Brimleydower's 5e: Thornleaf Tales (Inactive)

Game Master Kagehiro

World Map (in progress)

Thornleaf Map Editor

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Brimleydower wrote:

I'm mostly going to focus on compiling for the next couple of days, and rounding out the deities.

Bearing in mind that I'll be filling in blanks as needed, formal writeups on Gahm or Ghab would be welcome. Feel free to use the template in the campaign info tab. If I've filled in info on a deity already, feel free to override it.

I'll probably end up folding Nachttrinker into an aspect or expression of a God. I mentioned that deities mostly embody a concept, and any given one will be known by myriad titles depending on which culture is worshiping. Conceptually, it would be akin to Hel or Hades being representations of the same divine power, along with other underworld deities.

I'll probably focus on establishing some nearby counties or provinces soon, and some of the other island-state duchies.

That's fine, I wrote it as a syncretic religion anyway.

I found my inspiration in Xipe Totec just FYI.

The orange/blue thing reminds me of Chinese yang/yin. There should totally be a Daoist style religious philosophy that deals with balancing the orange and blue qi in your body and living in harmony with the flow of nature. Maybe that could be worked into the elven religion?

A lot of the deities are associated with celestial bodies. While this is mostly not the case (the twin sun goddesses being the obvious exception) it is nevertheless a popular school of thought among the religious minded. On that note, most of the planets are inhabited and inhabitable. I alluded to elves originating from elsewhere, and that elsewhere being a place directly connected to Mithromar. I have tentative designs on this being the mist-shrouded and fey-dominated moon.

Drow come from the depths of Torfel, a massive planet with an inhospitable surface, but entire civilizations living in an endless subterranean sprawl. But they're albino elves, rather than black/purple. Kinda like the royal elf-twins in Hellboy 2.

That's a theme I'd like to run with in general: the planets were interconnected in the olden days, but the failure of magic closed off these pathways. It is a convenient explanation for why mythical creatures became so scarce as well. It also helps explain their resurgence, as these old portals spring into existence once more.

On Neytha, the inscrutable and unknowable entity some people worship (mostly in a fatalistic, doomsayer method). Speaking in broad prophecy, it is fated to destroy all creation in the far distant future. A bit more behind the DM screen, and unknown in-game, it is associated/embodied by/dwells within a black hole, and is where the Lovecraftian bad things spawn from. When the Mage-Sovereign tried to seal off the invasion, this is likely what she targeted.

Titles: The Mistress of Magic; Dweomerkeeper; Voidgazer; Loremaster
Symbol: Nine-pronged star atop a staff
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Knowledge, Magic, Power, Spells
Worshipers: Spellcasters & Sages
Cleric Alignments: Any
Domains: Arcana, Knowledge
Favored Weapon: quarterstaff
Worshiper Titles: Loreseeker (Acolyte & Sage), Lorekeeper (Cleric), Lorewarden (Paladin)

Couple more, to round out the elemental corners at least.

Titles: The Charlatan; Master of Mischief; The Hidden Current
Symbol: A mummer's mask half submerged by water
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Concealment, Deception, Thievery, Water
Worshipers: Halflings, sailors, thieves
Cleric Alignments: Any Chaotic or Neutral
Domains: Tempest, Trickery
Favored Weapon: shortsword
Worshiper Titles: Grifter (Cleric), Wavewaker (Paladin)

Depiction: Androgynous halfling wearing robes of muddy water, holding a mask in either hand.


Titles: Farseeker; The Godschild; The Tantrum-Storm
Symbol: A teardrop bisected by lightning
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Portfolio: Air, Capriciousness, Storms, Travel, Wanderlust
Worshipers: Adventurers, gypsies, sailors, vagabonds
Cleric Alignments: Any non-Lawful
Domains: Life, Tempest
Favored Weapon: spear or javelin
Worshiper Titles: Stormdancer (Cleric), Stormknight (Paladin)

Depiction: Representations usually center around an upset child; sometimes a cloud-swaddled infant shedding tears as rain, or other times an angry toddler grasping bolts of lightning.

Been trying to cover the bases on an alignment and domain basis. Got that squared away for the most part. Missing a Neutral Good deity on that score, but Thron's fire god and Ghab still need to be worked out, so we'll see where that leaves us. In terms of domain...

Arcana 2
Forge 2
Knowledge 3
Life 4
Light 3
Protection 2
Tempest 3
Trickery 3
War 3

We don't really have a full-on Druidy/Nature God... Nachttrinker comes close in some respects. Nor is there a full-on Death/Undeath entity just yet (like a Phasma or Urgathoa).

