Friday, August 19, 2016

Birthright 5E Conversion Document, v0.1

I've been interspersing my other conversion projects with a codification and update of my old Birthright conversions from last year. I've since decided to put them all together into a full document for perusal that is currently in its nascent state, but that I wanted to make available for critique and consumption.

Feel free to grab it here, and it will be updated as I make changes and respond to feedback. Please note, there are unfinished sections and missing information blocks! There's still plenty I'm waffling on, particularly the design of a magician class. For the un-indoctrinated, Birthright's arcane spellcasters who lack a divine bloodline (one of the core conceits of the game) cannot cast mid or high-level magic that is not of the divination or illusion schools.

Can such a restricted arcane spellcaster be made into an interesting, balanced, and fun class to play? It's possible, but I've been kicking around failed designs for it over the last few months and haven't found anything I deem presentable yet. Perhaps in a later document.

What I do have in a mostly-complete state, however, is a new warlock pact! Unleash the hounds on it.

Garradalaigh Pact

The garradalaigh (ga-ROD-a-lay) are legendary creatures with a mystical bent. In myths, they are said to bestow their gifts upon talented spellcasters, and may do so for any magician or true-blooded arcanist. However, their chosen agents are typically warlocks.

While not all garradalaigh are of great power, those few that are lurk at the fringes of Cerilia’s known territories, slumbering away the centuries until fey urges or a disturbing presence awaken them. Each garradalaigh is unique, typically possessing a bizarre (though not necessarily unpleasant) appearance and capable of powerful arcane magic.

A garradalaigh pact warlock is encouraged to work with the Dungeon Master to select an existing garradalaigh, or invent a completely new one with its own goals and outlook. These are not always objectives that mortal creatures understand, though garradalaighs are not often considered malign and do not associate with corrupt or contemptible creatures.

Some examples of known garradalaighs are the Audreeana, a beast with the body of a bat-winged horse and a second, simian head that is known for its kindly nature; the Siddwynd, an enormous gossamer-winged lizard with an affinity for serpents and other reptiles; and the Tualleiaght, a many-limbed, burrowing monstrosity with a brilliant intellect and aptitude for linguistics.

A garradalaigh pact warlock stands out due to their unusual manipulation of arcane magic. Secrets taught to them by their curious benefactors give the warlock the ability to shape magic in curious ways to flummox or deny enemy spellcasters of any sort, as well as tap into the realm magic that other warlocks cannot learn.

Expanded Spell List

Spell Level Spells
1st         faerie fire, sleep
2nd         gust of wind, warding bond
3rd         blink, call lightning
4th         confusion, stone shape
5th         mislead, reincarnate

Additionally, garradalaigh pact warlocks that are also blooded scions may learn and cast realm magic from any class’s spell list, provided they possess the means -- they are the only warlocks capable of doing so. They begin play knowing any single level 1 realm spell and may learn others normally, obeying their maximum spell level as listed on their progression table.

These realm spells do not count against the warlock’s spells known.

Aura Sight

When the warlock selects this pact at 1st level, they gain a mystical second sense into which they can tap to detect supernatural or unwholesome effects. By using their action, the warlock can duplicate one of the following spells: detect evil and good, detect magic, or detect poison and disease. The warlock can use this ability a number of times equal to their Charisma modifier, and regain all uses of this ability after completing a long rest.

Draw Upon Source

A garradalaigh can innately draw upon the mebhaighl of the land to fuel its abilities, and it imparts this knowledge unto its warlock. Starting at 6th level, the warlock may steal a portion of a province’s Source to boost their spellcasting abilities. When you cast a spell that requires an attack roll or forces the target (or targets) to make a saving throw, you can draw upon the power of the land to make the attack roll with advantage or force the victims to save with disadvantage.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest. Drawing upon the power of the land in this manner alerts anyone who possesses a Source holding in the province, though they do not necessarily know the origin of the theft. The Source itself is unharmed by this meager draw.

Mystic Skin of Ancients

Starting at 10th level, the warlock may choose a single school of magic after completing a short or long rest. Until another school is selected through this feature, the warlock has advantage on all saving throws against spells from that school.

If the warlock is ever struck with a weapon forged of cold iron, the power of this ability is broken until the warlock can complete another short or long rest. Most standard metal weapons in Cerilia are assumed to be crafted of a common form of steel, and lack the “purity” of cold iron.

Duplicate Dweomer

Starting at 14th level, the warlock may respond in kind to any effect to which they are subjected. On the warlock’s turn, they may use one of their spell slots of the appropriate level to duplicate any one spell to which they were subjected in the time since their last turn (or since the beginning of the encounter, if they have not yet acted).

The warlock may do this as many times as they have spell slots available, and they must be among the targets affected by the spell they wish to duplicate (even if it is a spell that requires a saving throw at which they succeed). If the warlock lacks a suitable spell slot for the effect they were subjected to (i.e. of a higher level than the spells they can cast), they cannot use this ability.

For example, a 14th level garradalaigh pact warlock and her friends are subjected to the effects of a burning hands spell cast with a 4th level spell slot. The warlock, on her turn, may consume one of her spell slots to cast burning hands at the same level.

If the warlock were instead struck by a chain lightning spell and managed to survive, she could not cast chain lightning on her next turn because she lacks the ability to cast a spell slot of 6th level or higher.

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