- Lead Designer/Producer. Iceciro
- Contributing Authors. Kevin, Evelyn
- References. Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide
- Cover Illustator.
- Interior Illustrators.
On the Cover
- 1 Credits
- 2 Notable Locations and Lands
- 3 House Rules
- 3.1 Alignment
- 3.2 Challenging the Rules
- 3.3 Custom Content
- 3.4 Injury and Death
- 3.5 Facing and Positioning
- 3.6 Potent Divinity
- 3.7 Stacking Advantage
- 3.8 Variant: Action Options
- 3.9 Variant: Crafting Magic Items
- 3.10 Variant: Equipment Sizes
- 3.11 Variant: Feats
- 3.12 Variant: Hitting Cover
- 3.13 Variant: Skills and Abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Story
- 6 Characters
Notable Locations and Lands
Located in the center of the world, The Riftlands is a general term for the vast area of sea where the laws of time, space, nature and magic are distorted. Despite the name, most of the Riftland is actually sea - a clear, featureless expanse with beauty that belies the danger. This pristine ocean is dotted with islands, tropical paradises seemingly untouched by true humanoids - and with good reason. The twisted rules of the Riftlands warp creatures and even plants into monstrous beasts, and entire areas disappear and reappear with but a moment's notice, a shimmer in the sky - as the Fifth Taliens have experienced themselves (see below). The only real "inhabitants" of the Riftlands are the scores of pirates and raiders who take advantage of one of the unique oddities of the Riftlands - teleportation and location magics are disrupted by the flowing energy of the place, providing pirate fleets a safe place to hide from the royal seers and naval fleets that try to hunt them. Even flight over the Riftlands is deemed unsafe - even dragons can be dragged down by the mystical vortexes that occasionally sweep through the area, tornadic bursts of raw chaotic energy.
Due to all of this, almost all legitimate shipping avoids the Riftland area, with ships travelling on the far side of the world, as far away as possible, whenever they can. Some more brave merchantmen and naval fleets will cut through parts of the Riftland, particularly when the only other option is adding a few extra weeks or months to sail around a continent. But some say that rare and valuable artifacts, including items from other worlds, appear within the ruins so common the the Riftlands, and so many explorers seek their glory there. Some return – most do not.
Great Northern Continent
Perhaps the largest landmass not at least partially within the Riftlands, the Great Northern Continent dominates the politics of the north, and in many ways, puts heavy weight world itself. The most northern part of the continent is home to a massive chain of rocky glaciers and tall mountains, bitterly cold, and is home to the Coldhearth Dwarves. The center and coasts of the territory are home to the Vonuid Empire, a human nation. The continent is rich in good quality iron which has driven the development of both races, which currently subsist in an uneasy truce. Many other nations utilize the iron from this continent in weapons and technology, and keeping supply lines to the Northern Continent safe has been a major factor in conflicts for centuries.
How unified the Coldhearth Dwarves are depends on whether you're an insider or an outsider. Internally, the Coldhearth Dwarves are actually a scattered group of Dwarven kingdoms, but against external threats (like attempts of the Vonuid Empire to encroach on their territory) they unite and fight as a unified whole.
While individual kingdoms have various specialties and customs, the Coldhearth Dwarves as a whole excel at two things: Mining, and sailing the northern seas in their sturdy longships. Coldhearth Dwarves from smaller or less prosperous kingdoms have been known to raid small islands and coastal towns, sometimes giving the dwarves a poor reputation in smaller communities.
Sprawling over the more temperate areas of the Great Northern Continent is the Vonuid Emprire. From a small kingdom among many, the Vonuid Empire leveraged technological improvements to dominate the other local political systems until it gained control of most of the landmass, stopped only by the Coldhearth Dwarves at the mountain passes. An uneasy truce has been observed for years now.
The Vonuid Empire turned its ambitions to the sea, and was the first nation to develop gunpowder cannons. This advantage allowed them to invade several smaller islands around them and secure beachheads against other countries, but as the technology of gunpowder spread, much of this was lost in further wars. They are at an uneasy truce with the nations closest to them - Talien, Bratis, and Maegon - and the Dwarves to the north, and have entered a period of relatively peaceful trading prosperity, growing fat off trade and tariffs for their Northern Iron.
