Build and Gear
Build as normal in the D&D 5e PHB.
Standard Array: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.
Build to level 4.
(Campaign will end at level 8)
No special limitations.
UA allowed. Homebrew with approval.
Beginner gear + 1 uncommon & 1 rare.
1. A common item that is special to them.
Must have a story of how you obtained it.
Can be anything that they can always carry.
2. Choose a district to have grown up in. Any class can be part of any district.
You also get a free upbringing feat that must be one of the two offered for your selected district.
A blight has dominated the realm with a shrouded being called only Divine Shadow cited as its ruler. The Clutch is the ruling seat where Divine Shadow casts out to the thousands of villages and cities of The Cluster. There are five districts run by factions that border The Clutch and rumor has it that an engineer has begun circulating word of rebellion and distributing jobs to fixers towards further destabilizing the Clutch.
The Clutch & Core Districts
The Divine Cabal's seat of power.
Within this central stronghold one will find not only the Divine Shadow but the bureaucrats, lawyers, and legislators that dictate policy. These are people of great power and authority. Little is otherwise known about what life is like within the walls of the clutch.
The north is filled with fanatics and the poor souls unfortunate enough to be their offspring. These people live in an area saturated with blight but somehow have managed to thrive within it.
The common resident of this region sells their services as a material editor.
The least of this region are catatonic blight obsessed zombies while the greatest of them are known as the Fabricator Mystics who spend their time performing great feats of manipulation of material components.
A monastic and agricultural region is made up of a sprawling landscapes where people live simple lives. Very few plants or animals thrive within the blight susurrated landscape but the farmers have learned to make it work.
Otherwise this region houses the shrines of the Temporal Coven, who are devout believers that time flows in a circle where what has happened in the past cycles will happen in the same order during the next cycle.
Low lands teeming with low lives. The poor and the desperate find themselves here eventually and while the main street of this district are populated with various entertainment venues that cater to all classes and interests... the dense network of alleys and ducts are full of people with nothing to live for.
The Pattern Makers take full advantage of this environment. Since their potions and concoctions require biological components they are happy to provide paths towards "easing" the pain of those who are willing to risk their bodies and lives for the privilege.
The industrial unions and it's workers live in the neighborhoods of this district. Families are raised in general security though the people who live here must sell their blood, sweat, and tears for the privilege but do so with enough collective bargaining to make it worth the effort.
Outside of hard labor is the requirement for any family with multiple children to donate each even numbered child to be raised by the Flicker Clique, an order of enhanced adoptees raised as living weapons in service of the Divine Cabal.
A district of schools, hospitals, courts, and museums. Those who live in this area enjoy a higher quality of life than any others outside of The Clutch. Those who show an aptitude of intellect are invited to attend their schools and no one ever declines.
For those born into this district if they lack an aptitude there are two paths allowing one to remain. Try your hand at the arts or give yourself over to the Bio Scholars to improve your form.
Player Upbringing Feats
All Player Characters must choose a background attached to their home district.
Option 1 will always be a reaction that spends your Hit Dice to repeatedly enact a minor effect.
Option 2 will always be a Once per Long Rest action to occasionally enact a major effect.
1. Blight Deviant
While dedicated to the mysticism of the Fabricators, you're less willing to forego the world.
Feat: Elemental Rebound (Reaction)
When someone performs a successful attack within 30 feet of you
you may spend a hit die to disrupt the energy flow and convert it to the dmg type of your choice.
Choose between: Force, Lighting, Psychic, Fire, Cold, or Thunder.
Roll a spell attack against the attacker
If you hit, the attacker takes the damage of their own roll with the new dmg type.
If you fail the damage is split 50/50 between the attacker and their target.
2. Northern Degen
You've lived with nothing and have little worry about the consequences of your actions.
Feat: Chaotic Revision (Action)
Once per Long Rest
You can channel the blight into a weapon in order to add additional damage
though you cannot control what kind of damage you're imbuing.
