Category Archives: General

Yomi, The Japanese Land of the Dead

Yomi is the Japanese land of the dead. It was mentioned in the ancient Kojiki, a collection of myths and legends purportedly composed in the 8th century. In Yomi, the dead live out a muted, eternal existence, regardless of their past deeds.

RPG Blog Carnival

It’s Orktober… ahem… October, and that means time for another RPG Blog Carnival. This month’s carnival is hosted by our good buddy Kim, over at Beyond the Horizon Games (he also plays Orks). The topic for October is “Worldbuilding“, which is serendipidious since that was exactly what we were looking at in our latest edition of the newsletter.

Campaigns in Yomi

We must always be respectful when setting games in places that are significant to others. We must go as respectful travelers, realizing that we are journeying into a land that others understand better than we do. This short guide can only introduce you to the world of Yomi, but its lore is truly vast, so it might be the perfect inspiration for your own campaign.

Yomi is more like Limbo or the Shadow Plane in Pathfinder than Hell. People do not go there because of their sins or lack of faith, they go there because it is the next step of their journey. People do not usually return from Yomi after they have feasted in Yomi, but that probably won’t stop your players from trying.

Yomi is both a land of shadows and corruption. You might find people covered in maggots or pass through a stranger like a ghost. Yomi is as cold as a tomb, but its residents seem only dimly aware of the cold. The rain hardly ever falls on crops unless it floods the land, the wind never moves ships unless it throws them against the rocks, and the sun is forever pale and powerless.

The responsibilities you had in life might remain in death, but they are no easier. A farmer might work a field that grows only rotting rice, or a baker might put bread into an oven that never gets hot enough for cooking. Emperors still reign, but they too must suffer the entropy that pervades Yomi, as their kingdom falls apart no matter what brilliant decrees they might enforce.

Travelers wandering through Yomi navigate by landmarks rather than distances. While two places might be considered “close” to each other, their true distance is in constant flux. A journey might take a day or a month, and a traveler that strays from their course is doomed to wander aimlessly until they discover a known landmark.

NPCs from Yomi

The Tetsuakuto and other NPCs will appear in the Grimdark Pamphlet.

Tetsuakuto (Iron Bandit)

Encased in black iron plate, tetsuakuto wear hideous menpo face masks bearing octopus designs.

The Tetsuzaku, or Iron Bandits, were feared outlaws that menaced major trade routes throughout the Empire. When they were finally captured they were boiled alive in their iron plate before being offered to a kami of the ocean cliffs. Through some occult bargain, they returned from Yomi to plague those who live near the sea, before returning back to the lands of the dead.


Tetsuakuto

Medium undead, lawful evil

Armor Class 18 (plate)
Hit Points 76 (8d8 + 40)
Speed 30 ft.
  STR
  DEX
  CON
  INT
  WIS
  CHA
  18 (+4)   12 (+1)   16 (+3)   10 (+0)   14 (+2)   12 (+1)
Saving Throws Con +5
Skills Athletics +6

Damage Immunities cold
Condition Immunities frightened
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the tetsuakuto to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the tetsuakuto drops to 1 hit point instead.

Actions

Multiattack. The tetsuakuto makes two attacks with its naginata.
Naginata. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 4) slashing damage. On a successful hit, the target must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity save or fall prone.

Reactions

Spike Rake. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4 + 4) slashing damage.

Three Stone Stories: Solo Narrative Roleplay is here!

Three Stone Stories Cover

Your Greatest Tale

Three Stone Stories is a solo narrative role-playing game where you’re the Storyteller.
Tell heroic tales using your own imagination, these rules, and three regular six-sided dice.

Roll the Stones,
Determine the Will of the Dice,
Choose your Destiny.

It’s Your Story

The full 64-page book, including several adventure chronicles, tips for getting the most out of the game, and D6 generators is available wherever we sell the game, and you can get it from Drive Thru RPG for 20% off using this coupon code.


Can We Improve RPG Leveling Systems?

Look at me, killing monsters for wealth and XP! Experience points (Exp or XP) are a great reward for players and a fun part of the game (it’s all fun though, right?). But do they really do their job? Can we build better RPG leveling systems that include roleplaying?