Talien is a land unique in the world - a semi-democracy. Like most kingdoms, the merchant navies command a lot of the respect of the people, however the rules are, at least ostensibly, made by a class of elected bureaucrats. Talien was not always like this, however - as the draconic mosaics and architecture spread throughout the cities testifies, for some time the landmass was ruled by a half-dragon monarch. Talien is shaped somewhat like a dragon's claw, with four talons on the central landmass, and a fifth talon that sits inside the Riflands. The fall of the draconic monarchy came when the last king, Kormanth The Bright, commanded his citizens to colonize the fifth talon, against the advice of his sages and scholars. Brave men and women landed, carving a path through the twisted jungle that had overtaken the island. However, 203 years ago, the fifth talon vanished entirely. Between the disgrace of those lost and the anger at what had happened, Talien underwent a semi-peaceful revolution, with very little bloodshed, replacing the draconic king with the still-existing senatorial body. Three years ago, however, the fifth talon appeared, and an inquisitive expedition showed no ill had come to the people there - they had merely been pulled out of time, it seemed, and the island with them. Many of these so-called Fifth Taliens remain loyal to a long-dead monarch, and have refused to submit to the rule of the new Republic, and trouble is brewing.
Despite having a relatively small landmass, the Talien military is somewhat renowned for their combat prowess - the draconic blood that flows through both the nobility, and to a smaller degree, the peasantry, means that their troops are generally sturdier than their counterparts, and some Talienic Knights even have the ability to breathe fire, though whether this is a product of their ancestry or magic is unknown.
Empire of Bratis
Steam and smoke, blood and iron - this is the strength of Bratis. Located in the northeast, encounters with the cannon-armed ships of the Vonuid Empire convinced the kings of the value of gunpowder early. While they were the second to have gunpowder cannons on ships, they were the first to develop the arquebus, matchlocks, pistols, and most recently, steam engines. The nation values raw technological advancement above all else, and it's schools of magic of all kinds are lacking. This effect is increased by the closeness and rivalry of the Maegon Dominion - magic users are distrusted as potential agents, and talented spellcasters often leave for the Maegon Dominion's schools.
Technological advancements made in the Empire have allowed it to punch above its weight, wielding power in ways other nations cannot. While the core landmass of the nation is lacking, the Empire controls multitudes of small islands and landmasses in the east. Dozens of wars have been fought between the Empire of Bratis and the Maegon Dominion over the limited land in the area, new technology clashing and crashing against magical prowess.
Recently, the Empire has developed steam engines, and has begun using them to field armor-plated floating monstrosities they call Ironclads. The Ironclads could be the biggest change yet to the balance of power in the region, and already then Vonuids are looking to their neighbors with greed.
The power of magical knowledge brought the village of Maegon to the seat of an expansive empire. The Dominion is defined by three things: the tight laws it places on citizens, the tight control it holds over far-flung colonies by way of teleportation circles, and the massive schools of magic that have sprung up. One might also add to that list the centuries of on-off war and territory trading with the nearby Empire of Bratis.
Other Notable Lands
The Black Desert
The wide swathe of destroyed land in the center of the desert continent of Kamad, the Blacklands were formed when a group of mages sought to turn their country into a utopia, at the bequest of their king.
Instead, the area became a cursed, befouled, poisonous desert, and the citizens of the kingdom slowly withered away to be reborn as intelligent undead known as The Dry.
The other major power on the continent of Kamad, the Molica Sultanate is primarily the domain of orcs - tough creatures suited to survive in this harsh land. The territory of Molica is largely considered to end where the Black Desert begins.
While found in small numbers within many cosmopolitan cities, the vast majority of Elves live on secluded, forested islands, and while their kings hold authority on land, most Elven cities are actually tributaries to much larger Sea Elf empires.
A large landmass to the west, Zaekar is home to dozens of territories, each ruled by a noble clan of Hobgoblins. While in ages past the landmass was united under a single king, now, each ruling clan seeks to attain that status, and the area has been under near-constant war as each Hobgoblin Daimyo seeks to attain control.
Dungeons & Dragons® is a game of Story first, Rules later. Although the system is generally considered very crunchy, the story must always be given priority over the rules. Most of the house rules on this page are designed with this goal in mind.
Your alignment should be descriptive of how your character acts. It should not determine how your character acts. Therefore, your alignment may change over time. Don't be alarmed if this happens; there is literally no way for anyone but the DM and the Player to know your alignment.
Furthermore, some characters cannot be categorized simply by the 9 alignments. These characters may be labeled "Unaligned", instead.
So why have alignment at all? Mostly just so that you have an idea of how "the world" views your moral choices, so far.
Challenging the Rules
You should always feel free to challenge the DM's ruling at any time, once. When challenging a ruling, please explain your challenge concisely, and if possible provide page numbers to reference the rules as written. The DM will review and reconsider their decision based on your input and what is present in the books. Once a new decision has been reached on the topic, no further discussion should happen during game. Game time is not the time to argue.
