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I once made a list of spells per colour. Characters would choose two colours, which would constitute their spell list regardless of class. i.e., a red/black druid would cast fire balls and raise dead spells but no green spells. Characters who chose a single colour had access to a extra single-colour specific spells.

All in all, I'm not sure to what degree it added a plus value to the game. On mobile now, but I could send you a link this afternoon if you'd like

I generally like the changes to the ranger, but I find that so much is given as automatically successful abilities. A bit like the Cleric who rarely has to rely on Healing, this ranger will rarely have to rely on Survival...

I do like the new beastmaster however. I understand the logic behind the former iteration, but it was frustrating for a beastmaster to see the wizard control its familiar independently, see the necromancer control its zombies independently, see the druid control his summons independently, and see the fighter control its figurine of wondrous power independently...


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updated for prettiness...

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A few years back I participated in a thread where we were invited to roll 5 races and built a setting around those results. Thus the Dark Woods were born.

Although it needs formatting and polishing, here's a first draft toward a Guide to the Dark Woods.

thoughts and comments are welcome

Werefoowolf wrote:
Hmmm, interesting. If a Green wizard is effectively a Druid, what's a druid?

In that line of thoughts, a druid would simply be a class giving a series of abilities, among which the ability to change into an animal and a strong connection to the land (and in magic, lands can be of any color). Wild shape could easily be re-fluff as an aura if you prefer.

I'm not saying that is how one should play D&D, but if one changes the paradigm to color(s) = archetype, this can work.

For our Zendikar game, we took the classes as sets of abilities rather than archetypes. Archetypes are more defined by association (i.e. a green wizard is more likely to play as a D&D druid than a blue druid). Our white/red cleric is not a D&D cleric; its a mage that casts healing spells, turns undead creatures and good at lightning magic (tempest domain).

We also use wizard's mechanics for known/prepared spells for the cleric and druid.

SmiloDan wrote:
Do you HAVE a beastmaster ranger? Have you seen one in play?

Yes, that's my son's favourite archetype... and my daughter's... and my other son's.

I haven't seen a beastmaster played by someone who truly masters the game's mechanics however.

One of my player got a figurine of wondrous power, making that character a better beastmaster than a beastmaster ranger :(

I think you could go either way.

I decided to go color-per-race (except human) because its a thematic rpg game about a thematic card game - the same reason why I sorted spells per color - but I can see why some may prefer to leave the spell list as they are and let the player free to choose its association (I like that term).

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Zendikari Elves are associated with green mana. Your color is green. If you have more than one color, one of your colors must be green. (?)

Werefoowolf wrote:
Actually, I think I'm onto something about the Color Alignment replacing Normal Alignment, Racial Color Alignment skew, Class Color Prerequisite, and even Color-based spell lists.

That's what I'm doing for our game. It took a little while to do the color spells lists, and, I'm still unsure about some combinations of color(s)/subclass expanded spell lists (divine domain, warlock patrons etc). But it's going fine so far. My daughter has an interesting combination of white/red Kor tempest cleric with lots of heal, buffs and lighting blasting spells.

here's my latest, and hopefully final, sorting


Many faeries are blue, so one could defend conjure woodland beings/fey as blue and green

also, what of mending/creation/fabricate. IIRC, red has a few "artificer" cards and white as a few interaction with equipment cards.



How could this translate into roleplay?

Good suggestions all around

I gave revivify and raise dead to green because as they are lower level, they are more accessible.

White has few graveyard return spells but it has a few, mostly as abilities of angels with high casting cost; hence the high-leveled res and true res. It isn't much of an argument, but that was the reasoning

Latest version

I have never read the novels but I'm curious; are planeswalkers tied to the land like the game suggests, or are they just magic-users with a theme?

Updated document - including Elemental Evil spells

Finally, red has a decent list...

Updated doc

I didn't keep a changelog, but here are the highlights

Remove curse is white and green – there are several green cards that remove an aura. Likewise with greater restoration.

Swift Quiver is now green and white – cause white = protection and green needs spells…

Guardian Spirit is now white and black and guardian of faith is white only – I had the two spells confused.

Shield is now white only – blue has enough spells.

Dispel Good and Evil is now white and black only - they are too thematic to be green or blue

Eldritch blast is now red only – although I wonder if it could fit black…

Clone, astral projection and power word stun are now black spells. Should demiplane be white and black or black only?

I’m keeping radiant-dealing spells with white (although red now has flame strike as well). White does not deal damage but has a few cards where creatures are removed from play. Let’s pretend its trhough those spells.

Magnificient mansion an Mordenkainen sword are now white

Blue has some (wind) fae cards, hence conjure fey.

