Monday, 18 December 2017

"Buy Me a Coffee" and the Fifth Edition Fallout art fund.

After due consideration I've decided to set up a ko-fi page. If you don't know what ko-fi is, you can check it out here, but the simple explanation is that whereas a service like patreon can be used to accept payment for services offered as part of the patreon, a ko-fi payment is an expression of gratitude and support for content that's already been created. Essentially it's basically an electronic tip jar. Your donation is a one-off, though you can of course contribute more than once, and when you do tip with ko-fi you can also choose to tip a larger amount than the norm. The freedom is yours to decide how and when to show support.

One of the best ways to support Spilled Ale Studios is, of course, to buy one of my products. But a lot of the content I'm creating is offered freely, such as this blog and Fifth Edition Fallout. The ko-fi is your opportunity, should you wish to, to recognise the work that goes into these free creations.

Buying Me a Coffee

You'll now see this button on the sidebar to the right:



Any time you want to tip me, you can click that button to visit my page where you'll be prompted to select how many "coffees" you want to buy me (the default is one). You're not literally buying me coffees, of course! You can write a message of support if you want to, make your tip public or private, then you simply click Support Spilled Ale Studios. Clicking that will take you through to PayPal where you can finalise your transaction.

Fifth Edition Fallout art fund.

The ko-fi is also an opportunity for me to explore the option of adding more art to Fifth Edition Fallout.

Fifth Edition Fallout is a fan project and a labour of love. I don't own the intellectual property, and I can't (and wouldn't dream of trying to) profit from the use of that IP. This means that I cannot and will not charge money for access to Fifth Edition Fallout content.

But I do want to make Fifth Edition Fallout as professional-looking as possible, and for that I need art! I've been lucky enough that some truly amazing fan artists have agreed to let me showcase their work in its pages, but there are only so many pieces of Fallout fan art out there, and only a few of those artists have agreed for their work to be included. There are many other places where art could liven up the pages of Fifth Edition Fallout, for instance illustrations of creatures. To get such art tailor-made for Fifth Edition Fallout, I would have to commission artists, and good art can be expensive.

Here's how I plan for this to work:

Whenever you choose to "buy me a coffee", you can opt to earmark your donation towards Fifth Edition Fallout art commissions. To do so, please include the words "Fifth Edition Fallout Art Fund" in your donation's message of support.

My promise to you is that your Fifth Edition Fallout Art Fund will only be used for art commissions. I will continue saving these contributions, and occasionally topping them up myself, until such a time that I can afford to commission a piece of art. There's no exact timeline on this of course, it will take as long as it takes. Once a piece is commissioned, the process will begin again. If donations falter for a significant period of time, I'll shut the program down. Whatever donations I have at that time, I will top up myself to get one last piece of art as soon as I can afford to do so. Thus, your donation will never be spent on me personally.

Of course if you'd like to contribute to the art fund and show me some love, you're more than welcome to! Just earmark the Art Fund payments appropriately to keep them separate.

5e Fallout: Bloodcurdling Beasts and Steely-eyed Soldiers

All readers of my blog should take note that this will be my last content update until after the Christmas period. Expect updates to resume the week following New Year's Day (likely Tuesday 9th January).

This week I have another monstrous update for Fifth Edition Fallout fans to sink their teeth into. I know I'm really powering through them these days. Consider this one a Christmas present! Really, what's more festive than a glowing deer? Now you can have your PCs encounter Rudolph the Radstag. In addition, a bunch of other content has been added including additional races, weapons, and diseases!

All told this update expands Fifth Edition Fallout to 170 pages! For what it's worth, I estimate there are another 181 statblocks that could be added to the game (and that's only assuming I've correctly counted all the other creatures/variants I could add. Let's be honest, I probably haven't!). At an average of 3 statblocks per page we can predict the page count for Fifth Edition Fallout with all monsters added will be added 230 pages. Ultimately, expect the actual page count to ultimately be higher even than that—I still have to add Knowledge tables, and I'm sure it will occur to me to add more stuff before this is through. Anyway, the point is that Fifth Edition Fallout is already big, and I'm extremely proud of what I've achieved, but it's only going to get even bigger! That's pretty incredible to think about.

