Thursday, 12 July 2018

5e Fallout: Skillful Soldiers and Custom Creations!

I've got a pretty big update for Fifth Edition Fallout fans! First: I've created some more statblocks for you to use! Second: you're now free to submit your own!

Soldiers added to the Wiki

As of today, soldiers have been added to the Fifth Edition Fallout wiki! There's a lot of content on this page, including:
  • 10 soldier statblocks
    • Conscript (CR 1/8)
    • Recruit (CR 1/4)
    • Private (CR 1/2)
    • Corporal (CR 2)
    • Sergeant (CR 3)
    • Lieutenant (CR 5)
    • Captain (CR 7)
    • Major (CR 9)
    • Colonel (CR 11)
    • Brigadier (CR 13)
  • A sidebar providing guidance on adjusting the base statblocks to represent members of the following factions:
    • Caesar's Legion
    • Gunners
    • Minutemen
    • New California Republic Army
    • Talon Company
  • A sidebar providing guidance on adjusting Corporals and Sergeants to represent NCR Military Police officers.
    • MP Corporal (CR 2)
    • MP Sergeant (CR 3)
  • A sidebar providing guidance on adjusting soldiers of Private rank and higher to represent reconnaissance specialists (eg. NCR's First Recon or Legionary Scouts).
    • Recon Private (CR 1/2)
    • Recon Corporal (CR 2)
    • Recon Sergeant (CR 3)
    • Recon Lieutenant (CR 4)
    • Recon Captain (CR 6)
    • Recon Major (CR 8)
    • Recon Colonel (CR 10)
    • Recon Brigadier (CR 11)
  • A sidebar providing guidance on adjusting soldiers of Lieutenant rank and higher to include T51b power armour.
    • Power Armoured Lieutenant (CR 10)
    • Power Armoured Captain (CR 12)
    • Power Armoured Major (CR 14)
    • Power Armoured Colonel (CR 16)
    • Power Armoured Brigadier (CR 16)

Including all variations in the sidebars, that's 25 types of soldier for your PCs to fight or to ally with.

I'd originally planned on creating statblocks for mercenaries, Minutemen, NCR Soldiers, and Caesar's Legion. But I realised these would be very similar and could probably treat them as a single category. By combining all these factions into the "Soldiers" grouping, I've managed to reduce 43 planned statblocks to 10 which is a significant reduction in the number of creatures still required before I can say the bestiary is complete! I'm counting it as a big win!

Homebrew Creatures

Are you tired of waiting for me to get around to your favourite Fallout creatures? Or perhaps you're not so keen on the way I designed some of the creatures already in the bestiary? Simply want additional variants of an existing creature?

Well now you have the opportunity to fix these issues!

Yesterday I spent some time setting up a new section of the Fifth Editon Fallout wiki that members can contribute to: the Homebrew Bestiary. You can start contributing your own homebrew creatures by following this guide.

Everything should be working but if you have any troubles signing up, please send a tweet my way or leave a comment!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

5e: Resources for Random Character Creation

One of my favourite things in Xanathar's Guide to Everything is the section entitled This is Your Life. I like creating my own character backstories a lot, but as I read through the random tables in this section it sparked a lot of ideas, and I began to think it might be fun to let the dice decide and then use my own creativity to fill in the blanks, no matter how strangely disconnected the results might seem.

Of course, the tables in Xanathar's Guide to Everything only determine story elements. Your race and class choices are left entirely in your hands. But what if you're open to trying anything? I know of two resources that can help you.

Additionally, there are a number other resources available that will determine yet more aspects of your character at the drop of a die. The following sources can be of use to you:

Xanathar's Guide to Everything

Xanathar's Guide includes the aforementioned This is Your Life, which is populated with tables to determine your character's origins, decisions they have made, and events that have occurred in their past, along with enough tables to flesh out key details of NPCs connected to your backstory.

You'll also want to look at the character options for your chosen (or randomly generated!) class, as each class has a handful of new tables to help you flesh your character out. Admittedly, some of these tables are populated with more inspiring results than others, but they're worth a look.

The Player's Handbook

After you've determined your background using Xanathar's Guide or one of the alternatives listed above, don't forget to take a look at the trait, ideal, bond, flaw, and background-specific random tables (like the charlatan's scam table). You may find that some of your backstory results from Xanathar's Guide already suggest answers to some of these, in which case you might not need to roll!

