Discord DND Resource Hub

Alright guys, this is the official resource hub for the Moliora group we’re trying to get together. I’m gonna do my best to keep this parent post updated with links to the resources that I post below so it can be used as a table of contents. To that end I ask that please no one else post in this here - instead, if you need to talk about something on the boards, use the DND discussion thread posted on the main off topic boards.

Moliora Overview

MTG Lore Overview

Plane Shift: Ixalan (If you read one MTG related document that isn’t handwritten by me below… make it this one)

House Rules

Point Buy Calculator

5E Character Sheet, Fillable PDF

Example Character Sheet: Brycen Halfcrown

Elemental Evil - Has Notes on Aven

Kobold Fight Club’s Encounter Builder

Character Creation Phase One: Conceptualization

Character Creation Primer Phase Two: Character Defining Characteristics

Character Creation Primer Phase Three: The Mathening

Character Creation Primer Phase Four: Feats, Class Features, Leveling, and Spellcasting

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Moliora Overview-

The Plane of Moliora

“The wind in your hair, the sea a thousand fathoms beneath your feet, a glass of rum in your hand and your shock-cannon at your side. It’s enough to make a man sentimental, right up until your first mate brains you with a mace and steals your ship. Still, it’s only business.” - James Highsmith, Captain of the Lighting Runner Saucy Mare

At a Glance:
Total Population: ~1.1 billion.
Land Area Coverage: 13%
Native Sentient Species: Humans, Merfolk, Elves, Goblins, Dwarves, Aven, Warforged (Constructs), Vampires, Dragonborn (referred to a lot in this document as Viashino), Tieflings, Half-Orcs, Half-Elves, Gnomes, Halflings

Full of airships, pirates, trading companies and plunder, the plane of Moliora is built for swashbuckling, clockworking adventure and mayhem on the seven winds. A mostly water based plane, Moliora has five lightly populated island based continents, with the indigenous people largely at the whims of nature and the ever churning nature of it’s sporadic seas, which have a nasty penchant for birthing new continents… while swallowing other civilizations whole.

Early on in it’s development, the population of these continents banded together through rough sea trade to find a way to escape the plane’s harsh gales and high waters, and through pooling the efforts of technology and magic created Moliora as it is today, a network of sprawling sky cities and way stations that hover safely above the planet’s ever changing surface. These cities are supported by both land and sea by large harvesting expeditions that set out to bring back coveted foods and raw materials for use by it’s denizens. These heavily guarded expeditions make their way to and from the plane’s surface to plant, harvest, and mine the land below, and are extremely profitable both to those bankrolling them… and those who would hijack them for profit.

While the actual exposed portions of known continents shift and change constantly, each tends to disappear and reappear in the same nautical location and provide the sky-dwellers with a different source of resources and plunder.

Jugi Prime

The largest and most populated continent is Jugi Prime, Moliora’s breadbasket, ancestral home to the Sky-Hunter clan. While this plane rarely surfaces, it remains a staple of the Moliori economy because of it’s indigenous population largely consisting of merfolk. Using growth magic and carefully constructed air-domes, this population is able to produce more than half of all food consumed by the sky-dwellers, and make a handsome profit by selling it to traders. Jugi Prime is home to vast expanses of mass produced kelp fields, a rich fishing stock in any season, and the underwater city of Nousnaka, capital city of the merfolk. Largely sheltered from raids (and the fact that the consumables trade is notably less lucrative than other expedition zones), the merfolk live as a mostly peaceful race, safe from the surface dwellers whom they see as leeches… but some leeches pay very well.

Perstanica

One of the least populated continents on the plane, Perstanica boasts an landscape of flat, soft sanded desert punctuated by high plateaus, and is the ancestral home of the Hellkite Alliance. While the area itself is unforgiving and rough, it has an extremely lucrative trade in metals, mostly iron used for smelting and the occasional mine of rare gemstones. Additionally, the warm, arid air over the continent provides optimal flying conditions, and is often sought out by captains looking to make a longer, but more easy journey through the skies. It’s only indigenous people are the self reliant, nomadic viashino who follow the tides in and out across the barren landscape, who are naturally skilled fisherman that often offer their services as miners should the need for a new vein to be open arise. Work must be done quickly however, as only a small portion of the plane is open at any time, and the Viashino are largely uninterested of being drowned in a deep hole for the right of the sky dwellers to kill one another in aerial duels. These are somewhat frequent over these lands, as the price of iron continues to rise with each inter-company conflict.

Marduus

Easily the most inhospitable of the five continents, Marduus is a murky marshland punctuated by brief stretches of desert from which few ships survive upon crash landing. Fraught with quicksand, saltwater crocodiles, and other amphibious predators, it’s primary natural people- an aven tribe known as the Windseekers had long ago abandoned it- choosing instead to live in the sharp spires of Telumara… that is, until the airship changed the very face of the plane. With this new advent, the Marduui found themselves sitting on something of a gold mine with what up until then was among their most hazardous resources - oil and coal. The black, filthy goo would seep up from the marshlands with each passing tidal cycle, it’s magical energies mutating the wildlife and poisoning the soil, ensuring not even kelp would grow during a wet cycle. But with the advent of the steamship (among other forms of air travel), overnight the Aven people became among the most well funded on the plane, and founded their new enterprise, the South-North Trading Company. Knowing fully well that they lack other political or economic strongholds, these resources are fervently guarded by the Windseeker clan (now known dissaffectionately as the Windstealers), but is available to any Moliori trade or pirate… for the right price.

Telumara

Being the only continent that constantly has overland exposure is little comfort to the goblins that make their homes in the tall, daggerlike spires of Telumara. Stretching through most of the northwest ocean of the continent, Telumara is a dangerous place for air captains to tread, with nary a place to land and plenty of places to crash. A common joke around taverns throughout the sky-cities is that the Lightning Runners were the first to create airships so that they could get the bloody hell out of this twisted landscape… although usually not in the presence of a Lightning-Runner captain. The continent is largely defined by tall, almost ludicrously sharp daggered peaks that jut out of some of the harshest seas on the plane, making boat travel nearly impossible and air travel a risk few crews dare to take. However, deep in their warrens, they goblins found one gem to warrant visits to their humble, dank homes - Luxium. This extremely light, extremely tough mineral became one of the most valuable on the planet after it’s properties were examined for airship construction and found to be among the best. Horrifyingly expensive, shipments of Luxium are hard to obtain and are viciously guarded, turning the seas bordering Telumara into a perpetual battlefield of pirates, frigate captains, and trading companies. The goblins and miners are only more than happy to make the ships heavy with their product for the price… even if they never leave the borders of their twisted, barren home.

Denunatu

The second largest continent of the plane, Denunatu is a strange, everchanging swampy jungle of a landscape stretching across the center of Moliora. Always at least partially exposed, the stretch of salt trees runs just below the murky water from it’s northern panhandle to the southern tip that leaks slowly into the Telu Mountain range, and sports a wide variety of bird and amphibious seabeast. While the great jungles could, theoretically produce a large amount of food, much of what is made is used by the elven natives, and no large scale farming operations could be laid in place due to it’s constantly shifting borders. Having no other natural resources but the wildlife that makes it’s nomadic journey through the heavily forested marshlands, it’s primary resource is it’s location. Being the central most continent, and snarled with heavy growth, Denunatu’s shores are constantly littered with the trash and treasure of the continents that surround it. Ship crashes collect among tangled brushes, entire shipments of valuable jewels and ores are found buried under swampland, and even ancient, magical relics have been known to be pulled from the murk. Likewise, it’s airspace is considered the most valuable on the plane, for while the tides that constantly morph this land make surface living hell, skilled captains are able to make the quickest routes from nearly any other continent by moving over the forests of Denunatu… if they can survive both the sharp storms that hammer the lands, and the natural denizens below who are always looking for a wreck to salvage….

With each continent providing it’s own, valuable resources, several pirate gangs, trading companies, and mercenary groups arose to try to challenge each other to the right of the skies. While hundreds of small, independant gangs of sky pirates and traders exist, five have risen to control the majority of the plane’s trade, commerce, and pillage. These powerful factions are nation states with no borders, constantly vying against one another for more power and wealth.

The Intercontinentals
Color Identity: Black/White
Common Races: Aven, Vampires, Dwarves, Tieflings

Originally founded by the aven that naturally inhabited the marshes of Marduus, the Intercontinentals make up the strongest “legitimate” trading company of Moliora built originally on the insane profits of the oil trade. Now greatly expanded, this group of aristocrats, warriors, and privateers advertises themselves as the power of the skies and a bastion of law and order.

Although as any of their toll collectors would tell you, things are usually more complicated than that.