However, all that existing and upcoming content also means that there's still a lot of stuff to move over to the wiki I'm working on. I'm making headway, but the wiki would go live a lot faster with help. If you love Fifth Edition Fallout, if you think a wiki version of the rules would be super useful, and if you think you can volunteer even a little bit of your time for some data entry, then please reach out to me @spilledale! Naturally, helping populate the wiki also means early access to it.

Where to get Fifth Edition Fallout

As always the updated version of the Fifth Edition Fallout sourcebook, along with all other game resources, can be downloaded from the Fifth Edition Fallout hub.

New Monstrous Additions to Fifth Edition Fallout

The last twitter poll indicated that the majority of fans wanted to finally see some of the game's animals. A more than fair request, considering beasts are among the wasteland's most common enemies. So common in fact that "Beasts" is easily the largest of all the categories I've defined, to the point that I've decided to break it down into some smaller groupings for the sake of my sanity. This means, for instance, that aquatic creatures like the Fog Crawler and Hermit Crab will have a separate section in the book when they are eventually added.

Even with additional division, the sheer amount of animals already introduced to the Fallout universe is huge once all variations of those creatures are factored in. Today's update makes a sizable dent, but I estimate there are still around 50 to go. I'm going to have to put my hands up and admit that I could probably have done another large chunk of animals if I'd not distracted myself statting out the Brotherhood of Steel on a sudden whim. I'm sure you won't begrudge me that little diversion, though!

Most or all of the remaining beasts will be added in the next update. For now though, I present 82 new statblocks and 3 new templates. As well as Coyotes, Cyberhounds, Dogs and Mongrels, Geckos, Mole Rats (both East and West Coast varieties), Radstags, Sand Sharks, and Yao Guai, the statblocks also include three additional Giant Mantises and the Brotherhood of Steel. The new templates are Alpha, Rabid, and Lobotomite.

More specifically, this update includes the following new creature statblocks and templates:

Beasts

  • Coyotes
    • Coyote Pup (CR 1/8)
    • Coyote (CR 1/4)
    • Coyote Den Mother (CR 2)
    • Alpha Coyote (CR 3)
  • Dogs
    • Trained Dog (CR 1/8)
    • Trained Legion Mongrel (CR 1/2)
    • Wild Mongrel [Formerly Mongrel] (CR 1/8)
    • Alpha Wild Mongrel (CR 1/8)
    • Vicious Mongrel (CR 1/4)
    • Alpha Vicious Mongrel (CR 1/2)
    • Feral Mongrel (CR 1)
    • Alpha Feral Mongrel (CR 2)
    • Rabid Mongrel (CR 2)
    • Alpha Rabid Mongrel (CR 4)
    • Glowing Mongrel (CR 4)
    • Alpha Glowing Mongrel (CR 6)
  • Geckos
    • Young Gecko (CR 1/2)
    • Young Gecko Hunter (CR 1/2)
    • Gecko (CR 1)
    • Gecko Hunter (CR 2)
    • Young Golden Gecko (CR 2)
    • Golden Gecko (CR 4)
    • Young Gecko (CR 4)
    • Young Fire Gecko (CR 3)
    • Fire Gecko (CR 6)
    • Young Green Gecko (CR 5)
    • Green Gecko (CR 8)
    • Giant Green Gecko (CR 12)
  • Mole Rats
    • Mole Rat [Updated] (CR 1/8)
    • Rabid Mole Rat (CR 1/4)
    • Glowing Mole Rat (CR 1)
    • Mole Rat Brood Mother (CR 4)
    • Giant Mole Rat (CR 7)
    • Pig Rat (Western Mole Rat) (CR 1/8)
    • Mean Rat (Western Mole Rat) (CR 1/4)
    • Tough Pig Rat (Western Mole Rat) (CR 1)
    • Mutated Pig Rat (Western Mole Rat) (CR 2)
    • Lesser Mole Rat (Western Mole Rat) (CR 1)
    • Mole Rat (Western Mole Rat) (CR 2)
    • Great Mole Rat (Western Mole Rat) (CR 4)
    • Mutated Mole Rat (Western Mole Rat) (CR 6)
  • Radstags
    • Radstag Yearling (CR 1/8)
    • Radstag Doe (CR 1/4)
    • Radstag (CR 1)
    • Rabid Radstag (CR 3)
    • Glowing Radstag (CR 5)
    • Erratic Radstag Doe (CR 7)
    • Erratic Radstag (CR 8)
    • Devolved Radstag Doe (CR 9)
    • Devolved Radstag (CR 12)
  • Yao Guai
    • Yao Guai Cub (CR 1)
    • Stunted Yao Guai/Young Yao Guai (CR 2)
    • Yao Guai (CR 4)
    • Yao Guai Ghoul (CR 6)
    • Shaggy Yao Guai (CR 7)
    • Irradiated Yao Guai (CR 10)
    • Glowing Yao Guai (CR 12)
    • Rabid Yao Guai (CR 14)
    • Dusky Yao Guai (CR 16)