Between sessions, if you still disagree with the ruling, you are free to bring up the issue again. The DM will reconsider and discuss the issue at length, so long as the discussion remains productive and polite. If the discussion ceases to be polite, or if it becomes circular with no further progress, the DM may insist the issue be dropped.
Any custom content you wish to use should be copied onto this wiki for the DM's reference. The DM encourages custom content, and enjoys creating it himself, so if you wish to include something in the game, just ask!
Injury and Death
When you reach 0 hit points, you gain a level of Exhaustion.
With DM Permission, if your character dies, you may instead choose to have your character live on with an injury (DMG pg. 272).
Facing and Positioning
This game relies on facing and positioning to determine whether a character has advantage. This means that flanking does not inherently provide any bonuses. The following rules all pertain to facing and positioning.
Rather than using squares and a grid, you are free to move freely in any direction during your turn. Movement is measured in feet, rather than in squares.
Your reach and facing determine how far away an opponent must be to attack them. Use the inside edge of a token to determine its distance to any other token on the map. Two creatures are in melee with one another if one is able to reach the other with its weapon.
Your token has a distinct "face"; that is to say, it has one side which is considered the "front" arc. This is marked with a squared corner on that part of the token. Your token is then divided into 4 equally sized "arcs": the front, left, right, and rear arc.
If you attack a creature while in its rear arc, you have advantage on the attack roll. You cannot gain advantage from flanking.
Shields apply their AC bonus only to the front arc, and the arc on the same side as the shield. Some creatures, such as oozes or slimes, may not have a face. These creatures treat all arcs as their front arc.
During your turn, you may choose to change your token's facing as a free action with no limitations.
As a reaction, you can change your facing in response to another creature moving, or if your token is moved.
Attacking and Threat
You may make attacks into your front, left, or right arc. You cannot see anything in your rear arc, and you do not threaten anything in that arc. You do not provoke Opportunity Attacks moving into a creature's rear arc.
When you reach 8th level as a Cleric, you may choose between Potent Spellcasting (from the Knowledge and Light domains), or Divine Strike (from the Life, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, War, and Death domains).
Advantage and Disadvantage only cancel one instance of the other. For example, if you have Advantage from two different sources, and Disadvantage from one source, you will roll with Advantage, because the Disadvantage cannot cancel both sources.
Variant: Action Options
This section provides new action options for combat.
Climb onto a Bigger Creature
If one creature wants to jump onto another creature, it can do so by grappling. A Small or Medium creature has little chance of making a successful grapple against a Huge or Gargantuan creature, however, unless magic has granted the grappler supernatural might.
As an alternative, a suitably large opponent can be treated as terrain for the purpose of jumping onto its back or clinging to a limb. After making any ability checks necessary to get into position and onto the larger creature, the smaller creature uses its action to make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by the target's Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If it wins the contest, the smaller creature successfully moves into the target creature's space and clings to its body. While in the target's space, the smaller creature moves with the target and has advantage on attack rolls against it.
The smaller creature can move around within the larger creature's space, treating the space as difficult terrain. The larger creature's ability to attack the smaller creature depends on the smaller creature's location, and is left to your discretion. The larger creature can dislodge the smaller creature as an action—knocking it off, scraping it against a wall, or grabbing and throwing it- by making a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the smaller creature's Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. The smaller creature chooses which ability to use.
A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target's grasp. The attacker makes an attack roll contested by the target's Strength (Athletics) check or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If the attacker wins the contest, the attack causes no damage or other ill effect, but the defender drops the item.
The attacker has disadvantage on its attack roll if the target is holding the item with two or more hands. The target has advantage on its ability check if it is larger than the attacking creature, or disadvantage if it is smaller.
When a creature tries to move through a hostile creature's space, the mover can try to force its way through by overrunning the hostile creature. As an action or a bonus action, the mover makes a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the hostile creature's Strength (Athletics) check. The creature attempting the overrun has advantage on this check if it is larger than the hostile creature, or disadvantage if it is smaller. If the mover wins the contest, it can move through the hostile creature's space once this turn.
With this option, a creature uses the special shove attack from the Player's Handbook to force a target to the side, rather than away. The attacker has disadvantage on its Strength (Athletics) check when it does so. If that check is successful, the attacker moves the target 5 feet to a different space within its reach.
A creature can try to tumble through a hostile creature's space, ducking and weaving past the opponent. As an action or a bonus action, the tumbler makes a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by the hostile creature's Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If the tumbler wins the contest, it can move through the hostile creature's space once this turn.
Variant: Crafting Magic Items
You may use the rules to craft magic items as presented in the Dungeon Master's Guide on pages 128-129 on a case-by-case basis. Check with the DM before you plan for one of these; additional requirements may be necessary for some items.