Dominating the rights to many of the most important trade routes, the Intercontinentals have been nicknamed “The Windstealers” (among other things) by the free traders of Moliora. This group of aven (and their shrewd business partners) have become notorious from the high peaks of Telumara to the deepest stretches of Jugi for enforcing high tariffs on most commodities traveling the seven winds travelling along their routes, and an outright blockade around their homeland of Marduus, effectively controlling the oil trade. Although this stretches their ranks thin, the Windstealers have a variety of very… persuasive collectors.

-Bailithe Nead

Literally named “the high nest” in the tongue of the Aven, Bailthe Nead is the floating seat of power for the Intercontinentals. The largest floating city in all the plane, Bailthe Nead floats like a shadow over Marduus, a giant, glowing, golden reminder of the power and wealth of its owners.

Though vast and well funded however, the Intercontinentals have more than enough competition to keep their hands full…

The Lightning Runners
Color Identity: Red/Blue
Common Races: Viashino, Goblins, Gnomes, Vedalken, Warforged

The most technologically advanced of the five nation-states, the Lightning Runners are a guild of daring captains, eccentric inventors, and advanced technology. Founded in the needled spires of Telumara, the group was originally a thing of necessity to the denizens of the constantly storm-ridden mountain tops. Originally named for the network of dangerous rope bridges and hook networks that connected the hollow tunnels of the area, the Runners have used their wealth of luxium to bring a new dawn of magic and technology to the plane. Lightning Runner ships are the fastest on the plane, and sport the some of the best mechanical and magical cannons and barrages that can be found anywhere on Moilora. It’s people are a rowdy type of explorers, scientists, and sorcerers that are willing to go anywhere and do anything to make a profit. A loose accord keeps them from targeting one another, and binds them to provide aid to another runner if need be. Other than that, the group is very individualistic and cunning, celebrating their rogue, passionate nature with a smile and a heedless charge.

-Tanaiscian

Perhaps eclipsed only by the Lightning Runner flagship, The Indifferent Rose, Tanascian, the Skyjack stronghold Tanaiscian may be the greatest technological wonder of Moliora. While other cities may float, Tanaiscian holds the distinct privelege of actual flight. The city freely moves where needed, providing the Lightning Runners with a mobile trade hub and rest area. Heavily armed, it can also serve as a flagship if need be, despite it’s enormous size.

The Sky-Hunter Clan
Color Identiy: Blue/Green
Common Races: Elves, Merfolk, Vedalken

Arguably the most industrious and secretive of the factions on Moloira, the Sky-Hunters are a collective group of elves, merfolk, and vedalken that produce many of the foods and tools that are used by the other habitants of Moilora. Centered in Jugi Prime, a nebulous, swampy continent including a large portion of the south sea where the merfolk hold their capital Morgast, the Sky Hunters wrangle large fish and tend to the kelp fields, turning them over to their elven bretheren for trade. What the intercontinentals are to the skies over Moloira, the Sky-Hunters are to the seas and many of the plane’s scarece exposed land masses. The clan is a tight lipped, closed community, filled with druids and careful rituals that keep the rest of the plane full. Being the nigh-monopoly that they are, the Hunter clan has employed many means of fast travel and adapt quickly to any situation, most notably by the domistication of the “Nimbus”, a small, Levithan creature that can float as easily in the air as they can underwater. Even more unnerving are the reports that under the sea the Sky-Hunters use not a powerful ship fleet, but powerful magics used to contain and control massive sea creatures to crush enemy vessells that would dare invade their lands.

-Morgast

Less a city and more a country all to itself, Morgast, the seat of Sky-Hunter power is a sprawling network of flooded caverns and mysterious caves leading into the largest undersea city known to the plane. Clouded in mystery, the merfolk and elves guard the many entrances with unerring devotion, preferring to do their trade in the many unaffiliated floating cities rather than let outsiders in. The only widely known entrance is located within the dense forests of Jugi prime, and opens only three times a year due to the tides, during which time the Sky Hunters entertain guests for diplomacy, trade, and festivals.

The Driftwreck Enclave
Color Identiy: Black/Green
Common Races: Elves, Vampires, Tieflings, Halflings

Based in the murky marshlands of Dennunatu, the Driftwreck Enclave is a strange collection of druids and dark wizards that strictly enforce the skies above them and scavenge all the wreckage and plunder that washes up on from the cross-streams that keep their little slice of Moliora nearly inhospitable. Largely populated by elves and the devilkin tieflings, the hierarchy of the Enclave is largely made up of druidic vampires, allegedly some of the oldest being on the plane. The faction has few rules, but two commandments are core to their mission - 1) Ensure that the other sky-dwellers pay their toll when crossing over the heavy marshland. 2) Waste nothing. To that end the group utilizes powerful necromantic magic not just to create a serf class of walking dead, but to conjure their terrifying flagships called “The Hollowed”, usually made out of a strange mesh of wood and preserved, but still rotting flesh of sea creatures. Curt, but fair, this group rarely reaches out to the other nation-states, and rumor has it that they may have been waging a low-level conflict with the Sky-Hunters for centuries, although few outsiders would know of the feud.

-Bastus

Easily the most horrifying of the major cities, Bastus rests high above Denunatu, and is so massive that onlookers can spot it from many leagues away. However, most prefer to joke that you can smell it farther than that. A total picture of the Driftwreck’s refusal to waste any part of their scavenge, Bastus is made up of a strange combination of wreckage and reanimated flesh. Leviathan bones and boat sterns make up the strange, half-living city. Understandably, the Flotsam rarely conduct major business on it, and attendanc eis by invite only.

The Hellkite Armada
Color Identity: White/Red
Common Races: Viashano, Goblin, Aven, Dwarves

Founded in the dusty foothills of Perstanica, the Hellkite Accorders are regarded by many as the “true law” of the skies above Moliora. A ragtag band comprised of hearty sailors and the crafty Viashino, the Accorders are known for fighting for the weak, fighting for plunder, fighting for justice, or just plain fighting. Following the Accord signed by the great pirate lords of yore, the life of the Hellkite is one defined by extremes. One day, you might find a crew of them ruthlessly assaulting an Intercontinental ship to find the reach plunder within - the next, you may see them staunchly defending a Jugi shipment of food from the Scraprigger horde. Above all else, the Hellkites value honor and worthy foes. More oft than not, this puts them at odds with the Intercontinentals, and even the other fleets that they share airspace with. Weary of Lightning Runner deals and the increasingly unresponsive Sky Hunters, the accorders police the airways of Moliora as is written in their accord, holding “The Accord of Winds” as ultimate law.

-Garbhcarraig

One of the few land based cities on the plane, Garbhcarraig rests atop the tallest plataeu in all of Perstanica, and has the luxury of being even above the highest flood plain that the seas of Moliora can boast. Carved into the actual rock face by Viashino pioneers, it is considered both fortress and temple to its people, a blazing symbol of the justice and free will that the Accorders swear their lives by.

Other Major Cities

In addition to the faction run nation capitals, thousands of small costal port-towns, floating cities, and refueling stations decorate the skies and seas of Moilora. Of these, three in particular stand out.

Snamflais - A giant floating barge of a city resting on the cusp between Jugi Prime and Marduus, a frequent hub of scrap trading for the Driftwood Enclave, and a launching point for many of the goods found in Jugi Prime

Speirline- The most central trading platform on the plane, Speriline is the largest and most poupulous “free city”, and usually rests in the northern hemisphere between Telumara and Marduus.

Gearrnoc- A distant trading hub on the southern hemisphere, Gearrnoc serves as a major port town between Pernstanica and Marduus. While it is a small hub, Gearrnoc’s central location means that it’s goods and traders are some of the most diversified on the plane, sporting the best selection of wares and gear from all of the other guilds.

MTG Overview

Alright guys, so the time is nigh, and the other resource should be coming up soon (if it’s not already… I’ve been writing these in spurts so I don’t know at this point what my production schedule looks like), but there’s still some things that we need to cover just in general. The main thing is that this setting was originally designed for a fan made set of Magic: The Gathering that me and a friend had cooked up when we were both working third shift. There are parts of the story that I want to keep in, and maybe some mechanics that I’d like to see if you guys would like to try, but it warrants some explaining.

As a special note, your character won’t know… any of this. Like at all. These are just things that you as a player will probably want to know about the greater scheme of things.

Planes

By and far, when you read my document, this explanation is goddamn near mandatory. The shortest way to explain the idea of “Planes” is that the MTG universe is actually called the multiverse, which houses multiple planes of existence that have evolved or come about in different ways. At the very least, these are different planets, but more than likely they are actually completely different dimensions, which might be the same planet… I dunno, its weird. Basically though, each plane in magic is unique in some way and has it’s own races, guilds, factions, geography, gimmicks, etc, etc. I know I’ve linked this information to you before, but there have been various “Plane Shift” releases for DND that link these worlds (a bit) into the DND system, so I’ll use them as examples.

