I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

- William Blake

Friday, March 16, 2018

D&D 5e fighting styles: Strong Archers

Look at this guy.

As we've mentioned before, not a great build in 5e. If you're using a bow, you must have high Dex, but if you using heavy (or even medium, to some extent) armor (and a longsword or something similar) you should have high Str - which makes your Dex less useful. There is little reason to have both Str and Dex for most characters. Unlike real life.

But the "Strong Archer" archetype is pretty cool, and I'm playing 5e. So, I want this to be a good character - think of something like old school D&D, when fighters could be amazing archers, as their fighter level was much more important than their Dex.

Fortunately, 3e has a decent solution for Str fighters:

SRD:Composite Longbow
All composite bows are made with a particular strength rating (that is, each requires a minimum Strengthmodifier to use with proficiency). If your Strength bonus is less than the strength rating of the composite bow, you can’t effectively use it, so you take a –2 penalty on attacks with it. The default composite longbow requires a Strength modifier of +0 or higher to use with proficiency. A composite longbow can be made with a high strength rating to take advantage of an above-average Strength score; this feature allows you to add your Strength bonus to damage, up to the maximum bonus indicated for the bow. Each point of Strength bonus granted by the bow adds 100 gp to its cost.
For purposes of weapon proficiency and , a composite longbow is treated as if it were a longbow.

Now, I'm not saying composite longbows work like that in real life. As far as I can tell, EVERY bow should be made with the wielder's Strength in mind, and EVERY bowman should get some benefit from Strength. But hey, it sounds believable enough, and we can use it to make good strength archers in 5e:

Composite Longbow
ll composite bows are made with a particular strength rating (that is, each requires a minimum Strength score to use with proficiency). If your Strength score is less than the strength rating of the composite bow, you can’t effectively use it, so you have disadvantage on attacks with it. The default composite longbow requires a Strength of 12 or higher to use with proficiency. A composite longbow can be made with a high strength rating to take advantage of an above-average Strength score. 
You to add your Strength bonus to damage (but not your attacks rolls), instead of Dexterity, up to the maximum bonus indicated for the bow.
For purposes of weapon proficiency and , a composite longbow is treated as if it were a longbow.

I say Strength instead of Dexterity to avoid make it an uber-powerful weapon. The fact that you still use Dexterity to attack allows Dexterity fighters to keep an edge in ranged combat. An you can even have a composite shortbow!

Crossbows? Exactly the same deal. Everyone can shoot a heavy crossbow, but if you're too weak you cannot draw it easily.

"Composite crossbow" sounds less familiar to me. I'm not an expert, TBH. But you can apply the same reasoning.

There is also a"compound crossbow" that sounds modern but interesting. Look at that (from Wikipedia):

(Compound bow): before the invention of compound bows, composite bows were described as "compound".[2] This usage is now outdated.

(Crossbow): A compound crossbow is a modern crossbow and is similar to a compound bow. The limbs are usually much stiffer than those of a recurve crossbow. This limb stiffness makes the compound bow more energy efficient than other bows, but the limbs are too stiff to be drawn comfortably with a string attached directly to them. The compound bow has the string attached to the pulleys, one or both of which has one or more cables attached to the opposite limb. When the string is drawn back, the string causes the pulleys to turn. This causes the pulleys to pull the cables, which in turn causes the limbs to bend and thus store energy. Other types of compound bows use either (one or both) cam shaped or eccentrically mounted pulleys in order to provide a "let off", such that the archer is not holding against the maximum draw weight of the bow while trying to aim. But, in a crossbow, the string is held back mechanically, so there is no advantage in providing a let off. Therefore, compound crossbows generally only use pulleys that are both round and concentrically mounted, in order to capture the maximum available energy from the relatively short draw length.

Not exactly what we're looking for... but I think the name is good enough.

Now, look at THIS guy from Dark Souls:

It looks a bit ridiculous... but also a bit awesome IMO. Shooting LANCES with your bow? Huge "dragonslayer" weapons?

Yeah, sounds good to me.

Instead of the whole "composite" stuff, just make damage a lot higher - 1d10 or even 1d12 - if you have high Strength (maybe 15 and 19, respectively).

So this becomes an ideal Barbarian weapon. It requires BOTH Str and Dex, and does AMAZING criticals!

What else? 

Huge crossbows! Something you might see Bard (from the Hobbit) or Bronn (from TV's GoT) using against dragons.

