Expert DM Competition 26: Design Racial Features

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XDMC 26: Create Racial Features!
Welcome to the twenty-sixth Expert Dungeon Master Competition! The primary purpose of the Expert Dungeon Master Competitions is threefold:

  • To create a resource for new Dungeon Masters drawing on the vast talent pool of the experienced Dungeon Masters of this forum.

  • To create a fun and vibrant competition that is sportsmanlike and friendly.

  • To showcase the creativity and talent of Dungeon Masters like you.


The best way to keep informed about the competition is to join the Expert Dungeon Master Competition group. There you can review the rules, archives, and future contest ideas, and get broadcasts telling you when new competitions begin and when results are released!

The topic for this competition is Racial Features. Sometimes a player will approach the DM with a race-based character concept that is consistent with the description of the race, but doesn't have sufficient mechanical support. In times like that, an expert DM can fill in the gaps. You are challenged to create a group of backgrounds, feats, powers, or other mechanics that share a common racial prerequisite and a theme of your choosing.

Required Elements


In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:

  • Name: Name your entry.

  • Race: Identify the race to which the entry pertains. The race must be currently supported for player characters.

  • Mechanics: Describe three or more features (such as feats, powers, or backgrounds) for that race.

  • Theme: Describe the common theme that all of the features share.


If you do not meet each of these required elements, you will receive a score of zero in Themes.

Optional Elements


You must meet at least three of the following optional elements:

  1. Ability: At least one feature uses an Ability score, Ability modifier, and/or a Skill in which the race otherwise receives no benefit or bonus.

  2. Distancing: At least one feature penalizes adjacent allies.

  3. Geographic: All the features relate to a specific geographical or planar location.

  4. Keyword: At least one feature grants a benefit with respect to one or more keywords and a penalty with respect to at least the same number of different keywords.

  5. Language: At least one feature is available to characters of any race who speak a language named after the race identified in the required element called "Race".

  6. Multiracial: At least one feature causes the character to be treated mechanically as a different race in addition to their original race.

  7. Organization: All the features require membership in an organization described in the entry.

  8. Ritual: At least one feature allows the character to cast one or more rituals without the Ritual Caster feat.

  9. Solidarity: At least one feature grants a benefit to allies of the same race.

  10. Swap: At least one feature replaces an existing racial feature.

  11. Transformative: At least one feature changes the character's origin and/or size.

  12. Unrecognizable: At least one feature renders the character's race unrecognizable to, at a minimum, others of its race.

List the optional elements you intend to include. If you do not, the judges will credit you only for the optional elements they happen to notice.

General Rules


Following are some general rules of the Expert DM Competition. The complete list of rules is in the Expert Dungeon Master Competition Group Wiki.

  • Code of Conduct. All entries must comply with the forum's Code of Conduct.

  • Contest Duration. Contests usually run for two weeks, beginning with the post announcing the competition. The Coordinator may extend the duration of the contest at his discretion after consulting the other judges for that competition. However, such extensions should be done very rarely.

  • Edits Made at Entrants' Own Risk. A judge may download your entry any time after it is submitted. So any edits you make might not be considered by a judge. For this reason, you should submit your entry in as complete a form as possible. Use the preview function liberally. Once winners have been announced, entrants may edit their entries.

  • Images Allowed. If you want to use an image in your entry, you must first post it to your profile gallery.

  • Multiple Entries Prohibited. Each applicant may only submit one entry during the period in which entries may be submitted. Submitting multiple entries disqualifies all entries. Additional entries may be submitted after the competition closes, but they will not be judged.

  • Multi-Post Entries Prohibited. Each entry must be contained within a single post. The judges must ignore any subsequent posts.

  • Outside Links Prohibited. Entries may not include material hosted on a website other than the post on which the entry appears.

  • Plagiarism and Peer Reviewing Prohibited. All entries must be the original, exclusive work of the applicant. Entries found to be copying the work of another, or that have been posted for review prior to the close of the competition, will be disqualified.


Judges and Schedule


The contest will run from today through Friday, April 1, 2011. All entries must be submitted no later than 12:00 midnight at the end of that day (Eastern Standard Time). The judges of this contest are ChimericPhase, Johnathan_Vagabond, and Pluisjen, and the coordinator of this contest is wrecan. Good luck and have fun!!
Questions and Answers

(questions posed by potential entrants and the coordinator's response)


Q. For purposes of the "Race" required element, what races can be used?

A. Any race officially available to players.  According to the Compendium, the playable races are bladeling, bugbear, bullywug, changeling, deva, dragonborn, drow, duergar, dwarf, eladrin, elf, genasi, githyanki, githzerai, gnoll, gnome, goblin, goliath, half-elf, halfling, half-orc, hobgoblin, human, kalashtar, kenku, kobold, longtooth shifter, minotaur, mul, orc, razorclaw shifter, reveant, shadar-kai, shardmind, thri-kreen, tiefling, warforged, and wilden.


Q. For purposes of the "Mechanics" required element, what features can be used?

A. Anything for which there might logically be a racial prerequisite, including, but not limited to, artifacts, backgrounds, epic destinies, feats, magic items, martial practices, paragon paths, racial features, racial powers,
rituals, skill powers, and themes.


Q. For purposes of the "Theme" required element, should the mechanics be thematically linked, like in the racially themed articles in Dragon Magazine?