Zendikar - Zendikar is a wild and untamed plane that focuses on constantly shifting geography and exploration themes. It’s very similar to Moloira in a lot of ways, and is the starting point for the Eldrazi storyline, where cthulu monsters try to ■■■■ it into submission.

Kaladesh - Kaladesh is a very artifact based plane rooted in invention and Indian culture. A lot of the vehicle themes and more advanced steampunk stuff from that comes into our campaign.

Innistrad - Innistrad is a plane designed around the ideals of gothic horror, and has plenty of vampires, werewolves, etc to go around and many men in three-cornered hats to fight them. It doesn’t have anything to do with our campaign, but is a good example.

I bring this up because even though each of these three has key differences that makes them unique, they still fall into the MTG universe and follow key laws. Magic is in everything, and everything is defined by the color of its magic (more on that later) is one of those key laws. Another key law is that moving from one plane to another is extremely difficult, and most of the time outright impossible. There has only been one ship constructed to my knowledge that could travel between planes, and it got blowed up sometime in 1996 (the weatherlight, if you’re curious.)

Still… some people can pull it off.

Planeswalkers

Planeswalkers, as the name suggests, are very powerful being that can travel between all the planes of the MTG multiverse. They now have their own card type, and usually magic storylines revolve around these beings and their adventures as they go around helping or screwing things up. Usually planeswalkers are indistinguishable from normal beings on their own plane, until their spark ignites, usually under extremely stressful circumstances. At that point, their first jump is usually very accidental, and they have to train to become good enough to get to their desired destination. They are also inherently very powerful, almost avatars of the colors that they represent.

Long story short, if you feel like going that route, I’m allowing you to make your character a planeswalker to start.

If you’re not familiar with any MTG lore, I honestly would not recommend it. It’s not going to offer a lot in the way of different abilities or advantages, and if you don’t know the lore then those are largely going to be wasted anyway.

If you do choose to go this route, there are some restrictions and benefits to consider -

1 - Your character will still be level one and will not gain any new abilities.
2 - For the duration of the campaign, your character will not be able to leave the plane of moloira for any reason, likely due to “fate” holding them to the plane or some other nonsense the DM comes up with.
3 - Since you will still be level one and all that, I expect that you will be a “young” planeswalker, or one who’s spark has only recently ignited. I will say that you will be limited to having visited 1-3 planes before arriving on Moloira, and one of those will be your home plane.
4 - The biggest advantage your character will have is knowledge of the aforementioned planes. You will likely gain advantage on ability or knowledge checks on anything that exists in the gamespace that you may have encountered before - familiar magic, lore about other planeswalkers, or relics/artifacts from the planes you have visted.
5 - The biggest disadvantage is… well the flip of that. This will be your first time on Moloira, so you will likely get disadvantage on checks to things that are specific or native to the plane. Basically, the native people in the party will know their own plane better than you do. Duh.

Again, no pressure here, and honestly if you don’t know a lot about magic lore, then I would absolutely recommend making a character that is native to the plane. If you do however, you may want to consider it as it may be helpful to the group when you encounter “odd” things as the story progresses.

Optional Color Based Abilities

Now the next thing I’d like to talk about has to deal with a fun mechanic that the co-creator of this plane is doing with a Zendikar session that I’m playing in real life - specific abilities that are given to a character based on color identity.

I mention above that magic envelopes almost everything on a magic plane, and mention that its color frequently defines what type of attributes those things have. To that end, my friend has decided that every few levels, he will be giving us once a day abilities unique to our character based on magic cards. The cards he choses have to do with the PC’s color identity, or what colors of magic influence that character.

An example is that my character in this is a goblin scientist (wizard), so he gave him the ability of Inferno Trap, which lets that character deal a moderate amount of fire damage to something that hits him.

I’d like to do something similar here, but I understand if you guys aren’t interested in reading more. If you are interested, then when you submit your character sheets I’m going to ask that you also tell me your character’s color identity. This is going to be kind of like alignment, but will only affect what types of “extra stuff” I’ll be giving your character.

Now you may be wondering - how do I determine my characters color identity? To explain that, I’m gonna have to talk about the color wheel for a minute.

That’s the color wheel, along with some colorful words to describe each color. As you can see, MTG breaks down into 5 primary colors that have different relationships to each other and different defining aspects. If you choose to go down this route, then you’ll probably end up with a 1-2 color combination that pretty well matches your characters abilities and attitude. To help out, here’s a blurb on the different colors and some of the aspects they cover.

White
Key Aspect: Balance
Commonly associated with law, justice, honor, defense, and collectivism.
Magically associated with healing and protective magic, and boosts to strength, stamina, and fighting ability.

Commonly mistaken as the “good” color, white does embody a lot of principles that are characteristically seen as good… but is not objectivley good in and of itself. White can be a real dick a lot of the time. As they says on game of thrones “Nothing is as horrifying as a truly just man”. White’s biggest overtones are those of fairness however, and each person being on the same playing field, especially if that playing field has to do with strength, which white is probably only second to green with. White wants peace, and strives to it through law.

Green
Key Aspect: Strength
Commonly associated with nature, the wild, elves, growth, and an abhorrence of technology.
Magically associated with resource gains, creature buffs, and summoning large creatures to do one’s bidding.

In a lot of ways, green is hard to define because so much of its lore is tied into nature, elves, growth and… not much else. Really though, green encompasses all these things, and respects nature to an unnerving degree. While this may seem like hippy nonsense, it also encompasses how wild and untamed nature can be, and places emphasis on survival of the fittest. This is part of why green respects strength so much, particularly the strength of the natural world. It seeks natural harmony, and typically rejects technological modifications to that natural order.

Red
Key Aspect: Passion
Commonly associated with individuality, recklessness, anarchy, and Chaos.
Magically associated with elemental damage (fire and lightning), quick, fragile creatures, goblins, and chaotic magic.

The biggest notion of red is that as a color… it doesn’t do a log of “thinking.” Red is emotion, and thusly red creatures act emotionally. There’s a very real tint of rage and anger to a lot of red cards, as it’s primarily offensive in nature. What few defensive abilities it does have are largely made up of chaos, removing one threat but providing another. Red is bold and fearless, but almost entirely without cunning.

Black
Key Aspect: Ambition
Commonly associated with individuality, selfishness, cunning, and a willingness to do anything to achieve one’s goals.
Magically associated with dark magics, blood magic, hexes, necromancy, and death.

In the same way that white commonly gets tapped as the “good” color, black gets saddled with a lot of the negative stereotypes. However, again, as we were reminded in white, this is not the definition of the color - Dark does not mean bad. Black’s real characteristic is that it will do anything to achieve its end goals. If it has to kill you to do it, so be it. If it has to kill it’s own creatures to do it, why not? If it has to give a portion of its own life to do so, it won’t blink at the chance, as long as it gives it some type of an edge. Black has a portion of red’s passion, but is smarter about the chances it takes, more cunning, and willing to be patient to watch a plan come to fruition.

Blue
Key Aspect: Intellegence
Commonly associated with thought, the power of the mind, logic, and order.
Magically associated with mind magic, ice and paralysis, lethargy and illusions.

Blue is the smarty pants of all of magic. It reveres logic and the power of the mind above all, and commonly seeks to impose that logic on others. Where red is quick, unthinking emotion, blue is emotionless thinking. It’s dispassionate, but seeks perfection by improving itself, or weighing others down through calculated strokes. While not evil, blue can be removed from the emotional weight of decisions, leading to an indifference that can affect others. Still, blue mages tend to good about as much as they do bad.

So those are the individual colors. To give an idea of how they are applied, let’s talk a bit about the factions that are in the game.

Intercontinentals - Black/White - Black and white are usually at odds, but that’s kind of the theme of a lot of this setting - disjointed colors brought together. In this case, we have black’s ambition paired with white’s sense of order. What we wind up with is a military-bank state that makes the rules, and largely sets them up to profit for themselves.

Hellkite Accorders - Red/White - Almost the antithesis to the above, the Accorders believe in white’s sense of honor and fair play, and has red’s willingness to rise up against authority. They’re a bit like religious zealots in this way, sporting a righteous indignation or fury against the established areas.

