branches of their religious order – Dakūl (Oracles), Khondrū (Priests) and Sangōl (Bards).

They are also served by two lesser branches  The Halût Khondrū (AKA the Adventuring or Wandering Khondrū) and Zanthū (Rangers).

The core of this article will focus on the Halût Khondrū as they are who players will play as or encounter most often. That said I want to give a bit more background on my setting and how the Halût Khondrū fit within it as a religious order and power faction.

The Khondrū Order is a northern (in context of the initial campaign setting local) regional power amongst the tribal peoples. They give advice to Tribal and Clan leaders and coronate the the local Tribal leaders.

They hold immense sway amongst the

Northern Tribes located in what is known as the Tharkeshi Wilds.

The region is dominated by a large primal Cedar forest that blankets the hills and lower elevations of the Wantū (the Troll Mountains). The other parts of the Tharkeshi Wilds are lush plains and arid badlands.

The Khondrū Order are the remnants of an ancient religious order dedicated with preserving the eternal balance and acting as the mortal agents of the Primordial Titans after they sealed the world from the powers of Law and Chaos.

Khondrū is merely the regional name for these agents of the Titans. They have their own cultural variation upon their ancient order unique to their region.

The Titans taught their ancestors the secrets of Nature Magic and the various arts that they utilize in their long multi millennia existence. After the cataclysm much of their lore was lost.

The order decided to send out young adepts (Halût Khondrū) to wander in search of the lost lore and bring it and and relics of the order that they find. In this they are like Adventuring Priests of the “decadent” Southern City-States.

These Halût Khondrū (or Halût for short) are trained for years in wilderness survival, martial arts, music, religious and magical traditions of their Order. They then go for forth wandering in search of lost lore of the Khondrū Order.

This serves an additional purpose for the Order in that it helps weed out the weak amongst their number and strengthens the Order with those that survive and return.

Unlike Adventuring Priests, Warrior-Priests and Elementalists; the Halût Khondrū do not try to convert others to their ways or set up shrines. If they survive their wandering and prove themselves worthy they will be assigned a tribe or Clan of the Tharkeshi Tribes.

Those Halût Khondrū that excel in divination become Oracles, while those who excel music & storytelling become Sangōl; while those who master all the skills become true Khondrū – the Priests of the Order.

Once they return from their wanderings they are tested and evaluated to see what branch of the Order they will serve in. Only true Khondrū are granted a tribe or clan to serve often replacing their older Khondrū who had passed away or was to infirm to serve properly.

Both men and women can serve as as equals within the Khondrū Order.

Advancement is based on merit not nepotism or favoritism. Those who prove themselves worthy advance, those who don’t are given two choices – leave the Order and find a new life or join the Zanthū (Rangers) as defenders of of the Tharkeshi Wilds, especially the primal Wantū Forest where the Khondrū Order dwells.

There is a Chaotic counterpart to the Khondrū Order – The Azūzū Order of the dark Cedar Forest of the Chordeshi Wilds to the South.

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By Joseph Weston

Halût Khondrū

HD 6   Alignment Neutral or Chaos

Armor: Leather or fitted animal hide.

Weapons: Dagger, Darts, Spear, Staff, Sword and Bow.

Abilities:

  • Spellcasting – Nature/Elemental and Chaotic Spells.
  • Move Silently 1-4on a d6 in Wilderness only but 1-3 on a d6 roll elsewhere.
  • Hide in Shadows 1-4 on a d6 in Wilderness only but 1-3 on a d6 roll elsewhere.
  • Climb Shear Walls 1-4 on a d6
  • Backstab/Ambush on a successful Move Silently roll or Hide in Shadows roll.
  • At 3rd Level they can brew and use poison/venom on a 1-3 on a d6 roll. This increases to 1-4 on a d6 roll at 6th Level and a 1-5 on a d6 roll at 8th Level and above.
  • At 4th Level Pass without Trace in Wilderness only.
  • At 4th Level a Khondrū can summon a animal Familiar depending upon terrain type ritual is performed.
  • At 6th Level a Halût Khondrū takes their test. Those that succeed are granted Laying on Hands 3 times a day 1d6 at 6th Level, 2d6 at 8th Level & 3d6 at 12th Level.
  • At 8th Level Invisibility at will in Wilderness only.