Roll a d6.
1 = +1d10 Fire
2 = +1d10 Cold
3 = +1d10 Thunder
4 = +1d10 Lightning
5 = +1d10 Force
6 = +1d10 Psychic
This augmentation lasts 1 hour.
1. Shrine Volunteer
You closely assisted the Coven members at a shrine and have found comfort in the future past.
Feat: Glance Back (Reaction)
You may burn a hit die to undo a d20 roll made by an ally after seeing the outcome.
You can use this to retry the same roll adding your hit die roll to it,
or to attempt a new course of action.
Upon either reroll you must take the new result.
Cannot use this Feat twice in the same minute.
2. Farm Hand
You were raised on a farm and are generally familiar with what plants are safe to eat or not.
Feat: Fast Forraging (Action)
Once per Long Rest
You can search the area for plant growths around you to help or hurt.
Roll a Nature check.
DC5 = 1 dose worth. DC10 = 2 doses. etc.
You can choose how many doses are healing (+10 HP) and how many are poisonous (+10 DMG).
These doses expire after 2 long rests.
1. Bone Roller
You grew up gambling in alleyways and gained a talent for well timed distractions.
Feat: Cast Doubt (Reaction)
When a creature within 30 feet who can hear you makes a d20 roll. Spend 1 Hit Die and roll it to subtract that amount from the d20 roll.
You grew up assisting in the extraction facility and recall how to create some basic tinctures.
Feat: Reduction (Action)
Once per Long Rest
When looting a corpse, roll a survival check.
1-5 gets you one organ, 6-10 gets two, etc.
You choose which organs.
At your next Rest the organs are distilled into tinctures with the following effects:
Heart: +1 dmg die to your single target attacks.
Liver: Add the equivalent of 1 max hit die as Temp HP.
Lung: Both 19 & 20 are critical hits in combat.
Brain: Telepathy sent to chosen creatures within 60 ft.
Tongue: Add Proficiency to social rolls. Stacks with existing Proficiencies or Expertise.
Eyes: +2 to Armor Class
These tinctures last 1 hour and sell at a retail price of 5 gold.
1. Labor Apprentice
You had a youth made up of strenuous and tedious work towards preparing you for a labor job.
Feat: Persistent Effort (Reaction)
Upon taking damage, you make spend a hit die to shrug off an equivalent amount of taken damage.
2. Clique Reject
As 2nd born, you were given to the Flicker Clique but were ejected for a lack of aptitude.
Feat: Flicker Blitz (Action)
Once per Long Rest
You can perform a calculated series of melee attacks against multiple opponents simultaneously.
Target a number of creatures within 15 feet of you equal to your proficiency bonus.
Roll a melee attack with +2 to hit for each of the targets.
If all attacks are successful roll an additional 1d10 and deal that damage to all target.
You cannot target the same creature twice.
1. Fallen Star
You were seen as having academic potential growing up but have failed to live up to expectations.
Feat: Extrapolation (Reaction)
You may spend a hit die to ask the DM to list the potential outcomes for a specific action attempt that you or an ally could take including failure, success, and the degrees between.
After finding out, if you choose to proceed you may add or subtract
your hit-die roll to the d20 roll towards the desired outcome.
2. Bio Student
You were studying to be a Bio-Scholar but burnt out, though you have retained some information.
Feat: Acupressure (Action)
Once per Long Rest
You can apply pressure to key points on a willing creature's body.
Choose a skill or save and the target creature adds their proficiency bonus
to rolls using that skill or save for the next 8 hours.
This bonus stacks on top of existing proficiency or expertise bonuses.
Player Upbringing Feats
Session -1 (08-14-2023 @ 16:00)
Player Intros, Character Concepts, & Special Rules/Features.
Worldbuilder - While you are doing what you do, there is an unfolding timeline. I know exactly how this story goes if you do nothing. Every action you take causes ripples through it all. There is also another team acting on its own. Your actions will effect each other but you will never meet any of them. You can steal and kill but the world will notice and people will react accordingly.
