Skip to main content

5e Playable Lineage: Natbakka & Will o' Wicks

Here are two playable lineages I put together for an all-subterranean campaign I hoped to get off the ground, using Sly Flourish's Ruins of the Grendelroot. We ended up going with a Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign, instead

Some Pointless Geographic Context

Above the flinty peaks of  Kazbeg howl endless storms and demon winds. Below, dwarves thrive, secure in their halls of stone.

Kazbeg is a region within the dwarven nation of Scarmis. To the south is Middlemarch, the home of humans. Further south lies elven Nantierre. North of Scarmis, across the frigid waters, is Nord, which bears the North Pole, one of the pillars that holds the sky aloft. These nations are part of Ecumene, a collection of continents on an infinite flat plane of land and ocean called the Glorious Mundi.

The campaign, called Under the Kazbeg Mountains, would have featured a lot of dwarves, kobolds, svirfneblin, and other playable lineages that like it underground. To this I added some dungeon weirdoes of my own: bat guys and animate candles.

Also, in the world of Ecumene, each species was given its own language by the gods, except for humans. A long-forgotten slight against the gods ended in the removal of their birth-tongue, forcing humans to craft nation-tongues.

Natbakka

A species little-known outside the Kazbeg Mountains, Natbakka rarely venture from the caves and warrens of Scarmis’

Underworld. They are lanky humanoids with the features of cave bats. Wing-like membranes called patagia connect their arms

and torsos.

I was not able to track down the source of this image. Apologies!



Ability Score Increase. Choose one: (a) Increase one ability score by +2, and increase a different one by +1; (b) Increase three different ability scores

by +1. 

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Khuzdul, the Common of the Kazbeg Mountains, and Eetititl, the birth-tongue of the Natbakka.

Size. You are Medium or Small. You choose the size when you select this race.

Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet. You have a climbing speed equal to your walking speed.

Echolocation. You have 20’ radius blindsight. You can't use echolocation while deafened.

Gliding. You can glide twice the distance of your starting elevation at a rate equal to your walking speed. You can't use this trait if

you're wearing medium or heavy armor.

Keen Hearing. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.

Will o' Wicks

The dwarves of old crafted diminutive candle-golems to aid their work, discarding them when the work was done. Some of

these golems learned to preserve their flames, and gathered in the deep recesses of the mountains to form little, glittering

communities. In time, the gods recognized them as their own lineage, giving them a birth-tongue and the ability to reproduce.


Ability Score Increase. Choose one: (a) Increase one ability score by +2; (b) Increase two different ability scores by +1. 

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Khuzdul, the Common of the Kazbeg Mountains, and Votilabra, the birth-tongue of will o’ wicks.

Size. Small

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Living Construct. You are classified as a construct and do not need to eat, drink, or sleep. You do not need to breathe, but if your flame is deprived

of air it may go out. You do not sleep and instead enter an “smolder” mode where you are inactive but fully aware of your

surroundings. You only need 4 hours in this state to receive the benefits of a long rest.

Life’s Flame. If your flame is doused, either by water or smothering, become incapacitated until it is relit. The GM may allow a Constitution

saving throw to keep your flame smoldering and remain active.

Radiance. Your flame sheds bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet. You can dim this light when necessary. 

Candleburst. As an action, you can project your flame at a creature within 10 feet of you. Make a ranged attack. On a hit, the target takes

1d8 fire damage. This damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).

Waxy. You have advantage on rolls to escape being grappled or restrained.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reviewing Rules for Play-by-Post Optimization

I’ve played a lot of PbP games: all your favorite flavors of OD&D, AD&D, and their retroclones, Call of Cthulhu, Marvel Superheroes, Traveller, Dungeon World, etc. ad nauseam. In almost every instance, I forgot what ruleset we were using at some point. Which is a good thing. Once chargen is over, you spend a lot more time describing your characters actions and poring over the GM’s descriptions than you spend interacting with rules. When you do roll, it’s usually a combat to-hit roll, which you’ve probably programmed into the online dice-roller as a macro. Pretty much any game will work for PbP. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t points of possible optimization. Point 1: Resolution. Anything that can keep the action moving is a boon to PbP. A game that requires a back-and-forth exchange of information to resolve an action is going to progress very slowly. A good rule of thumb is that it’ll take 2 or 3 days to get a response from any given player. At that pace, an exch

Maze Rats by Post

In my previous post , I reviewed a bunch of my favorite rulesets for optimization for Play-by-Post. It occurred to me almost immediately that I hadn't really thought about Maze Rats enough. In fact, I'd mis-remembered and mischaracterized it. Upon reflection, one of the mechanics I took issue with is actually a big strength. Re-reading the rules, it seems like just a few very simple hacks could make it a highly-optimized PbP game. As follows: Danger Rolls are rolled by the GM. Danger rolls usually fail, so it is in the player’s interest to describe their actions plausibly and mitigate as many risks as they can, in the hopes that they don’t trigger a danger roll. 2d6 + ability bonus ≥ 10 If you have taken enough precautions to have a distinct advantage in an action, but not enough to have eliminated the distinct possibility of danger, the GM will give you a roll with advantage. 3d6 keep 2 + ability bonus ≥ 10 Because each character only has 3 ability scores (S

An Exaltation of Rockets

I've been toying off-and-on with a rockets-and rayguns campaign/ruleset based heavily on the original Buck Rogers strips. I started working it up as a Black Hack, but I've since switched over to Maze Rats, which has become my ruleset of choice for Play-by-Post. I don't have a good name for it. I want something that conveys the baroque majesty of science fiction in the 20s and 30s. "Planetary Romance" is an accurate description of the genre, but needs about 20% more pulp. Pseudo-pulp magazine names seem like a good way to go, but that's such an easy well to dip into that the results can sound pretty generic. Request for feedback #1:  On this particular morning, I'm enamored of "An Exaltation of Rockets," but it may not carry the right resonances. I'd be eager to hear from you what your first impression was when you saw that as the post's title. What sort of imagery did it conjure up? What sort of world does it belong to? The prem