Fireshield has the cold version, hence blue (now has sunburst tag)

Modify memory is now black

Raise dead is now green only. Green has several cards bringing back creatures from the graveyard, white has… none that I know of, but my knowledge is limited. I left resurrection to white however.
Phantasmal Force/Killer and weird are now black. Despite a few of Jace’s spells, I see it mostly as a black thing.

I'm going to use the Elemental Evil spells to complete the otherwise spell-starve red spell list

Updated doc. Spell lists are *a bit* more balanced. Red and Green are still a bit short, and Blue is still disproportionally large, but it’s a bit better.

Good idea for Sunburst mechanic, I think I'm going in that direction for prismatic spray/wall, and for a few other spells where the effect would depend on the mana color used to fuel the spell (like chromatic orb or gate). It's just unfortunate that there's also a sunburst spell...

I need your opinion on the following spells (bonus point if you can back-up your reasoning with an existing card)

Storm of vengeance - green yay or nay?
Phantasmal force, weird etc - available to black and blue or just black (blue already has many spells)
Wish - blue, blue and white, each color, sunburst?
Earthquake - red and green, red only?
Mind blank - blue and white, blue only?
Flesh to Stone - green and red, green only?
Forbiddance - white and green, white only?
Destructing wave - white and red, red only?
Legend lore – white, black and blue; blue only?
Passwall – red and green, red only?
Raise dead – white and black, white only?
Scying – blue and black, blue only?
Divination – blue and white, blue only?
Guardian of faith – white and black; black only?
Locate creature – white and blue; blue only?
Remove curse – white and green; white only?
Produce flame – red, redundant with flame bolt; give it to green?

Threeshades wrote:

(...) So perhaps you could just make it a five color spell.

I also made a short rough guide on how you could associate magic (as well as various creatures and alignment) with the MtG colors right here

yes, I've used your guide and it was quite helpful. In retrospect, I notice that I've associated psychic damage to black more so than blue.

I'm hesitant about the prismatic spray/wall spells. Folding them into white magic would be easiest. Forcing the caster to provide five mana colors would be thematic but inconvenient in play (require prism-type artifact?).

The other solution would be to go toward the sunburst route - you only get the effects available to the mana color you invested. Sunburst would become a new tag specifying that in order to deal fire, lightning or thunder damage, you need to fuel red mana, in order to deal acid damage, you need to fuel black mana etc. Should we go with that, a few more spells could also have that tag; chromatic orb comes to mind.

Das Bier wrote:
wait...VOlo is still alive?!?

yeah, that was also my first reaction

I attempted to sort 5e D&D's spells per color philosophies rather than per classes. That's what it looks like.

Please tell me if you see anything that should or shouldn't belong where it is.

This is mostly a thought experiment; I'm not sure if it would be fun or playable.


[edit] I didn't know what to do with prismatic spray and prismatic wall... Polychromatic?

oh and screw it, I'm making my own colour spell list.

with which colour would you associate teleportation magic?

Werefoowolf wrote:

I do agree with replacing L/C/N/G/E alignment with 1-2 color alignment. Can anyone put together a few pages detailing the colors' myriad of philosophies in a manner resembling 5e's core rulebook section on alignment?

And how would color alignment work on creatures, spells, etc?

I second the request to put the color philosophies on a single doc.

It wouldn't be so hard to sort the spells by colour and use a spell list per colour instead of spell list per class. I wonder if someone has done that already...

Otherwise its easy enough to pick spells according to your colour "alignment". Some classes are already build toward some colour already; blue for bard, green for druid, white for cleric etc.

I could imagine a system where spells have a "cost" in coloured mana (provided by alignment) and in colourless mana (provided by spells slots). Like some cards, some very colour-specific spells could have a requirement of 2 coloured manas, thus available to those or single colour alignment or with a specific combination.

Beyond unnecessary complication, the danger with that type of houserule is always to lose the essence of D&D by trying to emulate MtG to literally.

Totem armors seem just like a re-fluffed wild shapes or polymorph spells for me...

has anyone tried that yet? I'm thinking to start a game with my son (who loves magic).

I tend to forget about it as a DM, and some players are more keen than other to award them to fellow players.

In my next game, I mean to merge Inspiration with Hero Points as described in the DMG. Basically, the players have access to a pool of points (I call it the fellowship pool in honour of TOR rpg) that a player can spend to gain advantage on the next d20 roll (like inspiration) or to add a d6 to a d20 roll (like hero points).

The pool is equal to the number of players in the party (thinking of making halflings count for two because they bring luck) and refreshes at the beginning of each game. The pool also gain one point back when a player selflessly put its character in danger to save another one, or other great acts of camaraderie.


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I don't think I want a PHB2. I like the self-contained-ness of 5e, but I'm the type of guy who like to work within an enclosed paradigm.

I'm afraid that more material will either create redundancy or invalidate already available options by providing better ones.