Void Dragonborn

Leveling up with XP is a staple of the genre and games like D&D and Pathfinder would lose much of their playability without it. Imagine being level 1, forever!  Each new level gives you more options and lets you fight bigger monsters and face more dangerous challenges. But has anything really changed for your character? Hasn’t the bar just moved? Has the character’s experience of the world really changed them at all?

Before I sound too much like a jaded grognard, I’m not saying that the system’s broken. It doesn’t need fixing. But what if the system incorporated character development? What if your character didn’t just become more powerful, but their outlook changed and they grew in their understanding of the world?

The Mouse Guard RPG and Marvel Heroic Roleplay both tie mechanics to your character’s goals, and I’ll bet there are a ton of other systems that do too. How does it work? Basically, you gain some penalty or bonus (or both) when your character’s goal or flaw comes into play. These goals or flaws often change at the end of a session or when you level up your character.

In D&D, we have ideals, bonds, and flaws, but they’re not linked to level progression. With One D&D recently announced, are we likely to see that change? What might an ideals-based leveling system look like?

An Ideals-Based RPG Leveling Systems

Instead of (or in conjunction with) using inspiration in your D&D games, players earn experience points when they play to or against their ideals. You can award XP according to four tiers linked to the XP Thresholds by Character Level table in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (Chapter 3). For example, a minor use of an ideal, for a 6th level character, you might only award 300 XP. Going against their ideal that causes major consequences might, in contrast, be worth 1,400 XP to the same character.

This XP is awarded only at the end of the session, and could be divided between the players to ensure nobody is too many levels ahead of the rest. In essence, while one character might have had a significant moment of personal growth (or regression), their whole party is affected and learns from it.

This isn’t rocket science, so I’ll be surprised if GMs aren’t already doing something similar. Let me know.

RPG Blog Carnival

A big “thank you” to Adventures to Authenticity for hosting this month’s RPG Blog Carnival. This month’s topic is “Character Development”,  so head on over there to see all the great articles submitted by the community.

Camp Karate Goes Copper

Camp Karate, our game of hot-blooded dramatic roleplay, is now a copper seller on Drive Thru RPG. To celebrate, we’ve got a special discount link for you, so you can join in the action. Haya!

Camp Karate RPG

5e Madness Cards for Home Printing

We’ve added a PDF version of our Madness Cards for 5e to Drive Thru RPG, so you can print them at home. We still think the POD option is better, but here’s a discount link if you want the PDF.

Madness Cards Set
Just look at the prettiness! You get two sets of the cards in a nice tuck box if you order the POD version.

That’s all from me for today, have an amazing weekend.

Rodney

Dragon Rep: The Top Tier PR of Dragons

Dragons get good public relations (PR) these days.

It’s easy to forget that dragons used to be the embodiment of evil. They were the Serpent, Satan in the garden of Eden and the Book of Revelation. You know that Vecna guy? Dragons were worse.

These days the public image of dragons is more varied.

I was watching trailers for upcoming movies the other day and was surprised to see how many of them had dragons in them. Some inclusions made sense; the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer has two (a black and a red). House of the Dragon… that’s easy…

Then there was Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Sandman. I’m not so familiar with either franchise, but I didn’t expect to see dragons here. I realized that it was time to get educated, so I picked up The Sandman, Volume 1. I’ll let you know when the dragon appears.

Even Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has what looks like an Aztec representation of a dragon, seen just briefly on screen.

So, dragons are really popular, but is that just in the circles I hang out in? There’s even a mod for Stray that lets you play as Spyro the Dragon. I think that just points to the fact that dragons intrigue us. Ever since our ancestors first picked up a dinosaur bone, we’ve been fascinated with scaled giants.

The RPG Blog Carnival and Dragon Fire

In July, this fascination came home. We hosted the RPG Blog Carnival with the topic “Here Be Dragons“, and here’s what our friends had to say about our fire-breathing friends:

Kim Frandsen of Beyond the Horizon Games talked about Wyrms of the North, a series of articles that ran in Dragon Magazine from 1996 to 1999. He says (and I agree) that the history — the story — behind each dragon is an important part of what makes them work at the table.

In his second article, Kim introduced Patina, a copper dragon with a grudge. Here’s an excellent campaign idea for your table, based around an intriguing creature. This isn’t a simple “slay the monster, get the gold” adventure idea either, and I love that.

