Category Archives: Engineer Class

Tubthumping

I get knocked downBut I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down” — Chumbawamba – Tubthumping

That lyric tends to be the story of my life at times, such as this week.  I got so much stuff come my way this week back at my apartment that I didn’t get the chance to plan any of my sessions, so I had to call them off.  Especially the Friday one for good reason:  The Friday group is about to enter Castle Ravenloft, and I have to prepare the entire location with all of my changes involved.  This is something I’d want to get right and couldn’t do that this week.  I can do it the next one.

At least the people playing are understanding.  Disappointed, but understanding.  They know I’ll be back this coming week.

As the graphic says: Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight.

Item:  DriveThruRPG Update

Pay What You Want seems to be the best way to go for me as far as support.  As I said every now and then, nothing encourages me than someone handing me a cup of coffee, a Kickstart, or any other small item.  Sure, I’d love to pay a bill or two from this, but if I just get enough for a Starbucks run, it’s a big confidence boost for me.  It’s why I have a dust-encrusted tip jar on this blog in the first place.  Hero’s Hideout also gives me a little credit every week I DM, which I can buy something form the cooler.  Much appreciated.

And now I’m getting some love from DriveThruRPG.  Over $10 US so far.  It’s not much, but it’s better than what I got form DeviantART, and I can never thank those who donated enough.

By now you know of the Homesteading Mechanic I’m using for one of my homemade mechanics.  Last week, I also released a couple classes into my DriveThruRPG account as well:  My take on the Artificer Class called the Engineer (a stand-alone variant of the Wizard Class that focuses on magic items, borrowing some features from other existing Artificier classes and compiling it into an easy to understand option) and the Jester, a hybrid Rogue-Bard class for the class clown in the party.  Both have already been well received, and will have some revisions and additions in the future.

The success I’ve been getting will keep me making stuff for DriveThruRPG.  I’m already making plans for a periodical publication for the site. I have several player options that are too small for one item, as well as some essays on my campaign creation in my campaigns, both official and homemade.  I might even toss in some short story, artwork, and maybe even have some comic pages thrown in there.  If I can, I’ll have this catch-all publication put into DriveThruRPG, but if there’s any other developments I’ll let you know.

There’s also plans for a Dungeon Master’s Guild publication as well:  By far my most favorite campaign is Curse of Strahd, especially with the response I get form my tweaks for it.  As the campaign progresses, I’ll be making a document listing the changes for this alternate storyline for the campaign.  I’ll fill you in on the progress as I go.

Item:  My first product review:

Limitless Encounters: Haunted Locals

As you would guess, I’m looking for ways to fluff up my Curse of Strahd campaigns, and have been diving into the DM’s Guild for ways to throw all these curves to my players.  While looking for such inspiration, I was invited by Limitless Adventures to review one of their publications.  I chose Haunted Locales for my interest.

The document, as common throughout their site contains about ten premade encounters for various locations, like a cemetery, crypt, haunted house, or some other related place.  All of them can get plugged into your Curse of Strahd campaign with little to no set-up, although someone like me can further tweak them to make them just right.  The bigger feature here is the ‘Further Adventure’ hooks that take the encounter here and offer suggestions on any future scenes.  Example:  There was a ghost who couldn’t make his last will and testament in time.  The PC can aid the ghost in making this last will, after which the ghost can move on to the afterlife.  He leaves behind the written will and…did the ghost will anything to the party?

I can pan through this document and only think of possibilities for my campaigns.  That is something I’m looking for in something I can use.

The only thing I can take away from is the format of the Monster Stats.  I understand using simple formatted text to create stat blocks that are printer friendly, but it could use some improvements, such as larger fonts for subheaders {“Features”, “Actions”} the inclusion of horizontal lines to break up the sections, and returning the attributes with the rest of the text.  I can see how the writers try to make better use of space by moving the attributes to a corner of the block, but the location didn’t make for a better readable block.  For me, formatting it similar to a Monster Manual block is better on the eyes.