Note: Halût Khondrū (Druids) and Zanthū (Rangers) are the only Humans that can use thieving skills listed above at that chance value, all others can try at 1-2 on a d6 roll.

Restrictions:

  • They cannot wear any armor beyond Leather or fitted Hide.
  • They can only use listed weaponry.
  • They cannot be Lawful
  • They must tithe 50% of their Wealth to their Order – Khondrū or Azūzū.
  • If they use Chaos spells more frequently than Nature spells they become corrupted and are initiated into the Azūzū Order and begin to acquire Chaos mutations.
  • They gain a -1 to Reaction Rolls amongst civilized Folk and a -2 Reaction Rills against Humanoids.
  • Halût Khondrū of the Khondrū and Azūzū Orders will attack each other on site and fight to the death – no exceptions.
  • Halût Khondrū who spend more than a week in a city gain a -1 on all rolls until they return to the Wilds for a week. This increases for each week within the city up to a max of -3.
  • Must take a taboo and abide it or if found in violation they lose access to their spells and must preform a 3 day fast and ritualistic cleansing rites.

There are no shape change abilities like the Druid. I wanted my Druid stand ins to have their own thematic feel. I went with the initial concept that Druids were basically a multi-classed Cleric/Magic-User with Thief abilities but without actual multiclassing.

Like all my class variations I wanted to have their own thematic vibe and speak of the setting they are developed for.

I hoped that you found this installment of my Magic-Users in my OD&D Campaign series of interest. Please take care, fin.

Magic-Users in my OD&D Campaign Part 3 – Elementalists

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By Paolo Puggioni

Greetings, in this post I will be continuing my series concerning Magic-Users in my OD&D campaign.

In this installment unlike my last post in the series where I showEd with some thematic tweaks how you can reskin the standard Magic-User to create a new class or variant. In this installment I will take the Magic-User class and make some more definite changes, thus creating an all new class. 

In my setting magic is still potent and flows through everything. It has three origins Law via divinities or agents of Order, Chaos via Infernal divinities or agents of Chaos and lastly Neutrality via the Titans – primordial divinities of Nature or other agents of balance or the eternal cycle.

Though magic is still potent in the world, the knowledge has largely been lost following the aftermath of a worldwide cataclysm.

Long ago the Titans sick of the constant struggles of both Law and Chaos in the world created powerful seals limiting access to the world by the powers of Law and Chaos.

Creating these seals drained the Titans of power and forced them into a multi millennium slumber. During this time where the divine and Infernal was limited from influence within the world, the Magi, rose in power and influence.

Unbeknownst to these mortal practitioners of magic that the more that they used magic the weaker the seals became. So after three millennia the seals broke and magic floods back into the world in uncontrollable torrents – that warped the very world in its wake.

Civilizations crumbled, new civilizations rose and fell again. But it wasn’t just magic being released into the world, but Infernal creatures from the Underworld, creatures and agents of Law from the Outer Realms of Law and from the Elemental planes.

Though much of the lore was lost in last century or two of the aftermath there were those who did preserve some of this magical lore – the Magi. Though few in number they sought to reclaim their lost secrets and regrow their numbers, power and influence.

As part of this process some came under the influence and eventual patronage of agents of Law, Chaos and Neutrality. One of those factions in the world are the Elementalists.

Elementalists are similar to Adventuring Priests and Warrior-Priests as they derive their knowledge and abilities by creating pacts with Elemental Lords.

But unlike the Adventuring Priest and Magi who need to study and research new spells to cast their magic – Elementalists can tap into the Elemental Realm of their patron and cast their spell without having to do research or study a spell book and memorize a spell.

That said they require concentration and time for marshaling the power and to properly manifest the spell within their mind in order to cast it. The more powerful the spell the longer and more draining the spell.

Whereas both Adventuring Priests and Magi can cast spells via incantations or prayers, Elementalists cannot.

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By Matt Forsyth

Elementalists also are limited to Spells tied to their Elemental Lord and their duty to them. But they gain other abilities to counter this restriction in spells.

There are four Elemental Lords – Grond Lord of Earth, Ishya Lady of Air, Zhuul Lord of Fire and Kilat Lady of Water.

Like Adventuring Priests and Warrior-Priests Elementalists must preform sacrifices and create shrines to exalt their patron and bring new gifted vassals to their patrons service.

Elementalists gain abilities in exchange for their service and loyalty to their Elemental Lord. These abilities are are tied to the element their patron controls.