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I like the inherent STR bonus route.

A crossbow has a stock about the size of a shortbow, so base damage d6. But it's a super tight crossbow, one that needs a significant STR to pull. Give the shortbow an inherent 18 STR because of its mechanical advantage (so 1d6+4 damage) and the heavy crossbow 22 STR (for 1d6+6) damage.

SmiloDan wrote:

Hex must be amazing on a flurry of blows!

Walock dips are SO awesome!

Yes, I had a lot of fun with my Elemental Monk / Blade-lock multiclass. Very manga-y.

I'm presently playing a battle master fighter/barbarian (rage re-fluffed as a defensive fighting style), inspired by Mad Martigan from Willow.

My friend played a solid battle master fighter / rogue multiclass fencer, with feint maneuver + sneak attack as his go-to attack

from what I've seen and heard, fighter, sorcerer and warlock multiclass rather well.

"Beast" is a type of creature in the monster manual, alongside "aberration", "plant", "dragon" and the others.

It does indeed cover all manners of animals, insects and dinosaurs.

On another subject: the sprite's invisibility

Sprites of the Monster Manual have invisibility at will. I want to keep that racial ability somehow, but it doesn't have to be used as such.

I want to fluff their invisibility as an ability to fly fast and erratically which, combined with their small size, makes them really hard to catch. Reciprocally, they can use this ability to their own advantage (no pun intended).

The invisible condition fits the bill perfectly; disadvantage to attack them, they have advantage against their target. The condition drops if they cast a spell, make an attack or lose concentration. So far its all good. But how can I...

- word it in such a ways that the sprite remains visible (he's just hard to catch!) and therefore can be taken as a valid target by all.

- reduce its effectiveness outside combat so that stealth checks remain relevant.

- nerf it so that it doesn't get too strong of an ability.

So far I've reduced the duration to "until the end of your next round". It takes an action to activate.

SmiloDan wrote:
Maybe AC equal to their proficiency bonus?

I thought of that, and that's probably what I'm gonna go for.

It would start at AC = 12 + DEX and wouldn't exceed AC = 14 + DEX (the equivalent of a 18 CON barbarian before) 13th level. So probably similar to a point-buy barbarian built. A barbarian with lucky stat rolls will probably exceed that progression. This would make a high AC rogue however, but not much more than a dwarf rogue in chainshirt.

It would reach the equivalent of a 22 CON barbarian at 17th level, but the barbarian's capstone ability is still better. At this point I'm not too worried about balance

I guess you could say that the automaton could dump CON and boost DEX for the best AC in the game. So its on the strong side, especially for a racial trait, unless you compare that to the sprite's flight or invisibility...

SmiloDan wrote:
If you polymorph someone into something with 1 hp, and they hurt themselves for 1 hp worth of damage, do they un-polymorph and return to their original form?

I would say yes since the text says " "until the target drops to 0 hp or dies", although this encourages suicidal behaviour metagaming.

What I'm wondering is, what is left of the target's memories, personality and tactical acumen now that its mental stats are those of the beast's shape.

Poison damage of the Girtablilu is based on the giant scorpion entry. scaling from 2d8 to 3d8 at 3rd level and 4d8 at 5th level was made to echo the Aasimar magic, but now that I think of it, I may dial it down to d6 and scale it to 5d6 following the Dragonborn's breath weapon trait...

As for Skin of Bronze, I basically want to give them a natural armor. There is the AC = 13 + DEX route, or giving them proficiency like dwarves, or a straight +1 to AC like the Warforged of the UA.

I recently converted my Dark Woods setting* to 5e, but I'm still struggling on certain racial traits, particularly the sprite's invisibility, the automaton's skin of bronze and the girtablilu poison scaling.

any input would be greatly appreciated

Dark Woods player character races

* Dark Woods is a homebrew setting created by rolling 5 random races from that worldbuilding exercise thread that is still going since 2012! (I've got Aasimar, a make-your-own construct race, girtablilu, sprite and vegepygmy)

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Hitdice wrote:
but I wish there were more (any?) low level legendary creatures in the MM.

Yes, me too. The Unicorn is a good example of it. Unfortunately, it is not an antagonist in most campaigns.

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Your 1st level ninja has 15 DEX (+2). Your 20th level ninja might have 20 DEX (+5)

So effectively you are going from +4 to +11

But bounded accuracy goes both ways, the AC of a high level character is not much higher than that of a low level character

SmiloDan wrote:
Maybe there could be a ranger spell that gives it better control of its animal companion?

people generally don't like that since it would require concentration, which competes with Hunter's Mark. But I'd be interested into such an option (wizard kind of did that with their spirit summoner ranger in one of the UA)

Mordo wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
I'm not to kind about this one as it breaks the action economy, and is a major boost the the ranger power. Which, as I said in my introduction, is already balanced.

