Essential Classes for 5E now on DTRPG!

Aha! I did it! I finished a thing!

The Essential Classes for 5E PDF is just for you 5E players out there. I have created four (4) original character classes for you guys: the Mercenary, the Necromancer, the Occultist, and the Spyder.

The Classes

I created these four classes because they reflect some of my favorite characters and archetypes from mythology, literature, comics, film, and games.

  • MERCENARY, a skilled fighter, dirty brawler, and deft thief who would fit in right alongside warriors like Robert E. Howard’s iconic barbarian Conan the Cimmerian. 
  • NECROMANCER, a conduit for Death itself, commanding corpses and spirits, creating hideous tools and structures from dead matter, who could walk the same paths as Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone or the dark sorcerers of Clark Ashton Smith’s Zothique. 
  • OCCULTIST, a grim scholar and supernatural investigator armed with countless holy (and unholy) trinkets who combines elements of the heroes in Dracula, Hellboy, Hellblazer, and Castlevania. 
  • SPYDER, an assassin with superhuman skills who could easily be a ninja from the book The Kouga Ninja Scrolls or the anime Ninja Scroll.

Design Note

These classes feature some original mechanics that make the classes more thematic and cinematic. Features tend to be very situational. Some abilities work automatically without a roll. None of these classes use traditional spells.

These classes were not designed to be balanced with other classes (although they are very effective when they are in their element!). They were designed to evoke specific fantasy roles and heroic abilities from mythology, history, literature, and film. They were designed to be fun!

But these classes may not be for everyone, and that’s okay too!

That’s it!

I hope you’ll check out the Essential Classes for 5E on DriveThruRPG. It’s only $4 for 4 classes, which is pretty good. Plus it has outstanding art by Oleg Khachkovskiy (instagram)!

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New Dungeon Age stuff coming soon…

So, my attempts to get all of my projects under control have been highly mediocre. As you may have noticed, I wrote and published an entire little one-shot that was most certainly not on the To-Do list. But that’s okay!

Here are the things that are definitely happening this fall!

Orbital Vampire City

A hugely detailed campaign setting in the orbital vampire city of Araveshti, where you can explore countless ancient towers and ruins full of the best sci-fi tropes and references my aging brain could conjure (including Alien, Predator, Gundam, Akira, and The Thing).

That’s right, you can kill the Unseen Hunter and use its gear to defeat the Void Beast Empress, and then pilot the vampires’ Dragonsbane Armor to slay a space dragon, or use a shriveled psychic vampire child to figure out that the lonely dog next to the crashed space ship is a deadly shapeshifting ooze!

If that’s your jam.

Status: Currently in layout and editing. Which is taking FOREVER. Because it is LONG.

Gargoyle drawn by me

Essential Classes for 5e

Playtesting was rough! I ended up completely scrapping the original 6 classes and designing 4 entirely new classes, which are much, much better. They are the Mercenary, Necromancer, Occultist, and Spyder. They are detailed, unique, and thematically flavorful. They are not at all balanced (because who wants that?).

But they are very fun! The core mechanic for their special (very situational) abilities is that there is a 1-in-6 chance of the ability failing and causing you damage, otherwise it just works! Easy peasy.

Status: Currently in layout and editing, and waiting for artwork.

Wyrm drawn by me

…and last but not least…

HARTHBREAKER: The Dungeon Age RPG !!!

Yes, my homebrew game is now (probably) brewed enough for you to play! It’s called HARTHBREAKER because it is my fantasy “heartbreaker” and it is set in my dying world of “Harth”. It is basically a classless fantasy PbtA game. No damage rolls. No armor. No math. Just tons of in-game fiction. Your mileage will obviously vary.

The 40-page guide contains about 6 pages for the players and 30 pages for the Game Runner, which is mostly d66 tables full of tools for generating villains, magic items, villages, and quests. It is super good for generating zero-prep games. It is super good for new players, and for young players. It is super good for having fun with your friends. It is not at all good for simulationist wargamers (sorry!).

Status: Currently in layout and editing.

