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Laurefindel's page

3,364 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

For inspiration on a truly great magic system that approximates Pathfinder's feel while eliminating most of the annoying cruft, I can't recommend Iron Kingdoms RPG highly enough.

Short, unambiguous spell descriptions with standardized mechanics. Spells are either instantaneous duration or you pay to keep them up (no tracking rounds, EVER). It's a very nice system, and it's the first place I'd look if I were up to the task of replacing Vancian magic.

I'm not very familiar with IK. Can you give us a slightly more elaborate description of its magic system?


Zark wrote:
I’m very excited about the Swashbuckler. I hope it’s a fighter or rogue archetype. I honestly think Battle master is the only fun fighter archetype, so I hope it’s a fighter with some social skills.

Most likely its going to be a polished version of the Swashbuckler roguish archetype introduced in Unearthed Arcana (same instalment as the Strom sorcerer origin), so a rogue that can sneak attack in solo combat and with a goading/charm ability.


I would expect some Harper scout or Harper agent or something. something about spellfire(sorcerer origin?), assuming that such things still exist. I'm curious about this new age of the setting

'findel


SmiloDan wrote:
I like how modular 5th Edition is. It's designed to be expanded upon, with new archetypes built into the base classes.

Yes, the modular aspect of 5e is very homebrew friendly.


Irranshalee wrote:

I would want characters to be superhuman at 10th level and most folk 1st-3rd levels. It cannot happen as the rules are written. The breakdown of game play at higher level is hard for me to swallow. The whole thought of 9th level bakers just slays me. I have been tweaking the PF system down for years now

5th ed disconnects hit dice and levels for NPCs. Your typical knight NPC doesn't have all the abilities of a 9th-level fighter; it has one or two of its abilities at most, the ability to bare weapons and armors, and 9 levels worth of HPs (can't remember how many HD it has, this is a fictive number). Commoner is a "creature" in the Monstrous Manual, not a class. And if you're not happy with its 1HD, it would be really easy to create Baguette the baker's guild-master with 3HD...

Irranshalee wrote:
I am actually designing my campaign for the PCs to retire by 10th-12th level. That is why 5e has caught my attention. It seems to me that PCs could conceivably raise to level 20 and not have as much of an impact as 20th level Pathfinder PCs. By going to level 20, the players will have more time to enjoy their characters (development of characters, especially the emotional/mental aspect of it growing with each new adventure is alluring to us).

5e extends the sweet spot a bit further. Character come into their own around 3rd level and remain "manageable" until they get their higher abilities around level 16th-17th. Bounded accuracy insures that DCs that are challenging to high level characters are not far off from the ones that challenge low-level PCs. Same goes for monsters, what can hurt a low level PC can usually hurt a high-level one only, the high level character has lots of HPs to go through easy encounters.

There is still a paradigm shift at higher levels, mainly due to high level spells, but it comes a few level further than PF in my experience (well, from that one 5e campaign I played level 10th to 20th).

Irranshalee wrote:

In summary (...) Is there a system out there that is similar to my description? The loss of a d20 and player progression through levels are not deal breakers. I just want something not-so-over-the-top. The work needed to keep things in my preference range is overwhelming at times.

PS I absolutely loathe the Christmas tree effect.

I think most systems can support your style of play, to a certain extent, but it depends on settings. PF can support 1st level bakers and you could go with a black marker and scratch everything that pertains to 12th level or above (or 10th, or 8th, or 6th), and the game would run just fine. You just need to find (or invent) a setting that supports that.


Irranshalee wrote:
It sounds to me like 5e might be very cookie cutter, something that would be good to introduce my children

5e is by no mean a childish game, that being said, it is easier to teach to kids (and adult too). The maths are simpler, with smaller number and less add this and that and subtract this etc. less trap options and optimization has a lesser impact.

As for the rest, 5e is not less cookie-cutter than pathfinder since it works on the same basic framework, but it has much less molds to choose from, and less goodies to sprinkle on top.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Yes, both "because dragons" and "because realism," are actually cover-ups for "because I don't like it."

Both can also be "because that's the genre and/or setting I propose for this game"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SmiloDan wrote:
Each fills a really fun niche! :-D

That I agree with


Letric wrote:
You're supposed to be a hero, even if fighting 50 level 1 being a lvl 10, you should kill them.