Fun Cousin - I'm am not strict to the rules. You tell me what you're trying to do and as I'll usually let you unless there's a very weird reason not to. HOWEVER success and failure are sliding scale. A critical success when trying to backflip up a 100ft damn might just mean you flip 10 ft up and land perfectly causing people to think you're a street performer and give you cash. It's not a guaranteed success as much as "the best possible outcome".
Skill Checker - I do not expect you, the player, to be able to lift a big rock in order to justify your character being able to. You roll strength and the game decides. Similarly, I do not expect you to be charismatically keen, exceptionally intelligent, or remarkably wise in order to pass related checks. RP is still fun and valued though and can bring it's own rewards.
NPC Relationships - You are encouraged to build relationships with specific NPCs or create NPCs that you have bonds with. Between major occurrences you'll be asked how you're spending your downtime. If you spend a significant amount of down time with a specific NPC you'll gain custom perks based off of that relationship. Note. You can also draw the ire of NPCs without realizing it and gain a detriment.
(Example: If you spend your downtime with your pickpocket friend, they will likely teach you how to do some special sleight of hand tricks as a bonus but you might also attract a private investigator's attention due to being affiliated with a person of interest and that attention might get in the way of what you're doing.)
Flow Points - Instead of awarding Fate or Advantage I reward Flow Points. They are earned with RP and being true to character type. They can stack but expire after the following session if unused. They can be used when you roll a 1 or a 20. If a nat 1, you can create "Dumb Luck" and the universe will spare you a massive failure (though not exactly give you a success). If a nat 20, you can create an "Epic Moment" where you not only succeed at the action as best as possible, but you can choose a following action that also also goes as best as possible and that moment will become an in world story that lives on past your adventure.
Blight Spark - Your personal item will be imbued with a very specific effect we'll agree upon that will act as your own personal Legendary Action that can be activated any time. You are not restricted in how often or how many times you use it but each use without rest will create an accumulative risk to your health. Upon each use, you will afterwards need to roll a saving throw of a random Attribute (I will roll 1d6 to select attribute and you will roll 1d20 to save). Losses will be noticed.
Initiative - Initiative is decided at the end of a Long Rest or Short Rest and will effect the order in which you are allowed to react and interact with the world as a group. The highest initiative will be the Leader of that day, but they can always defer to the next in the order, putting themselves second until the the next rest.
Enemy Combat - Enemy agents do not have an initiative. When you interact with an enemy (attack, spell cast, etc.) they will take their turn immediately in response. This is to keep combat more cinematic and easily followed by focusing on specific interactions instead of actions. All enemies that have not been interacted with by the end of the Player Character initiative order will all take their turns at the end of the round.
Healing Potions - Potions are injected. You can take your potion as a Bonus Action in which case you get the maximum possible HP restored. You can also take your potion as a Free Action in which case you roll as normal. Alternately, you can throw the needle up to 30ft to hit a target with the same rules as taking it yourself, no attack roll needed unless something is actively blocking the target
4. Safety & Comfort
Default Trigger Warnings (before discussion) - This game is likely to include violence, physical mutilation, various addiction, severe gambling, abuse, slavery, sexual themes, and substance abuse.
Topics of Avoidance - To be determined in Session -1 discussion
Anytime Pause (Rock/Paper/Scissors Check) - At any moment at all for any reason, call out the word "PAUSE" and the game will hold. At this time you can do one of three things:
Excavate (Rock) - Ask me why what is happening is happening if you don't understand and it's causing anxiety and I will outline what cause and effect I can to explain how we arrived to this moment so you are more comfortable with what is happening.
Handwave (Paper) - If RP or a scene in general is not going in a direction you want to experience in detail (whether it's just a boring discussion or things are getting uncomfortable for you) you can request I Handwave the remainder of the scene and I will take your current intended outcome and give a loose one-two sentence summary of what happens and pick up after.