Kim’s third article opened up dragons in a big way. I even consider this article a must-read for Pathfinder 2e and Dungeons & Dragons 5e GMs looking to run a campaign featuring dragons, as it deals with some aspects not covered in the core rules. Dragons are Dangerous, and Kim has done some work to ensure they play that way at the table.

Finally, Gonz at Codex Anathema created a dragon-focused campaign based on three one-shots he ran. The article is written in Spanish, but Google Translate in Chrome will get you there in a jiffy! The players get to meet phoenixes during their adventures, so we’re big fans already. And oh, it gets better from there. Give it a read.

Thank you to everyone who contributed this last month, and to everyone who joined us along the way.

Before we go, I’d love to hear from you. Who is your favorite dragon? What setting are they from and why do you like them? My favorite is Niv-Mizzet from the Magic: the Gathering TCG, because who doesn’t love making things go boom?

Just Out

We just released Camp Karate: Hot-Blooded Dramatic Roleplay, a new little indie RPG. We loved making it and we think you’ll enjoy playing it. Check it out.


Is Nabe Japan’s Potjiekos?

South Africans love potjiekos, meaning ‘little pot food’, but it does mean braving the cold, sometimes for hours, for that scrumptious dish. Perhaps the Japanese can offer us an alternative: nabe.

Japanese Nabe (Source, adapted: commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 2.0)

On these frigid winter evenings, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm, hearty meal. What better than a one pot dish that you simply throw all the ingredients into and let simmer. Donabe, or nabe for short, means ‘pot’, and while it can be cooked over a fire, it is typically prepared inside, on a stove top, in less than an hour.

What’s in the Pot?

Traditionally, a large clay pot with an inner glaze is used for nabe, but these days, the more economical cast iron variety can be found in many Japanese homes.

Unlike potjie that begins by frying meat, nabe starts with a broth. This broth is made from dashi (dried bonito and seaweed stock), mirin (low alcohol, sweet rice wine), sake (rice wine), soy sauce, and salt. Meat and an assortment of vegetables are added to this. The ingredients vary according to region and taste, but napa cabbage, Japanese leek, enoki mushrooms and carrots cut into a flower shape are popular. They are arranged aesthetically and, in the same way as potjiekos, not stirred but left in place to cook and absorb the flavour of the broth.

Napa cabbage, daikon radish, Japanese leek, and spinach.
Napa cabbage, daikon radish, Japanese leek, and spinach (Source, adapted: rawpixel.com)

Fighting Fit

South African potjiekos was brought over by the Dutch in the 17th century. The Voortrekkers found this method of pot cooking a useful way to feed a lot of people. Similarly, as sumo gained popularity in Japan around 1909, nabe became a good solution for providing the growing number of wrestlers with a filling, nutritious meal.

Each sumo stable has their own recipe for chankonabe. So called by combining the affectionate term for their leaders (chan) and youth (ko) who would eat together. Chankonabe can contain pork, beef, and seafood. However, before a competition, chicken is favoured as it is believed to be good luck to eat meat from a two legged animal.

You don’t have to be a sumo wrestler to sample this tasty dish. Today, this delicious treat can be enjoyed in restaurants in the sumo district of Ryogoku, Tokyo, or whipped up at home following a simple online recipe.

Every Last Nabe Drop

It would be a shame to waste all those yummy juices, so here’s where mottainai — the Japanese philosophy of waste not, want not — comes in. Once the meat and vegetables have been eaten, the remaining broth is poured over cooked rice to make a second course: ojiya. It’s a bit like mopping up your potjie with a slice of bread.

Nourishing Our People

No matter your preference, nabe and potjiekos have a lot in common. Most importantly, they share the concept of nabe o kakomu — gathering around the cooking pot — bringing communities together, united through good food.

Here be Dragons — July RPG Blog Carnival

At the furthest edge of the map, far from civilization, the words “Here be Dragons” is scribed across the most inhospitable, unexplored lands. Journey with us, as the RPG Blog Carnival ventures into these lands of legend and danger.

Here be Dragons

Here be Dragons — July RPG Blog Carnival

Every month, the RPG Blog Carnival takes a turn at a different RPG blogger’s site, and this month it’s here, at Rising Phoenix Games. If you’re a blogger, you can join in by writing an article inspired by the topic and dropping a link to it, in the comments below. I’ll write a wrap-up article at the end of July that covers all of the posts submitted. I hope you’ll join us!