The Dungeon Master's Guide

Granted, many players don't own a copy of the Dungeon Master's Guide but it deserves a mention here by merit of its excellent tables for creating an NPC. Why not use them for a PC, if you've decided to randomise?

The tables let you generate unique physical/appearance traits, talents, distinctive mannerisms, social behaviours, ideals, bonds, and flaws and secrets.

If your character is evil, don't forget to take a look at the tables for villain's scheme, villain's methods, and (with DM approval), your single villain's weakness!

@TheKindGM's Character Creation Tables

These character creation tables, released as a Pay What You Want product on DMsGuild, have a dual purpose: a complete listing and page reference for every race, class, and archetype from all the following sources:

  • Player's Handbook
  • Dungeon Master's Guide
  • Elemental Evil Player's Companion
  • Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide
  • Volo's Guide to Monsters
  • Xanathar's Guide to Everything
  • Unearthed Arcana (official playtest material)
  • Plane Shift (Magic the Gathering content for 5e)

In addition to page reference numbers, the character options are arranged on tables and assigned numbers so that you can randomly determine all your decision points when making a character. The distribution of results is equal (or as equal as is possible), so you have a good chance of getting any combination.

The character creation tables haven't been updated to include Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes just yet, but that's likely on the cards in the near future.

A limitation of these tables (for the purpose of complete randomisation, at least) is that background and race options from different books/sources are kept as separate tables and it is up to the player to decide which table they want to roll on. If you want to remove these decision points, this is fixed fairly easily. Here are a few options you might consider:

  1. For backgrounds, note that there are 13 options in the Player's Handbook and 12 in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. That means 52% of backgrounds are in the PHB, so you can roll d100: 1-52: PHB, 53-100 = SWAG.
  2. For races, here are two options:
    1. Refer to the table entitled What You Need which lists the sources used. Assign a value to each and use those values to randomly determine a single sourcebook at the beginning of the process. At each stage, use the tables for race or subrace from that sourcebook. When a sourcebook includes subrace options but no races (eg. Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, use the race table from the Player's Handbook.
      • If you want to use all available sources, including unofficial content, assign values from 1 through 8 starting from the top of the table and then roll a d8. If you roll an 8, Plane Shift, assign the 5 options two-digit ranges between 1 and 10 (1-2 for Amonkhet, 3-4 for Innistrad, etc.) and roll 1d10 to determine which you use.
      • If you want to use only official sources, assign values from 1 through 6 starting from the top of the table and ignore the last two rolls, then roll a d6.
    2. Use the tables below. The percentage chance is weighted based on the combined number of races and the distribution of those races throughout the sources. Plane Shift was not included because I'd have to create 5 more tables and it was too much of a PITA, but you get the idea if you want to make one for yourself!

Race Options
(Official Only)

Player's Handbook
Elemental Evil Player's Companion
Volo's Guide to Monsters

Race Options
(inc. Unearthed Arcana)

Player's Handbook
Elemental Evil Player's Companion
Volo's Guide to Monsters
Unearthed Arcana

@giffyglyph's Darker Dungeons

Darker Dungeons is a set of houserules intended to make a D&D 5e game a grittier, more risk-prone experience. One of the optional rules presented is to randomly generate everything about your character. Accordingly, Darker Dungeons includes several pages of random tables for both character options, backgrounds, and unique features/personality traits.

The character class and race options are up to date with Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, but the backgrounds are limited to only those in the Player's Handbook.

It's worth noting that the race and subraces are weighted, making some results more common than others. You have a 40% chance of rolling up a human, for example, and a 5% chance of becoming a gnome, or a 0.5% chance of being a deep gnome/svirfneblin. These weightings make sense when we think about the actual distribution of the various races, and it helps build out the grittier, more down-to-earth world Darker Dungeons seeks to create. They may not be to everyone's taste - you may prefer your heroes to be exceptions to the world's normal ruless. If that describes you, here's a quick fix: there are 18 races, so assign values to each starting from the top of the table then roll a d20. On a 19, reroll. On a 20, you choose.

@giffyglyph's tables shine when it comes to Character Details. Some of these tables overlap with those in Xanathar's Guide (family and memories, for instance), but provide an alternative approach. Others generate details unexplored in Xanathar's Guide, including weight, height, distinctive features, and habits. The motivation table is also excellent.

There's lots of other great resources/house rules in the document, but they're beyond the scope of this article. I'd simply encourage you to check them out!