A. Yes.



Q. For purposes of the "Multiracial" optional element, can the mechanic treat the character as another race for only a few select purposes?

A. No.
  The mechanic must cause the character to be treated as another race (in addition to its original race) for all puposes for which the mechanic might apply.


Q. For purposes of the "Ritual" optional element, can a Martial Practice be used?

A. No.
  The element empowers the race to invoke a ritual without the Ritual Caster feat.  All martial practices can already be invoked without the Ritual Caster feat.


Q. For purposes of the "Unrecognizable" optional element, must the feature render the character physically unrecognizable?

A. Yes. 

Entry List

  1. ShinQuickMan's Wild Gnomes

  2. mccowen's Deepscale Dragonborn

  3. ankiyavon's Runeforged Dwarves

  4. Fedosu's Moirag (Eladrin)

  5. shinobicow's 6,000,000 GP Man (various)

  6. oraibi's Sageforged (Warforged)

  7. Atua's Skylights Conclave (Halfling)

  8. ClanBattlerage's Stoneshade Gang (Dwarf)

  9. LordArchaon's Tajuru Elves

  10. Fuka's Soul Defender (Deva)

Supplemental Entries:

Medalists and Scores
We are pleased to announce the winners of Expert Dungeon Master Competition 26!

No bronze medal is awarded this contest, because we have a tie for the silver medal betwee...

Fedosu
for
Moirag


and

Atua
for
Skylights Conclave!!


The gold medal goes to

mccowen
for
Deepscale Dragonborn!!!
Congratulations to all of the medalists for some great entries and thanks to all who participated in this competition, but especially to our judges, ChimericPhase, Johnathan_Vagabond, and Pluisjen for doing such a great job!  Also, mccowen is not our newest Paragon Dungeon Master!  Congratulations, mccowen!

Stay tuned while we plan Expert Dungeon Master Competition 27.  In the meantime, enjoy these carefully tabulated scores:

















































































































No.CreativityUsabilityThemesClarityBonusTotalEntrant’s Entry
110 1/311 1/68 5/68 1/238 5/6ShinQuickMan's Wild Gnomes
213 1/212 5/69 1/3944 2/3mccowen's Deepscale Dragonborn
310 5/611 1/28 2/3839ankiyavon's Runeforged Dwarves
414 1/311 1/69 1/39 1/644Fedosu's Moirag (Eladrin)
5811 5/6928 5/6shinobicow's 6,000,000 GP Man (various)
610 1/612 2/38 1/3940 1/6oraibi's Sageforged (Warforged)
71411 5/69 2/37 1/2144Atua's Skylights Conclave (Halfling)
89 2/311 1/68 1/2736 1/3ClanBattlerage's Stoneshade Gang (Dwarf)
912 1/38 1/38 1/28138 1/6LordArchaon's Tajuru Elves
1013 1/6107 1/230 2/3Fuka's Soul Defender (Deva)
Firstie.  Sounds interesting, but pretty hard.
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

15.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Agreed.  I'm a little confused about how this one will work.  Can you give an example using existing rules, mechanics, etc.?
Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding

I second ClanBattlerage's request.  I really don't get this one.  Is it something like we sometime se in race articles on Dragon, a group of thematically linked powers/feats/whatever centered around a particular race?

Based on my interpretation of this, it would seem like you have to make a Racial feature, like the Half-Elf Diletante, racial feature, and then develop powers/feats/whatever that goes along with that.  No real problem with that, other than the fact that some of the Optional Elements this time around I would consider almost unusable in any racial power - like I don't think you would ever want to have a racial power that actually penalized anyone.  That is a power that almost immidiately never gets used (maybe that's just opinion though).
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

15.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Based on my interpretation, it goes something like: the player has a concept of a dragonborn wizard, but lets face it, there's like almost zero support of that, making him gimped from the beginning.

Help that player by designing stuff for him

Race: Identify the race to which the entry pertains.  The race must be currently supported for player characters.


Q: does this include the races at the end of monster manual?
Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

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Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
Here's a quick example, based on how I've understood it's going to be as a Judge.

Dwarven Freed Slave
For eons, the Dwarves were slaves to the Giants and the Fomorians, before their race fought themselves to freedom and escaped from those dark ages to make a civilisation for themselves. Yet, some Dwarves did not manage to escape, and their descendants toil in slavery still, hoping for rescue by their clansman.

Occasionally, raiding parties of Dwarves come across such slaves. Sometimes, adventuring parties on a great quest come across them as well. These slaves will at this point finally know freedom, and escape from their bonds. You are one of those slaves. 

Background option: Freed slave
Requirement: Dwarf
You were once a slave to the Giants or Fomorians, but a daring raid set you free. You're accustomed to the hard life, but you seek to enjoy your freedom, or do you plan to take vengeance on your owners, or perhaps seek to free others who suffer as you did?
Associated Skills: Endurance, Athletics

New Feat: The Hard Life
Prerequisite: Dwarf, Training in Endurance
You gain a +2 Feat bonus to Endurance checks, and you may roll twice for Endurance checks pertaining to dehydration, starvation and lack of sleep.

New Racial Feature: Callused Skin
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Years of beating with a whip have left your skin stained and callused. Pain is a good friend to you, and you've learned to ignore it over time. This leaves you hardy and hearty, even where pains would bite away at less trained individuals.