If you’re not an RPG blogger, hang out with us and see what everyone brings to the topic. In March we had a great time exploring magical space adventures. What adventures will we have this month?

rpg blog carnival logo

Here are a few ideas, but you can interpret the topic as loosely as you like, we’re not the thought police:

  1. Dragonlance is coming for Dungeons & Dragons (here’s the Dragonlance trailer). Take us back to your gaming table, or try and predict what we’ll see from Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Give us a new dragon for Spelljammer, your own setting, or a different game. Science-fantasy dragons, cyberpunk dragons, superhero dragons, steampunk dragons… there are more themes to explore than I could ever hope to mention.
  3. Maps! The history of the phrase “Here be Dragons” is very interesting and would mean nothing if not for map makers and their art. Give us a map, a map maker NPC, or some ideas about how to use the phrase “Here be Dragons” on our own maps.
  4. The symbolism of dragons can bring up some interesting ideas. How can GMs apply the concepts often associated with dragons to their human NPCs?
  5. Wikipedia states that dragons are known in virtually all cultures around the world, so looking at different dragons from around the world should bring up plenty of interesting ideas.

Void Dragonborn

So them’s the rules. Let’s dive back into the world of Space Punks for another new race, dragonborn descended from void dragons.

Void Dragonborn

With deep black eyes that shimmer with the light of a thousand stars, void dragonborn display their faint bloodline back to void dragons. This rare variant of dragonborn are known for their insatiable wonderlust and weak grip on reality.

Void dragonborn are dragonborn (Player’s Handbook) with the following draconic ancestry:

Dragon Type. Void
Breath Weapon Damage Type. Fire and Radiant*
Damage Resistance Damage Type. Cold
Breath Weapon. 15-foot cone (Dex save)

*You deal 1d6 fire and 1d6 radiant damage from first level. This increases to 2d6 fire and 1d6 radiant damage at 6th level, 2d6 fire and 2d6 radiant damage at 11th level, and 3d6 fire and 2d6 radiant damage at 16th level.

Hot Sales All July Long

We have massive sales on, all July long. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the deals first, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get notifications of new offers.

That’s all for now, but be sure to check back at the end of the month for the roundup.


How to Play D&D, The Game in Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a great show, with tight storytelling, stunning visual effects, and a cast of characters we’re totally invested in. It also features Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), a game we love and where the Duffer brothers got the Mindflayer, Demogorgon, and Vecna from. I’m here to help you get into this amazing hobby and teach you how to play D&D.

Remember the scene? Warning, here be swears.

What You Need to Play Dungeons & Dragons

The first thing you’ll need is a copy of the rules. You can get a free, basic version of the rules on Wizards of the Coast’s website. A better option for new players is the D&D Starter Set, which includes dice. There’s also a Stranger Things-themed D&D starter for die-hard Stranger Things fans. If you’ve played roleplaying games before, or you’re serious about diving in, then get the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook instead. This is the most important book of the three core books — which include the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual — but you do a lot with just the one.

Next, you’ll need a set of RPG dice. These include all those funny-shaped dice, like a D4 (four-sided die), D6 (the regular six-sided die), D8, D10, D12, and D20. Good sets include a percentile D10, which is marked 00, 10, 20, and so on, up to 90. The twenty-sided D20 is the most important die in Dungeons & Dragons, which is why these types of games are usually referred to as D20 games.

RPG Dice - How to Play D&D
From left to right: Percentile D10 (front left), D8 (at the back), D4, D6, regular D10, D20, and D12.

One set of dice is enough to play, but multiple sets make it easier to keep things going. You can also find free and premium dice apps online.

Lastly, you’ll need paper and pencils for notes, printed character sheets, and a place to play, like a dining room table.

Stranger Things Play Dungeons & Dragons

All the Stuff, Plus the Kitchen Sink

Like any hobby, there are a lot of bits and pieces, tools, and fancy gear you can drop money on to enhance your D&D experience. Fortunately, none of it is necessary, and often what you find useful will depend on your preferences. I enjoy miniatures, but I use them in different ways in different games, and sometimes I find things more interesting without them.