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Imperial Vault 19

A new Dungeon Age adventure is now available on DriveThruRPG.

Last week, my 10yo daughter asked me to run a one-shot with her, and we did, and it was great. And then I asked her if she wanted to help me write an adventure, and she did, so we did. She designed some monsters and magic items, some rooms, and a villain and a plot, and I wrote it all up. This is that adventure.

Imperial Vault 19

A grieving widow in the forest begs you to save her baby. A hedge witch has taken the infant down into an old imperial vault where she uses the child’s Chaos tears in alchemical potions.

And who knows what old treasures might still be hidden in the vault?

Unless it’s not that kind of vault…

This is a one-shot dungeon delve. The players have the opportunity to be classic heroes, fighting villains and saving babies. They also have the chance to loot a small dungeon for treasure.

…and they might be horribly mutated into bizarre monstrosities.

I said “might”!

Bottom Line

This is a quick and easy one-shot you can run on its own, or inserted into a campaign. Like all Dungeon Age adventures, it is full of original monsters and treasures. And its especially full of potions and mutation effects, which should make your game extra memorable!

It’s only $2 on DriveThruRPG, and she doesn’t know it yet, but my daughter will be receiving her half of the cut! So I hope you’ll check it out, and I hope you and your table enjoy Imperial Vault 19.

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Upcoming Dungeon Age adventures

I have fallen into a trap.

I have started too many projects.

The bad news is that this is slowing me down. The good news is that I’m going to finish all of them. Eventually.

In no particular order, here they are:

Orbital Vampire City. The “sequel” to Orbital Vampire Tower, this urban campaign setting is an entire city full of vampires, in space. There are over 40 detailed locations so far, various mutant vampires, sad aliens, monstrous aliens, weird aliens, vampire hunters, giant vampire mecha for fighting star dragons, and a star dragon. Probably coming this year.

Rogues of Carcassay. A sprawling, filthy city (sandbox campaign setting) of dungeoneers, alchemists, oracles, mercenaries, horror cults, zealous crusaders, warring wealthy Houses, reclusive Corpse Lords, insane hermits, and all manners of creatures spread across a hundred locations. We played in (and under) Carcassay for months and had countless bizarre plots and discoveries and battles. Maybe coming this year.

Six Essential Classes for 5E. I have designed and am currently testing six simplified classes for 5E. These are the Berserker, Hunter, Mercenary, Necromancer, Priest, and Witch. Each is built around a Core Ability, and all of the rules for each fit onto 2 pages (no spells). The idea behind each one is to give a player a very thematic and unique character that is also very easy to learn and run, with no mechanical decisions to make, just flavor options. For instance, the Berserker is a shapeshifter (you choose the creatures) and the Priest can invoke Plagues (you choose the vermin or material), but at each level, the range or power is clearly stated. Obviously, these classes are not for everyone, just folks who want something simpler to run. Probably coming soon.

The Dungeon Age Roleplaying Game. Yes, the long-rumored gaming system that I keep mentioning may actually come to light! Playtesting with both adults and kids continues to go well. What is it? I mean, basically it is a stripped down version of Dungeon World. No moves, just rolls and player creativity, three stats, and 2d6. It’s not for everyone, but everyone I play it with seems to have a great time. Probably coming this year.

Secrets of the Silt Sea. A seafaring campaign setting with adaptive, evolving island mechanics so that every game’s version of the Silt Sea is unique. A misty world of giant crustaceans and crocodilians. Probably coming later.

Gunwitches and Gilaraptors. A grasslands campaign setting of ruined cities and roving dinosaurs, and undead. Partly inspired by North American cryptids and legends. Probably coming later.

That’s all! Did anything catch your eye? Anything sound good?

Recent Dungeon Age adventures:

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Weekend sale: 13 Weird One-Shots

Like it says on the tin, this weekend there is a sale on 13 Weird One-Shots. The price is reduced to $5.99! Get it while it’s hot!

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NEW: Battle for Carrion Vale

There is a new Dungeon Age adventure available on DriveThruRPG today in both 5E and OSE formats! Go check out Battle for Carrion Vale. It’s grim. It’s dark. It’s gritty. It’s…grimdarkgritty.