You gain Resist 1 to All damage, and if you gain resistance to all damage from another source, that resistance increases by 1. This feature replaces "Stand your Ground". You must choose to take this option at level 1, and the choice cannot be changed afterwards.



Note that it doesn't use any of the optional elements, it's just a basic example of the kind of thing we're looking for. 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Is it something like we sometime se in race articles on Dragon, a group of thematically linked powers/feats/whatever centered around a particular race?



Yes.
Race: Identify the race to which the entry pertains.  The race must be currently supported for player characters.


Q: does this include the races at the end of monster manual?


Yes.
Note that it doesn't use any of the optional elements, it's just a basic example of the kind of thing we're looking for. 

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh...much more better.  And I like the use of a dwarf as your example.  ;)

Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding

Here is my sample entry, quickly thrown together.  This one does use some optional elements.


Troglodytical Kobolds
Sometimes a player wants to play a monstrous race that isn't currently supported.  This entry allows players to create troglodyte characters.

In the Underdark, racial identity can be a tricky thing.  Maybe your ancestors interbred with troglodytes.  Maybe they were subject to a draconic master's twisted experiments.  Maybe your bloodline has had such prominent troglodyte features for so many generations that they have forgotten they were ever kobolds and consider themselves to be full-blooded troglodytes.

Racial Feature
A kobold character who is of the "troglodytical" sub-breed may choose to replace their Shifty kobold racial power with the following power.

Troglodyte Stench - Kobold Racial Power
You exude the signature stench of the troglodyte.
Encounter
Minor Action - Personal
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, any creature that begins its turn adjacent to you incurs a -2 penalty to all attack rolls until the end of its next turn.


Troglodytical kobolds also have the following options to further delve into their troglodytical nature:

NEW BACKGROUND
Troglodytical
Type: Racial
Campaign Setting: General
Prerequisite: Kobold, troglodyte stench racial power
The troglodyte blood running through your veins is strong, perhaps even stronger than your own kobold heritage.  You appear more troglodyte than kobold, such that even other kobolds and troglodytes mistake you as a troglodyte.
Benefit: You are Medium sized.  You appear to be a troglodyte, and it will require a disguise or illusion for you to appear as a kobold.
Associated Skills: Athletics, Endurance

NEW FEATS
Expansive Stench
Your signature stench has a far reach.
Heroic Tier
Prerequisite:
Kobold, troglodyte stench racial power
Benefit: Your troglodyte stench power affects all creatures within two squares of you. 

Lingering Stench
Your signature stench persists even when you are no longer nearby.
Paragon
Tier
Prerequisite:
Kobold, troglodyte stench racial power
Benefit: When you invoke your troglodyte stench power, until the end of the encounter, any creature that begins its turn adjacent to you incurs a -2 penalty to all attack rolls until it successfully saves. 

REQUIRED ELEMENTS:


  • Name: Troglodytical kobolds.

  • Race: Kobold.

  • Mechanics: Troglodyte Stench racial power, Troglodytical background, Expansive Stench feat, and Lingering Stench feat.

  • Theme: These features allow a player to play a troglodyte, or troglodyte-related character.


OPTIONAL ELEMENTS:


    • Ability: The Troglodytical Background grants a benefit to Athletics and Endurance, for which the race otherwise receives no benefit or bonus.

    • Distancing: The Troglodyte Stench power penalizes adjacent allies.

    • Swap: The Troglodyte Stench power replaces the kobold's Shifty racial power.

    • Transformative: The Troglodytical Background changes the character's size to Medium.

    • Unrecognizable: The Troglodytical Background makes the character unrecognizable as a kobold, even to other kobolds.



    Can the unrecognizable optional element include social or cultural recognition? In other words, if taking the trait makes you some sort of outcast (to the point that other members of your race refuse to acknowledge you as a member), does that count?

    'She isn't an elf, we don't act like that.'
    Can the unrecognizable optional element include social or cultural recognition? In other words, if taking the trait makes you some sort of outcast (to the point that other members of your race refuse to acknowledge you as a member), does that count?

    'She isn't an elf, we don't act like that.'



    Unless the difference was pronounced, obvious, and pervasive she would be "recognizable" as an elf I would expect.  I think most social or cultural things would be too subtle for this optional IMO, but I suppose it might be possible if it were sufficiently potent.

    Sounds like a fun but challenging one (putting on the thinking cap...)
    Can the unrecognizable optional element include social or cultural recognition?

    No. It's physical unrecognizability.

    Wow, impressive. That's a really nice idea.

    Troglodyte Stench sounds a bit overpowered to me. I would personally make it a sustain minor, since the PC isn't ACTUALLY a Troglodyte and also to maintain balance between this and other racial powers.

    IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

    Look at my Playable Illithid, my Monster Generating excel file , my Lifestealer in progresss (Heroic tier almost complete!) , our Improved Orc, our Improving Kenku and our Improving Duergar
    Also, take a look at my friend's Improved Minotaur, Gadren's amazing Arcane Archer and of course the Avatar Project
    More links! Qube's Block Builder, Classless D&D and the characters I've created using the classless system.
    As I said, I threw the sample entry together pretty quickly.  I'm pretty sure the actual entries we get will be better than this.
    Are Epic Destinies and/or Paragon paths acceptable for the type of feature in this competition?
    Are Epic Destinies and/or Paragon paths acceptable for the type of feature in this competition?