My big gripe with the Beast Master's economy of action is that it is a stand-alone mechanics. I'd be ok if that was how extra "characters" work in 5e but that is not the case. A familiar uses its own action, as do summoned creatures, hirelings and just plain war dogs (well, that last one depends on your DM). The fact that the Beast Master has the least control over its pet seems wrong somehow, even if I understand the logic behind the mechanics.

Another Beast Master fix I like is for the Ranger to spend an action to give a command, and then the beast companion uses its actions to suit that command the best it can.

"attack this guy (points finger)": first round, the beast use the Dash action to reach, then attack on the following rounds until the opponent is defeated.

"follow me": the beast companion take the Dash and Disengage actions as long as the Beast Master take the Dash and Disengage action.

"stay away": the companion uses the Dash, Dodge or Disengage action as need be to stay out of combat.

"guard this place": the beast companion use the attack action if an opponent enters the guarded area.


Mordo wrote:
What if the companion could act independently but couldn't take the attack action on its turn unless the Beastmaster spend himself his action to give him the order to attack? It works pretty much the same as written in the PHB, but the companion, will be able to dodge, disengage, help, dash on its own.

I can meet you halfway and say that the Beast Master could command its beast companion to move and take the Dash, Disengage (and Hide because, why not?) at no action cost from the Beast Master. The Beast Master would have to spend its action to command the Attack, Dodge or Help actions.

At 7th level, the Beast Master can command the Help and Dodge actions as a Bonus Action of its own.

Being able to disengage without spending the ranger's action would improve the (relatively fragile) companion's survivability significantly

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James Langley wrote:


~Place a majority of the features into a sorcerer archetype.
~Keep the feat, but it only grants a reserve (and only the absorb spell recharge) and the create spellflame feature.

This way, it would allow someone to use spellfire, but it would require a little bit more investment to get the meaty-goodness of the original concept (via levels in sorcerer).

Does this seem workable?

I understand the intention of making it a feat rather than a class. In theory, everyone can multiclass as a sorcerer (and the sorcerer gets its archetype at level 1, which is nice), but not everyone meets the prerequisites. Besides, the only class that could never get spellfire would be, ironically, the sorcerer since you cannot multiclass into your own class...

Breaking-up your spellfire feat into two or three feats could also work. Even if the final result is strong, ASIs are a rare commodity to trade.

Hi James,

Spellfire does a bit much for a single feat. Compared to Magic Initiate, Spellfire gives you more spells, of higher level, and even more as you level-up. Spellfire does not refresh after a long rest, but the way to recharge your spellfire is yet another set of beneficial abilities.

Spellfire has its own pool of points, its own mechanics, abilities and some improvement as you gain level. For me, this is class material, specifically a new sorcerer archetype.


I wonder what they will take and leave behind, or build upon. Mind you there are many similarities already between the two games, it wouldn't be a far stretch to adapt...

Like Pan said above, I like to give more meaning to proficiency than a +2 to + 6 bonus. Sometimes, especially in the case of obscure knowledge, only the proficient character is allowed a check.

Sometimes, success from a proficient character can mean something slightly different than a success from a non-proficient character.

I also like to give players "raises" for each +5 by which the result beats the DC, granting additional bonuses. Attack rolls preceded by a raised acrobatic roll may be granted advantage, or a raised deception check may open an opportunity for a sleight of hand, etc.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
I don't get the 5e love personally, but then, I pretty much love AD&D and D&D (the REAL D&D, meaning Original, B/X or BECMI) and would rather play them any day over 5e anyways. Heck, love Pathfinder even...though I view it...

I loved 2e AD&D, despite its small issues. I resisted the switch to 3rd ed for a long time, but I came to appreciate the enhanced customization options it brought. Of course by the time I switched, 3rd ed was already starting to become discouragingly bloated. Then came Pathfinder and the promise of a fresh start, it too became discouragingly huge IMHO.

For me 5e brought a nice balance of old and new, the houserule-friendliness of AD&D with the customization of 3rd ed. It's a nice modern game and a tribute to all its previous iterations. I have a nostalgic love for 2e AD&ad, but 5e is my favorite.

I played games from level 1 to 20 where skill DCs where more or less the same (typically somewhere between 13 and 18), and as far as I experienced it worked fairly well.

High level characters succeeded in the field of proficiency reliably, which is what I would expect of high level characters, but failure were still possible in your low-stat abilities or when you weren't proficient with the skill. For characters with expertise and rogues with [can't remember the ability] that gives them a minimum result of 10, checks became auto-successes toward the end.

I can see this (maybe) causing some issues with athletics (for pushing) and stealth (against fixed passive perception DCs) or if player push the DM for knowledge checks all the time.

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