That depends on the scope of the game/setting. In a world where defeating 10 opponents in melee makes you a hero, loosing against 50 is might be expected. But I'm with you with insta-death not being fun regardless of the game/system/setting.


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SmiloDan wrote:
I totally agree with Tormsskull. 5th Edition is great for casual games and gamers, but if you really like customizing and optimizing your characters, Pathfinder is better because it's more complex.

That sounds like casual gamers can't customize and optimize, and that hard-core gamers cannot enjoy a simpler game engine :(

I personally consider myself more than a casual gamer, and 5e appeals to me on many levels. 5e may be a less complex game, but it isn't a less complete one. It is not as much of a character deck-building type of game however.


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Scythia wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

"Because dragons"

The false idea that because one fantastic element exists, therefore all fantastic elements must exist and no attempt at realism or verisimilitude whatsoever should be made.

The problem with this as a fallacy is that the person declaring the fallacy is insisting that their judgement of where to draw the line separating fantasy from realism is the only judgement that counts.

In other words, it isn't a fallacy so much as a difference in opinion.

I disagree, it is a fallacy.

Even if everything can exist in a make-believe fantasy world, it does not mean that everything needs to or should be included.

Some settings have a narrower focus/scope/fantasy elements than others, and that should be respected. A setting can include dragons but not [insert fantasy element], or the other way around.

Although this can come in conflict with the realism fallacy or the aesthetics fallacy, "Because Dragons" is a fallacy in its own.


although aquagenic urticaria, AKA allergy to water, is a real thing...


It has been mentioned before, but although 5e has 6 saves, the translation form FORT / REF / WILL is iffy at best. I wish STR / INT / CHA saves had more use.


Ragnarok Aeon wrote:
Not quite, but I feel that Strength is most relevant during combat, or at least it was in previous editions.

high STR is good for Monks who want to grapple and to resist the occasional STR save (which are pretty rare unless your DM improvises some). STR fuels athletics which covers climbing/jumping/swimming (which Monks end-up using frequently). Ki helps a bit and you can sometimes get away with acrobatics, but Monks who dump STR will show some consequences at times.


Paizo has Pop Tarts!?!


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I'd like to see Paizo move in a different direction than WotC's 5e.

Embrace the character deckbuilding aspect of the game. Allow sweet combos to exist. Don't shy away from magic items or even the magic Christmas tree effect, just be clear in how they are part of the game.

However, I'd like to see game symmetry go away. What is complex for the players shouldn't have to be for the GM; PCs and NPCs/monster don't need to follow the same rules. Complex games are cool for the players, but the GM needs a break...


I would let go of the distrusting part. let the players role play it, or decide to be the exception among their kind.

-2 to both STR and CON is brutal. +2 DEX and CHA, -2 CON is fine.


You need to keep in mind that 5th ed assumes that players go through many combat per day.

Read "deadly" as "will drain lots of resources". If the PCs are fresh, they will bulldozer through the encounter with relative ease. I don't know if that was the intent, but it has been my experience with 5e as well.

When you relentlessly throw encounters at the PCs and force them to manage their "long rest" abilities, the CRs are a bit closer to what they should be.


Small update on my Overland Actions houserule for 5e. Still a few loose ends to tie-up, stealth is a bit messy...


As a DM, I prefer letting players make a broader use of their skills than letting them have more skill proficiencies. I'm a big fan of detaching the skill from the key ability (like the example of Constitution - Athletics)

Wisdom check to sense the motives of the captain of the guards? Insight is a natural, but I could accept a player using investigation when observation time is allowed. Strength - Acrobatics to jump over the fence? why not. Performance can sometimes fill-in for deception, etc


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I wouldn't call 5th ed a rule-lite game and a campaign can use the rule extensively. It is lighter than 3e and more streamlined than AD&D, but it has an average level of "cruchy-ness" by modern standards. Actually, it is 3e/pathfinder that was/is particularly rule-heavy.

But it isn't a character deck-building game anymore, and I understand that many players miss that.


Cinderfist wrote:

As a replacement for the fighting defensively rule.

You can sacrifice any number of your attacks to attempt to block/parry an incoming attack.

