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Mystara Player's Handbook


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#1 TheGlen

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 03:23 PM

File Name: Mystara Player's Handbook

File Submitter: TheGlen

File Submitted: 27 Aug 2015

File Category: Publications

Genre: Fantasy
Profanity Level: None


Our very own TheGlen, has been hard at work converting the Mystara world setting to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.

He has kindly provided the file for our delight and enjoyment.

He is also on the look out for help to fund new art for this version. If you would like to help out please visit the GoFundMe.

Also - if you are an interested artist feel free to drop TheGlen a message to talk about the possibility of helping provide lovely art for this fan reworking of a classic setting.


Click here to download this file


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#2 Hal

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 07:01 AM

Draft number 2 uploaded following feedback from the inter-webs :)

 

Hal :hal:


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#3 Telemergion

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 09:30 AM

I'll be honest, I had never encountered Mystara before but I'm checking it out now. This is a really well done pdf! If my schedule for fantasy RPGs wasn't completely booked up for the foreseeable future I'd definitely have to take this for a spin.

 

Is there a thread for feedback on the content of the pdf? 


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#4 TheGlen

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 10:03 AM

http://www.rpgmp3.co...ook/#entry96930


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#5 Telemergion

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 12:20 PM

You're in it.

Well that's convenient!

 

I've been rooting through the new classes and races and I really like a lot of the stuff you've done with them but there are a couple that seem like they could have balancing issues and I was wondering if they've been playtested, as well as a few lines which you might want to adjust the language on to avoid confusion or someone coming along and trying to break the game.

 

pg 29 - Sidhe racial - Invisible to Mortals: I really like the flavour on this, and not just because I would almost certainly play one of these myself. I'm wondering if the once/rest invis has been thoroughly tested, though. It is a potentially very powerful ability, especially since you can get it at lvl 1, and it would need to be to mitigate that hefty weakness to iron that they have, but I can just imagine this being abused. If nothing else, perhaps consider putting in a duration and Concentration qualifier similar to the Invisibility spell, just so you don't have people using it for an entire day.

 

pg 31 - Tortle racial - Natural Armour: I once again really like the flavour of the Tortles and I really like this ability. I am curious as to exactly which way you intended to go with the power. If you intended it to be similar to the monk and barbarian class bonuses, which set the AC equation a certain way and a therefore not stackable - then you might want to consider adjusting the language to something like "Your AC is equal to your dex mod + your proficiency". If you did intend for it to be additive, just tweak the language a little so that it is clear that it is. And if it is additive, then you get into some potential balancing issues: If someone is playing a Tortle barb or monk, for instance, or a shapeshifting Tortle druid. However, if it is an AC replacement, it seems like it really hurts some character concepts and classes that rely on heavy armour and, unless you prioritize Dex, makes fighters really unattractive to play because they'll have no way to compete with just a dude in some armour.

 

pg 34 - Dervish ability - Path of the Desert: Just like the tortle, I'm unclear as to whether this is an ac replacement or bonus, because you can bet I'd be multiclassing into monk if it's an additive bonus. I do like the added touch of proficiency with melee attacks but not actual monk damage.

 

pg 34 - Dervish ability - Step Through Sand: The more I look at this ability the less I like it from a mechanical viewpoint. Either you're not on desert terrain and it is completely useless, which is sort of lame for a lvl 6 class ability, or you are on desert terrain and you have between 1 and 5 free lvl 2 spell slots which are bonus actions and give you nearly unrivaled mobility on the field, which seems incredibly strong. The Warlock could recharge all of its uses of Misty Step on a short rest too, but it would have used its actual spell slots to cast the spell, thereby limiting other options. The Rogue gets Cunning Action at lvl 2, which does let it use Disengage as a bonus action as many times as it wants, but the rogue still has to use its move action to actually move away. Comparing to other Druid lvl 6 abilities, they get advantage on some limited saves and can move through bushes without leaving a trail, or get to ignore DR on monsters. I like the idea of it, and I can see where you're trying to go with the flavour, but I don't think this works at all as a lvl 6 ability. I think it should do something minor for you if you're not in a desert and something much less powerful if you are.

