Sunday, April 21, 2013

Magnetism Spells

I feel that magnetism is a relatively under-explored  avenue for magic, despite the existence of quite a few spells dealing specifically with the manipulation of metal.  As such,  I've written up a couple of spells dealing with magnetism.  

Lodestone, a 1st level spell, turns a small stone or metal object into a magnet.  This can have a number of mundane uses - such as creating an impromptu compass - or combat uses, like magnetizing an arrow head so it strikes just a little harder against an armoured enemy, or sticking a magnetic rock on your opponent's sword to throw off its balance.  More importantly, a low-level magnetism spell allows players a chance to mess around with magnet magic early in the game and get a feel for how to creatively use magnetism, thus setting the stage for later spells.

Lesser magnetism allows you to turn a chunk of rock or metal into a powerful magnet, or magnetize a single metal item.  As an added bonus, casting it again will reverse the polarity of the magnet.  This allows for great versatility with a single spell and opens the door for many creative uses.  Casting it on the floor will pull armoured characters to the ground, casting it on the ceiling will yank them off their feet.  Touch a guard and watch as he struggles against his own armour.  Cast it on your weapon to give it that extra momentum against enemies - but watch out or your weapon will get stuck to their breastplate.  Being pursued by enemies down a narrow cliffside path?  Cast it twice on the cliff face and watch as they are repelled into thin air.

Greater Magnetism has a longer duration and the added functionality of being a ranged, area-effect spell.  Now you can magnetize your whole party's weapons with one spell, or blast a formation of guards and watch them hilariously struggle to walk as their full plate sticks to itself.

Since there is so much possibility with these spells, I have tried to include as much detail as possible in the spell descriptions to aid players and GMs in their use.  Even so, much of the effects are likely to be context-specific, and will require GM adjudication (for instance, casting lesser magnetism on a horse's barding armour will not slow its movement speed, but may grant its rider a bonus to checks made to remain in the saddle).

The OGL, PFSRD-compatible spells are available after the jump:

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fixing the Weapons Table, Part 1: Heavy Mace, Kama, and Starknife

I have a bone or two to pick with the selection of weapons available in Pathfinder (and previous editions).  As such, I've been re-working the table of weapons a bit (okay, a lot) in order to make it more balanced, more interesting, more fun, and above all more realistic.

I'll start off today with a few minor problems.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


At times, I will be posting content on this site which will be available under the Open Game License.  Such content will be clearly indicated as such, and I will endeavor to remember to link back to this post in order to reference the license reproduced here.



My first introduction to D&D was the PC game Baldur's Gate, a truly excellent game based on 2nd Edition AD&D.  Subsequently, I played Icewind Dale, which captured my attention (and heart) by allowing me to create all six members of my adventuring party.  I spent hours creating character after character, party after party ("Ooh, I could make a party based on the Justice League!  Or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen! or the cast of Farscape!" etc.), all with only the barest of grasps on the underlying mechanics.  I had no idea what 18/00 strength meant, why a warhammer's damage was cryptically listed as "1d4+1," or what in the world THAC0 was.  All I knew was that I needed to slay awesome monsters and acquire a spectacular array of magical items.  I needed to read every book I came across, pick up every gem I found, learn every magical weapon's backstory, and talk to every NPC.  I needed to explore every inch of that world.

Looking back on it now, I'm really surprised it took me so long to get into tabletop RPGs.

Anyways, having been exposed to it before even knowing what D&D was, 2nd edition holds a very special place in my heart/RPG-bookshelf.  Today I thought, seeing as it is relatively early in my time as a blogger (blogist? blogomancer?), that I would talk about the various editions of D&D and what experience I get out of them.  And I guess I thought correctly, because here I am doing just that!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Improved Character Sheet v1.0

Hey everyone, I've got an even better version of this character sheet now! You can check it out here.

Or here's the download link:
d20 Despot Advanced Character Sheet v3.0

But, if you prefer version 1.0, read on.
Download the PDFs here:
Advanced Character Sheet v1.0
Spellcaster and Animal Companion Sheet

Read on for more info.

Your character sheet is one of your most important tools for gameplay.  It needs to be legible, it needs to present the information you need in a logical and accessible manner, and it needs to be resistant to stains.  I can't help with the last one, but I tried my hand at creating a better character sheet than the default pathfinder one.

Here's the first page:

An Introduction

I have been playing Dungeons & Dragons in some form or another since '07 or '08 (this includes Pathfinder, which is certainly spiritually - though not legally - an edition of the world's oldest role-playing game).  I have been a dungeon master for most of that time: I first GMed in 2009, I believe.  This does not in any way make me a veteran.  There are people who have GMed for longer than I have been alive.  Heck, there are characters who have lived longer than I have.

"Why am I reading this blog, then?" you may be asking yourself, threatening to close this tab with one swift click of your mouse.  Well, in my years GMing, I have never once used a published adventure.  Never have I used a campaign setting that was not of my own devising.  No NPC I have voiced has ever read from a script that was not my own.  Not a single 5-foot square (or hex) of any dungeon I have sent my PCs into has come from another's mind.  I fancy myself a fair hand at world building and game design.  Am I saying this to brag? Yes.  Partially.  But these facts also have great import for this blog, for I offer original content!  Content which I will make public under the Open Game License.  Content intended for use with the d20 PFSRD and compatible with the world's oldest role playing game.

I will also write advice for GMs, homebrew rules options, gripe about things that need to be fixed (and actually fix them!), tell tales from my tabletop sessions, draw comics, go on and on about world building, and talk in general about the game itself.  If nothing else I will be another voice contributing to the general tabletop RPG milieu.

If any of that sounds at all helpful or interesting, bookmark this blog and check back periodically for new content.

-your friendly d20 despot