As you get into the game, you’ll probably start to accumulate more stuff anyway, so keep things simple for now.

Read to Succeed

There’s a lot of reading involved in roleplaying games, but don’t let that intimidate you. Looking at the Player’s Handbook, you only need to read the Introduction, Chapter 7 (Using Ability Scores), Chapter 8 (Adventuring), and Chapter 9 (Combat) to have a good idea of how to play D&D. Building a character will take you through the earlier chapters, and Chapter 10 (Spellcasting) will only apply to some characters.

There are also plenty of videos online that will teach you how to play D&D or any other popular roleplaying games. Another great way to learn is to find other people who are already playing and join their games. D&D is very easy to pick up and other players are usually very happy to explain the rules.

How to Play D&D - The Game in Stranger Things

Play it Solo

If you’ve got the rules down, try playing the game with one or two friends. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right the first time (or even the second or third time). D&D is complex enough that it takes time to get the hang of. Just have fun.

If you can’t find anyone to play your first few games with, you can find plenty of adventures for one player alone, where the book takes on the role of the Dungeon Master (DM). We published Death Queen and the Life Stone, Forest of Secrets, and Companionable Darkness, three adventures that use the D&D system. They’re a great way to try out a character and get dice rolling.

Where to Next?

D&D is the big dog, but there are a ton of other roleplaying games out there. D&D is sword and sorcery, but there are games based on anime, wild west action, sci-fi, Lovecraftian horror, and even suicidal gnomes; there really is something for everyone. I recommend Pathfinder Second Edition as a strong alternative to D&D, especially if you’re looking for a richer game with more options. The Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook includes far more than the Player’s Handbook does, is full of great art, and the Pathfinder community is great.


Bodycount (1996) – TMNT’s Raph on a Rampage

Bodycount (1996), by Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley, is a Ninja Turtles comic book with attitude. In many ways, they were trying hard to take the Turtles back from the hit TV series, back to their indie comic roots, and tap into the market of kids like me who had grown up with Raph, Mikey, Leo, and Donnie. In the end, the 4-part series is a grindhouse spectacle that hardly holds together. But who cares! It had lots of blood and boobs, Casey Jones and Raph being badasses, and a villain straight out of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Bodycount 1996

And Julie Strained…
By the time the first comic came out, we — the kids who grew up on the first animated show — were teenagers ourselves, in high school. That’s 1996, around the same time that Penthouse Pet Julie Strain was splashed all over Heavy Metal Magazine. Knowing Kevin Eastman’s fascination with her, and that she modeled for both Kevin and Simon’s drawings, it’s not hard to see why Midnight looks just like her. In fact, Kevin and Strain had married in 1995. Still, you couldn’t get a better mix if you wanted to appeal to Turtles fans who were already fighting to control their hormones. April O’Neil in latex, maybe?

Julie Strain as Midnight in Bodycount (1996)

So, taken in the context of the target market, Bodycount hit the mark. But teenagers aren’t stupid, and I think we probably felt the flaws in the comic, even if we couldn’t articulate them then. The writing is difficult to digest, and the images can be hard to decipher. It’s hard for me to take my editor’s cap off, so let’s talk about spelling wuicklu quickly. The comics are full of errors, such as “calvary” instead of “cavalry”, “to” instead of “too”, and “Santuary” instead of “Sanctuary”, which is one of the most important locations in the story. It becomes hard to know if you’re missing a joke or reading too much into the bad copy.

Art-wise, Bisley’s London-punk style is great, but sometimes too simple, like the three-dimensional rectangles that we’re supposed to read as pistols. There are inconsistencies too, much like with the spelling, such as Johnny’s hand looking normal in some panels, or Midnight firing her pistol with her left and then her right hand in the next panel. It gets a bit too looney, too. What’s that weird monkey leprechaun about anyway?

Leprechaun Monkey in Bodycount (1996)

But okay, Bodycount is still fun and entertaining, like a bad accident set to rousing classical music. This is, after all, an indie comic, and that’s why I love it. Don’t expect polish. Don’t expect any real maturity (hey, when have the Turtles ever been mature?), and just enjoy the wild, wild ride.

3 out of 5 Chibi-thulhus.

