Free Stuff!

I’ve had the good fortune to have been gifted with a number of free gaming-related treats lately. Thought I’d take a moment to show off.

Dungeons and Dragons: Meet Mai

First, an artist friend of mine — the talented Jennifer Luu (jennifer0luu @gmail .com) — kindly offered to do a sketch of Mai, my most played character in D&D.

Artwork of my D&D character, Maigraith Numin, by Jennifer LuuI love it. The hair is spot-on.

ESO: New styles

I’ve also gotten some gifts in ESO.

Firstly, I won a new outfit slot courtesy of Chestnut from Gamer Girl Confessions for participating in IntPiPoMo at the end of last year. My thanks to her for her generosity. Due to logistical issues, it took a while for the slot to be delivered, but I’ve got it now, and my Bosmer is now sporting a shiny new look (click images for full size).

My sorcerer's new outfit in Elder Scrolls OnlineIn contrast to her normal tribal look, I wanted something more formal to show off her Aldmeri pride. Something she could wear while meeting with the queen. I did still include some bone elements as a nod to her more savage Bosmeri heritage.

My sorcerer's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineThe developers have also been giving away free stuff. Following their racial rebalancing (which has rather ruined my main’s stealthiness, much to my dismay), they handed out a bunch of race and name change tokens. My main got a new surname to bring her in line with my current character naming conventions, while my warden used a race change token to alter her appearance, which I’d never quite been happy with.

My warden's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineI’m still not sure I’m happy with it, to be honest. She looks a little harder than I’d like her to. It’s shockingly hard to make a High Elf in this game who doesn’t look like an awkward alien. Well, I still have two more tokens if I want to take another crack at it…

My High Elf warden's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineFinally, I have also completed the grind to evolve my Nascent Indrik mount. As is so often the case with grinds like these in MMOs, I lost my passion for it about halfway through, came to view it as an unpleasant chore, and began questioning my sanity for continuing with it, but stuck it out to the end out of a sense of obligation borne from sunk cost fallacy.

My evolved Indrik mount in Elder Scrolls OnlineAt least it’s a nice looking mount.

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Dungeons and Dragons: TSW Homebrew Release

It’s taken me longer than I expected, but I have now cleaned up my notes for homebrew adapting the setting of The Secret World to fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons enough for a public release. Included in this are a core rulebook with everything you need to create characters and play in the setting, a short campaign of four “issues” (adventures), and a bestiary with stats for all the monsters in the campaign.

The Black Pharoah Akhenaten in The Secret WorldYou can download the files from my Google Drive.

Features include:

  • New death mechanics reflecting the immortality of Gaia’s chosen.
  • A sanity mechanic.
  • Racial choices replaced by five playable factions: The Illuminati, the Dragon, the Templars, the Brotherhood of Phoenician Sailors, and the Council of Venice, each with unique perks and abilities.
  • New feats, skills, and backgrounds (I’m especially proud of the Conspiracy Theorist background).
  • New subclasses for all playable classes (some classes are disallowed because I feel they clash with the setting). Some of these are direct adaptations of abilities and builds from the original MMO — leech heal with the Reaper archetype for rangers, or regen like Wolverine as a Predator rogue — while others are entirely new ability sets inspired by the lore of the setting. Pacify your enemies with the Sleepless Lullaby as a College of Binding bard, or follow in the footsteps of Theodore Wicker by choosing the Hellraiser origin for your sorcerer.
  • Rules for driving cars.
  • New and reflavoured items and equipment.

I tried to design this to be equally playable by both hardcore TSW fans and people with no prior experience in the setting (a difficult tightrope to walk). None of my friends played the MMO, and I do want this to be a tool to help introduce more people to the awesomeness of TSW. The core rulebook includes a lore primer to help people who don’t know TSW; however, you can ignore it if you already know the setting.

Some caveats:

  • This is an adaptation of the mechanics of the original version of The Secret World, not Legends. I don’t wish to rehash any debates, but I feel the original TSW was a superior game and a better expression of the setting.
  • The bestiary only includes monsters that were used in the campaign I wrote. If you want to create new stories, you’ll likely have to build your own monsters, or repurpose existing D&D creatures.
  • I fully expect some people to disagree with my interpretations of the setting (I expect my list of what classes are and are not playable to especially controversial). That’s okay. I encourage everyone to tweak things as they see fit. I’ll be surprised if anyone ends up playing this with exactly the rules I wrote.
  • I am not a professional game designer, and this hasn’t been rigorously play-tested. I tried to balance out the most broken stuff (my original draft for Backer warlock was horrifying), but there are still bound to be many balance issues. As much as possible, I tried to err on the side of making players too powerful rather than too weak.
  • More than anything else, I want to stress that I see this as a starting point for adapting D&D to tabletop, not a total conversion. Manage your expectations accordingly.

That’s about all there is to say. If anyone does end up playing using my homebrew, please let me know! I’d love to hear your feedback, and any war stories on how it went.