Bugs

  • Giant Mantises
    • Zion Mantis Nymph (CR 2)
    • Zion Mantis (CR 8)
    • Zion Mantis Female (CR 10)

Cyberhounds

  • Cyberhound (CR 1/2)
  • Police Cyberhound (CR 2)
  • Military Cyberhound (CR 4)

Brotherhood of Steel

  • Squire (CR 1/2)
  • Sidebar on Squires and Scribes
  • Lancer-Initiate (CR 1)
  • Lancer (CR 3)
  • Lancer-Knight (CR 4)
  • Lancer-Sergeant (CR 5)
  • Lancer-Captain (CR 7)
  • Initiate (CR 2)
  • Knight Aspirant (CR 3)
  • Scribe Initiate (CR 1)
  • Scribe (CR 3)
  • Senior Scribe (CR 5)
  • Knight (CR 10)
  • Knight Sergeant (CR 11)
  • Knight Captain (CR 12)
  • Knight Commander (CR 14)
  • Paladin (CR 15)
  • Paladin Commander (CR 16)
  • Star Paladin (CR 18)
  • Sidebar on Brotherhood of Steel Hierarchy and Ranks

Templates

  • Alpha
  • Lobotomite
  • Rabid

Worms

  • Sand Shark (CR 13)

If you're curious, The amount of creatures of each CR in the game now breaks down as follows:

Fifth Edition Fallout: Creatures by CR


Other Updates

This update isn't just about monsters! In fact, quite a lot of new content has been added and a few corrections have been made. Changes are noted below:
  • New fanart by emortal982 (find it on page 61).
  • Added new category for "Worms" and moved Bloodworms to this category.
  • Added Human subrace: Dwarf.
  • Added Human subrace: Slag.
  • Added .357 Magnum Revolver.
  • Added K9000 Cyberdog Gun.
  • .357 added to ammunition table.
  • Correction to ammunition table, adding .45-70.
  • Clarified the way the Beta Wave Tuner ranged weapon modification interacts with burst fire.
  • Added Disease section with rules for Parasites and Rabies.
  • Added Air vehicle proficiency (eg. airship, vertibird) to Proficiencies section.
  • Added Underwater vehicle proficiency (eg. submersible, submarine) to Proficiencies section.
  • Changed Cazadore type to "Monstrosity".


What creatures are next?

At this point I'd normally be directing you towards the latest twitter poll, but there isn't one! After all, I've yet to complete the already voted for "Beasts". The aim for next time is to finish up the remaining mammals, reptiles, and aquatic creatures in the beast category. This also seems like as good a time as any to do Nightstalkers which should wrap up the whole wildlife kingdom... unless I've missed something, which is totally possible.

Time and energy allowing, I'll throw in some more human enemies as well. It might be around time for the Enclave to rear their fascist heads from whatever hole they're hiding in this time...?

Your Thoughts

As usual I'd love to hear your thoughts about any aspect of Fifth Edition Fallout. Please also reach out if you catch any errors so I can fix it asap!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

5e: Clockwyrm

A clockwyrm is a highly advanced magi-mechanical construct created by a long-forgotten race. No one knows if they were originally native to Mechanus, but they have lived on the Clockwork Nirvana for millenia, and have long since developed their own free will. Even so, it is in the nature of a clockwyrm to serve, and they have no shortage of potential patrons on Mechanus, a plane full to bursting with powerful creatures that share a clockwyrm's rigid sense of order.