I've played for a few years with a rule like that. Long story made short, it wasn't used much because in order to parry efficiently, you need a good BAB and when you have a good BAB, offense is usually better than losing your action on parrying (and when you have a good BAB, chances are that the party is relying on you to save their ass in melee).

Characters who would use parry (mainly rogues and wizard-type characters) didn't have a reliable enough BAB to take the risk an would rather attempt to somehow disengage from combat.

I would forget about the weapon-damaging part.

If you mean for players to withhold some of their attacks for parry (as opposed to all of their attacks), then expect longer combat. The mechanics of the rule doesn't bog the game down that much, but combats are stretched by a few rounds. At low levels parry is costly and isn't very reliable; at high level a few extra rounds can mean an extra hour of combat, so there is a very narrow sweet spot where it does work as intended.


I like the hit-dice healing mechanics. I find it represents well how a character can find its second (or third, of forth) wind.

I also like how it can translate into D&D the cinematic trope where the hero(es) is beaten down, defeated or forced to surrender, then something happens and the hero is suddenly rejuvenated.

What I'm a little annoyed with is how easy it is for characters to recover all of their resources, and the lack of a wounded condition that would complicate natural healing. The DMG offers a few solution, but it quickly goes too far in what I call the "attrition game".

Thankfully, 5e is super flexible and houserule-friendly. The Solution to remove the auto-heal on long rests is interesting (or half it). An abstract "wounded" condition wouldn't be that hard to implement either.


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While it is not unanimously acclaimed, I much enjoy the skill system despite my initial doubts.

I like that in a pinch, skills can substitute (or be substituted by) attack rolls or saving throws.

I like that the system is clean and simple enough to make combination on the fly without bogging the game down (Constitution Athletics, why not!)

I like that the "proficient" tag can mean more than just a bonus on the check, perhaps assuming automatic success or allowing a check where others aren't.

I like tools and kit proficiency (although I wonder if Medicine shouldn't have been made into a healer's kit proficiency instead) for their open-handed-ness (?)

In other words, I like that the skill system is simple and versatile enough to handle houserules, campaign-specific subsystems and on-the-fly ruling quite well.


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Petty Alchemy wrote:
My understanding from another forum is that in general, the game expects a day that goes 2 encounters, short rest, 2 encounters, short rest, 2 encounters, long rest to allow all classes to shine, but I'm finding it hard to design more than 2-3 encounters a day (just to pack that many baddies into a single day).

My only "problem" has been about that; you really need to relentlessly send waves of encounters every day to get through a character's resources and even if you do, it will be fresh as a rose the next day (with half its hit Dice).

There's the slow healing variant, but its going to the extreme opposite where resources are way too precious. I'd be most comfortable somewhere in between.


I gave masterwork weapons a +1 damage in my campaign. +1 attack is something precious, I would be reluctant to grant anything that effectively increase your proficiency bonus for a relatively low price.

For armors, reduction on weight or on the minimum STR score to avoid movement reduction sounds fine to me. That or remove the Stealth disadvantage. It would leave a few armors (the popular studded leather among others) without any net advantage, but I wouldn't grant anything that equals a +1 bonus to AC.

It would also feel weird that regular (read RaW) magical suits of armor wouldn't grant the benefits of a masterwork armor.

[edit] or decide that +1 weapons and armors are the masterwork weapons and armors of 5th ed. Give mk weapons a small discount for a lack of "magic" quality, leaving some beasties resistant to your damage.

'findel


Ciaran Barnes wrote:

Forsworn Mount

Like anonymity, this bonus is not going to pop up much - or ever. Maybe at low levels when there gritty survival is still part of the game. I suggest changing this to a bonus to all Fortitude saves and Constitution checks - except those caused by spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. He won't get the bonus against magic (a big deal), but its broad enough that it will help out with lots of little things, such as poison and stabilizing.

So basically, bonus to Fort save vs non-magical attacks. I kind of like that. That's a +6 bonus at 20th level and the class already has good fort saves. Too much?

as for forsworn weapons, its going to be a GMW spell-like effect as of 4th level. the "mundane" was a concern for the knight-errant's humility but also to avoid cheese involving weapons loaded with magic abilities combined with the high magic bonuses that its gets for free. Yet its still a crappy base weapon. thought?