“This morning, the forces of Law and Chaos clashed at Castle Yennagor. The battle raged all day, but as darkness fell, a cataclysmic explosion destroyed most of the castle and leveled both armies. Now, as night claims the vale, flickers of life return. Survivors make camp, flee the field, or continue the fight. Scavengers creep over the dead. And one question remains unanswered: what happened inside the castle?”

This is a dark sandbox adventure. Players take the role of battlefield survivors. They can choose which side they are on (or neither), and they can choose their goal, such as to escape the field with their lives, to plunder the dead, or to reach the castle and finish the mission.

The map is a sort of point-crawl with 30 locations. It looks like this:

You can show the map to your players because the Location names only describe what the PCs can see or hear as they move about the battlefield. If the PCs travel along the dotted paths, they can move quickly and safely. If they choose to move across the wilderness (off the paths), then they take longer to move and roll for a Random Encounter with one of the factions of Law and Chaos that are roaming around the valley.

Locations!

There are 30.

At each Location, the players can Search the battlefield for supplies. There is d66 table of things they can find, which include all sorts of useful or ruined weapons and armor, medical supplies and food, gravedigging gear, magical items, and lost animals.

Also at each Location are the actual battlefield wreckage and survivors that make up the encounter, including magicians casting spells, war-mounts dying in the mud, eldritch visitors from the stars and the future, thieves looting the dead, monsters eating the dead, necromancers recycling the dead, warriors adding to the dead, and lots more dead.

I told you this is a grimdarkgritty adventure.

Factions!

The Army of Law has brought the Silveri soldiers, who are your all-purpose good guys who just want to do the right thing. They aren’t very strong, but there are a lot of them. Law has also brought the Crusaders of Virune, who are extremely passionate about killing the forces of Chaos. Be careful around them.

The Army of Chaos has hired Jassinar mercenaries, who don’t care about cosmic politics at all but they are definitely worth their high price. Chaos also hired the Tharite corsairs, flamboyant desert pirates who are less than reliable. Chaos also tricked the Ngadi rangers into helping out.

Of course, lots of other people are here in Carrion Vale who have no allegiances. Watch out for the Plague Warriors, the Thieves Militant, the Last Folk, and three horrible old women, to name just a few.

Features

There are 70+ new magic items in this adventure, including weapons of Law and Chaos, specialized gear for rangers and assassins, hideous devices of bone and iron, unusual musical instruments, and a very dangerous bile sac.

There are 30+ new monsters and creatures in this adventure, including a wide variety of wizards and warriors, vampires and werewolves, aberrations, undead, and some very sad little demons who might have been watching Voltron and gotten some strange ideas.

Battle for Carrion Vale

Check out Battle for Carrion Vale on DTRPG, and let me know what you think about it.

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On Sale: “13 Weird One-Shots”

13 Weird One-Shots on DriveThruRPG

Hey everyone, I made a thing! The question is, should I try to sound like a well-established professional or a friendly go-it-alone artist? (seriously, I don’t know anymore)

Option 1: Dungeon Age Adventures is proud to announce the release of “13 Weird One-Shots“, a collection of tightly written and beautifully illustrated dungeon delves and mysterious investigations spanning 93 unique locations, 69 original magic items and treasures, and 71 all-new deadly monsters. Available in separate modern (5e) and old school (OSE) formats.

Option 2: Hey, everyone! After months of writing, drawing, and playtesting, I can finally announce that “13 Weird One-Shots” is now available on DTRPG. I had a ton of fun creating these one-shots, and my players had a blast running through them using a couple of different systems. It has tons of new monsters and treasures, plus saintly shrines, eldritch altars, and weirding water. There is something for everyone in this collection.