Disclaimer: I recently discovered @giffyglyph is a real-life friend, but that has no bearing on my opinions about what he's created here - and he's not asked me/offered me anything to tout praises (I'd accept a pint in retrospect though, if you're reading this. :P)

Combining Resources

To create a character thoroughly at random, why not mix tables from any of the above?

We might choose to randomly determine race, class, and background using either @TheKindGM's character creation tables or @giffyglyph's Darker Dungeons, depending on whether we want weighted results for race or not. If we choose Darker Dungeons but want more background options, we could patch in the relevant tables from @TheKindGM's document.

After generating backstory details using Xanathar's Guide to Everything, we might use Darker Dungeons and/or the Dungeon Master's Guide to establish details about our character's appearance and mannerisms, and use those same tables to also flesh out any non-player characters we created along the way! We can also refer to the character options tables in Xanathar's Guide and roll on the tables for our background (ideals, bonds, etc.) at this point.

Next time, I'll walk through the process of creating one or two characters using tables from some of these sources.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

5e: Warlock Patron, The Wilderheart

Hot on the heels of The Noble Genie, here's another warlock patron: the nature-themed Wilderheart!

The Wilderheart

You have forged a relationship with a land guardian (also known as a land wight or genius loci). These nature spirits are bound to a particular place, essentially becoming that place's own living essence, as well as its protector. Your patron is an atypically powerful example known as a Wilderheart, the spirit of a vast swathe of creation the size of a nation. There are many theories as to the origins of the Wilderhearts: Servants of the nature gods. Manifestations of the Feywild bleeding into the material plane. Forgotten gods from a primal age, surviving the loss of their worshipers by binding themselves to the land. Whatever the truth, the Wilderhearts aren't saying, but they do have extraordinary powers within the limits of their geographical domains. In addition, the prosperity and health of a land guardian and the peace and happiness of the creatures that live in its land are inextricably bound together. Even mortal kingdoms cannot avoid a indissoluble bond with the Wilderheart that shares their land, though many rulers have tried to purge the magic of the natural world from their lands. History is sadly rife with stories of nations that successfully slew or bound their local Wilderheart, only to perish amidst unseasonable weather, blighted harvests, and the scourge of pestilence.

Land guardians are unable to leave their dominion, even the extraordinarily powerful Wilderhearts. And even within their own domain, a Wilderheart is wise not to draw too much attention to their presence. In exchange for the Wilderheart's blessings, the Wilderheart-pact warlock becomes the spirit's agent and emissary to the mortal creatures living in its lands and to other land guardians beyond its borders.

A Wilderheart-pact Warlock. Stock Art © Claudio Casini. Licensed for use.

Expanded Spell List

The Wilderheart lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

Wilderheart Patron Expanded Spells

Spell Level
goodberry, speak with animals
pass without trace, spike growth
plant growthspeak with plants
dominate beast, guardian of nature(XGtE)
commune with nature, wrath of nature (XGtE)

Wilderheart's Weapon

At 1st level, you learn the druidcraft cantrip. It counts as a warlock cantrip for you, but doesn’t count against your number of cantrips known.

Additionally, you do greater harm to creatures whose existence represents a threat to the natural world or its protectors (including you). You have a pool of d6s that equals 1 + your warlock level. As a bonus action when you cast a cantrip or spell that deals damage, you can spend dice from the pool to deal additional damage to one or more creatures targeted by the spell. The maximum number of dice you can spend at once equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of one die). When you spend dice, you can split them between any creatures you damaged with the cantrip or spell, and you can divide the dice spent between targets in any way you wish.  You cannot spend these dice against beasts or plants.

Your pool regains all expended dice when you finish a long rest.

Wilderheart's Ward

From 6th level your physical appearance changes as you are blessed with nature's protection. Your skin becomes bark-like, though still flexible and pliant, granting you natural armor. Your Armor Class equals 12 + your Dexterity modifier + any bonuses from armour you wear or a shield you carry.

Furthermore, you may sprout thorns on your skin as a bonus action. While you are thorny, a creature suffers 1d4 piercing damage the first time per turn it attacks you with an unarmed strike or natural weapon. A creature that grapples you suffers 1d4 piercing damage when it begins the grapple, and a further 1d4 piercing damage at the beginning of each of its turns until it releases you.

Land's Stride

Beginning at 10th level, moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no extra movement. You can also pass through nonmagical plants without being slowed by them and without taking damage from them if they have thorns, spines, or a similar hazard.