    Yes.
    I imagine magical items are also accepted.


    Yes.  I mention magic items in the Q&A.

    I also want to know, is is possible to change multiple racial features, even skill bonuses?


    Yes.
    By way of a bump, question of this week's Rule of Three Article deals specifically with nonstandard races:

    3 I was wondering, are kobolds ever going to get their own racial write-up like gnolls or minotaurs, or will they be consigned to the fate of the githyanki? I ask this because kobolds are kind of a fan-favorite amongst the D&D community, due to their pathetic adorableness and wicked craftiness with traps.


    Kobolds are tricky to present as a character race because their racial power is so good. It works fine for a monster, but in a character’s hands it might be too good. That said, there’s no reason why we couldn’t write up the kobold as a race and run its abilities through several open playtests.


    As far as other races go, at one point the assumption was that everything we present should be a core part of the game. However, my personal feeling (editor’s note: this answer comes from Mike Mearls) is that such an attitude might go a little too far in intruding on a DM’s authority and a group’s desire to play a specific type of campaign. What do you guys think? Would rolling out Dragon articles covering orcs, bugbears, kobolds, and other monstrous races as characters be a good or bad idea? Is there a downside to letting players pick monstrous races? Drop a line to dndinsider@wizards.com or take your case to the forums.




    So take your case to the forums by showing the powers that be how awesome more racial options can be!
    Funny...I was just going to ask whether defining a new race would be acceptable (if overkill) for this XDMC?  For example, statting out how one could play a Carrion Crawler, perhaps.

    Or would that be nixed by the "Race" requirement?
    Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding
    Funny...I was just going to ask whether defining a new race would be acceptable (if overkill) for this XDMC?  For example, statting out how one could play a Carrion Crawler, perhaps.

    Or would that be nixed by the "Race" requirement?


    I'me pretty sure this is already answered in the Q&A.
    Alright, lemme take a whack at it.

    Name: Wild Gnomes
    Race: Gnome
    Mechanics: Racial Power, Racial Feat, Racial Paragon Path
    Theme: Gnomes from the deep wilderness of the natural world use primal forces and their innate arcane prowess to survive.

    Optional Elements met:
    Ability: Charm of the Wild feat boosts the attack bonus and damage bonus to Wisdom or Strength based attacks, both abilities which gnomes do not have.
    Distancing: Aspect of the Great Fey Spirit daily paragon path attack power deals damage to allies adjacent to you.
    Swap: The Nature's Magic racial feature is swappable from the Fade Away racial feature.
    Geographical: Wild gnomes are affiliated with the most untamed wilderness of the natural world. I'm not sure if this one counts and will let the judges decide for themselves.


    Wild Gnomes

    Most gnomes who released themselves of the formordians' cruel clutches have made their home in the tranquil woods of the Feywild and the natural world. Some gnomes, however, have parted into the more dangerous and unwelcoming sects of wilderness which the natural world claims, whether by accident or on purpose. These group of gnomes, informally known as wild gnomes, have a rooted affiliation with the savage lands they call home. The primal spirits have favored the wild gnomes which make their living in these unforgiving parts. Because of this, wild gnomes have more tendencies to master primal classes such as druids and shaman.

    Wild gnomes are more aggressive than their meeker cousins. Where most gnomes would hide and deceive, wild gnomes would fight and intimidate. Their disposition to protect what is theirs comes from knowing that their small size gives the impression that they are easily domitable, which is further fueled by their disdain to be enslaved once again as the formordians have done before. This trait has also
    made wild gnomes more aloof. Wild gnomes use their natural charm to shun and frighten unwelcome yet unhostile visitors. Commonly wicked races, unnatural creatures, or anything that seems like a threat, however, are hunted and killed on sight.

    Wild gnomes which take the adventuring path usually do so to stave away a greater oncoming threat looming over their homeland. Others do so because they have never lost their curiosity of which gnomes are usually known. Regardless why they chose the adventuring life, wild gnomes make their prescence known much like the dog whose bite matches its bark.

    New Racial Feature: Nature's Magic
    You can choose the Nature's Magic racial feature instead of the Fade Away racial feature. You make this choice upon creation of your character. This feature gives you the Nature's Magic power.

    Nature's Magic     Gnome Racial Power
    You combine your natural arcane affinity with the primal spirits to invoke ghostly images of hostile foresteal creatures.
    Encounter * Arcane, Illusion, Primal, Psychic
    Minor Action     Area Burst 1 within 5 squares
    Target:
    Each creature in burst
    Attack: Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma +4 (6 at 11th level and 8 at 21st level) vs. Will
    Damage: Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier psychic damage. In addition, each creature takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
    Level 11: 3+ Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier psychic damage
    Level 21:
    6+ Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier psychic damage
    Special: When you make your character, choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as the ability score you use when you make attack rolls as well as the damage modifier applied with this power.