 

pg 34 - Dervish ability - Blade of the Efreet: Poor Dervish, I'm just picking on it today. Once again, I'm a little leery of an ability, even a lvl 10 one, giving free lvl 2 spell slots for a bonus action spell, and unlimited slots at that. I don't think in this case it necessarily breaks the game but it does seem powerful and might need playtesting. However, I do think you need to be specific in the language for this ability because Flame Blade is one of those spells that increases in damage based on the level of slot used, albeit not very quickly. Does it cast at base level, which I think is closer to being reasonable, or can you cast as a higher level spell?

 

pg 35 - Diplomat ability - Eidetic Mind: This is the reason to take this archetype, in my opinion. I don't think it needs changing, I just wanted to comment.

 

pg 40 - Horse Warrior ability - Flurry of Death: Great art on this archetype, by the way. It's one of my favourites. The ability itself is probably fine. It wouldn't do much in my campaigns because I houserule mounted combat a bit and it'd just end up being redundant, but I can't criticize you for me cheating. :P However, it just feels clunky the way it's worded. I know this is a work in progress, I just wanted to point that one out.

 

pg 47 - Spirit Shaman - This dude's hat. Now that is a hat! 

 

pg 48 - Makai Toa - I'm assuming you meant to have a regional/racial restriction on this archetype because otherwise this is incredibly breakable, especially if the Tortle's natural armour is additive. If that were the case, with a decent stat roll or point buy I could have an AC of 31 by lvl 10 without any magical equipment and just a cheap wooded shield. Even without the Tortle's ability it only drops to 27 without compromising anything, and potentially gets even easier depending on the stats the other race choice might have. You are fortunate there aren't half-orcs otherwise they would be unholy terrors with this as well. I'd also like to point out that unless you get the feat there's no such thing as Charging in 5e, so Storm of Blows probably needs to be looked at, regardless of balance issues. Oh, and the class is way out of alphabetical order. :P

 

pg 49 - Treekeeper - I really like this archetype. It works very well, and I love the lvl 14 ability.

 

pg 52 - Feats - Weapon Master Series: I see a couple potential issues with these feats. One is balance. For instance, it might be well worth it for me as an assassin-rogue to take a single level of fighter - it won't affect my top end abilities too greatly to miss a level whereas now I can sneak attack with a d12 rapier. Another issue is it's not explicitly stated what comes after a d12, so you should probably include that somewhere. The Grand Master 2 Hand option is assuredly overpowered in conjunction with the Makai Toa, possibly on its own. Lastly, just wanted to make sure that the Save vs Stun effects were intended to only key off the character's Str and not Dex. Probably needs testing either way, but I bet there's a bunch of Dex based characters who would love it if it worked for them.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

That's it for now. I'll have to read more later, though. Hopefully I'm not being too critical because I really am impressed so far!


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#6 TheGlen

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 02:52 PM

Has not been playtested in depth.  Going over your points:
pg 29.  The invisible to mortals is standard invisiblity, good for a spell or an attack.  Also helps get them past first level as an arrow can kill them on average dice until about level 3. 

 

pg 31.  Tortles are extremely underpowered, had to word it so the shell counts as armor, but allow for their armor to go up as they level so they aren't stuck with crap AC for an entire campaign.  Since it counts as armor, doesn't stack with monk AC bonuses.  It does say under natural armor the shell counts as wearing armor for all purposes.

 

pg 34.  Will reword to duplicate monk's ability.

 

pg 34.  The step through sand ability of the dervish is taken almost word for word from the original sourcebook, it is meant to be an extremely niche class was not recommended for PCs because of the strict regional requirements.