3 Cheeky Cthulhus

Comics Too? Logo

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Space Adventures—RPG Blog Carnival Roundup

Oh my! How fast time flies when you’re hurtling through space on a galleon held together by rope, magic, and a wish spell. The end of May means it’s the end of our RPG Blog Carnival for the month, so let’s look back on the wonderful space adventures we’ve had.

rpg blog carnival logo

Before we dig in, remember that you can join us, every month, for new themes and fantastic articles by many RPG bloggers. It doesn’t matter if you’re just browsing or you want to contribute your own articles, you can find out more about the RPG Blog Carnival at OfDiceAndDragons.com. There’s also a growing archive of past carnivals that’s well worth digging into.

Beyond the Horizon Games

Our good friends at Beyond the Horizon Games explored the difference between science fiction and science fantasy in their series of articles:

  1. Fantasy-Fi or Science-Fantasy explores two different takes on fantasy in space, using the examples of Spelljammer and Starfinder. Kim’s insightful look at the two settings also explores the difference between Paizo and WotC’s business models.
  2. What Jammer? That Jammer! takes a fascinating look into a little slice of RPG history, and the bitter-sweet existence of a lesser-known RPG gem that followed in the footsteps of Spelljammer and was a precursor to Starfinder, namely Starjammer. Starjammer is compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (1st edition), but lets you build space fighters and explore the vast expanse of the Void. The game is a platinum seller on Drive Thru RPG and is published by d20pfsrd.com Publishing.  Check this out, especially if you enjoy Starfinder or Spelljammer.
  3. Star Wars and Science Fantasy looks at three of the four iterations of Star Wars TTRPGs (Jawa players, throw up your hands and give me a “Utini!”). Adding to what Kim said, I know that Edge Studios is reprinting many of the Fantasy Flight Star Wars books, which is excellent news. 
  4. Adventures in Science Fantasy discusses three adventures — one is a remake — that do science fantasy well. Go check out Kim’s suggestions, and maybe drop some suggestions in the comments of that article if you know of other great adventures people should check out.

Codex Anathema

Gonz of Codex Anathema is a regular contributor and host of the RPG Blog Carnival. His article, De Eberron a sus Lunas (From Eberron to its Moons), explores Jules Verne’s works and brings them into the D&D setting of Eberron, through space travel. Although the article is in Spanish, Google Translator (or even better, DeepL Translator) will open up this inspiring article. Gonz has certainly given us a lot of interesting ideas for space adventures here.

The Other Side

Timothy S. Brannan, who blogs at The Other Side, gave us a review of the Monstrous Compendium Vol One: Spelljamer Creatures, which was recently released by Wizards of the Coast.

Rising Phoenix Games

And of course, we went mad with a bunch of new races that would fit your D&D 5e Spelljammer games. We have:

  1. The cunning Star Foxes, mentioned in our first post.
  2. The Gruune, immortals born out of the destruction of their planet.
  3. The Eu’karai, beings of living light that, as a race, were tasked with cataloging the universe.
  4. The Skriblin, elementals of creative energy that make me think I’ve watched a little too much Space Jam.

And that, as they say, is that. We hope you enjoyed these adventures in space, and that you’ll join next month’s hosts for more RPG Blog Carnival content.

Till next time!

The Skriblin — A Weird D&D Spelljammer Race

Creatures of pure imagination, the skriblin appear as moving illustrations that speak, breathe, and think like normal humanoids. Let’s find out more about this weird D&D Spelljammer race.

Skriblin D&D Race

Pure Imagination

Skriblin appear magically in densely populated cities. Scholars believe that the skriblin are the incarnation of humanoid creativity; an overflowing of artistic energy made manifest. Although they contain similar levels of arcane and cosmic energy to other humanoids, scholars agree that these energies don’t support the skriblin’s existence. Rather, they are elementals of creativity. Although many have tried to harness this creative energy for other purposes, the skriblin and the force that animates them remains as mysterious as ever.

The skriblin themselves have little interest in their source of life, and instead concern themselves with living lives that conform to their core being or essence. Scholars have noted that this odd behavior often correlates to tropes from drama, bardic sagas, and story telling.

Skriblin D&D Race Traits

Your skriblin is a walking, talking drawing. Although no two skriblin look the same, they share the following common features.