Driftwreck Enclave - Black/Green - Big motifs for green and black are death and birth, which mix well together as a cycle of life, death, undeath, then growth again. To that end, the Driftwreck seem a bit random and out there, but still dedicated to green’s nature lust. Is there a darker motive to what they have controlled by black’s ambition? Eh? EH? (that’s called foreshadowing)

Sky-Hunter Clan - Blue/Green - One of the harder combos to pull off, blue is always looking at progress while green abhors it like the plague. However, when they get together, the two colors see a lot of overlap - both look for perfection and admire the logic and adaptability of evolution. To that end, the sky-hunters focus on selectively breeding the creatures that best fit their needs, showing off blue’s logic and green’s want for strength.

Lightning Runners - Red/Blue - Combinging red’s passion and Blue’s sense of knowledge and adaptability, the Lightning runners end up being one of the most profitable ventures on the plane. Red is full of brash, bold individuals who buck authority, and blue is full of folk more than willing to push themselves to new technological heights. As such, the runners embody both traits with fast, offensive minded ships.

Now, I want to be clear that you aren’t limited to one color or any of the colors of the major factions -I’m just outlining how these factions represent how two colors can mesh. I personally would recommend that your character be limited to 1-2 colors, but will listen to arguments for three if you can back it up in your backstory. These will help define your character according to MTG, and may help you determine the type of attitude that your character will have.

General Rules

Initiative - I’m open to this, but so far the group is small enough that I’d actually like to run liquid initiative. It’s a little different than rules as written. Basically at the start of the encounter, everyone would roll initiative. Whoever wins takes the first turn, and then passes it to another character of their choice. When everyone has went, the last person/character chooses who leads off the next round, and things continue. This has it’s pro’s and cons. It’s biggest pro is that it is absolutely the fastest way to determine who goes when. The cons are that it requires some player thought to get used to, and can really overwhelm “big” bosses because of how players can kind of game the system to spread out boss turns. In those instances, we may go to a more standard init system, but otherwise, I really like the system.

Crit Miss/Crit Hit Tables - The PHB has a system for how criticals are handled. They’re quite boring. To that end, a lot of the groups that I’m a part of use critical hit and miss tables below. Under these systems you have two options when you crit with an attack. 1) Roll to confirm as normal and deal double damage. 2) Do not roll to confirm and roll percentage dice on the crit table. There’s a lot of fun stuff there and I think it adds a lot to critical hits, and the misses stuff is all full of savory penalties for me to deal out. Both are linked below if you want to go that route. Otherwise, this will be normal.

Crit Hit Table (not created/owned by me)

Crit miss Table (not owned/run by me)

Custom Backgrounds

I’m a big fan of custom backgrounds, because they really help you line out what you think your character should be good at at level one. That being said, obviously they can’t be too crazy or you end up with another whole class. While I’ll hear arguments to most things, some good rules of thumb to follow.

1-2 ability proficiencies.
1 language, if your background justifies extensive learning.
1 tool proficiency, if your background justifies extensive training.
Background Features should be rp or downtime based, and not provide a distinct combat advantage. You’re allowed to write your own, but I’ll be pretty strict about making sure it’s not out of the way insane. If you’re not familiar on how to balance it, you may want to stick to the ones in the PHB. Still, if you’re determined, let me know and I’ll see if I can assist in pm.

Again, these are just guidelines. I may allow subtracting from one area to allow for another, and other modifications. Please remember that if you are using a custom background that it should reflect the backstory you write for your character.

Spell Rulings

Identify doesn’t have materials that have a cost. Cause I hate it.

Bonus Proficiencies/Abilities

Bonus Proficiencies

Moliora is a big, open plane with a lot of travel involved, so to cut out some of the jabber, I’ve decided to give most classes an additional proficiency to help them get around. Keep in mind, you’re not getting a boat or riding griffin or anything like that. In addition to your normal proficiencies provided by your class and background, you may choose to be proficient in one of the following.

Animal Handling
Vehicles (Air)
Vehicles (Water)
Tools (Grapple and Glider)

Abilities

Most of the information about how the special, one a day abilities is included in the “General Magic” lore section. I tested it out in discord the other day, and people seemed positive to it. We can put it to a vote if not. Again, these would be selected by me after your character creation. So, what you get is what you’ll get.

Could have sworn I mentioned it elsewhere, but that’s all I’ve got for now.

At this point I’m kind of waiting for character sheets - as a note, this will be a point buy system rather than rolling, since it’s easier to keep track of online. Use the calculator below and set the points to 30 and set up your stuff as you see fit.

As a notice, I’m putting a hard limit on unbuffed (before racials) ability scores at 17.

http://rpg.ekkaia.org/dnd/abilities.php

DND 5E Form Fillable PDF Character Sheet added to the top.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8IrIf5f6-3zSk9SenJTVUx1VjQ

Character Sheet Example: Brycen Halfcrown

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8IrIf5f6-3zeGpxQ1NmR2pjQlU

Elemental Evil, with Notes on Aven Characters

This one is more of a note for any aspiring DM’s but Kobold Fight Club is probably the easiest way to create and customize encounters without shuffling through a billion different documents with monster stats. You can’t see the stats until you look them up, but it’s great for eyeballing encounters and designing them around the monster type you’re hoping for.

I wrote too many words today for me to worry about formatting. Wrote a 4 part treatise on character creation and basic concepts in leveling.

Phase 1: Conceptualization
Mismagius Nova-Today at 12:27 PM
there are a few things we probably stil need to go over, but I’ll let you do the talking now
Black Mage (Arsonist)-Today at 12:28 PM
There are a lot of ways to come up with general ideas for a character, but before we even crack a book it can be really helpful to decide what our end goal in character creation is. There’s no wrong way to do this - you could adapt your character from another RP, or make it an avatar of a favorite character from a book, you could have a story idea and want to implement your character into a semi random story to see if you can think like the character better, you may even read someone elses work and get an idea and go from there. Nothing’s off base as long as your character fits into the world you and your DM have agreed on and you can work with said DM for a backstory.
Because of the whole range of ways to go about this, I’m really going to only briefly talk about two of my favorite character building strategies which are directly aimed against one another - Top Down and Bottom Up.
Both of these phrases come from MTG (and dare I say, game design in general), but they are opposed to each other in that they are well… opposities.
Top Down starts with a concept of an RP or Flavor nature, or the “Top” level, the level that your character will be interacting with the world with, and then everything else you do is trying to make that concept more complete.
My best example of Top Down was probably my goblin character in another campaign, Skizzdret. He uses all the actual abilities and skills as the Wizard class with the Artificier school, but literally everything he does is based on a combination of science and magic - he shoots his fireballs with a cannon, he has a dart gun that he uses for his buff spells and tranquilizers, and so on and so forth.
As you would expect, Bottom Up is the opposite. Rather than tailor your mechanics to your character, you’ll be tailoring your character to your mechanics. Example: I want to make an adaptive fighter who specializes in sword and board but has a great axe that he uses when protection goes out the window. I would take that simple statement, roll my character, and then write the backstory to fit what you’ve ended up with.
There are pro’s and cons to both - Top Down gives you a better idea of how you want your character to play and how they’ll react to the world. You may even be able to fill in small pieces of backstory before you crack your first book, or fill in things like ideals, traits, etc. On the downside, if you’re dedicating a lot to RP, you may not be “optimized” for combat - that’s not as horrible in 5e as it has been in other editions, but it can help to know that someone else is picking up the slack on those weaknesses in your team.
Bottom Up provides better optimization most of the time, as you’re not tied into character traits. It also lets you put story on the backburner if you don’t know what you like, and as you go through the process the book offers a number of tables and things you can roll on (that are completely optional) that might inspire you as to the idea of your character before you move on. On the downside, it’s easy to get tunnel vision with this approach, and only worry about making numbers go higher, which… isn’t even half the game or the point of the game.
Fortunately, for the example that I’ll be working on today, a lot of that has been done for me already - the character I’m rolling will be the long-time business “friend” but secret rival to one of my PC’s, who is playing as a Draconic Sorcerer Iron Man.
My Artificier will be Obediah Stane.
Normally I would worry about changing the name but… this is pretty steampunky, and the name already sounds a little mideval so I’ll let it stick.
I already know his alignment will be lawful evil, from the backstory he has with my player’s character.
For traits, I know he’s power hungry, manipulative, and business savvy. For completions sake I’ll reqord them into “I” sentences as the book suggests, but any type of sentence can work.
“I value money and power over life, but will work within the means of the law to achieve both.”
"I believe that people are tools to be used to my own ends."
His primary bond in this is with the stark family, both with the deceased Howard Stark, and his son Anthony.
"I believe that I was just as good as an inventor as Howard, and that Anthony is an arrogant little pissant that’s standing in my way."
We borrow a little from his traits for his central ideal - "Money, power, and intellegence are what make up a man."
Flaws are a little obvious already, but we can knock them out since we’re already here.
“I believe that I am the greatest mechanical mind in the plane and seek the destruction of those who would rival me wholeheartedly.”
"I have problems controlling my temper when angered."
So, because we’re obviously going bottom down from this perspective, as we discussed earilier, we already have some great notes on the character and how he would react, which lets us fill in some of our RP stuff.
I’ll pause here while I copy and paste before moving on to the next section.
While I’m doing that, any questions so far?
Alroot, then we shall continue!
Again, minimal chatter through this part, but we’ll check in for questions afterwards.