    New Racial Feat: Charm of the Wild
    A wild gnome's connection with the primal spirits is unmistakeable.
    Prerequisite: Gnome, Nature's Magic racial feature, any primal class
    Benefit: You gain a +1 to attack rolls and damage rolls to powers with the Primal keyword which use Strength or Wisdom for attack rolls. In addition, all attacks that you or your allies make against enemies which have been hit by your Nature's Magic racial power gain the psychic keyword as long as the penalty incurred from your Nature's Magic power persists.

    New Racial Paragon Path: Feyborn Sybil
    Adept in surviving the Feywild and the harsh wilderness of the natural world, you have earned a ritual to speak to elusive primal spirits which command powers in the Feywild and the natural world. The Rite of the Feyborn Sybil, a tribe of gnome mystics of which only few have even heard mentioned, were the first to discover these spirits ever since the first gnomes broke free of formordian rule. With these spirits, arcane wonders and primal might merge to form a ravishing yet destructive power. The entity revered most of all by these mystics is the Great Fey Spirit, whose form is indescribable to mortals except for all the vegetation which grows rampant for every footstep the spirit takes. Your reputation has bequethed you the privelige to be taught the cryptic ritual which brings upon these spirits, and with it, the power to call upon the Great Fey Spirit itself.
    Prerequisite: Gnome, any primal class

    Feyborn Sybil Path Features:
    Wild Arcana (11th level):
    All your at-will primal attack powers gain the arcane keyword.

    Sybil's Action (11th level): When you spend an action point to make an attack and that attack hits, the target of your attack gains vulnerable 5 psychic which lasts until the end of your next turn.

    Lost in the Wilderness (16th level): Whenever you score a critical hit on an enemy, that enemy receives a penalty to all defenses equal to your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier until the end of your next turn.

    Feyborn Sybil Powers:
    Blooming of the Enchanted Fields     Feyborn Sybil Attack 11
    Glowing aural flowers sprout from the ground, emitting an enthralling yet noxious sparkling pollen which leaves all in its path bedeviled.
    Encounter * Arcane, Poison, Primal, Psychic, Implement
    Standard Action     Area burst 1 within Range 10
    Target:
    Each creature in burst
    Attack: Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma vs. Fortitude
    Damage: 2d6 + Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier poison and psychic damage, and the target is dazed until the start of your next turn.

    Traveller of the Wicked Forest     Feyborn Sybil Utility 12
    The primal spirits reveal to you interdimensional rifts through the Feywild.
    Daily * Arcane, Primal, Teleportation
    Minor Action     Personal
    Effect
    : Until your next extended rest or until you are bloodied, you can use a minor action to teleport 2 squares.

    Aspect of the Great Fey Spirit     Feyborn Sybil Attack 20
    You allow the Great Fey Spirit to take your body temporarily, leaving your enemies and your allies in dire threat.
    Daily * Arcane, Psychic, Primal
    Minor Action     Personal
    Effect:
    Until the end of the encounter, all your attacks deal an extra 2d6+ your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier psychic damage. Any allies adjacent to you while you are making an attack take 2d6 psychic damage.
    The list is updated.  Welcome to the XDMCs, ShinQuickMan!
    I wanted to get my entry in first, but postponed it until I got home from my session. Curses! I'm not sure how well this will do against the kind of competition I've seen in the XDMC lately, but at least it'll renew my judging eligibility (I think).

    Anyway, entry after two short notes.  First, the optional elements fulfilled:

    [EDIT 11am ET, 4/1/11: for clarity, added Required Elements to this section.]
    Required Elements

    1. Name: The Deepscale Dragonborn

    2. Race: Dragonborn

    3. Mechanics: The entry describes two backgrounds, a new racial trait, three feats, and a paragon path.

    4. Theme: The entry deals with dragonborn who are "sneaky" rather than stereotypically honorable and straightforward, and is designed to benefit nonstandard choices like warlock, rogue, and assassin.

    Optional Elements

    1. Ability (Blood of the Hidden relies on a Stealth check)

    2. Swap (deepscale gaze replaces dragon breath)

    3. Transformative (Heritor of Ssargon changes origin to shadow)

    Second, a plea from anyone on the WoTC magazine staff who happens to come across this: please start considering articles that open up more monster races. I have a hobgoblin pitch that's been in the slush pile for 30 days (or this entry would be devoted to them), but even if you don't publish mine publish someone's! I know someone who'se playing a kobold and am gaming with someone who plays a hobgoblin, and they're both really hurting for options when compared to typical PC races. They knew that when they signed up, of course, but both are interesting PCs in iconic roles, and both could use just a small mechanical kick.

    (Third, is there a reason the forums make me use bad xhtml in order for my posts to be formatted correctly?  I'm on my third edit, trying to get rid of a paragraph break which is inexplicably three lines wide--but not in preview mode.)

    On to the entry!
    The Deepscale Dragonborn

    As the heirs of Arkhosia, the dragonborn are a people bound by codes of honor from another time. They carry on a proud tradition of glory in battle, which they take to with the savage joy of the true dragons they resemble.


    But a few dragonborn remember another side of Arkhosia, and are heirs instead to a secret kept by courtiers and thieves for centuries. These are the rare deepscale dragonborn, with hides of gray, purple, and black, who move catlike through the shadows and hidden passages of dragonborn history. To most they are merely an ugly rumor, spread by the tieflings and others who wish to tarnish the memory of a great empire.


    Those who encounter a deepscale firsthand, of course, are usually able to say very little afterward.