The design goal behind the taboos was to give a marginal benefit for a minor hindrance. ATM, forsworn armor isn't a minor hindrance.

Perhaps the taboo should be forsworn heavy armor, with bonus to AC scaling with levels. So medium armors are not as good but armor nonetheless, similar to how the quarterstaves aren't as good weapons but weapons nonetheless.

So medium armor worn would be considered masterwork at 1st level 1, +1 at 4th level, +2 at 8th level, +3 at 12th level, +4 at 16th level and +5 at 20th level.

Basically, sacrifice a few AC points for free magic upgrade. If the paladin has good DEX (unlikely but, hey) its actually a sweet deal.

Keeping bonuses as enhancement bonus would prevent double stacking pluses with magic vestment.

also, I gonna go ahead and give the magic property of the forsworn weapon taboo from level 4th an on. what do you know, the pal is that good with his knife... so same deal, masterwork at 1st level and greater magic weapon effect from 4th level on.


The charm effect on Panache for the Swashbuckler rogue is intriguing. The ability is not out of its level range (by level 9th, caster have had access to charm person for a while now), but it's the first time (in my modest knowledge) that this kind of ability is given to a martial charatcer.

as I said, I'm intrigued


Away from book


Ganryu wrote:


I'm curious about the change to non-leveling spells.

It seems that relative to your current level, this makes spells actually worse as you improve.

I haven't played many casters yet, but so far I haven't boosted many spells yet. I've seen some caster boost spells in order to get enough targets, and sometimes boost damage to get a big punch either to open or to fininsh a combat. But in my experience it has been relatively rare; you usually get the best quality/price at the minimum castable level.

Altogether caster have less spells and they scale less than in PF, but their cantrips are much more efficient (enough to be worth using in combat).


Arakhor wrote:
The 5E fireball does 8d6 fire damage (Dex save for half) and increases by 1d6 per spell slot above 3rd.

true, was AFB


Ganryu wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Sounds like echoes of Scrolls of Town Portal in WarCraft III . . . .

yes, in essence that exactly what it is (without the going back option). I like to see it as a return-trip stargate.

All in all, the magical reshuffle, the bounded accuracy on saving throws and the legendary auto-saves are a some of the features that sold me on 5e.

What do you mean with magical reshuffle and legendary auto-saves?

Some of te classical spells swapped or changed levels, and scaling is not automatic (e.g. you fireball does 5d6 damage. If you want it to deal more damage, you need to cast it as a higher spell level)

Creatures with the "Legendary" tag have 3 auto saves per day(?). So even if the adult red dragon doesn't have bullet-proof saves due to bounded accuracy, you can't disable it on round one with a lucky charm monster spell.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Sounds like echoes of Scrolls of Town Portal in WarCraft III . . . .

yes, in essence that exactly what it is (without the going back option). I like to see it as a return-trip stargate.

All in all, the magical reshuffle, the bounded accuracy on saving throws and the legendary auto-saves are a some of the features that sold me on 5e.


Yeah, I was thinking the same blakmane. I don't like the double-dipping of CHA bonus, and if WIS is such a bad idea, I'd rather rework the taboo entirely. Or remove it completely, it's my least favorite one anyway.


Implemented most of Aelryinth's correction.

Kept the knight-errant as a male charatcer to distant him for Sheelah.

Kept the Forsworn unarmored defence bonus to Wisdom to stay consistant true to the abilities origin and keep it distinct from the oath of protection's zeal ability (CHA bonus to AC)


Ooohhhh. Thanks Aelryinth. I'll have a good look at this


If someone with a better mastery of English than mine could have a (grammatical) look at this and propose corrections where need be and make it blog worthy, I'd appreciate greatly.

Google doc version PM me for the original words file

'findel


I've been converting my Pathfinder Overland Action Houserule to 5e D&D


I've been playing a Elemental Monk / Warlock (pact of Fiend). Tpical chineese wuxia hero with a host of (evil) ancestors looking after him. Warlock makes up for the elemental monk's low amount of powers, and monk gives more to the warlock than 2 spells and eldritch blast. I usually burn through all my ki and spells in 3 or 4 rounds, but all of it refresh on a short rest

I'm also playing a dashing, flashy wanabe-airship-captain battlemaster fighter in an Eberron game. First I wanted to multiclass with rogue but now I'm thinking of barbarian. Refluffed rage as a barrier of blades, danger sense and eagle totem gets me the vibe I wanted from the rogue, but with better hp and durability.


dotting for later view...