Der Grüne Mann
Titles: Green Jack, The Woodwose, Lord of the Forest
Symbol: A face surrounded by or made from leaves
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Animals, Druidry, Vegetation, Seasons, Life
Worshipers: Druids, hunters, woodsmen, elves, farmers
Cleric Alignments: Any Neutral
Domains: Life, Nature (I'm stealing life from Addily, give Addily knowledge or something)
Favored Weapon: quarterstaff
Worshiper Titles: Bough Singer (Cleric), Warden (Paladin)

Depiction: A large man-like figure, at least fourteen foot high, very sturdy, with a tall head, hardly any neck, and a green and grey bark hide. Branches or vines may sprout from his mouth, nostrils, or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Leaves replace hair, and bare branches thrust up from his crown like the antlers of a mighty stag.

I'll do a death god later if no one else gets to it first.

I'd prefer an anti-undead entity holding the Death portfolio (and emphasizing the Grave domain). I'll probably come up with a lich vibe deity later for the undead, necromancy slant.

Unless someone has an area they'd like to explore further, we probably have enough to go ahead and get started. Assuming everyone's ready and willing.


I didn't find the time to write up a death deity today, but I will do it tomorrow.

Other than that, I'm good to go.

Titles: Holy Inebriator, The Liberator, Breaker of Boundaries
Symbol: grape leaves, or broken chains
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio: Alcohol / inebriation, Freedom (from bondage and from inhibitions)
Worshipers: Brewers, drunks, abolitionists
Cleric Alignments: Any Chaotic or Neutral
Domains: Freedom, Madness, Chaos
Favored Weapon: Improvised
Worshiper Titles: Unbound (Cleric), Liberator (Paladin)

OK, finally got breathing room to write. I'm ready to kick off anytime (and might even have a bit more breathing room soon)!

I'm quickly learning that 5e desperately needs to field more cleric domains.

Tod (pronounced like toadt, not the English name Tod)
Titles: The Reaper, Everyman's Judge, That Which Waits in Silence
Symbol: A human skeleton clutching a scythe
Alignment: Neutral
Portfolio: Death, Judgement, Afterlife, Fate
Worshipers: Undertakers, Undead Hunters
Cleric Alignments: Any Neutral
Domains: Grave, Death
Favored Weapon: Scythe
Worshiper Titles: Undertaker (Cleric), Corpse Watcher (Paladin)

Depiction: A human skeleton clad in dark robes, wearing the cap of a magistrate, and clutching a scythe in one hand and a noose in the other. Tod rides a black bullock.

Tod is a psychopomp, serving to sever the last ties between the soul and the body, and to guide the deceased to the afterlife. Its scythe cuts the souls from corpses, and its noose drags them to his hall for judgement. After weighing the deceased soul, Tod guides it to its final resting place. Any violation of death's natural cycle is anathema to Tod's doctrine.

Titles: Corpselord; Lichgod; Tyrant of the Festering Pit
Symbol: Rotten mindflayer head with eyesockets leaking ichor
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Portfolio: Decay, Lichdom, Necromancy, Undeath
Worshipers: intelligent undead, necromancers
Cleric Alignments: Any Evil
Domains: Death
Favored Weapon: darts
Worshiper Titles: Necrophant (Cleric), Hand of Decay (Paladin)

Depiction: Xarmos, by means unknown, was a mindflayer that achieved lichdom then demilichdom before ascending into godhood. In that respect, he is the only mortal creature to have risen to divinity. His manifestations and likeness are that of a grotesque mound of pulsing, bleeding viscera that issue forth from a pale, rotten mindflayer head.

May have a fifth player coming on board. Soon as that gets settled I'll go ahead and start the actual game.

I mentioned an alternate half-orc subrace. Traditional half-orcs in the Dominion of Resk are called Eldin'Orcs (or, "orcs of the old blood") while the more recent, less brutish bloodline are called Forn'Orcs (or, "orcs with soft tusks").

In the setting at large, the Common Tongue is the language that half-orcs speak, regardless of bloodline. It uses a baseline consisting of the Orcish tongue mingled with draconic script, so it's still a little harsh/guttural (but nothing we'll denote especially, since we represent Common as the English language). Orcs belonging to the nobility in the Dominion speak High Orcish, while the orcish tribes living on reservations speak Low Orcish (which is just the baseline Orcish in-game). Basically, for simplicity's sake, the only actual mechanics change is that High Orcish is a new language.

Now, back to Forn'Orc as a subrace...

Ability Score Increase: Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age: Forn'Orcs mature a little faster than humans, reaching adulthood around age 14. They age noticeably faster and rarely live longer than 75 years
Alignment: Famously levelheaded unlike Eldin'Orcs, Forn'Orcs tend towards Lawful alignments.
Size: Though not as bulky, Forn'Orcs still are imposing owing to their orcish ancestry. Your size is Medium.
Speed: 30 ft.
Darkvision: 60 ft.
Canny Diplomat: You gain proficiency in the Insight and Persuasion skills.
Clear Thinker: You have advantage on saving throws against mind-affecting spells and effects, and you have resistance against Psychic damage.
Languages: Common and Orcish.