An example: An Elementalist of Zhuul has abilities tied to Fire and has an animosity to Elementalists of Kilat.

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By Felicia Cano

Elementalists

HD 6  Alignment Neutral

Weapons: Special see below

Armor: None

Abilities:

  • Spell Casting – restricted to those tied to element of their patron.
  • Elemental Resistance – resistance to normal non-magical attacks or aspects of nature tied to their element. They get a +2 to all saves vs. these attacks/aspects. Special see below.
  • Elemental Resistance  – at levels 3 and 6 they get Save vs. magical attacks as if they were twice their level (6 & 12 respectively).
  • Elemental Immunity – at level 12+ they have full immunity to all natural and magical attacks linked to their chosen element – including Dragon’s Breath.
  • Elemental Aspects – at levels 4, 8 & 12  the Elementalist develops a mutation tied to their element and this in turn will gradually transform into a semi-elemental being with an extended lifespan. Special see below.
  • Summon an elemental familiar tied to their element. Special see below.

Restrictions:

  • An Elementalist cannot join a party with another Elementalist of their rival Elemental Lord. Example: Zhuul – Kilat and Ishya – Grond.
  • Vulnerability to opposing Element -2 from 1st to 4th level, -4 from 5th to 8th level and -6 from 9th level on saves Vs. that element.
  • They must choose a taboo and if they break the taboo they are sent on a quest (as spell) to redeem themselves. They lose their abilities until the quest is completed or they fail in which they lose them permanently or they died on the quest.

Special Notes:

Weapons – An Elementalists are trained in weaponry symbolically tied to their Elemental Lord:

  • Grond – Bludgeoning Weapons
  • Ishya – Missile Weapons
  • Zhuul – Bladed Weapons
  • Kilat – Whips and Chain based Weapons

Combat – Elementalists are trained in Martial Arts styles symbolically tied to their element:

  • Earth – Defensive, Hard and immobile, strikes, locks and grappling.
  • Air – Defensive, Light and flowing, strikes and throws.
  • Fire – Aggressive fast and flamboyant. Strikes and bladed hand and feet weaponry.
  • Water – Aggressive but flexible. Locks, throws and grappling.

In these Martial Arts they can only be used against Humanoid opponents and they add a +1 to both their AC and Damage while fighting unarmed (minus exceptions above) every 3 levels.

At 1st-3rd level they get +1, at 4th -6th level +2, at 7th-9th level +3 and 10+ level they get a +4.

Elemental Familiar:

At 3rd level an Elementalist preforms a ritual involving a sacrifice and if their Elemental Lord is pleased will send their servant a elemental familiar to serve them.

These Elemental Familiars grow in power every four levels and suffer the same resistances and vulnerabilities that their master have. Also they can do greater damage at every four levels of their masters. 

The elemental familiar of Fire and Water because of their nature must be stored in a magical vessel until needed. Whereas Earth and Air elemental familiars can walk or fly besides their master.

At 4th-7th level they are 1 HD creatures, at 8th-11th level they are 2 HD creatures and at 12+ levels they are 3 HD creatures.

I will make a list of available elemental familiars for players to roll on or choose from (with DM approval).

Resistances:

  • Earth – to acids, gases and other toxic substances from the earth.
  • Air – Non-magical lightening, heavy winds cold from air based natural phenomena.
  • Fire – non-magical fire, embers, Heat, smoke and toxic fumes created by fire.
  • Water – drowning (ability to hold breath for long periods), salt water, tainted water and slippery surfaces (including ice).

Elemental Aspects:

Elementalists by channeling raw elemental magic, preforming sacrifices and communing with their Elemental Lord; they slowly transform into a semi-elemental being. Though technically human they have an extended lifespan and gain mutations influenced by their Elemental Lord.

I will be creating lists of these mutations broken into minor, intermediate and major categories. The players can either roll randomly or pick to fit their image of how their character should look (with DM approval).

Extra Note concerning Elemental Aspects:

Once an Elementalist has achieved full status as a semi-elemental being any children begotten via they will be a Vanyar. There is also a chance that a child produced after level 4 will be a Vanyar.

At 4th-7th level on a roll of a 6 on a d6 a Vanyar is born, at 8th-11th level it is a 4-6 a d6 an Vanyar is born.