In addition, you have advantage on saving throws against plants that are magically created or manipulated to impede movement, such those created by the entangle spell.

Life Thrives

From 14th level you are attuned to the living energy of the natural world and can draw on it to revitalise yourself. You can choose not to move on your turn to instead plant roots which break through any worked surface to the earth beneath, allowing you to draw sustenance. You regain hit points equal to 1d8 + your warlock level.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

You are also granted a measure of protection against decay: when you die you are automatically preserved as per the spell gentle repose.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

5e: Symbiont Feats

The following feats are intended to give options for playing a character whose body has been possessed by a symbiotic entity. Examples from popular media include Vampire Hunter D and his Left Hand, as well as Eddie Brock and Venom.

I originally came up with this idea while thinking about warlock archetypes. I thought it would be pretty cool to play a warlock whose patron was literally sharing their body, or perhaps one who bound a minion to the warlock to watch over them. My thinking that it would be a template that you could apply to any other warlock archetype. It quickly occurred that it wasn't ideal to require the character to sacrifice core archetype features, and I realised that feats would be a better fit. That way, the warlock doesn't lose any of their archetype features.

From there it was a natural leap to the realisation that feats open up symbiont creatures to characters of other classes. As such the feats presented here can be taken by anyone, but they still have a lot of additional story potential for warlocks.

Symbiont Intelligence

Symbionts are assumed to be intelligent examples of their creature type, and their motivations and desires should be handled as you would any other NPC. However, it's possible that some oozes, plants, and maybe even symbionts of other types are creatures of instinct rather than reason. Such symbionts still have motivations, though they are usually simpler. Survival and reproduction are typical goals for a creature of instinct, but they may also be compelled to return to a specific location or creature or fulfill a particular task.

I recommend the DM give a symbiont statistics as though it were a sentient magic item, as described in the Dungeon Master's Guide, with the host in the role of the "wielder". If you've decided the symbiont is a creature of instinct, note that it only ever communicates with the host by transmitting emotion. Meanwhile, an intelligent symbiont communicates telepathically with the host. The symbiont shares the host's senses.

Symbionts are usually on board with whatever a player character wants to do as long as it doesn't directly oppose their own goals. If the host and the symbiont do come into active opposition, use the rules for conflict with sentient magic items as your guideline for resolution.

If the host and the symbiont are regularly at odds, the symbiont may decide to leave the host. This is a matter left solely to DM discretion, though it is recommended to give the player clear warning signs that it may be coming.

When the symbiont leaves a host they regain all instances of Ability Score Increase the player has spent on symbiont feats. You may allow the player to retrain the feats, though I personally think spending them to increase ability scores puts less strain on the fiction.

Warlocks and Symbionts

This is just a bit of theory-crafting on the subject, but I don't think a warlock patron would abide their warlock forming any other kind of bond that grants them power. In my game, a warlock player wanting to take symbiont feats would be limited to choosing a symbiont of the same creature type as their patron (fey for the Archfey, aberration for the Great Old One, fiend for the Fiend, and so on). The symbiont would be one of three things: a lesser creature of that type in service to the patron, an aspect/simulacrum of the patron, or the patron themselves. Other types of creatures attempting to form a symbiosis with a warlock would either find the warlock protected against them or would be quickly discovered and forced out by the patron.

You can choose to handle it however you want, of course. If a player really wants to be torn between two conflicting masters, feel free to let them!

A druid with fungal plant symbiont. Stock Art © Brett Neufeld. Licensed for use.

Symbiont Feats


You share your body with a symbiont, an entity that thrives as long as it is bound to you, and gifts you with unusual powers. Choose one of the following origins for your symbiont: aberration, celestial, dragon, fey, fiend, plant, ooze, or undead.

Your symbiont grants you the following benefits:
  • Increase your Constitution and Intelligence scores by 1 each, to a maximum of 20.
  • For the purpose of all game effects you count as both a humanoid as well as a creature of your symbiont's type.
  • You must eat and drink twice as much as a member of your race normally requires.
  • As a bonus action you can cause your symbiont to manifest any physical features granted by additional symbiont feats you have selected. You choose which physical features manifest. You can spend another bonus action to cause some or all manifested physical features to disappear.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the aberration type.