    New Backgrounds


    A dragonborn who carries this hidden heritage can choose from the following backgrounds.


    Outcast From Honor


    Deepscales are rare, and are generally born to more typical dragonborn parents. You were one such unexpected child, and spent much of your childhood standing up to or running away from bullies. Eventually, the prejudice and suspicion became too much, and your parents or someone else close to you encouraged you to leave home. How did you handle your unexpected heritage? Did you accept your exile as the best outcome for everyone, or do you resent those who pushed you away?
    Associated Skills: Intimidate, Streetwise


    A Manifest Secret


    Your family has borne other deepscale scions, and honors the important work that sometimes must be done in the dark. You were encouraged in the pursuits that came naturally to you, regardless of how those outside the family saw you. As an adult, however, you must make your own way. How did you transition from the encouraging acceptance of your family to the suspicious face of a world that expects honor and a fair fight?
    Associated Skills: Bluff, Stealth


    New Racial Trait


    A deepspawn dragonborn can choose the following racial power in place of the Dragon Breath racial trait.


    Deepscale Gaze     Dragonborn Racial Power
    The tales of the deepscale dragonborn say they could impose their will on opponents with a mere look—whether by force of personality or sheer physical presence.
    Encounter * Charm, Gaze
    Minor Action     Close burst 3 (increase to close burst 5 at 21st level)
    Target: One creature in burst
    Attack: Charisma, Constitution, or Strength +3 vs. Will
    Level 11: Charisma, Constitution, or Strength +6 vs. Will
    Level 21: Charisma, Constitution, or Strength +9 vs. Will
    Hit: The target makes a basic attack against another creature of your choice, and grants combat advantage until the end of your next turn.


    New Feats


    Blood of the Hidden
    Prerequisite: Dragonborn, deepscale gaze racial power
    Benefit: When you are bloodied for the first time in an encounter, you may shift half your speed as an immediate reaction. If you have cover or concealment at the end of this movement, you can make a Stealth check to become hidden. Until the end of your next turn, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls made against a target who cannot see you.


    A Knife In The Dark
    Prerequisite: Dragonborn, deepscale gaze racial power
    Benefit: You gain proficiency with all simple and military one-handed light blades, and a +2 feat bonus to damage rolls with such weapons. The bonus increases to +3 at 11th level and +4 at 21st level.


    Crushing Gaze
    Prerequisite: Dragonborn, deepscale gaze racial power, Charisma 17
    Benefit: A target hit by your deepscale gaze power is also dazed until the end of your next turn.


    New Paragon Path: Heritor of Ssargon


    Prerequisite: Dragonborn, deepscale gaze racial power


    Among the half-truths and half-myths about the origin of the deepscale dragonborn are several stories that place their ultimate origin in the Shadowfell. Some attribute the rise of the deepscale to the intervention of the Raven Queen, some to dread pacts made with powers of darkness. A few relate the tale of a creature named Ssargon—variously a purple dragon, a wraithlike dragonborn nethermancer, or a preposterous creature half dragon and half drow—who was once an exarch of the Raven Queen. Ssargon was the patron of dragonborn assassins, thieves, and lovers in secret. Occasionally, when called upon in a time of great need, Ssargon would bestow a blessing.


    The blessing was purportedly a mixed one, as it slowly transformed the recipient into the image of Ssargon itself, but it put the power of darkness into the very blood and body of those it affected. Some deepscales embrace this tale of their heritage, and through it great power over the substance of darkness itself.


    Heritor of Ssargon Path Features


    Shadowed Soul (11th level):
    Your eyes become black or purple, with no discernible pupil or iris, and shadows seem deeper in your presence.
    You are considered a shadow creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin. You may make a Stealth check to become hidden when you have any concealment, and you gain darkvision.


    Veiled Action (11th level):
    When you push yourself, shadows leap up to hide you from the sight of your enemies.
    When you spend an action point to take an extra action, you gain total concealment from all creatures until the end of your next turn.


    Tenebrous Claws (16th level):
    Fragments of shadow tear free of their moorings at your command, and fly at your foes like shards of dark glass.
    If you begin your turn with concealment or total concealment, your attacks deal extra psychic damage equal to your Charisma, Constitution, or Strength modifier against creatures that grant combat advantage to you.  This benefit ends at the start of your next turn.


    Heritor of Ssargon Powers


    Breath of the Deeps     Heritor of Ssargon Attack 11
    You hiss menacingly, and a cone of roiling shadow bursts from your parted jaws.
    Encounter * Psychic
    Standard Action     Close blast 3
    Target: Each creature in the burst
    Attack: Charisma, Constitution, or Strength +6 vs. Reflex
    Level 21: Charisma, Constitution, or Strength +9 vs. Reflex
    Hit: 2d8 + Charisma, Constitution, or Strength modifier damage and 5 ongoing psychic damage. Until the end of your next turn, you have concealment while you are within the area affected by the breath weapon.


    Aphotic Aura     Heritor of Ssargon Utility 12
    You command the shadows around you, and they swirl together and part at your beck and call.
    Encounter * Zone
    Minor Action     Close burst 1
    Effect: The burst creates a zone of shadows that lasts until the end of your next turn. Bright light in the zone becomes dim light; each square in the zone is lightly obscured, but creatures in the zone cannot benefit from concealment against your attacks.  If you move, the zone remains centered on you.  You can dismiss the zone as a free action on your turn.