Undo/Cut (Scissors) - If something has just occurred that is uncomfortably outside of what you want for your character you can request it be cut out of the narrative. Depending on the point of the event I may need to improvise a separate path to a similar milestone and some things that are happening in the world might not be able to be cut but can be handwaved with no dramatic attention being given to the results.
Outside of Gameplay - Issue with Me or a Player :
The form below is anonymous and you can send me any concerns you are uncomfortable airing yourself. But all of you hopefully know by now that if you come to me directly, even with a complaint against me, I will 100% take that information on reflectively and come back to you to work out a solution and likely an apology.
I also recommend you set up a DMless group chat so if you feel like anything weird is happening (or just for planning) you can discuss it with your peers if you're uncertain about your sense of things.
Anonymous Contact Form
(Use any time if concerned about anything too sensitive)
Divine Shadow is dead. All hail the Corrupted Divine Shadow
Divine Shadow's transfer of power to a new host is interrupted when the intended host is killed pre-transfer.
A woman from the divine cabal inserts herself into the process and essential steals the transfer of power and identity of Divine Shadow.
The Cabal is in a panic before the illusion is cut short and you're left in the public square with the general population to figure out if this should be a concern.
You all recognize some other people in the crowd (each other).
Babel - A Proto-Bellringer
Half-Orc/Half-Human. Bottle's +1
Bygone - A Fixer
Half Tiefling/Half Elf. Tough to remember.
Gudu - A Bellforger / Pattern Junkie
Killer No2 - A Flicker Clique Icon
An average sized half-tiefling/half-human dressed in pristine flicker clique garb
Kai (Kaila Delphi) - A Bellringer
Elf. Tall & cat-like. Pin straight black hair. Black shirt and cargo pants.
Made from Locke's mother's corpse.
Lanag - A Reader & Info Broker
Moon Elf - Unassuming and light on their feet. Observant with luminous.
Micky Palms - A Loan Shark
Autumn Eleadrin. 6 gloved hands (3 on arms & 3 free floating) and has an illusory visage.
Nickles - A Bartender
Tiefling, casual, warm, stressed.
Ode - A Bio-scholar Drop-out
Small and unassuming/mousey. Wears a Fedora and has a temp tribal style neck tattoo.
Os Zane - A Sensei
Half Dwarf/Half Goliath. Bald. Nice skin.
Poplin (Lady Baxter) - Ruby Mill's Star
Magnetic presence. cinderella-esque in terms of in/out of public persona.
Rigella - A Highroller
Bugbear. Nuevo-Rich Dresses in obnoxiously loud fashion.
Snaead - A SeerA Yuan-Ti, worker in the industrial district.
Woodcutter - An Arena ChampionA large half-elf/half-gith with orc arms augmented onto themselves.
Yerfin - A Food Cart Vender & Info Broker
Dwarf. Diner line cook energy.
Relies heavily on prestidigitation.
Zorg (Nosferatu Zorg) - A Former Pit ChampOrc. Built like a retired linebacker."Mentor" Blaeks fighting career.
Fair Fowl - A Fancy Restaurant
Ilmater Shrine - A Community Center
Pocket Pal - A Food & Info Street Cart
Red Mill - A High End Bordello
Underline - A Popular Dive Bar
Flashback - Bellringer Attack (Bottle & Blaek)
At The Underline basement fight ring about 1 year ago. Bottle was looking for fresh supplies from fight casualties. Blaek was preparing for a match.
Kai enters and targets Zorg. Babel alerts the room. Blaek tries to intervene to tackle Kai but is flung aside. Kai poisons Zorg.
Babel intervenes to cure him.
Flashback - Out on the Town (Locke & Tejat)
Poplin & Locke (Pop & Lock. lol) are doing some shopping and try to go for food at The Fair Fowl but Woodcutter is signing autographs while Killer No2 and Tejat both shadow him with separate intentions.