The aberrant nature of your symbiont transforms your own body. You gain the following benefits:
  • You can telepathically speak to any creature you can see within 30 feet of you. You don’t need to share a language with the creature for it to understand your telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language. If you have the Awakened Mind feature or already possess telepathy through any other feature, the range of your telepathy instead increases by +30 feet. When you make telepathic contact with a creature, your symbiont learns everything you do, and it can also join the conversation if it wishes.
  • You have advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition.
  • If you take an Attack action, you can spend a bonus action to allow your symbiont to briefly manifest a tentacle or other grotesque feature and make an attack of its own against a creature within 5 feet. On a hit, the target suffers psychic damage equal to 1d6 + your Charisma bonus.

Aura of Power

Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the celestial, dragon, fey, or fiend type.

Your symbiont's own supernatural potency seeps into you. You have the following benefits:
  • Increase your Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You can add your Charisma bonus to your AC instead of your Dexterity bonus if it is higher.
  • You can roll a Wisdom or Charisma saving throw with advantage. Once you've used this feature, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.

Binary Constitution

Prerequisite: Symbiont.

Thanks to your symbiont, you are exceptionally hale. You gain the following benefits:
  • You have resistance to poison damage.
  • You have advantage on Constitution saving throws.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the celestial type.

The celestial nature of your symbiont transforms your own body. You gain the following benefits:
  • You possess a healing touch. As an Action, you can touch a creature to immediately restore hit points as though you had cast cure wounds, requiring no verbal or somatic components (other than the touch itself). For the purpose of your healing touch, you are treated as though your character level is your caster level, and that you cast cure wounds in the highest slot available to you, up to a maximum of 5th level. The target may also immediately make a saving throw against each of the following that may be affecting them: a curse, disease, poison, blindness, or deafness. Once you've used this feature, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.
  • You have resistance to radiant damage.
  • As an action you can emit bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. You can cause the light to fade as another action.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the undead type.

The undead nature of your symbiont transforms your own body. You gain the following benefits:
  • When you make an unarmed attack, you can choose to deal necrotic damage instead of bludgeoning damage.
  • You have resistance to necrotic damage.
  • You have advantage on saving throws against Life Drain.

Deteriorating Touch

Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the ooze or undead type.

Your touch is deadly. You gain the following benefits:
  • When you deal acid or necrotic damage with an unarmed attack, you deal 1d8 damage (unless you already do higher damage).
  • No more than once per turn when you attack a creature with your unarmed attack, you can force that creature to make a Dexterity saving throw, the DC of which is 8 + your Proficiency + your Constitution bonus. On a failed save, the target takes 1d4 damage of the same type as you deal with your unarmed attacks at the beginning of each of its turns. It may repeat its saving throw at the end of each turn to end the ongoing damage.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the dragon type.

The draconic nature of your symbiont transforms your own body. You gain the following benefits:
  • You have draconic scales. While you aren’t wearing armor, you can calculate your AC as 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.
  • You have the breath weapon of a dragon of your choice. This is identical to a dragonborn's breath weapon racial feature.

Eyes in the Back of Your Head

Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the aberration, celestial, dragon, fey, fiend, or undead type.

You can allow your symbiont to manifest an eye or a pair of eyes anywhere on your person. While the eyes are manifested, you gain the following benefits:
  • You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight, as well as advantage on Initiative rolls
  • You can spend your reaction to impose disadvantage on a single attack roll made against you. You must do so before the attack is rolled.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the fiend type.

The fiendish nature of your symbiont transforms your own body. You gain the following benefits:
  • You have darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, its range increases by 60 feet. Magical darkness doesn't impede your vision.
  • You have resistance to fire damage.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the fey type.

The fey nature of your symbiont transforms your own body. You gain the following benefits:
  • After spending an hour or more in a creature's company and causing it to become more than superficially attracted to you, you have advantage on Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Persuasion) checks against that creature as long as it continues to find you attractive.
  • You are proficient in Charisma saving throws, or double your proficiency bonus when making Charisma saving throws if you were already proficient.
  • You can misty step as per the spell without once per short or long rest. You require no verbal components.

Life Absorption

Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the plant or undead type.

You can drain a creature's essence to give you energy. You may make a melee attack to touch a creature within your reach. On a hit, that creature suffers damage as normal for your unarmed attack and you gain temporary hit points equal to 5 or your attack's damage, whichever is less.

Monstrous Maw

Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the aberration, celestial, dragon, fey, or fiend type.