These are siege weapons, not something you can carry on your shoulder. The DMG mentions the Ballista, that requires three actions to attack and causes 3d10 damage (which is not that great; I would probably upgrade all siege weapons from the DMG if they were to be used against a single target, but maybe they are harder to hit...).

Use a Str check to load it, and Dex to hit it with, get rid of the "aiming" action... and you have a very cool weapon for the PCs to use, maybe even working together with a single purpose.

Since ballistae must be mounted on a castle or carriage, the PCs are unlikely to abuse it... but it makes for a great, epic moment when they manage to hit something with it!

Well, giant weapons might deserve a post of their own.

As for the strong archers, we've given them enough toys for today.

Friday, March 09, 2018

D&D 5e fighting styles: Thrown weapons

As we've discussed here, thrown weapons in 5e are basically a way of Str-based characters to gain some ranged options, but they are still a bit underwhelming when compared to ranged weapons.

Now, I'm not that concerned about "fixing" the mechanics. It is even a bit "realistic" that thrown weapons are sub-optimal in comparison to bows and crossbows. What bothers me is that the lack of decent thrown weapons excludes some popular archetypes, such as the knife thrower or rock hurler.

In fact, thrown weapons work well enough, but they lack a feat as useful as Sharpshooter, for example - one of the best feats in the game.

In order to "fix" thrown weapons we would have to give them a feat with:

* Better reach.
* Faster drawing/throwing.

Easy enough, right?

Thrown Weapon Master
You are expert at hurling weapons at your foes.

  • When you throw a weapon, its normal and long ranges are doubled.
  • You can draw a weapon with the "thrown" property as part of an attack you make it with, without spending your free object interaction. If you have multiple attacks, you can draw and throw a weapon for each one of them.
  • When you make a ranged attack with a thrown weapon, you do not have disadvantage on the attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature who can see you and who isn't incapacitated.

  • Admittedly, throwing three or four javelins against someone who in standing withing 5 feet of you looks a bit silly. If this bothers you (although it is already int he game in the form of Crossbow Expert, you could probably limit the second and third bullet points to weapons that have the light or finesse property.

    Another thing 5e seems to be missing is the cool-looking Atlatl.

    Here is the 3e version:

    An Atlatl (otherwise known as a spear-hurler) is used in the aid of throwing a javelin. Using an Atlatl adds +10 ft to the javelin's range increment, and an amount to the damage roll, as shown on the table above, and a +2 competence bonus to the attack roll.

    A 5e version would be something like this:

    An Atlatl (otherwise known as a spear-hurler) is used in the aid of throwing a javelin. Using an Atlatl adds +20/+40 ft to the javelin's range, and increases its damage to 1d8.

    Enough to turn the javelin into a really fearsome weapon!

    And, finally, one of the most "exotic" weapons in the list... the net!

    Here is how it works in 5e:

    Martial) Ranged WeaponsCostDamageRangeWeightProperties

    Net1 gp5/153 lb.thrownspecial2

    Net: A Large or smaller creature hit by a net is restrained until it is freed. A net has no effect on creatures that are formless, or creatures that are Huge or larger. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Dealing 5 slashing damage to the net (AC 10) also frees the creature without harming it, ending the effect and destroying the net. When you use an action, bonus action, or reaction to attack with a net, you can make only one attack regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.

    Retraining a creature is a pretty powerful:

    A restrained creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s Attack rolls have disadvantage. The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws.

    On the other hand, by RAW you always have disadvantage if you're using a net, because of its range.

    The use of a net as a dueling weapon is the mark of the Retiarius, picured above.

    Since the trident is such a useless weapon in 5e, is just too tempting to fix the two things at once:

    You are trained in the gladiatorial art of fighting with trident and net.

  • When you take the Attack action and attack with a net, you can use a bonus action to attack with a melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand.
  • When you hold a trident with both hands, it gains the Reach property.
  • When you make a ranged attack with a net, spear or trident, its normal and long ranges are doubled.
  • When you hit a restrained enemy with a melee weapon, you add your proficiency bonus to damage.

  • The first bullet point could be done in reverse (i.e., use a bonus action to attack with a net), although I'm wary of giving advantage to every attack after that. The bonus damage is added both to mitigate the cost of diminishing the number of possible attacks and to make the feat useful in different circumstances.