Ability Score Increase. One ability score of your choice increases by 2. Another ability score increases by 1.
Ageless. Skriblin enter life fully formed. You do not age, are immune to aging effects, and take no penalty for being old.
Alignment. Most skriblin tend to be chaotic, but there is no hard and fast rule for this diverse race. All skriblin follow their alignment without deviation, only ever changing alignment through magical means afflicted on them.
Size. Most skriblin are Small, while a few are Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet if you’re Small, or 30 feet if you’re Medium.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice. Skriblin usually adopt the language of the societies they live within.
Animata. You contain creative energy that sustains you. While you have no levels of exhaustion, you have advantage on saving throws you make to avoid gaining a level of exhaustion.
Animated Creator.
You know the prestidigitation cantrip. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it.
Trope*. Choose a trope that you most closely align with. You have advantage on skill checks and saving throws where your trope is applicable. For example, if you choose to be “the only sane man“, you might have advantage on Wisdom saving throws to avoid being compelled, and on Wisdom (Insight) checks to avoid being fooled. TvTropes.org has a long list of character tropes worth checking out. The Dungeon Master is the final arbiter of how your trope is used in the game.

* Trope might be the weirdest racial trait I have ever written, and the skriblin is certainly the weirdest race. Have fun, and don’t take it too seriously.

RPG Blog Carnival — Adventures in Space

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival, themed around ‘Adventures in Space’, is fast coming to a close. Be sure to check out the first post, and especially the comments, for loads of other articles related to our theme. I’ll also have a roundup article posted, soon, so check back here in a few days.

rpg blog carnival logo

Want More Weird Races Like the Skriblin?

The Skriblin and their friends will appear in the forthcoming Space Punks book, published by us here at Rising Phoenix Games. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date about the project.

Psst, we’ll even give you free books for signing up!

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The Eu’karai 5e Race — A Spelljammer Race

Beings of energy and light, the Eu’karai are passionate explorers with a love of puzzles. Let’s take a closer look at the eu’karai 5e race and see what makes them buzz.

Eu'karai 5e Race

Birth of Stars

The eu’karai were created at the dawn of time to contemplate the ebb and flow of cosmic energy. Who their creators were is unknown, but the eu’karai have fulfilled their role dutifully, traveling the stars and recording their findings for future eu’karai to study. Although short-lived, the eu’karai discovered ways to hop from star-birth to star-birth, feeding off the same cosmic energy they were tasked to study.

Eu’karai 5e Race Traits

Your eu’karai character is an elemental being of light, with the following abilities common to all Eu’karai.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Age. Eu’karai live intense lives that run their course in a mere 30 years. They mature at the age of 10, then burn out over the course of two decades. Those eu’karai that manage to find a powerful source of energy might extend their lifespan by another twenty years, though very few have managed to reach their sixtieth birthday.

Alignment. Eu’karai boil with passion, and few of them can stand the restrictions of lawful society. They are most often chaotic. Eu’karai tend toward neutral, since they struggle to keep to any one moral path for long.

Size. Eu’karai range from under 5 feet to over 6 feet tall and have a wide range of builds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Bend Light. You can make short, teleporting jumps through areas of bright light. When you move, you can teleport from one spot in an area of bright light to another spot that is 10 feet away and within the same area of bright light, as a reaction to your movement. There must be enough space at your destination for you to occupy, or this ability fails.

Consume Light. As an action, you can consume the energy of a light source within 15 feet. A bright light source becomes dim light and a dim light source becomes dark. The light returns to normal after 6 rounds. During that time, you gain 1 Hit Point per turn for a dim light source or 3 Hit Points per turn for a bright light source. You gain darkvision while this effect is active. You can use this ability again after a short or long rest.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Primordial.

Puzzle Student. You have advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks made to solve or find clues related to puzzles or riddles.

More Spelljammer Races

If you enjoyed the eu’karai 5e race, then be sure to check out the Gruune and the Star Foxes. All of these and more will be in Space Punks, our forthcoming 5e race supplement.

Here’s a preview of the Space Punks cover:

Space Punks 5e Space Races Cover Prototype

Want Even More Space RPG Stuff?

We’ve got you! All month long, the RPG Blog Carnival is covering “Adventures in Space!” It’s all happening right here, so check out the Adventures in Space kick-off post, read the comments, and be sure to check back at the end of the month for the roundup.