 

pg 34.  Will reword so that its 3d6, then +1d6 for every two levels past 10th.  Since the Dervish isn't going to be using metal weapon, at 10 level this is their primary armament. 

 

pg 41. (new version) reworded Horse Warrior's Flurry of Death to be a little cleaner.  It's another niche archetype.  Great for people wanting to play mongols, useless in a dungeon crawl.

 

pg 48. (new version) sadly, the art has to go.  If you want to help with paying the artists, i will stipulate the hat stays though!

 

pg 51.  (new version)  the lack of a restriction was an oversight.  Charge ability now only applies to first attack each round.  Changed the name to Toa Makai

 

pg (deleted) due to numerous rules issues over the weapon master feats, they were repackaged as the Master at Arms fighter archetype.  Note no tree steps a die type up more than once, and nothing steps up a die type in the 2 handed martial, so the best you can get is a d10/d12 versatile weapon.

Let me know if you find other issues.


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#7 Lucky_Strike

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 04:26 PM

Very minor item on privateer.

Seems this would often come immediately from a sailor background which I think gives water vehicle proficiency. Seems like that might often be a duplicate at level 3. Maybe offer a choice of two proficiencies?

Enjoying this quite a bit. Had similar thoughts on the weapon master tree and agree with your new approach. Always loved rules cyclopedia weapons mastery.
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#8 TheGlen

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 05:14 PM

Very minor item on privateer.

Seems this would often come immediately from a sailor background which I think gives water vehicle proficiency. Seems like that might often be a duplicate at level 3. Maybe offer a choice of two proficiencies?

Enjoying this quite a bit. Had similar thoughts on the weapon master tree and agree with your new approach. Always loved rules cyclopedia weapons mastery.

Standard rules apply, in case of a duplicated granted skill or toolset, you are free to choose another of your liking.  So a sailor when being told he has to go learn how to sail a ship all over again, grabs some dice and learns the Games toolset instead.


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#9 Telemergion

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 05:28 PM

Has not been playtested in depth. 

I might see if I can wrangle some of my players for an extra session or two in the near future and try some of these out. Maybe do similar builds using official archetypes and do a comparison through several encounters.

 

Heck, if they don't want to I'll just run it myself.

 

 

 

pg 31.  Tortles are extremely underpowered,

Yeah, if the armour isn't additive nor stackable, then you end up with a pretty woeful AC for frontline defense, even with it increasing as they level. Have you considered making their shell bonus equal to double their proficiency at the cost of not getting to add their dex? They'd start out with a 14 AC at level 1, which is rather average/low, and end up with 22 or 24 with a shield, which still isn't stellar but is much better than 16/18. It's not too dissimilar from mountain dwarves being proficient in heavy armour, since you get similar AC values, although the dwarves have to work for it or pay a gold cost. Toss in a line at the bottom where, if other AC calculations would result in a higher value they can choose to use those instead and you don't lose a lot of versatility for other builds. Just a suggestion.

 

 

 

If you want to help with paying the artists, i will stipulate the hat stays though!

How much is this hat going to cost me?

 

 

 

 

pg (deleted) due to numerous rules issues over the weapon master feats, they were repackaged as the Master at Arms fighter archetype.  

That, along with the changes you mentioned that I didn't bother to quote, sound a lot more reasonable. 

 

 

Seems this would often come immediately from a sailor background which I think gives water vehicle proficiency. Seems like that might often be a duplicate at level 3. Maybe offer a choice of two proficiencies?

It does say in the PHB that if a character gains a skill or proficiency they already have they can choose another of the same type. I think it's in the Backgrounds section, though, so you might not notice it when picking archetypes and it's a good point to note.


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#10 TheGlen

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 05:36 PM

Tortle is undergoing rewrite.  Nobody is happy with it.  Lifting the rules from the Barbarian, you get 10 + CON + Prof as base AC with shield, but can't wear armor.

 

Check out the Go Fund Me.  Each piece of art costs me $20.

