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  #1  
Old 07-03-2019, 02:33 PM
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The Anvil of the Sun - Fantasy Post Apocalypse [DND 5.5 Playtest]

Game NameThe Anvil of the Sun - Fantasy Post Apocalypse [DND 5.5 Playtest]
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemePicking up the pieces of a great fallen empire in a harsh and ruined world, wanderers accumulate power and struggle to assert their own order amid the chaos.
FlavourDeserts and wastelands, corrupted magic and wicked spirits, ancient artifacts from a now-obscured time of enlightenment, and new hopes of greatness and salvation.
Plot Summary


The empire has fallen. What was once the peak of high culture and magical achievement is now buried under centuries of dust and detritus. Strange monuments and artifacts still litter the land, but no one has the necessary know-how to operate them. They are memories, of a time before the desolation of Athas.

All that remains now is wasteland, desert, and every kind of cruelty and barbarism under the sun. The proud races of men have once again descended to their primal instincts, and betrayal is currency where fresh supplies never make it all the way around. A few holdouts of civilized life remain: three settlements where wealth and power accumulate. There were once five - but a decade ago a power struggle among lords led to war, and one of the settlements was devastated. The other was turned into an enormous barracks, housing the core leadership and central forces of an independent Imperial Guard.

This is not a land of hope; for most, the gods are silent. Instead people have taken to the veneration of vengeful spirits and pagan veneration of the elements themselves. Others make a religion of the cultural memory of lost greatness; people deride those who carry the old titles and honors, but they still demand respect. But others are ready to leave the past behind and turn towards the promise of tomorrow. In the east, there are rumors of a new cult gaining traction, after the prize prince of Ganezzar's unexpected religious conversion. These types speak of prophets, deities, and the One God.

Those who choose to settle in the wilderness live a hard lot. Attacks from bandits are ever increasing, good tidings are nonexistent, and harsh conditions destroy as much food as one is able to harvest. People with sense stay away from the wastelands, but they are far from empty. The open spaces have become footholds for lingering demons and spirits to establish themselves; hardy insect races conquer territory with brutal efficiency.

Magic exists, and is indeed well known in certain circles - but it is corrupted. Most arcane magic defiles everything around it to the degree that the spell is powerful. Drawing life force and natural energy from a long-exhausted well causes sterilization of the immediate area and a ring of ash. The people whisper that it was the misuse of this very power that caused the empire to fall and become a wasteland. Therefore, magic is hated and feared even now - anyone recognized as a defiling witch is doomed to become a social pariah.

The future, though it seems set in its misery, is yet waiting to be made. Many things hang in a delicate balance; scarcity and opposing factions create an unmatched opportunity for those who are willing to put it all on the line for power and glory.

---

Do you like open-world games, and meaningful roleplay? Do you like tactical combat in a challenging world? Do you like ruin-delving and unraveling mystical and historical lore? This game is for you.

This is a playtest of Advanced 5e or D&D 5.5e. I am a long term 3.5 DM who created a set of adjustments which aim to preserve the spirit of 5e while adding some of the customization and power available in older editions. The long and short of it is this: the Feat system has been reworked and separated from Attribute increases at 4th level. Instead, each player gets a feat at 3rd and every 3 levels beyond, with an option for an extra feat at level 1. Many classic feats have been imported from 3.5 and converted, and the existing 5e feats have been reworked to fit the new system. If there are any other old feats you are interested in, run them by me and I will consider them.

Other changes include reverting to 3 main saves - Fortitude, Reflex, and Will, and furthermore loosening of the bounded accuracy system to a degree. A full list of houserules and available feats can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...veX2rIR-WGboBU

This campaign will be drawing from many sources, but one of them is the Dark Sun setting. This world is actually quite different from that one, but it is worth looking over to familiarize yourself with a general feel of fantasy post-apocalypse. Moreover, the base races are the same as in Dark Sun, and the Twisted Magic system in this game is a variation of the system used there.


This is not an easy campaign. Players will be expected to play cautiously, and to punch slightly above their level with the new options provided for them. That is not to say non-combat characters are unwanted - social characters will have a great deal of influence if they play their cards right. But prepare yourself for when things go sour and violence breaks out; it is not a matter of if.


This is a playtest, and it is taking place in a difficult setting. I am not a vengeful DM, but characters will die if they get in over their heads. Moreover, resurrection does not exist in this world - death is final. Players are welcome to roll up new characters in the event of death as long as the campaign is rolling.