    Clutch of Night     Heritor of Ssargon Attack 20
    The darkness is yours to control, and it brutally assaults the eyes and minds of those who approach you with violent intent.
    Encounter * Psychic, Zone
    Standard Action     Close burst 1
    Effect: The burst creates a zone of twisting shadows and nightmarish visions that lasts until the end of your next turn. If you move, the zone remains centered on you. When any enemy enters or starts its turn in the zone, you can use the Clutch of Night attack.
    Sustain Minor: The zone lasts until the end of your next turn.


    Clutch of Night Attack
    At-Will * Psychic
    Opportunity Action     Close burst 1
    Requirement: The Clutch of Night power must be active to use this power.
    Trigger: A creature enters the zone or starts its turn there.
    Target: The triggering creature in the burst
    Effect: The target takes psychic damage equal to your Charisma, Constitution, or Strength modifier, and is blinded until the end of its next turn.

    The list is updated!
    Now, I don't mean to sound unappreciative about competing, but is there a prize to those who win?
    Not really. If you win a gold medal for coming in first place, or two other medals, you´re eligable to judge other competitions.

    A while ago you used to win a special subtitle on the forums but I think they stopped doing that... 
    Epic Dungeon Master

    Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

    Your Kingdom awaits!
    Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
    A while ago you used to win a special subtitle on the forums but I think they stopped doing that... 


    I was very sad when that got stopped.
    Oh, this thread looks interesting.
    If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.


    Runeforged Dwarves


    Optional elements used:  Ability, Keyword, Ritual, Transformative



    The dwarves have always been the most adept users of runic magic in the world.  Chiseling runes into stone carries a permanence that they love, and few other races have the patience to laboriously create such works of art.  But stone is not the only medium for runes, and over the years, research has been made into other areas.  After wood and parchment came the living skin of dwarves.

    The first dwarf to agree to the procedure was tattood with only a few runes.  The ink itself glowed with magical power, made as much from residuum as from more ordinary ingredients.  He died screaming in terror only a few days later.  But research persevered, despite early setbacks.  The research was banned in most major dwarven communities, causing its practitioners to build their own settlements deep underground, and allowing the major dwarven communities to forget that anyone ever suggested tattooing dwarves with residuum.

    Then, one day, a group of dwarves returned.  Covered in glowing tattoos from head to toe, they called themselves 'runeforged'.  Their centuries of research had finally borne fruit, and allowed themselves to channel the raw power of the arcane into their very flesh.

    Covered in magical runic tattoos, written in residuum-laced ink,  glowing with arcane energy, runeforged dwarves are different from ordinary dwarves.  The magic in their tattoos inhibits their ability with weapons or to channel divine energy, but increases their power with arcane magic significantly.


    New background option:  Runeforged Dwarf


    Requires Dwarf
    You are covered in runic arcane tattoos, glowing dully all over your body.  You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls of powers with the arcane keyword, but suffer a -1 penalty to attack and damage rolls of powers with the martial or divine keywords.




    New feats


    Runeforged Quickness
    Requirements:  Runeforged dwarf background
    Benefit:  When you use your second wind, you gain a bonus to speed equal to your Int or Cha modifier until the end of your turn.

    Runeforged Sentinel
    Requirements:  Runeforged dwarf background
    Benefit:  You can master and perform rituals of the Warding and Binding categories as if you had the Ritual Caster feat.  Once per day, you may use the runes on your skin as a focus for a Warding or Binding ritual, reducing the casting time to one minute.

    Runeforged Escape
    Requirements: Runeforged dwarf background, Runeforged Quickness, 11th level
    Benefit:  When you use your second wind, you may teleport a number of squares equal to your Int or Cha modifier as a free action.

    Runeforged Axe Expertise
    Requirements:  Runeforged dwarf background, any arcane class
    Benefit:  You may use axes as implements for your arcane powers.  You gain a +1/2/3 (by tier) feat bonus to attack rolls with axes.  When rolling damage for an arcane implement attack you make with an axe, you can reroll one damage die that results in a 1, but you must use the second result.

    Runeforged Axe Mastery
    Requirements:  Runeforged dwarf background, any arcane class, Runeforged Axe Expertise, 21st level
    Benefit:  You can score a critical hit on a roll of 19-20 when using an axe as an implement for an arcane attack power.


    New Paragon Path


    Runeforged Exemplar
    Requirements:  Runeforged dwarf background
    You have taken your runeforging to a new level, covering every inch of your body in runic tattoos.  It is impossible to say where the runes end and your skin begins; perhaps you no longer have skin, and the glowing runes have fused themselves into an arcane wrapping for your internal organs.  And with this fusion comes power.

    Runeforged Exemplar


    11th level:  Runeforged Action:  When you spend an action point, you gain temporary hit points equal to half your level plus your Int or Cha modifier.

    11th level: Arcane Skin:  When you take damage of a certain type, you gain resist 5 against that damage type until the end of your next turn.  In addition, as a free action, you may choose to shed bright light in a four-square radius.  You may douse the light as a free action.