Some of the weights listed for items are slightly ridiculous. The following updated weights should be used, instead.
|Heavy Crossbow||10 lb.|
Variant: Equipment Sizes
In most campaigns, you can use or wear any equipment that you find on your adventures, within the bounds of common sense. For example, a burly half-orc won't fit in a halfling's leather armor, and a gnome would be swallowed up in a cloud giant's elegant robe.
The DM can impose more realism. For example, a suit of plate armor made for one human might not fit another one without significant alterations, and a guard's uniform might be visibly ill-fitting when an adventurer tries to wear it as a disguise.
Using this variant, when adventurers find armor, clothing, and similar items that are made to be worn, they might need to visit an armorsmith, tailor, leatherworker, or similar expert to make the item wearable. The cost for such work varies from 10 to 40 percent of the market price of the item. The DM can either roll 1d4 x 10 or determine the increase in cost based on the extent of the alterations required.
You may always choose to take a feat instead of an Ability Score Increase as you level up.
Every player character receives a free feat (which cannot be an ASI) at 1st level. Variant Humans are not available. (see [Cultural Human].)
Variant: Hitting Cover
When you are firing into melee from a range, other creatures may provide half cover (+2 AC to your target), three-fourths cover (+5 AC to your target), or full cover (you cannot target that opponent).
Additionally, if you roll well enough to hit your target's original AC, but not well enough to hit the new AC, your attack roll will be checked against the covering creature's AC. If it would hit them, then you will deal damage to the covering creature instead.
Variant: Skills and Abilities
Normally, your proficiency in a skill applies only to a specific kind of ability check. Sometimes, with DM approval, however, you may be able to apply skill proficiency to a different ability. For example, your DM might allow you to apply proficiency in Athletics to a Constitution roll made to swim a long distance.
New Armor and Shields
|Buckler||5 gp||+1||—||—||2 lb|
|Tower Shield||30 gp||+3||Str 13||Disadvantage||20 lb|
Buckler. This small shield is fitted around the arm and made of metal, wood, or boiled leather. It takes the same action to don and doff as a normal shield, and a character cannot benefit from a buckler and another type of shield at the same time. Unlike a shield, a character can still use the hand on which the buckler is equipped. If during a character's turn they use an item with this hand, attack with a weapon in this hand, or attack with a two-handed weapon, then the character does not gain the buckler's bonus to AC until the start of their next turn.
Attacking with a one-handed weapon or thrown weapon using the hand on which the buckler is equipped causes the attack roll to suffer disadvantage. When using a ranged two-handed weapon with a buckler, reduce the normal and long ranges by half. The hand wielding the buckler does not count as a free hand for the purposes of spellcasting, grappling, or unarmed attacks.
A character proficient with shields is also considered to be proficient with bucklers. A buckler does not benefit from rules or abilities that specifically refer to shields, such as the Protection fighting style or the Shield Master feat.
Tower Shield. This large wooden shield is nearly as tall as its bearer and is reinforced with metal. Donning and doffing a tower shield takes 1 action. A character cannot benefit from a tower shield and any other type of shield at the same time.
While a tower shield is equipped, its bearer takes a disadvantage on attack rolls unless they are attacking with a light weapon. A character cannot cast any spells with somatic components, even if the wielder is proficient and has their other hand free.
A character proficient with both shields and heavy armor is also considered proficient with the tower shield. All other rules and abilities that affect shields, such as the Protection fighting style or the Shield Master feat may be applied to tower shields.
Several additional weapons have been added to fill in holes in the available weapon options presented in the Player's Handbook. Additionally, the stats for the Scimitar have been revised, and the Kukri has been given the stats of the old Scimitar.
New Weapon Properties
In addition to the weapon properties listed in the Player's Handbook, the following weapon properties also apply.
Ki. This weapon is considered a Monk weapon.
Light Thrown. This weapon is considered both a light weapon, and a thrown weapon; however, you cannot apply special effects (such as the benefits of the sharp-shooter feat) when thrown as an off-hand attack.
|Simple Ranged Weapons|
|Shuriken||1 sp||1d4 piercing||1/4 lb.||Finesse, ki, light thrown (range 20/60)|
|Martial Melee Weapons|
|Estoc||15 gp||1d8 piercing||3 lb.||Versatile (1d10)|
|Kukri||15 gp||1d6 slashing||2 lb||Finesse, light|
|Scimitar||25 gp||1d8 slashing||3 lb.||Finesse|
|Elven Fullblade||30 gp||1d10 slashing||4 lb.||Finesse, two-handed|
The story of this campaign will go on for many years. In this section, players will find session logs, notes on prominent NPCs, and a summary of the events so far.