 

The duplicate rule is page 125 of PHB unter Proficiencies.  Will try to add that, but I am very cramped for space.


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#11 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 03:27 AM

You might want to contact @Heather (a site artist); she's also offered some good deals for fellow RPGMP3 members, and could probably provide you with a few cool illustrations for the book.

Oh, and there's also @Twyst, although he hasn't advertised his prices, but he does offer to do commissions.
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#12 TheGlen

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 09:42 AM

That requires donations, and despite the new found popularity not getting any.


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#13 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 06:02 AM

The Rogue gets Cunning Action at lvl 2, which does let it use Disengage as a bonus action as many times as it wants, but the rogue still has to use its move action to actually move away.



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#14 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 08:47 AM

pg 40 - Horse Warrior ability - Flurry of Death: Great art on this archetype, by the way. It's one of my favourites. The ability itself is probably fine. It wouldn't do much in my campaigns because I houserule mounted combat a bit and it'd just end up being redundant, but I can't criticize you for me cheating. :P


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#15 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 06:37 AM

Mystara Player's Handbook back on track!

Getting new art, so crossing things off the to do list!!! First up, Hin Master

50608_900.png


That's a cool picture! :)

Seems I'm using LJ more and more as a reminder of things left to do. Well it's perfect for the roll and maybe somebody wants to help contribute so here's hoping. Have these pieces of art left for the Mystara Player's Handbook. Once I get that done get it properly formatted and wait to see if WOTC lifts the ban on all non-Forgotten Realms related stuff for their download site. Right now its a fan effort as I don't own the copyright on any of this. But they have hinted to lose all the filler art. Until I get a steady job it's all on notes now.

3. Kagyar Cleric: Heavily armored dwarf cleric
4. Order of the Griffon: Eastern European Knight/Hussar
5. Privateer: Obvious
6. Rake: Fancy dressed fantasy thief/con man
7. Shamani: Medicine Man
8. Spirit Shaman: Mongolian cleric, animal based costume. Will send example pic if needed.
9. Toa Makai: Maori warrior
10. Treekeeper: Elf Wizard/Druid.
11. Weapon Master: Swordsman, preferred to be based off classic Morgan Ironwolf character.
12. Wokani: non-human wilderness sorceror
13. Diplomat: Renaissance dressed noble
14. Energy Domain: Cleric with wisps of fire or electricity surrounding them.
15. Entropy Domain: evil cleric, death/decay theme
16. Matter Domain: Heavily armored cleric, stone or metal theme.
17. Thought Domain: cleric with books or other 'smart' themed items.
18. Time Domain: cleric with a surreal look, almost reality warping.
19. Magic Craft Filler: Wizard performing unusual magic, like turning into dragon, summoning elemental or making voodoo doll etc.
20. Spell Filler: Wizard casting impressive spell.
21. Tool Filler: Blacksmith or similar crafting new item or magical device
22. Gallowglass: Scottish warrior, stereotypical
23. Merchant Prince: Sea wizard on a ship. Very nicely dressed.
25. Front Page: Hopefully Epic
26. Places Chapter: Full page magical area from Mystara
27. Magic library: Probably from Glantri
28. Bad Place: From one of the places listed on that page.
29. Minrothad/Shadow Elves: Side by side image of both of the capitol cities there.
30. Tavern: Rowdy party at a tavern
31. Coins: Piles of various coins
32. Races and Heroes: Full page image of an adventuring party
33. Races of Mystara: Line up of the major races, minus half elf/ork, dragonkin and tiefling plus the four new Mystaran races.
34. Aleena: Filler, Aleena from the red box adventure
35. Weapon board: Half page of various types of weapons from the lands
36. Immortals and Priests: Big giant temple
37. Spells and Runes: Full page wizard performing experiments or alchemy
38: Heldannic Knight: Full plated germanic looking knight
39. Nordic Magic: Norse rune reader at work
40. Goods and Services: Rival merchants arguing across and a street. Full page.
41. Great Markets: Busy merchant street, featuring both featured shops from handbook
42. Karameikos: Romanian
43. Ylaruam: Arab
44. Glantri: Spanish Elf, Renaissance Italian and French noble together
45. Ierendi: Polynesian
46. Alfheim: Elf
47. Rockhome: Dwarf
48. Northern Reaches: Viking
49. Five Shires: Halfling
50. Minrothad: Sailor Wizard
51. Orcs of Thar: Orc
52. Darokin: Renaissance Merchant
53. Ethengar: Mongol
54. Shadow Elf: Non-Shaman Shadow Elf
55. Atruaghin: American Indian
56. Serraine: Gnomish pilot