There are more automatons than there are aasimars and yes, they still make them to this day. Automatons perform the menials jobs that aasimars don't want to do or the physically taxing jobs that aasimars don't do well.

Aasimars are not slaves nor 2nd class citizen, but the place they take in aasimari society is similar to that of slaves and 2nd class citizen of ancient Rome, or that of working-class citizen in Victorian England. Most household have an automaton servant, aasimari craftsmen have an automaton assistant or two. Guilds employ automaton journeymen, temple hire automaton guards, miners and loggers are 95% automaton etc.

The aasimars form the elite of their society, the automatons are the foot soldiers, laborers and workers.

As a whole they are pretty docile and content of their treatment, but some aspire to more. They become master craftsmen or leaders wherever automaton are, forming automaton communities. PCs are, by definition, emancipated automatons.

I D&D terms, the place they take is a mix of generic townsfolk and gnomes/dwarves in a typical setting.


Oooh, no i didn't see that clockwork automaton. I took my inspiration from the clockworks of Bestiary III, but didn't know about this one.

As for what happened to the the losers of the civil war, it is a bit unclear atm. I kind of assume they got re-integrated. The initial idea was that the aasimars of today *were* the losers and forgot about it (winners went away and left them as penance). But the big reveal of the campaign changed and this idea was dropped.

orcs were dropped out of the setting in favor of forest-themed goblins and bugbears (and boggarts and lizardmen).

Kingdom of Lydia is part of the pre-civil war empire era; the area from which an aasimar PC originated. It's presence on the map is debatable - basically its a bunch of ruins - but it was pertinent in that campaign.


The setting is called Dark Woods and is described here.

It was developed in 2012 out of a world building exercise, roll 5 races, build a setting (the same thread that nerco'd back recently). In other words, the races living in this world are limited by design.

Another important element of the setting is that the world is sealed from planar travel. Gods can be contacted via divination and clerics receive their spells, but outsiders cannot be summoned, gated, plane shifted etc. So there can be devils, but it implies that they were already there when the planar seal came into effect about a thousand years ago.

I'm re-writing the setting in such a way to create a Player's Guide and a DM's Guide, more for fun that by necessity. My campaign, which was meant as a short one, is about to end and I doubt the characters will go back to Excelsior (the aasimar city). So I'm looking for adventure hooks and ways to flesh the city out beyond "it's a city of Good people led by a LG government" (which is already more than that) for the sake of creating a finished document I will feel proud of; not much else. but I'm interested in ideas that forum users have. Even when an idea does cannot apply directly, it usually inspire something else or can be re-fluffed to match the setting.


@Thanael

Cool links

Thanael wrote:
An over average LG town does not equal only average LG inhabitants. Especially in a large city.

In this case, the city is LG because that is the average alignment of its population and since its a world where aasimars are the only human-like race (i.e. no dwarves, elves, half-orc etc) it limits the cosmopolitan aspect of large towns drastically. They all arrived as a group from the Upper Planes.

That can be "fixed" by having several factions however. Perhaps the aasimars of Asgardian descent are different from those of the cities of Arcadia, who are different from the Olympian aasimars etc... So far I purposefully avoided to be too specific on the aasimar's provenance so that gaming group can decide of their favourite pantheons and/or cosmology.


I've been playtesting this, but it hasn't come often enough to be very conclusive yet.

51% to 100% hp = a bit out of breath but unscathed.
1% to 50% hp = a bit bruised and banged-up but uninjured

receiving a critical hit or failing a Dexterity saving throw causing damage = wounded. Wounded character must be treated with Medicine check or magical healing > damage taken or wounded character heals only 50% hp overnight and do not recuperate hit dice.


So I've got this setting including aasimars as the only human-like race around. They have one great city, and not a very cosmopolitan one at that.

Considering that aasimars are mostly LG and that LG towns are mostly boring, what can I bring to make it an interesting site for urban adventures?

Few things to consider...