    You might notice that if you keep your foe at 10 feet distance, you can attack with your trident... but it can't move to attack back until it gets rid of the net!

    Sounds like an awesome fighting style to me!

    Friday, March 02, 2018

    Dark Fantasy Basic on sale (US$3.34)

    The Dark Fantasy Basic - Player's Guide is on sale until March 11th, due to the GM's Day sale!

    If you want to know more about the game before buying it, try this FAQ.

    Here is the blurb:

    Dark Fantasy Basic is an old school roleplaying game (or adventure game) that pays homage to a beloved 80's game - which is stilll, for many fans, one of the most concise, clear and well-written RPGs ever published.

    This book uses the same system as the world’s most popular RPGs – six abilities, classes, levels, etc. – and it is meant to be compatible with games from that era. Or any OSR game, really. It also has some modern influences, including all of the OSR and the most recent version of this game.

    This is a complete game (from the player's side), with five classes (fighter, cleric, thief, magic-user and hopeless), skills, feats, weapons, etc. There are no races - all PCs are human or similar - but there are notes on how to create races for your games. There are 20 different spells but each one is flexible, meaning you can choose the spell level and some of the effects as you cast them.

    The book ends with conversion notes for other OSR games. No matter what your favorite system is, we hope you find something useful for your games here!

    Check it out - and let me know what you think of it!

    If you enjoy reading the book, consider leaving a rating or review.

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018

    Book of the Month II - The Eyes of the Overworld, by Jack Vance

    As you probably know, Jack Vance, is among the "most immediate influences" mentioned by Gygax  in the AD&D DMG's Appendix N. The Eyes of the Overworld is also mentioned explicitly. Even without these mentions, Vance is obviously at the heart of D&D's origins - most famously for the "Vancian" magic system that sets D&D apart from most other RPGs.

    While I did read this book because of its presence in the Appendix N, I was more interested in having a fun read than looking for clues about the origins of D&D. I found the references regardless of this - they are very obvious, and anyone trying to understand where some ideas from D&D came from should read this book.

    The Eyes of the Overworld tell a story of Cugel the Clever, a roguish anti-hero that must travel back home after being forcibly transported to distant, unknown lands by a rival magician.

    Did I enjoy it? Well, yes and no.

    The book is definitely well-written and full of ideas for any D&D game. The author is amazingly clever in both creativity and styles. Each chapter reads like an adventure, and Cugel always seem to find a clever, if often immoral, way through his problems.

    Vance's style, it seems, must have been a huge influence on Gygax prose; it is certainly sesquipedalian, a word I learned form Appendix N reading...

    And the book is definitely funny at times. It never takes itself too seriously - but is is not entirely comedy or satire as well. The Eyes of the Overworld, and its protagonist, Cugel, are firmly entrenched in the picaresque tradition. Cugel is arrogant, selfish, often smart but always unwise, and never seems to learn anything from his misadventures (at least in this book, and the ending might be a symbol of that) - but he is not quite the villain, since many of the characters in the story are equal or worse than him. There are not even hints of damnation, redemption, tragedy, etc. - Cugel is what he is and doesn't seem to care for changing.

    BTW, he is also an interesting character in D&D terms - chaotic to the core and with abilities that would fit thieves, wizards and bards, he seems to be the prototypical "rogue", maybe even more than  the Gray Mouser.

    His "character sheet" is interesting and worth quoting:

    Cugel was a man of many capabilities, with a disposition at once flexible and pertinacious. He was long of leg, deft of hand, light of finger, soft of tongue. His hair was the blackest of black fur, growing low down his forehead, coving sharply back above his eyebrows. His darting eye, long inquisitive nose and droll mouth gave his somewhat lean and bony face an expression of vivacity, candor, and affability. He had known many vicissitudes, gaining therefrom a suppleness, a fine discretion, a mastery of both bravado and stealth. 

    If you're okay with that charachter, you will probably like the book.

    For me, the despicable nature of Cugel, while amusing, prevented me from caring for his fate at times - nor did I hope for his downfall, since there was no one to root for and most of the world's population seemed unconcerned about the imminent destruction of the Dying Earth (I should note I haven't read The Dying Earth in its entirety, only a couple of short stories).