New Mystara Archetypes

Working on a DnD Supplement, these are some class archetypes that are being considered.

Pyromancer (Alphatian/Glantri/Ierendi)

2nd level: Flame Spells cost 1/2 in time and money to scribe

2nd level: Immune to fire from non-magical sources

6th level: Resistant to magical fire, becomes immune at level 14

10th level: Can summon fire elemental. Elemental is friendly, if concentration is broken elemental returns to plane of fire instead of becoming hostile.

14 level: Automatically do maximum damage with a fire spell 5th level or lower, resets after long rest.

Gallowoglass (Glantri)

Lvl 3: Claymore. Greatswords lose the Two Handed trait when wielded by a gallowglass.

Lvl 7: Iron stomach. Gallowglass gains resistance to poison.

Lvl 10: Linebreaker. When the Gallowglass spends an action surge, his move is increase by 10.

Lvl 15: Bloodied. After taking a long rest, the first combat damage the Gallowglass takes gives an extra action surge that must be used during that combat.

Lvl 18: Braveheart. When reduced to 0hp the Gallowglass immediately spends all his hit dice to heal exactly as a if he had taken a short rest. This ability resets after a long rest.

Merchant Prince (Darokin, Minrothad)

2nd level: The cost to scribe all spells is reduced by half. Gain an additional spell every time you level up in this class.

2nd level: Can cast Identify without using a spell slot or components.

6th level: Add double your level to all rolls on the 'running a business' and 'selling a magic item' charts, gains insight as a skill.

10th level: Anyone attempting to lie to you must pass a CHA save or instead tell the whole truth. Acts like Zone of Truth spell, but only applies to you.

14th level: Can attune additional magic items equal to their INT bonus

Note to self:
page 23: Under 10k Fists, the goal starting with disbelievers add missing 'must'
page 26: replace keen mind feat with something else.
page 27: kill the comma in the Atruaghin subrace box.
page 32: Wild Rakasta change closer to closing
page 40: reword level 14 ability, radiance mages no longer convert HP to sorcery points, but gain exhaustion levels.
page 44: must misspelled as mush in flavor text.


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#16 TheGlen

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 11:45 PM

I should be adding new material in just over a week.  Gotta wait for a new credit card but then adding three new sections, and I've got a dozen more works paid for.


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#17 TheGlen

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 12:40 AM

51043_900.jpg

 

New dwarven cleric


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#18 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 08:01 AM

Nice picture! :)

Anyone interested in seeing more cool drawings can visit the DevArt page of the artist, Mischa Jones.
 


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#19 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 08:51 AM

On a related note:

New fifth edition rules for Dark Sun, the only published D&D setting I actually like.

This is also my first attempt at a proper, laid out, hyperlinked PDF made with InDesign. Was great practice.


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#20 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 12:19 PM

pg 49 - Treekeeper - I really like this archetype. It works very well, and I love the lvl 14 ability.


tumblr_ojziwh6Qig1ro2bqto1_500.jpg

OldSchoolFRP: Hold up – The DM just started describing the normal-looking trees. That can only mean one thing – killer ambulatory trees here. (Diesel, AD&D module A1: Slave Pits of the Undercity, TSR, 1980)

ghytiy: They were perfectly normal trees till the players started worrying


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