I use Statblock5E for my Monster Stats, which produces a very readable copy to export into my documents.  It’s easy on the printer, in spite being in color, and if you know some basic CSS you can easily make a monochrome version.  (I might do that sometime if nobody else beats me to it.)  If I need to scrape the barrel, I have a form in Microsoft Word for my character sheets which I can use for Monster Stat Date if need be.

Of course, that’s just my two bits, but if Limitless Encounters is looking for places to improve, I would suggest improving their stat blocks, everything else is a rich source of inspiration for me to use.

Back from mourning.

I found out something very important about myself as an autistic.  I don’t mourn like normal.  I don’t cry when I mourn, especially for someone I loved, like my Grandmother (who passed away last week.) I was happier that I knew this woman than sad to see her gone.  She and her Husband are the reason why I can say that I, in spite of the school system that fucked me up when I’m in school and then put a wedge between me and my parents afterward, had a decent childhood.  She had a big house in the suburbs that was quiet, peaceful, and had room for lots of adventures.  Had plenty of places to play around in, a lot of trips to various locations—including three trips to Disney World—and had Sunday dinner every week after church.  All kids should’ve had one of these grandparents to keep them from being too dark.

I do, however, sleep when I mourn.  All fucking day.  For three days straight, maybe more.  I sleep like the dead; these vary same grandparents came to me in a dream and said, “Go back, you need to go to the restroom and eat something!”  Oy!  Sometimes Autism is a blessing and a curse, am I right?  Not to mention the source of some pretty decent comedy.

But now that she’s gone to be with Grampa, let’s get back to the business, shall we.

As I’ve reported earlier, the Homesteading Mechanic has been released at DriveThruRPG.  I even had what I call success out of it:  I got enough earnings for a cup of coffee, thank you very much to those who believed that I deserve money for this.  While it does have some room for improvement and it can be complex to some, I did manage to get it readable, and even got a reference to Pathfinder’s Kingdom Building Ruleset to further develop the mechanic.

The next two offerings are in the works as I’m typing this, which start on my various class and race options that will eventually become part of Æthercoil.  I have my answer to the Artificer class, the Engineer, past its second draft and is about to be illustrated when something came up that made me pull an all-nighter.

I’ve been working with additional material for my Curse of Strahd campaigns, one of which I’ll be reviewing this weekend.  One of them included a crazy individual that Strahd considers his Court Jester.  Now I have worked with many Jester PCs in my time with 5E, and really enjoyed the Jester background in the playtest.  I wanted to make a Jester class that I felt fits my style and after (1) looking at various options of Rogue and Bard, and (2) have the necessity to make this crazy individual into an actual Jester, I had the need to make a hybrid class combining Bard and Rogue and flavored it up with a colorful motley.  The Jester class is in its second draft and will be illustrated like the Engineer.  Both classes will be legal for my campaigns and eventually be a part of Æthercoil.

Which eventually leads into some of my goals.  I wanted to have some playtest material that shows what I’m going for in my campaign world, maybe a series of smaller publications where I put the basics behind Æthercoil and my thoughts behind making them, which will lead up to the first Campaign Setting Book.  Eventually, I hope to produce a magazine like series in between larger campaign books.  Meanwhile, I might have an opportunity for a Dungeon Master’s Guild project as well:  So far my take on Curse of Strahd has been so well perceived thus far that I might make a document describing my twist on this remade classic and create an add-on document to the module.  It’ll change major parts of the campaign, but for those who want something different from the classic, I’m sure people will like what I had in store in my One Note.  (Provided that I get the party to take it to the end, of course.)

This is long overdue, isn’t it?

At least I had a good excuse for this lapse:  My grandmother passed away.

I’m both sad and happy for her.  She had a full live, was ill in her last days, and she had a loving husband to go to in the next life.  She had a kind and gentle soul too; I’m less sad about having her gone, but happy that I knew her.

Needless to say that I canceled all of my sessions for this upcoming weekend for obvious reasons.  But that also means that I can catch up.