    I don't mind the break from powerful heroes of the Appendix N such as Conan and Elric, and I certainly enjoy Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser with all their shortcomings, but Cugel at times seems to be too selfish and unwise even for an anti-hero. Jurgen, the picaresque hero from "Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice" might be a better comparison (and Jurgen was a bit funnier, although not as useful for D&D).

    But the book, and even Cugel, certainly has its moments - some of them unexpected and amazing, such as the discussion about the origins of the universe (Cugel, as usual, doesn't seem to care).

    In short, a great book, with funny moments and numerous ideas for your D&D adventures, but do not go in there looking for an heroic protagonist!

    Saturday, February 03, 2018

    D&D 5e fighting styles: Strength x Dexterity interlude

    In D&D 5e, fighters can be high on Dexterity or Strength; if you have one, you can probably dump the other (although Dexterity is still a bit useful for the Strength fighter). So let us imagine two fighters: one with Strength 18 and Dexterity 10 (we will can her "Strong"), and the other with Dexterity 18 and Strength 10 (we will can him "Dexterous").

    At first glance, it looks like there is a balance between Strong and Dexterous:

    A) The first has better melee weapons, while the second has better ranged weapons. 

    B) The first can wear heavier armor that provides a slightly better AC (although you need to be proficient with heavy armor), while the second has decent AC without having to carry armor. 

    (Also, the first can carry more stuff without being encumbered - since Plate weights 65 pounds, the first fighter has still some extra encumbrance to spare - but if you're using "Variant: Encumbrance", the unarmored fighter can carry more stuff, since he doesn't need armor. Considering the don/doff times, price, stealth disadvantage, and other rules that punish the use of heavy armor, I will call that a draw).

    C) The first is better at grappling, although both are equally good at avoiding or escaping a grapple. The second has better saves (Dexterity saves being more common then Strength), more skills, and better initiative.

    Well, maybe not a perfect balance - it seems clear that Dexterity is a bit ahead - but good enough for me.

    The problem is point "A" is not quite true.

    For melee weapons, Dexterous can use a 1d8 rapier - it is practically the same as the Longsword (also 1d8 damage), but the Longsword can be wielded with two hands for 1d10 damage. Under most circumstances, no one will use a Longsword with two hands (since a shield or Greatsword is better).

    So, Strong can use a Greatsword (2d6 damage) for extra damage. The extra damage is not that great but not bad either - about 20% if you disregard magic weapons, sneak attack, feats, etc. - a fair trade for +2 AC.

    Fighting styles actually make it a bit worse. The Dueling fighting style will add +2 to damage, but the Great Weapon Fighting will add 1.33 (on average) to your greatsword. The difference between rapier and Greatsword damage has fallen below 15% - or less if consider magic weapons, sneak attack, smite, etc.

    We will mention feats below, but, for now, it seems like a draw - with a slight advantage to Strong, since she gets more options.

    For ranged weapons, there is no "rapier" equivalent. In fact, there are no ranged weapons that can be used with Strength, except for the dart (1d4 damage). Strength is basically useless if you're using a longbow or heavy crossbow (go figure...). The nearest equivalent are thrown weapons.

    But thrown weapons are a poor substitute for ranged ones. Not only the damage is smaller - which would be okay, I guess, even though the rapier deals as much damage as the Longsword - but the range is significantly shorter - usually less than half. 

    The best thrown weapon - the javelin - also weights 2 pounds. Carrying a dozen javelins not only looks ridiculous but also might encumber your character (again, probably irrelevant if you're not using "Variant: Encumbrance"). Well, maybe they'll be intact after battle, unlike arrows.

    So far, so good. Dexterous will probably beat Strong if they start 100 feet apart, Strong will probably beat Dexterous if they start 10 feet apart (although this is less certain - Dexterous will likely have the initiative). Dexterous still has an edge - but not enough to bother me.

    But it gets worse.

    First, feats. The most obvious comparison is between Sharpshooter and Great Weapon Master. Once more, Dexterous gets the edge: you can effectively shoot targets at 400-600 feet away, without disadvantage, even if they have cover. You also get to offset the -5 penalty with the Archery fighting style.

    Even though some aspects of Sharpshooter can apply to thrown weapons (apparently), there is no good fighting style or feat for thrown weapons (other than darts) - unlike rapier + shield.

    Except one: the horrible Dual Wielder feat, which says:

    You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.