Note: The Vanyar will be discussed in far more depth in a future post.

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By JasonTN

So this is the Elementalist class and shows how you can take bits and pieces of existing classes and make something that thematically fits your world but doesn’t take away another classes special niche.

I wanted a variant of the Magi-User in my setting that was tied to the four primal alchemical elements, as I was inspired in part by the Fire Elementalists of the Adventurer comics I read as a teen and the Avatar the Last Air Bender and it’s spinoff The Legend of Korra.

Well I will end this installment of my blog so I can get it posted and shared about. Please take care, fin.

The Wanjok – The Troll Blooded

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By Paul Bonner Chronicles of Trudvang by Riot Minds
Edit: I changed the name my version of Druids from the Anglo-Saxon Rūnwita to Khondrū. 

Greetings, I am taking a brief break from my series of posts Magic-Users in my OD&D campaign. In this post I will be discussing a new Player Character Race – The Wanjok.

The Wanjok (pr. JuanYok) are not a true race but a human that has Troll ancestry. Trolls in my setting are not the rubbery skinned green monsters on traditional D&D, but a Fey race.

Unlike Elves in my setting the Wanjok were not kidnapped and magically transformed – they are the product of a mating between a Human and a Troll.

Trolls are not solely Chaotic like in OD&D but can also be of neutral Alignment.

Like their Troll sire they vary in size from 4’ to 7’, compared to Trolls who vary in size from 3’ to 9’. They are also stronger than humans and receive a +2 to their Str & Con rolls but a -1 to their Cha & Dex rolls. They also get a -2 to their Reaction Rolls, because of their Trollish heritage.

Though they appear as humans there are often various signs that mark a Wanjok as who they are. This could be tusks, pointed ears with tufts of fur, a fur tipped tail, a horn or multiple horns to claws; amongst other minor mutations.

The Wanjok are rare and are seen with suspicion by humans, who often fear their tainted ancestry. That said, unlike Elves and Smarag the Wanjok can hold position in Human nobility. As such they can be granted titles and land.

Wanjok cannot be Warrior-Priests, Magi, Adventuring Priests or Warrior-Magi. They can be Fighting-Men, Elementalists and Khondrū (Druids). They can advance to full level limits as humans in these three classes.

Wanjok are prone to adventure in part because of their suspicion amongst humans and a desire to seek glory in hopes of earning respect and position in their Clan and Tribe.

If they survive their adventures they return to their Clan Hold and give tribute to their Clan Chief who sponsors them.  They then travel to their tribal leader to give tribute and be granted a title and sent to clear land to build a domain.

The Wanjok are closely tied to nature, the Fey and primal magic thus their proclivity to become Elementalists or Khondrū.

Though drawn to magic Wanjok do not like to study Arcane magic and they have no desire to serve as Warrior-Priests or Adventuring Priests of the “decadent” southerners. Instead they prefer to worship either their Northern deities or Elemental Patrons.

The Wanjok male or female are capable warriors or practitioners of magic. They are also a proud yet gregarious people. Once they have earned the respect of their Clan and Tribe they are accepted as a full member.

The Wanjok also like to wear body paint and tattoos, especially amongst the Khondrū. Otherwise they dress similarly to other members of their Clan and Tribe. 

Lastly Wanjok are prone to berserker rage if damaged in battle. Every time they take damage they must make a save vs. poison.

Each time they successfully save vs. poison and thus resist the urge to go berserk, their save rises by 1 making it slightly harder to resist the next time they are injured.

Note: the above only applies to a single combat situation. Once that combat situation passes, the save returns to normal until the next combat situation.

With that I will end this installment of my blog so I can get it posted before bed. Please take care, fin.

Magic-Users in my OD&D Campaign Part 2 – The Adventuring Priest.

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By NEXON/davCAT

Greetings, in my previous post I did a general overview concerning Magic-Users in my future OD&D campaign. In this post I will be discussing one of the Magi-User variant classes – the Adventuring Priest.

Unlike the Warrior-Priest the Adventuring Priest is not a combat specialist but a traveling agent of their pantheon or Deity/Infernal Power. Yet like Warrior-Priests they must be either Law or Chaos in Alignment.

The Adventuring Priest unlike their militant kin are able to use bladed weapons and they limited to the number of weapons at 1st level. They then gain one new weapon at level 5, 9 and 12, like Magi.