Woodcutter recognizes Poplin as her Ruby Mill bordello identity Lady Baxter and ceases signing autographs seeing her trying to get into the restaurant to invite her to join him for dinner at his private table.
Tejat considers making a mover against Woodcutter but Locke's observing of her and Killer No2 brings Tejat's notice to the Flicker Clique guard and they let it go for now.
Flashback - The Loan Shark (Blaek & Marcel)
Blaek accompanies Snaead to a meeting with Micky Palms to discuss the debt that she has inherited from a parent who had a pattern addiction and abandoned. Upon arrival they find Marcel in the foyer, also waiting. Cries of pain are leaking out from the closed door. When the door opens Ode comes out, clearly shaken and Micky Palms leads him out before explaining the terms of Snaead & Marcel's indentured collaboration while utterly freaking Balek out by being too familiar.
Flashback - Bath House (Tejat & Bottle)
Tejat and Os visit Lanag at the bath house. Lenag is talking to an very well dressed Bugbear named Rigalla who is treating them very poorly like they think they own Lanag. Tejat moves to confront but is cut off by Bottle's intervention/sabotage of the bugbear's day, avoiding the confrontation but punishing the jerk for bad manners.
Flashback - Food Park (Marcel & Locke)
Marcel and Nickles are grabbing a snack between casinos, as Locke is visiting with Yerfin. The tieflings stop at Yerfin's cart, The Pocket Pal, to place an order. A Bellforger, Gudu, with a Bellringer in tow approaches and starts begging Yerfin for info on finding a pattern fix. As Gudu dials up, Locke straightens up to become noticed and imposes. The Bellringer notes Locke as Gudu does, while Marcel is motivated to intervene by baiting the junkie with bad directions to a pattern maker.
Meeting the Fixer
The party makes their way through the Ilmater Shrine using the secret tunnel to the Underline. People upstairs seem to be disturbed until Zorg calms them down and Babel goes up to help. Locke sends a message to Poplin via Chatterbug network. The group discusses the oddity of noticing that Regulators work in teams of 5, 3 of which are being masked somehow but now you all can see through that masking. They discuss the explosion, speculating on it's purpose. Bygone is noticed by Locke, observing this discussion from a corner. Bottle is notified and greets the stranger.
Bygone concurs that the transfer of power was chaotic from past descriptions. It's speculated by him that the explosion was due to the Divine Predecessors attempting to wrestle the Shadow back from the Divine Host. He confesses he's been fixing towards disrupting the Cabal's plans and has agents out in the world. It's also noted that the Regulators are likely suppressing discord and collecting people of interest.
Bygone offers to pay the player characters a 10 Platinum each with a 2 Platinum each retainer towards getting them to look into the goings on. Following up on other agents sent out. They go upstairs to talk further.
Handwaves, Postscripts, & Info from Fixer Chat
Fixer Provided Info:
A trio of outsiders was sent in to spot cracks in the Cabal's unity. Political conflicts. Security failures. etc.
[No other questions have been asked.]
Underline Bounty Board (public bulletin board with jobs and offers):
Stop the Regulators! - [5 P] - Dis3 - Report to Nuggies at The Underline
Help! A Pack of Coyotes are stealing babies. - [200 S] - Dis2 - Ask Cid, you know... the farmer.
Two Bodies Found. Heads Missing. [25 G] - Dis4 - Talk to The Twins at Red Mill for info or to claim.
PatternPalooza! 1 day only - Full cuts are halved & Full flasks are doubled! Come Spin the Wheel! [?]
Our Alchemical Courtship - One Night Reunion Performance - The Feathered Fox [-10 E ]
The Occasional Challenge - The Fulcrum Five have issued a challenge! Will they make it to the Woodcutter? [free]
Rumor Mill (things heard around the bar):
The Divine Shadow has been killed. There's a power vacuum.
The Divine Shadow has killed the predecessors and is enacting a crueler order.
Acolyte Rydka has gone mad during their retreat into the blight void.
More strange mounds have been appearing in District 2