Saturday, December 15, 2018

Firearm Rules

Guns! How to use em, abuse em, and die by them. Guns are rare, and those guns preserved approach roughly technology levels of the 1870’s. Attempting to design simple mechanics that can be applied to OSR with a few rule-specific changes.

3 types for our purposes: revolvers, rifles, and shotguns. All use exploding dice, don’t add ASI’s to damage, and you can use Dex or Str for attack rolls.

1d4 (exploding) piercing damage (max 1 dice explosion)
Ammo count: 6 before reload
Range: 50/100

2d4 (exploding) piercing damage (max 2 dice explosions)
Ammo count: 8 before reload
Range 130/260

Shotguns: 3d4 (exploding) piercing damage (max 3 dice explosions)
Ammo count: 2 before reload
Range: 30/60

Special gun rules:
When a gun or ammo is exposed to water, it’s soaked. A soaked gun or a gun using soaked ammo will only be able to fire one shot, after which the gun needs to be stripped and cleaned over a long rest. Soaked ammo can be dried off with a cloth or a spell.

When a loaded gun or ammo is exposed to fire, roll a dice. On an even number, the ammo cooks off dealing 1 piercing damage to the user for every round inside the gun or on the person. The gun itself is ruined unless repaired by a gunsmith. 

When a gun or ammo is exposed to acid, roll a dice. On an even number, the gun/ammo is corroded and won’t work unless repaired by a gunsmith. On an odd number, the gun has a 50% chance of jamming every time it’s fired/corroded ammo has a 50% chance of jamming every time it's used until cleaned over the course of a short rest.

Revolver rules: People proficient with revolvers can attack with them a number of times per round equal to half their proficiency bonus.  Revolvers don't have disadvantage on ranged attacks within 5 feet of a hostile, and they are light weapons. 

Rifle rules: Rifles have disadvantage on all attacks against a hostile creature within 5 feet. Additionally, a bayonet can be attached to the front of a rifle. A creature proficient with rifles may make a melee attack with an affixed bayonet as a bonus action, dealing 1d4 piercing damage.

Shotgun rules: Beyond 30 feet, a shotgun loses one damage dice every 10 feet. 2d4 at 40-50 feet and 1d4 at 50-60 feet. Shotguns don't have disadvantage on attack rolls within 5 feet of a hostile creature. 

Crit rules: When a nat 20 is rolled on an attack roll, add 1d4 to that attack’s damage. This d4 can only explode once.

Crit fail rules: When a nat 1 is rolled on an attack roll, the gun jams. Clearing a jammed gun is an action.

Backfiring: When a gun or its ammo is soaked or corroded, the gun backfires on a crit fail, dealing 2 piercing damage to the user for each round left in the gun and destroying the gun. 

New weapon proficiency: guns. Separate from all other weapon proficiencies.
New tool proficiency: gunsmith’s tools
New ammo types: pistol ammo, rifle ammo, and shotgun shells

Obviously, these will be retooled as time goes on. What I wanted to emphasize:

Revolvers are designed for medium range engagements. Their strength is multiple shots.
Rifles are long-range weapons. Arguably longer effective range but I'm not bumping their strength up just yet. Playtest first.
Shotguns are close quarter murder machines.

I'm going to develop specialized stats for guns to reflect arms races (1893 semi-auto pistol!) but guns will largely stay magic free. There will be different ammo types (including magical types) and magic guns.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Cleric of Xihuitl [2nd Draft]

Xihuitl Domain Spells:
1st level: touch of undeath*, create and destroy water
3rd level: flowsight**, geyser**
5th level: animate dead, wall of water
7th: control water, death ward
9th: red tide**, danse macabre

* my homebrew
** Walrock Homebrew’s Codex of Waves

Xihuitl’s Currents
Starting at 1st level, your mind taps into the dimensionality of Xihuitl’s rivers, and your powers follow its flow upstream and downstream. Your touch spells gain a range of 30 feet if you and your target are standing in the same body of water. In addition, any time you cast a healing spell on a target that’s partially submerged in water, you restore the maximum number of hit points possible to that target, and you gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.

Bonus Proficiency
When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with martial weapons.

Channel Divinity: Extract Waters
At 2nd level, you learn how to pull life out of other creatures. As an action, choose a creature within 30 feet with water in its body. That creature must make a Constitution saving throw. On a success, it takes 2d12 necrotic damage. On a failure, it becomes desperately thirsty, and seeks out the nearest drinkable fluid for the next minute.

So We Beat On
Starting at 6th level, all your summoned undead gain a swimming speed and a climbing speed equal to their walking speed. If undead under your control are in a body of water, you can cast healing spells on them and the range of your mental commands includes the range of that body of water.
In addition, you no longer have to concentrate on wall of water.

Beginning at 8th level, the attacks of your undead become dangerously desiccating. As a reaction, after an undead controlled by you hits a target that has water in its body with a melee attack, you can force the target to make a Constitution saving throw or gain one level of exhaustion as your undead sucks moisture out of their body. Creatures composed of water-based liquid have disadvantage on this saving throw.
You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier per long rest.

Waters of Life
At 17th level, you learn how to share the water that lets you live with others. As an action, you can roll any number of your hit dice and heal a creature you touch by that amount. You can even expend hit dice that you’ve already used during a short rest, but for each already used hit dice you expend, you take 2d8 necrotic damage.

New Spells:

Touch of Undeath
1st level necromancy

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S
Duration: Concentration, special

You touch the corpse or skeleton of a Small or Medium humanoid, raising it as a zombie or skeleton under your control for a number of rounds equal to 1 + your spellcasting modifier. On your turns, as long is it’s within 60 feet, you can mentally direct it as a bonus action. If not given any orders, it defends itself against hostile creatures. The undead follows one order until given another.
At the end of this spell, the zombie or skeleton collapses back into a corpse or skeleton unless you use a bonus action to touch it and expend another 1st level spell slot to cast this spell again.

At higher levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the duration of this spell triples.
When you cast this spell at 3rd level, 5th level, 7th level, or 9th level, you can summon an additional undead from a suitable corpse or skeleton within 30 feet.

It's really remarkable how one minor change can transform a subclass from situationally useful to pretty decent. I don't think taking away concentration from wall of water breaks the game too much, and it opens up a lot of fun options for this subclass.

I do have issues with necromancy. I think that necromancy is weak, especially at higher levels, even if you're playing the necromancer subclass, which get buffs to his creatures that make them viable as low level minions. I think these buffs should already be included in necromancy spells to give them greater utility against other powerful spells that compete for slots at 3rd level and 5th level. 

To be fair to WotC, balancing summons is a tricky tricky business, and I vastly prefer underpowered summons to overpowered summons. Brandes Stoddard has a nice article which addresses some of my necromancy concerns.

Anyhoo, this subclass probably isn't finished yet. The 8th level feature is a marked break from standard 5e design, and might be overpowered given how good exhaustion is.

I think the most worrisome feature of this subclass is the 6th level ability, specifically healing summons in water. That alone might make for a good 8th level feature. Playtesting will tell.

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