1 Like

Phase 2: Primary Defining Characteristics - Class, Race, Background
So no matter how we finished phase 1, we’re now ready to start cracking books and deciding how the character is to be played. If you’re using a top-down approach, this may take some reading to figure out how to get as close as you can to your character concept. If you’re using bottom up, you probably already know the answers to at least some of these.
We start with the main defining characteristic - your character class. This defines… most of what your character will be doing in the campaign, and a lot of the choices there are obvious, some not so much. For the sake of going through briefly on the classes in the PHB-

  • Fighters are the general "warriors’ of DND, and excel at any type of non magical stuff to frankly an absurd degree. They have options for half magic casting as well, which makes them one of the moser versitile groups as they have access to all weapons and armor, which means you could go make a tank, a high damage warrior, an archer, or a war mage.
  • Rogues are sneaky groups made up of thieves and assasins and are usually limited to one handed combat or ranged combat, but can be tweaked several ways to make up for it. They’re also a very skillful class, meaning they can help the party out in a lot of non-combat jams.
  • Barbarians are big ole beefy warriors who can wear some armor, but prefer not to. They have the biggest HP in the game and can be very tanky or deal a lot of damage depending on how you want to go. Their primary feature is rage which mitigates a lot of damage they can take in battle, but they can only do it a few times per day.
  • Monks represent martial artists, ninjas, and elemental artists. Their primary bit is unarmed strikes, landing a lot of quick blows for moderate damage, and come with a wide assortment of perks and tools to avoid taking damage. You can tank with a monk, but it’s probably not their primary idea.
  • Wizards are masters of the arcane that cast spells. Their advantage in this arena is that they can absolutely know more spells than any other spellcasting class, but usually are restricted out of healing spells. Their disadvantage is that they have to prepare spells every day. They also have high int which helps on a lot of lore and role play options.
  • Sorcerers have a more limited spell selection than wizards, but have access to metamagic to make their spells act differently, sometimes adding more targets, quickening them, or adding damage. They don’t have a spellbook, they simply learn a set number of spells per level and… thats where they’re at.
  • Bards are the quintissential jack of all trades, masters of none. They can provide healing, ranged damage, melee damage, ranged spell damage, and a ginormous stack of buffs, and rely on bardic magic to briefly inspire and help their teammates out.
  • Clerics are usually agents of the divine that have a wide range of options, usually relegated to melee tanking and healing roles, although depending on the build they can also be great damage dealers or spellcasters. They rely on the faith of their god or order to get their spells.
    Black Mage (Arsonist)-Today at 1:00 PM
  • Paladins are like clerics and fighters had a baby. They have limited buff an dhealing magics, and can use spell slots to deal extra damage, but are primarily fighters- tanks and melee damage dealers.
  • Warlocks are an odd class, and the thing that I’m weakest in, but they have a very unique spellcasting system that only alots them a limited amount of spells per day, but they gain all of their slots back each short rest (more on that later). They can gain any of a long line of additional abilities from their otherworldly patron, called “invocations” that can make them better melee characters, spellcasters, or both.
    Now coming up with Stane’s class was difficult, because I wanted to showcase his inventiveness and a bit of magical prowess… but honestly I know he’s no where near as good as he thinks he is in either, so I wanted a limiter.
    To that end (and because I’ve never played it before), I decided to do a class from unearthed aracna - Artificier. The artificier focuses on machines and magic to deal damage and provide support to teammates.
    It’s important to note here that as you decide on a class, you may want to overlook the classes specialty features before you go any furthe, as they will give you an idea of what you want your character to be. Some specializations make characters wildly different.
    I’ve already talked to Nova about how going “Eldritch Knight” with her fighter will make some of her ability score choices more omplicated, but we worked it out fairly well and it fits her design quite nicely.
    A better contrast would be cleric - War Cleric for instance focuses a lot on melee abilities and buffing those skills. A Light Cleric however would have their melee skills put way back on the back burner as they’d likely want to take more advantage of spellcasting and such.
    I mention it here because for Stane, I’ve already made the choice for his Artificer Specialty: He will be an Arcane Gunslinger.
    This fits his theme within the “Iron Man” lore better than the alchemy option was, and also shows off his technical and magical prowess quite nicely.
    So having made that important desicion, we move on to the one that will likely affect your character at level one more - Race.
    All the Races in game have various stat bonuses and special abilities that will help you on levels 1-20. Picking the right race for your character is a bit of a balancing act, because you’ll likely be balancing the story that you have in your head from phase 1 against your actual stats. You’re free to make a Tiefling Cleric, for instance, but the charisma is not likely to help you out, and you may feel out of place with some of the domains in the character tree, depending on how you want to go.
    For stane, his biggest question was actually between Human (Variant), Half-Elf, and Gnome.
    Gnome would have likely been the best bet from the heavy int bonuses if I was looking to min max, but I kind of want him to be big and intimidating like Stane was in the movie, so they got written out.
    Half-Elf or Elf fits because most of the stark stuff in our campaign has to do with elves, since Stark himself is a half-elf.
    However, I decided to go with the Human Variant for two reasons. 1) It gives stane a better inferiority complex against Tony’s Elven heritage, as he would have always felt looked down on by them snooty knife ears.
  1. It lets me try out a feat! We’ll talk about these later on in customization, but feats can be a great way to add special abilities to your character at a cost.
    Regardless, after you have chosen your race, make sure to make note of your proficiencies just to avoid flipping back and forth like I am through books right now.
    I get to be proficient in a skill of my choice, and my langauges so far are Common and another of my choice - these are important to note for the next phase.
    The last section of this phase is background.
    I’ll mention here that backgrounds start on page 127 on the PHB, because if you’re still deciding on traits or backstories for your character, they can be very helpful.
    Your background basically brings us to now with your character. We know what they do and who they are, how did they get there?(edited)
    They’re best described as a brief translation of your character’s backstory which add to the skills and proficiencies we’ll be dealing with next.
    You’ll notice each of the general backgrounds in the list has a small table where you can randomly pick traits, ideals, flaws, etc, which I promise actually are great in inspiring some unique things about the character, but right now we’re focused on where our maths are going to be next section.
    As I’d stated before, I do also support custom backgrounds with the guidelines I’ve mentioned, but as you can see from the listings, they usually consist of…
  • 1-2 Skill proficiencies(edited)
  • 1-2 Tool Proficincies
    *0-1 languages
  • Additional starting equipment
  • And a Background Feature
    Usually background features are handy things your character can use for RP purposes, helping them to solve problems with specific past experiences and lack any combat bonuses.
    So if you are designing your own background, keep that in mind.
    To make things simple with stane, I’m going to be choosing Guild Artisan on page 132.
    This helps cement his knowledge of the mechancis portion of his backstory, and gives him a few things.
    From that list we see he gains an additional language, a tool proficiency of his choice, and proficiencies in insight and persuison.
    So from these options, we’re going to go ahead and place markers in the skills we’re proficient in by clicking (or marking) a dot under the things we know we’re proficient in.
    From guild artisan, I do it to Insight and Perception - I can’t mod those since I’m using a premade background, but really I don’t want to because they fit the character somewhat well.
    I’ll also say that stane’s tool proficiency is with “Tinker’s Tools”, mostly because they’re fairly general tools that I as a DM think have a wide range of applications.
    I write that into "additional proficiencies"
    My background has already helped me define some of my languages-
    Common, One Freebie from Variant Human, and One Freebie from Guild Artisan
    I choose Elven for my first, again because of how my backstory is designed.
    The third is a bit problematic, since there are a few ways for it to go.
    My background really supports either gnomish or dwarvish, since both of them are known to make gadgets and magical items.
    I go with Dwarvish, knowing more about my campaign than you do at this point.
    With that done, I go to my character page in my unearthed arcana, because (surprise!) our class also gives us a selection of skills (from a limited list, different for each class).
    As an artificier I’m proficient in light and medium armor (again goes in the box in the bottom left)
    I also have proficiency in simple weapons (again, bottom left).
    For tools I get Theive’s Tools, and two more artisan options of my choice.
    I will go with Smithing Tools and an Alchemy Set, again fitting my backstory and background.
    Finally I must choose 3 from Arcana, Deception, History, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Religion, and Slight of Hand
    From this limite pool, I know I want Arcana, because my class tells me my primary stat will be int and Arcana defines “basic” knowledge about magic items and such.
    My character is a ■■■■■, so Deception seems like one of the few social skills he would have picked up.
    Finally, I choose to go with Investigation as my last option from this table, as the rest seem too specialized for ole Stane.
    My last choice is my freebie skill from being human - and as a note here, I’ll say I’m doing something off.
    For most player characters, I always advise taking “perception” for this if you get the oppurtunity, because it’s very useful around the table most of the time.
    You don’t have to, particularly if you have great RP reasons for not doing so.
    But if you have a free skill and don’t know what to get, go that route.
    For Stane - again, he’s a ■■■■■, so I’m going to pick up intimidation.
    The last thing I have to check here are my saving throw proficiencies, again found at the start of your character description.
    I get Intellegence and Constitution, so I put points there.
    So at this point we’re looking at a lot of blanks still, but at the same time, we’ve defined some basic traits of our character, chosen what they’re good at, and mayve have made some solid headway as to backstory.
    This is the end of phase 2, before we begin the maths.
    Again, I’ll pause to go smoke and take questions.