I'm looking to have a party no larger than 4-5 members. The game will be updated twice a week unless additional preparation is needed on my end.

The starting level will be 3. Starting wealth is 200gp, no magic items. A full backstory is not necessary in the initial application, but a good description of your character’s appearance and personality would be appreciated. Happy crafting, and good luck!

Some of the most powerful factions in the realm, which you may or may not wish to be associated with, include:

Noble House Aurelian (of Maadoran)
Noble House Daratan (of Teron)
Noble House Crassus (of Ganezzar)
The Boatmen of Styx (a sanctioned league of assassins)
The Forty Thieves (a powerful guild of thieves and scoundrels)
The Imperial Guard (an independent armed force which attempts to keep the peace between houses. In theory.)
The Commercium (an extremely powerful society of merchants which handle most trade in Athas, especiallly within the three settlements.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by “Character Sheet”

[An image of your character, if you would like to provide one.]
Name:
Race:
Party Role: What can you accomplish well with the mechanics of your character?
Faction Reputation: At game start, are you on good or bad terms with any of the main factions?
Appearance: A written description of your character, 1-2 paragraphs.
Personality: A written description of what your character is like when he interacts with others. 1-2 paragraphs.
Backstory: Just an idea of what you’ve been through. Can be highly conceptual at this stage - I expect that you will figure out more about what kind of life your character has had once you play them more, and I will allow you to flesh out the details in your own time. Just a few sentences or bulletpoints.

Completed Sheet: a link to your character’s current and completed character build. This must be done before game start.

Last edited by Olive Fontaine; 07-06-2019 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:42 PM
GOLANI GOLANI is online now
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I am game. Question: This is off 3.5, and character creation is similar (just want to make sure), and when you set up the saves, do you add your ability scores together?
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:42 PM
GOLANI GOLANI is online now
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actually that was two questions
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:03 PM
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The character creation is just like 5e, except you’ll have one (or two) feats at 3rd level, and the saves are slightly different.

You only get one ability mod to each save, unless you have some kind of ability that lets you add other modifiers.

Fortitude uses your con bonus by default.
Reflex uses your dexterity.
Will uses your wisdom.

Any save you are proficient in also gets your proficiency bonus.

To determine which of the three saves you are proficient with, convert the saves of your 5e class in this way:

Strength prof -> Fortitude prof
Constitution prof -> Fortitude prof
Dexterity prof -> Reflex prof
Intelligence prof -> N/A
Wisdom prof -> Will prof
Charisma prof -> Will prof
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Old 07-03-2019, 04:19 PM
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Posting for interest.

I am an old 3.5 DnD player (several pen and paper games including Dragonlance and an epic homebrew campaign, though both were many years ago) and have recently „converted“ to DnD 5e, so I find your experiment very interesting. I also love the idea of barbarians and monsters wandering the world after the fall of an empire. I would love to play a cleric of one of the old gods (associated with the Order or Knowledge domain representing civilization). Do you have a pantheon so that I could choose a deity or would you rather prefer that my character is more of a servant of an idea (or perhaps the whole pantheon) rather than of a single deity? Also, what are the differences between Houses Aurelian, Daratan and Crassus or rather between the lands/settlements of Maadoran, Teron and Ganezzar? If you could provide some lore I would be very grateful.

I should have an application ready in just a few days. Do we roll for stats or do you prefer point buy? (the dice usually hate me)
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Last edited by Elanir; 07-03-2019 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:02 PM
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Welcome, Elanir.

I like your idea of an order cleric who attempts to recover knowledge of and serve the old gods. Not much is remembered about them, so you may want to get a good Knowledge (History) which will be helpful in gaining additional information about the fall and the previous empire. The only name I can give you now is Ibn Hadad - a legendary Magi who is said to have been a savior to the empire in its time of need, creating miraculous objects of power. He has reached a near godlike status among the lore masters who know of him. The Qantari are known as hellish demons who were engaged in a desperate war against the empire before it’s fall. More information than that will have to come in game. However, if you would like to create a name and archetype for a god which your character has uncovered, I am more than willing to incorporate that into the story and run with it.

Teron is the smallest of the remaining settlements. Shanty structures of dried wood make up most of the town, though a few of the old stones still stand among the mud brick wall that has been erected around it. The guilds still have representatives here, all angling to increase their share of the pie. Daratan is an old name which most civilized people know. It is said to have been one of the greatest houses before the fall, and those who serve it still dream of reclaiming old glory. In truth, however, most of the family’s wealth and manpower was squandered in a war some 12 years ago. House Crassus withdrew their forces from the conflict, allowing House Aurelius to crush the Daratan forces and recapture their territory - thus leading to the current balance of power between the settlements.