Update: Adventuring Priests like Magi cannot cast magic while in armor. They lack the training and even though they have some combat training it didn’t include armor training. Their combat training is primarily defensive in nature.

Unlike both Warrior-Priests and Warrior-Magi they (and their Magi kin) cannot cast spells and wear armor. How they were trained to cast spells are different than the methods of the militant Magic-Users.

They are also trained in basics of wilderness survival as are Magi, Warrior-Priests and Warrior-Magi. It is part of their basic training as they are expected to be able survive as they travel the Wilds representing their pantheon or chosen patron.

The Adventuring Priest must tithe 10% of their treasure and as a mandatory part of their agreement to join an adventuring party they get any magic item or relic (magical or not) tied to their pantheon or patron. This item or relic they HAVE to return to the Temple tied to the pantheon or patron.

Though technically Adventuring Priests can learn and cast all spells, the frequent use of spells from their opposing Alignment causes them to become neutral and thus lose certain abilities, such as turn/control undead and become Magi and lose any influence in their religious community. 

If they use opposing aligned magic to their initial alignment to the exclusion of their initial Alignment they must become a priest of the opposing pantheon or patrons.

An example:

A Chaotic Adventuring Priest who turns to Law can eventually be purified and have their mutations disappear. While Lawful Adventuring Priests as they grow in power and corruption begin to manifest Infernal mutations.

Adventuring Priests are an example of how you can reskin a bog standard Magic-User to represent another role with minimal but thematic modifications.

In my setting Adventuring Priests are rare, as most adventuring Priests encountered will be militant Warrior-Priests who are trained monster and witch hunters.

Unlike the Magi the Adventuring Priest needs both a high CHA as well as INT, as a large part of their mission is to spread the message of their pantheon or Infernal Power – thus either Law or Chaos.

They are expected to oversee the foundation of cults of their specific powers among communities that are devoid of Law or Chaos.

They like Warrior-Priests are often not liked by the governments of the communities in which they visit. As they can be a disruptive influence upon the population.

Also in my setting you can have conflicts between Cults and established Temples that share the same Alignment but different pantheon or different philosophy.

Some cultures are more militant and hold more restrictive morality and laws than others. This adds another layer of intrigue that Players will have maneuver as they adventure and role play, whether or not they are Adventuring or Warrior-Priests.

 I hope that this post will help you better understand how you can create variations upon standard classes without having to create one from scratch. All it takes is a bit of imagination and time and you can create a similar variant class.

In my next post I will be covering another variant Magic-User class, but unlike the Adventuring Priest it is a more restricted and specialized class variant – The Elementalist.

Well before I ramble on even more I will end this blog entry and get it posted. Please take care, fin.

Magic-Users in my House Ruled OD&D Campaign – Part 1

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By Yanavaseya 

Greetings, in my previous post I discussed Warrior-Magi. This will be part one of a multi-post series, since Magic-Users in the campaign setting are not just arcane casters, but can also be divine casters aligned to either Law or Chaos.

That said your bog standard Magic-User in OD&D are generic arcane spell casters aka Wizards. And in general they are so in my setting but they only represent common Magi.

In this post I will focus on the Magi and in my next post I will discuss Priests the spell casting Adventuring Priest. In the third post in the series I will discuss a variant Magi – the Elementalist.

That will be followed by a post for the Infernalist and a special post on my version of the Druid. Like in the various OD&D supplements I wanted there to be some variation to the standard OD&D Magic-User.

My setting the variant Magic-Users are more specialized and thus have certain abilities and restricted spells. But the common Magi has more spells and lack the special abilities than their specialized kin.

Magi start their careers as apprentices to an established Magi or as part of Order of Magi. They are not the library haunting academics that populate their places of initial learning.

They are adventuring Magi – they are of sterner stuff than their academic kin. They train at arms and study skills need to travel the wilderness.

Though not as effective in combat as their Warrior-Magi counterparts they do hold skill in darts, daggers, spear and staff initially.

They cannot use armor and shields but can learn one additional weapon every four levels with proper training. Like my friend at the Black Dragon Games blog (link here) my Magi are also Sages with a major and minor area of expertise. I am still trying to figure out how this works. I may just adopt the rules from 1e AD&D. Not sure.

Magi can be of any Alignment, though if Lawful and they use Chaotic Spells they have a chance of becoming tainted by chaos and losing access to Lawful Spells.