    Unfortunately,  this explicitly means, as confirmed by Jeremy Crawford:

    When you use two-weapon fighting, can you draw and throw two weapons on your turn? You can throw two weapons with two-weapon fighting (PH, 195), but that rule doesn’t give you the ability to draw two weapons for free.

    On your turn, you can interact with one object for free, either during your move or during an action (PH, 190). One of the most common object interactions is drawing or stowing a weapon. Interacting with a second object on the same turn requires an action. You need a feature like the Dual Wielder feat to draw or stow a second weapon for free.
    Which means... if you have two or more attacks, thrown weapons become near useless!

    This sounds like a rant, I know. 

    But it was necessary to make sense of my next couple of "D&D 5e weapons" post: why do we need better thrown weapons, and better ranged weapons for Strength based fighters.

    Sunday, January 28, 2018

    Book of the Month I - The Witcher (plus LeGuin, Foundation)

    A brief list of books that I've read recently and might interest the readers of this blog.

    "The Last Wish", Andrzej Sapkowski

    First book of the Witcher series (famous for the videogames I haven't played), telling the stories of the mercenary monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia.

    This book will certainly be useful as inspiration for D&D adventures. In fact, each chapter reads like a separated adventure (very much in the picaresque fashion), with plenty of combat, intrigue, diplomacy and cool monsters. The Witcher universe is very rich and D&D-like, with bards, half-elves, druids and dwarves walking around, people fighting for coin, and plenty of monsters terrifying the villagers. 

    People seem to mention "eastern European mythology" a lot when talking about the Witcher, but in this book most stories seem to be based in familiar fairy tales like Snow White, Beauty and the Beast or Alladin - with a few interesting twists, of course.

    The book itself starts in the most cliched (an D&D-ish) way I could think of, with a tavern brawl where our hero can show his amazing prowess against village bigots. But the book gets better as it goes, and soon I found myself glued to the pages (ate least until the "The Last Wish" cahpter, that is a bit longer and felt a bit slower).

    Geralt is a larger-than-life character, in the "pulp" tradition. Like REH's Conan, he is powerful enough that you begin to doubt if he can be defeated, but he occasionally fails and suffers from bouts of melancholy.

    The book's language is very straightforward, with plenty of profanity, humor, and sexuality, which makes for an easy, fast read. Andrzej is good at coming up with clever twists, decent action scenes and slick one-liners but, at least in this book, not much depth (for the lack of a better word).

    In this way. the book suffers a bit from a "Poughkeepsie syndrome" of sorts (see below): the world seems small, service is traded for coin, people's attitudes are modern instead of medieval or alien, and so on.

    Overall, a fun book. I would expect the rest of the series to be equal or better than the first one. If that is the case, I'd be interested in reading them.

    Ursula K. Le Guin - “From Elfland to Poughkeepsie” and others.

    “From Elfland to Poughkeepsie” is an article written in 1973 by LeGuin, who recently passed away. I've read it a while ago, but I'd thought it is relevant enough to mention it here. The gist of the article is that fantasy should feel, well, fantastical - not "journalistic" and populated with modern characters with fantasy suits. She spends a great part of the article talking about modern prose (as opposed to the works of Dunsany, Tolkien and Eddison), but what I've taken from it is that fantasy characters needn't have modern attitudes.

    A "fantastic" journey should, then, be a journey into the unknown, not a familiar travel with different stage props. If your first thought when you see someone being murdered in Elfland is to call the elf-police, you're back in Poughkeepsie.

    While LeGuin's seems to be defending, at times, one type of fantasy as it were the only type of fantasy, the essay is well worth the read.

    Ursula wrote at least one of my favorite fantasy books, A Wizard of Earthsea, which felt deeper and more fantastical than most fantasy books I've read. It pushed the limits of what I thought magic and fantasy could be. The Tombs of Atuan was also a great read.

    If you haven't read her superb work, I would recommend you read immediately - it certainly has a place among fantasy's greatest (and it is also mentioned in Moldvay's version of the Appendix N). 

    The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov

    As a fan of Asimov, I guess I should have read the Foundation trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation) a lot earlier. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with it - maybe because the hype was so great. These are very good books, especially the second one - but I enjoyed I, Robot (and other short stories) and The End of Eternity more.

    The Foundation trilogy feels like a connection with short stories, with great plots and epic ideas, but few interesting characters and not a strong overall arc (the series is a lot bigger than these three books after all). But it is an enjoyable read and at times it becomes obvious why this book is so influential.