Maadoran is a grand and lively city by Athas standards. The Commercium has its base of operations here, and the city produces enough wealth to support a ruling class of decadent elites. For the common man, it is very much bread and circuses - with the Arena being a popular way to kill time. Crime is rampant here as everywhere though, with even the combined forces of House Aurelian and the local imperial guards being unable to keep a lid on it. Several old world structures still stand disused in the city, and a large swathe of uninhabitable territory within the city is the telltale scar of the great war. While House Aurelius is not so storied as Daratan, it does control Maadoran, which is now the largest and most powerful of the settlements. The leader of the house, Gaelius, is considered the de-facto lord of the realm, even if it isn’t official yet.

Ganezzar is a beautiful multi-tiered city, only partially ruined, with each level corresponding to a certain class and standard of living. At the very top is the grand palace. Before the war, House Crassus was a leader in the arcane arts. After lord Meru’s religious conversion, however, the remaining magical students were thrown out from the city and forced to relocate. Now the lower levels of the city are filled with pilgrims who have heard the message of Meru’s god and have come to offer repentance and supplications. The nobles are in a state of panic, being surrounded by have-nots and enjoying only unreliable support from Lord Meru.


Hopefully that’s enough to start filling in more of the picture. Also, Point Buy is allowed.

Last edited by Olive Fontaine; 07-03-2019 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:12 PM
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Posting interest

Questions:

When you say "The character creation is just like 5e, except you’ll have one (or two) feats at 3rd level, and the saves are slightly different." and refer to the two feats portion, are you refereing to variant human who would naturally start with one? or is there another way to gain an additional feat by level 3?

Do you allow the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron materials ? such things as double bladed scimitar and the feat: Revenant Blade

Are their any materials you do or do not allow upon character creation? Race, Class, UA, etc
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:33 PM
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Yes, now any race other than human can become a “Variant” by losing a +2 racial bonus to one stat in exchange for a feat at first level.

I’m not super familiar with the Wayfinder’s guide to Eberron, but knowing the setting it might be an odd fit. Anything that is too technological in nature is probably a no-go. The double-bladed scimitar seems fine to me. In general, any feat not listed in the Houserules document needs to be okayed with me first.

That said, I’ve taken a look at the feat and I’m okay with it. However, it no longer provides the +1 stat. Other 5e feats have also received this treatment since ASIs are guaranteed now.


UA is not blanket banned, however nothing from it is automatically approved - it must get DM approval first.

The available races are: Human, Elf, Half-Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Half-Giant, and Thri-Kreen.

Stats for the last two can be found here:

Quote:

Half-Giant
Half-giants inherit a solid balance of their bestial and human parents.
Ability Score Increase. You have 4 points to split between your Strength and Constitution scores. Your Intelligence is decreased by 2.
Age. Half-giants mature around 24 years of age and can live up to 220 years.
Alignment. Your alignment varies based on significant life events. You begin with one fixed alignment (good-neutral-evil or lawful-neutral-chaotic). The other aspect changes, possibly overnight, based on an extreme influence, subject to DM approval.
Size. A typical half-giant stands 10 to 12 feet tall and weighs 1,600 pounds. You occupy a 10-foot by 10-foot space. Your size is Large.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.
Large-limbs. Due to your size, your melee attacks reach 5’ further than normal, and you may wield a versatile weapon one-handed.
Colossal Endurance. Your immense body mass allows you to occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage, you can use your Reaction to reduce that damage by your Constitution score. After using this trait, you cannot use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Giant’s Toughness. You double your Constitution modifier when spending Hit Dice on rests.
Languages. You can speak Common. Your voice is always low, making it difficult for most to hear and understand more than a rumble.