    16th level:  Runeforged Apeothesis:  Your runic tattoos have clearly replaced your skin entirely, wrapping you in a glowing shell of arcane power.  Your origin changes to elemental.  The first time you become bloodied in an encounter, you may use Rune of Binding as a free action withoue expending the power (even if it's already expended).



































    Rune of BindingRuneforged Exemplar Attack 11
    You trace a blue rune in the air that explodes outward with raw arcane energy, blocking enemies around you from accessing more formed arcane energies.
    Encounter Arcane, Implement
    Standard action - Close burst 2
    Target:All enemies in burst
    Attack:Intelligence or Charisma vs Reflex
    Hit: 2d8 + Int or Cha modifier damage, and the target is slowed until the end of your next turn.
    Special: Choose a damage type keyword when using this power.  Any targets hit cannot use powers with that keyword until the end of your next turn.



























    Rune of RecoveryRuneforged Exemplar Utility 12
    You trace a green rune in the air that flies to the friend you choose, sapping some of your strength to restore theirs.  (Or perhaps it just stays by you and heals you.)
    Encounter Arcane, Healing
    Minor action - Close burst 20
    Target:You or one ally in burst
    Effect:Spend one of your own healing surges but regain no hit points. The target of the spell can then spend a healing surge. (If you are the target, you will have spent two healing surges to regain hit points for one surge.)




































    Rune of DominanceRuneforged Exemplar Attack 20
    You trace a golden rune in the air which explodes with arcane energy, then forms a glittering shield around you.
    Daily Arcane, Implement, Force
    Standard action - Close burst 2
    Target:All enemies in burst
    Attack:Intelligence or Charisma vs Reflex
    Hit: 4d6 + Int or Cha modifier force damage.
    Miss: Half damage.
    Effect: Until the end of the encounter, you gain resist 5 to all damage, and your Arcane Skin provides resist 10 whenever you take typed damage.  Until the end of the encounter, whenever you use an arcane power, each enemy adjacent to you takes damage equal to your Intelligence or Charisma modifier.  If you choose, this damage may be of a type that your Arcane Skin is currently granting you resistance to.







    Elements


    Name: Runeforged Dwarf
    Race: Dwarf
    Theme:  The Runeforged Dwarf background; a dwarf covered in magical runic tattoos.

    Ability:  Almost every element uses Int or Cha, two stats to which dwarves receive no bonus.
    Keyword:  The Runeforged Dwarf background grants a bonus to attacks with the Arcane keyword, and a penalty to attacks with the Martial or Divine keywords.  (In effect, as far as attack powers, trading the +2 Wis/Str of the dwarf race for +2 Int/Cha.  There's a slight hole with dwarf conlocks but no one likes them anyway.)
    Ritual:  The Runeforged Sentinel feat allows use of rituals in the Warding and Binding categories.
    Transformative:  The Runeforged Exemplar paragon path changes your orgin to Elemental at level 16.
    The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
    The list is updated!
    Q. For purposes of the "Race" required element, what races can be used? 


    A. Any race officially available to players.  According to the Compendium, the playable races are bladeling, bugbear, bullywug, changeling, deva, dragonborn, drow, duergar, dwarf, eladrin, elf, genasi, githyanki, githzerai, gnoll, gnome, goblin, goliath, half-elf, halfling, half-orc, hobgoblin, human, kalashtar, kenku, kobold, longtooth shifter, minotaur, mul, orc, razorclaw shifter, reveant, shadar-kai, shardmind, thri-kreen, tiefling, warforged, and wilden.



    Wrecan, can a new shifter class (say for example Bearform Shifter) be used as a Racial feature of the shifter class, or is that going too far into new race territory?

    Q. For purposes of the "Race" required element, what races can be used? 


    A. Any race officially available to players.  According to the Compendium, the playable races are bladeling, bugbear, bullywug, changeling, deva, dragonborn, drow, duergar, dwarf, eladrin, elf, genasi, githyanki, githzerai, gnoll, gnome, goblin, goliath, half-elf, halfling, half-orc, hobgoblin, human, kalashtar, kenku, kobold, longtooth shifter, minotaur, mul, orc, razorclaw shifter, reveant, shadar-kai, shardmind, thri-kreen, tiefling, warforged, and wilden.



    Wrecan, can a new shifter class (say for example Bearform Shifter) be used as a Racial feature of the shifter class, or is that going too far into new race territory?



    You can make a variant shifter race by basing it on an existing shifter race.  But you can't make an entirely new shifter in the way that the eladrin is a different type of elf than an elf or drow.  Does that make sense?
    I believe your response does make sense and unfortunately negates my current idea, at least as I see it.

    My plan was to have a third shifter style (not sure what kind of style yet), but as an example, maybe use a Werebear style shifter that has racial stats in Wis and Con, a different shifting power and probably different set of skill boosts. Since it is still a shifter class, I thought that would be enough, but by the looks of things it probably won't be, do you agree with the above interpretation. 
    I can't help you build your entry.  Sorry.  If you don't think it will meet the required elements, try modifying it slightly.  May I suggest you look at my sample entry for an example of how you can create basically a new race by basing it on an existing one?
    Multiracial - any one or more mechanics or all mechanics involving the other race?
    Multiracial - any one or more mechanics or all mechanics involving the other race?


    To meet the Multiracial element, at least one power must treat the character as another race for all mechanical purposes to which it might apply.
    Bump!
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