Phase 3: The Mathening
I’m starting this phase out with a handful of things specific to my build/character that I left out in the last one.
The first of which is… check your level one specializations to make sure you don’t get any bonus proficiencies.
In this case, my Arcane Gunsmith already has proficiency in smiths tools, so we’ll replace that with god knows what because I’ve never been able to pick more than two tool proficiencies on any character ever. We’ll call it “Brewer’s Tools” and say that ole Stane enjoys a nice hefty beverage after a long day of scheming and douchebaggery.
I also learn the Mending cantrip, which goes in our spell list - but we haven’t quite gotten to spellcasting choices yet, so we’ll leave it as is for now.
The most important bonus proficiency that I get however is that of “Thunder Cannon”, which is the primary feature of my Gunsmith specialization.
I’ll add it to my weapon’s list, and note that this is precisely why I mentioned checking into your specializaitons before you made big decisions.
A huge feature of my class is that in addition to spellcasting and a few nifty tricks, I get to build and upgrade a big gun that I will be firing. This will change my ability score notes quite a bit, since I’ll be focusing on Int for many of my ability checks and abilities, and Dex will be a huge play for me as my thunder cannon is a ranged weapon, and will use that modifier.
So knowing that, we begin really fleshing out the character to see where we’re at. To that end, it’s time to actually roll your ability scores.
It’s a good thing to note here that there are many, many systems in “rolling” a character’s abilities in game, each with their own pros and cons. In the book, it recommends the standard way of "Roll 4d6. Subtract the smallest roll from the pool. Make a note of it. Do this five more times and assign your abilities."
I personally have grown to find that system a) Random as fuck and b) The most likely cause of tension between players and DM’s at starter levels, particularly when someone had great rolls that you werent there to watch.
To avoid all that, I’ve been recommending to all of you to use the point buy calculator I posted - http://rpg.ekkaia.org/dnd/abilities.php
This gives you a better amount of control, but unless you’re willing to take negatives to some scores, will limit your high rolls.(edited)
My characters rolled out their sheets, but I also gave them multiple buffs (like a fool) to start, so I’ll be planning my character using these same tools.
There are many strategies to using a point buy system and to get the most bang for your buck. The biggest notes I like to focus on are this-

  • As you put more points into a skill, the skill becomes more expensive, point wise. The “point expense” of each skill is defined by the ability modifier that you would get from it. For instance, bringing a skill up from 8 to 14 only costs one point per level. (Ie to go from 8 to 9 is one, 9 to 10 is one, etc). However the point from 14 to 15 costs 2, because it causes the ability modifier to go up by 2. This continues until 17, when the gap jumps again from 2 to 3. Which means to bring something all the way to 17 using that calculator costs 13 points - nearly half of all your available points, which gives little option to other groups. Don’t be afraid to go high, but be weary that you aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket which may limit your ability to interact with NPCS or even other players.
  • The modifiers for each level fo up on every even number. 10 is “average” and gives a bonus of 0, as does 11. 12 gives a +1. 13 gives a +1, 14 gives a +2. The same is true of going smaller than 10, as you start to receive a penalty after that in the same vein. The reason this is important to note is that most races give a certain amount of ability modifiers, usually +1 or +2. You can game the system a bit (and save points) by leaving odd numbers in places that you have +1, and evens in places that you have +2, as both would knock your ability score up by a full modifier. (Example, I’m a human and have +1 to everything. I leave my cha stat at 15 because I like it, and my +1 turns that into a 16, giving me a +3 modifier instead of a +2. Likewise, if I have a race with +2 in dex, I can leave my dex at 16, which my racial will pump up to 18, turning my +3 modifier into a +4).
    Black Mage (Arsonist)-Today at 2:00 PM
    *Without a magic item or ability that specicifically states it, the maximum ability score for all classes is 20. Buffs that make it go higher than that are very rare, so expect that your primary stat will only ever give you +5.
    So with all that in mind, we start to decide where we want to point Stane’s ability points.
    As I discussed earlier, his primary spellcasting stat and a stat for many of his abilities will be Int, and his primary weapon will be a ranged thunder cannon, so we already know we really want to value those two stats. Your actual selection here will depend on your class selection, obviously.
    So knowing what I know, I’m going to go ahead and bump both of those up to 15, knowing that my floatin g+1 to two abilities from being a human (variant) will even them out to 16.
    I’ve already spent 16, or a little over half my pool.
    Now I know that stane isn’t known for his robustness, but he is going to be an end boss, so we want to make sure his health pool is still good to go, so we also put con up to 14 as well.
    And because I’m a weirdo who hates seeing negative numbers in any slot, I also bring all my other skills up to 10.
    This still leaves me with 2 points leftover.
    Now I could put them into any of my 10s to turn those into a +1, but knowing what we know of the character… do we want to?
    He’s a caster and a ranged shooter, so he souldn’t really need a lot of str. It will have uses, but not a bunch.
    Wis and Cha help a lot of rolls, but we’ve already got most of our primary stats covered.
    Our fearless leader tinke’s with his numbers for a minute, and discovers he has one floating point that he really doesn’t like.
    And lacking a better option, he opts to stick with the 15/14/14 Dex/Con/Int split, and add 2 points into Charisma, to reflect Stane’s intimidation and deception.
    There are other builds that would work better or worse, but for the sake of moving on, that’s how we leave it.
    Str 10 (because we don’t need to hit things with a big axe), Dex 16 (15, plus one of our racial +1’s to let us shoot well), Con 14 (To make them at least put up a fight for it), Int 16 ( 15, plus the other +1 from human to fuel our spells and abilities), Wis 10 (because its not a major focus) and Cha 12 (To reflect some of our RP Aspects)
    We then plug that into our character sheet and add our modifiers as shown by the table both on our ability calculator and in our PHB.
    Str +0, Dex +3, Con +2, Int +3, Wis +0, Charisma +1(edited)
    So using those numbers, we can start modifying the skills we were proficient in, remembering about our proficiency bonus.
    On our character table, we see that we have a proficiency of +2, that slowly goes up as we gain levels. This reflects our character growin gand getting better in the things that they’ve studied.
    We enter in our +2 in proficiency, and then we go down the saving throw and skills list, and for each ability, we add the relevant modifier plus our proficiency bonus only if we are proficient in that skill.
    Examples from the saving thows table.
    Im not proficient in STR saves, so that gets a fat zero. I’m not proficent in dex, but I still have a good modifier, so that gets a +3. I am proficient in con, and have a decent mod to it, so we get 2+2, so +4. I’m prof in int saves and I have a great mod in it, so that ends up being 2+3, for +5.
    I do the same for my other saving throws.
    Then I go onto skills. As we see, the list includes the skill and the note of what modifier affects it.
    Example: Acrobatics (Dex). This gives us an idea of what it’s used for, and what modifier it uses.
    We do the same for all of these until everything here is filled out.
    Initiative, unless notated otherwise, is a Dex mod, so we can go ahead and place +3 in that box.
    And our speed is listed under our human race statistics, which is 30 ft.
    We’ll enter that in as well.
    Our hit point maximum is defined by our character on the table at the start of the character description. In this case, we have D8 hit dice, which means our starting hp is 8 + our Constitution mod. That would give us 10 there.
    That covers all of our most basic math. We still have on last math hill to climb though, but that requires a working knowledge of our starting equipment.
    Rather than go through the different options there, I’ll summarize by saying that you usually start with only the starting equipment provided by your class as well as the starting equipment provided by your background.
    Some campaigns give you a certain amount of money to spend on starting items rather than using the pre-defined sets- this isn’t one of those, and neither is our campaign.
    A lot of the choices you will make on both these tables have to do with RP and personal preference, but the short and easy thing to remember is that if it has a bullet point and presents (a) and (b) to you, you choose one for each bullet point.
    If you have questions about any of those choices, please, let me know and I’ll advise best I can, but be forewarned, I usually recommend the starter pack with the most amount of rope because of a boondock saints fetish I have. Don’t judge me.
    The things we really need to catch to round out our important maths though are weapons and armor granted by these options.
    For the sake of quickness I wil be choosing the weapons option of a Handaxe and a Light Hammer, a Light Crossbow with 20 bolts, and of course, my Thunder Cannon granted at level 1 by my class selection.(edited)
    My armor choices are Studded Leather or Scale Mail.
    I can choose either option, the benefit here being that studded leather gives less protection, but I get to add more of my dex mod. The scale male adds better protection, some of my dex mod, but I have disadvantage on stealth checks.
    Stane isn’t pre-occupied with stealth and his dex mod is good, but not great, so his best option is the scale male.
    Since we’re talking about why that option is best, that’s the first math we shall do - determining his Armor Class.
    Armor Class is a measure of how difficult you are to strike in combat, and the table for armor selections is on page 145 of the phb.
    For Stane’s scale male, his ac will be 14 + his Dex Mod (Max 2).
    So even though Stane has a dex mod of +3, he can only have +2 aded to that mod, for an ac of 16 (not bad at all for a raned character).
    Our next and last major math has to deal with calculating Stane’s weapon attacks.
    We’ll start with the thunder cannon, knowing it will be our primary weapon.
    The thunder canon is a ranged weapon, so we will use our dex mod to it’s attack and damage rols, per the combat section of the PHB.
    We are also proficient in it, so we’ll also add +2 to our attack value.
    This gives us a +5 for attack.
    Its weapon damage is 2d6 + our dex mod, so our total damage will be 2d6+3 Piercing
    Its important to note here that our thunder cannon has many base properties that we may want to try to note.
    It’s a ranged weapon, with a range of 150 and a long range of 500 (translation here- if you attack a creature that you have a clear shot at 150, you make the attack as normal. Any longer than that up to 500 feet, you take the shot at disadvantage. You cannot make an attack past 500 feet.)
    It also must be reloaded as a bonus action.
    The rules for loading can be found on many crossbows and other ranged ewapons, and are in the same equipment section as the armor.
    Though we doubt they’ll see much use, we’ll also do the math for our hand axe and light hammer, which are on the same table on page 149
    When used as a melee, both use str which… is not our best attribute. We have nothing to add to the damage or attack rolls from our ability modifier.
    We are however, still proficient in both, so both will get +2 to attack, but no added bonus to their damage.
    We know we are proficient in our light crossbow as well, and we also know that the math on it, being a ranged weapon, will be the same as our thunder cannon - +5 to attack and +3 to damage.
    You may choose to fill out more or less of the weapons that your character has access to, depending on how likely you are to use them.
    For instance, I doubt that Stane would ever use his light hammer as a weapon, so I’d likely reserve that space for my light crossbow, in the event that my character ever loses access to his Thunder Cannon.
    Some may have other usage options as well, such as a weapon with the “Versatile” quality like Longswords and Warhammers - those have 1 damage ability that refers to them being used as one handed weapons, and another if they are used as 2 handed weapons, which is useful if your character sometimes switches between a sword and shield.
    The very last thing we cover in the math section will be our hit dice. We gain one hit dice per level of the type of hit dice of the class we gained the character in.
    Our artificier has d8 hit dice, this at level 1, he has 1d8 hit dice.
    If he gains another level in artificier, he will have 2d8 hit dice.
    If later on he decided to multiclass fighter, he would get the hit dice for fighter instead, so his hit dice total would be 2d8 (from his artificier levels) and 1d10 (From his fighter level).
    These concludes the majority of our maths.
    In our next section we will talk about class abilities, leveling, and spells, as well as a brief course on feats and how to use them.
    Again, any questions?