    I would still recommend it, but don't go into the book expecting to be better than "Lord of the Rings" as advertised in my copy.

    Thursday, January 25, 2018

    Dark Fantasy Basic - FAQ

    Here is the FAQ for my Dark Fantasy Basic - Player's Guide.

    This is basically a copy of the first two pages (minus a few things that would be redundant here), with some images from the book. These images are in the public domain, sometimes slightly modified by me.

    What is the book about?

    This is an old school, dark fantasy roleplaying game (or adventure game).
    Dark Fantasy Basic pays homage to a classic roleplaying game from the early eighties, which is still, for many fans, one of the most concise, clear and well-written RPGs ever published.
    This book uses the same system as the world’s most popular RPGs – six abilities, classes, levels, etc. – and it is meant to be compatible with games from that era. Or any OSR game, really. It also has some modern influences, including all of the OSR and the most recent version of this game.
    Like many retroclones and neoclones, this game begun as a collection of house rules, with one difference: my main goal was to make a set of one page rules that you can combine freely. The idea is to get multiple OSR authors to write their own pages that can be assembled by the reader into a full book. Check this out: http://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com/2016/03/one-page-rules-or-taking-page-from.html.
    Eventually, all my pages grew into one complete book. It is meant to be straightforward, not minimalist. You won’t find the definition of “sword” or “human” in this book, but you’ll find all you need to play (from the player’s side). Even if you don’t use the book as a whole, I hope you will find at least one different idea in each page that you can adapt to your games.
    Or, even better, write a page yourself. This game is what you make of it.


    Written by Eric Diaz.
     Book cover, design and layout by Rick Troula
    All art except for the cover is from the public domain.


    How is it different from the original games?
    Besides embracing some dark fantasy tropes, this game offers a degree of character customization you don’t often find in retroclones and neoclones - although this idea is almost as old as our hobby. The system itself is not original, but each page has something that differs from the original games.

    How dark is it?
    Not that much darker than the original game, if you think about it. The Player’s Guide has a few hints of dark fantasy (in alignment, spells, classes, etc.), but most of the flavor will come from monsters, adventures, setting, etc.

    Why is it so concise?
    To save you time, entice your imagination and encourage house-ruling. It is still a complete game. Use it as written, or make it your own.

    Where are the optional rules?
    I eventually decided not to mark (most of) the optional rules, since all rules are optional in a way or another. These are only guidelines. Use them at your own peril.

    But where is the…
    This game has no different XP charts or HD for different classes, no demi-humans, no prerequisites, no prime abilities. There are also no monsters and no GM stuff in this book. It is a Player’s Guide. But if you really like, well, we might have something like that in the future.

    Can my PC…
    YES. You can wield a sword regardless of class, use any armor, hide in the shadows without having the skill, and so on. You can also use sorcery without studying it first, if you find a lost grimoire somewhere. Good luck with that.

    But why did you…
    If you want to understand why I chose a mechanic over another, I often explain this is my blog.
    I didn’t include designer’s notes here, since it would take valuable space.

    What do I need to play?
    COMMON SENSE. Also, some dice and paper. But mostly common sense.

    What do characters do in this game?
    Try to get richer and tougher while fighting the terrible things that lurk in the shadows. Go through ruins and unknown lands in hope of treasures. Sometimes they get killed.

    What if my PC dies?
    Create another one.

    Why start at level 3?
    First level characters are desperate victims. Traditionally, they can die fighting house cats or falling from a tree. This game is about tragic heroes, so they start at level 3.
    Also, you might use the extra HP.
    However, if you prefer to start at the bottom and climb your way up, you have my approval and respect.

    Why stop at level 10?
    To keep it gritty, dark, and focused on low level challenges. High level characters might use a similar system, but they deal with different issues: building castles, ruling lands, facing demigods, etc. You can extrapolate higher levels from this book, or find alternate rules for expert or immortal characters elsewhere.

    Why would I play a Hopeless character?
    Maybe you wouldn’t. Leave that to players looking for a challenge or just a change of pace.

    What about that tone?
    I’ve added some dark humor and hubris to make reading this book more pleasant. Don’t take it too seriously.

    Just kidding. I’m dead serious.


    That is it for now!

    You can find the book on DTRPG by clicking here.

    If you have any other questions, let me know in the comments and I'll answer it here!
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