- the king died recently, no wife alive, the princess is crowed queen at 13 years of age. The prime minister is regent for the next 7 years.

- aasimars had their civil war 900 years ago. To enforce cohesion and nationalism, scions of noble houses of each settlement must spend 7 years in tutelage in that city. Officially, noble youth are meant to meet each other's and make friends. It could also be seen as propaganda or blackmail taking nobles' children as hostage.

- Aasimars "made" their servant race of sentient constructs (not warforged, but close enough). Mixed sentiments of paternity and need for labourers and warriors. Automatons are legally free people.

So if you're up for some brainstorming, I'm open to all ideas


Lorathorn wrote:
No thoughts yet on the spell-less Ranger?

Is there such an official spell-less ranger I'm not aware of, or are you asking for ideas/opinions?

[edit] never mind, found the source....


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Lorathorn wrote:
... Many make claims that the current edition makes map use unimportant...

5e make maps non-essential, not unimportant. If you love maps, it will work great with them. If you don't, the game still works great. Everybody wins.


Some notes that appear in text boxes...

THE FOOD OF THE GODS
Aasimars drink a highly nourishing cordial as their main source of nutrition that they call ambrosia. Ambrosia is a beverage containing many ingredients, but honey and mushrooms form the base of it.

More than just a food, ambrosia can be brewed to cure disease, heal injuries and dispel fatigue. Some are fermented as alcoholic beverage, some distilled into clear and fragrant nectars. Some resemble hydromel, some are made to be mixed with fresh juice. In short, there are as many types of ambrosia as there are meals on other worlds.

THE AUTOMATON'S INNER FIRE
Automatons are powered by a sacred fire confined inside their chest. This flame is very resilient and can survive for years even if the automaton has been disabled. Automatons do not need food or drink but the flame can be fed, allowing the automaton to consume potions if it wishes so. This also exposes the automaton to poisons, although this pseudo-metabolism makes them very resistant to diseases and toxins.

Should the flame be extinguished, the automaton dies. For this reason automatons fear prolonged exposure to extreme cold or going under water for more than a minute. While automatons do not need to breathe, they too can “drown” like any other character.

THE GIRTABLILU ENCLAVE OF EXCELSIOR
Forbidden from entering the city, the girtablilu have established their embassy in the shadows of the forecastle, just outside the Great Gates of Excelsior. Unlike the informal vegepygmy market nearby, this enclave is an ancient and well established town surrounded by a low stone wall. The girtablilu living there are particularly courteous and welcoming, but a dark sense of purpose nevertheless emanates from the whole enclave. Hundreds of aasimars come there every day to trade with the Hidden Kingdom, but very few are willing to stay overnight. Yet, their guesthouses always seem occupied, for the girtablilu also trade with other guests...

THE GRAND COURT OF THE SPRITES
The aasimars left a strong impression with the sprites of the Dark Woods. Many clans of sprites were so fascinated by the intricacy of their culture and the complex hierarchy of their government that they assimilated many aasimari customs into their own.

The largest of the spritsh clan is led by a queen (since the aasimars are also led by a queen. Should the aasimars crown a king again, the sprites would likely change as well). She oversees a circles of clanlords who in turn rule over their vassals in a typical feudal system. These sprites have developed an equally intricate court within a towering tree-castle were representatives of other races are welcomed as royal guests. In turn, many sprites have set permanent residence in Excelsior and other aasimari settlements, although they remain a notable minority.

While these new "civilized" sprites may appear clumsy in their attempt, they are leading a revolution that may forever change their nature and their relationship with the Dark Woods.

A NEW LIFE AS A VEGEPYGMY
When a character dies, its corpse becomes host for the latent russet mold spores to mature and grow into vegepygmies. Burning or completely destroying the body stops the process, as does prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, but burial doesn't stop the transformation. If left undisturbed, the corpse erupts in 1d6 vegepygmies within 1d4+1 days. after death.

killed player characters who's corpse were abandoned in the Dark Woods may select to be reincarnated as a vegepygmy. In such case, a single vegepygmy erupts with some remnants of the memory and personality of its host, including natural predisposition for its former character class. Make a new character using the racial traits described above. Sprites and automatons are immune to russet mold, but aasimars and are girtablilu are susceptible to the transformation.

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