Phase 4: Feats, Class Features, Leveling, and Spellcasting
So it seems like we have a lot to cover in this, our last section, and we do, but for the most part things in this section will be simplier, so hopefully I don’t write more than 2-4 more pages.
(I’m already up to 13 pages in google docs if anyone is interested)
Regardless!
We’ll start with feats, since our character is Variant Human and gets a free one.
Feats are abilities outside of class and race restrictions that add additional skills and talents to our characters. As of this writing, there are only two ways to gain feats. 1) Start at level 1 and be Variant Human or 2) Use an “ability improvement score” class feature to gain a feat. We’ll talk about that more later, but for right now since we get a free one, we go to page 165 in the PHB and start viewing them.
A brief look at feats will show that they give a number of great customization options. They can improve ability scores, add additional tool skills or languages, provide unique combat abilities, or even give proficiency in saving throws or add armor proficiencies.
There are may we could discuss, but knowing our character is a ranged class, for now we will select the Sharpshooter feat, which gives him many options.

  • Attacking at long range with a weapon doesn’t impose disadvantage.
  • Your ranged weapon attacks ignore hafl cove and three-quarters cover (which would usually aid your targets well).
  • Before you make an attack with a ranged weapon that your are proficient with, you can take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack still hits, you add +10 to the damage roll.
    Now I may or may not end up using that feat, but it’s a good example of the types of bonuses you can get from feats that wont directly affect numbers on your sheet.
    It also bleeds into the next major bit we’re covering in filling out our sheet - character documentation and class abiities.
    Since I’m now a sharpshooter, I go to the main right hand secion labeled “Features and Traits” and add War Caster as a bullet point.
    I would probably add some shorthand for what my options were with the feat, in the case, me being me-
    *Long range = no disadvantage, Ignore all but full Cover, on attack, add -5 to the roll, +10 to damage.
    As you can see I wouldn’t add all of the text of this ability because its long, and the shorthand allows me to view the ability at a galnce.
    This is not a requirement, but I find it extremely helpful when piloting my characters.
    You may also want to add any racial features you get, like the Halfling Lucky or Darkvision/Low-Light Vision/here to make sure you dont miss the when things get heated.
    However the primary thing you’ll want to be adding here will very likely be your class features. Obviously, each class is unique and has multiple abilities and specializations that set it apart from each class, and you’ll want to have notes letting you know how to use them. You could have these handy in a notebook or notepad, or have the rulebook out, but some level of documentation is likely to help you here.
    At first level, my two major abiliteis are Magic Item Analysis and my Gunsmith Specialization
    Magic Item Analysis gives me the ability to cast Identify and Detect magic as rituals with no component cost.
    Since that’s pretty easy to remember, I will mark both of them on my spell sheet and simply leave *Magic Item Analysis blank.
    As I enter both of those on my spell sheet, I’ll also add the note (MSA) indicating that I can’t cast these spells as normal, they must be done as a ritual - right now I don’t have any spellcasting ability.
    We’ll talk more about ritual casting in a moment, but for now, we’ll move on to the gun specialization.
    Black Mage (Arsonist)-Today at 3:00 PM
    The first part of Gunsmith is Master Smith, which is already notate dby our Mending Cantrip and our proficiency in Smith’s Tools.
    Since that’s completely accounted for and doesn’t get any better… we really wont worry about writing it down.
    Likewise, most of our work on thunder cannon has already been noted in our weapons section, although because it is an unordinary weapon, we may want to add some of its unique stats here (two handed, ranged, 150/500, reload on bonus action. Can be rebuilt over 3 days of work expending 100gp of metal and materials).
    We haven’t made any notes for the next ability though, Arcane Magazine.
    Again we’ll condense the wording and say that it contains our tools and ammo for maintaining our thundergun - we produce 40 rounds of ammo after each long rest, and 10 after each short, and that we can make a new one if we lose it with 25 gp of materials.
    So with those key notes, we’ve finished everything we need to for the character at level 1.
    Since I want this character to be a badass for my players to fight though, I’m rolling at level 7.
    I wont waste time with all of this, but instead go over the steps of leveling up.
    Say ole Stane gains the neccesary XP to get to level 2. Well, things happen.
    First and foremost, his HP goes up.
    The amount it goes up is defined at the table at the start of the class description.
    Where we pulled the “hit dice and hit points for first level” stats, youll see "hit points at higher levels, and we see he has the option of 1d8 or 5, + his constitution modifier.
    The 5 represents the average roll of a D8.
    Its important to note what this means in this case - you have the option of rolling a 1d8 and adding your con mod to the result, which could net you as high as 10 extra HP this level.
    However you are entirely putting the fate of your HP bonus in the hands of well, fate at that point.
    Instead of rolling the D8, you can choose to take the average - 5 and add your con mod to that, to give you your new max hp.
    If we went that option it would be 7.
    You’re free to run your character as you wish but I cannot for the life of me think of a good excuse to make that roll.
    Remember that the average dice rolls already include a 1, so on a d8 the only ways you get higher hp than that is by rolling a 6, 7, or 8. A 1-5 is more likely, which would net your the same or a loss.
    I cannot recommend that you take the average enough.
    Using said average, his hit points, as stated would go up by 7, so we will add 7 to his hit point maximum which gives us a new HP of 17.
    He also gained a level in artificier, which would give him another hit dice.
    So now his total hit dice are 2d8.
    Finally, we go back to our main class table and pick up our new level 2 class abilities as defined in the chart.
    For Stane, he gains tool expertise which lets him double his expertise bonus in tools he’s proficient in. Nice. We make a note.
    Wondrous Invention… will give him a magical item that he’s able to craft as part of his class
    I wont go over the options here, but I’d probably just add the item (Cap of Water Breathing) into my item list and make a note on my sheet as to which I would get more.
    So that would be all the changes we would make for level 2.
    Level 3 is more compicated, because finally, we get to spellcasting.
    Any class that has spellcasting will have a table either as part of their class table defining certain attributes of how they learn or or prepare, or cast spells.
    Going to the 3rd level rank for Stane’s artificier class, we see that we will learn 3 spells and will have access to 2 slots.
    Spell slots are like ammo - they are consumable things that allow the casting of spells of that slot.
    For instance if I was a level 3 cleric, I would have 4 first level slots and 2 second level slots. That would allow me to cast 2nd level spells and 4 1st level spells.
    Additionally, some spells have options to be cast as a higher level spell slot, which will grant them a better effect.
    Those spells will have notes in their individual spell listings in the back of the book, covered in chapter 10 which really goes all out about defining magic.
    Speaking in the broad strokes, there are several ways that magic is handled in the book in regards to how you have access to spells.