Chaos Magic is infernal in origin and its use taints a Magi or Infernal Priest. Use it to much not only do you open yourself to greater and greater influence from infernal beings but the magic corrupts not only your soul but body.

By restrictive use of Chaos Magic and balanced use of Lawful Magic and a Magi stay neutral in Alignment.

Magi who stray towards Chaos often are hunted by Witch Hunters and Warrior-Priests.

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By Gabriel Moreno

They become Infernalists and lose access to Law Magic and develop a almost addiction to Chaos Magic, having to make Saves vs. Poison when they next level. If the save fails they can only pick a Chaos Spell and they have to take a Save vs. Polymorph or roll on a mutation table.

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By NEXON/davCAT

 A quick note about magic in my setting:

ALL spells are tied to Law/Order, Nature/Neutrality or Chaos/the Infernal.

Most Lawful Magic-Users become Adventuring Priests, while Chaos Aligned Magic-Users become either Chaos Cultists or Infernalists.

Magic-Users are fairly diverse in my setting – Be they Adventuring Priests, Druids, Shamans, Warrior-Priests, Warrior-Magi or your bog standard Magi. Each has a defined role in the campaign and as the campaign develops I will likely add more to my house ruled system.

So here ends my introductory post concerning Magic-Users in my OD&D campaign (at least tied to this setting). Please take care and I will post again soon, fin.

The Warrior-Magi Class for my OD&D Campaigns

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By Victoria Sakolova

Greetings, in this post I will be describing the Warrior-Magi. I have always loved the idea of the Warrior-Mage and let’s face it a lot of D&D/Fantasy RPG fans do too.

I decided to basically reskin the Cleric as the foundation for my Warrior-Magi class. It was basically what a Cleric was except with holy magic.

Whereas Clerics get Turn Undead, have limited spells (including no spells at 1st Level) I decided to restructure their spell per levels. Also unlike a Cleric a Warrior-Magus cannot wear heavy armor, but they can use bladed weapons.

That said they are limited in the types of weapons that they can use. If they use a shield they cannot cast spells.

Another difference between Clerics and Warrior-Magi is that Warrior-Magi are trained in martial arts – both unarmed and armed combat.

They are not the equivalent to Monks though they can do damage unarmed and on a natural 12 on a 2d6 or 20 on a d20 attack roll they do 2d6 damage to unarmored opponents.

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By Lindsey Burcar

HD d6  Alignment Any

Restrictions:

• Can only wear Leather Armor

• If using a Shield they cannot cast spells

Weapons Available:

Daggers

I Darts

Bows (not including Crossbows)

Swords

Spears

Staves

Hand Axes

Attribute Requirements:

Str, Con, Dex & Int of 10 as a minimum.

Abilities:

• Saves as Cleric

• Attacks as Cleric against non-Humanoid opponents.

• Unarmed combat (described above)

• Spells are a mix of what was Cleric & Magic-User Spell lists with modifications.

• Like with all Magic-Users using Chaotic spells frequently can lead to corruption and mutations developing.

—————————————————————

Though powerful at higher levels Warrior-Magi are still prone to death. Outside magical protection they are still glass cannons. Plus they need to stay out of melee combat and be protected while casting spells.

They are not front line fighters by any means, they are just more sturdy and versatile in combat that Magic-Users.

Because of their powerful abilities especially at higher levels even with the listed restrictions they will be rare.

I hope that you find this class of interest and I plan to post soon my version of a Druid and cover Magic-Users and their specialized variants soon. Till then take care, fin.

The Smarag – The replacement of Halflings & Dwarfs PCs in my OD&D Campaign

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Smarag by Ezra Caleb West 5/6/2020

Greetings, in this post I will be discussing a race for my OD&D/Chainmail rooted system and setting. I have already covered Orcs and Elves, I wanted to replace Halflings and Dwarfs in some fashion as a player character race.

Whereas Elves are magically transformed humans with some Fey magical properties the Smarag are a distinct race. There are many stories concerning their origins that even the Smarag do not know which is true.

Some believe that they are the product of magical bioengineering by a mad sorcerer or they Fey. Some claim that they are a fusion of Dwarfs and Goblins.

Others believe they are the remnants of the proto-Goblin race before the Goblins gave into the infernal influence of Underworld powers.