Thri-Kreen
Kreen physiology gives it several natural advantages that compensate for not being able to use items used by other races.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. A thri-kreen is born from an egg and becomes fully mature at 6 years. They demonstrate no effect of aging until they reach the end of their life cycle around 30 years. Sensing their death, such thri-kreen go on a final hunt.
Alignment. Most Thri‐kreen are chaotic, acting in whatever fashion benefits the pack mentality, and this rarely leads them to philosophies of good and evil.
Size. A typical thri-kreen is 7 feet tall, 11 feet long, and weighs 450 pounds. Unlike other races, variation in height and weight is nominal and a few inches or pounds at most. You occupy a 10 foot by 10 foot space and have 5 foot reach. Your size is Large.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 feet.
Carapace. Your chitinous plate provide a natural armor class of 12 + Dexterity modifier. You cannot wear armor but you may carry a shield.
Thri-kreen Physiology. Your body sets you apart from typical humanoids.
• You require only 1 total gallon of water per week
• You cannot swim or float.
• You are considered a monstrosity for game effects.
• You cannot wear items designed for humanoid bodies
such as gloves, boots, or armor. You can wear jewelry such
as rings and amulets.
• You are immune to thri-kreen venom.
Sleepless. Thri-kreen require no sleep and are immune to sleep effects. You need only 4 hours of light activity to gain the benefits of a long rest. You are not required to make saves for a Forced March.
Thri-kreen Weapon Training. You are proficient with the gythka, chatkcha, and your claws and bite.
• Claw attack. All four claws rake as one melee attack for 1d4 + Strength modifier slashing damage. At 5th level, this increases to 2d4.
• Bite attack. 1d6 + Strength modifier piercing damage.
• Thri-kreen venom. At 5th level, add venom to your bite. A
target must make a Constitution save or be poisoned for 1 minute; if failed by 5 or more, the target is paralyzed for the duration. The target repeats the save at the beginning of its turn to end the effect. The DC is 8 + proficiency bonus + Constitution modifier.
Additional Arms. You have two ancillary arms below your main ones. Each of these weaker arms can hold items but not effectively wield weapons or shields. You may use your extra arms to stow or retrieve one item each turn without using an action and may freely swap items between your arms without using an action.
Deflect Missiles. At 7th level, you can use your Reaction to deflect a missile when hit by a ranged weapon attack. Reduce such damage by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier.
Languages. You can speak Thri-Kreen and Common. Thri- Kreen is a language composed of clicks and whirring, antennae movements, and pheromone emissions that non- kreen find too difficult to interpret and impossible to duplicate. When you speak other languages, you use a high- pitched voice.

Last edited by Olive Fontaine; 07-03-2019 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:40 PM
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Posting interest!

When's the deadline for applications?
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:05 PM
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Should have asked before, my bad, but do you allow multi classing ?
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:33 PM
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It depends on how much interest I get, but I’m willing to start as soon as next week. I may leave it open until the Friday/Saturday after next since I know we are about to have a holiday here in the US.

No worries Jrod. And yeah, multiclassing is cool. No restrictions on it. Have fun

Last edited by Olive Fontaine; 07-03-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:30 PM
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Metabreath feats and several others have been added to the list. The formatting of the doc will probably be messy on desktop until I get home. If you want to request a feat from 3.5, or from a 5e source that I’ve not yet drawn from, just run it by me and it will likely get the OK with minimal adjustment.

The starting wealth has been set to 200. No magic items to begin with.

Last edited by Olive Fontaine; 07-03-2019 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:12 AM
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Wow, a Dark Sun (based) test game in 5e?

Believe it or not, the original reason I joined RPGx over a year ago was the delusional idea that I could find a PBP Dark Sun game to play a Thri-Kreen! Although I’m a bit crowded in terms of active games, I’d be sorely remiss to not give this a shot!

May I ask, what exactly are you looking for in an App (a fully prepared char sheet, it just a char concept with the standard attributes? Anything special?)
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:09 AM
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I don’t blame you, Dark Sun has some really cool elements both mechanically and lorewise. You may recognize elements from the setting in this game, but most of the story will be new. The atmosphere and certain game elements will be highly reminiscent of that other Athas. I hope you have time to put together an application!

Speaking of which, it’s about time I added a proper character sheet format. This has also been added to the first post.

Quote:

[An image of your character, if you would like to provide one.]
Name:
Race:
Party Role: What can you accomplish well with the mechanics of your character?
Faction Reputation: At game start, are you on good or bad terms with any of the main factions?
Appearance: A written description of your character, 1-2 paragraphs.
Personality: A written description of what your character is like when he interacts with others. 1-2 paragraphs.
Backstory: Just an idea of what you’ve been through. Can be highly conceptual at this stage - I expect that you will figure out more about what kind of life your character has had once you play them more, and I will allow you to flesh out the details in your own time. Just a few sentences or bulletpoints.

Completed Sheet: a link to your character’s current and completed character build. This must be done before game start.
Feel free to make the formatting fancier if it pleases you.

Last edited by Olive Fontaine; 07-04-2019 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:54 AM
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Whoa, a Dark Suns campaign?!

Consider me intrigued!
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