Greetings all, thanks for having me on. I've read through the Recruitment pages and while my understanding of what's coalescing here is still a little uncertain, I'm excited to jump in and take part.

I'm going to be playing Deresh, a Forn'Orc of a decidedly civilized bent, a connoisseur of the finer things in life who is cursed with a morbid curiosity for the darker corners of the world. I'm still working on the crunch, but should have him spec'd out soon. His background is still pretty fluid, and I'd be happy to work out some connections with the others in the group if anyone is amenable (Jubal?).

Either way, glad to be here. Cheers!

Go ahead and have this for your stat array: 16, 16, 13, 12, 11, 9

Welcome to the crew, Deresh. Yeah, connect him to Belbajak could know anyone. He travels all around making deliveries. He could know Deresh as he is connected to one of the cabal of spell-casters or scholars. Or, they could meet on road. Or something else.


Welcome to the club!

Barazi is fairly well interwoven, but if you see an avenue to work with I’m all ears.

Hi, Daresh. Welcome to the group. Same as the others, if you come up with a reasonable connection I'm willing to work with it.

I'll go ahead and lay out some houserules I run with before I forget.

  • Inspiration is not something I'll be using. If this were a tabletop game I'd run with something modeled similarly to Hero Points, but the pacing of PbPs makes my usual session-based approach less applicable.
  • Short Rests and magic items. RAW, you can identify items by spending a short rest to identify them, but I'll be reverting to a previous-Editions approach of requiring an identify or stronger spell to do so. Consumables generally won't be held to this standard, like potions or scrolls. For items with a very simple enchantment, I might allow an Arcana check combined with detect magic (like in the case of a +1 dagger). I'll also allow your characters to attune to magic items quicker as a trade-off (10 minutes, as opposed to a Short Rest).

    Knowledge-based skills: Generally speaking, if you don't know something, you don't know it. I've found coming from Pathfinder to 5e, it's difficult for players to break themselves of the monster knowledge mindset of that game. So, before I get to my houserule I'll just gently warn that there isn't a knowledge for everything, setting lore and character background/history will inform much of what your character knows or does not, and "unskilled knowledge" checks aren't a thing (at best, I'll allow a general Intelligence roll if I think it's reasonable that a character might have encountered something in the past to allow them a chance).

    Having said that, I would like for any one with knowledge-based skills (Arcana, History, Nature, Religion) to denote a field of expertise. This will represent the area your studies centered on, to an extent that you could earn a living doing that thing if you applied yourself. When something under the purview of your field of expertise comes up, I'll likely not even ask you to roll for it unless it's an exceptionally obscure bit of lore. For example: someone with Arcana (dragons) would be able to familiar with a dragon's strengths/weaknesses, personality profile, eating habits, etc. Someone with History (nobility) would be familiar with heraldry, rulers, house alliances, etc.

  • How about Arcana (Spells) & History (Magic users & Magical events) for Belbajak?

    For Nature, I’m kinda just picturing her having an in depth training of plants and (Ecology)?

    Jubal Breakbottle wrote:
    How about Arcana (Spells) & History (Magic users & Magical events) for Belbajak?

    That works. For Arcana (Spells) I'd say translating an arcane scroll is a freebie for Belbajak. Any spells you personally know or have seen cast a few times you would be able to recognize them as they are cast without making a roll.

    Barazi wrote:
    For Nature, I’m kinda just picturing her having an in depth training of plants and (Ecology)?

    Ecology is fine. Just specify a wilderness type for it (woodlands would probably be most applicable in your case, since you're from a volcanic woodland island).

    I'm slowly cobbling together my character sheet as I'm not familiar with 5E rules. Progress is slow but certain.

    I'm unsure about the setup here - does the adventure start in Thornleaf?

    Yeah, we'll kick things off in Thornleaf. I anticipate at least some sandboxing going on owing to the nature of the Dungeon World-esque setting building, but I'm hoping Thornleaf will at least initially remain a base of operations.

    I usually use this wiki for quick-accessing some information, especially for slapping a character together:

    Bard link

    Spellcasting classes work a little differently. Spells don't scale with level automatically. Rather, you'll have a pool of known spells that you can choose to cast at higher levels by burning a higher level spell slot. Overall spell slot numbers are significantly lower than in other editions, but cantrips do scale with level and are way, way, way more useful.

    Hey Deresh, glad to meet you and welcome to the party!

    Forgive the belated welcome, things have been a bit nutty for a while over here.

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