They can most often be found in the service of Inevitables, helping those creatures to enforce the universal laws. Some even serve Primus as guardians of the modron hierarchy. Rarely, a powerful creature or mortal from another plane might visit Mechanus or reach out via magic and persuade a Clockwyrm to assist in imposing their idea of a better-ordered world on their home plane. They might choose to align themselves with any Lawful creature with a suitable vision of order. The sort of radical changes that a clockwyrm would approve of are rarely in the interests of the free minds and spirits that happen to dwell on that plane, so a clockwyrm generally finds themselves working alongside individuals many would call villains, placed to oppose a story's heroes.

Clockwyrm
Huge construct, unaligned

Armor Class

20 (natural armor)

Hit Points

232 (15d12 + 135)

Speed

40 ft., fly 80 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
23 (+6) 10 (+0) 28 (+9) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 15 (+2)

Skills

Perception +10

Saving Throws

Dex +5, Con +14, Wis +5, Cha +7

Damage Immunities

fire, lightning, poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't adamantine.

Condition Immunities

charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned

Senses

darkvision 120 ft., truesight 120 ft.; passive Perception 10

Languages

Understands all languages but can't speak

Challenge

19 (22,000 XP)

Immutable Form.

The clockwyrm is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.

Legendary Resistance (3/day).

If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance.

The clockwyrm has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons.

The clockwyrms's weapon attacks are magical.

Precise Planar Traveler.

The clockwyrm can cast plane shift on itself and up to eight willing creatures twice per long rest. It can arrive at a specific destination as long as the destination is known to it. Additionally, if the clockwyrm is banished, when it returns from Mechanus it can reappear in any unoccupied space it wishes within 80 feet of the space it occupied when it was banished.
Actions

Multiattack.

The clockwyrm can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite.

Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (1d10 +7) piercing damage plus the clockwyrm's choice of 5 (1d10) fire or 5 (1d10) lightning damage.

Claw.

Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 +7) slashing damage.

Tail Blade.

Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (2d12 +7) slashing damage.

Frightful Presence.

Each creature of the clockwyrm's choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the clockwyrm's Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Breath Weapon (recharge 5-6).

The clockwyrm uses its choice of the following three breath weapons. Even when this ability is recharged, the clockwyrm cannot use the same breath weapon twice in a row.

Fire Breath.

The clockwyrm exhales fire in a 90-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw, taking 63 (18d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Gas Breath.

The clockwyrm exhales poisonous gas in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in that line must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw, taking 63 (14d8) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Lightning Breath.

The clockwyrm exhales a 30-foot orb of lightning centered on a space within 60 feet. Each creature in that line must make a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw, taking 49 (9d10) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If a creature fails their saving throw by 5 or more, lightning arcs from them to one additional target outside the orb, who must be no more than 15 feet from the orb and must not already have been hit by arcing lightning. A secondary target takes 22 (4d10) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage if successful.
Legendary Actions
The clockwyrm can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The clockwyrm regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect.

The clockwyrm makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.

Tail Attack.

The clockwyrm makes a tail attack.

Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions).

The clockwyrm beats its wings. Each creature within 10 ft. of the clockwyrm must succeed on a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw or take 14 (2d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The clockwyrm can then fly up to half its flying speed.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

5e Fallout: Monstrous Amounts of Monsters

When it comes to blog posts, I normally like to write enough to stay at least a few weeks ahead. For various reasons, that hasn't happened recently. Last week got busy. I had a family trip planned already, and then the funeral of a family friend cropped up. The end result is that I don't actually have a proper blog post to share this week.

What I do have is a spreadsheet.

See, it's become increasingly clear just how mammoth a project Fifth Edition Fallout really is. Largely, it's because of the monsters! See, I'm not just making one statblock per type of creature. Since the beginning of the Fallout franchise enemies have come in multiple, increasingly more powerful variants. I think including those variants is useful, because it keeps the creature type relevant across a much larger span of levels, and it also ensures a Fifth Edition Fallout has plenty of level-appropriate options to choose from when planning an adventure. But including them isn't necessarily easy, especially as the number of variants of each creature have gone up with time.