Curse of Strahd

The online table didn’t get much progress, although they did get through the Church in Barovia:  Louis (Denzil’s character, who I had to nerf) had enough empathy for vampires to have Doru join the party, but then again, I did have Ireena be an expert in blood donation with a canister of donated blood waiting for occasions like this.

The Encounters table, however, had more fun.  They gotten past the Old Bonegrinder chapter already, on the way to the Wizard of Wines.  But that’s not the wild part.

On the way to the first of the three artifacts from the Fortune Reading…

Stat Block:  http://imgur.com/RSWZrUg

Ever since I’ve seen the stat block related for this crazy song, I wanted to have Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf pop up somewhere in my Curse of Strahd campaign as an elite mook, someone who keeps reappearing.  It didn’t prove much hilarious in the Friday stream, but oooh, it was epic on Wednesdays.  When he appeared, everyone roared in laugher.  Especially our new Munckin in the group, Sal (Who’s been playing a Chaotic Evil Dragonborn these last two weeks) who even offered him a fresh set of clothes (I had Shia in a loincloth) in the midst of being Ganked on.

At least with Strahd, he’ll just troll your ass, especially when you try to out-evil him.  That same Sal wanted to burn the Windmill down (and eventually did) with the two children inside.  Strahd just walked up behind him and whispered in his ear, “Do you really want to do that?”

Strahd makes Chaotic Apeshit characters into zombies in his sleep.

Shia will just be a oneshot in the Friday Table, but I’ve got another creature in store who will constantly annoy the players, where like Encounters!Shia, will level up with each encounter.

Sunday:  Hoard of the Dragon Queen

Recap:  http://steamcommunity.com/groups/tod5e/discussions/0/412449508294176046/

This session will prove problematic for Justin, especially with the planned off week for me.  In the May 29th session, the party met up with what remained of Claire’s character after Claire quitted with his Drama Storm.  The poor cleric has fallen into the clutches of the Cult of the Dragon and was brutally brainwashed and tortured to adopt a bunch of kobolds as her children.  A very telling lesson not to Rage Quit in this fashion too often.

But that’s not the part that caused Justin problems.  It was Ildar that has the boy Engineer worried:  After the end of the encounter, Ildar became possessed by some vengeful spirit who demanded Claire’s head on a spit.  Part of the rest of the party tried to restrain the annoying Paladin, including a dwarf that took a hit from Ildar, but it was to no avail.  In the end, Ildar explained—or rather mentally justified—his actions claiming that Claire’s character was too far gone into darkness and was beyond redemption.

What is in Justin’s Mind:  He doesn’t think that Ildar with his Avenging Spirit is any better than what happened to Claire.  This will no doubt cause a rift in an already rocky relationship.  If Justin ever goes off like that again, Justin will attack him.  No Questions.

Before that, though, Justin will have to go to the mountaintop to figure out what to do, the other Dawnbringers will have to know what is happening, and especially what Justin feels about this. I wanted him to go to the temple to seek counsel, (And woe to Ildar if he ever interferes.  Don’t piss off the nice ones) but events of this week ruled it out.

By the way, you might have noticed a change in class for Justin:

DriveThruRPG Update

By now I’ve submitted my first playtest offering, the Homestead Mechanic, to DriveThruRPG, for approval.  However, during this time, I’ve already gotten through the first draft of my second offering, and it concerns Justin’s Class.

While I’ve seen a lot of Artificer classes out there, I wanted to have something that is easier to use and follow along, using the three core rulebooks (Players Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide) as a foundation and allow the players to branch out from there.  Also, this is a class I want to use for Æthercoil, which will have a different take on Artificer.

Hence the Engineer class, a homemade class which is a variant of the Wizard, instead of an Archetype like Wizards of the Coast’s version, and doesn’t involve much material outside of the core books.  It’s a version of Wizard who focuses on building items, infusing existing material with magic, have many different projects to choose from for their own Archetypes, and most of all be easy to pick up and use unlike some other homemade Artificer classes.

The Engineer class is already in its second draft, and I’ll also change Justin’s character to use this new class for both the Sunday table and in Living Parnast.  I’ll give a link for it once it’s in DriveThruRPG as a presentable document.