You can allow your symbiont to manifest a mouth anywhere on your person. The mouth is a portal to an extradimensional space that can contain objects weighing no more than 250 pounds and not exceeding a volume of 64 cubic feet. On your turn you can have the mouth either swallow an object that is no larger than 8 feet in any dimension or regurgitate one item it has swallowed as a bonus action. If you attempt to have the monstrous maw swallow an item that is too big for it or that would exceed its remaining capacity, it vomits out all items it currently contains.

You may also use the monstrous maw to make a weapon attack that deals 1d6 piercing damage. You are proficient with your monstrous maw, and it has the light and finesse properties. Damage dealt by the monstrous maw counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. A Medium or smaller creature killed by the monstrous maw is instantaneously consumed by it; the creature is Large or larger an equivalent sized portion of it is swallowed.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the ooze type.

Your bond with an ooze symbiont transforms your own body. You gain the following benefits:
  • You can squeeze through a space large enough for a creature two sizes smaller than you. If you are medium, for example, you can squeeze through a passage that is only 1 foot and 3 inches wide.
  • It costs you only 5 feet of movement to stand up from prone.
  • You have advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks you make to climb and to grip.

Oozing Threat

Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the ooze or undead type.

Your ooze-like abilities grant you useful offensive and defense powers: You gain the following benefits:
  • When you make an unarmed attack, you can choose to deal acid damage instead of bludgeoning damage.
  • You have resistance to acid damage.
  • You have advantage on grapple attempts.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the plant type.

Your bond with a plant symbiont transforms your own body. You gain the following benefits:
  • You have advantage on Strength saving throws to resist forced movement or being knocked prone.
  • You have advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks you make to climb and to grip.
  • When you spend Hit Dice during a short rest you spend bathed in sunlight, you regain +1 hit point per Hit Die.

See Magic

Prerequisite: Symbiont, Eyes in the Back of Your Head, symbiont must be of the celestial, dragon, fey, or fiend type.

While your symbiont's eyes are manifested you can see sources of magic within 30 feet. You see a faint aura around a creature or object in the area that bears magic, and you learn its school of magic, if any. You don't need to see the creature or object as your ability to see its magical aura penetrates most barrier. However, this sense is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the plant type.

You are capable of emitting spores, ejecting them at one creature you can see withing 5 feet of you. Your spores require the target to make a Constitution saving throw, the DC of which is 8 + your Proficiency + your Constitution bonus. You can use one of the following abilities once per short or long rest:
  • Pacifying Spores. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned for a number of turns equal to your Constitution bonus. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  • Poison Spores. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for a number of turns equal to your Constitution bonus. The target is incapacitated while it has the poisoned condition. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Symbiont Survival

Prerequisite: Symbiont.
Your symbiont takes over to keep you safe when you cannot protect yourself. You gain the following benefits:
  • Being asleep has no negative effects on your Perception checks.
  • When you're reduced to 0 hit points or you fall unconscious, your symbiont takes direct control of your body. You immediately gain temporary hit points equal to your character level and your body regains consciousness with the symbiont in control (your own consciousness is still unconscious). The symbiont can control your body for no more than an hour, after which you lose any temporary hit points remaining. If you have no hit points when this happens you immediately return to the unconscious condition. If you were previously dying, you are dying again.


Prerequisite: Symbiont, symbiont must be of the aberration, ooze, or plant type.

You can allow your symbiont to manifest a tendril anywhere on your person. You can use the tendril in any of the following ways:
  • To make a melee attack that deals 1d4 slashing damage. You are proficient with your tendril, and it has the finesse and reach properties. Damage dealt by the monstrous maw counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
  • To make a grapple attempt against a creature within 10 feet. You can only grapple one creature at a time with your tendril. If you have grappled a creature with the tendril, you cannot use it in any other way until you release that creature.
  • To make a standing long jump with a maximum distance of 20 feet, or to make a running long jump with a maximum distance equal to your Strength score + 20 feet, provided there is an anchor point above and roughly in the middle of the distance you're jumping. As normal, each foot of distance crossed while jumping costs 1 foot of your movement speed. If you fail to cross the distance you end your movement hanging from your tendril 10 feet below the anchor point. On your next turn, you can expend your full movement to swing back and forth and build up enough momentum to help you cross the remaining distance. You land on the far edge of the gap and your movement immediately ends.

Friday, 15 June 2018

5e Fallout: Sinister Synths!

Wow, two updates today! This one's for fans of Fifth Edition Fallout.