Whatever their origins they are a race of underground dwelling nocturnal artisans with close relations with humans and Dwarfs often acting as intermediaries between the races.

The Smarag stand between 3’ and 4’ in height and have a athletic build even into advanced age. Their skin spans from brown to olive in coloration, while their hair is straight and black.

The Smarag take pride in their craftsmanship and physical fitness. Laziness is a cultural taboo amongst the Smarag. Whether working stone, wood or gems they dedicate much of their time mastering their craft. They also spend time playing sport, learning dance and hunting.

Though not a warrior culture like Dwarfs and Orcs, Smarag are gifted guerrilla fighters like Elves. As such like Elves they are skilled in silent movement and ambush.

Like Goblins they are sensitive to bright light and sunlight and take negatives in such instances. They also are prolific breeders and there are at least two females born to every male Smarag.

Polygamy is common in their culture and the Smarag who live within human cities interracial relationships between Smarag women and human men is common.

Prostitution is common amongst the very poor in those urban communities. Those women who engage in such activities are often disowned by their families.

The Smarag are generally a socially conservative peoples and such debasement of the self is seen as a stain upon the honor of the family and clan.

The Smarag are a generally Lawful race and try to promote order via their actions. Prostitution is seen as a manifestation of Chaos and will taint the community.

Small urban communities of Smarag outcasts have begun growing up in Human cities, often in the poorer districts. They are largely Neutral in alignment but occasionally one or more will turn to Chaos.

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Smarag

HD d6  Alignment Lawful or Neutral

Class Restrictions:

Fighting-Men 8th Level*

Warrior-Priest N/A

Magic-Users Unlimited

Druid Unlimited

Warrior-Magus 8th Level*

Abilities:

Hear Noise 1-2 on a d6

Detect Secret Passages 1-3 on a d6

Hide in Shadows 1-3 on a d6

Move Silently 1-3 on a d6

Ambush/Backstab x2 1-4 Levels, x3 5-8 Levels and x4 9-12+ Levels if applicable.

Can see in moonlight, dim or ambient light if as day.

+1 to all missile attacks

Penalties:

-1 to Morale and all rolls in bright light.

Notes:

*= Smarag cannot rise above 8th Level as Humans won’t allow them into nobility.

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Smarag are a race that I have been developing over the years though under different names and different types of culture. I am finally happy with how they turned out in this incarnation.

I will be creating another race or ancestry to take the forth slot in the classic four core races in OD&D. I will post about them asap once I have developed them to my satisfaction. Take care, fin.&

Ezra’s Orcs for my new setting

Greetings, after a few days of Twitter drama surrounding Orcs (and other Humanoids) I figured that I should cover Orcs.

In this blog post I will not discuss the online drama as frankly it is not the purpose of this blog. Instead I will cover how Orcs are portrayed in my new setting that I am developing along side my House Ruled OD&D system.

As I began thinking of the topic I was unsure how I wanted to portray my Orcs. As a fan of Elder Scrolls Skyrim and how ES portrays Orcs as a feral subrace of Elves… I was hesitant to just copy and paste ES Orcs into my setting yet again.

I felt that would be lazy and just not fun for me as a creative or DM/Referee nor would it be fun for my players.

So I went to two D&D sources: OD&D and Basic/Expert D&D.

The core foundation for my Orcs are the 3LBBs and how they are described including the fact that they can be Neutral or Chaos aligned.

In B/X D&D Orcs are described as bestial  – as a fusion of human & animal. Now how would I make this work?

In 1e AD&D Gary describes them as porcine in nature… or the art implies it.

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My desire was to make Orcs consistent with how I view the world. So I started to examine various animals and which would best fit my Neutral and best fit my Chaotic Orcs.

For my initial campaign region I picked animals that seemed to fit the regions climate.

Neutral Orcs:

Bat-Men Orcs – These Orcs are a fusion of human and Bat, sharing characteristics of both. Bat-Men Orcs are the smallest of Orcs about the size of a Goblin and have a set of wings.

They feed on Giant Insects and fruit. They are fond of fruit based liquors and preserves.

Boar-Men Orcs – These Orcs are a fusion of humans and Boars, sharing characteristics of both. Boar-Men Orcs are prone to violence when their communities are threatened. They are the larger of the Beast-Men Orcs of Neutrality.

