G. Stephanie Morey is the nom-de-plume of science fiction writer, DM, and Diceometer creator, Gina. Follow her and her novel’s progress on gstephaniemorey.wordpress.com: Future Imperfect, Growth of a Novel.
As a DM, I often found it challenging to integrate gods (deities) and the worship of gods (piety) into a campaign. As a result, I found it easiest to just ignore both. Recently however, after giving it more thought, I came up with a framework that integrates both quite nicely into my campaign… and maybe yours. Below you will find my thoughts on how a god might reward a player’s devotion in the areas of:
Short and Long Rests
On page 186 of the Players Handbook, you’ll find the rules regarding rest. On a short rest it says characters can regain a portion of their hit points and on a long rest they can regain all their hit points (and spell slots too!). What it doesn’t explain is ‘why’ or ‘who’.
Why? Why does a player character heal so quickly? After a particularly tough battle, a fighter could go from dozens of hit points to only a few or even one. The type of wounds this would imply could range from deep cuts to broken bones or worse. Yet after an 8 hour rest, all wounds would be miraculously restored.
Who? Who gets this miracle healing ability? Is it everyone, monsters and beasts included or is it just the player characters? If it’s the former, then this would seriously warp most people’s traditional preconception of a gritty medieval atmosphere (think Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones). Would a peasant kid who broke their arm be healed the next day. What about the injured dragon, orc, deer, rabbit or bug? Perhaps now you can see why I am writing this post. We need to clear up the ‘why’ and the ‘who’.
Deity. Why can you heal so quickly? Because it is a blessing from the god you worship.
Piety. Who does a god grant this blessing to? Of course not just anyone. A god would pick and choose carefully who they would grant this power to. In my campaigns, each character has a god that they worship. At 1st level, this god for whatever reason has seen greatness in the player character and has decided to grant them this amazing healing ability. Not so for the simple baker, guard at the gate, deer/rabbit in the woods and definitely not for the bug! When these get injured, they restore 1 hit point a day or a week or a month or never, depending on the injury. They are “human” like the players who play them. One caveat I have to this is that not all gods are good and evil gods may have champions just as the player’s gods have chosen them. So in an adventure, some monsters may come back healed if allowed to escape. All dragons and legendary creatures for sure, but also orc shamans, undead maybe or even special beasts of the forest. This is up to the DM’s discretion. At least now, a DM has a framework for explaining WHY a rest restores so much damage and WHO can benefit from this supernatural ability.
Stay tuned for talk about a deity’s role in experience, leveling and praying.
From an interview with expert DM and WotC’s lead D&D designer, Jeremy Crawford.
1. Mix & Match: Proficiencies and Ability
How many of you thought that a Proficiency gets used with a specific Ability score? Wrong, Crawford corrects us. “A lot of people think, for instance, ‘Oh, whenever I use Persuasion, it’s always paired with Charisma,” said Crawford in an interview with journalist Cecilia D’Anastasio, for news and opinion site Kotaku.com. But he reminds us that there’s a variant rule allowing players to pair any skill they’re proficient in with any ability score. What the mix and match looks like depends on what’s happening in the story. (Player’s Handbook p174, “Variant: Skills with Different Abilities” —Gina)
Fantasy writers love maps. D&D loves maps. Ergo…
This is not a sponsored post.
Happy Saturday, my lovely bookaholics! As you know, earlier this month I started writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, which means I have to write a novel at least 50.000 words long before the month ends. And, as I mentioned in my latest post, I don’t want to do a half-hearted job: a tremendous artist, Hellyon White, is designing the cover and the character’s portraits, and I have started drawing a map for the story.
And this is what I want to tell you about right now: the map.How is a writer with no drawing skills whatsoever undertaking so big a project?
Well, let me tell you how I’m doing it.
Let me tell you about Ortelius.
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I‘ve been thinking a lot about alignment recently.
Ever since D&D’s introduction everyone I knew never agreed on what the various alignments mean. In broad contextual strokes, yes, but get down the the nuanced details and everything becomes unsure.
What if D&D alignment depended on how DMs rename alignments?
It’s strange. All D&D “rules” are guidelines are “made to be broken”, and we’re okay with that. But we have an obsession with the alignment mechanic, wanting to the understand it completely, easily, unanimously as if it were an Orc’s stat block. Forty years rumination and debate on alignment, it’s time we took alignment into our own hands, break it, and mould it into our own.
A rogue’s sneak attack ability is very powerful and can easily turn the tide in a fight. As a DM, I thought I understood it well until a player brought up some interesting scenarios that caused me to take a closer look at this skill. Here is what I found.
Basic Sneak Attack Rule:
- Sneak Attack can be used once per turn when he/she has advantage on the attack or there is an enemy of the target within 5′ of the rogue (PHB page 96).
After analyzing the rule, here are some additional thoughts that should clear up some confusion:
- “When” is not specified. So sneak attack can be used as an action, bonus action or reaction.
- The rules say once per turn so if a rogue has a dagger in each hand and misses with his action but hits with his bonus action, he could use his sneak attack on the second bonus action hit.
- Once per turn does not mean once per round (a round is when all involved in the initiative order has had their turn). So if you use sneak attack during your turn but later in the round have an opportunity attack, you could potentially use sneak attack again as a reaction (See post by Jeremy Crawford, lead rules developer for Dungeons and Dragons).
Thanks for reading,
This is a dart:
It is bright blue, but it doesn’t really add much color to a D&D game. I mean, the idea of using something like this dart in a heroic defense against invading orcs seems patently ridiculous.
No, I’m all about aesthetics in-game. To me, an item shouldn’t look like a reject from your home play room if it wants to be in a heroic fantasy RPG. Yet the inventors and perpetuators of D&D have included the thing in every version of the game. There must be more to the weapon than this. They must know something I don’t. So—no surprise to anyone by now—I did some research. Read more