I bet you've been wondering when I'd next get around to updating the bestiary. Well wonder no more! As of today, synth statblocks are available on the wiki. This is a relatively small update by the standards of the past, but small batches like this is likely to be the new norm now I'm past the blitz to add enough monsters to make the game playable. Because it is a small update, I'll wait until there's a larger batch before uploading a new version of the PDF.

This update includes:


  • Gen-1 Synths
    • Synth (CR 1/2)
    • Synth Strider (CR 1)
    • Synth Patroller (CR 4)
    • Synth Seeker (CR 5)
    • Synth Trooper (CR 6)
    • Synth Assaulter (CR 9)
    • Synth Stormer (CR 11)
  • Gen-2 Synths
    • Synth Leader (CR 3)
    • Synth Eradicator (CR 14)
  • Gen-3 Synths
    • The deadly Courser! (CR 20, Legendary)

5e: Warlock Patron, The Noble Genie

Happy Friday!

Today I have a first pass at a new warlock archetype: The Noble Genie patron.

According to the Monster Manual, "Noble genies are the rarest of their kind. They are used to getting what they want, and have learned to trade their ability to grant wishes to attain the objects of their desire. This constant indulgence has made them decadent, while their supreme power over reality makes them haughty and arrogant." Sounds like such a perfect fit for a Warlock patron to me that it's honestly surprising there hasn't been an official take on this by now!

The most difficult part of putting this archetype together was populating the patron bonus spells. It didn't really feel appropriate using just one list for all four types of genie, so the archetype ended up with four. It was impossible to populate these lists and the archetype's cantrip access using just the Player's Handbook, especially as many of the spells the genies that inspired these archetypes get are already on the Warlock class list. To round out the lists I also sourced spells from the free Elemental Evil Player's Companion (which means versions of them are probably also in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, but I didn't double check). So while you can't get by with just the core book, you can at least get by without buying another book. As a general principle, when I found myself choosing between good options from both sources, I gave preference to the option from the Player's Handbook.

By the way, some of the spells in my recent article Six Fire-Themed Spells are options for warlocks and make a great fit for a Noble Genie warlock bound to an Efreeti patron!

An Efreeti Noble Genie Warlock. Stock Art © Brett Neufeld.

The Noble Genie

You have made a pact with a noble genie, a creature of primordial magic whose power towers even over other genies. Such a being is more than happy to grant a wish, for a price, and a simple desire for power is one of the easiest wishes of all to resolve. Noble genies are cunning, and the price they demand is often far greater than a careless wish-maker realises. For the price of a lifetime of power, they may find themselves serving the noble genie for that lifetime, executor of its intermittent whims.

Your patron might be a Dao, a Djinni, an Efreeti, or a Marid.

Expanded Spell List

The Noble Genie lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell, dependent on the type of genie your patron is. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

Noble Genie Patron Expanded Spells

Spell Level
Dao Spells
Djinni Spells
Efreeti Spells
Marid Spells
earth tremor, longstrider feather fall, thunderwave burning hands, faerie fire create or destroy water, fog cloud
earthbind, maximilian's earthen grasp dust devil, levitate enlarge/reduce, flaming sphere melf's acid arrow, snilloc's snowball swarm
erupting earth, meld into stone call lightning, wind wall fireball, melf's minute meteors water breathing, water walk
stone shape, stoneskin freedom of movement, storm sphere fire shield, wall of fire control water, watery sphere
passwall, wall of stone cloudkill, control winds flame strike, immolation cone of cold, maelstrom

Elemental Affinity

Starting at 1st level, you receive an elemental boon from your noble genie patron. A cantrip you learn as part of this feature counts as a warlock cantrip for you, but doesn’t count against your number of cantrips known.
Dao. You have advantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws made against effects that would knock you prone, as well as Constitution saving throws against the petrified condition. You also learn the mold earth cantrip.
Djinni. You have lightning resistance, and you also learn the gust cantrip.
Efreeti. You have fire resistance, and you also learn the control flames cantrip.
Marid. You have cold resistance, and you also learn the shape water cantrip.

Heart's Desire

From 6th level, you are blessed with good fortune by your patron. You have a pool of Desire dice which includes a number of d6s equal to your proficiency bonus. When you make an ability check or a saving throw you can roll any number of these d6s, and add the highest result to your roll. You can choose to spend Desire dice after seeing the initial roll but before any of the roll’s effects occur.