Here’s the Table of Contents (adventure titles):

  1. Mindless Fun
  2. There Might Be Giants
  3. Make Love Not Spores
  4. Diamonds for the Axing
  5. Drowning in Gold
  6. Snakes on the Plains
  7. Burning Desire
  8. Copper Crow Champions
  9. Poison Blooms Eternal
  10. Shock and Claw
  11. Fatal Family Feud
  12. Handsome Ransom
  13. Nightmares in Brass

I don’t know, take your pick. At this point, I’ve accepted the fact that I’m just not very good at shilling my stuff. Either way, check out some of the art I did:

The Galvanic Drake
The Jellyshark
The Red Adder Priest

I hope you’ll check it out: 13 Weird One-Shots on DriveThruRPG

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“Star Dragon Rage” campaign now for OSE

Contrary to what you may have heard or what I may have said… Star Dragon Rage is now available for OSE as well as 5e.

Going forward, it is my intent to create an OSE and a 5e version for each product, which will definitely include the upcoming “13 Weird One-Shots” early next year.

Check out all the Dungeon Age adventures on DriveThruRPG.

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New adventure “Star Dragon Rage” now on DTRPG

As promised, here it is:

Star Dragon Rage is a new 5e campaign for low-level (or Tier 1) play.

Adventurers begin in the lovely little village of Kettle, where the problems seem fairly mundane and manageable. Although the lake is very hot. And there is some very large wildlife. But then the cemetery erupts! People and creatures from a vast subterranean realm come flooding up from below, telling tales of an ancient metropolis buried beneath the lake, full of riches and magical treasures… and full of mad mutants and raging dragons, which are also coming up!

Unless the adventurers do something about it, of course.

Teasers: Mutant nobles, snail racing, living saints, sad wizards, dragon worshippers, doomsday triggers, tombs full of traps, mechanical refugees, and angry teens! Oh yeah, and dragons from outer space.

Product details:

  • 60 pages of three-column content
  • Over 50 detailed locations, including a quaint village and wilderness, and then the underground village, the ancient dying city, its gloomy and mysterious under-city, and the variously dusty and volcanic caves around them
  • Over 50 original creatures and stat blocks
  • Dozens of original treasures and magic items
  • Overview maps of each area
  • Minor illustrations

Q&A

How long does this play?

If you try to run through this in a linear style, then maybe 6-8 sessions. But the campaign is designed to reward recursive exploration, like a Metroidvania-style game. You can “unlock” features and items! For players who want to “find all the things”, expect about 20 sessions or more.

How was the playtesting?

Fantastic! The players loved getting to know the village of Kettle, and then discovering the vast regions underground. In fact, the playtesters got so involved in trying to help everyone they met, that the campaign ran very, very long.

Is this campaign only formatted for 5e?

Yes. Usually my adventures come in both a modern and an old-school version. But this one will not. Frankly, I’m overwhelmed with projects right now and I need to move forward. Thank you for understanding!

Check out Star Dragon Rage on DriveThruRPG

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Coming soon: Star Dragon Rage

So. Last winter, in the middle of my campaign Witches of Frostwell, and its probably-never-to-be-published sequel, Fangs of Vulgoth, I also wrote another campaign… Star Dragon Rage. I put this last one on the shelf until there was a chance to playtest. Then edit. And illustrate. And now it is done!

I know, I know, I’m still wrapping up the playtesting on 13 Weird One-Shots, that’s coming. Soon. Just not as soon as this:

What is it? Exactly?

Star Dragon Rage is for low-to-mid Tier play. So you can start at Level 1 and continue up past Level 5. You start in the quaint little village of Kettle on the shores of a burning hot lake, doing helpful little quests for the locals and slowly improving the village itself. Then you discover a massive cave system under the village, with another village, and a decadent dying city, and a nether-city, and more caves… It’s a lot. Plus, it is designed to be recursive. Players are rewarded for going back and “finding all the things”.

For instance, if you find the village smith’s master tools, then he can make you any regular weapon or armor. If you bring him exotic materials, then he can make exotic magical items. There’s a nun who makes magical broth from bones, so you might want to keep bringing her the bones of the things you kill. There are mutants, plague victims, dragon worshippers, blind opera singers, snail racers, undead knights, insane cultists, and angry teens.

Plus dragons. Space dragons. With solar-sail wings and laser-eye-gems. And they are miffed.

Coming very soon!

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