    For example, Clerics prepare their spells out of the full spell list every day. They can prepare a number of spells equal to their cleric level + their wisdom modifier. For that day, their prepared spells are the only ones they can cast, no matter how many slots they have. They may use a spell multiple times or not at all, as long as they have slots to spend to cast those spells.
    Wizards, Druids, and Paladins all prepare their spells in the same way.
    With the exception that Wizards must scribe their “known spells” down in their spellbook, and can obtain access to other spells they find out in the wild.
    Most other spellcasting classes, including bard, ranger, sorcerer and warlock have a “known spells” list, rather that preparing their spells. That means at each level they gain a certain number of known spells (or none), and those are the only spells they can cast. The benefit is they dont have to pick and choose each morning what spells to prepare. The downside is that they usually have less to choose from than the other classes.
    An important thing to note is that when you learn or pepare a spell, you may only learn or prepare that spell if you have a spell slot which you could use to cast it.
    Simple terms, take that cleric again. Level 3, 4 first level slots, 2 second level slots, can prepare his cleric level plus his wisdom modifier’s worth of spells.
    For the sake of this example, we’ll say his wisdom modifier is 3, which gives him a total of 6 spells to prepare.
    He can prepare six spells of level one or two, in any combination. 3 first level, 3 second level, 5 first level 1 second level, 5 second level, 1 first level, whatever, as long as its first or second and adds up to 6.
    He cannot however prepare any third level spells, for whatever reason.
    Likewise if a wizard was able to scribe a 3rd level spell before they had 3rd level slots, they could not prepare that spell.
    When you learn a spell, if your highest spell slots are 2nd, then you can only learn 2nd level spells or lower.(edited)
    Those rules get slightly more complicated with dual classing, but we’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.
    For now, we’ll talk about the major exception for casting spells - Ritual Casting.
    Many spellcasting classes have the Ritual Casting ability. Those that have it will allow you to cast any sepll that has the “Ritual” tag without using a spell slot. The tag will be in the spells description along with any other requirements for the spell, like material itmes or anything else. All of the other requirements must be met, and if you ritual cast a spell, its casting time becomes 10 minutes or longer, depending on how long it usually takes to cast.
    I note this specifically because my artificier can cast Detect Magic and Identify… but only as rituals. And we said we’d discuss it.
    Regardless, if you play a class that has spellcasting, you have the tiniest bit of extra math to do.
    That math will be found in the “spellcasting” notes in your character description.
    We’ll be filling this out on the very last page of the character sheet, the one with the spellcasting notes.
    The first thing you need to figure out is “What is my spellcasting ability?” The shortest note here is that this is the ability modifier that powers your spells.
    Artificiers, Wizards, Arcane Trickster Rogues and Eldritch Knight Fighters all use Int
    Sorcerers, Bards, Paladins, Warlocks all use Charisma
    Clerics Druids, Rangers, and Elemental Specialist Monks all use Wisdom
    So anything that mentions your “spell ability modifier” is referencing your classes primary spellcasting stat.
    As stated, for Artificiers, this is intellegence, which is still +3.
    We need to know that so we can calculate our spell save DC and our spell attack modifier.
    Spell attack works precisely how your normal attacks do.
    Youll add your proficiency to your ability modifier.
    In Stane’s case, that would be 2 + 3, or +5 for any spells that require an attack roll.
    The last thing we need to calculate is our spell save DC.
    While some spells do use attack, most instead force the target to make a saving throw in a specific ability against your Spell Save DC. Think of it as a reverse attack.
    Rather than you swinging an axe and trying to roll to beat your enemies armor, they have to roll a certain number to avoid (or at least take half damage) from your spell.
    The spell save DC equation is 8 + Your Proficiency Bonus + Your Spell Ability Modifier.
    So for Stane, it would end up being 8 + 2 + 3, or 13.
    If he casts a spell that requires a dex save, the target must get 13 or higher to successfully save.
    So with all that math, we go down to the bottom page, and fill that in.
    Our primary spellcasting ability is int. Our spell save dc is 13. Our spell attack is +5.
    The last thing to do for Stane is to choose his starting spells, which are found at the bottom of his character description, because he’s an addition character.
    Any of the other spells can be found again in chapter 10, underneath each classes specific “spell list”.
    You’ll need to view those to decide what spells you want your character to learn, prepare, or scribble down in a spellbook to have access to them for that day or forever.
    Stane learns 3 at this level, and only has spell slots for first level spells, so all 3 of those must be first level.
    I choose Shield of Faith, Cure Wounds, and Jump, because I seek to truly annoy my characters.
    The only exception to aalllll that garbage above aside from ritual casting, are cantrips.
    Some classes have access to cantrips which can be cast “at will”, meaning that they do not require a spell slot to cast. They’re usually basic attacks or basic RP functions which can add flavor to your character.
    They will follow all the other rules of casting a spell, except they don’t cast a slot.
    So finally we get to the last level you guys are going to be worried about with Stane, level 4.
    Like the previous levels we increase our hit points, hit die, learn any new spells, and then finally we get our first “Ability Score Modifier”.
    Each class gets a certain number of these as they level, and their use is so basic that I can do it in a sentence, but its a sentence worth remembering.
    When you get an Ability Score Modifier, in any class, you have 3 options.
    You can add +2 to any of your ability scores (str, dex, con, etc)
    You can add +1 to any two f your ability scores.
    You can add none, and instead get a feat. That feat may still up one of your ability scores.
    Most classes have a very,v ery limited reserve of these that they can take, so make sure they fit your long term plan for the character before going crazy.
    And that, as far as I can tell, is all the spitshine I can throw on starting a character from scratch.
    Any questions?
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Legit bouncing this topic just so I can access it easier as a few others have indicated interest and it has links I want in it. Will likely add some resources or something to justify it later if a mod disagrees >.>

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This is pretty cool, i tried to set up a DnD thing in my discord, but my lack of experience and not having a pc caused me to fail. I’ve had interest in DnD for a few months now, but only know things about 2e. Could i perhaps spectate a session or something to try and learn what to do?

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You can absolutely do so pie, but we’re still a bit off from getting started. I’m hoping to be on better internet before I start DMing this, which is pushing things back. If you have any questions about character creation or anything in 5e, I’d be happy to answer them in PM or (sometimes more than likely) point you somewhere where it can be answered.

All that being said I’m trying to keep this thread as lean as I can as a resource hub. We’re going to set up an OOC thread when we actually get started.

Feel free to PM me or ask questions in RTT/Likes though, if that’s alroot!

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This bump is

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