You regain one of your spent Desire dice when you finish a short rest and refresh your pool completely after you finish a long rest.

Elemental Master

Beginning at 10th level, your patron teaches you how to summon elementals to do your bidding. When this feature you cast the conjure elemental, requiring no material components, but you are limited to conjuring a specific type of elemental dependent on the type of genie your patron is.
Dao. You summon an Earth Elemental.
Djinni. You summon an Air Elemental.
Efreeti. You summon a Fire Elemental.
Marid. You summon a Water Elemental.
Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Last Wish

From 14th level you are protected from fatal consequences by the magic of your patron. When you have to make a death saving throw at the start of your turn, you can instead regain hit points equal to half your hit point maximum, and then stand up if you so choose. Until the end of your next turn, all hostile creatures inexplicably suffer disadvantage on their attack rolls against you.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Friday, 1 June 2018

5e: Wasteland Wares - Post-Apocalyptic Equipment!

When I first wrote Wasteland Wanderers, I didn't really think of anything more than a one-off. The idea was simply to create a set of classes and archetypes that would be a perfect fit for Fifth Edition Fallout and other Post-Apocalyptic games as a superior option to reskinning the fantasy-themed classes of the core 5e game.

But player classes are just one small part of any game, and it dawned on me that there were further helpful resources for Post-Apocalyptic play yet to be written. So I began to write them...

Today I'm announcing Wasteland Wares, but post-apoc fans might be interested to know I've also already written a chunk of the next entry: Wasteland Woes will contain creatures, traps, and rules for weather and hazards encountered in various types of wastelands including radioactive wastes, deserts, frozen wastes, and water worlds. After that, I've got further plans for a fourth supplement called Wasteland Wheels, which will include vehicle rules and statblocks so the Mad Max fans out there can get their fix.

Wasteland Wares - Out Now!

Wasteland Wares is the second installment in the series I call "Wasteland Worlds" in the privacy of my own head. As of the time you're reading this, it's been released and is available right now on It's 76 pages worth of items and rules, including:
  • Guidance on the Wasteland economy, power sources, damage types, and resource scarcity.
  • Rules for radiation sickness, addiction, and dehydration and starvation.
  • Lists of armour, power armour, weapons, armour and weapon modifcations, explosives, chems, food and drink, a masses of miscellaneous gear, and Wasteland trinkets.
  • A sample of robots.
  • Rules for cybernetics enhancements and implants.
  • Weird properties you can add to weapons and armour.

Some of that sounds familiar...

If you're thinking that, you're right. I'm not trying to play anyone for a fool here—if you choose to purchase Wasteland Wares you'll find a lot of content that is reproduced from game mechanics originally appearing in Fifth Edition Fallout, whether it be weapons and modifications or rules for radiation sickness, starvation, and dehydration. The reproduced content couldn't be left out of a supplement intended to be a complete resource, and it would have been crazy to try and reinvent the wheel on my own work.

So why should anyone purchase Wasteland Wares, when a fair portion of it is already available for free in the Fifth Edition Fallout rules?

Simply put: You don't have to. There is a lot that Fifth Edition Fallout is missing, and Wasteland Wares fills in some of those gaps, but you can get by without it just fine. Just ask DumpStatCharisma and Forgebreaker Gaming, two gaming groups that have streamed games of Fifth Edition Fallout using the rules as-is.

But Wasteland Wares is here for you if you want:
  • A table and descriptions of miscellaneous Post-Apocalyptic gear (over 100 items)
  • The prices of Wasteland crops, livestock, and common types of robot.
  • What you'll pay to hire someone as a courier, an entertainer, a labourer, or a servant.
  • How much it costs to visit the local doctor, have a haircut, or get your boots repaired.
  • The option for player characters to self-improve with cybernetics, and rules for risks encountered during surgery and after-care.
  • Revised and expanded rules, including an alternative method of handling radiation poisoning from damage received, as well as an abstract method for dealing with ammo.

You could also choose to look at purchasing Wasteland Wares as a way to support the considerable work and passion I've thrown into Fifth Edition Fallout, in which case, I sincerely appreciate it!

Wasteland Wanderers Update

If you've previously purchased Wasteland Wanderers, you'll want to download the latest copy of it as its also been updated today! The important changes are some tweaks and clarifications to the Scientist class, but the PDF has also received a design overhaul to match the look of Wasteland Wares and future entries in the product line.