I was conscious that there were already a lot of statblocks in the Fifth Edition Fallout sourcebook. There had to be: after all, I counted the ones in the most recent Bugs update and that accounted for 63 all on its own. And I knew there were still plenty of creatures left, many of which I had forgotten until recently (it was only while browsing through the Fallout wikia at random that I stumbled across Spore Carriers and remembered about their existence). It seemed sensible to me to trawl through the wiki to generate a comprehensive master list, so that I wouldn't miss out on anything important. With that in mind I created the aforementioned spreadsheet which would track two things:
  1. All statblocks already added
  2. All statblocks that need to be added, broken down by category (providing the secondary benefit of a count of creatures belonging to each category). To derive this list I went through the creatures and robots pages on the Fallout wikia for each Fallout game, and listed out each variant of each creature. I made a few exceptions, as noted below:
    • Creatures from Fallout Tactics were not necessarily included, as that game is considered non-canon. However, I did include the game's version of the radroach as the Midwestern radroach, as it helped fill out the otherwise sparse list of radroach variants. I considered also including giant wasps, but they fill the same role as the stingwing (if you want to use them, simply reskin a stingwing statblock).
    • Similarly, creatures that were to be included in the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios, codenamed Van Buren, have not been considered. Which is not to say that they couldn't be added later, but non-canonical creatures without much to go on about their abilities aren't exactly a priority.
    • A few variants were so specific that they didn't seem that essential: included in this list are the Zion Mantis, as well as Automatron junk robot variants created by the Mechanist or the Rust Devil Raider gang. Again, I'm not ruling out ever adding these creatures, but for now I consider them nonessential - not to mention easily homebrewed by the GM.
    • Finally, there were some creatures for which I couldn't see much design room to separate them from other creatures. The giant wasp already mentioned was one such. Another group were the Lobotomites from the New Vegas add-on Old World Blues. The only difference between them and regular raiders is their near-mindlessness. There's no reason not to use Raider statblocks and simply reduce their Intelligence and Wisdom scores accordingly.
    • A few creatures on the list I want to add are a little more speculative: the Ghoul Whale, based on bones found in Far Harbor, the Rad-Dolphin, based on the corpses of sea creatures found on shores in Fallout 4, and the Horned Kangaroo, remains of which appear in both Fallout and Fallout 2. Clearly these creatures exist, but I'll be designing them without any reference points. I could have excluded them, but I think each of these creatures would be a fun and worthwhile addition. I particularly like the idea of having a few more aquatic enemies. Admittedly, survivors don't often want to go in the irradiated water, but power armour and diving suits could lead to those exact situations, and it would be nice if there were a few things in the water with them other than mirelurks.

Note that for the purposes of these lists I've also counted templates as though they were statblocks.

If you're interested in these lists, find them here. You can use them to check out what's still in the pipeline, and see if your favourite Fallout monster is definitely coming (and if not, absolutely reach out to me on twitter about it!)

So what have I learned? Firstly, that there are 259 statblocks still to add (considering I've actively excluded some for now but may later change my mind, maybe more). That's an intimidating number! The fact that a large portion of these statblocks will be variants of the same creature helps, of course, but that doesn't mean it won't be a big, time-consuming task. Furthermore, I can tell you from my experience so far that working on multiple similar statblocks over and over can be on the tedious side.

On the other hand, 153 have already been added to the game! If I do say so myself, that's a pretty big achievement. And it proves that the remaining number is in fact possible, even if it will take quite some time to reach the finish line.

I also now have a count of the number of creatures in each of the categories I've broken things down into, which is useful for planning. For instance, fully 86 of the 259 remaining belong to the Beasts category, which is the next one I'm working on. And that's not even accounting for aquatic creatures, which I opted to break out into a category of their own: they account for another 24 statblocks. I already suspected I'd likely be breaking Beasts up and doing them in more than one sitting, and now it's looking likely that it might take up the next three or four updates, let alone two.

And yet, the fact that the Beasts category is so large is strangely comforting. It feels like once that is complete, the end will be in sight. Sure, there'll still be around 150 to do, but those are broken up into much smaller groupings and will hopefully feel more manageable.

Combing through the Fallout wikia proved to be a useful exercise in a handful of other ways, too. I've thought of a few possible templates I might want to add; and I have two new subspecies to add in under Human as playable options: Dwarf, and Slag. I'm planning to treat these as essentially templates you can add-on to the Wastelander Subrace. The Dwarf's speed will be reduced to 25 feet but will gain a slight benefit in exchange. Slags will gain Darkvision at the expense of Sunlight Sensitivity, similar to the base game's Drow.