Goat-Men Orcs – These Orcs are a fusion of Goats and humans, sharing characteristics of both. Goat-Men Orcs are the medium sized Orcs of Neutrality, they are leaner in build than Boar-Men Orcs but taller than Bat-Men Orcs. L

Chaos Orcs:

Wolf-Men Orcs – These Orcs are a fusion of Wolves and humans, sharing characteristics of both. They are highly predatory in nature and will raid other Orc and human communities for resources, food and slaves.

Lion-Men Orcs – These Orcs are a fusion of Humans and Lions, sharing characteristics of both. They are predatory in nature.

Female Lion-Men Orcs are the primary hunters and are mated to a strong Clan chief. Male Lion-Men Orcs once out of adolescence strike off to claim and form their own Pride/Clan.

Gnolls – Gnolls in my world are Orcs but have embraced the darkest aspects of Chaos. They are a fusion of Hyenas and Humans, sharing characteristics of both.

So here is a basic rundown of Orcs in my setting going forward. I will flesh them out and give them proper write-ups and names. I just wanted to give readers a bit of insight on how Orcs will manifest in my future campaigns.

Take care and I will post again soon, fin.

Elves, Fey & Low Elves in my House Ruled OD&D Campaign

Greetings, in this post I will be discussing my version of “Elves” that will populate my setting that I am developing as I am developing my House Ruled OD&D system.

Before I describe the Player Character Elfin “Race” I will take time to discuss the Fey and how PC “Elves” tie into the Fey.

In my setting Fey & True Elves are not Law aligned but Neutral and Chaos aligned. Your typical house spirit is neutral, whereas True Elves are Chaos aligned.

True Elves kidnap human babies and replace the stolen child with a human formed changeling. The human child is taken into the Fey Lands, which is a pocket region of the Underworld.

True Elves and other Chaos aligned Fey are beings of Chaos like Goblins and the Undead. They are fond of causing simple mischief to murder depending upon their nature or whim.

Now PC “Elves” are not True Elves but Humans raised in the Fey Lands and who have had their bodies sculpted through Fey Magic to take a more pleasing form to their Elfin masters.

These Fey Touched Humans are tainted by Chaos and can only be Neutral or Chaos aligned.

They also are often mistakenly called Elves by their fellow humans because of their alien Fey forms and magical abilities.

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Art by DeerLordHunter

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Low ElvesFey Touched Humans 

HD: d6     Alignment: Neutral or Chaos

Class Restrictions:

Fighting-Man 8th Level*

Warrior-Priest N/A**

Magic-User Unlimited***

Warrior-Magus 8th Level*

Abilities:

Hear Noise: 1-2 on a d6

Passing by a Secret Door: 1-2 on a d6

Searching for secret passages: 1-4 on a d6

Hide in Shadows: 1-3 on a d6

Move Silently: 1-3 on a d6

Ambush/Backstab: x2 1-4th Level, x3 4-8th Level & x4 9-12th+ Level if applicable.

With magical Sword or Bow:

+3 vs. Goblins, +2 vs. Orcs

Split-move/Fire Bow

See in moonlight or with ambient light as in daylight.

Notes:

*= Low Elves cannot rise above 8th Level as either a Fighting-Man or Warrior-Magus, as Humans will not accept them as part of the Nobility.

**= Low Elves cannot be Warrior-Priests as they do not desire to serve War Deities.

***= Low Elves can be any kind of Magic-User though they rarely become Priests, though they can become Druids, Sorcerers/Witches and Elementalists.

Fey Characteristics: Low Elves were magically sculpted by True Elves and thus have a number of physical mutations.

These mutations run from Unearthly Beauty, Androgyny, Fangs, Tails, long pointed ears, alien skin color, long tongue, horns, slow aging and fifty years longer life and true Hermaphroditism.

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Low Elves in my setting take the place of OD&D Elves and 3.5-5e D&D Tieflings. Instead of having two hidentical races with different Chaotic Ancestry I fused both.

Since I decided to toss the Thief Class, I  have given Low Elves certain Thief abilities.

I felt it fit their Fey nature to have those abilities instead of the Invisibility ability granted in Chainmail.

By in large my Low Elves are Elves as described in both the 3LBBs and Chainmail but with a few thematic tweaks to fit my setting.

I will compose two other core races that will be populate my setting (at least the core region). I hope that you find my take on Elves of interest.

Take care for now, fin.